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If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby josebach » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:30 pm

The_Captain wrote:
Madison wrote:
josebach wrote:Lowering standards so everybody can score well or understand something is exactly the opposite of what this country was founded on.


I can't speak for others, but that's the exact opposite of what I've had to deal with the last 5 years. For my boy, they are covering so much material in such a short period of time that the kids aren't learning anything at all. Rather than really teach the kids and make sure they understand, they just move on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing.

What his 3 schools in 5 years have done is far from what I call "teaching".


Madison's example is what I've been dealing with as well. The teachers are mandated to cram so much information in such a short period of time for the darn TAKS tests my 3rd grader is frustrated and really isn't "learning" the necessary skills. School districts are more concerned about make schools an assembly line than they are teaching the kids the skills to get them to the next level.


Isn't what you're talking about lowering standards in regards to the quality of education? :-?

If you have the money, anybody can get a college degree. It shouldn't be that way, because if it is, a college degree fails to mean anything. That was my point.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby houstonherdfan » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:56 pm

jayday wrote:If this were a 1st grader and the problem was "What is 6 + 5?" and the teacher said "Eh, let's call it 10." Then I would have a problem.

This is not the case.

The kid is in 7th grade. He is well beyond his "formative years" when it comes to basic math. By that point, he should have a solid grasp of multiplication (pen and paper), a working knowledge of how to use a calculator, and I hope somewhere along the line has heard of Pi. If not, that sucks...for the kid, for the school, and for you as a parent.

If he understands that Pi is 3.14159blahblah (and he needs to), then he gets it in theory. Work smarter, not harder. Like Dan said, it's just a mindless calculation. Adding .14 doesn't mean you understand it any better.



I wasn't talking about formativer years from a math perspective, I was talking about formative years in the matter of teaching our kids to talk the easy way out. just to clarify.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby houstonherdfan » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:08 pm

I think my point has gotten lost in the discussion specifically about weather pi is rounded or not.

Maybe I wasn't real clear as I was drinking during my original post. The point I was trying to make is more in line with the title of the thread.

This is just one example of the medocrity of many of our school systems. When you teach the kids to take the easy way guess what, they learn that easy way is acceptable. I try to teach my son at home the opposite but the teachers spend as much time with my son as I am able to so I am fighting a long battle. In fact his response when I was discussing the issue was to use that as an excuse as why he is only getting a B in math as opposed to the A he has received pretty much every report card in past years.

Captain:

I've been dealing with the TAKS test for 7 years and the way the school systems are set up in Texas are strickly set up to pass the test. A little over 1/3 of the school year is dedecated to learning stratagies for passing the TAKS test, not learning the subject. Until enough of us as parents pich enough fits to our elected representatives about this it ain't going to change. Too many of us are way to ambivilant about our kids education. I 'm including myself in that statement. My wife and I spend time with our son going over his homework every night to make sure he got it right.. I am about to get much more active on the other side with our politians about the quality of my son's public education. If they don't listen you will see my name,Joe Johnston, on a ballot.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby Tavish » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:42 pm

As long as they know that pi > 3 and not pi == 3 then it's not that big of a deal IMO. No matter what you use you are not getting a truly accurate measurement anyways. They rounded pi to 3 in the Bible as well. There are much worse ways that the school system is failing our kids other than using an less precise estimate for pi than we used as kids.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby sportsaddict » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:16 am

This is an absolute non-issue.

We're over analyzing this WAY too much. Just because the kid isn't multiplying by 3.14 doesn't mean he's going to be screwed for life or want to take the easy way out for the rest of his life.

As someone mentioned, a 7th grader doesn't need to learn how to multiply 3.14 by another number. He already knows how to. So if it's easier to multiply by 3 and it saves time, that allows the kids to get more problems done in their homework and not have to deal with multiplying by an extremely frustrating decimal number. When he has a calculator on tests, he can plug 3.14 in. He knows what Pi is, and knows when to use it. When he's doing homework by hand, it does not educate him any further to make him multiply by 3.14, it just makes the homework assignment unnecessarily more difficult.

We're so quick to talk about how bad the schools are and all the problems with this generation but this is a non-issue. There's no reason to be upset here.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby Madison » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:40 am

josebach wrote:
The_Captain wrote:
Madison wrote:I can't speak for others, but that's the exact opposite of what I've had to deal with the last 5 years. For my boy, they are covering so much material in such a short period of time that the kids aren't learning anything at all. Rather than really teach the kids and make sure they understand, they just move on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing.

What his 3 schools in 5 years have done is far from what I call "teaching".


Madison's example is what I've been dealing with as well. The teachers are mandated to cram so much information in such a short period of time for the darn TAKS tests my 3rd grader is frustrated and really isn't "learning" the necessary skills. School districts are more concerned about make schools an assembly line than they are teaching the kids the skills to get them to the next level.


Isn't what you're talking about lowering standards in regards to the quality of education? :-?

If you have the money, anybody can get a college degree. It shouldn't be that way, because if it is, a college degree fails to mean anything. That was my point.


