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View Diary: Is our children learning? (32 comments)

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  •  The poll is incomplete (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caelian, kurt, Cassandra Waites

    There should be an entry which says that "our schools are completely failing our children."

    Poor quality education affects our children's ability to get jobs, participate in society and to enjoy life.

    The pitiful state of our public education system is one of the most pressing issues facing our country today -- and we are ignoring it.

    Education affects jobs, crime and voting patterns. And while we are more that happy to bitch about each of these other issues, we won't address the underlying cause -- our public schools.

    •  What jobs? (3+ / 0-)

      Twenty or even ten years ago I would have agreed wholeheartedly with your comment.  However, today's reality is that mathematically-oriented jobs are being outsourced overseas faster than new ones are being created.  What is the point of training to be a USA engineer when companies are laying off their USA employees and hiring Chinese and Indian engineers for 1/5 to 1/10 the price?

      Alas, the "best answer" to all of the above "brain teasers" is: "What's the point?  I'll never have a job that uses this knowledge."

      Big Joe Helton: "I pay Plenty."
      Chico Marx: "Well, then we're Plenty Tough."

      by Caelian on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 01:40:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Balderdash! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caelian, Only Needs a Beat

      Our school are doing fine with the exception of our schools that educate students from economically segregated neighborhoods. Go to a school in a leafy suburb, I would wager it's doing quite well. Go to a school in a small town, it's probably not doing too badly. Go to a selective enrollment school (you have to test in) in Chicago, and I can guarantee you it's doing a fine job.

      Now, go to a neighborhood school in an economically segregated (i.e. poor) area in Chicago, and it won't be doing well. And that's because, I'm not convinced, we've ever figured out how to teach poor (as in generationally poor) students en masse. We didn't really need to figure out how to do it in earlier eras when a person could drop out of high school and still earn enough to rear a family.

      I think it's simply that schools where the poverty level reaches a tipping point simply have more problems than they can deal with. They have higher levels of special ed students (this due to lead and other environmental contaminants, as well as the sometimes disfunctional family environment that results due to poverty), higher levels of disruption, and less access to highly qualified teachers (not that all the teachers in these schools are bad teachers, many of them are really dedicated, but when teachers can choose where to teach, they may choose greener (i.e. easier to educate) students).

      I'm an advocate for economically desegregating schools, but honestly, in Chicago, with a 80% rate of student poverty and a disdain for commuting across neighborhoods for schooling, I see no way to do it.

      •  I live in one of the best school districts in the (0+ / 0-)

        country(80% of our high schools are in the top 100) and I can tell you that is absolutely not true.  The are frustrated that the schools do not meet the needs of the average student...they do well with the gifted and the children with learning disabilities but the average student gets shafted(according to the parents).

        "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by lakehillsliberal on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 02:56:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Failing students (0+ / 0-)

          is endemic in schools where most teachers have their hands terribly tied by politics and administrators. There are good administrators, and there are good teachers, but often because of mandates from the government that force teachers to race through material.  Students soon get lost in the material, then become frustrated and overwhelmed. Then they check out. It's really too bad.
          Teaching is a profession and requires knowledge not only of the material but of the techniques for teaching. But many non-educators feel they should tell teachers how and what to teach. Why do politicians have meetings with business leaders concerning education, instead of the education leaders like Alfie Kohn, Roland Barth, Nancie Atwell, Deborah Meier, or the late Ted Sizer. No, the last time they had a meeting about education, the meeting included Newt Gingrich, Al Sharpton, and Mayor Bloomberg. Who besides all their other skills are also experts in education apparently.

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