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What is wrong with education?

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posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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Today, while perusing the "Funny" thread by Signals, I happened upon this image:



It is fairly vogue nowadays to talk about the lackluster parenting skills of "modern parents". There are two views that most espouse simultaneously in regards to "then vs. now"

a. That people "then" were dumber. We are so much smarter nowadays, what with our fancy baubles and ability to accumulate a collective knowledgbase.
b. That people now are "dumber". What with the lazy parenting we see, and the dumb kids with their loud rap n roll music and baggy pants

What we don't consider in point a is that we only feel smarter because we DO have a well documented collective knowledgebase. You don't actually know more. You just know different stuff because you have technological "cheaters" to help you with other stuff.

In point b, we forget that toys like Jarts were available to me when I was a kid. Jarts are lawn darts. You throw them up in the air and try to hit the inside of a ring on the ground 20 yards away. Your friend is standing next to the ring. THe Jart is a plastic fin around a heavy metal spike. Yes. A heavy metal spike. I used to have a blast playing with my Jarts. No one died, mostly because me and my friends weren't morons.

In any event, it is a smugness driven by ego that leads one to believe that "then vs now" is that much different, other than just the times. So I would typically bristle at the above image. But not in this case. And I bet my reasoning is not going to be what any of you think.

No, i totally disagree with what that image is trying to portray. BUt I don't disagree with what it is saying. Nowadays parents DO hold the teacher accountable for poor performance. I know I tend to. And it isn't because I withold accountability on my kids. It is because the schools have begun teaching in ways that I cannot help tutor.

I am what most who know me would consider a pretty smart feller (not a fart smeller). Yet when I tried to help my kids with their math homework, they failed. Why?

Well, we would get the right answer. But the way we worked out the equation didn't meet their standards. The methodology I learned to do math with is not the methodology currently in practice, apparently. So despite getting the right answers, my kids were failing the paper for not "doing the proper work" (multiple teachers over multiple years in multiple school districts in 2 states....so I can't blame the district, state, or teacher).

Beyond that, we have a state run "gradebook" where the teachers are to enter grades. Parents can check these on the internet using a login account. At first i thought "awesome". I tried to approach it like an employee. We would sit down and print out the scores, and have a coaching and counseling session. This would teach them to recieve positive feedback while allowing me to instill my logic in them on performance management.

Problem with this: teachers only enter grades every couple of weeks.

Well hell. How does that help? By the time I see the grades, reports are coming out already and we can't effect any change. I am unable to teach my kid performance management skills which will help them for life in real life situations.

So you are damned right I am blaming teachers for my kids failures. Teachers have stopped communicating with me, saying that they have this gradebook now. Thus the state has increased workload since not as much parent teacher time is needed. So this really cool email thing....goes unused. I send emails to them that never get answered. Until I have to report it to the principle. Then my kid tells me the teachers are treating them differently.

I blame the teacher for not using their tools. For not informing me and communicating with me before there is a problem. For not taking enough of a concern for their kids to grade daily and enter scores daily. For teaching them facts which are not true (and have been multiple times proven untrue, because it drives me nuts the garbage they teach my kids) and mathematical models that I am unfamiliar with.

Mind you, my son doesn't get a free pass either. But how the hell do I NOT blame the person who can't even give me the courtesy of a reply. Or who has lost homework that I help him complete myself (multiple times over multiple years)?




posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


But a lot of time even the teachers at fault too I can give an example:

www.necn.com...




(NECN/WLOS) - A middle school teacher's controversial style of educating has him in hot water with one parent. Rex Roland teaches sixth grade at Enka Middle School in Candler, North Carolina. Parent Patty Clement said Roland wrote "loser" in red ink after correcting her daughter's paper.

"I went to the principal in November and complained," Clement said. "She said she would put a stop to it." A few weeks ago, another of 11-year-old Heather Clement's graded assignment made its way home and at the top of the page was a step beyond the original -- "minus 20% for being a loser."

