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Old 05-09-2011, 05:09 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,951,545 times
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Just going back to some previous posts, since they haven't been deleted: Saganista and others who feel undertaxed, are you making voluntary contributions to the federal government? Here's the address:

Gifts to the United States Government: Questions and Answers: Financial Management Service

For those whose children are having trouble reading, the problem could be with the curriculum. For FCPS to tell you that your child needs to be at a higher level, but not provide extra help, so that you have to spend all sorts of money on supplemental programs, isn't right.

 
Old 05-09-2011, 07:28 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,328,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Public servants are recognized on a regular basis -- every time they cash their paychecks....
Gee, thanks so much for bending over backwards like that and actually paying the people who do so much for you. Lucky them. Of course, if you are a teacher, you are expected to stay after school and do data entry and help kids who are having problems for $0.00. You are expected to grade papers and do lesson plans at home in the evening for $0.00. And you are expected to pay out-of-pocket expenses for needed extra classroom supplies for which you will be reimbursed the very same $0.00. Imagine people expecting to receive a paycheck on top of all that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
...and especially when they retire and enjoy their defined-benefit pensions that most taxpayers no longer receive.
Moderator Cut Pension benefits are one means by which employers seek to attract talented job applicants. DB and DC pensions plans are in fact designed to yield exactly the same result in retirement. Neither is cushy while the other is barebones. The single glaring difference between the two is who bears the investment risk over time. Under DB plans, it is the employer. If investments do not perform as anticipated, the employer must come up with other resources in order to meet his obligations. Under DC plans, it is YOU who bears that risk instead. All by yourself. That is all you really own in an "ownership society" -- MORE RISK. Because the risks of an individually managed private account being wiped out are much higher than the risks of a professionally managed pool being wiped out, it actually costs more money to fund a given level of retirement income across a given group under a DC plan than it does under a DB plan. More risk and more cost -- but the same benefit.

So why don't more private sector workers have DB plans today? Because they didn't care. They bascially sat back and let a bunch of hired-gun legal suits come in and swap out a modest house built of brick for a modest house built of straw. To a far greater extent, public sector workers, whether unionized or not, were able to retain their DB plans. At times, they have foregone pay increases in order to protect their pension systems. They chose to do that. DB systems have started to look very attractive after the storm to the very people were so drop-dead wrong about them before the storm. So sorry, but it isn't any teacher's or toll-collector's fault that other people allowed themselves to be put into the soup. How about a little Personal Responsibility over there for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
I lost my blind respect for the teaching profession in the 7th grade, when a prolonged teachers' strike kept us out of the classroom for the better part of two months.
You were not attending FCPS schools when you were in the 7th grade. And what were the issues involved in whatever remote in time and place strike this was? Why would anyone believe what you seem to want to imply -- that blame for it was somehow all on the teachers' side? It is never thus. Where was your rage against the machine of the school board involved at the time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Many teachers are wonderful, but many are not, and are earning considerably more in the classroom than they could ever hope to earn elsewhere, considering their skill sets, work ethic, and attitude.
Low-grade sticks and stones. Moderator Cut You know full well that post-graduate education and certification are required to be a public school teacher. You know that continuing education is a career-long requirement to remain one. You know that more than 40% of the hours that the typical teacher invests in the job are 100% uncompensated. You know that while caught between the demands and expectations of unrealistic administrators and even more unrealistic parents, they show up early in the morning and labor late into the evening, all in order to help 25 kids or so come to some better understanding of their world. You really haven't left yourself much room here to be complaining about anyone's attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
No one forces an individual to become a teacher, and those who consider the salary and working conditions to be sub-par should not enter the profession in the first place.
Many of those who would be among our most talented and effective teachers are already driven away from the profession by prejudice and parsimony. And you think it's time to thin the herd? Moderator Cut

