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View Full Version : For all you proponents of our government schools...



stsinner
08-26-2009, 12:30 PM
Our kids are getting dumber due to the crappy standards of our schools and their refusal to fail kids and hold them accountable for fear of hurting their little feelings.. As we evolve, shouldn't our schools actually be getting harder in order to make us more competitive in the world, especially since we spend more per student than any other country in the world save Sweden.

It's too bad Policon has me on ignore so he can't yell at me about how the numbers are skewed and manipulated...

In assessments of math and science, U.S. performance is mediocre. There are two major tests, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). On the math portion of the TIMSS, our eighth-grade students rank 16th among 46 nations. The 15 entities whose students outperformed ours include Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Estonia, Japan, and Hungary.On the PISA test, American scores in science and math literacy were below the average for the 30 nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The American Institutes for Research examined the scores of the 12 nations, including ours, that participated in TIMSS and PISA in 2003 and found that our students consistently ranked eighth or ninth of the 12. (http://www.american.com/archive/2007/july-august-magazine-contents/question-answer-the-truth-about-americas-schools) <---Link

Average scores on the SAT college entrance exam dipped slightly for the high school class of 2009, while gender, race and income gaps widened, according to figures released Tuesday by the College Board.

However, the scores also indicate a widening of the gaps that have made the test a target for critics of standardized testing. On the three combined sections, men scored 27 points higher on average than women, compared to 24 points higher last year. That gap is mostly attributable to men's higher math scores.

Average combined scores for white students declined two points, but scores for black students fell four points, widening the racial gap. Average scores for two of the three categories the College Board uses for identifying Hispanics also declined.

Link (http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20090825_ap_satscoresdipforhighschoolclassof2009.h tml)

FeebMaster
08-26-2009, 12:33 PM
Clearly the Department of Education needs more funding.

linda22003
08-26-2009, 12:41 PM
Our school year is also shorter than a lot of those countries, with much longer breaks. We still follow an agrarian calendar for the school year.

stsinner
08-26-2009, 12:52 PM
Our school year is also shorter than a lot of those countries, with much longer breaks. We still follow an agrarian calendar for the school year.

Oh, golly! We can't make our poor, delicate crotch fruit attend school any more-they're already so stressed out... I actually think it's the grueling schedule and long hours (my kid's school day is 7:30-2:00!!) that has caused their grades to slip! You know, in Japan if a student sees their teacher on the streets, the student bows to them because they respect them and know they are their future.

And seeing how some teachers whine about their pay and benefits, I think that would be a nasty battle.. It's funny, but I can't shake the opinion that you shouldn't go into teaching to get rich, unless you're a college professor. Grade school and high school teachers saying that $35,000 per year for about 270 days work makes me want to hurl.. They don't even send homework in my kid's school, so the teachers don't even have anything to take home and grade like they did when I went to school.. I've had to supplement my son's homework to achieve the suggested 10 minutes per grade (70 minutes for 7th grade).

linda22003
08-26-2009, 12:56 PM
Massachusetts has excellent private schools, StSinner.

stsinner
08-26-2009, 12:59 PM
Massachusetts has excellent private schools, StSinner.

Can I have some money?

I pay my taxes, so even if I send my kids to private school I'm paying for the government schools, so why opt out... I'll just continue to pick up the slack and bitch about it. :)

linda22003
08-26-2009, 01:04 PM
My parents sent me to a private school in Massachusetts, while still paying the taxes on the local suburban Philadelphia schools. I pay my taxes that support the schools, without even having had children.

"Can I have some money?" - living in Massachusetts seems to be turning you into a Dem.

stsinner
08-26-2009, 01:13 PM
My parents sent me to a private school in Massachusetts, while still paying the taxes on the local suburban Philadelphia schools. I pay my taxes that support the schools, without even having had children.

"Can I have some money?" - living in Massachusetts seems to be turning you into a Dem.

