T Nation

Disgusted With Our Education System

[quote]brunoG wrote:
Doogie, you are so wrong and clueless about this topic I don’t know where to begin.( start by reading the whole darn thing if you dare and then go and talk to a few public school teachers) The only thing NCLB is going to accomplish is to further the decline of public education in the US, but then again (IMO) that’s what it was design for.[/quote]

I am a public school teacher, Mr. Clueless. Again, why can’t you point out anything specific instead of just mimicking the accusations of Teacher Unions?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Oh man, I hope this wasn’t a wakeup call for you. Otherwise I should let you know that the tooth fairy isn’t real either.

There is no hope for public school systems. They are so permanently fucked up frontways and sideways in a million ways that to even begin to make positive changes you’d have to rebuild the system from the bottom up.

If you have the money, and you care about your child’s education, get them out of public schools. nuff said.

(I’m not really an Ayn Rand kind of guy, but this is one case where you really see the problems of not trusting the free market.)

Doogie - I just realized you’re from Texas - Home of the idiot that started all this (and probably should have been left behind when he was in school, but his daddy paid everyone off!!!).

I guess that’s why you have no comprehension of what this legislation does to the system. And no, I’m not a bleeding heart liberal before you go off on that tangent. I just can’t stand the moron in office and his father.

Ronald Reagan should be reborn. At least he gave you some confidence while he was fucking this nation up. Same with Clinton, just in different ways. By the way - What subject is it that you teach???

Doogie is right. The parents get the type of schools they are willing to tolerate. Given the type of kids they raise, they are willing to accept any kind of shitty schools.

This was your fourth post on the topic, and you’ve still failed to back up your assertion that “No Child Left Behind is a walking excuse for allowing the kid who comes in late every day, cuts and does no homework to sue the district or school for not passing his or her lazy ass.” There’s no shame in admitting your were just talking out of your ass.

[quote]kroc30 wrote:
Doogie - I just realized you’re from Texas - Home of the idiot that started all this (and probably should have been left behind when he was in school, but his daddy paid everyone off!!!).

I guess that’s why you have no comprehension of what this legislation does to the system. And no, I’m not a bleeding heart liberal before you go off on that tangent. I just can’t stand the moron in office and his father.[/quote]

I’m the one with no comprehension of the legislation? I’m teaching in the state where it all started. I’ve been dealing with it for close to a decade. Here, I’ll explain to you what your teachers’ union pamphlet failed to explain.

–Improving the Academic Achievement of the Economically Disadvantaged: Since 2001, it has increased Title I spending 52%,providing supplemental education support for students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in school. The program serves more than 15 million students in nearly all school districts and more than half of all public schools, including two-thirds of the nation’s elementary schools. Do you have a problem with that?

–Preparing, Training, and Recruiting Highly Qualified Teachers and Principals: Under No Child Left Behind, all teachers must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. To be “highly qualified,” a teacher must (1) hold a bachelor’s degree, (2) hold a certification or licensure to teach in the state of his or her employment, and (3) have proven knowledge of the subjects he or she teaches. Under the president’s 2005 budget request, teachers receive $5.1 billion in support through training, recruitment incentives, loan forgiveness, and tax relief–up from $4.4 billion in 2004. I know this scares the hell out of 90% of the lazy ass teachers who show up to babysit and a collect a paycheck. Why does it bother you?

–Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students: The law ensures that all children–from every ethnic and cultural background–receive a quality education and the chance to achieve their academic potential. The president’s 2005 budget provides $681 million for English language acquisition funding for children who are learning the English language, so they can reach their academic potential and fully participate in the American dream. Do you have a problem with this?

–Giving Parents Choices and Creating Innovative Education Programs: No child should be trapped in an underperforming school. Under No Child Left Behind, students who attend Title I schools that do not make adequate yearly progress, as defined by states, for two consecutive years have the option of transferring to a higher-performing public school or a charter school within their district.

