Random Education News

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Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:35 am

On occasion we have had some really good discussion about education related issues on this board.

We have all seen the perspective as a student and many as a parent to a student.

I hope this can be a thread where we get to discuss issues related to education.


First topic to follow....
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:39 am

So one area I would like to discuss...is the difference in US ranking/proficiency in K-12 vs post-secondary education.


In K-12 our performance is middling. We are never in the top 10% or even 20% when it comes to comparison by country.

Example:

Image




However, when it comes to post-secondary education, we have people from all over the world flying here and spending loads of money on what they see as a privilege to go to university in America.

Indeed in most world rankings, we are #1 in the world at college education

Example: http://www.businessinsider.com/countrie ... ersities-1





I have had some ideas about the cause of this, but I would love to hear others.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:43 am

I haven't seen any FLDOE trade schools in my area. Is this primarily done in the private sector?

If little johnny wants to be a plumber or electrician in Florida, how does he go about becoming one? OJT?

I ask because vocational ed often takes a backseat to higher ed. I do see that there are certificate programs at some of the local colleges for things like firefighting, law enforcement, and a host of medical professions, but I see nothing for the building trades. In WV there are career centers that do this in addition to adult education and automotive. I don't see such institutions in Florida.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:43 am

Sorry, didn't mean to derail your OP
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:52 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:Sorry, didn't mean to derail your OP



You can never derail .... any talk is good talk.


The only time I have ever looked at post-high school trade schools was looking into the MMI institute (motorcycle maintenance) when I was thinking of trying to raise funds for a dealership. it was private for profit school as far as I could tell.

If I had to guess, I would say most, if not all, post-high schools trade schools are...but I've never done any digging
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Re: Random Education News

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:07 pm

K-12 is primarily funded and run at a state level so states like Nevada, Idaho, and Oklahoma bring down the average. Massachusetts, for example, ranks among the top ten in the world in k-12 education in almost everything.

Don't treat education as something that should be left to the states, and then complain that we don't rank high nationally.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby bucfanclw » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:15 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:I haven't seen any FLDOE trade schools in my area. Is this primarily done in the private sector?

If little johnny wants to be a plumber or electrician in Florida, how does he go about becoming one? OJT?

I ask because vocational ed often takes a backseat to higher ed. I do see that there are certificate programs at some of the local colleges for things like firefighting, law enforcement, and a host of medical professions, but I see nothing for the building trades. In WV there are career centers that do this in addition to adult education and automotive. I don't see such institutions in Florida.

PTeC in Pinellas is actually a very good trade school that is very affordable.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:17 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:I haven't seen any FLDOE trade schools in my area. Is this primarily done in the private sector?

If little johnny wants to be a plumber or electrician in Florida, how does he go about becoming one? OJT?

I ask because vocational ed often takes a backseat to higher ed. I do see that there are certificate programs at some of the local colleges for things like firefighting, law enforcement, and a host of medical professions, but I see nothing for the building trades. In WV there are career centers that do this in addition to adult education and automotive. I don't see such institutions in Florida.

PTeC in Pinellas is actually a very good trade school that is very affordable.

Regionally accredited too. I like that.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby deltbucs » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:39 pm

The Orlando Sentinel did a great investigative series on private K-12 schools just like a month or 2 ago. There's even a nice little video you can watch. Scary and maddening.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features ... story.html
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Selmon Rules » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:19 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:I haven't seen any FLDOE trade schools in my area. Is this primarily done in the private sector?

If little johnny wants to be a plumber or electrician in Florida, how does he go about becoming one? OJT?

I ask because vocational ed often takes a backseat to higher ed. I do see that there are certificate programs at some of the local colleges for things like firefighting, law enforcement, and a host of medical professions, but I see nothing for the building trades. In WV there are career centers that do this in addition to adult education and automotive. I don't see such institutions in Florida.

When I lived in Kentucky, it seems like all of the smaller counties (one high school for the whole county) the VoTech schools were right there at the high school, a more intensive shop class one might say, while the larger counties might have a VoTech centrally located. I teach in Collier County and we do have Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology (LWIT) that has an adult Ed and post-secondary trades available.

LWIT is located in the location that our old VoTech used to be but for a high school student to get in they have to be at the top of their class. Not your typical VoTech kid from the old days so it's kind of an oxymoron, makes no sense to have this place and not allow the kids that would benefit most to be admitted, lol
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:06 pm

Selmon Rules wrote: but for a high school student to get in they have to be at the top of their class.

