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Old 04-19-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Georgia, on the Florida line, right above Tallahassee
10,474 posts, read 15,187,741 times
Reputation: 6390

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The class placement process is very comprehensive and complicated. We create classes that are balanced. We use the following factors to create our classrooms:

Class size
A balanced ratio of boys and girls
A balance of achievement levels in core academic areas
Motivational level of students
Behavior factors regarding each student
The compatibility of students with each other
Independent work habits of students
The social needs of students and their leadership skills
Special programs
Recommendations/information from teachers, principal, guidance team and parents



Back when I went to school, they went by grades. Yeah...just grades.

I'll tell you a story. When I was in school, we had 4 levels. 1 was stupid and stoners. 2 was making it, 3 was pretty smart, and 4 was really smart. I bet you're thinking I'm gonna tell you I was all 4's. No, I was all 3's and 4's, though. What really matters is that in Senior year, I didn't turn in a notebook. A notebook that was 25 percent of my grade. I never needed a notebook. Heck, I never needed to take notes, much. I had the book, the teacher read from the book, the assignments? from the book, and our tests were from the book. Taking notes seemed really redundant. However, the teacher decided that the notebook was 25 percent of your grade, and I thought it wasn't necessary. I failed with a 67. You do the math.

In any case, I needed that particular English course to pass, so I had to retake it, with the level 1 students. It was a very interesting semester. Since I'd already had the material, I got some really good sleep in that class. I would wake up and take the test, and make my 100, and go back to sleep. Now, why am I telling you all this? Well, it's like this. The difference between levels is AMAZING. I can still recall one question, from the level 4 class, concerning Grendel and Beowulf, where you would have to go into great detail concerning the symbolism of good and evil and the triumph of a flawed character, etc. In the level 1 class?

Who was Beowulf? The hero.
Who was Grendel? The monster.
What did the hero do? Beowulf killed the monster.
Extra credit: Who else did Beowulf fight? Grendel's mom.


A+.


Edited : Forgot to add....there's a moral to this story. I learned I wasn't hot ****, that's what. It doesn't matter what YOU think is best. It matters what the Boss thinks is best. As long as you need to get paid, or make the grade....well, just do what you need to do to pass. I'm glad I learned that lesson, then. It doesn't matter if your teacher is a moron (and oh, I disliked her immensely.) or you can't stand your boss. What matters is what is required of you. I was required to turn in a notebook. I didn't do it. I failed...and had to spend a semester redoing the same thing over again. This actually is one of those things in school that happens in real life. You may not like your boss. You may not like your job. You may think you have all the answers. You might think you can do it your way. You might be right...and you might be missing your paycheck on Friday. Don't get me wrong, I've quit jobs before that were hopeless. But, I learned a lesson back then. Sometimes, you should just do what the man says, (or woman in that case) collect your passing grade (or paycheck) and move right along. The world is not going to rejoice because you stood up for what you believe was correct. You might not eat, though. You might not pass the class, either.

Last edited by 70Ford; 04-19-2009 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 11,843,567 times
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Personally I wish they would just divide it by grade. The not-so-smart and stoner kids who have no motivation won't get it from the smart kids, they'll just point and laugh and get wasted. It'll drag down the smart kids since the teacher will have to repeat material for the stupid kids' sake. For some not so intelligent kids it'll actually make them more depressed since when the smart kids keep getting A's they'll just wonder why they aren't smart.

In my high school we were separated by achievement level and it worked out well. I was in all honors since I busted my butt and worked hard. Got AP credits as well (didn't in Math since I missed the test ... yeah ... but hey, easy A in calculus I and II in college!). And there was friendly competition and people helping each other since we all knew that with some work at least we could understand each other. If we were forced to work with the kids who couldn't communicate at our intellectual level, it would have left me less prepared for college. We were, however, forced to tutor the less intelligent kids and what we got was satisfaction knowing that we could help out, and it did. The less intelligent kids thanked us and we got public service hours which were required to graduate (it was an Irish Catholic HS in the South Side of Chicago).

