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Switch to Forum Live View 9-Month Calendar May Be to Blame for Elementary Overcrowding in Las Vegas Schools
8 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2010 - 12:23PM #41
Posts: 13,685

Nov 15, 2010 -- 12:17PM, in_my_opinion wrote:

Nov 14, 2010 -- 11:29PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


... there are a whole bunch of things that could be improved in education. The list of simple corrections is so long and the creativity of idiots at coming up with new nightmare ideas and persisting in continuing them despite statistical proof of their deleterious effects is astounding...

There's a lot of education theory out there and "progressive" educators like to talk them up and sell them to school boards.  Some are practical and researched based; others SOUND good but have little-to-no-research to determine they are sound.

Reading is particularly susceptible to that sort of "progressive education."  Traditional learning methods were abandoned for the "whole word" concept which essentially stated that kids could learn reading without knowing how to phonecise/decode words.  This gave us a whole generation of kids who could neither decode words much less understand what they meant.  We had the same fuzzy-headed theorizing that told us it was more important that kids be able to understand math law than to know their math facts, the net result being that the kids STILL do not know math theory and neither do they know 2X2=4.

Year-round school, however, was pretty well thought out.  One could alleviate school crowding by putting kids into tracks, with four tracks in school and one track off for three weeks.

This solved several problems:

(1)  Facilities overcrowding:  With one whole track of kids out, there was more space available for the four tracks of kids in school.

(2)  Reduced class size.  With one-fifth of the kids gone at any one time, meant smaller classes for everyone else.

(3)  More face-to-Face time with teachers.  Smaller classrooms meant a smaller student-to-teacher ratio, which meant more one-on-one time for students with their teachers.  For some kids, THAT was the critical difference between understanding what was taught and having no clue.

(4) Greater retention of learning.  Kids's track breaks last no more than three week for every nine weeks of learning.  Meant kids retained what they learned.  Meant teachers did not have to spend critical learning time reteaching concepts that the kids should've already learned.

My opinion is that the demise of year-round schools had less to do with money and more to do with parent desires.  IOW the School Board knuckled under to pressure.  Ce la guerre.

There's so much that we agree on!

And you're right about parent pressure. The problem with content retention is far bigger than simple over summer losses. It is really about lack of subject mastery. Kid's in high school tend to start forgetting almost as soon as the semester/year is over. The ones who memorized because they couldn't really connect with the concepts; get their grades, wipe their brows and are grateful they never have to go through it again. Trigonometry, chemistry, algebra, even simple arithmetic, fractions and grammar are just ugly rites of passage to them along the way!

Once had a bunch of first year teachers complete and fresh from their BA's come in for tutoring/refresher on fractions because they were facing state-mandated certification exams.

One governor was royally embarassed to fail his own state's high school exit exams!

We should make that a requirement for every office from dog-catcher on up.

It is disgraceful what they put teachers through!

Then when they have far too few takers for teaching jobs, they just lower or waive certification standards.

I'm in college right now (finishing a degree I never finished) and it's amazing how many kids coming out of high school don't know what an adjective is or how to write a basic research paper.

"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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8 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2010 - 3:13PM #42
Posts: 4,107

Yes, but what is really bad is that by the time we get through 3rd grade the majority don't want to know anything that a school might offer. It is a rare maybe 5%-15% that even feels moderately happy about going to school, for anything more than hanging out with friends. Pity the friendless lot to whom everything is pain and have no niche of happiness.

Good principals are forced to keep a whole load of non-academic activities going just to maintain a minimally healthy emotional climate and a minor amount of school esprit.

Why must everybody in most schools always struggle to be happy?

Maybe ignorance is bliss, in those circumstances!

Third graders don't know how good they have it. In a couple of years they and the caring parents will be going through the middle school hell. Elementary limbo isn't nearly so bad. Then high school gets slowly better until graduation relieves a whole passel of issues.

Higher education is incomparably happier and can provide a lot of examples as to how to do it better. Heck, going into the military or working are both an improvement on schooling. But the first isn't free everywhere, the second takes away much personal freedom and the third has to be chosen for desire to contribute, rather than to put life's needs on the table and under a roof. Better to be starving, as a happy artist; than unfulfilled, as a well-fed wretch.

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8 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2010 - 9:23PM #43
Posts: 14,591

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.


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