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  1. #61
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cryin' Lion
    I'd just like to point out that this isn't, at all, my experience with my kids (who are in various stages of elementary).

    I think you'll find that it varies mightily from district to disctrict.

    Good districts are likely to unanimously share these traits:

    1. Support of the parents
    2. Administration that is competant and involved
    3. Cash
    4. Quality Teachers

    I think it probably flows in that order too.

    Parents: If you don't have parents that care and are directly involved in keeping their children in school, on task, and who voluteer to support as needed (teacher helpers, chaperones for trips, volunteering for special events, fund raising, etc...) then nothing else is going to work. If the parent isn't the most concerned person in the world about their childs education then they are failing as parents.

    For example, I think parents are, far and wide, the primary problem with the Detroit Public School system. In Michigan everyone pays taxes toward public education and that money is divided up evenly among all students and distributed to the public schools (or private schools via vouchers, I suppose). The only criteria the schools have to meet to get that money is 'Making sure 75% of your students are in school on the days we do the annual state attendence check.' and without fail DPS loses a portion of that money every year because more than 1 in 4 parents can't be bothered to make sure their kid gets on the bus or gets dropped off or walked to school. If they aren't getting their kids to school you know damn well they aren't checking their bags for homework when they get home, or reading a book with them now and then.

    A former HS classmate of mine posted on facebook at she, being a teacher in Detroit, had been sitting in her room for two hours during parent-teacher conferences and not one parent stopped by to talk with her about their kid. Not even a friend of the parent or neighbor or relative stopped by to cover for the parent (who maybe had to work). Unforgivable.

    50 miles away in our disctict parents are involved. Every day kids fill out a daily planner that enumerates what lessons they learned that day as well as what homework they have and when it's due. The teacher reviews and signs it at the end of the day and sends it home. Each night the parents review it, see to the homework, and initial the page so the teacher knows it made it to the parents. For the middle schoolers they've even added an online mechanism that allows parents to see an current progress report on their kids. I check it every week to make sure we aren't missing assignments and get an idea what areas we need to put extra time into.

    I communicate with each of my kids teachers at least once a month via email or face to face. For the past two weeks I've been battling with my older kids band teacher and principal (5th grade) to get her transferred to a different instrument because she hates the one she started out with. Phone conversations, emails, and just today I requested a sit-down with both of them. I have no doubt they'll agree to meet me by the end of the week.

    You have to be your childs advocate. If most parents are advocates for their kids you probably aren't going to have a bad school district.

    Administration: You need people that care, have a vision, know how to make the most of their resources, and also know how to motivate (manage) their staff. Every school district can suffer from cash crunches but a good administrator can shrink the budge while minmizing impact to the product.

    Again, Detroit... they've lacked this as well. There are some popular urban spelunking web sites that have documented the Detroit Public School Book Depository.

    http://detroiturbex.com/content/down...oks/index.html

    It used to be a place where DPS stored their surplus supplies (books, crayons, papper, etc...) but there was a fire in 1987 in the building and it was abandoned thereafter. For reasons of 'bad managment' the good supplies were never removed and millions of dollars in resources were left to rot.

    Conversely, the principal at my kids elemantary is brilliant. She plans regular activities for the students after school (skating nights, movie nights, activity nights, scavanger hunts, etc...) She seems to have a great repertoir with her teachers. She knows every student by name and knows which parents to which they belong. The principal at the middle school seems equally competent He and I had a 20 min conversation last week about my daughters band experience and he was very knowledgable regarding national statistics on how band participation is links to all sorts of positive achievements later in life.

    Cash: Not much to say on this. If you don't have cash you aren't going to have modern facilities and you won't be able to lure top talent.

    Teachers: You need motivated teachers with a willingness to communicate to and work with parents.

    My experience is that if the Parents and Admin are doing their jobs you probably won't find bad teachers lasting very long, or at the very least everyone will know who they are provided the union is able to protect their job. Almost all of my problems with my kids teachers were a result of poor communication, quickly resolved after a conference.

    If you don't have parent, admin, and cash covered your district will likely only have a few of those 'difference maker' type teachers (See Stand And Deliver)

    In our district the teachers far and wide are better than those I had in elementary and I only live 1 district away from where I grew up. Everything about the schools is better than what I knew and my district was pretty good back then (they still are, actually)
    Nice post, TCL.
    Although it is said that our faith concerns matters which are obscure, the reasons for embracing the faith are not obscure but on the contrary are clearer than any natural light.
    -Descartes

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFspeedboy View Post
    Still notice, no-one comments on what teachers are doing to stop their failures... I guess as long as the paychecks are comming, who cares if the kids they "teach" actually learn anything.

    Smh... And we wonder why college score are dropping across the board...
    Yup. Every teacher I know decided to become a teacher because of that sweet paycheck.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

  3. #63
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    I second that TCL's post is very good.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFspeedboy View Post
    Smh... And we wonder why college score are dropping across the board...
    Based on what I've read from you in this thread, I'm guessing you are one of those that really care about the test scores? Because that's a measure of what the students know?

    I know when I think of intelligence, I think of multiple choice tests...

