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caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 2:31 PM

THE US PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Don't know why this is time 4 but will post in pieces-not as effective but can make my point.From what I have been reading here and the pms I have received getting the idead that many folks i like very much are blaming unionization of teachers or the idea that teachers can vote and students and parents cannot, Before i say something much stronger than BS which will surely get my account terminated, will attemp my explanation as to why major US cities do not have effective public schools. I taught in Detroit's inner city for close to 30 years so that is my credentials. Growing up I attended Catholic Schools as they were cheaper then plus my parents wanted me to learn their Catholic values-p-whatever those are. All in all I received a pretty good education.

As a very young white woman i went to teach in the inner city of Detroit. I had to make my lessons interesting as those MS kids would have run me out in a day let alone letting me stay 30 years. I was a union member and that union negotiated the benefits I live on today. Also saw that same union protect incompetent or uncaring teachers-mostly big men with a big paddle on their desk. -read newspapers with feet propped on desk while kkids copiede dictionaries. So my first point is that I oppose blanket unionization because I am sure my school was not a lone example of unionization protecting incompetence. quit now and start a new post

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:00 PM

The Us Public School System Part 2- By Caramel1

Linda continues: "I am also against determining teacher salaries based on performance. Detroit once had-not sure if they still do- a program where kids were put in a class because of IQ score. Sure, teachers who were lucky enough to get those classes-had a few myself-had better performance by students. I was around long enough to see time wasted teaching tests and a school system that wasted huge sums in implementing programs and buying texts that did not help either. When you start determining teacher salaries by performance it becomes political and corrupt as my last is only one example of many. The issue in the major cities is poverty and because the vast % is black and now Hispanic folks just chose to ignore them because any finger pointing is construed as racist-to be continued".

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:02 PM

The US Public School System Part Three by Caramel1

Linda continues: "The kids I taught were caught in circumstance-especially the no-win cycle of ADC/Welfare earn anything lose everything.. It is also very difficult to get them to see a reason to listen to anything one says because they see the bucks in the hands of drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes. Most of the kids I taught did not have 2 parents in the home-voting or otherwise- but a woman or women with transient male figures again trapped in the no-win cycle of ADC/ Welfare. It was not that they did not have God in their lives eithier. Most of these mothers drug these kids to church on a pretty regular basis often to hear a very corrupt pastor speak. I did have a few success stories in the 30 years but never willl be sure if it had anything to do with something I said or did or their own will too get out of that mess.to be continued".

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:25 PM

The US Public School System Part 4 by Caramel1

Linda continues: "Me, I lived integration as was married to a DPO (rules said he had toi live within city limits) before he used his own gun to blow his head off. Sin ce his death was not in the line of duty I received no large sum to help raise my three kids. Neighbors both black and white helped me through this rough time. He was a cynical man. He tried to explain why to me once by telling me he saw on a daily basis either victims or bad guys-no middle folks. I do know as a fact that he beat the crap out of mommas boyfriend after arriving on scene to find a screaming five-year-old girl with semen running down her legs. He covered his own butt and am sure he did not feel a bit bad about it. Also know that on occasion he drove a DUI home and gave keys to family rather than putting the drunk in jail-possibly because he drank a bit himself. I will never know if he killed himself because he had a bitch for a wife or because he watched the bad guys hit the street before he completed the paperwork for his entire working career-perhaps both cont hopefully the last time".

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:26 PM

The US Public School System Part 5 by Caramel1

Linda Continues: "For as long as i remained in Detroit sent my kids to Catholic school-not because of religion but because I thought tthey had a chance to learn there. My one son found our=t in a hurry what it means too go to a private school-not sure if charter schools fit there-where rules foir behavior are in place and are enforceable. He flipped a nun the bird and his a-- was out the door before anything had a chance to hit him anywhere-no hearing nuttin

Think I have sad what I have to say until some intellectual sits on the "lofty" perch and gives an opinion as to why things are as they are and the best way to fix the. I told you how they are and don't have a clue how to Fix public schools but as long as they are public and a law is in place that insists all folks go there whether they want to or no without realuistic goals and enforceable rulest-there will be chaos-so have at it-Linda".

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:27 PM

Kaufman replies:

"You say basing salaries on performance leads to corruption ... I suppose it can, but I fail to see why that would necessarily be the case, especially if what's being measured isn't just students' performance on some single test (heaven forbid!), but rather a true measure of how teachers do their job -- motivating interest, interaction with parents, contributions to the classes, dealing with any special cases that might come up, etc.

Such a system would encourage teachers to do a good job, encourage the top ones to stay and the poor ones to move on, and encourage talented people to come into the profession. Pay not based on merit, from what I see, only encourages apathy and sloppiness.".

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:28 PM

Linda Replies: "The point is WHO decides???"



sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:29 PM

Wow Linda, that's quite a story. You are one incredibly strong woman

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 134.2 - Posts: 3779)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:57 PM

The best argument against this is that school boards, often loaded with personal agendae, and school administrators prescribe the curriculum, and then dump it in the teachers laps, often without the resources or funding to achieve the necessary goals. Better we dump school boards and administrators, than the teachers. This is like blaming the waitress because your steak is tough and overcooked.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:20 PM

Well, Linda, let me begin by saying that dedicated teachers who work in the inner city are saints.

Secondly, I am hardly anti-union. As I have written to you, I think some unions are beneficial, others not. I don't regard the NEA and AFTA as beneficial forces at the national level. They may well protect teachers and teachers rights at the local level, but at the national level they seem to be exclusively for teachers and not for education. There is a difference. And this is the dichotomy - teachers vote, kids don't.

Over the past 50 years we have spent more and more money on education. And we have increased teachers' salaries which needed to happen, but I don't think we're delivering better education. For 40 of those years we sent stringless federal education money principally to the inner cities until in 2001 we got No Child Left Behind which finally demanded some bang for our bucks. 40 YEARS, NO STANDARDS. 40

Our primary and secondary schools are mediocre in performance compared to other advanced nations, but our universities are tops.

To be contined

aquamar
Aquamar  (Level: 179.0 - Posts: 910)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:22 PM

I think you hit the nail on the head Steve. The No Child Left Behind is a good example. Great idea but where are the funds to make it happen? The bottom line is teachers are expected to make it happen without additional funding. Having at least one aid in a class of thirty two kids might help.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:28 PM

Well, Linda, let me begin by saying that dedicated teachers who work in the inner city are saints.

Secondly, I am hardly anti-union. As I have written to you, I think some unions are beneficial, others not. I don't regard the NEA and AFTA as beneficial forces at the national level. They may well protect teachers and teachers rights at the local level, but at the national level they seem to be exclusively for teachers and not for education. There is a difference. And this is the dichotomy - teachers vote, kids don't.

Over the past 50 years we have spent more and more money on education. And we have increased teachers' salaries which needed to happen, but I don't think we're delivering better education. For 40 of those years we sent stringless federal education money principally to the inner cities until in 2001 when we got No Child Left Behind which finally demanded some bang for our bucks.

40 YEARS, NO STANDARDS. 40 YEARS of funding - no questions asked.

Standardized testing? Apparently not much. The schools did not want the parents to know how poorly their kids were being educated.

to be continued

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:40 PM

Andy, one reason education at the University level is "tops' might be because it costs money to attend-not sure about CA. know for some period at least education through college was free to CA residents-folks tend to pay attentionn when they pay for something. I said I belonged to a union because anyone who worked in Detroit did-whether it wax good or bad it was not an option. I would not have the benefits I receive now if they hadn't negotiated them for me I know. I do see unions protecting incompetence throughout education, industry, or whatever. Again, clueless as to if the benefit outweighs the negatives but also don't have a viable option. I object to anyone being for or against ANYTHING without giving specifics as to why. Out of curiosity, does anyone know what other country tries to educate everyone in grades K-12 to prepare for college? I personally think we have made a HS diploma pretty worthless so the Snob in us encourages and insists that everyone should be college ready. Back in my day the public schools offered a general curriculum aimed at those who might go into skilled trades and a college prep for those who had their ability intellectually for college success,.. Somewhere that was deemed descrimanatory and thought to judge kids too early on their potential...

