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Indoctrinization OR Overzealousness

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Ran into this article and found it to be quite interesting. I didn't post the whole article as it was extremely long. So I just posted the first paragraph.



Some friends came to us this week, troubled, to ask our advice. It seems their youngest son came home from school on Monday and asked – begged – to be homeschooled.
His request has been a recurrent theme during the past few months, but it took on a particular urgency on Monday when his biology teacher required all the students to sing a song praising Common Core.


Read more at http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/02/hands-off-our-children-big-brother/#UQVXdLLIhiMQaxFH.99


What do You think?

  

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by on Feb. 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM
Replies (21-30):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh yeah, I feel for the teachers too!  

Oh and it drives me crazy when people talk about how homeschoolers shelter their children.  The PS parents I know are often (notice often, I am not trying to paint with broad strokes here) even more sheltering.  I am very hands off when we are playing at the playground because they need to deal with others on their own, but PS parents often rush in to "rescue" too often.  It happens in the schools too.  Where they could not possibly know what is going on, yet they come in with a certain idea of what happened.  (oh and it goes both ways! I had a father tell me that his son was a "total smack-off" yes, direct quote! and that I shouldn't be encouraging his lazy butt with my talk af how well-behaved he was.  And I've had parents that I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that their angel had plagiarized an essay and they'd have none of it.)

Sorry Sonja, when I get ranting about my public school days, I just can't shut up about it!

Teacher-controlled, but administrator approved detention is the best method IMO!  The teacher writes the child up and the admin can veto it.  That way there is a check so teachers aren't as able to "pick on" a kid.

Quoting TidewaterClan:

No kidding on the parents!  There was a presentation in the 2nd grade last year where the students had formed groups and researched countries.  The boy who was always causing issues was sassing the teacher in the most hateful way.  His mother narrowed her eyes like she dared the teacher to say anything.  I looked at him and told him that wasn't an appropriate way to talk to her.  Ha ha lady!  Same thing with the 6th grade class.  It's all good until little Tommy or Sally get in REAL trouble and mom & dad can't bail them out or get their jobs back!

Detention IS a great way to handle kids.  I got it once in high school for carrying a drink out of the cafeteria.  That learned me!

Not trying to take over your post Sonja, I promise!  I just feel for the teachers based on what I've witnessed!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I have a feeling that in the inner city schools where they do higher the less qualified, they also probably do not have the oversight as the richer schools, but again it in my mind is more about disparity of economics than it is training.  

I was shocked in my teaching career with how disrespectful, not ony the kids, but also the parents were!  It would make such a difference just to have that respect!  You are so right!  The parents have this idea (based on those who can do, those who can't teach) that anyone can be a teacher.  While I still believe anyone who truly wants to CAN teach their own kids, standing in front of a group of 25-35 kids is a very different thing.  Plus IMHO the CCS should have set a class limit.  So many more problems occur when the class size gets out of control!  They feed off each other, the disrespect grows exponentially as the class size goes up.  When one child in the classroom has a parent who disparages the teacher at home, it is like a cancer spreading through the classroom.  Soon you are calling parents that you would never have had to call in the past.

Sorry, getting away from the topic, but that always bugged me!

When I was in PS, we had one of those paddles too!  There were 3 teachers that were the designated spankers.  Yikes!  I would never allow the school to spank my kids, but there does need to be some kind of punishment that actually has teeth!  

We also had after school detention.  I am all for that coming back.  And there should be no school sanctioned way home from that detention.  If your child was acting up in school and got a detention because of it, IMO, YOU should be the one that needs to find them a way home!  (general you of course).  But parents won't go for that anymore.  They really fight after school detentions because their kids are in so many activities and they all work and excuse and excuse and excuse!  In my school after school detention was worse than spanking!  By a long shot!  To miss band practice or dance class or soccer because you smarted off to Mr. Smith was sooooo embarassing.

Quoting TidewaterClan:

These are good points Blue.  I, myself, didn't know teachers had that much training the first decade of their careers.

This is JMO, but one HUGE thing the Finish, Singapore, etc., teachers have going for them is RESPECT.  Teachers are held in as high regard as doctors because they are forming minds.  If our teachers had such respect it would make such a difference.

Three years of volunteering really opened my eyes as to what our teachers are up against.  Last year's 2nd grade class with 10/22 children acting up EVERY single day, even arguing with the teacher that a picture of a dark blue sky with moon and stars was the day, was just horrible.  How in the world was she supposed to work with that?  The principal even sat in multiple times and the same children still acted up.  

