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Thread: Education

  1. #376
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    Re: Education

    There may be some distortion in this obsession with TA's as evil incarnate. For instance, one of my college's best, most popular courses was History of Art 101 taught by the legendary Vin Skully (not the broadcaster). That course was a lecture twice a week in a hall that probably held 250. Those lectures were absolutely awesome, even at 8:30 in the morning. Once a week, we also attended a discussion class of about 15 students, taught by a TA--completely appropriate, and the kind of class where you learn from your peers as much as you do from the professor. Of course, when the bot looks at the class listings, there will be 17 classes taught by TA's, and two taught by Vin Skully.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Scully

    My own TA was very bright and led a great discussion class. Used appropriately, the TA can be a great resource, providing the individual exposure that you will rarely see from an academic superstar.
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  2. #377
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Really, given this reasoning, the solution would be to stop all public education.
    No. There's a benefit to society of having an educated population.

    And, I've asked repeatedly (without getting an answer) what has changed such that "an educated population" now requires 16 years, instead of 12? We're redefining "educated." Yet, at the same time, we're refusing to use educational standards as a factor in that definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3
    Free or subsidized higher education doesn't become a bad idea because "give them an inch and they'll want a mile." Sometimes you can just give them an inch without having to give everything anyone asks for. It happens all the time.
    Yet, here we are, saying twelve years of public education is insufficient, and we should expand that to sixteen years. So maybe it's not "give them an inch and they'll want a mile" but it's very clearly "give them 12 years and they'll want 16."

    I've made this point before, and I think it frequently gets lost in the discussion. My issue isn't really additional public education. My issue is that what we're doing now isn't working, and I don't think the solution is throwing more money into the pit. I've long railed against the only criteria for going into 5th grade being age. To hell with successful completion of 4th grade. That's irrelevant. It'd be like promoting a ballplayer to AA after a year in A, whether he could hit the ball or not. And then, on to AAA the next year. Performance is irrelevant, you're a year older; off you go to the next level. After all, if you can't hit a AA curve ball this year, what makes anyone think an extra year in AA will help you figure it out.

    So now we want to expand public payments to include college. I question the format of colleges. Why doesn't every small town that has a High School also have a college? Because there's no expectation that everyone goes to college. But if we allow everyone to go on the taxpayer's dime, why SHOULDN'T it be available locally? The current model says "go to State U, where you can live in a dorm and be on a meal plan." If everyone's going to go, that's wasteful and unnecessary. Just because we send select kids to an out-of-town campus today doesn't mean that's a reasonable model if we're to expand the population to include just about all 18-year-olds.

    So, my overall position on education is that we desperately need to break the model. What we do now doesn't work. We don't need to think outside the box; we need to build a whole new box. I don't mind investing additional tax dollars into education. I'd be willing to invest pretty massive revenue into education if I thought the investment would pay off. I don't. I fear we're just pouring money down the same dry well. And, using tax dollars to pay for college tuition will only drill that well deeper, but it won't necessarily yield different results.

    We need to do it better. To do so, we need to do it much differently than we do today. Providing education, using the same system that isn't getting results today, but doing it for even longer than we do now, simply makes no sense to me.

    Fix it. Don't just spend money to buy more of it.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  3. #378
    Nice is different than good. Texsahara's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    I don't see any reason that tuition free college needs to change the process. Students should still have to apply and still have to be accepted. No one is saying the kid that barely squeaks by in HS gets to go to the college of his choice no questions asked. Living expenses are still the responsibility of the student so living in a dorm and having a meal plan is still going to be debt for many. Everyone is not going to have a local four year college as the needed resources are not going to be available and it simply does not make sense. It would be nice if everyone would have at least a commutable community college option but that may not be reasonable immediately either.

    And I have made it clear that I want to include all public post HS education options, not just four year college. If a kid is better suited for trade school, let's make sure that option is available to them.

    You say you have "asked repeatedly (without getting an answer) what has changed such that "an educated population" now requires 16 years, instead of 12" yet it has been answered repeatedly that the job market demands it if you want to be financially successful. In addition to that, it's technology that has depleted the jobs that HS grads used to be able make a good living at. Factories, construction, mining, farming, etc are all becoming more automated. There are over 6 million jobs today that are going unfilled because there are not enough people with the education and training to fill them. The needs of the job market are what dictate what constitutes an educated population.