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:49 PM

Once more with feeling, Linda

40 YEARS, NO STANDARDS. 40 YEARS of funding - no questions asked.

Standardized testing? Apparently not much. The schools did not want the parents to know how poorly their kids were being educated.

to be continued

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:09 PM

Just who was it that did not want standards-certainly NOT teachers. Many of the folks in the neighborhood where I taught threw garbage at us on the picket lines.- biggest reason because we babysat the kids. The union was striking a school system that was broke so the money had to come from the State which is now broke too. As to involving those parents you talked about, Ken, I frequently made trips to student's home and brought groceries and clothing and the like. Before it was against the law-danger of me molesting one I guess-often drove them home on rainy and snowy days when they did not have adequate clothing to protect them. On good parent-teacher conference days 6-10 parents was considered an EXCELLENT turnout.I said I don't have answers but can am a bit outraged by some of the reasons given as to fault and remedies- am listening if you have solutions not just into blaming or BASHING. That is the reason i started this thread as knew if someone who had NEVER worked hard where I did would say something out of their theoretical mind...... Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:13 PM

Linda, dedicated teachers who work in the inner city are saints.

But just who was it that did not want standards?

to be continued

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:19 PM

As to the schools not wanting the parents to know standardized test result- BS. Because the poverty level people in large US cities tend not to be white-everyone is afraid to say that those kids score lower on standardized tests than the burb folks. If they would say it and deal with the poverty problem which is why ghettos exist it might be easier to work on a solution-Linda (you are truly Naive if you think that it boils down to something so simple as teachers voting and students not!!)

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:23 PM

Well, Linda, did you have standardized testing in Detroit and were the parents advised of the progress of their children?

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:24 PM

I have to add one reason a lot of students don't do well in school. We have MANY children whose mom was on drugs while pregnant. They're obviously not all just crack babies, but that's the term that gets kicked around. That child was handed a huge burden to overcome while still in the womb.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:33 PM

Any parents who cared and even those who didn't were clearly told. Test scores of their kids were not a major issue in their lives. Jank, don't know how it is possible for anyone to know if they are teaching a kid who had a mother who used crack while pregnant or any other drug for that matter. Do know that many of my kids aspired to being drug dealers as they saw big money involved. The only practical counter I had for that was that they had better have the ability to run fast and a second option to fall back on as the career span and life of a drug dealer was often quite short-Linda

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 257.2 - Posts: 3936)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:49 PM

All that standardized tests measure is the ability to do well on those tests.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:56 PM

No offense, but kind of like Sploofus?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:00 PM

That's what all tests measure, Ken

and if we don't administer them regularly, we don't know if our children are learning basic skills

(until it is too late).

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:11 PM

I think teachers in urban districts -- in particular -- are being scapegoated. If kids don't show up to school, why is that the teachers' fault? In the school district in which I live -- and went to school as a kid -- over 35% of the students have missed more than 10 days of school since the start of the school year in September, 2008. Parents of underperforming students here are more likely to be abusive toward a teacher who tries to talk to parents about their children's behavior than to try to change their kids' behavior.

Several charter schools have sprung up in the area, and (no surprise to me) based on standardized test scores of students administered by the State, they perform as poorly (when not worse) than my public school district. Each kid in my district who goes to a charter school just takes money away from the public district -- making it all the more difficult to offer excellent educational opportunities within the district.

At the same time, there are definitely kids who continue to receive excellent educations through the local school district. Why? Mostly, I think, because their parents actually expect them to behave and do the work.

Many times, a defense attorney is bitterly denounced by his/her client when such client is convicted and goes to prison for something the client did. Now we blame teachers when kids who make no effort to learn fail.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:18 PM

Just made that point to Andy, Ken. Detroit gave standardized tests on a very regular basis and results were readily given to anyone who cared and even those who didn't. Right about the time I had a stroke and had to leave DPS the debate was on as to whether the standardized discriminated as they used language and referenced things the kids knew nothing about. Think that is most likely true but then the argument can be made that the kids NEED to know these things if they are to succeed in the working world in the US at least. The reason that I started this thread was I knew it would eventually be started and I would be enraged by intellectuals who thought they knew the cause or the solution. If the US is going to try and educate all of its youth on a free basis something needs to be done to address a complex problem without the simplistic solution of casting blame on one group- Linda (by the way I enjoy intellectuals LOL )

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:21 PM

By way of additional background, my district was considered "inferior" to the surrounding, richer suburban districts even when I attended school there back 40 years and more. Since then, the district has gotten poorer, as the central city continues to be deserted by all-too-many with the money to leave, driving down property prices within the city and increasing the number of poor and troubled who are served by the district. What are teachers supposed to do about this? Why is it their fault that they are asked to educate an increasingly large underclass with increasingly less financial support?


tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:26 PM

Full Disclosure: My mother was a teacher in the district I have discussed (long ago retired), and my daughter-in-law is a teacher currently in that district, although with each annual wave of layoffs, her job security becomes more tenuous.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:28 PM

Who said it was the teachers' fault?

Not me.

I'm heading in another direction.

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 257.2 - Posts: 3936)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 8:12 PM

Of course no offense, Jeremy; you speak unadulterated truth

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 134.2 - Posts: 3779)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 8:35 PM

You can sort a lot of the problem out by creating a business model to parallel the real world school system.

School Board = Board of Directors
Superintendent = CEO
Superintendent Staff = Administration/Upper Management
Curriculum = Business plan
Principal = Plant manager
Principal Staff = Floor level management
Teachers = Hourly Workers
School = Plant
Books & Materials = Machinery
Students = Product
Public = Stockholders
Parents = Customers

Look at the U.S./World economy and ask who created the mess, who is suffering and why, then you will understand a lot about why our school system is a mess.

lnkerb
Lnkerb  (Level: 138.4 - Posts: 10)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 8:48 PM

Hot Topic. I retired out of the public school system and I now teach at a Dept of Defense school. Can you say night and day? In Arizona voters voted for an additional sales tax (fractional percent) that was to go to teachers and education. State legislature then came along and said okay, but there needs to be accountability for it ... have the teachers jump through more hoops. All in all not so bad. But the last district I was in tied part (and I will say not the majority) of that money to test scores. Did I teach those students just to get a bigger piece of the pie? (And, I will admit I was often in the group that did, since it was based on achievement, and I did my job.) No, I taught them because that was my job ... and my passion. But I often argued, it still was not fair to base monetary compensation on once a year testing where I did not have full control over whether the students came to school fed, healthy, happy (that can make a difference), valuing education, and wanting to do well on a test that they did not see relevant to anything that was going to happen to them ... until they got to high school and had to pass it for graduation, and even then, for some, that was not enough incentive. I taught both 3rd grade and high school for this district.

lnkerb
Lnkerb  (Level: 138.4 - Posts: 10)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 9:00 PM

Interesting phenomenon, since someone mentioned parents coming to conferences ... for middle school, when the attendance rate for conferences really starts dropping, we had less than one percent not show up. Why? The military says it is important for parents to be involved in their children's education, and would EXPECT the parent to attend the conference, and give them the time away from work in the middle of the day to do so if that is what was needed. Do we still have some students who struggle and perhaps don't get the full support they need ... yep, we have some hurting kids, and we have some unmotivated kids, but we also have a larger percentage of parents who get involved, who get their kids to school, who want to know how their student is doing ... and will follow up to support the teachers. Do I expect total achievement when we get test scores back this year ... actually, I think the balance will be similar to before. But maybe I should think more positive, since I am able to teach at a higher level to the same age/grade student as I did last year. (Oh yeah, I mentioned I had taught 3rd grade, high school but then changed the directions in my post. I actually taught middle school, too, my last year there.)

lnkerb
Lnkerb  (Level: 138.4 - Posts: 10)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 9:05 PM

I think I need to go find a lighter topic to read I'm getting on a soap box here, and I might fall off and break my neck. Teaching is a passion, and you will find most of us aren't in it for the money. And we really do try to do our best for our students despite all the stuff falling on our heads from above. Deadbeats ... you're gonna find them everywhere, but I think they are well outnumbered in education ... yet they seem to be the ones that get the attention.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 9:39 PM

Linda - you said "don't know how it is possible for anyone to know if they are teaching a kid who had a mother who used crack while pregnant or any other drug for that matter. "

There are many articles on this subject on the internet. A good one is here: http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9216/drug.htm

It states:

WHAT KINDS OF PROBLEMS ARE PREVALENT AMONG DRUG-AFFECTED CHILDREN?

