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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:33 PM

School is too easy, students report

Source: USA Today

Millions of kids simply don't find school very challenging, a new analysis of federal survey data suggests. The report could spark a debate about whether new academic standards being piloted nationwide might make a difference.

------------

Among the findings:
•37% of fourth-graders say their math work is "often" or "always" too easy;
•57% of eighth-graders say their history work is "often" or "always" too easy;
•39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-07-09/school-too-easy/56120106/1

60 replies, 8880 views

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Reply School is too easy, students report (Original post)
Sgent Jul 2012 OP
msongs Jul 2012 #1
salin Jul 2012 #47
Posteritatis Jul 2012 #49
4th law of robotics Jul 2012 #2
Kingofalldems Jul 2012 #7
4th law of robotics Jul 2012 #9
joeglow3 Jul 2012 #10
pnwmom Jul 2012 #15
Posteritatis Jul 2012 #12
Spoonman Jul 2012 #13
HotRodTuna Jul 2012 #36
Kingofalldems Jul 2012 #42
Spoonman Jul 2012 #52
Kingofalldems Jul 2012 #58
4th law of robotics Jul 2012 #60
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2012 #33
Kingofalldems Jul 2012 #43
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2012 #44
Kingofalldems Jul 2012 #45
hack89 Jul 2012 #56
LanternWaste Jul 2012 #28
4th law of robotics Jul 2012 #57
onlyadream Jul 2012 #3
murielm99 Jul 2012 #4
wickerwoman Jul 2012 #6
joeglow3 Jul 2012 #11
Posteritatis Jul 2012 #17
pnwmom Jul 2012 #14
Lydia Leftcoast Jul 2012 #5
exboyfil Jul 2012 #19
pnwmom Jul 2012 #22
Igel Jul 2012 #27
pnwmom Jul 2012 #35
Mass Jul 2012 #8
Spoonman Jul 2012 #16
pnwmom Jul 2012 #18
Sgent Jul 2012 #30
pnwmom Jul 2012 #31
justice1 Jul 2012 #20
Spoonman Jul 2012 #21
sulphurdunn Jul 2012 #23
kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #24
sulphurdunn Jul 2012 #55
Igel Jul 2012 #25
AllyCat Jul 2012 #26
1monster Jul 2012 #29
Warpy Jul 2012 #32
Lydia Leftcoast Jul 2012 #37
AngryAmish Jul 2012 #34
HotRodTuna Jul 2012 #38
Posteritatis Jul 2012 #48
AngryAmish Jul 2012 #50
d_r Jul 2012 #51
Steerpike Jul 2012 #39
ladym55 Jul 2012 #46
klook Jul 2012 #54
slackmaster Jul 2012 #40
YvonneCa Jul 2012 #53
progressoid Jul 2012 #41
progressivebydesign Jul 2012 #59

Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:47 PM

1. writing - if it can't be done on a cell phone it won't be done lol nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:27 PM

47. I know a teen

who for a period of time had no access to a computer at home - and used her cell phone to type her papers. Strange reality - eh?

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:21 PM

49. Wow, article about lack of challenge and the "dumb kids" cliches still come out. (nt)

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:48 PM

2. Shocking!

 

After decades of bringing it down to the level of the slowest students we have a system that isn't very challenging to the majority?

This is literally inconceivable.

/just dose them all with enough Ritalin and they won't notice.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:00 PM

7. Right wing talking points.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:08 PM

9. No, that's absolutely true

 

we have been dumbing down the curriculum for years now. \

That and it's nearly impossible to actually hold a kid back anymore.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:09 PM

10. Personally speaking, that was exactly my experience

 

I was a discipline case, ALWAYS getting in trouble at school. My parents recently told me the ONLY time in elementary school they did not have problems with me was when they were piloting a math program where the student moved at their pace. After a couple months (and many parent complaints), they did away with it. I was placed in front of a computer for almost a month while the rest of the class caught up and the discipline issues started up again.

