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Old 04-18-2006, 07:07 AM   #43
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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 TXiceman:

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.

Ken </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ken,
I agree with a lot of what you're saying. But I think we've got a "catch 22" here. We can't give up on the lower 10%, especially with NCLB (thanks George!). But why do we have to spend 90% of our time dealing with the 10% who don't want to be there? We have to teach to the middle of the road. The higher achievers should be able to get supplemental stuff to motivate them, but on their own. We have to give the unmotivated every opportunity to succeed (even when they don't want to!). As for the lower 10% working on designs for airplanes etc, don't worry..these are some of the kids who even refuse to work for the fast food joints.

Remember way back when...kids used to be tracked and then some official said that tracking is wrong...it labels the kids. Well we need to return to a form of tracking. Let's put the college bound kids together, let's put the vocational kids together, and let's just put the unmotivated in jail now and save everyone the hassle! (just kidding....maybe?

Kevin in Redford, MI
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:48 AM   #44
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Ken, I agree with what you've said and with you, too, Sandra.

A couple of more points need to be made, however:
1. I do not agree that our school systems any longer produce the quality education that builds great institutions. While the schools themselves are not the sole reason for this, they are a significant part of the problem.
2. Many schools, including the highly rated one that our kids went to (and our "baby" is 26 so this isn't just a recent problem) DON'T WANT parent involvement. Being teachers ourselves, we would always take the teacher's side of any disagreement first. I scheduled meetings with teachers and more often than not, they didn't show up. One wasn't even in the building during her open period, set aside for counseling students with special needs. An escalation to the principal yielded no results. Our daughter's complaint with that teacher was that she was never available (and this was AP Chemistry and a student who was in the top 5% of her class.) I could go on for hours - I have dozen's more stories just like this one. This is NOT the way to have quality education and the problem isn't 10% of the teachers and administrators.

We have to stop living in the past. I agree completely that the other nations are producing better educated populations than we are and we need to deal with that problem, sooner rather than later.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:02 AM   #45
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The child reaps the results of a parent/teacher confrontation. Bet on it.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:53 AM   #46
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The schools that we helped had principals that wanted and ask for parent help in all aspects of the school.

Yes, we need to teach at the level of the normal student, but have a challenge for the more gifted students to keep their interest. Problem is the system wants to dumb-down the teaching to the point that the bottom students can pass and now you have to challenge both the average student as well as the gifted ones.

When I was in high school (1965 graduate), we had a couple of tracks we could follow. One was for college bound students and it included more math and science. The other track was more for the student that was not going to college.

My wife was a secondary Spanish and French teacher. She was really put out with the education courses she had to take in college. She felt like about 25% of the material was useful and the other 75% was pretty much usless. Even in the 70's she was seeing the reduction in teaching time and increase in administrative duties and control of how the class was taught. She finally quiet teaching due to all of the problems (biggest was no control of the class room) and not paid enough for the hours required. To properly do her job, she had to do too much at home on her time and then so many of the students did not care.

We just need to get control of the classrooms back to the teachers and let them teach and stop being administrators.

Ken
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:57 PM   #47
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This could go on forever. Lots of war stories about education. But its not just education. Its a symptom of at least two generations in the US of living in what I call the NO RESPONSIBILITY SOCIETY. How long has it been since you've heard anyone say, It was my fault. No one is responsible. The student isn't responsible, its the teacher's fault. The teacher's not responsible its the parent's fault. The parent's not responsible. Its the Superindent's fault. Its not the Supers faultIts the governments fault. And everyone knows the government is never at fault. The same thing is true in business, government and society in general. Unless we adopt a societal change where responsibility is instilled, begining with parents to children, we're going to continue to have big problems in this country.
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:48 AM   #48
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This is all too timely.....

I saw a cartoon in the Detroit News this week that reads:

My 5 year old home schooled child can read this bumper sticker!

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