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Selmon Rules » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:40 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
Selmon Rules wrote: but for a high school student to get in they have to be at the top of their class.

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I know.... Most of the high school teachers in the county know....
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:43 pm

So is that place more computer and tech training versus the old vocational stuff?
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:51 pm

Ted Cruz introduced addendum to tax bill that would let parents use 529 accounts for K-12 schooling

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/ ... ystem.html



Seems like a reasonable thing to do ... never understood why 529s couldn’t be used for any level of education, K12, college, graduate, technical, etc
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Selmon Rules » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:01 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:So is that place more computer and tech training versus the old vocational stuff?

Not completely sure exactly what they do over there but I do know they hand pick their students and always get that A school bonus money, lol

I know the post-secondary is almost completely trade stuff though....

Point being is that there is no place for the traditional VoTech student to go like there was 30 years ago....
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:21 pm

Selmon Rules wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:So is that place more computer and tech training versus the old vocational stuff?

Not completely sure exactly what they do over there but I do know they hand pick their students and always get that A school bonus money, lol

I know the post-secondary is almost completely trade stuff though....

Point being is that there is no place for the traditional VoTech student to go like there was 30 years ago....



That stinks,

The tech school in my district in Texas is awesome — it has traditional stuff like mechanics, nursing, farming, law enforcement but it also has programs in newer stuff for IT and advanced engineering
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:34 pm

I figured out how my county school board get's its kick-ass rating. They kick the undesirable kids out. they ship them off to youth academies (juvy) or online classes.

Last spring, my old High School claimed it had a 100% graduation rate among the class of 2017. Bull. ****.

Oh, and then there's this...

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20171201/superintendent-mary-beth-jackson-bullseye-of-formal-complaint

Special Ed teacher was beating autistic kids and the Investigator and Superintendent did nothing until a mom went public.


This is what happens when you tie funding to metrics. You get what you measure, and the people being measured will use any means necessary. Sad to say my county school board has gone from the education business to the education statistics business.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:38 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:

This is what happens when you tie funding to metrics. You get what you measure, and the people being measured will use any means necessary. Sad to say my county school board has gone from the education business to the education statistics business.



100% agree. I have been the biggest opponent to standardized scores and curriculum.

Each kid and each class is different. The local expert (ie. The teacher) knows best what will work in different classes.

Structured mandates are awful



(That’s a horrible story about the special ed kid)
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:10 am

Excellent article on education here...showing how even after adjusted for inflation, the amount of money we have thrown at education since 1970 has doubled from roughly 6K a student to 13K a student yet we have seen no real effect or improvement in public schools.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/24/donal ... hoice-here

Some highlights:

Image


Interesting thoughts in the article, I agree with some, disagree with others.

But at the heart, I still think it comes down to our awful one size fits all approach to education.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:37 am

Zarniwoop wrote:Excellent article on education here...showing how even after adjusted for inflation, the amount of money we have thrown at education since 1970 has doubled from roughly 6K a student to 13K a student yet we have seen no real effect or improvement in public schools.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/24/donal ... hoice-here

Some highlights:

Image


Interesting thoughts in the article, I agree with some, disagree with others.

But at the heart, I still think it comes down to our awful one size fits all approach to education.


I'm a firm believer that the number one determining factor in student success is classroom size --- and not the "quality" of the education --- in my opinion, it doesn't matter how good a teacher is, if they're teaching classes with 30-40 students, the overall level of education will suffer. Oddly, its hard to find historical data on average public school class sizes (someone help me out if they can find it), maybe some of the old timers can back this up, but it seems like class sizes have been getting bigger and bigger since the 40's and 50's. By the time I was in high school our classes were 35-40 kids. I went to a "blue ribbon" highschool - sure I got a "good" education, but I slept through high school...... because you could! It was easy to "fall through the cracks". And this is in an upper-middle class "high end" of the spectrum situation. And then I got absolutely destroyed my first few years in college because I had no clue how to actually be a student. So there's a real question of whether or not my highschool education, despite looking very good on paper, was even worth two shits (I maintain it wasn't)

From the Classroom Size wikipedia page:

The author Kurt Vonnegut was a passionate advocate for class size reduction: “… we have some of the worst schools in the world…. The classes are too big. My definition of a utopia is very simple: classes of 15 or smaller – out of this, a great nation can be built. Classes have 35 students, for Christ’s sake. The class ideally should be a family. Let’s take care of each other. There’s a person who can’t get the hang of calculus? Someone should say, “Here, let me show you.” A class of 35? Poor teacher.”

