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%
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Thread: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

  1. #71
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Instead of getting so defensive (I'm assuming you're a teacher) perhaps you should actually read those comments from dropouts without the chip on your shoulder and try to think about how those problems can be solved.

    There are some exceptions to this, but I think the people who just throw up their hands and say "Parents need to do a better job" are really using that as an excuse to avoid implementing any solutions that we, as a society, can actually change. It's equivalent to saying "Nothing needs to be changed." There have always been good parents and bad parents, and probably always will be. But society's ability to change that is rather limited. We can, however, do a great deal to change how our students are educated if we are willing to commit to it.
    Bodhisattva's post is right on. Knowing how the system and kids really work is not a chip on your shoulder but experience. Many kids never seem to want to admit to learning anything. It is easy for them and the parents to blame earlier teachers. I remember a girl that graduated several years ago and went to college. Her father loved to blame the school for everything and was known to yell at teachers but only when he was drunk. He took great joy is complaining at board meetings or where anyone would listen that his daughter struggled in college because her high school education didn't prepare her. What he didn't tell everyone is that the teachers and counselor had told her to take advanced classes to prepare for college but she chose only easy classes her senior year. So whose fault was her lack of success? This is just one example of what goes on again and again.

    Yes, there have always been good and bad parents but many things are much more difficult about teaching then they used to be. There are more parents who don't care or are too busy to care. Kids don't want to be taught, they want to be entertained. They have come to expect instant gratification and that is not what school is about. I have so many kids constantly complain that the subject is hard. I ask them when anyone told them it would be easy. I've dealt with so many great parents who support the school and the teachers and and almost 100% of the time those kids do well. I've also dealt with parents who couldn't be bothered to care about their child's education. Those kids almost always do poorly. I've also had the joy to dealing with the "blame the teacher" parent who thinks their child does nothing wrong and the teacher is just picking on them.

    Does this mean that all the problems with education are the parents' fault? Of course it doesn't but a teacher can only build with the raw materials he or she is given.
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Instead of getting so defensive (I'm assuming you're a teacher) perhaps you should actually read those comments from dropouts without the chip on your shoulder and try to think about how those problems can be solved.
    How in the world am I being defensive? Strange... This is a debate site, after all. I tire of hearing ignorant people say stupid things... don't you? Regarding solving the problem, that is what teachers and the education system address and attempt to solve yearly... daily, in fact.

    There are some exceptions to this, but I think the people who just throw up their hands and say "Parents need to do a better job" are really using that as an excuse to avoid implementing any solutions that we, as a society, can actually change. It's equivalent to saying "Nothing needs to be changed." There have always been good parents and bad parents, and probably always will be. But society's ability to change that is rather limited. We can, however, do a great deal to change how our students are educated if we are willing to commit to it.
    Who is saying that the education system can't and shouldn't change? Perhaps instead of thinking that I have a chip on my shoulder, you should look to yourself and see why you are making such ridiculous assumptions like "nothing needs to be changed". In fact, the education system, mainly how teachers manage lessons, what to teach and how to teach it, is reviewed and reflected upon many many times over the course of the year in staff meetings, department meetings, with PD and more...

    The issue here is not that. The issue is that people blindly and ignorantly attack teachers and the education system. I counter it and state that many of the points being brought up against teachers and education are really society and parenting... and what happens? You come along and attack me and call me defensive and that I have a chip. Seems like you are exactly what I am describing as above, and a large part of the problem.
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  3. #73
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    Bodhisattva's post is right on. Knowing how the system and kids really work is not a chip on your shoulder but experience.
    Experience... that is all it is, really.

    Many kids never seem to want to admit to learning anything. It is easy for them and the parents to blame earlier teachers.
    It is always kinda shocking when this happens...

    Yes, there have always been good and bad parents but many things are much more difficult about teaching then they used to be. There are more parents who don't care or are too busy to care. Kids don't want to be taught, they want to be entertained. They have come to expect instant gratification and that is not what school is about. I have so many kids constantly complain that the subject is hard. I ask them when anyone told them it would be easy.
    Seriously... How many time is there a kid who sits there after you prepared them to listen, went over the directions, background info, etc. have written the page number on the board... and they sit there until you come to them and ask why they aren't working... they say they don't know what to do. They don't take initiative to look things up in the index or table of contents... it is astounding.

