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Author Topic: American Political Theater - SOTU
Lyrhawn
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If people would like to post running commentary on the year speech that means more to pundits than anything yet is instantly forgettable to every one else: go for it!

From what I've read, this is going to be a letdown, and it's going to be the best thing ever, and it's the most important speech ever, and it could make or break Obama! So much riding on this!

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Lyrhawn
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Interesting that he mentioned the fact that a lot of American jobs weren't lost to outsourcing, but rather to innovation. Upgrades in automation and what not have allowed manufacturing to do more with less.
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Dan_Frank
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Absolutely true. I'm not watching it, but your comment about what he said is very insightful.

When jobs go away, something a lot of people forget is that the American economy tends focus on where the innovation and money really is. Once this was agriculture. And later it was industry. Not so very long ago it was computers. Now, if anything, it's even more ephemeral than that. It's ideas. Information. Google and Facebook and nearly all the rest are American companies.

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Lyrhawn
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There's a bold goal that'll go absolutely nowhere. 85% of America's energy from clean energy by 2035?

At least he's finally selling it the right way. He's selling it from an economic viewpoint, rather than an environmental one. Smart.

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Lyrhawn
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I hate the whole "give back to your community, become a teacher," thing. If they're so valuable, why don't you pay them like other college graduates?
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Lyrhawn
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I think it's adorable that John Kerry and John McCain came on a date to the prom together, AND dressed alike.
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Tresopax
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quote:
I hate the whole "give back to your community, become a teacher," thing. If they're so valuable, why don't you pay them like other college graduates?
Because people aren't paid according to the value of their job. Parenting is even more important than teaching, and that job doesn't get you any salary at all.
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Juxtapose
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It does when you get hired to do it.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I hate the whole "give back to your community, become a teacher," thing. If they're so valuable, why don't you pay them like other college graduates?

I think the line of giving back to your community as a teacher is a thinly veiled argument against higher teacher salaries. If you view teaching as a civic duty, then you're not in it for the money, right? So convince folks to teach out of duty and not for the money, then you don't have to worry about raising wages! Everybody wins! [Big Grin]
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Kwea
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Parenting is NOT a job. It is a lifestyle choice.


It takes as much, or more, work than a job does, but it doesn't pay because it isn't a job.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
I hate the whole "give back to your community, become a teacher," thing. If they're so valuable, why don't you pay them like other college graduates?
Because people aren't paid according to the value of their job. Parenting is even more important than teaching, and that job doesn't get you any salary at all.
There's a disconnect there. People make an argument all the time that education is highly important and invaluable, and they complain that teacher quality is abysmal, yet refuse to pay teachers more because their jobs aren't highly valued enough? How does that follow?

If education is important and valuable, and we're having a problem attracting quality teachers, then isn't the logical conclusion that we should offer higher salaries to attract better talent? Isn't that the fundamental argument in any competitive field?

Also, I agree with Kwea about the parenting thing. We call it a job for a variety of reasons, even valuable reasons, I think, but it's not the same thing as a schoolteacher.

Vadon -

Yeah, I think that is the general argument, but for the reasons I stated above, it's a pretty silly one. It's that kind of reasoning that leads so many new teachers to quickly burn out. Low pay, low appreciation and high stress aren't generally considered attractive job qualities for a newly minted college grad.

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Swampjedi
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I tend to identify with the tea party ideals. To be clear, I do not identify with the talking heads that have co-opted those ideals (e.g., I wish Palin would go live in an igloo in Alaska, far from any media source).

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that... I really liked the speech. I have the utmost respect for Mr Obama as a person. I think he and I share some of the same "bird's eye view" goals, though we disagree on how to get there. Unlike many Congress critters from both parties, I feel Mr Obama actually means what he says, and is genuine in his desire to improve our existence.

He set some bold goals - ones that don't exactly pander to any particular party. The biggest exclamation point for me in that regard was the admission that entitlements need to be trimmed, and that playing politics with relatively tiny cuts is missing the point entirely.

