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The Sorry State of Public Education in the US

Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
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Before I start my diatribe, let me first say that this is not an attack on Bush, because for the most part, I think he's doing an excellent job as President and thought the same when he was Governor down here. But the fact is that the Texas Public Eductaion System is no model to be lauded as he and some others have been accustomed to. OK, we test everybody down here. The name of the (please choose your own expletive here) test seems to change every year or so, I believe the nom de jour is TAKS. So, what do they teach in Texas public schools? How to pass the TAKS test. Not History, not Literature, and heaven forbid Math, but how to pass that !@A#$ TAKS test! And get this, they know the exact day that they will have to take it. Wow, that really proves what the students know, huh? :roll: I can only offer antecdotes, but of all my children who have taken Algebra II and of several of their friends that I have tutored from time to time, the furthest they ever seem to get is graphing linear equations. That was Algebra I when I was going to school.
I think testing is a good idea, but it should be like a surprize inspection. The state board randomly chooses schools and grade levels to test and they get one week notice. And most of all, they don't have access to the actual test questions. :roll:


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Jason Menard
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There seem to be several books on this subject, including Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why America's Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can't Read, Write, or Add, The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them
, and The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools, among many others.
It seems like a lot of the problem might be with the general approach to education these days. It seems more important that children feel good about themselves and that they don't fail than it is that they actually learn reading, writing, and math. Political correctness seems to be too much of an overwhelming force in public education. It has among other things taken away the power of educators to provide a disciplined learning environment (and no I don't advocate corporal punishment).
Additionally, technology is used as crutch to excuse kids from having to learn critical skills that most of us had to learn when we were in school. Spell checking isn't a substitue for learning how to spell, searching for information on the internet does not involve all the same skillset as going to the library and researching a subject in books, and calculators are even being used by kids in elementary school these days. In many junior highs nd highschools, kids can use graphing calculators instead of manually graphing out equations. Think of the entire set of skills being lost by doing this.
In The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America's Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem (review), the author identifies the following myths which she points to as pervasive into today's public education system:
1. High expectations for students are damaging to self-esteem;
2. Evaluation (grading, testing, report cards) is punitive, stressful and damaging to self-esteem;
3. Teaching and learning must always be "relevant" and student-centered;
4. Effort is more important than achievement;
5. Competition leads to low self-esteem and should be replaced by cooperation;
6. Social promotion should continue to preserve students' self-esteem;
7. Discipline is bad for self-esteem and should be dispensed with;
8. Teachers should be therapists;
9. It is the teacher's, not the student's responsibility to ensure learning;
10. Feeling is more important than thinking.
So I guess of you were to sum up the problems in modern education into just a couple of phrases, you might use "political correctness" and "liberal ideals".
[ May 12, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Thomas Paul
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I haven't noticed any of these problems in my daughter's education.
I wonder how good the schools were before "political correctness" and "liberal values".
SAT scores haven't changed much in the last 30 years in spite of the fact that a greater percentage of students are taking them.


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Michael Morris
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SAT scores haven't changed much in the last 30 years in spite of the fact that a greater percentage of students are taking them.
I thought that there was like a 40 point negative decline in average since the late 60s. It would seem to me that due to technological advances that should be in the other direction. Really, I have no evidence other than antecdotal and my intuition which tells me that something is wrong with an education system that spends more time practicing for standardized tests than in teaching the three Rs. The valedictorian of my middle son's class pursued an engineering degree at SMU and should probably graduate later this year but in his freshman year was forced to take a remedial Algebra class because he just couldn't hack the regular course. I can attest to the fact that this guy is definitely intelligent enough, but hell if you're not taught how to solve systems of linear equations and don't know a conic section from a highway intersection (Algebra II concepts), who do you point the finger at? I'm sure that there are shining examples of public education in this country but I think, at least in Texas, that our schools today can't even touch the quality that my generation was given. I could certainly solve simultaneous equations when I exited high school, could solve any triangle from three known parts and tell you the type of conic section from the given quadratic and I don't believe that my core math aptitude is any better than the person I mentioned above.
Jim Yingst
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I thought that there was like a 40 point negative decline in average since the late 60s.
Actually that sounds pretty good, if it's literally true.
who do you point the finger at?
You mean, at whom should you point your finger?
Anecdotally, I can confirm that when I was working as a math tutor in college, there were a dismaying number of students who couldn't take calculus I until their sophomore year, because they still had to learn advanced algebra and trig (allegedly covered in high school). Then again, I may not have been looking at a representative sample set...


