Education Reform

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/04/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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http://www.shallownation.com/2011/03/14/...

"Now, last week we got a reminder of why it’s so critical that we reform this law. According to new estimates, under the system No Child Left Behind put in place, more than 80 percent of our schools may be labeled as failing — 80 percent of our schools. Four out of five schools will be labeled as failing. That’s an astonishing number. And our impulse is to either be outraged that the numbers are so high, or skeptical that they’re even true. And let’s face it, skepticism is somewhat justified. We know that four out of five schools in this country aren’t failing. So what we’re doing to measure success and failure is out of line." Obama, March 14 2011

What do you think of our school system? I think they are total trash that need to go out the window. Not a reform.... a start over. I think the No Child Left Behind Act was a joke and put more pressure on parents which made less progress than it did harm. I also don't agree with the DREAM act and think it's BS.

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Amanda - posted on 06/06/2011

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"In our country (America) we have kids bussed to school we have breakfast and lunch programs, we have second language programs, gifted programs, special ed programs, school nurses, counselors, after school clubs, pull out resources for math and reading .... You can't really compare all of that with schools in other nations. "



Canada has all this also, other then the lunchs or breakfast (unless you are poor many schools supply these for poor families).



That being said, Canada is FASTLY sliding down the top educational spots. My daughter in grade 7, most students in her grade cant spell simple words, because they removed spelling tests from the local school board system. Thats right my children havent had spelling tests in 3-4 years. My son is on an IEP, I had to beg for 4 years to get him tested for a learning disablity, and have him moved to a learning resource room. If he didnt have a mother who wont take no for an answer, he would for sure fall through the cracks and drop out of school by grade 9.



I have not read the No child left behide act, so I cant really comment on that. But I can say it is up to a parent to make sure your child is getting the best education they can get. The only person who is going to stand up and fight for your childs rights to a proper education is yourself.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/04/2011

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The biggest problem I found with the NCLB act was that it put pressure on parents for kids to perform, which in theory is great but it almost put my parents in jail in an instance where they shouldn't have.



I have a learning disability and needed my high school to coincide with my IEP and they couldn't didn't wouldn't. To make a long story short, my high school dropped me and the only alternative school was an hour away and the waiting list to get in was a year and a half long. All the surrounding schools were full too. We didn't know what to do but we got a notice in the mail saying I had to go to school or else my parents would go to jail. Is that fair? No, I don't think so. My mom tried every day for 3 months to help me and my grades didn't budge what so ever. Hours of homework each day, wasted... because it didn't help.



What about teens who are uncontrollable? Get into drugs? Disobey their parents and skip school? Refuse to go? I know a single mother who was raising 3 teenage boys all on her own. She had a decent job making about 15-20 an hour and because of her kids not showing up to school, they put her in jail. When she got out, she lost her job, benefits, everything... ended up working for about 10 dollars an hour. How does that help anyone?



The DREAM act pisses me off because we already have too many illegals here due to the anchor baby loophole in our laws. So if we promote this DREAM act, we are now giving illegal children the right over American citizens to get an education. Is that fair? They are now allowed to recieve in state tuition prices. So now illegals are a higher priority above out of state legal students.



Also, we have way too many illegals here. We don't need anything else to help them. They're flooding our country just fine in my eyes. Did you know the unemployment statistics EXACTLY mirror the amount of illegals in our country? Hmmmmm.. wonder what would happen if we got rid of the illegals then or stopped letting them in? I bet it would help our economy quite a bit.



And don't tell me they do jobs others don't want to do. An unbelievable amount of jobs in California requires you to be bi-langual. Why? It's the land of English and that's dumb that I cannot work as a simple secretary anymore in a local business down the road from my own house because I don't speak another language. It's not like I'm working in international sales..... a freaking secretarial job.. come on.



Also, I've watched entire industries be ruined by illegals. Autoglass, Landscaping and Construction to be specific. They do work under the table, don't pay taxes and therefore under bid hard working American citizens and put them out of business. These are good industries that used to support middle class families that are slowly deterriorating. Good paying jobs, gone by the illegal who took it or underbid a quote.



What do you think I should volunteer at a school to do that would help the schools near me improve?

Do you volunteer?

Why do you support the DREAM act?

What did you think in the NCLB act worked?

There isn't anything in the NCLB that doesn't work for you?



