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Old 05-11-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
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A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

I've seen alot of talk around here about the decline of education. How kids aren't interested in learning anymore, and how schools aren't doing what they should to help them learn. This has brought to my mind the Sudbury model. The Sudbury model, for those who don't know, is an educational model in which there are no grades and no required assignments or courses. The students are free to spend their day as they wish. Talking with friends, playing games and sports of various kinds, reading, watching movies, or even just doing nothing at all if that's what they feel like doing. The school is run by a weekly school meeting, modeled after town councils, in which all members of the school, staff and students alike, have one vote and an equal say in all matters. Matters of budget, employment at the school, school events, and even major disceplinary action such as suspensions and expulsions are decided upon by the entire school (or, at least those who atend the school meeting in that given week), not just the adults. The model is named for Sudbury Valley School, founded in 1968, which was the prototype of the model. Since 1968, over 40 schools following the Sudbury model have opened worldwide.

As I have made some statements about education with the Sudburry model in mind around here, and many didn't really understand where I was coming from. So, I decided to fully explain the Sudbury model, and bring it up as a topic of conversation. So, to sum up: What do you think of the Sudbury model? Do you think it's a good direction for education to go in, or a bad one?

For further information, here's Sudbury Valley's official website:

http://www.sudval.org/

Also, a nice article from Psychology Today:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/artic...24-000004.html

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Based on what you just explained:


what are the benefits?

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:41 PM   #3
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Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Edit.

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

never trust kids to make such decisions, at least when there's a lot of them, it simply won't end well.

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

eh it'd be fine if it was to supplement more formal education.

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Old 05-11-2007, 10:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abaddon View Post
eh it'd be fine if it was to supplement more formal education.
Yeah, like if the kids got to do whatever they wanted for a class just before lunch or something, that'd be alright. But there's a reason kids don't get to make important decisions.

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Old 05-11-2007, 10:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

yeah, I'd be worried about sending those kids out into the world equipped with only the knowledge they learned themselves.

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Old 05-11-2007, 11:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Is this a US accredited High school? IF it's not then wtf is the point of attending?

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Old 05-11-2007, 11:33 PM   #9
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Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SapphirePrima View Post
Is this a US accredited High school? IF it's not then wtf is the point of attending?
You mean, can you get a high school diploma? Yes, you can. Read the links, they give alot more information.

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Old 05-12-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
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Exclamation Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Normally don't troll around COMMUNITY much, but The Question PM'd me so I felt I'd be polite.

I'd heard of this model vaguely before, during endless searches for reference articles for college papers the past few years. An episode of The Simpsons' first season also sort of touched the subject (the episode where the teachers attribute Bart's failing grades to simply being a bored genius).

My own educational experiences are mixed. From Kindergarten to 5th grade, "elementary school" if you will, I attended a private school which had very strict rules and rigorous homework/test routines. For them, a 69% on a test was failing, not a 64% or even a 55% in some public schools. We had endless book reports and even had reports to hand in during summer recess. As an adult, I would be less than honest if I didn't acknowledge that the drilled instruction helped me throughout the rest of my education...eventually. At the time, I became "worn out" of school and my grades were slipping into the low B- range. I attended public school from 6th-8th grade ("junior high") and while it provided more "school of hard knocks experiences" (like bullying), the workload was easier and I got by. By about my sophmore year of High School, I was totally burnt out and let's just say I didn't really apply myself until college.

Was I bored genius, or just lazy? Probably both. I've since done a lot better with college, which has structure but more maturity and freedom than high school or grade school.

I believe the Sudbury model would work well with students who are self-motivated. They do exist, and possibly in higher numbers than we know. They are not the majority, though, because exceptional people are NEVER the majority. I believe in education we should have a variety of models and approaches, in which schools are tailored to meet different needs, much as other goods and services have some sort of variation (some hospitals excell at heart surgery while others pre-natal, and so on). The reality of course is there is never enough money and applying models takes time, training, and so on. I think a lot of the problems with school today are lowered standards combined with a social environment that rewards material posessions over knowledge, and in an era where people are used to quickly accessing what they desire via cable TV and the Internet, so spending years to master Math seems a bit silly. We all have our own strengths and interests but that doesn't mean a sound knowledge of basic things like English and History aren't essential.

