Has American Education Ever Really Been That Good?

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Dayton Kitchens, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Talkahuano

    Talkahuano Second Flame Lieutenant

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    :sigh:

    There's the cornering again. Read my last post. Some teachers have a motherly instinct and know it, and some don't.
    And if no one ever finds out, well, tough luck. That's life. Not everyone who becomes a teacher has the ability to connect with everyone and to sense these things. It's illogical to demand it.
  2. Talkahuano

    Talkahuano Second Flame Lieutenant

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    Besides, we were originally talking about unteachables, who are kids that HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED but simply throw it away.

    I don't think a kid who manages to survive being homeless or raising a family is one of those who is a lazy fucker unwilling to learn. You can generally tell when someone is trying and when they don't want to try.

    But again, you can make mistakes, and that's just life. I don't see the big deal here.
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  3. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    It's not "motherly instinct," nor is it any supernatural ability. It's a matter of basic powers of observation combined with caring enough to follow up.
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  4. Talkahuano

    Talkahuano Second Flame Lieutenant

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    Then you know what? Go do it yourself. Teach 300 people in one semester and try to use your basic observation to read them.

    I can bet you every penny I have that someone will slip by you. It happens and there's nothing you can do sometimes. Some people are very good at disguising their pain. And some people who act as though they are in pain have everything in the world going right for them (I should know, I've been one of those).

    I think we're stuck on that point. I propose to agree to disagree since we're just going around in circles at this point.

    Edit: I'd like to add that in a graduating class of less than 60 people, we had a couple with drug addictions, and no one on a staff of over 20 teachers knew it, despite it being common knowledge to almost every student in the high school. My teachers weren't uncaring or obtuse. But some things just slip by.
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  5. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    Expel them. Then bill their parents or guardians for the resources wasted on them.

    And don't give me bullshit about how "most of these kids are from poor families".

    That is complete bull. Lots of them are. Lots more of them are not.
  6. Talkahuano

    Talkahuano Second Flame Lieutenant

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    I hate unteachables as much as the next guy, but I think expulsion is a bit extreme. The chance to repeat has to be offered to everyone. They just shouldn't be passed for the sake of a bigger paycheck for the school.
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  7. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    They're KIDS. They are not yet fully formed people. Which means they will fuck up, and they will have flaws, and they will be bratty on occasion.

    That doesn't mean they should just be kicked out because, tough shit, they should've known better.
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  8. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    Yes it does.

    14, 15, 16 years old.

    In four, three, or two years depending they are going to have all the rights that adults have.

    At that point, most of the world is not going to give a damn about why they make mistakes.

    Employers are not going to coddle them. Neither are universities. About the only one who might are their brain dead parents and grandparents who allow them to move back home.
  9. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    Students repeating a class are a lot like a second marriage. Generally, they are even worse than the first time around because people still have their same character flaws that led to failure in the first place.

    We teachers have an expression as well.

    "Repeating students are like repeating lunch."
  10. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    So you're advocating treating them just like adults up to four years before they have the same rights as adults?

    That doesn't seem especially fair.
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  11. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    This thread is the best one you from Mr. Kitchens.

    Dayton bemoans the lack of quality education in America, which I am sure is not helped by his appearance in schools, and then details his solution as kicking out kids who are "unteachable"?

    Should a teacher's task not be to give up on kids are struggle to learn? Giving up on kids only sends them further towards the bottomless pit of unemployment and crime. At least if you try until it is no longer possible you can say you did your part to try and set them on the right road.

    It's frightening that Dayton cannot grasp simple moral logic like this. He should be ashamed of himself.
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  12. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne Trolling No Jutsu Formerly Important

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    Well, that's just sad.

    I'm with TKO that we should hold kids to a higher standard, but kicking a kid out of school entirely over failing one class? Even in the fast track AP circles, drops from AP courses were not uncommon, and those are hardly kids that are slackers or unable/unwilling to learn. :jayzus:
  13. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    I think the point is that the field is inherently not level. The disparities caused by external forces can be overwhelming. I don't suggest that teachers can solve all of these problems, far from it. My issue is that schools are held accountable for results when they don't have enough control to achieve them.

    By the way, I've enjoyed seeing you post in the Red Room, don't be discouraged if it generates conflict. Conflict as thought provoking debate is good. When it doesn't happen, we end up with the manufactured crap. Keep it up -- even if you feel boxed in, your efforts make this a better place.
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  14. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    It is happening again...:mad: I kind of agree with Dayton.

    There has to be a certain level of triage going on.

    If you accept the premise that certain kids fundamentally either don't want to or can't learn and are for most intents unteachable, why should a teacher devote a ton of extra resources in the Sisyphean task of trying to teach them? Especially when there are kids who want to learn or who can be reached who would make better use of those resources?

    To put it in lawyer's terms, you would be crazy to sink 20 hours a week to an uncooperative client whose case you consider unwinnable and who isn't paying you. And that would be particularly so if it meant taking time away from clients whose cases you think you could win and who may be difficult and demanding but are helping their own cause. At some point, you're almost obligated to say "Sorry problem client, but this isn't working out. Good luck elsewhere."

    Now attorney/client is a different ethical/legal arrangement than teacher/student, but I think the principle here is the same.