The promotion of charter schools is an important component of No Child Left Behind. These schools are held to the same accountability standards as traditional public schools, but they face fewer burdensome regulations. The result is more room for educators to be innovative and more choices for parents.

Funding for choice and options for students and parents expands to $504 million under the president’s 2005 budget request–an additional $113 million–to empower families to find schools that best meet the needs of their children, in particular those who need help the most.

I realize competition scares the hell out of the teachers’ unions. Why does it bother you?

–Making the Education System Accountable: Accountability is a crucial step in addressing the achievement gaps that plague our nation. For too long, the poor achievement of our most vulnerable students has been lost in unrepresentative averages. African American, Hispanic, special education, limited English proficient, and many other students were left behind because schools were not held accountable for their individual progress. Now all students count. Under No Child Left Behind, every state is required to 1) set standards for grade-level achievement and 2) develop a system to measure the progress of all students and subgroups of students in meeting those state-determined grade-level standards. For fiscal year 2005, President Bush requested $410 million to support the development and implementation of state assessments to ensure students, parents, and teachers receive vital information about the performance of individual students, schools, and school districts.

You see, in the past schools that were 90% white could write off their minority students and say,“90% of our kids are doing great!” Now schools are held accountable for the education of ALL their students: of all races, of all socio-economic status. Maybe you think it is just too hard to teach those pesky minority students.

–Making the System Responsive to Local Needs: In addition to being accountable, states and school districts have the flexibility to pursue educational excellence by the means that best meet their needs. No Child Left Behind provides unprecedented levels of flexibility regarding the management of federal funds.

For example, most school districts may transfer up to 50 percent of the funding they receive under four major formula grant programs (Teacher Quality State Grants, Educational Technology State Grants, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants, and State Grants for Innovative Programs) to any one of these programs or to the Title I program for disadvantaged students.

Do you have issues with this? The teachers’ unions do because it eliminates a lot of their excuses for failure.

–Helping All Children Learn to Read: The administration has set the goal of making sure every child knows how to read at grade level by the third grade. Reading opens doors to children who otherwise would struggle through school, lacking the skills to succeed and grow. Literacy is a vital skill for a successful student.

Children who learn to read well early in life are more likely to be engaged in school and experience academic success. A deficiency in reading skills impacts achievement in all other areas of education. Under President Bush’s latest budget request, reading funding increases to a total of $1.4 billion, including $1.1 billion for the Reading First program, $132 million for Early Reading First programs, and $100 million for the Striving Readers program to meet the president’s goal of ensuring every child can read on grade level.

Do you have issues with making sure kids can read before they leave third grade? Do you think they should just be passed along, year after year without being able to read?

–Helping Children With Disabilities: The Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all children?including children with disabilities?receive a high-quality education. Before the passage of No Child Left Behind, the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) required that students with disabilities be included in state and district-wide assessment programs. No Child Left Behind builds on this requirement by ensuring that these assessments measure how well students with disabilities have learned required material in reading and mathematics. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities can have results from specially designed alternate assessments used in accountability decisions instead.

Special Education Grants to States Program would receive a record $11.1 billion under the 2005 budget request. This represents the president’s fourth consecutive request for a $1 billion increase to support children with disabilities?a 75 percent increase over the funding level when the president took office and the highest level of federal support ever requested for children with disabilities.

There you go. Where does it make it easier for kids who skip school to sue when they fail? Where does it do anything to harm education? Where are the unfunded mandates?

[quote]
Ronald Reagan should be reborn. At least he gave you some confidence while he was fucking this nation up. Same with Clinton, just in different ways. By the way - What subject is it that you teach??? [/quote]

I teach Algebra to junior high kids in a charter school (started under Bush’s reforms here in Texas). We go to school from 7:30 to 4:00, with enrichment from 4:00 to 5:00. We have Saturday school for kids who come in behind from 9:00 to 1:00. We have 99% minority, low s-e-s, LEP, migrat children. We don’t make excuses for them, we just do what we have to do to get them an education.

http://ideapublicschools.com/content/view/13/27/
(The little girl in the picture on the left is my daughter. It’s a new website, so it’s still under construction.)

http://archive.parade.com/2004/0606/0606_wont_hungry.html

Doogie - That doesn’t come from a teacher’s union, it comes from the experience of having administrators who help to push these kids through because their parents threaten lawsuits if their kids aren’t. I can name three districts around my area who all have “No Failure” policies also to address the no child left behind legislation.

