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John117_MC
Education ReformA large number of people, from what I can tell, believe the education system in America needs to be reformed. For the purposes of this thread, we will assume that reform is needed. If you want to argue that the education system is not in need of reform, please find a different thread to say so.

Personally, I think the largest thing that needs to be fixed is the quality of the schools in urban locations. I don't have any sources, but I doubt anyone would argue that urban public schools tend to be better quality than rural public schools. I think the lack of quality schools in urban areas is also a leading cause, if not the leading cause, of the economic situation the general black population is in.

Now, what exact steps should be taken to reform (urban) public schools? Well, I was hoping you guys could tell me.
#1  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
485 REPLIES Watch  |  Sort by Likes · Date
Samobot5 Sponsor
In reply to DeathMage, #2:

I most definitely have to agree with number 6. As much as I hate writing out an essay, I think that explaining the concept back to someone is the only way to demonstrate true understanding.
Then again, I think Scantrons are to get us prepared for standardized tests (ie. PSSA's in Pennsylvania) so the school looks good based on test scores.
#2  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
DaDouche
Scantron tests save teachers time, what's the real problem with them?
#3  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to DaDouche, #5:

the fact that i got a 4 (out of five) on the multiple choice section of an AP chem test half way through the course, simply by eliminating answers that could not be right. You don't actually need to know the material to do well on multiple choice questions.

Post edited 7/19/06 8:03PM
#4  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Orcus
There is nothing inherently wrong with a multiple choice/scantron test, so long as the questions are actually well prepared. The same goes for any kind of testing, really.
Let me give an example, my economics midterm was multiple choice. In one question we were given some data and had to calclulate the GDP for a country. The possible answers were:
a) An even number greater than 25.
b) An odd number greater than or equal to 25.
c) An even number less than 25.
d) An odd number less than 25.
That's what I mean. Well prepared question.
#5  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Drizztd44
In reply to DaDouche, #5:

Inaccuracy. They don't really test the learning that is taking place in the classroom.
#6  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Tb0ne
In reply to John117_MC, #1:

1) The number one thing that has to do with a childs success in school is not the school itself. It is the support of the parents toward school and involvement in their childs life. Get some damn parenting programs out there so people know how to parent and get parents to spend time with their kids. Primary grades for me were pretty much useless except for social skills because I could read at the age of four because my parenting was awesome.

2) Let people who know education create the policy and not fat old white guys with Poly Sci, Econ, and Law Degrees who don't know shit about the subject do it. As they say, leave it to the professionals.

3) Concentrate on primary grades. If the kid doesn't know whats what in third grade they probably won't hack it in the rest of school. Put a heavy focus on early grades.

4) Raise teacher pay. I'm not joking. Teaching is not nearly competive enough. With a BA in Engineering I can earn what my dad makes with a Masters in Education, ten years experience, and 90 credits on top of that. People shy away because of the terrible pay. To attract good teachers you need to make it more appealing.

5) Lower class sizes. This is a no brainer. Lower teacher to student ratio equals more attention and therefore more growth. You have to be REALLY thick not to see that.

6) Get kids motivated about learning and continuing to be life long learners. Most the kids in my Dad's pretty much inner city style school don't know anything about going to college. Get their feet wet so they have something to aspire too. Get teachers to make learning fun and apply to real life. I've read some interesting material on math field trips and such. Get some staff development programs together and put more money into that. You don't have to lecture from the overhead all the damn time.

Can you tell I'm the product of two educators?

I may post more later.
#7  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to Tb0ne, #9:

Nearly everything you listed costs money. Where would we get the funds?
#8  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
TonyOstrich
Eliminate the no child left behind act. I hate that people who dont do there work just get passed on to the next grade. Another thing they need to do is stop blaming teachers for something thats the students fault. If a student dosent want to learn he wont. I am tired of teachers who get yelled at or scolded in those teachers classes (or whatever there called) for things that are out of there hands.
#9  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
TonyOstrich
In reply to Tb0ne, #9:

In response to 5.
I dont remember were but there was a study done that said extremley small class sizes were almost as bad as extremley large classes. You would have to find a balnce.
#10  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
I say we need to push the literacy, first and foremost. It is applling to me to have to listen to someone stumble thorugh very simple words like caveat and onomatapoiea.

Spelling was just as abyssmal in my eyes. It is also aggravating to me to hear people be so intolerant of foreign cultures and such by saying they should speak American, not English. Apathy is the true educator here.
#11  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Tb0ne
In reply to TonyOstrich, #12:

Yes and no. Material wise 1 on 1 a student would floursih greatly but miss lots of important social aspects of school. Classes of 20ish seem to be pretty ideal.

In reply to TonyOstrich, #11:

If a student doesn't want to learn he can be made to through superior teaching. Seen it pleny of times before.

