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Why our Public School System is getting an F

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posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by xxpigxx
$75,000 AUSD? What is that in USD?

Clarifying the pay issue:

In Australia, we have automatic progression up the pay scale for teachers. There is no 'performance pay' schemes - yet. However, some governments have and are gently trying to push for it. Hopefully, it will never eventuate, as it will stir a hornet's nest of trouble, with favouritism amongst teachers being a destructive influence. Every teacher would want to take the 'best' classes to show how they are a 'great' teacher.

A graduate teacher will earn around $50,000 AUD.
A teacher of around 12 years experience will top out to about $75,000 AUD.
It roughly varies across the States, there is no Federal benchmark per-se, which is why I mention 'around' and 'about'.

Therefore, the top-line teachers earn near $40 AUD per hour.

Compare this with the local car mechanic who charges $60 per hour to fix my car and can't even spell the word 'timing' ("Timming Belt"). Dealerships charge at least $80 to $100 AUD per hour for labour costs to fix cars.

Electricians, plumbers, etc all charge at least $60 AUD or more per hour.

A 40 minute trip to the accountant to complete my tax return cost me $110 AUD.

Good private tutors are hard to find under $60 per hour.

My friend, who dropped out and did not graduate from high school, has an office job in a factory, where he earns just over $30 per hour.

Teachers in Australia are not paid as well as other professions. There has been recent suggestions from the Business Council of Australia to pay 'top' teachers around $125,000 AUD per year, as that's how much they would be worth in the private sector. However, this raises the problems of how to define what exactly makes a teacher a 'top' teacher.

While it may help, to a small extent, to attract and retain better quality teachers, it will not help the poor attitudes that many parents pass on to their children about self-learning. It will not fix the system. The system is broken and needs to be rebuilt from scratch. Just like society in general...




posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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OK, time for me to throw my 2 cents (now worth 0.0563 cents
) into the fray. This actually seems to be somewhat coincidental, because I came across a link to a group earlier today called Troops to Soldiers and it made me do some serious thinking.

The program is nothing more than a group who helps ex-military to enter a new career as teachers, complete with all the higher-education requirements and certifications that go with it. As I thought about this, I realized how this would help both students (because they are now being taught by people with a sense of honor and self-discipline, not to mention military training, which is frequently high-tech) and the ex-military personnel, who now have a rather cushy job physically (I am only referring to physical here; I am well aware that teaching is a very demanding job mentally and psychologically). But hey, why stop there?

So I thought back to my experiences with the education system, as a student. Those teachers who taught me the most were all older, seasoned people, and more often then not, they were not lifetime teachers. Each of them had worked somewhere else before becoming a teacher. My drafting instructor at the old tech school worked 30 years as a production draftsman before trying his hand at teaching, and he was perhaps the largest influence on my life of all the teachers I have known. I came out of that class with not just a three-year certificate, but an understanding of math and a confidence in myself that shot me on a skyrocketing career, owning my own design firm by the time I was 30.

In college, I met teachers who were lazy (as Prof pointed out so well), teachers who were preoccupied with getting to the next paycheck, and a few who understood the industry their classes were geared to and that showed clearly! These were the kinds of teachers you could ask a question and receive an answer, whether or not it was in a book on their shelves. They were also the ones who would take time with students who were having problems with the material, seemingly oblivious to their own lives. I admired every one of these, but at the same time felt sorry for them having to spend so much time with students while the others drank coffee and chatted.

Today I know better. I can look back on my career(s), and see how much I have to offer someone just starting out. My body is getting older; I can still do everything I used to do, but today it takes longer and hurts more. I have learned that life is more than money. And if the truth be known, I would like nothing better than to return to my old career of drafting and design, not as a worker, but as a teacher. Long hours, sure. Low pay, sure. But I own my home and have no payments. My children will be gone in a few years, busy clearing their own path through the forest of life. The prospect of a quiet peaceful life, broken by the everyday adventures of teaching young people, is appealing to me, much more so than I can imagine it being so to younger adults.

So my partial solution is this: expand that Troops to Teachers program. Take people who have had a career and now want to teach, and give them the tools to become a teacher in the fields they excelled in throughout their life. While I see no problem with lifetime teachers who really, truly, in their heart already have the desire to teach others, especially in the lower grades (K-5?) where knowledge is generalized and basic, the higher one climbs the educational ladder, the more experienced their instructors should be. We need to give a retirement option to the best and brightest from the private sector: become a teacher, and supplement that retirement while giving back the most precious gifts in the world: knowledge and wisdom. I'd love to have that option.

