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Why our Public School System is getting an F

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posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:48 AM
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Do you think any of this might have to do with the attitude of the students. No one is going to force someone to learn anything. If it was solely the system then no bright or educated graduates would result.

But, in fairness, the system does have some serious defects. I do have family and friends who work in the Houston school system and thing are not peachy.




posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by roadgravel
Do you think any of this might have to do with the attitude of the students. No one is going to force someone to learn anything. If it was solely the system then no bright or educated graduates would result.


No . . . the kids will learn if they are engaged. The problem is that they all know that all the schooling is for nothing . . . except to pass a damn test. Even the worst kids can be taught in school (there are many movies on teachers who bucked the system, got crap for it, and actually taught the kids something worthwhile).

There are teachers that try and do this in my own district, and the are clamped down on by the system.

Every student can be taught something.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by tezzajw
 





However, the above quote is where I differ from you.

Teachers ARE NOT slaves. Teachers in Victorian schools are paid an annual salary based on 38 hours per week. A standard, top level teacher will earn around $75,000 AUD, thereabouts. Many teachers will spend at least 8 hours per day on campus, following that up with perhaps another 10 hours per week at home doing corrections/preparations. That's already a 50 hour week. In any case, I know that it would be near impossible to get the basic job done without at least spending 40 hours per week on task.

Expecting a teacher to impinge upon their personal life and family time, by demanding that they do more work is wholly unreasonable. Teachers can not apply for over-time rates, as they are paid by salary, not as an hourly wage-earner.

Teachers are paid a bare minimum, compared to other professions. Other professions often reward extra work with bonuses or over-time payments. Teachers do not have this luxury.


I agree with what you said above.
Remember, I taught at a college, where the average teaching load was 15 hours a week. You have to understand that those hours are almost never consecutive. In fact, the union that I was forced to pay dues to(because I worked in a "Fair share" state),even though I refused to join the union, would not allow 3 consecutive classes to be on your schedule. Each "hour was actually only 50 minutes. Thus, there was plenty of slack time between classes for prep, etc. These people were there anyway, but they would rather "coffee clutch than spend time with students. Now, yes that is their right, I guess, but my philosophy was that I was there anyway, and I really wanted my students to succeed.
Furthermore, I can tell you that I taught at a 4-year state college, and our top salary wasn't even CLOSE to the figure you quoted.

Let me tell you another problem related to their laziness and how it negatively affected the student. Many of my colleagues would give assignments, and NOT grade them, but would just put a check mark on the top of the assignment and return them. It doesn't take long for students to see through that, and soon students were turning in everything from embedded emails to large "copy and pastes" from the internet. My students knew that I would grade and comment on every assignment, with written suggestions as to how to improve each point, etc. Now, you would think that students might shy away from my classes, and go with the easy A's, but that was not the case. In fact, my classes were overloaded, because students knew that when they graduated, nice high-paying jobs would be waiting for them, if they did well in my classes. I had the added advantage of having over 30 years of business experience, and was able to place virtually ALL of my good students in great jobs and careers.

There was one teacher there that only gave a final exam about a week before the semester ended. Furthermore, he gave the same exam every semester. He would actually correct it, and return it to the students. Anyone not happy with their grade, would be allowed to re-take the exact same exam. EVERYONE in his class got an A-EVERYONE., and the union backed him up when a few of us complained that it was hurting the students. The union and the teacher claimed "ACADEMIC FREEDOM".
Yes, I could write a book about colleges, but my family and I would probably not survive the assault by the unions and their lawyers. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Unions have no place in the teaching profession, and they are part of the reason that America's schools have gone downhill.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 





Even the worst kids can be taught in school (there are many movies on teachers who bucked the system, got crap for it, and actually taught the kids something worthwhile).


Absolutely true. I WAS one of those teachers, and they tried to make my life miserable. Fortunately, I had great students that supported me, and a Dean that knew who was helping the students. If not for the students and the Dean, I wouldn't have lasted a year there.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:13 PM
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$75,000 AUSD? What is that in USD?

Teachers in my district make $24k-35k


The Superintendent makes ~$125k. Her assistants make ~$90k. Principals make ~$60k.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 


The Australian dollar is worth about 70 cents in US dollars, so $75,000 AU translates to about $52,500 US dollars.