Researchers are beginning to identify a host of problems related to prenatal drug exposure. The characteristic behaviors of children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs are due not only to organic damage. Other risk factors--such as early insecure attachment patterns and ongoing environmental instability--also contribute to the difficulties.

Behavioral characteristics commonly seen in these children include heightened response to internal and external stimuli, irritability, agitation, tremors, hyperactivity, speech and language delays, poor task organization and processing difficulties, problems related to attachment and separation, poor social and play skills, and motor development delays (Los Angeles Unified School District 1989).

Initial findings of an ongoing study that is tracking 300 Chicago-area infants whose mothers used cocaine and possibly other drugs during pregnancy suggest that at three years of age many of the children have language problems and are easily distracted. Dan R. Griffith, a developmental psychologist participating in the study, which is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, notes drug-exposed toddlers in the study also tend to score lower than non-exposed toddlers on tests measuring their ability to concentrate, interact with others in groups, and cope with an unstructured environment (Viadero).

Naomi Kaufman (1990) identifies other difficulties that may plague drug-affected children. "At the least," she states, "they include a much higher likelihood of lower intelligence; short attention spans; hyperactivity; inability to adjust to new surroundings and trouble following directions-all traits that can lead to failure in school."

Back to my personal experience. Those are the symptoms I see every day at all 4 inner city schools where I teach. But I saw it in suburb schools, too. Obviously, illegal drugs permeate all socio-economic levels, as do these behaviors in children.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 10:07 PM

Jank, all of that may be quite true and is interesting to me from an intellectual basis for discussion. The problems my kids had were very basic and easy too see like poor hygiene because of sleeping and wearing the same clothes every day and night, having bruises from Mom's boyfriend because he hit them directly or they intervened between a fight between him and Mom, or being late for school and when I asked them why they told me they had been watching the Arab guy die that owned the party store across from the school that had been shot , or they were pregnant and already had two, or the biggie school being held until police arrived because a gang was lining up acres the street from school waiting on somebody or somebodys and on and on....

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 10:13 PM

My kids are affected by all that too. But I'm saying, even if they don't have those bad situations in their lives, they're already affected by their mother's actions before they were born, so they still would have the same problems learning and testing.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 12:45 AM

Seven or eight years ago I interviewed a mental health specialist on the topic of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

She said at that time they were beginning to see just the tip of the iceberg of children whose mothers had consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

FAS children have difficulty in focusing, difficulty in forming emotional bonds and no real sense of the consequences of their actions.

With so much alcohol and drug use today, how will teaching have to change to reach these children?

cujgie
Cujgie  (Level: 173.9 - Posts: 754)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 12:59 AM

Can a teacher even begin to reach children who have those kinds of problems, especially in a class of 25, 30, 40, especially in a class of children with all sorts of physical/emotional/intellectual needs? Can ANYone reach those children?????

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:03 AM

Tonight I watched a movie (Gifted Hands) on the life of Ben Carson, who was born in 1951 in Detroit. In fifth grade, Carson was at the bottom of his class. His mother, who had dropped out of school in the third grade, and married when she was only 13, was left to raise her two boys on her own, working 2 or 3 jobs at a time. His mother was determined to turn her sons' lives around. She sharply limited their television watching and required them to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on their reading.

Ben Carson graduated from Detroit's Southwestern High School with high honors.

At the age of 33, Ben Carson became head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and is well known for his pioneering work in neurosurgery.

Carson might have succeeded without the intervention of his mother, but I doubt it. I think he succeeded because he had a mother who cared deeply and challenged him to overcome all the odds against him.

That’s not to say all caring mothers can produce success stories such as Ben Carson. However, I do think a caring mother and/or father can tilt the scales in the child’s favor.



luvnmexsun
Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 3:59 AM

The problem with education (world-wide) is it's an institution that has never known how, and does nothing, to improve learning and teaching, because its main purpose is to maintain the system, not serve its "customers" nor its "providers".

I taught in public schools for 30 years. Basically, after learning to read and write, students learn on their own, whether they are "school" successful or not. All "students" young and old, in school or not, will learn what they are interested in, when they are ready. It doesn't have to be like that any more, because we now have brain research, working intelligence theories, and they are applied to pedagogy. We have had this knowledge available to us for a couple decades. Why isn't it applied to "education"? Simple: the institution would have to change, and much of its existence would have to be identified as worthless. Who would babysit the children while parents worked?

Teachers have never been taught how to teach...they learn on their own too, there are many wonderful teachers, though in the minority. . The science of learning and brain function is available to...only scientists. How the brain learns used to be a mystery...but now we know the chemistry and the applications. Standardized testing is simply a placebo to bolster arguments for or against the "business" of "Education". It gives the institution a reason for being...and a multibillion dollar industry that has nothing to do with the Teaching/Learning of our children. Take the testing dollars and put it in the teaching of teachers...then hold them accountable. Maybe more than half of our youth would actually graduate high school.

Teaching is difficult because every student is different, with all the problems of our American society and our children gaining their values from the media...not their parents. They are not using their minds well...because they aren't required to do so. That should be the goal of education, not college nor jobs. A young person that knows how to use her/his mind well will be successful in either. Our present system only requires "seat time" and the endurance to sit through endless hours of repetition and regurgitate information on demand. Who needs to think? Of course now, they can go into debt for more of the same drivel for exorbitant fees in college.

Teachers unions, school boards, legislators, etc. etc. make no real difference, except to keep the status quo, while advancing their own agendas. I started my own school...it's difficult, nearly impossible, to change from what exists now to something systematically successful. Not because of students...they loved it...but because as much as everyone wants "school" to work, they also don't want it to change.

I've only just begun...but have already said too much. This is my passion...don't get me started. Just my humble opinion, I don't expect anyone to agree. But parents, think deeply about it, please.

Sun

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 4:51 AM

There you go. May I edit this a bit, Sun?

The problem with PRIMARY AND SECONDARY PUBLIC education (IN THE US BUT NOT NECESSARILY world-wide) is it's an institution that has never known how, and does nothing, to improve learning and teaching, because its main purpose is to maintain the system, not serve its "customers" nor its "providers."

Teachers unions, school boards, legislators, etc. etc. make no real difference, except to keep the status quo, while advancing their own agendas. I started my own school.

Sun, what will be the objective of the school you have launched?

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 8:49 AM

1. Andy, you seem to suggest that somewhere else in the world -- unlike the U.S. -- primary/secondary education has shown its commitment to education over institutional inertia and is motivated by a desire to improve teaching/learning. Maybe it's true, but what is the evidence to support the claim you have in mind? Of where are you speaking?

2. As to teacher unions, I am very grateful to the one that represented my mother because it allowed my mother, brother, and I to live as well as the families whose household heads were then largely working in the auto plants when I was a kid. At least to some extent, I attribute to that union my personal success -- such as it has been -- in my career.

3. I don't have a problem with a union advancing the economic interests of teachers -- a union is supposed to do that -- and teachers and their families need to eat too. I do object to teacher unions be unwilling to admit that particular goals are motivated at least in part by personal economic interest. For instance, in Michigan, during the charter school debate -- which the teacher unions ultimately lost -- the economic impact charters would have on teacher salaries was never raised by the teachers unions as a basis for opposing the idea, but that was a MAJOR reason why teachers should have opposed them in my view because charter teachers would not be organized, would be paid less than unionized public school teachers, and would exert downward pressure on teacher salaries and job losses as pupils left public schools. This has been the precise result of the Michigan experience -- with no evidence that the charter schools have performed better than the public schools from which they draw students. Charter schools came to Michigan because a group of Democrats -- led by U.S. Senator Stabenow, who is now being considered for appointment to HHS -- cut a deal with our rightwing Republican Governor Engler. My personal view is that for politicans on the right, charter schools are not even really about improving educational performance but, rather, crushing the teachers' unions.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 8:52 AM

Clarification to prior post: Stabenow was a member of the state Senate at the time. I've followed her career since she was an Ingham County Commissioner and would consider her selection as head of HHS to be nothing short of appalling.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:08 AM

TSK, I am basically in a agreement with you. I will simply note that our public primary and secondary schools are mediocre among developed nations. I'll try to find a link to the stats on line but I could not find it Friday.

I am not against the teachers unions fighting for the pay, benefits and rights of teachers - and winning.