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryHawkFan View Post
    Well God knows your English teachers should be lined up against a wall and shot...
    Thank you. Im sure teaching english, and typing on a cell phone coincide

    You lefties get downright nasty when soneone dares to dissagree with you... I thought tge righties were bad, at least they dont constantly threaten or make death word warrants on people. Yall need jesus. Lol
    "Girl was bout as nutty as squirel $h!t"- Uncle ruckas.

  6. #66
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by USAFspeedboy View Post
    You lefties get downright nasty when soneone dares to dissagree with you... I thought tge righties were bad, at least they dont constantly threaten or make death word warrants on people. Yall need jesus. Lol
    Yeah... CHF really let you have it there.

    Although it is said that our faith concerns matters which are obscure, the reasons for embracing the faith are not obscure but on the contrary are clearer than any natural light.
    -Descartes

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFspeedboy View Post
    Thank you. Im sure teaching english, and typing on a cell phone coincide

    You lefties get downright nasty when soneone dares to dissagree with you... I thought tge righties were bad, at least they dont constantly threaten or make death word warrants on people. Yall need jesus. Lol
    Say what you will about liberalism at least it's an ethos!

    Honestly, I have no idea what you actually believe in other than extremely broad stuff that just about everyone believes in.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmaniac View Post
    Yeah... CHF really let you have it there.

    At least he's taking me seriously...
    "the blade itself incites to violence." - Homer

    --

    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - Kung fu Monkey

  9. #69
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    I swear this board goes through more teacher threads than football.

  10. #70
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by seahawksfan837 View Post
    I swear this board goes through more teacher threads than football.
    Guns are king, though.
    Although it is said that our faith concerns matters which are obscure, the reasons for embracing the faith are not obscure but on the contrary are clearer than any natural light.
    -Descartes

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmaniac View Post
    Nice post, TCL.
    I second that, with a few additions:

    Parents: You need parents that are (a) willing to cooperate with the teacher, and (b) hold their kids accountable (e.g. when a teacher said Johny misbehaved actually support the teacher).

    Administration: You need an administration that is (a) willing to back the teachers vs parents, (b) thinks how their adminsitrative directives or their demand affect teachers, and (c) is willing to forego pay raises in order to provide sufficient means for teachers to do their jobs. Examples where this goes wrong:

    - Teachers (using smart board) have to immediately update (online) attendance, after having taken attendance at the start of class. Which means that, if a student is late, the teacher has to interrupt whatever he/she is doing, has to log in, change absentee registration, and restart whatever he she was doing before. Huge negative impact on lesson effectiveness, and all because of administrative bureaucratic BS.

    - Meetings between management and teachers are usually made to fit the schedule of management, without any concern for the teacher. Even on short notice.

    - Meetings about all kind of nearly useless BS ('mindfullness' and all kinds of other nonsense the 'education' industry as well as 'communicatio industry' and management advice companies can come up with - are scheduled - often at short notice - and if luck will have where department meetings concerning curricula are scheduled. Of course that is no excuse for not getting your stuff done, and there is NO compensation for the meeting having to be done in your own time (only management gets to charge overtime). O yeah, when you are supposed to actually do your lesson preparation and grading is something completely irrelevant.

    - Often facilities are substandard, and there is never money to upgrade them. The copymachines - already insufficient in number - are falling apart for years (and are well past their replace-by date) but there is no money for them. There usually is money for a pay raise for management, or luxury trips for management disguised as conferences.
    Al Michaels: "That's the loudest manure chant I have ever heared!"

    Sleeping barely above the sea... and walking under water

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhawk View Post
    I don't think I like in class monitoring. I would prefer some sort of remote monitoring in which a proctor and a sueprvisor monitor the class at random. I think that active monitors change the environment.
    I was thinking that a camera in every classroom allowing the principal / head of the school board to monitor lessons might achieve that.

    I kinda doubt the teachers union would like it.

    I always thought it was useless to have the principal come and sit in on your class. I was always on my best behavior when I knew the teacher was watching me, you know?
    A Drinking Team with a Cycling Problem

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryHawkFan View Post
    At least he's taking me seriously...
    You joke, but Beleive it or not, i value everyones opinion. And i make it a point to incorperate everyonrs opinion into my own.

    Only a fool debates just for the sake of arguement. A wise mans education only is completed when he expires.
    "Girl was bout as nutty as squirel $h!t"- Uncle ruckas.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhawk View Post
    Yup. Every teacher I know decided to become a teacher because of that sweet paycheck.
    The sad thing is that - at least over here - many highly motivated teachers turn into the type of teachers in order preserve their own sanity. Teachers over here have the highest burn out rate of any profession, while on average being paid over 25% less than the average pay for people with similar levels of education/degrees (which, in the Netherlands for being allowed to teach the senior classes in HS means two MA degrees (subject and education, though the latter is a bit of a joke). Burn out rate supposedly is somewhere between 50-60% (i.e. at least 50-60% of the teachers has a burn out at least once during their career, or, while still working would be medically diagnosed with burn out), for the past decade or so...
    Al Michaels: "That's the loudest manure chant I have ever heared!"

    Sleeping barely above the sea... and walking under water

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhawk View Post
    This likely includes milliges that local voters vote on.

    What Dave said is certainly true in Michigan.

    If a district wants more money than what the state is giving them they can try to get a milliage passed by the voters for a bond.
    A Drinking Team with a Cycling Problem

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