Likewise, in a 2006 interview with NPR before his death in 2007, Vonnegut was asked: “If you were to build or envision a country that you could consider yourself to be a proud citizen of, what would be three of its basic attributes”? Vonnegut responded: “Just one: great public schools with classes of 12 or smaller." Interviewer: “That’s it?” Vonnegut: “Yeah….Just do this.”


completely agree. should be law that classroom sizes be no more that 15-18 kids.


I don't know how this figures into the doubling of costs we've seen over time - haven't wrapped my head around the connection between the number of teachers and double of costs, but I'd like to hear your take Zarni
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:48 am

I think classroom size definitely plays a role -- I teach very different to a class of 30 then I do to an auditorium of 200+.

Its a state by state thing. In Texas in elementary we have a state law that caps it at 22 (most of our classes are below that). Just peaking on-line that seems about average. The highest number I could find for actual class size was California at 25. I have never explored numbers for high school.


Those numbers seem about the same as when I was in school in the 70's and 80's.

Maybe someone else can find longitudinal data on this.


I have posted elsewhere what I think the major problems are:

1.) Parental involvement seems to be at an all time low...particularly among students on the lower half of the performance scale...parents often treat school as free day care.

2.) One size fits all approach to education. There is study after study that shows kids learn in different ways. Different types of schools would be incredibly helpful. But our centralized government doesn't allow that. Different curriculum would help too. Seriously, name one thing where we have no choice and the quality is good?

3.) Teacher's unions -- I recently read that in California, the firing rate of instructors is something like .03%. That is asinine. Don''t get me wrong, I'm not a Jack Welch cut the bottom 10% of your workforce every year but turnover among poor performing teachers is incredibly low.

4.) Use of standardized testing -- goes along with #2. In Texas kids can spend upwards of 20 days per year practicing and doing standardized tests. What a joke.

5.) Dumbing down of expectations and standards. My 3rd grade daughter gets about 10 minutes of homework every night. If I didn't supplement it, I'd hate to think what her intellectual growth would be like.

6.) Taking power away from do-good administrators and giving it to the experts -- the teachers.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:22 am

I'm about 1/2 way through Eva Moskowitz's new book. She is the gal that has opened a bunch of charter schools in New York city that are vastly outperforming the state run public schools.

Its a fascinating read. She talks about the problems with our current education system (many of which we have talked about before on here) and how she hoped to build a system that overcomes some of them. She talks about the immense backlash she faced from DeBlasio and so many others entrenched in the failing system, and the help she got from Bloomberg and Cuomo.

The stories and anecdotes she gives about the positive change she has made in so many economically disadvantaged kids lives is awe inspiring.


https://www.amazon.com/Education-Eva-Mo ... =Moskowitz



As a staunch supporter of school choice, I obviously have a bias when I read this, but its pretty hard to argue with some of the great things she has done.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:01 am

Had an education rant with the Mrs. last night. This is not the school system I attended 20+ years ago.

This board (With a Superintendent awaiting a criminal indictment) is obsessed with it's statewide ranking. And having been here for a year now, I see how they got it.

They get rid of under-performing students. Ship them off to get their dumbed down education at Juvy or Okaloosa online (edginuity), or Florida virtual school which has a graduation rate of 66%. Once your kid goes online they are considered home schooled and off the books. They had the audacity last spring to declare a 100% graduating class for 2017 at my old HS.

You get what you measure.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby bucfanclw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:29 am

Zarniwoop wrote:I'm about 1/2 way through Eva Moskowitz's new book. She is the gal that has opened a bunch of charter schools in New York city that are vastly outperforming the state run public schools.

Its a fascinating read. She talks about the problems with our current education system (many of which we have talked about before on here) and how she hoped to build a system that overcomes some of them. She talks about the immense backlash she faced from DeBlasio and so many others entrenched in the failing system, and the help she got from Bloomberg and Cuomo.

The stories and anecdotes she gives about the positive change she has made in so many economically disadvantaged kids lives is awe inspiring.


https://www.amazon.com/Education-Eva-Mo ... =Moskowitz



As a staunch supporter of school choice, I obviously have a bias when I read this, but its pretty hard to argue with some of the great things she has done.