    And one of the things we haven't really touched on is the negative impact college debt has on the ability to acquire wealth over a lifetime. Not a good salary but the wealth that used to be a norm for the middle class. Those giant student loans make it impossible to save, debt makes people put off marriage which is an important part of accumulating wealth (two incomes > than one), they become mired in credit card debt, they're forced to work outside their field, they have to work more than one job, forget buying a house, and on and on. The student loan crisis is much more than just kids graduating owing too much money. It is having a negative effect on our entire society and is going to get even worse if something is not done to stop it.

  4. #379
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    No. There's a benefit to society of having an educated population.

    And, I've asked repeatedly (without getting an answer) what has changed such that "an educated population" now requires 16 years, instead of 12? We're redefining "educated." Yet, at the same time, we're refusing to use educational standards as a factor in that definition.

    Yet, here we are, saying twelve years of public education is insufficient, and we should expand that to sixteen years. So maybe it's not "give them an inch and they'll want a mile" but it's very clearly "give them 12 years and they'll want 16."

    I've made this point before, and I think it frequently gets lost in the discussion. My issue isn't really additional public education. My issue is that what we're doing now isn't working, and I don't think the solution is throwing more money into the pit. I've long railed against the only criteria for going into 5th grade being age. To hell with successful completion of 4th grade. That's irrelevant. It'd be like promoting a ballplayer to AA after a year in A, whether he could hit the ball or not. And then, on to AAA the next year. Performance is irrelevant, you're a year older; off you go to the next level. After all, if you can't hit a AA curve ball this year, what makes anyone think an extra year in AA will help you figure it out.

    So now we want to expand public payments to include college. I question the format of colleges. Why doesn't every small town that has a High School also have a college? Because there's no expectation that everyone goes to college. But if we allow everyone to go on the taxpayer's dime, why SHOULDN'T it be available locally? The current model says "go to State U, where you can live in a dorm and be on a meal plan." If everyone's going to go, that's wasteful and unnecessary. Just because we send select kids to an out-of-town campus today doesn't mean that's a reasonable model if we're to expand the population to include just about all 18-year-olds.

    So, my overall position on education is that we desperately need to break the model. What we do now doesn't work. We don't need to think outside the box; we need to build a whole new box. I don't mind investing additional tax dollars into education. I'd be willing to invest pretty massive revenue into education if I thought the investment would pay off. I don't. I fear we're just pouring money down the same dry well. And, using tax dollars to pay for college tuition will only drill that well deeper, but it won't necessarily yield different results.

    We need to do it better. To do so, we need to do it much differently than we do today. Providing education, using the same system that isn't getting results today, but doing it for even longer than we do now, simply makes no sense to me.

    Fix it. Don't just spend money to buy more of it.
    If your argument is that we need to fix K-12 education first, then make that argument, not the slippery slope. Then we can just disagree about a better grounded argument.

  5. #380
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Health care costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Secondary Education costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Hey! I've got a solution to housing, and transportation, and anything else that costs too much. The government still has checks left.

    Just put me in the category of 'People Who Would Like to See Solutions Other Than Having the Government Pay For Everything.'

    We're all so constrained by 'the box' that there's no way anyone will ever be willing to color outside it. Few are even willing to recognize that there IS something outside the box.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  6. #381
    Nice is different than good. Texsahara's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Health care costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Secondary Education costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Hey! I've got a solution to housing, and transportation, and anything else that costs too much. The government still has checks left.

    Just put me in the category of 'People Who Would Like to See Solutions Other Than Having the Government Pay For Everything.'

    We're all so constrained by 'the box' that there's no way anyone will ever be willing to color outside it. Few are even willing to recognize that there IS something outside the box.
    Government controlled medical care and higher ed is very much outside the box in the US. You seem to believe that it means don't change anything, just collect more taxes but it is not that simplistic. If the government is the only or main source of payment, they would have significantly more bargaining power making them able to negotiate much more favorable terms with service providers. This works too well in too many other countries around the world to simply dismiss it. I think you might be the one that is stuck in the box here.