HOWEVER, I should point out that in July of 2008, the exchange rate was close to even, that is, $1 US = $1 Australian. I suspect that the figure quoted was for the last pay available, which would mean that their top teachers were making $75,000 US, as of the end of the last school year. The US dollar has gained tremendously versus almost all foreign currencies in the last month.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by ProfEmeritus]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Thank you for the info. What we make in our district seems like very little, it is more than what most people here in deep south Texas make. Here, if you make over $40-50k, you are categorized as rich. If you make more than $150k, you are one of the elite. No one can really fathom more than that down here.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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So, I'm not going along with the flow from this post.

Both of my kids did great in the public school system. Why, you might ask?

It starts before they went to school. We read to our kids. We did things with our kids that stimulated interesting conversations.

Then they went to public schools. But we took an interest in all the things that they did. We looked over the things that they produced in school and used positive reinforcement. They both graduated at the top of their High School classes.

They both went on to graduate degree at college with high or highest honors upon graduation.

You can blame the public schools all you want but I think that it is the families responsibility to instill the desire to learn and then provide a home where education has a high value.

Children are out biggest treasure. So, enjoy them and make them want to learn and be successful. That is not the responsibility of the public educational system. Your children must be ready and eager to learn then nothing will stand in their way.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 





Thank you for the info. What we make in our district seems like very little, it is more than what most people here in deep south Texas make. Here, if you make over $40-50k, you are categorized as rich. If you make more than $150k, you are one of the elite. No one can really fathom more than that down here.


I know, and it is a disgrace that teachers aren't paid more. I always liked the bumper sticker that said "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance".
The point is that good teachers have the same work to do, regardless of the state that they are in, but there is a a huge difference in pay from state to state, much wider than the cost of living would account for. It is a matter of attitude of the school boards, in my opinion. This is what taxing at the local level does, as far as education is concerned. It hurts the teacher.
And yes, I know all the arguments that will pop up when I talk like this, such as giving up local control, etc. It doesn't have to be that way- it is purely a tactic used to keep teacher pay down.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 





You can blame the public schools all you want but I think that it is the families responsibility to instill the desire to learn and then provide a home where education has a high value.


That's great that you did that.
HOWEVER, what about parents that CAN'T help their children, either because they're working 3 jobs, or maybe they DIDN'T have the opportunity to get educated themselves?
Although I was born in the US, my family wasn't and could not even finish high school, because they had to support their parents, because they were poor. MY parents loved me, but never had the time to get that education, and had to both work so hard that I basically raised myself. I think I did fairly well for myself. Guess what, back when I went to school, you actually learned how to diagram a sentence, spell, learn grammar, and learn math without a calculator. There were no unions then, and teachers taught because they wanted to teach, and weren't diverted by bogus "no child left behind" programs, where number crunching test scores was not important, but true learning WAS.

That is the world I came from. How many children today have to quit school to help support their parents? It is a much higher number than you would like to believe.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 


Public schools have a lot of the blame. There are a lot of problems with the system. It's more concerned about statistics than the individual student. If it isn't the purpose of public education to help them learn and make them successful, I really fail to see why it exists in the first place. It's a waste of time if that's true.

A lot of the kids that do poorly in public education have parents that did the same thing you have done, everyone reads to their children. A lot of the kids that don't do well are actually smarter than those that do do well in school, from my experience. Success is a bit ambiguous. Some think knowing calculus IV is smart and therefor successful, I don't.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by ghaleon12]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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My take on this is short: parents.

I was raised in a relatively poor neighborhood, the school was so-so and it was not popular with my peers to be a good student. Still, my parents managed to give me enough structure in life to do all homework to the T, and you know what... That alone is almost enough to master anything. I always did well in school, for that reason. And I had a mixed bag of teachers...

So in present day America, a lot of parents resign from the duty to do something along these lines. No amount of money will fix that.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 


I'm sure it all depends on what schools and colleges they graduated from, as well.

Why do you think there are elite schools? And that's not a national critiscism, this is propably a global phenom.

I have experienced both, here in Belgium, and I can't even begin to explain how much of a 'culture shock' you get if you started out life in the public school system and then get tossed into the Catholic system.
Best way to describe it would be if you try to imagine a rock thrown into a pond.