    I've dealt with so many great parents who support the school and the teachers and and almost 100% of the time those kids do well. I've also dealt with parents who couldn't be bothered to care about their child's education. Those kids almost always do poorly. I've also had the joy to dealing with the "blame the teacher" parent who thinks their child does nothing wrong and the teacher is just picking on them.
    Yep...

    Does this mean that all the problems with education are the parents' fault? Of course it doesn't but a teacher can only build with the raw materials he or she is given.
    Especially in secondary where you only have the student for three or four hours a week... that isn't much time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

  4. #74
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    Experience... that is all it is, really.



    It is always kinda shocking when this happens...



    Seriously... How many time is there a kid who sits there after you prepared them to listen, went over the directions, background info, etc. have written the page number on the board... and they sit there until you come to them and ask why they aren't working... they say they don't know what to do. They don't take initiative to look things up in the index or table of contents... it is astounding.



    Yep...



    Especially in secondary where you only have the student for three or four hours a week... that isn't much time.
    I had this happen the other day. I had given what I will admit were elaborate instructions about the group activity we were going to do. I then divided the kids into their groups and told them to begin. One kid came up to me and said that he didn't know what to do or what group he was in because he hadn't paid attention. I told him, "That's unfortunate," and he got mad at me. It's crazy the way some kids act.
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  5. #75
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    I had this happen the other day. I had given what I will admit were elaborate instructions about the group activity we were going to do. I then divided the kids into their groups and told them to begin. One kid came up to me and said that he didn't know what to do or what group he was in because he hadn't paid attention. I told him, "That's unfortunate," and he got mad at me. It's crazy the way some kids act.
    That happens to me too, and the worst part is that they can't even figure out that they should or could ask another student what they are doing. They end up not passing and getting upset, or worse, not caring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

  6. #76
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    How in the world am I being defensive? Strange... This is a debate site, after all. I tire of hearing ignorant people say stupid things... don't you?
    Your last sentence should answer the question you posed in your first sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva
    Who is saying that the education system can't and shouldn't change? Perhaps instead of thinking that I have a chip on my shoulder, you should look to yourself and see why you are making such ridiculous assumptions like "nothing needs to be changed". In fact, the education system, mainly how teachers manage lessons, what to teach and how to teach it, is reviewed and reflected upon many many times over the course of the year in staff meetings, department meetings, with PD and more...

    The issue here is not that.
    Actually that's exactly what the issue is. The topic of this thread is "what would improve education in the United States." And the quality of parenting is not something that can easily be changed through better educational policies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva
    The issue is that people blindly and ignorantly attack teachers and the education system.
    The issue here is that some teachers view any attempt to improve the educational system as an attack on them personally, thus things don't change as quickly as they should. The fact that you viewed a thread on policies to improve our schools as "blind and ignorantly attacking teachers" shows how defensive and out of touch you are, as though a school's main function was to provide YOU with employment rather than to educate students as well as possible. Your attitude is a perfect example of why education reform is so slow in coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva
    I counter it and state that many of the points being brought up against teachers and education are really society and parenting... and what happens?
    Teachers and education = Things we can actually change via policy, and therefore relevant to the topic of this thread and the forum in general.
    Society and parenting = Things that cannot be changed via policy (at least not easily or predictably), and therefore not relevant to the topic of this thread or the forum in general.

    Saying "parents need to do a better job" is meaningless, as there is nothing you can do about the quality of parenting. It's just a cop-out to avoid examining the flaws of our education system, or thinking about how things could be done better.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 01-19-11 at 01:09 AM.
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  7. #77
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Your last sentence should answer the question you posed in your first sentence.
    Stating something or countering something is far different from being defensive... it is about the state of mind.
    One can disagree and not be defensive, though that is a foreign concept to many, including by ex-wife.

    Actually that's exactly what the issue is. The topic of this thread is "what would improve education in the United States." And the quality of parenting is not something that can easily be changed through better educational policies.
    No. That is not the issue. The issue as you correctly state it is, "what would improve education in the United States".
    You then limit yourself by excluding something that is one of the primary issues simply because it might not be easy to impliment.

