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04/11/2006 05:10:20 PM · #1
You need to go to this website:

//www.standup.org

I just got done watching a talk show (I know) I only watched it cause I knew what it was about and I am a parent.

This is a thing that Bill Gates and his wife are doing.

Helping schools.

Message edited by author 2006-04-11 17:30:10.
04/11/2006 05:28:09 PM · #2
I agree Rex this is one of Americas biggest problems right now if not the biggest. We have to get our children educated by educators that care. It is very sad.
04/11/2006 05:28:27 PM · #3
I am confused...helping schools is a problem? Or Bill and Melinda Gates helping schools is a problem? Or schools are a problem? As per your post that is. Schools are a problem in this country. All over. Not a new issue. Just one more prevalent after all the budget cuts from the Feds (despite that ridiculous no child left behind baloney). A lot of news lately on the standards of education in America. We are far behind and way too lazy when it comes to education it seems.

Message edited by author 2006-04-11 17:30:30.
04/11/2006 05:34:08 PM · #4
I edited my post for you.

They were talking on the show that a teenage girl graduated from her High Schol with a 4.0 GPA. She wanted to go to an Ivy League school but went to a Community College and is 1 year behind in Math and Science.

They talked to students around the world and asked them to name the first five US presidents. All got a few and China got all 5 right.

All the US students asked didn't know. Most of them put Abraham Lincoln in there.

04/11/2006 07:06:39 PM · #5
I have a college degree and a great job. I graduated in Mathematics near the top of my class from a well-known private university.

I can't name the first 5 presidents. In fact, I don't know a single person who makes a living by knowing the first 5 presidents of the USA. Or who has ever needed to know that.
04/11/2006 07:17:58 PM · #6
Lets see ... that was on Final Jeopardy last night.

Actually I agree with Steve. I can only get 1 of the first 5, am well educated, reasonably bright, and have had a successful business and family raising career. That being said, US Presidents is my worst Jeopardy catagory.

What we need to teach in our schools is: 1) How to learn; 2) How to think critically and creatively; 3) Some knowledge set that is employable. If along the way we taught a passion for learning, a zest for debate as a method to find the truth, and a productive work ethic ... wow! That would be fantastic.
04/11/2006 07:22:18 PM · #7
The amount of knowledge available in the world doubled in the 1950's. By mid 1970's, it had doubled again. Then, it was doubling every 5 years. Soon the knowledge base was doubling in less than a year.

That means that today's high school student has over 32 times the amount of knowledge available to him/her than a graduate from 30 years ago. It is impossible for any education system to keep up with that kind of growth.

The priority has become learning how to think and learn, not memorizing rote facts. The hardest part of teaching within today's educational system is meeting the demands of what should be taught in the limited amount of time available to learn, especially when the curriculum is constantly being increased and the resources are not.

Four out of five jobs that will be available in 20 years have not even been developed yet. So, would you like your children to know facts, or be able to learn and think? We have to choose. There is not time for both.

Becky
04/11/2006 07:26:10 PM · #8
Originally posted by Digital Quixote:

Lets see ... that was on Final Jeopardy last night.

Actually I agree with Steve. I can only get 1 of the first 5, am well educated, reasonably bright, and have had a successful business and family raising career. That being said, US Presidents is my worst Jeopardy category.

What we need to teach in our schools is: 1) How to learn; 2) How to think critically and creatively; 3) Some knowledge set that is employable. If along the way we taught a passion for learning, a zest for debate as a method to find the truth, and a productive work ethic ... wow! That would be fantastic.


Well said. Kids have to be shown how to be free thinkers.

I find that many teachers still have a "sit still and listen" attitude when it's been proven that most kids learn in different ways. Some need more tactile stimulus, some visual, while others thrive with auditory. And lets face it... not everyone is cut out to go on to college and university, which is being over-emphasized these days. Just look at how many trades that are having trouble recruiting apprentices. Many of the programs such as mechanics, carpentry, electronics, etc that were present when I went to school are no longer present these days. I think these need to come back. It might help reduce the number of drop-outs. I dunno...

EDIT
And oh yeah... I think this doesn't apply to only to America, but to most of the wolrd's developed countries.

Message edited by author 2006-04-11 19:27:14.
04/11/2006 07:38:40 PM · #9
Originally posted by rjkstesch:

The amount of knowledge available in the world doubled in the 1950's. By mid 1970's, it had doubled again. Then, it was doubling every 5 years. Soon the knowledge base was doubling in less than a year.

