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#1 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:32 AM

Our city has a new plan for educating the young starting in Middle school. About 20 Civic organizations, including United Way and the Brownsville Economic Development Council,was to have students selecting career paths in Middle school in order for them to be employable when they graduate high school. Currently 43% of the population do not have High School diplomas. It is difficult to entice businesses or industry to this community which has again earned the title of the poorest community in the US.Recently of Facebook there were two articles regarding education: one referred to Core Curriculum teaching to the test where a student's speech declared through all this curriculum he learned nothing, and the second was about the value of a fine arts education where 80% or 90% are employed and could switch jobs and be hired in a variety of areas and were happy.I would add that Space X is considering building a launch pad here. What they want in a workforce? "They don't care about what degree people have, they want people who can think."

http://freepatriot.o...es-common-core/
http://online.wsj.co...149060054918936

I am glad to see the community focusing on education but I think that beginning training in Middle School may lead to a workforce prescribed solely for the benefit on businesses and not the development of an intelligent person only a skilled laborer who follows directions.

What is happening around the country and the world? I don't know...anyone out there have any ideas?

Marcia

#2 Benzine

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:38 AM

The big push right now, Nationally, is on the "Common Core Standards". A unified set of knowledge, that all students "will know" before graduating.

I think the idea is good in theory, as right now content is too varied from state to state, district to district. However such a program requires a lot of oversight, which is always an issue.
The problem for the Arts is, that right now, there are no state standards. So we are either supposed to use some of the various National Standards, or try to cram the Common Core Standards into our curriculum.

I will say Marcia, I don't agree with the idea of having Middle School students select a career path. That's far too early, to force them to make such a big decision. At that age, they are/ should only be concerned with, "How to be less awkward?" and "Why do I act like an idiot around the person that I like?".

Instead, we just need to continue to give students a base set of skills that will make them knowledgable/ employable, in a wide variety of jobs. College and trade schools are designed to provide more focus on a specific career.
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#3 Denice

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

They would also get disgruntal skilled workers, I went to high school with guys who went to Voc. Tech half days.  You talk to them now, they are still in the same profession and feel trapped, they were making money and didn't feel the need for further education.  I was still a child in Middle School no thoughts about the future too busy exploring the world I was in.  High school I changed my career plans about every 6 months, most teenagers going off to college have no idea which direction they are heading.  Sacramento, CA had a program similar to this for high school students 25 years ago, they wanted the students to have job qualifications when they graduated.  My nieces went through the beautician program and when they graduated the market was so flooded with beauticians it was hard to find a job and then they paid minimum wage.  They need to have successful people come in and energize and inspire the students to be great give them someone to look up to.  I didn't realize how important that was until all of my nephews told me they wanted to be just like my husband.  Their dads lives were a mess, my husband had futhered his education, worked everyday, took care of our family and they all admired him greatly for that. I know several successfull buisness men who work with a mentorship program we have here.  Theirs got to be another way than taking away the natural devolpment of children, they might as well start an servitude program in elementary school.       Denice



#4 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:25 AM

Denice and Benzine, thanks for your comment. I agree with both of you. I really was amazed by the young man's speech in that link I posted. He is very profound and nails it!
http://freepatriot.o...es-common-core/

Marcia

#5 JBaymore

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:58 AM

What is happening around the country and the world? I don't know...anyone out there have any ideas?

 

Fedualism returns.  :rolleyes:

 

best,

 

..................john


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#6 Bob Coyle

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:22 PM

When the US lost...no gave away... it's manufacturing base it was all down hill. As a geezer I can remember when people without a lot of education could go from the factory floor to middle management or sales and make a good living, and people with an education were almost guaranteed a good job. Now this kind of opportunity is sadly lacking in a "Service" driven economy. When I was growing up there were hundreds of small job shops where you could get a starter job and really learn something. There were small repair shops. Now in our throw away lifestyle, nobody fixes things any more Now, even university grads have hard time getting entry level positions. About the only sector that's growing is medical services because there are too many geezers like me around.

 

So what is the education system to do? Marcia, here in New Mexico things are worse than Texas. They are so desperate to bring up the statistic on HS graduation that they are trying to change things so that absolutely anyone can graduate no matter how bad they did academically. This will further erode the worth of a HS diploma...at least from this state.

