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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 53806  
Subject: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 12:32 AM
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... is a pet subject of mine, and one about which I feel strongly. (No, really? I'm shocked! Shocked I say!) As such, I would like, from time to time, to post thoughts and articles.

Today's thought is "Kids will meet your expectations. As the mentor, it is your obligation to keep those expectations high, yet obtainable."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21198-2003Oct13.html
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Author: TheDuckinator Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38513 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 10:47 AM
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And roughly 20 years ago, when you and I were roommates at college, I was taking EPS 301 (Educational Policy Studies), a 2-credit-hour course, that basically taught us that:

1) Kids have to WANT to learn in order for education to be effective.
2) Going after "pieces of paper" (diplomas, degrees, certificates) is folly.
3) You can BS your way through any 2-credit hour class.

Not that I agree with the above, I just find it interesting, compared to what you presented here, Rich.

;-)

Duck!


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38518 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 11:21 AM
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Duck:

I'm guessing that was the year I roomed with my brother. I don't remember you taking an education policy class.

When I look back at my life and it seems that I've had two childhoods - the first when I thought I was being taught what I needed, and the second where I found out things I needed and had to teach myself.

I think it was Newton who said "If I've seen farther, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants". I'm well aware of how much more I could have done in my life with a bit more direction (not blaming anyone - the best you can do is the best you can do). When you are capable of almost anything, you need to establish focus or you risk doing nothing. In some ways I can be compared to a donkey, chained between two bales of hay, who starves to death because he can't decide which to eat first.

My motivation with regard to education is entirely selfish. I'm blessed to have two boys who are perhaps the most intelligent people I've ever met (no brag, just fact). It would be criminal of me not to give them the opportunity to make the most of their gifts.

And I'm rambling. What I want to do is throw things up from time to time and see what sticks. I know what I think and believe. I'm curious as to how others will react. I may be a brilliant analyst ;) but I need outside data points from time to time.

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Author: TheDuckinator Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38522 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 11:46 AM
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I'm well aware of how much more I could have done in my life with a bit more direction (not blaming anyone - the best you can do is the best you can do). When you are capable of almost anything, you need to establish focus or you risk doing nothing.

From what little I know about you, Rich, I think PART of it (not all of it) is from where we came from, geographically and socio-economically. We didn't have a lot of up-front exposure to all the things we could do with our lives, not lots of role-models in "other" fields outside of who we knew in our community.

I'm also just talking about ONE aspect of our lives, that is, our jobs or our daily functions in life. We had a lot of pressure in our childhood world to "be successful" and to "get a good job" in order to have a good, fullfilling life. Not much emphasis was put on enjoying what we did in our jobs.

So I might be diverging from you were trying to make, sorry about that. I'm guessing this is what you're talking about.


I'm blessed to have two boys who are perhaps the most intelligent people I've ever met (no brag, just fact). It would be criminal of me not to give them the opportunity to make the most of their gifts.

I'm not surprised. Your parents were "smarter than the average bear" and they treated you and your brother the same way, from where I was standing.


What I want to do is throw things up from time to time and see what sticks. I know what I think and believe. I'm curious as to how others will react. I may be a brilliant analyst ;) but I need outside data points from time to time.

Even though you went into "computer science" in college, it would not have surprised me in the least if you had gone into law, history, or philosophy instead at the U. of I.. That is, knowing you had a wide background of all kinds of knowledge, I think computer science would have been "too limiting" for you. Or if you DID stick with CS, you would have gone into AI later.

As you put it, the best you can do is the best you can do. Your boys will come out fine. Just like their dad.


Duck






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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38526 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 12:04 PM
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Hadn't intended to put up two articles this quickly, but when it rains....

NPR had a report this morning on how schools are using presentation tools in the classroom.

Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software has become a fixture in many American schools. Some educators say the program forces students to think in bullet points, instead of exploring the complexity of their subjects
http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=1467589

My favorite quote ...better than teaching children how to smoke!

I am reminded of a site which tried to show how the Gettysburg Address might have gone if Lincoln had PowerPoint
http://www.norvig.com/Gettysburg/


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Author: going2win Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38527 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 12:09 PM
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I am reminded of a site which tried to show how the Gettysburg Address might have gone if Lincoln had PowerPoint
http://www.norvig.com/Gettysburg


LOL !

g2w



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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38528 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 12:15 PM
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Although first reacted to stupidly by the school board (or was that a fictionalized component of the story thrown in to hook the movie producers?), it is important to note that he is still in the LA Public Schools.

I think the problem with public schools is that they get no great feedback for doing well. As a result, a LOT of it is done poorly. But it is still possible to have great stuff going on in public schools. Its just that unlike in a successful private institution, the good doesn't push out the bad.

Great story!

Rlaph

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38571 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/16/2003 9:03 PM
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..I think PART of it (not all of it) is from where we came from, geographically and socio-economically....

This reminds me of a friend that I had from the time I was 13. It was the fall of the year when I met him. He was just about to turn 11. He was a really nice kid - and well read for his age. Actually, he was well read for an adult. Over the next several weeks we became good friends; he was bright, articulate, and was able to help me in Literature (always my weak spot). I was fascinated by how much he knew; by the time we met he had read all of Shakespeare, for example. And he didn't do this because he was forced to, he did it volunatarily, understood, and enjoyed it! I could go in to a lot of details about what a well educated, intelligent kid he was, but suffice it to say that he could have probably held his own with an English Lit college professor. And this was at 11.

Over the next several years, our friendship grew closer. He was very articulate, and he was a self-study. He had some difficulties understand some basic concepts of algebra, but once I explained it to him, he soaked up this knowledge, too. He would spend all of his time reading whatever he could - whether it was the Ecyclopedia Britannica or a tube of toothpaste.

By the time he was 18, he was tutoring kids, primarily at Georgia Tech and Georgia State University in Literature - his favorite pasttime.

But what does this have to do with the above statement?

You see, he was a homeless orphan who actively worked to slip through the cracks. He slept outside in the wooded area of a nearby park. He did yard work to make enough money to eat. By the time he 16, he moved in with some friends, and was paying his share of the rent. He more than overcame any "socio-economic" hardships - hardships worse than anyone even thought about on this board. It can be done. All it takes is a choice.

FF

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Author: TheDuckinator Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38581 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 12:09 AM
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He more than overcame any "socio-economic" hardships - hardships worse than anyone even thought about on this board. It can be done. All it takes is a choice.

Actually, FF, I wasn't referring to what WuLong and I had for "socio-economic" backgrounds as being hardships. It was more like we lived in an area that had a single-base economy (or whatever term you wanna make up to say that we really only had one major industry where we lived), the farm implement industry, and everything local around us revolved around it. We weren't quite "hicks", but we weren't quite "exposed to all the wonders of the modern world", either. We lived outside a medium-sized metro area, but in all basic words, out near the farms!

We both did well in our schools, we both did well with what we pursued in college, and we both excelled in our careers (WuLong more than myself, acually). I'm just thinking if we had been "more exposed to the world", say like living in a bigger metropolitan area, we could have had a broader view of things, and as WuLong put it, more accessible data points to guide ourselves by.

I could be wrong, of course, in terms of what I think WuLong was trying to say.


Duck


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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38583 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 2:30 AM
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I wasn't referring to what WuLong and I had for "socio-economic" backgrounds as being hardships.

My apologies for any misuderstanding. I did not intend to suggest that what you or anyone else went through growing up was anything other than what you say it was; rather I was attempting to relay a story that shows people can rise above their circumstances. I actually interpreted the phrase "where we come from" in a more generic sense; I didn't realize you meant it on a more personal level. However, given that you did, whatever disadvantages to which you were subjected, you over came, just as my friend did. I've always wondered what he would have amounted to - but he was killed in a useless act of violence about 6 months after his 18th birthday.

As to growing up in a "one horse town", I have some empathy with that. Both my parents grew up in one horse towns - in the case of my mother, the got up and left. I've had friends who lived in similar situations. They have things that hold them back; but so do people who grow up in medium sized cities and large metropolitian areas. The problems are different, but they are still there. The key is not the problems to which you are subjected; the keys is overcoming them. And it appears that you and WuLong have done just that - and are to be commended for it (as are most of Gwen's patrons).

FF

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38591 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 12:31 PM
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You see, he was a homeless orphan who actively worked to slip through the cracks. He slept outside in the wooded area of a nearby park. He did yard work to make enough money to eat. By the time he 16, he moved in with some friends, and was paying his share of the rent. He more than overcame any "socio-economic" hardships - hardships worse than anyone even thought about on this board. It can be done. All it takes is a choice.

Do you think the only thing that makes him exceptional is the CHOICE he made? He sounds like an unusually talented individual, is that just a matter of choice? Are you smart because you choose to be smart? Is Michael Jordan as good as he is at basketball simply by choice, implying with a different set of choices you could have done as well at basketball as he?

What are your friends politics regarding governmental intervention in the lives of homeless children? If you know, or have the opportunity to ask him, it would be interesting to have an idea what a really smart talented guy who has experienced it thinks.

Raphl

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Author: InLivingColor Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38619 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 2:52 PM
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All it takes is a choice.

Um, no, it takes more than that. This is the kind of thinking which is used to justify pretty much every kind of discrimination on the planet: See that token over there? HE (or SHE) made it ... why can't YOU?

Exceptional people can excel wherever we go, whatever lemons we're handed. That's what makes us "exceptional". When the average person with this trait or that trait, this experience or that experience, can reach a certain goal, only then can we say "All it takes is a choice". Until the average person can do it, too, it takes a lot, lot more than "choice" ... and only some of that "lot more" is "luck of genetic draw".

ILC

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38622 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 3:03 PM
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What are your friends politics regarding governmental intervention in the lives of homeless children? If you know, or have the opportunity to ask him, it would be interesting to have an idea what a really smart talented guy who has experienced it thinks.

