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Old 02-28-2010, 09:03 AM
 
1,006 posts, read 824,481 times
Reputation: 793
Quote:
Originally Posted by flycessna View Post
In all this talk about education I was searching around the internet and found a great story/article about a guy from china that had went to school in china but in his teens came to america with his parents..

There was a lot of information covered in it like how they have this huge exam that pretty much dictates from who gets to go to college to what they will major in.

Well he mentioned class sizes of 50 plus students where the expectations for grades are 95%.. any less would be an insult to yourself and your family.. He appreciated these extremes as it places the importance of education was your own responability and then on the flip side he liked how here in america he could feel around in take classes in what interested him.

We can complain about "unfunded madates" and classroom sizes but the problems with education go much deeper. Our family values and how much that has changed, expectations with students and teachers alike.. How would china handle a teacher who is failing??

I am not touting china as a model society but It is certainly relevent in that china is and will continue to be our biggest competitor in every way.
I agree with you that China is a major competitor and it seems that the families there value education and demand 95%. Why don't more families in the U.S. demand their students excel? Why do so many take a public school education for granted? Have we forgotten that historically only the wealthy could afford an education....our young country saw the need for educated citizens, but somehow, a public school education seems to be valued less and less as time goes on.

Did I say I disagreed with the teachers having more students in their classrooms? No, I was just offering a fact. Have you ever been a teacher in a public school in America or any other country? If education is our "own responsibility" then how can a teacher be failing?

Isn't it true that most socialist countries require students to take a big exam to see what education and career path each young person will take/be allowed to pursue? In America, which is supposed to be a democracy, we still have the right to be ignorant or educated, (even sit in a public school classroom for 13 years and use it as an apathetic place to park, rather than a place to learn) with a variety of education and job choices--doesn't mean all of them are plentiful in Maine. In America, don't we have the right to choose our path in life?

In America, even if you don't get that great of a score on your SAT, you can still enroll to at a community college and/or a college that offers open admission, decide to put forth the effort and graduate. I know people who have done it and some have gone on to graduate school.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
1,131 posts, read 1,391,959 times
Reputation: 1027
I am going to yap about several things in the posts, some are off topic, and some aren't....so bear with me, and yell at me if you want.

Maine school's per pupil expenditures are exceedingly high. I am certain it is because of the large number of federally and state mandated programs. If you have a low student population, you must still meet the mandate, and offer all the things that go with the mandates. One school I know of has approximately 120 students and 20 staff members. That is a ratio of 1:6. No taxpayer funded school can maintain those kind of salaries for that number of students. Where I work, the ratio is more like 1:20. We have the population, so the costs are distributed (for those special programs) among a larger student population.

We have an early exit option. It is mainly for students who want to complete vocational programs and earn a certificate, or a state license. It works well for those students who do not plan to to go college. Once again, funding wise, we shoot ourselves in the foot. We lose the students, and the funding when they exit early. I do not equate students and dollar signs, but the state does. Everything that schools try to do to help learning, usually results in some sort of a funding loss. That part of the system is broken.

Special diplomas. We issue a non-standard diploma. It is nothing more than a Hallmark greeting card. It keeps the dropout rate low, but prepares the student for a life of minimum wage employment. These students can't get in a junior college, can't earn a state certificate, or license, and basically can't do anything but enter the work force. Many students who earn these diplomas are ESE students, but students who cannot pass the state tests are also given these diplomas.

I work in the GED program, so I see the result of the educational system. Most of the students I get are ones who come from homes that are so dysfunctional that the student didn't have a chance from the start. Divorces, remarriages, live in boyfriends, girlfriends, and all these things make it difficult for the student to get an education. Many come from homes where abuse, alcoholism and drug addiction are a fact of daily life. Bringing all this baggage to school just about insures that they will not get a basic education.

The early exit option is a real great deal for these students, as most want to leave home as soon as possible, and you can't really blame them. The only problem is that we simply create another generation that is a carbon copy of the one before it. It is getting much more difficult to just get by.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,336 posts, read 3,280,964 times
Reputation: 1456
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Did I say I disagreed with the teachers having more students in their classrooms? No, I was just offering a fact. Have you ever been a teacher in a public school in America or any other country? If education is our "own responsibility" then how can a teacher be failing?

In America, don't we have the right to choose our path in life?
I really didn't take issue with anything you said. Sorry if you felt that way. I was just offering food for thought. I certainly do not have all the answers.

My wife comes from a family of teachers, my best friend is a teacher and my sister was a teacher. But no, I haven’t done it. I can tell you though that raising 3 children 2 of which have been in public education and one has yet to enter it that I am very concerned.

I totaly disagree if you don't think teachers can fail. I've unfortunately met several teachers that IMHO should not be in front of a classroom. One of them when my older son was in 2nd grade was so bad that every boy in her class fell behind in reading! That’s every single one! My son was months behind in reading coming into April at the end of the year. I filed for a pet after she told me there was nothing she could do. My friend who is a teacher in Yarmouth sat in her class because of complaints from his son and he was floored by the rude and just inappropriate behavior by this woman, especially toward boys. Needless to say the school did nothing and she is still there teaching 2nd graders 8 years later. My son’s fourth grade teacher did not assign any homework for the entire year and had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the school year missing 5 weeks of school. He was a nice guy but maybe should have taken a year off. I could go on and on and on and sadly to say this was one particular school system (SAD15 gray). My other son here in Auburn I have been pleasantly surprised! And I will add that I have had exceptional experiences with great teachers for my son in Gray and it makes all the difference.

Yes education starts in the home and school should be an extension of that. But kids spend hours and hours there. The schools spend copious amounts of tax payers money. My expectations are high, and should be!! Teacher's, Police Officer's, Firemen ect, Should be about a calling, a desire to serve. How can anyone be hired as a teacher who does not like children. It's like a nurse who has no compassion, no matter how smart, or educated he/she is they will not be successful.

