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In your opinion, should there be a moratorium on ALL standardized testing for at least 2 years?
Yes 91%  91%  [ 32 ]
No 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 35
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 Post subject: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:55 pm 
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I know that I am going to ruffle some feathers with this, and I am posting it in general forum to reach a broader portion of the community. Here goes...

To save money in education, there should be an immediate moratorium on ALL standardized testing in public schools for a period of no less than 2 years (3 to 5 would be ideal). This does not concern college entrance exams or AP tests.

Not only will it save BILLIONS, but it will also allow teachers to get back to what we are SUPPOSED to be doing. That being educating students with the goal of developing citizens capable of operating autonomously and contribute to a democratic society.

I am only a humble citizen communicating an informed opinion based upon observation and professional experience. Take it as you will. We are all entitled to our opinions.


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:17 am 
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Here here!! :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:13 am 
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It is established that standardized testing measures the economic success of the parents and nothing else. :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:15 am 
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And how well a teacher can teach to a test and nothing else.

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Jsaxm wrote:
And how well a teacher can teach to a test and nothing else.

my thoughts exactly to what SATs are...

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:29 pm 
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I seem to remember reading an article in the UC Davis Aggie last quarter about how the SATs really don't factor in that much to one's acceptance into a UC, which is what I've always felt. I took the Reasoning Test twice just to get a good score, and each time I felt like it was just a huge waste of my time.

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:09 am 
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If you people agree with this, as I do, you really need to go read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn, I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but these are exactly the type of things he talks about in his books. School isn't about learning at all, it's about learning how to pass a test and then forgetting all that information to and start learning about the next test. Almost everything you learn past about grade 3, you will rarely, if ever, use in your life. If you don't find information useful to you, you will not remember it. The ONLY purpose of the school system right now is to keep people from entering the workforce until at least 18 years of age. And the standard of how many years you "need" to goto school just continues to grow. Why? Well because with the population always growing at such a fast rate we have to keep people out of the workforce for longer and longer, right...take off the blindfolds people, allow your minds to be changed about our supposedly awesome society and go read some Daniel Quinn books.

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:22 am 
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The Aceman wrote:
School isn't about learning at all, it's about learning how to pass a test and then forgetting all that information to and start learning about the next test. Almost everything you learn past about grade 3, you will rarely, if ever, use in your life. If you don't find information useful to you, you will not remember it. The ONLY purpose of the school system right now is to keep people from entering the workforce until at least 18 years of age. And the standard of how many years you "need" to goto school just continues to grow. Why? Well because with the population always growing at such a fast rate we have to keep people out of the workforce for longer and longer, right...take off the blindfolds people, allow your minds to be changed about our supposedly awesome society and ....


I couldn't disagree more with this part of the post. While I am all for scrapping standardized tests in general, this idea that public (or private for that matter) education is all part of a larger conspiracy (right wing, left wing, whatever) is exceptionally concerning.

If students choose to not "use" any of the information gained after 3rd grade (US and World History, Algebra, basic scientific principles, MUSIC), we as a society are the worse off because of it. While many educational systems are in need of overall, it is not accurate to make a blanket statement about them all.

The information you've gained Aceman after 3rd grade has allowed you to 1) read the books you're enamored with, 2) given you the critical thinking skills needed to interpret those works, and 3) evidently involved you in a music related vocation or avocation.

The world is not black and white. It involves many shades of gray. Using a black or white paintbrush to "fix" the problems only creates more.

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:33 am 
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teacherken wrote:
The Aceman wrote:
School isn't about learning at all, it's about learning how to pass a test and then forgetting all that information to and start learning about the next test. Almost everything you learn past about grade 3, you will rarely, if ever, use in your life.

I couldn't disagree more with this part of the post. While I am all for scrapping standardized tests in general, this idea that public (or private for that matter) education is all part of a larger conspiracy (right wing, left wing, whatever) is exceptionally concerning.

I'm torn between these two viewpoints. I don't necessarily agree with The Aceman that everything learned after the 3rd grade is useless, because I have learned (and continue to learn) a LOT in college. However, I also kind of agree with him because, to be perfectly honest, I consider the vast majority of my junior high and high school education to be irredeemably worthless (no offense to the music teachers out there: I consider the musical education I received in high school the single-most important learning experience of those four years).

Aside of music, some basic writing and mathematical fundamentals are the only things I feel I learned in High School. Believe it or not, I feel High School's most important benefit is social development. I'm not the one in my marriage with a psychology degree, but it's been my experience that the way human beings interact socially with one another does not change a whole heck of a lot past the ages of 15 or 16. In high school you had to put up with the cliques of popular people and the people who were "shunned," the gossiping and sniping behind backs, and people who were threatened by others moving in on "their turf" (romantically or otherwise). You see those very same dynamics in the corporate environment. And, as I'm sure many here can attest, you see those very same dynamics in the politics of band "circuits."

