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Old 04-09-2006, 12:50 PM   #15
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Terry,

You are so right. I am from New Orleans. They have been through at least 3 superintendents of education in under 10 yrs. Each one gets paid over $200,00/yr. Then, when they leave whether they are fired for incompentancy (one even was caught stealing) or they just quit, they still get those 6 figures for the next 20 yrs. I would love to have a job they paid me after I got fired or simply quit. That is ridiculous. That is where all of our money is going.

NOLA has the worst schools in LA. The buildings are falling apart (maybe they will get new once since Katrina hit, but I doubt it). The teachers are stealing, the janitors are stealing. They even found tons of EX employees getting paid for years after leaving. One guy, Anthony Amato, came in and forced audits and accountability, and they got rid of him. The board does not want it fixed because then they lose their money. It is sad. I say parents send a statement and pull all of our kids out and homeschool them. There are coops so parents can teach together with other parents.

This country started out with the parents as the educators and many of our founding fathers learned at home. You don't need to know how to teach, just teach your children how to learn. I say go back to basics when things were simpler and our kids were smarter and better behaved.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:42 PM   #16
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A big thing here is parent involvment for the schools. All too many "parents" senf little Johnnie or Susie off to school for the teacher to teach them the basic courses as well as how to behave in our society. Then as soon as the teacher corrects them for poor or bad behavior, Mom or Pop is up at the school telling they have no business discipling their child.

My parents taught my brother and me how to behave and woe be unto the one that didn't and got sent to the office.

Education starts at home and needs to be reinforced at home.

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Old 04-10-2006, 05:02 AM   #17
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Be glad that you don't have to deal with what the NYS Regents says these kids should know! I can't even help my daughter in high school(10th grade) with her math anymore. Then add to the mix a teacher who just hands out copied notes and tells them to go home and do the problems without going over them in class. It's a nightmare. Instead of teaching them real math, they have them doing the most abstract problems I've ever seen. Most of the kids can't count change to save their lives or even tell time correctly on a regular clock.

The worst math I've ever dealt with was in 1st grade for all 3 of my kids. It was called "touch points". You had to "touch" the number at a specific point to tell you how to count it. Here's a link to it- http://mathforum.org/t2t/faq/gail/touch.html

Here's a link to show you the math they have to pass here in NYS- see if you can understand it.
http://www.nysedregents.org/testing/...gentmathb.html

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Old 04-10-2006, 07:51 AM   #18
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I understood a couple of the problems from NYS, but still would not pass and I tested at genius level IQ!

As for touch point math. What happened to good old fashioned M&M math? If you have 5 M&Ms and I eat 4 of them , how many do you have left? I use manipulatives at first and then we memorize our facts. They would be confused with the touch points. How does 7 get 7 points BTW??? I only see 3.

I am in this discussion on another group I am on. We are talking about the drop out rate and how the #s are skewed to hide the high rate. My statement to them was this... "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6. This is a scripture, but it is not a religious statement. It is parental advice. It does not say to train him up the way you WANT him to go. Each child is gifted in a different area. We need to work with what God gave each child. Not all children need Shakespeare or Calculus to be fulfilled in this life. I don't care if my mechanic took English Lit or Calculus or whether he passed it or not. I want him to know basic math so my bill is correct and to be able to tell a carburater (which I can't even spell btw) from an air filter (which I actually know what that is).

We don't need to turn out renaissance men, just productive members of society. For those who want to be challenged intellectually, offer that track, for the rest, let them take stuff that will keep their check books balanced. Not everyone wants or needs to go to college not matter what the Universities are telling people. I think technical schools that focus on one specific skill are what we need.

That scripture tells us to find out how where they are going and then point them in the right direction, put them on the right track. If we send an artist down the track to computer programming, they WILL derail.

The problem is, what do you do in a public school that is geared toward teaching 24 kids the exact same thing the exact same way when only 5 of them can learn that thing that way. My answer is to homeschool mine. dd9 is going to regular school next year, but she can already make change faster than most clerks. She can read a face clock (so can ds6). She can add and subtract fluently. She can also read and write (although weak in spelling).

The powers that be need to get in touch with what children NEED to know instead of trying to spit out a bunch of renaissance robots.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:58 PM   #19
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by mamaloya:
I understood a couple of the problems from NYS, but still would not pass and I tested at genius level IQ!

As for touch point math. What happened to good old fashioned M&M math? If you have 5 M&Ms and I eat 4 of them , how many do you have left? I use manipulatives at first and then we memorize our facts. They would be confused with the touch points. How does 7 get 7 points BTW??? I only see 3.

