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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

What do you think is the problem with the U.S. education system/student

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Comparatively speaking, the United States does not starve its education system of revenue. The U.S. is one of the leaders in spending on Education, and yet it's schools are rated "average" by international bodies.

The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

Worse, out of 34 OECD countries, only 8 have a lower high school graduation rate. The United States' education outcomes most resemble Poland's, a nation that spends less than half on education than the U.S.


The U.S. spent an average of $10,615 per student in 2010.  Some districts spent over $18,000 (D.C., NY).  Obviously, we can't throw money at a problem like this. 

So what is the real issue here?

Update:  This post just blew up today.  It's going to take me a while to read all of this.

by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Replies (231-240):
Raine2007
by New Member on Sep. 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I rarely think someone is a bad parent. I think that the teacher should not have to give you a blow by blow and that it is the child's job. The only exception to this thought is if the kids are special needs.

Quoting happy2bmom25:

I agree no child left behind was probably better on in theory than in practice, but then many said that would happen because that is historically how things happen.by Requiring certain standards for all, ultimately dumbs down the system as opposed to bringing up the bottom. I do disagree to a point that change has to be done our way. Our way is not working. Why continue down the same path? You seem bent on proving to me that I am not doing a good job as a parent. To answer your questions, yes our children participate in meal preparations. We discuss current events, make up every day math problems and read daily.


Raine2007
by New Member on Sep. 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I got a letter from my DD school saying that while they met overall standards their sup-groups didn't all meet the standards, so we have the right to transfer our child to a school that met all the standards across the board. :/, I know that the school DD is in is one of the best in this town and I find it sad that because two of their "outside the norm" programs weren't quite where they needed to be, that they had to send out this notice.

Quoting suepc1:

Has anyone pointed out, that in the United States, we educate EVERYONE and use ALL test scores to evaluate our schools? This means, we include the scores of low ability, and even special education students, to evaluate the school. Other countries (i.e. China) only educate the best and brightest and only share their test scores and graduation rates. Eventually, low students are weeded out. This is not how it works in the US. Essentially, we are trying to compare apples to oranges and coming up short. 


Blessed2015
by on Sep. 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

I agree with many comments made about this post.  I am a teacher of 28 and a half years.  The money spent is not directly on our students.  The money per child includes the money spent to develop and create the state-wide tests that either make a student accomplished or not.  It will also measure whether a teacher is effective or ineffective.  Ridiculous way to measure either's success, but especially the students.   Money is also spent on things we create and then decide, we can't use it.  Time, money and morale is wasted. In my district, I am being considered one that needs to move on and move out.  Why?  I still am an advocate for my students, regular ed and special ed alike.  When they look at me and say that a very low functioning student is going to be tested by the Ohio Acievement Assessment, instead of by alternate assessment where he will feel success, and get measured at his ability of a 1st grader as a 4th grader, and will I sign the addendum to his IEP to make that happen, I say no it is not what is best for him. They tell me that the government matrix says he should take the OAA, and we have too many on alternate assessment.  Our students/children  are more than a statistic!  Where I once was to be proud of being an educator in my hometown, I am embarrassed.  The administration is not for children and no longer assist us with our discipline issues.  The administrators that did help us as teachers were gotten rid of, didn't like them bucking the system.  Government has made this mess of our educational system.  Write to your legislators and senators, tell them you want better for your children.  Tell them that rigorous content standards are not what you want.  The math, science and language arts that I am teaching, I learned in 11th grade.  Our 10 year olds do not need to be taught this until they are ready.  It is my belief that if we could teach Reading, Writing, and Math to K-5 children, and do it well, then the sciences and social studies would fall into place more easily.  Students can be exposed to concepts through reading and writing.  Parents, Grandparents, teachers, administrators ALL need to write and call the senators and legislators,  it's time to get back control of our schools.

FYI- If a 3rd grade student in OH gets a passing score on the OAA of 415 and then a 415 on th 4th grade test, he/she has not made a year's growth.  Why not? The test is assessing a whole year's older standards. Therefore the child has not made growth and the teacher is found ineffective.  Explain this to me. The child has made a year's gain!

To the Grandmother with the grandson who cannot write legibly.  He can't because we as teachers,are no longer given time to teach things correctly and handwriting is not a tested subject.  The pressure cooker is to teach the academics, no life skills, academics to improve on the test.


randomosityblog
by on Sep. 22, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Yes, teachers hold her back. They won't give her any extra work than they already have.

Quoting kaycee74:

Do teachers hold her back?  Have you asked them to give her extra work?  Have you considered asking her to do extra work for you that she could do when she finished her assigned classwork and the teacher is assisting children who need more help or the instruction in a different way?  You may consider contacting the teacher and asking if you can have your child do extra work.

