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Author Topic: Is Homework a Waste of Time?
Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
But I'm of the opinion that kids are people who deserve the same rights as people, which means that on purely moral grounds I object to compulsory schooling for children the same way I (and most people, I think) object to compulsory schooling for adults.

I know this attitude puts me at odds with 99% of the population of planet Earth, so I'm not really looking to start a debate on it or anything. I just mention it in the interest of full disclosure. [Smile]

That position is so extremely bizarre. Like if you've got a 4 year old and he doesn't wanna take a bath, he's got the moral right not to be given a bath? If you've got a 10 year old who doesn't wanna go to school, you just drop him out?

Yeah, I believe you don't want to start a debate on it, I just, there's .. that theory would not only put you at odds with 99.99% of everyone, but I cannot for the life of me imagine how the attitude would survive actually having a child.

Anyway.

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TomDavidson
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Dan, you don't have kids, right?
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Samprimary
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I'll boggle right off my chair if he does, haha
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Blayne Bradley
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In university I don't think I would have had enough practice for the exams without the homework.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
"Community Service" has nothing to do with academics, so it's still an example of a school attempting to instill values into students, which should be the realm of parents.
I do tend to support very exacting walls that schools cannot cross in terms of 'instilling values' but the realm of installing values will always include schools.
Imma go back to this, to talk about the idea of trying to keep schools from 'instilling values' — and how, invariably, the concept is neglectful in practice.

quote:
At the close of the seven-month-long sex-ed review, Anderson and her colleagues wrote a memo to the Anoka-Hennepin school board, concluding, "The majority of parents do not wish to have there [sic] children taught that the gay lifestyle is a normal acceptable alternative." Surprisingly, the six-member board voted to adopt the measure by a four-to-two majority, even borrowing the memo's language to fashion the resulting districtwide policy, which pronounced that within the health curriculum, "homosexuality not be taught/addressed as a normal, valid lifestyle."

The policy became unofficially known as "No Homo Promo" and passed unannounced to parents and unpublished in the policy handbooks; most teachers were told about it by their principals. Teachers say it had a chilling effect and they became concerned about mentioning gays in any context. Discussion of homosexuality gradually disappeared from classes. "If you can't talk about it in any context, which is how teachers interpret district policies, kids internalize that to mean that being gay must be so shameful and wrong," says Anoka High School teacher Mary Jo Merrick-Lockett. "And that has created a climate of fear and repression and harassment."

quote:
Though some members of the Anoka-Hennepin school board had been appalled by "No Homo Promo" since its passage 14 years earlier, it wasn't until 2009 that the board brought the policy up for review, after a student named Alex Merritt filed a complaint with the state Department of Human Rights claiming he'd been gay-bashed by two of his teachers during high school; according to the complaint, the teachers had announced in front of students that Merritt, who is straight, "swings both ways," speculated that he wore women's clothing, and compared him to a Wisconsin man who had sex with a dead deer. The teachers denied the charges, but the school district paid $25,000 to settle the complaint. Soon representatives from the gay-rights group Outfront Minnesota began making inquiries at board meetings. "No Homo Promo" was starting to look like a risky policy.

"The lawyers said, 'You'd have a hard time defending it,'" remembers Scott Wenzel, a board member who for years had pushed colleagues to abolish the policy. "It was clear that it might risk a lawsuit." But while board members agreed that such an overtly anti-gay policy needed to be scrapped, they also agreed that some guideline was needed to not only help teachers navigate a topic as inflammatory as homosexuality but to appease the area's evangelical activists. So the legal department wrote a broad new course of action with language intended to give a respectful nod to the topic – but also an equal measure of respect to the anti-gay contingent. The new policy was circulated to staff without a word of introduction. (Parents were not alerted at all, unless they happened to be diligent online readers of board-meeting minutes.) And while "No Homo Promo" had at least been clear, the new Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy mostly just puzzled the teachers who'd be responsible for enforcing it. It read:

Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to student-led discussions.

It quickly became known as the "neutrality" policy. No one could figure out what it meant. "What is 'neutral'?" asks instructor Merrick-Lockett. "Teachers are constantly asking, 'Do you think I could get in trouble for this? Could I get fired for that?' So a lot of teachers sidestep it. They don't want to deal with district backlash."

