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Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2014

Commenting about the current Public Education System

Posted Sunday, March 25, 2012, at 9:54 AM

In another post about teaching entrepreneurship a side discussion of opinions kept coming in, so I thought I would give that topic its own post.

This is not about a specific teacher and may not even be directly about the Bedford County system since they seem to have rigid guidelines by which they abide.

What do you think of our current public education? It would be nice to get YOUR thoughts and not the thoughts posted elsewhere on the internet. What do you,our local residents think of the system, course content, course offerings, etc.?

I have loved teaching for a long time, but do not know if I could exist under the guidelines and rigid requirements of today's system. Of course, that is my opinion from the outside, so maybe some comments can come from the inside?

If you have to, get a new identity so you can speak freely, or write to me at Steve@bedfordtradingpost.com and I will cut and paste your comment. (providing it is not aimed at a person). I may edit expletives. Just sayin' :-)


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Beth & Liveforlight, I applaud you both in carrying on a thoughtful and controlled conversation, even though you both have strong feelings and somewhat diverse ends of the spectrum.

When I saw the conversation shift, I was apprehensive to say the least. If I thought a religious debate would stay civil, I would start another blog, but it would attract some less thoughtful and certainly less civil responses so....I have to think about it.

It is not that I mind conflicting views, but I have only one option with my blog, start it or end it. I cannot monitor individual entries so if someone comes on that hijacks the conversation with hate, I can only shut it down, thus losing all the good comments.

So for now, we continue this one. I do not mind that it was not the original thought, but I may start another one on the family even though I agree, it will turn to religion some, but the headline will not necessarily attract the hate mongers.

Hope that makes sense to everyone. :-)

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 7, 2012, at 9:06 AM

I would argue that EVERYONE has religion that can be defined by one of the below definitions. Simply put, religion is what you believe to be true, or what you base your faith/belief system on. If that is science, then so be it. Some call that Scientology.

No, you don't have to have a father in your childs life. I never said you did. Yes, I agree there are studies that will show most anything that one wants to argue.

I personally believe that a father and mother lovingly sharing equally in the responsiblity of bring up a child is very important to the well being of that child, both as a child and as an adult. That belief comes from my belief system and has been proven to work for centuries. A breakdown in that proven system is very tramatic for everyone involved. I have experienced that myself. The pain and anguish does subside and heal. It doesn't mean it can't be overcome, only that there are consequences.

I agree that not all bad things that happen have anything to do with religion or "Satan". How we react to the bad things that happen is based upon our belief system. What we do, or practice, is based upon those beliefs. That is what I call religion. Apparently you believe in science, as many do, I believe that "religion" is defined by definition number 3 below.

Here is the definition of religion I mentioned above. All of these refer to a set of beliefs. God has offered us a valuable gift of Love, reconcilation for our mistakes, fulfillment to our lives, and eternal life. No one has to accept it. I pray that you will have all of those things and will be blessed in everything you do.

re·li·gion /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA

noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.

5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Apr 6, 2012, at 5:02 PM

I agree that a single parent/children can have good family structure. However, such a family has disadvantages to a two parent family, assuming of course all of the parents mentioned are loving and supportive. The absence of the father in particular has been studied and shown to have adverse affects on the children...........

I also agree that "religion" can be a point of stress, and often is, especially when two parents have conflicting views. A family needs a firm foundation and system of beliefs. "God" has provided that. It is up to us to build on it. "Satan" would tear that down by whatever means available including "religion" media, schools, economics, politics, etc.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Apr 6, 2012, at 1:33 PM

Living without a father has nothing to do with a family structure. There are studies that prove and disprove the claims that you HAVE to have a father figure in your life as a child. However, my children for an example, have managed to live most of their lives without a "father figure" around. I raised them by myself until a few years ago.

You do not need any religion in order to have a firm structure in life. I have a very strong family, and we do not practice any religion, except for my husband who attends church and other religious things for himself.

As for "Satan", it is again something religious. It has no real status in Science nor in life. The bad things that happen does not have anything to do with religion, no matter what religion is practiced. It is simply just something that is a learning experience in your life. Not everything has to do with religion.

We all have our personal feelings and there are people who place blame on different deities, whether it is good or bad. But sometimes, you have to step away from religion to see what is out there.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Fri, Apr 6, 2012, at 3:34 PM

I agree that a single parent/children can have good family structure. However, such a family has disadvantages to a two parent family, assuming of course all of the parents mentioned are loving and supportive. The absence of the father in particular has been studied and shown to have adverse affects on the children.