I don't view it as lowing standards, I view it as not teaching period. So there is zero "quality" as far as teaching goes. Throwing information at kids as fast as the teachers can throw it does not constitute quality in my eyes at all. Quality is results. I don't care if a teacher says she's taught her 1st grade class addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions if the kids in her class cannot answer what 3+6 is. That's not a quality education just because she read the material to them, that's a failure on the part of the teacher, school, school system, and the government to actually "teach". It's certainly not teaching because the kids didn't learn anything.

As an even better example, just take a look at the growing trend of not knowing the difference in "there", "they're", and "their". It's continually gotten worse over the last few years. Why? Because there isn't enough real educating going on in the schools.

Yet another way of looking at it. In the old days, teachers made sure knowledge "stuck" with the kid, so they took a ball of mud and mashed it in their hair to ensure it stuck with them. Then some idiot got the idea to try throwing the mudball instead. It's faster, and allows for more kids to be taught ;-7 (and I use "taught" very loosely) more things. They tried it out and some of the mud stuck, but the bulk of the mudball wound up on the ground. So then the idiots decided that they'd just use a rapid fire mudball machine to pummel the kids because the more mud they throw, the more that will stick, right? Of course not. Without a foundation, the entire thing is pointless and that's where the current state of the school system is. Throwing info as fast as they can read it, rather than actually bothering to do their jobs and teach is why the state of the school system and education level of America is so low. And it's certainly not a quality education, it doesn't even resemble an education period.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby biju » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:46 am

Maybe I'm looking at this in a strange light, and this might be because it's late and I'm still a little hungover from Friday night, but the most important thing I got from my education as a kid was understanding how I learn new things. I quickly realized I could basically "tune out" during class, take a textbook home and read it to understand the material. Others learn best when they hear it, if they see it, when they write it, or while they practice it.

While I do happen to have a good memory for things I learned in school, the things I use most in my life are my learning skills and communication/socializing skills. That doesn't mean to me that learning how to do things correctly isn't important, but if they have already displayed the aptitude I'm not sure I necessarily care whether or not they display it each time. In truth, when people use 3.14 for pi they too are using a simplified version of the number. Why? Because it would be painful to use more of the digits. The *only* way to correctly display the number is by using its sign.

But back to my original point: learning styles and teaching techniques. I thought the idea of having the textbook, having the teacher to go over it during class both aloud as well as on a chalkboard, and doling out homework assignments did exactly what you want by giving the children all of the possible ways one can learn effectively. At that point, if a child isn't learning it then becomes either a matter of focus on the child's behalf, or the need for extra attention on the subject at hand (and everyone needs that at some point...I excelled in math but when I was 11 I had a very tough time multiplying fractions).

Now when I hear about Madison's "mudball" comments and that lessons aren't being retained it makes me think that the full suite of techniques aren't being used, or at least the style that pertains to the child in question. I also am sad to hear a large portion of the school year is used to pass a state run test. It's obvious that the school does this because if a certain percentage pass or fail it affects the school's funding, so the real issue comes from a bad education funding plan or system. This might not be a revelation for anybody here, but since I don't have kids and nobody I know has kids I'm just not aware of the inefficiencies of education. But if this were happening to my child, I would raise hell just as it sounds like some of you have.

I applaud you for this.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby houstonherdfan » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:50 am

EVERYONE READ THE FOLLOWING. ALL OF IT NOT JUST PART OF IT

ALL OF YOU HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE POINT I WAS TRING TO MAKE. THAT IS:

When you teach the youth of our country to take the easy way out what do you get?

A bunch of adults that aren't worth a crap because they want everything easy. Work ethic goes to crap, parents don't raise their children, and just a general complete break down of basic respect for others.

Wait a minute we are already there. If I was single and had no family I would get the he--ll out of here before it gets any worse.

NOTE: BEFORE ANYONE THINKS THAT I AM SAYING THAT PI BEING ROUNDED IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF OUR CULTURE I AM NOT. IT IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW SCREWED UP OUR CULTURE IS.
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby Metroid » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:45 am

alright I'm a little buzzed but what the hell... Shannon and I took a trip to Reno today and....well she passed out and I'm using our friends computer but I want to chime in here. The problem I have with our kidsnot learning pi isn't just that they aren't learning pi it's that they are being improperly educateted. Yes pi prolly isnt all that important to most of us. But should that be decided in 7th grade....really?
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Re: If you wonder why our schools are so screwed up

Postby mad hatter » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:16 am

houstonherdfan wrote:EVERYONE READ THE FOLLOWING. ALL OF IT NOT JUST PART OF IT

ALL OF YOU HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE POINT I WAS TRING TO MAKE. THAT IS:

When you teach the youth of our country to take the easy way out what do you get?

A bunch of adults that aren't worth a crap because they want everything easy. Work ethic goes to crap, parents don't raise their children, and just a general complete break down of basic respect for others.

Wait a minute we are already there. If I was single and had no family I would get the he--ll out of here before it gets any worse.

NOTE: BEFORE ANYONE THINKS THAT I AM SAYING THAT PI BEING ROUNDED IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF OUR CULTURE I AM NOT. IT IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW SCREWED UP OUR CULTURE IS.

Every generation thinks the following generation is going to end the world with their ineptitude and lack of character. But somehow we continue on with each generation having some aspect of life easier than the last. It just gives the geezers something to Mod edit about really loudly while everyone else is busy living their lives.

Not calling you a geezer. I'm just saying.
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