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Schools out! Let's talk education!


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I sort of agree with Carrie. But not completely because I'm not a sadistic fascist.

 

One of the things my high school did right was require each of its students to graduate with a specific Passport. These Passport programs were like picking a major in college. Every freshman had to sit down with a counselor to decide on a Passport which would dictate the classes you could/would take until graduation. A large number of the Passport programs offered were basically trades, and with many of them you graduated high school with the licensing or certification required to enter the workforce right away. I know there was a cosmetology program, a nursing assistant program, some ag licenses, etc. There were also Passports that were designed to feed into a college major of the same sort: business administration, engineering, computer science, and all of your fine arts stuff.

 

Apparently they still do this, but now they're just Programs of Study.

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I didn't say the decision had anything to do with universities at all. What I was saying is that tenure at universities is indefensible, and tenure at the public school level is even less so.

Your tangential tirade against tenure at the university level certainly didn't leave me with the impression that you understood the ruling.

 

Besides, what do you know of tenure? Been rejected for a few tenure-track faculty positions recently? Feeling a little sore?

 

And where did you get the idea tenure was a good idea? Oh yeah, d*ck sucking grant writing and such. My bad.

That's a poor assumption on your part. I thought you were smarter than that; I'm disappointed in you. What do you know about the topic or my relationship to it at all? I've not written a grant in three years, if you must know, much less had one awarded to me. Writing NSF grants is like spending months preparing to make one roll in craps, except the odds of winning anything in craps are better. For your information, I'm not even on a tenure-track position. I'm at a private university that uses contracts of increasing duration for its faculty. You should ask questions to me directly about my relationship to and opinions on tenure rather than make an ass out of yourself by assuming.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

I didn't say the decision had anything to do with universities at all. What I was saying is that tenure at universities is indefensible, and tenure at the public school level is even less so.

Your tangential tirade against tenure at the university level certainly didn't leave me with the impression that you understood the ruling.

 

Besides, what do you know of tenure? Been rejected for a few tenure-track faculty positions recently? Feeling a little sore?

 

And where did you get the idea tenure was a good idea? Oh yeah, d*ck sucking grant writing and such. My bad.

That's a poor assumption on your part. I thought you were smarter than that; I'm disappointed in you. What do you know about the topic or my relationship to it at all? I've not written a grant in three years, if you must know, much less had one awarded to me. Writing NSF grants is like spending months preparing to make one roll in craps, except the odds of winning anything in craps are better. For your information, I'm not even on a tenure-track position. I'm at a private university that uses contracts of increasing duration for its faculty. You should ask questions to me directly about my relationship to and opinions on tenure rather than make an ass out of yourself by assuming.

 

LOL! Jumping my ass for assuming? Hypocritical much? Pot meet kettle. Somehow I knew you weren't smarter than that.

 

Maybe you should have asked me to clarify if you didn't understand where I was coming from, before assuming I didn't understand the ruling

 

Maybe you should have asked me a questing directly about my relationship to and opinions on tenure, before assuming I am a faculty member, which I am not, nor have I applied to be.

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Just to be pendantic, the cut isn't going to "go away" until the body heals the wound. The infection, if any, would have to be addressed with antibiotics. I think we're talking about why there's a cut in the first place, and how stupid it was to get cut, and how to not get cut again in the future.

Eh, whatever. Look you can call my analogy silly if you want. My point still stands- you (and others) are not discussing root causes or the initial conditions that created the problem. You are discussing various methods of applying band-aids to a problem, focusing on ways to mask the original conditions that created the problem, instead of looking at why these conditions exist and what can be done about them.

 

Have any data to support this position?

No, not really, but then again, you don't have any data to prove me wrong either. I'd say the burden falls on you in this instance since I am arguing from a position of common sense and simple ability to observe surroundings. I mean, where must you live to even think some of what you're talking about is possible? Are you like the unibomber? Do you live in a cabin in the woods surrounded by some books, cannabis, and the faint smell of your own feces? Where in the world are you getting the idea that it'd actually be a good thing to try and teach younger people calculus? Do you have any idea what the average person looks like?

 

When I was still living in the US, I used to take the subway to work every morning, and your average person on that train- you know, 400 pounds, stuffing Popeye's in the mouth, smelling like sh-t (thus indicating to me that they were either too lazy or too stupid to operate a shower, you know, something that has two knobs and doesn't even require knowing how to read or write to operate), wearing a pair of sweatpants with "JUICY" in big letters across the buttocks, and probably unable to construct a grammatically correct sentence in standard English.. you're saying this person needs to be taught calculus? This person is probably unlikely to be able to even complete the multiplication table from 1 x 1 to 10 x 10. Actually forget multiplication, addition might be difficult.