The problem, of course, is in administration. THE SINGLE BIGGEST FLAW WITH K-12 EDUCATION IN AMERICA IS THE MICRO-MANAGEMENT OF TEACHERS. In High School, the teachers don't even get to decide what they're going to teach the students. Standardized testing has made that problem even worse. Nowadays, a teacher is handed a book and told "you're teaching out of this book, and the kids need to learn X, Y, and Z. Make it so." And who chooses these books? It's not the teachers, it's the administration. And instead of "does this book best serve the education of the students?" (which should be the ONLY criteria), other political factors influence the decision of which book is going to be used, not the least of which is what sort of financial deal the publisher cuts with the district administration. I do feel there are many schools that are using textbooks that are the "best value" as opposed to the "most informative."

I'll give you an example (and maybe this has changed, because I'm old). The U.S. Civil War. In high school, I was taught that the Civil War was fought OVER slavery. The South was for it, the North was against it, and there were (as the divorce lawyers say) "irreconcilable differences." This, of course, is only one vague facet of the truth, but I had no idea until I took a college U.S. History course that the Civil War (like most wars) was all about MONEY (in this instance, in the form of natural resources): the textile mills in the North were fleecing the cotton producers of the South, who in turn got fed up and tried to start selling more and more cotton and agriculture to England, which in turn alarmed the North, who used their power in the Legislative branch to restrict exports (since the pre-war South was responsible for 70-75% of U.S. exports), which caused the Southern states to secede in the name of states rights. Certainly slavery was THE major moral issue of the time, but its influence was at least equally economical, since it was the basis of the Southern workforce. And, while Lincoln was personally against slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation was very much a deft political move as it came at a time when both France and England were considering joining the war on the Confederacy's side (the Proclamation effectively ended any chance of that happening, for a multitude of reasons I won't get into here).

I didn't learn about the firebombing of Tokyo in high school. I didn't learn about the full extent of the control the robber barons had over the U.S. in the late 1800s. I learned the basics of writing and math. I remember little of my biology or chemistry courses. Two of my four years of English were completely worthless and did nothing to further my writing or reading comprehension. I remember little of my economics class (and I feel that economics is too complex a subject to really be given justice to in a high school class). I remember very little German. Et cetera.

I feel that most K-12 public school systems in the United States currently offer their students very little educational value. The key word is CURRENTLY. It certainly doesn't HAVE to be that way. But the public school systems in America are too political and bureaucratic for their own good, and they certainly aren't serving the best interests of the STUDENTS (which, I feel, too many administrators forget that is the only goal).

Just my opinion. YMMV.


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:16 am 
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teacherken wrote:
The Aceman wrote:
School isn't about learning at all, it's about learning how to pass a test and then forgetting all that information to and start learning about the next test. Almost everything you learn past about grade 3, you will rarely, if ever, use in your life. If you don't find information useful to you, you will not remember it. The ONLY purpose of the school system right now is to keep people from entering the workforce until at least 18 years of age. And the standard of how many years you "need" to goto school just continues to grow. Why? Well because with the population always growing at such a fast rate we have to keep people out of the workforce for longer and longer, right...take off the blindfolds people, allow your minds to be changed about our supposedly awesome society and ....


I couldn't disagree more with this part of the post. While I am all for scrapping standardized tests in general, this idea that public (or private for that matter) education is all part of a larger conspiracy (right wing, left wing, whatever) is exceptionally concerning.

If students choose to not "use" any of the information gained after 3rd grade (US and World History, Algebra, basic scientific principles, MUSIC), we as a society are the worse off because of it. While many educational systems are in need of overall, it is not accurate to make a blanket statement about them all.

The information you've gained Aceman after 3rd grade has allowed you to 1) read the books you're enamored with, 2) given you the critical thinking skills needed to interpret those works, and 3) evidently involved you in a music related vocation or avocation.

The world is not black and white. It involves many shades of gray. Using a black or white paintbrush to "fix" the problems only creates more.

Ken



I never said it was a conspiracy, it's a product of the environment. It's ingrained in our cultural. It's done without even being realized. You forget that their were thousands and thousands of years that human beings lived and got along just fine without any schools at all. And yet necessary information was passed along from generation to generation without missing a beat.