I like a lot of her ideas because it allows curriculum design to be tailored to different student bodies instead of a one-size-fits-all method currently employed. My only real caveats to wide spread implementation would be that the charters need to be non-profit (I know most are, but kids get screwed in a for-profit system) and there should be some sort of limit put on advertising budgets to close that loophole for financial abuse.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:56 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:Had an education rant with the Mrs. last night. This is not the school system I attended 20+ years ago.

This board (With a Superintendent awaiting a criminal indictment) is obsessed with it's statewide ranking. And having been here for a year now, I see how they got it.

They get rid of under-performing students. Ship them off to get their dumbed down education at Juvy or Okaloosa online (edginuity), or Florida virtual school which has a graduation rate of 66%. Once your kid goes online they are considered home schooled and off the books. They had the audacity last spring to declare a 100% graduating class for 2017 at my old HS.

You get what you measure.




Does the bolded part apply to the school you went to? I'm confused to your focal point. Or were you suggesting it applies to charter schools?


----


I absolutely agree with your last sentence...it happens in everything, not just education. The same maxim applies to business, sports, etc.

And that is one of the reasons I am so against the current public school set-up. They spend far too much time and focus on standardized testing. They set the curriculum to the test. They teach to the test. My 3rd grader just went through an entire week of taking practice STAAR tests (our version of standardized tests).

I can't stand how administrators micro-manage education (at all levels of education).


We have a local Catholic K-12 about 1/2 a mile away from my university. They are consistently ranked in the top 50 HS in the entire US. They have about 800 kids in the school. They have four administrators. They do zero standardized testing. The teachers are given the empowerment to teach the kids individually. For the superstars, they give them advanced work. For the struggling students, they give them remedial work. All within the same classroom.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:36 am

Sorry for the confusion, Zarni. It's the public school system here. There isn't a charter middle or HS in the county and my rant wasn't directed at your observations on charter schools.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:09 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:Sorry for the confusion, Zarni. It's the public school system here. There isn't a charter middle or HS in the county and my rant wasn't directed at your observations on charter schools.



no worries, thanks for clarifying.

we get the same stuff happening here in dallas...though i can't remember such an extreme story.
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Selmon Rules » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:30 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:I'm about 1/2 way through Eva Moskowitz's new book. She is the gal that has opened a bunch of charter schools in New York city that are vastly outperforming the state run public schools.

Its a fascinating read. She talks about the problems with our current education system (many of which we have talked about before on here) and how she hoped to build a system that overcomes some of them. She talks about the immense backlash she faced from DeBlasio and so many others entrenched in the failing system, and the help she got from Bloomberg and Cuomo.

The stories and anecdotes she gives about the positive change she has made in so many economically disadvantaged kids lives is awe inspiring.


https://www.amazon.com/Education-Eva-Mo ... =Moskowitz



As a staunch supporter of school choice, I obviously have a bias when I read this, but its pretty hard to argue with some of the great things she has done.

Curious as to the makeup of students in the schools she runs (really have no idea).... Do they get to pick and choose the students they have or do they take all comers?? How many of these students are on free/reduced lunch or classified ESE??
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:35 pm

Random lottery. Everyone who applies has equal chance.

In the book she goes out of her way to address this as it is a common question, she had the stats that showed the % of her charter schools kids that were economically disadvantaged was the same as the traditional N.Y. state public school



Bviously there is some self selection bias. Only parents who give a damn about their kids education and are involved in it would sign up for the lottery. So I’m sure they get the most motivated of the poor kids...or at east those held to higher standards when they get home after school
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Re: Random Education News

Postby Selmon Rules » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:49 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:Random lottery. Everyone who applies has equal chance.

In the book she goes out of her way to address this as it is a common question, she had the stats that showed the % of her charter schools kids that were economically disadvantaged was the same as the traditional N.Y. state public school



Bviously there is some self selection bias. Only parents who give a damn about their kids education and are involved in it would sign up for the lottery. So I’m sure they get the most motivated of the poor kids...or at east those held to higher standards when they get home after school

Thanks, was curious. We have too many kids in school taking classes that are supposed to get them ready for college when many have no desire or motivation to do so and I am assuming, first mistake, that these kids you are talking about do have higher expectations placed on them by parents so it would stand to reason they would do better.

I teach Special Ed students with behavioral disorders that have no intrinsic or extrinsic reasons to excel in school so it is difficult to get them to attempt to do anything. Many of the parents of my students don't bother to show up for IEP meetings and some of the ones that do, you can see that they are simply beat down trying to manage their child at home. I have former students that will spend the majority of their lives in prison due to their choices and some that have gone on to be productive citizens.... They keep me coming back for more every year
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