 

Have you ever read the book, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, pavonis? Well, wiki it, but the IQ of the average American is around the 95ish range. The most common used IQ test (i.e. the Wechsler test) was designed so that the median IQ was about 100. Tell me something, pavonis, have you ever met somebody in the 95-100 range of IQ? I sorta doubt you have, because it would be an experience you would not forget- you know, like visiting the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit in the Bronx Zoo.

 

And then of course, this is not even going into some of those common reported stories of the general idiocy of the population- say, that 1 in 4 people don't know that the Earth orbits the Sun. Something you'd expect a person to just pick up by osmosis, simply by living years on this planet and hearing other people talk. And yet, you actually think it's not only possible but a good idea to try and teach things like algebra and calculus earlier? I think the presumption rests with me here that people are simply just too f-cking stupid for that and if you have any evidence that demonstrates the contrary, I would absolutely love to see it.

 

What's so special about 6th grade? Why not 5th or 7th? What are the basics that should be taught by 6th grade or, what, 12-13 years of age?

Nothing is special about the 6th grade. I guess you could do the 5th, or the 7th, or whatever. I picked that year because it's a common year where primary/elementary and secondary (or middle schools) are divided. Additionally, around that time, give or take a year or two, is the time that most children have learned what they need to function in society (i.e. reading and knowing how to follow instructions). By around that time, you can pretty much figure out who's gonna end up being ambitious and well suited for college and professional type jobs, and who really should just be cycled out of school altogether and be put into some type of trade apprenticeship ASAP (thus my system proposed on the previous page).

 

That brings up one other thing I wanted to mention though- I have one addendum to my plan. I wouldn't ban all public schools past elementary. I would allow one state-run high school and college per state (maybe the big states like CA and NY could have 2 or 3) that would be free of cost and teach traditional topics (classics, latin or foreign languages, calculus, chemistry, literature, etc)., but acceptance would be strictly based on standardized testing taken around the 6th grade, and there would be no affirmative action, you know, like a mandatory minimum of 10% Blacks or whatever. I think having this one school would be OK because there are some that are objectively smart and hard-working but not very rich, and they won't be able to afford private school, and I wouldn't want to force that person to go to a trade school and be an auto mechanic or whatever if he could be the next Neil deGrasse Tyson.

 

 

I'm not familiar with Finland's style of education. Is this approach the same as theirs? If not, why not simply implement the Finnish approach?

Because a policy that works in Finland is extremely unlikely to work in the US. Finland has about 5 1/2 million people, less than NYC. Finland is also extremely racially homogenous- well over 90% of people speak Finnish, the foreign born population is like 3%.. compared to over 12% for the US. Actually I think it's like 13%. The US is very ethnically diverse with many communities that have different value structures and cultures, whereas Finland is pretty much entirely ethnically Finnish (and like 5% Swedish). Finally, it's worth pointing out that Finland is 22% atheist, compared to 2.4% in the US, so big-picture rational thought is just gonna be easier to adopt there. Being ethnically homogenous, atheist, and small in population allows Finland to have an extensive and centralized welfare state, the likes of which would be a complete disaster in the US. This allows Finland to take a much more active role in good education, but such is not feasible for a country the size of the US and as diverse as the US, not to mention the US is much more fragmented in terms of governing structure (and practically has to be given its size). I mean, it's probably possible for the US to spend a certain amount of money to ensure that every single citizen knows calculus, but unlike a country like Finland (where that actually might be feasible), in the US you start to reach the law of diminishing returns pretty quickly, so it's much more economically efficient to simply sequester the few children where it makes sense to spend resources on skills that are needed primarily for professional-type careers, and then move everyone else into something where they'll learn something useful, like how to install a HVAC unit or network 20 computers together.

 

Couldn't they just get re-educated for different jobs?

Well, I guess so. I didn't say they couldn't be. But they'd still be unemployed in the interim, which I'm sure wouldn't go over well. Not to mention, you have to wonder how easy they could be re-educated.. we are talking about teachers here, after all, and they wouldn't be in that career if they actually had the skills to make it in a real job.

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As much as it sort of pains me to admit it, I'm in agreement with Carrie. Though I would see her model with a slightly less fascist veiw. But the overall sentiment and general idea I completely agree with.

 

I don't see academia as being a direct measure of intelligence however, as intelligence can be measured (or viewed) in so many ways.

 

That said, I wish my school was able to recognise that I wasn't cut out for academics. But that I could draw like a motherfucker. That way, I could have been reccomended to start a traditional drawing/art apprenticeship in my teens, and then could have been working in art departments for film and games 15 years ago instead of starting that process now.

 

It's like trying to shove a cilindircal block into a triangular hole at the minute, the way things are set up (education I mean).

