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Problems with education system

forshooting

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1. The primary problem with the education system is widespread poor management. This means the administrations aren't consistent in picking good curriculum, teaching it in the best ways known, and dealing with children in the best ways.

2. The main cause of poor management is lack of incentives. Our top graduates don't want to become teachers. They want to become lawyers, businessmen, scientists, doctors, etc. There are two primary incentives: money and prestige. Increasing the money incentive will bring prestige, not just because of the pay but because more and more talented teachers will show up in the education market.

3. There are a couple ways to increase the money incentive in the market for teachers. First, you can tax the public at higher rates and send this money to schools. Second, you can implement policies that allow private schools to operate more profitably. Such policies would include cutting non-vital regulation and paperwork.

4. Schools of Education across the United States have an intellectually weak culture. They lack scientific, data-based research on what educational methods are most effective. These schools have not developed any significant innovations in making teachers more effective.
 

Gideon

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Actually, a large portion of taxes is going into school research.
Also, that was a statement, but shouldnt that be followed up by a question so that other people feel they can respond?
 

Diogenes

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The schools in the US were doing just fine until around 1965, when the NEA converted itself from a professional association into a labor union. It's been downhill all the way since then, and will continue so until we do a little union-busting with school choice.
 

Mortibis

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I think much of the problem comes from the formation of education systems by state and local municipalities rather than by the national government. There's little national standards. As a result education is superb in several areas, while extremely lacking in others. This results in an imbalance of education, and the former continues to better their standards, while the latter keeps going down hill. This imbalance can be seen easily for instance in the college selection process. Many colleges will select a student from one area over a student from another in a similar fashioin to affirmative action.

I do agree though with your statement that many young graduates look to go into a profession such as medicine or law over teaching, and this creates a lack of teachers/good teachers. In fact, a few of my teachers have expressed this sentiment. I think taxing or somehow redistributing the budget is a good idea. You'll make that money back 10x with a better education, and at the same time lead a more knowledgable life.

The destruction of ignorance cannot be underestimated.
 
N

Now12

I am frustrated with the quality of teachers at my current school. It seems as if teachers have no other option but to become a teacher. I have had teachers in the past that just have that gift for teaching kids with valid sincerity. Perhaps over crowded class rooms have altered the way they view teaching. I think kids [obviously] tend to understand better with a teacher that has the best intent for the student. I think that kids want to be able [at the least] to feel comfortable to ask questions when behind and in need of help. I reside in a district that is in need of teachers, regardless of their reasons for being there. I am disappointed in my district officials as well as the security branch. How do you feel?
 

t125eagle

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as I am in college to become a teacher, I feel I should add my voice to it. I could do other things, but I love history and wish to pass it on. Reduction of paperwork would be a big help. It would make a lot of teachers happy too. There are so many reports that have to be filled out. You have the curriculum report, where you plan out the semester, the grades, the progresss reports, the weekly reports. at my high school teachers are now having ot teach the same thing. if one class is smarter than the other, but its the same class, as in World history, they smart class has to hang back so that all classes are on the same page. there is too much paperwork and administrative BS. Too many loops to go through. increase taxes might work, but then again people in general dont like more taxes. redistribution would be nice, but what would be cut?
 

shakenbake19

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The problems with the education system is that the teachers don't care and the majority of the students don't care. Public school has been a failure, because of the mixture of upper class and lower class. There are cops now roaming the halls of my old school because of fights. The teacher's arent doing anything about it, there are kids getting picked on in middle school and all of their lives, and they go into High School hating people and end up shooting theselves or others. Why? Because the teachers don't care and the students don't care. Granted, there are a lot of good public schools, the problem of alienated youth even occurs there. Every iddle schooler and high schooler should be put through counseling, even if they think they don't need it. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
 