Thank God my father sacrificed his body working side jobs to send me to a college prep school as I shudder to think about where I would have ended up at otherwise.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:16 PM

15. Yes -- you succeeded because the instruction was at your pace.

Unfortunately, most districts aim at some middle level, leaving the kids above that level finding the work too easy, and the other kids, finding it too hard.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:13 PM

12. Yeahno, school actually has been dumbed down to absurd levels in the last decade or two. (nt)

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:14 PM

13. Not everything is a RW talking point!

 

The fact is, we are teaching our kids to be stupid!
We have dumbed down our educational system to accommodate the lowest levels. (see note below)
Take some time to talk to a few REAL teachers or professors, and you will find this to be true.



NOTE - No Child Left Behind was the brain child of Bush!

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Response to Spoonman (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:35 PM

36. Exactly. Just because a Republican shares an idea

 

does not mean it is by definition wrong. Unless of course, the fears of the collapse of the educational system are true.

There's always some group ready to jump up and claim unfairness when their child isn't included in the gifted class, or that their is a gifted class, or that their semi-retarted child gets segregated into a class of their peers instead of the general population. The result has been a general lowering of standards.

Bottom line is you need to be very aware of what your child is being challenged with, and if it's not enough, get them in another class/school.

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Response to Spoonman (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:23 PM

42. They have been saying this since the early '70's

about the dumbing down. What I have noticed is the teaching to the test nonsense which is not even remotely education IMO.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 09:40 AM

52. "They"?

 

Oh, you mean my mother, who was a public high school teacher for 33 years.
She also was a very active Democratic party member and delegate for 26 years.
She attended numerous state conventions and 3 national conventions representing the state of Texas.


She was very outspoken on the subject of "dumbing down" the youth of today, and received Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) based on her thesis of that very subject.

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Response to Spoonman (Reply #52)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 02:27 PM

58. "They" meaning your side of course

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Response to Spoonman (Reply #52)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 04:55 PM

60. Yeah but what would she know?

 

If you want to learn about something don't ask the people with experience or education.

Just ask some folks on the internet.

Everyone is an expert that is never wrong (which makes it odd that they fight so much).

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:23 PM

33. Ah, king you say...

 

well, I didn't vote for you


(I will have that rant going through my head all day now)

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #33)


Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #43)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:10 PM

44. Sorry, i wasn't slamming you...

 

it is a Monte Python reference (The Holy Grail, Dennis the Peasant scene). I saw "king" and that line just rolled out.

http://m.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #44)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:14 PM

45. OK. Cool.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:02 AM

56. No - in our school district the gifted and talented program was the first to go

once standardized testing became the norm. No point in wasting resources on the top performers when it did nothing for the school's test scores. The emphasis shifted to focusing on those marginal kids who could be moved up to the "satisfactory" zone.

Good for the poor and average students but less challenging for the above average student.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:53 PM

28. It's almost as if logical fallacies such as post hoc ergo prompter hoc are no longer being taught...

It's almost as if logical fallacies such as post hoc ergo prompter hoc are no longer being taught...

(or at least merely not learned)

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #28)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:41 AM

57. Post hoc ergo *propter* hoc

 

If you're going to insult someone's education at least get the spelling right.

/also I think it's fair to blame a dumbed down curriculum on deliberate and concrete efforts to dumb down the curriculum.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:48 PM

3. Not from my point of view

My daughter just finished tenth grade and I was very active in helping her study for her regents tests, and I have to say that they weren't easy. When I compare what they need to know now to what I needed to know, back in the 80s, it is much more difficult. They do have a huge advantage with the Internet, whereas I had to walk to the library.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:49 PM

4. I think this may be true.

It depends on where the school is located. Schools in exclusive suburbs, or other schools where the parents demand results will have more rigorous academic environments. In some schools, the kids know how to play the game to make it through to graduation. Most of the work isn't challenging, and they whine when is.

I have subbed expensively in the past. You would be surprised by the difference between areas and even between communities that are near each other.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:57 PM

6. I think this is an important point.

When I taught college freshmen, you wouldn't believe the amount of whining I had to listen to for assigning 20 pages of reading a week. Part of the reason standards have been reduced is parental pressure so that their "exceptional" average kid doesn't have to struggle.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:11 PM

11. I remember people complaining in a college WRITING class about a 3 page paper

 

I was used to 10-20 page papers from the college prep school I went to and the average kid was SHOCKED at the idea of a 3 page paper that was not a semester long project.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:21 PM

17. Yeah, when TAing I had a few who'd meltdown at five-page, five-source papers.

Two at different points where I had to come right out and say "you need to drop out and come back when you can read," because they actually couldn't handle writing Dick-and-Jane style SVO sentences.

