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Old 02-09-2007, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
699 posts, read 2,305,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgussler View Post
Kind of off thread but in Taiwan all elementary schools are private, you have to pay a tuition. Works great. People over there take great pains getting their kids into just the right school. But here's what makes it work. The colleges are public and they are free. But, there are very strict guidlines to get into these colleges. Must have a GPA of at least XX.X, you must have played x number of sports. You must have joined x number of clubs and activities. Your attitude has to be just right. So parents try the hardest they can to get children in just the right private schools so that they are prepared for the college the mom and dad want them to go to.

Also, they don't go by grade, but by age. You start on your 5th birthday and finish on your 18th birthday.
I like this idea...and I believe Taiwan sets high standards and gets results.

I'm not saying that we should call them private schools, but the funding should be mostly private along with fees paid by parents that would take the place of taxes. I'm also very much for tracking students beginning early in high school into tracks for college, skill, trade school, technical etc. That way some students wouldn't have to suffer thru to 12th grade who aren't academically inclined but are a whiz with engines or something else. That would possibly save a lot of dropouts who just aren't cut out for Senior English and Algebra and French. Some students aren't, but our educational system doens't account for that and attempts to force all of them thru 4 years of high school. There are other ways!
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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No. It has nothing to do with innate capabilities. It has to do with the environments that the kids are in.

If a poor kid attends a school that has a social climate that encourages learning and has parents who encourage him or her to learn, and he or she develops

If a poor kid has a parent who has little influence over him, attends a school where the "cool people" are thugs or airheads, and is teased if he or she tries to become bookish, she can be turned off from learning.

Many of the failing schools are "extensions" of flawed subcultures in the U.S. As in, subcultures such as gang glorification.

To get a better idea, let me find Geib's story: http://www.rjgeib.com/biography/inne.../innerblu.html

" The problem was not that my students didn't want to learn the language. The vast majority knew it was important and enjoyed speaking English, as they did Spanish. The problem was that very few of them were on the road to learning the kind of academic English they would need to succeed at the university (after all, many native English-speakers failed to master that level of literacy!). How we expect these Latino immigrant children to ever acquire an educated English when they live in neighborhoods so totally isolated from any English-speaking or middle class influences is beyond me! I clearly could see that too many immigrant children were proving unable to move from a culture of the rural Mexican or Central American poverty of their parents to that of the Information Age of the future United States where they would live and work as adults. Or worse, they embraced the "homeboy" culture of the inner-city, fraught with values and behaviors inimical to success in life. And it is difficult to teach literature and writing to students who, according to a local poll, watched per average 4.5 hours of television a day while spending only 37 minutes reading, a trend which promotes passive spectating rather than active learning.

To think in terms of education and hard work as a way to make it out of the immigrant ghetto is, in fact, to buy into America. Relatively few of my students appeared to have bought into such an America. For most of these prepubescent Los Angeles teenagers, the United States was Nike athletic shoes, television sitcoms, basketball stars, pop music, glamour magazines, urban "hip hop" culture, and the ironical skepticism of "outlaw" street culture. It reminded me of Edward Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and the Fall of the Roman Empire" where the fifth-century Goths purportedly "imbibed the vices, without imitating the arts and institutions, of civilised [Roman] society." I reminded myself I was seeing my students in the throes of adolescence - rarely the most graceful or polished time in a person's life. But it was still so profoundly troubling and depressing! "

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
So you're saying that lower income students are not capable of high performance? I hope you're aware that they are capable, but they begin at a place far below where an average income student begins.

Think about the differences in home life...middle income (and up) families take vacations, they normally have more than one car so they may have activities in several areas of the city, they may be exposed to a wider variety of food, music, clothing, religion, etc...cultures. There are SO many ways poor students are behind from day one. Additionally, parents are less likely to spend enough time working with children on academics both before Kindergarten and throughout the schools years. I don't think these kids should be shrugged off and forgotten about because they are poor, urban and at a disadvantage. There are very bright kids, average kids, and below average kids in any school, and just as many bright ones in depressed areas as anywhere else. They deserve a chance to succede just as any other child does - every child in the U.S. is entitled to a free public education. It isn't the child's fault that he lives in poverty and starts out life with so many marks against him.

School performance does not depend on the area, but it does follow socioeconomics of the families at a particular school. I also strongly believe that the performance assessments that are used need to be reworked so they are fair to everyone and so they can be delivered more than one way (orally, essay, objective). Another reform issue that is long overdue...

