Our children are in trouble...

Tah - posted on 09/30/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My friend has just gone back to college, she is taking some basic courses for refreshers since it has been 10 years, math english, etc...she told me that when she was in her math class(which is about 7th and 8th grade stuff...if that) the college children in there were clueless. The teacher asked about 8 people what 8x7 was and none of them knew..so my friend said..she asked the class herself, who knows the answer besides the teacher?..only 2 hands went up. She then asked(and if you knew her, she is far from shy) who knows how to mulitply besides the teacher?...3 hands went up. This is not some Joe lightly school either...it is a university. She said the kids in there were young, first and second year students. I am so sure they did not forget how to mulitply as they were packing and heading to their dorms.



You can see the consequences of social promotion more and more. Our students are already so behind other countries there is really no comparison. They take their education far more serious than we do and it shows. What can be done for our children?..For the teachers on here that are in the classroom or have been or will be again, What is the problem as you see it?...I am disheartened because these are the people that are going to be leading this country and i am looking at homes in Japan and England as we speak...

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Denikka - posted on 09/30/2010

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I agree with Heather.
It comes down to 3 things; the teachers, the students, and the parents of those students.
1) the teachers are not TEACHING material any more. Kids aren't being expected to learn, they're being expected to memorize, and only as far as the next test. It's not just the fault of the new teachers though (although I FULLY suspect that they way the new teachers are being taught to teach (wow what a mouthful) is compounding the problem) I had teachers in my elementary and highschool that had been teaching for 20, 30 40+ years who used a lot of the same methods. It's the curriculum, not just the teachers.
2) Most parents aren't nearly as involved in their children's lives as they should be.Most parents use consecutive babysitting services (from school, to day care, to home with the TV or computer). Most don't check homework, and most don't keep up with their kid's grades. Some will reward for good grades (I've known kids to get $20 per A) but most will not punish for bad grades (or get help for a kid who's struggling).
3) Kids are LAZY and ENTITLED. I can't stress that enough. That's the way society is now. You don't want to hurt little Johnny's feelings, so only positive reinforcement is used. Kids are passing through grades without mastering the material that's required because *holding a child back a grade can be detrimental to their delicate psyche*. To often, kids are given what they want when they want it without having to do the work to get it. Or being able to pass off a half-assed job.
An example of this:
Essay papers are graded on a 0-6 basis. 6 is good, 0 bad.
I knew teens who would be asked to write a 2 page essay (5 paragraphs) (not that hard. . .) and show up with MAYBE the first paragraph done, and they would still end up with a 3 (essentially equivalent to a C grade)
I would personally refuse to mark incomplete work (within reason of course).
So the lazy kids are being rewarded for being lazy, and the kids who are trying really hard are essentially giving up because...what's the point.

The whole system needs a really BIG overhaul.

And just an fyi, I'm in Canada (BC) and I've been out of school for about 2 years.....I keep getting more and more discouraged with the system. That's why I'm going to do my damndest to homeschool my kidlets

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Jackie - posted on 10/01/2010

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I don't think that they didn't know HOW to do simple math, I think they were TOO DAMN LAZY to do that math and the others that didn't raise their hand probably weren't paying attention in the first place. This wasn't algebra - this was a basic math skill that is used in everyday life.

However, I do worry for the up-in-coming generations. Will they even know how to address and envelope? Gah!

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If they don't care, why are they in college? It seems like a waste. I loved college (at a state university) because all my classmates actually cared. I didn't feel like the oddball like when I was in high school.

ME - posted on 10/01/2010

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I teach at a community college...many of my students do not read at an 8th grade level. Their writing skills are even worse...
Laura, you are right too tho...it's like pulling teeth to get the majority of my students to participate...even when threatened with daily quizzes, writing assignments, and lectures as a replacement for class discussions...I was just talking to another teacher the other day...the attitude is one of apathy...they just don't care about anything...which is about as depressing as not knowing anything...

Isobel - posted on 10/01/2010

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I'm in college now and I actually must tell you that a lot of kids won't put their hand up if they are threatened with death...doesn't matter what the question is. I find it difficult to believe that students got accepted into University without knowing basic math. sorry...don't buy it.

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I think Denikka and Heather summed it all up. And Cat brought up learning disabilities. I don't remember taking a course in my teacher education that taught us how to catch things like that.

C. - posted on 10/01/2010

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I agree, Cathy. Parents need to be working WITH their children.



School should not be treated as some daycare that parents send their kids off to just to play, only for them to come home and have even more play time. Education takes work. It's the teacher's job, yes- But ONLY at school.. As parents, WE need to be making sure our children are getting the best education possible and help them achieve success in AND out of the classroom, not just out of the classroom.

C. - posted on 09/30/2010

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No, but I just watched the trailer. I want to see it now, thanks :P

It looks funny, especially b/c the guy from Everybody Hates Chris is on there (Terry Crews- he was also in White Chicks- LOVE that movie..)

But it also makes me want to cry, b/c it wouldn't surprise me if that really happened as stupid as people are anymore.

