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  1. #1
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    Default Why does it take 12 years to give a child a basic education?

    Warning this is a vent but I think I have a point.


    Children are not that stupid, Are they teaching in intentionally confusing methods to stretch out the learning process?

    And why are 99% of the tests scan tron fill in the bubble? Real life isn't multiple choice, real life is a figure out the solution.

    I'm referring to Kalifornia public schools. Not real impressed with what I see graduating nowadays. At a cost of 30K, per student, per year, I expect a better end result.

    And our taxes are goingup to pay more for it. Hooray.

    This is what students used to know in 6th and 8th grade in 1890.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...nihJ-xk6blepnQ
    The Denver Broncos went to visit an orphanage. "It's so sad looking into their faces so devoid of hope." Sara aged 6


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  2. #2
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    I guess I never really thought about why it's a 12 year deal. That's an interesting question!

    I will say that I think our K-12 education should more closely follow the practices in a college environment if our goal is college prep. I have so many students who come to me doing very poorly not because they're unintelligent but because they are struggling with the process of learning and APPLYING information, study skills, and test taking that requires application of knowledge, not just regurgitating facts.

    They're not learning how to learn.

    I'm also appalled by the low standards in some classrooms. The "A" work my stepdaughters do is what I would consider a "C" at best. It's not that they're lazy, it's that they're being told they're doing a great job for mediocre work.

    I cannot tell you how many times I've sat down and worked with the kids on redoing a project or report or something because I feel like they need to know how to do it to the best of their abilities, not to the low bar.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Warning this is a vent but I think I have a point.


    Children are not that stupid,
    Ah, but some are. And the classroom teaches to the lowest common denominator, not to the brightest kid in class. If lazy C-level work gets an A as in the first reply, imagine what‘s actually getting a C!

    Standardized testing is another problem. Not in itself, but when the focus is to get the biggest % to pass the standardized test, the teaching focus turns to teaching to the scantron,, not to “real life“.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    They're not learning how to learn.

    .

    I remember telling a friend of mine that I had taught my DD how to study- I got "You're a whackadoodle" looks. LOL.
    Kerri



  5. #5
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Default

    DH and I are constantly educating the kids we mentor about basics that I learned in grade school and JR High.

    The kids are "taught" who is the good or bad politician, but don't understand how our government functions.
    They are taught the current "environmental" jargon, but don't really understand basics such as mammals as opposed to non-mammals or annual vs perennial plants.

    Of these are generalizations. Each teacher and student has their strengths and weaknesses.

    As to the 12 years, probably due to the fact the "average teen" requires that much time to emotionally prepare for college, trade school or full time work. Of course some are born ready and others are never ready.

    For what it is worth my Mom graduated after 11 years, which was standard at the time. She had a year of nursing school before meeting and marrying my late Father.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  6. #6
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    I think they could do it in eight years if they stripped out the crap. I was pretty much done with HS by my Junior year thanks to extra credits and test-outs, so half of HS was a waste of time for me.
    SPACE FOR RENT


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  7. #7
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    Oct. 1, 2004
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    It used to take 12 years to give a child a basic education. Now I'm not so sure.

    What I've seen from my stepkids is a lot different from what I experienced in school. The standards are so low now that it's almost like they've disappeared. The "no child left behind" doesn't help. Administrators use it as an excuse to dumb down the curriculum. Teachers are overwhelmed with discipline problems in over-filled classrooms that make it difficult to teach. There are problems. It seems no one expects excellence anymore, and no one wants to handle the kids that chronically disrupt learning for everyone else.

    My SD was in all AP classes before we moved the kids into private school. From what I could see, the significant difference between AP and non-AP was the behavior. I wasn't impressed with the curriculum. Between her 6th grade year and the whole-word reading / inventive spelling nonsense we'd been seeing through kinder and 1st with SS, we threw in the towel. Budget is tighter now, but the kids are learning. (Horrifically rude awakening for SD, who was accustomed to all As with minimal or no effort, lol.)

    Our public education is in a sad state. The crazy part is that when comparing the tax income per student received by our local district with what we pay in private tution per kid, our public schools are better funded. Yet they can't seem to get their sh*t together and raise the standard of their product. The parental involvement factor, while significant in the success of the indivual student, is no excuse for why the curriculum has been so watered down across the board. And it's definitely watered down.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB


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  8. #8
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    Maybe it's because I went to a very good high school but I can't imagine how we'd have gotten through algebra, trig, precalculus, calculus, bio, chemistry, earth science, and physics much faster, and I certainly wasn't ready for many of those things prior to high school (at least at the level we studied them...)
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


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  9. #9
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    Default

    Agree that they're not learning how to learn - they're learning how to regurgitate facts to pass the standardized test.

    I went to college after I'd been married and started a family. The college classes were infinitely easier than my previous high school. (small rural midwestern town) I got straight A's in college which would have been "c" work in high school. Large city schools seem to do worse than smaller cities. My husband was in the military and we transferred from the east coast to Chicago. I was thrilled (initially) because I'd been less than thrilled with the quality of schools my kids had been attending in the east. (Because I remembered how much better my midwestern high school had been) The girls were in middle school. They were a year ahead of the Chicago schools (Highland Park area - upper income) and when we moved back east 2 years later they were a year behind. That was 30 years ago.