Last edited by Vicman; 02-09-2007 at 01:46 AM..
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:50 AM
 
4,301 posts, read 7,909,737 times
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Also http://www.rjgeib.com/biography/milken/response1.html

"We Americans are very idealistic about being able to educate everyone in our society to the point where there is equality of outcome (the reality is otherwise). Kids are all so different in terms of their native talents, motivation, and family background that equality is impossible. A teacher who teaches kids whose families don't value education and who come from houses destitute of any semblance of literature or education are going to be difficult charges for even the best teacher; and even an experienced teachers who are superb can work their asses off and still yield meager results. Conversely, even a mediocre teacher can have success with focused and well prepared students whose academic careers already have momentum. A devoted, competent teacher is of course always a boon to any student; but teachers and schools only make up half the equation -- the other half are the students themselves and their families. "
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
699 posts, read 2,305,073 times
Reputation: 288
Kids are not going to "buy in" to much of anything about future, success or climbing out of poverty, at least not without an adult to help them buy into it. Teachers do all they can to be role models and help kids onto the right path...and I for one do not allow anyone in my presence to be made fun of - I'm on the lookout for that crap all day. "HipHop" culture doesn't have to automatically be labeled as a bad thing, and I know it's common for people outside of it to view the entire culture as drug-related and street wise because it looks scary to, I'll go ahead and say it, white people. It's not unusual to be afraid of or look down on something you aren't familiar with and don't understand.

It all boils down to...the 'bad' schools are in mostly black areas, and the kids are just as smart and capable as anywhere else but a majority of them don't have the kind of parental and adult support they need. This is a major indicator that we need radical reforms in our education system. It isn't meeting the needs of the population.
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:40 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,649,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
"HipHop" culture doesn't have to automatically be labeled as a bad thing, and I know it's common for people outside of it to view the entire culture as drug-related and street wise because it looks scary to, I'll go ahead and say it, white people. It's not unusual to be afraid of or look down on something you aren't familiar with and don't understand.
.
Nicely put. I grew up a white person attended majority black schools and as such rap (somewhere along the lines it morphed into hip-hop, I'm in my 30's and we just called it rap) and while I was never a huge fan of rap (my tastes leaned more toward punk and harder rock), I knew it because most of the people in my school knew it and I also knew that there were interesting and intelligent rap artists just as there were interesting and intelligent artists in most pop genres, but the crap is what receives the most attention. The students who were the problem where not the students who listened to rap or wore baggy pants, the students who were the problems where the students whose home life was a wreck and who fell into the gang crowd (and no, the majority of the baggy clothes wearing hip-hop listening students at my school wanted nothing to do with the gangs, and avoided them), like the kid who moved across the street from me from some rough south-side neighborhood whose parents fought all the time, whose older brother dealt drugs (which was a shame, he was a nice kid too, being that he lived across the street we waited for the bus and went to school together, I saw him all the time) whose parents didn't pay the mortgage, yet drove expensive cars, and let things get so back that they were evicted, and that young kid came home to see all of his things on the front lawn and the locks changed. What sort of future did he have (I didn't see him again after that, the family moved)? But that is the sort of home life that will predispose a child to not care about their education, and it is more common than one would think.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
699 posts, read 2,305,073 times
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Good observations...it's usually a small percentage of people in a larger group who cause the trouble. Most of the kids(or adults) who fit that image are law abiding and not a threat to anyone. It's too bad they are all judged for the notoriety of a few.

The eviction situation you were speaking of is a valid point also. I always wondered how I as a teacher could actually expect kids to do homework when their living situation is so volatile. What if the family was evicted the prior evening? Is that a good excuse for the student not having homework that was due? I had a student once in student teaching whose father had escaped from jail and came to their home...eventually the police broke down the door with guns drawn and the kids sitting right there...she was excused from homework. That's a situation I could never imagine or would have never thought of happening to any child. It's hard to see someone pulling himself out of that situation and becoming successful...and this student was very smart, a full year above her grade level in reading and math. wonder where she is 7 years later? She should be a senior...