Last edited by FindingZen; 05-11-2011 at 07:51 PM.. Reason: personal attacks
 
Old 05-09-2011, 08:10 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,328,017 times
Reputation: 4002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Just going back to some previous posts, since they haven't been deleted: Saganista and others who feel undertaxed, are you making voluntary contributions to the federal government? Here's the address...
Pretty typical response, one that usually arises among folks who have little to no skin in the game when it comes to any of the tax increase proposals that have so far been put forward. Gifts to reduce the public debt meanwhile run annually between $2 and $3 million. That's million, not billion or trillion. You need to go look at the historical spending curves of the public sector at all levels. They don't bend. They don't change. We already have a minimalist public sector in this country compared to most industrial nations, and the amounts we need to spend in order to support and protect ourselves rise annually with simple inflation and population growth. What can and does get moved around is the receipts curve. Call them rveenue enhancements, call them loophole-closings, but we need more receipts in order to put this ship back on even keel. There is no escaping the fact -- even by pie-eyed dreamers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
For those whose children are having trouble reading, the problem could be with the curriculum. For FCPS to tell you that your child needs to be at a higher level, but not provide extra help, so that you have to spend all sorts of money on supplemental programs, isn't right.
Where in anyone's post was it suggested that a school was not willing to provide extra help? Are you meanwhile advising parents to refuse to invest an hour or a buck of their own in their child's education? What about all this "parental involvement" stuff? As some have pointed out, children are not all alike. They are not stamped out by some machine. They learn different material at different rates. Help with what comes hardest has been provided automatically at every public (and private) school that I've ever had any involvement with. A typical parent meanwhile expects to receive honest feedback as to where a child has so far been strongest and weakest. Good on them if they then want to work with the school in shoring up those weaker points. Bashing the bureaucracy is not the answer to every question, you know.
 
Old 05-09-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,555,817 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
For those whose children are having trouble reading, the problem could be with the curriculum. For FCPS to tell you that your child needs to be at a higher level, but not provide extra help, so that you have to spend all sorts of money on supplemental programs, isn't right.
Believe me, help is offered (at my school, at least). Teachers stay in their room at lunch to offer students extra help. We have after school tutoring until 6:00 pm daily in different subjects. There is currently Saturday school math remediation, run by the math teachers. (FCPS has buses running on Saturdays to bring kids to school for extra math help!) Every teacher is required to stay an hour late 2 days a week to offer homework help or tutoring to any student who comes.

Students don't come, though. Letters were sent home to parents, phone calls were made, emails sent, BEGGING parents to have their kids stay late on specific days, or to show up on Saturdays. Of the 75 kids we invited for Saturday math school (FREE for families!) we had around 15 come.

In addition, there is a math coach, secondary math classes, math pull out programs (from electives or PE), and reading improvement classes. Those are mandatory for students doing poorly in classes or who failed SOLs last year. Teachers are actually crying that too much is being done, and kids are burning out.

A lot is being done--it's a bit insulting to say otherwise. Schools (at least, my school) are doing everything they possibly can to get students up to the level they need to be at.
 
Old 05-09-2011, 09:15 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,951,545 times
Reputation: 1288
Saganista, you evaded my question; have you put your skin in the game by contributing to the US Treasury the amount you feel undertaxed by? It's called putting your money where your mouth is.

Of course parents should be helping their children. But a parent who feels pressured to try "everything I can think of from Hooked on Phonics, to nightly readings and flash cards, to a reading specialist just to work with my daughter" for a first-grader is not being well-served by the school system. Either they need to lighten the pressure and work with the child at her level, if they believe it's developmental, or they are not using the most effective reading programs.

