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Thread: Solutions to Our Educational Problems ****

  1. #1
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    Solutions to Our Educational Problems ****

    The options in the other thread were media-darling topics and didnt address the REAL problems in Education today:

    [B]1) [U]BRING BACK VOCATIONAL EDUCATION[/U][/B]
    Forcing Juan to go to school till he's 17.4 years old at $7000 per year is a tremendous waste of public funds. Herman Badillo said in his most recent book that hispanic children dont do better in school because their parents don't place the value on education that other ethnic groups place. They look at school in terms of something you do till you find a job after school. Instead of something that leads to a career. Plus, its estimated that as many as half of all hispanic students have parents who cannot fully function in English, so, help with the HW is not going to happen. On top of all this they currently have the highest dropout rate (higher than Blacks) Many Hispanic students want to work, meet a girl/boy and have fun. They dont understand the principle of "delayed gratification". They want to do this by the time they are 15. Let's allow them to opt (optional) out of traditional ed and into vocational ed after the 8th grade like they allow it in England, France, and Germany.

    2) [B]WE NEED (MORE THAN MATH OR SCIENCE) MEDIA LITERACY PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS TO COMBAT NEGATIVE BLACK STEREOTYPES[/B]
    The #1 deterrant to black success in schools is the idea that your "manhood" will be sacrificed if you do well academically. There isnt a teacher alive who hasnt seen one black kid call another black kid "white" (or sometimes "Asian") if they achieve in class. This idea is deeply ingrained from the culture and from the media (rap etc) Millions of Black children fail themselves because they feel its their heritage, their culture, and even sadder: their destiny. 1/4 of all African American males will go to prison. Honors classes in schools have not a single AA child in them. AA students rate of aquiring AIDS is 2x that of Hispanic students and 7x that of Asian students. AA students begin sexual activity and experimentation with drugs 3 years before whites. 70% of them have a single parent who cannot keep track of their activities. This is the culture. One teacher told me that an AA student once told him: I'm glad I'm in HS now so I can "get laid". Great.

    3) [B]CUT IN HALF THE AMOUNT OF MATH AND SCIENCE AND REPLACE IT WITH MEDIA LITERACY, ETHICS, LOGIC, AND HOME ECONOMICS[/B]
    When Sputnik flew over the US in '57, we panicked and doubled the amount of math and science required of students. Since then, politicians only talk about increasing these subjects. There is a business to book to school business that exists that needs to be broken up. Students who are gifted in math and science whould be singled out for special programs after the 8th grade. How much math did FDR or Clinton or Churchill or Reagan know? How much chemistry and physics does Francis Coppola or Emeril Lagasse or Martha Stewert know? All students should know the basics of each of these subjects, then, learn: A) How to critically view a news program, why current events in important to know, what is right and wrong in the universe (debatable), how to distinguish feelings from facts and when should feelings overide the facts, how to shop wisely and save etc. This will reap huge benefits for our society where calculus will not. PS - The argument that math "reorganizes" the brain to think better is a myth. Math is simply puzzles to be solved. Forcing students to take 4 years of puzzles is insane.

    4) [B]MAKE SPORTS, TEAMS, AND CLUBS STRICKLY OPTIONAL[/B]
    A 40 minute gym class only involves 10 minutes of actual movement. Any fitness expert will tell you you need 30 min per day, thus, fitness needs are not being met here. Our kids are at record levels of obesity, yet, they go to gym??? This is a farce. Gym exists because it is a training ground for administrators. Many coaches have strong ties with local communities and they use these ties to get jobs as principals. Plus, gym teachers usually have half the #'s of teachers in other departments. The dont grade papers or give HW. They will do anything to keep their jobs and often volunteer to chapperone or (more sinisterly) "spy" on other teachers for the Principal. Little known fact. No wonder administrators love these guys.

    5) [B]MAKE TEACHERS INTERVIEW FOR THEIR FIRST POSITIONS AND TAKE LIE DETECTOR TESTS[/B]
    This will take care of the occasional "bad" teacher slipping through. However, once a teacher is hired, it is imperative to maintain tenure for that teacher. Most people dont realize that bad principals can get rid of great teachers over trivial personality-driven matters where only the students suffer in the end. Principals today dont have tenure themselves and have to take orders like commandants running a POW camp. The camp commandant will try to get rid of the POW that wont kiss his feet - it has nothing to do with that POW doing everything by the rules or not or the contributions he makes to the other POW's. Thats the best analogy I can give you.