It's not the kids' fault and it's up to anyone who has an interest to help them succeed. Kids are kids, and I've found that the ones from the projects needed me the most and really were excited about any little extra thing I did for them. I think that kind of reward is the reason many teachers chose the profession.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:01 PM
 
504 posts, read 1,620,713 times
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Thank goodness my youngest daughter went to a private school but her father made sacrifices and went without a lot of things he wanted, he changed his hours at work so he could be with her when she got home, he read to her daily, took her everywhere he could, even the neighborhood bar for a pretzel while she was in her back pack.
This is what is missing in our education is schools where parents are visible in every aspect of their child's life and are willing to find a way to transport their child to a better school, working odd hours to be available for the child and teacher. I think its uninvolved parents that make bad schools, the same parents that blame teachers for not being able to reach Johnnie or Janie.
I am all for school choice, but it will never change unless parents get more involved.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
699 posts, read 2,305,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexander59 View Post
Thank goodness my youngest daughter went to a private school but her father made sacrifices and went without a lot of things he wanted, he changed his hours at work so he could be with her when she got home, he read to her daily, took her everywhere he could, even the neighborhood bar for a pretzel while she was in her back pack.
This is what is missing in our education is schools where parents are visible in every aspect of their child's life and are willing to find a way to transport their child to a better school, working odd hours to be available for the child and teacher. I think its uninvolved parents that make bad schools, the same parents that blame teachers for not being able to reach Johnnie or Janie.
I am all for school choice, but it will never change unless parents get more involved.
YES!! You have the solution to a HUGE part of the problem in schools and you have a valid voice...you aren't a teacher complaining about parent involvement. This is the root of our problems in education and in the community. In my day parents taught their kids some manners, and taught us right from wrong, and how to respect others. The world still had problems, but far fewer and far less serious. You should experience it from a teacher's point of view...some kids know how to act and will rarely get in trouble, but some could care less and they stay in trouble. The real test is when I use my most effective method for classroom discipline..."Do I need to go make a phone call to someone's parents?" That takes care of most unruliness. But there are always a few kids that it doesn't work with, and obviously those few are the ones that don't get enough discipline at home.

I'm just thrilled to read your response. Thank you...you hit the bullseye with that one.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:37 PM
 
4,301 posts, read 7,909,737 times
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That's true; the "homeboy" culture that Geib is referring to is not all-encompassing of rap and hiphop, but "glorification" of "gang" and "criminal" activities. The person who wrote those paragraphs taught at Berendo Middle School in Los Angeles for several years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
Kids are not going to "buy in" to much of anything about future, success or climbing out of poverty, at least not without an adult to help them buy into it. Teachers do all they can to be role models and help kids onto the right path...and I for one do not allow anyone in my presence to be made fun of - I'm on the lookout for that crap all day. "HipHop" culture doesn't have to automatically be labeled as a bad thing, and I know it's common for people outside of it to view the entire culture as drug-related and street wise because it looks scary to, I'll go ahead and say it, white people. It's not unusual to be afraid of or look down on something you aren't familiar with and don't understand.

It all boils down to...the 'bad' schools are in mostly black areas, and the kids are just as smart and capable as anywhere else but a majority of them don't have the kind of parental and adult support they need. This is a major indicator that we need radical reforms in our education system. It isn't meeting the needs of the population.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:49 AM
 
146 posts, read 530,551 times
Reputation: 180
Default Education Reform

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgoboy204 View Post
our society, IMHO, needs to choose differently in order to help change education - I know that sounds way, way too simplistic, but not only do we have enough $$ for war
Both of you are missing the point, to wit, the differences contributing to "good" schools and "bad" schools. Why reform is needed stems directly from a systemic shift in cultural values. Privatization won't address those problems. Why isn't public education working across the board? What has happened in the last two decades alone that has caused this failure? (Rhetorical questions, we all know the answers).

First, there is already enough money available, and being spent, for public education to work. Spending more money isn't the answer. Here are some key problems, in no particular order:

1) too many poorly educated and non-professionally trained teachers; alternative certification programs allow anyone with a degree to teach after a year of night classes. Many teachers are teaching out of their certification area.

2) top heavy school district administrations, more Chiefs than Indians; more money is being spent on programs and special intersts groups than education in the classrooms; too much money is being given to the wrong people, i.e., an instructional coordinator gets 15K more than a teacher and does half the workload.

3) multicultural curriculum; since the 80's this flawed philosophy has been a major assault on academic rigor.

4) game-playing with identification and special programs-SPED, BAC, etc. and the money grabbing it leads to.

5) high stakes testing; the TAKS in Texas has led to across the board teaching to the test. For example, many teachers WILL NOT even teach persuasive writing now because it's not on the test!

6) Cultural depravity.

SPRTLVR bemoans the fact that the common school ideology has been in place for over a hundred years (not so by the way) and advocates everything becoming privatized without ackonwledging the key factors that contribute to "bad" schools. Privatizing schools changes nothing.

Last edited by english_teacher; 02-11-2007 at 12:06 PM..
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