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Fixing a Broken Educational System : Swingers Discussion 423561011
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FORUMSGeneral DiscussionsOpen ForumFixing a Broken Educational System
TOPIC: Fixing a Broken Educational System
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Leaping off topic....what a cool picture!

Saint Augustine FL
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Teaching to the test is a very bad idea at any level of education in my opinion. Knowledge and execution are two very different things and teaching to the test helps ensure they remain so. One of our children was a HORRIBLE student. This with an IQ of 157. The problem? He was seriously bored. He graduated with an excellent GPA, had an insane SAT and some of his teachers weren't in the least concerned about his assignments that were never done. He aced every exam in his entire HS career. We tried to teach him discipline. Wish they'd done their small part of that as well. Ladywife <who has graduate degrees in both science and business and learned more about management and life from her military hubby than any darn professor.>

Saint Augustine FL
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Does anyone feel that NCLB is a good idea but being implmented wrong? From what I have been reading & hearing from other parents all that is being taught in the schools that are affected by NCLB is the infomation that is on the test. I was reading an article in the paper this week & from Feb till after the test all that is being done in the schools is NCLB test prep. The article mentioned that the children want to do well on the test but felt extreemly pressured by both parents & school staff. Is this a way to teach our children?

Elkridge MD
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I have lots more to say on this topic but am taking a break. Why don't you boys calm down and come flirt with me for a while? Kisses, L

Saint Augustine FL
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YIKES! I could hardly disagree with you more. I'm grateful that you are not in charge of the world!

South Riding VA
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BITSA, in re-reading your posts, it seems that you vehemently reject my assertion that parents and students are also part of the problem. I see an "It's not US PARENTS and not OUR kids who are the problem, it's you idiotic teachers and administrators" attitude. That attitude is part of the reason why the problem exists.

Until the majority of parents accept that their negligence of and lack of involvement in the school systems, the attitudes toward education they instill (or fail to instill) in their children at home, and their own kids' behaviors in the classroom are ALL part of the problem, no solution will be found.

Denying the role of parents and their kids in this, and blaming only teachers and administrators, assures that change will not occur.

Yes, there are serious problems with some teachers and some administrators and tenure makes it almost impossible to correct those problems. But blaming them and only them is also part of the problem.

South Riding VA
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The security of tenure is not much different from the security provided by Civil Service. If you add up the number of people who have Civil Service protection as federal employees, state employees, and county employees, you're talking large numbers and a substantial proportion of employed Americans! Yes, there is incompetence there too, although it's nowhere near as prevalent as people like to think. Problems I've seen tend to be more issues of noncooperation, pettiness, and stubbornness - not incompetence.

Civil Service protection is designed to prevent wholesale firings and replacement by political appointees every time there's a new Administration.

BITSA, thanks for expressing your opinions. But you are only reading the part of my comments that you WANT to read. I didn't say it was just students and parents. I also indicted teachers and teachers' unions. ALL of the above have played a significant role in bringing us to the situation we have today. If ENOUGH parents would value education as you do, and would get involved as you do, we might be able to improve the situation. So far, not enough do.

The problem with democracy is that you have to tolerate people who see things differently from you. Usually that results in the greatest good for the greatest number. Still, the public school system is broken. Pointing fingers at teachers and administrators and denying the role of students and parents is not going to fix it. It will stay broken until all 3 components decide to fix it by altering their behavior and values.

The military for God's sake is not the real world either. It's the closest thing to slavery that still exists in America. Absolute control over your life and no way out.

South Riding VA
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Tenure: get the hell rid of it! We have a soon to be son-in-law who is a teacher. He has a passion for it. He absolutely believes it is a calling. Not long ago we were in the fairly small city they live in, sitting in a wine bar and restaurant. The amount of parents that came up to us saying how we should feel lucky to have our daughter engaged to such a great teacher made us very happy. As far as his pay: he'll tell you it's pretty damn good considering how many less days he works in a year than someone making more in the business world. But the same evening, we were joined by several teacher friends of his who teased him about it saying, what the f***, man you've got tenure.

Saint Augustine FL
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I have to agree about the need to eliminate tenure. It's value was intended to be to protect teachers' rights to tell the truth in the classroom, rather than be constrained to teaching the ideology of the administrators or whatever ideology is popular at the time. Its downfall is that it protects people who should be booted out of the system for incompetence.

At the university where I taught, we had a series of 2-year contracts until we had been there 6 years, at which point tenure was granted or denied. Perhaps that series of 2-year contracts is a good idea, with 5-year contracts thereafter instead of tenure. That would assure at least periodic accountability and still offer some protection from being coerced into teaching what they don't believe.

The overwhelming majority of Americans go to work every day without the protection of tenure, or even of a 5-year contract. Most of us could be fired today if our employers decided they wanted to fire us, and we'd have no recourse.

South Riding VA
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I don't care to go out on a limb and assert that MOST teachers are this or that, or that ALL parents are this or that. But I have taught both at the university level and at the middle school & high school levels. Actual classroom teaching experience at these different levels is the basis for my opinions.

I do know for certain that middle school and high school teachers are often greatly discouraged by the attitudes of students these days. Smart-mouth kids more concerned about "looking cool" in front of their peers than in learning, combined with zero ability these days for disciplining students (because of their parents) puts teachers in a position of having to listen to disrespectful, smart-mouth kids all day long, all for half the salary they could make in the private sector. So they aren't "quitters" when they chuck it all. They're using common sense. The good ones can make much better money elsewhere and be treated with the respect they deserve. They aren't "quitters." They are doing what makes the most sense for their families and their own career fulfillment.

There is clearly a classroom discipline problem. Fixing that requires strong parental involvement and the willingness to support the teachers and administrators in administering necessary and appropriate punishments, whatever those might be. And it means paying salaries sufficient to keep the really good teachers in classrooms instead of moving on to corporate America.

So we have a student attitude problem, a parent problem (instilling in their kids a value for education; supporting classroom discipline; supporting curricula that actually challenge their kids and yes, may mean your kids aren't A students; and voting for school budgets that raise teachers' salaries to be competitive with alternative employers), and a teacher problem (not educated to teach subjects they have to teach, overly powerful unions, protecting the incompetent, etc.).

LOTS of reasons for the problem, and plenty of blame all around. That's why solutions don't seem to be forthcoming. And the parents who REALLY value education are turning more and more to private schools and/or home schooling, and thus disconnect themselves from the public school process, and thereby have no say in how public schools are run. Are THEY "quitters" because they opt out of the public school system?

Maybe the solution IS evolving. If enough kids are sent to private schools or home schooled, the public school system may collapse altogether. Given the gridlocked current situation and all the problems, with people pointing fingers at each other instead of looking at their own contributions to the problem, maybe collapse is a good thing.

I'm just glad my kids are out of school.

South Riding VA
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TOPIC: Fixing a Broken Educational System