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Old 01-24-2024, 11:16 AM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,244 posts, read 10,491,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Let's see if I can explain with a few examples. Certainly not all inclusive.

a. Not every kid is going to learn. We spend 80% of the effort on the bottom 20% of students. Imagine the benefits if we put that same effort into the top 20%.

b. Don't be afraid to remove the problem kids from the classroom. Establish discipline.

c. Parents are not the enemy. Don't make them into the enemy. They should be your best allies.

d. Disagreement with how the education system is run is NOT the same as "hating teachers." It's an easy way to discard important information by simply labeling it as "hating teachers."

There are a lot of subsets and breakouts associated with just the first two. Many of the discussions here on CD are related to how one of those subsets in the first two are handled. Which brings up c & d. Great way to shut down any discussion of a & b.
You stated, "This is about certain realities that the education system refuses to acknowledge."

a. I agree there is a lot of effort on the bottom 20% of students. I don't know how you calculate a percentage of effort. Top students also get a lot of attention. Think about AP courses. I recently subbed for an AP Physics class that had 4 students enrolled. I have had numerous other experiences with AP classes with less than 10 students. They also have gifted teachers, academic competitions, field trips, etc. I'm actually not a fan of gifted programs. We pulled my son out of one when he was in 5th grade. We thought it was a waste of time.

b. Discipline is a big issue in many schools. Removing students from the classroom is a broad topic. What I have seen work in a couple schools is Saturday detention. The last thing students want is showing up at school at 8AM on Saturday morning. I'm not crazy about suspension. Expelling students is expensive and schools are still financially responsible for their education.

c. Many parents are a huge problem. It would be great if parents were allies, but that is not always the case. One of the problems I have seen is when parents call the principle and the teacher is caught in the middle. Some administrators go overboard with thinking their job is to keep parents happy.

d. I have many disagreements with how the education system is run. I see some excellent dedicated teachers. I also see teachers and students who are just going through the motions. There many students graduating from high school with very poor reading ability and who can't do basic arithmetic. They have gone through school doing worksheets and word searches. They have "read" novels by watching the movie. I think students need to bb challenged according to their ability. I've found that small schools don't do a good job of challenging students because sometimes the lowest and the highest students are put in the same class. I've also found that small schools do not provide the same opportunities and experiences as larger schools.
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Old 01-24-2024, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,124 posts, read 23,785,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
You stated, "This is about certain realities that the education system refuses to acknowledge."

a. I agree there is a lot of effort on the bottom 20% of students. I don't know how you calculate a percentage of effort. Top students also get a lot of attention. Think about AP courses. I recently subbed for an AP Physics class that had 4 students enrolled. I have had numerous other experiences with AP classes with less than 10 students. They also have gifted teachers, academic competitions, field trips, etc. I'm actually not a fan of gifted programs. We pulled my son out of one when he was in 5th grade. We thought it was a waste of time.

b. Discipline is a big issue in many schools. Removing students from the classroom is a broad topic. What I have seen work in a couple schools is Saturday detention. The last thing students want is showing up at school at 8AM on Saturday morning. I'm not crazy about suspension. Expelling students is expensive and schools are still financially responsible for their education.

c. Many parents are a huge problem. It would be great if parents were allies, but that is not always the case. One of the problems I have seen is when parents call the principle and the teacher is caught in the middle. Some administrators go overboard with thinking their job is to keep parents happy.

d. I have many disagreements with how the education system is run. I see some excellent dedicated teachers. I also see teachers and students who are just going through the motions. There many students graduating from high school with very poor reading ability and who can't do basic arithmetic. They have gone through school doing worksheets and word searches. They have "read" novels by watching the movie. I think students need to bb challenged according to their ability. I've found that small schools don't do a good job of challenging students because sometimes the lowest and the highest students are put in the same class. I've also found that small schools do not provide the same opportunities and experiences as larger schools.
a. Yes. In the school where I was principal, the amount of effort teachers put into teaching the gifted was often extreme...just to get the 'honor' of teaching the gifted.

b. We didn't do that, but we often did in-school suspension...which the kids HATED...days without any friends and sitting in a small room with our witch!

d. In my view, we should go back to a reasonable degree of tracking.
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Old 01-24-2024, 12:02 PM
 
