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Old 05-17-2015, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,387,870 times
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Generally institute lower teacher:student ratio allowing for increased individualization across the board. A higher level of individualization isn't just beneficial for disabled and/or gifted students. It's beneficial for all students.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,992 posts, read 98,847,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK78 View Post
This is really the biggest change I would like to see.

When you graduate H.S. you should be employable for the vast array of jobs. There should be no need to spend 10's of thousands of dollars on college unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, academic or college professor, a teacher, medical fields or accountant/finance. No one else needs to be in college except for a few more exceptions I may have missed.

If it's not highly specialized there's no reason you can't come out of H.S. and learn on the job and work your way up as you learn more etc...
Back to the 50s! Seriously, this has not been the case in the US for decades.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,389,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Again, it would help if people would check and see what is being taught before making these suggestions. The school lunch program has strict guidelines they have to follow. Have you not heard all the furor over the newest guidelines for more veggies and whole grains. Virtually all health classes incorporate nutrition. I know of some schools with gardens, and I do think they're a neat idea, but save money? I seriously doubt it!
I'm not sure what you are insinuating but I have 4 children and none of them were taught nutrition in school nor were they encouraged to eat more vegetables. In fact, the ones still in school are told the HAVE to take certain things even though one is a vegetarian who has decided against eating at school at all because of it. Also, my sister is a cafeteria worker at a local school and reports that all the food is prepackaged to prepare and they are told to limit the number of vegetables and fruit. Also, they are told that a student MUST grab milk or juice (two things I don't allow at home) or they cannot be served.

The emphasis should be on whole foods and fresh local produce. Take a look at this school having an actual chef and still saving money! Chef Proves School Lunch Can Be Healthy, Cheap : NPR

Can you imagine if we taught a whole required class (not just part of health for 1 semester) on nutrition? Then our students would demand better food and understand what impact it has on their lives... Instead you think a 20 minute "Veggies are good for you" suffices?

Mostly High Schools with horticulture classes have gardens. I am talking about a garden the school uses for the cafeteria and the students get to tend. It is being done in many schools.

Apparently you don't take nutrition very seriously. Without it, our child's brain can't function!
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,992 posts, read 98,847,978 times
Reputation: 31412
Quote:
Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
I'm not sure what you are insinuating but I have 4 children and none of them were taught nutrition in school nor were they encouraged to eat more vegetables. In fact, the ones still in school are told the HAVE to take certain things even though one is a vegetarian who has decided against eating at school at all because of it. Also, my sister is a cafeteria worker at a local school and reports that all the food is prepackaged to prepare and they are told to limit the number of vegetables and fruit. Also, they are told that a student MUST grab milk or juice (two things I don't allow at home) or they cannot be served.

The emphasis should be on whole foods and fresh local produce. Take a look at this school having an actual chef and still saving money! Chef Proves School Lunch Can Be Healthy, Cheap : NPR

Can you imagine if we taught a whole required class (not just part of health for 1 semester) on nutrition? Then our students would demand better food and understand what impact it has on their lives... Instead you think a 20 minute "Veggies are good for you" suffices?

Mostly High Schools with horticulture classes have gardens. I am talking about a garden the school uses for the cafeteria and the students get to tend. It is being done in many schools.

Apparently you don't take nutrition very seriously. Without it, our child's brain can't function!
Your cutesy NPR story is from France. Perhaps you could explain the French school lunch financing for those of us who aren't aware of how it works. I doubt there's a direct equivalent in the US. What's with the bold? To keep this thread from going off the rails, I'll just conclude by saying don't be so quick to leap to conclusions about what I think, thank you very much. BTW, my kids did get nutrition ed in school, as I did way back in the 50s/60s.

ETA: http://www.fns.usda.gov/pressrelease/002312
"USDA built the new rule around recommendations from a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine —a gold standard for evidence-based health analysis. The standards were also updated with key changes from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the Federal government’s benchmark for nutrition – and aimed to foster the kind of healthy changes at school that many parents are already trying to encourage at home, such as making sure that kids are offered both fruits and vegetables each day, more whole grains, and portion sizes and calorie counts designed to maintain a healthy weight."

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 05-17-2015 at 11:38 PM..
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,717,492 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by CK78 View Post
This is really the biggest change I would like to see.

When you graduate H.S. you should be employable for the vast array of jobs. There should be no need to spend 10's of thousands of dollars on college unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, academic or college professor, a teacher, medical fields or accountant/finance. No one else needs to be in college except for a few more exceptions I may have missed.

If it's not highly specialized there's no reason you can't come out of H.S. and learn on the job and work your way up as you learn more etc...
How do you propose we get employers to buy into this? The reason employers want college grads is there are lots of them available. Why would they choose a HS graduate over a college graduate for a job? Why should they?
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:44 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,660,990 times
Reputation: 16471
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Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
After 131 posts, we have very few suggestions for changing the education system that would make any kind of difference. Many have suggested that a return to tracking and less involvement from the Federal Dept. of Education would help. A few others have suggested that discipline is a problem and must be corrected for education to take place. We can agree that computers in education are here to stay. It is up to teachers to figure out how to use them to enhance education as opposed to the distractions they currently cause.

The reality is that changing school lunches, eliminating school sports, adding more vocational classes, firing two-thirds of education administrators, going to cloud computing and eliminating the Federal Dept. of Education are not changes that will make substantial improvements to the level of public school education in the U.S.

Ivorytickler has made some excellent comments on issues with teaching math and science. She has addressed issues with having to reteach topics that students previously learned, exit exams, computers and issues regarding teaching breadth vs depth, and holding students accountable. I agree that all of these are issues that need to be addressed. The question is how?

