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BS: New curricula in US schools?

GUEST,999 12 Dec 12 - 08:42 PM
Bettynh 12 Dec 12 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,mg 11 Dec 12 - 07:08 PM
pdq 11 Dec 12 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 04:54 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 12 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,mg 11 Dec 12 - 04:09 PM
pdq 11 Dec 12 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 11 Dec 12 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 11:07 AM
Jeri 11 Dec 12 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Stim 11 Dec 12 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,999 11 Dec 12 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Eliza 11 Dec 12 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,999 10 Dec 12 - 07:58 PM
pdq 10 Dec 12 - 07:44 PM
Stringsinger 10 Dec 12 - 06:59 PM
pdq 10 Dec 12 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Dec 12 - 06:13 PM
Greg F. 10 Dec 12 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,999 10 Dec 12 - 04:29 PM
pdq 10 Dec 12 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Dec 12 - 03:41 PM
Greg F. 10 Dec 12 - 02:37 PM
pdq 10 Dec 12 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Dec 12 - 08:09 AM
Songwronger 09 Dec 12 - 11:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Dec 12 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Dec 12 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Dec 12 - 02:40 PM
Greg F. 09 Dec 12 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Dec 12 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,999 09 Dec 12 - 12:22 PM
Bill D 09 Dec 12 - 11:55 AM
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JohnInKansas 09 Dec 12 - 11:38 AM
pdq 09 Dec 12 - 10:25 AM
Henry Krinkle 09 Dec 12 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 08:42 PM

Thanks for those links, Bettynh. I loved Robinson's presentation.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Bettynh
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 03:55 PM

Here are a couple links for your consideration:


Sir Ken Robinson


Salman Kahn


Both are TEDtalks, a favorite form of entertainment for me. Certainly, computers are and will be changing the way schools work. Do you think the idea that each child should be given a computer (or tablet) is a good idea? I'm not talking logistics at the moment. My guess is that within 5 years tablets will be cheaper than textbooks. Certainly for math/technical subjects, the Kahn Academy model makes a lot of sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 09:04 PM

Here's an article that compares the amount of money states spend and compares it to a ranking of the quality of education How Much States Spend on Their Kids Really Does Matter.

In spite of the articles title, the results that they show don't actually show that states that spend more provide better education. Massachussetts spends the $13k, and, according to them, has the best schools. New Jersey spends $17k, and comes in 4th. However, Colorado, which is in the bottom 10 on spending, at $9k, is in the top ten on quality of education. Wyoming spends the most per pupil, ant about $18k, but comes in at 29.

Some other things are obviously going on.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 07:08 PM

You can't wait to get rid of poverty to improve education. You have to educate children where they are, at what level they are. Some people can do this; most are probably not great at it.

First of all, there is something that used to be called direct education. It requires an extra person in the classroom, like an instructional assistant, but it has kindergarteners reading at probably 4th grade levels. It works. I have seen it. I have seen the children read. No reason not to do that with most children who need it..some don't need it and some will not work well with that kind of instruction..but if you have a poverty-stricken school I would start with that.

You need good or perhaps excellent trades and pre-professions and all sorts of guidance and instruction on how to prepare for college or further technical schools in the high schools. In junior high you need to be teaching them skills that would at least lead to minimum wage jobs and you can..they can cook, they can clean, they can be learning about computers surely. They can work with hand tools. They can sew. They can build things. They want to. THey evolved to do these things and get very frustrated when they don't get to. Boys probably worse than girls..

You can provide routes out of poverty through occupational education. Skills can be sold. A student who had serious cooking classes in middle school can get a job more easily than one who has not. A student who has had a couple of years of pre-nursing training can probably get a job to work her way through nursing school. THey can graduate with less debt. There are tons of work study jobs..or were..more than were students to fill them in colleges I have worked at.

