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Old 10-01-2023, 07:04 PM
 
12,846 posts, read 9,050,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
There are degrees of failure and the results of the last 3 years make all the previous failures look pretty benign in comparison. For the first time in my career, and it’s been a very long one, I am seriously concerned the public education system might implode. And worse, at this point, part of me is afraid that is the only way we are going to see some of the reforms needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
What it did was to speed up the size and extent of this gap. If there was no pandemic you'd probably see this gap in a few years.

Society got the wake up call early. But it doesn't seem they really want to do anything about it.
Once again we've cycled back to the same question. What are the right reforms? I think society is ready to do something about it, but I'm not sure the education system is. What are the reforms? The only thing I keep hearing is "more money" without any specific on what the money will do.
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Old 10-01-2023, 07:39 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,375 posts, read 60,561,367 times
Reputation: 60990
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Once again we've cycled back to the same question. What are the right reforms? I think society is ready to do something about it, but I'm not sure the education system is. What are the reforms? The only thing I keep hearing is "more money" without any specific on what the money will do.
The education system, if you mean teachers, will do what they're told to do. The problem is that many of the "reforms" and "initiatives" are formulated three or four, or more, steps above them. Many times by people who have never stepped foot in a secondary, middle or elementary classroom except, maybe, a college based lab school.

The instructor who taught my Methods of Teaching Social Studies class almost fifty years ago recently died. She was very clear that the sum total of her non-college teaching experience was six months she'd spent teaching in a Catholic prep school when she first graduated from college. Yet she was teaching us Methods.

Then there was the appointed Chair of the School Board in my (former) system. He had an EdD in School Administration (as a note my MS was Educational Administration) and never spent one day in a classroom other than as a student. He was also the brother-in-law of the County Executive who appointed him as Chair, so there was that.

So you have a guy with a Doctorate in Education who never spent one day teaching. He wore that like a badge of honor.

That's who develops the "reforms "and initiatives, not the teachers in the classroom. They're the ones who got rid of leveling/tracking. They're the ones who advocated and forced cooperative learning. They're the ones now pushing to, and succeeding, to get rid of homework, grades, implementing assigning minimum grades and "authentic assessments" (which generally means anything that a kid hands in that's not in a traditional written format like a drawing or poem).
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,806 posts, read 24,310,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Well the latest is to drop tests and change the rules where not turning in homework doesn't count against you, bad behavior doesn't count against you and even grading is being dropped.

Pretty much all they have to do is show up for attendance.
And that's not what I'm talking about...and you know it.
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,806 posts, read 24,310,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
I spent my teaching time in schools doing remedial Math and Math Intervention in Title 1 schools.
I worked with kids that the school had already written off they were so far behind...yet got promoted.

It's near impossible to teach 8th grade math to kids that can barely add 2 single digit numbers and draw bubbles on their paper for multiplication.

They can't do the simple elementary math while grade 8 is introduction to algebra.

You don't fix that with more money.
In the post you're responding to, where did I say a single word about money?
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,806 posts, read 24,310,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
The education system, if you mean teachers, will do what they're told to do. The problem is that many of the "reforms" and "initiatives" are formulated three or four, or more, steps above them. Many times by people who have never stepped foot in a secondary, middle or elementary classroom except, maybe, a college based lab school.

The instructor who taught my Methods of Teaching Social Studies class almost fifty years ago recently died. She was very clear that the sum total of her non-college teaching experience was six months she'd spent teaching in a Catholic prep school when she first graduated from college. Yet she was teaching us Methods.

Then there was the appointed Chair of the School Board in my (former) system. He had an EdD in School Administration (as a note my MS was Educational Administration) and never spent one day in a classroom other than as a student. He was also the brother-in-law of the County Executive who appointed him as Chair, so there was that.

So you have a guy with a Doctorate in Education who never spent one day teaching. He wore that like a badge of honor.

That's who develops the "reforms "and initiatives, not the teachers in the classroom. They're the ones who got rid of leveling/tracking. They're the ones who advocated and forced cooperative learning. They're the ones now pushing to, and succeeding, to get rid of homework, grades, implementing assigning minimum grades and "authentic assessments" (which generally means anything that a kid hands in that's not in a traditional written format like a drawing or poem).
At the University Of Maryland, where I got my grad degree in School Admin, several of the professors in that program had never taught or worked in any capacity in a public school.
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:41 PM
 
12,846 posts, read 9,050,725 times
Reputation: 34919
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
The education system, if you mean teachers, will do what they're told to do. The problem is that many of the "reforms" and "initiatives" are formulated three or four, or more, steps above them. Many times by people who have never stepped foot in a secondary, middle or elementary classroom except, maybe, a college based lab school.

The instructor who taught my Methods of Teaching Social Studies class almost fifty years ago recently died. She was very clear that the sum total of her non-college teaching experience was six months she'd spent teaching in a Catholic prep school when she first graduated from college. Yet she was teaching us Methods.

