How many warning bells before we get real reform?

NAEP released science scores today that reaffirm the nation's troubling achievement gap. (Photo/NAEP)

NAEP released science scores today that reaffirm the nation's troubling achievement gap. (Photo/NAEP)

I don’t normally print entire statements but I thought this one from Education Trust raised some good discussion points for us.  This is the Ed Trust response to the NAEP 2009 science scores, which I posted earlier today when they were released:

Tonight, President Obama’s State of the Union address will focus on the need to revive our economy through innovation. Science is essential to this enterprise. The sciences have long been a springboard for innovation and will only become more important in driving our nation forward. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that science and engineering jobs in the U.S. will increase by more than 21 percent between 2006 and 2016 – double the growth rate of all other workforce sectors combined.

However, the results of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) cast a troubling shadow over our future as leaders in scientific innovation and accomplishment.

Overall, only one-third of our fourth-graders and eighth-graders and just one in five twelfth-graders are proficient in science.

These results are in line with recent international findings showing that our high schoolers are only “average” when compared with the rest of the developed world. In fact, they do about as well in science as their counterparts in countries like Portugal and Hungary, but trail their peers in Canada, Germany, and Japan, among a dozen developed nations.

Under the averages, though, lies even more disturbing information about the skills and knowledge of low-income students and students of color – who together make up the majority of our nation’s students.

The NAEP science proficiency rates in science for black, Hispanic, and low-income students are about four times lower than are the rates for their white and more affluent classmates. Among eighth-graders, for example, 41 percent of white and more affluent students are proficient or higher, as compared to just 12 percent of Latino and low-income students and 8 percent of African Americans.

“Low-income and minority students are now the majority in America’s public schools. Regaining our global edge demands that we dramatically boost their skills and knowledge and eliminate – once and for all – the achievement gap,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. “But even that’s not enough. Today’s NAEP results make clear that too many of our more fortunate kids aren’t being served all that well, either. We have to close these gaps and raise achievement for all students.”

To do that, we must ensure that all students have access to broad, rigorous coursework and strong instruction to prepare them well for college or career. According to Achieve, 32 percent of college students say they would have taken more challenging science courses in high school had they known what college-level expectations were really like. And a whopping 41 percent of their peers who didn’t go to college say the same, given the demands of the workplace.

NAEP’s examination of science course-taking patterns confirms that we have a long way to go to prepare students well for life after high school: In 2009, just one-third of twelfth-graders reported having taken a rigorous science curriculum that includes biology, chemistry and physics.

And we are failing to give them the strong teachers they need, too. Research shows that high school teachers with demonstrated subject-matter knowledge produce stronger gains for students, particularly in math and science. But analyses of federal data show that while most high school teachers have been deemed “highly qualified” by their states, teachers themselves report that about one in five core academic courses – including science – at high-poverty high schools are taught by an educator who neither majored or minored in the subject in college nor is certified in the course’s subject matter. This means that far too many high school science teachers are – through no fault of their own – just a chapter ahead of their students in the courses they are asked to teach.

“At some point, you begin to wonder how many warning bells have to ring and how many political speeches must call for change before we actually do what’s necessary to reverse these trends,” said Haycock. “Some schools are already doing the hard work to ensure that all students achieve at high levels. But in far too many communities, students are still waiting for educators to muster the courage to transform these patterns – and their life trajectories. Our kids – and our country – can wait no longer.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

88 comments Add your comment

HS Public Teacher

January 25th, 2011
1:21 pm

Let’s be perfectly clear….

We don’t need RE-form. We need DE-form.

Education needs to go back to what we were doing right. Things got all messed up when we changed things. Why not go back to what works?

I know it sounds simple. I know it doesn’t cost a lot of money. But, at least we know it works.

Attentive Parent

January 25th, 2011
1:27 pm

Having spent the morning researching the last broad based national science reform, Project 2061, that was designed to be accessible to all Americans by pushing little academic content and using an inquiry, construct your own knowledge approach I do not really see why we should empower more “reform” to keep implementing the same old bad ideas.

The NAEP results you and Ed Trust and Achieve are complaining about show that the last national science reform did not result in broad or deep academic results. Why would that empower us to push for more money for the same ideas and poor instructional approach under a new name?

Yes-teachers with strong science knowledge would be wonderful but that lovely rhetoric simply does not square with simultaneously pushing “just enough content knowledge” because ed schools think ed psych courses are more important.