That means that today's high school student has over 32 times the amount of knowledge available to him/her than a graduate from 30 years ago. It is impossible for any education system to keep up with that kind of growth.

The priority has become learning how to think and learn, not memorizing rote facts. The hardest part of teaching within today's educational system is meeting the demands of what should be taught in the limited amount of time available to learn, especially when the curriculum is constantly being increased and the resources are not.

Four out of five jobs that will be available in 20 years have not even been developed yet. So, would you like your children to know facts, or be able to learn and think? We have to choose. There is not time for both.

Becky
I understand what you are saying but your last sentence is some what of an oxymoron. Are you basing your findings on "fact" or what people "think"?

I believe that our children need to know the basic facts, learn from them and it will make them think about solutions and inventions.
04/11/2006 07:52:16 PM · #10
The point is that we need a system that allows our children to be flexible. We must have a knowledge base in order to make intelligent decisions. Obviously facts are needed. But we don't need to keep all the facts we ever come across in ready access. We do need to be able to find them and have an awareness of them for the times we do need to use them.

I'm actually a very strong advocate for having strong skills in the basic academic areas (reading, writing, math, reasoning) technology skills, a broad knowledge base in many areas, and areas of passionate interest. In essence - I believe in life-long learning.

When I need to find the 1st 5 presidents, I know right where to find them. ;)

Becky
04/11/2006 08:11:16 PM · #11
Originally posted by rex:

All the US students asked didn't know. Most of them put Abraham Lincoln in there.


A lot of you missed the point of this.

Most US students don't care who the first five presidents are.

Most US students dont care.
04/11/2006 08:19:32 PM · #12
Originally posted by rjkstesch:

The priority has become learning how to think and learn, not memorizing rote facts.


Originally posted by Beagleboy:

Well said. Kids have to be shown how to be free thinkers.


I agree with both, so why don't they attempt to do just that? The words and platitudes (no idea if that is spelt correctly :) are used a lot in techer conferences e.t.c. I have watched my oldest go through 18 months of school (in the US) and changed from a "why" thinker wanting to understand (not facts but understand) into a sit in line while at school thing because it's too much effort for the school to deal with; partly because of class sizes, partly because some kids don't learn much sitting around a table listening and partly due to the linear method these teachers seem to want to employ.

We get the 'He tends not to believe facts that are presented' - which as far as I am concerned is GOOD but they imply this is bad. Schools do badly IMO for the kids that learn by why (the lack of authority types) and how (the pull apart types) but works great for the what (fact types).

An interesting question is: Name the most northerly, southerly, easterly and westerly US states? - Yeah it's a trick question but it shouldn't be - I am not interested in the trivia part of the question but the understanding part that knows why the answer is not 4 different states.
04/11/2006 08:30:33 PM · #13
I don't think it's that they don't care per se. It's that they need to memorize so many other things. My youngest child is in 1st grade. He has a laptop computer at school. He is currently testing at 3rd grade reading level. Our school system has consistently been in the top of the state yet our community has the lowest price per child. They have a great system where the kids are grouped together according to "how" they learn, not what they know. Every topic is tied together. My daughter graduated last year. She was able to go to an IB middle school and high school based on her test scores. The biggest thing about this school district is how involved they get the parents. It really makes the difference.
04/11/2006 08:34:13 PM · #14
Originally posted by maxj:

Originally posted by rex:

All the US students asked didn't know. Most of them put Abraham Lincoln in there.


A lot of you missed the point of this.

Most US students don't care who the first five presidents are.

Most US students dont care.


Sorry to say, but I don't care either. That particular fact is relevant to exactly nothing in my world, unless I test into Jeopardy.
04/11/2006 08:46:05 PM · #15
Like what others have said, teaching someone how to use their brain is much more important than filling that brain with useless facts. Now more than ever.
04/11/2006 08:49:39 PM · #16
Originally posted by robs:


An interesting question is: Name the most northerly, southerly, easterly and westerly US states? - Yeah it's a trick question but it shouldn't be - I am not interested in the trivia part of the question but the understanding part that knows why the answer is not 4 different states.


It's an interesting question, in that it raises issues with "expected answers"; most people would automatically try to name 4 states. Hawaii, of course, is bost westernmost and southernmost of the states.

I do a fair amount of online tutoring in "verbal reasoning" to high school/college age students who have literally never been taught HOW to think. They don't have any technique, so to speak, for reasoning out what a question is really asking, for example. These are intelligent kids, and they get terrific science and math scores, but they can't handle the "verbal reasoning" part of standard testing very well.