English teachers worried they'd get in trouble for teaching books by gay authors, or books with gay characters. Social-studies teachers wondered what to do if a student wrote a term paper on gay rights, or how to address current events like "don't ask, don't tell." Health teachers were faced with the impossible task of teaching about AIDS awareness and safe sex without mentioning homosexuality. Many teachers decided once again to keep gay issues from the curriculum altogether, rather than chance saying something that could be interpreted as anything other than neutral.

"There has been widespread confusion," says Anoka-Hennepin teachers' union president Julie Blaha. "You ask five people how to interpret the policy and you get five different answers." Silenced by fear, gay teachers became more vigilant than ever to avoid mention of their personal lives, and in closeting themselves, they inadvertently ensured that many students had no real-life gay role models. "I was told by teachers, 'You have to be careful, it's really not safe for you to come out,'" says the psychologist Cashen, who is a lesbian. "I felt like I couldn't have a picture of my family on my desk." When teacher Jefferson Fietek was outed in the community paper, which referred to him as an "open homosexual," he didn't feel he could address the situation with his students even as they passed the newspaper around, tittering. When one finally asked, "Are you gay?" he panicked. "I was terrified to answer that question," Fietek says. "I thought, 'If I violate the policy, what's going to happen to me?'"

The silence of adults was deafening. At Blaine High School, says alum Justin Anderson, "I would hear people calling people 'fags' all the time without it being addressed. Teachers just didn't respond." In Andover High School, when 10th-grader Sam Pinilla was pushed to the ground by three kids calling him a "faggot," he saw a teacher nearby who did nothing to stop the assault. At Anoka High School, a 10th-grade girl became so upset at being mocked as a "lesbo" and a "sinner" – in earshot of teachers – that she complained to an associate principal, who counseled her to "lay low"; the girl would later attempt suicide. At Anoka Middle School for the Arts, after Kyle Rooker was urinated upon from above in a boys' bathroom stall, an associate principal told him, "It was probably water." Jackson Middle School seventh-grader Dylon Frei was passed notes saying, "Get out of this town, fag"; when a teacher intercepted one such note, she simply threw it away.

quote:
She's fighting hard to rebuild her decimated sense of self. It's a far darker self than before, a guarded, distant teenager who bears little resemblance to the openhearted young girl she was not long ago. But Brittany is also finding a reserve of strength she never realized she had, having stepped up as one of five plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit against her school district. The road to the federal lawsuit was paved shortly after Justin Aaberg's suicide, when a district teacher contacted the Southern Poverty Law Center to report the anti-gay climate, and the startling proportion of LGBT-related suicide victims. After months of fact-finding, lawyers built a case based on the harrowing stories of anti-gay harassment in order to legally dispute Anoka-Hennepin's neutrality policy. The lawsuit accuses the district of violating the kids' constitutional rights to equal access to education. In addition to making financial demands, the lawsuit seeks to repeal the neutrality policy, implement LGBT-sensitivity training for students and staff, and provide guidance for teachers on how to respond to anti-gay bullying.
One Town's War on Gay Teens

You could go back a few decades and replace this attempt at "neutrality" for the climate of those times — places not wanting their schools to "instill values" about racial equality, for instance — and you would still have the same issue. To even make a school a respectful and safe learning environment requires instilling values, and always controversy over those values being agendas one way or another. It is not a responsibility that can be shirked or pushed away.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'll boggle right off my chair if he does, haha

You and me both. [Wink]

But I think he already implied that the answer is no. And you know, having ideals is good. But sometimes the ideal is the enemy of the real, and when it comes to kids that's especially true.

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Destineer
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The rights and wrongs of how to treat children can be a huge problem for the ethical libertarian. The problem is that for the libertarian ethic to apply, everything needs to be grouped into either the category of "autonomous individuals," or the category of "potential property." Children don't fit neatly into either category. So you get libertarian and an-cap scholars writing some absolutely bananas stuff about this. I remember somebody (Murray Rothbard?) saying that it should be legal to buy and sell kids. In any case, Rothbard has definitely written that it's morally permissible not to feed your kids (the article is called "Kid Lib").
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

You could go back a few decades and replace this attempt at "neutrality" for the climate of those times — places not wanting their schools to "instill values" about racial equality, for instance — and you would still have the same issue. To even make a school a respectful and safe learning environment requires instilling values, and always controversy over those values being agendas one way or another. It is not a responsibility that can be shirked or pushed away.