Or increasing the number of schools of education and having sociology professors teach the legislatively mandated “science” course in ed school because the science department is unwilling to teach with a constructivist approach.

thebob.bob

January 25th, 2011
1:27 pm

Not a surprise when you consider that the right wing and their religious, values voters declared war on rationality decades ago. Science, facts and logic must be de-valued if everything is faith-based.

Science and Math are a threat to fundamentalist religions. In more than one state, science textbook content must survive the scrutiny of the local churches. You’d think that after Galileo, we’d be past that sort of thing.

Concerned Parent, Douglasville

January 25th, 2011
1:27 pm

I agree with the teacher above – scrap the Department of Education which has done nothing to improve the education of our children and bring in full accountability for teachers AND parents. It’s unacceptable that our children trail other developed countries in any subject.Our children deserve the very best education possible.

Mac

January 25th, 2011
1:28 pm

Came here to say basically what HS Public Teacher said.

The only people profiting from reform are the Reformers (consultants, educrats and the like).

Dr NO

January 25th, 2011
1:29 pm

“Tonight, President Obama’s State of the Union address will focus on the need to revive our economy through innovation.”

Dont need to hear anymore for this pseudo pres. He is part of the problem…

What if

January 25th, 2011
1:30 pm

Quiet out there today, isn’t it. Bracey wrote extensively on the NAEP “proficiency” levels, which were documented quite adequately to be political rather than eduational. The levels selected would have even Denmark appear to be substandard. Nevertheless, the CHANGE (or lack of same) is indeed instructional, ASSUMING the national “average curriculum” as sampled by NAEP is a reasonable approximation of what “should” be. Let’s just hope (it’s hard) that our policymakers today won’t just decide that more tests, more “choice,” more vouchers, and more teacher denigration are the continuing answer. Weighing the pig doesn’t make it fatter. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

God Bless the Teacher!

January 25th, 2011
1:54 pm

“…we must ensure that all students have access to broad, rigorous coursework and strong instruction to prepare them well for college or career.”

“And we are failing to give them the strong teachers they need, too.”

“…students are still waiting for educators to muster the courage to transform these patterns…”

What’s the old saying about leading a horse to water? The curriculum is in place in Georgia. Granted, some teachers are lacking science specific majors and maybe don’t feel comfortable teaching physics when that’s what’s forced on them by the administrator who figures out the master schedule. The last quote above speaks VOLUMES about how students and parents are waiting for teahcers and school to make the move. What about the accountability of students and parents. I’ve said it many times on theis blog, and I’ll continue to say it…NOTHING will change until the work ethic of students and value placed by society on education improves. When we may pick and choose who takes the NAEP like other countries have their best and brightest doing, we will improve dramatically our international standing.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa Dubernard, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: How many warning bells before we get real reform? http://bit.ly/gaMADa [...]

Dr. T

January 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

To “thebob”. Religion has nothing to do with this problem. You are referring to the evolution vs creationism debate. If you understand the scientific principle then you know that both take a leap of faith. You can teach science and math and also teach them to think critically rather than simply accepting one side as truth. That is the problem, they are not taught to think at all.

Dr NO

January 25th, 2011
2:26 pm

Markets beginning to tank.

Word must have leaked out about tonites hour long waste of oxygen, nothingness and incoherent ramblings, compliments of Barry “The Annointed One” OFumble.

School of Rock

January 25th, 2011
2:29 pm

“The NAEP science proficiency rates in science for black, Hispanic, and low-income students are about four times lower than are the rates for their white and more affluent classmates.”

Interesting, and not a little hypocritical, that Maureen would repeat such a comment only days after lecturing us in one of her blogs about making “racist” remarks.

Aquagirl

January 25th, 2011
2:35 pm

Science requires actual thought. Is anyone surprised we totally suck?

The utter politicization of science by conservatives/republicans has done horrific damage. People rely on Jenny McCarthy and Neal Boortz rather than doctors or climatologists. God knows children in those homes have about a 1% chance of learning to think rationally.

Teacher Reader

January 25th, 2011
2:36 pm

Take the Department of Education out of the equation and also take unions out of the picture. Stop making so many initiatives that make companies money, but do little to educate the children. Bring education back to bare bones. Technology is misused in many schools-computer math games are not a good use of technology and something that children can do at home. Allow teachers to teach, so that students go home with hurting brains, because they have had to think and apply skills and knowledge being taught. Make standards more manageable. Currently there are too many for teachers to do certain subjects justice. Math comes to mind. I would rather a deep involved curriculum, than one that glosses over information not giving children time to digest and understand what is being taught. Look at what succeeding places do and model that. Get rid of the over paid administrators and bloat. Scale schools back to bare bones and make everyone, not just teachers, responsible for student achievement.