You need school nurses. They are practical, intelligent people. You need a principal who takes charge of discipline and does not say oh the vice principal is in charge of that and I will do the loftier stuff. You need home economics and you need shop and you need typing and computers and some highly technical stuff. We need to produce students who can survive bad economies, bad parenting, terrible tragedies like Sandy..would you rather have kids in your neighborhood who knew some home construction and some mass cooking and some health care if you had a situation like Sandy or would you rather that they were made to read Catcher in the Rye until they "got it." Would you rather have a daughter who could repair her own and your cars? It is not only what is good for the students. It is what is good for their families, their communities. And remember, if they are old enough to drop out of school, they are possibly old enough to have children. They need to be better prepared. They need to be told poverty can be gotten out of, although they might have to move, which is tough.

They need to be taught a lot about alternative energies and electricity..if there are no jobs they should rewire every home on their reservation if needed. They should be able to construct homes. Some do. These are not very high-reaching goals. We used to routinely do it. The wrong people are in charge.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 05:33 PM

I agreed with that stsement in the first line of the post.

Here are some newer numbers on private school costs:

                                                                                     http://www.capenet.org/facts.html

I can't find an article right now but Red Bankm New Jersey is over $20,000 per student.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:54 PM

PDQ, the co-relation I (and others) spoke of is not the amount of money spent on education. It refers to poverty in the home and test results.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:45 PM

Hate to do this this, PDQ, because I think you've got a good point there, but the cost of private school is way more than you've got listed--this article, quotes statistics from the National Association of Independent Schools, who say the average is $22,000 per year.
Private School Financial Aid Religious schools, or, as they like to call them, Parochial Schools, are much less--depending on where you are,Catholic schools can run around $5k for elementary and $10k for secondary. Quaker Schools, which have about the best reputation, run considerably more(and tend to have a very low percentage of Quakers).

The money spent on schools, and the money spent on education are not the same thing. The largest expense in our school district is transportation. Teacher'pension funds are a huge expense(not necessarily against this, just pointing it out). The cost of actual
instruction is pretty close to that of building and property maintenance.

I think education is really important, but I also think that we need to get some of those Walmart people involved to help get the costs down where we can afford them.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:09 PM

I have worked in many low-income schools and I can tell you that teacher quality is a huge factor.

Just because more prosperous communities do better means nothing from a research point of view. They can hire and retain "better" teachers for the types of kids they have. Some of the teachers I worked with would have been fine in higher income schools, with students from their own socioeconomic and racial "class"..I put it in quotes but we are still a class society.

Not every student can learn every thing. Not every teacher can teach every student. Not every student can learn much from every teacher. A prime consideration is a match of student to teacher.

In the first place, too many are women. Half the students are boys.

Something almsot never talked about..and this research is pretty old and might have to be refreshed or disputed...is that people tend to sort themselves out into about six to eight occupational categories..that is, they are going to be reasonably satisfied and successful if they get into the right category..now, some will be dental hygenists and some will be dentists. Some will be construction workers and some will be civil engineers..but if they are in the right category they will probably be OK.

Here is the problem..most people are in what at least used to be in the "realistic" category..that produces the people who build things, who fix things..who are very hands on, probably good with tools etc.

Very few teachers are in that category. Most are in more of a social type category. They mean well..but they see the world differently than most of their students.

You have boys who learn differently than girls and you have them taught by women teachers. You have the Mr. Fix-it type of students, many of them boys, taught by female teachers who would be great at teaching them poetry if they were inclined, but can not teach them how to build and sell a picnic table in wood shop. You have (things are better now than they were I hope) white, retirement age, female teachers teaching, one hopes, inner city, poverty-stressed, semi-orphaned children.

So some very good teachers who could be matched with appropriate children, who might be 1/4 of the population, will do very well. Most will not, and most will not see or agree that there is a match problem when it is staring them in the face.

I have two master's degrees in education and I won't work in the area unless it is in occupational education of some type. I just have too much disparity with the teachers and principals etc...although I am the exact one who could work with their potential welders and engineers and nurses with very good results..but they drive people out who would be a good match for the potential dropouts and the underachievers. Sorry..I will try to help once I retire but it is an uphill battle I don't have the energy to pursue.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 03:22 PM

There is a strong correlation between family income and success in school.