28,562 posts, read 18,560,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
You stated, "This is about certain realities that the education system refuses to acknowledge."

a. I agree there is a lot of effort on the bottom 20% of students. I don't know how you calculate a percentage of effort. Top students also get a lot of attention. Think about AP courses. I recently subbed for an AP Physics class that had 4 students enrolled. I have had numerous other experiences with AP classes with less than 10 students. They also have gifted teachers, academic competitions, field trips, etc. I'm actually not a fan of gifted programs. We pulled my son out of one when he was in 5th grade. We thought it was a waste of time.
Don't think of them as "gifted" programs. Kids learn at a variety of levels at different times. Few kids are so brilliant at everything as to call them "gifted." So, the kids who at a higher level of proficiency in math may be at a lower level of proficiency in physical fitness. Put them in groups according to levels of proficiency rather than age.

I frankly think that giving kids more help where they need help and giving them room to fly where they can fly will resolve a lot of the other issues.
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Old 01-24-2024, 12:54 PM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,244 posts, read 10,491,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Don't think of them as "gifted" programs. Kids learn at a variety of levels at different times. Few kids are so brilliant at everything as to call them "gifted." So, the kids who at a higher level of proficiency in math may be at a lower level of proficiency in physical fitness. Put them in groups according to levels of proficiency rather than age.

I frankly think that giving kids more help where they need help and giving them room to fly where they can fly will resolve a lot of the other issues.
Many but not all school districts have one or more gifted teachers. Students are classified as having a gifted IEP (GIEP). An IEP is a written plan for the provision of services for the education of students who are disabled or gifted. After we pulled my son out of the gifted program in 5th grade, he still had a GIEP, but it made little difference. I don't think our HS did anything different with GIEP students. It is not clear to me what gifted teachers do in a HS.

What you referring to is tracking. See phetaroi's comment about tracking. My 7th and 8th grade classes in the late 1960s used strict tracking. We were with the same group of students for every class and it was determined by some IQ test score.

Today's schools have a lot more support for students who have an IEP. There are special education teachers and aides who co-teach inclusion classes and provided individualized support.
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Old 01-24-2024, 01:29 PM
 
12,578 posts, read 8,809,297 times
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Sounds like in general you actually agree with me on some main points, with some differences on others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
a. I agree there is a lot of effort on the bottom 20% of students. I don't know how you calculate a percentage of effort. Top students also get a lot of attention. Think about AP courses. I recently subbed for an AP Physics class that had 4 students enrolled. I have had numerous other experiences with AP classes with less than 10 students. They also have gifted teachers, academic competitions, field trips, etc. I'm actually not a fan of gifted programs. We pulled my son out of one when he was in 5th grade. We thought it was a waste of time.
It comes from the 80/20 rule. It's not a perfect measure for specific situations, but is pretty accurate in the general sense.

I'm glad there are AP but I look at them as too little, too late for the top and mid range students. My concern comes from the previous years of K-8. What happens when the class is supposed to cover topics A through K but only gets through F because the teacher has to go over the same topics multiple times for a couple of kids who don't get it? When does that material get covered? Multiply that times the number of classes each year and the number of years, and it's no wonder so many kids are behind by the time they graduate.

I agree with you on gifted programs. More show ponies. My oldest was in the gifted program and all she got was double homework. That was the so called "enrichment." One teacher actually held a "let's complain about X" day where she led (yes led) all the other kids in the class to complain about all the "extra's" she got. Her response was "Yes, I get lots of extras. Extra homework. Extra pages to read. Extra book reports. Extra projects. ..." Left her in tears. When the school tried to put our youngest in the gifted program we said no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
b. Discipline is a big issue in many schools. Removing students from the classroom is a broad topic. What I have seen work in a couple schools is Saturday detention. The last thing students want is showing up at school at 8AM on Saturday morning. I'm not crazy about suspension. Expelling students is expensive and schools are still financially responsible for their education.
How much does it cost when they keep disrupting class? What about the kids who get bullied by them? Why do we worry so much about the few who are causing most of the trouble rather than the majority who aren't? Spending dollars to save dimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
c. Many parents are a huge problem. It would be great if parents were allies, but that is not always the case. One of the problems I have seen is when parents call the principle and the teacher is caught in the middle. Some administrators go overboard with thinking their job is to keep parents happy.
I agree that some parents are a problem. When I've looked it up, the best percentages I can find are a very small percent of parents are actually a problem. Seems like the administrators only care about making the parents who have the time, money, and resources to complain. Which just makes things harder on teachers and the rest of the parents. What about making the rest of the parents who actually care happy?