I only resemble a dem when someone recommends I do something that I can't afford when I'm already paying for the alternative.. I know you were joking... (I hope)

I, too, attended a private school. I was fortunate enough to attend a Catholic private school for both grade school and high school, but with three children and one due in October, we can't afford it. I just think the government schools should give us what we pay for, and being the second highest in per student funding in the world, that's a quality education that reflects this level of funding.

But, unfortunately, we're softening as a nation and many factors are preventing us from doing this, starting with dumbing the classes down to integrate the special needs kids into the normal classroom to protect their delicate feelings, refusing to hold kids back if they don't perform and not grading them honestly according to effort and achievement.. Kids' self esteem seems to hold more weight now, rather than their academic efforts and achievements.. When I was a kid, it was nothing to be held back a grade at my school.. You didn't make the grade or missed too many days of the school year and you repeated that grade.. Makes sense to me.. Protecting kids' feelings at the cost of a quality education is doing them a great disservice, and our country, as well..

noonwitch
08-26-2009, 01:20 PM
I'm a proponent of good public schools, like the ones I attended (Kentwood Public Schools, which remain a top-ranked district in Michigan). I wish the Detroit Public Schools offered the kids I work with now the same quality education that I received. Some Detroit schools still do-the magnet schools, for kids who test into advanced programs remain excellent schools within Detroit's system. It's the schools for average and above average students that are colossal failures.

The district I live in is not the best, and not the worst (Warren Fitzgerald). The parents in my neighborhood like the elementary school and the high school, but think the middle school is terrible. Detroit's are not the worst public schools in Michigan, believe it or not. That honor belongs to Benton Harbor, which is also the poorest city in Michigan and the meth capital of Michigan.

linda22003
08-26-2009, 01:21 PM
II, too, attended a private school. I was fortunate enough to attend a Catholic private school for both grade school and high school, but with three children and one due in October, we can't afford it.
That was your decision; others would decide to have fewer children and have sufficient funds for each of them. That's not a shot, just an observation.


I just think the government schools should give us what we pay for, and being the second highest in per student funding in the world, that's a quality education that reflects this level of funding.
No argument there. I was taken out of public schools in 1968 because my parents did not think it was a good system for me to be in, so this is not a recent problem.

linda22003
08-26-2009, 01:22 PM
That honor belongs to Benton Harbor, which is also the poorest city in Michigan and the meth capital of Michigan.

So at least they're taking chemistry, right? :cool:

Gingersnap
08-26-2009, 01:39 PM
Our school year is also shorter than a lot of those countries, with much longer breaks. We still follow an agrarian calendar for the school year.

It's not that much shorter. As someone who tutors math from time to time, I think the problem is more that teachers themselves are woefully uneducated (particularly in math and science) and that the "system" is constantly reinventing itself to remain relevant and to cater to special needs.

Really, we know how to educate wild little humans and stuff them with facts and useful skills. It requires a lot of consistency, a lot of practicing, and a lot of drilling - in other words, it's kind of boring. But it works! This is the way Asia kicks our butts in math and science all the time.

American educators are just addicted to novelty and hopeless causes and this causes a huge disservice to the bulk of kids who have the capacity to be educated.

noonwitch
08-26-2009, 01:49 PM
So at least they're taking chemistry, right? :cool:


That's looking on the bright side!

We have a residential treatment program for teen girls that I won't name, but all of us children's services workers say that at least the girls there are learning the oldest business in the world.

FeebMaster
08-26-2009, 01:50 PM
hehe (http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/stories/wcnc-082409-mw-cms-coaster-misspelled.110c495ac.html)

stsinner
08-26-2009, 01:54 PM
American educators are just addicted to novelty and hopeless causes and this causes a huge disservice to the bulk of kids who have the capacity to be educated.

Very well said.

