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What ever happened to well rounded students and a well rounded education. We really had it good when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s.
think of the times. Science was probably one of the most important topics! I can't speak of the environment, but from what I would surmise, with the wars ending and the cold war sparking up along with the space race, I'm sure that there would be an increased focus on a science curriculum. Also, I know from my family that music and the arts were also given a much greater focus. Oh how I wish I could have seen those days!
What happened is we decided to test the crap out of students over superficial understanding of math and reading in an impossible effort to make sure all students were exactly average. Testing companies, charter boosters, and other parties with a financial interests took advantage of the opportunity to sell their test preps, model legislation, and voucher-funded schools to the masses. (Cue Dave Trabert to tell us all how terrible it is that our scores didn't improve with all that money we spent and oh, does he have a sweet voucher deal for you.)
But let's not gloss things over too much. You had it good in the 50s and 60s, but not everyone did. Minorities often got short-changed even worse than they do today, and plenty of special needs students were institutionalized or ignored instead of educated.
There's a lot of good in today's public school system. Once they're out from under the mandate to test, test, test, they might be able to focus again on teaching.
Like the first poster, I too went to public schools in the '50s. It was an inner city school. If I ever got into trouble at school, and I would think that must have been every single boy I knew, the last people I would tell would be my parents. Because I would be in even more trouble. At no time would my parents want to hear my side of the story. For them, it was good enough that the teacher thought I had done wrong, therefore I had done wrong. Punishment would be forthcoming.
That's not the sense I get from how things operate today. Too many parents have what I can only describe as an adversarial relationship with both the school and with the teachers. Parents no longer see that the education of their children as a partnership, one that takes active participation and cooperation of the parent. To them, if Johnny is failing, it's because the teacher has failed.
There have been many changes in the years since I went to school. Some of the good changes have also produced some negative unintended consequences. I'm not advocating we go back to the good old days, but somewhere we need to discuss those unintended negative consequences, the breakup of families, the explosion of single head of household families, etc.
I knew it was time to take my child out of public schools when my 10 year old came home one day and said he was bored because they always went at the pace of the slowest learner. Mainstreaming might have advantages for those being mainstreamed, but it's to the detriment of others.
I've never been an advocate of vouchers and that continues today. I support increased spending for schools. Much of what you say is true, chootspa. But you're only looking at half the equation. The unfortunate truth is that both sides of the equation equals a mess.
Sorry to hear that.
More insight on your philosophy, though, about trusting authority figures and punishment.
I've had a conversation or two, actually hundreds, when I speak of being a parent and am told that they don't have a child, but they do have a dog, or cat, and then they say it's just like having a child. They really mean it. Really.
Being a parent gives you a perspective not only what being a parent means, but a perspective on your own childhood, especially how it relates to the parenting skills of your own parents.
Just one quick example. When I first moved to Lawrence to go to KU, I never cared about the public school system here. I didn't give it a second thought. I didn't know where the good schools were nor did I care. I paid no attention to proximity to schools. Nothing. I moved away and then returned, with a school age child. You damn well better believe I gave considerable attention to where I lived, what neighborhood, quality of schools, ratings both by test and parent surveys. It was by far the number one consideration of where I lived. Not the cost of housing, not proximity to my job, nothing.
Unfortunately, jafs, it's a perspective you will likely never have.
"I've had a conversation or two, actually hundreds, when I speak of being a parent and am told that they don't have a child, but they do have a dog, or cat, and then they say it's just like having a child."
Those people are nuts. It's Much Better than having a child. ;)
Ah yes, the old "I know better, because I have a child" argument.
Please notice I never said I know what it's like to have children more than people who have them.
That certainly doesn't remove my ability to look at the world, and form reasonable well thought out views on parenting. Otherwise none of us could have opinions about much of what goes on, since we have limited personal experience of it.
Also, of course, I was a child who had parents, had plenty of experience with that, both at the time and throughout my life, and I have numerous nieces and nephews.
I'm sorry to hear that your parents taught you that teachers (ie. authority figures) were always right, and never asked for your side of things. Teachers and authority figures are human beings, and as imperfect as everybody else. I had teachers who taught us things that were simply incorrect, even after having been corrected. Fortunately, my parents taught me to think for myself.
And, I similarly am sorry that you were punished for whatever you may have done, without any discussion of it on your side.
As is often the case, I'm pretty sure that you continue a similar philosophy with your own children, which is even more sad to me.