I also agree that "religion" can be a point of stress, and often is, especially when two parents have conflicting views. A family needs a firm foundation and system of beliefs. "God" has provided that. It is up to us to build on it. "Satan" would tear that down by whatever means available including "religion" media, schools, economics, politics, etc.

Money is the number one cause of divorce in this country. IMO this is simply because of a clash of wills. Each of us wanting our own way, and getting upset when we don't get it the way we want it.

Also, agree that the media does not bare ALL the blame. As you said, we can turn off the TV, and often do. However, we have to be constantly on guard if we allow watching TV at all, because the garbage is so prevalant in virtually every program. We are constantly being stunned by what we thought would be clean wholesome programs. Once that seed, or image, has been planted into a young mind it is impossible to remove.

Programs are made to gain viewers and make money. So, it may just be the symptom of what our society wants, I'm not sure. Kind of like the Chicken and Egg question. Which came first? But then again, it is referred to as "programming". So who really controls what you see and what is their motivation?

The items I listed above were just off the top of my head, without giving them much thought, merely as a point of perspective for why I think there has beea a degradation of the family unit as requested by memyself.

Steve may want to start a blog about "How to improve the condition of the family unit" as opposed to what is wrong. Obviously, for me, that includes a strong faith in God. Such a blog will probaly turn "religious" in nature simply because the created cannot form a foundation without addressing the creator.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Apr 6, 2012, at 1:33 PM

Family structure does play a part in society. But that family structure does not necessarily mean: father, mother, siblings. It can also mean a single parent who is raising children as well. As long as the child has a loving parent/guardian and a safe environment, then it is a family structure.

Secondly, I have to disagree with you about the absence of religion playing a part of the demise of family. I believe that religion often plays a part in breaking families apart as well as society. If someone wants to be religious that is fine. But do not try and force others to be the same. Or condemn others who do not believe in the same religious beliefs as you. That is a problem that my husband and I had. Until we agreed that religion would not be brought up in our home. He can keep his and I will keep mine. And we are a happy couple with our children.

And as for blaming the media, they are only partially to blame. It is ultimately up to the parents to allow the garbage into their homes. TV shows are going to be filled with smut and offensive material. But just because it is on, does not mean you or your children have to watch it.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Fri, Apr 6, 2012, at 11:52 AM

I believe family is one of the most important building blocks for the foundation of our society. I suppose whether you blog about it or not is up to you.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Apr 5, 2012, at 7:46 PM

The condition of the family unit in today's society sounds like a pretty good topic for discussion. What would you think if I created a separate blog for that?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Apr 5, 2012, at 8:12 AM

memyself,

There are numerous problems that have resulted in the degradation of the family unit. I will simply list several off the top of my head.

1.)The realization that marriage is instituted by God.

2.)The divorce rate, which has skyrocketed and is now over 50%.

3.)The definition of marriage itself.

4.)Teaching the theory of evolution as fact.

5.)Litigation over child custody/rearing.

6.)Litigation through educational system.

7.)Shifting of personal responsibility from the individual to the state.

8.)Removal of prayer from school.

9.)Creation of welfare state undermining work ethics and producing generations on welfare

10.)Promotion through graphic portrayal of unethical behavior by the media, Hollywood, and professional sports.

I could go on, but to put it simply, merely think of the things that you have to constantly address or explain with your children/family members that create division/strife instead of unity/harmony.

For added perspective, this also applies to our current administration. A president that creates division in our country also creates division in the family.

The country is more divided now, by class, race, political affliation, sexual orientation, religion, litigation, and theology than I have ever seen it.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Apr 4, 2012, at 10:09 PM

Dianatn, There is no doubt that teachers are pulled in many directions. I imagine that between the students, parents, administrators, other teachers, and their own inclinations, many of them feel like every day is a balancing act of appeasement.

PrpleHze, On a personal level, if you have the desire to teach, it is something that you should look into. I do not remember any specifics that you may have given in the past regarding your age, children's age, or educational background, but with you already home-schooling now, a transition into becoming a student yourself (even part-time) would not take much.

Motlow and MTSU are building a partnership with classes available here in town and also online. I imagine that there are grants or scholarships available for those who are seeking a teaching degree. Even if there are none immediately available, you can take a class each semester for about $400.00 and a few hours a week. I know that can represent a lot, but if it is something that you want to do, you should try.

Liveforlight, Again, I agree with you, although we may not have reached the same conclusions in the same way. I would actually go a step further than you did and suggest that OBE (and the degradation of our family unit) is not the result of random forces or unfortunate circumstance, but a sustained assault upon a free society.