The word "loser" underlined twice and capitalized. Mrs. Clement called the assistant superintendent, then met with the principal and Mr. Roland. She said Roland apologized and said it was his way of joking with students. To Mrs. Clement, the practice is unacceptable. "Suspend him," she said. "Make him think about what he has done -- the severity of this."

The Buncombe County School District released a statement saying that it was a personnel matter that is being looking in to. The school's Web site says Roland has been teaching at Enka Middle School for 12 years. Clement said that teachers should inspire, not degrade and bully young children. "This is telling her that you're a loser, you're not going to go anywhere," Clement said. She had her daughter removed from Mr. Roland's class. Some parents defend his teaching style, calling it his way of relating to his students. None of them would go on camera in his defense.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Also this







During a telephone interview, 42-year-old Imelda Paredes, a Spanish teacher at San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy, confirmed that she was the educator in question. The video, filmed by one of her students on Monday, shows Paredes begin a discussion about Jesus Christ and how he was in love with Mary Magdalene, a conspiracy theory popularized by Dan Brown’s fictional novel, The Da Vinci Code. But the discussion soon turned bizarre when Paredes, who was speaking in Spanish during the majority of the 12-minute video, said that Mary Magdalene is not dead but instead reincarnated in different people. “Soy yo (It is I),” Paredes said in Spanish, claiming she was the reincarnated Mary Magdalene and that Jesus Christ, who she claimed was in love with her, was planning on taking her to another planet where they would marry and conceive a child.


sbnewspaper.com...
edit on 1-7-2013 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:22 PM
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One off teachers acting like jerks is not a big deal. People are people, and individuals tend to vary regardless of groups.

The things I mention tend to run through multiple districts, in multiple states.

I am grilling burgers now, but a bit later will post something else related to federal management of education.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


The biggest problem when it come teachers is that students are sometimes given horrible teachers. I have a friend who had this so called English Teacher that teaches environmentalism instead no essays or anything relating to the English Subject just watching documentaries about environmentalism and doing beach clean ups and the issue it's an English Class for Pete's Sake!

Not to mention American Education system only barely teaches you how to think critically.
edit on 1-7-2013 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:30 PM
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So you are damned right I am blaming teachers for my kids failures. Teachers have stopped communicating with me, saying that they have this gradebook now. Thus the state has increased workload since not as much parent teacher time is needed. So this really cool email thing....goes unused. I send emails to them that never get answered. Until I have to report it to the principle. Then my kid tells me the teachers are treating them differently.

I blame the teacher for not using their tools. For not informing me and communicating with me before there is a problem. For not taking enough of a concern for their kids to grade daily and enter scores daily. For teaching them facts which are not true (and have been multiple times proven untrue, because it drives me nuts the garbage they teach my kids) and mathematical models that I am unfamiliar with.

Mind you, my son doesn't get a free pass either. But how the hell do I NOT blame the person who can't even give me the courtesy of a reply. Or who has lost homework that I help him complete myself (multiple times over multiple years)?


Have you brought this up with your child's teacher? If so, how did she respond? You can also contact the principal and let them know your concerns.

It's interesting to read about the problem in math. Math pedagogy has radically changed. Most of us "older" folks learned to do math by a formulaic approach. Now we teach math differently, trying to help the students understand the "why" behind the formula.

When it comes to solving real life math problems, there's usually more than one feasible strategy. I teach multiple strategies, bc each child understands things differently. The more strategies the child can draw upon, the more likely they are to solve the problem. As for how they solve it....that is of less importance SO LONG AS THE METHOD THEY CHOSE IS CORRECT. I tell my students math is like driving to Walmart; multiple routes that all lead to the same destination.

In defense of teachers, I will say that the workload is extreme and increasing constantly. Just as an example, but I arrive at school by 6:30 and rarely leave before 5:00.... and then I take work home every night and on the weekends. It takes roughly 45 minutes to plan and prepare a lesson, and the average elementary teacher must plan between 8-15 lessons a day. Then there's grading, newsletters to write, school paperwork and red tape from the government to complete. Not to mention the mandatory meetings twice a week after school.