I am not interested in union-busting whatsoever.

At the same time I am interested in a quality education for ALL Americans and that will not come about with our education system organized as it is today.



tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:32 AM

Gotcha Andy. The part about the teacher unions was not inspired by anything you wrote but, rather, Sun's comments. As I read your posting, it suggested to me that you had in mind some system of primary/secondary schools outside the U.S. that was not just qualitatively different -- but actually structurally different -- with policies informed by the brain science of learning to which Sun referred.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:39 AM

Sun, i certainly agree with you that teachers are not trained to teach. Took many education classes and NONE of them in any way prepared me for what I dealt with for 309 years-that I learned on my own to survive. I also agree that the current public school system at least in large urban areas fails many kids. Just would like to point out that if you propose starting a whole different type of school, you need funds. If you are rich enough to fund it yourself, then fine you can set the agenda. However, if you depend largely on church or government funding they in large part determine the agenda and the rules. I do admire your pasion and your realization tht changes need to be made0--much the same as mine. Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:41 AM

Got a bit carried away in the passion of the moment. My last post should have been 30 not 309 years LOL Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 10:52 AM

Well, TSK, I don't think teachers unions are innocent in all this, and I didn't realize that charter schools were non-union (do they have to be?). However, the charter school and voucher movements are not about breaking unions. They are about parental choice, quality education and equal opportunity.

cujgie
Cujgie  (Level: 173.9 - Posts: 754)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 11:20 AM

I too took lovely (and useless) history and theory of education classes. We begged the profs, "How will we discipline a class of 35 kids?" and "How will we teach kids whose abilities stretch across the scale?" and were told that, once we are teaching, it will all become clear and natural to us. Linda's "309 years" wasn't too far off the mark.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 11:32 AM

They were too busy teaching us how to write lesson plans.

The lesson plan model we were required to write would take approximately 7 hours a day to develop. I did the math and complained. They told me they just wanted to equip me with the Rolls Royce of lesson plan writing. I was not impressed.

I also was told in one ed class to never give up on kids. That I should look at the list of professors at the university and know that 70% of them had taken the GED, and that should be proof to never give up.

I thought as I looked around me at the other students - we worked our backsides off graduating with honors and working on our Bachelors degrees, and here we are learning how to teach from people who 1. never taught and 2. never even cared enough about their own education to graduate HS?

I asked my HS principal why teachers aren't required to take drug tests the way workers are required for most important jobs out there. He simply said if they did there wouldn't be enough teachers that could pass the test to even have school.

That might be one of the problems, too. The university culture of education is also a part of the drug culture.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 12:31 PM

Andy:

Workers at charter schools could organize, and a few have, but even the ones that have organized don't get anything close to the compensation package offered in the public districts I'm familiar with. It would not be possible, given that charters receieve even less funding than the state public schools. At least in Michigan, charter schools are subject to the same basic educational requirements as public schools. I strongly disagree that the charter schools are really about offering better educational opportunities for children -- at least in Michigan. Just as the teacher unions here wouldn't publicly admit that their opposition to the schools was largely self-interest, the rightwing politicians who supported them under the guise of parent empowerment don't admit that they are about crushing the unions -- as well as transferring monies to the corporatists that run the charters. I reach my conclusion based on my longtime observation of positions taken by the pols who supported charters (or their expansion) and the fact that they don't perform better than the traditional public schools where they are located. The charters are about breaking unions that have been relatively successful influencing public policy in Michigan and lowering living standards of public school teachers.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 12:40 PM

Jank: I don't know what your thing with drugs is, but at least up here, I don't for a minute believe teachers on drugs is any real issue with the problems of the schools. Any teacher for whom there is reasonable suspicion is under the influence can be tested. It rarely happens because there is almost never any reasonable grounds to believe a teacher is on drugs.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 12:44 PM

As to the "drug culture" -- it is true that western medicine is heavily based on drug therapies. Many legal drugs have as great or greater impact on cognitive functioning as those drugs our society elects to prohibit.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:01 PM

Yes, from past posts you know EXACTLY what my thing is with drugs.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:10 PM

Too bad, I guess, that the feature to pull up old posts is still broken. LOL Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:19 PM

Well, TSK, I'll leave the charter schools to you then. However, I don't see much point in busting teachers unions. Even where they do not exist, the teachers have school councils which are effectively the same thing.

More next week.


sherilynn1962
Sherilynn1962  (Level: 116.2 - Posts: 372)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:52 PM

This has been a really interest thread. The subject of schools and teachers can evoke many emotions in people. Here are my comments:

What I see in Nevada is public schools with way too many kids in the classrooms and not enough teachers. Added to that is now the threat of a 6% pay cut for all state workers, currently being proposed by our Governor. "Not enough teachers" will be an understatement if our Legislature passes this. There will be a mass exodus, and who can blame them? They don't really make a lot of money for being in an over-filled classroom, with more and more being heaped upon them. I hear that many teachers go home and work a lot of extra hours there in order to keep up. That is very sad.

My daughter goes to a private school (15 kids total in her school, and 2 teachers). My husband and I feel very blessed that we can afford the tuition (even if as a state worker I get a 6% pay cut.) However, there is no guarantee that the school will remain open each year (due to funding - it's a small church school), and this school is K-8 only. My choice after 8th grade would be to send her out of state to an academy, home-school her (which I am certainly not qualified to do), or send her to the only high school here in Carson City, which has over 2,500 kids and in no way enough teachers to handle the load. There is a charter school and an online school, but too new for me to make an intelligent comment on how effective they are.

The bottom line is this, and you can agree or disagree - it won't hurt my feelings: Teachers in the public school system are basically underpaid and overworked. Many kids are disrespectful, and I see parents constantly who believe it is the job of the teachers to teach their kids respect and discipline in addition to the other tasks at hand. The really scary thing is seeing the lack of respect in such young children which most definitely affects the learning environment. Again, I'm so very thankful that my daughter is in a small school, and the attitudes of the kids there seem to be different. Certainly in a room with 7 pre-pubescent girls and 1 young man things get crazy when the hormones start acting up, but they have also been through special classes in conflict resolution which helps them. It's unfortunate that these are not taught in the public school system (at least not in Nevada).

Those of you who are teachers have my respect and admiration. I'm certain you aren't in it for the money or the prestige. Your task in life is difficult, and all I can say is that you must really love teaching - hopefully there are that sterling few who keep you coming back day after day. Please keep the attitude that if you have made a difference in just one student's life, it was worth it. My hats off to you!


caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 2:05 PM

I certainly appreciate your kind words, Sheri. Teaching was my passion and involved many outside school hours to meet the needs of my kids. It is what I chose to do and also became at some point what I had to do in order to support myself and my kids. My Liberal Arts education did not train me to do much else and earn a living by doing it. My love of the kids and my passion for teaching did not alter though when a desire turned into a necessity -thanks again- Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 6:10 PM

Sheri:

Interesting. Hope you find a satisfactory solution for your daughter's continued education.

Unlike Nevada and a lot of other states, in Michigan, there are maybe 150 local school districts, which contract with teachers within each district -- as well as with other district employees. Salaries vary by district. The local districts were always subject to a superstructure of state regulation; however, in terms of educational content, local autonomy has been extremely diminished by the "one-size fits all" standards that the State Board of Education adopted when the Republicans seized control of the board. In fact, I think that there is a relatively good chance that I would not have graduated from high school had I been subject to these requirements -- because I doubt I could have passed the math requirements. For some reason, every kid in Michigan is now supposed to understand trigonometry to graduate -- even though there are members of the school Board imposing these requirements who I personally know to be less proficient in math than me; I'm good through basic algebra.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 6:22 PM

Don't understand Trig? Don't understand Econ 101?

Actually that's a ridiculous requirement.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.9 - Posts: 848)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 7:50 PM

It’s nice to hear from active teachers in this discussion, but I can’t help
but think it’s too focused on teachers and schools. I believe, as a
society in general, we don’t value education or intelligence and it’s
becoming an issue, though not one that will necessarily be solved by
the schools.

I have to teach freshmen coming straight out of high schools. For the
most part they’re good kids, but they can’t write a lick, and by and
large they don’t read anything more complex than Harry Potter novels.
When they’re required to read at a college level they stumble over the
vocabulary. And they don’t see that as a problem.