It is poorly written, poorly interpreted, and poorly carried out. Tell me again that it’s my teacher’s union opinion when I see the 10th grade kid who I gave an overall average of 34 to, who cut me 89 times last year, came to class late well over 55 other times, and is now sitting in an 11th grade history class because his grade mysteriously moved up to 65 over the summer even though he never showed up to summer school. No child left behind - HA!!!

Just thought I’d refresh you with my second post, where I answered your question. As for your assertion about the white/black crap, I teach in a school that is somewhere in the 50/50 range, and to its’ credit doesn’t give a shit about race, etc. I’ve also worked with kids at all levels, and had my successes, but don’t usually feel the need to brag about it. My main point to you was that implementation was the problem, along with opening up the opportunity sue the districts more when the parents and child don’t hold up to their end.

Perhaps you need to do some time in a public school again to refresh your memory. I’m not cutting on charter schools, so don’t take it that way, however, most of the children are there because they and their parents want them to be. They are a fairly decent in-between for the public and private schools, especially for people who can’t afford the tuition at one of the privates. Our main points are not that far apart if you weed through all our bullshit. As for the rest, I say that we agree to disagree and crack a beer, something most Texans and New Yorkers can agree on, at least by my experience.

Charter school is not the same as public school. I’m sure you are doing good work but you are dealing with kids who have parents that care and who made an effort to get them there. Try going to an inner city public school and find out how wonderful NCLB is.

Try teaching in a school full of Bloods Crips and Latin Kings. Is having a collective bargaining power a bad thing? Unions are not perfect (far from it) but they are there for a reason.

-Preparing, Training, and Recruiting Highly Qualified Teachers and Principals: Under No Child Left Behind, all teachers must be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. To be “highly qualified,” a teacher must

(1) hold a bachelor’s degree,

(2) hold a certification or licensure to teach in the state of his or her employment, and

(3) have proven knowledge of the subjects he or she teaches.

Isn?t this just a basic requirement, how could one even get a license without items 1,2 and 3.
Is something weird going on in Texas?

If NCLB is such a great idea, how come Dubya left it an unfunded mandate?

[quote]harris447 wrote:
If NCLB is such a great idea, how come Dubya left it an unfunded mandate?[/quote]

I included the funding in my previous post. Go back and read it.

[quote]brunoG wrote:
Charter school is not the same as public school. I’m sure you are doing good work but you are dealing with kids who have parents that care and who made an effort to get them there. Try going to an inner city public school and find out how wonderful NCLB is.
[/quote]

Charter schools are public schools. Our students pay no tuition, and we spend about 35% less per student than a traditional public school. MOST charter schools are for kids who have struggled or been booted from normal schools.

[quote]
Try teaching in a school full of Bloods Crips and Latin Kings. Is having a collective bargaining power a bad thing? Unions are not perfect (far from it) but they are there for a reason. [/quote]

They are there to excuse teachers who don’t do their jobs.

There were many states that did not test teachers for competency in their subject area.

My two best teachers in high school were my Social studies teacher and my English teacher. Both were widely feared and reviled.

The social studies teacher would throw the chalkboard eraser at people who said stupid shit. I mean the fucker would whip it at them, and i when he was younger he was scouted by the mets, so he could whip.

The English teacher was a lady who could freeze whisky with a look, and was not shy about giving students an honest appraisel of their talents, or lack thereof. I personally loved both of these teachers, but like I said, most people hated them.

Funny thing though. I have bumped into many of my high school classmates over the years, and whenever the subject of high school comes up, we always wind up talking about the same thing: How those two teachers are the only ones that really prepared us for college.