Also got to spend some time working on some curriculum material for the twelfth graders in my neck of the woods a couple of years after that; the templates we were being asked to work from were about the level of what I'd been doing in seventh grade less than a decade prior. Most of the actual work from the whole process wasn't writing the materials, it was pushing back against the idea of dumbing things down that much.

It's pretty depressing. Definitely isn't just Kids These Days(tm) when the people putting the whole system together insist on settnig the bar with a shovel.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:15 PM

14. Of course it's too easy for 37%!

You can't have the same curriculum for all the kids in the class and have it be the same level of difficulty for all of them.
Some of them will find it too easy, some too hard, and -- for the lucky few -- it will hit the sweet spot.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 01:54 PM

5. I once had a student who came from a town of 500 in Alaska

He was obviously very bright, but as the brightest kid in his town, he had always been able to coast through school, so when he arrived at college, actually having to study was a huge shock to him. He remained an underachiever throughout college. I never knew from one day to the next whether he would show up prepared or completely clueless.

Whether school is "too easy" depends a lot on the intellectual climate of the local community. If the parents demand a rigorous curriculum, then the school board responds. If the parents take the attitude, "Our kids don't have to know all that stuff," then the curriculum will be a joke and the school board will concern itself mostly with the athletic teams.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:24 PM

19. What you are saying is to expect continued and

growing spread between the achievers and underachievers that is not entirely tied to income. It is an expectation by the parents of how the $10-$12K/yr is to be spent that can also have an impact on the educuaton. You will find many school districts that spend half what the rich suburban Chicago school districts spend, but still have near equivalent results (my local school district for example).

School districts whose parents have low levels of educational attainment may not even know the right questions to ask. I remember what a mystery higher education was for me being the first one in my family to go to college. My daughters have incredible advantages over an individual like me and this goes far beyond income considerations (we are a single income family).

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:34 PM

22. Our school board had limited options. Key policy is set by the state, as are class sizes.

We have large class sizes and "standards based" teaching. The teachers have little time for challenging kids who already know the material; they're focused on the students who don't yet "meet the standard."

You're right, students who coast through high school often flounder in college. It doesn't help coasting students to reward them with A's, as often happens in high school.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #22)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:49 PM

27. But what do you do with the coasting students who know the stuff?

You can't punish them for already knowing it. Yeah, they coast. But as long as they do the work, that's their choice.

Had one student who could have been in pre-AP or AP. "Not worth my time. I like history." I teach science.

Then there are the kids who are so clueless as to think the work's easy and then fail.

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Response to Igel (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:32 PM

35. There's probably not much you can do, except infect them with your enthusiasm.

My son's teachers at a private school were able to do that (and to individualize instruction), but the public school teachers have much bigger classes and much less time. I completely understand how difficult it must be for them.

My theory about very bright children is that the most important thing is to keep them self-motivated, and that grades tend to work against that. What good does it do to reward them for coasting? Or to penalize them when they actually take a risk and yet fail?

When I had a child in public school who excelled at math, I asked teachers to let her work on her own. They thought she was doing fine because she already knew the material -- but I wanted her to have the chance to really dig in and struggle a little, at least some of the time, just like most kids. One of her teachers strongly resisted the loss of control (so my daughter learned nothing all year), but the rest were open to it. So my daughter and her best friend taught themselves math from teachers' texts during most of elementary school, off in a corner where they weren't bothering anyone else. So they never developed the habit of coasting and they both went on to get PhD's in technical fields.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:02 PM

8. I'd like to know what is the distribution of kids in different states and different SECs/schools.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:20 PM

16. Another BUSH legacy!!!! "No Child Left Behind"

 

The little league mentality of "everyone gets a trophy" is the wrong approach.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/01/27/community-colleges-consider-math-options

Remedial math is a dream killer for many students, says Robyn Toman, a math professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. More than 70 percent of students start—and often end—in noncredit developmental classes, she says. "Remedial math has become the largest single barrier to student advancement."


