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School has sure changed! Not for the better..

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  • Urban hermit
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  • Urban hermit
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    If you want to get an idea on the current values of American education, that is to say, what we are as a society investing in for our schools, do yourself a favor and just google "Teachers Salaries" then ask yourself is that in one worth the debt that comes with a college education.
    Then google "High School Football Coach Salaries," then you will get the idea of what is wrong.
    Alabama,
    http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/...r-coach-makes/
    Other teachers in Alabama?
    http://www.myaea.org/wp-content/uplo...edule-2015.pdf
    You can check any state, Texas has many high school coaches making more then all the teachers in the school district combined.
    Why should we care?
    Football is an elective, not a requirement. If art teachers which also teach an elective were being paid the way coaches are, need I say, there would be hell boiling over.

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  • Daemon of Decay
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    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Someone who is say a chemist with a master's in that subject really doesn't need to go back to college to supposedly learn how to teach.
    Indeed. Anyone who ever played football in college is fully qualified to coach it professionally.

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  • T. A. Gardner
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    Originally posted by Duncan View Post
    Don't you need a degree in what you teach in the U.S.A.? In British Columbia, for grade school you need a degree with certain breadth requirements, including Canadian content. For high school you need a major, or two minors, in teachable subjects. And, depending on the university you go to a B.Ed or a year long professional development program.
    Yes, you do. In fact, it must be in education or include a number of specific classes in education. I find that, the need for specific classes in "Education" to be short of asinine. Someone who is say a chemist with a master's in that subject really doesn't need to go back to college to supposedly learn how to teach.
    That person wouldn't need those courses to teach at a university, so why would they need it to teach K to 12 students? Yet, they do.

    The way I see it, anyone with a degree is likely capable of being an elementary school teacher, on degree or classes in "Education" needed.

    What I'm saying is that I'd rather have someone who got a BS degree in some science teaching science to students in a high school for example than a person with an Education degree and a smattering of science courses doing it.
    I'd prefer that coaches with a background in physical education in high schools weren't teaching history and civics either. That's very common.

    People with considerable education and skills gained from working in industry are generally turned away from education by "Educrats" because they lack the useless course work in education. That just shows me the people running US education are the true idiots.

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  • Duncan
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    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    I agree there. The average teacher has little background in math or science (or anything technical for that matter). Worse, in the US over 80% of all teachers and "educators" today are women. This too doesn't bode well for 50% of the students as they rarely see male role models going to school.
    Don't you need a degree in what you teach in the U.S.A.? In British Columbia, for grade school you need a degree with certain breadth requirements, including Canadian content. For high school you need a major, or two minors, in teachable subjects. And, depending on the university you go to a B.Ed or a year long professional development program.

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  • T. A. Gardner
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    I agree there. The average teacher has little background in math or science (or anything technical for that matter). Worse, in the US over 80% of all teachers and "educators" today are women. This too doesn't bode well for 50% of the students as they rarely see male role models going to school.

    As for math if you can't perform the basic arithmetic well, like manipulate fractions, you're doomed moving on to algebra.

    As for Common Core, the whole thing is crap. It was invented by the same people running the system now for people in the system now. That is to say, by colleges of Education, by "Educators" for "Educators."
    Well, if the bunch in there now can't affectively teach the material changing the material isn't going to make them teach it any better.

    It's like the constant demands for more money into education. If the money increased tenfold it'd make little or no difference. The same system would be in place, with the same people doing the same job just for more money. It's no different than McDonald's workers demanding $15 an hour. Is your burger and fries going to be any better? Will the service improve any? I doubt it.

    And, you're right, we do treat every kid as if he or she was going to go to college. That's quite different from most other education systems where the ones who are poor performers are separated from the high performers and even given different curricula based on expected outcomes. I'm not saying that's always a better system, but it does try to match the teaching to the student rather than "One size fits all" and a "everybody's going to college" system like we have.

    I could see two things that would make the US system better in a hurry.

    1. Dump the need for a degree in "Education" for hiring teachers that know their subject(s) whatever their background. Make sure they stay on their toes by a combination of review and testing... preferably by outside auditors independent of the school system.

    2. Integrate the curricula such that students get some of each subject, or many subjects, in each class. For example, students are made to write out answers and produce written documents in science, history, etc., not just English class. In history include discoveries in math, science, and other subjects not just some vague social-political history. In English class include writing about science, history, math, etc., as part of the learning process.

    I also agree that repetition is necessary and at the lowest grades probably the very best way to get the lessons across. Trying to get an 8 year old to visualize or fathom some complex, abstract concept is not going to work well with virtually any kid.