Dr NO

January 25th, 2011
2:37 pm

Climatologists? Oh…those Global Cooling, Global Warming, Global Climate Change Guys. Bravo, Good Answer!!

Dr NO

January 25th, 2011
2:38 pm

“Take the Department of Education out of the equation and also take unions out of the picture.”

HERE HERE *APPLAUSE*

Tcherlady

January 25th, 2011
2:41 pm

In Cobb County, we need to take area superintendents out of the picture! I am curious as to what their job description is – it’s not on the website.

Ken

January 25th, 2011
2:43 pm

The racial and economic achievement gap is often emphasized in national press releases—but ignored at the local level. Change must begin at the neighborhood school through programmatic changes and resource reallocation geared toward those in greatest need.

That won’t happen—it’s too easy to ignore the problem, and too politically sensitive [by the media and politicians] to effect needed reforms to benefit the underclass. As long as the local community accepts positive PR as a substitute for real improvement, the local schools will continue to place stamps-of-approval on undereducated students.

AJinCobb

January 25th, 2011
2:45 pm

Plenty of comments above illustrate why this situation is not likely to improve in the US. This country will follow its imperial predecessors into obscurity. The countries whose children are outstripping ours in science have voters capable of rational decision making, a willingness to raise tax dollars and spend them on public schools, and a willingness to work hard. We have none of the above.

Irrational criticisms of our elected leaders, irrational rejection of scientific results, tax-cutting, vouchers, complaints that the integrated math curriculum modeled after more successful countries’ is too hard for our students … all this will keep us steadily on the path to ruin.

Lee

January 25th, 2011
2:59 pm

“The NAEP science proficiency rates in science for black, Hispanic, and low-income students are about four times lower than are the rates for their white and more affluent classmates. Among eighth-graders, for example, 41 percent of white and more affluent students are proficient or higher, as compared to just 12 percent of Latino and low-income students and 8 percent of African Americans.”

ROFLMAO. As much as Maureen and the politically correct excuse makers would like, you cannot escape the race/IQ correlation. However, most cannot accept the fact that the social engineers have been telling them a pack of lies for the past sixty years.

“Low-income and minority students are now the majority in America’s public schools.”

Those who wish to climb to the top of the world’s academic achievement ladder with this demographic may as well buy lottery tickets – the odds are are probably better.

“Today’s NAEP results make clear that too many of our more fortunate kids aren’t being served all that well, either.”

Translation – everything that the anti-integration crowd said in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s was true.

HStchr

January 25th, 2011
3:02 pm

“Change must begin at the neighborhood school through programmatic changes and resource reallocation geared toward those in greatest need”

Ken: one part of the problem is that we’ve reallocated resources and trained teachers until they’re dizzy trying to address the needs of low-performing students/groups. The real problem is that we’re using an antiquated model for schools based on industrial standards. We’re not an industrial society anymore and yet we keep the school design. The real reform we need will take money and serious change in the entire design of schools. Show me where we’ll get more money and I’ll show you how to make it work. Until we get the politicians to realize the fundamental changes we need to make and get them to commit the funds, we’ll never make it. The solution they prefer is privatizing the whole system via charter schools and vouchers. All we’ll get then is more of the same with private corporations raking in the profits.

The other problem we battle with is changing attitudes about the need for and role of education in the lives of our poor. We’ve got to reaffirm the need for education in these communities and then offer something they value. Education used to be seen as the way out; now it’s just something the law requires that may or may not really help. Until we get past looking at schools as test score mills, we’ll never be relevant to these folks.

Dr NO

January 25th, 2011
3:16 pm

Solutions…

The intelligent children – those that want to learn and most others should be separated from the little miscreants who want to learn nothing and distract class all day, everyday.
Move the miscreants to a room by themselves.

The Surrogate parent theory is now, more than ever worth a try. Parents who cant manage their children should have them taken away and placed with a surrogate family or in an orphanage.

These bad apples are just milling about and causing havoc while awaiting their orange jumpsuit and number.

rural education

January 25th, 2011
3:16 pm

Abolish teacher education, and require everyone to attain a BA or BS in their particular subject area. Few of the “education” course are really needed.