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
So my partial solution is this: expand that Troops to Teachers program. Take people who have had a career and now want to teach, and give them the tools to become a teacher in the fields they excelled in throughout their life.

The Victorian State Government was toying with the idea to attract life-experienced professionals from other fields to enter teaching.

They're thinking about implementing a six-week 'crash course' on the very basics of teaching, for these seasoned professionals to earn their accreditation and transfer their skills to the classroom.

It does have merit and it could work for many people. Naturally, it will be disasterous for some people though. The shock of seeing how disengaged many teenagers are would probably be daunting to some.

Statewide curriculums that funnel students into sitting standardised final-year exams do not allow for much flexibility at any level in 'normal' classrooms.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 





Spoken like a true academic


Actually, I despise US academia, and I am far from a "true academic". If you read all of my posts, you would know that. I spent the vast majority of my working life in the business world. I went to academia at the end of my career to try to make a difference. I was one of those people that did take the time to work with students that are economically disadvantaged, or lacking parental guidance. I didn't just talk the talk, I walked the walk, and that included providing students that didn't have decent clothes to wear with new clothes, and doctor visits for those that could not afford it.
Now, I don't expect all teachers to do that, but there were a handful that did. , just as there are still doctors today that make house calls, don't charge for visits if someone cannot afford it, and spend more than 30 seconds with you at an office visit. As a Christian, I believe it is my responsibility to help those that have not been blessed as much as I have, and I do it with joy.

Academia has in large part, lost it's way. Don't tell me that teachers won't do that, because when I was growing up, I DID have some teachers that went the extra effort. To this day, I believe that they helped me get to where I am in life.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 





So my partial solution is this: expand that Troops to Teachers program. Take people who have had a career and now want to teach, and give them the tools to become a teacher in the fields they excelled in throughout their life. While I see no problem with lifetime teachers who really, truly, in their heart already have the desire to teach others, especially in the lower grades (K-5?) where knowledge is generalized and basic, the higher one climbs the educational ladder, the more experienced their instructors should be. We need to give a retirement option to the best and brightest from the private sector: become a teacher, and supplement that retirement while giving back the most precious gifts in the world: knowledge and wisdom. I'd love to have that option.


That is the best idea that I've seen on this thread, Redneck, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. If such a program were implemented, the educational standard and achievement in this country would SKYROCKET.

A star from the Prof.
Good to see you again, Redneck. I've missed your posts for awhile. My best to your family.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


I think allot of what you are saying about the public school system is partly, if not entirely, due to cultural factors. Today’s youth are more interested in celebrities and other bankrupt topics instead of intellectual topics such as mathematics and science (sorry for the bias, I’m a chemist
). But it is not just the students fault. It is also the fault of the teachers, the schools administration, the parents, and the government for not properly guiding kids along the proper path.

Americas youth has very little positive influence and if things don't change we will become a nation of dummies. I fear we that we already are.

One must remember that in this universe, entropy rules. It takes work to overcome disorder.

I commend you for studying hard and learning independently. You have decreased your entropy. I will give you a star for your efforts and observations.

May I ask you what will be your major in college?



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by tezzajw

It does have merit and it could work for many people. Naturally, it will be disasterous for some people though. The shock of seeing how disengaged many teenagers are would probably be daunting to some.

No doubt it would, but I have found that one thing that seems to come naturally with age (for me anyway) is a more settled demeanor. That would (hopefully) make it easier for some of these prospective teachers to not only handle the problem you mentioned, but to actually intercept and correct it. A wise demeanor is notoriously hard to ignore, and harder to disrespect.

Teaching by the elders is a tradition that goes back to early tribal living. The young are taught by those who are too old to be physically adept anymore, but who have gained over a lifetime information to pass on. As the younger members grew, they became workers, making their lives for themselves and establishing a place in the tribe. As they aged and their physical prowess was superseded by younger adults, their knowledge became their chief skill, and as they aged even more, they became honored teachers of the next generation of youths, who started the cycle all over again, but this time with more lifetimes of knowledge and wisdom than those who came before.

