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  #51  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:12 AM
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I was fortunate enough to have some good teachers, but even then they were somewhat the exception. One of my favorites, he'd assign a country to each student and have mock UN meetings. Still during the cold war. It was a blast.

I recently saw that Cleveland mayors have been fighting for the evil GOP gov't union busting laws for a LONG time. Stokes tried to take on the unions that controlled Cleveland's maintenence - lost. White asked the statehouse for basically our SB5 - lost. And now, Jackson is pissed because the GOP controlled state Senate stripped out language in a bill that gave him the ability to consider teacher performance in layoffs, vs strictly seniority. Jury's out on this one.

All Democrats, in a Dem town, trying desperately to fix Cleveland's horrible - and expensive - school system.

Pete
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  #52  
Old 07-18-2011, 02:39 PM
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Wow. I'm new to this site, but I'm so happy to see such a lively conversation about education happening here. I've been teaching in one capacity or another for 10 years now - I offered my own preschool Spanish classes, private tutoring, language immersion, etc. I thought it would be a good idea for me to have a teaching license so that I could provide some stability for my family. I was also curious and wanted access to all that University Knowledge, the latest methodology etc. What a HUGE disappointment. I didn't learn anything that I couldn't have learned by googling. Teacher education is stale. As far as what we could do to improve public schools- I think more choice is always a good thing. I worked at a charter school, and the waiting list is looong, and the kids who go there want to be there. Why not make entrance into all your public schools dependent on a lottery like the charter schools? Why not give every parent the same probability of getting into the school they want to be in? Just a thought...
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  #53  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:12 PM
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Welcome EvaLuna:

I think I can agree with Brad that there is waaay too much politics in public school. It's a huge distraction and counter productive to the goals of inspiring kids to learn. That's a Public school problem -- not a private school problem. So naturally, folks would be happier if there was LESS activism and intervention and that leads me to choose more choice for consumers to go "private".

I didn't.. But I got to choose where to live in ALL of America. And I chose a county that had the best schools.

For those without choice -- if their choices suck --- they should get a voucher (if they care to ask for one) because they don't have time to argue or wait for fixes. That was the INTENT of NCLB -- but not the reality.

We also need SERVICES -- not related to education -- to work seamlessly to assist students/families in those challenged areas. Not a one-size Fed Program. But a realization that it's not an indication of educational failure. Just a failure to admit that MANY problems exist and need attention.. Don't ask the schools to do it all..
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  #54  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by finnbow View Post
That said, the age old adage "what gets measured gets managed" is the obvious source of the problems with the ridiculous "No Child" law. Whoever thought that schools wouldn't simply "teach to the test" or outright cheat are simply nuts.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...tLI_story.html

Whaddya know?
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  #55  
Old 07-19-2011, 01:01 AM
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Gee, After reading that article, I feel like joining the teachers union. Objective measures are the only criteria to get some idea of teacher performance. Why do you think University matriculates need so much remedial work? I'd suggest it's a failure caused by most, not all, teachers and their administrators. Spending has dramatically increased for education and yet the results have declined. Some children do need to be left behind.

The article attempts to place blame on the testing requirement and not on the failure and actions of the teachers. That's pure BS. Given any criteria, there will be a certain percentage of people that will cheat. Teaching to the test as something inherently bad only means that the test is not adequate. I would think that the objective of education is to be able to answer the questions on such a test, and thus, good teaching, teaching to the test, ought do exactly that. How else does one tell whether a student is meeting a minimum standard? Teacher evaluations have the exact same problem, namely, some might cheat. Standardized test have the benefit of revealing teaching by statistical analysis and other techniques that can be employed. Further, a teacher caught cheating ought be terminated immediately and forfeiture of all benefits.
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Last edited by bhunter; 07-19-2011 at 01:16 AM.
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  #56  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bhunter View Post
Gee, After reading that article, I feel like joining the teachers union. Objective measures are the only criteria to get some idea of teacher performance. Why do you think University matriculates need so much remedial work? I'd suggest it's a failure caused by most, not all, teachers and their administrators. Spending has dramatically increased for education and yet the results have declined. Some children do need to be left behind.