QUOTE]

I never could get past 5 with the touch points-it confused me! I taught my kids on the sly about the M&M math, it was much easier for them and made more sense-tasted better too.

Our drop our rate here is a major issue. 1 out of 4 of our Seniors this year will not graduate on time-not good out of a class of 500. Our school board is out to lunch and is totally run by the teachers union here. The kids won't ever get what they need for learning here. It's gone downhill so badly since I went to school here. NYS is way out of touch and they need to leave their ivory tower to see what's really going on.

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Old 04-13-2006, 03:58 AM   #20
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I started teaching 8 years ago at the age of 55 and now I'm retired. I taught electrical construction in a high school voc ed department. First thing I would say was there was a huge culture shock because of the attitudes. Grading is now a joke compaired to what it was in the 50s and 60s. 50% of the grade I had to give was for being there.
I think I can sum up what happened in math in one word. Calculators. I was shocked at the level of dependance on doing simple 3rd grade arithmetic with a calculator. If I were the Superintendent of schools, they would be gone until the 12th grade.
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Old 04-13-2006, 01:20 PM   #21
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I have to say that after reading this topic I was disappointed and frustrated. So, instead of our regular math class yesterday, dd and I did what any redblooded American women would do. We went SHOPPING!!! It was a great lesson and she did well. She needed new clothes, and the mall had a sale. She looked around and found something she liked. Before she could try it on or get it, she had to tell me what the sale price was. Some were 30% off, some were 40 or 50% off. We discussed moving the decimal point to get 10% and then multiplying times the multiple of 10 that the discount was. Example. the skirt was $20. It was 30% off. She moved the decimal point to get $2 as 10% of $20, then times 3 to get 30%. that was $6. $20-6=14. I then asked her if that was a good price. We agreed it was. She then got to accessorize (the best part). Every item she bought had to be on sale and every one she had to tell me what the discount was. Talk about motivated to do math. She started figuring it out faster than me LOL. An older woman was in there shopping and overheard our discussion. She looked at me, smiled and nodded approvingly. I think this real world shopping math is more fun than even M&M math.

I also spent time with ds6 reading signs. dd2.5 looked for colors. dd5 was in a mood, so she just tagged along. I counted it as a field trip day on our calendar. dh called at lunchtime to let me know he was ready to eat. I told him I was at the mall and he thought I was nuts. Oh, well, it was a nice break from our everyday routine, and they learned a lot. I also let dd9 use cash to pay for lunch and double check the change she would get back. She also bought an icee after figuring out how much it would be after taxes and then how much change she would bring me back.

I felt they all learned more in the 5 hrs we were at the mall than in a whole weak.

Now, if only I can convince dh that a weekly shopping trip would be "purely academic" and absolutely necessary for the education of our children.
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:17 PM   #22
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FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!!

GOOD JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now if we could only get all mothers and daughters as well as fathers and sons to do the same thing EVERY time they had to buy anything... clothing, food, tools, etc..

Think what would happen to our succeeding generations... WOW !!! it staggers the imagination...

Take away all calculators, take away all credit cards and people could not help but become educated...

Thank you Sandra, that makes me feel good...

John
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:59 AM   #23
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Thanks for the encouragement John. I have to tell you though, I am guilty of using a calculator myself from time to time. When I am tired and in a hurry I whip out my cell phone, which has a calc built in, and figure it out there. Although not usually percentages, I am talking the price per ounce of like laundry detergent and such. (Yes, I am a tight wad.)

My dd hates math and throws a fit on test days, which is today BTW. Yet, when it comes to keeping track of how much she has in her allowance account or like the other day figuring out how much the clothes were on sale for, she is a whiz. I think it is all attitude. When she has motivation, she does well. I motivate her by telling her that if she does well on her math test, she gets out of math the next day. Little does she know that the curriculum I use has it set up so that the day after a test is strictly review and no new concepts, so it works out well. I figure that if she aced the test, why should she review it all. We do go over what she missed and I make sure to touch on those concepts more over the next week so that she gets stronger. It works well.

Traditional schools are at a disadvantage because they can't do that. It doesn't matter who failed or who passed. You have to move on to the next day on the lesson plan. You could send review work home for the parents' to help with, but most parents' work now and don't have time.

That's another thing. We can do an entire days work in 3-4 hours depending on how she is taking it in. My ds6 is done with his Kindergarten work in under 2hrs, sometimes less (of course he is advanced). Yet, the schools have our kids for 8 hrs and can't even teach them the basics. I am dreading dd9 (10 next week) going into public school next year. We are on post here at Ft. Bragg, NC, so it is a DoD school, but I am not sure how she will do. I will have to get everyone up early to bring her and ds15 to school, then get home, do school with dd3(PreK), dd5(K) and ds6(1st), get my chores done, go pick the older 2 up, and then those 2 will have school work to do.

