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Reform of education-my solution:

  1. Dec 18, 2005 #1
    Reform of education--my solution:...

    Here's my solution towards increasing quality of public education:

    *After each grade from 8-12, students will take a state exam on English, math, history...well, whatever basic subjects the state wants covered by those grades :rolleyes:

    *(For teachers) A teacher's income will depend on how closely do the grades they assign match their students' performance on the exam.

    -For example, an algebra teacher assigns a student an "F", but that students scores an "A" on the state exam's algebra section (for his/her particular grade, of course). That teacher's income is lowered, similarly if they assigned an "A" to a student who failed the exam's algebra section.

    -However, this is nothing serious :rolleyes:. Just one or two misgraded student(s)?--Will not impact the teacher's income. Nothing to worry about. But...(:mad:)..if the teacher misgrades proportions upon large proportions of students, then his/her salary will be impacted indeed.

    -Yes, a statistical approach evaluating every student's teacher<->exam grades will be used. Not just mere "samples". Every student...quantitatively considered. (thanks to computers :smile:)
    More conditions:

    *If a teacher assigns an "A" to a student, but the student fails the particular section of the exam, they will not be admitted to the next level course.
    -An example: An algebra teacher assigns a "B" to a student who fails the exam's algrebra section, but passes well in English and history. The student will be held back a semester/year in math...but will nevertheless :rolleyes: move on towards the next level English & history courses.
    *Of course, the whatever "credit/course" requirements for that high school...will probably have to met anyway for graduation :rolleyes:
    In effect:

    -Teachers will actually have to grade more directly on students' competence, skills, understanding, and ability.
    -You won't have students in trigonometry class, for example, who cannot multiply fractions.
    -Poorly performing teachers will receive a smaller income, opening up the income "pool" for more outstanding or competent teachers.
    -Teachers who teach fewer students will be encouraged to concentrate and pay more attention to each of those indiivduals students...because grades for ten/twenty students will matter more than for a teacher who teaches many more students!
    *Problems addressed:

    1) What if a teacher doesn't teach well and just gives every one a 'D' or 'F' ?

    -There are already quotas for the distribution of A/B's & C/D's and F's a teacher can assign without risking a loss in income...or an "investigation" for that matter :wink:. My "teacher<->exam grade" method will not interfere with those quotas...unless it has to (?). I will expand on this, of course.

    2) What if a teacher receives many students who are ill-prepared/have problems/incompetent/etc...?

    -That is currently a problem faced today! (i.e., without my method). However, my method does help alleviate some major tension----e.g., you don't pass the algebra section, you don't move on to trigonomentry class. That teacher will not have to put up with you. Same with other subjects when passing into the next level.

    -Also, the ineptitude/incompetence of students has NO effect on the teacher's income from my method. The teacher is merely required to "fairly evaluate" students, even if it thus means giving an "F". Remember, the income here depends not on the "actual grade assigned" but rather on how closely whatever "grade gets assigned" matches the grade received on the state exam.....be it an A,B,C,D or F or whatever. Remember (however) to reread Question #1 after reading this part :wink:.

    -A trigonometry teacher is not responsible...or at least "supposed to be" :rolleyes:....for a student who cannot multiply fractions. But the teacher will have to put up with him/her anyway if they passed their last semester's/year's algebra course! In a way, the algebra teacher deserves some blame. But any-way, if the student fails the algebra section, then they will not advance into school courses beyond algebra regardless of what their teacher may have assigned to them.

    -Similarly, if an algebra teacher assigns an "F" to a student who well passes the algebra section, then...well, screw the teacher. The student will advance to next level math! :biggrin:

    -You see, those exams are somewhat of a "filter"...if you wish to call it thus.

    3) What if a student cuts class and doesn't take the teacher's tests/assignments? How can the teacher assess them without risking loss of income?

    Simple. Write a note to the district explaining (with good reason) why that particular individual(s) cannot be fairly assessed. That's all (and the student's exam score will not be held for or against the teacher).