Shar

January 25th, 2011
3:32 pm

We all know that parental involvement is the crucial ingredient that is all too often lacking for underperforming students. Parents who do not insist on homework, who do not impart discipline, who do not provide adequate medical care, nutrition and sleep, who do not get their children to school on time, every single day, who adamantly and angrily accuse every other adult in their child’s sphere of being the cause of problems – these parents are slowing drowning out the voices and efforts of parents who direct their children toward academic success. Sadly, sanctions against the destructive parents are almost always felt most by their children, who are most vulnerable.

To make real change in the classroom, we have to make change outside of it first. Either penalize parents for the behavioral problems of their children – they pay more in taxes, they must come to school every day with their children, they are ineligible for public assistance – or remove the children as much as possible from the parents, with dual track schools which provide remediation, academic support and supervised extracurricular activities on the one hand and enrichment on the other. Neither of these options is politically acceptable since those parents who have failed their children have no sense of accountability or shame and will relentlessly combat taking the consequences of their actions. However, if this is not done, all the warning bells in the country can peal and our political and educational leaders will continue to play deaf.

Fericita

January 25th, 2011
3:34 pm

This is an unintended consequence of No Child Left Behind. Instead of insuring that all children receive an equal education, NCLB just insures that children who start school at a deficit (kids from low-income homes) receive a limited, test-focused education. Sure, the CRCT tests science, but it doesn’t count in terms of AYP, promotion, or grades.

The Title I school I worked in did not have science or social studies on the sample schedule that teachers were given at the beginning of the year. We were told to “teach science and social studies through reading and writing.” I realize that when kids can’t read on grade level, you want to focus on that, but some kids would get excited about reading because of something they learned in science. We had amazing science lab kits that largely went untouched because they couldn’t fit into the laser focus on Reading, Writing, and Math.

David Sims

January 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

There is one social reform that, to my knowledge, has not been generally tried among high school students in the United States. It is widespread in Japan, but American students usually don’t attempt it until college, if then. It costs school systems nothing. It may give a small boost to the local economy where the students live. It certainly improves grades on homework assignments, and it might raise test scores. However, it takes a certain amount of sacrifice and some self-discipline on the part of the students, themselves, and that’s probably why you don’t see high school students doing it here.

The reform is study groups. Not study halls in school. But study groups after school hours. In the evenings. At night. Perhaps all night long on Fridays and Saturdays.

I did this in college, and, once the misfits were shaken out of my physics/astronomy/math study groups, we remaining students practically wolfed down our books. We were the ones ahead of the teacher. We were the ones who didn’t have to worry about doing the questions at the end of the chapter because we’d already done them all. We were the ones who knew what we were doing and, therefore, got the best grades.

While most students drank too much beer at parties, my study group convened at a Shoney’s 24-hour restaurant at 9 pm, with our books, pens, paper, and calculators ready. We commandeered the large table in the corner and ordered, each of us, a meal. It was a rule that we had to eat first, since that’s how we got the management to tolerate us. Another rule we had was tipping the waitress when she went off-shift at 4 am; we had to keep her happy, too.

But after we’d finished eating, the fun began. We did homework problems—starting with the ones assigned us by the fiendish and diabolical Dr. Marks, who taught us astronomy and physics. He was a popular teacher because he was a very good explainer of difficult concepts, but his homework problems were right out of hell. The simplest of them would take the best of us two hours to solve. Most of them took considerably longer than that, and some of them stumped us all, leaving us dejected and woebegone for our failure the next day. He usually gave us two problems each weekday, and glory and praise would belong to whomever found the right answer first and taught the rest of us how it was done, after which we’d kick ourselves for not having seen the key to the problem.

Anyway, study groups can help high school student quite a bit. But only if they have enough self-discipline to forgo their conventional manner of spending their time. If they will, they will. If they won’t, you can’t make ‘em.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

January 25th, 2011
4:32 pm

When will get real reform? When parents, teachers and other concerned citizens cooperate to elect knowledgeable, courageous, public-spirited, education-valuing majorities to our local BOEs and legislative delegations. Until then, self-serving educrats and politicos will continue to derail substantive reforms. To them the status-quo is prodigally remunerative.