I know it's not the kindest thing to say, but as a parent, I think it's abhorrent that a special needs kid-meaning a kid of diminished learning capacity, can be put into my son's class and that the class then has to endure the elementary questions, move at the slowed pace so as not to appear cold, and that my son's education is stifled in order to make a kid or kids not feel like they're different.. I'm not talking just a dumb kid-our schools are putting some really challenged kids into the classes of normal kids with the intention of integrating them and protecting their self-esteem. It's pure crap, and it's simply intellectual dishonesty. Kids should have every chance to excel and learn all they can learn without being held back for the sake of the feelings of a kid who simply was dealt a raw hand in life.. If we never tried this crap and this protecting of the self-esteem nonsense, we wouldn't be forced to say the obvious and look cold-hearted for advocating undoing it.

I know there are teachers out there who are SPED teachers and such and God bless you and the work you do, but my children weren't born mentally challenged, and so they shouldn't be in class with mentally challenged kids when their education will shape their future.

School isn't about feelings-it's about the kids' futures and the future of our country.

noonwitch
08-26-2009, 02:20 PM
American educators are just addicted to novelty and hopeless causes and this causes a huge disservice to the bulk of kids who have the capacity to be educated.



I would say that the areas where my district messed up were due to educational fads that were current in the 70s. New math, for example, left me hopelessly confused, as they reverted back to traditional math after a couple of years. Working at your own pace, with daily lesson modules, was a good idea for advanced students in a subject, but not for those who needed more direct instruction. I did well in reading classes that used that approach, but I was one of those who needed more of the teacher's attention to learn math.

The best teachers I had were the traditional teachers, not the ones who had crazy new ideas about how to better teach us.

stsinner
08-26-2009, 02:31 PM
The best teachers I had were the traditional teachers, not the ones who had crazy new ideas about how to better teach us.

Of course.. These methods have been tried and true for decades.

But two years ago when my son was learning multiplication, he was sent home with two different wasy of doing it! One involved a graph-looking thing where you put numbers along the edges and used it in sort of a slide rule fashion, and then the traditional way to see which one he liked better.. I didn't even let him confuse himself with that new nonsense and sent a note to the school asking why they would confuse kids like that... They're not going to have this stupid chart in the real world and need to know how to grab a post-it note and bang out a problem if need be..

linda22003
08-26-2009, 02:41 PM
Again, that's been going on forever. For Easter vacation in 1968, I had to take two hundred math problems along with me on our family vacation. It was some method known as "Illinois math", which had just been embraced by the school district (and was repudiated by it a few years later). I wish I could tell you what it involved, but I was so traumatized by it I can't remember. I do remember my civil engineer father muttering "this is nuts!" as he reviewed the problems.

Gingersnap
08-26-2009, 03:09 PM
Of course.. These methods have been tried and true for decades.

But two years ago when my son was learning multiplication, he was sent home with two different wasy of doing it! One involved a graph-looking thing where you put numbers along the edges and used it in sort of a slide rule fashion, and then the traditional way to see which one he liked better.. I didn't even let him confuse himself with that new nonsense and sent a note to the school asking why they would confuse kids like that... They're not going to have this stupid chart in the real world and need to know how to grab a post-it note and bang out a problem if need be..

LOL! I see this a lot now. The idea is that there are multiple, equally "correct" methods to solve arithmetic problems and children should experiment to see what way works best for them. It's true that there are multiple correct ways to solve arithmetic problems. Sadly, most of those methods are cumbersome, require props, or are needlessly intricate. If you are hoping to do pre-calc in high school, you aren't going to get very far if you need to deploy props or wiggle your fingers to arrive at simple sums.

The reason that drills and practice problems work so well is that the kid first mindlessly memorizes solutions that he or she will use a million times over the years and then he or she is able to generalize axioms and solution stages as math education continues and becomes much more theoretical.

The way we are doing it now is like showing a kid a hundred different pics of different bird houses and then asking him to build one from found objects. In the old school style you teach a kid what birdhouses are for, you teach him how to measure, saw, and nail the appropriate materials, you offer him a workshop stuffed with birdhouse materials and then you tell him to build a birdhouse.

Which way works better, do you think?

linda22003
08-26-2009, 03:11 PM
If you are hoping to do pre-calc in high school

Has anyone, ever, anywhere, hoped for this???? :eek:

stsinner
08-26-2009, 03:19 PM
TOTD: Today is appropriate picture day...

