T Nation

You Get What You Pay For

Seems that, much as our society wants to escape from reality by not investing in education, reality comes and bites you on the hind quarters.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/08/29/sat.scores.ap/index.html

Hmmm…low pay, reducing benefits, cutting retirement, … and scores go down? How absolutely shocking!!

…which is why my kids are in private school…

After arguing end(mind?)lessly about how the government shouldn’t be allowed to tax you, you now complain that teachers’ pay, benefits and retirement plans are being decimated. Do you want services, or a tax cut? Is your Econ 101 book printed by Disney?

We’ve spent bazillions on education and it gets worse. Maybe their should be a different approach.

Like kids trying to read a book or something.

On a more serious note, there have been many claims made that since the No Child Left Behind policies came into effect, teachers have been “teaching the test,” in effect preparing the kids for a specific set of questions, and not teaching the subject matter in the way it was previously done. They do this because the school’s performance directly affects it’s funding; hence their salary and bonuses are impacted by the kid’s performance or lack of it.

Could that explain the sudden drop in the SAT scores? I’ve never seen an SAT test, but from what I know of it, it covers a rather broad base of subjects. Subjects the kids might not have studied properly if it wasn’t “scheduled” on a previous exam.

Teaching was and is a low paying job.

The dumbing down of the schools during the last generation is paying dividends. Those dumber students are now the dumber teachers. You cannot teach what you do not know. Lower test scores are no suprise.

[quote]pookie wrote:
On a more serious note, there have been many claims made that since the No Child Left Behind policies came into effect, teachers have been “teaching the test,” in effect preparing the kids for a specific set of questions, and not teaching the subject matter in the way it was previously done. They do this because the school’s performance directly affects it’s funding; hence their salary and bonuses are impacted by the kid’s performance or lack of it.

Could that explain the sudden drop in the SAT scores? I’ve never seen an SAT test, but from what I know of it, it covers a rather broad base of subjects. Subjects the kids might not have studied properly if it wasn’t “scheduled” on a previous exam.
[/quote]

I feel that is exactly what the problem is. I had teachers growing up who didn’t seem afraid to branch out from the curriculum. If you do that now, it goes against the rules. Thus, you get dumbass kids who only know a specific set of data that will only help them if you ask them a question a certain way and only on certain information. That’s stupid and I am personally amazed that anyone fell for it to begin with.

[quote]pookie wrote:
On a more serious note, there have been many claims made that since the No Child Left Behind policies came into effect, teachers have been “teaching the test,” in effect preparing the kids for a specific set of questions, and not teaching the subject matter in the way it was previously done. They do this because the school’s performance directly affects it’s funding; hence their salary and bonuses are impacted by the kid’s performance or lack of it.

Could that explain the sudden drop in the SAT scores? I’ve never seen an SAT test, but from what I know of it, it covers a rather broad base of subjects. Subjects the kids might not have studied properly if it wasn’t “scheduled” on a previous exam.
[/quote]

BINGO! No student left behind is crap. Some kids NEED to be left behind. Kids learn how to take standardized state tests. My kid is in 4th grade and a huge part of his day is spent taking scan-tron tests. No teacher interaction. “Here’s the bubble sheet, fill it out and run it throught the grading machine”. Periodically, we get progress reports, not based on teacher graded/taught stuff, but on his computer bubble-sheet forms.

Reading and Math in particular are graded/evaluated based on a child’s ability to fill out the bubble sheets. Teachers are just as frustrated. 10 years from now teachers will be replaced with “supervisors” who simply keep the peace and kids are given a CD with the curriculum. “Go on, Johnny. Go take your computer test.”

Get computers out of the schools, now, and put the chalk back in the teacher’s hand.

We do spend a lot on education but it’s how the money is spent that is a problem. I worked in a school that was being renovated at a large cost. Having a newer building doesn’t change the fact that the school is in the middle of a crappy neighborhood. I just finished working in a school that was built a couple of years ago. It’s a nice building with a great view of the adjacent park and the dope fiends and hookers who hang out there.

