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Old 02-14-2015, 03:57 PM
 
3,283 posts, read 5,243,579 times
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Let's try this again, since it's a very real EDUCATION issue worth discussing, as noted by the recent pieces below:

Modern-Day Segregation in Public Schools - The Atlantic

Segregation Now - ProPublica

A few questions:

1) Is segregation in public schools a problem today in the United States? Does segregation still exist?

2) What can be done to fix it, if anything?

3) Is it possible to have wide-scale integrated schools? Or will people, despite any policies put into place by the government, still find a way to separate from one another?

4) Do school choice programs make segregation better or worse?

Please keep this discussion on-topic!
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:05 PM
 
894 posts, read 798,372 times
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It's funny because one of the biggest complaints I hear from teachers is how they're forced to teach to the "lowest common denominator" because our feel good education system wants the dummies mixed in with the smart kids. Precisely why we have a nation full of college kids who can't even write a proper essay. Personally I'm all for tracking. It's not racism if your kid doesn't have the grades and test scores to take AP classes. Either get them into a better school or tell them to study harder.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:55 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,716,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
Let's try this again, since it's a very real EDUCATION issue worth discussing, as noted by the recent pieces below:

Modern-Day Segregation in Public Schools - The Atlantic

Segregation Now - ProPublica

A few questions:

1) Is segregation in public schools a problem today in the United States? Does segregation still exist?

2) What can be done to fix it, if anything?

3) Is it possible to have wide-scale integrated schools? Or will people, despite any policies put into place by the government, still find a way to separate from one another?

4) Do school choice programs make segregation better or worse?

Please keep this discussion on-topic!

1. Segregation is a problem if people think it is a problem. I think it is more of a problem in some areas than others.

2. There are problems in inner city black community that need to be fixed. If you fix the issues in the inner city black community the educational problems in those areas will fix themselves. Once the issues are fixed I don't think whites will continue to avoid these areas.

3. See #2. My kids go to an integrated private school. It's about 55% white and the rest of the school is split between blacks/hispanics. Parents willingly pay tuition for their kids to attend this school. Race is not a problem for the whites or the blacks.

4. School choice programs mask segregation.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 02-14-2015 at 08:48 PM.. Reason: removed moderation comment
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 6,921,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFigureMeOut View Post
It's funny because one of the biggest complaints I hear from teachers is how they're forced to teach to the "lowest common denominator" because our feel good education system wants the dummies mixed in with the smart kids. Precisely why we have a nation full of college kids who can't even write a proper essay. Personally I'm all for tracking. It's not racism if your kid doesn't have the grades and test scores to take AP classes. Either get them into a better school or tell them to study harder.
I'm a former teacher and I have numerous friends and relatives who are current or former teachers, and I don't hear that complaint at all. What I hear most are complaints about is the constant standardized testing that seems to rule schools these days.

FYI, AP is not tracking. Tracking is when children, sometimes beginning as early as the primary grades, are grouped according to "ability", ie, their performance on standardized tests. The main problem with this system before high school is that children generally stay in these same groups all the way through junior high, and they become identified as "smarties" or "dummies" not only by other students but by teachers as well as by themselves. It breeds arrogance among the kids in the high ability groups and poor classroom behavior among ones in the lower groups because children often act the way they're expected to act. Do not think that even first and second graders don't figure out that the "bluebirds" who finished four reading levels are "smarter" than the "redbirds" who only finished two. Tracking also contributes to cliquishness and bullying because these groups tend to remain pretty static throughout elementary and middle school.

Since academic performance strongly follows parents' educational and economic achievement, most children who are put in low performing classrooms by tracking also tend to be poorer. If the school district contains a racially diverse student body, it's very likely that more children of color wind up in lower "tracks" simply because blacks and Hispanics tend to be poorer than whites.

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students. Elementary and middle school are not a race to just learn as much academic subject matter as possible. It's a time for children to grow as individuals, to explore their talents, to learn social skills, to develop/improve/master skills that they'll need later in life.

Last edited by Linda_d; 02-14-2015 at 05:30 PM..
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,361,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
I'm a former teacher and I have numerous friends and relatives who are current or former teachers, and I don't hear that complaint at all. What I hear most are complaints about is the constant standardized testing that seems to rule schools these days.
Me, either. And I certainly didn't make the complaint. As a special education teacher, students who struggled with learning for various reasons were the students I worked with. I didn't have any who DIDN'T struggle with something.

Quote:
FYI, AP is not tracking. Tracking is when children, sometimes beginning as early as the primary grades, are grouped according to "ability", ie, their performance on standardized tests. The main problem with this system before high school is that children generally stay in these same groups all the way through junior high, and they become identified as "smarties" or "dummies" not only by other students but by teachers as well as by themselves. It breeds arrogance among the kids in the high ability groups and poor classroom behavior among ones in the lower groups because children often act the way they're expected to act. Do not think that even first and second graders don't figure out that the "bluebirds" who finished four reading levels are "smarter" than the "redbirds" who only finished two. Tracking also contributes to cliquishness and bullying because these groups tend to remain pretty static throughout elementary and middle school.