    4) Well...what if the test is too easy/hard? What if the teacher wants to do more than just prepare students for a "test" ?

    -Excuse me? "Wishful thinking" is not a question. Public education has extremely low standards and does not perform to even an "adequate" level. Across many neighborhoods, public education severely underperforms. How can we talk about "academic edification beyond standards" when we HAVE NOT EVEN MET THEM??? :mad: Discuss this here, at a General Discussion thread called, "To Americans: Opinions on our schools " (Poll included).

    -Sure, once we have achieved and perform to good standards...we can scrap this whole "teacher<->exam" grade idea and move on!! But not when our public education is the way it is now (and has been for more than two decades). This deserves more of a ":frown:" expression...

    5) Your examples talk about A's & F's. But what about B/C/D's ??

    -There are shades of gray indeed. Surely a teacher<->exam grade disparity of "A" to "F" will definitely affect the teacher's income more than would a "B"<->"C" disparity or an "C"<->"A" disparity.
    -Again, I will re-emphasize that one/two mis-graded individuals will NOT impact a teacher's salary. Only proportions upon large proportions will severely impact a teacher's salary. This may or may not depend on the quantity of students a teacher teaches :rolleyes:. Anyhow, a single/double "A"<->"C" disparity will not affect much. Nor might more than few "A"<->"B" disparities affect anything (those might be rather minor). On the other hand, several "A"<->"D"/"A"<->"C" or "B"<->"D/F" disparities WILL (without doubt) affect salary. And several "A"<->"F" disparities? Not good at all.

    *In other words, the effect on income depends what proportions (or raw quantity, if some might prefer) of that teacher's students are affected by what sizes of disparities.

    -And yes...every student (thanks to computers!), NOT just mere "samples" from the teacher will be quantitatively considered.

    6) Ok..let's say the teacher expects an average "B" grade for the class. What prevents the teacher from randomly assigning "B-C-B-C-A-C-B-B-A-C..etc" to his/her students regardless of their performance?

    The teacher's salary will. You see, a non-lazy teacher will aim for "no disparity AT ALL!" (approach) rather than randomly minimizing it and assign grades randomly about the expected mean performance. The teacher who takes the time to carefully evaluate each student (as they're supposed to) will without doubt earn much more than a teacher who randomly dishes out grades.
    (**Unless a teacher can just "LOOK" at a student and immediately give out the accurate grade :biggrin:...but no one is really that "psychic" :smile:)

    Needless to say, especially holds true if the class is expected to have a large standard deviation between students' competence, abilities, and performance. But you understand my point here nonetheless.

    -For further contentions against Question #6, remember that students can usually bring parents and argue their grades with teachers, based on what the teacher "told" them regarding how the students "will be graded". -Also remember that no serious checks for "random assignment of grades" exist today. Feel free to start another thread on this particular but ridiculously minor issue...which I have needlessly expanded on in my pedantic-ism (not that I am pedantic, but I would like to be).

    And finally...question #7:
    7) Do you realize that you might become the archenemy of the teachers' union for proposing this? :biggrin:

    (Yes. Indeed I do :frown:. But I don't really care here :wink:)
    *Anyhow, seriously....

    What are your thoughts? Ideas? Insight? What do you guys think about my teacher<->exam this approach/method/idea ??
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2005 #2
    I doubt this will ever be implemented. You'll have all these soccer moms and such *****ing about how schools have become so hard and how their poor little children need to relax and "enjoy" school.
  4. Dec 18, 2005 #3
    This is utterly ridiculous. We all know the schools aren't that effective, but how does systematically failing everyone do any good? That's obviously the immediate result of this. And this "plan" doesn't even consider the root issues... getting motivated, competent teachers and getting them to teach well. The only thing it pretends to remedy is grade inflation, and it solves that problem about as well as, say, dropping H-bombs on the schools.
  5. Dec 18, 2005 #4
    How does it "fail" everyone ? It only holds back those people who are not ready for next level courses. Heck, we even do that now to some degree. My plan will (in a minor way) reforms the current process of and how/why we hold back students. Remember that we do not demand that a 9th grader have skills & understanding in calculus, nor do we expect an 8th grader taught in US History to pass a section in Mexican history.