YeahRight

January 25th, 2011
4:34 pm

The comments in this blog (like most blogs) are consistently bad, but I can’t help but scroll down to read them because there is still space left between my scroll button and the bottom of the scroll bar, and I automatically scroll down when that happens. Is there an option to turn comments off, and if there isn’t, can one be built in?

An American Patriot

January 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

@Maureen – Can we stop the racist comments on the blogs?

After analyzing all the comments, did you come to any conclusions?

An inquiring mind wants to know :)

Top School

January 25th, 2011
4:52 pm

REFORM- Start by demanding the LAWMAKERS dismantle the GA. STATE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMISSION.

What a waste of tax payers money!
http://www.gapsc.com/Commission/Minutes/June_2010.pdf

Does anyone have the time to try to figure out how this works???…

http://www.TopPublicSchoolCorruptionAtlanta.com

Top School

January 25th, 2011
4:53 pm

YES…it is all about RACE…
and redrawing the lines…

Top School

January 25th, 2011
4:56 pm

You can start by helping the children right in your own neighborhood.
We don’t need to travel to another COUNTRY to help.

HStchr

January 25th, 2011
4:56 pm

rural education: While I agree that a degree in a field is preferable, without some education courses, how are potential teachers supposed to learn about the theory and practice? That’s like telling a heart doctor all he needs to study is medicine and the surgical stuff will just come to him. If anything, we need to require teachers to earn a BA in a subject field followed by a teaching degree at the master’s level. Of course then we’d have to pay them more, but we might actually get better quality. We can’t cram it all into a four year degree, in my opinion.

HStchr

January 25th, 2011
5:02 pm

To those who see race or socioeconomic status as a necessary means of separating students: How are kids supposed to learn to move up in society if all they see are others just like them? We have yet to find a workable solution to that issue, and it’s happening every day when you look at demographics in most school districts. What we need to do is have academic and career/tech high schools. Spread them out across a district so that you don’t end up encouraging the concentration of poverty in any given area. Then the kids who want more (and there are plenty of affluent kids who have zero ambition and who do horribly in school) go to the academic high school and the kids who want career training get a career diploma at the tech high school.

Our state super is pushing the single diploma option, which in my opinion is only going to force more kids into dropping out. Our GED programs better expand quickly!

drew (former teacher)

January 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

“However, it takes a certain amount of sacrifice and some self-discipline on the part of the students, themselves, and that’s probably why you don’t see high school students doing it here.”

You are correct about the efficacy of study groups…I wouldn’t have made it through my first year of college without my study group. But you will NEVER see it here in the US, to any significant degree. “Self-disciplined student” is, for the most part, an oxymoron in this country. You have to realize that Japanese culture emphasizes a respect for parents and education, and a strong sense of familial responsibility, something that’s severely lacking in this country. Most American students (and parents!) simply don’t/won’t embrace sacrifice, and lack the self-discipline to implement study groups.

And reform??? REFORM????!! Come on people, reform simply is not going to happen. And to think we can reform education is a dead end road. We have been reforming education for decades with no real progress. We change the curriculum, we change the groupings, we change the educational buzz words, but it’s all for naught. The gargantuan bureaucracy that is “education” in this country is impervious to real reform, especially now that the Feds are in so deep. Not to mention the test-makers, textbook publishers, and technology vendors that suckle on the teat of education.

And as much as I hate to complain about the sorry state of education without offering some solution, I honestly don’t think there is one. Public education will continue it’s current slide until the parents who value education opt for homeschooling or private schools, leaving public schools to teach only those who either don’t care, or can’t afford a better option. And that’s a shame.

Or maybe the first poster has it right…”deform” education back to what it used to be. Make education optional, not mandatory. Allow those students who have no interest in getting their education to simply opt out. And expel the chronic disruptive students so that maybe…just maybe…we can teach those who DO WANT an education.

Tony

January 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

1. Expectations. The expectations of students must be raised and this must begin at home.

2. While engineering jobs may have the highest percentage increase, this does not mean that is where the most jobs are. The most jobs are and will be in service areas rather than STEM areas. It’s easy to mislead everyone with the high rate of job growth. After all, 21% increase sounds like a lot. Let’s be realistic, though. There is a relatively small number of jobs in that area and any increase would show a large percentage growth. Jerry Bracey has written about this many times (rest his soul).

3. NAEP proficiency leves were set very high for political reasons, but it is still vital to our nation for students to perform better. For this to happen, we must stop making excuses. Parents must expect their children to perform. When you look at the key differences between socio-economic levels, expectations for high performance and a value for learning become evident.