He had very clear views of government programs to "help" the unfortunate. That view could best be epitomized by the first sentence which you quoted, "...he was a homeless orphan who actively worked to slip through the cracks. He had no use for them. He made it clear to me that I would never see him again if I ever attempted to get government "help" for him. I would love to ask him about how what he would think about government intervention, though I know his answer would be to end all of them; unfortunately, he died over 20 years ago.

Do you think the only thing that makes him exceptional is the CHOICE he made? He sounds like an unusually talented individual, is that just a matter of choice? Are you smart because you choose to be smart? Is Michael Jordan as good as he is at basketball simply by choice, implying with a different set of choices you could have done as well at basketball as he?

He was a very talented individual; there are not many 11 year olds that can raise themselves; the vast majority of them will end up involved in the drug trade or the sex trade; if they are extremely lucky, they will live to reach their 18th birthday. But if any 11 year old can succeed in this country, especially with the legal barriers present, to me that takes away any excuse from every competent adult. He was intelligent; but he also put forth the effort to learn. Too many people don't use the intelligence they were given - and that is a choice.

It is interesting that you bring up Michael Jordan. He is as good as he is by choice. He was cut from his High School team. So he practiced. And practiced. And practiced. He chose to concentrate on basketball. In college he mangaged to get a walk-on spot on the team. After practice was over, he stuck around and practiced. And practiced. And practiced. Then, unlike most college players, he was given the opportunity to play in the NBA. Again, he practiced. And practiced. And practiced. All of this practicing, which was done by choice, took a kid who was to lousy to make in on his High School team and made him arguably the best basketball player of all time. It was, quite clearly, a choice. Had he chosen to only put in the requisite time, noone would have ever heard of him.

FF

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38646 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 4:26 PM
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Exceptional people can excel wherever we go, whatever lemons we're handed. That's what makes us "exceptional". When the average person with this trait or that trait, this experience or that experience, can reach a certain goal, only then can we say "All it takes is a choice". Until the average person can do it, too, it takes a lot, lot more than "choice" ... and only some of that "lot more" is "luck of genetic draw".

Can everyone be in the top 10% of income? Absolutely not. It is impossible by definition, regardless of the choices they make.

Can everyone be wealthy enough to stop working? Again, absolutely not. Again, impossible by defintion.

Can everyone make enough money to feed, clothe, shelter, provide for routine medical care for his family, educate his children, and have some money for entertainment? ABSOLUTELY! They choose not to, or to over extend themselves before they are ready.

FF

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38652 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 4:45 PM
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It is interesting that you bring up Michael Jordan. He is as good as he is by choice. He was cut from his High School team. So he practiced. And practiced. And practiced. He chose to concentrate on basketball. In college he mangaged to get a walk-on spot on the team. After practice was over, he stuck around and practiced. And practiced. And practiced. Then, unlike most college players, he was given the opportunity to play in the NBA. Again, he practiced. And practiced. And practiced. All of this practicing, which was done by choice, took a kid who was to lousy to make in on his High School team and made him arguably the best basketball player of all time. It was, quite clearly, a choice. Had he chosen to only put in the requisite time, noone would have ever heard of him.

As near as I can tell, CHOOSING without having the talent is as useless as having the talent without choosing.

Laura and I were certainly the best violin players in the elementary school even in 4th grade. We took lessons together. We also each took piano lessons on our own at home. When we would have lessons in 3rd period, we would take the opportunity to not go back to class for 4th period french class (our violin teacher didn't seem to mind). We would spend that 45 minutes taking turns playing piano and violin duets, taking turns that is on who would be at piano and who would be at violin.

We each put a LOT of effort into both instruments. We were BOTH very competitive (I see now in retrospect, at the time I was clueless about myself and about everybody around me).

Fast forward 25 years. I am talking to Laura for the first time in decades. We are talking about the old days. She says something about being very competitive. I ask her what she means, as I never thought of that before. She reminds me that in 5th grade she quit violin. She asks me if I remembered that I had been concert master, and that she had been unable to unseat me in fifth grade, even though we used to trade it off (by winning challenges judged by our conductor/teacher against each other).

Later I realized that I had quit piano lessons and concentrated on violin. Around the same time she had quit violin and concentrated on piano.

You see, working full steam ahead on BOTH instruments, she just got way better on piano than me, and I just got way better on violin. Neither one of us CHOSE to have it work out that way. We both CHOSE to work very hard to be better than the other at BOTH instruments. But seeing what reality was dealing us, we both CHOSE to develop our real talents, and were probably much better at the violin and piano respectively, than we would have been at the piano and violin if we had chosen the other way.

And then I thought to how my skinny friend Jimmy would jump out of trees as though it were effortless, painless, and fun, while I would lumber after him and do it too, but it hurt. 40 years after that I figured out that he could do things physically with no effort that took a toll on me. Probably vice versa too, I would expect, as I lift my 5.5 year old daughter over my head with one hand.

Talent is useless without choice. You've got that part clear in your sights.

But Choice is useless without talent. That is an overstatement, obviously I was able to learn a LOT of piano and could jump out of the trees some of the time etc etc etc. But it is pretty reasonable to believe that no amount of choosing was going to pull me up even with Laura on the piano.

Ralph

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38662 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/17/2003 5:13 PM
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But Choice is useless without talent. That is an overstatement,...

The second part is especially true.

I have never stated that natural abilities don't play a role. In fact, I have clearly stated just the opposite in the past. Perserverence can overcome some lack of ability. Otherwise there wouldn't be 5'6" players in the NBA. People can compensate. People without brawn can use their brains, for example. My point was not, "anyone can be the leader in any field they choose", but "anyone can find an area where they can contribute, and earn a living."

People can chose to recognize their talents and puruse productive work consistant with those talents. People can develop talents they don't already have. Though everyone has their limits, if they are compentent adults, there is some area where they can contribute sufficiently to earn a living. That many chose to puruse areas where they don't stand a chance (imagine "Refrigerator" Perry, the 250 lb linebacker (IIRC) for the Chicago Bears trying to be a jockey), does not mean they could not succeed by making choices consistant with their abilities, planning for alternatives, and perservering.

FF

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38757 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/19/2003 11:00 PM
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OJT vs Child Labor law
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/18/national/18AMIS.html

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38774 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/20/2003 12:40 PM
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Amish teens in sawmills:

I am as vanilla as they come, approximately, I think, growing up in Atheist-Catholic home in Long Island with as much money as anybody on our very middle class block. Educated in Farmingdale public schools which my mother informs me were very highly rated when we first moved there in 1962.

I can remember when I was in high school AND junior high thinking the labor laws prohibiting me from getting a variety of jobs were ludicrous. Fortunately I did not NEED a job in the same sense that many other kids my age living in New York State probably did. In actualyity I worked on and off "off the books" from when I was about 12 until I finally left high school at after I graduated college at about 21 years of age. I also worked "on the books" starting when I was 17 with summer jobs that were legal.

The idea that restrictive child labor laws have NOTHING to do with the mind-harmingly stupid ways most healthy teens spend their hours of leisure is one which should be abandoned.

So a sawmill is 4X as dangerous as the average for industry. So a 14-18 year old is prohibited from working there with this as an argument. And then at the age of 18 he is allowed to join the army, the marines. What is so magic about 14-18 that we should flip-flop from not allowing something which is pretty darn safe, to recruiting him into the military?

To me the "solution" for restrictive labor laws has historically been to take illegal jobs. Did this keep me safer? Or did it only keep me poorer? Or was it mainly to protect jobs for the unionized?

In a world where the only jobs kids take on are illegal by definition and often dangerous (drug dealing?), I would expect it to be possible to reform child labor laws and in so doing actually IMPROVE the statistics on "accidents at work" for 14-18 year olds.

Ralph

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38776 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/20/2003 12:58 PM
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I can remember when I was in high school AND junior high thinking the labor laws prohibiting me from getting a variety of jobs were ludicrous.

You were smart as a kid too. :^)

I would expect it to be possible to reform child labor laws and in so doing actually IMPROVE the statistics on "accidents at work" for 14-18 year olds.

You are so very right.

Sorry I can only rec it once.

FF

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Author: DirtyDingus Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38778 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/20/2003 2:36 PM
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So a sawmill is 4X as dangerous as the average for industry. So a 14-18 year old is prohibited from working there with this as an argument.

It did occur to me as I read the article that this was a dnagerous use of statistics. It arbitrarily lumped small family-owned Amish sawmills with the ones owned by enormous impoersonal corporations and compared the resulting aggregate with "all industry". My guess is that small family owned sawmills are likely to ensure their employees (likely to be relaitves and neighbours) get better apprenticeship/training than a large corporation who will try and obtain the lowest cost workers it can. Apart from anything else if you are employing your relatives/neighbours you have a big social incentive to emphasize workplace safety since if you don't you have to live with seeing the widow/children/... of the accident everytime you go to church.
To me the "solution" for restrictive labor laws has historically been to take illegal jobs. Did this keep me safer? Or did it only keep me poorer? Or was it mainly to protect jobs for the unionized?

In a world where the only jobs kids take on are illegal by definition and often dangerous (drug dealing?), I would expect it to be possible to reform child labor laws and in so doing actually IMPROVE the statistics on "accidents at work" for 14-18 year olds.


I doubt it was a conscious attempt at protecting unionized jobs-I prefer to attribute such things to the law of unintended consequences. But I agree that making child labour illegal just makes it worse for the children who have to work to make ends meet. Not to mention I seem to recall an old saying about "the devil" and "idle hands"...

DD

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Author: Moonage1962 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38779 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/20/2003 3:06 PM
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Thought about passing on this one completely. Then thought I'd just rename it Most Useless of the Day So Far. Then thought about starting a new thread of Moonage Daydreams, but just got lazy and hit reply.