When my oldest was in high school, they held a meeting. All those types of parents that schools claim to want. Professionals, working adults, veterans. All the ones who actually cared about education and who should be the schools strongest proponents. By the end of the meeting you had 200 pillars of the community, the school systems best allies, pissed off at the teachers in the room absolutely not listening to what was said. The topic of home work came up. One by one they stood up and said they assign less than an hour a night. The parents said "There are six of you. Do the math." It went downhill from there.

Seriously, if most parents are complaining, perhaps the school should listen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
d. I have many disagreements with how the education system is run. I see some excellent dedicated teachers. I also see teachers and students who are just going through the motions. There many students graduating from high school with very poor reading ability and who can't do basic arithmetic. They have gone through school doing worksheets and word searches. They have "read" novels by watching the movie. I think students need to bb challenged according to their ability. I've found that small schools don't do a good job of challenging students because sometimes the lowest and the highest students are put in the same class. I've also found that small schools do not provide the same opportunities and experiences as larger schools.
We basically agree on this as well. If we're in this much agreement, why are we not on the same side?
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Old 01-24-2024, 03:03 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,217 posts, read 28,295,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
Here is an important question. WHY? And do not say welfare, because as you say, single parenthood rates have been on the rise since the 1950s, long before any so-called welfare state.
It may be beyond the scope of this discussion. But I think it has to do with the enormous amount of social freedoms that exist today in American society.

The old social taboos and mores that used to bind society have become highly diminished or simply don't exist anymore.
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Old 01-24-2024, 04:01 PM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,244 posts, read 10,491,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Sounds like in general you actually agree with me on some main points, with some differences on others.


It comes from the 80/20 rule. It's not a perfect measure for specific situations, but is pretty accurate in the general sense.

I'm glad there are AP but I look at them as too little, too late for the top and mid range students. My concern comes from the previous years of K-8. What happens when the class is supposed to cover topics A through K but only gets through F because the teacher has to go over the same topics multiple times for a couple of kids who don't get it? When does that material get covered? Multiply that times the number of classes each year and the number of years, and it's no wonder so many kids are behind by the time they graduate.

I agree with you on gifted programs. More show ponies. My oldest was in the gifted program and all she got was double homework. That was the so called "enrichment." One teacher actually held a "let's complain about X" day where she led (yes led) all the other kids in the class to complain about all the "extra's" she got. Her response was "Yes, I get lots of extras. Extra homework. Extra pages to read. Extra book reports. Extra projects. ..." Left her in tears. When the school tried to put our youngest in the gifted program we said no.


How much does it cost when they keep disrupting class? What about the kids who get bullied by them? Why do we worry so much about the few who are causing most of the trouble rather than the majority who aren't? Spending dollars to save dimes.


I agree that some parents are a problem. When I've looked it up, the best percentages I can find are a very small percent of parents are actually a problem. Seems like the administrators only care about making the parents who have the time, money, and resources to complain. Which just makes things harder on teachers and the rest of the parents. What about making the rest of the parents who actually care happy?

When my oldest was in high school, they held a meeting. All those types of parents that schools claim to want. Professionals, working adults, veterans. All the ones who actually cared about education and who should be the schools strongest proponents. By the end of the meeting you had 200 pillars of the community, the school systems best allies, pissed off at the teachers in the room absolutely not listening to what was said. The topic of home work came up. One by one they stood up and said they assign less than an hour a night. The parents said "There are six of you. Do the math." It went downhill from there.

Seriously, if most parents are complaining, perhaps the school should listen.



We basically agree on this as well. If we're in this much agreement, why are we not on the same side?
I didn't say we were on different sides of the education issue. Everyone is going to have a different perspective on many of these topics. That doesn't mean they are on different sides. I wonder about what the real objective of our school is. I have three children all of whom graduated from college. I have two grandchildren currently in elementary school. I can't help but compare what I have seen over the years and wonder how much improvement I have seen since I graduated from high school over 50 years ago. We now have lots of technology but few textbooks.