DK

January 25th, 2011
5:35 pm

The answer can be revealed as in every problem in this country and it’s only one word that’s causing all problems……………GOVERNMENT.
Funny how private schools don’t have any of these problems. Then again, most people who vote went to GOVERNMENT schools.

td

January 25th, 2011
5:55 pm

rural education

January 25th, 2011
3:16 pm
Abolish teacher education, and require everyone to attain a BA or BS in their particular subject area. Few of the “education” course are really needed.

I think I took maybe two Education classes that were useful. The rest were garbage socialistic theory.

Maureen Downey

January 25th, 2011
5:56 pm

@dk, How would anyone know what problems private schools have since their information is private? The public has no access to private school information.
Maureen

d

January 25th, 2011
5:57 pm

First, I have to agree with HStchr, we *do* need courses in pedagogy etc for teachers. Just because you know history doesn’t mean you know how to teach it. I hold my bachelor’s in field and my masters is in Social Studies education – but in order to earn that, I had to have 15 hours in field on top of the “teacher classes.”

Second – we can get into the “there aren’t unions in Georgia” argument, but I’ll point out again that the highly unionized states have better systems because the teachers have a larger say in the process. Sonny shut the teachers out in the RttT application and now we’re stuck with that monstrosity. Let teachers have a say in the profession and I think we’ll see improvements.

Third – are we still comparing ourselves to the countries that track their students before they get to the secondary system? Seriously, how can you compare all of our students to only the students in an academic track in places such as Japan and Germany? Our top students are doing just fine, but we’re forcing students who have no desire to be in the academic field to take trigonometry through courses such as Math III and of course they’re struggling.

Fourth – there’s always the argument about “throwing money” at the schools with little result – I’ll remind people arguing that that we’ve had 8 years of cuts to QBE…. of course all this does kill the teacher morale. I’m a 6th year teacher making the same as a 1st year teacher (and netting less because I’ve got money going into a 403(b)).

Fifth – let me run my classroom and let’s stop with all the stuff. One strategy I’ve been given is a red-light/green-light style game. Seriously? These children are seniors. I don’t care where they’re going next year, they’re not going to be doing red-light/green-light. If they’re going to a college or university, it’s going to be mostly discussion (if they’re lucky) or lecture and these students aren’t prepared for that learning environment. While I’m thinking about it, how many schools or work places for that matter give three documented opportunities to make up a missed assignment? If a boss doesn’t get a report when requested, the one responsible is probably on his way out the door.

ml

January 25th, 2011
5:57 pm

dems have their own faults and are not leading anything and have been so demonized and discredited through their oppositions marketing there is less blame to be assigned to them, not to say they don’t own any accountability. but the huge problem that everyone can see, though most people would rather see this country flown into the ground like that plane in penn. on 9/11 rather than admit that they were wrong or made any mistakes or supported bad people doing bad things(see not-so-curious george for ref.), but republicans have allowed all the things that people say are just capitalism but are really the pure greed truly despised by Jesus himself, to erode the foundation under this country’s feet. wake up and stop supporting evil. evil that is completely opposite to American patriotism. because if it hurts America, it;s unpatriotic. come on folks, we all knew dick cheney was evil, didn’t we? but still so many people covered for that rat bastard, supported him and angrily tore down others that denounced him. and the worst thing? they have hurt education, among other things, while the whole time saying they were doing it for the children. damn people! what the hell is going on? you can see it, you can see that it’s evil and still you are driven over a cliff by the primitive hunters with the rest of your herd.
remember this, any religion that directly ties itself to ANY political party is a bad religion! just like the ‘christians’ of this country. to use the Lord for personal gain and not to try and act as he wishes, and to use the name of God while doing it is using God’s name in vain. i believe that one’s a sin. much greater than any selling of alcohol on the sabbath.
followers of Jesus Christ and christians are two completely different things.
and as long as you allow yourselves to act in this way, you will be manipulated.
because religion should never follow politicans, but politicians should try to follow good religion, if there is even one left out there.
let the rich take your kids education and your ability to feed yourself and get medical treatment in a just a few short years, but remember you only have your weak, easily manipulated self to blame.