Also, I wasn't trying to make it black and white, I said "almost everything" not "everything period." The higher grade you are in the less useful the information becomes to you in everyday life, and the less you retain. For example, most everyone remembers basic arithmetic, adding and subtracting, multiplying, dividing. Why? Because most people will find these things useful when going about their day. If I need to go 50 miles and I've already gone 25, I need to go 25 more, that's helpful information to have. But then go and ask most people who are out of school how to divide two fractions for you, or divide mixed numbers and you'll find a vast majority won't remember how to do it. Why? Because most people don't find it useful in their daily life. A few people might, but most will not. Every generation of humans produces people that have interests in every line of work and study. For example, Every generation has someone that wants to study stars and become an astronomer. So people drawn to this will automatically want to go out and learn about astronomy from people who already know it and they will remember it because they have an interest in it, and keep doing it. So information that is useful to astronomers is useful to them. They don't need to goto school for 18 years, and then 4 years of college to do that. All they have to do is study on the job and learn as they go along, hands on. Also, without school people can and would still learn to read. Because reading is useful to you in every day life, esp. in today's society of street signs, mass produced books, etc. School doesn't make us want to read, the usefulness of reading makes us want to learn to read, AND more importantly continue remembering how to read.

Anyways, I could go on and on, and probably be able to dispute pretty much every argument, but I digress.....besides, it's all in the book. Either way it's not about a conspiracy, it's about people in general needing to realize that the way we are living is not how we are supposed to be, and until we realize that, and make changes, the human race is doomed to extinction in the not so far future.

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:31 am 
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The "useless" things you learn in the earlier grades are supposed to create understanding of concepts that lead into more complex concepts, that then lead into more complex concepts, and so on.

The point is that standardized testing has become a punishment to school for things that they have NO control over.


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:44 pm 
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[quote="The Aceman"]


I never said it was a conspiracy, it's a product of the environment. It's ingrained in our cultural. It's done without even being realized. You forget that their were thousands and thousands of years that human beings lived and got along just fine without any schools at all. And yet necessary information was passed along from generation to generation without missing a beat.

Also, I wasn't trying to make it black and white, I said "almost everything" not "everything period." The higher grade you are in the less useful the information becomes to you in everyday life, and the less you retain. For example, most everyone remembers basic arithmetic, adding and subtracting, multiplying, dividing. Why? Because most people will find these things useful when going about their day. If I need to go 50 miles and I've already gone 25, I need to go 25 more, that's helpful information to have. But then go and ask most people who are out of school how to divide two fractions for you, or divide mixed numbers and you'll find a vast majority won't remember how to do it. Why? Because most people don't find it useful in their daily life. A few people might, but most will not. Every generation of humans produces people that have interests in every line of work and study. For example, Every generation has someone that [i]wants[/i] to study stars and become an astronomer. So people drawn to this will automatically want to go out and learn about astronomy from people who already know it and they will remember it because they have an interest in it, and keep doing it. So information that is useful to astronomers is useful to them. They don't need to goto school for 18 years, and then 4 years of college to do that. All they have to do is study on the job and learn as they go along, hands on. Also, without school people can and would still learn to read. Because reading is useful to you in every day life, esp. in today's society of street signs, mass produced books, etc. School doesn't make us want to read, the usefulness of reading makes us want to learn to read, AND more importantly continue remembering how to read.

Anyways, I could go on and on, and probably be able to dispute pretty much every argument, but I digress.....besides, it's all in the book. Either way it's not about a conspiracy, it's about people in general needing to realize that the way we are living is not how we are supposed to be, and until we realize that, and make changes, the human race is doomed to extinction in the not so far future.[/quote]

Well, when you state that the current educational system is designed simply to keep people under 18 out of the work force, that certainly sounds like a conspiracy theory. Do you not believe that anyone benefits from an education that lasts 12-13 years of their life?

While I could agree that some career paths would benefit from a greater reliance on apprenticeship, I think you are missing the bigger picture in the need for a diversity of education.

Let's look at your astronomer example. To be a good astronomer, an individual needs to be well-equipped in the areas of calculus, physics, and optics to name but a few. While some information in these areas could be gleaned from a practicing astronomer, would it not be better to study calculus from a mathmatician, physics from a expert in physics, etc.? Then, under the tutelage of an experienced astronomer, put it all into practice. After all, not all astronomers are the same. There are greater strengths and weaknesses in all. This allows for varying levels of discovery.

To the idea that the information is not relevent... let's make it relevent! US and World History need to a basis for decision-making for us all... not just historians. (Sean, if you had had me for your US History, you would have understood ALL of the intracacies of the Civil War.. :)

This concept of home-schooling or apprenticeship is a valuable one, FOR SOME INDIVIDUALS. Likewise, the current educational structure works, and has worked for others, most of us here included. To cite a "thousands of years" justification is a blind argument. For thousands of years, we migrated. Should we continue to do the same.. following the herds... With the environment the way it is, I think that would lead to your envisioned extinction of the human race.