The fifth grade class had two who would hit others right in front of their teacher, or stand in her chair if she had her back turned.

I'm not for capitol punishment, but when I was young there was a boy who got sent to the principal's office ONCE and that's all it took for everyone to behave!  We heard stories of the paddle with holes for aerodynamic purposes.  :|  No one wanted a taste of that!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Common Core is not a conspiracy because it is national.  Common Core is a conspiracy because it was developed by publishers, by testing and curriculum developers, and by corporate interests and NOT developed by teachers.

Some of the comments on this thread really bothered me.  With one breath they are saying that teachers in other countries are valued and in the next they seem to be saying that the teachers in America should not be valued because anyone can do it.  That is simply not true.  Teachers in America are given just as rigorous of an education as other nations.  They are expected to reach their Master's Degree before they are allowed to be completely on their own in a classroom.  They are placed under a Mentor Teacher and a Department Chair.  They are watched very closely over the first 8-10 years of their teaching carreer.  Plus if they do not earn an A in their student teaching course (typically 16 credits of teaching under a certified teacher in a real classroom where one must create and implement the unit plans for a semester of learning) then they are only going to get a job teaching in the inner city schools.

To me, that speaks much more of the gross inequity we have in wealth distribution and much less of the education of our teachers.  

As for the article itself...I do think it is a bit of indoctrination.  Here's why.... Utilizing the singing technique in teaching is typically to teach things that are unchangeable, solid, foundation materials.  We typically used songs to teach thing such as the elements, the states and capitals, the math facts.  This technique typically ends in elementary school, but every once in a while resurfaces when the kids just cannot seem to learn to memorize something (the countries in Africa, although that one got all murky since they DO keep changing).

Using a song to sing the praises of common core, does seem to cross that line.  It is teaching these kids that this is the way, the only way, that will be acceptable in America.  It is distasteful to me.

Although IMO the article was definately overzealous in its Nazi comparisons.  These types of comparisons always take the minds to the most horrific parts of the Nazi party's solutions to its "problems."  It is wrong to make such comparisons to anyone that is not killing millions of people with its practices.





romacox
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:01 PM

The biggest disrespect to U.S. teachers is tying their hands with government bureaucracy, and then blaming them for the problems.  When I gave my recent workshop at the Florida Reading Association Conference, there were several teachers in the audience. They were saying that , because of all the paperwork and testing, they did not have the time to give individual attention. 

However, chasing3 brought up a very good point about being concerned that if things continue in the directions they are, Home Educators may become heavily regulated.  That would tie their hands producing the same results teachers now experience.


Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I got my Masters in Elementary Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2007 and it was not that difficult. My student teaching practicum was graded pass/fail. I did one semester of student teaching under a woman who had 10 years of experience teaching - 4 in high school and 6 in elementary. I was observed for 4 lessons by the professor from Lesley who oversaw my practicum. I had to be in the classroom for an entire semster, but was required to do only 2 weeks total of only me doing the all the teaching. (I might ad the woman wanted a student teacher because she was getting married that fall and having another person in her classroom was very convenient while her mind was on other things, and my 2 weeks independent teaching coincided with her honeymoon). I passed our state teacher certification exams in the 98th percentile. But in years following, they changed those to pass/fail too, so who know what the actual grades are that people get or how the cut score is determined. I was immediatley hired once I was a licenced teacher to fill the spot of a teacher who left for medical reasons. I was observed 4 times, for 1-hour lessons, over the course of the year by the principal. While I did my best to prepare and took it seriously, it did very much feel like a formality and as though the principal was just checking off boxes and I'd venture to guess I'd have had to do something very eggregious to get a bad report. My mentor teacher during my first two years had only 3 more years of experience than me! I recall she knew nothing and I felt very lost and unguided. Ultimately, that is a big factor on why I left after only one full year, one half year, and the student teaching and a lot of substitute teaching prior to that. Also, there was no time spend planning curriculum or developing units of study. All the curriculum was handed down by the district, and the state. Essentially, we taught what was on previous years' state standardized tests. Once the tests were over, in the late spring, that was when we might read real books, have literature circles, assign creative writing, do hands-on projects, and pretty much anything fun and engaging!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

They are expected to reach their Master's Degree before they are allowed to be completely on their own in a classroom.  They are placed under a Mentor Teacher and a Department Chair.  They are watched very closely over the first 8-10 years of their teaching carreer.  Plus if they do not earn an A in their student teaching course (typically 16 credits of teaching under a certified teacher in a real classroom where one must create and implement the unit plans for a semester of learning) then they are only going to get a job teaching in the inner city schools.