UtahBill

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MOST teachers do care. I have 3 in the family, and if you listen to when they complain about co-workers, it is most often about the teachers who don't know how to control a classroom. It ain't easy. They don't always get the support they need.
Sometimes it is administration that fails to support the teacher, but more often than anything, it is the parent who will not support the teacher. It is the parents responsibility to deliver an "open vessel" for the teacher to fill up with knowledge. It happens too often that the child is not ready for school, doesn't know how to get along with other children, or thinks that if it isn't mom or dad speaking, he doesn't have to obey. Too many of the kids have problems that the teacher cannot cure, and it wasn't the teachers who caused the problems. You can't ignore 29 kids in your classroom just bacause one of them needs some extra attention, not very often anyway. Parents are the cause of the problem, misbehavior of the students is the symptom of the problem. There are not enough good teachers in the world to overcome what the parents spent 5 or 6 years messing up.:roll:
 

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forshooting said:
2. The main cause of poor management is lack of incentives. Our top graduates don't want to become teachers. They want to become lawyers, businessmen, scientists, doctors, etc. There are two primary incentives: money and prestige. Increasing the money incentive will bring prestige, not just because of the pay but because more and more talented teachers will show up in the education market.
slightly off topic, this reminds me of my daugter's 1st grade teacher who told her "mice" is wrong, she had to spell it "mise" :shock:

yeah, you're right...the wrong people become teachers.
 

Diogenes

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UtahBill said:
MOST teachers do care. I have 3 in the family, and if you listen to when they complain about co-workers, it is most often about the teachers who don't know how to control a classroom. It ain't easy. They don't always get the support they need.
Sometimes it is administration that fails to support the teacher, but more often than anything, it is the parent who will not support the teacher. It is the parents responsibility to deliver an "open vessel" for the teacher to fill up with knowledge. It happens too often that the child is not ready for school, doesn't know how to get along with other children, or thinks that if it isn't mom or dad speaking, he doesn't have to obey. Too many of the kids have problems that the teacher cannot cure, and it wasn't the teachers who caused the problems. You can't ignore 29 kids in your classroom just bacause one of them needs some extra attention, not very often anyway. Parents are the cause of the problem, misbehavior of the students is the symptom of the problem. There are not enough good teachers in the world to overcome what the parents spent 5 or 6 years messing up.:roll:
Well said. When I was in school, I worried less about being called to the principal's office than I did about going home afterward. It seemed like the teachers and my parents were all on the same page, and each knew all about the concerns of the other.

That said, there is a legitimate gripe about poor teachers in the system. And there seem to be a lot more of them since the NEA morphed from a professional association into a labor union back in the mid-sixties.
 

UtahBill

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Yes, there are some crummy teachers, and I hear those stories as well. But since there is a shortage of teachers who are both qualified and willing to work for low pay and poor benefits, the school districts have to settle for who they can get.
My wife makes good money, but this is her last year. She has been teaching since 1978, the year our youngest child started school. Our son has been teaching science for almost 10 years in the same school district, has to DJ for extra money, and his wife does a pre-school for extra money. His insurance is included in his benefit package, but NOT his family. Last year they paid about $7000 for Cigna HMO. This year, it went up to almost $10,000 so they went to a high deductible policy outside the school benefits package. In neighboring states, CA and UT, the districts pay for the entire family, or offers low cost alternatives. Their retirement is handled by the state, but not the medical benefits. State employees have a MUCH better benefits package. The lowest paid state employee can have medical benefits and still have a livable wage left over. School employees such as teacher aides, cafeteria workers, etc. often end up with almost nothing after paying for their benefits. :(
 

Diogenes

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If the school districts were able to fire bad teachers, they would be more willing to pony up the money for good teachers. Just my opinion.
 

