Obama's School Plan

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MyDesktopBroke, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Link, although I'm sure you all follow politics enough to know what he has suggested, which is long school days in a longer school year.

    What are your opinions on this? I think the idea is missing the problem completely. I think the American school system needs a fundamental change if it's not working, not just more of the same curriculum that isn't doing a good enough job. I think American children are not doing well in school due to domestic issues and a non productive social attitude toward learning. I won't get into this because it could be its own thread.

    I remember seeing this story on NBC a while ago, and they compared the several schools in America that already skip summer vacation to regular ones. The study showed that the results were minimal at best - small enough to be negligible.
     
  2. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #2
    I think this right here sums it up quite nicely.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    This sounds like a solid idea, both extending the school day and the school year seem to be pretty important.

    That said (source):

    Someone isn't understanding what is going on here.
     
  4. AngryApple macrumors 6502

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    The article says that US students spend more time in school than the students who outperform the US, but they have more days in school. So they have shorter days but have a longer year? I'd be fine with that. I'd also be fine with a long math class period as long as Obama doesn't add 3 hours to the school day.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    Hmmm...

    Do longer school years make more sense? Absolutely and I think the number of days a student spends in school should be federally mandated. Too many groups cry about how a longer year with longer winter, spring and fall breaks will impact business but they're the same ones who scream bloody murder at uneducated kids...

    We also need to get rid of NCLB. All it's doing is producing little robots who are only capable of regurgitation. At the same time the last thing we need is more 70s feel good schlock.

    One test every 3 years is more than enough. I also feel that the US needs to move away from its "University or Die" approach. Not everyone is meant to obtain a BA and those who choose not to attend university are woefully underserved. There needs to be vocational/technical training for real before one leaves high school. A dual or triple track system like many European countries have is much more likely to produce happy people rather than the US system which tries to force every round peg through square holes.
     
  6. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #6
    If kids don't learn anything now what is to say that a longer school year will do any good. All it will do is pay the teachers more to try to teach kids with no attention span.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #7
    Read the quotes in my above post from the Economist. People who work in schools have said that kids forget stuff over the summer in UK schools, and we only have 6 weeks off.
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #8
    One reason for summer vacation in the US is that summers get hot in most of the country. A majority of schools don't have AC. The cost to cities and town's to "summerize" schools would be high.

    I don't know if budgets can afford a full year season. A lot of schools are cutting back the school day because of money issues.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    As usual, the Obaminator is wrong in his notions about solutions.

    If more hours is the big deal, riddle me this: How come my generation seemed to do pretty well with school from 8AM to 3PM and nine months a year?

    And we had pocket knives--for whittlng or mumble-d-peg, not stabbing somebody.

    I graduated from high school in 1951.

    A generation before me, the deal was ten years of public school, not twelve. Yet, my mother as a single parent got her PhD in Psychology (1942) and earned international recognition.

    More hours? Just more time of not learning what they're already not learning. Warehousing and baby-sitting...

    'Rat
     
  10. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #10
    yet finland is, afaik, plenty ahead in studies with 3 months off


    in austria we have the same with "we have to reduce holidays" all over the place and then if you point out that plenty of countries do way better with more time off for the kids you get puzzled faces
     
  11. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    So I assume the federal government will be funding this entirely for every state then? In California we've already had problems properly funding the amount of school we already have, let alone another couple hours a day and more school weeks in a year. After NCLB I think I'd rather leave decisions related to education up to individual states.

    After attending an above average California public high school in a middle class area I've come to the decision that I'll be taking a pass on sending my child (if ever decide to have one) to public high school. Not because of the teachers, administrators, or curriculum, mainly because of the extreme lack of drive, focus on education, and poor quality of parenting of the vast majority of students there.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #12
    First off, doesn't California have trouble with just about everything money wise?

    Second, why would you be apposed to a federal level change if it was actually done right? NCLB was just another bill that no one really read and it passed because the Bush era method of giving a patriotic name and casting any who appose as being unpatriotic. I don't want states controlling something as vital as education as it should be the same quality across the board. I don't want souther state kids to listen to Creation drivel as if it stands on the same legs as evolution, which is sure to happen in many states.

    I've always felt that certain things are just to big or important to give the states the freedom to royal screw them up.
     
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Colleges typically get more time off than high schools and the US is doing fine in that area (aside from costs). The mandated curriculum is **** in high school and that is all that the teachers seem to care about. There is no "learning" agenda, they just want to push as many kids on to the next grade without leaving anyone behind, not to mention we can't fire teachers effectively.

    The parents are also an issue, if I came back home with anything lower than a B on my report card I would contemplate not going home at all. I remember one time I got a disciplinary check on the back of my report card (5th grade) and I thought I would be smart and simply throw away the report card before I got home. Turns out the teacher called ahead to tell my parents about the issue. Yeh.. that one didn't end well. :eek:
     
  14. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #14
    Why would you want to fire a teacher? As it is there is a major shortage of them, I'd rather get them the training they need to become an effective teacher.
     
