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mathewjgano
11-06-2011, 04:22 PM
http://www.all4ed.org/files/archive/publications/TeacherAttrition.pdf

One of the most important public services we can provide is to ensure quality education. I thought this was an interesting article on some related costs and factors to not supporting our teachers. I like the phrase, "No Child Left Behind," even though I think some of the policies are flawed. An implied relationship many of those who voted for NCLB seem to fail to notice is that between the teacher and the student. If you leave behind the teacher, you're leaving behind the student de facto.
There is a huge discrepency between the have's and the have-not's when it comes to public education. As an example: my wife was given a 50.00 materials allowance from a previous PTA in Rainier Valley...after she paid 25.00. As a half-time teacher she regularly works 40+ hours a week; as a full-time teacher she easily worked 60+. And this is a high-stress job. Never mind the students with behavioral issues: the parents are often worse.
...and yes, in many (if not most) cases the child isn't doing well in school largely because of factors beyond the school's scope of control (home life). One can easily see the relationship between how parents value study practices and how well students will perform in the classroom. Schools with strong community support almost always have better results.

Janet Rosen
11-06-2011, 06:07 PM
Two huge fallacies in NCLB:
1. they forget that fully half of anything HAS to be below average BY DEFINITION.
2. They penalize schools that are already doing well but fail to keep improving by a certain percent every year. HELLO?

Keith Larman
11-06-2011, 07:47 PM
Two huge fallacies in NCLB:
1. they forget that fully half of anything HAS to be below average BY DEFINITION.
2. They penalize schools that are already doing well but fail to keep improving by a certain percent every year. HELLO?

"Lake Wobegon is where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." :D

Anthony Loeppert
11-06-2011, 08:27 PM
2. They penalize schools that are already doing well but fail to keep improving by a certain percent every year. HELLO?

Assuming what you say is true, and I have no reason to believe it is not, doesn't that sound a lot like the stock market? And should this be so? I think we are in agreement: no.

Janet Rosen
11-06-2011, 09:04 PM
Assuming what you say is true, and I have no reason to believe it is not, doesn't that sound a lot like the stock market? And should this be so? I think we are in agreement: no.

It was part of Dubya's original NCLB and I believe from articles I've read within the past month that provision is still in force.
And yes, we are in agreement. I have never understood why a business that meets expenses including payroll and capitalization and a nice living for its owner/s HAS to grow more year to year than is needed to ensure that people get raises commensurate w/ COLA + merit, capitalization and emergency funding is in place, and the owner is saving for retirement. Yes, I know, I just don't "get" capitalism. :D

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 12:50 AM
It was part of Dubya's original NCLB and I believe from articles I've read within the past month that provision is still in force.
And yes, we are in agreement. I have never understood why a business that meets expenses including payroll and capitalization and a nice living for its owner/s HAS to grow more year to year than is needed to ensure that people get raises commensurate w/ COLA + merit, capitalization and emergency funding is in place, and the owner is saving for retirement. Yes, I know, I just don't "get" capitalism. :D

Manifest Destiny? I'm trying to wrap my mind around it too. Let's just give them bigger slices of pie and assume it'll all be ok. Sure, the poorest schools are in the poorest neighborhoods, but I'm sure it's only because they didn't work hard. Take away regulation and let businesses police themselves so they're free to make more freedom. It doesn't matter who gets how much of the freedom, the invisible hand will make sure we all get the right amount and it will only get better and better. Government work promotes corruption and waste; private enterprise would never do that because you'll just not buy their product, right? That'll fix 'em. Groceries too expensive and filled with unhealthy chemicals? Just don't buy it. Can't do that with the government in charge can you! They'll come to your door with a gun and make you do what they want. Private enterprise would never do that. They might hire the Pinkertons, but that's just more freedom being made. They might pay you in their own currency to make you shop in their stores, but you're not some kind of commie union worker are you? Government will make death panels; corporations would never deny a person their due coverage. If the people wouldn't like it, they'd stop anyway. But if you can't afford payments, you better pay up or they have the legal right to garnish payments. That's where government is good. Stinking deadbeats.
:D

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 01:12 AM
I don't think capitalism is necessarily bad. But I do think the arguments I've heard have failed to convince me businesses will always do a better job.