  7. #382
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    Government controlled medical care and higher ed is very much outside the box in the US. You seem to believe that it means don't change anything, just collect more taxes but it is not that simplistic. If the government is the only or main source of payment, they would have significantly more bargaining power making them able to negotiate much more favorable terms with service providers. This works too well in too many other countries around the world to simply dismiss it. I think you might be the one that is stuck in the box here.

    And we probably wouldn't have hospital bills for an appendectomy that can range from $450 to $190,000 dollars depending on which hospital you go to and who your insurance carrier is.
    Baseball is life;
    the rest is just details.

  8. #383
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Health care costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Secondary Education costs way too much, and it's hurting people. Let's have the government pay for it. Never mind doing anything to lower the costs...it's easier to transfer those costs to the taxpayers.

    Hey! I've got a solution to housing, and transportation, and anything else that costs too much. The government still has checks left.

    Just put me in the category of 'People Who Would Like to See Solutions Other Than Having the Government Pay For Everything.'

    We're all so constrained by 'the box' that there's no way anyone will ever be willing to color outside it. Few are even willing to recognize that there IS something outside the box.
    One issue at a time, Maynerd. The right answer for this issue is the right answer for this issue.

    The solution youíve most often proposed for improving K-12 is to leave kids back as often as necessary until the little bastids get it right. Iím not sure that qualifies as a new box.

  9. #384
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    The solution youíve most often proposed for improving K-12 is to leave kids back as often as necessary until the little bastids get it right. Iím not sure that qualifies as a new box.
    Actually, I'd prefer to eliminate numeric grade years. No 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Instead, I'd like to see groupings based on proficiency, rather than age. If a kid is ready for the next level, send him there. Don't wait for the end of the school year. If a kid isn't ready, don't send him.

    "Leave the little bastid back" sounds like punishment. "Send the little bastid to the appropriate level given his skills" is a lot more reasonable.

    But, if you're content with the current system, where we move kids along be cause they're a year older, until it's time to graduate them, whether they can read or not, well, enjoy that. I find the current system to be horrifying, and unacceptable. And perhaps, just perhaps, a High School diploma would be enough for many of our citizens, as it was a generation ago. If only that diploma came with a High School education, like it used to.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  10. #385
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Actually, I'd prefer to eliminate numeric grade years. No 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Instead, I'd like to see groupings based on proficiency, rather than age. If a kid is ready for the next level, send him there. Don't wait for the end of the school year. If a kid isn't ready, don't send him.

    "Leave the little bastid back" sounds like punishment. "Send the little bastid to the appropriate level given his skills" is a lot more reasonable.

    But, if you're content with the current system, where we move kids along be cause they're a year older, until it's time to graduate them, whether they can read or not, well, enjoy that. I find the current system to be horrifying, and unacceptable. And perhaps, just perhaps, a High School diploma would be enough for many of our citizens, as it was a generation ago. If only that diploma came with a High School education, like it used to.
    Ive told you many times what I think the correct approach is in that situation. You should be able to recite it verbatim by now.

    If youíre going to have a curriculum, you have to have something like grade levels. And while the primary purpose of a school is, of course, educational rather than social, you canít pretend the social aspects donít exist. You simply canít have a class with a mix of 8-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and 14-year-olds, even if theyíre at similar levels of academic achievement.

  11. #386
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    You simply canít have a class with a mix of 8-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and 14-year-olds, even if theyíre at similar levels of academic achievement.
    But it's OK to lump together a bunch of kids because they're the same age, even though some perform at an 8-year-old level, some at an 11-year-old level, and others at a 14-year-old level?

    You must really hate smart kids. Because they're the ones that are suffering.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  12. #387
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    But it's OK to lump together a bunch of kids because they're the same age, even though some perform at an 8-year-old level, some at an 11-year-old level, and others at a 14-year-old level?

    You must really hate smart kids. Because they're the ones that are suffering.
    The point is to teach kids, all of them. I was a smart kid (emphasis on "was"), and while I often found classes boring, I was always able to go to the teachers - or the library - to get more out of school.

    I think itís a terrible idea to put the smart 11-year-olds in a class itís 14-year olds. Academic achievement is not maturity. As for the 11-year olds that are lagging far behind, the important question is why. If theyíve fallen that far behind, itís not because theyíre failing, itís becaus the school has failed them. In almost every case, simply repeating the same lesson plans that didnít work the first time wonít be helpful. And hile you may not intend it as punishment, it will function that way.

