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Old 11-28-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,813 posts, read 3,120,207 times
Reputation: 2601
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
You're just not connecting the dots in this post. You talk about math from 30-40 years ago then complain about new math - guess what? New math came out in the '60's. As far as everyday math, it's a curriculum, one of several that are commonly used. What particularly do you not like about it? I have a couple of criticisms of it and no curriculum is right for everyone, but for the most part it's based on solid learning theory.

I don't get the part about 18-30 year olds transferring wealth to 50-65 year olds. Where I live, most of the school budget comes from real estate taxes, and I'd venture a guess that a far higher percentage of 50-65's own homes than 18-30's.

In your comparison to business, you are missing a key ingredient - the raw materials. Businesses work with far more standard materials to create their products than schools do. If every kid walked into school with the same experiences and skills, it would be far easier to educate them. Trying to force schools into a business model ignores this part of the equation.

There are plenty of reasons to have concerns about schools, and bad teachers are one of them. But to put all the blame on teachers while ignoring administrative bureaucracy, political shenanigans, ineffective parenting and societal misunderstandings shows a willful effort to focus on a very narrow part of the story.
Only 12 Percent of High School Seniors 'Proficient' in History - ABC News

12% proficiency in history is pretty abysmal.

I don't think this "new" math was as widespread in the 60's or 70's. i think people for the most part were still on the normal educational model of the 50's....i.e. reading, writing and arithmetic. Pretty much the basics.

Here's the test. How much have the basics changed since the 60's.

-Take an algebra, geometry problem, etc from the 60's. Then see how many times the problem has changed in 30 years to make it "easier", more inclusive, politically correct. How many programs have they tried in just the last 10 years? Probably a lot.

The benefits and promises are going to come out of someones pocket. Taxes are going to go much higher in the future. 18-30 year olds are going to feel it directly or indirectly in the future (even lower earning power).

-With the business comparison, the product on the world stage is not worth very much (i.e. american kids are 20th in science and 18th in math). This is where the tenure and benefits don't fit.

I don't put all the blame on teachers, I think the bureaucracy and politics is to blame. But I think its an unsustainable model...tenure, no one is fired, benefits, but the result is low proficiency, marginal/declining test scores vs the world. Someone is going to end up paying for that inefficiency.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:25 AM
 
20,806 posts, read 29,282,063 times
Reputation: 9768
You can't have it both ways...you can't have top schools staffed with teachers that you pay peanuts. You can't have top schools where the teachers get zero respect from parents. You can't have top schools filled with kids who's parents take the side of the child, wrongly in 99% of the situations, because their child "would never do that". You can't have top schools if PARENTS don't care if their child is learning or not. So, make a choice, support your schools financially, emotionally, etc. or stop whining about how bad the schools are. If you chose to do nothing you forfeit your right to complain.

I am very glad we have top schools here. Our teachers are VERY hard working, love their jobs, go above and beyond to help kids (as my 16 year old is meeting with his AP History teacher this morning at 6:00 AM with other kids for a study group for finals this week-and met with his AP Calculus teacher yesterday, same time, same reason, and AP CHem teacher tomorrow.....). Kids here care about school because their parents care about school. It's frowned upon to do poorly in school. Why is it so good? Because parents care, they support the schools financially and are there to help as needed. As a result, our school budget is healthy, they have money to hire top teachers (most of the teachers in our schools have master's degrees). They still don't make what they are worth but they are paid better then most.

If you want to make your schools better you have to aim your efforts at the right cause--starting at home with your children and with other parents. Once you get most of the parents on board with expecting a top education for your kids, your schools will rise to the challenge.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:58 PM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,269 posts, read 15,074,635 times
Reputation: 10765
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
You can't have it both ways...you can't have top schools staffed with teachers that you pay peanuts. You can't have top schools where the teachers get zero respect from parents. You can't have top schools filled with kids who's parents take the side of the child, wrongly in 99% of the situations, because their child "would never do that". You can't have top schools if PARENTS don't care if their child is learning or not. So, make a choice, support your schools financially, emotionally, etc. or stop whining about how bad the schools are. If you chose to do nothing you forfeit your right to complain.