Hey, maybe I will hire a maid.

OK, I am seriously rambling now. Didn't this start with a little anecdote about not being able to make change.
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:37 AM   #24
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I enjoyed reading these posts, and yes, I read ALL of the previous posts. I am a teacher, and have been for 26 years (nearing retirement). There are lots of problems with education and it is not any one particular fault or problem.

There are good/bad schools, public, private and charter; just as there are good/bad teachers, public, private, or charter, even home-schooled. There are good/bad students....

I chuckle when people misspell princiPAL with princiPLE and use improper grammar (a home-schooler I believe), yet the math lessons are wonderful, but public teachers would be chastised if we took the students shopping.

What I believe is needed in education in America (getting on my soapbox now) is a shift in attitude. The country must decide that education is important in this country and then do whatever it takes to make it one of the best systems in the world. If you look at countries like France, Finland, and Japan you notice several things:
1) National curriculum - which means giving up local control - something we're not eager to do.
2) Education is in the top 3 priorities for the country. Teachers are looked up to and are respected. Teacher training is more rigorous, too!
3) Adequate money is supplied to schools to function effectively.
4) Parents and students are held responsible for learning and supplemental lessons.

Again the changes will not come until everyone in the US decides that education is more important than we treat it now.

Thanks! (coming down off my soapbox now )
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:06 PM   #25
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Sorry if my grammar offended you. When I am online. I just write. I don't spell check, double check my grammar, or even bother with it at all. I do know the difference between principal and principle, but was just typing w/o paying attention. I actually majored in Elementary Science Education with a minor in Psychology back home in Louisiana, so I am not just a mom who decided to yank her kids out of school and teach them.

My strengths are science and math. I really enjoy those subjects as well. (don't we all enjoy thinks we are good at much better) I may have misused the word principle, but no one is perfect. As for being a "home-schooler", I have never seen that word hyphenated before. I have seen it spelled both separately and together, but never hyphenated. I even checked the home school legal defense website. www.hslda.com

I am weak in grammar, although I do not sound like it when speaking generally. I am a horrible writer. Because of this, I stick to the book very strictly when teaching grammar. I mainly use the book "Primary Language Lessons". It is an old book that engages the Charlotte Mason method of education. (Yes I know the book should be underlined, but don't know how to do it in this software.)

As you can also tell, I am also horrible at putting easy to follow thoughts together in a logical progression. This is why we hire a tutor for her as well.

I know many people who "unschool" and while some days we do use that approach, as when we went shopping, I mainly stick to our curriculum. Each year I spend hours pouring over what is available and try to pick what best fits with our children's learning styles, our personal philosophies, and basic standards for that grade level. That is a big plus of homeschooling. As a teacher you either 1) have to teach what the powers that be tell you to teach or 2) have to pick a curriculum that which reach the most kids. Notice I said "most" and not "all" because, quite frankly, no one curriculum can reall "all" children. For 4 years now I have used Abeka math as our math curriculum. I am able to add to it when my child is struggling with a concept. I can go online and learn a new technique, add in manipulatives, or just skip that concept and go back to it later when she may be ready to get it.

Our children are placed in grades based on chronology, not ability. Not all children are ready to learn the same thing at the same chronological age. And even chronologically, the kids are all different ages in the classroom. One grade may have children as much as 2 calendar years apart. I am able to do a high 4th grade math with my dd9, 2nd grade spelling, 5th grade geography, etc. I am able to cater to her strengths and weaknesses. I don't know how this could be resolved in a traditional classroom. There is no easy answer.

Throwing money is not an answer. No matter how much money is thrown at the schools, it does not do any good. The higher ups get the money, not the teachers, and not the classroom. The money is there, just noone has figured out what to do with it yet, other than line their pockets.

I agree that education is not a high enough priority either. We pay actors and athletes millions of dollars, yet pay our teachers barely a living wage. That is pathetic and sad.

I too believe that parents should be held accountable. My problem is that students are sometimes sent home with hours of homework to do. They just spent 8 hours in the classroom. They need time to decompress. That would burn anyone out. After 8 hours of work adults can't wait to get home and "veg out", why can't our kids. If they need help, they should get it at school. They could have a study hall period where the kids that know can help the kids that don't. It is not fair to expect a kid, who doesn't like it anyway to do even more of it at home. If they are not learning at school, then something at school may have to change.