That is not the case with the amount of money spent on education.

"The most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Education show that in 2000 the average tuition for private elementary schools nationwide was $3,267. Government figures also indicate that 41 percent of all private elementary and secondary schools -- more than 27,000 nationwide -- charged less than $2,500 for tuition. Less than 21 percent of all private schools charged more than $5,000 per year in tuition. According to these figures, elite and very expensive private schools tend to be the exception in their communities, not the rule."

New Jersey schools average about $14,000 per pupil each year and are some of the lowest rated schools in the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 02:34 PM

SAT Scores and Family Income For those who don't have time to check,
basically, it shows that, in math, reading, and writing, and overall, the higher the family income, the higher the SAT score.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:41 PM

Poverty's role in bad U.S. test scores

August 12, 2012

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Educators are always interested in improving teacher evaluation, and Anne Faigen's comments ("Evaluating Teachers Is Not So Easy," Aug. 5 Forum) are helpful. Her essay also, unfortunately, contributes to the impression that there is a crisis in teacher quality in the United States.

Our international test scores are low, we're often told, and the problem is bad teaching. Hence, we need better methods of evaluating teachers.

Our international test scores are unspectacular, but the reasons are not related to teacher quality (or parents or unions or schools of education): Middle-class American students who attend well-funded schools rank at the top of the world on international tests.

The problem is poverty: Our average test scores are mediocre because the United States has such a high level of child poverty, the second highest among economically advanced countries (23 percent). Study after study shows that poverty has a devastating effect on school performance.

The current obsession with teacher quality and evaluation of teachers should be replaced with an obsession to protect children from the impact of poverty: Make sure all children are well-fed, have proper health care and have access to reading material.

STEPHEN KRASHEN
Los Angeles

The writer is professor emeritus of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:29 PM

Thank you, Eliza.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:22 PM

The sad thing is that people have been looking at the correlation between poverty and educational achievement for a long time. People don't really want to deal with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 12:14 PM

999, thank you so much for that very moving poem. It made me a little sad, as I was desperate to be a nurse, and my parents, striving to climb socially from their working-class backgrounds, were determined that I should go to University and become a middle-class professional of some sort. I shall always be grateful to them in many ways, and I did become a teacher (my sister a doctor). But I feel to this day I'd have been blissfully happy as a Nurse in developing countries, under eg Medecins Sans Frontieres. Which shows that each pupil is an individual with his/her own potential and ambition. Finding out what these are and helping them to achieve their destiny in life is what education really is. A tall order!


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 12:06 PM

If standardized tests results are ever to be improved across the nation, people better take a good look at the co-relation between family income and test results by students, schools, districts and states. We may be testing the wrong things.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 11:42 AM

Jeri- the problem with "standardized tests" in the Orwellian world of "No Child Left Behind" is that test scores are being used to evaluate the effectiveness of schools and teachers.

This doesn't seem like a problem(it didn't to the politicians who set it up), but the "East LA" kids that PDQ mentioned above don't bring reading, writing, and math skills from home like the kids in, say Palo Alto(where Stanford University is). That means that a teacher in the "good school" doesn't have to work very hard for scores in the highest percentiles, while the teacher in the "bad school" has to work really hard to get kids into the "Basic"
range.

Teaching is a one-on-one enterprise. A good teacher knows when a student is ready to move on, and when they need more instruction. A student won't learn faster because legislation requires it, or because an administrator promises it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 11:07 AM

Good points, Stim.

Many years back when I taught some special needs students I wanted to help the kids learn to use calculators. Staff consensus was that I should teach them how to add, subtract, etc., without calculators. I asked how long the school had been trying to do that with these kids (who by this time were young teenagers). I pointed to one of those adage posters that gets tacked on school walls. It read, "The height of insanity is doing what you've always done while expecting to get different results." We got the calculators.