I am very glad we have top schools here. Our teachers are VERY hard working, love their jobs, go above and beyond to help kids (as my 16 year old is meeting with his AP History teacher this morning at 6:00 AM with other kids for a study group for finals this week-and met with his AP Calculus teacher yesterday, same time, same reason, and AP CHem teacher tomorrow.....). Kids here care about school because their parents care about school. It's frowned upon to do poorly in school. Why is it so good? Because parents care, they support the schools financially and are there to help as needed. As a result, our school budget is healthy, they have money to hire top teachers (most of the teachers in our schools have master's degrees). They still don't make what they are worth but they are paid better then most.

If you want to make your schools better you have to aim your efforts at the right cause--starting at home with your children and with other parents. Once you get most of the parents on board with expecting a top education for your kids, your schools will rise to the challenge.
Unfortunately, I have to spread some rep around....and this will fall on deaf ears.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:42 PM
 
2,049 posts, read 1,267,078 times
Reputation: 2280
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
You can't have it both ways...you can't have top schools staffed with teachers that you pay peanuts. You can't have top schools where the teachers get zero respect from parents. You can't have top schools filled with kids who's parents take the side of the child, wrongly in 99% of the situations, because their child "would never do that". You can't have top schools if PARENTS don't care if their child is learning or not. So, make a choice, support your schools financially, emotionally, etc. or stop whining about how bad the schools are. If you chose to do nothing you forfeit your right to complain.

I am very glad we have top schools here. Our teachers are VERY hard working, love their jobs, go above and beyond to help kids (as my 16 year old is meeting with his AP History teacher this morning at 6:00 AM with other kids for a study group for finals this week-and met with his AP Calculus teacher yesterday, same time, same reason, and AP CHem teacher tomorrow.....). Kids here care about school because their parents care about school. It's frowned upon to do poorly in school. Why is it so good? Because parents care, they support the schools financially and are there to help as needed. As a result, our school budget is healthy, they have money to hire top teachers (most of the teachers in our schools have master's degrees). They still don't make what they are worth but they are paid better then most.

If you want to make your schools better you have to aim your efforts at the right cause--starting at home with your children and with other parents. Once you get most of the parents on board with expecting a top education for your kids, your schools will rise to the challenge.
You make my point for me. Teachers who are making high salaries are generally in districts that WANT the best teachers, and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Districts with high numbers of "difficult to teach" students, i. e. high poverty, gangs, little parental support, have to pay more to attract any teachers at all. Other districts can get by with low salaries because they are still higher than the prevailing salaries due to low education levels in the community, or they have good conditions that attract teachers who are less dependent on the salary.

The main reason that I teach in my district is that it pays significantly more than the town where I live. Fortunately, most of the teachers at my school do care, but their expertise is definitely not on the same par as my hometown district. They can pay less because the teaching environment is much better and most of the teachers are the secondary earner in their families. As the primary breadwinner in my family, I don't have the luxury to earn less for more work, as all teachers much work ball games, etc. for no additional compensation. At my school, those activities are optional for teachers, and only those who want to help do so.

It seems clear that there is a correlation between the salary offered and the ability of a district to be choosy about its staff. So my question remains, what do people really want from their teachers? A warm body at a cheap price? We have those in abundance in our state. It's one of the reasons why we're number 50 in education. Do you want knowledgeable, skilled teachers? What is in it for them? Do you want missionaries? We are few and far between, especially now that the employment landscape has changed for minorities and women. If you take compensation out of the picture, as many posters are inclined to do, what does the teaching profession offer to attract quality teachers?
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 433,177 times
Reputation: 383
Teachers are working with a different product than those in manufacturing. It would be better to compare teachers to psychologists, both work with people which have a myriad of other influences that effect their functioning.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 11-30-2011 at 02:00 PM.. Reason: removed rude comment (even if I agree)
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:02 PM
 
10,037 posts, read 15,413,038 times
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 12-07-2011 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: Removed quote from non-member
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:30 PM
 
2,049 posts, read 1,267,078 times
Reputation: 2280
Quote:
Originally Posted by myheartisindallas View Post
According to a lot of the posts made by teachers, it is all about money. It doesn't matter that the kids go untaught if the money isn't there to the liking. I get it now. When the money IS there, all the better; teachers have what they want, so if ranking is way down in science or math, it's the parents' fault.

