View Poll Results: How are American public schools?
Public schools are: Great 1 2.04%
Public schools are: Good 5 10.20%
Public schools are: Average 12 24.49%
Public schools are: Bad 18 36.73%
Public schools are: Horrid 13 26.53%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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To Americans: Opinion on our schools.

by Blahness
Tags: americans, opinion, schools
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Chi Meson
#19
Nov15-05, 10:20 AM
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Quote Quote by Blahness
I'm seeing two trends...
1. School quality is bad, and morality is low, and punishments are not happening.
2. School standards are slipping, leading to a lower-quality learning for everyone.
Is this true, or am I missing a trend?
This is not the trend.

1. School quality is varied. In fact quite polarized. Some school distracts are remarkably high quality; these tend ot be in affluent neighborhoord or wealthy counties. Schools are usually funded primarily through local taxes (it depends on the state/county, or in New England, "townships." School funding is just about the only tax that you can actually vote on. What would you do if you could vote on your own tax increase?

Places where schools are underfunded just happen to be the places that can least afford to raise taxes; coincidently these are the same places that have the hardest to teach students (many meanings and reasons for "hard to teach"). Such places are very likely to repell the best teachers: lower pay, larger classes, more difficult students. All together: horrible school.

In affluent neighborhoods property values are high and schools have so much money they toss in a swimming pool next to the gym. Students in general try harder because they have parents that care. Teachers would choose to work in this environment for less money, but this is where they get more! The pool of applicants for an opening is stronger, and the better teachers are hired. All together: fantastic school.

One other point: no matter how good any school is, people will still complain; that's human nature.

2. School standards hit a low during the eighties; they are rising at the moment (statistically, across the country). NCLB is having an effect and I am one of many teachers who is not decrying NCLB; it is flawed but not totally wrong.
Blahness
#20
Nov15-05, 10:41 AM
P: 106
I see, variance in quality due to fluctuating economic statuses. Good explination for #1, and YES, people will ALWAYS complain about school, no matter how perfect it is*.

2. Let me make sure we're talking about the same standards here. Please tell me what standards you are talking about: Quality of material being taught, or quantity of students passing?
scott1
#21
Nov15-05, 04:54 PM
P: 459
Quote Quote by marlon

Really, don't bother. I do not think that scott really knows what he is talking about. If so, i would like to ask him why he says the things he says. Based upon which criteria did he make those statements ?
Check out the PISA website if you want reliable comparisons. The site also explains (very important) HOW they have executed these math/science aptitude comparisons between different countries.
regards
marlon
Your right I don't
at least we lern somthing at school
Chi Meson
#22
Nov15-05, 06:33 PM
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Quote Quote by Blahness
2. Let me make sure we're talking about the same standards here. Please tell me what standards you are talking about: Quality of material being taught, or quantity of students passing?
Various standards by which students and schools are compared:
Average SAT or ACT scores
percentage of students who take the SAT or ACT tests (If only 20% of the students take the SAT, they are going to mostly be in the top 20% of their class; the more students that take the SAT, the lower the average will be).
The number of students taking AP (or IB) tests and scoring 3 or better.
The ratio of total AP and IB tests taken per total number of students
The percentage of students going on to 4-year colleges
The average number of credits taken during high school by graduating class (this one is way up.)
The percentage of "at risk" students who continue on to 4-year colleges ("at risk" students are nearly always identified as those who receive free or reduced price lunches; there is a good correlation)(this percentage is still too low, but it used to be essentially zero.
The dropout rate. (declining)
The literacy rate (improving)
variety of courses offered in high school

Although I can't verify each of these points for every locality across the country, and no I don't have any of the numbers handy (please feel free to fact check and inform me of any errors), I can definately speak for my own locality, each of these indicators are showing steady improvement.

