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Thread: The Elephant in the classroom : Finally real speak.

  1. #31
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    I agree with most of Brad's positions, but Marvin may also have a point, too. Teachers' unions are made up of teachers. Those teachers are in the classroom, why have those teachers not pooled their knowledge to improve the results? Instead we get programs designed by Bill Ayres (program overseen by Obama) that spent a lot of money & failed miserably.

    I sure hope Mr. Benner still has his job! He stood up counter to establishment thought. He became un-PC and said what his first-hand knowledge of the classroom environment taught him.

    mngundog, I do not know what type of system was proposed in MN, nor what the systems were used in DC or Louisiana. We DO know that parents and students in DC and LA very much liked the programs there. We DO know that their academic progress was proven. Why is there such opposition to something that has actually worked to benefit students?

    I might also suspect that the change of schools for the students is more influenced by the parents than the kids themselves. So, in school choice those parents who realize the value of education are being rewarded by getting support from the govt, rather than interference in what appears to be good parenting.

    Unfortunately, a larger number of students left behind in the poor-performing schools may also include students that have more potential than they will be able to get because there are not enough spaces in the schools they would choose instead of the ones they are in. That could stimulate more parents to demand better performance from those less good schools, and challenge the powers to improve those schools as well?

    While some private schools may benefit from the voucher programs, sometimes other public schools can also benefit. Some schools in the public system are better than others. There was one public elementary school in one of our local cities that has its 5th graders scoring highest in the State on state evaluation testing. Other schools in the same district perform a good deal less competently. For a student from one of the poor-performing schools, a move within the same public school district would be a positive move for the student, and simply shift funds within the same school district.

    Most of the private schools here are much smaller than their public counterparts, so school choice would limit the # of students that could move into private schools. I'm sure that the better public schools would have to take some of the "choice" students.

    Possibly the best thing we can do for the kids who want to learn (and their parents) that are trapped in low-performing (often violent), schools is to give them the opportunity to get a better education. We may not be able to "save" every student in the low-performing schools, but we may be able to give some of them a better educational opportunity.

    While not all parents of students in the low-performing schools may care enough to challenge their local public school to improve, maybe there are enough of parents like that to be a catalyst for such improvement of those schools. Maybe the improvements will not immediately be giant steps, but Rome was not built in a day. Poor schools did not get that way "overnight". It was a gradual process. Improving them is likely to be much the same ... small steps over an extended period of time.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Dave Farrar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    You've received pats for this post so I'll ask.

    Don't these teachers want to be considered professionals? Don't they receive many hours in the classroom? Aren't they compensated very well for what they bring to the table?

    It is a fact of life that today's children are different, they asked for the job, no one forced them to be a teacher other than themselves. Don't you feel it a little self serving to blame it on someone or something else when they fail.

    "Per Thomas Sowell" Dunbar HS in DC was the epitome of a quality education. The Jesse Jackson's & liberal D's fixed that. Why do you suppose that was?

    When you send your dog with an issue to a pro you expect to get it fixed & in most cases they do. Why are you willing to accept a failure rate as high as the education system routinely has?
    As a classroom teacher, I feel that I am fairly compensated for my work. We can not fix bad parenting. Your analogy of sending a dog to a pro isn't quite right... Let's change it to a 5 year old rescue pitbull-dachshund mix and send it to a pro to work on blind water retrieves. Let's skip basic OB and go straight to the blind water retrieves. Who cares if the pro has 29 other mutts to work with... He has 6.5 hrs a day to fix all 30 dogs on the water blinds... If the pro can't get all of them to do the work, he is a failure.

    Pro trainers get to wash out dogs... We can't do that with students. We keep trying and hope for the best.
    DUCKDAWG'S MAC'S MAGICAL MR. OCTOBER JH -- Reggie

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I agree with most of Brad's positions, but Marvin may also have a point, too. Teachers' unions are made up of teachers. Those teachers are in the classroom, why have those teachers not pooled their knowledge to improve the results? Instead we get programs designed by Bill Ayres (program overseen by Obama) that spent a lot of money & failed miserably.

    I sure hope Mr. Benner still has his job! He stood up counter to establishment thought. He became un-PC and said what his first-hand knowledge of the classroom environment taught him.

    mngundog, I do not know what type of system was proposed in MN, nor what the systems were used in DC or Louisiana. We DO know that parents and students in DC and LA very much liked the programs there. We DO know that their academic progress was proven. Why is there such opposition to something that has actually worked to benefit students?

    I might also suspect that the change of schools for the students is more influenced by the parents than the kids themselves. So, in school choice those parents who realize the value of education are being rewarded by getting support from the govt, rather than interference in what appears to be good parenting.