  15. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #15
    Personal example: teacher beat the hell out of me because she was off her meds that day. Brought me to the principals office with blood running all over me and thought I was the one who was getting in trouble (she was literally out of her mind).

    She still works there.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #16
    Well obviously THAT kind of person needs to be fired, but those cases are in the extreme minority. I thought u were saying teachers with failing students need to be fired, hence my post.
     
  17. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #17
    While you're at it, riddle yourself this:

    If 8am - 3pm works for you, why is it now that kids are spending less time in school nowadays compared to when I was in school (graduated in 1992) and when you were in school?

    My elementary school went from 9am - 3pm. Junior High/Middle school from 7:45am - 2:20pm. High school? 7:50pm - 2:50pm. The school district where I live now has the kids there from 8pm to roughly 2:30, but the periods where they don't have school, they want the kids off the school grounds. Yes. Gone from there. They don't want them there because for the time they have an open period, they aren't 'active students of the school'.

    Oh yes.. this year was actually the first year they had them start before September, adding on 3 weeks, and parents were up in arms about that, because it interfered with 'vacation time'. Add on top of that that curriculums were cut to focus on core basics (which is a farce, and I can say so, being the son of a H.S. principal), and the result is that the kids are robbed of what little fun they can have at school.


    In short, what worked for you and I, isn't working for parents nowadays, and what the parents want isn't working for the school systems and learning systems that this country has. Less time is very disproportionate to quality time. What is needed is quality time and quantity time in school and learning.

    BL.
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    So, your indicator of achievement is getting a PhD? Far more people earn PhDs now than did in your generation. So does that mean you think that high school education is better now?
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #19
    The education standards have not gotten lower, the problem is that kids don't want too learn anymore. They would rather text or drink. Technology while helping make life easier has also made it harder for kids to learn.
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    bradl, from what you're saying, it's far worse than I've read about.

    But I'll stand by my notions of 8-3 and 9 months. After all, there ARE certain minima.

    FWIW, my grandparents started teaching school in 1905, and my mother taught Psych for a number of years before her Fulbright work.

    Hmmm. As the offspring of a school principal, that means all the teachers knew, and held you to a higher standard. How many times did you catch flack about reflecting poorly on your father (mother?) :D

    No, milo, all it means is that it's not "longer hours and more days" that determine the quality of an education. Individual and familial motivations + curriculum do tend to have a modest amount to do with it, I think. :)

    'Rat
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    Oh us whipper snappers :rolleyes:

    Have kids EVER been excited to be forced to be in a learning environment for 6+ hours a day? You make it seem like there was a point where school was a child's #1 on places they'd like to be.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #22
    They never had a reason not to pay attention like they do now. I never liked school, but I didn't have anything to occupy my time like kids do now.

    My mom was a teacher for 30 years and she said every year the kids would get worse and the attentions spans would get shorter. School has become a daycare not a place to learn. You can't teach kids that don't care to learn no matter what kind of curriculum you throw at them.
     
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #23
    Thats entirely on our discipline structure. They are definitely too soft on kids, mainly because of sue happy individuals who ruined it for everything.
     
  24. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    As a sophomore in high school, I hate the idea of this plan.

    My school system in NC works on a block schedule. We have 4 classes each day for an hour and a half each, and get all new classes mid-way through the year. By the end of the day, I'm genuinely worn out from sitting at a desk all day. There are also a lot of after school activities, sports, and not to mention homework that also needs to be done at the end of the school day.

    I have friends who do not get home until 8 some nights due to all their after school activities, and are up until 2 AM doing homework for all of their AP classes (this is mainly the seniors). The current workload and learning produced by the current school day is more than enough, and I can't imagine staying in school up until dinner time like Obama would like.

    Instead I think that a system like the one at my school with 90 minute classes would be beneficial to a lot of students, as the traditional 45 minute classes do not provide enough time to let a teacher really get into detail with his or her class.
     
  25. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #25

    We could have the greatest school system in the world, but if parents don't 1) reinforce that a child's primary job is to go to school and get an education, 2) take an interest in their education and work with them outside of school, 3) ensure a well-rested, adequately-fed pupil, all is lost.

    Second, NCLB is an impossible dream. No educational system, anytime or anywhere, has achieved 100% at grade level competency in their children. Not every student will be able to master concepts that allows him/her to earn a traditional HS diploma that is worth anything. My HS had a great vocational education program that allowed those not "book smart" to learn skills that got them good jobs (that are now outsourced overseas, I grant you).

    Third - when "tracking" became taboo, the system really began to fail. Instead of three levels of rigor (my HS had three different tracks based on achievement) the schools now teach to the mean. And with NCLB, that has shifted to the left of the mean. Average and above-average students are left bored and not stimulated. Look at the rising drop-out rate of "gifted" students. Our brightest minds are being squandered.

    We don't have an educational system problem alone. We have a societal problem.
     

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