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/brassmonkey71/5867b372481250234780.jpg

linda22003
08-26-2009, 03:22 PM
That look of total confusion mixed with terror on the little girl's face is very, very familiar.

BadCat
08-26-2009, 03:29 PM
You are seeing the effects of one of DeadTed's masterpieces...No Child Left Behind.

School systems (not necessarily the teachers) declare that students will be taught to pass the tests necessary to obtain funding from NCLB. Nothing more. They are teaching to a test. Even in areas that require deductive skills and reasoning (math & science), they are teaching to a test, no deductive skills and reasoning are taught.

Gingersnap
08-26-2009, 03:44 PM
Has anyone, ever, anywhere, hoped for this???? :eek:

Is this like a trick question? Unless you get through pre-calc, you'll never be able to anything interesting in math. It's like sex - there's a certain amount of foreplay before the Big Bang.

linda22003
08-26-2009, 03:45 PM
Is this like a trick question? Unless you get through pre-calc, you'll never be able to anything interesting in math. It's like sex - there's a certain amount of foreplay before the Big Bang.

There was nothing in mathematics for me that has any corollary to ANY sort of pleasure of any kind.

FeebMaster
08-26-2009, 03:48 PM
It's really a combination of everything mentioned so far. On top of that, you have the kids of a few years ago taught with all the craptacular methods out there becoming the teachers of today.

Imagine what the schools are going to look like in another decade.

BadCat
08-26-2009, 04:01 PM
It's really a combination of everything mentioned so far. On top of that, you have the kids of a few years ago taught with all the craptacular methods out there becoming the teachers of today.

Imagine what the schools are going to look like in another decade.

In AZ, 90% of the teachers FAIL the exam they have to take to be a teacher.
They let them teach anyway.

stsinner
08-26-2009, 06:28 PM
In AZ, 90% of the teachers FAIL the exam they have to take to be a teacher.
They let them teach anyway.

And the teachers unions always vote down tying pay increases to performance.. I wonder why....

enslaved1
08-26-2009, 07:01 PM
NCLB, attrocious excuses for learning (as evidenced by constantly dropping scores), and several other things are all reasons why we are home-schooling our kids now. Schools have been reduced to daycare centers.

MrsSmith
08-26-2009, 07:12 PM
You are seeing the effects of one of DeadTed's masterpieces...No Child Left Behind.

School systems (not necessarily the teachers) declare that students will be taught to pass the tests necessary to obtain funding from NCLB. Nothing more. They are teaching to a test. Even in areas that require deductive skills and reasoning (math & science), they are teaching to a test, no deductive skills and reasoning are taught.

NCLB is not perfect, but it has had a positive effect on some schools. The public system that decided my middle child couldn't read because I was a single mom (despite the fact that both older siblings did fine in school - and now both younger have also), has had to make some very major changes to meet the requirements of Nebraska's NCLB standards. This is a very good thing because I now have one grandchild - the child of the son who can't read - going through the same public school system. If it has done NOTHING else, it was a success in my eyes because it forced some schools to actually take responsibility for what they are, or are NOT, teaching. :mad:

AmPat
08-26-2009, 07:56 PM
Very well said.

I it's pure crap, and it's simply intellectual dishonesty. Kids should have every chance to excel and learn all they can learn without being held back for the sake of the feelings of a kid who simply was dealt a raw hand in life.. If we never tried this crap and this protecting of the self-esteem nonsense, we wouldn't be forced to say the obvious and look cold-hearted for advocating undoing it.

I know there are teachers out there who are SPED teachers and such and God bless you and the work you do, but my children weren't born mentally challenged, and so they shouldn't be in class with mentally challenged kids when their education will shape their future.
School isn't about feelings-it's about the kids' futures and the future of our country.