Even today, we see this re-enacted over and over in the traditional family unit. Junior receives primary guidance and discipline from the parents, but the knowledge and wisdom comes from the gray-haired gent sitting in his rocking chair, soothing those arthritic joints. That old man has something more precious than silver and gold: knowledge and wisdom from his life that he happily imparts to Junior. A generation later, Junior is now the parent and his parents are giving that knowledge and wisdom to Junior's children. Next it will be Junior's turn to sit in the rocking chair. And so it goes in a never-ending cycle.


Statewide curriculums that funnel students into sitting standardised final-year exams do not allow for much flexibility at any level in 'normal' classrooms.

Oh, you brought up another huge problem with the schools here in the USA. I remember when my kids started school, the principle was a middle-aged man with an iron fist and a huge heart. He instituted a reading program for all the students. Each book in the library had a comprehension test associated with it in the computer (randomized to prevent cheating). A child could check out a book, read it, take the test, and if they passed, they were awarded a set number of points, based on the book and how far above their grade level it was considered.

Just outside the office was a huge mural of a racetrack painted on the wall. each student had a picture of a car (which they could decorate any way they wanted) that was affixed with double-sided tape. Each week, the results of the previous week were reviewed and the cars would move across the tack toward a finish line. The winner in each grade received recognition in the achievement ceremony held once per year, and the overall winner received an actual trophy! In addition to that, each student who was A/B or better for one semester was allowed to paint his handprint on the wall opposite the race track, with his name underneath it. Each semester, this handprint would bear the year of his achievement, and there were soon many who had year stamps all over those handprints.

For the few who were all A's, there was a plaque containing several little brass nameplates, and their names would be engraved and displayed proudly on this "Ultimate Achievers' list. Between these three things, which cost almost nothing to implement, the reading ability of the school was recognized several years as one of the best in the state.

The next principal was a younger woman, with very 'progressive' ideas, who saw all this as foolishness. Despite protests from parents and teachers, she painted over the walls and removed the plaques. The reading level dropped back to what it once was within a few years.

We don't need more money, we need to learn to recognize and reward those who do their jobs like that first principal.
--------------------------------
reply to post by ProfEmeritus

Good to see you as well, my friend. I imagine we have simply been missing each other. That, and I am attempting to build a few projects before my savings run out and I have to find another job.

We haven't discussed it that I remember, but somehow I just knew you were one of those professors who came from reality.


TheRedneck


[edit on 16-10-2008 by TheRedneck]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
Guess this is proof that money does not provide quality education. So, throwing more money at the problem won't solve the problem. ...


I disagree somewhat.

It does matter in the way that if you, as parent, can afford the reputationable institutions, your kid will have the benefits of a true education.

And it does matter on how the money being 'thrown' at education by the taxpayers is spent. If they rather spend the money on true propaganda posters then on teaching aids and materials, you can throw as much money at it as you'd like, you'd still end up with uneducated children.

For me, it was a teacher like ProfEmeritus who encouraged me to look beyond the veil of the superficial. So, one person can make a difference, especially one who is responsible for our education.

Education has become indoctrination, and when using indoctrination, having a smart, inquisitive audience is destructive to the efforts.. so the target audience is served bollocks while getting to pay for the pleasure, and the fortunate few are allowed into the temples of knowledge and learning.

That's just my take on it, anywayz.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
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.


How is this any different than adults though? Instead of those things, adults are concerned with their house, car, TV, garden, cooking, ect. So how is this a valid argument, we expect kids to act differently than those whose education days are long gone? Education should be a life long process and students shouldn't have to sacrifice things they enjoy just so they can be "educated" whatever the heck that means. If you plan on making kids focus on learning and forgetting about the things they enjoy and make life worth living, that isn't going to work. That is why education should be fun, so they will work on it during school and after when they are done with formal education.

How are the things that kids enjoy petty? Are the things you enjoy petty? Probably not, yet we want our kids to let go of those things so that they can "learn". It doesn't make sense.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by ghaleon12]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by Phatcat
 





And it does matter on how the money being 'thrown' at education by the taxpayers is spent. If they rather spend the money on true propaganda posters then on teaching aids and materials, you can throw as much money at it as you'd like, you'd still end up with uneducated children.