I happen to teach in Connecticut which is the first state to tighten the so-called "praxis"exam which is required of those who wish to become teachers. This exam is still absurdly simple, even after Connecticut more than doubled its length. Most states now are starting to use the Connecticut standard. THen the "Praxis II" test is in the subject area you wish to teach. The old praxis II in Physics was so simple; most of my honors students would pass it after one year of physics. The Connecticut Praxis is again more than twice as long and contains significantly tricky questions.

The first years of teaching are much more closely monitored these days, and weak teachers are more easily sifted out in the first two years. Even still, those teachers with tenure can't be fired unless they demonstrate extreme incompetence, and then only if the administration attempts in good faith to help that teacher and then only if there is a large enough pile of evidence of continuing incompetence. This is why we have to wait for attrition to free us of what I admit is a surfeit (look it up, it's a great word) of tired lousy teachers.
ShawnD
#23
Nov15-05, 07:03 PM
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Quote Quote by Blahness
I'm seeing two trends...
Not sure about the US but Canada's declining system has only 1 trend - students cannot fail. 20 years ago, a student would be held back until he reached the level that was required; that could be 2+ consecutive years if the kid just didn't get it. Now kids are pushed through no matter what. Not reading, not understanding division, or simply being a moron are not enough to get held back. Both my brother and my cousin were held back in kindergarten because they weren't good at math. I was almost held back because I was deemed "unaware of his surroundings" meaning I never knew what day of what month of what year it was, and I couldn't remember anybody's name; however, I could read and do math at the level they expected. Think about that for a second. I was almost held back on the general principle that I was retarded but able to function; sort of like Rain Man. We'll never see tight quality control of students like that again it seems.
rachmaninoff
#24
Nov15-05, 08:25 PM
P: n/a
Quote Quote by ShawnD
"unaware of his surroundings" meaning I never knew what day of what month of what year it was, and I couldn't remember anybody's name;
This sounds like my whole department...
Gale
#25
Nov15-05, 09:01 PM
P: 676
my biggest complaint with american public school systems is that they seem to be continually catering to lower level students. my school, admittedly in a small town, had a lot of funding for "special ed" students, and very little for advanced students. i'm sure its difficult to distribute money and everything, but i have a hard time accepting large amounts of money being spent on the slowest or most disabled learners, who i feel have the least economical potential when the average and above average students seem to get significantly less funding. or perhaps, not significantly more....
1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21
#26
Nov15-05, 09:02 PM
P: 166
I go to a pretty good school, but i know that lots of schools suck, so i put average.
AngelShare
#27
Nov15-05, 09:10 PM
P: 203
Bad, plain as that. That whole "No Child Left Behind" act is crap, it's flawed. How can "no child be left behind" when the schools that need help aren't getting any help?

My school is a perfect example of that. They teach you the same crap over and over again until you're almost ready to puke. They don't even push you at my school, you can do whatever the hell you want. My cyber school forces you to continue forward instead of dropping down classes in order to slack off while my public school would let you go from Algebra 2 back down to Math 76 just to get your final credit. The parents don't seem to care though, few seem to know what their child is actually doing.

My area just doesn't seem to be a good one for education period. Hell, the library may even get closed. Want a book? The nearest library is about an hour away if this one gets the boot.
bomba923
#28
Nov16-05, 02:58 AM
P: 736
Ahh...the NCLB act

Frankly, I don't really see it as a major "problem",
But at least let's alter it this way :

"OK...you're child can *SIT* in that classroom, and ;absorb/participate in learning'...etc.
But...By no means can he/she lower standards, demand Extra funding, dumb-down the @!#@!$...etc...etc"

Fine. Enroll any kid into a public school classroom. But do NOT let just "any kid" (or a small learning-disabled minority) adjust the public school standards !
------------------------------------------
Although a bit "overgeneralized" , that is just a simplified point of view. What do you think, Angelshare?
------------------------------------------
Also,
Quote Quote by Gale
my biggest complaint with american public school systems is that they seem to be continually catering to lower level students. my school, admittedly in a small town, had a lot of funding for "special ed" students, and very little for advanced students. i'm sure its difficult to distribute money and everything, but i have a hard time accepting large amounts of money being spent on the slowest or most disabled learners, who i feel have the least economical potential when the average and above average students seem to get significantly less funding. or perhaps, not significantly more....
Precisely!