Quoting randomosityblog:

I hate that teachers hold kids back. My dd is VERY smart but instead of being pushed, she gets dumbed down and put on the level of the other kids in class. There are a few in the class that are smart like she is and I wish they'd give them work to help them excel.



heathercm26
by on Sep. 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM
In my area we have very good schools supposedly.


A teacher was recently fired after her computer was monitred and it was discovered that she was wasting class time on facebook and emails etc. About an hour a day.

She said this was common among many teachers.

Also their were many days of school wasted on movies. I recently speny some time observing in my sons elementary school. Ugh it was pretty discusting. I heard teachers complaining that they had no plans for after the school wide activity. They were thinking of watching homeward bound or having an extra recess. REALLY!

last year the teacher my ss had said she hadnt taught anything in a week. She said she had been bogged down with projects like hand paintings and paper snowmen. What a waste.

Tons of free play time.......why not use this time to get wild with an active learning activity.

And sensory stations.......REALLY? What 7 yo doesnt know what sand feels like???? What a waste of time during the day

I think their are some really great ideas from every teacher that should be used more. I saw a teaxher use tge spare time in line to talk about science and animals. She would get very animated and say the topic is owls. She would make owl eyes with her hands. Ask if anyone knew what they ate. Encourage everyone to make yuck faces about it. She could deliver a ton of info during that time.

Same with presidents. She knew them all and everything about them. Dhe would run facts about them past the students continually. I very rarely ever did cut and paste projects with her.
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heathercm26
by on Sep. 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM
1 mom liked this
Lol. My mother had a parent teacher conference with my 5k teacher. She said the otger kids couldnt understand me because i had too large of a vocabulary. Plus i could read and the otgers couldnt. She made it sound like a problem lol


Quoting randomosityblog:

Yes, teachers hold her back. They won't give her any extra work than they already have.

Quoting kaycee74:

Do teachers hold her back?  Have you asked them to give her extra work?  Have you considered asking her to do extra work for you that she could do when she finished her assigned classwork and the teacher is assisting children who need more help or the instruction in a different way?  You may consider contacting the teacher and asking if you can have your child do extra work.


Quoting randomosityblog:

I hate that teachers hold kids back. My dd is VERY smart but instead of being pushed, she gets dumbed down and put on the level of the other kids in class. There are a few in the class that are smart like she is and I wish they'd give them work to help them excel.




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VersatileMOm
by Member on Sep. 23, 2012 at 5:20 AM

I believe that everyone fails to take responsibility and gravitate towards playing the "blame game".  Students, Parents, and teachers have a part each play in education.  Instead of pointing fingers, more focus needs to be placed on what needs to be done and how.  Children are being robbed in this generation of stimulating, rich, rigourous courses and inspirational learning enviroments.  Now a days, if you want your child to be well educated in school, you have to buy that kind of education! Public school is now deemed as "the place" where those "other" kids go if their parents can't afford to give them top notch schooling.  School-period- should be about receiving the "best of the best" education in America.  A lot of parents aren't educated on what their options/rights are regarding their children's education.  For example, I am a single mom who works full time and considered to be a family in poverty.  I don't let this stop me from researching extra school resources, supplementary learning material, and finding great role models within my community for my children!  I am my boys tutor and confident with being such.  The gaps in their learning in school, I fill!  I do science, daily reading and history at home with my boys. Why? Because I accept full responsibilty as the parent, for my part in their education. I volunteer in their classrooms, monitor their homework assignments, provide a study area and limit the television viewing.  Television watching in my house is a priviledge, not a right. We just own one instead of one in every room. And when they're watching it, I'm watching it with them to make sure it's appropriate.  They are not allowed to sit in front of the tv for more than an hour.  After that, its time to play outside, play a board game, make up a game, draw, paint, read, write etc.  I don't let them pull  that "i'm bored card" crap on me. There is always something to do.  In spite of my situation, I make no exscuses, only desired outcomes. That is what I'm teaching my kids. No matter what hand you're dealt, you still have choices-good and bad-to educate yourself beyond school walls.  That's a lot of what's missing in our broken system. Parents and children think school is out after the bell rings and theres no longer a teacher standing in front of you feeding you bits of info here and there. No, learning is a life long journey and should never stop! Love of learning is not being instilled in a lot of chilldren, instead they are being stressed by standardized tests.  Teachers shouldn't be stressed with having to babysit children who weren't taught home training, how to respect adults and great morals.  Teachers need to go back to being allowed to teach the way they use to and not to a test!  Children need to be held accountable and expected to perform well while enjoying learning, and parents should always remember even though their children are in school, they are still their children's teacher, counselor and provider. A lot of this is what our schools are missing.