I live in a community in the forest that used to have a huge lumber industry. It was pretty much killed off completely by the Clinton administration. However, in it's heyday, we had a local restaraunt where lots of people would socialize. There was a section of that restaraunt, which I owned for a while, that was coveted more than the others. It was called the Four Fingers Club. You either had to have lost at least one finger working in a sawmill, or be escorted by someone who had. There was a guy named Peanut who sat close to them, but not with them. One day I finally asked why Peanut had to sit outside the Club, and one of the members looked at me as if I were stupid or dangerous, and replied "Can't you see? He lost his whole arm". I never asked them another membership question.

Moon


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38872 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/23/2003 5:58 PM
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How well is the Chicago Public School system preparing its most motivated students for success in the real world? To address this question, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, The Chicago Reporter, and Catalyst teamed up for the first survey of top-ranked graduates throughout the city. Along with presenting the findings of this survey, three valedictorians from three different years --1990, 1995, and 2000, share their experiences of high school, college, and the work world.

http--www.wbez.org-audio_library-ram-chgomat-cm-2001doc4.ram

If it doesn't come up, try http://www.wbez.org/programs/specials/chicagomatters/cm01docsra.asp and click Most Likely to Succeed. For that matter, all of the segments (which last about 30 minutes) are interesting.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38936 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/26/2003 2:31 PM
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Clarence Page - No more excuses for the parents

most of the black and Hispanic students surveyed said they could avoid trouble at home as long as their grades stayed above C-minus.

Most of the whites, by contrast, said their parents would give them a hard time if their children came home with anything less than a B-minus.

By contrast, most of the Asian students, whether immigrant or native-born, said that their parents would be upset if they brought home anything less than an A-minus


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0310260547oct26,1,633397.column?coll=chi-homepagenews2-utl (may require free registration)

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Author: crobinso Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38937 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/26/2003 9:25 PM
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Clarence Page - No more excuses for the parents

most of the black and Hispanic students surveyed said they could avoid trouble at home as long as their grades stayed above C-minus.


Not my parents. And not me.

Charles


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38996 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 10/29/2003 1:25 PM
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It might seem absurd for an economist to dream of catching terrorists. Just as it must have seemed absurd if you were a Chicago schoolteacher, called into an office and told that, ahem, the algorithms designed by that skinny man with thick glasses had determined that you are a cheater. And that you are being fired. Steven Levitt may not fully believe in himself, but he does believe in this: teachers and criminals and real-estate agents may lie, and politicians, and even C.I.A. analysts. But numbers don't.

http://www-news.uchicago.edu/citations/03/030803.levitt-nyt.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39345 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/8/2003 12:19 PM
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What lesson does this teach?
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/South/11/07/school.raid/

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Author: CPAgentPreppie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39346 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/8/2003 12:26 PM
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What lesson does this teach?

That people from SC really are as dumb as I thought.

Agent

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Author: paperairplane Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39347 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/8/2003 12:27 PM
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What lesson does this teach?
-----------
If someone at school pisses you off you should tell the cops they are selling crack in the hall between classes?

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39610 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/12/2003 7:59 PM
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John Merrow reports on the learning achievement gap and how one New York City public school is trying to eradicate it
http://audio.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/newshour/expansion/2003/11/12/gap.rm?altplay=gap.rm

audio only

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39651 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/13/2003 7:09 PM
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John Merrow reports on the learning achievement gap and how one New York City public school is trying to eradicate it
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec03/nyc_11-12.htm

transcription


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39664 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/14/2003 11:39 AM
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Elizabeth Brackett of WTTW-Chicago reports on a new kind of physical education program aimed at helping children live healthier lives
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/jan-june02/pe_3-22.html

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Author: Moonage1962 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39665 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/14/2003 11:43 AM
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The main idea of PE when I was a kid was to teach teamwork while keeping healthy. We played all kinds of games, kids were expected to help each other with physcial challenges, and it was fun, fun, fun. This new PE concept does nothing to teach teamwork, I don't like it all. When you grow up and nobody wants to play with you, that's when you need a treadmill.

Moon


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 39773 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 11/18/2003 8:46 PM
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Debate of AP and IB programs
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56748-2003Nov18.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41229 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 1/29/2004 1:46 PM
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Nashville schools have stopped posting honor rolls, and some are considering a ban on hanging good work in the hallways — at the advice of school lawyers
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001843435_schools25.html

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Author: Moonage1962 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41230 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 1/29/2004 1:52 PM
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Our schools recently re-introduced honor rolls, awards and certificates for outstanding work, and a whole host of other incentives to encourage good academic work, against the advice of lawyers who had one by one had all academic motivation stripped from the school over the last 20 years. To offset the same concerns the lawyers in Nashville had ( lawyers rarely have vision ), our schools also implemented on-line tutoring for students lagging behind, using the logic that the kids aren't stupid, they just don't perform well in institutional settings. The result is a 20% jump in CATS scores and the principal was named one of the Principals of the Year in a national education magazine. Not bad for a school system of less than 1,000 students K-12.

Moon


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Author: crobinso Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41231 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 1/29/2004 2:00 PM
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Ah, nice. Encourage stupidity, squelch academics.

When I went to school, getting on the Honor Roll was not popular either. The only difference is that there were so few people (myself included) on the HR that the rest of the school considered it to be an accomplishment in geekiness. The underachievers were definitely the majority, so their itty-bitty feelings didn't get hurt when their names didn't appear.

Charles


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41422 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 12:06 PM
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Back to Basics vs. Hands-On Instruction - Calif. Rethinks Science Labs


The battleground: California...The issue: broadly, the best way to teach science...The major players: the California Curriculum Commission, which advises the state Board of Education and has recommended new criteria for K-8 textbooks that allow for a maximum of 20 to 25 percent of hands-on material. In opposition are many classroom teachers and scientists -- including leaders of the National Academy of Sciences and the California Science Teachers Association -- who say the recommendation makes no sense in a field that is all about discovery
. (emphasis mine)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6944-2004Feb2.html

I typically put these articles out without comment, but this one really gets my goat. This may be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Why let kids develop a sense of discovery and wonder? Why let them develop a sense of curiosity? Let's just drill facts at them for later regurgitation. Hey, preaching works great in church doesn't it? Of course the kids will pay attention.


Aaaargh.


Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, said the California curriculum commission's recommendation, if approved, would be harmful to students. "They are pushing very hard the dogmatic position of the 'direct instruction' crowd and emphasize what students know, not what they are able to do or understand," he said. "I strongly believe that they will turn even more students off of science and that they will work directly against the vital interests of California business and industry, who need a workforce of high school graduates who are able to solve problems using logic and evidence."

Amen, brother. Amen.

Several curriculum commission members declined to comment

Gee. Imagine that.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41423 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 12:27 PM
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This may be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Why let kids develop a sense of discovery and wonder? Why let them develop a sense of curiosity? Let's just drill facts at them for later regurgitation

I see it as the opposite problem. Schools have abandoned the teaching of necessities that require drill and repetition to learn because they've been afraid of "stifling the creativity" of their students.

A 1965 high school grad, I recently completed a second BA degree, this time in Spanish. Many of my much younger colleagues struggled with the grammar because they had never been taught English grammar, while I had spent many an hour diagramming sentences. When the Spanish prof mentioned dependent adverbial clauses you could hear the eyes begin to roll because few college students knew what these were. Their lack of regimented instruction in H.S. had come back to bite them.

Have you noticed the epidemic of misused apostrophe's? It's a recent phenomena--didn't happen back when grammar was repeatedly drilled.

--fleg

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Author: crobinso Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41424 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 12:43 PM
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Have you noticed the epidemic of misused apostrophe's?

Yes. Yes I have.

Charles


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41436 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 4:05 PM
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fleg:

I have no problem with drill in its proper place. A kid should certainly be able to respond to "What's 9+7?" instantaneously, and the only way to get there is repetitive practice.

This is not the same with science, which by definition requires experiment and verification (a hands-on process). Please would you be so kind as to explain to me how rote memorization will develop that?

The last time I checked, dogma was the bane of the scientific method, or perhaps you have forgotten Galileo?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/galileo/



Charles:
LOL

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Author: JohnGaltII Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41439 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 4:42 PM
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"I strongly believe that they will turn even more students off of science and that they will work directly against the vital interests of California business and industry, who need a workforce of high school graduates who are able to solve problems using logic and evidence."

And Teachers wonder why there is a growing homeschooling trend.

John

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Author: JohnGaltII Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41440 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 4:46 PM
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I see it as the opposite problem. Schools have abandoned the teaching of necessities that require drill and repetition to learn because they've been afraid of "stifling the creativity" of their students.

There are appropriate places for drill and memorization, e.g. grammer and arithmatic, and there are appropriate places for hands-on and creativity, e.g. science, art. The Government School systems (and many private schools, too), seem to get them confused.

John

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41441 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 4:57 PM
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There are appropriate places for drill and memorization, e.g. grammer and arithmatic, and there are appropriate places for hands-on and creativity, e.g. science, art.

FF and I in agreement? Surely, this is a sign of the coming Apocalypse!

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41443 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 5:23 PM
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When I took chemistry and biology both in high school and in college I spent a lot of time memorizing. You have to do that to acquire the basic vocabulary of the sciences so you can simply have a conversation with another without burying your face in a reference book. Or to be able to read a piece of scientific lit.

You need the periodic table at your fingertips like you needed the times table earlier. You need to know the basic structures of stuff, like benzene ring vs. aliphatic (maybe those are the same thing--I don't remember now).

Experiment is essential. Knowing what you're experimenting on and what your results mean requires some level of knowledge, probably acquired by rote to a great extent.

--fleg

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Author: JohnGaltII Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41445 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 5:37 PM
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FF and I in agreement? Surely, this is a sign of the coming Apocalypse!

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which one of us is the broken clock. ;^)

The fact that we do agree, I think, is evidence of the self-evident nature of the stupidity.

John

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41447 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 6:07 PM
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fleg:
You need the periodic table at your fingertips like you needed the times table earlier.

Indeed there is a certain amount of memorization required for an in-depth knowledge of many sciences, particularly those based on biology. The point is that is not earlier that we are talking about. This is contemporaneous. This is for K-8. How many 3rd graders do you expect to recite "Kingdom | Phylum | Class | Order | Family | Genus | Species"?