SeiserL
11-07-2011, 06:42 AM
IMHO, a lot of suffering comes from ignorance.

Ignorance can be overcome by right information/education.

How do we stimulate and facilitate awareness and education of compassion and abundance (along with its responsibility and accountability) as well as challenge the beliefs of fear, pain, and scarcity (along with its responsibility and accountability)?

Perhaps we think too much about the "I" and not enough about the "we"?

Thoughts?

Janet Rosen
11-07-2011, 08:34 AM
Today's NY Times has a very good article on the Feds latest educational boondogle The Race To The Top. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/education/tennessees-rules-on-teacher-evaluations-bring-frustration.html?ref=us&pagewanted=all) Just as stupid as the original NCLB.
One example will suffice: Teachers are assessed 50% based on their students’ results on state test scores. When there is no test for a given class/level, the next available test results are used..."So Emily Mitchell, a first-grade teacher at David Youree Elementary, will be evaluated using the school’s fifth-grade writing scores...In the end, it’s all about distrust: not trusting principals to judge teachers, not trusting teachers to educate children."

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 01:54 PM
How do we stimulate and facilitate awareness and education of compassion and abundance (along with its responsibility and accountability) as well as challenge the beliefs of fear, pain, and scarcity (along with its responsibility and accountability)?

Perhaps we think too much about the "I" and not enough about the "we"?

I believe the answer lies somewhere in that idea of "we," the cornerstone of "society." I am all for empowering the individual, but I don't think it means much when one person's empowerment eliminates another. It's certainly not an easy fix, but that's the direction I think things should be aimed toward. How do we get people to share (when they can afford it) and when it would be in the best interest of everyone, without making them feel strong-armed since that's when people tend to resist...even when it may be directly in their best interest.

The problem with NCLB as I remember it, has to do with the fact that there are so many variables to teaching any class. It's similar to the problem of standardized testing in that it invites over-specialization and rote memorization instead of comprehension and creative application. I like the idea of Core Curriculum and of having a national standard aimed at raising test scores, but the punitive methods of NCLB are detrimental to the school and I think are really designed to move the public school system into the private sector. If we're going to create a litmus test for what makes a good or bad teacher, we need to support them a lot more.
Having been part of the process of being educated to be an educator I think I can see some serious flaws in the system, particularly as it regards new teachers. Most of the actual teacher training takes place after they've been certified on the job. New teachers are often given larger demands than older teachers in the form of committee work, and they have very little real-time experience by the time they have their own class. I believe the program I was part of was particularly poorly run, although to be fair I was in the first cohort of a new satelite program. The TESL componant was outstanding, but most everything else was mixed. I had one class which was literally a waste of time since all the material had been covered in other courses.
From what I can tell, and I recognize I am somewhat far removed, there is a huge gap between administrative efforts and faculty efforts. Administration seems more like a politician's game. They can have little to no classroom experience. Teachers are often treated like "associate" level employees instead of the backbone of our education system that they are. They handle more problems in one day than most jobs entail. Some are cushy positions, but most are not.
And now we have large groups of people who think they understand what teaching entails and think they're fat-cats who work half-time on a full-time salary. Their job is often harder than most people realize, even the ones who are sympathetic. They serve the function of baby-sitter, tutor, family member, and protector. They have to organize the needs of 20-30 students so they function together while respecting individual needs and rights. They are undervalued; underappreciated; and now a popular fodder for political agendas designed to ascribe blame for something they have very little, if ANY, real part in causing.

phitruong
11-07-2011, 02:53 PM
the way we teach children in school has not changed for the past century.

definition of insanity: do the same thing and expect different results.

we could have adopt Montessori education approach or some other similar approach.

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 03:11 PM
the way we teach children in school has not changed for the past century.

definition of insanity: do the same thing and expect different results.

we could have adopt Montessori education approach or some other similar approach.