 

Carries way would solve a lot of problems. I'd wager there would be much less homelessness, crime and all sorts of knock on effects if kids were able to learn a trade they were good at. Finding something you can do well, provides immeasurable self-worth IMO.

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Odine if you had been in my class you would have been my postermaker and you would have been making projects using your artistic talents for your grades in my class.

 

If i have a student who is talented in music then they can write songs or create a music number off a topic being covered in class.

 

MY talkers and non camera shy students make student films.

 

As long as my students know the material i do not care how it happens. Notes and worksheets suck!

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As much as I hate appear to side with any form of religion or anything to do with the south, this article cherry picks data and intentionally misleads readers.

 

1. There were several data points that were alluded to but no identifying information was given. What DNA survey? A 2008 U of Texas poll (can't the author find anything more recent)? What was the sample size? What specifically was the question asked? Who was asked? Who conducted the poll? Was there a study attached?

 

2. Any time I read "X state spends $1 and Y state spends $2 per student" I think BS. EVERY state has a different method of determining per pupil funding. For example, some states include new buildings and improvements in their state expenditures and some states don't. Also, educating a student in NYC is vastly more expensive than educating a kid in say, Chattanooga, TN. Land costs more. Building permits/ zoning is more. Teachers are paid more. The student populations are different. NY may spend more than TN overall per each student, but how efficiently is that money spent? How much is tied up in bureaucracy? What percentage is spent in the central administration building versus at the school level? How much is actually spent on educating the student? Again, this is calculated differently per state.

 

3. Charter school results are varied. There are great charter schools and there are awful charter schools. The same can be said of public schools. Because they receive federal money, charter schools are still assessed the same way public schools are. Charter schools generally have greater flexibility in the curriculum, but so do state schools. Standardized testing ascertains student knowledge and growth, NOT how those skills are taught. Charter schools are still public and are not supposed to preach religion. Do many religious organizations try to slide under the radar by opening charter schools? Absolutely. But many public schools break the law as well.

 

Few things that have popped up in this thread....

 

4. Pairing teacher pay and tenure to student test scores is a bad idea. There has been a lot of studies done on attaching performance pay to student test scores and there has been shown no correlation between the two. I would be happy to discuss other measures to determine teacher pay which do have strong correlation to effectiveness but student test scores are not one of them. There are too many lurking variables and factors involved.

 

5. The idea of tenure is way overused. If a principal wants to get rid of a bad teacher, tenure or not, he/ she can. Yes, you always hear the horror stories about this teacher being awful and still receiving a pay check or this one union being a bunch of ***holes, but on the whole getting rid of bad teachers isn't the nightmare the media makes it out to be.

 

6. I am all for increasing the trade skills in public education. As previously mentioned, many schools use the idea of specific programs or tracks to base a student's education around. Teach a student through their strengths and interests, like RM pointed out he does, rather than through their weaknesses.

 

7. How are you going to determine parent eligibility for having kids? A lot of people argue IQ, but that just measures a few areas of intelligence which specifically pertains to traditional school success. It does not measure an individual's ability for a specific art, mechanic skill, etc. All of these are necessary for a successful society. The WISC and other standardized intelligence tests also have issues. Generally, the normal person receiving the test from a trained professional will have a 95% confidence level that the score will be accurate of +/- 5 points. But that confidence level quickly diminishes the student gets further from the mean, especially at the third standard deviation level OR if the person has a cognitive issue such as a learning challenge such as dyslexia, autism, etc.

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Her parental licensing idea has a LOT to do with making enough money. She's posted in many times before. Minimum earnings. Free government funded abortions for everyone. Jail time.

 

Seriously, it gives A Modest Proposal a run for its money.

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Eh, whatever. Look you can call my analogy silly if you want. My point still stands- you (and others) are not discussing root causes or the initial conditions that created the problem. You are discussing various methods of applying band-aids to a problem, focusing on ways to mask the original conditions that created the problem, instead of looking at why these conditions exist and what can be done about them.

I apologize. I did not mean to imply that your analogy was silly. I don't think you are capable of being silly. No, I meant to imply that it was flat out wrong. :) Antibiotics don't increase the rate of healing.

 

No, not really, but then again, you don't have any data to prove me wrong either. I'd say the burden falls on you in this instance since I am arguing from a position of common sense and simple ability to observe surroundings.

I asked only because you tend to be a good source for links to reputable reports and data. I have no interest in "proving you wrong", or in proving you right, either. I was just asking.

 

I mean, where must you live to even think some of what you're talking about is possible? Are you like the unibomber? Do you live in a cabin in the woods surrounded by some books, cannabis, and the faint smell of your own feces? Where in the world are you getting the idea that it'd actually be a good thing to try and teach younger people calculus? Do you have any idea what the average person looks like?