    6) [B]GIVE TEACHERS THEIR STATUS BACK[/B]
    "En loco parentis". In place of the parents. That has been taken away. A teacher should have the right to remove students impeding the educational process and NOT have to justify that decision to anybody. Teachers are professionals. They should know how to practice the ART of teaching using a wide variety of methods or just one method if it is liked by the students and gets above average results. Every class has a different mix of personalities. A teacher who is there every single day is in the best position to decide how to tackle that problem so as long as the reults are above the average for that grade of students in that particular school. Doing this is an ART.

    7) [B]ABOLISH SCHOOL "COMMISSIONERS"/"CZARS"[/B]
    If they are hired by the mayor and the mayor went to school in a different time and age, it will most probably be the wrong hiring and everyone will suffer for it - along with the millions wasted when you have businessmen trying to run an organization that resembles a mental hospital (nurses know the patients best and know all patients are different within different group dynamics)

    8) [B]GIVE TENURE BACK TO PRINCIPALS[/B]
    Principals understand the personalities of their teachers. To force principals to drill young teachers and threaten experienced teachers all in the name of the SCIENCE of teaching is borderline criminal.

    9) [B]MAKES PARENTS PAY $7000 BACK TO THE STATE IF THEIR STUDENTS FAIL ALL OF THEIR SUBJECTS OR ARE SUSPENDED MORE THAN 3 TIMES OR IF THEY ARE OVER 19 1/2 AND STILL DONT HAVE A HS DIPLOMA[/B]
    This will get parents back on the teachers side instead of the side of lawyers.

    10) [B]GET THE ACLU AND OTHER SIMILAR GROUPS OFF THE BACKS OF SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IF THOSE PROGRAMS DONT HAPPEN TO 100% REFLECT THE ETHNIC BREAKDOWN OF OUR SOCIETY[/B]
    Our resources as a nation are LIMITED. Forcing a square peg into a round hole doesnt cut it anymore.

    11) [B]UNDERSTAND THAT DROPOUT RATES ARE MORE TIED TO STUDENTS HAVING SEX DURING SCHOOL HOURS, HAVING ABSENTEE PARENTS, AND PEER PRESSURE - MORE THAN ANYTHING HAPPENING UNDER THE ROOF OF A SCHOOL [/B]
    Once and for all, STOP blaming teachers for these forces outside of the school that teachers and administrators cannot control.
    Last edited by Jetman73; 03-30-2008 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Allow me to offer my own:

    1. [B]Require the basics in K-8:[/B] Math, Science, Literature, History, Arts, Language (as in French or Spanish).

    2. [B]Create three tracts for grades 9-12 and test for aptitude and placement in grade 8:[/B] Humanities, Sciences, Vocational.

    3. [B]Test for aptitude in grade 12.[/B]

    4. [B]Require one year of public service/internship after grade 12[/B]

    5. [B]Create a voucher system:[/B]
    Even this liberal can recognize a good idea from the right: vouchers (not sure how they work exactly, but here's an idea...) Students who, after grade 6, under-perform would not qualify. This creates an incentive for parents to insist on success in grades 1-6. Only students achieving at a certain level qualify.

    6. [B]Revise federal student aid qualifications[/B]: No for-profit, post secondary institution can receive federal student financial aid. Institutions operating as for-profit can only receive funding from those who pay themselves or from those who perform at a given aptitude. The value of those vouchers should be tied to success on aptitude tests and the quality of the students they produce, creating an incentive to reward excellence, not mediocrity. Devil is in the details, though.

  3. #3
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    1. This has always been the case

    2 & 3. They are over-testing right now. Testing is an independent industry. Though the idea of having 3 tracts is a good one.

    4. Unenforceable with people 18 and over. Most high schools do insternship.

    5. ROTTEN idea. The problems schools have today is with student who used their vouchers to get out of bad school - going to good school - making them worse.

    6. Why wait till college when the problem can be solved in the 8th grade? Vocational ed is the way to go.
    Last edited by Jetman73; 03-30-2008 at 04:17 PM.

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    I'll try to respond in detail tomorrow, but I can say I am one teacher who has never heard a black kid call another black kid white because they got good grades. Maybe that happens in the inner city, but not so much where I teach (Patchogue.)

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    The education system is out of touch with how the real world works.



    Why is school over before most parents get out of work?


