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  • 21st Century Education

    There's a private school that is going with a unique teaching style, compared to the curriculum that is currently in place.

    It cost $20,875 per school year but that about the going rate for most private educations as well. Would you put your child in this school?



    INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION
    AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY | DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15

    You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools—with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning—just aren’t cutting it.

    At the same time, you’re thinking: this school is kind of weird.

    On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can’t quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about.

    Then there’s the guy who’s standing at the front of the conference room, the school’s founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he’s unlike any school administrator you’ve ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say.

    http://www.wired.com/2015/05/altschool/

  • #2
    This school is supported by a Silicon Valley VC, Mark Zuckerberg and other tech companies. AltSchool’s total private funding is at $133 million.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wonder how many special-ed students they have?
      “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
      --Salmon P. Chase

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Savez View Post
        Wonder how many special-ed students they have?
        Or English-language learners, or socio-economically challenged families, or students who are far below basic skill levels, or...?

        Being a public school employee, I won't object to many of the criticisms leveled at public education, however, when you're working under a governmental mandate that ALL students have the right to an equal educational experience, the noble sentiments of education expressed in the article come crashing back to reality.

        It's hard to look at a situation where you appear to have rather affluent students and parents who are undoubtedly involved (they wouldn't put their kids in a place like that if they weren't serious about education) and draw any meaningful conclusions or applications that can be applied to the greater public.

        FWIW, there is no school that a 7-year old would attend in California that would come close to have 38 students (high 20s at the most), and the "endless bubble-filled tests" took most of our classes (only grades 3-5 were taking it this year) less than a week to complete with the new computerized adapting-difficulty tests.

        Comment


        • #5
          Would I put my child in such a school? I can't tell because this tells me nothing useful.

          Frankly, there is no way to tell. How does it rate academically? What is the specific curriculum by grades? How many in a class room? How do they rate nationally?

          I don't need the descriptive tour so much as I want specific facts.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Percy Coburg View Post
            This school is supported by a Silicon Valley VC, Mark Zuckerberg and other tech companies. AltSchool’s total private funding is at $133 million.
            One of the problems we have in education today is that there are too many Zuckerbergs and Gates pumping in money. And with that money comes their ideas on education which they want run like a business.

            Education is not a business at all and will not turn a financial profit. The 'profit' or reward is that the students are good citizens and make something of themselves.

            We keep throwing money at education believing or hoping that will be the answer. It isn't. Students in the Baltimore public schools get the most per student in the country and its a mess.

            Teachers' Unions need to go, tenure needs to be retained, and incompetent and unqualified administrators need to go. Discipline has to be restored and the schools run like they used to be.

            See Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch.
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jdkeyes1 View Post
              Or English-language learners, or socio-economically challenged families, or students who are far below basic skill levels, or...?

              Being a public school employee, I won't object to many of the criticisms leveled at public education, however, when you're working under a governmental mandate that ALL students have the right to an equal educational experience, the noble sentiments of education expressed in the article come crashing back to reality.

              It's hard to look at a situation where you appear to have rather affluent students and parents who are undoubtedly involved (they wouldn't put their kids in a place like that if they weren't serious about education) and draw any meaningful conclusions or applications that can be applied to the greater public.
              .
              Ding Ding Ding!!! We have a winner!
              “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
              --Salmon P. Chase

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Massena View Post
                One of the problems we have in education today is that there are too many Zuckerbergs and Gates pumping in money. And with that money comes their ideas on education which they want run like a business.

                Education is not a business at all and will not turn a financial profit. The 'profit' or reward is that the students are good citizens and make something of themselves.

                We keep throwing money at education believing or hoping that will be the answer. It isn't. Students in the Baltimore public schools get the most per student in the country and its a mess.

                Teachers' Unions need to go, tenure needs to be retained, and incompetent and unqualified administrators need to go. Discipline has to be restored and the schools run like they used to be.

                See Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch.

                And another winner!!!!
                “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                --Salmon P. Chase

                Comment


                • #9
                  Who cares how the staff dresses except in this case they dress like street trash apparently... I would think that they should be setting a better example.

                  Personally, I think that a crappy building with minimal equipment but engaged, motivated, and knowledgeable teachers will out perform any Taj Mahal of a school with the same old went-to-a-college of education and an BA degree in teaching union teachers any day of the week school.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    Who cares how the staff dresses except in this case they dress like street trash apparently... I would think that they should be setting a better example.

                    Personally, I think that a crappy building with minimal equipment but engaged, motivated, and knowledgeable teachers will out perform any Taj Mahal of a school with the same old went-to-a-college of education and an BA degree in teaching union teachers any day of the week school.
                    Only way to be a teacher is through BA degree, private or no. At least in Alabama.
                    “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                    --Salmon P. Chase

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Massena View Post
                      One of the problems we have in education today is that there are too many Zuckerbergs and Gates pumping in money. And with that money comes their ideas on education which they want run like a business.

                      Education is not a business at all and will not turn a financial profit. The 'profit' or reward is that the students are good citizens and make something of themselves.