    Teachers cannot accomodate every single student, nor can they inspire all. What inspires some to pursue chemistry may discourage others to ever step on that subject ever again.

    Secondly, that is not a requirement of my plan. There is no "current check" on how teachers "motivate" or how "competently they teach". If anything, my plan would increase teacher competence and performance in the classroom, combining the state's grade distribution quotas with my "teacher<->exam" grade factor will only encourage teachers to teach better and more. (If anything, I'd say "grade inflation" is a 'root' issue itself)

    Again, how does my plan "undermine" the root issues? Compared to what we have now?

    And the only thing you pretend to remedy is your empty slander with a baseless conclusion.

    Aside from that, a decrease in grade inflation can actually increase the quality of education. Parents will question why their children receive the grade they'll receive (thus their concern in their child's academic performance will more accurately translate into a concern for their child's academic competence). Students will know what to improve on, and will have a clearer idea of what their skills are and how and what they need to improve. In addition, my plan will discourage teachers from assigning & grading work that is unrelated to the course material. There many more additional benefits, which I'll elucidate later. :smile:
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  6. Dec 18, 2005 #5
    I've got an idea - how about offer teachers enough pay such that there would actually be competition for their positions rather than forcing rules that make being a teacher even more crappy than it already is?

    I think your idea is much too standardizing. I mean, if I were a teacher and I had a brilliant student in my class who was also a troublemaker, poor influence on other students, didn't do homework, I'd fail him even if he scored perfectly on this exam. And I wouldnt be willing to write a hundred letters to justify each grade. Being a teacher isn't JUST about teaching material, especially in the younger grades. I mean, really - consider how many qualified teachers actually want to teach K-12. Then consider how far schools need to go in order to get willing teachers (read: low standards). Then consider how many would be teaching if suddenly their already low pay also requires heavy competition (just because you're distributing it differently doesn't mean there's more total). And this is completely ignoring the humongous beurocracy and overhead cost required in this auditing system. Also, you'd have to consider that certain cities have better funded schools because of local property tax. The bottom line is, the problem isn't solved and you have less people willing to be teachers. Redistribution of measly funds doesn't benefit anyone.
  7. Dec 18, 2005 #6
    That and the fact that'd you in reality hold up anywhere from 30-40% of the nation's students, depending on which standardized test you use. (NAEP) Focusing just on the 12th year students who would otherwise graduate, this would mean you'd have to increase the number or capacity of secondary schools by 10% over the summer; number of teachers too. And the labor market would experience a massive, sudden shortage of HS graduates. None of this is remotely reasonable.

    Let alone the cost of accomadating all the students held behind!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2005
  8. Dec 18, 2005 #7
    yeah, i think you put too much blame on teachers. how about parents of lousy students pay more taxes or something? their children take up more resources, and so they should pay more, aye? no one wants to teach these days already, you'll make the shortage of teachers worse with that sort of system. i WANT to teach, but no way in hell would you get me working in a system like that.

    at any rate, how would you create those final tests eh? cause i don't believe that ONE test could adequately decide whether a student was prepared to move on. I'm an excellent test taker. in middle and highschool, i'd often slack the whole semester, and just ace the final at the end after a day or two of studying. finals were weighted so much, no matter how little homework i did, it never mattered. i can't say i learned that material very well. definetly not as well as i should have.