    We live in a society of two full-time working parents. It makes no sense to me that a 13 year old starts school at 7:00am and gets out at 3:00pm while the parents are most likely working from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

    The school day should resemble the working schedule of the parents. This would result in far less kids being home alone for a few hours after school.

    I don't know about anyone else, but the hours between when I got home and when my parents got home were normally the hours I got into the most trouble.

    We live in an age where underage sex at teen pregnancy are at all-time highs, and in my mind it is the hundreds of hours without adult supervision that help to enable this epidemic.

    We can come up with plenty of creative ways to keep kids occupied for 8 hours a day. Have extra-circular activities mandatory for students. Practices that would be held after classes should be held before classes. Have one hour a day based solely on tutoring kids in whichever subject they are weakest in individually. (meaning if a kid is constantly doing poorly in math class, schedule him in a math tutoring class with other students having similar problems.)


    Yes, parents can and should be more involved. I am glad my future wife and I agree on this and will work together with the teachers to help put our children in the best position possible for success, but I am rather lucky in that regards.

    There are single parents who have no help, and you find the 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old student going home to an empty house.

    I sincerely feel that if the school day was altered to fully compliment an adults workday the ability for children, pre-teens, and teenagers to have constant adult supervision, guidance, and support would be more beneficial than instituting more standardized testing and separating a kid who may just not have all the advantages another kid has into different classes.

    Then, for those parents who may have to work two jobs, perhaps the schoold then needs to provide supervision and tutoring before 9:00am and past 5:00pm on a voluntary basis for parents.

    This way that single mother who works from 7-7 or longer can enroll their children in other classes and after school activities.

    Living on L.I. I can tell you there are more teachers than teaching positions. Lets utilize those on call teachers and permanant subs to our advantage.

    Have classes available in the summer, courses in trades such as auto-repair, plumbing, construction, etc, etc.

    The more time kids spend learning and in the care of responsible adults the better the results. Much better than cutting gym or music, much better than treating kids from different ethnic backgrounds differently, and, sorry to say teachers, something different from getting off at 3:00 and having your summers off.....

    Because I think using all of this off time more constructively will benefit the overall performance of our children.
    Last edited by piney; 03-31-2008 at 01:35 AM.

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    [QUOTE=jetman73]The argument that math "reorganizes" the brain to think better is a myth. Math is simply puzzles to be solved. Forcing students to take 4 years of puzzles is insane.[/QUOTE]

    Holy ****ing crap! Puzzles? Math is puzzles? LMAO!

    This is almost as funny as Ted Stevens "The Internet is a series of tubes" brainstorm. You're not Ted Stevens, are you?

    Puzzles....lol...

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2457307]I'll try to respond in detail tomorrow, but I can say I am one teacher who has never heard a black kid call another black kid white because they got good grades. Maybe that happens in the inner city, but not so much where I teach (Patchogue.)[/QUOTE]

    JCnflies, out of curiosity, what school do you teach at and do they have any openings for next year? The wife needs to get the hell out of where she is and working close to home would be just grand :D


    As for Jetman73's comments, I disagree that schools need to teach less math and science. They need to teach more of it. Much more. Our kids test way below what kids in other countries do.
    Last edited by Sourceworx; 03-31-2008 at 09:33 AM.

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    Good thread.

    I was a teacher for seven years and got in one year teaching in the Japanese School system. Our system is largely OK for what it is designed for -- believe it or not, our high school and University system has a lot right with it. I would like to add to what has been said that many of our educational problems are cultural. We see the role of the school very differently based on our values, economic status and ethnicity. This is a tremendous burden that most other school systems in the world don't have to deal with.

    I submit we need two things very much.

    1) Vocational options that allow kids to have their dignity AND still walk away with a decent education. Right now most vocational programs are the last resort for non-college-bound

    2) National standards at least insofar as curriculum timing -- too often transfer students from out of state (particularly the south) came to my class utterly unprepared. There is no reason that the basic curriculum should be different in every state and municipality.