Makes as much sense as putting your kids in a SPED class so they can feel the pain.

enslaved1
08-27-2009, 01:20 AM
NCLB is not perfect, but it has had a positive effect on some schools. The public system that decided my middle child couldn't read because I was a single mom (despite the fact that both older siblings did fine in school - and now both younger have also), has had to make some very major changes to meet the requirements of Nebraska's NCLB standards. This is a very good thing because I now have one grandchild - the child of the son who can't read - going through the same public school system. If it has done NOTHING else, it was a success in my eyes because it forced some schools to actually take responsibility for what they are, or are NOT, teaching. :mad:

There are two schools here in Wichita that failed the NCLB enough times that this year they were supposed to fire everyone, and remodel the buildings (don't ask me why, but that's part of it). Nothing changed because the feds had no money to hand out for the process.

I don't doubt your account, but it would be interesting to see which type of story is more common.

Adam Wood
08-27-2009, 07:50 AM
Clearly the Department of Education needs more funding.Don't be ridiculous. That's the old Washington way of doing things.

Today, we do things with the new Washington way of doing things.

Rather than "throw money at the problem," what we need is some federal oversight of these private, for-profit institutions that for too many years have flourished in this "do whatever you want" culture of de-regulation. We need just a little bit of regulatory tweaking so that we can close the disparity gap between the public and the private sector.

So what we'll have is an education disparity czar who will oversee and reign in these runaway institutions. Now, this won't be free, so those insitutions will have to pay a small amount of their profits, about 140%, to fund the Department of Carbon Offsets. But it won't be ordinary, working-class Americans who will have to pay. We're going to make sure that these for-profit organizations pay, and if you make less than ten billion dollars a year, your taxes will not go up one dime. Now these runaway will just have to give up a little bit of their profits, but it will be better for all Americans to have equal opportunity through cosmic sameness.

Change!

FeebMaster
08-27-2009, 08:19 AM
Don't be ridiculous. That's the old Washington way of doing things.

Today, we do things with the new Washington way of doing things.

Rather than "throw money at the problem," what we need is some federal oversight of these private, for-profit institutions that for too many years have flourished in this "do whatever you want" culture of de-regulation. We need just a little bit of regulatory tweaking so that we can close the disparity gap between the public and the private sector.

So what we'll have is an education disparity czar who will oversee and reign in these runaway institutions. Now, this won't be free, so those insitutions will have to pay a small amount of their profits, about 140%, to fund the Department of Carbon Offsets. But it won't be ordinary, working-class Americans who will have to pay. We're going to make sure that these for-profit organizations pay, and if you make less than ten billion dollars a year, your taxes will not go up one dime. Now these runaway will just have to give up a little bit of their profits, but it will be better for all Americans to have equal opportunity through cosmic sameness.

Change!

Good call.

Damn, you're good at this.

Adam Wood
08-27-2009, 08:34 AM
Good call.

Damn, you're good at this.Thanks. I think it comes from living just a little too close to Al Gore.

I forgot to blame the culture of de-regulation on George Bush, and I should have said "middle-class" instead of "working-class." "Working-class" just sounds too much like "Proletariat," so it's a word to be avoided now. But I think I stuck the dismount pretty well.

noonwitch
08-27-2009, 10:22 AM
Has anyone, ever, anywhere, hoped for this???? :eek:


My brainiac older brother, who took trig and calculus in high school, along with the science class in which he got to dissect a cat.

Now he's an ordained minister, currently working as a child psychologist.

linda22003
08-27-2009, 10:30 AM
My brainiac older brother, who took trig and calculus in high school, along with the science class in which he got to dissect a cat.

Now he's an ordained minister, currently working as a child psychologist.

Well, hell, taking a cat apart, who wouldn't be interested in THAT? :p

Rockntractor
08-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Well, hell, taking a cat apart, who wouldn't be interested in THAT? :p
Yes but could they put it back together
?

linda22003
08-27-2009, 10:59 AM
Not necessary, IMHO. :)

noonwitch
08-27-2009, 11:28 AM
Yes but could they put it back together
?



My brother cut the tail off his cat and saved it. He also referred to his cat as "Dave" while the project was going on. I don't know if he still has the tail, but it used to freak my sister and I out because he hung it over his desk.