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Randall Twede
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things are really bad here in Oregon, the state funding has been drastically cut. the schools have very short school years. there is no money for anything. they even took back money that had been granted me (as a college student)after it was already awarded! they also cut funding to my college, which in turn raised tuition for a second time this year. of course i got no addition financial aid to pay for this increase, in fact i didnt even get my loan increased to cover the cut in my grant. i have a 14 year old friend that im teaching HTML via ICQ. she thinks she want to be a programmer but they dont teach any of that even in the high school she will go to next year (according to her), her district is very small. funding doesn't solve everything, but lack of funding can certainly ruin everything.
[ May 12, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

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Michael Morris
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JY: Actually that sounds pretty good, if it's literally true.
I changed that line from I thought that there was like a 40 point difference in average since the late 60s to point out a drop but wound up with a double negative.
JY: You mean, at whom should you point your finger?
If you knew how many funny looks I've received for using the objective case whom you'd understand why I avoid its use.
Anecdotally, I can confirm that when I was working as a math tutor in college, there were a dismaying number of students who couldn't take calculus I until their sophomore year, because they still had to learn advanced algebra and trig (allegedly covered in high school). Then again, I may not have been looking at a representative sample set...
I took Differential Equations my freshman year of college before even taking Calculus I and scored the highest in the class. I do have a high math aptitude, but no more so than the individual I mentioned. The difference is that I had a math teacher that taught math. We had a pop quiz every day for three years (that's what he called it, not a real surprize if its a daily event ), he graded on a curve and promoted competition, we took pleasure in busting (sic, I know Jim bursting) the curve for those he refused to meet the challenge. I had a perfect score in his Trig class, never missed a single question on anything until the final, where he crafted a devious deception which I fell for scoring 99 on that test. Despite the fact that I had a 99.9+ average he gave me a 99 for the course. It pissed me off at the time, but I would do the same thing now. We were challenged and we were taught, we succeeded or failed, but the class was not held back because somebody didn't get it. Now it seems we are using the least common denominator approach, the whole class can only advance as far as the least capable in the class.

RT: things are really bad here in Oregon, the state funding has been drastically cut.
You will never hear me complain about paying taxes for education except in the case where those funds are being wasted. I've never understood why we pay our teachers such low wages. I admire those who have chosen that career, I would have if I could have raised five kids on a teacher's salary. I would love to see everyone who meets a certain threshold be provided a college education free of charge. I don't see this country staying at the top of its a game unless we start paying our teachers well so that we get the best and restore competition and discipline in the schools. I think there is probably enough funding in the system already, it's just not being spent wisely.
Mapraputa Is
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So I guess of you were to sum up the problems in modern education into just a couple of phrases, you might use "political correctness" and "liberal ideals".
How did this [expletives deleted] "conservatives vs. liberals" dichotomy crawl into education? Is there such thing as "conservative programming" and "liberal programming"? Looking at the Java code, can you tell if its author is a conservative or liberal? Why should it be different in education?
I am picking up "The Asian Reporter" newspaper whenever I see it, out of curiosity, and today read this (it was about Bush's anti-HIV aid package):
"But if he wants to look like he is doing more than going through the motions, he will have to consult with people who know how to fight this decease, and do what they say. This isn't about morality and it isn't about conservative or liberal agendas. This is about a sickness that can be prevented."
"Conservatives against liberals and vice versa" Civil War is a harmful artificial social construct that should be destroyed.
[ May 13, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