And I would like to hear what part of the NCLB act makes teachers more accountable? Because that is a huge reason in my eyes why our school system is failing. Teachers don't care. Principles do not care. They are almost untouchable. We've had police tell us to move because a school system was so bad and there was nothing we could do. Even being disabled and having 'support' behind me in high school and college, you'd be surprised how much 'support' there really is not in the end.

Michele - posted on 06/04/2011

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http://learningmatters.tv/images/blog/St...
Hard to summarize, but looks at the policies and perfomances of the countries that lead the world in student performance: Canada, China, Finland, Japan, and Singapore. Benchmark the best, design for quality, design for equity, design for productivity, make sure your systems are coherent and aligned.

[deleted account]

So what have you done to help support the local schools in your area? Do you spend time volunteering? Serve on Parent Reform Committees? How many schools in the district you reside are failing? What portions of NCLB do you find to be a joke? I honestly felt that there were portions of NCLB that helped improve schools and teacher accountability. Why don't you agree with the Dream Act? Why is it BS?

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√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/06/2011

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What is his disability? If you don't mind me asking.

Amanda - posted on 06/06/2011

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Thats such a shame, and I know the reality of my son actually making it through HS is pretty low due to this learning disablity, which is such a shame as hes one of the brightest children his age.



I am hoping I can convince the school board to allow him to travel to a city next door to join a school of trades. Since reading and writing is not his strong suit and never will be maybe the world of trades will help him get a head in this world.



Your mother and many other mothers have an up hill battle when it comes to their childrens education. I use to roll my eyes at mothers when they would complain about school system, but now the shoes on the other foot. I fight for both my children (just a little more for my boy), I am constantly fighting for my daugthers educational rights also, as the school can not keep up with her intelligence, and she spends most of her time bored, or being harassed by other students.

JuLeah - posted on 06/05/2011

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No child left behind was a joke. It didn't help kids, or schools. You wanna helps kids and school, talk with teachers don't make up new programs for them to use if their voice has not been part of the programs creation.

No child left behind was designed by 'educators' but not teachers ... so folks that had degrees in teaching, but had never taught.

“Modern” schools were designed to teach kids how to sit in a row and respond to a bell. Their parents worked in the factory, and the kids were expected to work there also. Repetitive work, break at the bell, in seats to resume work at the bell .....



Prior to that, when public schools first started, it was to make sure kids became voting citizens - so 3rd grade education was enough.



High school came about simply to keep young folks out of the job market longer and leave more opening for older folks with families to support.



College now fills that role ... some degrees specialize and allow you to work in your profession upon graduation, but most leave you with the skills to start in the mail room and work your way up - again leaving more jobs open for older folks.



So, were schools ever really designed to do what we now expect them to do?



In our country (America) we have kids bussed to school we have breakfast and lunch programs, we have second language programs, gifted programs, special ed programs, school nurses, counselors, after school clubs, pull out resources for math and reading .... You can't really compare all of that with schools in other nations.



Other nations do score higher on math and reading exams, but they have the money to focus on that.



I have friends with kids in many countries around the world; none of them have the extras we have here. All systems had strong points and weak, but I don’t think you can compare one with another.



I don't want to give up what we have. I think it is important.



I think we need to rethink how we judge our schools and we need to stop comparing apples and oranges.



I also think we need to rethink how we fund our schools ... I was sub teaching in a school here in Seattle and picked up a history book that listed Jimmy Carter as the sitting President.



One young woman was asked on a form to write the name of her state, and she wrote Seattle (spelled wrong)



So, yes, we have many problems and our kids are not getting what they need, nor are our teachers, but again, to fix this we need to ask the teachers not just hand them a new directive.



Yes, BTW, I volunteer every Friday in my child's class and have since she started pre-school.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/04/2011

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When I was in 3rd grade, I wasn't learning anything in English and my mom was worried I was really far behind. This was a school in WA I went to for 3 years. My mom went to the school, asked what was up and the teacher told my mom 'We're too busy teaching kids to speak english, we don't have time to teach your daughter English.' What do you do with that? Meanwhile, I tested so high in math they had the principle himself teaching me and about 5 other kids in a portable for an hour a day because there wasn't anyone else who could do the job. So I agree there are light and dark in every school system.



That's sad........ by 9th grade they should be able to write a persuasive/argumentative essay? That's part of the problem too. Since accountability was pushed onto the teachers, they seem much less likely to fail due to the fact of what it would look like on their behalf.



