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Old 01-22-2006, 06:36 PM   #16
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Originally posted by u2granny


Exactly why I (a public school teacher) put my daughter in private school.
It's sad, but honestly I've given up on the public school system, at least where I live. "Theocracy" or not, at least I can read classic lit, do algebra, compose a proper thesis, and know where Afghanistan is. As always, I'm eternally grateful for my parents for sacrificing most of the "normal" things so that we could go to the best schools.

I think a lot of it leads back to parent participation. My parents paid over $7000/yr per kid for elementary and high school education. Don't think for one second they'd be OK with sub-par education in ANY subject! Our school has the highest math and science MEAP scores around (standardized Michigan test). In fact, my freshmen year of college, our MEAP money taken away because of this: the public schools insisted they were doing OK, so the state allowed a test to see. If you pass at a certain level, you get $2500 for college education within the state. Hardly any public school kids passed, and all the private school kids did pass and got all the money that was supposed to go to the public schools, who were supposed to be proving their worth, but still sucked. At one of the local public high schools, "A" grade range is 90-100%, and STILL only HALF their senior class graduates. WTF?!?! At our school, "A" grades are 98% or above and all but three of us (of 278) graduated (and none of that more than 4.0 shit either!).
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:41 PM   #17
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I've always gone to public school, and I can read classic lit, do algebra, compose a proper thesis, and I even know where Afghanistan is. There are ways of challenging yourself without paying ungodly amounts that most people can't afford. Not everything is the fault of the teachers or the system.
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:56 PM   #18
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Originally posted by VertigoGal
I've always gone to public school, and I can read classic lit, do algebra, compose a proper thesis, and I even know where Afghanistan is. There are ways of challenging yourself without paying ungodly amounts that most people can't afford. Not everything is the fault of the teachers or the system.
It's usually not the fault of the teachers, but the fault of the parents. I realize there are many exceptions, but like I said in my area what I posted is proven to be true. I'm sure if I looked out in more upscale, suburban areas, the quality as well as level of parent participation would improve, but in the city, the public high schools are laughable, all of them. It's sad. Over the years, they've only become worse.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:03 PM   #19
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I am so sick of hearing people throw the "TEACHING to the TEST" mantra around. It is usually thrown around by burnt out teachers who do not give a flying fuck about teaching anything other than what they want to teach. Wake up, your classroom is not an island where you get to pick and choose what your children learn.

Good teachers look at what they have to teach and figure out how to do it in an appropriate manner. The methods used to teach, and the person at the front of the room matter most. Not teaching whatever you feel like.

Sorry, but the most productive part of NCLB is that each state is EXPECTED to have standards for each grade level. Standards that are assessed by STATE Testing.

The results of this component of Education reform are not debatable here in MA. Students are performing better on other tests, not just the state designed ones. Massachusetts ed reform began in 1993 and the results are there twelve years later.

The rest of NCLB if designed to destroy public education...PERIOD.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


It's usually not the fault of the teachers, but the fault of the parents. I realize there are many exceptions, but like I said in my area what I posted is proven to be true. I'm sure if I looked out in more upscale, suburban areas, the quality as well as level of parent participation would improve, but in the city, the public high schools are laughable, all of them. It's sad. Over the years, they've only become worse.
I'm sure you're right...it's just that a whole lot of students really couldn't care less, and I guess in a lot of cases you could trace that to the parents, I don't know. And also (in my city at least) the inner city schools do have significantly fewer resources, it's pretty sad.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:11 PM   #21
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Originally posted by VertigoGal


I'm sure you're right...it's just that a whole lot of students really couldn't care less, and I guess in a lot of cases you could trace that to the parents, I don't know. And also (in my city at least) the inner city schools do have significantly fewer resources, it's pretty sad.
There are environmental, societal, parental, teacher issues that all go into it. When one is out of wack, it makes getting the job done all the more difficult.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:24 PM   #22
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guys, obviously the answer is to privatize education 100%. if you can't afford to send your kids to a private school then obviously you are lazy and need to get a better job.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:31 PM   #23
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guys, obviously the answer is to privatize education 100%. if you can't afford to send your kids to a private school then obviously you are lazy and need to get a better job.
How can it be the answer when it ignores the problem altogether?
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:42 PM   #24
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How can it be the answer when it ignores the problem altogether? [/B]
well once our children are enrolled in private schools we can teach them godly values and keep them away from lazy minorities trying to steal our jarbs.
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:47 PM   #25
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Quite a lot of our incoming students (I'm at a big public university) have to take remedial writing courses because they arrive not being able to write short form essay, even a properly structured paragraph in many cases. Even at the graduate level I have too many students who are smart and have good ideas, and seem to understand what they read clearly, but have great difficulty organizing their thoughts on paper. I couldn't personally comment on their math skills.

Some of it is certainly poor preparedness, but some of it is more along the lines of what VertigoGal mentions, a kind of laziness and a lack of having been pushed by parents and, I guess, teachers, to simply READ more, and to think about what they read in a structured way. Lazy research habits, too--"I'll just Google for the info I need" instead of using the the wealth of databases our library offers, etc. etc.

