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News Obama's education czar proposes longer school days for public schools

  1. Sep 28, 2009 #1
    I don't think allowing school kids to stay in school for a longer period of time would increase the quality of public education. I think we need to improved and/or completely changed the curriculum in most public schools by created a curriculum that will suit each student's individual interests and do away with the general liberal arts curriculum; I don't think we should be worried about which nations contain the highest standardized test scores compared to our nation test scores. That should not be a priority concerning improving the quality of education a student received. Not to mentioned summer vacations are an american tradition . Just my 3 cents.
     
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  3. Sep 28, 2009 #2
    It sounds like a governmental solution to me, the system isnt working so we just need them to spend more time in the failing classes. We would be far better off if we dispelled the myth that school is the only place to get an education IMO. I agree completely with your assement that we need to break it down to the individuals needs and not a one size fits all curriculum.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2009 #3
    I don't think anyone can argue that we need to raise overall standards in the public schools. However, a longer school day, week, or year is not the solution on it's own.

    We need to think quality, not quantity. We might also want to re-think the whole concept of "teaching the test" - as it might be the reason we're leaving a lot of children behind.
     
  5. Sep 29, 2009 #4
    I wonder what the Sec of Ed thinks about this story.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200...amas-safe-schools-czar-say-hes-wrong-man-job/

    "President Obama's "safe schools czar" is a former schoolteacher who has advocated promoting homosexuality in schools, written about his past drug abuse, expressed his contempt for religion and detailed an incident in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

    Conservatives are up in arms about the appointment of Kevin Jennings, Obama's director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, saying he is too radical for the job.

    Jennings was appointed to the position largely because of his longtime record of working to end bullying and discrimination in schools. In 1990, as a teacher in Massachusetts, he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which now has over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education, including one that describes his own experiences as a closeted gay student."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Sep 29, 2009 #5

    S_Happens

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    I have the same opinion, except I think your "might" are actually certainties.
     
  7. Sep 29, 2009 #6

    Pengwuino

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    Sometimes I wonder what the school graduation/drop rates/years to graduate would be if students were actually required to pass classes. At my university, the freshman dropout rate is something retarded like 25%. The average years to graduate is 6 years. Yet, (as far as i know) almost all people complete high school at around 18 if they havent dropped out.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2009 #7

    Wax

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    I agree that longer school hours in failing schools do not work. One of the big problems right now is that your child must go to the school nearest your home, so if your child is stuck in a failing school then he is probably destine to fail. The best solution for this would be to let parents choose what school their child could go too.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2009 #8

    S_Happens

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    Here in Texas it is possible to go to an out of district school, but in the case of high school (not sure about middle school) you lose a year of UIL eligibility.
     
  10. Sep 30, 2009 #9

    cristo

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    From what I gather, noone is proposing longer school hours, but instead saying that students should be in school for more days of the year. Seems to make sense to me, especially if your concern is that US students don't have a high enough level of knowledge of fundamentals when entering college.
     
  11. Sep 30, 2009 #10

    S_Happens

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    I agree with your interpretation of Wax's post, but it misses the point altogether, which is quality over quantity. Days can be broken down into hours, so however the time is added doesn't really matter (yes, the referenced article discussed MORE days, not longer days). I think (and it appears that everyone else previous to me agrees) making better use of the time already spent in class would be more useful than simply adding to the number of days spent in poor classes. I think the post I quoted by WhoWee sums it up very nicely.
     
  12. Sep 30, 2009 #11

    Astronuc

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    My high school was on a trimester system. Instead of 2 semesters/4 quarters with 6 one-hour (55 min) classes each day (5 days a week), we had 3 trimesters with 4 classes of 1.5 hrs. However, since I was doing an extended calculus course, and honors chemistry and physics, I took 5 classes each day instead of 4. I preferred to have more time in class or lab.

    Teaching with an individual curriculum for each student just isn't practical, especially when each teacher has 120-150 students or more.

    Summer 'vacation' was originally a break from education/class so that students could work on the farms and help with the harversts. Please review one's US history from the colonial period: 1600 and 1700's.
     
  13. Sep 30, 2009 #12
    Well I think the average classroom at the high school and middle school level is around 30-40 students per-class room, not 120 -150. I think classroom size could be lowered if 95 percent of the student population stopped attending public schools and begin to migrate to schools that offer curriculums that suit their intellectual interests and subsequently class size would go down drastically because students would not want the the same educational experience; Some my focus strictly on math and science, others might focus on theater and the arts, others my focus on rhetoric and logic, and other might focus on strictly improving atheletics skills. I don't see the need for students to attend a school that offers a curriculum that does not interest them; Not to mentioned most public schools do a poor job of teaching their curriculum for students do not retain what they learn after graduating. Or students could stopped flocking to schools altogether and the parents could decide what curriculum would be suited best for their children rather than what the schools thinks is best for their children. There are more than enough educational resources offered online freely available to students.

    And call me crazy, but I don't think it should take thirteen years for students to learn the basics of math and english. When I was in 12th grade, I felt like was learning grammar skills I learned in 8th grade. I read the same novel in 7th grade that I learned in 8th grades. I think that learning the basics of writing , reading , and math and learning history and basic civics should take students at least 4 years, not thirteen years.