Do you teach them the periodic table like Athena sprouting from the head of Zeus? Or do you give them a lump of iron and a lump of sulphur and say "This is a metal. This is a non-metal".
Do you let them drop ice into a pot on a hot plate and watch it melt and then boil so they can learn the phase states of solid, liquid and gas?
Do you talk about the water cycle, or do you build a terarium and watch it?
Do you look at pictures of tadpoles becoming frogs, or do you bring some frog eggs into the classroom and watch it for real.


The issue: broadly, the best way to teach science. Specifically, whether a state panel is trying to unduly limit "hands-on" instruction (lab experiments and practical projects) in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of a back-to-basics movement.

(all emphasis mine)

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41450 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 6:42 PM
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California is to centrally controlled education what the Soviet Union was to centrally controlled economies.

There is SO much more I could say about this topic, but why pollute a perfectly good one-liner.

Ralph

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41451 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 6:48 PM
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Indeed there is a certain amount of memorization required for an in-depth knowledge of many sciences, particularly those based on biology. The point is that is not earlier that we are talking about. This is contemporaneous. This is for K-8. How many 3rd graders do you expect to recite "Kingdom | Phylum | Class | Order | Family | Genus | Species"?

I can still remember in 4th grade when Mr. Hall put the teacup filled with cold water under the bell jar and opened the valve to evacuate the chamber. Gosh DARN if that water didn't boil! And then he released the vacuum and handed the cup around to the classroom. It was cold!

Since then, I got a PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech (best scientific institution in the UNIVERSE in case you hadn't heard).

Read Feynman's book especially about his walks with his father.

As far as I'm concerned, you memorize stuff AFTER you love it. It doesn't even FEEL like memorization at that point.

Ralph

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Author: JohnGaltII Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41457 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/17/2004 9:14 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, you memorize stuff AFTER you love it. It doesn't even FEEL like memorization at that point.

Ralph,

Haven't seen you on the boards for a while. Welcome back. I only wish I could give you more than one rec. ;^)

John

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41471 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 11:53 AM
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Read Feynman's book especially about his walks with his father

You are perhaps aware that Dr. Feynaman served on the California Curriculum Commission in the 1960's and discussed his experiences in his best selling book, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." (p. 297-298)

http://www.sci-ed-ga.org/standards/Feynman.html

But that's the way the books were: They said things that were useless, mixed-up, ambiguous, confusing, and partially incorrect. How anybody can learn science from these books, I don't know because it's not science."


You may be interested in "Efforts of General Atomics Scientists to Improve California K-12 Science Education and Additional Background Information about the California Science Standards and California Science Framework"
http://www.sci-ed-ga.org/standards/

FWIW:
I have no problem with applying rigor to science education. Indeed I applaud it. I doubt, however, that such rigor will occur by reducing hands-on experimentation. We'll just have more books saying "Energy makes it go" which the children can recite happily as they eat their soma and become good little proles.


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41472 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 12:56 PM
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I'm not sure I agree with everything Deborah Meier has to say, but she pretty well sums up my problems with the American education system.

My concern then, as now, was that few kids in America, and especially few of those attending working-class or low-income schools, got the kind of education that prepared them to be powerful members of the ruling class. In a democracy that should be the nonnegotiable central goal of public schooling. The kind of schooling I got (including my home schooling) prepared me for what I view to be the central functions of education in a democracy: to know how to exercise judgment on matters of considerable complexity, not to mention uncertainty. The schools I subbed at in Chicago in the mid-60s were, at best, focused on right/wrong answers, memorization, dutifulness and social adjustment. I did not believe this was inevitable

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47699-2004Feb17.html


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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41474 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 2:16 PM
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FWIW:
I have no problem with applying rigor to science education. Indeed I applaud it. I doubt, however, that such rigor will occur by reducing hands-on experimentation. We'll just have more books saying "Energy makes it go" which the children can recite happily as they eat their soma and become good little proles.


Wu Long,

Whoops, I committed obfuscating reply sin #4:

I was supporting your ideas, replying sort of counter to a post you were quoting. So the fact that my reply was "officially" a reply to your post should not be lead to infer disagreement with you.

I think hands on is GREAT. I am totally with you on that. My oldest attends kindergarten in Encinitas school district in a GREAT kindergarten (thank you Mrs. Evans.) I volunteered there the other morning and, for example, they were taking bunches of candies, grouping them by coloring, counting them, tabulating results by color and... making a bar chart of their results. They were also counting beans, candies etc. up to 100, making 10 piles of 10. Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN.

You want to know how to add? You MIGHT be able to teach it without "stuff," remember, fingers count as "stuff," although more "on-hands" than "hands-on." But you want to know WHY to add? Count stuff.

As long as it won't starve us or get us jailed, my kids will attend classrooms with an extraordinarily rich environment of stuff to put their hands on. And as long as (idiot) Sacramento tries to make that harder, I will work with my school district and against the (idiot) idiots in Sacramento.

Educational directives from Sacramento are exceeded only in stupidity by the funding system for schools in California.

Ralph

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41476 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 2:51 PM
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I'm not sure I agree with everything Deborah Meier has to say, but she pretty well sums up my problems with the American education system.

You the man! I just spent a pleasant 45 minutes reading and browsing and I bought two of her books.

I'm not sure I agree with everything she has to say, but I would be willing to bet based on what I have seen so far that I would rather have my kid in a school run by her than in a school run by me. (My own personal argument against home schooling.)

Some of the things I do agree with:

Testing is a fetish, not valuable for kids, and wasting of ridiculously scarce resources.

Kids should be educated to be leaders, not socialized into worker-bee positions in society. Full participation in democracy is a leadership skill, not a followership skill.

I'm sure there's more.

Ralhp


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41478 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 3:03 PM
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Ralph:

Whoops, I committed obfuscating reply sin #4

No you didn't, though it appears I did. I was well aware of your position, and attempted to expand on it with the reference to Feynman's book where he savaged the typical science text text pablum of "Energy makes it go".

The FWIW was directed toward fleg. I understand a desire for a rigorous approach to science and feel it is better served by the hands-on approach. A book/lecture-centric approach (imho) is more likely to result in the type of silliness Dr. Feynman deplored. Sorry for the confusion.

They were also counting beans, candies etc. up to 100, making 10 piles of 10. Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN.

Yeah. Ain't it great? Never did that in my time. I like the 100th day of school, where everyone has to bring in a collection of 100 somethings to get an idea of how big 100 is. I'd always considered estimation to be severely understressed in math. Have you read Innumeracy? http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/maths/paulosja.htm

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41480 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 4:05 PM
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Yeah. Ain't it great? Never did that in my time. I like the 100th day of school, where everyone has to bring in a collection of 100 somethings to get an idea of how big 100 is. I'd always considered estimation to be severely understressed in math. Have you read Innumeracy? http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/maths/paulosja.htm

This is indeed right around the 100th day of kindergarten, I think I was in the class a few days afterwards, but they were still all jazzed up about 100.

The thing I love moreso than estimation is the sounding things out and writing them. On my wall above my desk

mivos role Julia Cramden
win
to
frie
for
fiyf
sis
sivin
oiyt
nin
ten

Which translates to
"Marvelous Rules by Julia Cramden"
and I'll leave the rest to the reader.

I watch my daughter's kindergarten class and I ask myself: where is the crisis? If (idiot) underfunded California can produce this classroom, how bad can it really be? Of course in Encinitas with 100 volunteers a day in the school, we have a lot of stealth funding and stealth local control, which I expect downtown Sandy Eggo and LA do not benefit from as richly.

I love that little girl.

Ralph

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41481 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 4:32 PM
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What if we made a change in assumptions? That the number of students passing and failing is a measure of the teacher's competence rather than student competence. Put the emphasis on the teaching ability and then reward those competent teachers.

How many teachers did you (that's you as in all here) have that stood out because they were as dumb as a doorpost and why? Sure, we remember the teacher(s) that inspired yet in my years of schooling (admittedly few) two stand out as mentors yet the bulk were decidedly the wrong person at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Looking back I realize it must have been as frustrating for them as it was for us students yet they were there again the next year doing the same old same old until they retired.

Conversely, which teacher and how made you better by bringing out your abilities?

MichaelR




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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41482 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 5:37 PM
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How many teachers did you (that's you as in all here) have that stood out because they were as dumb as a doorpost and why? Sure, we remember the teacher(s) that inspired yet in my years of schooling (admittedly few) two stand out as mentors yet the bulk were decidedly the wrong person at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Looking back I realize it must have been as frustrating for them as it was for us students yet they were there again the next year doing the same old same old until they retired.

Conversely, which teacher and how made you better by bringing out your abilities?


Great questions!

I must have been very lucky. In the Farmingdale Public schools (Long Island, New York) I had precisely ONE teacher who stood out as stupid. Even in her case, her mistake was thinking
1) She wanted to teach the advanced English class in 8th grade
2) She should attempt to prove to us that she was smarter than us.
After her experience which was pretty clearly more traumatic for her than for anyone in our class, she returned to teaching English to the kids who were probably not heading to college, and she was happier and they were happier.

I found it remarkable returning to my high school after I had been graduated with my PhD. My 10th grade math teacher, who was EXCELLENT, I learned a LOT from him, was totally blown away when I even told him WHAT math classes I had taken on my merry way. It was ASTOUNDING to me just how much value I had taken from his class when in fact he was teaching at near the limit of his competence. I concluded from that and other things that you are BETTER off having someone teach you who is not too far away from their own learning of the material.

I suppose my 4th grade science teacher wasn't going to win any Trivial Pursuit games, but I learned a lot from him. I would get into arguments with him, I can remembering arguing about what Mechanical Advantage meant. My recollection is that he said you don't have to work as hard when you have mechanical advantage, whereas obviously you do the SAME amount of work with and without M.A. Perhaps he would recall the argument differently. But I learned a lot that year, and I have to say it couldn't have been bad for me to engage in honest argument with a grown up science teacher.