Canuck

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by what I saw on the news showing a school in the ninth ward of new Orleans
I would say that the american education system is on par with kenya ( and I don't mean katrina damage)mabe less i mean a bloody disgracefull way to treat poor folks schools with chairs and desks from the 1960's dispicable

at least for poor black folks it is
someone has to do something down there big time
its a national disgrace the no child left behind scam isnt doing anything
except line pockets
 
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UtahBill

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Canuck said:
by what I saw on the news showing a school in the ninth ward of new Orleans
I would say that the american education system is on par with kenya ( and I don't mean katrina damage)mabe less i mean a bloody disgracefull way to treat poor folks schools with chairs and desks from the 1960's dispicable

at least for poor black folks it is
someone has to do something down there big time
its a national disgrace the no child left behind scam isnt doing anything
except line pockets
But whose pockets? The teachers get more work, but not more money to do it. Certainly my wife and son didn't get a raise when the program was implemented here.
 

Paladin

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...The primary problem with the education system is ...
No Child Left Behind.
It forces teachers to teach to the test.
It does not regard whether a child is being compared to his cohort.
My school has been classified as SINA, school in need of assistance, because last year we did not administer the ITBS to more than 95% of our students.
ted
 

Technocratic_Utilitarian

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1. There are a lot of problems with the school system. Foremost, the concept of State's Rights is a major problem. In American Culture, everyone is dominated with this "down-home" and "local" mentality. Centralization is seen as bad, but instead, they go to the polar opposite and feel that they can do the best job at teaching their kids something that should be taught the exact same way in another school in the next town. Each school should far more directly tied to a central hub so that some consistancy can be maintained. This problem is related to the next.

In schools, there is so much competition between townships. You got a group of towns in a township that all want to have their OWN elementary school. This means they all want to waste a shitload of money building and maintaining a school that doesn't house many students. Each school thinks it should teach what it wants, where it wants, and how it wants. This "local" mentality is taken to far when you have about 50 bazillion elementary schools in a very small area. There are about 4 where I live, and it's a small township! Only a relatively small number of children attend these separate schools, yet there are 4 distinct buildings, all of which have complete administrations and their own bureaucracies. Furthermore, all are using up resources and money that ought not be wasted on so many small separate buildings. You can keep classes small while at the same time not being horrificly redundant on staff and buildings.


2. Another problem slightly related to the above, but not entirely, is the accuracy of grading. One school in the community teaches differently from another school in the community, even though they are "technically" supposed to have the same curriculum. You end up getting a very different educations among students, even though the same basic curriculum is there. Each town needs to stop thinking it can teach something better or differently from the next town. Education needs to be more uniform, and there is far too much input from the peanut gallery (townies). This is one or problem why Kansas schools frequently suck. You have the public who is undereducated or completely unknowledgeable in education trying to dictate to the professionals what ought to be taught by manipulating the system via votes. They are buying education with votes. Education should not be a democracy. You don't vote what's knowledge. When you do, you get cases like Kansas in which we have parents who try to overthrow evolution and replace it with their personal fantasy simply because they don't want little jonny thinking he's a primate. It is as if the teachers are petrified of the parents' "feelings" about education. Teachers are a pack of pussies.

3. Another problem occures within the classes and across the halls. You wouldn't believe how different ONE class of bio can be from another class of bio taught by a different professor. It's absurd. Everything can be different even up to the grading structure. Some teachers have totally different grading rubrics from other teachers who teach the exact same class! Other teachers use a different per cent quantification system. For example, in one English class, you can get an 93, and they will call that a B. In another class, a child can get an 93, and that's an A. YOu get different students who have different grades for doing the same quality of work. What kind of bullshit is that? How is that an accurate (even remotely) reflection of progress and understanding of material? One must also mention that the education can be very different from one door to the next. Some classes don't learn nearly as much as other classes. If we didn't get to something, my teachers would just "cut it from the test." Meanwhile, other kids in other bio classes would get the full material. This is decentralization at it's worst.

4. Another major problem are teachers unions. They are too powerful and all they want is more money more money more money for less and less work. Many teachers are more worried about their summers and holidays off than actually teaching. All they did was ****ing bitch and moan when I was in highschool, and that's all they do now in college, about when their next day off was. No one gave a **** about staying after, because that meant more work. It's like our teachers are the bottom of the barrel and we are scraping as hard as we can.

