President Obama: Require teens stay in school until they are 18

President Obama talked a lot about education Tuesday night. (AJC)

President Obama talked a lot about education Tuesday night. (AJC)

President Obama devoted a sizable slice of his State of the Union speech tonight to schools and education.

Here are the relevant passages:

At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced states to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies— just to make a difference.

Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn.

We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every state to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.

When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college. At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves middle-class families thousands of dollars. And give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years.

Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid. We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down. Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who’ve done just that. Some schools re-design courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology. The point is, it’s possible. So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can’t be a luxury — it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.

Let’s also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: The fact that they aren’t yet American citizens. Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.

That doesn’t make sense.

I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That’s why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.

The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

87 comments Add your comment

TW

January 24th, 2012
11:36 pm

How come the GOP states have the lowest test scores? And how come the red states are the ones who suck off that government teat the most? And how come they’re the fattest states? And they also smoke the most?

Is it because the fat stupid smokers vote GOP or is it GOP incompetence that makes the state fat and stupid?

Chicken or the egg?

Go Raiders!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

td

January 25th, 2012
12:02 am

If the proposed legislation would also state that the parent could be held criminally accountable for the actions of the student then I could support the legislation.

KWDdad

January 25th, 2012
12:23 am

@TW – Wow, didn’t know that Atlanta was such a GOP stronghold. Some of the worst test scores in one of the worst States of Education! Not to mention we spend some of the highest $$ per student to get these great results. I guess all the republicans in the city (especilly south and wes sides) account for the all kids that smoke pot, go to jail and breed the unmotivated mentality of the students in the APS. I guess that’s why all the representatives and senators that represent Atlanta and Dekalb County are GOP.

Nice argument!!

DemocracyChamp

January 25th, 2012
12:58 am

I like the idea of paying good teachers, and nobody wants to teach to the test. The bad thing though is that most merit-based pay for teachers rests heavily upon test scores. We have to find a multi-dimentional way of measuing teacher impact. As a music teacher I will earn my “bonus” based upon students’ CRCT scores, which is utterlly rediculous. Even if I was a reading teacher, studies in other states have proven merit-based pay based on test scores to have no impact on student achievement, so why are policy makers still pushing that?? In all reality, we should put a lot more emphasis on making sure that the teachers coming into our schools and getting into teacher training programs are the elite. We need teachers who are the top of their classes and come from the best schools: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/01/12/16teachers.h31.html?tkn=SPZFpdtY3lWmLeb2QDOUFlogiKKAR8SPCiQ6&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1

Tiago do Brasil

January 25th, 2012
3:23 am

We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every state to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.

Please don’t do that. Let the disruptive ones quit. Our schools are much better off without them.

BlahBlahBlah

January 25th, 2012
4:30 am

Forcing a 17 year old delinquent to “stay in school” = poisoning the well for everyone who actually wants to be there. Bad, bad, bad idea.

drew (former teacher)

January 25th, 2012
6:24 am

Yeah….and while we’re “making them” stay in school, let’s also “make them” learn as well. BWAH!!!

Terrible idea! I say we drop the age to fourteen. The last thing we need are MORE disruptive students who don’t want to be there, have no intention of doing any work, and are there only because the law requires them to be there. I guess it’s the old NCLB mentality that makes people think EVERYONE MUST graduate HS. But it’s just another case of neglecting those who want to learn so we can coddle those who have no interest in an education.

yes i am worried

January 25th, 2012
6:37 am

Please no — but let’s have a much stronger system of vocational and alternative options.

mountain man

January 25th, 2012
6:42 am

A sixteen year old student is not even reading at a third grade level, he has been socially promoted all the way up, he hates school, thinks good grades are for those acting “too white”, is a troublemaker in class
and keeps good students from learning, and you want to keep him in school for ANOTHER two years. Dumb, dumb idea

As far as the “good” teachers, how are you going to measure that? You can’t use student progress or test scores, that just gauges how good the STUDENT is. If you put the best teacher in the world in an eighth grade class full of SPED students, delinquent discipline problems, socially promoted third graders and tell him/her that she will be judged by their scores on an eighth grade test, it will look like he/ she is a horrible teacher, when really he/she has horrible students.