I once needed to take a child to a weekly appointment at a school for a year.
During that time I would sit in a spot in the hall between four first-grade classrooms. When they worked on reading it was obvious that the program was based heavily on sight-reading and not nearly as effective as programs that other schools were using. I hope the curriculum has changed since then but maybe not.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 05:16 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,042,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
You know full well that post-graduate education and certification are required to be a public school teacher.
I also know full well that prospective teachers have lower SAT scores than any other college major, and that education majors are among the least demanding at the undergraduate level.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 06:22 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,532,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilsmom View Post
and this is why I think redshirting is so ridiculous. Sorry, jillabean - that kind of pressure must make you want to be ill!
Actually it kind of does. The hardest thing is for me to not let her see that stress and keep working with her to get her on-level.

I think our issue is more of my daughter being on the younger side (she still has a bit of a baby talk to her voice with words like "Burginia" for Virginia and "mudder" for "mother," so she struggles with spelling too).

We are making good progress and she really is eager to read. It's kind of frustrating because she can sound out words like "predator" and "mammal" in the book we were reading last night, but that's still not up to par with where she should be as a first grader. But she will get there. I just hope she isn't held back (she does so well in her other subjects--especially math, I am afraid she will be bored and unchallenged if she repeats 1st grade).

Oh and the school is providing extra help. My daughter has, in addition to her regular teacher, a reading teacher that works with her twice a week. The only thing the school did that I don't like is that they didn't let me know how far behind my daughter was until recently (3rd quarter report card). Up until then, her grades in reading have always been "satisfactory" for achievement and "good" for effort. I knew reading wasn't her strongest subject, but I was working with her and I thought we were fine (especially considering her grades). Suddenly, she is in danger of failing. So I feel like I am playing a game of catch up with what little remains of the school year (which is why I started the hooked on phonics reading program, started trying everything I can, etc). I thought the George Washington program would be good too to keep her engaged over the summer. I plan on doing the county library reading program with her too.

By the way, these classes and books are just as much for me too (to teach me how to teach my daughter how to read). Oh, I also got her a really cool game called Reading Eggs. She loves it. Basically you have to read, take reading tests, etc (but it's all fun the way they present it).

In a way I am a little upset with the school and teachers. I feel blindsided (again, I really thought my daughter was doing "okay" until recently). I also see my daughter making the best progress with me, at home. But then again, I am working with her one-on-one, for over an hour a night, specifically on the challenges she has trouble with, etc. The teacher really can't do that in a big classroom.

Last edited by jillabean; 05-10-2011 at 06:36 AM..
 
Old 05-10-2011, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,620,837 times
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Jillabean,

Somewhat OT, but I've heard a lot of good things from homeschoolers about the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner. It's available on Amazon. I've never used it before, but many people rave about it.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 07:31 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,754,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillabean View Post
Actually it kind of does. The hardest thing is for me to not let her see that stress and keep working with her to get her on-level.

I think our issue is more of my daughter being on the younger side (she still has a bit of a baby talk to her voice with words like "Burginia" for Virginia and "mudder" for "mother," so she struggles with spelling too).

We are making good progress and she really is eager to read. It's kind of frustrating because she can sound out words like "predator" and "mammal" in the book we were reading last night, but that's still not up to par with where she should be as a first grader. But she will get there. I just hope she isn't held back (she does so well in her other subjects--especially math, I am afraid she will be bored and unchallenged if she repeats 1st grade).

Oh and the school is providing extra help. My daughter has, in addition to her regular teacher, a reading teacher that works with her twice a week. The only thing the school did that I don't like is that they didn't let me know how far behind my daughter was until recently (3rd quarter report card). Up until then, her grades in reading have always been "satisfactory" for achievement and "good" for effort. I knew reading wasn't her strongest subject, but I was working with her and I thought we were fine (especially considering her grades). Suddenly, she is in danger of failing. So I feel like I am playing a game of catch up with what little remains of the school year (which is why I started the hooked on phonics reading program, started trying everything I can, etc). I thought the George Washington program would be good too to keep her engaged over the summer. I plan on doing the county library reading program with her too.