In reply to John117_MC, #10:

People will hate me for this but cut it from the military. They have WAYYYY more than enough money. Something this important shouldn't be underfunded. You should sell your future short. Something tells me the investment would pay off in the long run as people would earn more creating more tax revenue, booming economy. You gotta spend money to make money, the pay off is a long way off but it is totally worth it.
#12  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
In reply to Tb0ne, #14:
In reply to John117_MC, #10:

People will hate me for this but cut it from the military. They have WAYYYY more than enough money. Something this important shouldn't be underfunded. You should sell your future short. Something tells me the investment would pay off in the long run as people would earn more creating more tax revenue, booming economy. You gotta spend money to make money, the pay off is a long way off but it is totally worth it.

I agree, but we need to do more than just improve schools. "3rd party" facilities like libraries should be boosted in funding as well because schools are not open at 6:00 p.m. when someone may need a book for some research.

An example from my area: A few years ago, the voters were tasked with deciding the fate of two bonds. One for a new fire engine or more money for the local library to saty open longer and get more stuff, such as computers and more services.

They chose the fire engine. Sadly the library had to drastically shorten its hours and only has 3 computers. That fire engine could be used as an analogy for the miltary. People want to protect their asses her and now, not further themselves down the line.

Let's hear it for America.


Post edited 7/19/06 9:36PM
#13  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to blargh117, #15:

If a student is waiting until 6 pm to research, i think there's already a problem.
#14  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
In reply to John117_MC, #16:

What if they've been slaving away since they got home and suddenly realize the materials they have are lacking in number?

I wasn't saying they were being lazy, although that seems to be the prevalent problem these days.

#15  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to blargh117, #17:

A good research paper involves a month of preperation, which should include all research of articles. All these articles should also be completely read before starting the paper.

Personally, I procrastinate beyond belief. But with my school's system and my internet connection, I can look through research articles any time of day. So it isn't an issue - for me.
#16  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
In reply to John117_MC, #18:

Are you talking about college or high school level reports?

A month? Unless you have a really rigorous instructor in high school, I doubt you will be assigned a report that requires you to do a month's worth of research. A week's, maybe, not a month's.

#17  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to blargh117, #19:

My English 11 research paper was dedicated an entire quarter of the year.

8 pages, I think it had to be.

Post edited 7/19/06 9:52PM
#18  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
Varying degrees of curriculum in varying states. Lovely.
#19  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to blargh117, #21:

Yeah, NY is rather rigourous. My high school was actually rather high quality, imo.

As far as I can tell, the biggest thing that made that happen was the teachers.

Post edited 7/19/06 10:00PM
#20  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
In reply to John117_MC, #22:

Well, I live in Oregon, on the coast no less. Our high school was really small, but the teachers did their best and succeeded on many fronts.

Seems like funding isn't a cure all, but talent and the wish to see your students really succeed.
#21  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to blargh117, #23:

My high school wasn't very large. Town of 12,800 roughly, and each grade had/has about 200 students.

For the number of students, it was a decent sized school.

Post edited 7/19/06 10:08PM
#22  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
blargh117 Francophone
Warrenton only has 4,460. My senior class only had about 58-60 in it. Now you see the problem.


Not a lot of funding for anyhting, yet we manage to fully fund sports. Go figure.
#23  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Slopaque
In reply to John117_MC, #10:

If the military refuses to give up any money from their enormous funds, then we as Americans are going to have to choose between education for our children or money for our families. Improving the quality of urban schools would mean getting better facilities and better staff. How do you fix a building and get a teacher to work for a school. Money. Fund the building and entice the teachers. Right now America has way too much invested in meaningless bills and acts that had some purpose 5-10 years ago but are a worthless cause now. If Americans want better Education, they're going to have to get used to the idea of higher taxes.
#24  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
John117_MC
In reply to Slopaque, #26:

The military doesn't really decide to give up funds or to take funds. They request funds, but it is ultimately up to congress where funds are distributed.
#25  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Batmantis25
In reply to Slopaque, #26:

Wait.. you are blaming the U.S. military for the poor state of the American Education system?

/sigh
#26  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
DaDouche
I think Mr_Patriotic had it right. Since we don't have intelligence, Americans should accept Jingoism.
#27  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Meng
Do you guys still use Outcomes Based Education??
#28  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
john117mc
Major Reform idea:

Encourage some sort of dabbling in the arts. America recently has pushed so hard for the science and math side of the equation. I love math and science but it is a porven fact that those that have a creative outlet have a higher IQ and a more critical thinking mind.
#29  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
uclari
In reply to john117mc, #29:

Pfft. We've got nothing on Japan in that regard.

But I think that some greater dabbling in the arts wouldn't hurt.
#30  Posted 7 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
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