  13. #388
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    The point is to teach kids, all of them. I was a smart kid (emphasis on "was"), and while I often found classes boring, I was always able to go to the teachers - or the library - to get more out of school.

    I think itís a terrible idea to put the smart 11-year-olds in a class itís 14-year olds. Academic achievement is not maturity. As for the 11-year olds that are lagging far behind, the important question is why. If theyíve fallen that far behind, itís not because theyíre failing, itís becaus the school has failed them. In almost every case, simply repeating the same lesson plans that didnít work the first time wonít be helpful. And hile you may not intend it as punishment, it will function that way.
    I understand your argument, but remain unconvinced.

    Simply repeating the same lesson plan that didn't work the first time might not be helpful, but trying to teach a kid long division, when he hasn't grasped the concept of addition, is guaranteed to fail. Handing a kid To Kill a Mockingbird when he can't read Dick and Jane is going to accomplish.....what?

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  14. #389
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    I understand your argument, but remain unconvinced.

    Simply repeating the same lesson plan that didn't work the first time might not be helpful, but trying to teach a kid long division, when he hasn't grasped the concept of addition, is guaranteed to fail. Handing a kid To Kill a Mockingbird when he can't read Dick and Jane is going to accomplish.....what?
    It's not either/or. Repeating the same lesson plan that failed and giving the kid material that's too advanced are not the only alternatives. But to make it work better, you still have to find out why the kid is failing.

    If you're not convinced that finding out why the kid failed will make all the difference, then I don't know what to tell you except that you're wrong. Doing that was my whole job for a while, and has always been a part of my job. There are lots of reasons that kids fail, and in the early grades, it's almost never because they're not trying.

    I think there is a case to be made for leaving a kid back in kindergarten or first grade to help him build a foundation if he started school without one. After that, it's virtually never helpful to merely leave a kid back. Casey, Alex - back me up on this one.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
    - Barry Manilow

  15. #390
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    It's not either/or. Repeating the same lesson plan that failed and giving the kid material that's too advanced are not the only alternatives. But to make it work better, you still have to find out why the kid is failing.

    If you're not convinced that finding out why the kid failed will make all the difference, then I don't know what to tell you except that you're wrong. Doing that was my whole job for a while, and has always been a part of my job. There are lots of reasons that kids fail, and in the early grades, it's almost never because they're not trying.

    I think there is a case to be made for leaving a kid back in kindergarten or first grade to help him build a foundation if he started school without one. After that, it's virtually never helpful to merely leave a kid back. Casey, Alex - back me up on this one.


    I flunked kindergarten ("too immature for the work in first grade"). The same teacher apologized to me at eighth grade graduation when I kind of cleaned up on academic honors. I told her, and I still believe, that the extra year was a big help in my eventual academic success. Plus, I really loved fingerpaint. (I'm still pretty immature.)

    I think the answer is somewhere in between. At some point, if a student has not absorbed the minimum level of material, you have to hold him back. My best friend had a burst appendicitis in fourth grade with complications, and missed two-thirds of the year. In this case, the cause was clear, and a repeat left him ready for the grade and a promote might have found him unprepared.

    In that case, the cause of the deficient learning was clear. Just retention, without addressing the root cause, is certain to be counter-productive. It takes judgment of the individual case, and that is what we pay pros like Dr, John for. The LAST thing we should do is attempt to legislate this at the Federal level. You would think Maynerd's core philosophy would agree with this.
    "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It's a home run! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent! And the Yankees now lead by a score of 3-2!" - New York Yankees announcer Bill White (October 2, 1978)

  16. #391

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by theDurk View Post
    [/B]

    I flunked kindergarten ("too immature for the work in first grade"). The same teacher apologized to me at eighth grade graduation when I kind of cleaned up on academic honors. I told her, and I still believe, that the extra year was a big help in my eventual academic success. Plus, I really loved fingerpaint. (I'm still pretty immature.)

    I think the answer is somewhere in between. At some point, if a student has not absorbed the minimum level of material, you have to hold him back. My best friend had a burst appendicitis in fourth grade with complications, and missed two-thirds of the year. In this case, the cause was clear, and a repeat left him ready for the grade and a promote might have found him unprepared.