HoneyFern

January 25th, 2012
6:57 am

I don’t agree with forcing students to stay until they are 18, but I do agree with making education more practical for those who do want to leave, so that when they go they can support themselves and be productive.

Say it with me: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LEARNING A TRADE.

ScienceTeacher671

January 25th, 2012
6:58 am

No country in the world sends ALL of their students to college. Never have, never will.

Many other countries DO provide other alternatives after elementary or middle school to students who don’t have the aptitude or motivation to benefit from further academics, however.

catlady

January 25th, 2012
7:03 am

I’d like to see the age dropped, too. If a student shows no inclination to work hard in school, or is a behavior problem, let them drop out of school and drop into a rigorous program of responsibility and work ethic and work skills. That is, yes, you can drop out or be kicked out, but you immediately go into a boot camp to learn things to make you self-sufficient, barracks and all. It might give some of our young folks a little perspective, especially those who have not developed the skills necessary to get along in the real world–self-care, budgeting, accountability, work ethic, achievement. I REALLY think this would help both the individual student who is bereft of these skills, but also get them out of the schools where there are students who want to learn. Oh, yeah, and use any parental governmental aid to pay for the drop-out’s education–afdc, tax refunds, etc. Also, the parent should be charged a small amount, because this is the result of THEIR failure to raise their child responsibly.

Of course, it would also allow our schools to teach those who have been raised to develop the requisite necessary life skills and prepare for college or technical school.

The bottom line is, everyone should come out of school with skills to support themselves legally.

Old timer

January 25th, 2012
7:03 am

Only keep them there if they behave…..TN requires this now ….someone who does not want to be where they are can be pretty tough in the class and they do not neccesariy graduate.

need change

January 25th, 2012
7:10 am

Let students who want to drop out leave. Let them leave at 15….and then make sure that when they are ready to come back, there are opportunities for them to do so, whether they are 18 or 24 or 42. Create meaningful vocational education programs and apprenticeships so that those who aren’t interested in college have actual skills.

Keeping uninterested, unmotivated students in school doesn’t educate them, it merely creates a toxic environment for those students who are interested in education.

JB

January 25th, 2012
7:32 am

I kind of like catlady’s idea. School or the military. It would separate problem kids from kids who want to learn and give the problem kids another opportunity. It would be tough to implement, considering that parents fight to have kids socially promoted to avoid embarrassment, rather than help their children succeed. Perhaps the rule should be you can’t get any kind of financial aid without a HS diploma or GED.

Dr. Monica Henson

January 25th, 2012
7:37 am

No child shows up to kindergarten announcing, “I do not want to be here, I want for my teacher to detest me, I don’t want to learn anything, and I intend to keep everyone around me from learning.” The vast majority of teenagers who become lazy, unmotivated, and disruptive did not get there on their own. They spend 8 of their waking hours in schools, and those who work in schools cannot absolve themselves from responsibility by blaming the kids. (I don’t doubt for a minute that better parents would help tremendously, but the simple fact is that many kids don’t have them. We still need to teach those kids effectively.)

Tiago do Brasil posted: “Let the disruptive ones quit. Our schools are much better off without them.” Several other posters made similar comments. This attitude that there is something wrong with SOME of the kids, rather than with classrooms that don’t inspire and motivate ALL kids, is a prime reason why so many kids become disengaged.

I am not teacher-bashing. I am stating the fact that many, MANY classrooms are run in ways that do not interest, motivate, and inspire all of the students in them. There needs to be much more relevance in American classrooms, and I agree strongly with the posters who point out that some students do not want to attend college and don’t belong there. Nevertheless, we have an obligation in the United States to provide education to all comers, and simply to encourage the square pegs to get out as early as we can legally allow them to is an abdication of that responsibility.

Viable career and technical education options need to be offered beginning earlier than high school. Academic middle and high school teachers have got to use instructional methods that are engaging and interesting TO THE KIDS, rather than simply setting out the instructional serving that the teacher deems most appropriate, when it becomes clear that some (many?) of the kids are disengaged. If a teacher complains year after year that there are so many disruptive students, then perhaps it might behoove that teacher to take a look in the mirror and ask, “Am I honestly doing anything differently to make a positive impact on this situation?”