I though that deserved repeating.
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The Rabbit
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I think the question is way to broadly phrased to be answerable. Some kinds of homework assignments are a waste of time, but independent, unsupervised work is an essential component of learning.
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The Rabbit
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As for the idea of assigning homework but not grading it, its a pipe dream that just doesn't work. If homework isn't grade, most students won't do it. And the students who really need to do the homework to learn the material generally need the added motivation of grades even more than the really bright students who can learn without much effort.

The idea that of eliminating grading is a lovely ideal and teachers, who have the miserable job of grading, want it to work more than any one. So it gets tried over and over again but it always fails.

The research on this is unequivocal. The more you assess students work, the more they learn.

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Belle
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I don't give homework. I have several reasons for this. The primary one is my students won't do it and my school policy doesn't allow a kid to fail based on lack of doing homework, so if I give homework I wind up having to drop all the zeros that kids get because it cannot be a condition of them failing.

Secondly, my students won't take books home. My students won't bring books to class. I wind up having to keep a class set available so there are books to read in class, and if I keep a class set, there are not enough for me to issue to everyone. So, no sense in assigning homework.

The only students who have to do homework for me are students who are absent and they have to do makeup work.

Assigning homework is pretty pointless when you teach kids like one of my lovelies, who told me to my face he wasn't going to do anything, didn't care if he passed or failed, he just had to show up everyday because his attendace counted toward his mother getting her assistance check. He plans to sit in my class, do nothing, and fail so he can collect a check. [Dont Know]

Assigning homework to students like this is pretty useless and just a waste of my time.

quote:
I'm going through my first batch of college essays to grade at this very moment, as it happens, and I'll tell you whatever it takes to get high schools to teach better writing skills to high schoolers, I'm on board with it.
As a high school teacher, all I have to say about this is see above. If you think I can take drug dealers and gang members whose only interest in school is getting public assistance and/or accessing their customer base and turn them into skilled rhetoricians, then all I can say is come on in and take my job from me and do better. I honestly don't care anymore.

Seriously considering no longer being part of this profession.

To add insult to injury, a state legislator in my state doesn't think I should be paid well because it's a calling and a biblical principle that teachers should not be paid a lot of money.

Linky

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Seriously considering no longer being part of this profession.

I very much empathize. *hug*
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The Rabbit
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quote:
To add insult to injury, a state legislator in my state doesn't think I should be paid well because it's a calling and a biblical principle that teachers should not be paid a lot of money.
[Eek!] ---> [Mad] ---> [Cry] ---> [Roll Eyes]

So sorry Belle.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
"It's a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach. . . .

"And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It's just in them to do. It's the ability that God give 'em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn't matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity.

This reasoning would actually apply better to physicians than teachers but I've never heard any politician argue that cutting doctors pay in half would result in better medical care.
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rivka
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Just wait, Rabbit. [Razz]
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
"It's a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach. . . .

"And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It's just in them to do. It's the ability that God give 'em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn't matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity.

This reasoning would actually apply better to physicians than teachers but I've never heard any politician argue that cutting doctors pay in half would result in better medical care.
And even more so to politicians.
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Raymond Arnold
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[quote]And even more so to politicians.

We could have them [the politicians] live in a Plato-Republican Monastery, devoid of modern comfort.

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Samprimary
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quote:
my school policy doesn't allow a kid to fail based on lack of doing homework
Whew, that'll keep the failure rates down, which allows the school to report that they're doing okay!

asdfasdffgsfghkjh

quote:
To add insult to injury, a state legislator in my state doesn't think I should be paid well because it's a calling and a biblical principle that teachers should not be paid a lot of money.
Can our schools just outright collapse already like they're almost invariably going to do so we can build up an alternate system at the national level please
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:

This reasoning would actually apply better to physicians than teachers but I've never heard any politician argue that cutting doctors pay in half would result in better medical care.