 

Why do you waste your time asking stupid questions? What did you hope to gain by asking these inane questions? Maybe you do have a silly streak in you, after all! Good for you.

 

When I was still living in the US, I used to take the subway to work every morning, and your average person on that train- you know, 400 pounds, stuffing Popeye's in the mouth, smelling like sh-t (thus indicating to me that they were either too lazy or too stupid to operate a shower, you know, something that has two knobs and doesn't even require knowing how to read or write to operate), wearing a pair of sweatpants with "JUICY" in big letters across the buttocks, and probably unable to construct a grammatically correct sentence in standard English.. you're saying this person needs to be taught calculus? This person is probably unlikely to be able to even complete the multiplication table from 1 x 1 to 10 x 10. Actually forget multiplication, addition might be difficult.

No, I was talking about the younger version of such a character. You know, juveniles, though perhaps you're not familiar with the growth and development of humans. Did you skip health classes in your school? Or were you perhaps born Athena-like, and have no direct experience of anything child-related?

 

The fact is, children learn things much easier and much faster than older students. In Europe, children start learning languages at 6-9 years of age (source) while American students often don't start learning a foreign language until 15-18 (if at all). Clearly the European model of language education is successful, and that leads me to the conclusion that teaching a concept earlier is better than teaching it later.

 

Mathematics is just another form of language, really, with syntax and grammar that can be learned by anyone, even you. So I hypothesize that learning mathematics earlier would be beneficial to the students and then to society on the whole, when they grow up with a better grasp of basic mathematics and science. I'm not referring only to arithmetic, either. Algebra and calculus are not, despite your insinuations (or perhaps mere misapprehensions), "advanced" mathematics. They only reason they're considered advanced topics at all is because they're taught so late in life, they tend to be the last mathematics people are introduced to. Children who can use rulers and color in between the lines should be able to master the basic concepts of calculus.

 

Think of it this way - if you weren't introduced to the idea of something easy like coloring until you were 15, you might think it challenging, too. Now, I could be wrong (we have to risk being wrong in science, it's the only way to get things right eventually), but at least my hypothesis is scientific (i.e., testable). Can you say the same for yours? I mean, really, a whole-scale restructuring of the American education system from the ground up? There's no economic or political will behind such a major shift. You know that. Calling it a solution is laughable. It has the same odds of happening as a zombie apocalypse.

 

Have you ever read the book, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, pavonis?

No. I'll wait until psychology is a real science and can produce more than arm-waving BS. Sticking the "-ology" suffix on it doesn't make it a real science, any more than astrology. I'm sure they could find correlations between GDP and Zodiacal signs, too, or between the phase of the moon a person was born under and their adult IQ, if a person was inclined to look for those relationships. Doesn't make them meaningful. So, no, I've not wasted my time by reading it.

 

Tell me something, pavonis, have you ever met somebody in the 95-100 range of IQ? I sorta doubt you have, because it would be an experience you would not forget- you know, like visiting the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit in the Bronx Zoo.

I probably have, in fact it's unlikely that I have not, but I don't exchange IQ test results with the people I meet. I "sorta doubt" you do, either. Besides, I regard nearly everyone (with a few exceptions) as beneath me in intelligence, so going almost everywhere is like going to the Bronx Zoo for me. Fortunately, I like zoos. They're fun.

 

...And yet, you actually think it's not only possible but a good idea to try and teach things like algebra and calculus earlier?

Yes, I think it's a good idea to teach algebra and calculus to children so that they have better odds of grow up into adults who understand and appreciate science and technology better. I apologize for not making that clear to you in my earlier posts.

 

I think the presumption rests with me here that people are simply just too f-cking stupid for that and if you have any evidence that demonstrates the contrary, I would absolutely love to see it.

Well, they may be "too f-cking stupid", but I'm interested in collecting data on the matter, not prejudging like you. I guess lawyers aren't interested in objectivity or coming to conclusions based on data. You guys apparently do it the other way around. I guess that's easier for people at your level of intelligence - keeps you from getting thinky-pains in your skull-things.

 

I wouldn't want to force that person to go to a trade school and be an auto mechanic or whatever if he could be the next Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Oh, that's so nice of you. Very kind and generous, indeed! Are you feeling well?

 

we are talking about teachers here, after all, and they wouldn't be in that career if they actually had the skills to make it in a real job.

I suppose you were born Athena-like, then, to justify your disdain for a group whose services you obviously never needed.

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7. How are you going to determine parent eligibility for having kids? A lot of people argue IQ, but that just measures a few areas of intelligence which specifically pertains to traditional school success. It does not measure an individual's ability for a specific art, mechanic skill, etc.

See my earlier thread here that goes in much more detail:

 

http://nightly.net/topic/72747-restricting-reproductive-rights-is-a-good-thing/

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