    In that case, the cause of the deficient learning was clear. Just retention, without addressing the root cause, is certain to be counter-productive. It takes judgment of the individual case, and that is what we pay pros like Dr, John for. The LAST thing we should do is attempt to legislate this at the Federal level. You would think Maynerd's core philosophy would agree with this.

    There are studies that show students who start school on the later end of the spectrum do much, much better throughout their educational careers than those who start early, so your success after being retained in kindergarten is completely understandable. In a nutshell, the kids who start a little later are physically bigger, and nearly a year further developmentally, and are therefore at an advantage over their same-grade peers. But that only works if it happens in those very early years.



    Interestingly, kids who are retained later (like after kindergarten or first) do worse in school later on. They are more likely to drop out, to engage in drug use, etc. And the research shows that retention doesn't even work. The gains/advantages that a student gains from being retained wear out very quickly. A perfect example is my own job. Often, when I get a referral for special education for a high school student (most SPED students are identified WAAAY before they reach high school), the background history usually reveals that they were retained sometime in elementary school, which means they have a disability, and someone held them back because of that disability. If we had actually investigated to try to understand WHY that student was failing way back when, he likely would have been identified sooner, received the appropriate services, and would have never been retained. As a School Psychologist working at the High School level, it is very frustrating for me when these cases end up on my desk. I feel like we failed that kid.


    At work, whenever the idea of retention is presented by our staff, my first question is always, "If the student didn't progress the first time you taught this material, what are you going to do any different the second year to make sure he understands this time?" And no matter what the teacher says, the next question is always, "Why can't you do that in the next grade?"

  17. #392
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
    There are studies that show students who start school on the later end of the spectrum do much, much better throughout their educational careers than those who start early, so your success after being retained in kindergarten is completely understandable. In a nutshell, the kids who start a little later are physically bigger, and nearly a year further developmentally, and are therefore at an advantage over their same-grade peers. But that only works if it happens in those very early years.



    Interestingly, kids who are retained later (like after kindergarten or first) do worse in school later on. They are more likely to drop out, to engage in drug use, etc. And the research shows that retention doesn't even work. The gains/advantages that a student gains from being retained wear out very quickly. A perfect example is my own job. Often, when I get a referral for special education for a high school student (most SPED students are identified WAAAY before they reach high school), the background history usually reveals that they were retained sometime in elementary school, which means they have a disability, and someone held them back because of that disability. If we had actually investigated to try to understand WHY that student was failing way back when, he likely would have been identified sooner, received the appropriate services, and would have never been retained. As a School Psychologist working at the High School level, it is very frustrating for me when these cases end up on my desk. I feel like we failed that kid.


    At work, whenever the idea of retention is presented by our staff, my first question is always, "If the student didn't progress the first time you taught this material, what are you going to do any different the second year to make sure he understands this time?" And no matter what the teacher says, the next question is always, "Why can't you do that in the next grade?"
    Yes, Iíve seen lots of kids catch up quickly once the problem is identified. By the end of the next year, theyíre up to speed.

    Iíve probably told this story before, but I knew a kid who was held back twice in first grade and again in second grade - without a SpEd referral. I thought, man, who could hate a little kid so much that theyíd do that? (Granted, the kid was a dick, but still..) Complete educational malpractice.

  18. #393

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    But, if you're content with the current system, where we move kids along be cause they're a year older, until it's time to graduate them, whether they can read or not, well, enjoy that. I find the current system to be horrifying, and unacceptable. And perhaps, just perhaps, a High School diploma would be enough for many of our citizens, as it was a generation ago. If only that diploma came with a High School education, like it used to.
    What kids are you talking about who graduate but can't read? In CA, students still need 220 credits to graduate from high school (a passed class = 5 credits). And those 220 credits have to be in specific subjects... 40 credits in English, 30 credits in math, 10 in earth science, 10 in biological sciences, with at least one class in a lab science, 10 for a foreign language, etc. If these kids can't read or don't do their work, they don't get a passing grade, and they don't graduate. So as someone who has worked at the high school level at different districts for the past 18 years, I am wondering exactly what students you are talking about that we are graduating that can't read. Social promotion definitely occurs at the elementary level, for all the reasons we've discussed over and over again. But it doesn't really happen at the high school level. If anything, sadly, these kids end up dropping out.