    my quick theory: test kids on the same material over and over. i never understood why people didn't like classes that had tests every week. they're effective. especially at the higher level when most of the learning is independent anyway.
  9. Dec 18, 2005 #8
    Lowering a teacher's pay because of a lazy student? That is no doubt the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
  10. Dec 18, 2005 #9
    How about teachers get a raise if any of their students can read this thread and tell mattmns what it's about.
  11. Dec 18, 2005 #10
    Maybe you can explain this part trib:

    "-For example, an algebra teacher assigns a student an "F", but that students scores an "A" on the state exam's algebra section (for his/her particular grade, of course). That teacher's income is lowered, similarly if they assigned an "A" to a student who failed the exam's algebra section."
  12. Dec 18, 2005 #11
    The roots of the problems in US education are not only good teachers, but students need to take responsibility for their education (something teachers can impact, as well as parents), and parents need to emphasis the importance of education.
  13. Dec 18, 2005 #12
    makes perfect sense to me. Makes the teacher take an active role in a student's life. Make sure they study, go to bed early on test nights. Wake up and have a good breakfast or get docked in pay. what could be simpler?
  14. Dec 18, 2005 #13
    Have the Parents do their job.
  15. Dec 18, 2005 #14
    "More crappy"? You have yet to clarify any reasons why my system would make teachers "more crappy", because I've pointed that my system would make teachers "more competent."

    Secondly, throwing hard money at the teachers' union won't make teachers more effective. An ineffective/incompentent/grade-inflating teacher is likely to remain one. That's what we've been doing for the past years, and yet standards have not significantly risen. Apparently some states (e.g., California) has yet to learn this. Now it is time to demand competition between teachers for the money we currently alot to them.

    Uh huh?? And your so-called "brilliant" student purposely fail their exams and cause trouble?? (notice the faulty assuming that takes place)

    Teachers have guidelines by which they can fail students for misbehaving. Appeal to those guidelines via a letter, and that student won't affect your salary.

    Thirdly, I'll re-re-emphasize:
    Proportions upon large proportions of "brilliant"-purposely-test-failing-troublemaking students?? You are indeed crazy.

    Read what I said above about how "brilliant" students will not fail your tests. If they do, they'll probably even fail the final "state" test if they're so ****ty. Secondly, a hundred is much larger than one; will you will have "hundreds of (realistically inexistant) brilliant-but-purposely-test-failing-your tests-but-aceing-the-state test-which-your-own-tests are based on???

    (Think of how impossible your case really is.)

    I would like to add....qualified to teach ONLY K-12.
    Or how teachers need to find willing schools (most easily those with low standards).

    Ok...look: THE "TOTAL" does NOT matter. Redistributing the money to good teachers will encourage them (and in competition as well) to teach more and better, as they WILL be paid more. Simply take money from the poorly performing/incompetent teachers and give more of it to the better performing teachers....without having to change the net "Total". Competition may encourage the poorly performing teachers to perform better. Read my original post to see how my system may filter incompetent students so teachers can have an easier time teaching better. And then read some more.

    Which, upon implementing my system, will be stressful than the current "humongous bureauocracy" we have RIGHT NOW even without my system :wink:
    No, but we can...for example, demand that 9th graders know how to multiply and add fractions. We can demand that after 10th grade students know what a complete sentence is, and the types of clauses.

    My tests are not going to demand calculus skills from 9th graders or six-page discourses on literature from 10th graders.

    You see, my tests are more of a "standard filter" ensuring that students can work up to the basic standards...however low they might be.

    "No test can adequately decide...."??? Sure! No test is 100% accurate. A reductio ad absurdum leads to the conclusion that we should eliminate all testing of any sort b/c it is un-accurate in some way. But this is ridiculous.

    Yes, no test can assess student skills & knowledge with 100% accuracy. But we can make reasonable demands on their skills and knowledge for each grade level. That topic is pursued in my system.

    If public education was an academically effective system, my tests would be a pushover...just a kick in the bucket...for any normal student. Nothing at all to even worry about.