More than 76 percent of new community college students aren't ready for college math in most parts of Virginia. For many, math requirements are an insurmountable barrier, a study found.

Virginia has been "overmathing" students in the humanities, liberal arts, teacher education, social sciences, and non-STEM career programs, says Frank Friedman, co-chair of the math redesign team and president of Piedmont Virginia Community College.


Quote: "The kids graduating from high school today are fucking mathematical idiots, the Pythagorean theorem is as simple as it gets, and 90% of my students don't have a clue what it is."
- (my brother) New Mexico State Math Professor

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:23 PM

18. Of course it was too easy for 37%.

Teaching is usually aimed at the kids in the middle. So many kids find the work too easy; and many, too hard.

Teachers need smaller classes if they're going to be able to individualize the curriculum so that all children are challenged at their particular level. And they need administrators who allow them to do this. In our district, we had a superintendent at one time who was actually requiring all 5th grade teachers, for example, to teach from the same math text on the same page on the same day. The teachers weren't allowed to adapt for individual needs. Inevitably, a good fraction of the students were bored . Others were forced to move on before they understood the material.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:03 PM

30. Or

they segregate out the higher performers into sections -- not neccessarily special ed (for gifted), but class I, II, and III or similar. Instead of having every class be average, have tiers.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #30)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:11 PM

31. Few schools use tracking anymore. It's not a panacea. n/t

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:24 PM

20. Where are the parents in this report?

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Response to justice1 (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:27 PM

21. The parents are.........

 

not being parents!

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:37 PM

23. There are only three

 

factors that consistently determine academic, social and eventual economic success absent confounding variable like death, bankruptcy, divorce, recombinant DNA and mental or physical illness. They are: number of parents in the home, income of the parents and educational levels of the parents. School reflect their communities. Wealthier and better educated parents can provide broader experiences and better schools for their children than poorer ones can. Wealthier school systems tend to have pampered and bored kids. Poorer districts have more frightened and hostile ones.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:38 PM

24. This certainly would explain why high school graduates don't know anything

 

these days, and can't read or write. They don't even teach THOSE anymore.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #24)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:43 AM

55. The high school curriculum

 

where I teach is much more rigorous than when I was in school back in the '60s. I teach English, and 90% of my students read and write just fine. The rest have difficulties due to intellectual or behavioral limitations. When I taught in a less affluent system, students had more difficulties with literacy. Their problems had far more to do with social dysfunction caused by poverty than with the curriculum.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:46 PM

25. "39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class"

You know, i assigned a report. 650 words. Had to have 5 references, 1 of which had to refer to something that had been printed on paper. In addition there had to be some sort of presentation--PowerPoint, video, poster, something.

The wailing was immense. They said that their English teacher only required 500, and that every 3 weeks. No or fewer references. More like a "you've read this, what do you think about it?" essay. I thought that was weak.

I quickly realized the difficulty. 170 papers, each 3+ pages long. 510 pages to read. To find plagiarism. Verifying word count and reference length. To check for content and coherence, for factual accuracy and grammar/spelling.

This, while still preparing for and conducting class.

I couldn't do that every 3 weeks. I'm sorry, I couldn't. Meaning that if I were an English teacher they'd "rarely write about what they read in class." (In fact, I'd probably have them write about stuff that they hadn't read in class.)

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 02:48 PM

26. Well, they just need 4 more hours daily of the same math problems

That'll make it harder. We must stay clear of that critical thinking b.s.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:02 PM

29. The thing is that today in eduation, all efforts go to teaching THE TEST. Teachers

do not have the time luxury of teaching the students to think for themselves or to learn how to solve problems by innovation.

Teachers try to include the necessary skills, but are held to a time table on the what, the how much, and the when of all lesson plans. Literally. The state mandates when to teach what and what is to be covered by what date.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:11 PM

32. Ever read a textbook from the turn of the last century?

How about a high school math book from the 1930s?

Schools have been insanely dumbed down. When normal kids notice the work is beneath them, it's high time for educators to take notice and revise grade standards, especially for math and reading.

