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Old 04-16-2006, 04:18 PM   #29
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Hello Sandra/mamaloya,

I apologize if I offended you...certainly not my intention! I too often type with what I call "rented fingers" and the brain often works faster than the fingers, rented or my own.

I really do not have a beef with home schooling; I think the point I was trying to make was that everyone must decide how to best educate their child(ren). No one system, style or teacher is perfect and the most important thing is that student is successful in learning and achieving success in their life.

I applaud you for your conviction and dedication for the successful education of your children!

I also agree that throwing money at the school system will not fix it. Rising health and pension costs are creating havoc in the economy, not only of school systems but large and small businesses.

In my school (I teach middle school and high school) I have four home schooled students who come daily for select classes, usually fine arts classes. They are very delightful kids and great students who are talented. I wish I had more just like them!

Again, my apologies for any offense given by my previous post. America needs to work together to improve education, regardless of how or where it is given.

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Old 04-16-2006, 04:26 PM   #30
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">

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 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nicely stated Ken!

Part of the problems with the system deal with unions (yes, I'm a union member too). I don't want to give up my hard earned pay and fringes but realistically school districts can't handle double digit increases in health care and pension requirements. More money from the feds and state government may cover the increases but health care is responsible for their profit levels or increases. Unions don't want to give an inch, and frankly sometimes they need to. (I think I opened another messy door here....)

Also Michigan keeps piling on more and more demands to what it tests plus requirements for NCLB. Giving teachers more things they must teach and less and less time to teach them. I'm really in favor of a national curriculum with some state and local controls (much easier said than done).

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Old 04-16-2006, 07:30 PM   #31
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Computers/Calculaters:

I was working on an project for NASA and British Aerospace because the new breed of engineers and mechanics could not deal with the paper drawings that were used to design and maintain the space shuttle. Without a computer generated drawing a good;y number of the people coming out of school today could not do the job well and an automated fix was being pursued. Yes we are too relient on calculators and computers nowadays.


On teachers having to follow the state mandated program well this is my experience:

My daughter recently came home with a low grade on her math assignment and when we checked her work she had every problem done correctly and by the book. The reason for the low grade we found out afterwards was that the teacher was not following the book and rejected anything that was done by the book instead of using her alternative method. We checked the book and it is well written, clear, easy to follow and the methodology was solid. The teacher is unyeilding on this and we don't want to sour things with a confrontation this close to the end of the school year. We are having our daughter take more complete notes when the teacher branches away from the book and then have her use the teachers method and then double check things using the method outlined in the book.


Trash talk:

In order to get into an Honors English class and then be allowed to stay, there are mandated books that have to be read over the summer however every one this year contains language that would get you expelled from class if you spoke it out loud and which is not acceptable in my home. Most including the alternates are on "Mature" themes. Why do our 9th graders have to read profanity and trash talk in order to attend an "Honors" English class in High School? Is this class to help refine their understanding of English or to better equip them to react if a Brooklyn cab drive cuts loose on them?

We can't pin the root cause on any one in particular because the fault lies with everyone the parents, teachers, administraters, do-gooders and the students.

Yes home schooling is beginning to look like the superior way to go.

Regards,

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Old 04-17-2006, 04:49 AM   #32
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Neil,

Oh, the horror stories I could tell you about a child being in Honors! I will NEVER let another go into Honors again!

This year at the high school we dealt with a Math teacher who at the whopping age of 27-is a idiot. He proclaimed at parents night to be a certified genuis. Also said that this was the easiest job for him to do. Could have fooled me.

My daughter went from having a 72 average in math last year to a 22 average at the 5 week marking period. She'd dropped down a level in Math because she felt she was having trouble with concepts and went into NYS's Math 2B.
His claim was she wasn't doing homework. Well we started signing them each night. He never noticed. Why? He never collected them. We had to fight tooth and nail to get her out of that class-argued with the department head and I finally told her "who's in charge of MY child-the school district or her parents?" Got her out and into a good class.