    We're definitely falling behind on the "education curve".



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    Ah, but some are. And the classroom teaches to the lowest common denominator, not to the brightest kid in class. If lazy C-level work gets an A as in the first reply, imagine what‘s actually getting a C!
    This! ^

    and add in the fact, at least here in BC, Canada, teachers are not allowed to fail their students unless they are well and truly failing every.single.subject. So many kids who are really struggling, and who would benefit greatly from repeating a year, are forced onwards because the system thinks they'll become emotionally scarred from being kept back. My teacher friends hate this becasue they say its actually worse for the kid to continue because they will keep struglging, and always know they are at the bottom of their class!



  11. #11
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    Ask any homeschooler, if you have effective teaching you can teach a TON in 12 years, usually through at least part of college level classes.

    When I pulled my kids out they were just done with 3rd and 1st grades and laboriously learning multiplication tables and cursive. I threw that out the window and we moved on to science, reading, writing, and practical math. I gave them the old checkbooks and registers out of an account we had closed, had them pay imaginary bills for their imaginary households, taught them how to count change the old-fashioned way, we did lots of equine studies read scads and scads of books, and honestly did not put in any real amount of time on formal school in five years. They rejoined public school at their age appropriate levels and are pulling in straight A's in honor classes (except for P.E.-we didn't do much on the rules of volleyball) Kids can learn so SO fast if you don't crash their little brains with the mundane crap of math timing tests and memorizing things that they're going to readily learn anyway. If I had kept homeschooling them my son would be in college level history and language (he's taught himself German and wants to teach it now) and my daughter would be college level writing and language arts (she's 12!). She takes online writing aptitude tests through her school and they always place her at advanced and lower level college. Now they're old enough to use discipline and focus to really drill down on their studies. When they were young it was too confining, IMO.


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  12. #12
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    We're in a small town. Small school. No big classroom/behavioral issues. And I don't doubt that the teachers are doing their best. But it's just so...ugh. I have gotten emails from the Language Arts teacher that were so full of misspelled words and text speak that I thought my head was going to explode. No wonder spelling doesn't count in her class! (no really, it's all content based. No spelling or punctuation matters.)

    I'm very excited for the girls to come live with us overseas where they can do the IBS schools or go to one of the private schools. I think it's going to be challenging for them at first, but they are bright kids. They'll adjust.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janeway View Post
    This! ^

    and add in the fact, at least here in BC, Canada, teachers are not allowed to fail their students unless they are well and truly failing every.single.subject. So many kids who are really struggling, and who would benefit greatly from repeating a year, are forced onwards because the system thinks they'll become emotionally scarred from being kept back. My teacher friends hate this becasue they say its actually worse for the kid to continue because they will keep struglging, and always know they are at the bottom of their class!
    Ditto this in Alberta...........teachers are not allowed to give a zero! Recently there was a HS teacher who was fired for handing out zeros. Sorry, but if you neglect to do an assignment a zero it should be! I'm afraid to think that we'll be working with these coddled kids who expect everything to be handed to them in a few years!
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  14. #14
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    Um...as a veteran teacher, I have to respond to the "hey, I went to school, so I'm the expert on education" tone here.

    This world is not the world of your youth. I have to compete against the pull of the internet/youtube/facebook/video game/tweet/I'm going to be a _______ star someday, magically in order to teach. The standards I'm teaching to are much more demanding than they were when I started my career. Kindergarteners in WA are expected to read and write in complete sentences by the time they leave---that is extremely stringent. WA has adopted the Common Core Standards, and our state tests are very, very difficult. My 8th graders are expected to excel. We do not allow our HS kids to graduate without 28 credits, and a huge senior project. Honestly-there is no way to fit all the requirements in in fewer years. And...in my opinion, not many 16 year old kids are mature enough to be out in the world. Let them be kids--let them mature and enjoy their childhoods. You have 60+ working years ahead of you.

    I know other states do not have such high standards. As Caffeinated said, I don't know how you'd ever get through all the requirements in less than 12. College is also not the end all--many kids are not suited to it, and need to find technical training other than academia-based university training.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Children are not that stupid
    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    Ah, but some are. And the classroom teaches to the lowest common denominator, not to the brightest kid in class.
    I would say most kids are not that stupid, but when you have to teach to a class of 20+ kids at a time, only a small percentage is moving at the right speed for them. And if they miss something, they are lost.

    My oldest was in Kindergarten with 28 other kids. At "nap" time only half could fit on the floor so they would alternate each day -- half would lay down, the other half would put their heads down on their tables. And that was just Kindergarten!

    The reason it is so slow is because the teacher:student ratio doesn't allow for kids to move faster or slower.