Another problem is too many schools, I am sorry to say, employ more political standards than educational, seeing children as the next generation of voters and politicians and so thus being eager to brainwash them into conservative or, mostly, liberal viewpoints. In NYC we recently had a teacher who illegally ferried kids to Cuba and back for "lectures" (probably Pro-Communist) for years and only stopped when he was finally caught, and the principal shamed enough into acknowledging the act. But NY is a very liberal state and I am not simplistic enough to presume that in "red" states the opposite doesn't occur, where conservative schoolmasters ensure that kids spit out whatever those beliefs are, like being pro-life or Social Darwinism (the belief that poverty is caused by lazy poor people and people who are rich deserve it and are superior people), etc. Educational needs to be as objective as possible so children develop their own ideas and beliefs. Unfortunately, the reality is that objectivity is almost impossible for most people, and in America we have an adversarial nature with children. Adults feel they need to be dominated, controlled, molded like clay, and shielded from whatever the adults felt in their day was "dangerous" yet they themselves did (the ex-hippy who is a gung-ho "War on Drugs" Zealot is hardly uncommon, for instance). Children are naturally geared towards growing up eventually and rebelling against authority, and probably picking up more from the media & society than is good for them.

Also add in unions that wish to maintain a status quo and get what is best for their members, regardless of actual results or children.

The Sudbury model has it's place, but adopting it into every school wouldn't work, just like adopting any universal plan hasn't worked. Variety is a good thing, and so are honest expectations. For schools geared towards "exceptional" students who can prove via grades or whatever their motivation, it would work well. For the majority, I think it would result in many kids getting "serious" about education a bit late and being years behind. But I think the larger issue is removing the us vs. them mentality and trying to wash out political bias & unions having TOO much influence (they need to exist, but in some states, especially New York, the line between servants and masters in the Assembly is rather blurry).

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Old 05-13-2007, 11:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

I think the main problems in the American education system, is the lack of desire for an education in today's youth, and a lack of respect from teacher's themselves in their career.

IF the youth of today valued education, and did not ONLY LOOK for the end result, then I believe this philosophy would work in the classroom. That is not the case in today's public classrooms, and I don't believe it will be coming to your city or mine anytime soon.

If teacher's would #1, have a amount of respect for their own career choice that they should, #2, if they had a passion for the course of study they have chosen to teach, and #3, if they had the knowledge of the curriculum they are teaching, I believe all three of those would filter out into their classroom, that would in turn, turn the kids on to the learning experience, and LEARNING and a love of the JOURNEY of learning would become the center point of that classroom. Reforming education is FAR MORE that the philosophy chosen. it is the heart of all involved. That's where the change has to take place.

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Old 05-13-2007, 02:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Having interned as a teacher, and having a mother as a teacher, and knowing a good deal of people who are going into the career, I can tell you that most teachers start out with a great deal of respect for their career. However, working in the field, you soon realize that being a teacher is 1 part educating and 2 parts working around administrative bull****. When neither your students or your bosses respect you or your job, it makes it very hard to care about what you do.

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Old 05-14-2007, 10:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

The problem with this model is how most of the world reflects on Americans, and the thought that they're lazy. Unfortunately, this is a worldwide problem, so I can still comment.

Unfortunately, the VAST majority of the children cannot focus long enough past their own desires.

But this does have a backwards point, since there IS a time limit. They're forced to learn focus and responsibility rather harshly, given an extremely bad consequence for an extreme amount of flexibility and freedom. But for the most part, there are too many children in most schools for you to get away with.

THEN AGAIN, we're assuming this is a just "everybody" school, when it's obviously more focused against more...gifted children. Those willing to learn, and learning by decision rather than pure instruction, which is how most adults begin to learn. Several smarter students would be drawn to this, and would flourish wonderfully under this. So if THAT'S the case, then rock, rock on, because it's a win. But not for everybody.

Then of course, there are the other problems to deal with. The majority being...HOW would they learn? I'm assuming there's tutors and teachers, and if that's the case, then there must be set times. But if classes are set, then it somewhat self defeats the "wanderer" ideal. Unless they're basically just set loose in a self governing mini community where they have the option to either go to class or not.