Absolutely, although Montessori has its own pitfalls from what I'm told. I don't think we need to scrap the whole system, but I do think the passive learner model is weak. From what I was told, many schools are moving toward a more constructivist model in which the student is allowed to take a more lead role in finding things out. It requires a great deal of "scaffolding," but the learning takes on a more personal/meaningful/useful nature. Now we're often given our facts and expected to believe they're useful. At the very least, they aren't often put in terms of why we're doing them. Most math is useful for learning logic processes, not so much for specific utility (unless you're surveying or working construction, things like trigonometry aren't too useful for most people...that I know of...and most construction workers learn parts of it on the job even though the 2,3,4 standard right angle was taught to them in school).
Now, I do think our current system would be rather successful if parents made more of a point to support scholastic learning. The problem is most of us, while we have fond memeories of this or that teacher and subject, went to school with the sense that we had to. It was to be endured unless you could sneak out somehow. This will take almost any system and make it fail. If the student doesn't believe in the learning, they won't generally learn it. They'll cram, pass the test and forget it to move on to the next thing to be later forgotten.

SeiserL
11-07-2011, 05:17 PM
Perhaps before we have to learn content, we should learn the process of learning?

Being around the educational world, I would also suggest that we also model at home and in society that being a good student and valuing an education and the learning opportunity/experience is important.

Perhaps its is more a social/familial opportunity than an educational crisis?

Thoughts?

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 05:41 PM
Two huge fallacies in NCLB:
1. they forget that fully half of anything HAS to be below average BY DEFINITION.
2. They penalize schools that are already doing well but fail to keep improving by a certain percent every year. HELLO?

One fallacy of averages:

Population: {0, 9, 9}
Average: 6
More than half of the population is above average.
;)

Keith Larman
11-07-2011, 05:57 PM
One fallacy of averages:

Population: {0, 9, 9}
Average: 6
More than half of the population is above average.
;)

And the average human has a single testicle and a single ovary.

However, with a large enough normal population sample and with a "sensible" variable being measured....

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 06:07 PM
Perhaps before we have to learn content, we should learn the process of learning?

Being around the educational world, I would also suggest that we also model at home and in society that being a good student and valuing an education and the learning opportunity/experience is important.

Perhaps its is more a social/familial opportunity than an educational crisis?

Thoughts?

Sounds good to me. :)
My wife, her mother and her brother are teachers; I have several friends who are teachers; and I've maintained ties with a couple of my teachers from high school. In all cases they have described how the key ingredient to making good students can be found at home. This isn't to say if someone's child is having difficulties that it's always the parents' fault, but parent attitudes about school and study-habits make a huge difference...in many (if not most) cases, it's the determining factor for overall success. Of course that depends on how we define success, but speaking generally it seems to hold true.
So I would agree part of the problem in public school today is the culture it finds itself in. Any crisis in Education can be mitigated to a substantial degree with family/community support. Unfortunately, many people do seem to think simply dropping their kids off at school is where their part of the education process ends. It's a tough job on both sides of that equation, but participation/support on the part of parents is very important.

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 07:12 PM
And the average human has a single testicle and a single ovary.

However, with a large enough normal population sample and with a "sensible" variable being measured....

"In the cases where it's true, it's true." Good job!

Of course, being dismissive and triviallizing only highlights ignorance. Consider statements like "the poor pay more than whatever percent of the taxes." The statements are politically colorful, but mathematically sensible on further examination. You won't be able to see that if your mind is closed like this.

Would that be an education problem we should address, or just a sense of humor problem? ;)

Keith Larman
11-07-2011, 07:35 PM
Simply making a point about statistics. Nothing more. Carry on...

Keith Larman
11-07-2011, 07:44 PM
And by the way, your passive aggressive response to me after your post seems rather jarring as well.

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 09:08 PM
Simply making a point about statistics. Nothing more. Carry on...

