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FORUMS General Discussions Open Forum Fixing a Broken Educational System
TOPIC: Fixing a Broken Educational System
Created by: valovers703
Original Starting post for this thread:
OK, here's a new thread to pursue this topic.

I think it's important to note that public school and private school are 2 different animals altogether.

Also, K-12 is a whole different ballgame from university teaching.

I guess we can handle it all right in one thread.

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I think Ward Churchill said that the workers in the twin towers were like little Eichmanns and therefore a military target. It's a pretty radical statement but with media spin it was translated to WTC victims are nazis who deserved to die. This was a small part in his essay but I believe the whole point of it was that violence begets violence and no one is stepping up to stop the cycle.

One professor is pretty small in the grande scheme of education, and of course by over-blowing a blown up statement, the govt/media just made this one professor larger. I think this was just another rouse to turn radical into liberal and liberal into anti-american.

Free speech needs to be protected even when it's the most unpopular.

Valencia CA
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nope that's the "radical" professor from Colorado. Radical is pc-speak for idiot.

Glen Burnie MD
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Pen:

I resemble that remark. ************* Remember, I diagnosed myself in the 10th grade. My psychiatrist looked up suddenly years ago. "You have ADD." I said that's correct. It's severe.

Medical professionals are treating ADHD in a very similar manner to bipolar disease these days. I find that very interesting. Bipolar disease is linked to creativity, intelligence, addictive/ compulsive issues. I resemble that remark also.

Glen Burnie MD
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My husband a teacher of 30 years and NCLB.

My husband teaches handicapped kids in an inclusion setting. He has taught other types of kids also.

NCLB is a crock when focusing on kids whose IQ=50. They are left behind. It's the best they can do.

The thing that is propelling his retirement? Tons and tons of paper work related to NCLB and other programs. Overcrowding is another issue. Dumping of kids into his program who are not of the same caliber.

I asked him if parents of the less severely effected kids complained about the distraction some cause. No, because they are not there.

I'm not well equipped to discuss it in detail. I do know this. He really tries with his kids. After all these years he still does his best to help them. Parents are sometimes the issue.

I've never heard him ONCE mention a union as his friend. I'm not sure he's even in a union. ********* I teach Senior Dr. of Pharmacy students. They are not taught to think. They memorize/cram for tests. Get A's and move on. Integration, synthesis, problem solving are not taught. Some also have a "golden child" persona. They are in demand. They think they can do no wrong. They are not ready for the real world. It's very stressful, complicated, and fast paced.

I ask them a question. A fairly standard reply? "I learned that several semesters ago. I've forgotten the details." I smile and agree. "My knowledge is slightly rusty also. I studies that in 1980." HA!! They don't learn/integrate. They cram. These are "A" students. I was a 2.0 and go. ********** If I had kids, I would teach them to THINK, PROBLEM SOLVE, THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. I would teach integration of learning not merely memorization of facts. I would stress synthesis. The bringing together of information to form a conclusion that is not readily apparent.

I would home school, private school, and school of hard knocks. Mostly. I would not let them suffer like I did. That was the real crime.

Mischief<--still doing better today than yesterday.

Glen Burnie MD
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My story. Wow. Is this topic a hot item for me. I failed all through school. I was in the 3rd best school system in the country. Montgomery County, MD.

Failed as in D's. I became extremely frustrated. I knew I was smart but couldn't prove it. My brother got all the help. My parents, teachers, others didn't help me. I was in Catholic school grades 1-4. There were up to 50 kids in a classroom. I went to public school grades 5-12.

The entire thing was horrendous to my self esteem. They taught me I was dumb. I never learned fractions in the 4th grade. No one ever told me that line meant divide. I failed Home EC one grade period because I couldn't figure out fractions of cups etc.

I got tired of losing. I decided to change the game. In the 4th grade the scoring became: Did I do better today than yesterday? If I did I was a success. They put me in the reading disabled class. I wasn't reading disabled. It had a hugely positive effect.

The learning device was text on a screen. An adjustable lit area would run along the words. The idea was to get reading speed up. Wow did that work. When I took my PCATs, I finished the reading section an hour before everyone else. I double checked it. I asked if I was missing pages. I scored in the 99 percentile and did it a hour earlier than 200 other people.