Expectations of graduate high school students have changed over the years. Publicly-funded education is 'by definition' always behind the curve when it comes to teaching skill sets in specific disciplines. We can see that in areas where technology out-strips the abilities of any schools to keep pace. Computers, programming, graphic design, biology with reference to genomes, mathematics with reference to string theory and multidimensional calculation, etc. The trades have been affected by technological advances: laser sights to level drop ceilings, nail guns, calculators, etc. At some point we have to consider what is driving what. Should schools become part of an assembly line that produces students to order? Do we measure the worth of education based on whether students can 'slip in' to certain university courses or jobs? If so, then critical viewing should become part of every schools curriculum because in 60 years television has changed society. It went from being an entertainment/information source to whatever it has become today. What's the solution? I don't know.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 10:24 AM

Scoring standardized tests that get dissed by people who talk about schools "teaching to the test", I'm not sure whether it means the people who complain would rather it was all about memorization. The test scores are based on comprehension, and the highest scores would go to the kid who "gets it". I think doing well in school, by any standard, involves understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 09:59 AM

If my friend had given his students "Warren Pryor"(and he might have), they would have simply memorized it. It would not have occurred to them to them to analyze or interpret it. That's why he(and many other American teachers) had been hired.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 09:50 AM

GUEST 999-I learned a lot of from Isaac Asimov when I was growing up, and wondered, then and now, we were using textbooks that were boring and hard to understand.

PDQ-My point was just informational. I personally think "Catcher in the Rye" and
"To Kill a Mockingbird" are great books. I am not actually very happy with our schools,
because I think we spend too much and get too little, which I tend to blame politicians and administrators for more than I blame teachers.

Eliza-I have a friend who taught in China more than 20 years ago, and he says that Chinese education is very much focussed on memorization, and the society traditionally has valued structure and order. Our emphasis interpretation and creativity, and especially "Thinking outside the box" are new to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 09:24 AM

Warren Pryor
by Alden Nowlan

When every pencil meant a sacrifice
his parents boarded him at school in town,
slaving to free him from the stony fields,
the meagre acreage that bore them down.

They blushed with pride when, at his graduation,
they watched him picking up the slender scroll,
his passport from the years of brutal toil
and lonely patience in a barren hole.

When he went in the Bank their cups ran over.
They marvelled how he wore a milk-white shirt
work days and jeans on Sundays. He was saved
from their thistle-strewn farm and its red dirt.

And he said nothing. Hard and serious
like a young bear inside his teller's cage,
his axe-hewn hands upon the paper bills
aching with empty strength and throttled rage.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:34 AM

I have always thought that 'success' of pupils in Korea, Japan, China etc is measured by their excellent ability at maths, reading and writing. This (I suspect) is because they are drilled mercilessly like robots, until they're perfect. Homework is relentless. I have also heard that some Japanese students commit suicide in despair if their marks aren't high enough. Is this really the type of education we want for our young people? And how does one measure the 'success' of an education anyway? Tests aren't enough. I would suggest that the enrichment of the person's experiences, love of learning, curiosity about the world, wisdom and enlightenment must all play a part in a 'good' education. It also is non-finite, and one continues to learn all ones life. Maybe none of this fills places at the factory bench. Tough!


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 07:58 PM

Isaac Asimov wrote approximately 400 books in his life. Many of them were sci-fi, but he also wrote science books in a way that kids could understand. Thanks to Isaac Asimov I was able to get a glimpse into chemistry that I wasn't smart enough for in high school--I was in the 'Arts' stream--read bo-bo class, or at least that's what we called it. Asimov's journeys through the human body helped me understand anatomy and how the body works. He wrote a concordance to the complete works of Shakespeare and another for the Bible--old and new testaments. His limericks are fun to read, and his ability to explain the most difficult of subjects made him a fantastic teacher. He held a doctorate in biochemistry, and is AFAIK the only author to have books in all ten categories of the Dewey Decimal System.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 07:44 PM

The point about science fiction having merit should deserve a "second".