I am inspired. Folks on both sides might complain about the lack of details in the speech, but that isn't what the SotU is about in my mind. It is about broad strokes, and being head cheerleader for America. Well done, Mr President. You inspired this small-government conservative semi-libertarian.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
There's a disconnect there. People make an argument all the time that education is highly important and invaluable, and they complain that teacher quality is abysmal, yet refuse to pay teachers more because their jobs aren't highly valued enough? How does that follow?

Our educational system is in a situation that has resulted from decades of response to dysfunctional incentives. Lots of people can say they want to improve the situation, and mean it, but there's plenty of entrenched forces that keep even the genuine intent at bay.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
If education is important and valuable, and we're having a problem attracting quality teachers, then isn't the logical conclusion that we should offer higher salaries to attract better talent? Isn't that the fundamental argument in any competitive field?

I teach in the private market, and though I don't even make as much as a public school teacher in California, for the market I'm in, I make much more than most (by around 35%).

I think part of the issue with the valuation of teaching is that the skillset is difficult to quantify and quality is confoundingly variable to the point that it is very difficult for businesses even in the private market to assess the value of their teachers. Teaching in the private sector (and here I'm just discussing ESL specifically) is *entirely* value added work, but it doesn't even add value to most products, it adds value to the workforce and comes as a part of a benefit package. In this field, the clients have a lot of difficulty assessing the added value from lessons because it does very little, or nothing, for their bottom line. Since it's a much more abstract benefit than, say, doctors or health clubs or a travel allowance, it's difficult for companies to justify the difference between the prices of my lessons and consultations, which are over $20 dollars an hour, and those of teachers who charge half that, or less. That my students get better results, gain more motivation, and enjoy my lessons more than those of teachers who charge much less is not very compelling if you treat the teaching as a work task that can be performed by anyone with the appropriate qualification. And on the other side of that, schools and teaching agencies are mostly set up to deliver a standard of teaching which is uniform at a low price- which they can do only by insisting that their staff of teachers work from the same texts, approach their work in the same ways, and do not distinguish themselves as more valuable than any other member of the staff. I ran into this problem constantly as a teacher in a language school, which is why I switched to private agency work almost exclusively. I would be bombarded with requests from colleagues of students, and the school would democratically offer these lessons to other teachers when I was too busy. The clients would be aware that they were paying the same price for an inferior experience, and quit. So despite being good, I was less than popular. I was essentially seen as not a team player, despite the fact that this job is not a team sport.

In short, teachers are treated as agents of a curriculum in order to forestall gaps in quality, which discourages quality teachers to take risks, distinguish themselves, or have any pride in their work- or to demand more money for the simple fact that they are *better,* because the employers, or the school system, sees them as only needed for or capable of delivering the curriculum according to a set standard, which has to be kept normalized, and thus low.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
So despite being good, I was less than popular. I was essentially seen as not a team player, despite the fact that this job is not a team sport.
I just wanted to clarify that this was specifically in public schools, and less so in private schools?

One thing that particularly infuriates me is how new teachers are given the hardest jobs. The two people I know who became teachers either quit or came close to quitting because they were both forced to work in remedial classes, which come with a host of challenges beyond the ordinary ones for teaching. (The analogy in my head was throwing a level 5 character into a level 25 territory an then asking them to work their way backwards down to level 5.) It seems to me that the hard classes should be extremely high paid positions that experienced teachers rotate through so that nobody gets burnt out.

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Orincoro
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No, this I experienced working for private language academies and schools. The effect is more or less the same.
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Samprimary
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Yeah I watched a number of my friends go through Teach for America, which takes bright-eyed, optimistic, hopeful new graduates, chews them up, and then spits them out.

to compound the issue, districts dealing with un-dismissable lemons with tenure usually put them in the classes which need the best teachers (remedial, etc) just so they're 'out of the way.'

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kmbboots
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Tenure is strange for primary and elementary school teachers.
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Juxtapose
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Fox and Friends keeps it classy.