This is what the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards requires of candidates seeking their certification. Viewing one’s own classroom from this perspective creates a sea change in a teacher’s approach and truly transforms practice. After starting out teaching in what was then rural Gwinnett County and struggling to engage and interest all the students in small classes and polite, well-behaved kids, I moved to central Massachusetts and began working in diverse, urban, Title I schools. Had I not gone through National Board Certification and begun ASKING my kids to tell me how to make my classroom a more engaging place, I could never have improved my teaching nearly as much as I did (which is evidenced by my students’ track record on the MCAS, SAT, and (a very few) AP exams, not just my own opinion). I’m not speaking from some ivory tower of academia–I have spent years teaching and serving as an administrator in some of the neediest, least resourced schools on the East Coast.

Continuing to complain and blame the kids serves NO purpose but to perpetuate the unfortunate and widespread public perception that teaching is riddled with people who (1) don’t know very well how to do what they have been hired to do and (2) don’t really like kids all that much, except for the well-fed, well-dressed, and well-behaved ones.

Title 1 Teacher

January 25th, 2012
7:37 am

I like the ‘boot camp’ idea. I have an extremely unmotivated 5th grader to whom I issued a challenge: I will lay out expenses for you (rent, bills, etc)and if you can prove to me that you can make it work on minimum wage, which is all you’ll ever earn if you drop out, then I will leave you alone the rest of the year.

Let them drop out, but make them attend a ‘life skills’ boot camp. They have to get up on time, show up to ‘work’ on time, budget their money, pay some bills, etc. If they can do it for six months (hell, if they can do it for three) we let them go. I’ll bet most of them will gladly head for a vocational program at that point.

Title 1 Teacher

January 25th, 2012
7:45 am

And yes, Dr. Henson, you’re right, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have any energy left to think about student engagement after I create more spreadsheets with my students’ test data, manage my over-crowded classroom because the substitute positions didn’t fill, attend three meetings and/or webinars a week, call the parent of every student whose average drops below a 70%, and make sure that all of my bulletin boards and displays have all the required bells and whistles.

I love my students.

I love to teach them.

I’m exhausted.

justmy2cents

January 25th, 2012
7:46 am

Problem w/ catlady’s idea (not that I disagree with the concept), is that even the military doesn’t take GEDs anymore. They want diplomas, and they are getting more and more selective.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

January 25th, 2012
8:14 am

Just more of Big Daddys socialist control mechanisms disguised as yummy goodness and of course caring…

Ron F.

January 25th, 2012
8:26 am

@ Dr. Henson- “MANY classrooms are run in ways that do not interest, motivate, and inspire all of the students in them. There needs to be much more relevance in American classrooms”

Yes indeed. What you must understand is that often it isn’t solely because of a disinterested teacher. Many very creative, loving, devoted teachers find their creativity squelched by “rigor” as defined by principals whose jobs depend on test scores. I’ve seen teachers forced to take down interesting, engaging displays to put up sterile lists of standards. I’ve had engaging lessons criticized because they weren’t rigorous enough or because I didn’t make the kids parrot back the standards. If anything, classes become boring places for kids because we can’t teach the children, we teach the standards so that we can justify our jobs. Until we return the focus to the kids, especially those who struggle, and are given the freedom and tools to do so, we’ll continue to see kids falling further behind.

What we need is a broader list of alternative education formats. We need the expand the cyber academies, offer greater, truly alternative programs, and career academies for kids whose interests are less academic. Keep them until they’re 18, but it’s going to take money to offer what they need to keep them engaged and make them successful in the long run.

V for Vendetta

January 25th, 2012
8:28 am

Keep them until 18? Brilliant! That way, we can ensure that the disruptive students who are not being reached by our lack of options remain in school to negatively impact the general population. While we’re at it, let’s tie everything to student test scores and expect teachers to work miracles.

justmy2cents,

You’re absolutely right. However, if we were to adopt a more diverse education model, the quality of education for the students who were not college bound would no doubt increase. The military–and other organizations–would be far more accepting of a rigorous technical program. If we were to offer such a thing. Or we can keep throwing money at students who have no business (and no interest in) being in traditional school to being with.

V for Vendetta

January 25th, 2012
8:30 am

What does Dr. Henson have a PhD in? Environmental Science? She’s obviously not a teacher. Maybe it’s Good Mom under a different name actually using spellcheck/grammar check.