Here's the deal, jafs. When I sent my child to kindergarden, I was send a perfectly normal 5 year old. Someone who didn't act like an adult, someone without the judgement of an adult. I was sending a child who behaved like a, well, child. And the consequence of behaving like a child was that he got into trouble sometimes. Maybe he didn't play nice, or didn't share the ball during recess. As he got older, he continued to behave age appropriate, which again, meant he got into trouble. It's normal. It's to be expected. It's a learning opportunity. So yes, maybe if you misbehave in school, you lose TV for the night.
You seem to be implying that when confronted with the actions of a child and that of an adult, both should be given equal merit, until more facts are ascertained. That's just not the way it works in real life, nor should it. If you break your leg and your neighbor gives you some advice and then go to a doctor who also gives you advice, do you stop to consider who is giving the better advice? Isn't there some presumption on your part that one person's advice is better, more informed than the others?
School isn't a court of law where there is a presumption of innocence. It's a place where children behave like children and adults behave like adults. There is nothing wrong with recognizing the obvious difference.
Public education was doing fine until radical right elements decided to cut funding and paint public education as this demon failing our children. In fact the demon is the right wing repubs
who are failing our children.
They want vouchers which is a money laundering tool that which funnels OUR TAX DOLLARS to wealthy corporations.
These right wing demons are not experts in education nor are they experts at managing our tax dollars or managing government for that matter. For example these demons supported the federally mandated No Child Left Behind leaving the funding to come from state tax cookie jars. Face it politicians are not experts in much of anything that matters to people.
It seems these brilliant demons should know that removing operating funds will make it difficult for any tax dollar funded organization to accomplish the primary goals. For that matter
removing operating funds from any business would create plenty of stress.
If people want private schools there are plenty. I want my tax dollars to fully fund public education..... thank you.
Science not being taught in Kansas....color me shocked.
When I was in school, my sixth grade teacher called me one night. Asked me if I had read the chapter that was to be begun the next day. After the shock, I told her I had and was looking forward to it as I found the subject of atomic level chemestry interesting. Her rely was "Good, then you can teach the class on valence levels and bonding this week."
By Junior year, there were four in my chem class. By senior year, I was the only one in my physics class.
So yeah,I can believe Kansas is phoning in on science education.
It's great being the only one in the class, isn't it? In my senior year in high school, I was the only student in German 3.
I showed up in class, and kept looking around for more students, but there were none. Then, the teacher and I had a short discussion about exactly where I was at in my studies, as I had studied using other books, and under other teachers, and one of them was in another state.
Something became very obvious real quick. My teacher was an earnest German teacher, and I think that was her first year as a teacher. She did know grammar and vocabulary. But she was missing something very important in a foreign language.
She had never been to Germany, and had only studied German in college. My previous teachers had lived and worked in Germany for years, perfecting their pronunciation, before they taught me anything about German. And they were sticklers about pronunciation, they both had insisted that it must be perfect, because if you don't get that right at the first, you likely will never learn it. Plus, if you have that, adding words to your vocabulary is very easy, so as to fill in your knowledge of the language.
So, I was in the unique situation of having German pronunciation that far exceeded that of my German teacher's. In fact, on two occasions, I've overheard people speaking in German, and asked them if they were from Germany.
The answer? "Why, yes! You too?" I could even fool native Germans! Maybe not so much now, I'd have to practice, since it's been years.
IMO, sending your child to our public schools is a form of child abuse: They end up with the illusion of having an education. All part of the delusion the public is immersed in.
By grade 4, I realized that Lawrence students were 2 years behind children from public school in the Philippines - not rich families. Our children learn to simply give up, if the material is at all frustrating.
There was a comparison study between Japanese and American students - they were given an impossible math problems - the American kids gave up in 30 sec - the Japanese kids worked on it the whole hour.
Overcoming frustration is a key to success - American kids mostly say, "I don't get math" and don't even try. The key to learning is hard work - our new culture is now running from work - looking for a governmental Santa for hand outs. Of course it will end as it has before - our kids would know it if they had real history rather than propaganda.
It continues on to college - We have kids getting government subsidized tuition to take what I would call a recreational degrees that have no hope of gainful employment . Taxes collected on fast-food workers gets passed on to students getting useless degrees - all part of the delusion economy.
Part of the problem here existed before the testing standards. In my 1950's elementary school,
most teachers covered very little science. I think the reason is that they didn't understand any of it, and were afraid of it. Probably still true, for what I have seen of students preparing for the profession.
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