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Jason Menard
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How did this [expletives deleted] "conservatives vs. liberals" dichotomy crawl into education?
Whether it should be or not, education is very much a political issue, with both conservatives and liberals often having their own distinct views on the subject. Here are some articles on various facets of the subject.
The education divide
Rethinking Schools Online Archive - A very liberal publication for educators. Many articles expressing liberal views of issues in education.
Education: Where We Stand - The conservative end of education.
Canonical Diversity and Liberal Education
I should note that I don't necessarily endorse the viewpoints in those articles, I'm merely trying to present some voices from both sides.
[ May 13, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Thomas Paul
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I took a look at the mean SAT scores for the last 30 years. The national mean SAT score in 1976 was 903 which was a continuation of a decline from the 60's. This decline continued into the early-80's when they bottomed out at 890 in 1981. Currently mean SAT scores are around 1,020 which is a very significant increase from the early 80's.
The math requirements today are tougher than what were 30 years ago. You must take algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. This means that for most students entering college they have not had math in a year and have not had algebra in three years. Is it any surprise that they may need some remedial work? When I was in school, trigonometry was not required. Of course it helped with the SATs to have taken a lot of math.
The Oregon schools that are cutting days are going to be in trouble with the state. They will lose funding if they don't take corrective action.
In NY, all schools are required to be in session at least 180 days. This is the same number that it has been for 50 years.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Michael Morris:
I thought that there was like a 40 point negative decline in average since the late 60s. It would seem to me that due to technological advances that should be in the other direction.

It is hard to compare SAT scores from the 60's to today because a greater percentage of students are taking the SATs today. In the early 70's only 30% of high school students took the SAT (and they were normally the smartest college-bound students). In 2002, 46% of high school students took the SAT. This, by the way, is the probable reason for the decline in scores that we saw in the 70's and early 80's. As more students with generally lower high school grades started to take the test, the overall mean scores of the test went down.
Jim Yingst
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[TP]: The math requirements today are tougher than what were 30 years ago. You must take algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. This means that for most students entering college they have not had math in a year and have not had algebra in three years. Is it any surprise that they may need some remedial work? When I was in school, trigonometry was not required. Of course it helped with the SATs to have taken a lot of math.
Hmmm... well for my part, I was really thinking more of people who had taken all the math available in high school (typically including a semester of calculus) and were hoping to do science or engineering in college, but when they arrived they had to be put in algebra classes because they hadn't really learned what they were shown in high school. Not everyone, sure, but all too common nonetheless, even among people who seemed to have genuine interest in the material. I think many would've been better served by math courses that covered less material, but insisted that they really learn it well. Though my preference would be for more material and learn it well - I'm saying that solid understanding of fundamentals of algebra is more useful than spotty knowledge of trig and calculus.
[MM]: I took Differential Equations my freshman year of college before even taking Calculus I and scored the highest in the class.
Now this strikes me as rather odd - why would anyone take diff EQ before calc? How did you even know what a derivative was? Had you learned it in high school and decided to skip the college version (but were made to take it later)? Did you just study extra hard to pick up the extra info? Did they have some other way of teaching differential equations back then which somehow did not require knowledge of derivatives? I have a hard time imagining the last possibility.
Michael Morris
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Now this strikes me as rather odd - why would anyone take diff EQ before calc? How did you even know what a derivative was? Had you learned it in high school and decided to skip the college version (but were made to take it later)? Did you just study extra hard to pick up the extra info? Did they have some other way of teaching differential equations back then which somehow did not require knowledge of derivatives? I have a hard time imagining the last possibility.

It was a summer course and I was scheduled for Calculus I in the fall. I scored perfect in the ACT Math section and the Engineering department head was like a grandfather and believed I could hack it. Also, it was a small junior college, I doubt it would have happened in a larger institution. I learned about calculus on my own, actually did my first derivative as a freshman in high school. We had a course called EA for senior math which was essentially the calculus and the math teacher I spoke about was a f'ing genius and mentored me well. I had also done some studies on my own in DE before college.
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

It is hard to compare SAT scores from the 60's to today because a greater percentage of students are taking the SATs today. In the early 70's only 30% of high school students took the SAT (and they were normally the smartest college-bound students). In 2002, 46% of high school students took the SAT. This, by the way, is the probable reason for the decline in scores that we saw in the 70's and early 80's. As more students with generally lower high school grades started to take the test, the overall mean scores of the test went down.