The article attempts to place blame on the testing requirement and not on the failure and actions of the teachers. That's pure BS. Given any criteria, there will be a certain percentage of people that will cheat. Teaching to the test as something inherently bad only means that the test is not adequate. I would think that the objective of education is to be able to answer the questions on such a test, and thus, good teaching, teaching to the test, ought do exactly that. How else does one tell whether a student is meeting a minimum standard? Teacher evaluations have the exact same problem, namely, some might cheat. Standardized test have the benefit of revealing teaching by statistical analysis and other techniques that can be employed. Further, a teacher caught cheating ought be terminated immediately and forfeiture of all benefits.
What I put in bold... that right there is NOT teaching or educating; it's training, and is a piss-poor thing to have to do to young adults. The implicitly mandated (Feds, on down) need for teaching to tests is precisely what has taken the fun, the wonder, and the education out of education. You just would not believe the completely scripted, no-time-to-explore-a-student's-question that may take the lesson off of its pre-described path situation in biology. No time for spontaneity; see something related in the news? Can't explore it... that was yesterday's lesson, and that is a TRAVESTY. And all of the subject tested areas are the same way- they are dry, delivered matter-of-factly, tested in a factual regurgitative way, and is uninteresting for students. When/if that reaches my subject, I'm gone. I pray that it does not.

It's really no wonder about where it has gone since the 80's- student worlds are expanding, and what teachers can do in education is narrowing. Youtube is blocked, legit sites are blocked with the clumsy, draconian filtering software that is in place. Minimum standards on these sorts of tests (I am speaking from the Maryland HSA perspective); a mile wide, 1/2 inch deep? Rote learning- the lowest/most primitive form of learning? Is that what really ought to be going on? By the time students get to HS, it should be about thinking, problem-solving, and synthesis to prepare for college, trade (God forbid, in the atmosphere of education today!), and for informed and productive citizenship. C'mon guys...

Tyler

Last edited by tybrad; 07-19-2011 at 12:31 PM. Reason: addition
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  #57  
Old 07-19-2011, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tybrad View Post
What I put in bold... that is NOT teaching; it's training. The apparently mandated (Feds, on down) need for teaching to tests is precisely what has taken the fun, the wonder, and the education out of education.

Tyler
Exactly, while there are some items everyone should leave school with neatly tucked into their memory, the must important thing they must leave with is the desire to know more. Education does not stop at the school/university door. With luck it will only stop when I am on the wrong side of the grass.
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Last edited by merrylander; 07-19-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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  #58  
Old 07-19-2011, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by piece-itpete View Post
I recently saw that cleveland mayors have been fighting for the evil gop gov't union busting laws for a long time. Stokes tried to take on the unions that controlled cleveland's maintenence - lost. White asked the statehouse for basically our sb5 - lost. And now, jackson is pissed because the gop controlled state senate stripped out language in a bill that gave him the ability to consider teacher performance in layoffs, vs strictly seniority. Jury's out on this one.
Pete
absofuckinglutely

Last edited by tybrad; 07-19-2011 at 07:47 AM.
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  #59  
Old 07-19-2011, 09:10 AM
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Hey, we agree on something ty

Sadly, the reason Jackson's so hot on that is that he's got to lay off 100s of teachers (not just budget, also population decline) and the teachers in the newer successful magnet & charter schools are gernerally (but not completely) younger. He'll have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Pete
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  #60  
Old 07-19-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tybrad View Post
It's really no wonder about where it has gone since the 80's- student worlds are expanding, and what teachers can do in education is narrowing. Youtube is blocked, legit sites are blocked with the clumsy, draconian filtering software that is in place. Minimum standards on these sorts of tests (I am speaking from the Maryland HSA perspective); a mile wide, 1/2 inch deep? Rote learning- the lowest/most primitive form of learning? Is that what really ought to be going on? By the time students get to HS, it should be about thinking, problem-solving, and synthesis to prepare for college, trade, and for informed and productive citizenship. C'mon guys...

Tyler
I agree with your position; however, there still needs to be a minimum level of basic knowledge that can be objectively measured. There still needs to be some amount of drudgery in the learning process. For example, doing derivations and proofs was much more fun and a better learning experience than memorizing equations on flashcards; however, on that physics exam it was nice to be able to recall equations. My point is that there is a need for both rote and inculcating a desire for learning. That said, there are too many pupils that will fail to have a desire to learn and these ought be separated from those that have such a desire. I'd also argue that currently too many questionable subjects are being taught for largely political reasons.

How you manage to teach students to be able to answer questions on a standardized test ought be up to the teacher. The example questions I've seen tend to be ridiculously basic, and as such, ought be easily answered but aren't. Why such difficulty? Are the students that bad? The test too difficult? The teaching methods ineffective? How do you propose measuring teacher effectiveness and student knowledge without standardized tests?


Oh, remember you're competing against pop culture and the Hollywood and Madison Avenue crowd for the atttention of the students. The deck seems stacked given the lack of parental discipline and "anything goes" culture we now inhabit.
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Last edited by bhunter; 07-19-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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