                      We keep throwing money at education believing or hoping that will be the answer. It isn't. Students in the Baltimore public schools get the most per student in the country and its a mess.

                      Teachers' Unions need to go, tenure needs to be retained, and incompetent and unqualified administrators need to go. Discipline has to be restored and the schools run like they used to be.

                      See Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch.
                      I would also add that schools tend to be way too liberal-minded when it comes to how they treat students. What I mean is that they no longer value or reward achievement...they value equality and self-esteem. Not that those things don't have their place but they've superseded the value of actually being the best at math, English, or whatever subject that used to give kids a feeling of accomplishment. It's very rare for a school to hold a kid back a year because they aren't capable of going to the next grade...they hold them back if they miss way too many days sometimes, or if there are behavioral issues, but never for under-performance or failure to understand the material. Students then go to the next grade level, can't understand the material, slow down the entire class while the teacher tries to keep them up to speed, and everyone suffers.
                      All those idiotic 'my child is a star student' bumper stickers are handed out by turns in many schools, so that each kid gets one during the school year so their self esteem doesn't suffer. It makes the award meaningless...like the 100 meter dash at the special olympics. Everyone gets a medal but who really wins? What's the point of training, practicing, or improving if everyone gets the same reward in the end? Kids know that and the ones who might be capable of achieving something just don't see why it matters anymore, so not as many of them are willing to put in the extra work.
                      Schools like this one are not the answer because they're exclusive...we have schools, we have teacher, and we have books, technology and other things needed to educate...we just need to change the mindset of educators in general to teach, encourage, reward accomplishment, and discourage failure by having meaningful consequences.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Savez View Post
                        Only way to be a teacher is through BA degree, private or no. At least in Alabama.
                        Yep, I know that. That is something I think needs to change. Abolish colleges of education entirely and let anyone with a degree teach. I bet some retired engineer would be better at teaching math and science than someone with an arts degree in education would be.
                        I'd also bet some one with a journalism or English degree would be better at teaching English to kids.

                        If you look at colleges of education today across the US they are often filled with some of the most radical Leftists you can find on a university campus. Their ideas and methods are geared to teaching new teachers how to think correctly politically and indoctrinate their students rather than to creating open minded and educated children.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jdkeyes1 View Post
                          Or English-language learners, or socio-economically challenged families, or students who are far below basic skill levels, or...?

                          Being a public school employee, I won't object to many of the criticisms leveled at public education, however, when you're working under a governmental mandate that ALL students have the right to an equal educational experience, the noble sentiments of education expressed in the article come crashing back to reality.

                          It's hard to look at a situation where you appear to have rather affluent students and parents who are undoubtedly involved (they wouldn't put their kids in a place like that if they weren't serious about education) and draw any meaningful conclusions or applications that can be applied to the greater public.

                          FWIW, there is no school that a 7-year old would attend in California that would come close to have 38 students (high 20s at the most), and the "endless bubble-filled tests" took most of our classes (only grades 3-5 were taking it this year) less than a week to complete with the new computerized adapting-difficulty tests.
                          That's one of the biggest issues whenever comparing private to public schools, because with the number of students public schools have to educate and accommodate it becomes a case of apples and oranges.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Steve573 View Post
                            I would also add that schools tend to be way too liberal-minded when it comes to how they treat students. What I mean is that they no longer value or reward achievement...they value equality and self-esteem. Not that those things don't have their place but they've superseded the value of actually being the best at math, English, or whatever subject that used to give kids a feeling of accomplishment. It's very rare for a school to hold a kid back a year because they aren't capable of going to the next grade...they hold them back if they miss way too many days sometimes, or if there are behavioral issues, but never for under-performance or failure to understand the material. Students then go to the next grade level, can't understand the material, slow down the entire class while the teacher tries to keep them up to speed, and everyone suffers.
                            All those idiotic 'my child is a star student' bumper stickers are handed out by turns in many schools, so that each kid gets one during the school year so their self esteem doesn't suffer. It makes the award meaningless...like the 100 meter dash at the special olympics. Everyone gets a medal but who really wins? What's the point of training, practicing, or improving if everyone gets the same reward in the end? Kids know that and the ones who might be capable of achieving something just don't see why it matters anymore, so not as many of them are willing to put in the extra work.
                            Schools like this one are not the answer because they're exclusive...we have schools, we have teacher, and we have books, technology and other things needed to educate...we just need to change the mindset of educators in general to teach, encourage, reward accomplishment, and discourage failure by having meaningful consequences.
                            In much of this, schools are merely a reflection of the society and culture which they are serving. Believe me, nobody would rather see us reward and celebrate achievement, and enforce accountability of students to knowing the material and completing the work, than teachers. Public education is handcuffed partially by its system and bureaucracy, but also in large part because society has expected them to be the sole educational (and, in some cases, parental) influence in a child's life. Schools and districts have also been litigated into submission on any point in which they strive to hold students to a reasonable standard or level of expectation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Savez View Post
                              Only way to be a teacher is through BA degree, private or no. At least in Alabama.
                              In Texas that is only true for public school. Private schools can ostensibly hire whoever they like.

                              Comment

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