  19. #394

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Yes, Iíve seen lots of kids catch up quickly once the problem is identified. By the end of the next year, theyíre up to speed.

    Iíve probably told this story before, but I knew a kid who was held back twice in first grade and again in second grade - without a SpEd referral. I thought, man, who could hate a little kid so much that theyíd do that? (Granted, the kid was a dick, but still..) Complete educational malpractice.

    The psychs at our district have done a good job of explaining why retention is usually a bad idea, so it doesn't happen very much anymore. Our biggest issue now is schools wanting us to test kinders for SpEd. The conversation usually goes like this:

    Teacher: "Test Johnny, He can't do X"
    Psych: "That's because he's only five. Give him some time, monitor his progress, and if he continues to fall behind, we'll revisit this."
    teacher: "But he can't keep up with the rest of the class!"
    Psych: "I know, it's because he's five and many of your students are already six."
    Teacher: "But we've raised the expectations of kinders in the last few years, and now he's really behind."
    Psych: "You can raise the expectations all you want, but he's still five. Raising expectations above someone's developmental level doesn't mean they have a disability. It means they're five. Break it down to his level. If he still continues to fall behind, we can talk about SpEd later."

    I often don't hear about those kinder students again after the first several months of each school year.

  20. #395
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
    The psychs at our district have done a good job of explaining why retention is usually a bad idea, so it doesn't happen very much anymore. Our biggest issue now is schools wanting us to test kinders for SpEd. The conversation usually goes like this:

    Teacher: "Test Johnny, He can't do X"
    Psych: "That's because he's only five. Give him some time, monitor his progress, and if he continues to fall behind, we'll revisit this."
    teacher: "But he can't keep up with the rest of the class!"
    Psych: "I know, it's because he's five and many of your students are already six."
    Teacher: "But we've raised the expectations of kinders in the last few years, and now he's really behind."
    Psych: "You can raise the expectations all you want, but he's still five. Raising expectations above someone's developmental level doesn't mean they have a disability. It means they're five. Break it down to his level. If he still continues to fall behind, we can talk about SpEd later."

    I often don't hear about those kinder students again after the first several months of each school year.
    I tested a couple of kindergartners, and some first-graders. In order to call a kid learning disabled, they have to be X% below expectations, given their IQ scores. (I donít remember what X was.) The problem is that expectations are low enough, and variable enough, that itís really hard to fall that far short. There were times that I knew damn well that a kid had a reading disability, and sometimes I could find a way to justify classifying him. But sometimes all I could do was make the kid wait until he got to third grade and flopped more drastically, and then he could be classified. That used to break my heart.

  21. #396

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    I tested a couple of kindergartners, and some first-graders. In order to call a kid learning disabled, they have to be X% below expectations, given their IQ scores. (I donít remember what X was.) The problem is that expectations are low enough, and variable enough, that itís really hard to fall that far short. There were times that I knew damn well that a kid had a reading disability, and sometimes I could find a way to justify classifying him. But sometimes all I could do was make the kid wait until he got to third grade and flopped more drastically, and then he could be classified. That used to break my heart.
    Absolutely, that happens too, and we try to prevent it as much as possible, especially if a little intervention will help them tremendously. But just because we didnít qualify them for SPED doesnít mean weíre not going to help them. There are other interventions that should be taking place before the referral. Iíve learned it all comes down to the administration at the school. Some schools are great at interventions, and some think that SpEd is the only intervention.

  22. #397

    Re: Education

    What do you guys think on this approach?

    http://teachrock.org/
    "Who We Are

    Steven Van Zandtís TeachRock project brings rich, multimedia educational materials to teachers and students everywhereĖat no cost. The lesson plan collections and resources at teachrock.org help teachers engage students by connecting the history of popular music to classroom work across the disciplines. From social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music, and more: TeachRock has engaging and meaningful arts integration materials for every classroom." (more at link)
    ..........
    Also:
    " Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul
    Teacher Appreciation Tour!

    The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation is on tour with Little Steven and we have a free ticket for you (teacher) to come see the band!