I am becoming convinced that the rise of cyberculture is at best not helping and at worse, doing more harm. Netsurfing and email does involve working with text, but not necessarily with applying more analytical reading and research skills. So many "informational" websites are nice-looking visually, but the quality of their written content is crap. In certain classes, I allow the students to do certain projects in the form of a webpage, and I am often struck by the fact that while their visual literacy is excellent and their sites look great, the written content is still dismally weak. "A world of information at your fingertips" doesn't change the fact that you need to be able to think about what you read (or write based on it) in a critical way. Plagiarism, almost always Net-based, is becoming a much more common problem too.
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:46 PM   #26
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Originally posted by anitram


Were the precursor tests to the SATs not actually designed by Harvard and Princeton in order to punish meritocracy and find a "legitimate" reason to keep Jews (and other minorities) out of the Ivy Leagues back in the early 20th century?

Stanley Kaplan later proved that SATs are not a measure of pure aptitude and potential, and in the process created a multi-million dollar business.
Acctually the SATs were born out of a semi-noble attempt to restructure what was seen as an elite class.

Nicholas Lemann in his book, The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, asserts that the makers of the SATs were trying to make the American Collegiate system in to a new one, "made up of brainy, elaborately trained, public-spirited people drawn from every section and every background."

True they might not be the ideal test of aptitude. And they dont claim to be after they droped the words behind SAT.

Its just a way (contriversial) to figure out what an "A" from High School 1 means vs an "A" from High School 2. And in truth it does not even do that very well.

Its an attempt to be fair that did not work very well. But what are the alternatives?

The fact is that most competitve schools dont place as much wheight on those scores anymore anyway. Sure, they are considered, but all schools will tell you, the transcript and resume are much more important.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:13 PM   #27
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This may be the culprit, mainly because, at least in my high school, "business math" was another name for "those too stupid to be in Algebra II." However, I can't blame those who have taken the full gambit of complex math in high school. The standardized tests to get into college tend to encourage taking higher math, even if it might be completely useless for your career path (such as it has been for mine).

Melon
Actually, even if you are taking AP Calc you still have to take one of these classes. It has nothing to do with being "too stupid" for Algebra II.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:23 PM   #28
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Originally posted by Tarvark


Nicholas Lemann in his book, The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, asserts that the makers of the SATs were trying to make the American Collegiate system in to a new one, "made up of brainy, elaborately trained, public-spirited people drawn from every section and every background."
But the entire point of trying to pick out "brainy" people on an aptitude test has since been dispelled by Kaplan et al. who showed definitively that SATs (and other standardized tests, even the LSAT which is seen as the toughest one to study for) can be learnt and can be taught. And in this day and age, the amounts of $$ being spent on prep classes, tutors, prep books and so on is absolutely staggering. Which all points to the SATs as being incredibly flawed.

There was a very good paper written about the LSAT and how white males score disproportionately highly on it which goes a long way to explain why the Ivys and many of the other T14s still admit a majority of males (some up to 60%!) whereas lower ranked schools have either evened out or are admitting more women than men.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:30 PM   #29
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Wow. I have to admit as a public school teacher reading some of these comments make me see red.

I am so SICK of people always blaming the public school system for failure. Like Dread said, there a number of factors that contribute to failure, parental involement and environment being at the top of the list. People want to point the finger at schools when a high school senior admits he/she can't read. Parents ask "How can the school system not know my child can't read?" My question to that person would be "You are this child's parent. How can you not know your child can't read?"

Private schools are not the answer for everyone. They certainly were not the answer for me. As a kid I had learning disabilities. The private school my parents paid a ton of money to could not offer me any help because they did not have the state funded resources for it. Thankfully my parents pulled my sister and I from that school and I got the help I needed to be successful. I, for one, will never send my children to a private school.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:43 PM   #30
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Originally posted by anitram


But the entire point of trying to pick out "brainy" people on an aptitude test has since been dispelled by Kaplan et al. who showed definitively that SATs (and other standardized tests, even the LSAT which is seen as the toughest one to study for) can be learnt and can be taught. And in this day and age, the amounts of $$ being spent on prep classes, tutors, prep books and so on is absolutely staggering. Which all points to the SATs as being incredibly flawed.

There was a very good paper written about the LSAT and how white males score disproportionately highly on it which goes a long way to explain why the Ivys and many of the other T14s still admit a majority of males (some up to 60%!) whereas lower ranked schools have either evened out or are admitting more women than men.
I am not arguing that the SAT does not have its flaws, but in reality, how can you administer such an important test with out someone breaking the test and pushing a book on it.

I agree that the private tutoring and studying is out of hand but truth be told, I did not study for the test and scored much higher then many who did. One or two years of memorization will not beat a life time of reading when it comes down to it. I have my doubts about what these test tutors can do. But thats besides the point.

And in theory the LSATs should be the fairest of all tests. Its the hardest to crack with studing (due to the logic problems) and the writting part is not graded but sent off to the schools you apply to. There is no way to manufacture good writing, good ideas, and a genuine passion.

More woman are going to college then men. More minorities are going to college then ever before. I am not saying that the system is not flawed. I think it is adjusting its self though. I dont really see a way around the SAT although I see plenty of improvments to be made.
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