We have a choice to choose from the opportunities that are presented to us. Not eveyone can pack up and move to a better school system, or pay for a private education. Is the state of maine willing to refund me the precentage of taxes I pay for education so I can use it to send my sons to private school??

But still..Yes in America people have the choice to pursue their passions and interests which is such a better model..And I really dont recall ever saying anything against that?? But I unfortunately feel the powers that be are going to get away from that.

And I do say children do not have as many choices.. elementary education which is a foundation for a lifetime of learning is where we develope both acedemic and social skills. Our impressions of the world are innocent and it was sad to see so many children hurt by one teacher. Every parent would have chosen for their child that their son not be in her class but the school would not have complied.

Last edited by flycessna; 03-02-2010 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:25 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,483 posts, read 3,192,096 times
Reputation: 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by maine4.us View Post
I am going to yap about several things in the posts, some are off topic, and some aren't....so bear with me, and yell at me if you want.

Maine school's per pupil expenditures are exceedingly high. I am certain it is because of the large number of federally and state mandated programs. If you have a low student population, you must still meet the mandate, and offer all the things that go with the mandates. One school I know of has approximately 120 students and 20 staff members. That is a ratio of 1:6. No taxpayer funded school can maintain those kind of salaries for that number of students. Where I work, the ratio is more like 1:20. We have the population, so the costs are distributed (for those special programs) among a larger student population.

Thank you for the clarification. I have endlessly heard that EPS funding is laughable in its manner of distribution.

We have an early exit option. It is mainly for students who want to complete vocational programs and earn a certificate, or a state license. It works well for those students who do not plan to to go college. Once again, funding wise, we shoot ourselves in the foot. We lose the students, and the funding when they exit early. I do not equate students and dollar signs, but the state does. Everything that schools try to do to help learning, usually results in some sort of a funding loss. That part of the system is broken.

An equation that I've observed as well.

Special diplomas. We issue a non-standard diploma. It is nothing more than a Hallmark greeting card. It keeps the dropout rate low, but prepares the student for a life of minimum wage employment. These students can't get in a junior college, can't earn a state certificate, or license, and basically can't do anything but enter the work force. Many students who earn these diplomas are ESE students, but students who cannot pass the state tests are also given these diplomas.

I work in the GED program, so I see the result of the educational system. Most of the students I get are ones who come from homes that are so dysfunctional that the student didn't have a chance from the start. Divorces, remarriages, live in boyfriends, girlfriends, and all these things make it difficult for the student to get an education. Many come from homes where abuse, alcoholism and drug addiction are a fact of daily life. Bringing all this baggage to school just about insures that they will not get a basic education.

Agreed.

The early exit option is a real great deal for these students, as most want to leave home as soon as possible, and you can't really blame them. The only problem is that we simply create another generation that is a carbon copy of the one before it. It is getting much more difficult to just get by.
So in your opinion as one who is experienced, do you think that schools as a whole would be better served in sending some kids to college in their Junior year, or investing those funds and efforts into making sure that kids won't require remediation in college? This is what I'm curious about...I haven't yet seen any numbers to clarify it, and my observations are still in the elementary/middle school level as of now.

Last edited by reloop; 03-02-2010 at 10:25 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
1,131 posts, read 1,391,959 times
Reputation: 1027
Loop, that is an extremely difficult question. It really depends on what kind of college you want to attend. A lot of the junior colleges are plagued with the same problems as high school. At one time I worked for a junior college. Students came to class unruly, not ready to learn, and in some cases intoxicated. I really didn't care for that environment, so I stopped teaching there. We had the same discipline problems as high schools.

4 year colleges demand more of their students, and generally get the better students. I need to make a comment that there are a lot of great students at some junior colleges. Those are the ones who financially cannot afford a 4 year school to start. The rest are there under the guise of a federal program or some financing that they get just to attend college. I won't go there.

For an academically challenged student, who is hard working, has a positive attitude and wants to get ahead, I think going on to college instead of a senior year is a wonderful thing. My son is an example. He knew what he wanted to do since the 8th grade. He wanted to be a paramedic/fireman/EVAC helicopter nurse. His senior year was misery for us both. He attended 2 classes and the rest of the day he worked. He worked for a non-emergency ambulance service. He became an EMT at 17 years of age through a program not connected with the school. His senior year was basically a waste of time. He didn't pass the mandated math test, but finally managed to get out of school, who knows how! He attended the state fire college and graduated, and later took night classes to become a paramedic. None of this was connected with his day school. He could have benefited so much more by an early exit program. But, then again that is not for everyone.

The more academic students need the senior year to become prepared for a 4 year college. The senior year is the icing on the cake. The good students have completed the basic requirements, and are finally taking classes in which they are genuinely interested. They blossom, and bloom. But, you have to think, how many students are going to a 4 year university to complete a challenging program? Unfortunately, not that many these days.

Remediation: My son went to a junior college, and when he talked to the admissions department, he knew it wasn't for him. He was to be remediated in math for an undetermined period of time. Gee, that is certainly a pain! How long, who knew! So he decided to skip the college route and become state certified. Not bragging, but he maintained 95% on all his paramedic skill tests. I was shocked!

So, wrapping this up, it really depends on the student. For someone not wanting a bachelors degree, I think the early exit option is okay. If you want a BS or an advanced degree, you should probably remain in high school for your senior year.

Even the not so bright students get the remediation bit. I think in some ways, it simply provides jobs for university instructors. After all, if he couldn't hack it, he shouldn't be there.

It always boils down to personal responsibility. That is something many people today are sadly lacking.

Okay, off the soap box!
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