Then there was the appointed Chair of the School Board in my (former) system. He had an EdD in School Administration (as a note my MS was Educational Administration) and never spent one day in a classroom other than as a student. He was also the brother-in-law of the County Executive who appointed him as Chair, so there was that.

So you have a guy with a Doctorate in Education who never spent one day teaching. He wore that like a badge of honor.

That's who develops the "reforms "and initiatives, not the teachers in the classroom. They're the ones who got rid of leveling/tracking. They're the ones who advocated and forced cooperative learning. They're the ones now pushing to, and succeeding, to get rid of homework, grades, implementing assigning minimum grades and "authentic assessments" (which generally means anything that a kid hands in that's not in a traditional written format like a drawing or poem).
Teachers are a part of the system, but they are not "the system" as a whole. Like most "systems" the primary control points are the ones who design and implement policy, not the boots on the ground dealing with it. You have federal and state education departments; teachers unions (because they influence policy at the national and state levels, not because of how they interact with individual teachers); school district administrations; school boards that have become rubber stamps for social policy initiatives; and to some degree education schools and the academic industry.

Teachers by themselves don't create these level problems but become complicit by actions at the working level.
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Old 10-02-2023, 06:42 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,375 posts, read 60,561,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
At the University Of Maryland, where I got my grad degree in School Admin, several of the professors in that program had never taught or worked in any capacity in a public school.
And you're a few (like four or five) years older than me so it's not some "new" development.

My student teaching supervisor from the college (I forget his actual title) actually had taught high school for twenty or twenty-five years before becoming an Associate Professor, so he was pretty good. Many of my just regular instructors has also taught secondary before moving to the college so most were pretty decent. There were some ringers, though.
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Old 10-03-2023, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,542 posts, read 2,674,170 times
Reputation: 13053
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Teachers are a part of the system, but they are not "the system" as a whole. Like most "systems" the primary control points are the ones who design and implement policy, not the boots on the ground dealing with it. You have federal and state education departments; teachers unions (because they influence policy at the national and state levels, not because of how they interact with individual teachers); school district administrations; school boards that have become rubber stamps for social policy initiatives; and to some degree education schools and the academic industry.

Teachers by themselves don't create these level problems but become complicit by actions at the working level.
You mean "complicit" as in "do what you're told, or we'll make your life miserable and transfer you to 8th grade math in the ghetto"?

In the world of manufacturing (you know, where wealth is actually CREATED, not just moved around!) it's been well known and accepted for decades now that Dr. Deming had it right and that 99% of so-called "individual failures" are systemic failures. Yet in education the constant cry is "blame the teachers, if we just had better teachers that were all saints dedicated to working 16 hours a day under horrible working conditions, and also geniuses who could decipher exactly the needs of each and every student and give each and every student deep individual attention, even wiht 40 kids in a class for a 50 minute class period - THEN education would work right!"

And of course whenever the test scores go down the response is to double down on the things that aren't working; further reduce teacher autonomy, add more paperwork and documentation, buy more computers, and introduce yet another rejigger of the curriculum.
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Old 10-03-2023, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,806 posts, read 24,310,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
You mean "complicit" as in "do what you're told, or we'll make your life miserable and transfer you to 8th grade math in the ghetto"?

In the world of manufacturing (you know, where wealth is actually CREATED, not just moved around!) it's been well known and accepted for decades now that Dr. Deming had it right and that 99% of so-called "individual failures" are systemic failures. Yet in education the constant cry is "blame the teachers, if we just had better teachers that were all saints dedicated to working 16 hours a day under horrible working conditions, and also geniuses who could decipher exactly the needs of each and every student and give each and every student deep individual attention, even wiht 40 kids in a class for a 50 minute class period - THEN education would work right!"

And of course whenever the test scores go down the response is to double down on the things that aren't working; further reduce teacher autonomy, add more paperwork and documentation, buy more computers, and introduce yet another rejigger of the curriculum.
You certainly do go to extremes. But do you realize what a contract is? Every teacher contract signed (or had signed) said that I would follow the course outlined by the board of education and school officials. Further, when you sign a contract with a school system...it's with the school system, not a specific school.

On the other hand, the last paragraph that I bolded...I agree completely.
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,542 posts, read 2,674,170 times
Reputation: 13053
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
You certainly do go to extremes. But do you realize what a contract is? ...
Of course I do. You really ought to read my posts more carefully. I was taking issue with the statement that teachers are somehow "complicit" in the dysfunction that is American public education, because they follow orders. Well, they follow orders unless they want to be (in only the most extreme cases) fired (but that usually only happens when they make a big public outcry) or punitively transferred to the worst posting that can be found (usually 8th grade math in the ghetto). The previous poster's implication that teachers ought to "resist the system" is asinine in the real world where teachers do it because they need the money to live.

And if you don't think assignments and transfers are used as punishment, I invite you to come teach in some large urban districts.
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