    The issue here is that some teachers view any attempt to improve the educational system as an attack on them personally, thus things don't change as quickly as they should. The fact that you viewed a thread on policies to improve our schools as "blind and ignorantly attacking teachers" shows how defensive and out of touch you are, as though a school's main function was to provide YOU with employment rather than to educate students as well as possible. Your attitude is a perfect example of why education reform is so slow in coming.
    Many teachers do view it that way... agreed. And then I guess that you wouldn't mind showing how I was viewing the thread about improving the quality of schools as "blind and ignorantly attacking teachers" instead of the posters posting in this thread as "blind and ignorantly attacking teachers". Sorry, you don't seem to know jack about what I am actually debating... and instead you seem to be part of the problem. Just another hack attacking a teacher and what insights they have to offer instead of listening and learning. But hey, the problem is too difficult to take on seriously, so lets just bash education. Good job.

    Teachers and education = Things we can actually change via policy, and therefore relevant to the topic of this thread and the forum in general.
    Agreed, and they should be changed when and if needed. But... they already are... so...

    Society and parenting = Things that cannot be changed via policy (at least not easily or predictably), and therefore not relevant to the topic of this thread or the forum in general.
    What a disconnect. If the Solar Cycle was found to be the major part of Climate Change, you would say that it cannot be changed via policy (at least not easily or predictably), and therefore not relevant to the topic of this thread or the forum in general. Like I said, what a disconnect.

    Saying "parents need to do a better job" is meaningless, as there is nothing you can do about the quality of parenting. It's just a cop-out to avoid examining the flaws of our education system, or thinking about how things could be done better.
    Except if the major problem is parenting (and I have not once limited myself to that alone, so your assertion is retarded) then that should be addressed, and there are more than a few ways that this can be addressed. School/Family nights for one. They already do this in lower socio-economic areas, especially latino... and it works. That being siad, there are other equally concerning issues that I have addressed, but you chose to ignore those in favor of a seemingly easy target... a teacher who seems to be attacknig parenting in order to make an excuse for poor education.

    Nice try, but ultimately a FAIL.

    Wanna go for double jeopardy?
    Last edited by Bodhisattva; 01-21-11 at 12:12 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
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  8. #78
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    You've got nothing but your hatred of teachers... very apparent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

  9. #79
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    I voted for longer years, better funding, and more online options... I am not well researched in this area so I voted for what seemed the best based on my own experience.

    I really wanted to do more paced learning or online courses when I was in school... My nephew goes to a private school where that is mostly what they do, with guidance from the teacher and it works great for him. I think it's hard for a teacher to teach a large class of students, and try to keep them engaged and nearly on the same level. Some students are stronger in areas than others... duh. Learning needs to be more personalized and students have to be encouraged to take responsibility for it. They shouldn't be able to sit in a class passively while a teacher lectures.

  10. #80
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What do you guys think about the idea of online education, to reduce the need for so many teachers and brick-and-mortar schools? It would be easy to produce lessons that could be reused for several years at no additional cost, and one teacher could easily handle classes of 100+ students since there wouldn't be an issue with class disruption or being stuck in the back of a crowded auditorium. This will free up a lot more taxpayer money to be invested in other aspects of education, and it will free students from the stranglehold of their school district so that students will no longer be doomed by their geography. Furthermore, it would allow students to work at their own pace, so the smart kids aren't bored and the remedial kids aren't forgotten.

    I realize that online education is probably not quite good enough yet to compete with the best schools in the country...but I can't help but think that it would be a MAJOR improvement for the millions of kids trapped in inner-city schools where teachers don't teach and students fear for their safety, or poor rural schools where the curriculum is severely limited by lack of funding and lack of interest.
    You mentioned inner city schools... and I think one of the best things an online education can do, is put some students in a better situation to learn than throwing the student in a class full of ill behaved kids in a poorly run school.

    I went to a city school for one year, and it was god awful. Students yelling at teachers throughout the class. I think about it now as an adult, and I think wtf... Those kids were so stupid and disrespectful… makes me want to go back in time and pop them in the mouths!

    … and why the h*ll did some of those teachers argue back with them and threaten to send them to the principal's office for 20 minutes?!!? I don’t remember learning anything at that school. I just remember the students being terrible, yelling in class.. cussing, talking about drugs.. right in front of the teacher. I also remember the school being closed due to bomb threats a few times. It was also in the news that a boy brought a gun to that school one day, but he was caught.

    .. so yes, it would be better to take an online class than be in a school like that

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