That is an excellent point, even at the college level. It just seems like in many cases, appearances are more important than substance. For instance, at the college I taught at the administration was always throwing money at new administration buildings, while our classrooms were overloaded for lack of enough classrooms.
It seems that they think that new buildings with grand architecture will entice parents to send their children to the school. Unfortunately, they are right in many cases. I know many high schools are also more interested in things like a new football field, etc. than in bringing computers into the school. I used to get so frustrated at our school board, because they spent over one million dollars for a new football field and stands, but had no computer classes in the high school. I used to ask them how many students will make it to the NFL, versus how many would need computer skills in their adult life. It didn't change their minds. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against school sports. It's just that they could have continued to play on the field they had, and it wouldn't have affected their play(they were terrible before and after the new field-honestly). They never won more than 2 games a year out of 10 or so, but they played, and sometimes learning to lose, is more important than learning to win.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by ghaleon12
 





That is why education should be fun, so they will work on it during school and after when they are done with formal education.


BINGO!

A good teacher will always find ways to encompass what interests students into lessons and assignments.
For instance, if you are teaching history, and students seem interested in music, weave the history of music into the lesson and assignmemnt. Assign them to research how music affected history. Have them research and report on three musical scores developed out of historical events.(e.g.The Star Spangled Banner, etc.)
If you're a computer science teacher and teaching database development, have them set up a database of their favorite music, by title, author, genre, etc.
If a student is interested in cooking or baking, have them create a database of recipes by ingredients, by title, by category(appetizer, main course, dessert, etc.)

Be creative as a teacher. Otherwise, it will be BORING, a WORD ALL students know all too well.

Make it fun AND USEFUL.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:40 PM
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I personally think that there are too many variables involved for a simple answer. I was lucky.

Growing up in the military and going to DOD schools where there were consequences for bad behavior and bad grades definately helped. Because your father, (who was usually the one in the military) career could be hurt by your actions, you were always doing what you were supposed to do. There was also corporal punishment. Basically there was alot more discipline involved, from the student, from the parents, and from the faculty.

When my father retired I went from a DOD school to a "civilian" school and it was unbelievable. I had to do things over as a junior that I had already done as a freshman. Money and consistency is just as important as discipline. Even though a student on average moved every 3-4 years when their parents were reassigned you still kept up with the pace from one school to the next.

More money needs to be put into education, more federal regulation needs to be imposed on what is taught and when, and more strict guidelines on behavior need to adhered to.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:55 PM
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More money should be spent on smaller charter schools and alternative schools. That way kids can have more choice on where they go, like college. The smaller setting really helps the students and teachers I find. A lot of students just "put up" with schooling but if a student finds a school unsatisfactory for whatever reason, he could always switch school if there was more selection. Federal regulation needs to be downsized, it is way too controlling. Ron Paul promotes this too, the DoE is just a oversized bureaucracy and the students suffer because it is totally impersonal. Less guidelines on behavior would help in my opinion. The extent that school officials in high school and under can control behavior is a bit ridiculous. If letting a kid wear a hat in school allows him to find school a little more tasteful, I say go for it.

Blaming parents isn't going to solve anything, might as well be blaming God.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by ghaleon12]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Sorry, I wasn't trying to insult you by calling you an academic.

I still believe that most of the problem lies with the family not preparing their children properly for school.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by capgrup
 


Good point actually..

I was raised in a system where the teacher could get fired if he laid a hand on me, and to be honest, at times it brought out the worst in me.
Because I had not yet learned restraint. I felt I could do anything as long as I did not hurt someone or caused damage.

I claim mitigating circumstances though because the curriculum was so mindnumbingly easy in public schools, and the teachers just so clueless.

At home though I knew if I'd pull a fraction of what I pulled at school I'd get a good old fashioned 'whooping, my mother was fanatical about me performing well at school. She knew how much that much vaunted piece of paper called a diploma is worth.. too bad for me at the time I was way too ignorant and self-confident, to truly believe her.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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How about we have all kids take a test after they're done with the first year of kindergarten, by that time we should know their potential. The bottom 10% are obviously hopeless or have some form of mental retardation, so we stick them in cages with electric shockers for when they misbehave or aren't performing to the trainer's expectations. The middle 80% have some potential, but still need some work. They don't need cages but we can still help them progress by giving ADHD meds and antidepressants. If they have any qualms we aid them by increasing the dosage. The top 10% are the future of our country and will be controlling these freaks after they are out of the education system. So they can get treated nicely and get automatic passing grades in all classes. It's essentially a 3 tiered education system so it allows a good deal of flexibilty for students. This should work out nicely.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by ghaleon12]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 





Sorry, I wasn't trying to insult you by calling you an academic.