5. The Curriculum is also a problem. There needs to be a higher focus on critical thinking instead of silly rote memorization of facts. Education should be geared not toward creating some "mythical" well-rounded person, rather a useful, rational person. Instead of these bullshit subjects like Enliglish literature, which have practical utility of a hood ornament. Come on, this patently absurd that in our country one is forced to take MORE years of learning about Shitspear(TM) than one is of math or science. We should be teaching children the Scientific Method and its applications, not Romeo and Juliet. Every child should graduate with at least Analytic Geometry or at least algebra II--sadly, you can at many schools, including Northern Burlington Regional---my old Highschool. Literature is bunk, and it actually fosters an irrational, anti-scientific mindset. It needs to be kicked along with those worthless lit teachers who keep Literature components around simply to justify their degree. We should also be teaching them how better to manipulate language through grammar and rhetoric while teaching them proper rationality with several years of pure logic courses. To follow this up, all students should take mandatory ethics courses over several years in order to make people THINK, not react--thus being better citizens.

We should kick the nonessentials to make more time for essentials. Sports? Waste of time. Highschools are neither colleges nor are they training grounds for people to bounce basket balls. Schools spend too much time and energy promoting their nonsensical pep rallies than they do education. In my school, we were actually drug from MATH to go watch cheerleaders dance around like a bunch of morons. What imbecile thought that idea up? Math---peprally---math---cheering...Is this really a hard concept for administrations to comprehend?

You should not have cooking classes, nature worship classes, or stupid **** like home economics, woodshop, metal shop. Any and all electives ought to have an academic component. You don't need to go to school to learn how to build a damn bird-house; there are plenty of cheap labourers in East Asia who will make them for us--go buy one at walmart and get back into something useful.

You should ALWAYS have a sex ed class as a mandatory, because that is extremely useful, if done correctly. None of this abstinence education b.s. IT doesn't work. Teach kids how to use drugs safely or have sex safely, because you KNOW they are going to do it regardless of what you say. It's better they will do it knowing what to do. Can't leave this up to parents because the United States is filled with too many religious fundies who shun sex and reality thus turning their kids into bizarro-world inhabitants.

Hell, it would be better if the damn kids never went home except on weekends and holidays, but that's a bit extreme. I like bording schools. You can maintain more educational control there and enforce a more regimented study atmosphere.


6. Another thing to improve education is to erradicate the "rugged individualism" and "Common-Man" mentality that has infested our country ever since Andrew Jackson put forth the idea of The New Democracy geared toward the lowest common denominator. Modern society is one of vast anti-intellectualism and fear of "elite conspiracy." If you are a well-educated person, you are cast asunder with what are now actually invectives, instead of praise--you are called "intellectual" or "elite" or even "intellectual elite!" Being smart is bad; being a dumbass is good. Why? Dumbasses aren't feared, because they are seen as too stupid to be a threat to those in power. If people were smart, they wouldn't tolerate all the bullshit that passes for real debate in our political system.
 

Diogenes

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UtahBill said:
But whose pockets? The teachers get more work, but not more money to do it. Certainly my wife and son didn't get a raise when the program was implemented here.
The bureaucracy. The high school I attended had three floors plus a basement, took up an entire city block, had 1100 students, and the administration was the principal and a couple of secretaries.

When I went back for my 20-yr reunion, the entire first floor was taken up with administrative offices, the district was building an expensive new gym across the street, and on the other side of the block the old Carnegie public library - where I spent my lunch hours broadening my horizons - had been replaced by a parking ramp (the replacement library was four miles away, far removed from any school).

Has "paycheck protection" made a difference where you are?

Paladin said:
It forces teachers to teach to the test.
That's better than nothing, which in many cases is what we seem to have now. I see nothing wrong with a standard test to see if the students have learned the material. A standard test is a floor, not a ceiling, and any school district is free to teach beyond it.
 