Though your claim regarding the central limit theorem has nothing to do with the definition of the mean, this is about education... Have a smiley sticker for your effort: :)

Also in today's self-esteem feeding system, we should deal with every accusation of hurt feelings, so do accept my apology... and have another smiley: :)

Lighten up :D

phitruong
11-07-2011, 09:26 PM
Absolutely, although Montessori has its own pitfalls from what I'm told. I don't think we need to scrap the whole system, but I do think the passive learner model is weak..

pitfalls of montessori are few, if any. currently, it runs as private schools, which costs more. doesn't have to be if public school system model after it. personally, i don't have problem scraping the whole public school system and replace it with montessori model school system.

picture this, a classroom where the teacher desks aren't in front of the classroom, but mingle with the student desks. there is no "front of the class" or "rear of the class". each section of the room is a learning station: geography, math, science, english, and so on. each classroom has some pet cages with pets where the student care for them. students are freely move about the room depends on his/her own schedule which the student work it out the teacher for the whole week. there are no lecture, only group discussion on topics. homework is rare. there are 3 grades in the same classroom, normally. the higher grade students mentoring the lower grade; it's a sempai-kohai relationship. each student spent 3 years in the same classroom. field trips outside of the classroom are the norm. if you want to learn biology, a good place would be the wood or stream bed or swamp, and so the field trips. if you want to learn history, lets go to some of the historical places. learn by touch, by feel, by all the senses, then lastly through group discussion, i.e. analysis. parents participation are very much encourage. parents and teachers meet on a regular basis. information flow from teachers to student and parents uninterupted and bidirectional.

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 09:29 PM
As a side note, I've never really found aikido to be about catering to every uke's whim--otherwise we'd just learn to stand still and accept the attack. Same thing with zen. Now maybe we can see where we go awry with education, with teachers falling into the students' worlds/contexts rather than the reverse.

We break those cycles by waking up and disrupting them.

Thanks to Keith for help in demonstrating the principle :)

Keith Larman
11-07-2011, 09:42 PM
As a side note, I've never really found aikido to be about catering to every uke's whim--otherwise we'd just learn to stand still and accept the attack. Same thing with zen. Now maybe we can see where we go awry with education, with teachers falling into the students' worlds/contexts rather than the reverse.

We break those cycles by waking up and disrupting them.

Thanks to Keith for help in demonstrating the principle :)

Saying I have a closed mind by simply raising a simple point of statistics? No, Joe, you're still just as nasty as ever hiding behind the same thin veneer of passive aggression.

Plonk.

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 10:34 PM
pitfalls of montessori are few, if any. currently, it runs as private schools, which costs more. doesn't have to be if public school system model after it. personally, i don't have problem scraping the whole public school system and replace it with montessori model school system.

I'd hypothesize that Montessori works partly because it's an expensive alternative. That is, there are parents behind the students who care sufficiently about the education to overcome those barriers and there's an expectation that the teachers will do a good job. (Again, just a theory. We homeschool, so we see similar things.)

If everything was Montessori, that might be a close equivalent to no education system at all, wherein the kids are all free to pursue what interests them from what's available around them. Homeschoolers call it "unschooling" or the like. Figure that's the root of every education system anyway :)

Joe McParland
11-07-2011, 10:38 PM
Saying I have a closed mind by simply raising a simple point of statistics? No, Joe, you're still just as nasty as ever hiding behind the same thin veneer of passive aggression.

Plonk.

I concede you are better than me. Carry on! :p

mathewjgano
11-07-2011, 11:41 PM
pitfalls of montessori are few, if any. currently, it runs as private schools, which costs more. doesn't have to be if public school system model after it. personally, i don't have problem scraping the whole public school system and replace it with montessori model school system.

picture this, a classroom where the teacher desks aren't in front of the classroom, but mingle with the student desks. there is no "front of the class" or "rear of the class". each section of the room is a learning station: geography, math, science, english, and so on. each classroom has some pet cages with pets where the student care for them. students are freely move about the room depends on his/her own schedule which the student work it out the teacher for the whole week. there are no lecture, only group discussion on topics. homework is rare. there are 3 grades in the same classroom, normally. the higher grade students mentoring the lower grade; it's a sempai-kohai relationship. each student spent 3 years in the same classroom. field trips outside of the classroom are the norm. if you want to learn biology, a good place would be the wood or stream bed or swamp, and so the field trips. if you want to learn history, lets go to some of the historical places. learn by touch, by feel, by all the senses, then lastly through group discussion, i.e. analysis. parents participation are very much encourage. parents and teachers meet on a regular basis. information flow from teachers to student and parents uninterupted and bidirectional.

