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Virginia Teacher of the Year Tells Why He Resigned...very sad

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posted on Jan, 10 2015 @ 06:53 PM
It's always concerned me why America (and the UK) seem to consistently under perform in education for mid-teens at school. Both countries seem to perform as well as each other, and both appear within the PISA world league tables for education between the 20th to 30th positions, showing no real improvement since 2003.

America: (scroll down to page 7 USA score 481).

United Kingdom: (scroll down to page 6 UK scores 494)

Don't take these score too much to isn't a competition, but the fact is, there seems to be an indicator where both countries seem to have followed a trend of non-improvement for the last 12 years, not even any spikes of improvement from either country. This has got to be suspect?

I consider education as one of the most important tools of growth for any person, in any country. Younger age schooling being the most important time as it is the foundation for later learning. If the curricula has been manipulated in our two countries to supply nothing more than a mean average level of education, it could be suggested that it is acting as a filter to sort the (alleged) useful wheat from the (alleged) useless chaff to provide society with a layered spectrum of citizens placed within society according to their education scores, rather than their education potential and merit.

A good teacher will never give up on a student who shows potential, as many students prove to be late developers. If both parents and educators can recognise this in their child as early as possible, a strategy could be put in place to encourage the child as they get older.

One thing is a must for everyone. Never, ever, give up on schooling oneself. My younger school years gave me the tools to take up the baton for my own path of later schooling, and even now, at 55, I still haven't stopped self-educating myself. Personal circumstances can often impede a smooth path through the schooling years, but always, no matter what, come back to self-education and do it for your self.

edit on 10/1/15 by elysiumfire because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 09:11 AM
a reply to: elysiumfire

Thanks for these great thoughts and stats. I have never understood why any individual or country doesn't make education of themselves or their citizens a number 1 priority. When you put QUALITY education ahead of everything else, everything else becomes better automatically.

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 09:48 AM
Unfortunately, putting your child in a Public High School is the equivalent of throwing them to the most aggressive gangster delinquents society can produce.

Parents wondering why their 15 yr old went from watching Disney movies to doing drugs and having abortions? Welcome to the Public Education System.
edit on 11-1-2015 by Konduit because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 11:18 AM
I have noticed creeping corporatism over the last few decades, to where a business model has been seen as the savior for America’s institutions of education, health, government and even churches. We, the American People, are being sacrificed on the corporate altar with rituals driven by data and compliance.

Schools are not businesses. A business model has been forced onto the American school system, and it is not working. I have seen young, enthusiastic, good teachers forced to turn from presenting exciting lessons to spending class time having students drill (practice) with corporate generated resource material, all in the name of accumulating more points on a test. There is supposed to be no federal curriculum, but if it is not on a Common Core test, it is not taught, plain and simple.

In my community, a public charter school was started that took in students willing to take calculus AND do the hard work necessary to achieve higher levels. Where the “inner city” school struggled for over a decade to reach a certain point value (emblazoning the point value everywhere on campus and on t-shirts, reminding students of their goal), the charter school surpassed that point value the first year. Quality teachers were at each school; the difference was the student population. It was as if the cream (of test takers) was skimmed off the top of the milk, leaving govt officials to wonder why the milk left over couldn’t be as creamy, no matter how much they stirred it.

Not every university bound student transferred to the charter school. There were students from BOTH schools who were accepted to the same universities. Students who DESIRED to achieve did so, no matter which school they attended. Yet, according to school wide test scores, one school seemed to be “failing”, while the other one was a model school.

In another local school district, test scores of one subgroup, students whose parents were professionals, ALWAYS scored significantly higher than the general student population. This is NOT to say that students whose parents were not professionals couldn’t achieve. But students who come from homes where they are supported by more resources tend to do better.

One of the reasons originally given “to raise the bar” for American schools was to produce more mathematicians and scientists. Testing was said to be the key to raising the bar. That is like saying that the weight of a hog and constant weighing of that hog will produce a prize winner. Nonsense!

A culture where science and mathematics is VALUED will produce scientists and mathematicians. When America valued science and math, students went into those fields. Since 1980, the values of American culture changed to valuing business (finance) and religion, and students pursued these fields. Science and math in America have actually been devalued

What the urge to test has done is to provide a way for corporations to drive education and ultimately privatize what at one time was seen as a common good. Using a business model for education provides a school system fit for corporatism supported by oligarchy. Common Core, like NCLB, is a tragic farce played out by politicians and their corporate donors.