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Old 05-14-2007, 10:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: A thread on the topic of education: Your opinion of the Sudbury model.

Yeah, if we had this put in all schools, I'm sure we would have even more lazy and failing students, because no one is behind them making sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing.

I think it would really work if it was more for the advanced students, who have proven to be able to work on their own.

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:54 PM   #15
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Default Discussion: Education

If no, what do you see as working with the current education system that we have in place....

If yes, what areas need the most work, what can stay in place....

In your opinion....

As an educator in the state of Texas, I have lived with the Bush "No Child Left Behind" longer than the rest of the country....

1. Some say that it blames the teacher for most everything....
I do think that the teacher should be held accountable for what goes on in their classroom, so I see no problem with teacher's being accountable for that....AS LONG AS those teachers that are doing what they should are rewarded for their job well done...

2. Some say that it has picked up the education of those that fall within the "special services" category.....BUT has left the "gifted and talented" behind....
I agree with this 100%....we have watered down the curriculum so much that we now have a "brain deficit" in this country for the next generation....

3. Some say that we are testing our student's to death...
I agree, a test made by a group of college professors in Massachusetts....seems alittle out of touch for what is happening in the classroom.
I agree, although I do not see any problem with the Social Studies TAKS test here in Texas, I do believe the country as a whole needs to look more toward the New York State Regency Tests, IMO, they are the best.

4. Some say that the expectations of the government for schools to comply to what they have in place in the areas of attendance, special service %, math scores, science scores has led school's to focus only on certain areas, and allow other areas to suffer.

Example: In the area of Special Services, according to the US government school's should have no more than 1% of their student body classified as special services, whereas on average closer to 10% are usually classified with some sort of learning disability. This means that within the next 5 years 99% of the student body would be taking basically the same exit exam, no matter their learning disability....

Also, Primary school's have basically thrown out their Social Studies classtime because it is not tested until 8th grade, and have given that time to Math and Science because those are tested at 3rd, and 5th grade level.

Here is where the candidates stand on Education.

BARAK OBAMA:
A World class education
“I don't want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don't want that future for my daughters. I don't want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.”
— Barack Obama, Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Des Moines, Iowa, November 10, 2007
Early Childhood Education
  • Zero to Five Plan: Obama's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, Obama's plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
  • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve quality for both.
  • Affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama will also provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families. K-12
    • Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.
    • Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
    • Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school - strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.
    • Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.
    • Expand Summer Learning Opportunities: Obama's "STEP UP" plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.
    • Support College Outreach Programs: Obama supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.
    • Support English Language Learners: Obama supports transitional bilingual education and will help Limited English Proficient students get ahead by holding schools accountable for making sure these students complete school.
    Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers
    • Recruit Teachers: Obama will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.
    • Prepare Teachers: Obama will require all schools of education to be accredited. He will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.
    • Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, Obama's plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. He will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.
    • Reward Teachers: Obama will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.
    Higher Education
    • Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Obama will also ensure that the tax credit is available to families at the time of enrollment by using prior year's tax data to deliver the credit when tuition is due.
    • Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.
    Barack Obama's Record
    Record of Advocacy: Obama has been a leader on educational issues throughout his career. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama was a leader on early childhood education, helping create the state's Early Learning Council. In the U.S. Senate, Obama has been a leader in working to make college more affordable. His very first bill sought to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,100. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Obama helped pass legislation to achieve that goal in the recent improvements to the Higher Education Act. Obama has also introduced legislation to create Teacher Residency Programs and to increase federal support for summer learning opportunities.
JOHN MCCAIN:

School Prayer
McCain is in favor of school prayer, and has supported legislation that would allow public schools to erect religious symbols as part of memorial services.

Departing From the No Child Left Behind Act
John McCain would do away with the "sanctions" in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which force schools that don't improve annual scores to offer tutoring or tickets to another public school.

McCain will also change the NCLB's requirement that 100 percent of the nation's children be proficient in math and reading by 2014. McCain is still supportive of the intiative, but as a realist, he might change the deadline.