I tell students on the first day – and I put it in the syllabus – that the
quality I respect most in students is curiosity. Unfortunately, I see less
and less of it each year. I don’t think it’s because they just want the
diploma so they can get a good job, though I hear that a lot. I think it’s
because they don’t see the value in learning “just for the fun of it.” They
don't see the value of being "smart" (the word itself now has negative
connotations).

You should realize that I teach at a small private college, so the students
I get don’t fit the majority profile. They’re looking for small classes and a
more personalized education. They want a supportive environment. And
they’re mostly from Iowa and Nebraska, which means they’re coming
from good schools that rarely have the problems outlined by Linda and Jank.

But neither are they coming to college prepared. I often cuss their high
schools for graduating students that can’t write a complete sentence and
can't do simple math. But I think more than anything it’s a social problem.
Education and intelligence just aren’t valued. Parents see schools as cheap
day care. Teachers see it as a job and as a chore. Kids see it as punishment.
Local, state and national government sees it as a financial burden that can be
sliced and hacked with no obvious consequence.

Politicians, Obama included, give education lip service. There has been
some movement toward acknowledging academic achievement the same as
we celebrate athletic achievement. But as naive as it may sound, I really
don’t see any change in our educational status until we ALL see the
importance and necessity of education, learning and intelligence.



tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 8:31 PM

Foggs:

1. Until I saw that you were at a small private college, I was going to ask if it was a community college. I went to community college one term -- back in the day of quarters -- and couldn't stand it because it was so juvenile. As I still tell kids who are thinking of doing two years at community college before finishing at a four year university "imagine your high school with none of the smart kids".

2. I believe that university has very much become a glorified trade school for most students, but it's entirely understandable. Tuition costs have increased many times over the rate of inflation since I was in college in the 70s. There is less and less scholarship money. Most parents can't afford to contribute to college costs in the same way they used to as distribution of income moves upward. A typical student leaves saddled with massive debt. Under these circumstances, kids want to take courses that are going to bring them immediate bucks. So fields like philosophy, history, English -- liberal arts and social science programs suffer.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.5 - Posts: 5316)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:25 PM

Tsk, community colleges have grown up a lot since you tried them. Or maybe Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte and McCook, Nebraska, is just a cut above the rest.

Two of my boys received their associate degrees from this community college; one from the vocational technical program in diesel mechanics (he's owned his own business for 17-18 years now), the other son's degree was in business administration and accounting. He went on to the university to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Attending the community college didn't hinder his business success at all.

At the age of 47, I moved to North Platte to live with my son and attend MPCC. (I'm a late bloomer!) I found the teaching staff to be above average as far as qualifications and my experiences with them were outstanding. Whenever I had a problem, they were more than willing to give extra time to help me. I doubt that would have happened in a large university.

I see honor-roll students taking their first two years at MPCC because it makes sense financially in today's economy, and that's no small issue. I can guarantee you, though, if they were not receiving quality education that prepared them for the university, their parents would not be letting them go there..

Online classes through MPCC now makes it possible to earn bachelor degrees in a number of fields without having to leave the community. This is a huge asset for older students who have to work or juggle family and work plus college.

Your statement about community college being like high school without the smart kids was a real disservice and I hope you'll do some research and retract your statement.





jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 9:33 PM

Pat, I so agree with you. When I went back to finish my degree and teaching certificate, I took a few generic classes at Tarrant County College in the summer because it was 10 blocks from my house and 1/3 the cost of the university. I liked it so much more than the university - it had all the positives of the university without the negatives. I highly recommend starting at the community college level to any of my students who aren't sure yet what field they're going to choose. If you're there to really learn and not to party, community college makes tremendous sense now.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.9 - Posts: 848)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 10:14 PM

Not really the response I was expecting, but now I have a
better handle on some of my fellow Sploofusers.

I think I'm out of this discussion as of now.



fudypatootie
Fudypatootie  (Level: 197.3 - Posts: 1302)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 1:48 AM

Without "enforceable rules-there will be chaos." (Linda)

I spent 15 years teaching and, frankly, don't ever want to go back to teaching, in part because the rules are not enforced in so many public schools. And it doesn't take a teacher's union to create some guy sitting with his feet up on a desk - teachers with tenure and/or lifetime teaching certificates also can become complacent, not to mention the people who went into teaching because they figured 8-3, five days a week, 9 months a year would be an easy job rather than going into it for the love of learning and kids.

As for: "but rather a true measure of how teachers do their job -- motivating interest, interaction with parents, contributions to the classes, dealing with any special cases that might come up, etc." (Kaufman)

The only time any administrator ever entered my classroom was for the state-mandated observation in my first year. They never saw the hours I spent preparing lessons at home, or the time writing tests that focused on what we'd studied in class rather than the textbook company's pre-printed generic tests, or the time spent during prep periods tutoring kids, or the re-enactments, the experiments, the hands-on activities, the after-school "counseling" as a student cries "on my shoulder" about their problems at home, or any of the other things I did that earned me multiple student-nominated awards and the love and respect of students who still Facebook me, invite me to their weddings, and send me pictures of their kids. The ONLY thing administrators will ever look at is test results because it's easier for them and requires no judment or thought on their part.

"Teachers have never been taught how to teach." (Luvnmexsun)

Actually, I was. However, I was never taught how to manage a classroom - I had to learn that through trial and error and a review of my child psychology. Many teachers fail in this respect which causes an overall failure. If you can't control a classroom, you won't get a chance to teach them anything. I'm not saying every course I took was valuable, because of course, they weren't.

"They were too busy teaching us how to write lesson plans." (Jan)

Now that is so true!!!! I know some teachers have, but I never worked in a school that required lesson plans be turned in so why so much emphasis on the style and format of a lesson plan? Useless!

"Just as the teacher unions here wouldn't publicly admit that their opposition to the schools was largely self-interest, the rightwing politicians who supported them under the guise of parent empowerment don't admit that they are about crushing the unions -- as well as transferring monies to the corporatists that run the charters." (Tsk)

I don't suppose anyone ever started a charter school because they thought the public school was crap run by a bunch of good-ol-boys who don't give a crap about the kids and someone thought, "Hey, I can run a school better than these bozos can. And I bet I can help kids get a better education because I know what these kids need." No one? Everyone did it for selfish goals. That's funny, because I once considered opening my own school and it had nothing to do with money. Or did it.....

"Many kids are disrespectful, and I see parents constantly who believe it is the job of the teachers to teach their kids respect and discipline in addition to the other tasks at hand." (Sherrilynn)

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Yes, there are a multitude of problems in our public schools are they are too numerous to name, much less completely fix, but the underlying problem is with parents who either don't care or care too much and try to shield their children from the natural consequences of bad behavior. The kids don't stand a chance.




jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 6:11 AM

I need to add one thing.

You said "The ONLY thing administrators will ever look at is test results because it's easier for them and requires no judment or thought on their part."

In Texas, it's not because it's easier or requires no judgment or thought. Here, the principal's job is on the line If their school is not constantly improving test scores at least a tiny percentage. It's not that they disappear from education, but they may be moved somewhere else they don't want to be.

The Texas educators around here will attest that every year they bring out the graphs of how the Texas requirements for test scores is preplanned for the next 5 years - each year incrementally more students (including special needs) must score higher than last year for their school to receive the "Acceptable," "Recognized," and "Exemplary" rating.

Principals are on our backs about it, because the state is on their backs about it.