I am curious about something. You wrote "One merely needs to look at the degradation of the family unit in our society, and the causes thereof, to discover why education, and our country, is suffering." What do you see the causes as being? I do not want an argument, just added perspective.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Apr 4, 2012, at 3:25 PM

Thanks memyself,

I never thought of us as "being at odds', maybe we have had conflicting views on some subjects in the past. I really don't recall. I thought your comments above were spot on and I said so.

OBE is ineffective for real education but works wonderfully as a checklist education system, which play well to the media and politicians.

The real answers to our problems lies within the family. One merely needs to look at the degradation of the family unit in our society, and the causes thereof, to discover why education, and our country, is suffering.

Love is the most powerful force known to man. But, there must also be commitment, because love will wax and wane as the tide. A firm commitment to a worthy outcome, or objective, is necessary. To place such faith in the "State" is to place such faith in man.

True understanding cannot be obtained through OBE but only comes through TBE, even if the form it takes is OBE.

A few will excell and become elites, the rest will not. Thus the die is cast between the "haves" and "have nots". The politician/state will say he can equalize this unbalance but only brings into the equation his own flaws.

IMO the state will never be able to reconcile this problem because it does not have the capacity to love.

Love requires the surrender of control.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Apr 3, 2012, at 10:54 PM

memyselfi,

I wouldn't mind being a public school teacher, besides just being a home educator. But, I do not tolerate people who are lazy. And I do not tolerate children who act like they have no common sense what so ever. And it irks me to see parents who raise spoiled brats and think that their child could never do any wrong.

If I could attend college to get a teaching degree, I would most likely do it. But I don't see that happening in the future any time soon.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Tue, Apr 3, 2012, at 9:27 AM

No thank you!!! Teachers do not make enough money to have to deal with the problems they have plus have parents believing their children are not learning because the teacher is not teaching and the state breathing down their throats about what should be taught. Hmmm No thanks I'd rather dig ditches

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 1:39 PM

Liveforlight, I read you earlier comment. I didn't want to single it out and appear argumentative, given our history of being at odds. I generally agree with you, but I do not think there is any way to reverse OBE. That is not necessarily a bad thing though. It is like you wrote, it depends entirely upon what the outcomes are, who sets them, and the goals anticipated by their implementation.

Mr. Mills, No, not "too subtle" at all, just slightly more subtle than I typically am. Of course, my picture and name are not prominently displayed at the top of this page. I do not know about the Genesis program. I was wondering the same thing.

quietmike & PrpleHze, I think you two may be onto something. Now, you should only step back and see that your own dispositions are only the flip side of the coin that you are pointing to. The only difference is your eagerness to please, and your higher thresholds of servility. No one escapes the engineered society and planned economy that our schools prepare us for.

Dianatn, I do not know what classrooms you could be referring to. I have had children in Bedford County schools for 17 years now and the lesson plan of each year, at least in primary school, has been "sit down, shut-up, stand in line, and wait for instruction". Teachers have a formidable arsenal at their disposal to ensure classroom decorum, from traditional methods of correction like individual castigation, removal of privileges, and peer correction (group punishment) to more developed methods such as counseling (likely medication advisement), alternative schools, and even legal ramifications.

Self-control appears to be the one subject that public schools excel in teaching. If you do not believe it, as yourself why a child can get through twelve years of school without learning much, but will not make it through one single day if they refuse to sit down.

As an aside, have you ever considered teaching yourself? I think your demeanor would be thoroughly appreciated in a kindergarten classroom, at least by your employer.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 2:00 PM

Could someone explain more about what the Genesis program is and how it teaches the student?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 8:28 AM

When your child is attending the public school, the school gets money from the gov't. When they don't, such as being absent, they don't. Schools are no longer in business to educate children. They are in business to make money. Unfortunately, that money is not being given to those who actually deserve it, such as the good teachers.

If you homeschool, independently such as registering with the school board, then the school board gets $100 from the gov't for your child instead of thousands. If you sign up for an umbrella company, such as HomeLife which is what we currently use, then the school board does not get any money.

Homeschooling is not that hard. You simply purchase the books that you are going to use. If you have a high school diploma then you can register with the school board for free. Or you can pay a yearly fee to an umbrella company. To get more information, you can check out ~> http://tnhomeed.com/

I encourage homeschooling because it is a much safer option and a more educational option in the education of your child. It does take patience. But the schedule and the classes are mainly up to you.