    Unfortunately, a larger number of students left behind in the poor-performing schools may also include students that have more potential than they will be able to get because there are not enough spaces in the schools they would choose instead of the ones they are in. That could stimulate more parents to demand better performance from those less good schools, and challenge the powers to improve those schools as well?

    While some private schools may benefit from the voucher programs, sometimes other public schools can also benefit. Some schools in the public system are better than others. There was one public elementary school in one of our local cities that has its 5th graders scoring highest in the State on state evaluation testing. Other schools in the same district perform a good deal less competently. For a student from one of the poor-performing schools, a move within the same public school district would be a positive move for the student, and simply shift funds within the same school district.

    Most of the private schools here are much smaller than their public counterparts, so school choice would limit the # of students that could move into private schools. I'm sure that the better public schools would have to take some of the "choice" students.

    Possibly the best thing we can do for the kids who want to learn (and their parents) that are trapped in low-performing (often violent), schools is to give them the opportunity to get a better education. We may not be able to "save" every student in the low-performing schools, but we may be able to give some of them a better educational opportunity.

    While not all parents of students in the low-performing schools may care enough to challenge their local public school to improve, maybe there are enough of parents like that to be a catalyst for such improvement of those schools. Maybe the improvements will not immediately be giant steps, but Rome was not built in a day. Poor schools did not get that way "overnight". It was a gradual process. Improving them is likely to be much the same ... small steps over an extended period of time.
    Serious question, how do you know its working? I would think that if you used test scores from cherry picked students against test scores from the status quo, of course the hand picked students are going to win out. How many kids in private schools kids can't speak English or require full time medical assistance, or a padded classroom? None that I am aware of here. If private schools were to be required to take on every student that the public school system does, I would have no objection to vouchers, in fact I would be all for having an alternative place for the trouble makers or to go. I very much doubt that a private school would agree to the same terms the public system has to abide by.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mngundog View Post
    Serious question, how do you know its working? I would think that if you used test scores from cherry picked students against test scores from the status quo, of course the hand picked students are going to win out. How many kids in private schools kids can't speak English or require full time medical assistance, or a padded classroom? None that I am aware of here. If private schools were to be required to take on every student that the public school system does, I would have no objection to vouchers, in fact I would be all for having an alternative place for the trouble makers or to go. I very much doubt that a private school would agree to the same terms the public system has to abide by.
    I am of an old school that says we do have to test our kids to see if they have certain knowledge of what they have been taught. So, testing the students is one way of gauging the success.

    I can remember, however, that many years ago there was the theory that SAT scores did not correlate positively with college performance as much as performance in HS did. So, looking at isolated tests needs also to be coupled with reviewing overall day-to-day performance.

    When DOJ challenged the Louisiana system, they only challenged the desegration aspect of the school choice program. They made no effort (it appears) to challenge whether the students participating actually benefited from the academic aspect.

    I think that the parents who made the effort to utilize school choice may provide insight into the success of such programs. The students, themselves, may also offer insights into whether the program is working for them.

    I don't know if the evaluations include all of these things or not. However, it appears that the students and parents of those students believe the programs are working positively for them.

    As for language barriers. I related long ago the story of a friend who was teaching in an embassy-type school. She was told to speak only English as the goal was to teach the non-English-speaking children to speak English. A few months later she was "called on the carpet" for speaking French to the students. She could not do that since she did not know French! The students taught each other through their daily interaction! Especially young children have been found to learn a new language very quickly when there is necessity to do so.

    My own mother went to school not knowing English. (I spoke Italian as a child before English, since my grandmother spoke no English, and gradually spoke both languages. Lost all the bi-lingual ability over time as I progressed through school.) She learned because she had no other choice. Later in life, I can attest that she spoke better English (with no accent) and had better vocabulary than many of our kids in high school today. I believe we are actually doing a disservice to the kids by not letting them learn English as generations of immigrants before them have done.

    Yes, I agree that most private schools would not be able to facilitate some special needs. That would be something to be examined for solutions.

    Private schools do have more stringent requirements for behavior. If you make trouble, you're out. Is it possible that our public schools are not strong enough on discipline in this regard? Also worth examining for solutions to that.

    Also, remember, the example I gave of the variations in performance of public schools, even within the same school district. So, it is entirely feasible that some choice vouchers would be within the existing public school system. The question then becomes examining why some public schools succeed while others do much more poorly.