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students. Elementary and middle school are not a race to just learn as much academic subject matter as possible. It's a time for children to grow as individuals, to explore their talents, to learn social skills, to develop/improve/master skills that they'll need later in life.
I will say, though, that as a student that struggled mightily with math concepts (and math classes were NOT subject to tracking, in the district I grew up in...reading and later English classes were, however, and I was tracked in the accelerated track for those), I found it more humiliating to have been in a class with students who were excelling at picking up the same concepts quickly than I would have to be in a tracked class, where the teacher would have gone at a pace that suited those of us who were struggling, rather than ever pushing forward so the ones that were getting it didn't get bored. We would play racing games where we would run up to the board, do problems, and if you got it right, run back and tap the next person on your team, and similar competitive "learning games" where speed of processing was key. I was always MORTIFIED to be the one standing at the board, frozen, my mind blank. I would have so much rather been grouped with others who struggled similarly, and had somebody take the time to actually help us gain mastery. Constantly being aware that the group was moving on while I still didn't GET IT was a horrible, panic-inducing feeling. As it was, I was among those who got lost in the dust, starting from about second grade on, and really never felt I fully caught up. It might have been different had I been tracked. But being in a mixed ability level situation was certainly socially humiliating for me from an early age, when it came to math. It didn't do a thing to mitigate any insecurity or embarrassment.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:38 PM
 
5,756 posts, read 3,041,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students.

.
Oh, it sure does hold them back. Why is it perfectly acceptable to consider folks have different athletic abilities, yet not consider different academic abilities? We don't have any problem with tracking there. We easily separate starters from bench warmers in football. And we have no problem understanding that some kids are rec ability and some are travel team players and create separate sports programs for those different abilities.

So, why oh why do we refuse to acknowledge different academic abilities?
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:19 AM
 
2,892 posts, read 3,398,965 times
Reputation: 4070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
I'm a former teacher and I have numerous friends and relatives who are current or former teachers, and I don't hear that complaint at all. What I hear most are complaints about is the constant standardized testing that seems to rule schools these days.

FYI, AP is not tracking. Tracking is when children, sometimes beginning as early as the primary grades, are grouped according to "ability", ie, their performance on standardized tests. The main problem with this system before high school is that children generally stay in these same groups all the way through junior high, and they become identified as "smarties" or "dummies" not only by other students but by teachers as well as by themselves. It breeds arrogance among the kids in the high ability groups and poor classroom behavior among ones in the lower groups because children often act the way they're expected to act. Do not think that even first and second graders don't figure out that the "bluebirds" who finished four reading levels are "smarter" than the "redbirds" who only finished two. Tracking also contributes to cliquishness and bullying because these groups tend to remain pretty static throughout elementary and middle school.

Since academic performance strongly follows parents' educational and economic achievement, most children who are put in low performing classrooms by tracking also tend to be poorer. If the school district contains a racially diverse student body, it's very likely that more children of color wind up in lower "tracks" simply because blacks and Hispanics tend to be poorer than whites.

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students. Elementary and middle school are not a race to just learn as much academic subject matter as possible. It's a time for children to grow as individuals, to explore their talents, to learn social skills, to develop/improve/master skills that they'll need later in life.
I believe that this attitude could be exhibit-1 for an answer to the companion thread "Why are schools failing?"

How could it be any more clear that people have vastly different levels of intellectual ability, and that a class dumbed-down for the typical thug would hold back someone who has the potential to go on to a legitimate PhD? Some kids really are "smarties" and some really are "dummies" (same for teachers) -- that's just the way that nature works. As far as bullying goes, I assume that the poster quoted above was referring to the thugs bullying the smart kids, as that's sure the way it was in my school.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,893,919 times
Reputation: 27519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post

Mixing ability levels does not "hold back" brighter students. Elementary and middle school are not a race to just learn as much academic subject matter as possible. It's a time for children to grow as individuals, to explore their talents, to learn social skills, to develop/improve/master skills that they'll need later in life.
Mixing abilities hurts the brighter students and the low performing students.
The brighter ones aren't challenged enough and the low performing students don't get the extra help they need.

I went to school when there was tracking for Math/English. Every Sept we took tests which placed us.
The low performing class had 2 teachers. We used to be jealous of them because we only had 1 teacher

But now they are all grouped together. In a class of 26-30 they do not get the extra help they need to "keep up".

So what happens ? Well, teachers like me are hired to be intervention tutors and these students are pulled from other classes to get extra help in Math and Reading.

Math and English classes are where skill levels are very pronounced.
English is especially impacted because you have students with huge ranges of reading levels and somehow they are all supposed to be reading "on grade level" when it comes to group work.

We're just fooling ourselves by thinking mixed ability classes "work" and in the long run hurting the students.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
13,154 posts, read 7,398,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevelander17 View Post
Let's try this again, since it's a very real EDUCATION issue worth discussing, as noted by the recent pieces below:

Modern-Day Segregation in Public Schools - The Atlantic

Segregation Now - ProPublica

A few questions:

1) Is segregation in public schools a problem today in the United States? Does segregation still exist?

2) What can be done to fix it, if anything?

3) Is it possible to have wide-scale integrated schools? Or will people, despite any policies put into place by the government, still find a way to separate from one another?

4) Do school choice programs make segregation better or worse?

Please keep this discussion on-topic!
Here we go again. The school is racist because more black students perform worse in their classes than white students. Should we restart the quota system?
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:29 AM
 
2,442 posts, read 1,797,337 times
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Yes, it's widespread. How to fix it? Switch funding/organisation to the state level, from the county level. Have a decent welfare system so there is no abject poverty. Track.
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