Preface: I love teachers and applaud their desire to devote their life to helping our children become successful in life.
The problem: We are teaching to the test too much. Here in Texas, the schools are funded by how well they do on the state tests every year. This forces the teachers to teach to that test and only that test. Kids are missing some of the core fundamentals because they are skills they don't need for the state test. Its ludicrous! Something needs to be done. How are the other states doing it?
The same way. In Houston, you had quite a scandal a few years back. HISD was fudging the numbers to avoid sanctions. Unfortunately, most of the accountability models being discussed by politicians and public are linked to the tests. many schools do not teach anything but test related skills and knowledge up until the tests are given. Studies show that schools which do not focus on a steady supply of test prep end up performing better on state assessments.
My husband is from Texas so I thought Texas must have good public school systems.
We are in Ky now and when he went to apply for a new job. He had to take a test. And they asked him where he recieved his education, because they never had anyone score that high before.
He scored 100% It was mostly math and problem solving skills, which is the nature of his job. But still I thought that said allot about Texas public school system.
Maybe the youth will, somehow, grow up to be intelligent and well educated IN SPITE of the formal system of indoctri -- I mean education they are saddled with, this neoliberal privatization. I certainly hope so. People are naturally curious and everyone is interested in something; and people will pursue their interests without waiting for permission from anybody else.
Was it Mark Twain who said something to the effect of: (I never let my schooling get in the way of my education)? I fully endorse that sentiment.
Maybe parents just need to encourage their children to read material outside of that given to them in class; and to pursue of course of independent thought and study outside of the school curriculum. Sure, let them jump through the hoops at school, that dog and pony show our education system is beginning to more and more resemble -- but let them keep their minds intact despite that.
Currently I am a stay at home mom, but I taught for 9 years. My children go to a private school so they do not take the mandated tests in Florida. They still have a high standard of teaching, but I do not find them teaching to the test and it is not as stressful. Don't get me wrong, there are stressers going to a private school, but just different than the public school.
When I was teaching, I found that the students in my class were so much more successful when their parents were involved and worked with them at home with their reading and math (I had work at home activities weekly that were sent home). There was a noticable gap between those students with involved parents and those without. For example, I had to do home visits just to make sure that I actually had communication with some of my parents. If I did not, I would not even know what they looked like all year and forget about trying to get them on the phone.
What I'm saying is, teachers can only do so much within the classroom. For the most part, most teachers are very talented and love what they do. But, as parents, it is our responsibility that we set our expectations for our children higher and set up the environment and routines in our home to meet or exceed them. We need the teachers, but they can't do it without the parents!!!!!
I am a HS math teacher in New York City and everything here is also centered around state exams, known as the Regent Exams. Unfortunately, here in NYC the education system is run by people with noneducational backgrounds, they are all business people. The new chancellor of education is the former CEO of a magazine, which is crazy because she has no experience in the education field thus, is not qualified to run the largest public school system. So since the schools are ran by business people the focus is on numbers -graduation rates, state exam scores, passing rates etc.
Therefore, I have to teach topics that are going to be on the test. A few weeks before the test I usually focus mainly on getting the students familiar with the format of the test and I give them several old exams to complete for practice. Administrators argue that if you teach topics that are on going to be on the test then you are basically covering the required curriculum anyway. This may be true but it does not allow you to spend extra time on important topics or fun projects. But these exams are a joke anyway! On the Algebra Exam the students only need 15 correct answers out of 39 questions, which is less than 50% correct. The state does this because it makes them look good when a high number of students pass. This sends a message that the school system is doing a good job. SMH
America spends over $10,000 per student on average. NY topped the list in 2007 -2008 at over $17,000 per student.
Among adults age 25 to 34, the U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share of its population that has at least a high school degree. In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh, with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college degree.
A new study shows that 25% of graduating seniors cant pass a basic military entrance exam. That kind of brings the value of an American High School Diploma into question.
Here in the south teachers face an additional problem when trying to teach. Spartanburg county in SC has a total population of about 290,000. About 19% of this population is school aged children. We currently fund with our tax dollars, 7 individual school districts all complete with a superintendent, large staff and 7 sets of adminstration buildings and all the staff to run these. Average salary for this position is $192,000 plus perks X 7.
Teachers are being asked to work longer hours and accept less pay in order to cover the country club fees the superitendents and staff get. Now keep in mind that SC consistantly ranks in the bottom 5 as one of the least educated states in the union. I was partially educated here in the 70's and can attest to the ranking being justified.
The school district just released a study that tax payers funded and surprise, surprise, it recommended leaving thing as they are. They actually stated that they were doing the best job they are capable of doing.
If a worker tells you that piss/poor preformance was the best you would ever get out of them, chances are you would be doing some hiring. Problem is most Americans here below the Mason Dummy line explain it to their wife this way, well they is doin' the best they can sugar, I recon we'll juss let em keep on robbing our children of a chance for a right dandy edukayshun. We don done juss fine with out one now ain't we Betty Lou?
Less than twenty years ago America ranked first in education around the world. What happened?
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