There is a myth that teachers have power in the American school system. The fact is they don’t. Parents hold the power. Teachers can complain all they want to higher ups but are given short shrift. Teachers alone cannot change the testing regime. If parents align with teachers to stop the testing, the privatization, changes can start to be achieved.

Parents must opt their students out of testing. Parents must join with teachers to voice their objections at school board meetings; parents must tell their elected state/fed officials.

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 12:46 PM
a reply to: neOrevolutionist

Calling all conspiracists, to all those that understand the beginnings of the American Educational system, what you see is the way it was planned, going all the way back to the Rockefellers and their total domination by monetary contributions, you can buy anything, votes, minds and souls they not only with the help of elites influenced higher education and all of society with the way socialism is supposed to work in their eyes, too many people just don't understand the endpoints where they exist and are currently living in, they are shallow and therefore mistaken in their analysis by design.

All of this also re-enforced by secret societies and the most overlooked, college and professional fraternities, whose many founders have also been part of the illuminist elite that share the same goals, and their members too have also been brainwashed by their own charters with much of the socialist logic and ideology that they must impress in business and education without even being aware of this, therefore subliminally tatooing society with this same template over decades, if you don't agree, well you know the other choices, be left in the dust, or go live in the hills of Montana, you are a nonconformist.

If you don't have absolutely any clue of history, you will always wonder, how did we get here, this applies to not only education but politics, the social conditions that currently exist... I know some will probably not even scrutinize this and say that was a long time ago, well I hate to tell you, long term planners always win in the end, if their will is backed by money, and lots of it, it will seldom fail in totality.

But the smokescreen is to make you believe that it is the children, it is the liberal educators, the total relapse of thinking to pre enlightenment etc...but you must have chisel to get at the core of any problem, not just flake off the enamel to try and see what the root cause of any issue is, I challenge anyone to do their research and if I wrong, i take it back, but this was the plan all along.

Educating has become socializing by design, get used to it.
edit on 11-1-2015 by phinubian because: added info

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 06:42 PM

originally posted by: vjr1113
i agree. those who want to learn will find a way. public schools are horrible, if you want your kid to grow up right home school or find an alternative school where teachers aren't teaching seven different things at the same time to a class of 30 plus students in a social hell hole

You nailed it my friend, in a social hell hole. I could not have described it better myself. It's only going to get worse too unfortunately.

The truth of the matter is, that their great Socialist experiment is a complete failure. ~$heopleNation

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 08:45 PM
a reply to: Konduit

It certainly does seem that way sometimes. It helps a bit if you're in a better quality school district, but not that much. Our kids should not be worrying if they are going to make it through the day with their life.

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 08:49 PM
Chris Christie never maligned the teachers, he maligned the administrators and the school boards; but facts always get in the way of reactionary feel-good political ranting.

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 08:50 PM
a reply to: desert

Boy, you said a mouthful...and every word of it was PURE GENIUS!.. Thank have put eloquently into words what I have been thinking for a long time. I'm one of those teachers complaining to administration all the time (it's a wonder I haven't been fired) We need those parents to support the fight and we need to take the business model out of the Education system now and forever.

posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 09:23 PM
a reply to: desert

Beautifully said! I just had this conversation with my 14 year old daughter. We are lucky enough to be in a rural school that encourages her curiosity rather than keeping her at a base level. She came home from school last week after taking Keystone exams. They are tests that the state of Pennsylvania requires all students to pass in order to graduate. Three tests, Algebra, Literature and Biology. Daughter passed the Algebra test at 12, advanced score. Her brother, who has autism, earned a B in algebra class, but can't pass the test to save his life. Doesn't matter - 100% of students HAVE TO PASS.

Anyway, daughter asked why a lot of the questions were worded so vaguely that more than one answer fit. This was on both the literature test and biology. I told her it was because the textbook publisher (in our case Houghton Mifflin) made money on 1. the textbook, 2. the test, 3. grading the test, 4. the software for the STATE REQUIRED development class used for students who don't pass the test, 5. the second test, 6. the second grading, rinse & repeat up to 4x.

She said I was cynical. I said I was a realist.

I'll also add this. I tutored my son in the required biology. I had AP biology, AP chemistry and 2 years as a biochem major. The stuff that Pennsylvania expects 100% of students to pass is stuff I didn't cover until senior year and college. It isn't anything that a student who is not taking a STEM path will ever, ever need again. 90% of students will never be asked anything that is on that test once they are out of school.

