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Old 03-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #21
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SAT (and PSAT) is (are) not the standardized testing we're discussing.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #22
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ITT: People who think govt mandated schooling exists to teach people things that benefit them past reading and arithmetic.

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Old 03-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #23
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I too took the FCAT numerous times. It was a joke. I would finish each section in a few minutes and have to wait out the half hour allocated staring at the ceiling. I always scored in the highest percentile.

If teachers are having to work hard to get kids to pass something like the FCAT, then the teachers were not doing their job to begin with. I do not doubt that this is a serious problem in inner city schools where they are struggling to keep stab wounds to a minimum, but everywhere else it is just an occasional inconvenience.

The SAT and GRE were tremendously difficult in comparison to these tests we took in grade school. The SAT was the only thing I remember ever being 'prepped' for.
The FCAT was more like "Sorry kids, we have to bore you with some super easy questions over the course of 5 hours. But next week we will be getting back to calculus."
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #24
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Being in community college now I see the next generation dealing with this. During lecture the only questions they ask are "Is this on the test? What part of this is on the test? What is just what I need for the test?". Very little interest in learning it, but just testing well. I feel like I am one of the few asking legitimate questions. I got out of high school in 2000 and even then in southern California it was a bit test heavy.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:33 PM   #25
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School was too easy for me. I'm mad at the system. **** the system. I should have graduated high school when I was 12.

I would have been really smart as a 12YO HS graduate, but I still would have had the logic center and life experience of a 12YO.

If we left the lazy children behind, the poor but dedicated children would have their upward mobility back. The lazy children on the other hand....well, they were going to work at McDonalds anyways, what difference does it make?

In talking about school and teachers, it's important to differentiate the role of the "teacher" with the role of the "primary educator". Parents are the primary educators, the "teachers" are merely assistants. When a kid doesn't learn **** in school, it's possible that it was the fault of the teacher, but more often than not, it's the fault of the parents. The teachers merely take the blame for it.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:46 PM   #26
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Personally I could have used more of the boring basic math/memorization stuff. I had an entire education focused on teaching me how to learn.

When I got to an engineering program, I discovered that 1) I needed to take remedial classes in Logarithms concurrently with Calc. 2) My study habits were woefully inadequate because I had been slacking for the past 8 years getting A's and B's and 3) Gasp. I sucked at learning. Which was the whole point right?

A little Buddhist style middle-way is needed here. My failure in engineering/life is my fault and that's that. But I damn sure would have benefited from some of that archaic math hammered into my skull and rigorous study habits.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
School is to teach you how to learn, and to give you a base on which to build.

I learned more in my first month on the job then I did in all the years I went to college.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdexta View Post
Maybe I just grew up in a system that focused on testing so that's what I expect of it. I kind of thought the point of school was to give you basic academic knowledge. All the "real world" stuff I just kind of acquired from the real world.
Wouldn't it be nice if school actually taught you crap that was outright useful? As in, some boring memorization that really gets the basic info embedded into your skull, then projects and lessons that show its application?

Seems like I see a ton of employer talking constantly about how they do need people, but none of the applicants have the skills they need.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparetire View Post
Seems like I see a ton of employer talking constantly about how they do need people, but none of the applicants have the skills they need.
That's what college is for.

k-12 should teach basic fundamentals in voting for democrats and living on the dole.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:40 PM   #29
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So I just talked to my brother who is 9 years younger than I and in highschool.
It Sounds like **** has changed a bit. In addition to the FCAT I experienced, he also has to take countless other standardized tests (he listed off a ton of acronyms off the top of his head). He also concurred that they spend an unreasonable amount of time preparing for these tests which usually are composed of unrelated bullshit that has little do do with their curriculum.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:01 PM   #30
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I work for the public school system. I don't teach.

Last week was testing week.

An entire week devoted to testing for high schoolers. They were doing makeup(whatever the hell that is) this week.



For the most part you guys are right, but you have to remember there is very good schools and very bad. Total opposites from each other.
I could go into great detail on the subject but i really don't care to. It comes down to mainly one thing; ***** parents.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:22 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
The system is broken, and no child left behind is the reason.
Is it? In general, I tend to be leery of absolutist generalizations.

