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Old 10-29-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: S.W.PA
1,361 posts, read 2,429,215 times
Reputation: 1038

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHartphotog View Post
It all comes down to "what is the purpose of the public education system"--a question that hasn't been answered. Is it to prepare for jobs? Or create a minimum level of educated citizen? Or to completely replace the role of the parent, paying an army of school teachers a fortune to do what parents should be expect to do for their own offspring? I'd say the second of these, and at a cost of about 1/10 of what we pay today. The first thing we can do is NOT pay teachers full time, for a job that requires half the hours of a traditional job, and 1/4 of the hours of a modern day corporate job that pays an equal amount.

Our public education system has been flooded with huge amounts of money as society fell for the "anything for the children!" ideology. It amazes me how much money is spent on "fluff" classes (our local high school has an entire wing dedicated to sewing), an over-compensated education bureaucracy (have you seen the Taj Mahal school admin building in West Palm Beach FL, built with taxpayer-funded bonds that were supposed to go to "better" education for kids?), and ridiculous waste (do high schools need to cost $60 million and be creatively designed by architects, to provide a decent education"?). We seem to have totally forgotten that more money does NOT increase academic achievement. In fact, a national study that came to this undeniable conclusion was well known when I was in college, and yet has virtually disappeared today--since it proved the opposite of what the educational bureaucracy wants.

Frankly, wasting huge amounts on an educational bureaucracy that primarily entertains children is a joke when we leave the multi-trillion dollar debt for government overspending, for our children and grandchildren to pay off. They'll have no jobs or hope for a decent life, and the dollar will be worthless, and their taxes will be massive and wipe out any wealth they may try to accumulate, but no matter what the local school system wants this year, "IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!" We spoil them rotten on one hand, but sabotage their entire future. They won't be happy when they realize what their future holds.

When I grew up here in southern NH in the 1960s and 1970s, the school system was excellent and both myself and my spouse could not have done better, anywhere, at any price. We both sometimes are called to be guest professors in technical subjects at local universities. Public education at that time was NOT ridiculously expensive, and you could retire here with a paid-off home and expect to be able to handle the property taxes. Those days are long gone. Unless you have a lucrative pension, NOBODY could retire here today, even with a paid-off home. The property taxes on an average house are often more than the net income from a full-time job.

What have we gained by pouring all this extra money into education? Nothing, other than increased entertainment for students. What have we lost? The ability to retire in a house you have already bought and paid off, if you either retire or lose one of the household's jobs.

It's wrong, and it has to end. Considering that well-paying jobs are permanently gone from our economy, we need to transition to a lower cost of living for everyone, or we'll all lose everything we've spent our whole lives working for.
Agree with all of this except the bolded. The answer would be "yes". Firstly, architects are required for any building project, except maybe a one family dwelling , and even those do in many states. Secondly, engaging architectural design costs about the same as boring architectural design. Finally, it has been shown that design which maximizes daylight, as well as comfort (heating, cooling, fresh air etc) yields tangible results in terms of performance. Schools should be rationally and intelligently planned, safe, and comfortable. They should be positive places rather than negative (child storage). This is different from frills, which would get cut via the scrutiny of the approvals process anyway.

 
Old 10-29-2011, 06:47 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,759,898 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
I was reading the thread titled "Job search education should be a requirement in school" when it dawned on me: Some of the courses taught in high school are not going to provide the average student with much he or she can really use in life. (Trig for example. Unless you end up working in one of the few fields which require those sort of calculations, really, what use is it?)

On the other hand, ALL students will eventually need to learn some basic skills in their lives-- everything from effectively seeking employment to understanding food labels. But unfortunately, most schools don't offer courses in these important things.

So I propose a mandatory class for all students called "Life Skills". I have here a brief outline of some of the main topics that could be part of the course study:

(first quarter), Learning to Work: creating resumes, applying/interviewing for a job, common job expectations, promotions, payroll issues, talking to your boss, work behavior, leaves of absence, jury duty, unemployment compensation, retirement...

(second quarter), Health Matters: nutrition, meal planning, reading food labels, coping with illness, family planning, parenting skills, understanding medical forms, basic OTC drugs, how to talk to your doctor, basic first aid...

(third quarter), The Business of Life: banking, applying for credit, life insurance, investing, bankrupcy, filing taxes, wills and estates, renting an apartment, mortgages,...

(fourth quarter), Safety & Maintenance: fire safety, emergency preparation, basic home maintenance, basic auto maintenance, CPR, home protection, basic self-defense techniques...

Granted, SOME of the topics listed might be covered in other classes, such as Home Economics, Shop, Health, Business, etc. But those kinds of classes are usually electives, not mandatory.

