View Poll Results: Which of these things would improve education in the US?

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  • Longer school days

    14 16.47%
  • Longer school years

    31 36.47%
  • Better pay for teachers

    29 34.12%
  • More charter schools

    27 31.76%
  • More public vouchers for private schools

    34 40.00%
  • Weakening teachers' unions

    42 49.41%
  • More funding

    31 36.47%
  • Reallocation of funding (e.g. on a state level instead of on a district level)

    27 31.76%
  • Firing teachers who fail to perform to the standards the school board expects

    50 58.82%
  • More online education, replacing some brick-and-mortar schools

    17 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

  1. #101
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    There are lots of proposals for education reform in the US, not all of which can work together. What do you think are the most important things that can be done to improve education?
    I think weakening the teacher unions,getting rid of tenure and firing bad teachers might help. I do not think making the school days longer or adding more days is necessary. They could however stretch the school year out by having a 3 week vacation after every 9 weeks that way everything is still fresh in the child's mind.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  2. #102
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I think weakening the teacher unions,getting rid of tenure and firing bad teachers might help. I do not think making the school days longer or adding more days is necessary. They could however stretch the school year out by having a 3 week vacation after every 9 weeks that way everything is still fresh in the child's mind.
    I like that idea. Some short breaks throughout the year would be better than one long summer break IMO, where kids are going to forget a lot of what they learned and spend the first quarter of the next year reviewing the material from the previous year.
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  3. #103
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    I can tell you from personal experience that fourth graders, at least, are pretty much fried by 2 in the afternoon or so, and aren't going to do much more regardless of how long you keep them in class. Perhaps longer days could pay dividends for older students, I'm not sure. Longer school years might help, or at least do what jamesrage suggests and spread the vacation days out through the year. It takes until sometime in October to get them back to where they were in June when we have long summer vacations, and that's based on personal experience too.

    The long summer vacation is a throwback to a different time, when kids were needed on the family farm. It's time we caught up with the 21st. century.
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  4. #104
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I think weakening the teacher unions,getting rid of tenure and firing bad teachers might help. I do not think making the school days longer or adding more days is necessary. They could however stretch the school year out by having a 3 week vacation after every 9 weeks that way everything is still fresh in the child's mind.
    getting rid of tenure is a two edged issue. on one hand tenure allows crappy teachers to hang on long past their due. on the other hand, tenure prevents good teachers from being fired simply because the superintendent's nephew just graduated from college and needs a teaching job.

    the public school system in my district is on a modified schedule. they start in early august and go 9 weeks. 2 week fall break. go 9 weeks. 3 week christmas break. go 9 weeks. 2 week spring break. go 9 weeks and then 9 weeks off for summer break.
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  5. #105
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Why is this a solution? This is just another diversion by teachers' unions, a la Haymarket. Others come up with incentives, vouchers, focus on family, etc., etc. A former union rep comes up with let's spend years implementing uniformity in curriculum. Wow. Wonder how many jobs THAT study'd conger up.



    More jobs! Love it.

    Subjective brag: My niece is a senior in high school. Last year, Texas Christian showed up with other colleges to recruit students. Monica talked to the TSU rep and asked, "How can I get a meaningful scholarship at TCU?" The rep told her the story of a student that year who got a $100K scholarship...had a 32 on her SAT...lots of community volunteer experience...killer essays...part-time job in a leadership role. Monica had gotten a 31 on her SAT. She retook and got a 32. She began volunteering in her hometown...drafted essays over and over again...she already had a part-time job in a leadership role as a soccer ref (having won awards for her participation). She applied to TSU last spring. She got a full ride $130K scholarship.

    Aside from bragging ;-) what does this tell us? Well, where did her motivation come from? Her parents. Lots of positive reinforcement. A solid belief in the value of a good education. Parental involvement in the school lives of their children. The list could go on. But the moral is, if parents don't give a damn, neither will their children.
    actually, a national curriculm would be wonderful. and that was not the only item haymarket mentioned.

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  6. #106
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Focus on a small set of questions (not answers). Encourage thougth that requires reading and thinking. They won't be as easy to grade as a bubble sheet, but they would tell uis more. Example: Pose a question for the semester / quarter: How big does the new parking lot have to be to accomodate x number of new students, with a budget of x. This si a small example, and likely wouldn't take the entire semester, but a more complicated question could. The answer would ideally involve a number of displines: math, science, writing, business, and government.

    yes, we have to memorize rules and facts and such, but memorizing without applying has limitations.

    It also helps to visit the classroom. Adminsitraters, peers, parents and any interested party should be able to schedule a visit and watch the teacher work. I visited all my kids classes and found it quite enlightening.

    Also, the standard has no meaning if attached to money AND the schools get to make their own tests. This encourages cheating of some sort, even if nothing more than dumbing down.
    The state where I teach was going to a test like you describe. Students were required to write and the questions required a high depth of knowledge. Now, due to budget issues, we are going back to multiple choice that will be done on the computer. They try to make multiple choice questions test more than they can. The questions are confusing because more than one answer could be correct but the student has to find the "best" answer. It is a poor way to test a student's knowledge and understanding.

    I wish more parents would take an interest in what goes on in the classroom. I think many would be surprised at what goes on.
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  7. #107
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarB63 View Post
    getting rid of tenure is a two edged issue. on one hand tenure allows crappy teachers to hang on long past their due. on the other hand, tenure prevents good teachers from being fired simply because the superintendent's nephew just graduated from college and needs a teaching job.

    the public school system in my district is on a modified schedule. they start in early august and go 9 weeks. 2 week fall break. go 9 weeks. 3 week christmas break. go 9 weeks. 2 week spring break. go 9 weeks and then 9 weeks off for summer break.
    Your take on tenure is exactly right. I've seen excellent teachers fired because they ticked off the wrong parent. It is not as difficult to get rid of tenured teachers as some people think. It can be done if a good principal does his/her job.
    ~Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
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  8. #108
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    Your take on tenure is exactly right. I've seen excellent teachers fired because they ticked off the wrong parent. It is not as difficult to get rid of tenured teachers as some people think. It can be done if a good principal does his/her job.
    if the teacher is really bad and the principal does his job and documents, it isn't that hard to fire a tenured teacher. my dad was a HS principle for 26 years and he fired many teachers with tenure.

    my very first teaching job was at a middle school in central AL. about 2 weeks before school ended the principal called all the non-tenured teachers together for a meeting. superintendent was there and told us that all but one of us were not going to have our contracts renewed. 7 white teachers, 1 black teacher. I'll let you guess which one got his contract renewed.

    I taught science and, by some strange coincidence, the principal's nephew was graduating that semester with a teaching degree in science. I'll also let you guess who they hired to replace me.
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  9. #109
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    Your take on tenure is exactly right. I've seen excellent teachers fired because they ticked off the wrong parent. It is not as difficult to get rid of tenured teachers as some people think. It can be done if a good principal does his/her job.
    A lot of the "do away with tenure and things will be better" opinion comes from having had a disagreement with a child's teacher.

    If every teacher who got crosswise with a parent or administrator were to be fired, the classrooms would be empty.
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  10. #110
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    A lot of the "do away with tenure and things will be better" opinion comes from having had a disagreement with a child's teacher.

    If every teacher who got crosswise with a parent or administrator were to be fired, the classrooms would be empty.
    the only ones left would be the ass kissers that don't really teach the kids anything anyway.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

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