    We are on the road sharing our TeachRock curriculum through professional development workshops that will happen at every stop of the 2018Ė19 tour. Our arts integration curriculum uses the lens of music to help children learn all subjects, with innovative lesson plans developed by experienced educators and top experts in the field. From social studies and language arts to geography, media studies, science, general music, and more: TeachRock has engaging and meaningful material for every classroom Ė that we share with teachers and students at no cost.
    IT'S SIMPLE!

    Sign up below for the show youíd like to attend
    Come to the TeachRock preshow workshop with a guest, then
    Get your ticket and rock!

    The curriculum (and the ticket to the show) are free to teachers. The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation never charges for our lesson plans, and we won't be asking for donations. We just want to share our engaging curriculum with you Ė the educators who will bring it to life. We have a limited number of tickets for each show so sign up today!

    Thank you, teachers, for everything that you do. We look forward to seeing you soon!

    "Music will forever be humanityís most effective and consistent source of inspiration and motivation, and, we have learned, music turns out to be our most solid common ground for establishing communication between teachers and students which is where education begins."

    Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities / Tour Dates

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  23. #398
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
    Join Date
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    not as far from yankee stadium as i once was

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Why would you think that would happen? Again, has there ever been an outcry that private K-12 schools should be free for all because public schools are? (DeVos-style vouchers aren't anything like that.)

    As I've said many times, not all slopes are slippery. And even if it is - although there's not a shred of evidence to think so - that's an argument against the bottom of the slope, not the top. Free or subsidized higher education doesn't become a bad idea because "give them an inch and they'll want a mile." Sometimes you can just give them an inch without having to give everything anyone asks for. It happens all the time.

    What you're suggesting is that it would be better not to give anyone anything, because they won't see it as something that helps even the playing field but as something that puts them at more of a disadvantage. Really, given this reasoning, the solution would be to stop all public education. It's time to teach these people that there's no free lunch. You want to go to first grade, take some responsibility for it.Really, given this reasoning, the solution would be to stop all public education. It's time to teach these people that there's no free lunch. You want to go to first grade, take some responsibility for it.
    Bring tea for the Tillerman; Steak for the son; Wine for the woman
    who made the rain come; Seagulls sing your hearts away;
    'Cause while the sinners sin, the children play ...

  24. #399
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    not as far from yankee stadium as i once was

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    I don't see any reason that tuition free college needs to change the process. Students should still have to apply and still have to be accepted. No one is saying the kid that barely squeaks by in HS gets to go to the college of his choice no questions asked. Living expenses are still the responsibility of the student so living in a dorm and having a meal plan is still going to be debt for many. Everyone is not going to have a local four year college as the needed resources are not going to be available and it simply does not make sense. It would be nice if everyone would have at least a commutable community college option but that may not be reasonable immediately either.
    so, like the rest of the modern world then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    And I have made it clear that I want to include all public post HS education options, not just four year college. If a kid is better suited for trade school, let's make sure that option is available to them.

    You say you have "asked repeatedly (without getting an answer) what has changed such that "an educated population" now requires 16 years, instead of 12" yet it has been answered repeatedly that the job market demands it if you want to be financially successful. In addition to that, it's technology that has depleted the jobs that HS grads used to be able make a good living at. Factories, construction, mining, farming, etc are all becoming more automated. There are over 6 million jobs today that are going unfilled because there are not enough people with the education and training to fill them. The needs of the job market are what dictate what constitutes an educated population.

    And one of the things we haven't really touched on is the negative impact college debt has on the ability to acquire wealth over a lifetime. Not a good salary but the wealth that used to be a norm for the middle class. Those giant student loans make it impossible to save, debt makes people put off marriage which is an important part of accumulating wealth (two incomes > than one), they become mired in credit card debt, they're forced to work outside their field, they have to work more than one job, forget buying a house, and on and on. The student loan crisis is much more than just kids graduating owing too much money. It is having a negative effect on our entire society and is going to get even worse if something is not done to stop it.
    Bring tea for the Tillerman; Steak for the son; Wine for the woman
    who made the rain come; Seagulls sing your hearts away;
    'Cause while the sinners sin, the children play ...

  25. #400
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by ajra21 View Post
    Dammit, I have to remember to proofread posts.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
    - Barry Manilow

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