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Old 05-15-2015, 06:02 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,349 posts, read 954,168 times
Reputation: 800

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I actually had the answer to that: Fire two-thirds of education administrators. You can do it at random. The Department of Education as well. The salaries are obscene and all they do is create an ossified system where no change is possible. No telling how much good you'll do clearing out the bureaucratic deadwood.

We don't have a funding problem. We have an allocation problem.
So we just need to get the people with the authority to allocate the funds to fire themselves.

The system is not going to fix itself.

psik
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,028 posts, read 98,908,697 times
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tnff, I live in Boulder Valley SD, southern Boulder County. St. Vrain Valley SD also has a vo-tech program. I think they do some cooperative programs.
Career and Technical Education Center
School Profile | Career Development Center
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
Reputation: 14499
[quote=tnff;39632455]Which district are you in? We lived in D20 and it had many things that districts it bordered did not. Now that we no longer live in CO, our HS, while very good, doesn't have many of these at all and pretty much totally cut VOTech.



This is one of the constant red herring issues brought up. Fed loans don't really increase the cost of college. For one thing, there is really only a small number of people who benefit from them, relative to those going. The biggest increase in college costs has actually come from states cutting their historical share of support and placing more of it on the student/family.



If you are going to follow good engineering principles, then you know that most of the value from tests comes very early in the process so you can make corrections. Testing at the end is only a quality control on the process, not the product. You can't test in quality, it has to be built in from the beginning, yet our whole test process is based on one big test at the end. Pretty much violates basic principles. Then statistically you would only test a few random samples and everyone would get the same score. That is if you really wanted to follow engineering QC. But of course we know there is too much variation in individuals to base everyone's score on a random sample. Which basically brings up back to you can't test in quality. And none of this even gets to the application of test design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbab5 View Post
There are fabulous ideas on this thread. The best ones will take a lot of money. Hiring specialized, well paid teachers. Investing in arts, music, physical education. Create separate schools for different career paths, etc.
So now all we have to do is find all of the money we are going to use to do all this.
BUT. What is wrong with our educational program is that everybody who is involved in making educational decisions is able to come up with very expensive ideas, but nobody is able to come up with ways to improve things WITHOUT SPENDING MORE MONEY.
quote]

Why would you assume most of these improvements would cost more money? The money is there in many places, but poorly allocated. Here's an example. My kids elementary school had roughly the same number of students as my school (though mine was actually twelve grades in a single school). Their school also had roughly the same number of teachers as mine did. But whereas the school I attended had a management and support staff of about ten, the school my kids attended had a support staff much greater than the number of teachers. Same thing all the way up. You could go in tomorrow and eliminate 50% of the staff, apply that budget to teachers salaries, and come out ahead in education quality without a single impact.
I disagree on testing. The tests I give my students are intended to shape the teaching process but there should be a final test to show that my students have learned what was taught just as there is a final prove out for a car before it is sold to the public. The idea of having exit exams is that we should be proving that we have done what we said we do. At the end of the semester we print report cards but an A in chemistry in my school isn't the same as an A in chemistry in another school because the way things are now what is taught is up to the individual teacher. Sure there are standards but no one tests whether the kids know the standards besides the teacher in the room and they're only going to test the ones they actually teach. IMO there needs to be an exit exam for my class and it should be the same test taken by every chemistry student in the state. If the standards are important enough to write, they should be important enough to test. As things are now teachers are chastised for not giving enough A's or giving too many E's. The easiest thing to do is just make the test easier or start cutting standards. Exit exams stop this. The ONLY way to drive my student's scores up is to teach the standards better AND to tie their performance to their GPA so they actually care about the test. What we do now tests nothing. Some kids put in good effort and others bubble one answer and take a nap.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
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I just wanted to clarify my previous post. My point was that at the end of the day we prove that a car actually meets the standards we designed it to by requiring tests designed to test those standards to be passed. I think the same thing should be true in education. Many of the countries that out perform us dictate exactly what teachers will teach each year. There is no personal preference. There is no sitting around at staff meetings debating the meaning of the standards or which ones are "power" standards. What should be taught in each grade/subject is clearly outlined and teachers follow the plan. IMO the only way to make this happen here in the land of individuality is to have comprehensive exit exams for classes/grades. Students would be required to pass those to pass the class/grade. Teachers would then be held accountable for teaching what is supposed to be taught and students would be held accountable for learning it.

I teach chemistry and no one verifies that I'm actually teaching the standards they have said I should and no one checks to see if my students are learning the standards I'm supposed to be teaching. Chemistry in my school is different than chemistry in my dd's school and it's different in schools in Detroit. My curriculum happens to be the same as a neighboring district because their department chair is my mentor. She and I happen to teach to high standards and we both catch hell for the class being too hard yet neither of us teaches all the standards. We teach about 75% of them. I'm convinced my dd's school teaches about half that.

There is no accountability in our system. We don't hold teachers accountable for teaching the standards and we don't hold students accountable for learning them. The way you hold teachers accountable is to hold students accountable. When students have to know it to pass the class they, their parents and administrators will DEMAND that teachers teach them.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:51 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,254,652 times
Reputation: 45820
Quote:
Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
So we just need to get the people with the authority to allocate the funds to fire themselves.