With the way the public school system is set up, there is no wonder why we have so many lazy Americans. They are brought up that you don't have to work hard, just enough to barely get by.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 4:44 AM

Ok, my daughter is in 8th grade. She has brought home at least 2 f's on her report card ALL year long. The school placed her in the Genesis program. I call the school and ask if I can hold her back if they plan on passing her. So they look at her grades and inform me that she will pass due to the Genesis program. That she is making good grades in there. Ok I am aware of the fact that she is lazy and does not do homework. But when do we draw the line at PUSHING the kids out of school? I mean I understand that if the kids FAIL, then it is a reflection on the teacher, which is a reflection on the school, which is a reflection on the funding that the schools get. I am VERY aware of that!! My problem is...IF they put my child in the Genesis program just so they can make sure she passes, what are they going to do when my child is in the real world? Is there going to be someone from our school systems standing there with her as she is working to earn money? Telling her its wrong? Come on now, they want to make sure that they PASS, because they dont want them to quit later...shouldnt we be worring more about what they are learning? Not them MAYBE or MAYBE NOT quitting LATER?!!!

I plan on doing EVERYTHING I can do to homeschool her next year, but I will not teach her 9th grade!!! She does not need to go to 9th grade! She needs to be in 8th again.

I know I am not the only mom/parent here that is having an issue with this. I just wonder IF we all band together and push the issue of our children actually getting the ACTUAL grades they earned, and not the one that the schools have chosen to give them. I bet we could show them that this is not right, they would either have to change the rules or help our kids better!

I know for a fact that SOME of our children are not getting the grades they EARNED!!! On the last report card in the "teacher comments" it said "actual grade is 58" but for some reason the grade that was recorded is 60. WHAT??? REALLY??? COME ON NOW!!!! WHY??? Teachers should (and SOME ARE) teaching our kids, not giving them different grades so that they can get more money to the school. Whats wrong with this system? I know that they go to collage to learn how to be a teacher, thats what they are paid to do, so DO IT!!! DONT PASS A CHILD JUST TO GET MORE MONEY!!! DONT PASS A CHILD BECAUSE YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO!!!! FAIL THE ONES THAT SHOULD BE FAILED!!! AND FOR HEAVENS SAKE IF THE PARENTS FEEL THE BEST THING FOR THIER CHILD IS TO REMAIN IN THAT GRADE, KEEP THEM THERE!!!!

Now I am not saying that its ALL the teachers fault, but I have to say that some of it is!!

To me NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND actually means, NO CHILD WILL FAIL IN OUR SYSTEMS!

I SAY THAT IS COMPLETE BULL MESS!!!

-- Posted by momof4kids on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 9:14 PM

I told myself I wasn't going to get in the middle of this conversation because it hits so close to home but here I am anyway

I for one do not understand the concept of blaming teachers for the way a parent has raised their children. If a child is unruly and refuses to sit still and keep their little mouth shut how in the world is that teacher suppose to teach him anything? Not only can the teacher not teach him anything but if he is continuously disrupting the class how can she teach any student? Yet when that same student takes the TCAP bubble test he does not even read the questions he just fills in the bubbles to make a pretty pattern. NCLB requires that child stay in the classroom if the teacher can not teach her class because of one or two students: Again how is it the teachers fault because parents have not taught their child how to behave. Isn't this in fact leaving every other child in that class behind because of the unruly students?

Teachers are not there to teach your child to behave they are there to teach them math, reading, science and history. Do not expect a teacher to potty train your child that is not her job. Parents have to take some responsibility for their own children, a teacher has your child for one school year YOU have had your child for at least the first 6 years of their lives if you have not done your job as a parent Do Not expect the Teacher to do your job and hers!!!

If you have allowed your child to run your house (which believe me many parents do) for the first 6 years of their lives Do you honestly think that a teacher is going to be able to change your little monster into a perfect angel in the short few months she has your child in her classroom?

The old saying ,You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, holds true for children also. You can make them go to school but you can not force them to learn. I don't care who you are or how good of a teacher you are ,the child has to be willing to learn and listen and if you have not instilled that in your child as he/she was growing up then it is your fault that Johnnie can't read.... Not the teachers!!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 10:36 AM

One note regarding the student who missed 90 days. I do not know the student, what school, or any of the circumstances, but it is entirely possible that this student actually kept up with classwork and passed tests.

I think we have all read where a student was out for an accident, or other health issues but was able to graduate with their class. Maybe I am wrong in assuming they passed their tests and earned that degree, but that is what I thought.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 6:55 AM

Agreed, but our entitlement system does the same for adults. Maybe they're changing the school system to indoctrinate the children?