TidewaterClan
by on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:44 PM
Hey Roma! Honestly, I've never witnessed how awful students can be until the past few years. That 2nd grade class was the worst. One fellow was always drawing mustaches on himself (in between throwing things at the other children of course), the little boy with the protective mother would punch other boys, so much talking, etc. The teacher didn't have a chance. They easily wasted 65% of her day. The quiet children like mine got lost in the shuffle. The other volunteers and I tried to help them along as best we could. This is in a "great" school district too.

It won't matter how much or little government we have in schools until we change society's attitude.


Quoting romacox:

The biggest disrespect to U.S. teachers is tying their hands with government bureaucracy, and then blaming them for the problems.  When I gave my recent workshop at the Florida Reading Association Conference, there were several teachers in the audience. They were saying that , because of all the paperwork and testing, they did not have the time to give individual attention. 

However, chasing3 brought up a very good point about being concerned that if things continue in the directions they are, Home Educators may become heavily regulated.  That would tie their hands producing the same results teachers now experience.


Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:53 PM

i might also add, I am concerned for the quality of instruction of teachers that is going on in graduate level programs. I am on the alumni email list from Lesley University and I have to say all of the emails I get are touting new courses to help teachers align their instruction to the common core, lectures on how to implement common core into their lessons, seminars on previews of common core materials from publishers... I think it's very discouraging. I think the past decade of teachers all coming out of graduate programs have been essentially taught how to teach teh standards and teach to tests, and believe in teh ideology behind the standards and testing since it's all they know. And I think it's getting even more intensive! It seems to me that gone are the days when you could take a graduate level education course on education theories, or maybe the montessori or waldorf method, or what student centered classroom really means or how to provide meaningful differentiation for a classroom of diverse learners. That kind of talk gets thrown around a lot by principals and school boards and even by teachers, but I have not seen it done in reality in the time I spent in a public school or witnessing how my 2 kids in public school are being instructed. I might add I taught in, and live in, two school districts that would rank consistently in the top 10% by state test scores in my state.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I have never seen such licence in the classroom.  My student teaching was fully graded (I recieved an A+, a friend of mine who graduated the following year earned a B- and could not get any recommendations for in his portfolio).  During my student teaching, I was required to create and implement lesson plans that reflected a span of 12 weeks which meant that I was assigned my observational teacher the previous semester and observed her classroom and talked with her multiple times before I ever began teaching with her.  No teacher would ever be allowed to observe a student teacher in such a situation!  I was observed by my Prof 4 times over the course of that semester, during those observations I handed in a binder full of lesson plans, worksheets, testing materials, and at least 6 web-tutorials over the semester.  I personally had 2 semesters of students teaching because I am certified to teach both English and Physics.  (In physics I only earned an A).  

 I taught in 3 different schools, 2 of them at the same time.  I was assigned 3 mentor teachers.   None of these teachers had less than 10 years of experience (1 had 27 years, another was a department chair with 12 years experience).  I was nearly through with my philosophical masters in education when I began a hard pregnancy, I left both teaching and my master's studies and have not looked back.  However, when I took the Praxis tests in 1998 and 2002 they were changing from a broad Knowledge test to the seperated 4 core tests.  But both versions of the tests were fully graded.  I am shocked and apalled to hear that has changed.

While teaching at the public schools, my mentor teachers were required to observe me each month (for a total of 9 visits), an assigned administrator was required to observe me quarterly, and I was required to turn in lesson plans for the entire quarter at the beginning of each quarter (45 lessons typed with a by the minute breakdown, and all materials for each seperate class that I taught) to both my department chair and my mentor teacher.  After the first 5 years, the observations dropped to 5 by the mentor and 2 by the admin; but I had a counselling session added monthly that discussed my Master's progress.

Seriously that's 3 different schools in 2 different states that all had the same expectations.

I recieved my Bachelors from Unversity of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1998.  One in Sec Ed English and one in Sec Ed Physics.  I was pursuing a phil masters of Ed in Non-calculus-based Classical Mechanics. 

And maybe we have hit the nail on the head as to why our schools are not making the grad so to speak.  For 2 teachers to have such different experiences is sad.

Also as a side note if you finished in 2007, that places your education after No Child Left Behind and mine before it.  Just a nod to the possibility that these changes are occurring because of or in reaction to the federalization of the education rules and regulations.

