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Education decimation: Thank You, Florida!
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Lasairfiona



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I'll get back to this when I don't have a character limit becauise it is driving me nuts (and I need to do work). I hope Dogan can weigh in on the child motivation bit but I'll adress the performance based pay soon. Like after work.

Fun discussion though!
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll repeat this: standardized curiculum. You need it, you want it.

And when you get it, we'll send whoever is running France at that point to mock you for not having it sooner.
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dr_destructo



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But how do you standardize test when the entire system is in shambles?

What if a teachers pay was based off multiple things:
1) Anonymous peer reviews(because really, who gossips more than teachers anyways?)
2) Test the students on their knowledge at the beginning of each term, and then test again at the end of the term. Wouldn't that allow for a way to figure how much a given student has learned? It could be as simple as giving incoming students last term's/year's final exam in the beginning, and then comparing that score with the student's final score at the end of the term/year.
3) Overall performance review by a supervisor
4) Anonymous teacher evals by students(granted, this could only be done in the students later years)
5) Involve the parents in the evaluations as well.

That way you have 5 different point of view to base a teacher's pay off of.
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Mizike



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: Iowa City

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
I like the system but
Mizike wrote:
Because students don't like good teachers. They like easy-grading and amicable teachers.

I UTTERLY disagree with this. This says that children are basically lazy and uninterested in learning. Everything I know says that is wrong. Children want to be challenged! It is when there is no challenge, nor motivation, that children become apathetic.


It's your right to disagree (and I think we do disagree), but I wasn't trying to imply what you inferred.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Mizike wrote:
The only method I have ever thought would work to evaluate teachers (though I don't know that it is practical) is like the one described in Freakonomics. It would involve yearly exams, but teachers would not be rewarded just for the performance of their students that year. Teachers would be rewarded for the sustained success of their former students. Such rewards would be increased if the student had struggled previously, but then turned it around and sustained higher scores.

When a student has new teachers every year (or in my high school every semester), how do you determine which teacher is being successful? This isn't a method to evaluate teachers granularly, but perhaps the performance of a school in general. But then again, as was said before, schools with more money tend to score better on tests, thus their merit is perceived to be higher and they get more funding, etc. etc.
With the US sliding way behind other industrialized nations in education there should be plenty of other, more successful models for us to look at without having to totally reinvent the wheel.

This right here is the crux of the problem. Schools, and in turn students and parents, shouldn't be penalized with less funding when in fact they most likely will require quite the opposite. I think Willem is definitely talking about the right direction with standardized curriculum across the country. Logistically speaking doing so isn't even any where near the kind of challenge the same kind of thing would have been 50 or even 20 years ago. I also think there needs to be created (or at least reorganized if there is one) an accountability office within the Department of Education who's sole duty is policing schools and fixing those that are falling behind.

It kinda doesn't surprise me that the US is falling behind in education more and more though. I mean the Dept. of Education has only been around as an autonomous unit since the Carter Administration.
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tinkeringIdiot



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 1057

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willem wrote:
I'll repeat this: standardized curiculum. You need it, you want it.


Take a look at the insane bullshit that happens annually when the Texas board gets together to rewrite history. Now imagine that the gubbernment is making everyone follow one curriculum. The shit-fight to establish that curriculum would be immense and the resulting standards would likely be the result of political rather than academic debate. During all of that madness the schools would still go unfunded.

dr_destructo wrote:
Test the students on their knowledge at the beginning of each term, and then test again at the end of the term.


Let me tell a short story about one corrupting factor regarding the use of standardized tests in the determination of pay...I did my primary education in a school district that was relatively affluent; still solidly middle-class, but folks had money. A friend of mine that wasn't exactly the brightest student (she was good at one or two subjects and dismal at all the rest) had extremely wealthy parents. She began biweekly private tutoring for standardized tests in the 5th grade. She did very, very well on all the standardized tests throughout our schooling. Would it be fair, given that information, to determine her teachers salary based on standardized test results? Would it be fair to determine the pay of teachers in other classes of which this student was not a part based on the relative performance of the two classes on a standardized test? Based on this anecdote, I have no confidence in the ability of a standardized test to rate the effectiveness of an individual teacher.

On ways to make it better...the town I grew up in had one seeming political constant that everyone agreed on: any ballot measure aimed at raising more money for the school district passed easily. This wasn't the result of some public policy of the city or the state, but rather the influence of a strong culture, which was itself cultivated by concerned citizens and educators over the better part of the 20th century. The result: an excellent public education system (and by proxy, skyrocketing property values...a self-reinforcing phenomenon).

I think several people have already mentioned the root cause of the current state of the educational system, but I'll quote nathan:

nathan wrote:
This country has a massive anti-intellectual bent, coupled with lots of laissez faire parenting.


The best way to solve this, imho, is through cultural, rather than political, action.
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Michael



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For starters, how much would it cost to send Him to the states and have him set up a newspaper?
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12370
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tinkeringIdiot wrote:
Willem wrote:
I'll repeat this: standardized curiculum. You need it, you want it.


Take a look at the insane bullshit that happens annually when the Texas board gets together to rewrite history. Now imagine that the gubbernment is making everyone follow one curriculum. The shit-fight to establish that curriculum would be immense and the resulting standards would likely be the result of political rather than academic debate. During all of that madness the schools would still go unfunded.

I'm not sure Texas BOE-scale douchebaggery is realistic on the federal level, simply because Texas is more reliably "conservative" than the rest of the nation as a whole. This can also be avoided by not giving the board such unmitigated veto power over expert recommendation (notice how a simple majority vote was enough to totally undo the history recommendations), drawing from a pool of experts for each subject, and seeking outside commentary on recommendations before they're made into standards, and having people with some relevant backgrounds in the subjects act as representatives on the board itself. Perhaps even requiring an argument presented in writing where the board members dissent from the recommended standards that can be reviewed by someone else.
Due to popular elections of board members, lack of qualifications necessary to run, and the cultural makeup of Texas as a state, their BOE is subject to being overrun with incredibly partisan majorities that have the authority to completely trample even recommendations based on a nationwide pool of expertise for any given subject.

Just thinking aloud, though. Seems like part of the problem with the BOE is that charismatic Creationist dentists can turn the whole thing into a shadow-council and override anything experts recommend with backdoor dealing and off-hours decisions. On the other hand, non-partisan, non-publicly elected federal departments like the CBO/GAO apparently are successful in fending off that kind of political bullshit somehow.
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tinkeringIdiot



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 1057

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheels wrote:
On the other hand, non-partisan, non-publicly elected federal departments like the CBO/GAO apparently are successful in fending off that kind of political bullshit somehow.


They can get away with it because they are dealing with accounting - something which can be agreed on in purely logical terms. It's much easier to attack and sway a body that's responsible for brainwashing our children.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

?

Accounting is a lot more creative than spelling, simple math, grammer. Other than selecting topics for history class it doesn't get all that subjective does it?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The subjects themselves may cover simple things, but deciding which ones to teach at what level and how to do it, that's something else entirely. TI's got a good point.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 6181
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus, the curriculum would potentially be up for change every four or eight years as new administrations come and go. And since playing politics with school curriculum is the problem to begin with, well, I'm not sure how moving it from a local/state to a national level helps things.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said anything about tying it to contemporary presidential administrations?
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, my bad.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But how many of us are actually teachers or involved in k-12 education? If only there were some 'fester with an education background to give us a voice from the inside... if only...
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