Authors Gene Roddenbury, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne and H. G. Wells were all hyper-intelligent and used the writing to help people negotiate some complex issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:59 PM

Everyone should be entitled to free education. A well rounded education includes the humanities, (art, literature, music) and not just dry blueprints to make a young person a cog in a corporate wheel. I think the Gates are really off the mark here, but they are biased in favor of their respective talents.

I don't care what grades a person receives as long as they are exposed to real education which entails learning how to think for yourself and appreciate the subtleties of life.

Americans are being dumbed down by Neil Bush and the new textbook purveyors and I certainly don't agree that those who do well in trades should be limited to that education. A car mechanic has the ability to appreciate intellectual pursuits or the fine arts and this is evident in other countries other than the rubber stamp educational
methods in the U.S. At the same time, a musician should learn to change a flat tire,
balance their checkbook or negotiate a contract.

This compartmentalization in education is obnoxious and condescending.

Under a socialist model, education could be made available to all.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:44 PM

Your point about there being 500K Chinese students in our colleges and universities is fine, but it seems hard to connect that to the merits of high schoolers reading Catcher in the Rye.

I doubt that any of those Chinese students know the difference between J. D. Salinger and Pierre Salinger.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:13 PM

The K-12 pupils in our public education system are the ones who fill most of the seats in American Colleges and Universities.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 04:41 PM

So, PeeDee- ya gonna answer my questions, or just keep running off at the mouth?


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 04:29 PM

"The youngsters we are talking about on this thread are the K-12 pupils in our public education system."

That's correct in a sense, PDQ. However, international tests are done in grades 4, 8 and 12. There is one other international test administered students who are 15-year-old so when international test scores get confused with what's happening specifically in US education, the difference becomes one of apples and vineyards.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 04:03 PM

Actually, there is an obvious flaw in that reasoning.

The youngsters we are talking about on this thread are the K-12 pupils in our public education system.

The students you are talking about are college level.

It's the old "apples'n'oranges" bit.

Stanford University is not unusual in having a trust fund and a great deal of private money to support it.

Very few of its students are going to come from East LA even though both are in California.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 03:41 PM

Actually, PDQ, a lot of those Chinese students come to the US for their education, and the numbers are increasing fast. Number of Chinese Students in US dramatically expands Indian and Korean students are coming here in record numbers too(you can google that yourself). The Japanese have tapered
off a lot, reflecting the fact that Japan is losing it's clout in the world economy.

Actually, though it is highly unfashionable to say it, an American Education is a valuable commodity in the world market, and more than half a million students from around the world come here every year and pay top dollar for it. They bring a lot of spending money with them, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 02:37 PM

So, PeeDee: what do China and Japan spend on education compared to the US?

And are educators in those countries subject to the same crap salaries and constant denigration and slander that's their lot in the U.S.?


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 02:13 PM

In the United States, most people equate "education" with a "liberal arts" education.

Liberal arts majors are prepared for jobs like teacher, lawyer, government paper-pusher, entertainer or politician.

Science and engineering majors are in demand in industry.

In fact, it is often quite difficullt to find qualified people to teach science, even at the high school level.

It isn't a knock on the reading of great books to suggest that the balance in our education system is now away from science, math and job preparation.

Japan and China are kicking out butts in those areas.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM

Songwronger hit the nail on the head when he said:

"As far as deeper meaning being the mark of great literature, who determines what deeper meaning is? I've always liked sci-fi because it can examine things like mixed marriages in a roundabout way. Instead of a negroid/caucasoid marriage, you can have a Reptilian/Human marriage and still deliver a tolerance message. You can bury messages in sci-fi. Comedy, too. Court jesters can get away with kidding a tyrant while a straight-faced critic would be executed."

mg's idea about occupational training is important, or we'll end up with a world full of eloi and morlocks, and we know where that goes...