Teaching is a very unique field. Teachers aren't putting out a material product like manufacturing jobs, they are putting out the way our children will fend in the world. When teachers don't care, children suffer, just like when a factory worker doesn't care, his product suffers. The thing is, when a factory worker doesn't care, he gets fired and someone else is hired in his place at the same, or lower rate of pay, and that person is expected to do the job properly. With teachers, they can fail putting out quality work and not have to worry about getting fired and they want more and more money for not doing their job (turning out kids well prepared for the world).

Honestly, I have never heard ANY profession or group of people complain the way teachers do. Seriously. I have never heard ANY profession or group doing far less than acceptable work yet get a raise every year or so and have job security. I have never heard ANY profession or group try so hard to put the blame on another group for their "product" not being acceptable.

Wouldn't it make sense, that if the teachers went above and beyond, and REALLY taught their classroom of kids, REALLY took the responsibility of educating the children and turning out kids who know how to read, do math and hold their own in science and history, that parents would actually see the results and want to pay teachers more?

What parent wants to vote for a budget that pays teachers top dollar when their kids can't read or do math at grade level? The teachers all say it's the parents; kids are below standards because of the parents. If the parents are so responsible for educating the kids, then we should all homeschool and there wouldn't be any job or use for teachers.
So what is the factory worker supposed to do when he cares about doing a great job, but the supplier keeps sending him parts that failed inspection? Or the worker at the end of the line when the workers at the beginning and middle of the line don't care and pass defective products up the line? And if he reports his concern to the upper management? He is told that he must take the parts as they are and that it is his job to make sure that they work just as well as the parts that passed inspection. That's a factory model that is headed for failure. In industry, defective parts are removed from the production in high-quality factories. The less scrupulous disguise the defects and sell them to unsuspecting victims. If caught, they are prosecuted.

Not always so in education. Our district promotes elementary and middle school students who have not achieved the basics until they get to us. We have ninth-graders who cannot read anything more than a fifth-grade level. Yet within the next year and a half, we are supposed to be able to get them to achieve a proficient score on the state English exam that is required for graduation. A question from the practice materials used today's word of the day. The correct answer is : "Onerous is to arduous as considerate is to pensive." Over half of our students fail the test the first time they take it. A large handful never pass it before they have earned enough credits for graduation. They will be back next week for the retest to try again to get their diploma.

It is NOT the teachers who are promoting students who have not met standards. Those are DISTRICT policies and administrative decisions. It is not unheard of for retaliatory action to be taken against teachers who try to hold students accountable for cheating or blowing the whistle on crooked administrators. There are new stories every year. I've experienced pressure to change grades at the end of the year, and I know that other grades have been changed without my permission, which is a violation of state law.

Whose fault is it when a student comes back after her second maternity leave and within a few days gets suspended for fighting, then returns again without her make-up work, and the next class comes in throwing things at other students, capping off the performance with verbal abuse of the teacher? That was the first thing that happened in my class today. Thank God that my administration is supportive. We got the situation under control without more than five minutes lost. An added plus is that the other students didn't want to test me after that. It could have gone the other way. My two advanced classes after that were enjoyable and productive as usual. They worked hard and learned a lot.