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 5:42 PM

I totally agree with you on that. It would explain why there are so many people who think that they should make thousands a dollar a year without working - and instead they get a check each month to cover their expenses. Great point!!

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 7:32 PM

That is exactly why the public school system is broken. How can you reward kids who do not work hard or even show up for school. Students who work hard, show up for school, and care about their education end up with the exact same reward as the lazy students. That is horrible.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 4:06 PM

Agreed, but our entitlement system does the same for adults. Maybe they're changing the school system to indoctrinate the children?

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 5:42 PM

Steve:

The last time that my children were in the public school system, I helped them with their homework. I asked them all of the questions. That is how I found out that my youngest (who was in Kindergarten) was helping in teaching other students because she already knew how to write and read. I also found out that in my oldest child's class the teacher would walk out in the middle of teaching every time her cell phone rang. When we found out the following year that my other child ended up in the same teacher's class, I went to the principal and was told there was nothing that I could do. I would have loved to transfer them to another school but do to our money and transportation problems, there was no way that we could.

But when teachers and principals do not care about what is happening in the school, then they do not belong there, just as the students do not belong there.

I appreciate the great teachers that I had growing up and the few good ones that my children had. The good teachers who cared about their jobs and worked extremely hard. I know how it feels teaching, all of the time it takes to prepare lesson plans, getting all of the supplies, and making sure that everyone understands what is being taught. Though I do not have 30 students, it does take someone with patience and the passion to teach.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 4:21 PM

neighborhood mom:

That is exactly why the public school system is broken. How can you reward kids who do not work hard or even show up for school. Students who work hard, show up for school, and care about their education end up with the exact same reward as the lazy students. That is horrible. If the students do not want to be in school, then they shouldn't be there. It would save tax money, room in the classrooms, and would teach other students a lesson that if you do not work hard then you cannot advance in life.

And not all problems belong on the parents, when it comes to education. But it can sometimes add to it. If parents show that they don't care if their child brings home C's & D's or worse - then the child is not going to care either. The students already know that their teachers' don't care, because they have to pass them regardless. Why work hard? What is the point?

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 4:06 PM

Was I being too subtle? I could change that but I do not want to appear to be commenting on just the school that our daughter attended.

While PTO president for a number of years I interfaced with numerous other schools, so comments would not necessarily reflect on our daughter's school, but since it might be interpreted that way, I will facilitate as well as possible and nudge when I can't take it any more. :-)

Plus, my observations are now "dated" so they may not apply to the current environment.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 7:17 AM

Very well said memyself! My wife and I experience the very thing you mention with our school system and have had teachers express the same views.

The three way partnership exists between parent student and teacher, but there is also the overlord of "the state". Problematic areas often revolve to "I don't like it any more than you do" as consultation between parent and teacher unfolds over some aspect of school policy or curriculum.

It would seem to me that the state has successfully interjected itself whether needed or wanted or noy and this most assuredly is directed to meeting state objectives.

There is too much seperation between the service/product and the consumer. A voucher system is needed and the removal of strict zoning rules.

OBE is too easily manipulated by merely changing the obejective, especially when the objective is state controlled.

By tying the funding, which comes from the parents/citizens, to the service, the parents would have the authority to send the students to the school that delivers the best service and have the funding follow.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 6:19 AM

I find the general agreement directed at parental responsibility somewhat ironic. It is not that I necessarily disagree on an individual level. Clearly, a child's parents should be actively involved in most aspects of their lives, especially something as important as education.

What troubles me is that no one has acknowledged (aside from Mr. Mill's extremely subtle nudge) that there is often little room left in public education for parental involvement. An active parent has two basic choices: to get on board with the pre-determined program, or to complain (with typically unsatisfactory results). The extremely hierarchical bureaucracy that defines education is, by design, naturally resistant to interference. It does not matter if that interference would come from parents, students, or even teachers.

Also, I am somewhat skeptical when I hear a teacher or administrator encourage parental involvement. What I have come to understand that to mean is that they encourage a partnership to ensure that the student masters whatever tedium is being presented that week. The partnership proposed does not extend to matters of policies and procedures, curriculum, teaching methods, teacher qualifications, or (as is currently in the news) teacher assessments.

The most ironic aspect of assigning blame to parents is that the most basic function of public school is to limit the amount of influence that parents will exert upon their children, and place it under the oversight of the state.