And even more so to politicians.
That thought occurred to me as well. I found it pretty ironic that this politician was making the argument at the same time he was justifying raises for legislators. To be consistent, he should have been arguing that raising legislators pay would increase corruption because it would attract more people who were just in it for the money.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
"It's a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach. . . .

"And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It's just in them to do. It's the ability that God give 'em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn't matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity.

This reasoning would actually apply better to physicians than teachers but I've never heard any politician argue that cutting doctors pay in half would result in better medical care.
And even more so to politicians.
Well, you see, neither of those careers were primarily associated with women, so, of course the idea is patently ridiculous, you see,
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Well, you see, neither of those careers were primarily associated with women, so, of course the idea is patently ridiculous, you see.
Oh I how could I have forgotten. (slaps head) Men work because they have to earn money to support their families. Women don't need money so when they work it's because they love it. [Wall Bash]
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Can our schools just outright collapse already like they're almost invariably going to do so we can build up an alternate system at the national level please

I was just talking to my brother (HS German teacher), and he said that apparently the emails from his district's anti-teacher superintendent frequently include ridiculous misspellings and phrases like "for all intensive purposes."

This guy is paid $120K a year (in northern Michigan, where that is a lot of money).

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'll boggle right off my chair if he does, haha

You and me both. [Wink]

But I think he already implied that the answer is no. And you know, having ideals is good. But sometimes the ideal is the enemy of the real, and when it comes to kids that's especially true.

Good eye, Rivka, I did in fact imply that the answer is no, because the answer is no. Also, thanks for not laughing at me, that was kind of you. And more conducive to a civil discussion!

Re: Tom & Sam's curiosity...

My sister shares my philosophy (re: children, at least. She isn't even remotely libertarian, she's actually a pretty hardcore leftist), and she has three kids, the oldest of which is turning 12 next month. I've taken care of all of them numerous times throughout their lives, and had excellent experiences with them. To say nothing of several other folks I know, with similar philosophies, and largely great kids.

But again, I don't see that anecdotes really mean much in this situation. I'm assuming you're just asking based on the whole "you'll think differently once you have kids" thing, yeah? Since my partner absolutely doesn't want kids, and I'm pretty sure we're in this one for the long haul, I've pretty much resigned myself to not having kids. So I guess you can use that to effectively end the discussion.

That's okay with me, since I don't want to derail the thread.

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Samprimary
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Our superintendent frequently tries to find ways to force my mother to pass students even when they have literally never come to class, because they're trying to make quota on what percentage of students pass. She will refuse. They will respond by jamming more special-needs students into her non-IB classes. She will shrug.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I'm assuming you're just asking based on the whole "you'll think differently once you have kids" thing, yeah?

Well, less that than pointing out that people's theories about many things change when the rubber meets the road, as it were. And I included both parenting and teaching kids for a reason: I really do think significant experience with at least one is necessary to make someone's theories in this area realistic. Occasional babysitting of relatives probably wouldn't do the trick, just as for many teachers it takes at least a full academic year to disabuse them of many overly-idealistic notions.

As for your sister, get her to join Hatrack and I'd be happy to discuss this with her too. [Smile]

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Liz B
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Meh. I don't think kids should fail based on not doing homework, either.

Do you want the grade to measure compliance or learning?

I think it's fine for an F to stand for "no evidence of learning." That covers the situation of the student who doesn't turn anything in/ do anything at all.

But if you have a student who can master the material without doing your stupid busywork, why should her grade represent anything other than her level of mastery? If you want to send a message to her and her parents that she's lazy and noncompliant, there are much clearer ways to do that than adjusting a single letter in some arcane way that is clear to you but probably not to anyone else.

Listen. Grading homework doesn't particularly help. By and large, the kids who do homework don't need to do it, and the kids who need to do homework don't do it and don't care if you give them a zero. (Often they don't really understand averages enough to understand what a zero means for their grade. At least in the middle school.)

And I--unlike Belle--work in an affluent area where most parents are supporting and most kids intend to go on to some kind of post-secondary education.