Oh wait.

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Ron Lambert
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I understand that Fox News did not carry the additional Republican response given by Michelle Bachman to the State of the Union address (representative of the Tea Party movement). If only we had a conservative news network!
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kmbboots
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What, exactly, is the criteria for giving an official opposition response to the SOTU? Should the news cover any response any member of Congress wants to give?
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Ron Lambert
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The present conventional practice is for a representative of the major opposition party to give a rebuttal. The Republican Party chose to designate two people to speak on its behalf--Reps. Paul Ryan, and Michelle Bachman.
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Strider
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Ron, the republican party did not designate Michelle Bachman to speak on its behalf. Where did you get that idea from?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Yeah I watched a number of my friends go through Teach for America, which takes bright-eyed, optimistic, hopeful new graduates, chews them up, and then spits them out.

Mmmm, yeah that's about the size of it. As long as you treat anybody with promise as an expendable foot soldier on the Omaha Beach of Education, and everybody else who just happens to have been around longer as an indispensable, you get, well, exactly what the system is. Guaranteed, you double the salaries and eliminate the tenure, and you end up with a better result. You have to double the salaries though- education has to be highly attractive

And in my opinion it should not be treated as a career by the majority of people who enter into it. One of the biggest problems with the workforce is I think actually *over*-education. People have to go through year long programs, or masters programs, just to get in front of a classroom- and in these environments, they last about 3 years. If they have no better ideas, they stay on and become bitter husks of humanity. What we should be doing is seeking to attract professional experienced people who want a change of career to think about teaching, and to do so for around 5 years, with minimal front loading of education requirements. A) The grad programs and credentials are taught by burn-outs anyway (particularly for child education), and B) going through that crap to get a job that has no future because the money is crap and the system is bogged down with the people already in it is not a good prospect. The solution is easy, really. Make it competitive, not parochial- that means hire the best performers and pay them more, and sluff off the rest. As soon as you have more people than you need banging down your door for a chance at a well payed, well recognized position, you'll know you've won.

I think it's also a big generational problem. Generation Y, now entering the professional workforce, is largely civic minded and focused on working within groups, but is impatient with authority when that authority is not clearly justified by circumstance. Since the school system is still full of baby boomers and gen-xers with more individualist, but also authority respecting leanings, people of my generation don't see nearly as much of a future in that kind of work. What do we want to do, become those people? We have no respect for them.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The present conventional practice is for a representative of the major opposition party to give a rebuttal. The Republican Party chose to designate two people to speak on its behalf--Reps. Paul Ryan, and Michelle Bachman.

Ron as Strider said, Bachman was not officially given the go ahead by the Republican party. She basically told them she was going to broadcast the Tea Party's response and Boehner could really only grumble and say, "Unusual, but whatever."

I found it kinda funny that she told reporters, "This isn't a response to Pres. Obama's State of the Union address per se." When the copies she provided the press clearly say, "Rep. Bachman's response to the State of the Union address."

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PSI Teleport
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quote:
Also, I agree with Kwea about the parenting thing. We call it a job for a variety of reasons, even valuable reasons, I think, but it's not the same thing as a schoolteacher.
I know we've moved on past this subject, but to add some thoughts: while parenting is a job, of sorts, it's a job that pays you with the satisfaction of letting your genes and/or values carry on into the next generation. Washing the dishes is a job, but I don't do it for money; I do it so that I don't get sick the next time I eat.
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Paul Goldner
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"What we should be doing is seeking to attract professional experienced people who want a change of career to think about teaching,"

I've known... 15 science teachers who came from a professional background. 2 of them didn't absolutely suck.