Given the remarkably limited authority vested into the parents, the fact that our children are--by force of law--conscripted for seven hours a day (not including homework), and the percentage of our tax dollars confiscated in the name of education, it is difficult for me to look primarily to parents for improvement.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Mar 28, 2012, at 3:11 AM

Letting kids slide and not holding parents accountable is a big issue. I know of 1 student last year that MISSED 90...yes 90...days of school last year...and yet they passed! How?! If that were my child, I'd be getting a call from social services. It's also why we've now got a dress code (that's enforced)...because PARENTS weren't monitoring what their kids were wearing. Our teachers should not have to monitor if a child has a belt on every day...and yet they have to. Life skills are also important. I think next year TN is FINALLY requiring a class on (general banking/credit...not sure the exact name of it) as a requirement to graduate. It's about darn time.

-- Posted by neighborhood mom on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 10:13 PM

Not to take away from all the other good conversation, but I can feel and empathize with mrmosier plus I like the responsibility handed back to the parents.

Our daughter took a year to go to a private school in sixth grade. For whatever reason, we the parents had to do much of the teaching for her primary teacher.

Sure we fussed, but the bottom line was our daughter's education, so we (and she)stayed up until late each night helping her with her studies. We could not JUST complain, we had to take action ourselves.

She still got A's so the school system asked us what was the problem. They never did get it so we returned to public school but stayed actively involved in exactly the way mrmosier suggests. "What did you do today?"

We went to every parent/teacher conference, even though she was doing well, She needed to know we cared as well as the teachers. I can't recall any major issue, but when anything came up, we got involved.

Now with that said, the school Principals need to encourage and accept parent involvement. That may not always be the case so.....

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 6:07 AM

As an educator and a parent, I think some of you have the right ideas for the problems with education. It should be a partnership between all three groups (parents, teachers, and students). The direction that public education, at least in Tennessee, has taken only holds one group responsible for the progress students make on any type of assessment, the teacher. There are bad teachers, do not get me wrong, but what is driving the good teachers out of the profession is the constant belittling of our professionalism. I have a degree, worked my way through high school and college, have held jobs in technical fields as well as supervisory positions, and yet even I cannot do much if a kid comes to school most days without food, boundaries (bed times, supervision, etc.), and sometimes even a general sense that a parent cares about them. I cannot be a father to 130-150 kids plus my own, but according to the expectations on me that is what I have to do. There has to be accountability on all sides in order for education to work; otherwise, the balance is gone and the system falls apart. Please do not take this the wrong way, there are tremendous parents and outstanding kids out there (and I am blessed with both in my classes each year), but the buck stops with me, even if I have little control over how kids perform (if you miss more than 30 days for my class, you probably should not pass, but you must according to NCLB and RTTT). Finally, I have a solution: if you want to help your child receive a better education, partner with the teacher; ask what your child has done in class each day, and if the child will not give you a specific answer, keep asking until he/she does. Do not take "nothing" as an answer; fight back. Ladies and gents, our kids need us to help them understand what it takes to succeed in the world; please help us give them the tools they need (punctuality, work ethic, the ability to deal with adversity).

-- Posted by mrmosier on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 12:15 AM

I don't understand why every child is forced to take certain high school classes in which they don't need. It seems like a waste of time and money. Not everyone is going to need Chemistry or Physics class. Not everyone is going to need Trig or Calculus. These are not subjects that you are going to need, unless you are going into a field that will require it. And even then, you can get the classes in college. There should be more realistic classes dealing with economics, sociology and business. They should be teaching students real life instead of just book work. I also made straight A's in college prep classes (there were not any honor or higher classes available). I took the ACT and SAT and got decent scores on both. I even took the ASVAB. However, none of it prepared me for the workforce, since I was unable to attend college, due to money.

If school systems would stop focusing on teaching sex education, religion, and evolution so much. And focus on the big picture, then maybe education would get changed. But there is too much politics involved in the educational system.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 10:11 PM

the Career and Technical Education (CTE) is designed to do just what you have described. This program is currently under fire in our legislature. The mistake that many people make is to assume that all students in the CTE classes are not going to college. For example agriculture, business, construction, concrete management, are all CTE programs but are 4 year degree programs at most universities. The problem here is that our legislature changed the graduation requirements with the class beginning 2009-2010. These require ALL students to take chemistry, biology, 4 years of math, etc. This leaves no room for students to take many CTE classes. Many students do not need chemistry, 4 years of math, etc. In fact it requires teachers to water down the classes to get everyone to pass and is a dis service to those who really need it. Yes we need a good CTE program.