By the way, these classes and books are just as much for me too (to teach me how to teach my daughter how to read). Oh, I also got her a really cool game called Reading Eggs. She loves it. Basically you have to read, take reading tests, etc (but it's all fun the way they present it).

In a way I am a little upset with the school and teachers. I feel blindsided (again, I really thought my daughter was doing "okay" until recently). I also see my daughter making the best progress with me, at home. But then again, I am working with her one-on-one, for over an hour a night, specifically on the challenges she has trouble with, etc. The teacher really can't do that in a big classroom.
I don't blame you for being upset. I would wonder about those grades - why didn't the teacher notice she was behind? Good first grade teachers assess reading at regular intervals and work with students closely enough to know prior to the end of the year where they are. Sounds like the teacher let her slip through the cracks. That's understandable - it's a really tough job - but still a mistake on her part. Your daughter should not be punished for that.

Also, the newest version of the DRA has a nonfiction component and emphasizes comprehension. Ability to sound out words is not as important as it used to be on the old test. At some levels, a student with good background knowledge and who is articulate can pass a level without being able to read a lot of the actual words. I think that would make it even more difficult for a young student, who is less articulate and less likely to understand the information concepts in the test. A lot of research has been done on the effect of age in the classroom, and most of it is showing that younger kids are more likely to be retained, diagnosed with ADHD, and suffer other negative effects. However, most of the actual differences will disappear eventually, so maybe the problem is mostly just that our schools are in such a huge rush to teach everything. Anyway, schools typically don't retain unless the parent agrees, so it should be up to you. If it were me, I would not agree to it. In my years as a teacher, I very rarely saw retention have the desired result.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 07:48 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,532,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
I don't blame you for being upset. I would wonder about those grades - why didn't the teacher notice she was behind? Good first grade teachers assess reading at regular intervals and work with students closely enough to know prior to the end of the year where they are. Sounds like the teacher let her slip through the cracks. That's understandable - it's a really tough job - but still a mistake on her part. Your daughter should not be punished for that.

Also, the newest version of the DRA has a nonfiction component and emphasizes comprehension. Ability to sound out words is not as important as it used to be on the old test. At some levels, a student with good background knowledge and who is articulate can pass a level without being able to read a lot of the actual words. I think that would make it even more difficult for a young student, who is less articulate and less likely to understand the information concepts in the test. A lot of research has been done on the effect of age in the classroom, and most of it is showing that younger kids are more likely to be retained, diagnosed with ADHD, and suffer other negative effects. However, most of the actual differences will disappear eventually, so maybe the problem is mostly just that our schools are in such a huge rush to teach everything. Anyway, schools typically don't retain unless the parent agrees, so it should be up to you. If it were me, I would not agree to it. In my years as a teacher, I very rarely saw retention have the desired result.
I know, I like my daughter's teacher and I think she really does care and tries to do a good job (but I also know she was a very full classroom and two special needs children in the class). Yes, I am kind of upset that the grade suddenly dropped and (from my perspective) without warning. I am not upset with the teacher, but upset with the situation as it is now (if that makes sense). I am trying to just move forward and to look at things as a team effort between me, the teacher, and my daughter. I can't change the past.

What you said about comprehension gives me hope. That's probably my daughter's strongest reading skill. While she might struggle while sounding out the words and might not be able to read everything, she can piece together and understand what's happening. Even the reading teacher commented on my daughter's comprehension skills saying it was a very important key.

At first I thought retention would benefit my daughter, but now I don't think so. I think she would be bored with other subjects and I think it would be discouraging for her. I also did a lot of reading and found out that most times, whatever advantage a child has when retained, is often lost in a few years anyway. She's a smart kid and I know if we work together and push her limits (while keeping things fun and stress free) she will "get it." I am lucky in that it's also something she really wants to master too (so it's not like I am "forcing" her to read).

Okay, sorry everyone for the tangent. It's relevant as a real-life example of something happening in FFX schools, but I feel like I am steering things off subject a bit.
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