My WORST experience with a teacher was 4th grade where it was probably mostly me. The class was WAY intense. I flunked a quarter of reading because I lost a list we were supposed to record the books we read on. I never told her I lost it because I was way too anxious, and then finally the day we needed to turn it in came and I told her I had lost it long ago. She flunked me because I should've asked her for another one and filled it in.

But the good side of that killer 4th grade is that when I went to Swarthmore College and watched the other freshmen wandering around wailing and gnashing their teeth, I was quite happy with the challenge thinking to myself well OBVIOUSLY it is harder than high school, which was about as hard as falling off a log, but it did not compare in pain to 4th grade.

I've been lucky.

Ralph

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41483 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/18/2004 6:50 PM
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MichaelR:

Put the emphasis on the teaching ability and then reward those competent teachers

The problem with this is in defining "competence". Most teachers I had were competent, meaning they could present the material, pace their lesson plan to get through it during the school year, and have students capable of getting a 64% on their test scores (lowest D, passing).

To my mind, this is not sufficient.

My classes were divided into 3 distinct social groups. The first were the "smart" kids. They probably would get the 64% if they were given the tests the first day, without even seeing the material. These kids paid attention when they had to, and on those rare occasions when the teacher had something new/interesting to say, but for the most part they were learning independent of the teaching plan by reading things they were interested in and talking with each other. There was never any question of their succeeding (in terms of grade-level standards) and the teacher let them go their own way.

The second group were the "lagards". These were usually the discipline problems. They were bored, didn't want to be in school, didn't want to read or do math, and were determined to do the minimum to get by. These kids absorbed the majority of the teachers' time. One is tempted to question the cost/benefit ratio of this approach, but doing so risks accusasions of "blaming the victim".

Finally, there was the third group af average kids. This group probably was the least served by the system. They were capable of moving forward with appropriate instruction, but were hindered by the "lowest common denominator" approach the teacher was forced to employ.

Now, I am four-square in favor of terminating incompetent teachers (with extreme prejudice). But how many do you think there are? 5%, maybe. I don't see that as making an extreme difference in the system. No, I see the problem as structural. I believe that teachers are not given the tools to be successful for a variety of reasons. These include budget, politics, bureaucracy and philosophy.

It's the old story of being better to fight fires than prevent them.

Performance and meritocracy are all very good to talk about, but there are real-world considerations which are seldom included in the discussion. One need only watch "Survivor" or "Apprentice" to learn that in an extremely competitive environment an individual's best strategy is to avoid becoming a target. My child's principal is reviewed on performance factors annually. In practical terms this means that her contract will not be renewed if she comes to the attention of the district. Parents may complain about problems but doing things correctly is expected and parents won't call in praise. As a consequence, this woman is unwilling to do anything that is "different". She wants one-size-fits all solutions and policy that she can fall back on if things go wrong.

So what do I do?

I lobby. Constantly. Free-the-teachers-build-on-success-expand-do-more. I make certain that everyone in that school knows I am willing to raise my personal issues to the highest level and make their lives miserable if that becomes necessary. I also contribute my time and effort in the classroom, the PAL program and the PTA to show I'm more than willing to contribute. I build political capital and I use political capital.

And part of that is putting up these articles from time to time. Some of them strike a chord and are worth persuing, while others fall flat. I choose to fight only those battles I can win, and this helps me qualify what those may be.

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41496 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/19/2004 4:52 PM
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So what do I do?

I lobby. Constantly. Free-the-teachers-build-on-success-expand-do-more. I make certain that everyone in that school knows I am willing to raise my personal issues to the highest level and make their lives miserable if that becomes necessary. I also contribute my time and effort in the classroom, the PAL program and the PTA to show I'm more than willing to contribute. I build political capital and I use political capital.

And part of that is putting up these articles from time to time. Some of them strike a chord and are worth pursuing, while others fall flat. I choose to fight only those battles I can win, and this helps me qualify what those may be.

WuLong


I understand the emotion, what I don't understand is the necessity of the necessity. Why should it be so uphill? I can answer my own question by saying that schooling is skewed by entrenched unions and beset on occasion by radical experimental waves that crash yet I find it hard to believe a system can exist while not having a positive feedback mechanism showing the results of its actions.

It's not that I am against the school system as it is because it does – for some – instill what a school system should: a lifelong love of learning. Yet the percentage of those not grasping this is too damn high. The dropout rate in BC is 30 percent yet more than half of those come back into the system after a year experiencing the outside world. What did they learn that brought them back that weren't taught to them before choosing to drop out?

A few quotes, some a propos:

“How can you teach Milton to a class in heat?” Northrop Frye.

“The only way to get a decent high school education in Canada these days is to go to university.” Charlie McKenzie

“If the public was informed about what's going on in our schools, they'd burn down the Ministry of Education and shoot everyone in it.” Harry Jiles

“We should try to get our money's worth out of the schools. It's ridiculous having them stand idle twelve months of the year.” Richard Needham

MichaelR





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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41497 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/19/2004 7:02 PM
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MichaelR:

I want to respond to you quickly, but I also hope to write something more expansive later.


The dropout rate in BC is 30 percent yet more than half of those come back into the system after a year experiencing the outside world. What did they learn that brought them back that weren't taught to them before choosing to drop out?

You know the answer to that as well as I do. There are three types areas of knowledge: Things you know, Things you realize you don't know, and Things you don't realize that you don't know. It is always the things that you don't know you don't know that bite you.

Kids think they know everything. Such has ever been the case, and so will it be forever and ever, amen. As such, they hardly need school. What they need is a chance to prove themselves. Or so they think. Then they run headlong into how tough it really is. Then they either think "hey school wasn't so bad after all" or (better yet) they realize some of what they don't know and go back to school to get it.

Experience is a hard teacher, but fools will learn from no other.

... schooling is skewed by entrenched unions and beset on occasion by radical experimental waves that crash

The unions try to expand pay and reduce work hours for their members, like any other union. That may increase the cost of education, but it has little to do with the education itself. The radical waves do occur from time to time, but they don't really have that much effect because it turns out that the teachers don't really implement them. They take the texts and do a bit here and there, but for the most part they teach what they've taught before because they understand it. Inertia is as inertia does.

...what I don't understand is the necessity of the necessity. Why should it be so uphill?

Why is anything hard? Haven't you noticed how mediocre the world is? Excellence anywhere is a precious commodity, damn hard to come by.

various sound bites about how bad education is

I'm actually of the opinion that education isn't all that bad. Politicians have created a perception that it is truly horrible, but when I look at it things pretty much seem to be the same as they ever were. They are not, however, excellent, and I think they could be.

(FWIW - why would a politician do that? So you'll elect him to fix it? So you won't look at other issues? hmmmm, so many reasons for demagoguery)

Part of the problem is definitions. What is "education"? How educated does someone need to be? What should be required? What should be an option? What should be offered and what left out?

Most kids graduate high school able to read and write English at an acceptable level, and able to understand basic algebra. Is that not sufficient? Of course, its not excellent.

My high school offered physics, but didn't actually teach it for nearly 10 years because not enough people ever signed up. About 4 students were denied each year. Tell me those kids had a real chance of getting into Cal Tech. Yet how does teacher competency enter into this? It doesn't.

Ultimately, no single teacher has that great an impact on any child, because that teacher is transient - there for a year and gone. The parent has enormous impact. Parental involvement is the biggest factor in determining a child's success. But I seldom see more than 10% of the parents at any school activity. Hmmmmm. Maybe there's a link?

Teaching is the parent's job. Schools and teachers are assistants in the process. In the business world do you just let your assistants go merrily their own way, or do you direct them? I think most people want to delegate and forget, treating school as a place to warehouse kids until they can be sent out on their own. It just doesn't work that way.


Ralph:

Thanks, for telling me I'm the man, but it's more than a day later and I see that you still haven't rec'd that post ;)

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Author: Eldrehad Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41498 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/19/2004 7:31 PM
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The unions try to expand pay and reduce work hours for their members, like any other union.

Also characteristic of just about any other union is the desire to protect the jobs of the union members, even in the face of substandard performance of said members.

I honestly believe that the majority of our teachers are hardworking, and are doing the best jobs they possibly can. I know I have certainly been blessed to be taught by more than a few of them.

But if we are going to have an honest discussion of unions, then let's have it. Yes, teachers' unions try to expand pay and reduce work hours for their members, like any other union. And while these two union goals may have little to do with education itself, the propensity for unions to act to protect jobs, even in the face of underperformance, is also not uncommon in teachers' unions.

You are indeed right, in the grand scheme of things there isn't a marked difference between the teachers' union and any other - but in making that statement we have to face the facts and consider the good implications, as well as the bad.

Regards,

Eldrehad


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Author: Trick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41501 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/20/2004 12:35 AM
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Knowing what you're experimenting on and what your results mean requires some level of knowledge, probably acquired by rote to a great extent.

Not really. Only in college sophomore level organic chemistry is a lot or memorization necessary. If you saw a lot of that in high school chemistry, you probably didn't have a teacher who knew much chemistry.

Rick

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41504 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/20/2004 11:31 AM
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Eldrehad:

Don't think I've seen you in here before. Welcome and have a seat. Gwen, I believe the first drink is on the house?

the propensity for unions to act to protect jobs, even in the face of underperformance, is also not uncommon in teachers' unions.

My first reaction when I see someone drag out the "unions are evil" argument is to wonder about the presenter's hidden agenda. Typically, there is no real evidence/examples given. Rather, one sees high-level anecdotes about wasteful protectionism which harms the consumer. While this is true, I doubt the damage is truly that great. I've suggested that eliminating all incompetent teachers would result in maybe 5%, which is hardly an earthshaking revolution. Further, how much of that 5% is the result of union policies? If the unions didn't exist, that number would be what, 4%? Unions are imperfect (as are we all), but they aren't the greatest problem.