I have personally begged principals to come watch my classes, but I've been told in the past since I'm not a core subject and because our classroom is so far from the office, they don't have time for us. Orchestra, band and choir have had our own tough testing (UIL Concert and Sightreading contests) for decades. The rest of the world has finally come to our standards! But, granted, we are not a part of the TAKS testing, so we're not on the principal's list of priority. I guess that takes my dog out of the hunt.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 6:52 AM

Think Judy pretty much summed up my thoughts-Linda ( One difference I will note that in Detroit properly written lesson plans were almost as important as the graphs and test scores. They were kept on file so whoever could show whoever that goals and objectives and a detailed plan to get there was in place. ) Those however were no more effective in the teaching of the kids than the useless test scores and graphs and wasteful books and programs that Detroit adopted and then discarded.- just one more useless thing I had to do and try to implement to kids who really did not want to listen so had to be very creative. Judy is also right about tenure protecting complacent teachers-couple that with. unionization and you get much of the scene I described earlier. I certainly am not an advocate of corporal punishment but before laws were in place banning it saw teachers have excellent discipline by carrying a huge paddle with a hole drilled in the center. I also know as fact that some teachers directly gave students the answers to tests or changed answers afterwards because the move to "merit pay" -usually determined by standardized tests scores- was already afoot Judy is also correct that discipline and respect should began in the home but in most cases sadly it does not. My first concern of the day was making sure that the kid who wore the same clothes day and night and either he or a sibling he slept with was a bed wetter , could get the guard at the chained doors to let him in so he and I could go to the gym and he could shower while I washed and dried his clothes so he could get through another day without his peers calling him "piss boy" In the middle of doing all the useless things to try and make Detroit lookk better on paper, I actually tried to teach the kids something toi help them get out of the mess where they lived and give them a reason for wanting to do it. I said at the beginning of this thread that I did not have the answer especially for the kids i taugh and the entire 309 years I was there much smarter people than myself tried to figure it out and failed- Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 7:33 AM

My posts in this thread and many others would lead people to believe I am anti union. That is not true. That union got me a wage sufficient to support myself and my children and live reasonably well. They also got me health car and benefits which I depend on in retirement. DPS would not have given either to me- might if they had had any money-but doubt it. Watched the school system hire new teachers and then pink slip them before they had accrued the required number of days too be classed and permanent and would be entitled to receive health care benefits. At a later time they hired many of them back and repeated the cycle. There is abuse on both sides depending on where you sit. That is why I do not call myself a Democrat nor a Republican as see the lot of them pretty corrupt and underhanded. Hate being grouped and blanket policies Linda

pennwoman
Pennwoman  (Level: 155.2 - Posts: 2478)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 8:14 AM

Kudo's to all of you for posting thoughtful, thought provoking, and interesting points -- I have learned much from this thread!
Martina

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 11:24 AM

Pat;

I was being semi-facetious. Even when I was in community college, there were some kids I considered to be smart. Furthermore, I have to believe with escalating tuition costs more kids are going to them instead of four year courses for economic reasons. That said, I really wouldn't recommend them for any kid who is planning to get a four-year degree who has a reasonable alternative.

At the local community college, very few of the students are actually planning four year degrees. It offers a variety of trade programs -- some of which offer real benefit because they provide training in high demand fields -- I'm thinking mostly various types of medical/technical jobs -- although others as well. Even here, however, some of the training programs are very dubious and of little value based on kids who take these programs and actually find jobs in the area for which they were trained. I readily accept, however, the benefits of community college for technical training -- just not as a satisfactory substitute for students who want a four-year degree.


tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 11:42 AM

Judy:

I am sure that some individuals who want to start charter schools are well-intentioned. Nonetheless, at least in Michigan, I stand by my comments as to the actual motivations of the rightwing pols who supported them. If they had their way, everything would be turned over to private hands that might result in more dollars flowing to private corporations. We have a lot of charters here run by for-profit educational corporations -- corporations that run charters all over the country where they exist. The MEA is probably the most despised union in the state by the Republican Party (which has almost no members in elected office who can be called "moderate" these days) because it has consistently opposed that party's legislative agenda. Enabling charter schools is just one example of the efforts that have been taken in this state to render the MEA a shell of its former self.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 2:22 PM

And, TSK, I am sure that some individuals who think that the current system of public schools with just a few adjustments will stop failing our children, but I have seen enough and I understand that such leads nowhere.

I understand that the bureaucrats and teachers unions (not the teachers themselves) will not permit the kinds of reforms necessary to put things on track. These entities often act in their own self interest and not in the interest of our children. Decision-making more and more is centralized away from the school and away from the parents who need much more say and in fact get less and less.

And, TSK, I am sorry that you would let your own prejudices get in the way. But at least you're honest about them.

(BTW didn't a Republican governor of Michigan spearhead the reform of Michigan school funding?)

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 4:34 PM

I sent this to TSK a couple of days ago.

There are more than 75,000 children enrolled in the Cleveland City School District. The majority of these children are from low-income and minority families. Few of these families enjoy the means to send their children to any school other than an inner-city public school. For more than a generation, however, Cleveland’s public schools have been among the worst performing public schools in the Nation. In 1995, a Federal District Court declared a “crisis of magnitude” and placed the entire Cleveland school district under state control. See Reed v. Rhodes, No. 1:73 CV 1300 (ND Ohio, Mar. 3, 1995). Shortly thereafter, the state auditor found that Cleveland’s public schools were in the midst of a “crisis that is perhaps unprecedented in the history of American education.” Cleveland City School District Performance Audit 2—1 (Mar. 1996). The district had failed to meet any of the 18 state standards for minimal acceptable performance. Only 1 in 10 ninth graders could pass a basic proficiency examination, and students at all levels performed at a dismal rate compared with students in other Ohio public schools. More than two-thirds of high school students either dropped or failed out before graduation. Of those students who managed to reach their senior year, one of every four still failed to graduate. Of those students who did graduate, few could read, write, or compute at levels comparable to their counterparts in other cities.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

ZELMAN, SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION OF OHIO, et al. v. SIMMONS-HARRIS et al.


caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 6:42 PM

Don't know about Cleveland, Andy, but Detroit had a provision that a kid could not fail a grade more than once. Couple that with the difficulty to discipline and kids knowing that their second time through they did not have to do a damn thing and would be promoted to the next grade. Since basic reading skills are usually taught in the early primary grades it should be no surprise that I had kids in grade 8 who could not read. Had to try and teach those skills without them knowing they were early elementary skills as then they would feel stupid-trust me had to be creative Personally am still waiting to knows what countries try to educate all its youth for 12 years successfully crossing socio-economic lines at no cost to them or their parent(s). Everyone knows that large urban area have a unique problem but other than picking out someone or ones to blame have yet to hear a solution- Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 7:29 PM

Well, Linda, the solution is not more of the same, and that's what the Supreme Court said too.

You continue to take this as an attack upon you, a teacher, but that isn't my tack.

An article about many teachers beating and attacking students in Chicago also came to my attention this week. Again I am not after the teachers. Instead I wonder about a system where teachers feel free to engage in such activity and where incidents are not investigated for more than two months.

And I understand that such is unlikely where parents have more say.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 8:06 PM

Yes, Andy and I had an extensive exchange of views on public education. I agree with him that its a shame that many urban districts like Cleveland and Detroit have these issues, but I disagree that they result from freezing out parental involvement in the schools. What does it say about those 90% of the parents whose kids can't pass 9th grade proficency exams? If they can't take time to see to it that their children can adequately perform at this rather minimal academic level, why would I want them having more say in how schools are run. In my view, parents have at least as much responsibility for their children's education as the teachers in their schools. My two sons were both reading before entering school. This is not unusual among parents of my acquaintance.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 8:49 PM

Linda, since it isn't always a teacher problem, there isn't a teacher solution. We have them 45 minutes a day - maybe. We can't undo the real problem.

There is no one big overall solution. And the majority of the real solution is nothing a teacher can touch.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Thu, 12th Feb '09 9:13 PM

I noted that Chicago incident also. Think there might be some truth in the student allegations but not sure so cannot say. You keep saying both privately and publicly that I take this personally . You are absolutely correct i do as it was the sum of my working life. You keep talking about parental inmput. I had very few kids who had more than one pare not present in their lives and both myself and the school system welcomed any participation they might have in their child's education .

What the Chicago story doesn't tell and most school systems do not is the amount of physical abuse teachers encounter from mostly students but occasionally a parent. I was knocked on my butt more times than i can count or remember by trying to intervene between two students or more fighting either in the classroom or the halls or the lunchroom as a result of a food fight-common occurrence. Included in my duties was keeping order in both places. I had black eyes but no broken bones. I was only hit twice deliberately .One was a girl who was going to stab a boy in the eye with a pencil. I stepped in between and she warned me to get out of her way. When i did not she slapped me so hard she knocked me down and left bruises on my face. There were multiple hearing so her rights were aired properly The end result was she was transferred to another school within the system. The other time it was a mother whose son I had been responsible for his exclusion for fighting for the obligatory two days. She resented it that i was not babysitting him-actually the exclusion made no real sense either as academically he could not afford to miss any time.