 

I now use some of the woodworking and metalworking skills I learned in HS, in my art. Art being the last bastion of people with a hands on talent. This is just a hobby for me and my day job is social security. My hat is off to all the young people trying to do something creative in the world of today. I believe it is much tougher than when I was young.



#7 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:14 PM

I think it is worse in Tx. than NM. Lots of legislative interference with curriculum and testing.I am a geezer too.And a Gringette!


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#8 Pres

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

I was a military brat the first 16 years of life. Moving from one station to another every 3-5 years meant that often you would go to a school where emphasis was quite different from the school before. Northern schools more math back then, Southern more language base. One part of a subject would be introduced one year, and worked on the following years. Often this never matched up. Can you imagine learning Trig when you missed out on the first 3 months of it because it was introduced the year before. For someone like me that liked to know the "why" of something, the gestault of the subject, it was painful. Because of that I have long been a supporter of a National Curriculum or something like the core standards. Sometimes states rights can get in the way of intelligent organized education.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#9 Bob Coyle

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

 

It is also proposing to allow students to submit a portfolio to demonstrate competency, in lieu of course grades. That portfolio might, for example, include a college admissions letter. Another idea is for a teacher to provide an assessment that shows a student did well on class projects, even though he or she didn’t earn a passing grade in the course.

 

The Santa Fe school board passed a resolution for "alterative graduation" The above quote  is from or local paper Santa Fe New Mexican. Maybe next all you need is a note from your mother. <_<



#10 Benzine

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:31 PM

Bob, it's not just New Mexico.  Schools around the country are bending over backwards, to get the students though.

Standards Based Grading is a good idea, but puts a lot of the work on the teachers, who have to constantly retest the students.

 

Even worse, is the whole "No Zero" concept.  A student cannot be give a zero, because that does not evaluate student learning.  Instead the teacher has to track down the student, and get them to finish the assignment, the teacher has to find time, for the student to come in, the teacher has to contact parents if the student doesn't follow through.  So much of the work is being taken off the student.  That's why they underperform, once they get a job.  They aren't used to being held accountable.


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#11 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:34 AM

here we have had administrators caught submitting false numbers for successful achievements in order to retain funding.

Marcia

#12 Benzine

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

Texas isn't alone in such behavior, sadly.  I have seen so many news stories, about that exact thing. 

 

This is what happens, when a school's funding is based on those scores.  The faculty goes in to "survival mode" and does the only thing, that will guarantee they keep their jobs. 

 

The "No Child Left Behind" program, was all types of unrealistic.  Both the extremely high and low achieving students are expected to improve by a certain percentage each year.  That's just not possible.

 

At my first district, we had a class, who was underperforming on a couple of the test areas.  Were they unintelligent?  Nope.  Were they idiots?  Yep!  And by that, I mean that they were just messing around on the tests.  They were not taking them seriously, and going through the motions.  So after we were put on the "Watch List".  So the last year, the students were tested, we basically sat them all down and said, "OK, here is what's going to happen if you guys don't actually try."  We told them, how the state could come in and dictate what and how we'd have to teach a subject.  That electives would go by the wayside, and other types of things that would make their school experience less pleasant.  I think the big one that go their attention, was the threat of having to take an uncredited, remedial class, if they didn't achieve the required score.  They DID NOT want to take another English class, before they graduated, especially one, they didn't even get a credit for. 

 

And I think that is the right idea.  Education needs to put more of the work, back on the students and parents.  So many times, it seems to be the teachers, chasing down the students (and parents) to communicate all this work, the student needs to do.  Just recently, I had a student in my class, who did one of their clay projects.....out of five.  At mid-term, I called the parent, and informed them of the problem.  I stated, that yes, the student was behind, but there was more than enough time, to finish most if not all of them.  The parent said, "I'll talk to them, but I don't really know what I can do."  I bit my tongue, as I had some potential suggestions.  The student, of course, ended up failing.  The thing is, these days with easy access to digital reports, there is no excuse for both the students and parents to not be aware of what is going on.  So either, they don't care to check, or do check, and just don't care. 