Quoting Chasing3:

I got my Masters in Elementary Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2007 and it was not that difficult. My student teaching practicum was graded pass/fail. I did one semester of student teaching under a woman who had 10 years of experience teaching - 4 in high school and 6 in elementary. I was observed for 4 lessons by the professor from Lesley who oversaw my practicum. I had to be in the classroom for an entire semster, but was required to do only 2 weeks total of only me doing the all the teaching. (I might ad the woman wanted a student teacher because she was getting married that fall and having another person in her classroom was very convenient while her mind was on other things, and my 2 weeks independent teaching coincided with her honeymoon). I passed our state teacher certification exams in the 98th percentile. But in years following, they changed those to pass/fail too, so who know what the actual grades are that people get or how the cut score is determined. I was immediatley hired once I was a licenced teacher to fill the spot of a teacher who left for medical reasons. I was observed 4 times, for 1-hour lessons, over the course of the year by the principal. While I did my best to prepare and took it seriously, it did very much feel like a formality and as though the principal was just checking off boxes and I'd venture to guess I'd have had to do something very eggregious to get a bad report. My mentor teacher during my first two years had only 3 more years of experience than me! I recall she knew nothing and I felt very lost and unguided. Ultimately, that is a big factor on why I left after only one full year, one half year, and the student teaching and a lot of substitute teaching prior to that. Also, there was no time spend planning curriculum or developing units of study. All the curriculum was handed down by the district, and the state. Essentially, we taught what was on previous years' state standardized tests. Once the tests were over, in the late spring, that was when we might read real books, have literature circles, assign creative writing, do hands-on projects, and pretty much anything fun and engaging!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

They are expected to reach their Master's Degree before they are allowed to be completely on their own in a classroom.  They are placed under a Mentor Teacher and a Department Chair.  They are watched very closely over the first 8-10 years of their teaching carreer.  Plus if they do not earn an A in their student teaching course (typically 16 credits of teaching under a certified teacher in a real classroom where one must create and implement the unit plans for a semester of learning) then they are only going to get a job teaching in the inner city schools.


romacox
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I have worked in the classroom as a teachers aid, and as a tutor.  I have dealt with and witnessed the behavior problems.  But when both parents are forced to work two and three jobs, with little time to interact with the children, that is the consequences. It is also the consequences of an overloaded class size.   We now have a very unhealthy environment for children....for  families. The dog and cat are the only ones enjoying the home.

  Raising children in institutions (daycare centers & overloaded classrooms)  rather than in families was tried in history, and it was a disaster.  Hitler tried it.  It created serious emotional and mental problems.  So again it is a problem that is created by government who extracts more and more money from families to support the bureaucracy forcing families to take on two and three jobs just to get by.  As a result, parents often do not understand their own children, and that they are not little adults.So parents   have little empathy for the teacher,. 

In conclusion:  problems with an over regulated classroom, and poor family environments are not separate issues.  Even though they appear to be separate issues, they have the same cause.


Quoting TidewaterClan: Hey Roma! Honestly, I've never witnessed how awful students can be until the past few years. That 2nd grade class was the worst. One fellow was always drawing mustaches on himself (in between throwing things at the other children of course), the little boy with the protective mother would punch other boys, so much talking, etc. The teacher didn't have a chance. They easily wasted 65% of her day. The quiet children like mine got lost in the shuffle. The other volunteers and I tried to help them along as best we could. This is in a "great" school district too.


It won't matter how much or little government we have in schools until we change society's attitude.


Quoting romacox:

The biggest disrespect to U.S. teachers is tying their hands with government bureaucracy, and then blaming them for the problems.  When I gave my recent workshop at the Florida Reading Association Conference, there were several teachers in the audience. They were saying that , because of all the paperwork and testing, they did not have the time to give individual attention. 

However, chasing3 brought up a very good point about being concerned that if things continue in the directions they are, Home Educators may become heavily regulated.  That would tie their hands producing the same results teachers now experience.



Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

BIngo!!

I recall when my professor came to observe, I did have a typed up lesson plan to give her, but it was 2, maybe 3 pages max. And the lessons came from what the teacher told me to do - so essentially a page taken right out of her giant binder of what to do pretty much every day! I recall, we did sort of fudge things around so at least she was observing me doing something kind of interesting, as opposed to a rote worksheet.

I started my masters at night when I was working in another field and took a few years to complete it. The course content changed during the time I was taking grad courses. I think some required courses changed to, but they grandfathered people in based on when they started their course of study as to what their requirements were. By my practicum, it was really all about the MCAS (state test) and the state frameworks. I recall a lot of talk in courses about how something the professor assigned to read or asked us to do was irrelevant since "it was no longer in the state frameworks and something we wouldn't be required to teach" - or probably even allowed to teach! 

