I have a few years to go before my (unborn) child reaches school-age, but I have two younger sisters who come home every day with a new story to tell about what happened that day at school.

Their teachers this year simply are not up to par. One of my sisters told me a disheartening tale last week about her teacher. It was simple really...

My sister went up to the teacher for a pass to the office.

The teacher told my sister to leave her alone.

Apparently this isn't the first time this has happened. My other sister has been having problems too. When I go to pick them up from school I hear other children rambling off curse words like it's nobody's business.

This can't be the natural course of things.

I'm worried about "the future of our children". Is it a public school problem, a home problem, a combination of both? Something else?

It wasn't like this when I was in elementary school...
***************************************************** "There's no original evil left in the world. Everyone's just recycling pain." -Keith Ablow, Projection *****************************************************
Original Post
It's a combination between a problem with the schools and the home. But I think more so a problem of the home.

My wife and I are both invested in our daughter's education. So the teachers know that we WILL be at every parent teacher conference, we attend most school functions, including monitoring on field trips when we can, we WILL review her homework EVERY NIGHT, we WILL be at the school the day after anything inappropriate occurs, whether the actor be the teacher or our daughter.

And, because of our investment, our daughter knows that she had better toe the line; as do her teachers.
The home is where it starts.

When a child leaves the home, they should be ready to learn what the teacher has to offer. All this
bull about learning styles is bull.

THouands of black kids learned from one black sistas at a time back in the day in Fifty kid filled rooms.

SChools don't make badd children, Homes do.

If the schools are not teaching what is require by parents, and businesses, they should vote for people that will and stop voting for people because they lie. And teach their own chidlren.

If you're children are not ready for school, why send them? It is a parents job to raise their children, It is the childs job to learn.

"Spare the rod & spoil the child"
This means to spare the staf of knowledge, and you will spoil the child rotten. They will be
evil and stupid.

"our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virture and intellect' >>L. Trilling
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Shadow:
The home is where it starts.

When a child leavds the home, they should be ready to learn what the teacher has to offer. All this
bull about learning styles is bull.

THouands of black kids learned from one black sistas at a time back in the day in Fifty kid filled rooms.

SChools don't make badd children, Homes do.

If the schools are not teaching what is require by parents, and businesses, they should vote for people that will and stop voting for people because they lie. And teach their own chidlren.

If you're children are not ready for school, why send them? It is a parents job to raise their children, It is the childs job to learn.

"Spare the rod & spoil the child"
This means to spare the staf of knowledge, and you will spoil the child rotten. They will be
evil and stupid.

"our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virture and intellect' >>L. Trilling


I don't completely agree with this. You seem to believe that there is no such thing as a bad teacher or a bad school.

I agree that what goes on in the home is the beginning to what could be a good or bad education for a child, but if a teacher is not doing his or her job, has not had the proper training, etc., how is this the parents' fault?

Public schools nowadays are so desperate for teachers that they are hiring almost anyone without proper screening, and damn sure without proper qualifications.

And as far as learning styles, it has been proven time and again that different people (not just children) learn better in different ways. I prefer a verbal and tactical approach, while others may be more tuned in with their auditory learning skills. Every person is different.
quote:
I agree that what goes on in the home is the beginning to what could be a good or bad education for a child, but if a teacher is not doing his or her job, has not had the proper training, etc., how is this the parents' fault?


It's the parents fault because in the end it is the parent's responsibility to educate their children. We "hire" the state to educate them. That is why some people are opting to home school.

And as stated, if there are bad teachers then the PARENTS should be aware of this and do something about. How about going to PTA meetings and Open House.

Too many parents ready their kids to go to school but don't prepare them for it and fail to continue to take interest in what and how they are being taught. I have heard parents in my office talk about how their child was "going to get it" if they came home with a bad report card. My question is why don't you already know if they are making bad grades? They do work that is grade that is used to determine their final grade. Why don't you know what grades they are getting? This is because you are not taking interest in YOUR child's education. And it will be YOUR child that suffers in the long run not the teacher.
Children should report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable to their parents, and the parents should drop everything and immediately go to the school. I agree with K4R. I worked very closely with my daughter's teachers, and other administrative personnel to ensure that my daughter had the balance that only I could provide to the school's institutionalization.

Teachers knew that I was subject to make a surprise visit at any moment and frequently did stop in during my lunch hour to observe. There was no way that I was going to entrust my most precious child to a total stranger for hours on end.

Sistah, when the time comes, let the school know what you expect and let them know that you are an active and involved parent. I believe you will be a fantastic parent as you are thinking about your child's future already! Many parents start far too late and you are ahead of the game already. All the best to you and yours, my dear Sister.
quote:
I was subject to make a surprise visit at any moment and frequently did stop in during my lunch hour to observe. There was no way that I was going to entrust my most precious child to a total stranger for hours on end.


A parent who is parenting. tfro And I agree you will be a great mommy SS Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
It's a combination between a problem with the schools and the home. But I think more so a problem of the home.

My wife and I are both invested in our daughter's education. So the teachers know that we WILL be at every parent teacher conference, we attend most school functions, including monitoring on field trips when we can, we WILL review her homework EVERY NIGHT, we WILL be at the school the day after anything inappropriate occurs, whether the actor be the teacher or our daughter.

And, because of our investment, our daughter knows that she had better toe the line; as do her teachers.


