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Old 11-15-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
Polish Leppy 22
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Education

Needs its own thread.

We spend more money in this country per pupil on education in the world, yet we rank 17th in the world in Reading and we're in the 30's in both Math and Science (K-12).

Most teachers don't get rich but their pensions and benefits are bankrupting school districts in the long term.

The talented/ dedicated teachers aren't rewarded enough and the poor/ lazy teachers who do the bare minimum can't get fired unless they sleep with a student.

There is no Constitutional right for the federal government to be involved in education. Period.

It's not all on the teachers/ admin. Part of this is the breakdown of the American family, too.

How long can we remain a superpower and the world's strongest economy?
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Last edited by Polish Leppy 22; 11-15-2013 at 08:53 AM.. Reason: mistake
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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Good thread. I come from a family of educators and this is a constant topic at our table. Hopefully we can keep the discussion going without political diatribe (maybe pat will stay away, ha).

My personal opinion is that we currently have a platform of teaching to create test scores instead of teaching children "How To Learn". Because that's the difference in other cultures, they teach their children the process of learning and then give them creative ways for them to engage in information, thus using their contstantly aqcuiring skill of learning to do just that... learn.

My kids will go to a Montissori school for that reason.

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
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I think this is an interesting and pertinent question/issue that our country faces both currently and in the future. I think you can slice the puzzle in different ways but here is my take on it.

1. Money spent per pupil does not makes sense for a number of reasons. But most importantly, this could be an outcome due to the private, elite schools in rich neighborhoods getting much of the financial resources while inner city schools, while the majority, are underfunded. Thus, it could be a result of skewed data.

2. I recently watched a documentary, Waiting for "Superman", and wanted to ask members of the IE board what they thought of teacher's unions and tenure system for teachers. Protecting teachers rights and guaranteeing their well-being, both psychologically and financially, is not what concerns me. It is rewarding, through the system, un- or under-qualified teachers that is at the heart of the matter. I have no answer for this (only a biased opinion) but would like to hear from others.

3. The main reason why the US has been able to stay competitive if not lead outright vis-a-vis other nations in the realm of education/research is through immigration. Many science-related fields or economics/business programs train a lot of foreigners who are actually good in science and math. Then they get the top jobs at both corporations and schools. I don't have issues with immigration per se but I keep wondering if this is the way to go; instead of correcting the system that fails to produce the talents and brains that serve as the foundation of our system but rather borrowing/stealing from other nations.

4. Overall thought that has been bothering me is the whole notion of education: haven't we placed too much emphasis on education and not specialization? Yes, getting an education is important and yes making sure of your child's future is significant. However, there just too many colleges students these days who are either not ready, uninterested and unqualified. I understand that there are issues with the financial market, era of globalization and specialization, and the enlightenment process. However, narrowly construed, isn't there an issue where the system has placed too much emphasis on education?

I will share more thoughts but these are few things that's been bothering me for a while now.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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My mother is a school teacher, having taught many years in Catholic and public schools. She will tell you three things (and tell you and tell you):

1) Money is not the determining factor in a quality education, assuming you are above a certain threshold, and many of those who tell you that it is are interested mostly in their own economic well being and political agendas;

2) Parents, not teachers, are the single biggest factor in how a child gets educated. Teachers need to be of high quality, but a child excelling in school, apart from a parent or parents who hold that child accountable, is relatively rare; and

3) Too many teachers favor school of education theory at the expense of common sense and a love for their students, and too many do not teach simply for the love of the job.

I never met a more natural teacher than my mother, or one who loved teaching, or her students, more.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palinurus View Post
My mother is a school teacher, having taught many years in Catholic and public schools. She will tell you three things (and tell you and tell you):

1) Money is not the determining factor in a quality education, assuming you are above a certain threshold, and many of those who tell you that it is are interested mostly in their own economic well being and political agendas;

2) Parents, not teachers, are the single biggest factor in how a child gets educated. Teachers need to be of high quality, but a child excelling in school, apart from a parent or parents who hold that child accountable, is relatively rare; and

3) Too many teachers favor school of education theory at the expense of common sense and a love for their students, and too many do not teach simply for the love of the job.

I never met a more natural teacher than my mother, or one who loved teaching, or her students, more.
One of my sisters purposely taught in the inner city for 3 years because "she wanted to have the biggest impact". What she found out was that she couldn't keep the kids at the school 24/7, and while they would make strides each day, they would get it beat out of them when they left the school. Whether it be drug dealers, absent parents, abusive parents, etc they would take one step forward at school and two steps back once they walked out of the doors.

Which leads me back to your mother's first point, which I also totally agree with. We seem to have a culture that dumps money into schools for iPads, pensions, etc. That money would be far better spent on after school programs, mentor programs and off campus skill building. I can't stress enough how much I believe in the importance of showing kids that they can reach whatever goal they put in front of them. But if we don't show them the steps to do so, they will fall into the same lifestyle as their parents.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palinurus View Post
My mother is a school teacher, having taught many years in Catholic and public schools. She will tell you three things (and tell you and tell you):

1) Money is not the determining factor in a quality education, assuming you are above a certain threshold, and many of those who tell you that it is are interested mostly in their own economic well being and political agendas;

2) Parents, not teachers, are the single biggest factor in how a child gets educated. Teachers need to be of high quality, but a child excelling in school, apart from a parent or parents who hold that child accountable, is relatively rare; and

3) Too many teachers favor school of education theory at the expense of common sense and a love for their students, and too many do not teach simply for the love of the job.

I never met a more natural teacher than my mother, or one who loved teaching, or her students, more.
I don't want my comments to evolve into a nature vs. nurture discussion, but when parents don't emphasize education the kids certainly will not. I believe that to be the most destructive aspect about our educational system: lack of parent involvement.

The older I get the more I appreciate my parents not letting me have a gaming system and really controlling how long I spent on the family computer.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woolybug25 View Post
One of my sisters purposely taught in the inner city for 3 years because "she wanted to have the biggest impact". What she found out was that she couldn't keep the kids at the school 24/7, and while they would make strides each day, they would get it beat out of them when they left the school. Whether it be drug dealers, absent parents, abusive parents, etc they would take one step forward at school and two steps back once they walked out of the doors.

Which leads me back to your mother's first point, which I also totally agree with. We seem to have a culture that dumps money into schools for iPads, pensions, etc. That money would be far better spent on after school programs, mentor programs and off campus skill building. I can't stress enough how much I believe in the importance of showing kids that they can reach whatever goal they put in front of them. But if we don't show them the steps to do so, they will fall into the same lifestyle as their parents.
Devil's Advocate:

It's not the role of the State to raise children, just to educate them.
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