Education should be as important an election issue as the economy, terrorism, etc. - Page 9 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #81 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 02:20 PM
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Gawd almighty, you and McBear see the same thing: Problem? Through another layer of bureaucracy in there. Typical big gov thinking.

Why not try something different, like devolution of power? Give power to the people who teach -- teachers. If they don't perform up to community standards (ie, what parents expect of their own kids expect) fire the teacher. You know, like real life.

B
Among other things, a teachers "grade" is not quite as evident as that of say a programmer who either does or does not complete task or a lawyer who does or does not win cases or bring in clients. A teacher's work is highly subjective on every level. The testing that they teach to it indicative of a system that demands funding sources and will do what it takes to get it. The teacher can be the absolute best teacher but if the test scores are not X, does she get fired? On the other side of that, if a marginal teacher knows how to teach the test does she get rewarded.

Your suggestion just tried to simplify a very complex problem into a "subjects test well, teacher keeps job" scenario. That does nothing to address the global problem of US students averaging about 30% of many of the students in the industrialized world with whom they will be competing. It IS a National Issue. Mom an Pop might be happy that Junior can do the 3Rs. You might be happy that your labor force needs the 3Rs only. The Nation, on the other hand needs as many students as possible to rise above that 30 percentile to compete with the graduates of Germany, France, Brazil, China, India and the next level of first world countries that Mom and Pop might not know about.

You have the right to see the minutes of your local school board. Get them and do a scan and see when was the last mention of the Global Economy and your local student's ability to compete in that economy. Post up the results. Let's see what your community standards are.

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post #82 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by McBear
Re the testing v teaching methodology, if the testing methodology were adaptive testing which, as Q posted earlier is how corporations certify technical workers then teachers would have to teach fully to understanding the material, not to the test criteria. The test would then exercise that understanding.

For 15 years I got co-ops and new hires as fodder for projects and was constantly amazed at the lack of knowledge in subject matter, historical reference or abilities to problem solve [and most had MBAs or at least BS degrees in an engineering field. On projects they had to do by themselves [as opposed to group work] more often than not the work would have to be retasked or handheld by senior staff. On work where they were not available to a computer, most were lost, even when a computer was not required for the task.
You're a saint, what with wasting your breath on that lump of human coal and all.

The more I think about it, the more infatuated I am with use of adaptive testing in schools. That really could solve a lot of problems, and without nearly as much expense as some of the other bureaucratic proposals.
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post #83 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 02:38 PM
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You're a saint, what with wasting your breath on that lump of human coal and all.

The more I think about it, the more infatuated I am with use of adaptive testing in schools. That really could solve a lot of problems, and without nearly as much expense as some of the other bureaucratic proposals.
I have never been for a large bureaucracy from the Federal level. That is an unnecessary part of this. Standardization of expectations for graduation, on the other hand is something I believe in. I have dealt with recent grads from Eastern Kentucky, Bangalore, San Francisco, Madison, Cologne, London and New York and the critical thinking skills of the US students makes me very nervous compared to those of their Euro and Asian counterparts.

And I agree completely with Adaptive Testing. With current technology there is no excuse for this NCLB testing paradox that lets a school system teach the test. Teachers would be free to teach fundamentals, teach in depth material and critical thinking/problem solving skills and let the testing sort out the quality of understanding.

As for the quality of teachers, I have always been a fan of testing the teachers, above and beyond their schooling but I know that gets severe pushback from both the NEA and administrators as it adds a level of hassle to their employee/employer relationship. The positive of testing the teachers is that the most knowledgeable teachers would be noted but there would always be some very good teachers [much like some students] who just don't test well. This approach would allow administrators to understand where some weaknesses my be [as teaching results might not show up for years].

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post #84 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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^ So how old are your kids?
23 & 26

Don't believe everything you think
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post #85 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Set up all schools like Little House in the Prairie
that way you have total local control
Good luck
I agree!

I agree!


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post #86 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 03:03 PM
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^ Well, I regret that their experiences in the public education system where you live have you so poisoned against all public education systems.

Let me say on behalf of my own, that everyone advocating the federal government come in and start "fixing" things, leave my district and schools the fuck out of your plans.
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post #87 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Re the testing v teaching methodology, if the testing methodology were adaptive testing which, as Q posted earlier is how corporations certify technical workers then teachers would have to teach fully to understanding the material, not to the test criteria. The test would then exercise that understanding.

For 15 years I got co-ops and new hires as fodder for projects and was constantly amazed at the lack of knowledge in subject matter, historical reference or abilities to problem solve [and most had MBAs or at least BS degrees in an engineering field. On projects they had to do by themselves [as opposed to group work] more often than not the work would have to be retasked or handheld by senior staff. On work where they were not available to a computer, most were lost, even when a computer was not required for the task.
Sad but true...

Don't believe everything you think
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post #88 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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^ Well, I regret that their experiences in the public education system where you live have you so poisoned against all public education systems.

Let me say on behalf of my own, that everyone advocating the federal government come in and start "fixing" things, leave my district and schools the fuck out of your plans.
My kids did very well in school, in spite of the school's efforts to bore them to death. But that is because both of their parents were Ph.D.s and knew how to challenge them and make them very successful--in and out of school. It is my 30+ years of working in and w/ the schools--from K through Ph.D. level education--that has convinced me that the system is broken. I'm not "poisoned against them," just very knowledgeable and realistic. I do not want the feds involved in many things either, save national defense and a very few other areas, and until the last few years I didn't want them messing in education either; but the reality of my experience taught me that there is NO other way to wake up our public education system, and I think the NCLB law is a good start in doing that.

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post #89 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 07:54 AM
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I got two of them bad boys (MSEE and MBA) and couldn't get any respect
Thinking of you this morning, Drew.

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post #90 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 08:00 AM
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