According to McCain's website:
No Child Left Behind has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard. John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.
School Vouchers
McCain believes equal opportunity should be a key component of education reform, and is a firm defender of school vouchers -- which give parents the right to send their children to the school of their choice.

Because the responsibility of educating America's future leaders and citizens is so important, McCain believes school systems must report to parents and the public on their progress.

The way students are prepared for their future is deplorable, in McCain's opinion, especially when compared with the rest of the world. Thus, McCain believes parents should have the right to send their children to schools of demonstrated excellence, especially if it's their own homes.

McCain supports competition between schools and letting parents decide where they send their children, based on which schools they believe are the most high-quality and innovative, and schools that demonstrate excellence through this method should receive higher funding, respectively.

States Rights
Nevertheless, McCain won't tie funding to academic performance. As a supporter of state's rights, he will allow states to make spending decisions that best suit student needs. In addition to these unrestricted block grants, McCain would include another $500 million for teacher merit pay.

McCain believes states also should be in charge of students' curriculums, including whether to teach intelligent design, evolution or creationism.

Retired & Community Tutors
Although teachers are the cornerstone of education under McCain's plan, he believes senior citizens would serve as excellent tutors. To accomplish this, he wants to create a pool of volunteer military veterans, retirees and others who would tutor students in math, science and English. The lessons, however, would go beyond scholastic subjects. Tutors, to McCain, would help promote traditional values for students and reiterate to them the importance of a good education.

Tax-free Education Expenses
McCain has been supportive of a program that would allow parents to open tax-free savings accounts for their children’s educational expenses - including tutoring, computers, and tuition. He sponsored a bill to implement this program in 1999; despite passing both Houses of Congress, President Bill Clinton vetoed it.

McCain's Education Quick Hits:

McCain supports funding for:
  • Nutrition and enrichment programs for low-income and at-risk children
  • Family literacy programs and education for homeless adults
  • Programs that help reduce the dropout rate for minority students, especially Hispanics, who have unique dropout circumstances
  • High-speed Internet access (and filtering software) for every public school and library


Last edited by Marx; 06-21-2010 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Thread Merge
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

For those that want more of a comparison...


http://www.siia.net/govt/docs/pub/Ob...ffEdDebate.pdf

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

I think the problem is, everyone wants someone to blame, except the student. If a student does not want to learn, they will not learn. Our public schools are not failig the students. The students are failing the students.

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Old 07-06-2008, 02:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

I wish it were as simple as that.

IMO, it is a 4 fold problem.
1. The student of course...
2. The parent(s)
3. The teacher
4. The community

In order for a school to be successful, these 4 things have to work together.
  • I have never met a student that "did not want to learn". They may not like math, or science, or english, or god forbid, geography.....lol, but they do want to learn. NOW, do they want to make the sacrifices needed to learn? Maybe not, but when I have parent's that care, then usually the student has rules at home as well as at school, and that student is usually successful.
  • I have never met a student that "wants to fail". Again, math, science, english, etc may not be their best subject, but I have yet to have a student say, "oh hell yeah, I plan on failing this class...." Again, the parent is a good partner for the teacher, as well as a solid infrastructure within the school if that student needs specific help. THE TEACHER is also, extremely important for this type of student. If the teacher is passionate about their subject, passionate about the kids, and willing to go that extra mile, THAT STUDENT, can be successful. Will they pull an A, maybe not.....a B, maybe not.....but they will not be a failure either. I have students in my class that fell to their knees when they saw the 75 next to their name on the grade list outside my door the last day of school.....lol THEY WERE DAMN PROUD OF THAT 75, and some of those student's loved my class. Some who may 90's, did not like my class......lol. I was never that great in math, my mom was happy with a high C, low B....for the low end of my grades........and we celebrated if I made a high B or an A.
  • I have students that are going to be successful, no matter what the circumstances are at home. School for them is their heaven away from hell at home. I have quite a few of these kiddos. They are self-stimulated. They plan on having a better life than their parents, and they'll do their very best to achieve that.
  • I have some students that are just little buttheads, and yet they have a homelife that few kids could even dream of. They think that the grade should be given to them, and not earned.
  • I have students that want so much to succeed, but they have parent(s) that seem to be doing everything in order that they fail. I've verbally slammed some of these parents. Sometimes it works. Unfortunately, many of these students find themselves moving from place to place, and therefore never truly get the education they want and deserve.