Don't Tread

January 25th, 2012
8:40 am

“That’s why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.”

Wrong…The economy being in the toilet and the resulting lack of construction jobs is the real reason the Mexicans are more apt to stay home. It doesn’t matter how many boots you put on the ground when you tie their hands.

And it’s funny he mentions Steve Jobs – somebody who hijacked others’ ideas and profited from them.

“Keep them until 18? Brilliant! That way, we can ensure that the disruptive students who are not being reached by our lack of options remain in school to negatively impact the general population.”

Somebody got it right – and it ain’t Obama.

justmy2cents

January 25th, 2012
8:52 am

@ V- I certainly agree. When I was in high school we could, *gasp*, divide students out by ability level. We also, across town, had a vo-tech school for those who just weren’t making it in regular high school. I just don’t see why it is so difficult to understand that not every person is college material!

Batgirl

January 25th, 2012
9:03 am

Like many of you, I have no problem with lowering the dropout age, and I would like to see vocational education returned and given the respect it deserves. I would also like to see a JROTC program in every high school. When we had it in our schools, it made a BIG difference in the lives of a lot of students. Students who drove us middle school teachers crazy became responsible, respectful and respectable young adults after going through that program. But, of course, it became a casualty of budget cuts. In my scenario, there would be a JROTC program in every high school (and possibly middle school); it could be an elective for all students, but would be a requirement for potential dropouts. Oh, and my JROTC program would have the meanest, strictest teachers anyone has ever seen. Our war veterans need jobs. Let’s put them to work in this program.

V for Vendetta

January 25th, 2012
9:04 am

justmy2cents,

Absolutely! Look at the biggest districts in the state: none of them has a votech program commensurate with their overall size or population. Gwinnett has nearly twenty high schools and only TWO real votech options. Seems a bit skewed to me. Shouldn’t a district that size have closer to six or seven votech schools? Ones with in-depth courses and legitimate work experience? Cobb, Dekalb, and Fulton are no different.

But this hopelessly misguided view comes from the top. All of us in the trenches know what should be done.

William Casey

January 25th, 2012
9:09 am

I would agree with the “keep everyone in school until age 18″ idea ONLY if a rigorous training program and licensing procedure were required before anyone could produce a child.

Dr. Monica Henson

January 25th, 2012
9:09 am

@V for Vendetta: doctorate in educational leadership, National Board Certification in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts, eleven years in the classroom.

Ron F posted, “What you must understand is that often it isn’t solely because of a disinterested teacher. Many very creative, loving, devoted teachers find their creativity squelched by ‘rigor’ as defined by principals whose jobs depend on test scores.”

This is an excellent point and demonstrates what happens when test scores drive everything and when many administrators are not themselves accomplished teachers before going into leadership positions. Accomplished teachers do not teach to tests–they teach to STANDARDS, and the standards-based tests take care of themselves. Ron is right to express frustration over having to remove teacher-created displays in order to post lists of standards–this is not educational leadership by an administrator, it’s window dressing, and not even very good window dressing at that.

We have to get more great teachers into leadership positions, or we’ll continue to get checklists, scripts, and other standardization measures instead of great teaching.

In a recent Education Week Teacher blog post, Liana Heitin writes about Cami Anderson, superintendent of Newark Public Schools, speaking about “the nuances of reading instruction and the obstacles to selecting an effective program, drawing frequently on her own teaching experience…she thinks the best teaching comes out of the ‘messy middle.’ Some of the most impressive reading teachers she’s seen have created their own materials from a hodgepodge of reading programs’ best practices.”

Administrators have to support teachers in building a classroom climate of respect, while teachers have to institute rigor and relevance in their instructional practice. It is in the “messy middle,” where teachers should be permitted pick and choose among all the tools at their disposal, where truly great and inspired teaching is born. I do not advocate allowing every teacher complete freedom in this regard–where a teacher is brand-new, untried & untested, or otherwise having been found lacking in the ability to do this work in the “messy middle” of planning and assembling instructional components, there needs to be substantial structure and guidance (but not scripting), until the teacher can demonstrate that s/he can stand along and help students achieve proficiency, no matter what the subject is, or leaves for another profession for which s/he is suited.