My proposal is that every student should be taught these basic skills of life. Think of all the advantages this would bring to each and every person as they begin to find their way through this big, complicated world of ours.
Your suggestions I like. However, I do not agree with you on the algegra example. I was asked this question before when I was an Army instructor. This is my asnwer to you even though it may seem algebra is not necessary if you are not going into let us say engineering.
Basic math, algebra and even calculus does help students later in life. These subjects do help train your mind to think in more analytical terms. They train your mind to think analytically as you solve problems. People do not realize it but it does. In my case I came from Mexico with elementary school education only. Due to circumstances in life I never attende high school. I was less than a high school dropout because I never attended one to drop out from.
I grew up with some of the necessary skills those subjects give you. Later when I joined the Army I took classes to get my GED. I had to go to the library and learn some very basic algebra principles. I learned enough to pass the GED test. However, later I attended an Army technical course that required at least a solid basic algebra knowledge. When I applied for the course a passed the Basci Math and Physics proficiency test at exactly a 70% score, enough to get accepted.
The course did have a block on basic algebra and I sweated it out!!!! I passed the block with a 70 also!!!!
The technical field I was getting into was very math oriented. However, the course was also designed to develop technicians to analyse situations when out there in the world where no technical manuals were available and dealing with foreign language labels on equipment.
I graduated with the class lowest grade average. I did not care. I was very proud of myself to made it through the year long course.
Twelve years later I became and instructor of the very same school. Before that I attended night college classes and that included algebra courses.
I know for a fact that once I was trained in basic algebra when I attended the Army course I learned to be more analytical not only on the trade I learned but in all areas of my life. My mind was trained to solve problems more effectively. Before that I was able to solve problems in life to a good degree but once I got introduced to algebra later in life at age 25 I became much more effective in analysing situations and in problem solving situations.
You and others may object to learning history also, how about government? The same on other subjects.
Well, to me the same principle can be applied. History can help you be a better citizen when you learn how we became a nation, what is our national ideology, how our past generations handled national disasters.
In other words there are many intangibles we may not realize when we learn other subjects we think are useless for us when we leave school. I do not see it that way. That is my take on it. Take care
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 8,256,372 times
Reputation: 1435
If life skills were taught in school, people would become too self-sufficient and not generate tax revenue in their job. So instead children are indoctrined about a million things, even if its math that isn't practical, to teach them that they will never be smart enough.

Also, if such subjects were taught well in school, how will colleges profit?
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:07 PM
 
634 posts, read 1,314,439 times
Reputation: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
Parents are supposed to teach life skills.
But they don't. I tried the ranting about what is "supposed" to happen; then about 20 years into this teaching thing, I decided that it "is what it is" and I can make a much bigger difference if I just teach my students what they aren't learning at home. I accepted the fact that I can only control what goes on in my classroom; I have absolutely no control what goes on in the homes of others.
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:17 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 30,500,354 times
Reputation: 25990
That reminds me of the inner city teacher who wanted to teach how to fill out a form for welfare, and food stamps, and do a review. She was called a "racist", what percentage of those families in that school received some form of public assistance? Almost 100 percent. Okay, break out those Geometry books.
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,482 posts, read 4,650,965 times
Reputation: 774
Honestly, I can't think of one of those "Life Skills" that wasn't covered in my K-12 education in one degree or another.
 
Old 10-29-2011, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,030 posts, read 98,929,643 times
Reputation: 31481
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
(first quarter), Learning to Work: creating resumes, applying/interviewing for a job, common job expectations, promotions, payroll issues, talking to your boss, work behavior, leaves of absence, jury duty, unemployment compensation, retirement...
Who is going to teach this class? What type of qualfications should you expect this person to have. You do know that many of these issues vary from company to company, no?

Quote:
(second quarter), Health Matters: nutrition, meal planning, reading food labels, coping with illness, family planning, parenting skills, understanding medical forms, basic OTC drugs, how to talk to your doctor, basic first aid...
Again, what qualifications should a teacher of these topics have? Much of this stuff is covered in health class, which is mandatory in my district, though there are ways around it.

Quote:
(third quarter), The Business of Life: banking, applying for credit, life insurance, investing, bankrupcy, filing taxes, wills and estates, renting an apartment, mortgages,...
Now here's where it really gets dicey. There are many different theories around regarding most of these issues? Whose values will be taught? Who is qualified to teach this stuff?

Quote:
(fourth quarter), Safety & Maintenance: fire safety, emergency preparation, basic home maintenance, basic auto maintenance, CPR, home protection, basic self-defense techniques....
All that in 9 weeks?
 
Old 10-30-2011, 08:16 AM
 
3,781 posts, read 7,179,497 times
Reputation: 4134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Now here's where it really gets dicey. There are many different theories around regarding most of these issues? Whose values will be taught? Who is qualified to teach this stuff?
It doesn't need to be a "Here's what you should do" thing, but more of "Here's how it works." Kids can be taught about different kinds of bank accounts, how credit card interest is figured, how mortgage payments are determined, basic tax forms, etc.
 
Old 10-30-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle bound
287 posts, read 405,007 times
Reputation: 313
I have four adult children, all in their mid to early twenties. I taught all of them what I knew about finances -- something I have trouble with myself due to Dsycalculia - they're much better at it than I am -- cook, sew (yes, SEW!), find work, and *gasp!* survive in the really real world. I also taught them about safe sex and the responsibilities of parenthood (which is why I only have one grandchild).

They're not angels by any means, but they all live on their own as fully functioning members of society, and none of them needed a class to teach them how to be adults. It was my job as a parent to teach them these things. Why should teachers have to do it? Teachers didn't bring them into this world... Maybe I'm old fashioned. I dunno. But I figured if I took on the responsibility of having children, I should, at the very least, make sure that those children didn't turn out to be burdens on society. That task does not lie with the government or its systems - including the schools.
 
Old 10-30-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,541 posts, read 8,202,280 times
Reputation: 5791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Why don't they teach life skills at home?
Exactly. Parents are not doing their jobs, and expecting the school to do it all. Kids are in school 6 hours for 180 days per year. The school can't do the job of the parents.
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