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  • Mountain Man
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    Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
    I agree that cursive is obsolete and I'm not one of your critics.
    Actually, the ability to actually be able to write is about as basic as things get.

    The downside of a totally hi-tech society is the inability of that society to survive a major event that destroys or severely curtails that technology.

    Remember the last time you were shopping and couldn't pay for purchases because the electricity went out, along with the scanners and credit card readers and nobody could just take your cash?

    That's a harbinger of things to come. Technology is extremely useful to those who have a proper educational background - it's a crutch that will fail for those who don't.

    I've run into countless clerks who don't how much change they are supposed to give me unless they can read it on the register. That is scary from a national survival point of view, because that is very simple math.

    I've run into many sales people in places like hardware stores that can't figure simple areas and volumes in their heads, most recently at Home Depot in the paint department. We asked about the coverage for deck paint and the guy read it off the can. No problem there, but then he asked how large our deck was, I told him, and he froze up. He could not figure the square footage, divided by the coverage of a bucket of paint, and tell how much I needed. Fortunately for him, I can and I did - in nothing flat, out loud, which he found embarrassing. However, on his own he would have sold me much more than I needed because he had no idea how much was enough.

    I remember the first time my stepson went with me to the hardware store to buy supplies for the large deck I built around our former mountain home. He ended up asking me how I came up with all of the numbers, and I was astonished, and asked him why he couldn't? And then I discovered that he had no idea how much change he should get, and I immediately began teaching him practical math because he couldn't even balance a checkbook despite the fact that he was ready to graduate from high school!

    Now he's a foreman with an outfit that operates heavy construction equipment and thanks me every day for his ability to decide how much overburden needs to be removed or what area needs to be graded and how much soil that involves off the top of his head. Which is one reason he's a foreman over older men in the company...because he can figure out what he needs to do without a truckload of electronic toys simple by knowing the measurements of the area they are working.

    America's non-educational system is circling the drain and it's only going to get worse. Tech is an aid to, not a substitute for, knowledge.

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  • slick_miester
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Math, that is add, subtract, divide, multiply, and fractions should be taught by near rote methods. Speed and accuracy should be the desired outcome. There is little or no need for "spacial reasoning" or abstract methods of doing this sort of thing. It is basic to learning anything more in the field of mathematics.

    Algebra follows math. Geometry follows that. Then comes trigonometry. Then calculus.
    As a student who struggled when first introduced to algebra, I may differ a tad. I agree that the "sequential" math curricula were a complete waste: before the student had at least grown comfortable with algebra, they were moving on to trig. It was maddening. That being said, I didn't really master algebra and trig until I went to college -- despite attending one of the top academic high schools in the country, and having a math major for a step-father. The vast majority of elementary and high school math teachers I've known simply can't teach. They haven't that knack for communicating and impressing what are abstract ideas. Most math teachers are like foreign language teachers who were raised in the language they're teaching: they learned it as toddlers, intuitively, before they knew anything about structure and grammar, and they can't get that across, so they suck as teachers (best Spanish teacher I had was Roumanian.) The math teachers are like that, too: they know it, you don't, but since the teachers don't know how they learned it originally, they still can't teach it.

    Maybe it's an American thing, 'cause in college I sat for a professor from Ivory Coast. His accent was so thick he was actually hard to understand at first -- but he had that knack for expressing the abstract and making it stick. I had another advantage in college, though: I took trig and microeconomics during the same semester, so I what learned in trig I got to use concretely in microeconomics. The latter not only reinforced the former, but made it real to me in a way that it hadn't been before. After that, I was able to get a real good handle on prob-stat and calc, too: I applied it immediately to price theory and econometrics.

    I heard an MIT professor say that our high schools teach algebra all wrong, as if it's an extension of basic operative math. He went on to repeat something I'd heard from other super math geeks (step-father, sister, various co-workers) over the years: that they can visualize various expressions. I can do that now, but only after many thousands of repetitions and countless practical applications. One of the things that Common Core is trying to teach is this "visualization" aspect, by attacking simple problems from several different directions. In my opinion it'll only work if it's repeated ad nauseum, but I wouldn't pan it too quick: clearly something had to be done to pick up US' students dismal performance in math. Continuing with the same old routine obviously won't work, since it hasn't in at least four decades. Now Common Core's English language and writing component is pure crap, but I'm willing to give the math a least a shot.