Pennsylvania has adopted a series of graduation requirement tests called the Keystone Exams. The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Literature, and Biology. Other subjects are planned but have not been released. The PA Dept. of Education published the first state scores on their website in 2011 and have not posted any more recent results. Districts have been give their results through 2014 and they are used in a statewide school rating system. One school district posted their Keystone Exam results and the state results on their website. This is the link: http://www.northernpolarbears.com/fi...tent_areas.pdf

As you can see, the results for the state are not good. Students must score proficient or above to graduate. They can retest several times, and if they don't pass one or more exams, they must do a state approved project to graduate.

Statewide results for Spring 2014

Algebra 1: 40.1% of students scored Proficient or Advanced
203,357 total students tested 81,470 students PASSED 121,887 students to RE-TEST

Biology: 41.4% of students scored Proficient or Advanced
164,757 total students tested 68,215 students PASSED 96,532 students to RE-TEST

Literature: 52.4% of students scored Proficient or Advanced
111,612 total students tested 75,076 students PASSED 68,222 students to RE-TEST

Statewide results for RE-TESTERS (students who tested 1 or more times already). The students below who did not pass will re-test AGAIN and/or take a remedial class and the Project Based Assessment:

Algebra 1
80,591 students re-tested and 21.8% passed
63,035 students to re-test AGAIN

Biology
47,615 students re-tested and 11.7% passed
42,061 students to re-test AGAIN

Literature
31,686 students re-tested and 20.2% passed
25,273 students to re-test AGAIN

So if we just take biology and look at the results we see that 58.6% of students failed the test on the first take, and only 11.7% of those who failed the first time, attended remediation classes and retook the test, passed the second or third time they took the test.

So the questions are:
1. Is the test too hard?
2. Should the test be made easier so that at least 70% of students pass it the first time?
3. Do Pennsylvania biology teachers do a poor job of teaching the material?
4. Should all students be expected to take biology and pass an end of course test?
5. Should students who do not pass the Keystone Exams be allowed to graduate, but with an asterisk on their diploma that says they did not pass one or more Keystone Exams?
IME, as a parent only, I believe these tests do a poor job of measuring what teachers really do in the classroom. I know too many successful people who've graduated from our schools to believe what these tests purport to show. Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I know how much scrutiny teachers face. Our schools are among the lowest performing of the entire state. I think that is a reflection on families and students rather than the abilities of teachers here.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:49 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,660,990 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by CK78 View Post
This is really the biggest change I would like to see.

When you graduate H.S. you should be employable for the vast array of jobs. There should be no need to spend 10's of thousands of dollars on college unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, academic or college professor, a teacher, medical fields or accountant/finance. No one else needs to be in college except for a few more exceptions I may have missed.

If it's not highly specialized there's no reason you can't come out of H.S. and learn on the job and work your way up as you learn more etc...
If tracking were brought back, I believe we could reform the postsecondary education system as well. People shouldn't have to spend 10s of thousands of dollars on college to be a teacher, engineer, accountant, etc either. Bottom line, we should be implementing a system that fosters the continuing need for all workers - from HVAC techs to teachers to brain surgeons and everything in between. We need all types of workers to cultivate a productive and meaningful society.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:50 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,660,990 times
Reputation: 16471
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
The problem with tracking for students in the lower tracks is that their achievement becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The kids think they can't learn because they know they are being given lower work. The teachers and parents think the kids can't learn because after all, the kids are getting lower grades on lower material.

History of Education: Selected Moments


What if there were a way for a student to go from one track to another based on performance and teacher recommendation? If a child is consistently out performing his peers he should be placed on the next track, IMO.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:54 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,660,990 times
Reputation: 16471
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Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Generally institute lower teacher:student ratio allowing for increased individualization across the board. A higher level of individualization isn't just beneficial for disabled and/or gifted students. It's beneficial for all students.
Speaking of which, I think all students should have IEPs in place. We should have education teams whose sole job is to meet with parents and teachers through out the school year to ascertain each student's academic career is on track. These teams could be central to a tracking based system as well. Alluding to my previous post, there could be a "safety" in the tracking system whereby students who show promise and work ethic could be moved to a higher track, if they so choose.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,717,492 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
IME, as a parent only, I believe these tests do a poor job of measuring what teachers really do in the classroom. I know too many successful people who've graduated from our schools to believe what these tests purport to show. Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I know how much scrutiny teachers face. Our schools are among the lowest performing of the entire state. I think that is a reflection on families and students rather than the abilities of teachers here.
THIS is the problem. Take chemistry for example. The state picks 6 of my 143 CCE's to put on the test and tests my students about 60% of the way through the year. They do not even restrict themselves to CCE's that would be taught in the first semester. Then they want to use the test scores to determine whether or not I deserve my job. Those 6 CCE's on the test represent 12% of the test with 48% being topics taught in physical science, biology, chemistry and earth science (12% from each). 52% is interpreting graphical information and scientific reasoning. I don't even have a CCE for interpreting graphical information and scientific reasoning.

So I can teach to the test which basically means ignoring my CCE's because they're just going to pick 6 anyway so I cannot use these results to determine the quality of my teaching or I can teach what they tell me I should teach and run the risk my students will do poorly on the test and I'll lose my job.

One of the BIGGEST problems with our education system is the tests do not test what we are tasked to teach. Start by determining what should be taught and writing a test that actually tests what should have been learned. You will, IMO, need to make this test high stakes for the student. As long as their scores mean nothing to them they have no incentive to try to learn what we teach or try to do well on the test. I have seen more than one students show up for the test, bubble one answer and take a nap.

I do not understand why there is a disconnect between what is supposed to be taught and what is tested. If the CCE's are what I should teach then shouldn't they be what is tested?
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