I do have a point to this You seem to want a simple solution to a very complex problem. I made no comments on charter schools as they were not yet prevalent when I left Mi. There were public and private-anything private was church or some kind of academy and costly. I am still waiting for the names of countries who educate alll youth for 12 years successfully using the same standards to judge those who obviously do not get off to the same start. When you have a solution that works, please let me know either via pm or in public or both - Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 2:29 AM

Just one more point on the alleged abuse by kids in the Chicago Public Schools. As I said would not totally surprise me if there was a grain of truth-maybe- maybe not. Also CPS is a pretty big target and couple that with the Teacher's union which I am sure they have they make a good reason for a lawsuit.-especially if one family gets money the rest line up. I suspect depending on how massive the cost will determine whether CPS ever goes to court. Detroit had a few during the time I was there-kept pretty quiet as to reason-but do believe every one of them were settled out of court-jjust something to keep in mind before you believe in total and bash all Chicago teachers who I am guessing faced pretty much the same challenges that I did- Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 5:23 AM

Here's the article, Linda. I think you should read it before commenting further. Most of the children are believed to have been telling the truth.

The one featured in the article is afraid of his teacher, afraid to go to school. AND IT TOOK 70 DAYS TO BEGIN THE INVESTIGATION.

When you speak of parental involvement, you mean parent to teacher.

When I speak of parental involvement, I speak of parental influence at much higher levels.

More than half of the parents in these schools want their kids to be attending somewhere else. When they can vote with their feet, you will have more learning and less battering, and I assure you it won't take 70 days to begin to investigate the case of a child battered by a teacher.





caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 8:38 AM

Really am in abn area I know little about but have an observation. Theoretically lets say we eliminate the public schools and have only charter schools. Those schools will be set up by someone or some entity and have to be funded-vouchers- since they are given to folks by government then would be the same as public funding for education-where is the fault in my logic? Those schools would have the agenda and the rules set into place by the person or entity that sets them up. What happens to kids like the ones I taught when no one wants to start a charter school in the area I taught as it is at times dangerous to live and even go there. These kids will have the same parental input or lack of it as they currently do but can see these "charter schools" becoming rather an elitist thing or since the vast majority of the kids I taught were Black another method of excluding them from getting even the poor education that the admittedly do at times in the inner city public school- you are still operating on the faulty premise that all parents care on an equal basis and all students start from the same life base-has nothing to do with their IQ or test scores-still waiting on that list of countries who educate all youth effectively on a n equal judge of performance-Linda People who tend to deal in theory only often miss the facts IMHO. Are some kids abused by teachers most likely they are but there are far more kids abused by parents who find the school a safe haven of sorts. You can pull isolated incidents out of any large number of anything. Think i am done with this topic as it is like beating my head against a wall-until you've been there-done that you remain pretty clueless again IMHO.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 9:34 AM

The public schools is just that PUBLIC and thus large. In anything large you can find abuses both on an individual level as well as a system level-what happens when a country promises equal education to all youth for frees. The Catholic schools that I attended would certainly be open to charges of abuse at the personal level-the forms of discipline were not always kind and there have been recent scandals of sexual abuse although never personally experience that. The education I received was basically sound. People have to decide what abuse of the of the process justifies the overall goal and figure out where to go from there and how to make them better if possible. I have said not sure of the goals of the charter schools like TSK has pointed out in Mi.. but whoever funds them sets the rules and the agenda-money talks!! Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 2:03 PM

You're missing the point again, Linda. No one says close the government schools. No one says out with the teachers unions.

You missed the point about the battered student in Chicago. The point is that it took 70 days to start an investigation. That's because the government school answers to no one. The parents have no leverage.

If you reported to the police that your husband battered you, would you want the police to wait 70 days before checking it out?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 2:30 PM

YOU WIN!

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 3:47 PM

Gee, Justin, how many points do you get for winning a Salty Dog debate?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 5:44 PM

Promise my last words. It was my understanding that intelligent debate could only be conducted if there was some agreement on the basic premise from which the debate begins-done now- Linda

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 5:59 PM

Just wanted to let everyone know that these were your last words

chickfbref1
Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2012)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 6:24 PM

I have $5 and a shot of Patron that says they're not her last words.

Takers?

HRH...Me.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 6:43 PM

Tequila?

No thanks

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:07 PM

I'm so glad you said that, HRH. I saw a billboard for Patron today that said something about lime. I didn't even know patron was tequilla. Is it better than Jose Cuervo?

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:13 PM

Why are they calling Chick HRH and you simply Jank? Doesn't seem right IMHO.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:23 PM

Patrón claims to be the #1 ultra-premium tequila.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:25 PM

Sandra - I abdicated my thrown...I mean throne....because Chick was gonna have me assassasssasssinated. So kinda like in the game of "Life," I retired to that nice little house and became a philosopher.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:26 PM

Coll, aren't you tired? It's damn late in France.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:28 PM

Jank,
I don't know why more people don't do that

chickfbref1
Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2012)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:31 PM

Jank said ass 3 times. I'm now officially taking over has the empress of Sploofus.

Bow.

HMFIC....Me.

chickfbref1
Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2012)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:32 PM

Oh...and just to clarify, Patron is NOT like any other tequila you may have had.

MULTIFABULOSO!!

HMFIC...Me

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:32 PM

She did! WTF was she thinking?

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:35 PM

I, personally, cannot tolerate even the slightest aroma of (am having a hard time even writing) tequila.


jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:40 PM

Oh Chick. Drink a cup of coffee. I said ass FOUR times.

I had to beat Slicko.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 7:42 PM

I'm a night owl, Sandy, and I'm not sure I have anything to do this weekend aside from tomorrow night out at our favorite local restaurant.

Will check the weather carefully and the snow line on the mountains in the AM. Still have 4hr hike to check out before May - my last as that will bring my repertoire to 17. Otherwise it might be nice enough to garden for 90 minutes. I've been really cooped up since December by what is a hard winter for there.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 8:11 PM

One night when I was a college student, we drank tequilla at a friends house who was out of town. Straight shots, and the results weren't pretty. I've never drank the stuff since, and my friend has barely forgiven what we did with all of her linens.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 8:13 PM

I think there's one of them misplaced modifier's in the above.

Turning in.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 13th Feb '09 8:22 PM

well if I knew which of them modifiers to replace.....

godwit
Godwit  (Level: 78.9 - Posts: 435)
Sat, 14th Feb '09 2:30 AM

It's tomorrow. So they WERE her last words. Here. At this time. And place.

Also, the guy on MENTALIST is adorable.

And, the groundhogs are not emerged, yet.

Happy Valentine's Day. (Not sure why we eat chocolate to honor a martyr? )



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 4:40 AM

Someone owes someone a drink, but anyway will say this. It was actually Godwit who inspired me by saying she would not respond because she thought you "out in left field' , Andy. When i said you "WIN" and then went on to add that a common premise had to precede intelliget debate, my sarcasm wiped out the intent of my reply.

You saifd in an earlier thread that FDR's treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWI did not diminish his 'GREATNESS'-believe you will get intelligent argument on the greatness part but not from me. That you boil it down to the one Chicago student not getting a hearing for 70 days in light of that prior statement to be the cause of the failure in public schools is what I find incomprehensible in view of your previous FDR statement. Perhaps that student will get justice and an apology long before the Japanese-Americans did before FDR was dead a buried.

You have skipped around on this thread by assuming that the Cause was teachers voting and students not and standardized tests not being given to Detroit students. When I pointed out that Detroit gave any and all stadardized tests available, you then said that it was because results were not given to parents. That is faulty to as most of my kids did not have parentS in the home and many f then did not care about the kids' test scores.

The yellow buses ran in Detroit to integrate the schools and by doing that make education equal. They stopped when it was apparent tghat students from one socio-ecomic group were being bused to another of the same. When I left Detroit any student could attend any school in the district if they got there on their own. The tax base had left Detroit so the studnts got less money per kid than the burbs-whole different issue not discussed by me.

There was one school think called Renassaince high who tool only the brightest and te best. There were other schools called Magnate schools-don't know what parental participation was there but know for the average school it was next to nil. Your premise s faulty when you assume all parents want equal involvement in the public schools are their biggest concern is their child's education. Know nothing about the charter schools but would guess who funds them sets the agenda and the rules. Someone suggested earlier that a kid who sirsstill and wants to will learn despite the odds-see much truth there.

