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What You Should Hate / August 14, 2009
By Yasha Levine


I just went through the stack of mail which had been piling up over the past week… Everything addressed to me was a bill. One of them demanded $194.16 for July’s electricity usage. Two hundred dollars—1,096 kilowatt hours—that’s how much it took to cool a crappily insulated, two-story house in the desert to a constant temperature of 74°F, thirty degrees below the ambient daytime inferno outside.

There was also a bunch of mail for the landlord and a glossy pamphlet called “The Report Card,” sent by the Victor Elementary School District. I was going to throw it in the trash until I saw one of its headlines proclaiming that it was: “One of the Highest Performing Districts…… page 3.”

One of the highest performing? Really? Were they talking about gym class? Or maybe they were referring to the “most likely to be initiated into a prestigious gang before the age of 12” school rating? Because the only stat I saw on Victor Valley’s education system showed the high school dropout rate to be 55%, double the US average.

But maybe the elementary schools here were using some sort of radical approach, a Mojave-Montessori hybrid that mixed high doses of amphetamine scavenged from carpets for increased frontal lobe activity, mixed in with child abandonment therapy: an organic model of childhood learning that gives kids the space they need to pursue their own interests while mommy and daddy go on a seven day speed binge. Like these two bright specimens and their loving, devoted parents:

Children found in home with drugs, ammunition

August 11, 2009 5:21 PM


HESPERIA • Investigators removed two children from a Hesperia home after authorities found drugs and ammunition at the residence, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Hesperia station officials said Tuesday.

Deputies were called to a home in the 18100 block of Westlawn Street on Sunday to investigate a domestic disturbance, according to Roxanne Walker, spokeswoman for the Hesperia station. While there, officials noticed there were two children living in the home with hazardous conditions including exposed wiring, broken glass, razor blades and animal feces.

Animal Control also removed four dogs, a parrot and a ferret from the home.

Their parents obviously realized that nothing teaches kids responsibility better than pets.

So was this VV’s secret? Flipping to page 3 brought up this PowerPoint graph and a brief explanation:


“Victor Valley School District is the highest performing, high poverty district in California . . . more than 47% of VESD students tested proficient in language arts and more than 55% tested proficient in mathematics.”

“Highest performing, high-poverty district”?… Ah-ha. So the schools here have taken their cue from the banking industry, qualifying everything important and sticking it into the fine print.

And what’s up with the “language arts” tag? Must be what they’re calling basic reading comprehension in schools these days. It’s crafty rebranding on their part, proof that the everyone-is-special-no-matter-how-many-chromosomes-they-have attitude has finally made it out of special ed and gained acceptance in regular classrooms. It’s a whole lot easier to lower the bar than to divert money from prisons.

It must be a helluva self-esteem booster for the parents, too, transforming their kid into someone gifted, a bona fide maestro of words, a Desert Dr. Dre who can read a label on a can of Pringles and buy his dad’s St. Ides at the liquor store all by himself—and bring back exact change, too. That, or risk a good ol’ fashioned whippin’.

And whoa! Just look at the margins VV maintains over its competition, beating out the silver medal district of Rio Linda—a third-world shithole near Sacramento with a per capita income on par with Russia, Libya and Equatorial Guinea—by a whopping 3.1 and 4.2 percent! This place is really living up to its name.

Victor Valley may be on top now, but it shouldn’t let this win go to its head. With the way things are going for the High Desert, the hard part will be maintaining superiority… And it might have to come up with a new qualifier to keep itself competitive, something along the lines of: “highest-performing, highest high-poverty district in California.”

Yasha Levine is a McMansion inhabitin’ editor of The eXiled. He is currently stationed in Victorville, CA. You can reach him at levine [at]

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Add your own

  • 1. chance mcgee  |  August 14th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    What a fucking disgrace this country has become with a national dropout rate of 29%! That’s fucking unbelievable, I never would have guessed it would be that high. No wonder our prisons have grown fat when our schools have been stripped to the bone.

  • 2. Johnny  |  August 14th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I did okay in school – it was a nice place – but I dropped out. Not elementary school though.

  • 3. Jack Reynolds  |  August 14th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    “Language Farts” is what we called English at my junior high 15 years ago and probably for a while before that, and I come from a good school district.

  • 4. Jon Ezell  |  August 14th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Quit trying to blame little people for this motherfucker. He looks more like a Big Boy statue anyway, and his job description–shilling corporate garbage–is pretty similar.

  • 5. Jon Ezell  |  August 14th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Fuck, I’m an idiot, that comment was supposed to go on the Vadum article.

  • 6. Fissile  |  August 14th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Compulsory education is a waste of time and money for the majority of kids. Most kids would be better off apprenticed to some tradesman when they turn 14/15. The education industry is just another scam, like so many of the scam “businesses” that have sprouted up in America since 1945.