And teachers are underpaid and overpaid. The job itself, if done properly by a highly qualified and able person does not pay that person his worth but there are many teachers who were underachievers in college, just doing well enough to get the minimum GPA for teachers. Anyone who doubts that teachers are underpaid needs to sit in front of a class for a day. Trust me, you’ll wonder why anyone does it. I believe the average teacher lasts three years.

[quote]S-Lifter wrote:
Teaching was and is a low paying job.

The dumbing down of the schools during the last generation is paying dividends. Those dumber students are now the dumber teachers. You cannot teach what you do not know. Lower test scores are no suprise.[/quote]

It also looks like political spin is replacing knowledge in the classroom.

Wait a second…is this why every other high school kid that seems to log on can’t type worth a shit?

“hi i wanna no if u can tail me my bodephat”

[quote]lostinthought wrote:
…which is why my kids are in private school…[/quote]

Private schools are not always best. People really need to look at local school district scoring to get into a quality school district.

Sorry, but this may require someone to move locations to get a better education for their tax dollar.

I also believe that illegal immigration is behind a lot of the problems we face with schools in the Western states along the Mexican border.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
S-Lifter wrote:
Teaching was and is a low paying job.

The dumbing down of the schools during the last generation is paying dividends. Those dumber students are now the dumber teachers. You cannot teach what you do not know. Lower test scores are no suprise.

It also looks like political spin is replacing knowledge in the classroom.

[/quote]

Contrary to what most believe, political spin is rarely brought up in the class room. And if it is, only for debate purposes in a hostory of philosophy class.

I once heard a radio spokesmen talking about how teachers are teaching mathh differently. Saying “If Jim’s dad has three apples, and his other dad has four apples, how many apples does jim’s dad’s have?”, and expecting the child to just except the 2 fathers thing, regardless of their math answer.

Laughed my ass of for a good 30 seconds. Shit is still being taught fine, when it’s taught.

There is a chemistry teacher in my school who pretty much knows nothing. She consults the book every few seconds, and often makes mistakes, often making students rewrite entire chapters worth of notes because she taught some concept “backwards”.

I believe that effective education is a partnership of 3 elements.

  1. Competent and equipped teachers

  2. Motivated students

  3. Supportive parents.

Can a child be educated without all 3? Yes but for a system to work all 3 elements must be in place. Thats why public school systems are failing and private schools are working better.

In many public schools here in philly, parents are basically dumping their kids in school w/o adequate support or motivation. Students therefore dont care. They dont want to work for their education and this leaves the schools holding the bag.

Are schools to blame for low scores. IMHO no. Not when you are asking schools to feed, provide daycare, healthcare, hygene, psychiatric care, and other things to their students. These mandates should be handled elsewhere. Schools should be educating students. Period.

Then we can ask them to be accountable for test results.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Wait a second…is this why every other high school kid that seems to log on can’t type worth a shit?

“hi i wanna no if u can tail me my bodephat”[/quote]

No, thats just todays modern laziness shining through!

I can’t spell for my life, and yet I still seem to manage moving my fingers the extra inches to type “you” instead of “u”.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
I also believe that illegal immigration is behind a lot of the problems we face with schools in the Western states along the Mexican border.[/quote]

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Wait a second…is this why every other high school kid that seems to log on can’t type worth a shit?

“hi i wanna no if u can tail me my bodephat”[/quote]

wat da fok r u tawqing abalt, u saiing pepo kant aks abalt bodephat on dis waib sight?

You also can’t blame it soley on the education system. If you look at society today you see the same people doing the same sort of things in there every day life. Trying to find the easy way out, sitting around watching TV rather than reading a book.

These people have no motivation to excel in life, how can you teach someone that dosnt want to be taught? The best schools in the nation could be easily wasted on some one that just has no motivation in life other than the weekend.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
I also believe that illegal immigration is behind a lot of the problems we face with schools in the Western states along the Mexican border.[/quote]

How did you manage to blame Mexico for why kids are stupid?