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    [QUOTE]
    6) GIVE TEACHERS THEIR STATUS BACK
    "En loco parentis". In place of the parents. That has been taken away. A teacher should have the right to remove students impeding the educational process and NOT have to justify that decision to anybody. Teachers are professionals. They should know how to practice the ART of teaching using a wide variety of methods or just one method if it is liked by the students and gets above average results. Every class has a different mix of personalities. A teacher who is there every single day is in the best position to decide how to tackle that problem so as long as the reults are above the average for that grade of students in that particular school. Doing this is an ART. [/QUOTE]

    I think this part is the problem. Part of the reason that schools are so hamstrung is that teachers play such an important role in socializing kids, so every single competing interest tries to have a say in policy decisions, resulting in a lot of policies that dont really synergize with eachother (like the Knicks). If in loco parentis was reinstituted then teachers power to influence students would be that much greater, and the political wars that much more vicious.

  10. #10
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    The problem is not the system, it's the students and their parents.


    There was a time in our history when there were only blackboards and books -- no computers, no calculators, no cell phones, no iPods. And, somehow, those kids learned to read, write, do math, etc.

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    [QUOTE=SanAntonio_JetFan;2457631]The problem is not the system, it's the students and their parents.


    There was a time in our history when there were only blackboards and books -- no computers, no calculators, no cell phones, no iPods. And, somehow, those kids learned to read, write, do math, etc.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah but back then there wasn't a corrupt bureacracy running the schools, not to mention a teachers' union that cultivates and rewards ineptitude and laziness.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand and agree with you that bad parenting is a big part of the problem. But it's not the only problem.
    Last edited by Sourceworx; 03-31-2008 at 11:16 AM.

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    [QUOTE=SanAntonio_JetFan;2457631]The problem is not the system, it's the students and their parents.


    There was a time in our history when there were only blackboards and books -- no computers, no calculators, no cell phones, no iPods. And, somehow, those kids learned to read, write, do math, etc.[/QUOTE]

    I am telling you, it is because that was the time of one working parent...

    we need to change to hours of the school day to reflect the change in the availability of parents to be home.

    More adult supervision will result in less teen pregnancy, drug abuse, etc. and improve student performance.

    We also need some sort of enrollment program during the summer.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=piney;2457667]I am telling you, it is because that was the time of one working parent...

    we need to change to hours of the school day to reflect the change in the availability of parents to be home.

    More adult supervision will result in less teen pregnancy, drug abuse, etc. and improve student performance.

    We also need some sort of enrollment program during the summer.[/QUOTE]


    My wife stays home with the kids. I know a lot of families where both parents work, but it is usually a [U]choice[/U] they made. A lot of women these days feel that being a housewife is somehow demeaning to them. My sister and her husband are both doctors (hardcore libs in the San Fran area) and they could easily live on one of their incomes. But, my sister freely admits that she couldn't handle being a stay-at-home mom.

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    [QUOTE=SanAntonio_JetFan;2457729]My wife stays home with the kids. I know a lot of families where both parents work, but it is usually a [U]choice[/U] they made. A lot of women these days feel that being a housewife is somehow demeaning to them. My sister and her husband are both doctors (hardcore libs in the San Fran area) and they could easily live on one of their incomes. But, my sister freely admits that she couldn't handle being a stay-at-home mom.[/QUOTE]

    not here in New York, specifically Long Island...


    you really need two working parents here; it isn't a choice....

    and switching the hours of school wouldn't really mean using more money, same hours, different schedule.

    I guess you could make it a state by state or regional thing to reflect the community

    I would love to be a stay at home dad.....I would do it in a heartbeat

    but in order to afford a home, two cars (although I drive an older used model, so no payments there), save up for college for the kids, and have some extra money for any emergencies that come up, we both need to work.

    more often than not it is like that all over NY

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    [QUOTE=piney;2457747]not here in New York, specifically Long Island...


    you really need two working parents here; it isn't a choice....

    and switching the hours of school wouldn't really mean using more money, same hours, different schedule.

    I guess you could make it a state by state or regional thing to reflect the community

    I would love to be a stay at home dad.....I would do it in a heartbeat

    but in order to afford a home, two cars (although I drive an older used model, so no payments there), save up for college for the kids, and have some extra money for any emergencies that come up, we both need to work.

    more often than not it is like that all over NY[/QUOTE]



    That's a problem when you live in an area with a high cost of living. I lived in California for a while and then I decided I didn't want to devote so much of my income on housing.

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    [QUOTE=SanAntonio_JetFan;2457778]That's a problem when you live in an area with a high cost of living. I lived in California for a while and then I decided I didn't want to devote so much of my income on housing.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with that

    on an individual level, you can solve the problem by moving, but overall..you can't expect everyone to move...

    so I really think changing the hours would help immensely here in NY

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