    No, your contention is the most ridiculous thing I've heard. I'll mention once again:
    I'm pretty sure trib understands that it is not the "actual grade assigned" but rather how closely that grade matches the grade received on the test. Regardless of whether it is an A, B, C, D, or F. In no way are teachers penalized by handing out a bad grade. Only if that bad grade contrasts the student's performance on the state exam.

    If a teacher gives an "F" to a student who fails the algebra section, NO PROBLEM. Teacher is home free, and is not penalized because there is no visible disparity between a "F" on the test and an "F" in class. If the teacher<->exam grade compares as an "A"<->"A", no problem at all (nothing happens)! Only if the teacher assigns an "A" to a student who fails the section, or an "F" to a student who scores an "A" on the section...is there a problem. And it is a minor one; one/two students will not even noticeably affect the teacher's salary. Read my original post for more, on question #5.
    Agreed! :approve: Unfortunately, "grade inflation" seems to shroud this problem from parents & public. And my system helps correct similar issues related to this.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  16. Dec 18, 2005 #15
    what i said about your tests is that there are plenty of kids capable of acing them without knowing the material. i was one of those students. I'm a student like Jelfish said. and i was close to failing a lot of classes, except that i always aced the final exams. i was not the only student who slacked all semester and only stepped up for one exam. And i was saying that if your exam's purpose is to make sure students know the material before moving on, then it won't for a number of students like myself. and i don't think i'm so terribly small a majority. I can ace an exam without knowing the material well. like i said, i went on to calc III with rudimentary understanding of integrals and derivatives. i definetly shouldn't've have been allowed to move on, but even in your system i would be. I've recovered now, but i'd be a flaw in your system.

    And again, i don't think you addressed the teacher's pay adequately. If you're paying the good teachers more, how much more can they really get? likely not a significant amount unless the poor teachers are really getting pay docks. If you're a poor teacher and getting poor pay... what'll you do? QUIT. no one's going to want to go into the teaching field either if there's already so many dissatisfied teachers. so now we have a teachers shortage. how do you get teachers back? lower standards. Your system is self defeating.
  17. Dec 18, 2005 #16
    You are right! Why I am contending such a ludicrous "solution."
  18. Dec 18, 2005 #17
    The idea of effecting the individual teachers pay is a bad one in my opinion though the premise of you idea isn't so bad. We could administer the proposed tests then contrast them with grade records and have the results issued to policy makers and published publicly. From this pressure could be placed on those who run things at a higher level. Those on the board of education may find that they will not be receiving the raises they had been anticipating. Pressure can be applied to the union for their members who are sub par. ect...
    Teachers already make very little money. Here in CA as you probably know we have been giving more and more money to schools every year even though the union tries to twist the facts and say that education is being cut. That money is going somewhere but our schools are still crap, our teachers are underpaid, and they keep complaining that they need more money. Considering this I think that the problem is somewhere higher up the chain and that's where the pressure ought to be applied.

    He's suggesting testing the students yearly to make sure they are up to speed not just once at the end of their HS career. He's also advocating allowing the students who do poorly in one subject to still continue on to the next level in the rest so they wouldn't exactly be held back a grade.
    Regarding HS graduates and employment there was once a time when having an HS diploma was not required to get a job because most people didn't have them. If suddenly fewer people had HS diplomas employers would simply start hiring people without. The lack of qualified individuals in non-skilled labour only means a drop in requirments.
  19. Dec 18, 2005 #18
    Dude, there is no grade inflation. Criteria based grading is not grade inflation.
  20. Dec 18, 2005 #19
    Is it the Unions twisting facts, or are the schools actually not getting the money and the unions are just stating the facts from their end?
  21. Dec 18, 2005 #20
    I believe he is talking about students that are passed from one grade to the next and one level to the next when they shouldn't have been. It does happen, and unfortunately quite often, that teachers give students passing grades when they shouldn't have received them just to keep them moving through the system and get them graduated regardless of whether they learned anything or earned their grades.
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