Also, I mentioned before, many school districts are kicking the parents out. They won't let the parents have a say. They don't want to answer to anyone. If the student is doing well, they must have had a great teacher, if the child is doing poorly, then the parents are to blame. How unfair.

Now, this may just be my impression, but you seem to have an ax against homeschoolers. Have you not ever misspelled a word, especially online. ALL teachers make mistakes. I laugh all the time when I read the posts on different boards at all the bad grammar, typos, and mispelled words. I don't judge anyone for it or think them uneducated. You think my grammar is bad online, you should here me late at night when I am just hanging out with hubby. My New Orleans accent gets thick and even can't figure out half of what I am saying. I use proper grammar most of the time, correct my children, and use a great curriculum to make up for my weakness. Funny thing is that when I was teaching, I was expected to teach not just 4-5 kids grammar, but a WHOLE classroom full. Talk about not a good idea.

Sad thing is that when I was in college, I had a professor who did not know grammar. I am not talking about not using it like most of us, she did not KNOW it. We had to turn in a paper for our nutrition class with her. She had gone through and corrected our papers for grammar and had knocked many of our grades down to Bs and Cs due to the "grammatical errors". Turns out she was UNcorrecting them. We were right and she was changing them to wrong. Like changing "we were right" to "we was right". It was horrible. We went to the dean of that department. He had her adjust our grades and gave us some lame excuse about why she was there, but the fact is that she had a DOCTORATE!!! How in the world did she get a PhD w/o knowing grammar? How did she get her thesis done? OK, now I am really off on a tangent.

Just wanted to point out that ALL teahers are lacking in some area. I know my weaknesses and make sure to cover my bases. The way things stand now, my younger children are much better off being taught by lil ole me than by anyone else. I take it year by year and reevaluate that opinion. Next year, dd9 will be better off in trad school as well as ds14, but the littles will still be with me. As I mentioned before, ds6 is already reading, writing, adding and subtracting. When dd9 left K years ago, she did not even know all the letters of the alphabet, much less what sounds they made.

Oh, and back on the shopping as a field trip subject, as John expressed, it was a good job. My children will be able to function in the real world when they leave my home. Oh, and btw, we also took a few other field trips most people would gauk at: Epcot-World Showcase, Animal Kingdom, St. Augustine, FL, USS Battleship North Carolina, Ft. Fisher, etc. My child learned a great deal at those places.

At Epcot, I took her to each countries pavillion and she spoke with a person actually from each country, she had them sign hello in their language in her passport, she noted the architecture, and looked through the gift shops. She can identify each of the countries on a map as well.

Animal Kingdom is like a glorified zoo, lots of schools take field trips to zoos. While we were at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Aug, there were other school groups there and the same for Ft. Fisher and the battleship. The only difference is that we experience those places as a family.

So, until the school system is fixed in a very big way, homeschooling is the answer. IMHO

Now, I am off of my soapbox.
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:27 PM   #26
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Old 04-16-2006, 03:30 PM   #27
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More money is not the answer. We need to get back to teaching the basics to the kids before we start teaching too much high tech stuff.

I see young engineers that are whizzes on computers, and using Excel, but they are not familiar with the basics enough to determine when the computer is spitting out garbage. They need a better basis in the basics of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow and mechanics if they are to be mechanical engineers.

The grammer and English the kids are using is horrible. I am weak in grammer, but my wife keeps me in line and thank Heaven for spell check.

Our daughter is 33 years old and even when she was in school we could see the poor quality of some of the teachers. My wife is a former Spanish teacher. Our daughter had a math teacher (H.S.) that was so bad, my wife wound up tutoring our daugher and when some of her friends found out, she had a group of about 6 kids that she was helping, free of charge. The teacher could not explain it and was not going to be bothered with help after school. These were all pretty bright kids caught up by a bad teacher.

We had one round with a German teacher that had no business teaching in any school. We finally had a meeting with the school principal and the foreign languages department head for the district. The prinipal sided with us and told the administrator that she was not coming back to his school for the next year. He had too many complaints and too much trouble with her. She was kept employed by the district at another school.

Yes, there are a lot of good and dedicated teachers out there, but they do have too many that are marginal to poor, partially due to the pay scale. Why sould a garbage truck driver make more than a highly educated teacher.

In short we need to up the requirement for the teachers to get better qualified individuals, next pay better for the higher level of teachers and also demand more from the kids on the basics.

Ken
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:14 PM   #28
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Very well put, Ken.

And Donavon, .
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