All my sympathies are with you, Belle. I love teaching but I'm not "called" (bwahahaha) to work in a difficult situation. I think very few people are. And--turns out--those who are often don't last very long. It seems that you burn out faster when you work in dangerous and/ or frustrating climates where you have little support, low pay, and not enough respect. Funny that.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm assuming you're just asking based on the whole "you'll think differently once you have kids" thing, yeah?
I think it's impossible to be a good parent without believing that a) you have a responsibility to your children; and b) you have a responsibility to society to make sure your children understand that they have responsibilities to society. Forcing your children to do things that they lack the wisdom and intelligence to completely understand is one of those things that parents must do, albeit reluctantly. My daughters eat vegetables at dinner; this is non-negotiable. My daughters take music lessons; this is non-negotiable. My daughters learn to read; this is non-negotiable. And so on.

Compelling your children? It is how child-rearing happens.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I'm assuming you're just asking based on the whole "you'll think differently once you have kids" thing, yeah?

Well, less that than pointing out that people's theories about many things change when the rubber meets the road, as it were. And I included both parenting and teaching kids for a reason: I really do think significant experience with at least one is necessary to make someone's theories in this area realistic. Occasional babysitting of relatives probably wouldn't do the trick, just as for many teachers it takes at least a full academic year to disabuse them of many overly-idealistic notions.

As for your sister, get her to join Hatrack and I'd be happy to discuss this with her too. [Smile]

That's a perfectly practical and reasonable position to take.

As an aside, I'm not sure how much caregiving it takes to qualify as something beyond "occasional babysitting." I mentioned before that I was a quasi-teacher for a year. I also spent a year and a half working part time at a child-care facility as part of some child psych/child care classes. And I took care of my first nephew 3 days a week for several years to help my sister and her husband make ends meet while her husband finished grad school.

Given that, I personally don't think "occasional babysitting" is a fair characterization, but at the same time I certainly have never had a kid of my own, who I was responsible for 24/7. So you're well within your rights to see it however you like. [Smile]


quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm assuming you're just asking based on the whole "you'll think differently once you have kids" thing, yeah?
I think it's impossible to be a good parent without believing that a) you have a responsibility to your children; and b) you have a responsibility to society to make sure your children understand that they have responsibilities to society. Forcing your children to do things that they lack the wisdom and intelligence to completely understand is one of those things that parents must do, albeit reluctantly. My daughters eat vegetables at dinner; this is non-negotiable. My daughters take music lessons; this is non-negotiable. My daughters learn to read; this is non-negotiable. And so on.

Compelling your children? It is how child-rearing happens.

I understand that you feel that way. I think that there is tremendous value in finding ways to help a child understand the value of these things despite their lack of wisdom and intelligence, rather than simply compelling them. Similarly, I think framing issues as non-negotiable reduces the perceived value of critical thinking.

I agree with your A and B, though.

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scifibum
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quote:
I think that there is tremendous value in finding ways to help a child understand the value of these things despite their lack of wisdom and intelligence, rather than simply compelling them.
Absolutely.

That's a long way from children having the same rights as adults. [Most] adults should be free to choose whether they take the antibiotics that will save their lives.

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rivka
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Dan, so make it "frequent babysitting" if you prefer that description. It's still not the same as being on-duty for 60+ hours in a row, or being the adult responsible for actually molding (as opposed to supervising) a child. Not just in terms of your responsibility, but also in terms of the sorts of behavior likely to be demonstrated by the kids in question.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Dan, so make it "frequent babysitting" if you prefer that description. It's still not the same as being on-duty for 60+ hours in a row, or being the adult responsible for actually molding (as opposed to supervising) a child. Not just in terms of your responsibility, but also in terms of the sorts of behavior likely to be demonstrated by the kids in question.

Okay. I can't say much to contradict that, so, there you go. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Can our schools just outright collapse already like they're almost invariably going to do so we can build up an alternate system at the national level please

I was just talking to my brother (HS German teacher), and he said that apparently the emails from his district's anti-teacher superintendent frequently include ridiculous misspellings and phrases like "for all intensive purposes."

This guy is paid $120K a year (in northern Michigan, where that is a lot of money).