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 08:09 AM

I agree with much of what Q says. Skilled teachers, and the freedom to adapt the curriculum to one's students' needs is very important. A gifted teacher can prepare study plans without reference to a straitjacket of a National Curriculum. Especially at Primary level, the main aim is to engender joy and enthusiasm for learning, plus the basic skills to do so. I always found teaching to be a bit like entertainment. The 'audience reaction' influenced one's next move. 'Keep 'em interested'. Even old Shakespoke can be made fascinating by an imaginative and enthusisatic teacher. I was much blessed as a teenager to have Mr Shears, who made it all come alive. Once the young become bored, you've more or less had it. Very interesting idea from Guest mg, to have every student cover occupational training. Could be a good thing. It would give equal status to technical subjects and specialisation could be delayed until the student had decided on his/her vocation later on.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Songwronger
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 11:39 PM

That greatliteraryworks article is interesting.

Most of what we regard as great literature was written for money. Shakespaere, like someone mentioned. Eugene O'Neill comes to mind. All stage plays are written with production in mind. So writing for money doesn't rule out a work being great.

As far as deeper meaning being the mark of great literature, who determines what deeper meaning is? I've always liked sci-fi because it can examine things like mixed marriages in a roundabout way. Instead of a negroid/caucasoid marriage, you can have a Reptilian/Human marriage and still deliver a tolerance message. You can bury messages in sci-fi. Comedy, too. Court jesters can get away with kidding a tyrant while a straight-faced critic would be executed.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 09:08 PM

No system of education, "common core" or whatever it's called, can be a success without these ingredients:

Well-trained and dedicated teachers.
Freedom to teach and learn without imposed religious and social constraints.
Ability to vary content to meet the needs of a non-homogeneous group of students. Otherwise it's sink or swim.
Sufficient money to provide the tools, books, equipment and physical plants needed.

As pick and shovel and "shop girl" employment succumbs to automation and internet shopping, those unprepared for the future economy will be unemployed and on relief, a drain on society as a whole.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 03:59 PM

There is no curriculum that is going to work for all students. Society needs skilled workers --whether or not it can supply them with jobs in the field. A community needs electricians, plumbers, CNAs, accountants, paralegals, car repairers, hair cutters etc. If there is no employment, as exists in some areas, the community still needs the skills and they can be bartered. So skill distribution is a very important benefit of occupational education.

The answer that I have heard, I believe by a former secretary of Labor, is to put every student through occupational education. For one thing, they can help earn their way through college. For another, there will be less looking down on other students, some of whom are poor at academics and brilliant at welding for example. There should be an expectation that every single student will graduate with saleable job skills and a recognized set of skills.

For those who drop out early, there should have been more entry level skills taught...custodial, food service etc. in the earlier grades.


And the problem with reading Shakespear?? is not the reading of it...some students might need more abridged versions, or to watch a video as well as reading etc.. I think the problem is to make them write about it and analyze it. I personally never figured any of that stuff out..could not figure out what English majors extracted from it..so just have them read it in some classes, and skip the overanalysis part..have a class discussion on it, tell them what some experts have to say and move on.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 02:40 PM

Fortunately Texas has little influence over university-level texts.

That's why Rick Santorum doesn't want kids to go to college.

(Well, Bible colleges and tiny right-wing schools would be OK.)


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 02:24 PM

And that's just the tip of the iceberg of the collective censorship, suppressions, distortions and anti-intellectualism in general that have been foisted upon U.S. students by ignorant, football-worshipping fundagelical arseholes in Texas.

Should be no problem to look this up with a search or two- this abuse, as Lighter says, is hardly new.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 01:26 PM

The influence of the huge Texas market on the quality of American schoolbooks has been notorious for over thirty years.

For example, Texans don't care much for science textbooks that accept evolution. They admire books that suggest that Washington and Jefferson held strong Christian beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 12:22 PM

'"A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 per cent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace."'

What I finally see is erroneous about that headline remark is this: at least 70% of the books used in schools since education became formalized have been non-fiction.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 11:55 AM

The issue of curriculum & books is way more complex than that...