But also, don't forget that lower standards have a dumbing-down effect of their own !. In a sense, competent elementary/early middle schoolers can become quite incompetent in high school.

However, I agree that we do cater TOO MUCH towards the "lower level"/special-ed students. Or by my definition, i.e., "those who fail by the 'already LOW' standards!!"

I agree with you on your post....but just remember that low-standards have a dumbing-down effect of their own! And this can affect the majority of students/learners as well!! ()----->NOT only those who were innately "lower level" or special-ed.

(just wanted to add that low standards can affect the majority as well-->so you're not only looking at just a special-ed minority here !, but the large general majority of students attending public schools!)

But I do agree with you in your post, most definitely~~
Pengwuino
#29
Nov16-05, 04:32 AM
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Quote Quote by AngelShare
How can "no child be left behind" when the schools that need help aren't getting any help?

My school is a perfect example of that. They teach you the same crap over and over again until you're almost ready to puke. They don't even push you at my school, you can do whatever the hell you want.
Well there is your problem. Why piss money into a school whose teachers don't care in the first place? More funding won't change that, no teacher is going to like his/her job more because the library has more books or there are more computers available.

I got a real problem with the schools around here (and it seems to be this way all over the nation). Why do we need so many F'n psychologists/psychiatrists???? I mean what "problems" do these kids have that require trained professional psychiatrists at their beck-n-call (sp?). Now of course, there are times when they are necessary but they literally promote these people as people who can help you in your "latest relationsihp problem" or "problems with your friends" or other stupid crap like that instead of REAL problems like parental abuse or family problems. It's going to get to a point where we have more of these psychological-oriented professionals in each school then teachers. And of course, they will all be outnumbered by the number of cops per school since you have to damn near murder someone before they even think about expelling someone.

If we started expelling people for even cussing in class, everything about our school system (ha, besides enrollment) would be better. More funding per school, better work environment for teachers, higher standards.

Of course that is the tough and mean way of doing things.... society doesn't accept stuff like that anymore.... i do, but society doesn't... me and society don't mix.... i think i need a psychonator.
Blahness
#30
Nov16-05, 09:25 AM
P: 106
Chi Meson, you make several good points. The literacy rate and dropout rates are heading in the right direction, and the number of credits in HS.

You may also be right about the number of students passing the various standardized tests... However, is it that the students are learning better, or that the tests are actually easier?

Over the years, the tests seem to have gotten a huge reduction in difficulty, which makes it SEEM like more people are passing, but are still doing the same.

That, and lopsided grading (4 passing and 1 failing grade), can make it look like they're doing better then they actually are.

Quality, not Quantity.
Chi Meson
#31
Nov16-05, 09:37 AM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
If we started expelling people for even cussing in class, everything about our school system (ha, besides enrollment) would be better. More funding per school, better work environment for teachers, higher standards.
I'm glad you said that. Turns out that schools are penalized for expelling students. How so? Around here, if a town's educational system expels a student, the town is still responsible for that student finishishing his education. This is done by sending a private tutor to the student's house.

In other words, our very worst students are rewarded with private, no-commute private instruction. THis is what the law required, I assure you it is not the wishes of the schools.

Furthermore, the troops of psychologists and the extra-special attention given to "Students WIth Special Needs" are all federal mandated requirements (along with the NCLB mandates). Schools that can't afford the extra mandates and requirements will be punished by receiving less funds.
Blahness
#32
Nov16-05, 09:43 AM
P: 106
Chi, if that's how NCLB acts, then it NEEDS to be changed.