Any comparisons would have to take into account that on at least one occassion that I remember the SAT was revised so that ALL scores would be higher. The SAT of today is just not scored in the same manner as it was in the 60's. Today's students scores are automatically higher than they would have been under the older scoring systems.
Pakka Desi
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I have been observing this thread to know the way US education system works. Can somebody please explain a little bit about the education roadmap to graduation?
In India, we have a 10+2+(3 or 4) system. That is, Class (or Standard) 1st to 10th is simple school. You get a secondary school certificate after 10th when you are (generally) 15/16 yr old. Then 11th and 12th is Senior Secondary (still in school), which you complete by 17-18. This level is a must to enter graduate level (or college level) courses such as BSc/BA/BCom (Bachelor or Science or Arts or Commerce), which are 3 year courses OR for BE/BTech/MBBS (Bachelor of Engineering or Technology or Medical), which are 4 year courses. So you graduate when you are about 20 to 22 year old.
[Note: In India, school means the place which has the whole nine yards of the dress code, attendence, classteacher etc. while college means the place where you have no dress code, no classteacher concept. In school, teachers beat you up, literally, if you don't do homework etc. In college, you beat up, figuratively, the teacher if he doesn't pass you.(Exagerated but true in some colleges). In college the responsibility of studying is 100% on the student. Nobody cares.]
Can anybody explain how that maps to US educational roadmap?
Regarding the syllabus, I think it quite tough and advanced in India. Most of the colleges have entrance exam to get into good courses like Engineering and Medical. IIT (the best Institues in India for BTech) conducts a Joint Entrance Exam (The dreaded JEE) every year which selects about 2000 (When I tool it. Now it could be more) students nation wide. Please check out its 2001 Syllabus (It changes every year but is mostly the same since I took and cleared it long back). How does it compare with the syllabus in the US at this level?
Some Americans with whom I discussed this were amazed at the depth of the curriculam.


I'm just saying...it's right there!
Pakka Desi
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The syllabus of the JEE (mentioned above) may not give you an idea of how much detailed knowledge is required because I just realized that they've not given all the details there.
Please see this this for sample questions asked in the JEE.
[ May 14, 2003: Message edited by: Pakka Desi ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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There are many variations on the theme in the US because schools are run locally under state laws. Generally, elementary school runs from 1st to 6th grade. Junior high runs from 7th to 9th and then high school runs 10th to 12th. My school district runs high school as 9th to 12th. After completing high school, students go on to college.
There is no national syllabus since schools are not run by the federal government.
All Bachelor degrees in the US are designed to be taken in 4 years.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Any comparisons would have to take into account that on at least one occassion that I remember the SAT was revised so that ALL scores would be higher. The SAT of today is just not scored in the same manner as it was in the 60's. Today's students scores are automatically higher than they would have been under the older scoring systems.
A few years ago, the writing portion of the SAT was adjusted because of statistical anomalies in the results. This did boost scores in the writing portion of the test by between 10 and 20 points.
[ May 14, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
There is no national syllabus since schools are not run by the federal government.

There is no hard and fast national syllabus in India either because education is a state subject but more or less it is similar everywhere. That's why Entrance exams for colleges has same syllabus nationwide.
BTW, in India, 12th (or High School diploma) has no value in terms of job. Graduation is a must for any job.
John Lee
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Originally posted by Pakka Desi:

Graduation is a must for any job.

then all indian graduate from college except those w/o job?
[ May 14, 2003: Message edited by: Don Liu ]
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Don Liu:

then all indian graduate from college except those w/o job?
[ May 14, 2003: Message edited by: Don Liu ]

You can definitely get a cleaners/janitorial job even if your are an illeterate. By any, I meant any decent well paying job. Even jobs like bank tellers require graduation which I believe requires only a high school diploma in US.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Pakka Desi:
Even jobs like bank tellers require graduation which I believe requires only a high school diploma in US.