Diogenes

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Technocratic_Utilitarian said:
Centralization is seen as bad, but instead, they go to the polar opposite and feel that they can do the best job at teaching their kids something that should be taught the exact same way in another school in the next town. Each school should far more directly tied to a central hub so that some consistancy can be maintained.
There is nothing wrong with centralized standards, but the means and methods of getting there should be open to local control. There is a difference between schooling and education: teachers should know more about the material than they are assigned to teach, but that does not imply that they should have a degree in the subject.

You got a group of towns in a township that all want to have their OWN elementary school. This means they all want to waste a shitload of money building and maintaining a school that doesn't house many students.
Elementary schools in particular should be a neighborhood facility, and small enough so that the children can get the individual attention available only in smaller groups.

Another problem slightly related to the above, but not entirely, is the accuracy of grading. One school in the community teaches differently from another school in the community, even though they are "technically" supposed to have the same curriculum. You end up getting a very different educations among students, even though the same basic curriculum is there. Each town needs to stop thinking it can teach something better or differently from the next town.
Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but it appears that you are confusing results with methods. The results (by standardized test) should have a floor of academic minimums, but I'm quite willing to let separate communities experiment with how to get there.

Another problem occures within the classes and across the halls. You wouldn't believe how different ONE class of bio can be from another class of bio taught by a different professor. It's absurd. Everything can be different even up to the grading structure. Some teachers have totally different grading rubrics from other teachers who teach the exact same class!
The solution of having a centralized test and grading system evaluates only the results, and schools are free to experiment with how to get there. Each class, biology for instance, should have a distinct target for what they expect the students to have learned at the end of the class - how to get reach that goal should be left to the individual school and particularly the teachers.

Another major problem are teachers unions. They are too powerful and all they want is more money more money more money for less and less work. Many teachers are more worried about their summers and holidays off than actually teaching.
Agreed. My own impression is that our system contains many, a vast majority in fact, of very good and very dedicated teachers who are suffocated by rules and regulations passed to control (ineffectively, IMO) the few teachers who can't cut the mustard. I blame much of this on the teachers unions.

The Curriculum is also a problem. There needs to be a higher focus on critical thinking instead of silly rote memorization of facts. Education should be geared not toward creating some "mythical" well-rounded person, rather a useful, rational person.
Agreed in part. Rote memorization is necessary to accumulate facts on which critical thinking is based. For example, plane geometry is a great introduction to critical thinking but you need to have the fundamental axioms memorized to get very far with it. In the soft and quasi-sciences (economics and sociology, for instance) "critical thinking" is too often a buzzword for the personal agenda of the teacher (think Ward Churchill).

Come on, this patently absurd that in our country one is forced to take MORE years of learning about Shitspear(TM) than one is of math or science. We should be teaching children the Scientific Method and its applications, not Romeo and Juliet.
I disagree with you on English literature. Shakespeare had a most amazing grasp of the human experience (love and hate, heroism and cowardice, tragedy and comedy, elation and despair, conviviality and loneliness), unparalleled by any other author. The drawback to his work is that it is written in what is almost a foreign language now, but that should be treated as a learning challenge rather than an obstacle.

Some thirty years ago I saw this graffitum in the restroom of a bar I frequented for a while: "Vidi, Vici, Veni." It was depressing to think that in a few years, no one would understand the pun. Do you get it?

We should kick the nonessentials to make more time for essentials. Sports? Waste of time. Highschools are neither colleges nor are they training grounds for people to bounce basket balls.
Agreed that nonessentials should not be emphasized as much as they are, but sports do teach teamwork and the benefits of working cooperatively with others - and that DOES go a long way toward building good citizens.