Two days after the switch-she had to take the mid-term. She got a 88. She's gotten no less than 90's for 3rd quarter and had 90 average for the third marking period. That first teacher should be denied tenure. He taught them NOTHING. I finally called the school board and made a complaint against him. It's a case in our district of the "Good ol Boy" syndrom alive and well.

Course we are now fighting to have daughter placed into Regents Chemistry. They are telling us she can't because she took the lower Math-she'd have to take Practical Chem. No. She's already passed two NYS Regent exams with 89's in science. She's wants to major in science in college. That course won't count for her to get a Advanced Regents. Her guidance consoler stinks and she's never ONCE talked with my daughter to even help her plan her courses to be on track for what she needs in college.

The whole system in schools need to be revamped. It's not working here-1 out of every 4 kids in 2001 in our district didn't graduate on time and it's getting worse.

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Old 04-17-2006, 05:41 AM   #33
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Hi Nell,

Isn't it amazing that some of the "smartest" people in the world shouldn't be teachers?! Good teaching is an art....juggling time and people and differentiated learning with students with many different needs and styles.

People need to keep close eyes on what happens in their school districts; become involved and stay informed.

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Old 04-17-2006, 06:26 AM   #34
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Kevin,

Sorry I reacted so strongly to your comments. I am a bit touchy on the homeschooling front (as well as the 5 kid thing) because I am always being attacked and questioned about it. Some of the arguements people have for why I should not hs is ridiculous. One lady had the nerve to say "why would you not want to get your kids off your hands for 8 hrs a day and have some time to yourself". I looked in the eyes and said "Cuz I like MY kids." That was so ridiculous. There are also the ones that think the school would no more than me. Maybe they do, but as long as I have my teacher's manuals, textbooks, and teaching aids, I have it covered. If I am not sure how to teach something, the TEs (teacher editions) will write in italics or quotes what to say word for word. I have seen some teachers read word for word out of their TEs on many occasions. That is what they are there for.

Now I have to admit, I cheat a little. I buy curriculums with the lesson plans already done. That was my least favorite part of teaching. I hated lesson plans. I know they are necessary so that you keep a goal in mind and don't get distracted, but I hated them. My curriculum sets come with the student text, TE, workbooks, and aids. The TE has the lesson plan for each unit. This way I can spend my time teaching and not preparing. There is a master list that has the supplies/aids that I will need each week.

With a good curriculum and support system, anybody who WANTS to can homeschool. You just have to really try. After seeing what some parents go through trying to get the schools to do right by their children, it seems that it would actually be easier.

As for teaching qualifications. I lived in Plaquemines Parish (county) in LA for almost 2 years. I hsed there too. Well, it was at the end of the road (tip of the toe) of southeast LA. End of the MS river. Noone wanted to live there unless they were from there. I was only there becasue dh pastored the church there. Anyway, they could not get teachers there. The children from there grew up to be fishermen or oil workers. The residents saw no need for education. This meant that few locals went to college. They actually had housing on school property for teachers. They usually got teachers fresh out of college for 1-2 years and then, when the teacher found another place, they moved on. There was such a teaching shortage, that they had a backup plan.

1st choice - teaching degree

2nd choice - any degree

3rd choice - any college

4th choice - hs diploma

5th choice - alive and breathing (OK, this last one I made up)

Seriously, if you look up the charter or bylaws or whatever they call them for Plaquemines Parish Louisiana, you will find it. Needless to say, the school is sad. I could tell you horror stories about the things that went on down there. Luckily that is not as common as some of the other problems.

Oh, one other argument I get against hsing is socialization. Frankly, there are some people I don't want my kids socializing with. With a family of 7, living on post, going to church, hey even going to the mall, sports, and gathering with other hsers, my kids get lots of socialization and actually socialize better than most.