In other words, I disagree about who we should be trying to attract.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I found it kinda funny that she told reporters, "This isn't a response to Pres. Obama's State of the Union address per se." When the copies she provided the press clearly say, "Rep. Bachman's response to the State of the Union address."
Ha! Is that right? Funny and flatly deceptive, if accurate. Though par for the course, many times, with someone as nakedly partisan as that.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I found it kinda funny that she told reporters, "This isn't a response to Pres. Obama's State of the Union address per se." When the copies she provided the press clearly say, "Rep. Bachman's response to the State of the Union address."
Ha! Is that right? Funny and flatly deceptive, if accurate. Though par for the course, many times, with someone as nakedly partisan as that.
Link.
From the Washington Post,
quote:
Two dozen reporters chased her down a hall in the Capitol complex this week, seeking an explanation for the speech. "I never took this as a State of the Union response, necessarily," she said innocently. The title above the text of her speech her office released Tuesday night: "Bachmann's Response to State of the Union."

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I hate the whole "give back to your community, become a teacher," thing. If they're so valuable, why don't you pay them like other college graduates?

I think the line of giving back to your community as a teacher is a thinly veiled argument against higher teacher salaries. If you view teaching as a civic duty, then you're not in it for the money, right? So convince folks to teach out of duty and not for the money, then you don't have to worry about raising wages! Everybody wins! [Big Grin]
I anxiously await the day when a President says "Give back to your community, support tax increases that would pay our teachers what they deserve"
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Ron Lambert
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Strider, it appears that House Majority Leader Rep. Boehner consented to Bachman giving her response to the State of the Union Speech. Why didn't any of the other members of Congress get that billing? If you have more information about who selected her to speak, please let us know. It might give some insight into the relationship between the Tea Party Movement, and the official Republican Party.

In the final analysis, it was the choice of the media whom to cover. I heard that Fox News--normally "Fair and Balanced"--chose not to cover her response, just Paul Ryan's. Does anyone know if MSNBC or CBS covered her response? That would really be an amazing inversion, if FNC didn't, and they did.

Reading the text of their speeches, I think that Ryan did a better job than Bachman.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
Fox and Friends keeps it classy.

Ugh. That's my Congressman.
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sndrake
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It looks like that some in the Tea Party are unhappy with Bachmann giving a "Tea Party" response. She was being filmed by the "Tea Party Express" which was established by a Republican consulting firm.

On the night after Chris Matthews had Tea Party Express founder Sal Russo on, attempting to defend Bachmann, he invited Phillip Dennis, a leader of the Texas Tea Party. He made milder attempts to defend Bachmann, but overall expressed his objection to her and the Tea Party Express putting her forward as a "spokesperson."

'Course these grassrooters all get watered with a lot of Koch bros economic fertilizer. [Wink]

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Belle
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I will probably be leaving full time teaching after 2 or 3 years. It is indeed a problem that the worst and hardest classes to teach are given to the newest teachers. They are the ones least equipped to handle it and know how to make a real difference. And those are the classes that contribute to burn-out the fastest, so we lose the youngest, brightest, best-trained teachers right off the bat.

The main reason I'll be leaving is because I no longer want to work full time, I am hoping to get an ESL position part time at a community college or as an ESL tutor in the school system (a job that usually entails 20 hours per week or so). I don't need the full time money, and would rather spend more time at home and get more done with them and be more of a part of my community and church activities.

I cannot imagine how I would feel right now if I needed the full time money and saw no options before me. Desperate, despairing, overwhelmed....I'm home today because I needed to take a day off. And we're only a few weeks from Christmas break.

I used to work in a corporate environment. If I were still in that environment, I could sue for a hostile work environment and probably have a good chance of winning. If you knew the way teachers are treated - disrespect doesn't even come close. They are harassed, insulted, cursed at...I don't see lemons in my school - I see brilliant, talented teachers who have tried and tried and are now beat down by the system. Every year we have to dumb down our curriculum even more. We've bascially been told not to bother asking students to read novels, they won't do it anyway.

When we have too many students making D's or F's we're asked what changes we are going to make to the way we teach - not whether or not the students have actually attempted the work (or even shown up to class). I have one student who might have been to my class three or four times the entire year, but I still have to formulate a plan to remediate his grade. It's OUR fault the students aren't succeeding, not the student and not their parents.