Dr. John Trotter

January 25th, 2011
6:01 pm

Maureen, There is no magic “potion.” It ain’t out there. If any school system had ever found a magic “potion,” the news would have spread like wildfire! It ain’t out there. Quit believing in an Educational Santa Claus. The best thing that can be done for students is to establish structured discipline and to support the classroom educators in their efforts to teach those students who want to learn. If a student demonstrates that he or she does not want to learn, remove this student and send him or her to The Non-learning Center and run this center like a prison. After a while, the students catch on and figure out that it is more fun to exhibit motivation to learn than to sit idly and arduously in a very boring and prison-like Non-learning Center. But, oh does this offend the sensitivities of those educrats who don’t know their asses from deep centerfield. I intend to offend. Selah. © MACE, January 25, 2011.

ml

January 25th, 2011
6:09 pm

gee reublicans, where id all that money go? it’s a mystery isn’t it? or is it maybe just capitalism? yep, that rich CEO stole your kid’s future to get ANOTHER vacation home. this one’s in Maui and I hear it’s really nice. ain’t greed, oops, I mean capitalism just grand? cause we all know that Jesus just loves the ones who make the most money the best, now ain’t that right……..

ml

January 25th, 2011
6:12 pm

you should just see J.C. and the boys in their new three piece suits. this time Michaelangelo will paint the last supper as they sit in a board meeting with catered food and high end coffee products.
throw another peasant on the fire won’t you now Judas?

David Sims

January 25th, 2011
6:12 pm

@An American Patriot. “@Maureen – ‘Can we stop the racist comments on the blogs?’ After analyzing all the comments, did you come to any conclusions? An inquiring mind wants to know.”

She’s apparently still censoring. Above my comment where I suggested study groups to improve student achievement, I had another post where I agreed with Lee that the correlation of race and IQ is why the racial gaps have been so resistant to closure, and I also illustrated a basic conflict between the religious and scientific worldviews. That comment, on moderation for a while, now seems to have been deleted.

Old Physics Teacher

January 25th, 2011
6:28 pm

I LOVE the idea of requiring a BS in field to teach. HAHAHA! Let’s see now… A BS in Chemistry pays about 40-60k… and teachers make how much? A private sector job works around 40-45 hrs per week. A teacher works how many hours a week? I get to school around 6:45AM and stay until 5:00PM (as do many of my fellow teachers) and still have to work into the night at home. I have also been known to come in on the weekend. After 18 years I now make about what a starting chemist makes. Go right ahead and require a degree in field and see what type of person applies for a teaching job – and see what your taxes are then! You can’t pull a person off the back end of a truck and have them teach. It requires a special person (and we’re not motivated (mainly) by money – although I won’t turn a raise down!).

Now as far as the education courses… I never even opened a book and made straight “A’s.” Now, if instead of requiring a degree to teach, if you require a teacher to be a “successful” parent first, I’d vote for that! If you’d also require an administrator to work as a teacher for one semester every five years, you’d get a huge round of applause from the teachers.

ScienceTeacher671

January 25th, 2011
6:40 pm

@HStchr: The other problem we battle with is changing attitudes about the need for and role of education in the lives of our poor. We’ve got to reaffirm the need for education in these communities and then offer something they value. Education used to be seen as the way out; now it’s just something the law requires that may or may not really help.

It needed to be said again, a little bit louder. :-)

ScienceTeacher671

January 25th, 2011
6:45 pm

How many times have we been told that “what you test is what you get”?

If we really want our students at or above grade level, we need to start giving them a test that is at or above grade level, instead of telling them they are “proficient” when they are actually up to 4 years below grade level.

Tell students, parents, and the public the truth.

The GaDOE has been lowering standards for years, and the General Assembly passed the law that says that even the students who don’t meet Georgia’s abysmal standards can be socially promoted anyway, and so we get 9th grade students who can’t read a high school textbook and can’t do 3rd grade math.

And everyone blames the teachers.

catlady

January 25th, 2011
6:46 pm

Shar, while it might make sense to do as you propose, many parents would see it as a reward and go out and have more babies! I am more in favor of punative action; shame doesn’t seem to work except in some immigrant communities.

Until parents are as inconvenienced as teachers and students who want to learn, I don’t think we will see improvement.

Concerned

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

@ rural education “Abolish teacher education”

You have got to be kidding me! I have worked with a number of “teachers” who are brilliant in their field, but do not know the first thing about how to teach. Honestly, it does not take a rocket-scientist to teach elementary, middle, and even most high school science classes. It takes someone who has a good grasp of the subject that can present it in a way that students will learn it. It’s easier to teach someone science than it is to teach someone to teach.