Hi Phi,
Thank you for describing that!
Well to be fair I don't have any direct exposure to it. I am drawn to the idea of a more free-flowing learning process where the students get to study in ways that suit them direcly. I have heard from a few different teachers (some who regularly use stations similar to what you're describing) and parents that Montessori students can have a harder time in situations where they're not doing what they would rather be doing...such as in a more traditional class, go figure. I really like the different ages working together. I think it creates a real sense of responsibility in the older kids while reinforcing their own learning, among other benefits such as can be found in the sempai-kohai system. I always remember there being a huge gap between grade-levels. Different aged kids interacted, but were still segregated to some extent because we only hung out at recess. Kids have the benefit of greater relatability amongst themselves whereas adults often can be out of touch in subtle ways (someone from "inside the circle" asking you to learn something has more gravitas than someone from the "outside").
Actually, most of what you described is present in many classrooms now though. My wife uses stations and group discussion every day; peer tutoring within and throughout grade levels; lecture is minimal and based on outlining the project/lesson of the moment and is followed up throughout with mini-lessons as needed; she walks around the classroom to give praise and help where asked for; parents regularly are in the classroom in a variety of capacities (tutoring, story time, busy-work, etc.); and field trips are more common than in many other more traditional classrooms.
In my courses we were pushed to embrace a constructivist model where teachers serve as "facilitators" in a learning environment designed around the kids; to engage their interests as much as possible becaus it is only through an interest that they will retain much of anything, let alone go out on their own to try and learn new things. The model is and has been shifting...in places, at least. I think scrapping the whole system probably isn't the best option in every area and at the least would need some serious transition periods...if for no other reason than the logistics involved in a massive paradigm shift. And I think some people probably are better suited to the more traditional mode. I think we have to account for that possibility as much as possible.
Parent involvement is something not every community is able to do so easily. My wife has had classrooms where parents simply are not available: they worked all day;maybe an older brother or cousin would come in every few months or so. When she has more upwardly mobile families in her classroom, it makes a huge difference from time put in to funds for resources...to attitudes about learning, unfortunately. I'm speaking very generally here, but that's the way the "data" seems to trend in my experiences (vicarious though they essentially are).

phitruong
11-08-2011, 07:29 AM
I'd hypothesize that Montessori works partly because it's an expensive alternative. That is, there are parents behind the students who care sufficiently about the education to overcome those barriers and there's an expectation that the teachers will do a good job. (Again, just a theory. We homeschool, so we see similar things.)


it's expensive because the teaching materials, yearly teacher certification/training, lower student/teacher ratio, and higher teacher salary. expensive is a relative term. if you compare what we spent on war and prison (your tax dollars at work), then education expenses are pretty cheap, dirt cheap.


If everything was Montessori, that might be a close equivalent to no education system at all, wherein the kids are all free to pursue what interests them from what's available around them. Homeschoolers call it "unschooling" or the like. Figure that's the root of every education system anyway :)

for some reason, folks seem to think that montessori education lets students do as they please and learn whatever. that isn't the case. each student, at the beginning of the week layout the amount of works for that week: math, science, english, foreign language, arts, and so on. each student chooses how he/she wants to do the work. some students would spent a whole day doing math, for example, then the next day, english. other students prefer an hour on science, two hours on english, and so on. the amount of work for all the students is the same, as long as he/she completes all the works by the end of the week, in school (very little homework). students discuss in groups all the time and in front of everyone, so public speaking and presentation isn't an obstacle, more as a norm. they are encouraged to explore and aren't afraid to do so which give them confidence and the love to learn.