And for all this joy I make about $10,000 less than the average person with my level of education. I thought teaching would give me more time with my kids...I would happily go back to an 8 to 5 job because at least when I was home I was able to enjoy my kids. Now I am always stressed about what parent wants to complain to the principal because I referred her child for discipline, or what paperwork I need to do to remediate grades or to justify why I failed a student.

I am so disillusioned with teaching, it is really sad when I think back to how excited I was to graduate with my teaching certificate. Now I feel guilty for wasting my family's money to send me back to school.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When we have too many students making D's or F's we're asked what changes we are going to make to the way we teach - not whether or not the students have actually attempted the work
This.
This is, in fact, why I -- as an English education major -- never went back to finish my degree. I realized that I didn't want to teach in an environment in which this was true, and believed at the time (around 2002) that it was only going to become more true over the next decade.

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Samprimary
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quote:
I am so disillusioned with teaching, it is really sad when I think back to how excited I was to graduate with my teaching certificate. Now I feel guilty for wasting my family's money to send me back to school.
Nothing else not foreign wars that go on forever, nor destructive gamesmanship, nor broken healthcare, nor financial downturn, nor debt causes me to despair for the future of our country, but the state of our educational system does. We'll only fall further behind, and have a larger and larger segment of our population who was spit through an educational system which fails them and leaves them, essentially, uneducated and incurious, while the rest of the world leaves us in bitter wake and takes on the mantle of the prosperous innovators.
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TomDavidson
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I have to admit, Samp, that I'm surprised to hear you say that while maintaining such a scathing opinion of pretty much all homeschooling. While it's true that a big chunk of homeschooling is absolutely terrible, the fact that public schools are underperforming leaves ample room for parents -- especially of younger children -- to fill that gap.

I know that I personally have wound up teaching Sophie well beyond the limitations of her current grade-school curriculum, simply because it's so squarely aimed at the lowest common denominator. I have no doubt that I'd be able to do a better job if I had more hours in the day to do so. And she doesn't even have a bad teacher, mind; she's just dragged down by the need to explain to every kid in the room what "counting by twos" is.

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kmbboots
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My sister homeschooled her three girls until high school and all three have been at the top of their class once they started public school.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I have to admit, Samp, that I'm surprised to hear you say that while maintaining such a scathing opinion of pretty much all homeschooling. While it's true that a big chunk of homeschooling is absolutely terrible, the fact that public schools are underperforming leaves ample room for parents -- especially of younger children -- to fill that gap.

I don't think you have me right on homeschooling! My scathing opinion of homeschooling is not that homeschooling is categorically bad. it's that way, way too many parents who decide to homeschool perhaps the majority aren't going to do a good job, and are probably doing it for the wrong reasons (they're terrified that their children might be exposed to 'godless values,' for one, and this mandates feeding them a load of junk science that effectively shuts off a ton of career options, like biology as an example).

it's coupled with an opinion that there should not be a single place in the country where homeschooling is legitimately a better option than what schooling is available, or that parents should be forced to consider it necessary, but I readily admit that there absolutely is.

My 'scathing' of homeschooling is really an across-the-board look at it and its overall rates, as well as the decisionmaking capacity of those who opt to homeschool their children. People like to look at the successfully homeschooled kids and the autodidacts almost exclusively, as though those who were failed by their parents' homeschooling don't exist. To their credit, they're easy to miss.

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Samprimary
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Here, i dug back a few years. Here's me on homeschooling on this very board:

quote:
quote:
OSC's arguement against was that kids lost time with families.
And the justification was hopelessly anecdotal.

He says 'the smartest kids I see in my college class are homeschooled' and he uses this as an overarching proof of his conclusions.

Problem is, even if we were to value his own anecdotal experience over methodological study, it's still bunk: he's not recognizing that his own 'sample' is already pruned so efficiently as to be unrepresentative of the effectiveness of homeschooling. His sample is not just the category of "homeschooled kids," it's also "students in his class." A college class. He is only looking at succesfully homeschooled children in a narrow demographic of homeschooled kids.