You mentioned about the AP courses. My son took six AP classes and they prepared him well to be a pre-med major at the UPenn, and finish med school and a fellowship. He was better off taking the AP courses rather than dual enrolling at a local university, which he could've done.

Regarding discipline, what I have observed is it has to start in kindergarten and be enforced in every classroom and across every school in a district. All teachers and principals need to have open communications about issues and enforcement. I've seen to many example where a teacher is criticized for not being able to maintain discipline in their classroom and for sending students to the office. Criticizing individual teachers is not the solution. I've seen example where the middle school students coming one elementary school are the problem. Now you have to fix a problem instead of just maintaining district discipline policies. I've subbed in many schools at every grade level in over a dozen districts. The difference is when the bell rings in one middle school and the students are staring at me quietly. The I go to a different middle school and the bell rings and kids are yelling, running around, and I have to yell to get their attention. I didn't do anything differently between the two classrooms. The problem is not the individual teacher in the second classroom. The issue is the culture difference between the two schools. It is much easier to maintain a culture of discipline and accountability rather than trying to fix one that is broken. Removing students from the school should be the last option. Like I mentioned before, the school district will have to pay tuition to send these students to a different placement. We have several of these alternative placements in my area.

Regarding parents, there are two problem kinds of parents. The worst is the home where the parents have split up and now have their own boyfriend/girlfriend. I've done seven long term assignments in three districts. It seemed like half the kids had this type of home situation. The second one can overlap with the first. This parent thinks their child is perfect and will call the principal or superintendent if they feel their child is not be treated fairly. I had a 9th grade student in this situation. The student had missed a good bit of school, was fairly intelligent, had not done the online assignments when he was out, and was now less than a half point from an A for the grading period. I was basically accused of stopping this 9th grader from being accepted to Harvard.

Regarding homework, I see very little homework and most students don't do homework when they have study halls. It a far cry from the study halls I had where you got yelled at for whispering.
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Old 01-24-2024, 04:23 PM
 
28,562 posts, read 18,560,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
Many but not all school districts have one or more gifted teachers. Students are classified as having a gifted IEP (GIEP). An IEP is a written plan for the provision of services for the education of students who are disabled or gifted. After we pulled my son out of the gifted program in 5th grade, he still had a GIEP, but it made little difference. I don't think our HS did anything different with GIEP students. It is not clear to me what gifted teachers do in a HS.

What you referring to is tracking. See phetaroi's comment about tracking. My 7th and 8th grade classes in the late 1960s used strict tracking. We were with the same group of students for every class and it was determined by some IQ test score.

Today's schools have a lot more support for students who have an IEP. There are special education teachers and aides who co-teach inclusion classes and provided individualized support.
My wife was a special education teacher for many years, so I'm familiar the IEP. I'm saying, essentially, that all students should have an IEP and should be grouped accordingly for each subject area rather than by age.

So, a boy strong in language arts would be grouped with other students strong in language arts, but if that same boy is weak in math, he'd be grouped with other students weak in math. Age would be largely irrelevant.
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Old 01-24-2024, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,124 posts, read 23,785,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
I didn't say we were on different sides of the education issue. Everyone is going to have a different perspective on many of these topics. That doesn't mean they are on different sides. I wonder about what the real objective of our school is. I have three children all of whom graduated from college. I have two grandchildren currently in elementary school. I can't help but compare what I have seen over the years and wonder how much improvement I have seen since I graduated from high school over 50 years ago. We now have lots of technology but few textbooks.

You mentioned about the AP courses. My son took six AP classes and they prepared him well to be a pre-med major at the UPenn, and finish med school and a fellowship. He was better off taking the AP courses rather than dual enrolling at a local university, which he could've done.