Many of the “teacher problems” in American education are actually “administrator problems.” But nowhere near as many as the posters on this blog would have readers believe…

Tired of Foolishness

January 25th, 2012
9:19 am

Its obvious Dr. Henson has a Ph.D. in Dreamology. To believe that its the teacher’s fault because the classroom isn’t interesting is to believe that every child is going to college. At the end of the day, students of today want to have the classroom with frills and fun in it yet they don’t have the capability to read or solve a problem if their life depended upon it. I get so tired of people always saying its the teacher’s fault for everything. If a parent gets a divorce, its a teacher’s fault. If the child gets on drugs, its a teacher’s fault. If the child skips school, it’s a teacher’s fault. When will people like Dr. Henson and her dreamology crew understand that teaching begins at home. If you want to play the blame game, lets start there.

WAR

January 25th, 2012
9:21 am

disagree with prez on this one. students who want to drop out and cant make it hard on students who dont want to drop out.

Frankie

January 25th, 2012
9:22 am

Problem is that Vocational tech schools are just as important as the regular schools and if a student does not want to learn in regular schools why put him in the vocational tech schools were he will be a disruption also…
putting him in alternatie school means we have to place teachers (good or bad ) in the school to teach them and the good teachers do not want to go there and the bad teachers will probably quite anyway…Military does not want them,
You don’t want them on the welfare system, the jails are over crowded, o what do you do with them…..cut them loose???

Ivan Cohen

January 25th, 2012
9:24 am

Nobody wants to teach to the test, however some of our schools do this. This is really unfortunate because it creates a ratings system. How a school ranks(high or low) determines whether parents want to enroll their children at that facility. The disruptive students who drop out or get pushed out and don’t receive alternatives like vocational education wind up in prison according to the statistics. Taxpayers will still have to foot the bill for them. Not every child has a nuturing home. That child still has potential, he or she should not be thrown under the bus because of circumstances beyond their control. I concur that not every child is college material. In 2012, this society still looks down on those types of children. Time for that kind of mindset to change.

V for Vendetta

January 25th, 2012
9:27 am

Dr. Henson,

Touche :-)

“We have to get more great teachers into leadership positions, or we’ll continue to get checklists, scripts, and other standardization measures instead of great teaching.”

But how are we supposed to achieve leadership positions when we are prevented from doing so unless we sell our soul to “play the game?” It would be easy for me to get a position in administration. It would be relatively easy to make the jump from administration to the county office. However, to do so, one must pander to the people who are already in office, and, once there, one must not rock the boat if one wishes to remain. If we were able to somehow coordinate a massive influx of classroom teachers moving upwards, maybe it would work. As an inidividual goal, however, it is unrealistic. The educational leadership in many districts WANTS us to be little robots regurgitating some preapproved, politically correct, test-centric script that will ensure maximum success with minimum controversy. It’s because they don’t get it; they don’t understand. They are businessmen and politicians, along with teachers so far removed from the classroom or so corrupt they no longer care.

Forgive me for being cynical. I don’t see it that way. I see it as being a realist. This is the reality of my position. I do the best I can for the students who cross my threshold, but in order to affect real, lasting, meaningful change for the population at-large, I would need to be far more politically powerful–which would mean that I would have to turn my back on the classroom or sell out. I’m not willing to do either of those things.

V for Vendetta

January 25th, 2012
9:29 am

Frankie,

I have a problem with my tax money going to pay for welfare. I don’t have a problem with it paying for jails.

Frankie

January 25th, 2012
9:29 am

for dropouts (ages 14 – 17)…send them to boot camps that are run by ex-military until they are 18, may be you save a large percentage, increase the enlistment to military, maybe some requalify for college, vocational tech schools and the rest would probably end up in jail at some point.
They have to want to help themselves…hell it is obvious that the parents could not handle them…

Frankie

January 25th, 2012
9:32 am

@V….understood, I don’t want my tax dollars going to either welfare or jail it the same thing….Jail is just welfare behind bars…I would rather my tax dollars go to something that would help everyone willing to help themselves and want to succeed….

Mountain Man

January 25th, 2012
9:40 am

Teachers might be able to make a classroom interesting if they had any control over what and how they teach. Unfortunately, that is not left up to them. The State says teachers in the eighth grade have to teach eighth grade materials, even if the student needs third grade instruction (because of social promotion). Now we are requiring ALL students to master Math 1, 2, and 3, when they can’t do fractions (again, because of social promotion). The other thing is it is hard to make a class interesting to a student who is not present in class. No amount of “engagement” is going to be effective to a non-present student.