What if there is no one single thing which is universally wrong with all of education? What if there is a confluence of suboptimalities, which affect different children in different ways depending upon their IQ and aptitude, the education which they bring with them into school from home, and a variety of other "squishy" factors?


Actually, what follows is kind of interesting to me personally:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparetire View Post
Personally I could have used more of the boring basic math/memorization stuff. I had an entire education focused on teaching me how to learn.
I also suffered from this exact problem.

As a young child, I found school laughably easy. I never had to study, I never showed my work. Starting from a very early age (3rd grade perhaps?) I was identified as one of the "smart kids" and singled out for special treatment. Specifically, I was pulled out of regular classes and placed in the "gifted" program, which was an extremely free-form educational paradigm. No textbooks, one very small classroom containing students from several different grade levels, and we spent most of our time doing really hippy sort of stuff like reading classical literature, doing abstract logic puzzles, a fair bit of creative writing, you get the idea.

Basically the exact opposite of the sort of standardized curriculum being decried here.

And you know what? While it was a lot of fun and I did learn a few things, I completely and utterly failed to develop effective study habits. The school was just reinforcing my own idea that I was better than everyone else and didn't need to do boring, mundane things like read textbooks and memorize facts. That's fine so long as your "education" consists of Socratic method and arguing about F. Scott Fitzgerald. But it sucks tremendously when you enter high school and start delving into things like calculus, chemistry, etc.

That was a real wake-up call for me. I went from an academic 1%er to an "at-risk" student overnight. I didn't do well. I failed a number of classes and had to take summer school. And I took these same inadequate study habits and lack of preparation with me to college where I, too, found myself struggling and needing to take remedial courses in mathematics.


In retrospect, I'd have been much better prepared for college, and would have performed better in it, if I had gone through an elementary education system which more closely resembles the present-day state of standardized curriculum. When you're in the 3rd grade, it's much more important to develop good study habits than to dissect Tom Sawyer and learn a lot of "why."
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:00 PM   #32
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Sounds familiar, I ended up on academic probation a few times my first 4 semesters of college before I realized I had to actually study.

So then I just ended up getting a bullshit degree with a bullshit minor to get out of the place.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Is it? In general, I tend to be leery of absolutist generalizations.
Sorry, I tend to make statements in this manner; my bad.

Okay, maybe not "the" reason, but certainly the major cause. The system is not geared towards learning, but towards taking specific tests.

Imagine if the driving test tested only for panic stops and your reaction time. You'd become very good at slamming on the brakes, but never learn to control a skid, handle a switchback, drive in heavy traffic, etc. Not really the kind of driver you would want sharing the road, eh?

So, this is very similar. Kids that test well, but haven't figured out how to actually make any deductions or use logic.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Creating good little drones is the result.
While you're not totally clear on this, I assume from the tone of your posting that you consider this to be a bad thing.

Why is that?

It has become fashionable of late to decry the state of mathematics and science education in North America, to point out how students in many other countries perform much better in these fields, and to speculate that the US in particular is "losing its edge" in the world market for engineering and technical achievement.

In particular, certain specific nations in eastern Asia routinely outperform not only the US, but also most European nations in the aptitude of grade-school children for mathematics. Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan... These are all places whose schoolchildren make ours look like drooling idiots.

Interestingly, they are also nations wherein the production of "good little drones" is not merely a goal of educational policy, but a deeply-ingrained characteristic of society as a whole.



Or: You can't have it both ways.





Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Imagine if the driving test tested only for panic stops and your reaction time. You'd become very good at slamming on the brakes, but never learn to control a skid, handle a switchback, drive in heavy traffic, etc. Not really the kind of driver you would want sharing the road, eh?
I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that you probably wouldn't enjoy driving in NYC.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #35
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BTW, I post not just off the top of my head, but from listening to my wife and other teachers gripe about the whole system. This is just at the upper elementary and middle school levels (grades 5 through 8). I have no idea how it is in high school these days.