[quote]Jprocrastinator wrote:

Funny thing though. I have bumped into many of my high school classmates over the years, and whenever the subject of high school comes up, we always wind up talking about the same thing: How those two teachers are the only ones that really prepared us for college.[/quote]

Ah, I see a spin-off question!

Is it the goal of school to prepare one for college/university?

-FC

Your statement alone speaks volumes on the state of the educational system in the United States.

Also, your knowledge of how the government of the United States works is enough to drive any parent who cares about their children’s education out of public schools.

This is a perfect example of why education departments at institutions of higher learning are largely filled with the weakest students at University.

My regards to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was a sponsor, and proponent of No Child Left Behind.

I can’t speak or anyplace else, but in NY we have 1,2,3 covered before we can even student teach, not to mention 40 hours of observation in the classroom before student teaching can take place. After that, we get a “provisional certification” which is good for 5 years. In those 5 years, we have to get a master’s in either our subject area, administration, or primary/secondary education. From what I understand, it’s one of the harder states to get perm cert in.
Bruno - I hear ya on the gang stuff. We don’t have a large gang population where I am, but those who are definitely let themselves be known, and are usually there to “conduct business” instead of getting an education.

Charter schools are public schools

yes and no - it’s not the same

Is having a collective bargaining power a bad thing? Unions are not perfect (far from it) but they are there for a reason.

They are there to excuse teachers who don’t do their jobs.

Some people drink the blue cool-aid and some drink the red.

we spend about 35% less per student than a traditional public school.

I’m sure it’s those huge teacher salaries that weigh down most school budgets. It would not have anything to do with administration and BOE and the misguided decisions they usually make. If this country spends money on hiring more teachers so you have smaller classes and demand hard work instead allowing excuses and truly open books from the boards of Ed you would not need charter schools.

There are cases where union would protect a ?bad? teacher but without them your salary would still be 20000 and you?ll be working Saturdays (or you do already) I would be more concerned with bad administrators and superintendents. School does have a three-year period before teacher gets tenure to get rid of him/her so it?s more on the administration than a union when there is a bad teacher on staff.

Unless you pay people a good salary you will not get anybody good. That?s why you get some shmucks that you get in teaching. How many parents would recommend that their kid become a teacher?

[quote]doogie wrote:
harris447 wrote:
If NCLB is such a great idea, how come Dubya left it an unfunded mandate?

I included the funding in my previous post. Go back and read it.[/quote]

It seems even your beloved Lone Star State thinks NCLB is an idiotic idea.

Leading the revolt has been the solidly Republican state of Utah, which handed Bush his largest margin of victory in the nation in the 2004 presidential election. After more than a year of debate, the GOP-dominated Legislature on April 19 authorized schools to ignore NCLB mandates that conflict with the state’s own testing regimen or that require state dollars to meet them.

In Bush?s own home state, also a Republican stronghold, the Texas commissioner of education has unilaterally decided to disregard NCLB requirements for testing students with learning disabilities. The Lone Star state ? also home to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings – already has been fined $444,282 of its $1.1 billion federal education allocation for missing a data-reporting deadline, and stands to face more costly sanctions if it continues to flout NCLB.

And…if NCLB WAS funded, then why are so many states suing and introducing legislation to force the fedeal government to fund it?

Nebraska

LR 23: Asks Congress to fully fund NCLB or modify its contents to reflect its contents to better reflect the Congress? actual financial commitment to the program. Introduced Jan. 2005). SPONSOR: Sen. Gwen Howard.
(Introduced Version)

Utah

HB 135: Requires school officials to determine if NCLB is violating Section 9527 by forcing the state to spend its own resources or change its curriculum to comply with the federal mandates. In such a case, the bill would require school officials to file a waiver under Section 9401.

School officials are also required to request reasonable time to comply from federal officials, lobby Congress to make changes to the law and pursue waivers and resolve conflicts between IDEA and NCLB. The bill grants power to parents and school officials to decide whether NCLB or IDEA prevails in cases of conflict. Sponsor Rep. Margaret Dayton ®
Status: House filed 3/02/05

Florida

HM 877: States NCLB disregards time-honored principle of balanced federalism, deems well-performing schools as deficient, and is a tremendous unfunded mandate.