2 years ago in Texas

from that article...

"Because the Texas textbook market is so large, books assigned to the state's 4.7 million students often rocket to the top of the market, decreasing costs for other school districts and leading them to buy the same materials."

Many other articles on this... Google


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 11:46 AM

My crack about Zap Comix and Bobert was humor.

I'll remind you of thet PeeDee next time you're whining on about someone being uncivil to poor little you.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 11:38 AM

Virgina Tam -

The point that you seem to be missing is that there's nothing in the new curriculum that would ever require you to use a technical reference in a typical Advanced English Class. The tech manual cited - insulation standards - merely tells teachers presenting a class on building construction which reference on insulation is recommended when they teach that part of how to put a building together. Teachers of advanced English seldom teach nailing, wrenching, riviting, or welding, but other teachers who do teach those subjects also need guidance.

Conversely, there is nothing preventing you from using a technical document from the approved list if you included segment on writing technical English if there was a reason for including that particular skill in your English class (although that particular need would be rare?). Assuming that you weren't a skilled nail bender, it would be helpful to know what tech books would be most similar to what students, who at the same time or later might be in a trade-oriented course of study, would be likely to see again.

For some students, a course on "International English"1 would be more useful than "Advanced English" but I've never seen it taught in a public school and it would be of value only to a very select few students.

1 International English, in this context, is a specific vocabulary of a few hundred words, used (if one follows the regulations) in maintenance and operating manuals for (mostly military?) equipment that might be deployed among non-English speaking (and/or ESL) workers. It's very difficult to teach native English speakers to write it correctly but reasonably simple to teach almost anyone, in any language, to read it "adequately," or for someone to translate it to a local language. (Recollection is that there are/were separate specifications for a 200 word and for an 800 word vocabulary, although the "word sets" may vary from time to time.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: pdq
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 10:25 AM

My crack about Zap Comix and Bobert was humor. I'm sure he has no problem with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 09:03 AM

A shovel and a wheelbarrow, geek.
=(:-( ))


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 08:58 AM

Virginia... before I went into state service, I got my teaching certification and did my student teaching in the more affluent high school where 16 year old kids drove expensive new cars to school, sold drugs to each and had little or no respect for anyone whose paycheck relegated them to the 99 percenters...

The teachers and administrators were merely servants or lackeys... talk about the sense of entitlement... yet, with two working parents... they were still latchkey kids... just with $$$.


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 07:24 AM

I enjoyed Zap Comix, Fritz, Mr. Natural, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, etc. immensely as a young teen.
School bureaucracy caused me to lose interest in education.
=(:-( ))


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Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 07:10 AM

I trained to be a teacher and spent some years substitute teaching in an economically well off school system.

2 different teaching assignments included reading a piece of literature and watching a film made on said piece, class discussion and written assignments of critical comparison of film to the written story.

Experience 1: Remedial English class of about twenty, 15 to 18 year olds also enrolled in the school system's trade school. I was warned by teacher friends it would be a difficult assignment because the students were not academically inclined and some were trouble makers. The students were a delight, engaged in the assignment and polite.

Experience 2: Advanced level English. Only a dozen 16-17 year olds. I was told I was fortunate as this class holds the cream of the school. They were lazy, socially impaired, spoiled rotten brats. They refused to do the work set by their own teacher, gossiped about and sniped at each other like dysfunctional siblings and gave me no end of grief.

If I had been given a technical manual to teach in those classes, I somehow doubt the outcome would be different, but how much less rich would the education be for those Remedial English students who were participating on every level?

Teachers need to be given the scope to be creative and make the material taught as interesting and accessible as possible. This was becoming increasingly more difficult in mid to late 1990s when I took my teacher degree and started teaching. Standards of Learning (SOLs as they were then called) and the budget of the school were major factors in how much or little a teacher could do.

BTW, it is not on to make a statement like Then again, people like Bobert consider Zap Comix and Fritz the Cat to be High Literature. and then whine about people not being civil. Do you own a mirror?


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