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  16. #16
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    Oh, and parents are part of the problem, sorry. No discipline or expectations at home, no help on getting kids to be responsible, just 'why isn't Joey passing?' "make him do it"--yeah, I've had parents tell me that. Really? Nope, can't force him to "do it". Bad parents suck.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


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  17. #17
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    I think now the 12 years has more to do with emotional and social development than the actual content, but with the Common Core standards being phased in, it will be about the education again...if school districts and individual teachers implement it properly and is states and the federal government realize that the way we are testing students to comply with No Child Left Behind is flat wrong. (Maybe none are left behind, but few get ahead...)

    But cognitively and socially, the ages make sense. By the time children are five-ish, they need to start the learning process as ell as the process of developing social skills. Those early years are when they are most capable of acquiring the skills they will need to learn and socialize later. Few teenagers are emotionally and socially mature enough to enter a college or workforce environment at 14 or 16, even if they were all that age.

    For me personally as a student, I agree with Caffienated...I went to a very challenging prep school and don't think I could have completed that program early. I do believe that some elective classes (art, music, computer or design classes, apparrel, foods, etc.) are important for students anyway-they teach a different skill set and introduce students to new ideas and interests. My high school didn't offer a lot of electives, and I feel like I missed out on something because there were not more choices.

    As a teacher, I will also say that in general, our society does not value education in the way we used to. Students are apathetic because their parents are apathetic. I got more complaints from parents because I assigned their 11th and 12th graders a half-hour of homework every night in a core subject than I can count! I had a half-hour of English homework in middle school! But oh, how the parents would complain that teachers who assigned more than 10 minutes or so were just piling it on and how unfair that was, didn't we know these children had activities and other things to do after school? Forget that studies show that by 11th and 12 grade, students should have a total of two hours of homework, which in our district, was 30 minutes per subject. We are also strangled by state testing that says no matter how a student does in class for the entire course, they can't pass and get the required credit for that course unless they get a certain score on a standardized test at the end. You could get straight A's and do truly wonderful work all semester...and miss a few questions on something you had to memorize months ago and you couldn't receive credit for completing the course. Teachers who had these end-of-course tests were given an outline as to what they had to teach each day. If they got behind by assigning an extra project, like a research paper or presentation, they were then behind for the rest of the course and risked students failing the only assessment that the state counted. Imagine say a history class where students rarely if ever do any research or papers-I can't, we had a paper a week in my HS history class! Tests are fill-in-the bubble not because teachers a re lazy, but because that's what the state tests are and so that's how they're expected to practice...even teachers of courses that don't have a state test are encouraged to test that way. Students don't know how to answer an essay question because teaching htem how to answer one takes away from the time spent on what the test says they have to do that day. I worked on test essays weekly with my 12th graders and while it was hard for them because they hadn't learned the skills, many of them thanked me for it because they otherwise would have gone to college without ever learning. It's frustrating as a teacher to be painted into a box by the state and then told to think outside it by the district, all while students aren't coming in with the skills they should have had for years. I am hoping that the Common Core, which has a specific progression of both skills and content from one grade to the next, will change some things...but unless NCLB and the states change how they assess students, it's going to be a tough road!


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  18. #18
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    My family had an exchange student from Sweden in the early 2000s, and she attended grade 12 here. She spoke decent English when she arrived, and very good English when she left. She also spoke Spanish, some German and French, and some Finnish.

    She was top of her grade 12 English class. How does that even make sense?

    She told us that in Sweden they start grade school at age 7.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  19. #19
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    Is it possible to put some of the onus on this towards the teachers' union? It is soooo hard to fire poorly performing teachers. Just a couple of incidents I'm personally acquainted with. A math teacher that's toally ineffectual - she's now in the 2nd year and this is her final "path to improvement" status that she's sure to fail and can finally be terminated. But now there are 2 years worth of students who haven't adequately mastered the material and will struggle with the next step up.

    My daughter teaches high school trig/ap calculus and calculus. She's written the curriculum all the quizzes and tests, classroom projects, etc. She's been
    "tasked" by the new principal to coordinate between the other 2 teachers so that they're teaching the same things she is, because her results have been so good. In other words, they're now using everything she's developed. One of the teachers she's "teaching how to teach" is paid substantially more than she is, since she only has a bathelor's and he has a master's.

    This fall she's teaching an algebra II class to help bring up the sol scores (refer to ineffectual math teacher on the "path to improvement program) She hasn't taught Algebra II in years, so they were giving her the tests and quizzes and stuff they'd been using. She looked at them and said "omg, these are the tests I wrote over 13 years ago when I first started teaching! ......and she hasn't received a raise in 3 years, even though her health insurance has gone up.


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  20. #20
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    Kids brains are wired differently at different ages. When they are very young they are extremely good at memorization but not so good at analytical thinking. Elementary school is when they should be learning languages, basic mathematics, basic science, and stuff like that. High school is when they should be taking the stuff they learned in elementary school and applying it to social studies, literature, advanced sciences, and stuff which requires thinking outside the box. So yes, it does make sense that a good education would take 12 years, because it takes that long for a kid's brain to mature to the point where it can process certain types of information.

    IMO a big fault of our education system is that we squander the early years. We don't start math and language early enough. Consequently, we try to stuff too much in at the high school level. Ninth grade is traditionally when the US introduces Algebra, whereas a lot of my foreign colleagues were doing Algebra in sixth grade in their native countries.


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