As much as people like to think that education and intelligence is a function of what you put into it (and it partially is, don't get me wrong), you have to remember it is also part biology. A person with an IQ of 110 is slightly more intelligent than average, and would have to work VERY hard to get something that a person with an IQ of 155 like myself gets by just looking at it.


*sigh* but that is what we get for electing people with average or below average IQs to office who make decisions.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Georgia, on the Florida line, right above Tallahassee
10,474 posts, read 15,187,741 times
Reputation: 6390
I dunno about IQ. I had a friend that kept telling me I was "the brains" and he was "the brawn." I came back and said, "Sing a song." and he's like, "What?" and I'm like, "Sing your favorite song." "You do have a favorite song, don't you?" and he's like, "Yeah." and I'm like, "Well, you know the words and the tune, right?" and he's like, "Yeah." and I'm like, "Well, how many songs do you know?" and he's like, "I dunno...100's?" and I said, "Yep. You know hundreds! Did someone teach them to you? Or did you have an interest in them? An interest in learning them?"

...and the light came on.

"Yeah! Yeah, I do!" I said, it's not what you can learn, most of the time. It's what you want to learn. People look at your grades and assume you have no talent. What they should do, is see how you can listen to an engine, and tell what is wrong with it...while they're just standing there slack jawed.

We all have talents. I wonder what mine is. Probably eating nachos. Man! I love nachos. With cheese and peppers and sour cream. OMG OMG OMG, yum!

I've never been tested for IQ, well except the SAT and the ASVAB. I'm not going to tell my scores. We'll just say they were higher than average. A lifetime of books...and not IPODS? Maybe? I wonder what my kids will score. I wonder if I will care...or if I will just look at them as kids...and encourage their many talents. I think the latter.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 11,843,567 times
Reputation: 4125
Quote:
Originally Posted by 70Ford View Post

We all have talents. ... I wonder what my kids will score. I wonder if I will care...or if I will just look at them as kids...and encourage their many talents. I think the latter.
I agree, in retrospect. It'd be interesting to see what kind of education system we'd have if we separated by interest and talents. It'd probably take a while to do though since very few kids know what they want to do when they grow up. Heck many adults don't know what they want to do.

Another missing thing is inspiration. In the 50s and before then, engineering and science were revered and kids were wowed by scientific advance. Now it's sort of this "expected" thing and as a result they are less willing to be inspired. It's hard to do that though, because it's inspiration, and it's different for everyone. Like for me, I knew I wanted to go into aerospace after watching a shuttle launch.

Of course such things take money to invest in and too many people whine when money is "wasted" on grandiose projects. Heck, we're human, let's do it just because we can, not because it "makes sense" ... sheesh.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:15 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 26,113,042 times
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Yeah, the IQ's measure something, but not necessarily future success. I know a few "brilliant" people who had high IQ and SAT scores, but can barely eat with a fork.
Everybody does have their talent. Some people who are less '"intelligent" become very successful through perseverance and plodding.
And yeah, I'm also a very talented eater. Before eating became a serious competetive event, I ate an entire 17 inch pizza with several toppings in four minutes, thirty seconds. It was at a street fair on Capitol Hill and there was a forty dollar cash prize( What won't I do for money?) I won it handily.
If there were serious professional eating back then, I coulda been a contender.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 6,263,578 times
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Well that's pretty funny because what was quoted in the OP was EXACTLY what the letter said that was sent out by the principal at our school in the Issaquah School District regarding how they place children. Did Seattle Public rip them off or vice versa...not that it matters but it is interesting they have the same method.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 6,263,578 times
Reputation: 906
Okay, wait...maybe by Seattle schools you mean Issaquah schools as I see your location is Issaquah. Forget it!!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Georgia, on the Florida line, right above Tallahassee
10,474 posts, read 15,187,741 times
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Many of you have been experiencing the effects of the national and state economic crisis, and our school is, too. Issaquah School District administrators presented a financial plan to the School Board that outlines $10.5 million in reductions that may be necessaryif state legislators land on a worst-case funding model for K-12 public education. These reductions include $2.2 million in off-setting cuts to operations - in areas such as secretarial and maintenance hours - that will be implemented next school year. The District also established a Reduction in Force (RIF) line in the certificated seniority list, which has put some of the District’s newest teachers on notice that they may not be employed here next year. More information is on the District’s website.