    I am aware of the reasons why America has summer vacation; But the reason for summer vacations does not make it not an american tradition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  14. Sep 30, 2009 #13

    Astronuc

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    Most teachers I knew taught 4 or 5 classes, with 20-40 students per class.

    and who pays for this? Public education is paid by the taxpayers, and it's based on economy of scale and a uniform system. Private education can cost $20k - 40k /year, or perhaps more.


    My high school used college level textbooks books during senior year, and the classes were fairly rigorous. That's probably why most of my classmates went to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, . . . . in addition to the state universities.

    I worked after school and summers - since the 8th grade. I usually got 2 to 3 weeks vacation during a summer.
     
  15. Sep 30, 2009 #14

    S_Happens

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    There are two problems there. First is that the students that have intellectual interests are most likely going to succeed anyway. Typically they have either the drive or ability to be there in the first place. Second is that the vast majority (something like your 95%), have no intellectual interest, so they would be in exactly the same place. Public schools cater to those that do not have any drive.

    I think everyone should be held to a higher standard, meaning the minimum requirements and amount of material covered should be raised. I have no problems with lengthening the school year, but raise the educational standard as well. I agree that the piddly amount of material covered in 13 years is pathetic.

    I know that the majority of America has the "race to the bottom" (thanks whoever posted that) attitude, but I don't think that raising the bottom itself would be detremental. The people that barely got by, will still barely get by.
     
  16. Sep 30, 2009 #15

    turbo

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    It still is, in "the county" as Mainers refer to Aroostook. The big crop up there is potatoes, with broccoli gaining in importance, and schools up there close for the harvest.

    Inspecting, sorting, culling are all important hands-on tasks that need to be done by humans and just can't be automated. If farmers contaminated their storage barns with damaged, diseased, blighted potatoes, they would be putting their entire crops at risk. Plus, it sure doesn't hurt kids to work some long days, earn money, and learn the discipline and responsibility that agricultural jobs entail.
     
  17. Sep 30, 2009 #16
    I think when people speak of a more individualized curriculum, what they mean is that, a school could offer the same classes to everyone, but instead of making all student take the same classes, the school would let the students customize their class schedule to allow them to take advantage of their personal strenghts. Not everyone needs college prep courses. The fact is most people graduating high school never go to college because they dont need to for the job they want. There are getting to be more and more jobs that require a college degree, but lets not forget that there are still far more jobs that don't. It seems to me as a society we are reaching the point where we feel labor is below us, everybody NEEDs college so they dont have to rely on their physical labor.
    I think one thing we should remember is that alot of student use their summer breaks to work and save money to pay for their further education, remove the break and you make them more dependent on taxpayers for their education, or at the very least they will be further in debt when they graduate than they would have been otherwise. I also feel there is far more to learn(to a point) by being out discovering the world for yourself, than sitting in a classroom learning about the world.
    I have read that public education costs over 10,000 per student, and astronuc stated that private schooling costs over 20,000 per student(on top of the property taxes one pays towards public ed), but home schooling costs around 900 dollars per year for supplies. Granted one parent would have to give up their salary and stay home to teach and that would raise the price of home schooling, but it would be one on one and who knows the students strengths and weaknesses better than a parent? It is my belief that it would also help raise the level of education in the masses, as most parents would have to study themselves in order to teach some subjects to their child. Or how about a neighborhood of twenty families, hire a teacher with a phd for 100,000 per year(5,000 per family, if each family only has more than one child it is even cheaper). I think it would be easy to find some space that would be donated, local churches usually will offer space in a community at no charge. With the charge of 900 per student per year for supplies that would bring the total to around 6,000 per student. I once read an article on the public school system in california that shows some of the problems of centralized education, http://www.tommcclintock.com/articles/a-modest-proposal-for-saving-our-schools" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  18. Sep 30, 2009 #17
    Perhaps, but I often get the impression that a main problem we have with education is apathetic parents who don't really seem to care that their kids are failing. I've known a couple of people that decided to home school their kids and, I hate to say it, but I think those kids are receiving a poor education. Not to say that there aren't excellent parents out there that might do a wonderful job, but I do not think that is the norm but an exception.


    Also, I hate the fact that schools seem to be continually dumbing down their curriculum in an attempt to get more students to pass. We need to do the opposite and raise our standards and fail the kids that do not meet them. I say leave them behind and make them do it over again until they get it right.
     
  19. Sep 30, 2009 #18

    Hurkyl

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    Also some do care -- and blame the teacher.
     
  20. Sep 30, 2009 #19
    How do you figure that the education homeschool students received is generally more poor than the education of students that attend public school? Do you have statistical data and surveys of students all over america to back up your claim? OR do you have just that one anecdoctal story about the parents being poor teachers? I don't think most school teachers are apt at addressing all the academic needs of students nor do I think most teachers are apt at motivating their students to overcome their academic weaknesses ; Parents , those that take the time to be attentive to the needs of their child anyway , know their child's weaknesses and their child strengths better than a school teacher. students who are in the lower end of the academic track would just be labeled as the 'dumb kids' and would stay in the unchallenging courses throughout their grade and high school career; I don't think this would occur if parents were in control of their child's education. It is assumed that all students learn in the same manner. Thats statement is just not true. We are not created equal. Therefore, we will not learn in the same manner or same the pace. Therefore, it is inadequate for a teacher to instruct everybody under the same manner. Therefore, the standard classroom model is not sufficient for ideall for each individual receiving a quality education
     
  21. Sep 30, 2009 #20
     
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