Kevin, again, I apologize for overreacting to your comments. I know they weren't an attack on me personally or even on hsing. They were fair comments. I am glad to know that a teacher sees hsing as a valid choice. Most do not. I find most teachers I meet get offended at the mere suggestion of hsing. If it is any consolation to ya, yesterday I was PMSing and dh got it way worse LOL! He is still looking for part of his ear! LOL

It is hard to tell what people intend online. I am usually level headed, just touchy on the large family and hsing due to rude peoples' comments on a regular basis. (Oh, and yes, I do know where babies come from. That's the funnest part of hav'n em.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:05 AM   #35
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Sandra, I understand your sensitivity about HSing remarks and especially the problems that you have had from some teachers. I've heard a lot of Real Estate Agents bad mouth FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) in much the same way. There are certainly things that RE agents offer but those offerings aren't for everyone.

My DW and I are both certified teachers and, if we had to do it over again, we might have home schooled our own kids. As poor as your description of your Parish school is, I find that the almost prison like conditions in several of the mega high schools in the Dallas area may be even worse. While there are some efficiencies in the huge schools, the excess and extremes of the poor financial management of them more than offsets any benefits. That poor management extends to hiring and then not monitoring of teacher performance. It is a real wonder that many of the kids get anything meaningfull out of their high school experiences. As for preparing them for college or even life after education, the process is just plain woefully inadequate.

Your kids are far better off being taught by someone who actually cares whether they learn.

This is by no means meant to be a slam against teachers. There are many hardworking, well intentioned professionals that we know but they are often so hamstrung by their school environments that they become frustrated and ineffective.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:18 AM   #36
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Everybody should home school. This would reduce the number of students in the public school so we can lower our taxes. Families could decide what they want to teach their children and protect them from the evils of the real world.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:07 PM   #37
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kissimmee Kids:
Everybody should home school. This would reduce the number of students in the public school so we can lower our taxes. Families could decide what they want to teach their children and protect them from the evils of the real world. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Homeschooling does not reduce taxes. Public schools will have to remain open because not everyone has the time or energy to homeschool. It is more cost effective to teach a class of 30 students than it is to teach a class of 25; utility costs, salaries and benefits remain constant unless you can reduce the number of students so that a teacher can be laid off; you you're paying for unemployment or retraining fees.

Yes there are "evils" in the real world but there a positive qualities too, like friendship, sharing, caring, teamwork, etc.

There are no simple solutions to revamping education in the US.
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:42 PM   #38
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OK I'll admit it I have been a public school teacher and administrator for 36 years and I'm sick of people constantly attacking an institution that has produced the greatest nation on earth. In my years in education I have seen good and bad, talented and underachievement, but most of all I've seen thousands of students go on to produce the worlds greatest institutions. Do me a favor stop looking at only the bottom 10% and look at all the successful people (including those that are most critical) in the other 90%
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:21 PM   #39
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I taking off my mediator hat for this one and I respond as a forum member. I hope I don't step over the line.

KK, but why should we give up on the "bad 10%". This 10 % is dragging down the whole system.

Would you want one of these kids taught by the bad 10% designing the airplane that you fly on...I would not. And why should the other 90% carry this bad 10%.

The point is that the education system is dumbing-down America and it hurts. The U.S. is lagging behind the rest off the world in the number of engineers and scientist.

From what I have seen since the time I graduated from high school and college, the students are not being challenged as much as they should be. They are getting by too easily and it is the fault of the system. Too much pressure is being put on teachers to teach to the test so that the numbers look good and the lowest students are passed and forget about challenging the brighter students.

So it boils down to the majority of the people are accepting this method of teaching. When it comes to education, I don't see how we can accept mediocrity if this country is to excel.