As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for our school family. Parents and community members will inevitably have curiosity and concern about individual staff members, and our school wants to provide information while honoring staff members’ privacy and personal reflection time. The RIF line impacts District certificated employees with three years and less experience. The RIF process is defined in the certificated contract and is based strictly on seniority. Depending on the final state budget and the severity of funding reductions to the Issaquah School District, RIF’ed teachers may or may not be recalled. If recalled, they could return to a position in a different building.

We all appreciate your support. During this uncertainty, we are focusing on what counts the most and what drew us all to this profession: educating students. More details will be forthcoming from the District when the state finalizes its budget.

******************
Translation. Some teachers are getting laid off, and we'll be asking you for even more money. Ya know, Issaquah is a rich place. If you look it up in wikipedia, it even says "It's a rich place." Yet, every year, the school asks for money. IF I recall, the last time they were looking to "gladly accept your donation of $100 or more." See....they don't just say "Donation". They say "$100 dollars or more."

Becuz...

It's a rich area. $100 bucks to these folks is probably like $5 bucks or 20 bucks to other folks. Now, here's something I can tell you about me. I'm stingy. To put it another way, let me ask you this. "Can I have 5 bucks?"
PLEASE? Pretty please? Why not? You'd give 5 bucks to a school, and you have no idea what it's going for. I'm going to buy beer with my 5 bucks. It's gonna get USED and it's gonna be GREAT. Man, I can taste that beer already. But, getting back to the point. You won't give me $5 bucks. I won't give you 5 bucks either. Make your own money, MmmmK?

Doesn't the school get its own money, too? I thought they got it from taxes on people who have kids. I thought they even get it from taxes on people who don't have kids. HA HA! Jokes on you, people. with. no. Kids! HA HA HA !

****************
HA HA HA! Jokes on the state! Can't get money if you can't tax stuff! Or if people can't pay, or donate "$100 or more." Oh man, what does this mean for education?

Becuz...

If you're $10.5 million short, then there is no way you can accomplish what you did before without the $10.5 million. You're gonna be worse off, by about $10.5 million. Because if you aren't any worse off, educationally speaking...then you didn't need it in the first place. And they definitely needed it, right?

By this time, you should be suspecting what I am suspecting. They didn't need it. Kids are still going to have to learn...so they can pass their WASL...they're just going to have to learn without an extra $10.5 million dollars to support the learning.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:16 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 26,113,042 times
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School funding in this state has always been a little screwy. Many school districts routinely ask the voters to approve levies so they can buy textbooks or replace rat infested buildings.
It shouldn't be this way, that's what property taxes should be for. I'd rather have the schools fully funded rather than have them come back every few years begging for more.
And it's definitely a two edged sword. You believe in education and value it's importance, and you don't want the schools to get worse, yet you also get a feeling that these folks are going to find some way to squander it. I usually hold my nose and vote for school levies, but not for the legislators who keep maintaining this system where the voters have to keep voting for or against education.
I wonder what the Mercer Island school district is cutting? No more fresh oysters and Perrier in the cafeteria?
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,801,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
I wonder what the Mercer Island school district is cutting? No more fresh oysters and Perrier in the cafeteria?
No more White Truffle Encrusted Duck Confit, Almas Caviar and Pan Seared Herb and Truffle Encrusted Sliced Kobe Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms in Truffle Sauce...
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