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:51 pm 
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teacherken wrote:
This concept of home-schooling or apprenticeship is a valuable one, FOR SOME INDIVIDUALS.
Yes! I believe the biggest problem with our educational system is it assumes every student is going to college and tries to prep them for it. The students that aren't need to be given the kind of training an apprenticeship program could provide. Of course...how would we determine who's going to college and who's not? A big ol' test?

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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:31 pm 
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Chapagne wrote:
Yes! I believe the biggest problem with our educational system is it assumes every student is going to college and tries to prep them for it.


It really gets funny when you ask the school counselors if they know how many high school graduates actually complete college and how that figure has changed in the years that we have been forced to emphasize meeting the "UC admission requirements" :rotf:


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 Post subject: Re: How to save money in education.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:11 pm 
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teacherken wrote:
Well, when you state that the current educational system is designed simply to keep people under 18 out of the work force, that certainly sounds like a conspiracy theory. Do you not believe that anyone benefits from an education that lasts 12-13 years of their life?


Sure they would benefit from 12-13 years of education, not 12-13 years of school, big difference.

teacherken wrote:
While I could agree that some career paths would benefit from a greater reliance on apprenticeship, I think you are missing the bigger picture in the need for a diversity of education.


So you can't get a diverse education simply from being allowed to learn from others and explore your surroundings without being told what to learn? Valuable information will undoubtedly be passed on, without any school system in place. We are hardwired to learn these things as part of survival instincts, mother nature has made us all crave knowledge, and each person wants a different type of knowledge because diversity is exactly what will keep us from going extinct. The more diverse, the more knowledge, the more knowledge the higher chance for success.

teacherken wrote:
Let's look at your astronomer example. To be a good astronomer, an individual needs to be well-equipped in the areas of calculus, physics, and optics to name but a few. While some information in these areas could be gleaned from a practicing astronomer, would it not be better to study calculus from a mathmatician, physics from a expert in physics, etc.? Then, under the tutelage of an experienced astronomer, put it all into practice. After all, not all astronomers are the same. There are greater strengths and weaknesses in all. This allows for varying levels of discovery.


Again, all these things can be learned by a person who wants to learn them, and they will be whether or not they go to a school to do it. To say that the current system "works" is folly. It fails in educating and preparing people for the future in almost every way possible. Why is it that the required amount of years to go to school in order to be considered "successful" go up every decade or so? Are human beings getting dumber so we require more years of schooling to succeed in life? It's not so crazy if you think about it.

teacherken wrote:
To the idea that the information is not relevent... let's make it relevent! US and World History need to a basis for decision-making for us all... not just historians. (Sean, if you had had me for your US History, you would have understood ALL of the intracacies of the Civil War.. :)


And if it is relevant and useful information it will be passed along and remembered to those that it is useful and relevant to. Because we naturally remember things that are useful to us, it's another survival instinct. Not every person needs to learn the same things, before their were written languages, important stories we're passed down from generation to generation through word of mouth and every generation remembered it, sure they probably lost information like exact dates, but really does it matter the exact date that Lincoln went into office? The important information will undoubtedly be passed on and not lost.

teacherken wrote:
This concept of home-schooling or apprenticeship is a valuable one, FOR SOME INDIVIDUALS. Likewise, the current educational structure works, and has worked for others, most of us here included. To cite a "thousands of years" justification is a blind argument. For thousands of years, we migrated. Should we continue to do the same.. following the herds... With the environment the way it is, I think that would lead to your envisioned extinction of the human race.

Ken


You are missing the point, schooling is NOT required for education, nor is home-schooling or apprenticeship. Our natural need to learn will drive people to seek this knowledge from individuals, if they were just allowed to explore their world and actually learn something, rather than sitting in a class room learning how to pass a test full of information they will likely forget soon afterwords. Did the current educational structure REALLY work for most of us here? Do you remember all those history dates you had to memorize during all those years of school? It really does not work and is a major waste of time. As for the "thousands of years" argument, it's not so blind as you may think. Let me correct your example. For thousands of years some people in some parts of the world migrated in order to survive. Some were exclusively hunter/gatherers, whereas some were hunter/gatherers and also planted some of their favorite foods for crops. Others were shepherds that sometimes hunted and gathered to survive, and dozens of other combinations. It was thousands of different tribes all living different lifestyles, once again it's about diversity. If we have diverse lifestyles then the chance for survival for the entire human race goes way up. With everyone in the world living in the same basic culture now, we are killing diversity and our chances for survival.

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