Wednesday, March 09, 2005


The seven year old has homework at least four days a week. She has been assigned at least some homework at school since she began there in kindergarten. The quantity she must do will gradually increase as she gets older. Right now the homework is mostly stuff like "read for at least 10 minutes and write down what you've read."

Not too onerous, but I have trouble forcing her to adhere to the letter of the homework law as I didn't have homework myself until seventh grade. Oh, I read like a fiend, but because I liked it, not because it was assigned as homework. So, when she reads for an hour one night (as she often does), I let her write down what she read as fulfilling her assignment for the entire week. I think it's better to coax someone into loving reading rather than forcing it down their throats.

This is one reason I'm dubious about Mexico City's plan to require its police to read a book each month:
The list of recommended titles includes such literary classics as Don Quixote, The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz, and, on a lighter note, The Little Prince.

One hindrance is that a substantial proportion of the police are semi-literate.

About 20% were not educated beyond primary level.

However, according to the mayor, classes will be given to those with reading difficulties.

There is no chance of anyone getting away without doing the reading.

The policemen will be regularly tested to make sure they have read the books they name.
The mayor is instituting the reform in order to fight the "popular conception that Mexican police are corrupt, incompetent and lazy." At least now maybe they'll be able to discuss the finer points of Dante's Inferno while extracting their bribes.


And don't you love it when they bring home "parent" homework too?

By Blogger Sandy, at 9:15 AM  

Another option would be to hire people who are competent, hard-working and ethical in the first place.

By Blogger thc, at 5:22 PM  

At least you can feel good that your daughter has a future with the Police Department.

By Blogger ceci n'est pas, at 5:31 PM  

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