You should ALWAYS have a sex ed class as a mandatory, because that is extremely useful, if done correctly.
Agreed, but the operative word here is "correctly." When I was in 7th grade, we had a student teacher come in to our health class (all boys) and of course student teachers always got a hard time from us while we determined what kind of a person he was. The first day that he had the class to himself, one of the guys started with an off-color remark. Brownie walked to the door, looked out in the hall, closed the door, came back and sat on the edge of the desk, and gave us a lecture that began "Now, listen guys" and proceeded to speak very bluntly and frankly, without mincing words, about real life, with emphasis on responsibility and consequences. Our normally rowdy class listened very quietly and attentively - no one had ever talked to us so candidly before - and no one ever gave that student teacher a hard time again that year. The lecture he gave us was not on the curriculum, and at that time could probably have ended his teaching career, but - for that era and that class at that time - it was definitely the correct way to get his point across.

A curriculum, however, is always designed by a committee. You may have heard the old saw about an elephant being a mouse built to committee specifications. By trying to be all things to all people the endeavor usually fails on every front, and I am open to letting each school design its own curriculum - as long as parents are given the option of moving their kids to a different school if they don't like it.

Another thing to improve education is to erradicate the "rugged individualism" and "Common-Man" mentality that has infested our country ever since Andrew Jackson put forth the idea of The New Democracy geared toward the lowest common denominator.
Not sure what you mean by this, but I don't see anything wrong with individualism as long as it is accompanied by the concept of individual responsibility for individual actions. The idea that freedom can be separated from responsibility, that you can sue someone else when you spill hot coffee on your own lap while you're driving, is ridiculous.

Modern society is one of vast anti-intellectualism and fear of "elite conspiracy." If you are a well-educated person, you are cast asunder with what are now actually invectives, instead of praise--you are called "intellectual" or "elite" or even "intellectual elite!"
IMO, this is something that the self-appointed elites have brought about by themselves. We do have poorly educated people with doctorates who have their own poorly informed opinions and show contempt for differing opinions by those who have less schooling but are actually better educated than the self-appointed elite.

I once ran across an old high school classmate of mine who was quite proud of recently getting his doctorate in sociology. After talking to him for an hour, I had the impression that he indeed had a great deal of book learning. If his subject had been ornithology, you could give him a bird book and in six months he would return able to glance at any silhouette in the book and be able to tell you the name of the bird, the Latin name, range, preferred environment, mating habits, nesting habits, number and color of eggs, anything in the book. On the other hand if you took him outside, he probably couldn't tell the difference between a duck and a sparrow.
 

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I do not understand why so many have a problem with "nonessentials" such as sports, Shakespeare, woodshop etc.

Firstly, do you want students to be bored to death? Woodshop, sports etc are involved and may be more suited for students who want to work with their hands or actually become involved in sports, dance etc etc. Just because its not academic doesn't mean these activities do not teach skills.

Strict "academic" curriculae with a focus on math, science and little else will produce a technical, yet dull populace. Great for the "industrial machine", but where are the other opportunities?

As for Shakespeare, reading classics such as Shakespeare is an exercise in reading comprehension and broadens one's depth of thinking in terms of morality, ethics yadayadayada. There is alot to be learned from literature and I believe stories and myths play a great role in creating a person's dreams and goals. I just don't think a curriculum focused on the "realities" math and science with total disregard to the "unrealities" literature and philosophy won't nurture ideals, imagination and wonderment.

I already think middle school and high school are too limited in their curriculae and its a shame people have to go to college to be taught psychology, philosophy, sociology and the 100 other fields you see in college handbooks.
 

UtahBill

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purplezen said:
I do not understand why so many have a problem with "nonessentials" such as sports, Shakespeare, woodshop etc.

Firstly, do you want students to be bored to death? Woodshop, sports etc are involved and may be more suited for students who want to work with their hands or actually become involved in sports, dance etc etc. Just because its not academic doesn't mean these activities do not teach skills.

Strict "academic" curriculae with a focus on math, science and little else will produce a technical, yet dull populace. Great for the "industrial machine", but where are the other opportunities?

As for Shakespeare, reading classics such as Shakespeare is an exercise in reading comprehension and broadens one's depth of thinking in terms of morality, ethics yadayadayada. There is alot to be learned from literature and I believe stories and myths play a great role in creating a person's dreams and goals. I just don't think a curriculum focused on the "realities" math and science with total disregard to the "unrealities" literature and philosophy won't nurture ideals, imagination and wonderment.