All of the students above can succeed in the classroom if the 3 (parent, student, teacher) can work together, and in most cases, if one of the 3 works alittle harder to take up the slack of the slacker.....that student can succeed. Usually the one to take up the slack is the teacher....SOOOOOOOO if teacher's pay increased, class size decreased....those 2 things could help to keep good, qualified, passionate teachers in the classroom.

So where does the community come in?

The community can support 1 or all 3 of the above.
  • The community can provide tutors for the students...
  • The community can provide afterschool programs, not just in the area of education, but in the area of FUN....kids DO NOT know how to have fun these days....
  • The communtiy can provide the simple things for students such as supplies.....it is amazing what a new book bag full of supplies can do for a student.
  • The community can provide funding in many areas as far as fine arts, sports, etc.
  • The community can provide help for the family as a whole. (As far as my region, the community provides ESL classes for the parents.)

When these 4 work together, not necessarily equal, but together, the kiddos will be successful.

Will the student end up going to a 4 year college? Maybe, maybe not.

Not all people are college bound. Unfortunately "No Child Left Behind" has forgotten this in my opinion. CATE programs that prepare students to go straight into the work world, are being cut at a faster rate than fine arts programs. This is where many of those students that may not be successful in the classroom, CAN BE SUCCESSFUL, yet these are the areas that are being slashed.



Will there be those kids that we lose? Yes........but education reform should not be written with the thinking that "some just won't learn". IMO, you have already failed that student before you even give them a chance.

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Old 07-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #19
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Kel as an educator which candidates plan do you think would be the most effective? And why?

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Old 07-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

I have to do some more personal research on this.

going by just what you have posted. all i like about John McCains offerring is the emphasis on tutorship and fitting seniors in there.

Obama's offering seems much more comprehensive and substance oriented. I tend to shy away from prayer and intelligent design debates. i think we have to work with bigger structural issues first.

i would say education has become my number 2 issue.

i put it above healthcare.

Energy
Education
Healthcare
Warin Iraq....
Etc.

I dont work in the educational field yet. but i think we need more teachers so as to have smaller classrooms that can be more laser guilded on teaching and not so much on crowd controll. my lil brother is in a class with 30 kids

i just think thats kind of insane.

my classes were 15 kids.

i think their should be a bigger emphasis on educating teachers in child behavioral science. around here the policy is to "medicate" everyone who doesnt fit an established mold, an acceptable mold.

back in the day i would have been medicated, but my teacher had salt. she knew how to deal with me. she wasn't some lost soul who couldnt figure out what to do with her life....and she became a teacher. she was skilled, wise and set me straight in a way that worked. A lot of teachers who are getting out of college, tell me they fell back on teaching cause they failed at what they wanted to do. its sad. i think we should emphasize some of the behavioral sciences to combat this paradigm.

I am wary about rewarding teachers for performance. i dont want teachers to become automatons and just pound test taking skills into kids rather than some serious substance and tutelage. but as a future educator its tempting to swing to the reward side because, i like getting paid... id like to get paid more for doing well. but i dont want to waste class time with practice tests and diagnostic nonsense.

After school programs are important. Obama has highlighted this to some extent... i think having productive outlets for energy, and stimulating activities available after school... is a great tool for keeping kids on a track to success.

what i am stumped with is how to get and keep parents involved.

i dont know how i would support or suggest legislating that. Parents these days are ripe with excuses on why its hard. i hear that. but i also know a generation of americans that on average worked much harder and kept the complaints to themselves, and instead focused on getting the job done. people are ripe with a lack of critical thinking skills... which they should have learned, and persued how to use in school. instead they have families without thinking about what size they should bear... "Joey needs a brother or a sister" beats out "mom and dad will become depressed, mediocre custodians for both children."

i digress...

but families are so complicated. its hard to say how you could get in there and help. short of advocating family counseling. should that job fall on the school?

part of me thinks. screw it... natural selection! let the cream rise to the top. but its the kids who are getting screwed so i cant completely come to terms with thinking that way. and as the rest of the world begins to pass us by in education, im not sure we can afford to think this way anymore.


also Kel, whats your take on school vouchers? i havnt formed an opinion on them yet. id appreciate an educators opinion on them.