My life in school was horrible. I acted up because I was BORED stiff. The summer before 10th grade (1973) I found drugs. My grades doubled. I wasn't bored LOL. I got on the honor role. I diagnosed myself. ADHD. I still have it severely.

ADHD is not a problem of inattention. It's a problem of hyperfocusing. Paying so close attention that the world passes you by. It's excellent in my line of work. All hell could be breaking loose, and I'm focused on the prescription in front of me.

I help all the kids who have ADD that I run across. They are not stupid. They are too smart. Boredom, frustration, finally anger. Think about having to go to a job every day. A place where you were told..you were stupid. A place you couldn't get away from. How long would it take you to act up?

The teacher who has a different learning style has a point. Suggest teaching ADD kids to write what is to be learned down 3x. The first time in total detail. 2nd in less detail, 3rd possibly just a short statement. ex (war of 1812). I found it writes it into your brain.

My ANGER at organized education is severe. I went to graduate school in 1994. A "teacher"? was discussing a pharmacokinetic equation where part of it was raised to the -e power. I blew a fuse. I told the "teacher" that: I needed a handout. (The scrawled equation wasn't clear enough.) That I had been on a loading dock of a store for 11 years. I had no flipping clue what he had said for the last 20 minutes and could he please speak so I could understand him. I had graduated. The teacher was the problem not me!!! BTW my classmates thanked me later. I aced the test, damn it.

more to come.

Glen Burnie MD
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Not to mention, what parent as August rolls around is not asking "when the heck are these bored and restless kids going back to school? L (who used to have a big bottle of champagne ready for herself and all the other moms on the street right after that first carpool morning of the school year)

Saint Augustine FL
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Our system is in shambles because of our core ideology that everyone has to have an equal chance to the American success story. Students with no aptitude or potential are forced to compete with expectations they all can go to university and attain advanced degrees. This creates tremendous pressures and frustrations.

In the rest of the world, potential is identified early and the education system splits into different tracts, with students of different abilities getting specialized information that will help them be successful as mechanics or clerks or artistians. In the US everyone has to undergo some designed core of education all the way into graduate school. This is a waste of time, resources, and drain on the students psyche, but it's the American way.

Phoenix AZ
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It all depends on what you consider not good at all. Are they not good at teacher their subject then yes they should be removed. Are they just tough instructors? Mean? Challenging?

Valencia CA
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As someone 8 years removed from high school, I can tell ya what happened with me. I am a college graduate who in HS got a three-digit SAT score. Yes there is lots of social promotion. Yes academics are understressed. I also think there is lots of grade inflation because for the life of me I couldn't understand why people got better grades than me and were not as smart. I heard things like they make a better effort or they do extra credit. I remember extra credit...One history teacher gave extra credit for attending quit smoking meetings. I dont want to get into how dumb the high school academic structure is, but I found the university structure much better.

Valencia CA
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Great post, oldnutz. I agree with virtually everything you said.

I'm not sure, though, that you need to mainstream everyone all the way through high school. I still think there is value in separating high school students into two groups - those who expect to go to college and those who do not. Nobody looking at a transcript will ever know what group a kid was in, but we could better prepare both groups to succeed in their most probable career paths.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that kids are good standardized test takers but lousy thinkers. School sytems put great emphasis on the ability to memorize, but no emphasis at all on skills in logic, reasoning, and critical thinking.

This became very obvious to me when I taught at a university. I gave a midterm exam that a student with good memorization skills could do very well on. For the final exam, I assumed that they had memorized what I wanted them to learn, and tried to test their ability to USE what they had learned by giving them essay questions in which I described real world situations that professionals in that field have to face, and I asked the students to explain how they would handle the situation and to justify their decision using principles learned in class.

Interesting result. There was a flip-flop of grades from one exam to the other. Students who were in the top third on the test of memorization tended to fall to the bottom third on the test of reasoning and logic skills. Students in the bottom third on memorization tended to rise to the top third on the reasoning/logic type test.

You have to have a minimum of knowledge in order to use reason, logic and critical thinking. But it is clear we would be way ahead of the game, and so would our kids, if we placed less emphasis on memorization for standardized tests and spent a lot more time teaching our kids reasoning, logic, and critical thinking skills. After all, when we send them out into the world to make their own way, it is THOSE skills, not what they memorized, that will do them the most lasting good.

South Riding VA
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TOPIC: Fixing a Broken Educational System