Why would you need a college degree to be a bank teller unless the state of your primary education was so poor that you graduate high school without being able to add and subtract?
I can't think of any requirements of being a bank teller that would require a 4 year college degree.
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Why would you need a college degree to be a bank teller unless the state of your primary education was so poor that you graduate high school without being able to add and subtract?
I can't think of any requirements of being a bank teller that would require a 4 year college degree.

You are right. There is no need for graduation for such jobs. But that's how it is. The reason is there are too few jobs in such sectors and too many applicants. Even with raising the educational degree limit, the ratio is just too much.
I'm not saying it is a good thing. I just mentioned it to put it in perspective.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Pakka Desi:

You are right. There is no need for graduation for such jobs. But that's how it is.
Just curious, does the state pay for your college education in India? If not, is it expensive?
Pakka Desi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Just curious, does the state pay for your college education in India? If not, is it expensive?

Many people (Indians, I mean) don't realize it but it's a big debt that we owe to our country. Yes, the state/center pays for (almost) all the higher education (There are exceptions). Fees for the colleges is rediculously low.
One of the fundamental rights (as per the constutition) is primary education for all. But it is the states that have the responsibilty to provide it. So government runs schools are almost free. But due to political and and lot of other reasons, they are neither good nor enough for the whole population. So there are tons of private schools. Education level in such schools is very good but then they are very costly, usually out of reach for lower income group population.
The situation is entirely reversed in 4 year degree college education, where private colleges are termed as "donation colleges". If you go to a donation college, you are looked down upon (at least in places I have lived). It is like, you were not good enough to clear the competitive (entrance) exams and now you are paying to get a degree. In other words, you are "buying" a degree.
The government run colleges, which are also almost free, on the other hand (such as the IITs, Regional Engg. Colleges or RECs, etc), have quite high standards. If you are into one of those colleges then you are respected among your friends and admired in your family. (After you pass out of the college, it is a different matter though ) The reason is, it take a lot of effort to compete and get through the entrance exams.
Then there are other government run (and so almost free) colleges for 3 year degrees such as BSc./BA/BCom/LLB, which are also quite good but the degree itself is not much sought after. Obvisouly, there are no donation colleges for such degrees. By "Sought after", I mean wrt job market. By far, there are tons of such colleges and anybody who wants persue a 3 year degree can get admission in one or the other college.
John Smith
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In India, school means the place which has the whole nine yards of the dress code, attendence, classteacher etc. In school, teachers beat you up, literally, if you don't do homework etc.
In US public schools, if you don't do your homework, and the teachers don't like it, they can go to hell. Some students take this concept too literally, -- they manage to smuggle knifes or even semi-automatic fire power through the metal detector at the school entrance and excersize their freedom of choice.
Despite the excesses in US educational system, I prefer it to the USSR educational system. Just like in India, physical punishment was not uncommon in Russia. What's worse, the diversity of opinion was discouraged, the class discussions were limited to reiterating what the textbook and the teacher said, and the initiative was suppressed. Plagiarism and cheating were widespread and accepted. If you were assigned to write an essay, you better not come up with your own ideas, -- it's a very risky proposition. Instead, copy a few paragraphs from the tetbook. In other words, you were encouraged to be just like everybody else. Originality and creative thinking was a taboo.
To be fair, the average student in the former USSR was probably better educated in public school than the average student in US public school. However, the deviations from the average in US are far more pronounced, -- you have many more dropouts and high school students who can't read or point to their country on the world map, but also more really bright people who become scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
That is, compared to the the bell curve of students in USSR, the bell curve of students in US is platykurtic, -- it has lower mean and fatter tails. The real question is, what's the ideal shape of the curve?
[ May 15, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
Mapraputa Is
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Just like in India, physical punishment was not uncommon in Russia.
In public schools? What do you mean by "physical punishment" then? You do not confuse it with "physical education", by chance?
[ May 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
jason adam
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Used to teach in Texas, 3 years in Elementary, and the pressure that teachers faced when it came to the TAAS (as it was called then) test was on the verge of unbearable, unless you were teaching just because you couldn't figure out anything else to do. That was nothing to the pressure the students felt, especially when it came to the writing assignment. By the time the test came around, the students were so sick and nervous about it, that naturally some didn't fare well. And when that happened, oh the stories that would fly around the teacher's lounge about little Sue or Tim who just couldn't cut the mustard...
A school's funding was cut if their results were low, the higher marking schools got more. So what you ended up with were the schools in the higher income, wealthier areas doing better because they had the money to throw at "programs" to help their students, and the low-income, at-risk, and desperately-in-need schools losing money. It basically mimics society; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, with a dwindling middle-class.
To say that some schools cheated is an understatement, there were even rumors about it at the school I taught at (and it was a pretty darn good school). Teacher's weren't supposed to help students during the test, but I knew a couple that would actually point out a question or two if they noticed wrong answers. Were they supposed to? Nope, but then teachers were also rated how well their particular class did. Lesson plans had to state specifically which TAAS objective(s) was being taught, assignments had to be shown to prove how well your students were doing with the TAAS objectives. I'm surprised that they didn't make use wear clothes that were somehow aligned with the objectives.
Luckily I moved into a science lab the last couple of years, so I didn't have my own class per se, but I still had the test objectives crammed down my throat. Since science at that level wasn't on the test (which baffled me to no end, but oh well), I didn't have to jump through the hoops that the regular classroom teachers did, but I still had to work in the objectives every now and then.
If you were a really good teacher, you could subtley work the objectives in while still being able to do engaging, open-ended lessons. That was a rarity, though, and most just broke down to basically drilling the information into students' heads.
I agree, testing can be beneficial, but you've got a bunch of people who haven't seen the inside of a classroom in I don't know how long making the decisions of how the educational system should be judged. But then you've also got managers who haven't been in the trenches for quite some time making decisions on behalf of their employees. So the public educational system isn't that much different from any other company.
[ May 15, 2003: Message edited by: jason adam ]
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Michael Morris:
... they don't have access to the actual test questions. :roll:

You mean question paper is out/leak before exam ??
Its crime.
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Pakka Desi:


Hi Pakka
There are lot of things has changed since I/we graduated
>>Fees for the colleges is rediculously low.
Not now, at least for professional degrees like medical and engg. Now MNREC fees is more than 20K/ year. [20K was 2-3 yrs back]. IIT fees has been more than 25K from last 2-3 yrs. [I am not very much sure abt today.. but I think fees never get reduced once they are raised]
>>In other words, you are "buying" a degree.
How easy is getting entry in such colleges, it is much more difficult to passout from these colleges.
I have seen that more than 30% people never complete their degree from these colleges.
In my college itself by the time we were in final yr, almost 20% people were washed out.
In final year we had 80% result which was suppose to be very good at that time.
I think there is fundamental flaw in current education system, atleast in India.
Why should I study social scince when I am science student.
R K Singh
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Posts: 5370
Oh my Gawd ....
I missed this thread ... AW I will waste some more time here ...
I have been observing this thread to know the way US education system works. Can somebody please explain a little bit about the education roadmap to graduation?
I would also like to know..
Then 11th and 12th is Senior Secondary [b](still in school), which you complete by 17-18.[/b]
You must be from North ..
cause in most south states +2 is considered college

In India, school means the place which has the whole nine yards of the dress code, attendence, classteacher etc.
You have not studied in govt. run school.
In college, you beat up, figuratively, the teacher if he doesn't pass you.
Now sure you are from North
In college the responsibility of studying is 100% on the student. Nobody cares.
During my engg, I attended only 20% classes.
IIT (the best Institues in India for BTech) conducts a Joint Entrance Exam (The dreaded JEE)
I am sure nobody can solve full IIT paper alone.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I can't think of any requirements of being a bank teller that would require a 4 year college degree.