The large large large large portion of kids who recieve crappy and/or unsuited homeschooling are conveniently evaporated from his anecdotal sample, since they won't be in any college. Ever.

quote:
Nearly all parents do it firmly believing that it is in the best interests of their child. Belief doesn't make it so. Anecdotally, if I am to judge the results, most of these parents are flat out wrong, for any one of a number of reasons. I mean, assuming you've got even a half-decent public school system, the teachers have the talent, credentials, and professional strategies to be a good teacher. As a parent, even if you think you could do just as well (and plenty do!) you probably can not, even if you chafe at the notion that a teacher can teach your kid better than you can.

A lot of parents took their kids out of school/never put them in school because they thought that they could give their child a better education and make them a more creative, free thinking person. At least from my position, the parents I know could more often not. Child received sub-par education with giant holes in it, such as having never touched a bio lab or much of anything satisfactory in the 'hard sciences.' Present sections of education are spotty, such as grammar. Where teachers usually have defined rubrics and deadlines, parents often default to a lackadaisical 'it gets done when it gets done' structure which doesn't encourage development of timeliness and professional attitude towards completion of schoolwork. Parents often leave course structures incomplete in order to keep up with a rudimentary 'developmental schedule' expecting to keep their kids mostly on-par with what kids in schools are doing.

Then there's parents who want to shield their children from their peers. The 'socialization' argument is pretty heated. I'm often surprised with the shyness and withdrawn nature of kiddos I know to have been homeschooled, and a few of them have outright blamed their homeschooling for their discomfort with social situations. On the other side of the coin, there's a few who definitely turned out better people because they weren't thrust into the callous meat grinder of grade school social politics. Heh.

Then, of course, there's the parents who homeschool because they're terrified of not shielding their children to exposure to heathen notions or <insert political label here> 'indoctrinating thought' and boy that's a whole other issue.

Lastly, though, there's one reason which I've seen parents decide to homeschool based upon that generally seems sad, but overall turns out reasonable in my informal anecdotal experience. One which is different because it's based on what essentially amounts to desperation: they can't afford private school, but the schools where they live are clearly unacceptable, and they feel that they have no choice but to school their kids at home. I saw this in Baltimore and in rural Missouri.

On the whole it's pretty easy to point to the successes of homeschooling and use the model poster-children to prop up homeschooling but I think people are in remiss if they aren't seriously looking at how often it's not the right choice.

quote:
The educational checks are the most important consideration. If you graded the product of homeschooling under the same standards as regular schools are upheld to, you would easily see it get rejected for funding.
I think that my position has been pretty consistent and not dismissive or hateful of all homeschooling.
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Ron Lambert
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Belle, have you considered teaching in a church school? You would likely be paid less, but you might have more support and less frustration. Of course, church schools usually want you to be a member of their religion. The largest Christian educational systems in America are Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist. There are much smaller church school systems operated by other denominations (usually just individual schools supported by a large local church), and a few independent non-denominational schools.

I have in the past considered being a school teacher. From college onward, I have been told by teachers and everyone else that I have a natural gift for teaching. My church always asks me to lead the adult Bible study class. But I shied away from teaching as a career because it looked to me like there were too many controlling, stultifying strictures on how and what to teach. I have always found serious fault with modern educational methodology, and it looks to me like I would not be allowed to teach the way I would want to teach.

The way you describe the situation pretty much confirms what I suspected. It's too bad. I wonder where modern education went wrong, and how big a revolt it would take to fix it.

Most teachers have not been trained to teach using the Socratic method. Maybe class sizes are too large.

I read years ago of some experimental programs where underachieving students were put in a separate class, and given a teacher who was willing to innovate. The students were given tasks to do--they they chose to do--like publishing their own newspaper, things that gave students something really interesting and challenging to do, and gave them a sense of real accomplishment. Those programs always were tremendously successful, turning failing students into A students. But somehow this lesson was never learned by the educational system in general.