I do know I passed HS without ever studying, and almost never doing homework. College was a shock, to say the least.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:24 PM   #36
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In regards to the drones comment, yes, I consider that bad. Math is good up to a point. But in and of itself is merely a tool to be used.

As an example, I work with an Asian guy. Great in math, going for his masters in statistics. Yet he has the creativity and flexible thinking of a rock. He's the QC guy, and he can't see beyond his graphs of numbers or sigma six studies. Yes, the part is bad, we can see that. His numbers prove it in concrete terms. But it does absolutely nothing to make fewer bad parts.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:24 PM   #37
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Again, i really think it varies by district.
There is an endless amount of different reasons that would take hours to go into detail about.

Each school system is operated differently.

Would it shock anyone if i told you that i spent a year at an elementary school where they taught speaking in Arabic?
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:19 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Is it? In general, I tend to be leery of absolutist generalizations.

What if there is no one single thing which is universally wrong with all of education? What if there is a confluence of suboptimalities, which affect different children in different ways depending upon their IQ and aptitude, the education which they bring with them into school from home, and a variety of other "squishy" factors?

Actually, what follows is kind of interesting to me personally:I also suffered from this exact problem.

As a young child, I found school laughably easy. I never had to study, I never showed my work. Starting from a very early age (3rd grade perhaps?) I was identified as one of the "smart kids" and singled out for special treatment. Specifically, I was pulled out of regular classes and placed in the "gifted" program, which was an extremely free-form educational paradigm. No textbooks, one very small classroom containing students from several different grade levels, and we spent most of our time doing really hippy sort of stuff like reading classical literature, doing abstract logic puzzles, a fair bit of creative writing, you get the idea.

Basically the exact opposite of the sort of standardized curriculum being decried here.

And you know what? While it was a lot of fun and I did learn a few things, I completely and utterly failed to develop effective study habits. The school was just reinforcing my own idea that I was better than everyone else and didn't need to do boring, mundane things like read textbooks and memorize facts. That's fine so long as your "education" consists of Socratic method and arguing about F. Scott Fitzgerald. But it sucks tremendously when you enter high school and start delving into things like calculus, chemistry, etc.

That was a real wake-up call for me. I went from an academic 1%er to an "at-risk" student overnight. I didn't do well. I failed a number of classes and had to take summer school. And I took these same inadequate study habits and lack of preparation with me to college where I, too, found myself struggling and needing to take remedial courses in mathematics.

In retrospect, I'd have been much better prepared for college, and would have performed better in it, if I had gone through an elementary education system which more closely resembles the present-day state of standardized curriculum. When you're in the 3rd grade, it's much more important to develop good study habits than to dissect Tom Sawyer and learn a lot of "why."
I followed this same track up until high school it sounds. I went to the magnet programs all my life. I had to take one math class in college and no computer literacy courses due to my courses in high school. I wouldn't trade the way I was educated for anything else. There was a balance between how to learn and making the test so ******* hard that you had to memorize material or you wouldn't finish. I think that is the key. You can't focus primarily on one or the other but a balance of both. I also think it is important to have distinctive levels of performance by which students are segregated to match individual levels of progress. Germany has implemented a system similar to this with 3 levels of schooling. It isn't a perfect system but I think it works quite well.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:37 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_G View Post
I followed this same track up until high school it sounds. I went to the magnet programs all my life. I had to take one math class in college
Similar experience to you and Joe in my life, strangely enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_G View Post
There was a balance between how to learn and making the test so ******* hard that you had to memorize material or you wouldn't finish. I think that is the key. You can't focus primarily on one or the other but a balance of both.
What I see missing in children born in the last 20 years is a lack of applied logical deduction in their reasoning processes. A lack of logical thinking skills is the real underlying subtext of the movie Idiocracy, and it is what makes a person easily manipulated. It also allows them to make very bad decisions in their lives over and over without learning quickly from them or seeing the possible consequences beforehand.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:53 PM   #40
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I was really curious how many posts it would take until "Idiocracy" was mentioned.

39 is impressive.
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