My kid comes home the other day and wants help with her math homework. It was exponents. I was looking through her work and saw that she wrote down 2 to the zero power equals zero. I correct her and explain that anything to the zero power is one. I explain the graph of the function and how it never hits zero. She corrects me and tells me the book says anything to the zero power is zero. Furthermore, her teacher did that problem for the class and the answer is zero.
I tell her that her teacher is wrong and so is the book! She has a duty to correct this ignorance. She reluctantly agrees.... Teacher points out that book says it is indeed zero. My daughter insists her dad is right. Teacher now googles the problem and realizes she was wrong. #$%$ is wrong with our educational system?
Seriously, How many f%^&ing teachers and professor peer reviewed and edited this POS math textbook? I would say around a hundred or so by looking at the credits!!!! We are so $%%^ing worried about being politically correct and including pretty glossy color photos that our textbooks have become worthless POS!
I retired once and sold my company to become a HS math and Science teacher. I realized it was the worth mistake of my life. I spent 2 years of my life teaching high school students 1/2 plus 1/2 does not equal 2/4!!! Not one kid knew their multiplication tables. Kid you not!!!!!! That's why I excel at bidding jobs. Most of the competition can't even look at a job and bid it. Lack basic math skills.
I like many are disappointed in the education system we use. The platform is 2 centuries old, is run by the teachers unions with objectives that have little to do with providing a quality education, it takes little advantage of the tools available today i.e. internet, is dominated by agenda based folks that provide a highly biased social curriculum and is not a results oriented program. You can sit a kid down in front of a TV for one day and have him watch select programs on Nat Geo, Discovery and a host of others and he will likely learn more about science, geography and history etc. than he would in a full school year. Not all students but many. Additionally many students can be very successful in life with nothing more that basic math skills and a meager knowledge of geometry and science and a I know that is heresy to most people but it is true. I have known many of that ilk.
On the positive side the same complaints about the system were made by my father and I would guess his father and his fathers father. We are doing pretty good as a country and lead the world in innovation, productivity and plain old "Get her done". We unfortunately spend the bulk of our energy fixing things that are of small importance rather than the things that really matter. JMHO
Jim Long and calm
Sentiment: Strong Buy
teachers unions control nothing. It's the brilliant administrators and those dreaded Secretary's of education that try to fix things that are not broken. "No child left behind" (another pox left by the Bush administration) also correlates to "no child gets ahead". My spouse is a teacher and would love to go back to the good old days!
Perhaps this is because teaching isn't a desirable job that attracts bright people anymore? It's become the default job of the slackers who don't know what they want to do - and they know to teach 5th grade math they only need to be as smart as a 6th grade math student and they'll get their summers off. Almost all the teachers I have ever met have been idiots. I'm not saying ALL teachers are - I KNOW there are some great teachers out there - just pointing out that they are quickly becoming the minority.
I went back to college in my early 40s to fulfill my "dream" of teaching Social Studies/History. As an adult learner, or non-traditional student in my 40s, my experience came into direct contention with a lot of what the professors were dishing out to these kids! There is an ivory tower mentality when it comes to the teaching and education department, specifically. These teachers are not prepared for the real world, and I let them know it every chance I got! That being said, I taught for THREE years before walking away, totally disheartened about the future of our kids and the "educational" (oxymoron) system. You are correct in the observation that the system is not run for "the good of the children", but for the good of the unions. IF teachers were paid for performance, I would probably still be there, but to be putting in 60+ hours a week trying to challenge and prepare the kids for life and/or college; only to see some counting days to retirement leaving early or using decades old lesson plans and worksheets. I was even told my my assistant principal when he observed one of my lessons that my expectations were ... wait for it ... TOO HIGH!??? OMG!! Really?
I now have a daughter who teaches reading and since being on maternity leave for the past year has been approached no less than 5 times by schools who want to hire her based on her students' progress and outcomes! They are begging her to come back to work! That is because as a reading teacher, her outcomes CAN be measured. But, would she, or could she, be paid commensurate with those outcomes? Hell no ... she gets the same salary as the lackies!!
If society would spend more time preparing our kids for what the world is like and what it will serve up, they would be so much better off. "Participation" trophies are a crutch for mediocrity. We're doomed!!!
the math book might be filled with all kinds of errors just like the history books leave out general lee -- I guess he wasn't important.
but I will bet that the problems, the word problems, and every thing else in the book is absolutely 100% politically correct.
Which U.S. History text are you talking about? Lee is included in all text books in California. Below is the state standard..
Study the views and lives of leaders (e.g., Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee) and soldiers on both sides of the war, including those of black soldiers and regiments.
I'm a teacher. Absolutely, positively some kids lack basic skills in math, English, science, history... I also have students who are unbelievably talented in math, science, music, art.... There are plenty of great kids out there so all is not lost.
You see the big controversy at schools with Valedictorians and Salutatorians? They were all Asians. LOL. Some school boards have eliminated the awards because it discriminates against the minorities! LOL, whites are now minorities too. Go to any Engineering College and all the Grad students are Chinese. Slope we have lost. Our median is just too low. Notice that even McDonalds has touch screen order screens?
The McDonalds of the future will have a call center in India take the order and a couple Hispanics in the back working the machines. It will be a 3 person operation.