I stay at my school because a lot of great kids have no choice but to go there. They are way behind students in "real" due to their inadequate prior education, but they can learn, and they are eager, if somewhat undisciplined. They are convinced that they are going to college, and it is my mission to make sure that they can keep up once they get there. Getting in is easy--staying in means you must measure up. Two of recent graduates were in the building today. They both told me that I helped them in college. That feedback is my pay-off, and I am obviously willing to take low pay to get it.

But does that make me merit less than an accountant, an insurance agent, or even a production supervisor? Is it realistic to expect teachers to work for a missionary salary? Therein lies my guilt. My acquiescence to the status quo ensures its longevity. I'm sorry, but God really does want me to do this and I try not to argue with Him. (He's been known to have a temper.)

So what do YOU WANT from teachers? It's easy to say what you don't want, but what would you do to replace our current system?
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 433,177 times
Reputation: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by myheartisindallas View Post
Of course you'd say that, it's the teacher's montra. There is ALWAYS an excuse for not getting the job done. ALWAYS. It's ALWAYS someone else's fault. ALWAYS.
Would you agree

1. that parental level of involvement matters?

2. prior instruction matters?

BTW: sorry for using "clueless" that was a personal dig.

Look I have taught at University, a number one ranked high school, and a well ranked private school. Almost all of my students have done very well as measured by AP scores and attending ivy league/top ranked universities. I know that I have an effect, which is why I get paid what I do, but to say that I am the only factor is naive.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:24 AM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,269 posts, read 15,074,635 times
Reputation: 10765
Quote:
Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
Would you agree

1. that parental level of involvement matters?

2. prior instruction matters?

BTW: sorry for using "clueless" that was a personal dig.

Look I have taught at University, a number one ranked high school, and a well ranked private school. Almost all of my students have done very well as measured by AP scores and attending ivy league/top ranked universities. I know that I have an effect, which is why I get paid what I do, but to say that I am the only factor is naive.
Teachers are but one part of the puzzle. We could do our jobs exceptionally, and still not see results if the rest isn't there. This is a three legged stool and the teacher is but one leg. Home and prior learning are the other two. If any of them are not there, the stool gets really hard to sit on. I don't get why so many people think that saying this is making excuses. No one would do this with a doctor whose patients didn't take his advice. They wouldn't blame him for the patient's poor health, they'd blame the patient for not listening. With teachers, they just want to blame the teacher and pretend that what parents do, what children choose to do (WRT things like homework) and prior learning don't matter when they do.

Seriously, if we're just relying on my teaching, I'm pushing a rope. My students need to pull. If they don't, not much happens. I can't open up their heads and pour in knowledge, I can't practice for them and I can't study for them. I can't make them pay attention when they're struggling because they didn't eat breakfast today or their heads are nodding because they didn't get enough sleep last night. People really need to accept that this is a team effort and we are but one leg on the stool.

We need to take a cue from other countries that teach well. Our teachers put in longer hours, see more students and have much heavier workloads leaving us little time to differentiate instruction or work on improving our instruction (we're building a 747 while it is flying in the sky). Our teachers struggle financially and they are, openly, disrespected by the community. In other countries, teacher is a respected position and pays enough to support a family. Seriously, how much do we expect our teachers to struggle before something breaks? There are days when I don't want this job not because I don't like teaching but because I'm tired of an uphill battle everyone wants to blame on me (the battle I don't mine as I like a challenge but I'm tired of being blamed for things that are out of my control) and I'm tired of being openly dissed and then having to go home and apply for part time jobs in between grading papers because I can't make ends meet. The way we treat teachers, it's no wonder our education system sucks.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 12-01-2011 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:20 AM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,269 posts, read 15,074,635 times
Reputation: 10765
Just wanted to add that I don't mean teachers make the system suck. I think it sucks because education and teachers are not valued and we have unrealistic expectations about what can be done in the classroom. Give me well fed and well rested kids who have been taught that education is their job and pay attention, who can read and write on grade level, who do their homework, who ask questions because they're actually thinking about what I teach and I can give you the sky. As things are, this job is like running an obstacle course and the obstacles are different for each of my 150 students.
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