The system is not going to fix itself.

psik
Nope. That's the problem. Educators love to get their backs up, yet their answers are always more bureaucracy and more spending.
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Nope. That's the problem. Educators love to get their backs up, yet their answers are always more bureaucracy and more spending.
Not always. Did you read my posts? Exit exams could replace the current exams. Same cost. Now I would like a raise. $45K/year for someone with two masters degrees just sucks. You'd think with two masters degrees and 7 years experience I could make $50K/year.

What is spent needs to be spent in the right places. I think exit exams are the way to go. If you hold students accountable for learning the material they, their parents and administrators will hold teachers accountable for teaching it. We need to copy one thing that more successful countries do. We need to dictate what is taught. Period. It's up the teacher to teach it. What we have now amounts to a set of recommendations because no one actually checks to see that the standards are being taught. The current high stakes tests don't test what we're supposed to be teaching. That's why teaching to the test is such an issue. We're told to teach one thing and the kids are tested on another and the kids have no vested interest in the test. It's like determining my neighbors value by testing me but there's nothing in it for me to put effort into the test. If I like my neighbor I'll put some effort in. If I don't, it doesn't matter how great a person he is, I'm not going to bother.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:01 AM
 
2,778 posts, read 1,346,007 times
Reputation: 2418
Most of what I was going to say has been mentioned, but I'll say it anyway:

Standardized testing HAS to go, and teachers need to have more authority.

I'm divided on tracking... I would support problematic students being removed from the classroom but the idea of labeling kids in that way seems cruel. If they have to spend just one year in a lower level class, they're very likely to end up permanently behind the higher levels. Perhaps if they required the lower levels to do extra work and really push them to catch up, it could be a good thing... but that hasn't been my experience with tracking. It definitely makes teacher's jobs a lot easier, but that's not what education should be about.

I also think higher education should be stripped down completely, and public options should be free with admission based on academic merit. No more swimming pools or trains or exercise gyms or luxuries... just well-equipped classrooms with qualified instructors. Students should provide their own computers for IT, their own textbooks and even chip in for materials in fields that require it, but that's it. The arts students shouldn't expected to fund the STEM's chemistry labs when their entire curriculum consists of photocopied handouts and books they purchase themselves... if anything, private companies should be required to make donations to education for the sake of their own future.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:00 AM
 
3,352 posts, read 2,146,366 times
Reputation: 2232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatula City View Post
Most of what I was going to say has been mentioned, but I'll say it anyway:

Standardized testing HAS to go, and teachers need to have more authority.

I'm divided on tracking... I would support problematic students being removed from the classroom but the idea of labeling kids in that way seems cruel. If they have to spend just one year in a lower level class, they're very likely to end up permanently behind the higher levels. Perhaps if they required the lower levels to do extra work and really push them to catch up, it could be a good thing... but that hasn't been my experience with tracking. It definitely makes teacher's jobs a lot easier, but that's not what education should be about.

I also think higher education should be stripped down completely, and public options should be free with admission based on academic merit. No more swimming pools or trains or exercise gyms or luxuries... just well-equipped classrooms with qualified instructors. Students should provide their own computers for IT, their own textbooks and even chip in for materials in fields that require it, but that's it. The arts students shouldn't expected to fund the STEM's chemistry labs when their entire curriculum consists of photocopied handouts and books they purchase themselves... if anything, private companies should be required to make donations to education for the sake of their own future.
The Rec center at Siuc , provided many jobs for students and they had alot of events went on there. Some students cannot computer and textbooks.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:30 AM
 
687 posts, read 654,389 times
Reputation: 2243
Local control.

Get the federal government OUT of the school systems.

We have 50 states and some 3,100 counties in this country. Where I grew up the counties were the school district, but apparently that is not the norm and there are some 14,000 school districts in the USA. http://www.census.gov/did/www/schooldistricts/

That's 14,000 chances to get it right. Sure sure some will mess it up, but the vast majority will not. They will learn, adapt, change, and modify as their students change and as needs change and as we all learn what approaches work and what does not.

If one goes bad.....oh well, they can learn from their neighbors, replace ineffectiveness/irresponsible people with effective and responsible ones, and the local populace can demand reform.

[Just semi-randomly picking cities and states at random to use as examples here:]
On a broader level, if California screws up it doesn't affect kids in Nebraska or Maine. If for example, Jacksonville Florida's schools really really suck it doesn't affect people in Missoula Montana or Austin Texas.

If the fed implements (by carrot and stick $$$$$ approach) bad policy it affects EVERYONE. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works in rural Alaska might not be effective in Chicago. What works in rich D.C. suburbs might not be ideal for poor areas in Arkansas.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:42 AM
 
2,778 posts, read 1,346,007 times
Reputation: 2418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommie789 View Post
The Rec center at Siuc , provided many jobs for students and they had a lot of events went on there. Some students cannot computer and textbooks.
And how much of their salaries went towards paying their tuition? How many students would have said no to the events if it meant saving money? Students should go to school to learn and work, not for recreation. Recreation is a free time activity.

I don't know about you, but when I went to uni I was expected to pay for all of my textbooks on top of my tuition. And textbooks/computers for the poor could be covered by grants, scholarships, or even loans. I can guarantee that such loans would be much smaller and less predatory than tuition loans.
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