All they're doing now is turning kids off.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:41 PM

37. In the 1990s, I volunteered in a tutoring program for street kids

One of the resources they had was current copies of Senior Scholastic.

I was shocked at how dumbed down it was: large print, articles mostly about celebrities and fashion.

When I went through school, JUNIOR Scholastic was more intelligent than that. It contained summaries of the week's news, real news. My fifth grade teacher would assign us each to take an article and present it to the class. I distinctly remember one girl giving a report on the formation of the Common Market (the predecessor to the European Union), what it was, and why it had formed. In fifth grade. The teacher did thank her for being willing to tackle such a difficult subject, though.

Of course, mine was the generation that protested the Vietnam War and a lot of other things. Maybe the powers that be decided that future generations should concentrate on celebrities and fashion.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:24 PM

34. Half of all children have above average IQ

And half do not. The absurdity of NCLB is that we have to pretend that every child is equally intellectually talented. They are not. Trying to teach trigonometry to someone with an 90 IQ just frustrates both the teacher and student. THis is an enormous waste of time, energy and resources.

As the good judge said, the world needs ditch diggers too. Unfortunately, the good jobs for low IQ people are being automated at a tremendous clip. Soon truck driving will be automated. What are we going to do with these people who are too dim to find a good job?

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #34)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:48 PM

38. The same thing we do now

 

Pay them to sit around

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #34)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:16 PM

48. That's ... really not what "average" means. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #48)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 08:51 AM

50. Average has three meanings in statistics

Mean, median and mode. IQ is normally distributed. When talking population psychometrics, mode is the one used. x axis is population, y axis is IQ.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #34)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 09:20 AM

51. there is a problem with it though, a concern

the flip side.

The pedagogy of poverty.

Kids aren't stupid.

This is where we have to find the zone of proximal development for each child. That "sweet spot."

If something is not challenging, kids who attribute success internally will just coast through and no sweat it. But kids who attribute failure internally will pick up on it being too easy and think "see, they know I can't do hard things, I really am stupid." We reinforce that over and over.

If something is too challenging, kids just give up.

That sweet zone is in the middle - challenging but succeedable.

The danger, the concern, is telling kids "we don't expect a lot of you." We tend to do that to children in poverty and children of color. We lower the expectations for them and telegraph that we don't think they can succeed. They pick up on it, internalize it, develop a sense of failure.

The trick, I think, is to find ways to be challenging to everyone.

Here is a link http://www.nea.org/tools/16899.htm

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:49 PM

39. It is not just about money.

Last edited Wed Jul 11, 2012, 05:01 PM - Edit history (2)

Right now I feel that the American education system is fatally flawed. It seems we try to do as little as possible with the least amount of money and for that matter without coherent planning or leadership.

There is no plan. No child left behind is not a plan. It is a scheme to destabilize an already unstable system. There is very little money. Every year budgets go down because of lack of funding. Some people say (republic-pigs) that money has nothing to do with it. I only agree to the extent that it is not only money that is lacking but leadership and resources as well.

It is about resources and money as well as leadership. We spend untold billions of dollars and assign at least as much in resources on killing and controlling people in endless wars and yet as a nation we cannot find it in our hearts to devote as much to the education of our children. That shows a lack of leadership...a lack of vision.

There are many options we could explore. Teachers with complicated curriculum's should be assigned Teachers Assistants to aid in grading and assist in guiding students in assignments. It is crucial to get the student teacher ratios to a realistic balance.

Advanced Placement Students should have the opportunity to attend special advanced classes. Children with higher IQ's need to be given challenges that suit their strengths.

Children who are musically or artistically inclined should have dedicated academies they can be bussed to that offer prep classes that lead to Masters Skills in the arts. It is important to not only stress Math, Science and Reading but the Arts as well.

Classes should be offered in Industrial Arts: Auto Repair, Culinary Arts, Carpentry, Welding and other skills that can begin at the High School Level.
Not all children want or need a college-centric curriculum. Many students would love to learn a trade skill that can lead to higher incomes without the benefit of a degree.

Free Lunch and Transportation Should be available to all students.Certainly we can do this. We can afford to do this if we just cut back on bombs and bullet. For every woman or child we neglect to kill overseas we can feed hundreds of or own children here in the United States.