When the students are in my class, I am on them about getting things done.  Once they leave, I have other classes, that I need to worry about.  But the current movement(s) seem to suggest, that I need to be on those students as much as possible.  That just isn't my job, because I'm not their parent.  I can't take away their cellphone, TV, computer, gaming system.  I can't stop them from going out on the weekends with friends.  I can't take away their vehicle.  I can only grade their work in my classroom.  I can't punish the result for failing to do it. 

 

Well, that's my rant for the day.  (Note:  I reserve the right, to rant further)


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#13 Pres

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 12:35 PM

When I started teaching, there was a moderate amount of administrative paper work to be done, writing lesson plans, grading projects(now rubrics etc) and the usual population reports and statics along with doing MP grades. Work was fun, working with kids was fun, kids were more disciplined, and trouble really didn't pop up too often. We(staff) were allowed to smoke in faculty rooms, we had time for interaction with colleagues, and even the students were allowed to smoke on a porch outside. I smoked a pipe at the time, but cigarettes were not for me. I quit the pipe, and understood the good of banning it, but it seemed to change things and point towards more of the same.

Over all of the years things started to disappear and get replaced by other things. Smoking was banned, and soda machines and snack machines appeared in the building, lunch times were cut shorter and paper work mountains appeared at every corner. In service days started showing up extending the calender year.  Standards came in, and notes to standards had to appear in lesson plans, later replaced by references to core.

I started having to teach writing, hold reading sessions and were required to be regularly scheduled to so many times a month and documented in lesson plans. 

Students started disappearing from my classes to take remediation classes for PSSA testing, and then would appear again as the class ended, sometimes being out for 6 weeks. I was expected to take up the slack. 

 

Yeah, I loved teaching, working with the kids in may subject area-Art, and I loved the new technologies I was able to use and teach too-computers and computer animation. They made much of the job easier, especially when it came to grades and posting grades. However, the profession today is not the same as where I started. Much has changed, and I am not really sure it was all for the good.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#14 Benzine

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:07 PM

I knew you'd chime in again Pres.  I feel that we have a similar educational philosophy.

 

I know for a fact, that much of the educational shift, has not changed for the better.

 

I know a lot of teachers, students and parents, who ask the same question.  "How are teachers supposed to help students learn and achieve, if they are constantly being pulled out of the classroom for meetings?"

 

I have students, who ask to come in before school to work on projects.  But we having morning meetings every week, so there are some days, I can't let them.  Tell me, how is a meeting helping in that case?  When we have early outs for meetings, twice a month, how is losing that teaching time better?


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#15 Wyndham

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 04:38 PM

This discussion seems to me to be an equation that is missing certain key components. I don't understand why we think because we have schools, teachers,books, tests, etc that students are  wanting an education. They don't, and they won.t because candy is sweeter than cabbage.

Also, education continues 24/7 and the push back from a decayed part of society,(drug dealers) know how to teach their values far better than any local, state or federal bureaucrat.

 

I know the lower Rio Grande. I know that drug trafficking is so big it rivals nations in GDP.

These children are not dumb, they simple don't want what we want them to have and they see the bureaucracy screw up with topological payoff that  we see and allow.

 

They are a reflection of ourselves on steroids. These students teach each other more in a day than any school can teach in a year. What is the motivation to learn and work when welfare is easy and someone else pays the bills.

 

These kids are well educated, just not in what you think they need. They need parents who respect themselves, their country , their God, not condoms.

Condom alone teach everything opposite of any  common core BS.

 

What is the value of life when kids kill kids.

It's easier to get rich (for awhile) selling drugs than going to school and learn nothing

What was the old thing about emptying the oceans with a teaspoon.

Well it won't change because no one wants to do the heavy lifting. The national boat is sinking and there are only a few life vest around.

 

The youth of today, the dealers,the doper, the slackers, the takers are the leaders of tomorrow.

Like the barbarians that sacked Rome, they didn't want a civilization, they just wanted to have fun.

 

People ask kids what they want, what they see, but don't look at what's happening and wont hear what being said.

 

Teaching does not exist in a vacuum but our educational system seems to think so.