I would also say I think how managing staff is handleled can vary a lot by district. This happened to be a high performing district, so no one was looking too closely since all the kids were pretty much on the college-bound track anyway. More so thanks to their high economic status and educated parents, than anything the teachers like me did or didn't do in the classroom.

Some news reporst I've read talk of teachers being handed scripts to read from and being asked to literally stop teaching and have kids work independently on ipads all day. I think some of the reform movement is truly going this way and parents just don't know or assume that teachers and local school official knwo what's best and are still actually looking out for the kids....

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Also as a side note if you finished in 2007, that places your education after No Child Left Behind and mine before it.  Just a nod to the possibility that these changes are occurring because of or in reaction to the federalization of the education rules and regulations.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I'm going to embed.  Some of these things are jaw dropping!

Quoting Chasing3:

BIngo!!

I recall when my professor came to observe, I did have a typed up lesson plan to give her, but it was 2, maybe 3 pages max. And the lessons came from what the teacher told me to do - so essentially a page taken right out of her giant binder of what to do pretty much every day! I recall, we did sort of fudge things around so at least she was observing me doing something kind of interesting, as opposed to a rote worksheet.

I started my masters at night when I was working in another field and took a few years to complete it. The course content changed during the time I was taking grad courses. I think some required courses changed to, but they grandfathered people in based on when they started their course of study as to what their requirements were.

I wonder if they kept their word for that one?  I was supposed to be grandfathered in with my Praxis tests, but then they decided that we should have to take the new tests anyway.  An irritating waste of money!

By my practicum, it was really all about the MCAS (state test) and the state frameworks. I recall a lot of talk in courses about how something the professor assigned to read or asked us to do was irrelevant since "it was no longer in the state frameworks and something we wouldn't be required to teach" - or probably even allowed to teach! 

I would also say I think how managing staff is handleled can vary a lot by district. This happened to be a high performing district, so no one was looking too closely since all the kids were pretty much on the college-bound track anyway. More so thanks to their high economic status and educated parents, than anything the teachers like me did or didn't do in the classroom.


Two of the districts in which I taught were high ranking, but they were suburbs of DC and had parents who wanted their children to go abroad or go to Ivy League schools, so I think they stayed on top of the staff pretty heavily because of that.  Now the other district (it was 2006, and I was just getting ready to leave teaching) was not meeting AYP.  All of the teachers were starting to be observed by the admins.  They were starting to look into doing that close the school, fire everyone, and reopen with all new staff.  There was only about 12% of us who were going to be called back for interviews.  They have asked me to get my Certificate renewed and come back, but now with homeschooling that won't happen.


Some news reporst I've read talk of teachers being handed scripts to read from and being asked to literally stop teaching and have kids work independently on ipads all day. I think some of the reform movement is truly going this way and parents just don't know or assume that teachers and local school official knwo what's best and are still actually looking out for the kids....


Our local public school hand scripts to the teachers.  The evaluator I use actually brought hers with her the first day I met with her to show me exactly why she has started evaluating for homeschoolers.  It was like reading those scripts they give you when you are proctoring a standardized test.  It gave sample responses that you may have to react to, it gave prompts in case you didn't get the response you wanted, and it was for every single day, broken down by the minute!  Yikes!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Also as a side note if you finished in 2007, that places your education after No Child Left Behind and mine before it.  Just a nod to the possibility that these changes are occurring because of or in reaction to the federalization of the education rules and regulations.


Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

my mother taught for 30 years and retired before I started and she didn't belive me on some things. She still doesn't believe me when I talk about what my PSed kids are doing on a daily basis. I think she thinks I'm insane or something! But seriously, the teachers walk in the door 5 minutes before the bell and leave 5 minutes after. I don't see them carrying home tons of books or stacks of things to grade either or lessons to plan. Every class has an aide, and my dd says the aide puts smiley faces on the homework or worksheets during the day and it all goes home in backpacks that night.

My 6th grade ds was assigned a book in his English class on October 8th. I looked in his planner to confirm that. They are still not finished the book. Seriously.

My 4th grade dd will be doing the PARCC math pilot test in the state. I've been researching how to send in a opt out letter. But not sure I want to deal with all of that. I would if I could find a movement of people in our state who were trying to do the same. But there is nothing. Not even a facebook page of parents against common core in Mass or anything at all. I've heard people say the Mass state testing craze was the impetus for the common core standards and testing... I guese people here believe in it and think it's great. I know the parents in this district and the one I taught in are so caught up in the tests and their kids' scores - they seem to see it as the ultimate measure of their child's intellegence and potential.

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