I already think middle school and high school are too limited in their curriculae and its a shame people have to go to college to be taught psychology, philosophy, sociology and the 100 other fields you see in college handbooks.
Woodshop? To get a job in AZ as a Framer, you need to speak spanish and be able to operate a saw and a nail gun. I took woodshop back in the 60's, and it was boring.
Sports? I can show you a school district where the superintendent was a jock. He doesn't mind going over budget on a new surface for the track, or the football field, but come up with an advanced math course? Not gonna happen.
Schools should help us prepare our children for life as adults. They can play sports after school, same as MOST kids do. Only a small percentage of kids get to play AT school. They end up as wannabe jocks who never made the grade, and are ill prepared for life in the real world.
 

purplezen

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We're not on the same page about sports. I'm meant to say PE classes, not jock sports. I am not a proponent of traditional school team sports where, you of course are right, only a few get to play.

Did you ever play sports in middleschool or highschool or take PE lessons like dance or aerobics? I was lucky enough to go to a school that did and it was great. I didn't do the dance and aerobics, but those were options. With the growing girths of kids these days, they could use some physical education, teach them good habits or expose them to things that could of benefit. Exposure is good, it reveals stuff as possible.

Ok, you're right to slam me on woodshop, thats a bit old school. What about electronics and computers? Computer maintenance and some basic electrical engineering with practicum?

I can see alot of use coming from courses like that, but thats just me.
 

Diogenes

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UtahBill said:
Schools should help us prepare our children for life as adults.
Agreed, absolutely. A four-year college degree today accomplishes what a high school education did half a century ago, and what an eighth grade education did a century ago.
 

TimmyBoy

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I think the only way to get a true good education is to be determined yourself to learn. No system can make you learn and nobody else can, you just have to be willing to learn yourself. In a way, I don't think anybody can give you a good education nor can any system. You just have to be determined to think for yourself and to have a love of learning. Once you have this love of learning and you think for yourself, you will start getting a real education. But speaking of education, I would like to leave you with a quote:

Education is a system of imposed ignorance -Noam Chomsky

This statement not only applies to high schools but also to the top colleges and universities. I always I got my best education on the streets or overseas in a Third World country. Schools and universities can give you some skills, education is about learning to think for yourself and be your own person.
 

DivineComedy

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Technocratic_Utilitarian said:
You should not have cooking classes, nature worship classes, or stupid **** like home economics, woodshop, metal shop. Any and all electives ought to have an academic component. You don't need to go to school to learn how to build a damn bird-house; there are plenty of cheap labourers in East Asia who will make them for us--go buy one at walmart and get back into something useful.
First it was a birdhouse, then a radio, then a wing assembly, and before we knew it they could build an airplane better than we could. Everywhere along the assembly line their cheap labor saw a better way to do something, because they were actually doing something with their hands. Their cheap labor actually smelled the problem that our highly academic computer aided design could not smell. They then showed the problem to their bosses, who showed it to their engineers, who designed a better part, and their company sold it. Soon they will own it all. And our engineers will be getting laid off so they can grow a beard and be academic, and the kids they teach will think we can all be academic and get paid for it. Somewhere along the line someone wrote a really sad book about it all. The principle author of our decline shall be the leader most recognized as giving foreign cheap labor a foothold in the empire, just like Septimius Severus, getting the barbarians to do the work for us. If we lose our martial manufacturing discipline, and can no longer carry the armor of our ancestral builders, the barbarians will take over and go to the stars leaving us to sit in the ruins being academic.

Literature teaches us by giving us the taste and the smell of what it was like to be there, or anywhere, and it is a far better way to learn history.

You also said: “You can keep classes small while at the same time not being horrificly redundant on staff and buildings.”

The problem is that the principal can not possibly know all the students when you house thousands of them in a massive structure, and it makes it more of an impersonal experience which means that trouble can brew more easily.
 
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