C. - posted on 09/30/2010

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Oh wow. That's really sad. But you know what, Tah? So many people anymore think that sports and extracurricular activities are so much more important. So many people anymore just want their kids to be popular, rather than have them study their lessons. That is so sad b/c eventually we're going to have some dumbass leading our country that won't even know what 2+2 is. People really need to be taking responsibility for letting their kids run around and do whatever the heck they want just b/c they don't want to fight with them to study. I can't believe that. Not knowing what 8x7 is.. Not knowing how to multiply?? That's basic math, people!!!! Come on!

Cat - posted on 09/30/2010

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Its possible, but I read through the list that wilki has for what I posted, and it's pretty accurate, right up to the confusing left and right, I still have to really think about it, when giving directions as I do mix them up

Heather - posted on 09/30/2010

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That's a huge possiblity Cat. So many kids have deficiencies or dissabilities and are overlooked by teachers AND parents. I wondered if what you had was "numerical dyslexia"(not the scientific term, but easier to pronounce.lol)

Cat - posted on 09/30/2010

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Had to research again, but this is what I have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyscalculia

And now, I'm starting to wonder, if math disabilities are more widespread, or if public schools really can be that inadequate... I mean, both are possible, b/c in my case it was both, that I had a disability and that no one caught it, and passed me through anyway...

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When I went to College (in English, not my own language), I was absolutely thrown off by what other students didn't know... I went to private school for 5 years before college and I am SO thankful my family gave me that opportunity. I was WAY ahead in most aspects of my college program just because of my education... We could tell who was from private schools and who wasn't and I found it so sad that not everyone has access to the same quality of education.

Cat - posted on 09/30/2010

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I have a learning disability when it comes to math... I cannot remember the correct term at the moment... I think its very sad I passed highschool math classes really not knowing anything much at all (I can do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication etc but not as fast as some people) I didnt learn about the disability until after highschool though... BUT I completely agree that it is sad, that kids are NOT getting the help/support they need when they need it, which is in grade school, not when they get to post secondary education.... Its very sad, and I'm one of the statistics...

Tah - posted on 09/30/2010

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my parents did it for us, we were all in private school or charter schools except my youngest sister but she went to a private college for her Associates degree before she moved down here, whe i went from being in a catholic school to a public school in 11th grade i could not believe it. The books we were reading junior and senior year were books we read in 9th grade English at catholic school and these kids were still stumbling over words. I was thinking what in the world is this?...Students were there that were 20 years old almost...i kidd you not. Some had their own apartments. I used to sell papers, i know it was wrong but i had pampers to buy and already had a job and i knew some of these kids would not graduate having to write it themselves. I moved my children to Va because the school system in Philly is crap, and when they gave me the option of what schools i could send them to since we live in the border of 2 counties, i chose the schools that i knew would give the better education. This is scary.



I also agree with your mother as yes sports are good, but i don't expect my children to be star athletes in the NFL..could they ..maybe, but more than likely not. So education is very important in this house, i want to see your homework, i want to check online to make sure you are not pulling the wool over my eyes and i stopped in at open house and gave every teacher my number and email address in case mr. logic wants to have a bad day. I reward good grades and we talk about repercussions for bad grades if it's because you arent turning in work etc. I absolutely believe that it is up to the parents as well, and i know many who don't care...I want my children to be prepared, i would be so embarrassed if my 8th grader didn't know the answer to that math problem let alone my college age child....

Heather - posted on 09/30/2010

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Well, I talk to my mom about this all the time. She's a 7th & 8th grade math teacher funny enough. She dealt with the same problem your friend did when she went back to college to finish her degree. She's been teaching for the last 20 years. There are a few big problems with education in the US as she sees it.

1) Teachers aren't being taught how to TEACH material: They have to know the material, but they aren't being given the tools to relay that information to students in more than one way. This is mostly a problem at the University level because the Doctors and professors aren't required to stay relevant or teach relevant ways to relay information to these new teachers so they can relay it to their students.

2)Parents don't take an active interest in their children's education: Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone, but a huge majority of parents are sending their kids to school as a daycare or they're more interested in their child playing a sport. My mom's had parents come to her and want her to exempt their child from homework or say the reason assignments weren't turned in was for sports. While sports are important to help kids stay physically healthy, the parents' priorities are seriously skewed here. Another scenario is that the parents just don't care. They expect their child to take over the family business or do some labor oriented job there in the community and could care less if they get an education.

3) Students don't take an interest in the education: The only reason we have teachers is to facilitate learning. It's really NOT their job to hold the student's hand and make them learn. Even the worst rated public school in America will turn out college graduates because those students WANT to learn. There's also a huge problem in inner-city and very rural communities with kids having horrible family lives. When a child is so consumed with fear of abuse or neglect it's not suprising they're not concentrating on school work.

There are always going to be bad teachers out there and bad students, but overall, I think we put most of the pressure for our poor scores on teachers and we need to be holding parents and students accountable for their grades. IMO ;)

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I understand the frustration. I am not sure where the canadian education system stands now but I am seriously thinking about sending the kids to a private school. It is disconcerting that we have to pay for private education in a lot of places to be able to offer our children decent education.

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