phitruong
11-08-2011, 07:43 AM
Well to be fair I don't have any direct exposure to it. I am drawn to the idea of a more free-flowing learning process where the students get to study in ways that suit them direcly. I have heard from a few different teachers (some who regularly use stations similar to what you're describing) and parents that Montessori students can have a harder time in situations where they're not doing what they would rather be doing...such as in a more traditional class, go figure.

i put one kid through montessori then on to public high school, and now first year in college. i have another in the last year of montessori, then to public high school. it's not so much as the students having the problem, it's the parents (with a public education background and mindset). reminded me when i watched the show "the dog whisperer". rehabilitating the dog is often start with the owner(s). my wife kept bugging me why i watch the show when we don't even have a dog. to which i replied "the last dog we had with the side of salad last week, didn't taste like chicken at all!" :D

three things i learned from that show which also applies to children: exercise, discipline, then affection, in that order. most parents tend to do that orders in reverse which doesn't work very well.

genin
11-08-2011, 09:53 AM
...three things i learned from (The Dog Whisperer) which also applies to children: exercise, discipline, then affection, in that order. most parents tend to do that orders in reverse which doesn't work very well.

As much as I hate to say it, I have always felt that raising/teaching children is akin to training dogs.

I know a woman who loves her dogs, but they are the worst trained animals I've ever seen. She has unwittingly trained them to be as annoying as possible. The reason is because she doesn't have an authoritative bone in her body, and the dogs walk all over her. What's sad is that she had a bunch of kids too, and one is now dead from drugs, the other is in prison for drugs, and another had alcohol related legal troubles early in life.

If you can't even make a little dog fear and respect you, then how can you ever expect a child to respect you and listen to you? I'll tell you one thing, love/affection doesn't always cut it, especially without discipline to go alone with it.

Janet Rosen
11-08-2011, 01:44 PM
I realized the connection as a child watching friends and relatives with pet dogs and children....and by the age of 11 had decided that if I were in charge, anybody who wanted to have kids would be given a puppy. We would come back a year later and see how the dog was and on that basis they could or could not have children.
I've seen little in the intervening 45 years to change my mind.

hughrbeyer
11-09-2011, 02:22 PM
Having raised four kids and countless dogs, yeah, there's a lot of similarities, mostly having to do with love, freedom, and discipline: raising either dogs or kids without discipline doesn't give them freedom and is a lousy way to show love.

The difference is, you raise kids to become functioning, independent adults. You raise dogs to become members of your household. This comes up, for example, in dominance behavior--your dog has to believe you are the dominant member of the household. If you aren't, they think they have to be--which means they have to assess every potential threat and deal with it if they decide it's a danger. Whereas if they trust you to be the dominant, they'll trust you to assess and handle a threat.

Not a good parallel with kids, there.

mathewjgano
11-09-2011, 04:13 PM
i put one kid through montessori then on to public high school, and now first year in college. i have another in the last year of montessori, then to public high school. it's not so much as the students having the problem, it's the parents (with a public education background and mindset). reminded me when i watched the show "the dog whisperer". rehabilitating the dog is often start with the owner(s). my wife kept bugging me why i watch the show when we don't even have a dog. to which i replied "the last dog we had with the side of salad last week, didn't taste like chicken at all!" :D

three things i learned from that show which also applies to children: exercise, discipline, then affection, in that order. most parents tend to do that orders in reverse which doesn't work very well.

I think the major factor for what can make or break a system of teaching is in the home life of the children. If they have discipline reinforced at home, it usually carries over to other areas. I've heard of a student who one time told his parent, "I need more boundaries," after his teacher had been working with him on controlling his behavior a bit more in class. It was a bit of an eye opener for the parent I imagine.
I guess the question then becomes: what systems might suit students without just such a home life?
...and even then I guess it probably has more to do with the accuities of the teacher than the systems in place.