I don't consider a school to be "succeeding" if they lose 130 MAT tests. Which happened in 4th grade. THEY LOST AN ENTIRE GRADE'S MAT TESTS.


Anyway, earlier points, discuss.
AngelShare
#33
Nov17-05, 10:11 AM
P: 203
I have an idea of what you're saying, bomba923 but I'm not sure so, before replying, I'll ask you to explain more.

Quote Quote by Pengwuino
Well there is your problem. Why piss money into a school whose teachers don't care in the first place? More funding won't change that, no teacher is going to like his/her job more because the library has more books or there are more computers available.
Because that isn't the case for all schools. Some just don't have the funding needed to properly teach students and can't get it because their scores aren't high enough. It's like chasing your tail. That and my school does have good students (The top five are almost obsessive when it comes to homework, for example. Then, if you keep going further down, you'll see that quite a few students do their homework, they just don't care, the bottom 25 or so being slackers. They need pushed. I didn't know what being pushed felt like until I enrolled in my cyber school; in fact, I just got my report card today and my GPA is an 89%. I worked my butt off for that grade but that used to be my GPA at my public school- without the work.), they just get cheated out of a good education.

I got a real problem with the schools around here (and it seems to be this way all over the nation). Why do we need so many F'n psychologists/psychiatrists???? I mean what "problems" do these kids have that require trained professional psychiatrists at their beck-n-call (sp?). Now of course, there are times when they are necessary but they literally promote these people as people who can help you in your "latest relationsihp problem" or "problems with your friends" or other stupid crap like that instead of REAL problems like parental abuse or family problems. It's going to get to a point where we have more of these psychological-oriented professionals in each school then teachers. And of course, they will all be outnumbered by the number of cops per school since you have to damn near murder someone before they even think about expelling someone.
I don't know what you mean by this...our counselor deals with school stuff mainly. We don't have any "professionals" but, then again, I'm out here in TheMiddleOfNowhere, Pennsylvania.

If we started expelling people for even cussing in class, everything about our school system (ha, besides enrollment) would be better. More funding per school, better work environment for teachers, higher standards.
Mm, that may be a bit too harsh but I do agree that school's are too lenient. My one ex-friend brought a knife to school and was suspended for a few months. That's it. She half attacked the principal all over nothing. The loony just decided to come in and pull it out.

Some kids are known trouble makers but, for some reason, the teachers are quick to befriend them. One guy was talking about how he hit another guy over the head with a bear bottle and the teacher, with a smile on his face said, "Really? Wow, gettin' into trouble, huh?" and laughed. He thought it was funny!
Blahness
#34
Nov17-05, 10:30 AM
P: 106
The school manual says they'll expel kids who attack officials, but I've had a friend who slapped a librarian(Dumbass friend, I tell you), and NOTHING happened.

Question about a law: Am I still a "student" until I get to my place of residence from school? Is it a state(Arizona) law, or National Law? Is it a law in Michigan?

If it's not one in Michigan OR Arizona.... UGH.

Anyway, of a poll of 31, the majority said that it was "Bad", followed by "Average", "Horrid", and "Good". None of you said "Great", which signifies that everyone who's voted says that something could be improved, and the majority says that something needs to be improved.

Are these correct inferences, or am I mis-reading polls?

That, and the poll isn't even done yet(I want to get 100 people, if possible), so I'll just hold for now.



Anyway, Yesterday, I looked at an intermediate Algebra class for 10th grade, in an EXCELLING(Top 9.1% performing) school, Sunrise Mountain High School. They learned about the difference of squares, for about 30 minutes... Then socialized for 1 hour, with lots of swearing going unnoted by the teacher. Remember, TOP 9.1% of Arizona schools.
z-component
#35
Nov17-05, 03:30 PM
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P: 483
Notice that no one said public schools are "great..."
Blahness
#36
Nov17-05, 04:21 PM
P: 106
Okay, I am going to support my opinion that schools are bad, and could greatly be improved, using an ACTUAL SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT from my 10th Grade Biology(required class) Course from an Excelling(top 9.1% graded schools in the state) school.