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Last edited by Zen; 07-06-2008 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen View Post
I have to do some more personal research on this.

going by just what you have posted. all i like about John McCains offerring is the emphasis on tutorship and fitting seniors in there.

Obama's offering seems much more comprehensive and substance oriented. I tend to shy away from prayer and intelligent design debates. i think we have to work with bigger structural issues first.

i would say education has become my number 2 issue.

i put it above healthcare.

Energy
Education
Healthcare
Warin Iraq....
Etc.

I dont work in the educational field yet. but i think we need more teachers so as to have smaller classrooms that can be more laser guilded on teaching and not so much on crowd controll. my lil brother is in a class with 30 kids

i just think thats kind of insane.

my classes were 15 kids.

i think their should be a bigger emphasis on educating teachers in child behavioral science. around here the policy is to "medicate" everyone who doesnt fit an established mold, an acceptable mold.

back in the day i would have been medicated, but my teacher had salt. she knew how to deal with me. she wasn't some lost soul who couldnt figure out what to do with her life....and she became a teacher. she was skilled, wise and set me straight in a way that worked. A lot of teachers who are getting out of college, tell me they fell back on teaching cause they failed at what they wanted to do. its sad. i think we should emphasize some of the behavioral sciences to combat this paradigm.

I am wary about rewarding teachers for performance. i dont want teachers to become automatons and just pound test taking skills into kids rather than some serious substance and tutelage. but as a future educator its tempting to swing to the reward side because, i like getting paid... id like to get paid more for doing well. but i dont want to waste class time with practice tests and diagnostic nonsense.

After school programs are important. Obama has highlighted this to some extent... i think having productive outlets for energy, and stimulating activities available after school... is a great tool for keeping kids on a track to success.

what i am stumped with is how to get and keep parents involved.

i dont know how i would support or suggest legislating that. Parents these days are ripe with excuses on why its hard. i hear that. but i also know a generation of americans that on average worked much harder and kept the complaints to themselves, and instead focused on getting the job done. people are ripe with a lack of critical thinking skills... which they should have learned, and persued how to use in school. instead they have families without thinking about what size they should bear... "Joey needs a brother or a sister" beats out "mom and dad will become depressed, mediocre custodians for both children."

i digress...

but families are so complicated. its hard to say how you could get in there and help. short of advocating family counseling. should that job fall on the school?

part of me thinks. screw it... natural selection! let the cream rise to the top. but its the kids who are getting screwed so i cant completely come to terms with thinking that way. and as the rest of the world begins to pass us by in education, im not sure we can afford to think this way anymore.


also Kel, whats your take on school vouchers? i havnt formed an opinion on them yet. id appreciate an educators opinion on them.
Zen my first job out of college was a teacher. I taught at an alternative school first and then the next semester I transfered to the Jr. High in the roughest part of town. I stopped teaching to be a Firefighter. I really enjoy being in the fire service but my biggest gripe was the in-flexability in curriculum and teaching style they dumped on us.

I got in the fire service because the pay was comparable. And I wanted to be as close to law enforcement as I could.Currently I am a Fire Inspector/ Arson Investigator.

Education is my number two issue also. My concern with vouchers is that the children that don't have a lot of money could still be at a disadvantage. I think vouchers have the potential of making it too easy to discriminate.

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Old 07-06-2008, 04:09 PM   #22
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Zen my first job out of college was a teacher. I taught at an alternative school first and then the next semester I transfered to the Jr. High in the roughest part of town. I stopped teaching to be a Firefighter. I really enjoy being in the fire service but my biggest gripe was the in-flexability in curriculum and teaching style they dumped on us.

I got in the fire service because the pay was comparable. And I wanted to be as close to law enforcement as I could.Currently I am a Fire Inspector/ Arson Investigator.

Education is my number two issue also. My concern with vouchers is that the children that don't have a lot of money could still be at a disadvantage. I think vouchers have the potential of making it too easy to discriminate.

interesting.

would vouchers weaken public schools in your opinion?

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Old 07-06-2008, 04:31 PM   #23
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

IMO Vouchers and Commercialization of Schools is the best way to go.