Sounds like I need to move back home and take up secondary administration.
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pooka
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My response to this article was "Why doesn't he homeschool? Then he could spend all his time with his daughter." Well, she probably wouldn't want to shift to homeschool right before her senior year, I'd guess. Some choices in life have a price of admission. It's frustrating when the price is arbitrary and annoying, but it doesn't change the fact that you have to accept them.

But I'm big on accepting crap. Except for homework. I didn't do homework and the consequence is I accomplished a lot less in my life than I might have. Though my happiness has learned to adapt. I do wonder if my unwillingness to do things I don't want to also translates into my chronic disorganization issues. That makes me unhappy.

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DarkKnight
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quote:
Sounds like I need to move back home and take up secondary administration.
If you want to make a nice 6 digit salary,be the type of person that can blame everything that you do wrong on everyone else, and have delusions of grandeur you should definitely be in K-12 Admin. If you really want to succeed (and by succeed I mean high pay with no true responsibility) go for the close to superintendent level jobs.
Outstanding Supe
quote:
Gerald Zahorchak arrived in the Allentown School District last summer as an earnest professor bearing gifts of knowledge and bowls of ice cream to lift the minds and souls of a struggling city.

Behind closed doors, the public persona the former state education secretary exhibited melted away almost immediately upon his first day as superintendent, teachers and administrators have said.
They say Zahorchak ruled like an autocrat whose iron fist prompted some administrators to leave this year, including two of the four principals he shuffled in a shakeup that some say disrupted the educational stability the district had enjoyed in recent years.

Zahorchak resigned Thursday with little explanation and was retained by the district as director of strategic initiatives, a position that requires no office hours and allows him to keep his $195,000 salary this year, along with a $55,000 bonus.

quote:
Inside the schools and in the central office, friction and fear reigned, said five of six current and former administrators who spoke to The Morning Call last week on the condition of anonymity. They said tension built as Zahorchak introduced swift, severe and costly changes. They said he also subjected administrators to written quizzes on his initiatives, threatened to demand resignations if his goals weren't met and spread confusion by not providing details for the aggressive reforms the staff is expected to implement on the first day of school, Sept. 6.

According to an April email to staff that was obtained by The Morning Call, Zahorchak also warned that anyone speaking publicly against his plans would be disciplined.

"It was the craziest place I've ever worked in my life," said one source.

The tight deadline to implement Zahorchak's plans — coupled with budget constraints and the lay offs of 112 teachers — led to stress and medical problems for some administrators, caused others to flee for calmer waters and six to put in for early retirement, several of those interviewed said.

"When your leaders in the buildings are crying routinely that can't be healthy for the organization and it can't be healthy for this person," said a source.

In a phone interview Saturday, Zahorchak said he did not create an inhospitable workplace and worked collegially with staff to better the lives of students. He said he held weekly meetings with his top administrators and principals and that they embraced his Pathways to Success plan to improving test scores, college and career readiness and reducing dropout rates.

"They were rip-roaring excited," Zahorchak said.

quote:
On July 6, 2010 — five days into his new job — Zahorchak called a meeting of more than 20 administrators in which he outlined plans to seek $40 million in grants for six schools, sources at the meeting said. During the meeting Burdette "Buddy" Chapel, then principal of Harrison-Morton Middle School, asked Zahorchak if principals would be let go.

Zahorchak, tapping his finger on the table for emphasis, said no.

The meeting ended and Chapel, along with the principals of Central Elementary, Trexler and Raub middle schools, and Allen and Dieruff high schools wrote the grant proposals and submitted them on Friday, July 16.

Their proposals said the schools would install a new governance structure and did not include language about removing principals, according to a copy of an original grant proposal obtained by The Morning Call.

The grant applications, however, were changed over that weekend to say: "The current principal will be removed from the current school-based governance structure," according to the final application filed with the state Department of Education. As a result, Allentown won $7.8 million for six schools and four of six principals — at Harrison-Morton, Central, Allen and Dieruff — were reassigned to other administrative duties.


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Ginol_Enam
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I took an AP class in high school (I think it was Biology) where the homework was all extra credit. If you didn't do it it didn't count against you, but if you needed the buffer or the practice it was there for you and counted for you.

It seemed to work pretty well. The kids who could just pass the test with no trouble could do so. The kids who couldn't had the homework to guide their studies and buff their grades.

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