For now, my kids stay in public school because our small school has been fantastic about working with them and their unique needs. But, I'm watching to see what happens.

posted on Jan, 12 2015 @ 12:11 AM
I'm up north in Canada, but our education system is going down the toilet, as well. Even in the time since I graduated (I'm 32) there have been a lot of changes, mostly for the worse. Take a look at this guy (I didn't go to this high school, but I live in the same city) from a couple years ago.

Basically, the school board made an idiotic policy that teachers couldn't give out zeroes on assignments. This teacher did anyway, because if you don't do the assignment, you shouldn't get a grade. He got fired. In an environment like that, I have no idea how teachers are supposed to educate properly.

posted on Jan, 12 2015 @ 12:50 AM
a reply to: neOrevolutionist

Thank you for your kind words. You brought up another myth, that talking to administrators is helpful/productive. lol

a reply to: Mountainmeg

Thank you, too.
Small schools are nice. Glad your kids are achieving!

You made me think some more.......

When I was growing up, “one size fits all” referred to an article of clothing that could be worn by anyone. Usually the clothing was ugly to begin with, and it was ill fitting on most who wore it. That certainly describes federal programs and mandates like Common Core (NCLB on steroids).

Students have always had to learn a body of knowledge (in the past determined by authorities in the subject’s profession), which was presented to them by their teacher. That really is the same today. What IS different today is that, in the past students were not FORCED to take a subject in a narrow curriculum nor were they required to repeatedly take that subject until they passed (eg needing to repeat Algebra 1 three times [at least!] in high school).

In the 1970s I knew people who dropped acid and had some fantastic tales to tell. But I cannot even begin to imagine what someone must be taking to come up with the mandate that a teenager with a 77 IQ MUST pass College Prep Algebra. COLLEGE PREP FOR A 4 YEAR COLLEGE! No way in hell is that student going to attend college!

That poor student, no matter how attentive and dutiful, will NEVER learn COLLEGE PREP ALGEBRA! To the student it is frustrating to not be able to “get it”, but the school needs the test points from that student taking that subject. I say that amounts to child abuse.

Now, that is a student in a regular class, because he could not qualify for Special Ed. But, wait, it gets better! The severely learning handicapped class down the hall (IQ range 50 to 60) received materials from a $30,000 program in order to teach “Algebra” and “Geometry”. Oh, and that was besides…..and I am not making this up…learning the Periodic Table with certain elements.

I am not against having students achieve more. But education must not be the ugly, one-size-fits-all, ill fitting system it has become. The American school system should not be seen by corporations as a giant pinata, whereby if you whack away enough at it, money falls out and everyone scrambles for it.

And, lastly, education in America has never said that the only learning is within walls. Graduation was always a doorway from formal learning to informal learning. The generations of my grandparents, my parents, myself, and now my children have always continued reading, absorbing and learning after leaving a classroom. ….. My older son, in fact, hated math, hated the physical sciences (his passion was more along the lines of class clown and theater arts). After studying history in college, he started to read the histories of mathematicians and scientists, which led to self study of calculus and physics. So, for all those who say that teachers never taught them everything, or that they learned more after graduation, then I say, “Ah, good, you’ve learned the most valuable lesson!”

posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 03:17 PM
a reply to: elysiumfire

elysiumfire, your post shows much wisdom, offering the evidence as to why traditional cultures would bestow the honored title of Elder on one who reaches 55 years.

Here are two articles that discuss the sorting out (disaggregating ) of the PISA test scores to provide socio-economic context.
This is not a new phenomenon. For every administration of PISA and TIMSS, when controlling for poverty, U.S. public school students are not only competitive, they downright lead the world.

Deconstructing PISA: Implications for Education Reform and Fighting Poverty

This article is a good read re PISA and US scores:

The myth persists that once our nation led the world on international tests, but we have fallen from that exalted position in recent years.

Here is what I fear has happened with education, due to the over emphasis on test scores. Your above “good teacher” practiced the ART of teaching, looking holistically at each student, taking the student from where they were with knowledge to another level with new knowledge, using the SCIENCE of teaching to impart new knowledge. The “good teacher” now is the one who practices the SCIENCE without the ART. In fact, to some, a “good teacher” can be a computer program; but even Artificial Intelligence can never be imbued with the love and passion of a human being.