So what's the hidden agenda? Well, unions tend to support Dems with both workers and dollars. Anti-union debaters tend to be Repubs. In any contest one seeks to limit the resources of one's opponent. Ah, demagoguery.

OK then.
With all that being said, there are indeed individual districts where incompetence is rampant and unions need to accept their share of the blame. Chicago is an obvious example. William Bennett once called it the worst in the country. In the mid 90's I went to the the Local School Council meetings at Senn Academy (high school). These were part of the reform movement where a council made up of parents and neighborhood residents controlled certain disbursements and hired/fired the principal.
I realized within 5 minutes that the principal was incompetent as an educator. She was, however, masterful at manipulating people. She overloaded the agenda, dropped surprise budget requests with artificial urgency, dragged out meaningless trivia, cut off discussion an items where she might be held accountable... it was amazing and sickening at the same time.
One of the items for discussion was installing surveillance cameras in the hallways. Apparently teachers weren't willing to watch students between classes and union rules said teachers were responsible for students in their classroom, only. I've not seen the contract so I don't know if that was actually true. However I can imagine situations where, were I a teacher, I would be extremely protective of my specific students, doing everything I could for them, and having no desire to help this principal by taking on more tasks which would dilute my attention to my students. That reaction would be neither incompetence nor excessive union interference.

Since then, I understand Paul Vallas (now in PA) did a masterful job of improving the schools in Chicago.

So what am I trying to say? Things are hard. Every situation is different. There are no simple answers. One needs to look at the system as a whole, define what one wants, and work to create that. People don't naturally think in terms of systems. They want a simple cause/effect model. Unfortunately the causes and effects may be separated in time and space and not be obvious. I strongly recommend The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385260954/





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Author: Eldrehad Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41510 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/20/2004 12:23 PM
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Don't think I've seen you in here before. Welcome and have a seat. Gwen, I believe the first drink is on the house?

Oh, I've been known to pop in from time to time, but it has been a while. Don't tell Gwen though, maybe we can fool her into thinking I'm a first-timer and I can still get that free drink.

My first reaction when I see someone drag out the "unions are evil" argument is to wonder about the presenter's hidden agenda.

I hope you didn't get the impression that I was making that kind of argument. Unions, like almost all institutions, are neither inherently evil nor always only beneficial. There are good aspects of them, and ones that are not so good, and that we could stand to fix and/or improve. All I was suggesting is that saying the teachers' union 'merely' fights for better wages and working conditions is missing the very real implication that also like most unions, they often strive to protect their members even in the face of underperformance.

If we're going to look at the good, and I do absolutely believe that unions have done, and continue to do, some very good things - it behooves us to also take a critical eye to the not so good.

So what's the hidden agenda? Well, unions tend to support Dems with both workers and dollars. Anti-union debaters tend to be Repubs. In any contest one seeks to limit the resources of one's opponent. Ah, demagoguery.

A condition that is running particularly rampant at the moment in my state, California, as a result of the budget crisis.

Now, in all fairness I'm a Republican, and I know this is getting OT for this thread, but since you brought up this phenomenon, I will tell you that I am particulary displeased with some of the things the teachers' union is presently doing in this state with regard upcoming elections, and one ballot proposal in particular.

The teachers' union out here is one of the primary funders of a political advertising campaign in favor of a particular ballot initiative. Now, I don't have a problem with teachers' unions taking stances on political issues, far from it. What I do have a serious problem with, however, is the factually correct yet intentionally misleading nature of this particular advertising campaign. I am not talking about 'huffing' or promoting one's own side or viewpont. That is absolutely fair. What the teachers' union is doing, though, is pushing a ballot initiative for one reason, a reason they know will be unpopular with the voting public, so they never mention that provision of the initiative at all - and funding an ad campaign that completely ignores this aspect of the measure, which is their real motivation, and focuses entirely on some 'window dressing' features added to the bill that have a much more minor impact, but which the union feels will be popular with the voters.

It is dispicable.

Okay, OT rant over.

But again, all I was saying is that if we want to talk about unions, the teachers' unions in particular, let us have an honest discussion of the beneficial aspects as well as the detrimental. Characterizing unions as organizations that 'merely' try to get better pay and reduce hours for their members isn't really a critical examination of their role in our education system.

Again, I am not one of the 'unions are evil' crowd (though sometimes unions have indeed done evil things). All I was suggesting was that if we want to discuss unions, a 'unions are merely organizations trying to get better pay and benefits' stance is really no more truthful than is a 'unions are evil' stance.

Regards,

Eldrehad








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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41573 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 1:38 PM
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The teachers' union out here is one of the primary funders of a political advertising campaign in favor of a particular ballot initiative. Now, I don't have a problem with teachers' unions taking stances on political issues, far from it. What I do have a serious problem with, however, is the factually correct yet intentionally misleading nature of this particular advertising campaign. I am not talking about 'huffing' or promoting one's own side or viewpont. That is absolutely fair. What the teachers' union is doing, though, is pushing a ballot initiative for one reason, a reason they know will be unpopular with the voting public, so they never mention that provision of the initiative at all - and funding an ad campaign that completely ignores this aspect of the measure, which is their real motivation, and focuses entirely on some 'window dressing' features added to the bill that have a much more minor impact, but which the union feels will be popular with the voters.

It is dispicable.


Please give me something to google on. There's lots of us californian voters here, I am planning to go in on march 2 and vote the PTA recommendations and also vote for Arnold's propositions.

As annoyed as you are at the ad campaign, do you actually think the proposal they are pushing should be voted down?

Anyway, which proposal is it?

Thanks,
Ralhp

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Author: Eldrehad Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41581 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 2:37 PM
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Anyway, which proposal is it?

It's Prop. 56

As annoyed as you are at the ad campaign, do you actually think the proposal they are pushing should be voted down?

I absolutely do.

Prop. 56 does a number of things. First, it lowers the threshold for passing budgets (and tax increases) from a 2/3 vote of the legislature to only 55%. Additionally, it also has a couple of 'minor' provisions relating to not paying legislators if the budget is late, and calls for reporting budgetary votes on the sample ballots that are being mailed out.

The real meat of the proposition though, the part of the proposition that will have the greatest impact is the lowering of the threshold, and that is virtually never mentioned in any of the ads that the teachers' union is funding.

The reason is simple, the teachers' union knows that the 2/3 rule is very popular in the state. I don't have a link, but independant polling data shows that Californians like this rule and don't want to see the threshold lowered by a roughly 70 to 30 margin.

So instead, the teachers' union ads push it as an 'anti gridlock' law and tout the fact that it will suspend pay for legislators if they are late with the budget.

Yeah, the bill will end gridlock all right, by giving the Democrats in the legislature complete and total power over the budget and tax increases because Democrats hold nearly 2/3 of the seats in both houses of the legislature. The fact is that the teachers' union and others want to get us out of this budget crisis by tax increases, and the Republicans are barely able, as the result of the 2/3 rule, to block them. The Democrats, and the teachers' union, want to change this.

That's fine, that's fair.

Their ad campaign isn't. If they think taxes should be raised to give schools additional funding, or to stave off budget cuts, that's fine. They should say that. They should say that they are behind a move to lower the threshold to 55% because the Republicans have been stonewalling tax increases and they think that changing this rule will allow the legislature to pass the kind of tax increases that will be necessary to solve the fiscal crisis without cutting programs.

But that's not what they are doing.

They are not even mentioning the 55% rule at all in their ads, or extremely rarely, and it's only the most significant part of the entire proposition, by a very, very wide margin.

I, for one, don't think giving the Democrats in the legislature everything they want and completely marginalizing the Republicans is a smart move... after all, it is the Democratic legislature that got us into this mess.

But at the very least, the teachers' union could have the honesty to say, "We don't think budget cuts are the answer, the programs, including the schools, are too important. We think we should solve this problem with temporary tax increases, and lowering the threshold to 55% will give us the tool we need to accomplish this."

That would be fair.

The only problem is they know they'd lose.

So they resort to smoke and mirrors instead.

Regards,

Eldrehad







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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41583 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 2:56 PM
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The real meat of the proposition though, the part of the proposition that will have the greatest impact is the lowering of the threshold, and that is virtually never mentioned in any of the ads that the teachers' union is funding.

The reason is simple, the teachers' union knows that the 2/3 rule is very popular in the state. I don't have a link, but independant polling data shows that Californians like this rule and don't want to see the threshold lowered by a roughly 70 to 30 margin.

So instead, the teachers' union ads push it as an 'anti gridlock' law and tout the fact that it will suspend pay for legislators if they are late with the budget.


Thanks for the info on 56.

I do plan on voting in FAVOR of 56.

I would rather see the budget voting and tax increasing done by a simple majority.

I think that California schools are a TRAVESTY and a SHAME. I think the suggestion that great or even good schools can be maintained with any consistency in the richest state in the union, when they are funded at a low level, is lucidrous. If 60% of californian's are with me, I'd like to see that changed. If 55% of californian's are with me, I'd like to see that change. If 34% of californian's can't be bothered to note the correlation between strangling the schools and their decline, I say t'hell with them, and get them the #()?& out of the way of the rest of us.

On the one hand, I am like Wu Long in that I know I am right, and it really isn't a matter of whether 67% or 55% or even 25% of other Californian's agree with me, I would vote for ANYTHING that would improve school funding in the state of California right now. The ACTUAL mechanism of education of the vast majority of the children in this state is more important that any political bullfertilizer. If I could rip prop. 13 out by its roots I would. Not that there is anything magically right about property tax or local control of schools, although I am a fan of local control. But before prop. 13 we had the best schools in the US, and anybody who thinks ripping out the funding, moving control to a bunch of dildos in sacramento, and underfunding for decades is NOT related to the decline of the schools really really REALLY should be discouraged from voting.

On the other hand, I am OBVIOUSLY a republican, can't conceive of voting for any democrat that I have yet heard of against Bush, am in love with Arnold and with what he is doing for politics and government in this state.