THats what I am telling you.. whole education system needs to be changed ..
AW its not 4 yr... its 3 yr... and just 10 yr back it was 2 yr.
John Lee
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Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
how about flight attendant of indian air? i wonder how many years of education do they need?
in fact, i think it is not a matter of how many years of education is needed to do the job, it is how many years of education is needed to eliminate the candidante.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Originally posted by Pakka Desi:

private colleges are termed as "donation colleges". If you go to a donation college, you are looked down upon (at least in places I have lived). It is like, you were not good enough to clear the competitive (entrance) exams and now you are paying to get a degree. In other words, you are "buying" a degree.

I take strong exception to the above. Being a forward caste Brahmin with 89% wasnt sufficient to gain me automatic access to any college. The cutoff mark for people like me was 93%. Whereas a "backward caste" person could walk in to a prestigious government sponsored college with a mere 60%. The evil of affirmative action at its height. I can understand if the reserve 10 or 15% for the backward castes.. but 69%???
Its only a matter of time before Southern Brahmins decide India isnt worth the trouble and get out of there.
Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
there is a study which compares knowledge of school kids, called PISA. German kids got terrible results. It wasn't like that some years ago. The PISA stuff actually was one of the mayor blow towards our self-confidence. So 90% here know word PISA.
So - as allways - big debate.
First that debate was more of conservatives blaming the liberals for not being interested in teaching kids hard science.
That changed very soon. Resulted that in PISA study countries with a more "liberal" attitude towards education outperformed the more "conservative".
Countries like Netherlands (high emphasis on integration of kids of immigrants) and scandinavian countries (all children go to same school: in contrast we have a very early segregation between teoretically more and the less skilled) had good results.
Study shows that strong effort to make learning stuff didactically attractive for world of kids pays of. This for me is a liberal topic, too.
Conservatives seems to me more of the type lifes hard, so should be learning.
John Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
a bank teller takes a bachelor degree? what will an indian air flight attendant take? phd in aerodynamics?
that is purely my guess, cos i never fly with indian air......
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
I guess in China everyone needs communism to function.. thats purely my guess cos I'll never go to China.


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Don Liu:
that is purely my guess, cos i never fly with indian air......

I hate to talk to robots but still ....
AW FYI Indian Airline is only for human
and second whats wrong in being a bank tellor after graduation. Education never harm.
John Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
i am really hope someone who has indian air experience can verify it...
Pakka Desi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2002
Posts: 177
Originally posted by <Southern Brahmin>:

I take strong exception to the above. Being a forward caste Brahmin with 89% wasnt sufficient to gain me automatic access to any college. The cutoff mark for people like me was 93%. Whereas a "backward caste" person could walk in to a prestigious government sponsored college with a mere 60%. The evil of affirmative action at its height. I can understand if the reserve 10 or 15% for the backward castes.. but 69%???

You take strong exception to what??? To what people think? or about the reservation?
I do not support reservation on cast basis either. However, I fully support reservation based on economic conditions. In fact, I think, all the references to casts should be eliminated from all places (elections, college admissions, jobs, temples etc.).
If you are objecting to my description of donation colleges, then I am sorry. I said what what I think and what is the common perception of these colleges where I come from. It might be different in your place. Certain private colleges (which are not donation based and admit students purely on merit) are better than most of the government colleges for example Birla Institute of Tech. and Sci. Fees are very high there but the college is among the 5 best in India.

Its only a matter of time before Southern Brahmins decide India isnt worth the trouble and get out of there.

You are most welcome to do so. Let's see who will give you the shelter. US/UK?
India is not southern brahmin. You are an Indian. You can run wherever you want but you will always remain an Indian.
Things are definitely bad in India but they will never improve untill we improve them. Running away will only make them worse.
 
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subject: The Sorry State of Public Education in the US
 
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