I know. I'm just sensitive to that label because I spent so much time fighting the real academics. No offense taken. You hit one of my few buttons that gets a rise out of me. My comments to you weren't meant as a rebuke, believe me.

Redneck, your quote is priceless:



Junior receives primary guidance and discipline from the parents, but the knowledge and wisdom comes from the gray-haired gent sitting in his rocking chair, soothing those arthritic joints. That old man has something more precious than silver and gold: knowledge and wisdom from his life that he happily imparts to Junior. A generation later, Junior is now the parent and his parents are giving that knowledge and wisdom to Junior's children. Next it will be Junior's turn to sit in the rocking chair. And so it goes in a never-ending cycle.


Been there, done that, and boy do the bones ache, but it's great to know that even though my kids think my wife and I are stupid, our grandchildren KNOW BETTER.

Grandchildren are God's way of getting back at your kids.

capgrup:



I personally think that there are too many variables involved for a simple answer. I was lucky.

Yes, that is true, but I think many of the posters here have given great partial solutions to the dilemma we have today.

In fact ghaleon12 has another part of the solution:



More money should be spent on smaller charter schools and alternative schools


What I like about that, is that it would force the substandard schools to come up to par, if they lost students. It would put a natural pressure on the unions to actually try to encourage a higher standard of teaching, or suffer loss of membership.

I'll say it again, unions are a big part of the problems we have today in the public schools. They oppose charter schools, and were behind the efforts in California and other states to outlaw homeschooling, or severely restrict it.
For those not familiar with what happened in California, here is the thread I created about that situation, if anyone wants the background:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by LiquidMirage
 


I'm hoping to major in Marketing (money to be made), and I've always kind of been interested in the art of business. I might minor in Political Communication. I'm hoping to attend Emerson College next fall.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 





'm hoping to major in Marketing (money to be made), and I've always kind of been interested in the art of business. I might minor in Political Communication. I'm hoping to attend Emerson College next fall.

To the best of my knowledge, Emerson doesn't offer a Marketing or Business major. They are introducing a minor in business, but not a major. If you are interested in business, are you sure that Emerson is where you want to go?



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by Phatcat

I was raised in a system where the teacher could get fired if he laid a hand on me, and to be honest, at times it brought out the worst in me.
Because I had not yet learned restraint. I felt I could do anything as long as I did not hurt someone or caused damage.

Ah, and here we have another aspect of the problem. Discipline.

In my day, it was well understood that, although we were sort of rough, if any of us got a paddling at school, we would get a WHOOPING at home. As such, I think a lot of the teachers actually let us get away with a few minor infractions because they knew what would happen otherwise. A paddling was a major deal, and they were given out cautiously, but generously when needed.

In contrast, the attitude with my kids in school is that a paddling is no big deal unless the parents sue you for it. So there is no real sympathy for the kid that finally gets one, and paddlings are generally withheld until the last possible moment. I, in my infinite stubbornness, decreed to my kids the same thing my father decreed to me: get in trouble at school and you're in bigger trouble when you get home. I explained this to the kids' teachers. Apparently no one either believed me, or they didn't understand what I meant.

To make a long story shorter, one day my son got a paddling for fighting. He was scared to death when he got home, and begged me to hear out his side of the story. I did, and come to find out, he was defending himself against an attack by a well-known bully. The principal admitted his opponent was known to be a bully and had been seen picking on my son. But the bully did not get the paddling because the only punch the teachers saw was my son's (which apparently ended the fight, and the bully's reign of terror).

I was horrified. I was about to severely punish my son for simply defending himself! My first impulse was to transfer that beating to the principal, but somehow I managed to ignore that urge. Instead, I changed my decree to 'if you get in trouble for good reason'... not as effective, I'd wager, but apparently required today.

Now, will someone please explain to me how I, as a parent, am supposed to back up the teachers at that school when they mete out punishment so unfairly?

TheRedneck



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