We have great schools at least at the elmentary level in Encinitas. But that is accomplished through an employee:volunteer ration which approaches 1:1 at the low elementary grades, a parent-funded "foundation" which pays for music and art teachers. What of the students in the cities? What of the students whos parents actually make like 1/4 per hour what I make? Yikes! The "solution" in Encinitas is not exportable outside a rather nice wealthy professional neighborhood.

But at the very least, the teachers' union could have the honesty to say, "We don't think budget cuts are the answer, the programs, including the schools, are too important. We think we should solve this problem with temporary tax increases, and lowering the threshold to 55% will give us the tool we need to accomplish this."

Personally I am very comfortable with proponents selling the positives and opponents selling the negatives. If the teacher's ought be emphasizing the "truth" of runaway spending if a smaller supermajority was to have its way, then the OPPONENTS should have to run ads about the stupidity of allowing 34% of the voters to prevent any possibility of having a public education system that even Alabama might be proud of. (Sorry alabamams, I meant to say Mississippians. :)

Ralhp

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Author: Eldrehad Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41586 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 3:55 PM
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I do plan on voting in FAVOR of 56.

I hope you are prepared for your tax bill. I'd suggest saving some additional money now.

I think that California schools are a TRAVESTY and a SHAME. I think the suggestion that great or even good schools can be maintained with any consistency in the richest state in the union, when they are funded at a low level, is lucidrous.

Then let's get a handle on the real root cause of this problem, immigration.

Regards,

Eldrehad




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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41587 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 4:16 PM
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Then let's get a handle on the real root cause of this problem, immigration.

To the uneducated mind, appears to be a non sequitur.

Care to educate me?

Ralph

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Author: Eldrehad Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41588 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/23/2004 4:23 PM
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To the uneducated mind, appears to be a non sequitur.

Care to educate me?


Our laws demand that we educate all children, regardless of their own immigration status of the immigration status of their parents. I don't have a problem with this, it is a good thing.

But also true is the fact that illegal immigrants don't make the same kind of money, and don't pay the same amount of taxes in either absolute or relative terms as their legal counterparts.

This is causing a huge strain on our social services budget, and education is no exception. There is a growing number of people who are receiving social services and taking more out of the system than they are putting in.

To talk about this problem, though, is political suicide - not to mention the fact that you'll in all likelihood be labeled as a racist.

If illegal immigration could be stopped, there would be a lot more money in the social services system, per capita, than there is now - including more money per pupil for education.

Regards,

Eldrehad



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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41632 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/24/2004 7:40 PM
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Illinois voters overwhelmingly disagree with Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan to gut the Illinois State Board of Education and take over its powers, despite the governor's claims that the move would improve accountability and efficiency in school spending
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0402240326feb24,1,5333411.story?coll=chi-news-hed

See, some times the people do recognize a blatant power grab.

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41633 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 2/24/2004 7:45 PM
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Illinois voters overwhelmingly disagree with Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan

You have to understand that this statement means that 137.6% of the voters (living and dead) disagree with the Gov. The other 20.2% thought the plan might work.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42040 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/3/2004 11:57 AM
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Clarence Page: TV president has embraced school vouchers
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0403030244mar03,1,2947887.column?coll=chi-homepagenews2-utl
(may require free registration)

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42200 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/5/2004 7:22 PM
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And then, very gradually, as he continued to look for ways to improve, he saw he was getting better. More of his students dropped by after school, making small talk and asking for extra help. He was getting them to appreciate the higher standard they had to meet, and putting in the time to meet it.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22602-2004Mar2.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42290 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/9/2004 6:21 PM
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IN 1987, Will Fitzhugh started The Concord Review, a scholarly publication that printed the best high school history research papers in America....He fears the high school research paper is on the verge of extinction, shoved aside as students prepare for the five-paragraph essays now demanded on state tests
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/03/education/03education.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/03/education/03education.html?pagewanted=2

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42390 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 12:43 PM
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This is a wake-up call for U.S. workers to redouble their efforts at education and research.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/11/opinion/11FRIE.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fThomas%20L%20Friedman
(may require free registration - available free for 7 days)

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42391 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 1:32 PM
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This is a wake-up call for U.S. workers to redouble their efforts at education and research.

I'm sorry, but in order to answer this wake-up call people will have to learn new answers to the questions:

Who is responsible for your current situation?

Who is it that will fix your problems?

Who will make sure your children have a better life?

Who is the cause of your child's lack of basic math and/or reading skills?

Who is to blame for you not having the job/education you want?

Who is it that most threatens your livelihood?

Who has the cause of your weight problem? or health problems?

The answer today by a huge majority is someone other than myself. It comes out as "Those greedy executives", "The government", "My parents", "The schools", "Foreign Workers", "Free trade", "Republicans", and "Democrats". It too seldom comes out as "I am". You may hear, "I am the reason that I am successful." You seldom hear, "My eating habits and lack of excercise make my 5'11" and 255 lbs.", "I am the only one that can change my life for the better", "I will ensure my child learns, even if I have to do it myself.", "I am the reason that I will have to work 2 jobs to support my spending habits."

The real answer most often is "I" or, perhaps, "we." The given answer tends to be "not me" or "not us." Until the given answer changes, we will continue down the road we are on.

JWIA -- Who truly is an optimist.

P.S. I am the reason for being 5'1" and 255 pounds.
P.P.S. I am also the reason that it is down from 280 three years ago.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42392 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 1:48 PM
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FWIW:

You are responsible for your own actions. You. No one else.
If you commit evil, the stain is upon your own soul.

There may be an explanation, but there is no excuse.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20353807

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42393 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 1:58 PM
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A post like that earns a rec and inclusion in my favorites list.

JWIA

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42394 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 2:02 PM
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Really? What happens if I say "DaBEARS!!!" ;)

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42395 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/12/2004 3:18 PM
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I am a truly open-minded individual. I understand that each team needs some fans in order for the Packers to have teams to beat, er play against. As long as you are willing to take the blame, er credit for your personal choice; I am willing to accept your flaws along with your genius.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42446 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/15/2004 11:39 AM
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Attention Pre-K Slackers: in the increasingly urgent world of public education, is nap time a luxury that 4-year-olds no longer can afford?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58706-2004Mar14.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42447 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/15/2004 11:50 AM
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Two in one day.

Jon Runnalls won Montana's "Teacher of the Year" award last year. But even though he has been teaching science to middle schoolers for nearly three decades, he fails to meet the Bush administration's definition of a highly qualified teacher.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56659-2004Mar13.html
Can you say "Law of unintended consequences"? I knew you could.


FWIW: The Washington Post is so good at identifying issues.

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42451 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/15/2004 12:40 PM
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Bush's administration does not set the definition of highly qualified teacher, each state is to set their own definition.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42452 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/15/2004 12:53 PM
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JWIA:
Bush's administration does not set the definition of highly qualified teacher

From the article:
On Monday, Secretary of Education Roderick R. Paige will announce new, more flexible guidelines on what constitutes a highly qualified teacher.

These two statments appear at first glance to be mutually exclusive. Could you provide more detail? Thanks.

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42453 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/15/2004 1:14 PM
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From: http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/HighlyQualifiedTeachers

The requirement that teachers be highly qualified applies to all public elementary or secondary school teachers employed by a local educational agency who teach a core academic subject (see question C-2, below). “Highly qualified” means that the teacher:

1. Has obtained full State certification as a teacher or passed the State teacher licensing examination and holds a license to teach in the State, and does not have certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis;
2. Holds a minimum of a bachelor's degree; and
3. Has demonstrated subject matter competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, in a manner determined by the State and in compliance with Section 9101(23) of ESEA.
The statutory definition includes additional elements that apply somewhat differently to new and current teachers, and to elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. The complete definition of a “highly qualified” teacher is in Section 9101(23) of the ESEA and in Appendix A of this document.


Note that it is a state certification and "in a manner determined by the State" The Section 9101(23) of ESEA referred to above can be found here http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/HighlyQualifiedTeachers and includes:
(C) when used with respect to an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession, means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor's degree and —

(i) has met the applicable standard in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (B), which includes an option for a test; or

(ii) demonstrates competence in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a high objective uniform State standard of evaluation that —

(I) is set by the State for both grade appropriate academic subject matter knowledge and teaching skills;

(II) is aligned with challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards and developed in consultation with core content specialists, teachers, principals, and school administrators;

(III) provides objective, coherent information about the teacher's attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches;

(IV) is applied uniformly to all teachers in the same academic subject and the same grade level throughout the State;

(V) takes into consideration, but not be based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject;

(VI) is made available to the public upon request; and

(VII) may involve multiple, objective measures of teacher competency.


Everything in the law regarding measurement for success and qualification appears to indicate the the States, not the Federal government sets the standards.

JWIA

P.S. I firmly believe that we would be better off without Paige and his Department of Education at the federal level.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42516 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/16/2004 2:26 PM
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Classrooms Use Chess to Instill Skills for Life
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61454-2004Mar15.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42620 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/22/2004 11:22 AM
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The film version of "1776," based on the Broadway musical about the crafting of the Declaration of Independence, has been banned in Fairfax County middle schools because of sexual innuendo in a conversation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11721-2004Mar20.html

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42650 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/23/2004 1:49 PM
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We are all entitled to ride our favorite hobby horses. But what is invigorating about "School Figures" is that it forces us know-it-alls to confront real data, and in some cases -- not often, but occasionally -- it may even lead us to change our minds
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17487-2004Mar23.html

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0817928227/104-7226060-6364739

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Author: JohnGaltII Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42663 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/23/2004 6:31 PM
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The film version of "1776," based on the Broadway musical about the crafting of the Declaration of Independence, has been banned in Fairfax County middle schools because of sexual innuendo in a conversation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11721-2004Mar20.html


How times have changed. When I was in 6th grade, the school rented out the theater to take all kids in grades 1-7 to see it.