Resolves Congress that the state be held harmless for meet the requirements under the state system, fund the law to authorization levels, use an alternative method for determining AYP, use appropriate methods to test LEP and SWD students, and allow flexibility for students of multiple subgroups. SPONSOR: Rep. Curtis Richardson (D)
Status: Died in Choice and Innovation Committee 05/6/05

[quote]brunoG wrote:
Charter schools are public schools

yes and no - it’s not the same

Is having a collective bargaining power a bad thing? Unions are not perfect (far from it) but they are there for a reason.

They are there to excuse teachers who don’t do their jobs.

Some people drink the blue cool-aid and some drink the red.

we spend about 35% less per student than a traditional public school.

I’m sure it’s those huge teacher salaries that weigh down most school budgets. It would not have anything to do with administration and BOE and the misguided decisions they usually make. If this country spends money on hiring more teachers so you have smaller classes and demand hard work instead allowing excuses and truly open books from the boards of Ed you would not need charter schools.

There are cases where union would protect a ?bad? teacher but without them your salary would still be 20000 and you?ll be working Saturdays (or you do already) I would be more concerned with bad administrators and superintendents. School does have a three-year period before teacher gets tenure to get rid of him/her so it?s more on the administration than a union when there is a bad teacher on staff.

Unless you pay people a good salary you will not get anybody good. That?s why you get some shmucks that you get in teaching. How many parents would recommend that their kid become a teacher?
[/quote]

I make about 40% more than other teachers in the state (with the same amount of experience). I make a lot more if you factor in three weeks of summer school). I’m not in a union (have never actually personally known anyone who was), and I don’t have to work Saturdays (I choose to, and am paid an hourly wage). In Texas, there is no such thing as tenure for public school teachers. You have to perform every year or your contract will not be renewed.

We have very little administrative overhead. We have average class sizes of 28, well above the state average. Small class sizes only really matter if you have piss-poor classroom management.

[quote]Creidem wrote:
From now on if a student doesn’t pass they get a grade of…and I’m not kidding:
“success deferred”[/quote]

Hey, I like this phrase. Now I’ll never fail to make progress in my workouts again. I’m thinking about writing that new “perfect program” Dan John keeps talking about. I’ll call it “Success Deferred” and create some new feel good terms like “deferred reps” and “retrograde advancement”.

I’m even thinking about a new idea for “lite” Olympic plates - same sizes, just lighter weight, ie the 45’s will say 45, but only weigh 35 (or you choose a number). To go along with this, I’m coming out with a new clothing deal with T-Nation where we sew “XL” tags in the Medium size shirts.

[quote]harris447 wrote:

It seems even your beloved Lone Star State thinks NCLB is an idiotic idea.

In Bush?s own home state, also a Republican stronghold, the Texas commissioner of education has unilaterally decided to disregard NCLB requirements for testing students with learning disabilities. The Lone Star state ? also home to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings – already has been fined $444,282 of its $1.1 billion federal education allocation for missing a data-reporting deadline, and stands to face more costly sanctions if it continues to flout NCLB.


[/quote]

They missed a deadline to turn in the information. They didn’t unilaterally decide to disregard NCLB requirements for testing students with learning disabilities.

Doogie,
Glad to see you’re paid so well, at least one teacher in this nation is getting paid what they think they deserve. However, if you’ve never been in a union, don’t know anyone who’s been in one, then you don’t have a clue of what unions are, the power they can yield in a real school district, and what the collective bargaining of many can do for everyone. Like I said, glad you have a nice deal for yourself, but don’t go judging the rest of the world on your limited experiences. Teach in a school that is twice the size of your entire charter system and see how you fare. By the way, the average class size you just quoted is different from the one your charter school claims. And don’t trade off class control for actual learning. Class control is only 1 factor.