    One of the HUGE problems in PA urban public schools is violence. Philadelphia and Harrisburg are both being run by the state (not sure that's a solution either) because their schools are so bad academically. They are also among those schools with the highest levels of violence. Even if the teachers and some students are capable of doing better, the violence interferes with the educational process. How do we solve that problem? While some may consider education a "right" for govt to provide, is there not a responsibility associated with that as well for the recipients? Does the govt also have a responsibility to protect earnest students from violence?
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Wade's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Marvin S;1162435]
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade View Post

    IYO only - if the educators are so smart why haven't they fixed the problem?

    We all know what BS is, MS is just more of the same & PHD is short for Plied Higher & Deeper .

    My best elementary school teacher had a normal school certificate & the teacher most in demand, in fact used exclusively by the education staff was also one of those during my SB days.

    As UB would say I would not ex-pect a different version from a MN loonie .
    Educators aren't the ones being allowed to try and fix the problem. Politicians are trying to fix the problem, people who are not in the class room but seem to have all the answers are trying to fix the problem. People like you Marv and all your family that gathers at the table during the holidays that have all the titles you were so moved to tell everyone about. In fact, it was the sole reason I mentioned my wife and her masters degree.

    One last thing with regards to your best elementary educator. With all due respect, when you were in elementary, there were still one room schools around most of the country.
    I hate rude behavior in a man, won't tolerate it. Captain Woodrow Call

  6. #36
    Senior Member Brad Turner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I agree with most of Brad's positions, but Marvin may also have a point, too. Teachers' unions are made up of teachers. Those teachers are in the classroom, why have those teachers not pooled their knowledge to improve the results? Instead we get programs designed by Bill Ayres (program overseen by Obama) that spent a lot of money & failed miserably.

    I sure hope Mr. Benner still has his job! He stood up counter to establishment thought. He became un-PC and said what his first-hand knowledge of the classroom environment taught him.

    mngundog, I do not know what type of system was proposed in MN, nor what the systems were used in DC or Louisiana. We DO know that parents and students in DC and LA very much liked the programs there. We DO know that their academic progress was proven. Why is there such opposition to something that has actually worked to benefit students?

    I might also suspect that the change of schools for the students is more influenced by the parents than the kids themselves. So, in school choice those parents who realize the value of education are being rewarded by getting support from the govt, rather than interference in what appears to be good parenting.

    Unfortunately, a larger number of students left behind in the poor-performing schools may also include students that have more potential than they will be able to get because there are not enough spaces in the schools they would choose instead of the ones they are in. That could stimulate more parents to demand better performance from those less good schools, and challenge the powers to improve those schools as well?

    While some private schools may benefit from the voucher programs, sometimes other public schools can also benefit. Some schools in the public system are better than others. There was one public elementary school in one of our local cities that has its 5th graders scoring highest in the State on state evaluation testing. Other schools in the same district perform a good deal less competently. For a student from one of the poor-performing schools, a move within the same public school district would be a positive move for the student, and simply shift funds within the same school district.

    Most of the private schools here are much smaller than their public counterparts, so school choice would limit the # of students that could move into private schools. I'm sure that the better public schools would have to take some of the "choice" students.

    Possibly the best thing we can do for the kids who want to learn (and their parents) that are trapped in low-performing (often violent), schools is to give them the opportunity to get a better education. We may not be able to "save" every student in the low-performing schools, but we may be able to give some of them a better educational opportunity.

    While not all parents of students in the low-performing schools may care enough to challenge their local public school to improve, maybe there are enough of parents like that to be a catalyst for such improvement of those schools. Maybe the improvements will not immediately be giant steps, but Rome was not built in a day. Poor schools did not get that way "overnight". It was a gradual process. Improving them is likely to be much the same ... small steps over an extended period of time.
    Unions are part of the problem, not part of the solution. I can't tell you how to fix the education system in our country, because I don't believe there is a fix. As long as we expect all children to achieve at the same level, we are doomed to be judged as failures. Students don't learn at the same rate. Many students are not capable of even average levels of achievement. There is no one size fits all solution.
    Mioaks Southbound Sammy JH
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade View Post
    Educators aren't the ones being allowed to try and fix the problem. Politicians are trying to fix the problem, people who are not in the class room but seem to have all the answers are trying to fix the problem. People like you Marv and all your family that gathers at the table during the holidays that have all the titles you were so moved to tell everyone about. In fact, it was the sole reason I mentioned my wife and her masters degree.

    One last thing with regards to your best elementary educator. With all due respect, when you were in elementary, there were still one room schools around most of the country.
    I believe the reverse is true - but it would not be the 1st time the education apologists twist the facts to suit themselves.

    In all your brilliance please explain how the building someone receives their education in contributes or does not to the amount of education a child receives?
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