I hope you get this issue resolved, but please do talk to the teacher. Explain your frustrations and concerns, and hopefully you'll get a positive response.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


But there are times when we cannot trust teachers if that's the case what should we do?



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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well im in Australia but we have similar problems here. Problem is that resources are very stretched, more students per class than before, less funding etc. We actually are in the middle of an education reform at the moment driven by a report called the Gonski Report, which recommended huge changes to the way schools and funding are managed.

Personally in Australia i hate how the funding works, private schools that are very wealthy are given a disproportionate amount of funding compared to government schools, we are talking millions and millions in subsitied each year for schools that have their own olympic grade swimming and diving facilities, while thise in public school go to class in demountable portable buildings.

Not sure how relevant it is but i saw the documentary ''waiting for Superman'' about the state of education in America, if you havent seen it its well worth a watch.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by starwarsisreal
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


But there are times when we cannot trust teachers if that's the case what should we do?


Go to the principal. If that doesn't work, school superintendent, then school board, then press. But generally speaking, the principal will take care of the problem.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


It's called "No Child Left Behind".

Ever since its inception schools through out the country have steadily gone down hill.

Unfortunate I would not call Home Schooling a viable alternative. I have witnessed several bad examples of home schooled child. It is not a pretty sight. Acedemically speaking the requirements are way to mild. There is no real challenge and no motivation to excel, just acomplish.

Maybe one of these days we will see what has happened to our schools and make the neccesary changes, although I am not holding my breath.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Smylee....you seem like a good teacher. And there have been a few along the way for my boys. For the most part, however, I am let down.

I typically do the old "meet 'em face to face and give a firm handshake" on the Meet the Teacher night. I am a performance manager. I manage the teachers (and school) quite vigorously. Some folks like to be likened to a bulldog. I am more of a sheep dog. I just constantly nip at their flanks until they move where they need to be.

Thus, some of my kids teachers have hated me. But most appreciate my engagement. Because if the teacher will let me know before the ship gets off course, I will be all over my kid. If they don't, then that attention gets shared with both of them. It is much less effective for me, and far more aggrevating for them.

Problem is, teachers get a lot of leeway. We are in the sticks. No one wants to live here, really. It is hard to recruit for this area. Especially now that the oil boom is back and housing is nonexistent.

So I complain. The principle does something. But he only does so much. I know the principle very well. His younger brother, the athletic director, was my coach back when I was an all state player in high school. They are both very good men who have done well. The assistant principle knows me well, too. We were neighbors back in the day. He is a good man, too (with a fairly famous son in the NFL).

It isn't that administration doesn't care (although the superintendent was recently released for being a bone head). It is that the teachers can get away with quite a bit due to being in an employees market.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 09:12 PM
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Once again, I must blame Texas.

www.nybooks.com...

Sorry BFT, but once again, Texas is an embarrassment to our nation.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 10:09 PM
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I guess it depends are where you are at.
Dealing with unions on teachers is a joke in our school district.
They can't be fired for being a bad teacher,just re-assigned.
That means going to a different school or at worst,going to the basement of bad teachers to push paper.

My wife is one of those that can re-assign bad teachers,but her hands are tied due to the teachers union.
Unions are bad for kids.
I'm an union guy myself,in the International Union of Elevator Constructors,and I see what they do first hand.
Granted,my pay and benefits are great,but they are blind and hurt themselves by protecting bad employees.

Quality,not quantity is key.

It's our kid's,for god's sake!

It's all about student achievement numbers,which means downplaying the true numbers in order to get more funding.

Kids are lost in the pile of paperwork.
The games that are played behind the scene will amaze you.

Don't get me wrong,my wife truly cares about the kids and all,but the hoops she has to jump through to get the assistance they need met are amazing.

