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View Diary: A pointed commentary on the cheating scandal in Atlanta (237 comments)

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  •  I Bragged About My Schools Above (5+ / 0-)

    well not that far from where I live we have maybe one of the worse school districts in the entire US. East St. Louis. Graduations rate are below 50%. Test scores lower!

    There have been pushes where teachers are offered $50,000 bonuses to go there. Nobody will.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:14:54 AM PDT

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    •  I admire teachers and they deserve as much... (8+ / 0-)

      compensation and respect as we, collectively, could possibly give.  Unfortunately, their contribution to the quality of a student's education is actually quite small.  More than the teacher's abilities and the quality of the school, parent's education and income play the most important role.  In fact, the largest beneifit of a student going to a nice school may in fact be the peer presssure that other college bound students place on each other.  It is expected.  

      We live in a fairly small city with two county schools.  North Hopkins has more parents with college educations and a slightly higher average income.  Central (I know, you would think it would be south) has a lot of coal miners with good incomes but low education.  The overwhelming attitides of Central students is, "Why bother going to college?"  They just want to turn 18 and get a good job in the mines like their dad and their uncles and the friend's parents.  The pay is good and you don't need a degree.  Girls often dream of becoming coal miner's wives.  It is sad but true.

      In my home, my children knew we expected them to go to college from day one.  What they want to do when they grew up and what college they would attend has been a regular part of our conversations since kindergarten.  I am always amazed when people with middle school kids say they can no longer help their kids with their homework.  I feel like I have taken all college prep high school courses 5 times now (one on my own and four more with my kids).

      Parents make the most difference in a child's education.  How can we hold teachers accountable for the education and poverty of the parents of their students?

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:15:53 AM PDT

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      •  going to disagree somewhat (15+ / 0-)

        the contribution of any teacher to any student on average is quite small.

        But then, the average of my net worth and that of Bill Gates is perhaps 20 billion dollars.

        What is more important is that for many students, it is the relationship with one specific teacher that makes a difference.

        That difference may well not be reflected in test scores.  There factors outside of school are usually far more important.

        But that difference is often of major importance in the life and future success of a young person.  Outweighing in some cases the totality of family and community influences.  It is just that it is not something captured by our current testing scheme.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:20:12 AM PDT

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        •  I absolutely agree that... (7+ / 0-)

          one teacher or person can have a tremendous impact on a child and their future.  It happened with me and I always aspire to be that person for a child any opportunity I get.  I am trying to repay the people who so heled me during the low points of my life.

          However, too few children are fortunate enough to have someone outside their home influence them in a more positive way that it can compensate for the low expectations, ignorance and often neglect found at home.  It is often a real victory to graduate some of these children from high school let alone college.

          I coached a young boy in basketball this year.  I was told that he is talented but is a real trouble maker and is no longer allowed to participate in school athletics because of his issues.  After talking with the boy a little bit, I wanted to try to make a difference.  I started inviting him over to the house on the weekends.  He has three older siblings who all dropped out of high school.  His dad works two hours away and his mom is self-absorbed.  He spends most weekends at his sister's house who is only a couple years older than he.  

          I care deeply for this child and I hope he makes it out of this mess.  He is a good kid who acts out occasionally but can you blame him for what he goes through?  He needs a role model.  I hope he continues to come over  and I hope that I have the opportunity to influence his life in a positive way but the reality is, if he graduates from high school, it will be a major accomplishment.  Teachers have already labeled him, parents have no expectations of him and he has no family role model to aspire to.  The odds are steeply against him.

          My point was that you cannot hold two teachers to the same student success metric if one has a class full of high income, high education family students and the other's class is predominantly low income, low education.  It is not an apples to apples comparrison.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:12:00 AM PDT

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        •  I was going to disagree somewhat (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood

          after reading your first line.

          the contribution of any teacher to any student on average is quite small.
          I would have reworded that to read "the contribution of the average teacher to the average student on average is quite small".

          You covered that in the remainder of your post. I will add that many of us remember the teachers who flipped a switch in us and made history interesting or instilled an appreciation of the power of poetry..."to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace."

          Oh well...I really am an old man rambling today.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 01:04:49 PM PDT

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      •  I Don't Find That Around Me (9+ / 0-)

        Parents, and I got a few coal miners on my block, want better for their kids. That is my experience talking to them.

        I am the first person in four generations that doesn't have a PhD. Just a MA. Education, education, education is pushed close to 24/7.

        Heck I don't have kids, but my brother has a little girl. She was still in the birth cannel and my parents, who have a lot of financial means, set-up and educational trust fund for her.

        She will never worry a single day about paying for school. Just like I didn't have to pay. Nor my brother. Nor my dad.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:30:00 AM PDT

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