I even see this frequently at college level (Small community college I attended for 2 years. I'd start a course, we'd know in the beginning what we needed to learn and by the end of it I knew lots of people who didn't apply the knowledge correctly, learn to argue/persuade a paper correctly and were still graduating the class with an A. Why?! To me, an AA is such a dumb degree because how much do people really have to learn to get it now? Not much apprently??)



I got failing grades from 6th grade up until 9th and was never held back. There should be another barrier that could hopefully prevent this (like the next teacher the kid sees if they aren't up to par, they could ask the child to be tested fully and dropped back for that class again if it didn't stick?)



So they don't fail kids enough... which puts pressure on the higher level teachers trying to do 2-5 jobs at once.



My IEP.... I think I've faced an equal amount of BS problems even after they found I had Auditory Processing Disorder (just so ya know:). It causes me to work harder, re-do whole assignments multipule times, draw pictures, etc.... but I didn't learn how to work with it until college.



Even in college though, when I needed a tutor they only have 1 available option for anyone. For anyone going to college, they have about 3 hours a week to see a tutor for free? For disabled students it's double. However, the room they tutor in is also the same room kids studying for their GED or highschool completion use. It was cram packed, 40 students in a 1 room shack and not quiet. I even had one girl talking in the background about anal sex while I was trying to study math!!!!! I went to my counselor and said, I can't do it. I can't focus or hear anything with so much going on. She said it was all they had. I asked my DOR counselor if there was something she could do. Nope. I was totally on my own at that point even though my disability allows me the ability to wear sound proofing headphones while taking a test and longer times for tests in a secluded lab..... but I couldn't get a tutor in a functioning environment. It was aweful.



To this day, I never finished my degree due to failing math and not getting enough help. I want to go back, but I'm getting the kid stuff out of the way then going to try again in a year, part time. My boyfriend thinks he can help me with it. I hope so lol



I've just experianced so many cracks in our system.. it's crazy. And even after the NCLB act was established 10 years ago, we still have so many schools failing? It needs so much more fixing

[deleted account]

I'm really saddened to hear, and sorry that your own schooling and education was a disappointment and a let-down. I most certainly never claimed the U.S. public school system is perfect; it most certainly is not and quite flawed. It does sound like your school system did not do its job and allowed you to fall through the cracks. Are your kids school-age yet? Or just basing these observations on your own personal experiences?



I have been a public school teacher for 15 years. Started my career in Special Ed and then gradually went to the mainstream. My Master's is in Curriculum/Instruction & Administration. I'm also returning for a possible 2nd Master's in Guidance Counseling. Trust me, I do understand the problems our schools are facing. I'm in Arizona, I know what's going on in California is very similar to here. I have taught in a failing school and NCLB forced us teachers to evaluate our programs, accountability, and student progress. We needed to determine what curriculum is needed, versus filler content, nice-to-know fluffy material. Yes, it's nice to be able to read, analyze, interpret, and write poems. Oh I could spend 6 weeks on a poetry unit! BUT I need my 9th graders to be able to write a 5 paragraph persuasive essay backed by facts and supported through a thesis. So NCLB did require a revamping of the curriculum on a 6 year cycle. What works? What doesn;t? Revise the curriculum. I was also Department Chair the year we were declared under-performing, so it was a huge challenge to change how and what we teach in order for students to succeed at grade level. Part of the NCLB component that yo umight be refering to deals with student attendance. When students are not in school, they are not learning. The truancy laws require the schools to report 10 unexcused absences to the local education authority (usually the county offices) and then they follow through with determining illness or truancy. I do believe that some districts go way to the extreme. But parents must also be held responsible for sending their child to school daily, and partnering with the schools i nthe best interest of the child. Now something you said upset me regarding your IEP and the struggle to catch up. There is federal money alloted to providing tutoring to students that fall into eligibility categories. You most certainly would have qualified for free tutoring. That's one reason why I am seeking another Master's Degree in Guidance Counseling-so I could be able to catch those kids that would normally drop-out and provide them with all of the local, state, and federal support programs available. Now, I do understand your feelings and attitudes towards public schools. But please know that for every crappy and overly political district out there, there are equally as many awesome, wonderful and supportive districts scattered throughout the nation. Please feel free to send me a private message anytime.

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