  • 7. Michael  |  August 15th, 2009 at 4:01 am

    “… highest performing, high poverty …” Neat-o.

    I think the standard of education speaks for itself in the second sentence (on page 3).

    “… compares the district with six district’s throughout California …”

    Perhaps they can alleviate some of the high poverty by selling some of those extra apostrophes.

  • 8. UselessSpace  |  August 15th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    74 Fahrenheit = 23.3 Celsius? Christ, you Yanks are insane with the AC. If it’s unbearably hot outside then cool down to, say, 27-29 C, but don’t go create an unnatural season in your house/car. It’s not just a matter of saving energy, either: the sudden temperature shift every time you open a door is hell on your body.

  • 9. captain america  |  August 15th, 2009 at 12:22 pm


    yeah. i’m glad at least some people are slowly waking up to what a scam higher education has become, unless you’re getting an engineering degree or something like that. otherwise, the main function of your liberal arts degree? your employer knows you’re so far in debt that you’re utterly dependent on your job.



  • 10. Tom  |  August 16th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    We’ve been living unsustainably for so long we can’t even think straight. It’s not just education and it isn’t only our country.

    Everything, not only here but world-wide, is completely interconnected and, at this point, as a result of all our “mistakes” and lessons not learned, going down together into a much lower standard of living environmentally, economically, and socially.

    Many if not most of us will starve or be killed off in the process. We’re looking at the complete breakdown – starting slowly (right now) and gradually picking up speed as the deterioration impacts more and more people and systems – of not only society, but civilization! This will make the Civil War look like warm-up. It will happen in all countries at some point, and countries will blame each other and find war and violence as a viable policy of action. Internally, everyone will be looking to survive in any way they can, including unprecedented levels of violence and corruption, from the unrelenting decay.

    i don’t look forward to the coming 3 years, and after that, we’ll either be together, cooperating to solve all our problems (doubtful, but possible with inspirational leadership), or at each others’ throats most probably since it equates to continuing as we do each day with business as usual).

    If it doesn’t work for all of us, it isn’t going to work for anyone or any small group to survive. Even with an army (which will be hard to raise and hold, since the pervasive attitude will be ‘everyone for themselves’) our currency will be worthless, food growing and distribution systems will be unreliable and who can survive in this state?

    Grim times ahead.

  • 11. Larry Craig  |  August 18th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    The all new, improved Big Bro Larry’s Headstart program is just the ticket for students from superior schules like those in VV.

    Apply in person at MSP, Men’s restroom just left of Royal Zeno Shoe Shine. Take the first or third stall from the right. Headmaster Larry will monitor from stall #2.

    BYOL – Bring your own lube and handcuffs. Don’t wear no wire. Fully accredited by Rump Wrangler University, an online school of really, really high education, offering more than 900 undergraduate, and 21,500 graduate degrees.

    Don’t wear no wire.

    Three toe taps in rapid succession, two toe-to-toe sole bumps.

    No wire.

  • 12. Nicolai Ceske  |  August 25th, 2009 at 12:45 am

    How about simply taking several billion out of our war budget and putting it into education?

    I don’t think any other first world country devotes so much money to “defense” compared to education.

    Which politician has the balls to make this happen before the entire system collapses upon itself? Oh yeah, none of them, because such a thing would never pass due to the arms companies owning so many of these a-holes.

  • 13. chickenbutt  |  August 26th, 2009 at 4:34 am

    So this means we should pay teachers more! yes, we need to get them to work harder and get that drop out rate to 66%! Give the Unions all they want and remember if we run out of cash, we got sugar daddy Obama to bail us out! Inflation is a lie and teachers need their pension. AMERICA WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF MONEY!

  • 14. Todd  |  September 5th, 2009 at 7:33 am

    @12 That’s becuase there is no correlation between spending money on education and better results.

    One can look at the local private schools. They spend about a fourth of the money per student as the public schools do, yet there testing scores are much higher.

    Can’t throw money at the problem and expect it to work.

    Also I’m 26 year citizen of the Victor Valley. I know first hand.

  • 15. Sin Froneres  |  September 5th, 2009 at 10:08 am

    @14 Yes, but who gets to attend private schools? for the most part it’s children who are Economically privileged to began with.
    Where are private schools located? Not many private schools in the inner city ghettos, or Appalachian-esqu back woods.

  • 16. staghounds  |  September 11th, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Government “education” is first a jobs racket for administrators, second a jobs racket for lazy people who have degrees, third a day care warehouse, and fourth a habituation/indoctrination factory for obedient drones.

    Good teachers who want to teach, parents who take an interest in their children, and students who want to learn are impediments now.

  • 17. joshua  |  March 30th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Im going to vote for Robert c newman in the next election for ca, the is big on changing all this bull” in our education system!Check out his website Robert C

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