Open a free market for schools and give the choice of which school a child goes to to the parent. All of this would be funded by the government. It is the poor that most benefits from such a program, allowing a poor intercity child to choose to be schooled at any school in the area gives kids the best opportunity available.

This would also have a great impact on High Schools. Most high schools now focus all their attention on college preparation, which is great if everyone is going to college - but thats not the case.

School Choice is vital. If schools are treated like a business - they will have to perform or face losing funding. There are now real incentives for school performance on an administrative level.

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Old 07-06-2008, 04:42 PM   #24
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interesting.

would vouchers weaken public schools in your opinion?
Yes they would.

Think about it if M-Town Hihgh is the public school and M-Town prep is the private HS which school do you think will be percieved as the better school?

We have a private HS in my city and it is regarded as "The School" to go to. Because the school is private they are not held to state educational standards for their teachers. A mom can teach history if the principal likes her. wherther she is truly qualified or not.

Okay now back to M-Town prep if M-Town prep has 100 slots fo vouchers and there are 300 kids that qualify for vouchers where do the 200-kids that they didn't have space for end up? Back at M-Town High right. Well there is another school M-South Prep that has 200 slots for vouchers. Does this really offer more choice?

M-Town High still gets everyone else and now thanks to the voucher system M-Town high has less money to work with. Who decides what children get into M-Town Prep. Just because a school is private doesn'e mean it's the best.

Our Private HS in our city has a much higher graduation rate but yet the collegiate retention level is less than the level of our public High School how could that be it's where the rich kids go? Easily Private schools don't have the same standards that a Public school does and If a parent is paying 2500-dollars in tution a semester they better pass.

How is the private school going to stay open booting out students?

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:22 PM   #25
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Default Re: Is Education Reform needed?

I agree with Matt, lots of kids just don't value their education, and its essentially their responsibility. However, I do think its still possible to allow our schools to compete with educational systems like those of Japan and that should continue to be our priority.

What I think is the biggest problem though is the administration of values and discipline are missing from our public schools. Teachers can't discipline students anymore,...if a students acts out and disrupts the class, the teacher can't remove the student, the teacher will be reprimanded by the school administration or even the student's parents. The student holds the class hostage and creates a distraction. Any attempt to instill discipline in the classroom is met with parent complaints and civil rights lawsuits. No to public school uniforms that have been successful in reducing tardiness, disobedient, unruly behavior and improving academic performance...etc... because it "hurts a student's civil rights".

In placing of teaching, reading, writing, and arithmetic, there is now bigger emphrasis on teaching "multiculturalism", "feel good about yourself" classes and a bigger emphasis on sexual education. Teachers now want to hand out condoms, play to role of proxy of parent in making decisions about the students sex lives...hide abortion from parents. We now have yearbooks, school administrators, etc... that cherish instead of stigmatize students who end up pregnant in high school. They're rewarded for their depraved behavior.

All these programs are nice and all......lets give millions more to Headstart..yaddaa yadda yadad....but I don't believe throwing billions and billions of dollars at a crooked, corrupt bureacracy is the solution to our education crisis. The solution is sometimes is simpler than we realize, but we don't want the courage to look at the problem directly.

The best way to get more math teachers and science teacher in the classroom is to pay them a higher salary than say English teachers. The problem there is that will be met with resistance by the teachers unions and government bureacracies. The unions want every teacher with the same tenure of experience getting paid the same salary. The funny thing is that where I live, there are teachers getting LAID off....even though the school NEEDS more math, science teachers. There is a gluttony of Education, English, Social Science majors entering the education field,...and the physics, math majors are looking into private industry cause they can get paid more. The school doesn't need all those PE teachers, but they fill up the system and the school can't pay those PE teachers a higher salary than the demand requires or you'll be even more flooded.

I believe essentially that public schools need to be held accountable (that means fire people for not doing a good job, don't give more funding for teachers that are failing), teachers should be equipped with the ability to instill discipline and order in the classroom (get the trouble makers out of the classroom, school administrators need to back up teachers who are abused by their students), require school uniforms, professional dress code...continue to use standardized tests to objectively assess a student' understanding of the material.

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