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Thread: Our Ineffective Educational System........

  1. #1
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    Our Ineffective Educational System........

    In reading Warfish's top issues in the upcoming election thread, it struck me just how many people chose to include education - even above some other huge issues.

    I teach mathematics and coach for a living, and I am a conservative who (though stronlgy opposed to national teacher union politics) has done some work at the lowest levels of the union. Having been involved in this for 23 years has taught me a thing or two. But before I give my opinion, I would like to hear what everyone thinks the faults (and the strengths, if any) are.

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    Weaknesses

    Too dependent on tenure instead of free market quality.
    Salaries too low at high school level and lower.
    Not enough emphasis on math and science.
    Lunch menus and vending machines do not promote a healthy lifestyle.


    Strengths

    Extracurricular activities including sports and clubs.
    Guidance counselors available to all.
    AP and Honors courses.

  3. #3
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    I just read a book which I think partly states the problem with our education system. The book is called "Generation Me". In a nutshell, it discusses how the generation bron from 1972 to the 1990's was raised to believe in individuality. I am 27, so I can relate. Growing up, everyone was special, everyone was a winner, and in anything you did, we were coddled. Teachers no longer are seen as authoritative because this current generation does not respect authority because we are ingrained to be individuals and think for ourselves.

    I think because we are so afraid of pissing off the PC police and parents who think their children are the greatest, we have a serious problem getting through to the kids. There is a reason why other countries produce much more respectful, focused, and more intelligent kids.

    My mother who has been a teacher for 35 years recently quit her job because she was lectured by a 27 year old student with a masters degree that she cannot yell at or discipline the children.

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    My wife is a first grade teacher in a charter school in a tough neighborhood in Queens (Far Rockaway). Before I get into my thoughts let me say that prior to her working as a teacher I thought they were useless. Her time there (this is her third year) has really changed my opinion on that. I have a ton of respect for what teachers go through every day. I wouldn't take that job for any amount of money.

    With that said from what I hear from her, a huge problem is the lack of discipline from home. So many kids that she deals with have parents that either let their kids get away with anything, or they just don't give a sh*t. Couple that with the fact that these days educators are powerless to properly discipline the students and you have a disaster. The teachers in the schools spend more time dealing with one or two kids who do not behave than they do teaching lessons to the rest of the class. Parents are called to either shape up their kids only to get cursed out or ignored. My wife has called parents to pick up their kids from school early because they are so disruptive that the rest of the class sits and does nothing while she's dealing with him, only to have the parent not show up until the end of the day. The mother will come in yelling at her saying "I have to work for a living!" and my wife tells her "So do I, and your child is preventing me from doing it!" She's told me stories from other teachers who experience similar things.

    Needless to say it's a major problem.

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    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2196596]My wife is a first grade teacher in a charter school in a tough neighborhood in Queens (Far Rockaway). Before I get into my thoughts let me say that prior to her working as a teacher I thought they were useless. Her time there (this is her third year) has really changed my opinion on that. I have a ton of respect for what teachers go through every day. I wouldn't take that job for any amount of money.

    With that said from what I hear from her, a huge problem is the lack of discipline from home. So many kids that she deals with have parents that either let their kids get away with anything, or they just don't give a sh*t. Couple that with the fact that these days educators are powerless to properly discipline the students and you have a disaster. The teachers in the schools spend more time dealing with one or two kids who do not behave than they do teaching lessons to the rest of the class. Parents are called to either shape up their kids only to get cursed out or ignored. My wife has called parents to pick up their kids from school early because they are so disruptive that the rest of the class sits and does nothing while she's dealing with him, only to have the parent not show up until the end of the day. The mother will come in yelling at her saying "I have to work for a living!" and my wife tells her "So do I, and your child is preventing me from doing it!" She's told me stories from other teachers who experience similar things.

    Needless to say it's a major problem.[/QUOTE]

    this is spot on as you can see from my post above.

  6. #6
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    Just keep pumping more money in because, of course, itís worked so well in the past.

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    Well said.

    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2196596]My wife is a first grade teacher in a charter school in a tough neighborhood in Queens (Far Rockaway). Before I get into my thoughts let me say that prior to her working as a teacher I thought they were useless. Her time there (this is her third year) has really changed my opinion on that. I have a ton of respect for what teachers go through every day. I wouldn't take that job for any amount of money.