That's my pet peeve; scools teach facts, but rarely processes themselves. When I went to Brown University, for example, in the 60's, it was required that a student be able to pass a test in symbolic logic, or he had to take a class in it. The whole concept of "debate" or "argument" has taken a beating, too, in modern times. IMO healthy skepticism is the foundation of knowledge and, by extension, civilization, and it has received very short shrift of late in our schools.

There's a lot to be said for a "classical" education, because this is founded on principles of reasoning and deduction as well as "core facts".

Another interesting geographical tidbit: Reno, Nevada is further west than Los Angeles, California :-)

R.


04/11/2006 09:22:19 PM · #17
If you will all go to this website it is not about teaching useless facts.

It is about 1/3 of Public High School Students WILL NOT graduate.

It is about one school doesn't have the resources it needs while another one 30 miles down the road cost $62 million to build and is a state of the art facility.

It is about a girl that went through High School with a 4.0 GPA and was a full year behind in Math and Science when she got to a Community College.


04/11/2006 09:28:53 PM · #18
I personally think knowing who the first five Pres. of the US are is not terrbily important

However, a large percentage of college level students will probably not be able to point out Iraq on the map. Similar to the college students who could not find Vietnam on the map during the Vietnam War.

Relevance is subjective, just as what the definition of a good education is

just a thought. Our future lies in the education of children. I hope they get it, whatever a good education is
04/11/2006 09:48:00 PM · #19
I agree that most everyone that has posted is correct in one form or another. But like Rex said itís about 1/3 or the students will not graduate. Itís about one school having more recourses than another. I will give you a scenario, here in Columbus, Georgia.

Two school less than three miles apart look at their
State Report Cards
04/11/2006 09:53:57 PM · #20
Originally posted by Southern Gentleman:

I agree that most everyone that has posted is correct in one form or another. But like Rex said itís about 1/3 or the students will not graduate. Itís about one school having more recourses than another. I will give you a scenario, here in Columbus, Georgia.

Two school less than three miles apart look at their
State Report Cards


I'm not in any way disputing that inequities exist (I know they do) but one of these two is a "vocational high school" and isn't that, by definition, going to enroll mostly students with no intellectual ambitions? This was certainly the case back in my day, when students who had neither desire nor aptitude for "higher learning" went to vocational high schools to get started on practical trades...

R.
04/11/2006 09:54:40 PM · #21
Scott you are right with me.

Thank you.

It is about making things equal. Sharing resources............

Half of High School Graduates are NOT prepared for college.

I work with a guy that lives in Japan. They have asked him to stay here for two more years to help get things going. I asked him why don't he bring his family over for two years. He has 2 kids in middle school.

His reply:

His kids would be too far behind if they went to school here for two years because our schools are not up to their standards. They would never be able to catch up.


04/11/2006 09:55:03 PM · #22
This could easily turn into a rant thread. But, you're comparing a "regular" high school to a "vocational" high school. Most "troubled" teens are directed to a VoTech. Not saying it's right or wrong, but it's pretty common. Since the two schools you compared are spending the same amount per child, I don't believe it's a money allocation problem there.

edit: someone beat me to it.

Message edited by author 2006-04-11 21:55:42.
04/11/2006 09:56:51 PM · #23
Originally posted by Southern Gentleman:

I agree that most everyone that has posted is correct in one form or another. But like Rex said itís about 1/3 or the students will not graduate. Itís about one school having more recourses than another. I will give you a scenario, here in Columbus, Georgia.

Two school less than three miles apart look at their
State Report Cards


Yeah poverty seems to be the root of most problems from education to terrorism. Maybe we should just focus on poverty and everything else will resolve itself?
04/11/2006 09:59:37 PM · #24
I read through quite a few profiles on the site, and it seems that a majority of them likely had/have problems at home. Only a few profiles directly state this, but a lot of the others illude to it (drugs/prison/no self discipline). I wonder if the poor performance in school is more of a consequence of a larger domestic problem, rather than the core of the problem itself. It may or may not be... just an idea.
04/11/2006 10:02:02 PM · #25
Originally posted by alien2thisworld:

I read through quite a few profiles on the site, and it seems that a majority of them likely had/have problems at home. Only a few profiles directly state this, but a lot of the others allude to it (drugs/prison/no self discipline). I wonder if the poor performance in school is more of a consequence of a larger domestic problem, rather than the core of the problem itself. It may or may not be... just an idea.


I think you have something here. If the parents don't give a hoot about school, how can we expect their children to do? That's why I think some kids need educational mentors outside the home to push them to learn and succeed.
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