Special Needs students should receive as much funding as they need to not only teach personal skills but also how to navigate in their cities. I have often heard people blame these children for the lack of funding available to advanced students. This is untrue we have enough money for all. We just prefer to spend that money on other things.

Physical Education should continue to be offered not just as simple calisthenics but also in a variety of team sports available not just for boys but for girls too.

In this country and in the administration of this country we would rather spend our money elsewhere. Such a pity...such a waste. As in so many other areas that we are concerned with as Democrats, real answers are neither addressed nor even acknowledged. We are living in an intellectual vacuum created by our leaders and the media.
It is not just about money. Without money, resources and leadership together, nothing is possible.

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Response to Steerpike (Reply #39)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:24 PM

46. I like your plan

Part of our problem is our "one size fits all" approach to education. Our children have talents in many different directions, and those talents should be vigorously pursued and trained.

Instead we have pablum education where no one is challenged and no one is threatened with the potential of "failing" at something.

I am old enough to remember having a solid education in a public school, in a time where it was not only okay but expected to fund education at ALL levels.

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Response to Steerpike (Reply #39)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:27 AM

54. Most of what you're describing was available to me

in the public schools I attended. In the Deep South, in the 1960s and '70s.

In those days, music and art programs, foreign languages, advanced placement classes, and capable, dedicated teachers were not unusual, even in Dixie. And, yes, I attended integrated schools, and we had students at all income levels. Private schools were mostly religious, with the occasional one for the country club set.

There was some emphasis on critical thinking, probably more than in most schools today -- although not as much as I would have liked, in retrospect. Too much of "education," then as now, was about memorization and regurgitation, about getting The Right Answer as opposed to digging in and solving problems.

My biggest educational advantages came from a mother who taught me to read before I went to school, took me to the library on a regular basis, and shared her love of music with me. Not every kid gets such a lucky break.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 03:53 PM

40. A headline worthy of The Onion

 

Times have changed. When I was on parent duty, one of the most common things for a child to say was "It's too hard!"

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #40)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 09:53 AM

53. Flawed Data. And here's the REBUTTAL...

...by someone who knows education and data research:

http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/11/are-u-s-schools-too-easy/

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 04:13 PM

41. No Child Left Behind.

Nuff said.

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Response to Sgent (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 04:45 PM

59. as the parent of two recently graduated young adults, I've seen that in Washington State, not Calif.

I AGREE!!! I was shocked at how easy their school work was when we moved to Washington State!

The weird thing is that they've separated the high schools here between kids taking AP or Honors classes, and "the rest of them." But the AP and Honors is basically the stuff we did in high school as a class... I was so disappointed in the lack of hard work for them. Liked the schools in California, they were challenging for the girls, but not where we are now.

We had one graduate from a high school in California (she attended two there.) And I loved those schools. Both great schools, wonderful balance of academics, vocational opportunities, arts, etc. The admin and teachers acted like they were in this together with the parents and kids. Wonderful experience. Now in Washington State, the high school in this ritzy bedroom community my other daughter graduated from (after a year at the california school,) was like a militarized pre-school. They had the highest grad rates in the State, best numbers of kids going to college, BUT... the school lacked any soul. All of the classes were geared toward one thing: Transferring to the State Universities. That's it. If a kid wasn't going to college, they were screwed. No vocational education, nothing but teaching toward testing and getting into college. No life knowledge, just a push to get all the kids into AP or Honors classes for their college applications. The work wasn't hard, though. It was just geared toward getting into college. It's like they were graduating a bunch of kids with a 7th grade education with the idea that they would learn everything at the U.

Also, the BIG thing in Washington State is pushing high schoolers to go into local community colleges while still enrolled in high school. They are very very aggressive with this "running start" here. I've never seen that in any other State. So many of the kids leave the high school by their 3rd year to take college classes.. But most of them regret it, because they lose valuable social and growth time in high school. Plus, there have been many instances with 16 year old girls taking up with 30+ year old men, and getting into destructive relationships, because they are now their classmates.

People bitch about California all the time, but I tell you... the schools there actually serve the kids whole needs.. not just a diploma/transfer mill. They actually learn things... so I guess in Washington State the school are way too easy on the kids.

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