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Thread: Education

  1. #401
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
    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.
    this is a damn good question.

    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've watched this conversation take place three times with year between a colleague and someone on the CST. it usually comes after the kid doesn't do well on some academic tests. and i'm teaching 10/11 year olds.

    when it was suggested to me that one of my students should get checked for an issue, i replied that i'd spend more time teaching that weakness to him for a month or so before taking that step.
    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 ...

  2. #402
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
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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 don't know of another modern country that holds kids back. in europe, it was pretty much understood to be deeply unhelpful and often outright harmful before i was born.

    the chances of it correcting the issue a student has is next to non-existent, while the chance of that kid "checking out" of education is considerably higher.

    to be perfectly honest, it's an outed approach.

    edit: part of why it's still a response to a child struggling in the US is the way teaching and learning occurs here. it's quite different to how we do it back home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Dammit, I have to remember to proofread posts.
    don't fret 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 ...

  3. #403
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    "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.
    please don't think i'm being condescending, but i think this shows how little you understand of modern teaching and learning. in some ways the US current system is not good enough but your backwards looking (literally, not figuratively) approach would make it worse. the best education systems left this concept on the scrap heap sometime ago. and by "sometime", i mean decades.

    at the very least, any "retention" will be seen as punishment. simply putting kids in a class with some who are a year younger will stop all willingness to learn.

    as a teacher, i can vary the level of a concept i am teaching within one lesson. for instance, i can teach decimals to twenty kids so that everyone of them learns at their appropriate level. they will all move at an appropriate pace for their current & potential ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    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.
    i will note, the concept of "graduating" is the issue here. in the UK, our kids don't "graduate". they simply learn and progress. there is too much tied into the concept of term "graduating".

    when you leave a UK high school, you leave with "grades" in individual subjects, not an overall diploma. further complicating that is the fact US education seemingly puts more focus on knowledge when much of the rest of the world focuses on skills and understanding.

    for example, i genuinely don't care if my 5th grades in the UK left not knowing any history facts they'd come across during our lessons. i did care that they knew how to research a historical topic, judge sources and gather/collate information. in the US, the social studies teacher wants them to memorise dates, names, places.

    the notion that a high school education should be "enough" is deeply problematic. as has been pointed out, modern life and modern jobs are fundamentally different to their predecessors.

    maynerd, when you left high school, around 75% of the jobs available existed when you entered school at aged 5.

    only 15% of the jobs my current 5th graders will do in their twenties currently exist.

    beyond that, we have more to teach but no more time to teach it in. my father never had a single lesson on the muslim faith when he was in school. the only religious education he had was christianity. now, children in the UK learn about half a dozen faiths. my father did not learn about computers in school but now, kids in the US and UK has multiple computers lessons per week.

    the day did not get any longer, but what had to fit into it has considerably increased.

    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.
    i left section to last because if done correctly, there is validity in this.

    but, again, it underlines an issue with the concept of being "ready". in modern education, just because i child moves to the next grade, it does not means he or she is being taught something they are not ready for.

    differentiation is amongst the most important teaching practices.

    - - -

    i'm a little all over the place here - i'm tired and it's been a very long week - so i apologies if i haven't put all of these points down in the most accessible manner.
    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 ...

  4. #404

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by ajra21 View Post
    this is a damn good question.



    i've watched this conversation take place three times with year between a colleague and someone on the CST. it usually comes after the kid doesn't do well on some academic tests. and i'm teaching 10/11 year olds.

    when it was suggested to me that one of my students should get checked for an issue, i replied that i'd spend more time teaching that weakness to him for a month or so before taking that step.
    It can be incredibly frustrating at times. Sometimes, when Iím in the situation youíre describing, I have to resort to asking the teacher what they are going to do if Johnny doesnít qualify. If they have an even decent plan of intervention, I suggest that they do that now, and if itís unsuccessful, then we can come back and look at other interventions.

  5. #405
    time of my life ... ajra21's Avatar
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
    It can be incredibly frustrating at times. Sometimes, when I’m in the situation you’re describing, I have to resort to asking the teacher what they are going to do if Johnny doesn’t qualify. If they have an even decent plan of intervention, I suggest that they do that now, and if it’s unsuccessful, then we can come back and look at other interventions.
    the notion of "someone else will fix this problem in front of me" exists in all walks of life including education.
    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 ...

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