I have long believed that every student is capable of greatly increasing his I.Q. and developing outstanding intellectual ability. It is the educational system that holds back the vast majority of students, brainwashing them into believing that they are no better than what passes for "average" these days. They are virtually taught to believe that they are dumb.

Sorry, this is an old hobbyhorse of mine. I probably should not obsess over it, since I decided not to fight this particular fight.

[ January 28, 2011, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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kmbboots
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I taught in a parochial school. No money and plenty of frustration and politics.
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Parkour
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My own catholic school was worse on its teachers than any of the public schools around it. Maybe they are overall better, but it looks to me like they can be just as bad.
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Belle
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Like I said, I plan to stay in education just in a reduced role. Full time classroom teacher - never again after this school year if I can help it. With the economy I may have no choice but to come back next year but I am actively working toward leaving as soon as possible. I don't want to go to a private school, too many kids that have been expelled from public schools end up there! I have friends who teach in private schools and their discipline problems are many times worse than ours.

As for homeschooling, I am so disillusioned with it that it makes me angry whenever the topic comes up. It's sad, because I know parents who do homeschool their kids and give it their all. Those kids usually do very, very well. Many go on to college (and while I have heard stories of homeschool kids being at the top of the classes, I have heard equal numbers of stories from professors of how homeschool kids do not have good preparation in math and science and have a lot of trouble with meeting deadlines and not getting one-on-one attention, so it varies based on who you talk to).

What makes me angry about the homeschool situation is that inevitably when a students is either failing public school, or been in and out of alternative school due to discipline, a parent will show up to the school and withdraw them saying they are going to homeschool them instead. The same parents that don't answer the phone at home because they are always at work.

So "homeschooling" is used because you can't drop out until you are 17, so instead the parents enroll them in a cover school that takes their registration money and doesn't care what they do and you have hundreds of kids supposedly being homeschooled that are essentially dropouts instead.

So yeah, the homeschool movement has been great for a small part of the population, and it has been a massive excuse to not go to school for the rest.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
My own catholic school was worse on its teachers than any of the public schools around it.

Sacred Heart?
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Belle
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And guys, please don't think I see nothing but doom and gloom for all public education. The school where my kids attend is outstanding. It's a public school, my kids learn tons they are active and involved in their school and their community, and I wouldn't trade the education they have received for anything.

I firmly believe my public schools in my hometown do a better job of educating my kids than I could if I homeschooled them. I truly believe that.

So what's the difference? The school here belongs to the community. The community buys in, supports the school, and parents are involved. Nearly all the teachers who teach there live here. There is an investment - everyone believes the health of the community is directly tied to the success of our schools and we work together to make it happen.

Where I teach is a huge school in an urban area. Most of my students live in apartments, they have no permanent roots to the community - many of them have only recently moved to the area. The parents like to blame the school for things but want to take no responsibility on themselves. It's MY fault their child has a low grade because he never does his homework, certainly not the parent's fault. As if I can control what goes on at home!

Some of our public schools are doing amazing things. Where it's happening, it seems to involve parents who are committed and work in partnership with the school for student success. It's not money (the school where I teach is in a much wealthier district than the ones my kids attend), it's a mindset - and quite frankly, it's what goes on at home that makes a student successful more than what happens in the classroom.

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Lyrhawn
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My future sister in law taught at a Catholic school in west Michigan and hated it. The only reason she taught there is because it was the only job available. No one wanted it. She says now after having worked at two other schools, the Catholic school was just as much stress, but they paid you less.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
My own catholic school was worse on its teachers than any of the public schools around it.

Sacred Heart?
Or what's left of it.
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BlackBlade
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The school I went to was a Lutheran private school in Hong Kong. It is extremely well funded, staffed, and while it does have some political BS amongst the teachers at times, it is a very good school.

I would be thrilled if my kids could attend it.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
My own catholic school was worse on its teachers than any of the public schools around it.

Sacred Heart?
Or what's left of it.
Both of those schools are being upsized and has been a constant commercial job for months.
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