In addition, way too much emphis is placed on the ACT for college bound kids. Let me give you an example. My child graduated from a Bedford County school in the top 10. This child made an average score on the ACT but was told they would have to take remedial math. The college curriculum only requires them to have one semester of math. This child had never made less than an A in any high school honors math class. We refused to pay for a remedial class and was eventually allowed to take the class. the student made a B in the class. It's all about money. Remedial classes are a money maker. I say let the students take regular classes in college. If they fail let them pay to take the class over at that time.

-- Posted by prov22:6 on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 3:36 PM

I think a major problem with the public school system is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone seems to know what is right for the students. From government officials, the school board, and even the so-called president. No one really knows what students are needing except for the teachers, the parents, and the students, of course.

Before the blind school board passes another rule onto the students and parents, they need to consult parents, teachers, and students. Instead of taking it upon themselves to implement daft rules that do not have anything to do with teaching students. The dress code didn't do anything but upset parents and students. It hasn't caused the test scores to go up. It has encouraged kids to stay in school. It has been nothing but a huge headache. Why not create classes that will implement life skills? Not every kid is going to go to college. So why not offer other classes to introduce kids to other workforce ideas. Why not business classes? Cooking? Construction?

-- Posted by -Beth- on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 1:39 PM

I think some the comments are hitting the nail on the head about responsibility.

Responsibility is one thing that seems to be disregarded.Parents,teachers, students, politicians, and administrators stand in a circle and point at one another.

What has really changed in education since I was a child is the overall teaching strategy. There are two basic methods of teaching. OBE (outcome based education) and TBE (Task or Trivium based education) learn about it here http://www.triviumpursuit.com/articles/o...

Our government changed from TBE to OBE forcing our teachers to use this method. I have seen it first hand. My wife has had to spend hours and hours with our children teaching them what they should have already learned in school, simply because OBE does not instill into the student an understanding of what is being done.

Creativity and entrepenuership is stifled by this education method.

As to responsibility, we are responsible for allowing this to occur. Correct me if I am wrong, but a few years ago our local education board implemented a dress code against the wishes of the parents. This demonstrates to the students that the system trumps the parents.

Does the dress code benefit the student more or the system?

When rsponsiblity is diverted from the path to justice,it is just a matter time before the day of reckoning catches up. Just like a decaying tooth, the lonegr it goes uncorrected the worse it gets.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 12:02 PM

I agree with you totally. Responsibility and accountability needs to be taught from the beginning. In fact, it should be taught starting at home. But, as we all know, there are many lazy parents that do not raise their children and simply let society and television to teach their children what they need to know.

Children often mimic what they see and experience at home. So, if they are allowed to be lazy, rude, and disrespectful at home - then they will tend to act the same at school and in public. Parents cannot leave all of the teaching and raising of their children up to society. They have to take responsibility as well.

Teachers should be allowed to hold children back if the child is not progressing. The parents may not like it or approve of it. But the best interest of the child is what is at hand.

Just as I have taught my children, if the paper or answer is not an A, then you keep redoing it until it is an A.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 10:01 AM

Prple

I agree with you comments. In fact we agree more than either of us might admit. One point that I don't agree is that teaching this responsibility starts in high school. Today students in elementary and middle school are not accountable for their poor performance. In high school I do think there is somewhat more accountability but when students were taught in earlier grades that they did not have to be accountable it is very difficult for teachers to undo that thinking once they are in high school. It is also hard for a high school teacher to be held accountable when students arrive and cannot function

accademically. When this happens the middle and

elementary teachers often get the blame when, in fact, those

Teachers in many cases, were forced to pass the student

along against their better judgement or suffer the consequence at evaluation time.

-- Posted by prov22:6 on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 9:35 AM

~Quote~ I certainly agree with your comments but cannot agree that students should be rewarded for poor performance. It appears that you would not reward a teacher for poor performance but students are now being taught that poor performance is acceptable. ~End Quote~

I do not agree that students should be rewarded either. When students are in high school, then they should start to be treated like an employee would be. If they do not do their work, then they do not reap any rewards. That is why the I don't think that the law that states that students will lose their license if they do not attend school works. It only keeps kids who do not care about their education in school to cause a distraction to other students and teachers who are trying to do their job.