And how do you engage students who believe that learning material makes them “too white”.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

January 25th, 2012
9:43 am

Look at these comments…

“send them to bootcamp”
“enlist in the military”

Make them do this and that. All these high handed control freaks who know so much better, just like their glorious leader.

This is no more than womb to tomb dogma.

Mountain Man

January 25th, 2012
9:43 am

“No child shows up to kindergarten announcing, “I do not want to be here, I want for my teacher to detest me, I don’t want to learn anything, and I intend to keep everyone around me from learning.””

No but in low SES schools , they quickly learn these things.

Jen

January 25th, 2012
9:52 am

mountain man Shame on your for allowing your child to be promoted if the concepts being taught were not yet mastered. I held my daughter back in 8th grade because despite tutoring she was struggling with math and her reading was borderline grade level. She “passed” the class with a D, failed the CRCT, went through summer school, and failed it again. I felt that it was in her best interest to repeat the year to reinforce those concepts. She is now a junior in high school and math is one of her strongest subjects. Not only did her math skills improve in that extra year but so did her reading. As a parent, it is your job to advocate what is best for your child; not to just allow the system to do as they please! Had you held the school system accountable and held your child back long ago I am sure there would be a much different opinion of school and the learning experience as a whole. My daughter will be the first person to tell you that while she was sore at me initially she is glad that I made the decision I did.

What are you talking about?

January 25th, 2012
10:00 am

“Require teens stay in school until they are 18″

Good luck with that one.

What are you talking about?

January 25th, 2012
10:01 am

“How come the GOP states have the lowest test scores?”

Stop lying.

TW

January 25th, 2012
10:01 am

KWDdad -

I like the way you tea-baggers are proud of your racism – If you ain’t got brains, you better have balls :)

Well done, chap!

What are you talking about?

January 25th, 2012
10:03 am

Mareen, I really want a job like yours where all I have to do is copy and paste someone eles’s work and then try to pass it on as my own thought.

[...] Speaking of the president’s call last night to keep students in school until age 18:  A bill will be introduced today in the Georgia General Assembly to raise Georgia’s legal threshold to quit high school from age 16 to 17. [...]

guest

January 25th, 2012
10:14 am

The problem is “the people in charge” telling kids that it is ok not to go to college. Hello, wake up, do you think “the people in charge” in India, China, Korea, etc are telling their kids that? We should be telling them that in order to have much higher chance of becoming a so-called 1%er, you need a good education. Teaching trade skills is fine and dandy, however, with the economy the way it is, do you really think learning a trade skill is helpful when there are no jobs for that skill?

Maureen Downey

January 25th, 2012
10:15 am

@What, Not sure about your reading skills if you could not understand that I had received a copy of the president’s remarks and shared the portion of his State of the Union speech that dealt with education. You seem to be the only person who had any confusion as to the author of the comments.
Maureen

Roberta

January 25th, 2012
10:17 am

I attended a teacher training once …. led by African Americans, who stated that many black inner city boys in low income / single mom homes hate school by the time they are in Kindergarten. Forcing a child to ’stay in school’ when school failed him 10 years earlier will do no good. We need to start back in the early years. School is dry and boring. My daughter barely spends an hour a week learning science, and even then most science is all textbook. Exploring and discovering your world is now pushed aside to ‘develop literacy’ and ’seat work’. Too bad educators cannot figure out how to wrap a literacy-rich curriculum across all the disciplines. Then again, I taught using the Reggio-method in Prek/K intervention. Parents would complain all the time I was not ‘teaching letters’ or ‘teaching writing skills’. Parents complained about the ‘lack of lessons’ (themes). My lessons were developed though the interest of the children. My job was to guide their interests into lesson and federal education frameworks. Writing and letter recognition happened everyday ….. but in a practical sense (not worksheets). I would sum up 15 years teaching Reggio method into this; 15 years of educating parents that worksheets and dedicated ‘literacy’ or ‘reading lessons’ just are not effective nor are they engaging to small children. And at the end of the year, the assessments showed how much farther along their children were than the parents thought.