VeronicaTex
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM

This is what I appreciate coming from a parent who cares enough about her children to take responsibility in the home to get her children ready to be in the classroom.

Veronica

Quoting VersatileMOm:

I believe that everyone fails to take responsibility and gravitate towards playing the "blame game".  Students, Parents, and teachers have a part each play in education.  Instead of pointing fingers, more focus needs to be placed on what needs to be done and how.  Children are being robbed in this generation of stimulating, rich, rigourous courses and inspirational learning enviroments.  Now a days, if you want your child to be well educated in school, you have to buy that kind of education! Public school is now deemed as "the place" where those "other" kids go if their parents can't afford to give them top notch schooling.  School-period- should be about receiving the "best of the best" education in America.  A lot of parents aren't educated on what their options/rights are regarding their children's education.  For example, I am a single mom who works full time and considered to be a family in poverty.  I don't let this stop me from researching extra school resources, supplementary learning material, and finding great role models within my community for my children!  I am my boys tutor and confident with being such.  The gaps in their learning in school, I fill!  I do science, daily reading and history at home with my boys. Why? Because I accept full responsibilty as the parent, for my part in their education. I volunteer in their classrooms, monitor their homework assignments, provide a study area and limit the television viewing.  Television watching in my house is a priviledge, not a right. We just own one instead of one in every room. And when they're watching it, I'm watching it with them to make sure it's appropriate.  They are not allowed to sit in front of the tv for more than an hour.  After that, its time to play outside, play a board game, make up a game, draw, paint, read, write etc.  I don't let them pull  that "i'm bored card" crap on me. There is always something to do.  In spite of my situation, I make no exscuses, only desired outcomes. That is what I'm teaching my kids. No matter what hand you're dealt, you still have choices-good and bad-to educate yourself beyond school walls.  That's a lot of what's missing in our broken system. Parents and children think school is out after the bell rings and theres no longer a teacher standing in front of you feeding you bits of info here and there. No, learning is a life long journey and should never stop! Love of learning is not being instilled in a lot of chilldren, instead they are being stressed by standardized tests.  Teachers shouldn't be stressed with having to babysit children who weren't taught home training, how to respect adults and great morals.  Teachers need to go back to being allowed to teach the way they use to and not to a test!  Children need to be held accountable and expected to perform well while enjoying learning, and parents should always remember even though their children are in school, they are still their children's teacher, counselor and provider. A lot of this is what our schools are missing.


VeronicaTex
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Discipline is what a teacher needs most in the classroom. 

I saw some very terrific examples of teachers when I was in the Public School, despite all the children they had, coming from At Risk backgrounds, dealing with that first, were still able to make "teaching that test" exciting.

Most of my work in the Bilingual classroom was repetition, having the patience to work with them, increasing that wait time for them to answer, drawing even the most quiet child out of his/her shell.  Much of my work was building up self-esteem.  That is what teaching and learnking a Second language is all about.

Seeing how those kids were doing their best to adapt to our American ways, plus learn English at the same time was what kept me wanting to go teach the next day, for 9 wonderful years.

In addition,  because I was able to achieve the discipline I wanted to begin with, I was a happy teacher and I had happy kids. 

Within the parameters of "teaching to the test" there is a place for the teacher to still be excited about the curriculum and with an attitude of firmness, but humor, getting through to the kids so they will be successful, carrying with them skills and knowledge that they can/could build upon for life.

Veronica

WritingMom777
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM

One big area that costs public schools a lot of money is special education.  However, I think that schools waste a lot of money by not addressing learning issues earlier in school.  We heard that in Great Britain, for example, that all children are testing for learning disabilities by the end of first grade.

For example, our child showed signs of dyslexia in kindergarten and first grade.  But the schools insisted nothing was wrong and kept saying "oh, your child will catch up."  Now our child is in 4th grade and has to have extensive services because his needs are so great.  Had the school spent the time and money on those early years, they would not have to be spending money on several teachers now.  Dyslexic kids need very specific learning tools to learn to read, write and spell.  Our child got NONE of those.  Now the school is going to spend through the nose and they are not optimistic about our child's future.  This makes me furious because if treated early, dyslexia does not have to be as big of an issue for a child.  

I see it as like going to the doctor for a problem and your health insurance provider saying that your symptoms are no big deal.  Then you find out that you have a major illness that will require multiple surgeries, hosptial stays, etc. that could have been avoided if you got treated properly before the symptoms got worse.  My experience is that schools wait until a child is in "crisis" mode and then try to put band aids on to fix the problem.

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