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View Diary: A Response to TeacherKen and Dailykos Community (357 comments)

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  •  Test, test, test! (none)
    Seems like testing eats up lots of learning time as well.

    -fink

    •  Isn't is true that under NCLB (none)
      schools are forced to BUY test from certain specified vendors (who just happen to be big GOP donors)?  And these tests cost a fortune compared to the virtually no-cost test created by the teacher?

      No American left behind - in civil rights, in health care, in the economy.

      by JLFinch on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:27:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (none)
        Each state makes it's own test. That's why you can't compare results among states. Texas allows English Learners to be tested in their native language, California DOES NOT. So how can you possibly compare the two?

        Jesus was a victim of the death penalty.

        by coigue on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:05:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And (none)
          a handful of states are beginning to explore opting out of the required tests. Virginia, this year for instance, decided to revert back to its previous standards before NCLB. Many other states have legislation pending to revert back to their previous standards. Overall, 30 states have filed lawsuits against the NCLB.

          'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

          by jorndorff on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 11:17:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Meta question (none)
       Why can't I recommend this diary?
    •  My daughter's math teacher... (4.00)
      ...tells us that she has to teach not math, but how to take the math test.  Biiiig difference.  And her in Los Angeles, the material on the accountability tests is out of whack to the curriculum.  The kids get tested in the fall on material they won't have until the spring, for example.  All in all, the thing is just a muddle.

      But that's to be expected.  Our schools no longer exist for the purpose of education.  The Republicans have been working for the last 25 years to make sure that capability is denied to our schools.  

      For my money, all the test results show is how adept students are at taking tests.  That's not to say test should be eliminated, by any means.  But to rely on them as the sole benchmark and objective of a student's education is a particularly pernicious kind of folly.

      As long as I'm here, there is a fundamental problem with our school system that I never see raised or addressed:  It was created in and for a world that no longer exists.  The school calender itself seems to follow the rhythms of an agricultural populace.  But the sad and simple fact is that kids don't need to spend three months in the summer working the fields.  And the daily schedule -- roughly 8 AM to 3 PM -- seems to be based on the assumption that June Cleaver will be there to pick up Wally and the Beav, with a plate of fresh cookies to boot.  Neither of these things has been accurate for quite some time.

    •  In Europe the school-vacations are much shorter (none)
      and I think the schoolday here is much shorter too.

      And something rather trivial - in Europe the kids stay in their classroom and the teachers come to them - here a lot of time is spent with kids going to different classrooms -- why??

      there are also things added like drivers education -- all the school sports.  

      School sports is the biggest difference between schooling in Europe and here -- sports in Europe is considered an activity away from school - - and therefore parents take a whole different view of it.

      Education is the most important - sports are activities that broaden the experiences of youths.

      Think about it -- sports can get you into free higher education easier than good grades - there is something terribly wrong with that.  

      But it does again show that sports take on way too much importance.

      Compare American schools/education to countries where our jobs are going -

      Will America have enough educated people to keep any jobs here??

      Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

      by sara seattle on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 03:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Roving teachers (none)
        Bad news.  For many reasons.
        •  Can you point out the problems... (none)
          for us please?  Seems reasonable at first blush.

          Hey hey, ho ho, irresponsible corporatism and social intolerance have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho!

          by kfractal on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:49:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only for certain subjects.... (none)
            I'm not a teacher, but my first thoughts are:  Science teachers need a kitted out classroom.  So do most of the other teachers, Maps for geography, calculators and meter sticks for math, books for language arts.  

            Who will spin the spinners?

            by stas61690 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:54:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Reasons not to rove (none)
            I taught at the high school level and eventually retired from a major university.  Also, we have children who went through public schools, beginning to end.

            Teachers can create an atmosphere in a classroom that is homey, stimulating and inviting.  Young children need to identify with a group, a teacher and a place.  One of our children started school in a modern open classroom.  Total disaster.  The kids had no anchors, belonged to no one and nothing.  Shifted all day long to different learning groups.  Very hard to bond with a teacher (there were many during the course of a day), other children or a place.  In those days, you couldn't easily go to another public school of your choice, but a group of families found a legal angle to get our kids into a traditional classroom, and did it.

            Once, at the high school level, I was forced to float from classroom to classroom because of school overcrowding.  I was teaching history.  I never had what I needed, no matter how well I planned.  I taught several preparations which made it even more difficult.  Students had to come in during my limited office hours to my shared office to get handouts they missed due to absence, to pick things up or to discuss issues, ideas or problems.  No lingering in the classroom or after school.  Often these informal moments produce the best teaching opportunities.  

            I lost teaching time laying things out before I could begin class and cleaning up to move out at the end--someone else would be in there setting up the second the bell rang.  so, I lost about 10 minutes from each teaching period. I had few reference books or materials because there was nowhere to store them.

            On the university level I taught upper division and graduate level biology classes that were all quite small.  The equipment was highly specialized, we needed "stuff" that couldn't be carted around.  Students had their own drawers with supplies and reference materials, and so on.  Even at this level, the other faculty member and I who shared this teaching lab made an effort to have displays, posters and such that made for a stimulating and enjoyable environment.  Students often came to work outside of regular class time.  It was their place, and they cared about it and everything in it.

            Hope this helps.  If people have questions, I'll try to answer them.

            Off topic a bit, but I'd like to add that by the time I retired (and ditto for all my colleagues) we could barely tolerate teaching.  The changes in student behaviour, attitude, preparation and expectations over the last 40-50 years have been enormous and all for the worse.  Parents are now intruding themselves into college classrooms as well.  We even had plainclothes people as guards in some of the big lectures.  One of my classes was required for students headed into secondary level science teaching.  I followed my students after they left.  None remained in teaching for more than a few years, thereby throwing a master's degree down the drain.  They simply couldn't tolerate the abuse.  Until the attitude problem is dealt with, all the reforms and money are for naught.

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