This document has not, in any way(Except for spacing), been edited. This is actually what it says. The (#) means number of points for the section, the __/# means number of points for that specific part of the section. This is a Lab FINAL, where we are to make a lab and physically testing it using provided materials. It is worth 16% of a student's final grade.

Lab Assessment Ruberic

TITLE (1)
Reflects the variables __/1

QUESTION (15)
Must be testable __/10
Clearly state and reflects variables __/4
Conventions(mechanics/ grammar) __/1

HYPOTHESIS (10)
Single sentence, statement form __/1
Worded similarly to question __/3
Must be testable and measurable __/5
Conventions(mechanics/ grammar) __/1

MATERIALS (3)
All equipment/materials listed __/1
Amounts and sizes given __/1
Conventions(not numbered, mechanics/grammar) __/1

PROCEDURES (12)
Sequential order __/1
Logical - will test hypo __/5
Able to be duplicated __/5
Conventions (numbers, mechanics/grammar) __/1

PREDICTION (5)
If (state EXACT hypothesis) __/1
Then (state correct observations) __/3
Conventions (mechanics/grammar) __/1

DATA (6)
All possible qualitative/quantitative oberv (with units) and calculations give in applicable __/1
Title includes ind/dep variables __/1
Data organized into correct columns __/1
Columns labels are specific __/1
Units, if applicable __/1
Conventions (appropriate gridlines, mechanics) __/1

GRAPH (7)
Title includes ind/dep variables __/1
Increments start at zero __/1
Increments equally spaced, entire range of data represented __/1
Variables on correct acex __/1
Axes specifically labeled __/1
Units, if applicable __/1
Conventions (line appropriate for data, mechanics) __/1

DISCUSSION/EVALUATION (34)
Relationship/trend accurately discussed __/10
Correlation (pos, neg, none) stated __/5
Logical explination based on scientific concepts for correlation/ relationship given __/15
Possible source(s) of error given __/1
Effects of error(s) given __/2
Conventions (mechanics/ grammar) __/1

CONCLUSION (7)
Exact hypothesis stated __/1
State if hypo is supported/not __/1
Specific data given(include units) __/3
Supported/ alternate hypo given __/1
Conventions (mechanics/ grammar) __/1

(End of copied document)

I'm not going to even bash the actual requirements, but I'll start with the weighing of the requirements stated. As you see, there is a total of 101 points. Now let's look at what doesn't make sense.


QUESTION (15)
Must be testable __/10
Clearly state and reflects variables __/4

Conventions(mechanics/ grammar) __/1

HYPOTHESIS (10)
Single sentence, statement form __/1
Worded similarly to question __/3
Must be testable and measurable __/5
Conventions(mechanics/ grammar) __/1

(skip materials)

PROCEDURES (12)
Sequential order __/1
Logical - will test hypo __/5
Able to be duplicated __/5

Conventions (numbers, mechanics/grammar) __/1


Will you look at what was bolded? Making sure your question is testable an repeatable is almost a FOURTH of the grade. Making sure your question/hypothesis/procedures are testable, repeatable, tests your hypothesis, states what you're testing, and is measurable is 32 points, ALMOST AS MUCH AS THE DISCUSSION! This is common sense, where, for the average person, it is harder NOT to do it then to do it. (Testable? You can test almost anything available in high school.)

Your question alone is worth as much as your data/data table, graph, and materials COMBINED.

The weighing is specifically made to make students look like they are doing better then they actually are, which in turns artifically raises science grades, which makes it look like the student is more competent in science then they actually are.

Remember, top 9.1% of Arizona schools.

Grades are being artificially inflated. Why? Because higher student grades = more money for school.

That's flawed, and you should know it.

Anyway, arguements/comments would be appreciated. Poll is still open.


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