It is no coïncidence all our leaders stem from colleges like Yale, Oxford or MIT in my humble opinion.

I loved reading the thread by the way, some great posts. I'll keep my eyes on this thread.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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The system can't rely on parents though, because parents will do as they please, so it shouldn't be even considered when trying to fix a problem. A kid who has parents that don't help him in school shouldn't fail because of it.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by ghaleon12
 


That . . . then you add to the equation that many (most) parents think that their kids are perfect little angels, and it is the teacher bullying them, and everyone is persecuted, etc.



Don't get me wrong. I did not do to well in school. My parents tried to help. We were not the poorest people around. My problem was that I was too smart. Everything bored me. I heard it in class, and I retained it. Homework was a bunch of BS. I think I turned in two or three homework assignments throughout high school. I aced the tests, though . . . never making below an A.

College? I have tried three times. Same thing. I get bored with it. I know how to program. I know how to build troubleshoot computers. I know how to play every instrument in a high school marching band, plus guitar, bass, and piano. I know how to work with kids of all levels. I know how to survive in the wild. I know how to debate, and I know how to take care of myself. And that is not even scratching the surface of my knowledge. Can't fix an engine for crap, though! lol


So does that make me less of a person? Even though I know and have applied all of this information, I am still only able to work at McDonald's, or as a school bus driver or custodian?


That is also part of the reason the system is screwed. Pushing to get everyone a college degree.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 


Problem being some of the thing I posted on the last page. People have to go to college nowadays if they want to maintain a good standard of living. Even if you get a 4-year degree though, it doesn't mean they will be getting a decent paying job. Yet they still have to pay huge college loans, and salaries are decreasing or stagnant it seems for a lot of the jobs out there.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 02:49 PM
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Guess this is proof that money does not provide quality education. So, throwing more money at the problem won't solve the problem. I see the main problems being:

1) Motivating students to learn. Right now they are more concerned with their video games, clothes, drugs, friends, enemies, movies, music, and other petty concerns.

2) Getting parents involved in their child's education. Right now they feel once their child enters the public education system, it's a total hands off approach.

3) Teachers need to get motivated in the subjects they're teaching. There is way too much teaching out of the book, rather that student involvement and real world nonpartisan useful teaching. Taking your class to a lesbian wedding is not useful. And neither is "vomiting" all your partisan political views all over your students. That only demotivates students even more than they already are.

What needs to happen is make the school systems, teachers, and parents responsible for the "product" they produce at the high school graduation ceremony. This is a team effort between the 3, and it is definitely failing.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by ghaleon12
 


Do I really need a degree to program a computer?

Do I need a degree in auto mechanics?

Do I need a degree in law enforcement to be a cop?

Do I need a degree in kinesthetics to be a coach?



Soon we will need a degree to work in McDonald's.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:00 PM
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I would be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers for the educational system in our country.

But I still think that the family is responsible for equipping their children with the desire to learn as well as instilling in them the importance of education.

One other thing that I think would be very productive for this country is to recognize that a one size fits all solution will not work. Not all kids are going to grow up and attend college. Therefore we need to provide alternatives like trade schools so that those kids can have a career when they get out of school. Just look at all the ads that are on TV for technical schools. Why isn't this included as an option at high school for those students who might view a career as a tradesman as a great opportunity.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Spoken like a true academic. Not all children will have the opportunities that I provided my kids. However, for the families that are overextended financially and don't have the time to invest in their children what school system would work?

No school system will have the resources to address the individual requirements for each and every one of their students. Right now, we have huge problems in many school districts. There is unemployment, single parent families, drug use by parents, parents that never were accomplished as students. What can be done for these children? I don't have the answer and as far as I can tell, I haven't seen a school district that has been able to adequately address those issues either.

There was one program in a large city near where I live that has a pilot program to help disadvantaged families. The families would have to volunteer to be helped. The program provided two people who would go to the families homes and help them create an environment that favored education. It taught the parent(s) how to recognize and reward academic achievement in their children. It also provided resources, mainly books, for the home for the children to use. This was a costly program and could not be continued however the families that first volunteered saw good progress and achievement of their children.



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