    With that said from what I hear from her, a huge problem is the lack of discipline from home. So many kids that she deals with have parents that either let their kids get away with anything, or they just don't give a sh*t. Couple that with the fact that these days educators are powerless to properly discipline the students and you have a disaster. The teachers in the schools spend more time dealing with one or two kids who do not behave than they do teaching lessons to the rest of the class. Parents are called to either shape up their kids only to get cursed out or ignored. My wife has called parents to pick up their kids from school early because they are so disruptive that the rest of the class sits and does nothing while she's dealing with him, only to have the parent not show up until the end of the day. The mother will come in yelling at her saying "I have to work for a living!" and my wife tells her "So do I, and your child is preventing me from doing it!" She's told me stories from other teachers who experience similar things.

    Needless to say it's a major problem.[/QUOTE]

  8. #8
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    Only if that money is spent on your school district, then it's great.

    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound;2196632]Just keep pumping more money in because, of course, itís worked so well in the past.[/QUOTE]

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    In Minnesota the average amount of money per student is over 7000 thousand bucks per year and yet they want more money. I say put out a more quality student and we will think about it. Funny thing is Education Mn. has 50 lobbyists at the state govt, more then any other entity. Guess where the money is going!

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    Why does tenure automatically mean something bad? Job stability is a bad thing?

    [QUOTE=parafly;2196559]Weaknesses

    [B]Too dependent on tenure instead of free market quality.
    Salaries too low at high school level and lower.[/B]Not enough emphasis on math and science.
    Lunch menus and vending machines do not promote a healthy lifestyle.


    Strengths

    Extracurricular activities including sports and clubs.
    Guidance counselors available to all.
    AP and Honors courses.[/QUOTE]

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=cr726;2196646]Only if that money is spent on your school district, then it's great.[/QUOTE]

    Not when you get your RE tax bill

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2196739]Why does tenure automatically mean something bad? Job stability is a bad thing?[/QUOTE]

    It allows for complacency, so yes it can be a bad thing.

  13. #13
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    I agree, but the majority of people automatically assume it is a bad thing.

    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2196754]It allows for complacency, so yes it can be a bad thing.[/QUOTE]

  14. #14
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    I live in NJ you are preaching to the choir.

    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound;2196752]Not when you get your RE tax bill[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2196739]Why does tenure automatically mean something bad? Job stability is a bad thing?[/QUOTE]

    Job stability is fine. It shouldn't forced when one hits a certain level, however. If you produce, you will have job security. People complain about teachers' salaries and yet tenure and unions suppress wages for the best teachers.

  16. #16
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    That is a pretty tough thing to know. How does anyone know who the best teachers are or aren't? They are so many different ways out there and none seem to really get to the core of who is producing and who is not. How do you gauge that?
    Teaching is not a sales job, numbers won't tell the whole story.

    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound;2196770]Job stability is fine. It shouldn't forced when one hits a certain level, however. If you produce, you will have job security. People complain about teachers' salaries and yet tenure and unions suppress wages for the best teachers.[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2196780]That is a pretty tough thing to know. How does anyone know who the best teachers are or aren't? They are so many different ways out there and none seem to really get to the core of who is producing and who is not. How do you gauge that?
    Teaching is not a sales job, numbers won't tell the whole story.[/QUOTE]

    How do bosses evaluate workers in other non-sales fields? Just because something is difficult doesn't mean we should say "screw it - everyone's the same

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2196766]I agree, but the majority of people automatically assume it is a bad thing.[/QUOTE]

    Because we've all dealt with or heard stories of complacent, tenured teachers.

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    in my experience, some teachers pass students for trying, not just for passing the exams/class.

    not sure what this has to do with anything above....jmt

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    I think the problem starts with parents. You have to provide some kind of structure for kids to learn and be productive. When I was a kid, I can remember being asked, where are your books for homework. Also hearing, your not going outside until your homework is finished. I couldn't imagine the repercussions of the teacher calling home to complain about something.

    No matter how qualified and capable a teacher is if the kid is not structured, disciplined and motivated they are not going to learn.

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