Students should realize that in the job market, if you are lazy and you do not want to do your work, then you will find yourself unemployed. Instead of listening to speeches from prisoners and others about staying in school and saying no to drugs, alcohol, and sex. More focus should be done about teaching them the consequences of being lazy versus hard work. If the kids do not want to learn and is a distraction, just like in the workplace, then they should not be there. Or simply punish them instead of sending them home so they can play on Facebook or video games. Make them help out the janitors of the school by cleaning up, scrubbing toilets, etc.

As for the evaluation of the teacher, it should be noted on there if there are any students that are a distraction and are uncooperative. As a manager, you understand that if you have a bad employee, then it reflects on your management skills. Even though you have not done anything wrong, and it is the employees' fault, you will take the punishment.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 8:05 AM

Prple

your points are well taken. I certainly believe that in any workplace there are some who work hard and some who don't. I have managed employees in the business world for 25 years. as I write this I am preparing to meet with an employee to encourage better performance. I don't feel we as managers should punish the entire group for the mistakes of one or two or decide the entire group is bad because of one or two. In addition, and more importantly, it surely can't be helping students to teach them that they have no responsibility and can pass no matter how little they do. Surely it can't be helping students to have teachers chase them down weeks after an assignment was due and allow it to be done. The world just don't work that way. I certainly agree with your comments but cannot agree that students should be rewarded for poor performance. It appears that you would not reward a teacher for poor performance but students are now being taught that poor performance is acceptable. Well it just isn't.

-- Posted by prov22:6 on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 6:18 AM

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. NOW is the correct time to study contact your local University also check for an interesting article called High Speed Universities on web

-- Posted by victor gilbertz on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 5:51 AM

prov:

Not all of the problems with the public school system has to do with the teacher, that is true. But some of it is. I have had plenty of experience with teachers who were too lazy to do their job. They would rather take the easy way out and let the next year's teacher worry about catching the students up. Or play with their cell phones, computer games/internet sites instead of teaching.

And not all of the problems belong on the side of the parent.

Education is a problem that exist with 3 sides - The student - The parent - The teacher. Education is a triangle with these perimeters. If any of the sides are missing, then it will simply collapse.

You can find the best teacher and a very concerned parent that is encouraging and helping a child. But if the child does not want to learn - then nothing you can do will force the child to learn. Not all students learn the same way and not all students aim at the same goals. I guess that is the advantage that home educators have that we can alter the learning material to suit the child.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 8:49 PM

I can say first hand without any doubt that teachers are forced to pass students that do not turn in home work and do not pass tests. Students can turn in work anytime (late) and teachers must accept it. teachers have been intimidated by principals. Teachers at one school are not allowed to sit even when they are sick. Teachers at this school are chastised for taking a personal day. It is demanded that teachers work outside their contract. All teachers work now several hours after school and on weekends as well as throughout the summer with no pay. The school system will say that they don't requie it but teachers cannot do well on evaluations without doing so. The bottom line is there is no responsibility

on the part of the student. Students can sit in class and never pass a test, never do assigned work and pass. This is a

shame. Students should be allowed to make mistakes and be held accountable for their actions. They will be in the work

world. The attitude that a students failure is always the

teachers fault is WRONG! How can a teacher be held

accountable for a trifling, lazy, student? If our legislature

wants to help education then hold parents accountable for a

students grades not the teachers. In closing, many of the

tactics used by education officials to destroy the moral of

teachers would be highly illegal in any corporation but is, for

some reason, accepted in the school system. I realize all

schools are not this way but many Bedford County schools

are. management by intimidation and fear is un professional. I believe we could get more done with management by motivation.

-- Posted by prov22:6 on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 7:32 PM

I could write for days on this subject. But to keep it short - public school teachers teach to test. They teach to what is going to be on the TCAPs, and other testings. They do not teach for life skills, they leave that up to the parents.

And like quietmike stated above, many teachers are told to pass students, even when they are not ready. Look at how many athletes in college read at 1st grade levels.

The public school system is broken and until someone in power that can change it, it will stay broken. It will take a major overhaul in order to raise the standards. Parents must also help in raising the standards by encouraging and becoming involved in their children's education. That doesn't mean that you have to home educate like we do, but at least take a look at what they are learning. During the summer months, give them some review sheets or set goals for them that they have to achieve. It may not sound fun, but they will retain what they had learned throughout the year.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 10:36 AM

NCLB and other such nonsense has ruined our education system. If the locals are satisfied with their schools that should be the end of it.

Now, to keep federal dollars coming in, teachers are "encouraged" to GIVE passing grades to kids that didn't earn them, doing a disservice to the child and community.

Return schools to the communities and return to common sense.

-- Posted by quietmike on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 10:09 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.