Regarding discipline, what I have observed is it has to start in kindergarten and be enforced in every classroom and across every school in a district. All teachers and principals need to have open communications about issues and enforcement. I've seen to many example where a teacher is criticized for not being able to maintain discipline in their classroom and for sending students to the office. Criticizing individual teachers is not the solution. I've seen example where the middle school students coming one elementary school are the problem. Now you have to fix a problem instead of just maintaining district discipline policies. I've subbed in many schools at every grade level in over a dozen districts. The difference is when the bell rings in one middle school and the students are staring at me quietly. The I go to a different middle school and the bell rings and kids are yelling, running around, and I have to yell to get their attention. I didn't do anything differently between the two classrooms. The problem is not the individual teacher in the second classroom. The issue is the culture difference between the two schools. It is much easier to maintain a culture of discipline and accountability rather than trying to fix one that is broken. Removing students from the school should be the last option. Like I mentioned before, the school district will have to pay tuition to send these students to a different placement. We have several of these alternative placements in my area.

Regarding parents, there are two problem kinds of parents. The worst is the home where the parents have split up and now have their own boyfriend/girlfriend. I've done seven long term assignments in three districts. It seemed like half the kids had this type of home situation. The second one can overlap with the first. This parent thinks their child is perfect and will call the principal or superintendent if they feel their child is not be treated fairly. I had a 9th grade student in this situation. The student had missed a good bit of school, was fairly intelligent, had not done the online assignments when he was out, and was now less than a half point from an A for the grading period. I was basically accused of stopping this 9th grader from being accepted to Harvard.

Regarding homework, I see very little homework and most students don't do homework when they have study halls. It a far cry from the study halls I had where you got yelled at for whispering.
When it comes to education and the public, today there are sides. But we really can't get into that here. Or, at least, I won't because that involves politics more than anything else.

But I think what many people fail to understand (not meaning you) is that you can't make generalities about all schools and all school systems. Over a career of 33 years in teaching and being an administrator, the first school I worked in I'd give it a C+, the second one a B, the third one was so bad (due to the principal) that it ended up on "60 Minutes". Then a very good school. Then a great school. Then a very good school. Then, for 20 years one of the middle schools that was considering among the 5 best in the state, with a superior gifted program, a well-respected special ed program, and a very good mid-level program...so good that each year we would have parents who would set up false addresses so they could boundary hop, at times even out-of-staters! The only thing I haven't seen personally is an inner city school. And the same is true for specific teachers and administrators. Great to lousy...as is pretty much true in any profession.

As much as is possible, teachers need to handle their own discipline within the classroom. It's just part of the job, part of the profession. Of course there are discipline issues that a teacher shouldn't have to deal with. But everything a teacher sends a kid to the office there's another kid who thinks, 'Ah, that teacher can't hack it'. I remember not long after becoming a vice principal I had to attend a vice-principal's meeting at what was generally considered to be the worse high school in our county (out of about 24). I was actually afraid to go there. Wondered if my car would be safe in the parking lot. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised. Despite having a population that had a significant number of gang-involved kids, there were no kids hanging around outside the building, no kids wandering the halls, everyone was in a classroom, and all the classrooms I saw that day seemed well under control. But as a retired principal, it is the principal who sets the tone in a school regarding discipline.

Parents can be a blessing or a curse. Way over-involved to not involved at all. And, overall, the worse situation was the home where the at-war parents stayed together "for the sake of the children". That almost never resulted in good parenting or well-adjusted kids.
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Old 01-24-2024, 07:37 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
41,655 posts, read 17,252,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
Many but not all school districts have one or more gifted teachers. Students are classified as having a gifted IEP (GIEP). An IEP is a written plan for the provision of services for the education of students who are disabled or gifted. After we pulled my son out of the gifted program in 5th grade, he still had a GIEP, but it made little difference. I don't think our HS did anything different with GIEP students. It is not clear to me what gifted teachers do in a HS.

What you referring to is tracking. See phetaroi's comment about tracking. My 7th and 8th grade classes in the late 1960s used strict tracking. We were with the same group of students for every class and it was determined by some IQ test score.

Today's schools have a lot more support for students who have an IEP. There are special education teachers and aides who co-teach inclusion classes and provided individualized support.
We had tracking too..for Math/Reading/Grammar but we took placement tests at the beginning of the year.
Each grade had 3 classes and after the testing kids got assigned to a class.

I didn't realize that was what tracking was until a long time later...
And here we were lamenting that we didn't get into the class with 2 teachers.

From first to third there was always a class with 2 teachers.
I'm assuming those were the kids with the really low placement scores.

After that I don't remember.
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