    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Most students won't get much beyond algebra or geometry. That's not a bad thing per se. Most students K - 12 will never figure out calculus. It isn't a condemnation of them, it is simply something they are not going to figure out. Some students will be great athletes, or prodigies at music, others won't.
    One thing Common Core and much of education today tries to do is somehow change that expecting "fair and equal" outcomes for all students as if all humans were identical and interchangeable.
    You know, of course, that the education industry will never admit to such a thing: it'll cut too deep into their rice bowl. Parent as well will deny it. Who among us wants to admit that our little darling can't master high school academically? I find the very notion unfathomable. I'd have an easier time digesting Bigfoot than comping to grips with one of my beauties not being able to make it to college -- which, as we all know -- is no wondrous achievement. So no, we're going to continue to treat every child as if he or she is college bound, even if their future has gas station attendant written all over it.

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  • Pirateship1982
    replied
    Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
    That was my thought too. At any rate he got through it. I hope they give more attention to the Renaissance then a two page essay.
    Just to be clear, the kid gets straight A's in math, and has never received any grade lower than a B in any subject.
    It is interesting that instead of conversing so many saw this as a. opportunity to criticize my family's ability to get the boy to a library, or to suggest we are illiterate and have no books.
    If I would not get banned I you tell you what I'm thinking about you.
    As for cursive, who cares if future adults can not read the letters written between generals, or any other original source material, who cares?
    Of course you are all correct. Nobody will care about the thoughts of great historical figures.
    How silly of me. I was mistaken to believe we were all interested in history on a history forum.
    I agree that cursive is obsolete and I'm not one of your critics.

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  • Urban hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
    I have proposed, several times, that CCTV links be in every classroom so that parents can observe the behavior of their own kids in class.
    The teachers always react with berserk fury, or outright terror, and its not even aimed at them.

    Seems they don't dig parents seeing and hearing what the actual lesson plan is.
    I don't blame the teacher at all, he may be a great teacher, it's the idea that there is no text book from which to study. I wouldn't want any student to use Wikipedia as a source, but there are some great websites that are operated by educational publishing companies.
    In this case our grandson has a notebook computer. We have an encyclopedia on the book shelf.. Not all families do, and in the city we live in the library is closed on Veterans Day.
    The school should at least provide a library and a study period after the end of regular school hours.

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  • The Exorcist
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    Originally posted by Sergio View Post
    Any evidence of this?
    I have proposed, several times, that CCTV links be in every classroom so that parents can observe the behavior of their own kids in class.
    The teachers always react with berserk fury, or outright terror, and its not even aimed at them.

    Seems they don't dig parents seeing and hearing what the actual lesson plan is.

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  • Sergio
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    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    When it comes to homework many teachers no longer give any out. There are numerous reasons for it but the one that bothers me in particular is that the teacher doesn't want the parent(s) knowing what subject matter is being taught.

    I find this a relatively new phenomena. It really doesn't matter if it's sex education, history, Conservative or Progressive values, or whatever. It seems that more teachers are hiding what they teach from parents either due to subject matter, or politics.

    http://www.texasinsider.org/state-bo...riculum-group/

    That's just one example of what I mean. It doesn't matter if the Left, Right, or Center is doing it. It doesn't matter if some "revisionist" with an agenda is doing it.
    But, it happens all the time and one way it stays out of the public eye is teachers keep it quiet.
    Any evidence of this?

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  • The Exorcist
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    Originally posted by Duncan View Post
    The one common problem I see is blaming of the teacher rather than being an engaged parent involved in your children's education.
    Don't try to lump me in with all those B.S. artists.
    You really think I'm some whining Libtard, seriously?

    I call out incompetence where I see it, and this is a teacher that is asking kids to do something GOOD, get away from the net and try reading a book, the right one, and work from it.
    Then he assigned it as an overnight w/o warning instead of an over the weekend thing where they might have had a shot at doing something that they weren't used to (the whole point of the maneuver .... and and that point it becomes an "I'm right and you are wrong" routine vs. those that would question his power.

    3.5 hours, eh? How many kids in that class divided by how many books in the Library on that one particular subject?
    Maybe he WANTED them to fail, get frustrated and even more paranoid... which is indeed the common thread in Common Core.

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  • Urban hermit
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  • 101combatvet
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    Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
    Maybe this is just a rant, I think of it as an observation,
    My 13 year old grandson is spending the night and while I am posting this he is doing his school assignment that is due Thursday.
    His assignment is to write three paragraphs on the Renaissance.
    Sounds simple huh?
    He can not use the Internet. Simple you say, just use his textbook, right?
    Well, here is the problem, they don't have textbooks!
    All he has is a notebook computer!
    But he can't use the Internet!
    Here is the other part of my dismay,
    Common Core,
    Question, what is 5X3?
    If you answered 15 you are wrong.
    According to Common Core the answer is
    3+3+3+3+3=15!
    You're lucky it doesn't have to be written in Spanish.

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