John

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42682 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/24/2004 6:10 PM
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“Mayor Mike,” Bloomberg this week rammed through an eyebrow-raising policy that would stop social promotion in the third grade, forcing students to repeat the year if they perform below a minimum level on standardized tests.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4550192/

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42683 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 3/24/2004 6:22 PM
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PEP approves Bloomberg's proposal after three appointees are replaced just before meeting
http://www.uft.org/?fid=200&tf=1140&nart=1325

Hmmmmm.

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42893 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/1/2004 2:29 PM
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Lucas Learning®
A Force For Young Minds®
http://www.lucaslearning.com/

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43127 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/14/2004 5:45 PM
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Ralph:

Have you read the Deborah Meier books? I'm interested in your opinion.

FWIW: I'm fleeing CA in the near future. The state of public education was a strong factor in the decision.

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Author: HedonistiX Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43128 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/14/2004 5:50 PM
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Author: WuLong | Date: 4/14/04 5:45 PM | Number: 43127
FWIW: I'm fleeing CA in the near future.
The state of public education was a strong factor in the decision.
----

WuLong:

I don't usually participate in this thread (more interested in music, sports or porn, actually ...) but would like to read if you can elaborate more on this factor in your decision-making process.

We don't have kid either right now but would like to read/learn more about this subject.


CHEERS,
--H

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43129 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/14/2004 7:45 PM
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I don't usually participate in this thread (more interested in music, sports or porn, actually ...)

I missed the porn thread. Could you point me to it? Come on, be a pal ;)

elaborate more on this factor in your decision-making process

Where to start....


I moved to CA 4 years ago to design/build real-time trading systems for an internet startup. Since that company folded I've been doing it as a consultant. My client-base is nationwide. My only real requirement in terms of location is that I live within 2 hrs of a major airport. There are a number of reasons to stay where I am, but....


Not to brag, but in terms of raw intellectual talent my kids are the smartest people I have ever known (eg. one self-taught to read at age 3). Most schools would have difficulty in challenging them. We are aware of this, and it is the main reason we chose a parent-assisted learning program.

Ever tried to push a rope? That's what my school district feels like. CA mandates "standards-based" education. This means the schools give a variety of assessments to measure whether students are at grade level. On the first report card of the year, my kids had achieved the year-end goal in every category measured. We were told that future report cards would look identical because they were effectively "done". When we asked how we as parents could measure whether they were actually being taught anything, the answer was a wishy-washy "trust us we won't let them be bored" uh-huh. We asked about their reading assesments and were told they'd gotten the highest possible score for their grade level. OK, what is their actual grade level? "We're not allowed to test that".

I got more than a little annoyed at that "allowed" thing.

CA has this thing called GATE (Gifted and Talented Education). http://www.cde.ca.gov/cilbranch/gate/
It seems my kids are too young. And in discussions it is not obvious what the school would do differently, anyway.

I could go on, but for various logistical and bureaucratic reasons, my kids aren't being challenged and aren't likely to be.


Since the startup folded we've discussed whether to stay or go. Last year we decided to stay put and try the PAL program. We've considered moving to a "better" school district in CA. That would ease the problem slightly, but it wouldn't go away. We'd also have to spend more for housing.

Ultimately, we've decided to buy a house in a district which "has been recognized as one of the finest such schools in the nation for years, public or private". We don't expect all of our challenges to go away, but this district puts grads into top-tier colleges (Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, Cal Tech), so we're not worried about whether our kids be able to compete (a serious concern currently).



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Author: HedonistiX Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43130 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/14/2004 8:16 PM
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I missed the porn thread. Could you point me to it? Come on, be a pal ;)

It's not about porn as such, buried down in the censorship discussions:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20624691


Ultimately, we've decided to buy a house in a district which "has been recognized as one of the finest such schools in the nation for years, public or private". We don't expect all of our challenges to go away, but this district puts grads into top-tier colleges (Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, Cal Tech), so we're not worried about whether our kids be able to compete (a serious concern currently).

And this district you decided on is out of CA?
Boy, will I be struggling when our time comes .... (both Mrs.--H and I grew up outside the US) so we would need to do a heck lot of research coming kid's school time since we don't know how the whole systems work below university level, thus my interest in asking you to elaborate more. (IIRC, you are also in the Bay Area?)

I heard some friends went to a "good" high school in Chicago area but I really can't remember the name.

Other than that, I'll bookmark that post of yours just in case we have good breedings in the future.


CHEERS,
--H


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43131 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/14/2004 8:43 PM
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IIRC, you are also in the Bay Area

For now. Shoot me an email if you want to talk.

we would need to do a heck lot of research coming kid's school time since we don't know how the whole systems work

The basic thing you need to know is that rich people take care of their kids. Move into a district with lots of very rich people.

It's not a matter of spending money on the students, btw. Its more a matter of culture. Rich people know how they succeeded and make sure those opportunities are available to their kids.


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Author: HedonistiX Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43157 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/15/2004 11:25 AM
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Author: WuLong | Date: 4/14/04 8:43 PM | Number: 43131
The basic thing you need to know is that rich people take care of their kids. Move into a district with lots of very rich people.

It's not a matter of spending money on the students, btw. Its more a matter of culture. Rich people know how they succeeded and make sure those opportunities are available to their kids.
-----------

I wrote this on another board responding to some posts:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20542512

Similar message with a bit softer tone ..... ;o)

Good luck on the move.


--H

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43161 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/15/2004 12:00 PM
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you can probably get decent places with good public school systems in Walnut Creek, Moraga/Orinda/Lafayette or Foster City

The differences in the school districts is more perception than reality. Walnut Creek isn't that different from Mt. Diablo Unified.


If I were to stay, I'd probably get into San Ramon Valley
http://www.srvusd.k12.ca.us/srvusd/

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43164 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/15/2004 12:55 PM
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Ralph:

Have you read the Deborah Meier books? I'm interested in your opinion.


I bought them and started one. They have disappeared into the muck of my house. At some point they will float to the top and I will read more of them.

My initial impression was VERY good, but that was more on her goals than anything else. I thought it remarkable that someone pushing socialism would have so much to say to ME about what schools should look like. I agree with her that in a democracy, all children should be educated to be LEADERS, since democracy doesn't work well with a bunch of followers.

FWIW: I'm fleeing CA in the near future. The state of public education was a strong factor in the decision.

Hmmm. My kids are not that exceptional. We do have schools we like at the moment. I don't know if we will keep liking them.

where would you go?

Are there any discussion groups of like-minded people that cover the topic of edumucating kids, especially smart kids, especially trying to work within public schools in CA? At the minimum I would benefit from just regularly exposing myself to more of these discussions.

Thanks,
R:)ph

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43166 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 4/15/2004 1:35 PM
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Are there any discussion groups of like-minded people that cover the topic of edumucating kids, especially smart kids, especially trying to work within public schools in CA

Check the links at http://www.cde.ca.gov/cilbranch/gate/ , particularly http://www.cagifted.org/

AlLso, http://prod031.sandi.net/GATE2/

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43504 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/2/2004 8:54 PM
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Fighting school board inanity since 2004
http://zerointelligence.net/

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 43800 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/18/2004 11:22 AM
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How an obscure Brown concentration trained graduates to crack the codes of American culture -- and infiltrated the mainstream

Meanwhile, those of you who never heard of Ira Glass but who recognized the words "public radio" have probably already abandoned this article, because you associate public radio with being all alone on a Sunday afternoon and have concluded semiotics might be similarly isolating.

http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2004/05/16/the_semio_grads/

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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44010 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/28/2004 12:09 PM
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A 13-year-old Denver girl said she was threatened with a knife at her middle school and her hair was set on fire, yet she was the one who was told to stay home for the remainder of the school year while her alleged attacker wasn't suspended or even investigated
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/3348196/detail.html

(she was)sent home for the rest of the school year and told to forget about taking her exams, while nothing happened to the boy accused of bullying her...the school has offered to enroll (her) in summer classes...She doesn't want to go to summer school..."I didn't do anything wrong,"
Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School had the most fights of any school in the state, according to statistics released in September...grows out of an environment in which children can be disruptive with impunity.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_2917937,00.html


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Author: Moonage1962 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44012 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/28/2004 12:14 PM
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You left out the most important link:

http://www.dpsk12.org/contact_us.shtml

How to contact the Denver Public Schools and let them know what you think.

Moon


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Author: WuLong Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44017 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/28/2004 12:23 PM
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You left out the most important link:

Actually, I didn't.
Do you really believe MLKMS is the only place where this crap happens? Not. Its symptomatic of a larger problem and a cautionary tale.

The proper people to contact and let know what you think is your own school board. Let them know this kind of behavior is reprehensible. Make sure they know you have your eye on them and that nothing like this should happen on their watch.

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Author: Moonage1962 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44020 of 53806
Subject: Re: Educational Philosophy Date: 5/28/2004 12:31 PM
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The proper people to contact and let know what you think is your own school board.

I can assure you, nothing like that would happen at my school districts. We have very rigid anti-bullying policies in place and a special school just for repeat offenders. However, I gave that link in support of the young girl, not necessarily in regards to protesting the school or whatever. If we protect each child, the school districts tend to fall in line. The reason I am so unconcerned that that will happen here is we have very, very involved parent associations in our schools, that seems to me to be totally lacking at DPS. Ours were the result of a lawsuit, that's probably what will have to happen in Denver.

I was recently involved in a bullying situation indirectly. My step-daughter's class had several people picking on one girl ( 11 year olds ). I'm not sure of the severity, but, once it was reported, it was obvious to the principal that it was widespread. Therefore, she grounded the entire class from recess for a week and they had to endure bullying lectures instead. She then assured the entire class that if it happened again, they would once again sit in the classroom instead of recess for yet another week of bullying lectures, and that would happen every single time there was a bullying incident. I know the principal quite well, she is very confident the bullying stopped.

That sure sounds like a hell of a lot better plan than punishing a handicapped child that was the recipient of the bullying. Of course, it does take a LOT more work on behalf of the staff.

Moon


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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44030 of 53806