It's all a dog and pony show.

BTW,she got out of administration because of the circus and has become a resource teacher at a local elementary school and the testing scores have increased for that one school.

Peace,
K



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 
I understand your frustration. When my youngest was in elementary school at progress report time she was failing math. I sat her down and asked her what the problem was and she said she didn't understand division and that her math teacher would not explain to her further. So I did what any parent would do- I taught her how to do division the way I was taught, and within a couple of hours not only could she do simple division but was able to do long division complete with decimals and do it correctly! She told me that the way I taught her was easy, but she didn't understand the way the teacher was telling the class to do it.

When it came time for her next big math test my daughter came home in tears. She had answered every single equation correctly and had shown all of her work, but because she did not use the method the teacher wanted she was only given a score of 50%- a failing grade. I had a conference with the teacher and she would not budge, insisting that the problems be worked in her particular fashion and the principal agreed. Solution: My other daughter who understood the method did her sister's homework to be turned in to the teacher and my youngest did her homework in the method she understood, turning the work in to me. She failed every test with a grade of 50% for the rest of the school year but passed the class because every one of the rest of her grades were 100%.

The following school year they started teaching the rest of the kids what my daughter had already learned from me. Her average for the school year was a perfect 100% and she received an award for having the highest math average out of every student in her grade. I don't understand why schools insist on the things they do anymore, but I know I am absolutely dreading the day my grandkid starts school!



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 10:30 PM
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Don't get me wrong,my wife truly cares about the kids and all,but the hoops she has to jump through to get the assistance they need met are amazing.
reply to post by kdog1982
 


A direct result of the No Child Left Behind hoopla.

School funding, teacher jobs, etc are tied in to student performance on achievement tests. Never mind that achievement tests don't truly measure a student's learning.....and student growth is rarely considered. The simple fact is, schools try to teach all students the same way, because that is the most "efficient." Students aren't robots, however; each child learns in a different way and at a different pace. The institutional model of public schools can't really adjust to reach all students; it's a flaw in the basic system of mass education. Students learn best in small groups of five or less, and yet our class sizes continue to increase. It's extremely frustrating and disheartening.

I can only speak about the teacher's union in NC, but I assure you, a teacher can be fired for incompetence at any time. It does happen here, although it is rare. Every teacher I know is a member of the union for one reason: insurance. Schools and teachers get sued, and the union will pay for legal defense if that happens.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


BFT,

I defend education quite a lot here on ATS, just to try and bring a different perspective to the issue. The truth, however, is I abhor the current educational model. We need widespread reform. The problem is, education is a big business for some folks...and big business resists change.

I wish I had a solution.



posted on Jul, 2 2013 @ 09:31 AM
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Kids today are dumber....and there is more than one factor to blame. It isn't genetics. (and it isn't teachers)

1. Funding for schools relative to the number of students is horrible.
2. Stupid policies like "No Child Left Behind" that ignore when students haven't learned the required material.
3. The reliance upon technology instead of developing mental skills at doing math. (why do I need to learn, I can use a calculator....yet they are shocked when I do it in my head before they can even open the app on their phone...
)
4. A complete lack of education in learning about language, such as parts of a sentence, good grammar, etc. (I bet I could ask a high school senior to diagram a sentence, and most would fail miserably)
5. Technology creating "IMese" which further contributes to language difficulties.
6. A feeling of entitlement (so kids feel they DESERVE better grades than they earn). (and many parents have this too).
7. Training to pass a test vs. learning concepts. (all about scoring on that assessment)
8. Lack of material in mainstream media to help, outside of school. (when we were little, we watched Sesame Street and the Electric Company, and had educational Schoolhouse Rock in between cartoons, etc. Heck, one of these is even the preamble to the Constitution, almost word for word, in song!)

I'm sure there are many more, but with all of these factors, it just means we're turning out generations that are a lot less educated than we were....and who care about this lack, a lot less.



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