When the soul of teaching, that combination of art and science delivered with love and passion, is being harmed, teachers, such as the one whose resignation letter prompted this thread, will leave the profession before their soul dies. (The letter does bring up other factors which exhaust teachers physically, mentally, and emotionally, but the over emphasis and reliance on corporate Big Testing drives three of the five factors either directly or indirectly, and it is one demon that parents can help exorcise.)

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 10:12 AM
The standardized, one-size-fits-all, education system in the US is disintegrating before our eyes and the solution is so elusive because few understand the problem is larger and started way before "No Child Left Behind". The problem, as I see it, isn't what government has done to the education system. That very real issue is only symptomatic of a deeper issue. In Ron Paul's "The School Revolution", he writes (paraphrasing) that education began its metamorphosis when the printing press was invented and as the inventions kept rolling along our uncriticized system would only show its age more and more, especially considering the internet. Our affinity to education tradition is displayed by modern graduation adornments that hark back to Greek customs and, no insult to the beleaguered, tradition-oriented teachers, but the amphitheater style of information dissemination, and it's smaller scale derivatives, no longer fit the age we find ourselves in.

The age we find ourselves in is not only one in which education under-utilizes technology from both past and present but, additionally, progress is complicated even further because average people are drowning in a system failure on a holistic scale so thorough that any energy we have left to donate towards change is lost wandering on fractured paths.

Here is a link to an article on "unschooling" that I found uplifting and useful as I am a new father still figuring out how to navigate our difficult time:

Now in the example above, the parents had more time (and property) to aid in their children's unconventional education. Most parents who would like to go this path might object that the model is hard to follow given all responsibilities modern families have, and this then spills over into the holistic-scale degradation I alluded to. Why do we not have time to raise up our children in the way that they should go as we once did? The scale of the problem reveals itself when you enter that rabbit hole.

Off the top of my head we have the following, objectively agreed-upon, broken systems:

Education, Food, Government, Finance, Industry, Legal, Environmental and Health

This can be disheartening at first glance but the good news is that destruction paves the way for new growth and chaos at the end of outdated systems precede successive manifestation of higher order. So my hope would be that people start to think way outside the box in how they can fix these problems. We don't need a band-aid on humanity's composite system of living, much less band-aiding each of the separate parts listed above, we need a massive upgrade/restructuring to the whole thing that restores life and evolution into all of these categories simultaneously.

The only thing that comes to mind that attempts to solve all of these problems is local, community engagement and putting all our efforts into reversing the "progress" we have made over the last 150 years that distanced us from our varied forms of nourishment to the extent that we lost control of all of them. We lost control of our food quality when we refused to grow it ourselves and entrusted it to greed and over-centralized government policy. We hurt the environment because we have disconnected from it, which bred disrespect towards it, and so it's no wonder we are deaf to nature's cries. We lost control of our health because we lost control of our food. We surrendered our sovereignty by entrusting a handful of fallible citizens hundreds of miles away with policies that are enforced locally. Etc. Attempting to distill and reduce the challenges of our time, including education, to a manageable, simple game plan, returns again and again to nature's laws of energy management: local is better, centralization begets vulnerability.

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:17 AM

originally posted by: Joneselius
Imagine what would happen if a truly brilliantly educated populace emerged? What then? They're going to be asking some VERY uncomfortable questions. Things like "Why is Tony Blair and Goerge Bush not in jail"?

You should add Obama and Holder to that list as well. Funny how it always seems to be a one-sided problem.

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:41 AM
You let the few radicals alter what education is supposed to be and this is what you get. We have more social experimentation than we do actual education.

Teachers may not like what they are getting but their union dues contributed directly to their own demise. When less than 1/2 of 1%% of the population is considered mainstream and we start talking about LGBT/Transgender issues with 5 year olds, its time to scrap the whole thing. Dont tell me most teachers disagree with that because if they did they would refuse to allow it.

Then there is"FistGate

The whole system is setup to destroy children, not educate.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:27 PM
a reply to: SlickMcFavorite

Wow man...that's a lot to take in...give me a bit to take some of that in and I'll try to respond with more than this. I need to look into some of what you've presented, but I definitely have a peaked interest. Thanks for your input. I'm seeing so many new sides of this coin

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:36 PM
a reply to: truckdriver42

I see where you're coming from and certainly the Union side of things has it's validity, however not all educators are part of a union (private, catholic and charter schools) all the blame can't be on the unions.

Teachers also need to feed their family...too much rabble rousing, and we could easily be out of a job. (God knows there aren't that many replacement jobs these days)

Many of us still believe in what we do (fundamentally anyway)

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