So you see, Andy , although not quite sure why we see the problem from much different angels making further conversation between us useless-Linda










caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 4:52 AM

Should have been FDR in connection with WWII not I. Godwit's comment to you was in another thread not this one-Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 6:37 AM

Linda, you do not yet know all my thoughts regarding our failing public schools. I did not zero in on one case of teacher beating child in Chicago. That was one of hundreds. I said the failure to investigate for 70 days was an example of public schools answera

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 6:37 AM

Linda, you do not yet know all my thoughts regarding our failing public schools. I did not zero in on one case of teacher beating child in Chicago. That was one of hundreds. I said the failure to investigate for 70 days was an example of public schools answera

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 6:41 AM

Linda, you do not yet know half my thoughts regarding our failing public schools.

I did not zero in on one case of teacher beating child in Chicago. That was one of hundreds. I said the failure to investigate for 70 days was an example of large public school districts answerable to no one.

I also posted the Cleveland school experience - a totally broken school system.

(FYI Godwit is still in left field – “swallowed hook-line-and-sinker all the finger-pointing done by Louisiana politicians to blame someone other than themselves for the devastation that a perfect storm finally wreaked upon their still unprotected, vulnerable coastal state.”)


caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 7:33 AM

Don't know anything about the Post where Godwit said you were "out in left field" You well may be or she may be. I do know what went on in DPS not too long ago though. First let me about your comment about FDR's treatment of Japanese-Americans. You called it "Unfortunate"..

I am sure there are multiple students mistreated in schools including the private ones.-religious or otherwise. There is also multiple abuse of children within their homes. All of these are more than unfortunate, they are outrageous. There are also plenty of incompetent teachers-union or otherwise wise but I contend more good than bad.

Don't think it is all about money either as to how students measure up nationally or internationally. It is about standards in schools -which because the usual reason is poverty-happens in the large cities- being lowered so those kids don't look bad. nor parents coming to parent-teacher conferences.

It is not either all about parental involvement although that helps tremendously, but about parents expecting and demanding that their kids come to school, behave while they are there, and help if they can and at minimum make sure any homework is done. In some sense they themselves being responsible for their kid's behavior and in part holding the kid responsible for his own learning.

In the beginning of the thread you noted that Us kids do pretty well at the University level. I would suggest that most college professors have few discipline problems. Kids and parents tend to pay attention when it costs them something

STILL waiting on the list of countries that attempts to educate all of its youth on an equal basis and gets equal results for free- Linda.





bokeelia
Bokeelia  (Level: 188.1 - Posts: 114)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 11:22 AM

I think the first thing we need in order to compete in a global society is a longer school year. The current system is based on an outdated agrarian calendar from the days when children were needed to tend the fields. The average number of instructional days in the USA is 150 just about the lowest of developed nations. Japan and China each have over 220 and Russia, England and Australia all have over 190. Is it any wonder our students are falling behind? Of course this plan could never be implemented because the unions would freak out. We need to subjagate teaching to learning if we are ever going to reclaim the high ground in education. The answer will lie in private schools and the advent of school vouchers. When administrators are called to task for failing grades and committed teachers rather than union hacks are in place our schools will become the Cathedrals they should be.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 11:36 AM

Sorry, Linda, but you missed several points I made.

And you continue to relate about classroom experiences, and that is not the crux of the problem.

(FYI I went to public schools)

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 1:13 PM

Now we are about solving the problem world-wide. Still waiting on the list of countries that educates ALL its youth for 12 years by the same standards and do it successfully free of charge. If you. would give me that list, Andy, I might have something to look at and not keep "missing the point" as still not sure what your point might be-bet you did not attend the Chicago or any other large US city public schools though, did ya?? As for extending the school day and school year.. you do know that US teachers are not paid for the months they do not work. Neither are they pd. by the hour so unless you can figure out a way to compensate them in some way for these extra hours not to mention the outside preparation time, to make their salary to say one of a GM worker, don't think you have a prayer-that last was a reply to the post before yours, Andy. -Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 1:17 PM

Private schools cost someone. If you are talking about vouchers those come from the government so you can do away with property taxes and thus funding for public schools and make the voucher schools public schools or let the average person who pays taxes pay twice....

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 1:35 PM

BOk, are you saying that England, Russia,and Japan educate all their youth on an equal basis free of charge to them fr 12 years/ If you are will have to check that out as agree. never been called a "Union Hack' before and have been called many things-Linda

bokeelia
Bokeelia  (Level: 188.1 - Posts: 114)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 1:44 PM

I went to Public School in a small town. You might have heard of it in geography. It's called New York City. I also taught in the Public School system in Manhatten at an intermediate school.. I didn't refer to you as a "union hack" but they do exist. The union doesn't protect good teachers, they cover for the "hack" who shouldn't be allowed to teach anyone's children. The whole tenure system is absurd as well. The voucher system would allow schools that succeeded to pay their teachers well and force out the unsuccessful. What we have now is a system where the wealthy can send their kids to private school, while the intelligent poor or middle income kid is left to langish in Public School.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 2:13 PM

George, I agree with much of what you said. I was talking to Andy when I said I bet he had not attended a large US public school-still waiting on his list so I don't keep missing his point. Not being sarcastic here but who pays for the vouchers? It seems to me if it is government than it is just another form of public education and the kids in the tough districts will be no better off than they are now-as cannot imagine how anything other than taxpayer funded would be established in Detroit's inner city. I am really one of the old timers-believe I was among the last to be issued a lifetime certification. Did have to take a few more classes when Detroit changed from Junior High 7-9 to Middle School 6-8 as although i never ended up teaching anything in grade 6, my certification was Secondary Ed and 6 is considered Elementary certification at least in Mi. Noticed LA is issuing a report card for schools sent to parents. If it would lead to a major overhaul might be good but think most likely it will be used to blame the bottom rung folks-classroom teacher-for all the problems that LA kids face making certain schools score lower on standardized tests- good to hear from someone else as I truly am missing Andy's points LOL Linda

bokeelia
Bokeelia  (Level: 188.1 - Posts: 114)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 2:30 PM

the voucher system would work by allowing parents to pick the school where there children will attend, rather than by geographical luck. It can be done on a lottery basis to see who chooses first or by grades, I haven't thought that part out completely yet. If it's done by grades you get homogenous groupings by default which I think works best. The bottom rung kids will still be hampered by bad schools but at least there would be recognition of the school's failure and pressure could be brought to bring the school up. It's a subject I get passionate about, as you can tell be how few posts I make. I'm also a fan of school uniforms for Public Schools but that's a whole other issue. I had what was then callled a common branches license, which allowed me to teach any grade. I enjoyed teaching inner city kids, their ideas and the available infrastructure for cultural education can't be beat. Another failure of our schools is the ignoring of music and the arts. It truly is in a sad state.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 2:51 PM

Before I left Detroit kids could choose any school within the district they wished to attend based on space available. They had to figure out how to get there on their own. So Detroit has had school option choices for a long time unless you are talking about choice of schools in the outlying suburbs- which opens up another whole can of worms. Obviously I got much joy out of what I did most of my working life as certainly was not in it for the money-keep thinking-Linda

bokeelia
Bokeelia  (Level: 188.1 - Posts: 114)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 3:05 PM

have to keep thinking or the smoke will rise from my bald head. Now that you're (note proper usage of the conjunction) in Florida, I'm sure you've noticed the paucity of intelligent life there. That's a school system which is truly horrid. Georgia seems to be on the right track. They've dedicated their lottery funds to education in addition to normal funding (as opposed to other states which use it to replace taxpayer funding).I beleive any resident student who maintains a B average can attend a state school (including Georgia Tech) tuition free. Only drawback is you have to live in Georgia.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.4 - Posts: 21605)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 3:18 PM

Haven't paid that much attention to Fl. Public schools-ashamed to say- except how they affect my property taxes. Also don't listen or watch local news much as like the local stations in Detroit used to be pretty much centered on murder and mayhem.-usually check the weather but that other than hurricane season is pretty uneventful. I'm too old to have any teacher friends that taught in FL. Fl. is a state of basically transplants-everyone seems to call another place "HOME"-sure there are exceptions. Have heard in passing that they are considering a 4 day school week-kids will really do better then, think ? Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 105.1 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 17th Feb '09 4:46 PM

Bookeelia, there is one culture-safe zone in Georgia.

It's called Atlanta.


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