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Old 04-18-2006, 06:04 AM   #40
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OK, I am going to open another can of worms here. We talked about parent accountability. I agree with that. Parents are not always allowed to participate the way that want to. Problem is only a handful of parents want to. If all parents demanded to be heard, they would be heard. There are so many 2 income families where both mom and dad are gone until 6pm and then they come home and it is time for dinner and bed. They don't pop in to the schools to volunteer to help the teachers because they are working. When I was in school it was common to see parents at the school, either as volunteers or substitutes. When we go home, mom was waiting. If we got in trouble at school, mom was on her way immediately. If you got suspended, mom was home with you making sure you did not have fun (not that I *ever* got into any trouble ). Now, mom is too busy, and dad too. If you get suspended, you spend your days watching TV and hanging out at home. OOOO that is BIG punishment. My nephews school did an "in school" suspension. He had to go to school, but had to wear dress pants, shirt, and tie and had to sit in an area near the principal's office and do his assignments. His mom had to bring him. She was working (a single mom) and could not bring him, so he stayed home. It is sad.

Maybe we should focus some on bringing our families back to where they should be. If one parent is at home to take care of business, then it will get taken care of. If mom and dad are both gone until 6pm, who is making sure the kids are doing homework, studying, and not getting into trouble. I know dads that work much later than that. Even teenagers need someone at home when they get home.

I know that some moms work because they *have* to, but a lot don't. Some moms say they *have* to because they want 2 new cars, the 5 bdrm house in the fancy subdivision, etc. Another prob is that stay at home moms get criticized and the job of motherhood has been demeaned. Moms are made to feel that if they don't have a career outsided of the home that they are not important. Give moms the power back. I think that teachers and mothers are some of the most unappreciated workers out there. I stay home. We are not rich (dh is in the army), but we do just fine. We have 1 van, 1 truck, and a camper. We don't owe on any of them (although we just dropped $850 this morning on the a/c in my van). They are not new, but they work just fine. Moms could stay home if they truly wanted to.

Society (mainly hollywood) is changing our priorities for us. We see these shows and want what they have. We lose focus of the importance of parenthood. Newer cars, bigger homes, and I want it NOW!! Our kids are learning, but not the right thing. We need to be there for them 24/7 in order for them to succeed in school and in life. We need to be available to run to the school at the drop of a hat if we need to. And bring em to the wood shed if it is called for.

Truth be told, we, as parents, are dropping the ball. We are expecting strangers to raise our children. Teachers can't do it all. We need to raise the standards for teachers, get students to learn real life things, and be there for them as parents. If schools required parental involvement, things would change. If parents would volunteer to grade a test, maybe the teacher could actually get to have some off time. A teacher friend of mine continues working at home. Yes there are really rotten teachers, REALLY rotten ones. Lets get rid of them, raise the pay of the good ones, require parental involvement and hold the students accountable.

The curriculum is a whole other story. We need to find a way to allow for students of all learning styles to be taught. Maybe that means sorting them by learning style. Our county here has schools of choice that cater to different learners. You can put your child in a montessori school if you want to. You can send even the youngest to schools that are more art centered. Now, if you put your child in a school of choice, you have to bring them there and pick them up, no busses. You also are required to get more involved. I think they may be on to something. Problem is, will it work for those children whose parents don't care? We have spent so many years taking authority away from the parents, how do we convince them to take it back?
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:24 AM   #41
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Sandra, you are right on about parent involvment. My wife and I always took the time to be involved with the school as time was available. We were also active in the PTA and held offices. It is sad to see the number of parents that "don't have the time". My wife worked and also did volunteer work at the school to help out the teaches as an unpaid teachers aide.

This is why we also took the time to challenge a teachers ability with the administration. Unless we speak out, we are not listened.

We still encourage younger parents to get involved and volunteer at the schools, even if it is for only one day a month.

The family values are going down the tubes, mostly thanks to the poor quality of the TV shows being aired. Parents need to see what the kids are up to for TV viewing and also, computer usage.

We can not expect others to teach our kids family values. This needs to be done at home.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:51 AM   #42
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Wow....Right on...you go girl!!
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