 

For the hard working teachers both present and past, I'm sorry you only have a teaspoon because i know you work hard with little reward.

Pardon the rant but I see the effects every day  of a failing, corrupt society that has a sad end point.

Wyndham



#16 Bob Coyle

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:43 PM

I did not go to public school. My parents forced me to go to Catholic school. :angry:  It was in a poor parish in south central L.A (30 in a class one teacher). We were expected to use whatever paper we had and provide our own supplies. My mother worked for an insurance company and so the whole class used donated memo pads to do their writing. 

 

To this day I want to preface everything I write with "From the desk of Sandy Kidder"

 

The nuns made us study and took no back talk. We were there to learn Their job was to teach us to read and write and do simple math. This they did... and without i pods or computers. We even learned scrip longhand writing on our donated paper. In junior high, I transferred to a public school. It was a joke how little was expected. Since I could already read and write and do simple math, I was already in the upper third of the class... I just had to get out of the habit of standing up if I wanted to say something in class. I soon learned to sprawl at my desk and mumble like Marlon Brando just like the rest of the kids. :rolleyes:

 

My point is this.. probably from the first to the fifth or sixth grade, there is really no need for fancy "learning aids". Papers, pencils, books, and dedicated teachers are all you need to have on the school side and minimality involved parents on the family side to get kids that can read and write by the time they get into junior high. I believe this takes tight discipline on the part of the teacher, which is OK if it is portioned out equally.

If you don't have this much, all the I pods in the world aren’t going to help. Keep it simple and keep it focused and teach the kids that they, and nobody else, are accountable for their education...no matter what their circumstances. Stress their strength and don't worry about their diagnosis and I think everyone will be better off in the ling run.



#17 Chantay

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:45 PM

Yeah, these standards of learning are a joke.  My middle two are twins.  Just left a middle school that had implemented the core corriculum.  It is so dumbed down that the kids just slide by.  My youngest, 7th grade, is now on house arrest.  she wants to be cool and fit in. Apparently that means failing at least one core class.  I'm probably going to end up homeschooling her. The teachers like to show movies, send the kids to computer lab, and assign an ungodly amount of "group" projects. I think the group projects are for the well behaved kids to babysit the lesser so.


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#18 TJR

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:41 AM

I just read an article in the Globe and Mail about Heinze Ketchup. Are you guys familiar with this product? It is produced from tomatoes grown in Lemington Ontario-the southern most town in Canada. It is a beautiful little town-think upstate New York or Conneticut.

Anyway-Heinz was bought out by a numbered company. Turns out this company is owned by Burger King.

McDonalds will not be using Heinz Ketchup on their burgers. The manufacturing-read growing of tomatoes has ceased in Lemington. Fields are all over fertilized, but ready to plant for next year.

People had quit highschool to work at the plant which was paying middle class union wages. One woman-pregnant of course, had bought a new car three months ago, and has a six month mortgage on a new home. Laid off.

So, the up shot of this is that schools are not teaching flexibility and creativity. People do not know how to learn. This happened in the Auto Pac as well-Windsor/Detroit.Jobs moved off shore.

I said to my wife; "Let's move to Lemingington. We could pick up a house cheap.I am thinking "Southern most part of Canada."

She said;"No, too polluted." She's from Southern Ontario.

Point; teach flexibility- don't just fill up empty heads.

TJR.



#19 JBaymore

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:57 PM

Point; teach flexibility- don't just fill up empty heads.

 

Which is what the arts do so well; Teach people to think and problem solve.  But of course...... what tends to get chopped first....music and art.  Now all the rage is STEM... not STEAM.

 

best,

 

.....................john


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#20 Benzine

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:00 PM

  My youngest, 7th grade, is now on house arrest.  she wants to be cool and fit in. Apparently that means failing at least one core class.  I'm probably going to end up homeschooling her.

 

I see this all the time, with my co-worker's students.  He teaches Middle School Art, in my room, during my prep. 

 

There are quite a few students, who put in minimal effort, because "It's just an 'Art Class'!"  On top of that, they don't want to put in too much effort, and be called a "Try Hard".  Every time I hear that, I grill and mock the student, until they give me a good reason that a student shouldn't try on a school project?


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