    The main danger is that teachers may not be the best to assess who is fundamentally "unteachable" versus "hard to teach." As others have pointed out, some problems can slip under the radar of caring teachers. On the flipside, there would be the problem of people being too quick to write off students who are challenging but not fundamentally unteachable.
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  15. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    Well, that's it, I don't accept the premise. A child is not always capable of deciding in youth what may benefit it's later life. A teacher is an adult. As adults we have a resposibility to the young to ensure they have the best possible start in life. I do not accept that every child have the ability and life experience to effectively reason in terms of it's future. A bad child may well grow into a good adult. By taking life oppurtunities away from children you are reducing the chances of a bad child turning into a good adult.

    Client are adults and I get paid to carry out work. Education is entirely different from litigation. Education is the societal form by which we set up our younger generations for their future life. Acting for someone legally isn't remotely comparable.

    It isn't.
    All the more reason why no such power should be in the hands of a teacher. It's bad enough that it lies in the hands of legislators and politicians. It you can be as studpid as Dayton and get a job as a teacher then it follows that there is too much rick in putting power like that in the hands of poeple like him.
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  16. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    I never said a word about kicking students out for failing one class.

    But failing several classes repeatedly, and worse making the learning environment difficult for those who remain. Yeah, get rid of them.
  17. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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  18. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    This isn't necessarily an issue though. I realize that in a small rural district of the sort Dayton teaches in, the resources might not be there, but in larger districts, there are behavioral psychologists and other specialists to which problem students are referred. The teacher doesn't need to determine why the student isn't learning or won't participate, just that they are in that status. From there the specialists can take over, and the disruptive 10% often will be placed elsewhere or guided in some way to establish a learning environment. This is, of course, an administrative expense, so important resources like this get criticized as bloated admin, but in fact, they are crucial to maintaining a suitable learning environment.
  19. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    Certainly there are some such resources, but a) are there enough for the needs in a school district the size of NY, LA, Chicago...or even some mid-sized city like Charlotte? I would hazard a guess no. b) you also run into the politics of tracking/failing kids. Accepting for argument's sake that a hard 5 percent of kids are unteachable, it would still be too politically incorrect to say that any kids are unteachable or that there should be an analysis of who is unteachable and who isn't. It is easier and in other ways better in the eyes of too many schools to just warehouse such kids until they turn 16 and then let them do what they do, even if hypothetically weeding those 5-10 percent out would improve the learning experience for everyone else.
  20. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    I think Talka and tafkats were talking past each other. Her experience was with college age kids and she was only thinking in those terms (thus the comment about 600 students a day) whereas tafkats was talking about K-12.

    In most states there is a legal (in Washington State it is Constitutional, SCoWaS just ruled the leg has to raise general ed funding by $1.2b) requirement to properly educate ALL students, not just the ones great parents and an easy home life.

    As for those 'bad students who can never learn' I agree that they shouldn't be in the general tract messing things up for everyone, but they shouldn't be removed from the system completely. One of my best friend specializes in non-traditional students (he current teaches in a drug rehab/juvenile detention center). Less students, more one on one. The idea is that hopefully when they get out they can return to the regular tract. Doesn't always work, but to me at least it is well worth the effort.
  21. BearTM

    BearTM Bustin' a move!

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    "Can" and "Will" are two different things. You can't get a diamond from polishing a turd.
  22. Black Dove

    Black Dove Mildly Offensive

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    Or he's just a shitty teacher.
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  23. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    If you actually think about there are probably 10% of kids who are just a big fucking drain on the system.

    These are not poor kids, or kids that 'struggle', but kids that don't take school seriously, and take advantage of the 'free ride' they get from their parents.

    I would gladly kick their fucking ass out of school, but in the long run that wouldn't work.
  24. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    So says someone who has never taught anything and spends his time hunting for spirits and bigfoot............
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  25. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    Not sure why you disagree. I personally know 3-4 kids right now that are slackassing their way through school. Because there is a 'no fail' policy in place, they just keep advancing from grade to grade, despite failing most courses.

    All 3 are more than smart enough to get at least a 75% in all classes, but they're not putting in ANY effort. Their parents don't give a shit, except on the day of parent/teacher interviews.

    These kids are going to graduate from high school despite failing numerous classes, and all 3 of them are going to be a drain on our country. My guess is that all 4 collect welfare within 5 years of graduating.

    Now, if the teachers would be tougher on them, and force them to at least pass each fucking class, they might put in more effort.

    But hey, thank the goddamn liberal 'no kid can fail' policies that are infesting our country. :jayzus:
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  26. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    You damn fucking right it is worth the effort. Getting those kids to the point where they can hold down a decent job turns them into tax paying citizens, which is beneficial for all.

    I'm not sure what it takes to educate kids like that, but I know that keeping them in the 'normal' classroom is a fucking disaster.
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  27. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    I do not normally beat the drum of "you haven't experienced this so you don't know what you are talking about".

    But in the case of teaching in public schools, I think most people who have never taught in a classroom do not have the slightest idea of how vast numbers of students conduct themselves in class.

    It shocked the hell out of me when I first became a teacher. And given that members of my immediate family had more than 40 years classroom experience I thought I had some idea or at least a "heads up" regarding that.
  28. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Deceased Member Git

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    ^ That is irrelevant to the idea of giving up on kids. What you're saying is that because it's harder than people think you have more of a reason to give up on the problem children. I don't buy that for one second.
  29. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf Hamachi is a fish best served cold

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    That's a stupid and defeatist philosophy. Of course students do better in their second attempt. Sometimes something as simple as switching to a new teacher with a more compatible teaching style makes all the difference.
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  30. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    Just because you did better each of the four years you were in the sixth grade doesn't mean everyone does.