Be careful not to paint with such a broad brush. While your experience may have left you with negative feelings, not all public schools and not all kids are as you describe. I am a high school principal and we have tried to make our school a place that promotes critical thinking and problem solving in practical, real-life situations. There are a great deal of very bright, young people out there and most outsiders and media focus on the negative issues, most of which are social issues that are difficult to deal with in an 8-hour school day. People like to point out world rankings in math and science to attack our school system, but never point out that we test ALL students and not just the top students like many other countries do.
I know firsthand that there are plenty of antiquated aspects of public schooling, but there are also a lot of cutting edge programs and ideas that involve some very talented young people. It's funny to read this thread because it's the typical generational argument that the younger generation is worse than the ones that came before it. What you don't realize is that the generation that came before you said the same negative things about your generation. Education gets beaten down by media and politicians all the time because it's easy -- everyone thinks they are an expert because they went to school as a kid. Politicians, who haven't been in a school since they were a student, make policy after policy after policy and mandate after unfunded mandate so school are always having to adapt and never actually get a chance to see something all the way through.
It's unfortunate that you had a negative experience with your daughter's school, but too many times these stories are used to cast a negative light on all schools. I believe in my school and I believe in my staff and we will continue to do what we do best -- prepare our students for college and/or career.
Sorry for the long post. Oh yeah -- Go Z!
berry balls ...
Then as a principal would you promote school vouchers to afford more choice for parents? Would you support outcome based pay for teachers? How do YOU feel the unions benefit or damage the educational setting? Just curious?
You know that you have to say/believe what you did. You most likely are ingrained into the system. I wasn't an education major and I didn't go to an education college. These colleges are putting out an abysmal product that is entering the classroom to teach. One of the interesting stats I found was that fewer than 1/2 of Oklahoma Education majors pass the Advanced Math OSAT. Last I heard it was around a 60% failure rate. I was out of college for around 15 years and I passed it my first time without even studying. To be honest, I was so hung over/drunk I had a throbbing headache and it was all I could do to concentrate. I was hauling gravel and repairing my driveway the night before. My buddies showed up with beer to help and before I knew it we were drinking all night. Still passed the test because it was easy.
I went ahead and took my elementary OSATs as well and scored perfect/near perfect on every subject. It was insulting how easy the questions were phrased. I could have easily passed these tests while in the third grade. Even the math section of the test had a problem with no right answer. #$%$? Anyway, I found the Teacher Certification exams to be merely a test of English literacy. Nothing more.
Prior to my first year of teaching, Oklahoma instituted EOI testing for all Algebra students. This first year, only 3 percent of Oklahoma students passed this End of Instruction test. What did school admins, principals, and teachers say? The test was too difficult. It has been dumbed down ever since.
With all due respect sir, our public schools are failures! The system is rotten to the core and we are putting out a terrible product. Leave Academia and travel abroad. Take a job in a foreign country and notice immediately the quality of your fellow employees. They think better. They reason better. For the most part, they speak better English.
berryballs: Glad to have read your post. There are those that really try and there are those that are essentially taught not to try. Two students reporting their grades: One says the teacher gave me a D, the other says I earned an A.
I was lucky I had good parents and teachers. I had a math teacher in NJ (1971) that allowed me to get straight A's in math at Lehigh. That while the old man had me working to help pay for tuition.
Today yes there are a lot of great families and hard working kids. The problem is that for too many you can not state the problem (i.e. be politically correct) and therefore how can the problem be fixed. Dead beat dads, and in ain't cool to get good grades etc. I will not get into politics here.
Anyway best of luck to you and your staff as the truest statment ever is that the future of America will be defined by the students of today. Here's another famous quote: "we will continue to do what we do best -- prepare our students for college and/or career"
famoustankersley: I agree with what you say. I have no kids but I still worry about the future of America. It is beyond belief that a teacher would teach what you state. I won't go into what I also call the dilution of America, but it all adds up to the US falling from a high world ranking in math (and science) to now being rated something like 25th.
No doubt that math is very important, but have you heard the improper English that is spoken by the teachers in the schools today! It is horrible to hear them say things like "me and my students" or "where's it at." I am very worried about the future of the children whose parents do not teach them how to speak at home. The standards have really changed over the years and I worry that it will not get better any time soon. On another note.....why is Z tormenting us to death...Ugh! Can barely wait for the good news!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Suz: You might rethink the English thing if you were to research the methodology that created the system we were taught under. In the late 1800's a printer and finishing school operator by the name of Fisher just decided to establish the grammatical protocol of English and she published a book that established her rules and they stuck.
In the process she totally ignored Byron, Keats and others that were the true wordsmiths of there day and are still considered the masters. I have no problem with what she did other than to say she just said this is the way it is. Who gave her the steering wheel? But more power to her because the literary powers that were just sat on their hands.
Take snuck in to consideration, when I was young you learned it was sneaked, now of days even O'Rilley says snuck. I looked it up and found out its proper English today. Times and things change.
What is really troubling is that a lot of kids just don't get any real education these days since the system is antiquated and parochial.
Enough preaching on my part.
Jim Long and calm as ever
Sentiment: Strong Buy
TV is fine. I watched TV all the time as a kid. And, in case you haven't noticed, cartoons of the 70s/80s were violent and non PC. None of this happy "learn to share, be inclusive, and learn to speak spanish" style programs that they have today. And no one was shooting people at school, etc back then. Obviously something else is doing it. Perhaps it's that people used to just watch TV, not replace parenting with TV.