I agree....I think it takes a little of both..a decent school system and actively involved parent(s).
But I think the home has a more powerful influence on how well children do...take for example my nerdy awakening at the age of 9 (i guess). It was solely due to my mother and the set of encyclopedia she bought me...it just seemed to open a new world to me...the rest is history.
It was this love to read that got me thru the awlful public high school I went to while I was in Nigeria despite the absolute poverty my high school had...think of the open schools in Africa you may have seen on Discovery, National Geo or HBO..that was my high school.
So, I plan on being very actively involved in my future children's school.
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
quote:
Originally posted by Shadow:
The home is where it starts.

When a child leavs the home, they should be ready to learn what the teacher has to offer. All this
bull about learning styles is bull.

THouands of black kids learned from one black sistas at a time back in the day in Fifty kid filled rooms.

SChools don't make badd children, Homes do.

If the schools are not teaching what is require by parents, and businesses, they should vote for people that will and stop voting for people because they lie. And teach their own chidlren.

If you're children are not ready for school, why send them? It is a parents job to raise their children, It is the childs job to learn.

"Spare the rod & spoil the child"
This means to spare the staf of knowledge, and you will spoil the child rotten. They will be
evil and stupid.

"our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virture and intellect' >>L. Trilling


I don't completely agree with this. You seem to believe that there is no such thing as a bad teacher or a bad school.
>>>BAdd teachers? TEAChers who are not up to par, can be dismissed. Parents who vote for
the right person, can effect change.What makes a badd teacher? Not teaching enough, not teaching so the children can learn? AGain, Children
should be ready to learn what ever the teacher is teaching.<<<<
Bad schools, what makes up a school? BAdd children. Which comes from home.<<<<<<

I agree that what goes on in the home is the beginning to what could be a good or bad education for a child, but if a teacher is not doing his or her job, has not had the proper training, etc., how is this the parents' fault?
See Above answers^^^^^

Public schools nowadays are so desperate for teachers that they are hiring almost anyone without proper screening, and damn sure without proper qualifications.

>>>>>>Again, the parents doing. If parents would spent the time to educate themselves about who they are voting for. Better adminstrators who be haired, hence better qualifiy teachers whould be hired. Parent spent more time talking on cell phone about nothing, such as Hollywierd, then they do about learning to vote. ANd spending time at their childrens schools.
PS> Where are all the black revolutionarys in teaching colleges? no where to be found.
They leave the teching of our children up to
white Liberals women. Who don't like your children very much.<<<<<<<<

And as far as learning styles, it has been proven time and again that different people (not just children) learn better in different ways. I prefer a verbal and tactical approach, while others may be more tuned in with their auditory learning skills. Every person is different.

>>>
I posted that back in the day, one black sists taught a class room full of children, fifty or more, in one room schools. ALl ages.
So how did we get so many bright old folks today?
Learning style are in every class room today.
Hearing>>>The teacher speaks.
Sight>>.The teacher writes on the board.
Understanding from what one heards sees and touches?>>>Books aloud touching, items of every kinds can be used to show,exambles of the lessons. Hence tatical teaching.
Learning styles excuses are nothing more than
a way to get more funding.

Funny! our children have no problem of listening to a song once, and be able to write,
sing and express it to others? with no teacher.
So! why can't our chidlren go to school and learn by listening, hearing, and seeing?

If parents want smart and intelligent children, who see the world in reality? Then it is up to them to make them that way. TEAch your children. And let the schools back up what they already know, and want to learn more.

"Once they got a whiff of some real knowledge--knowledge that was relevant to them--they educated themselves far better than any public school could have hoped to do.">>
"Nathan McCall in Makes Me wanna Holler"
Last edited {1}
'Education is an important element in the struggle...to help our children and people rediscover their identity and thereby increase self-respect. EDucation is our passport to the future.">>>MAlcolm X
Even though public school for us is not reaching higher standards we should be proud that it is able to handle or accomodate most of our school age population even newly immigrants to get them to at least learn the basics in reading writing and arithmetic. These are fundamentals that need to be covered. Most countries in the world cannot say the same. Beyond that we have societal pressures inside public schools that robs our children of further education. As long as the fundamentals are covered then I say we keep the system while each of us try to make a difference to higher standards.
The dumbing down of black america within the public school system is no laughing matter. Rote learning is what the PSS teaches, which was originally developed for the deaf and dumb.

1. Teach your child the root meaning of words [i.e. canine--dog; feline--cat; boline-cow that sort of thing]

2. Read to your child early on

I have a book called "Triple Your Reading Speed" by Wade E. Cutler. This book teaches you how to group 4-5 words together instead of reading one-word-at-a-time.

A great learning tool! -- http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Triple%20Your%20Reading%20S...ZWVkBHNsawNib29rcw--


Fine

Side Thought--I hope this information is helpful to you...
Last edited {1}
quote:
Their teachers this year simply are not up to par. One of my sisters told me a disheartening tale last week about her teacher. It was simple really...My sister went up to the teacher for a pass to the office. The teacher told my sister to leave her alone.


What the child neglected to tell you was that many students are asking for passes to be excused NOT because they want to "go to the bathroom," as they say, but because they wish to roam the halls. What gets me is when children run home to tell their parents selective information that will make them appear as angels and the teachers as evil demons bent on making their child's life a living hell. Parents must realize that before they buy into a child's story, you MUST get the full picture of what is taking inside the classroom. If a problem is consistent, request a parent-teacher's conference. Never go charging into a teacher's classroom making accusations when you failed to get both sides of the situation.

quote:
I'm worried about "the future of our children". Is it a public school problem, a home problem, a combination of both? Something else?


How Can Schools Attract Black and Latino Teachers and Prepare White Teachers?

I'm worried about the future of students AND the future of teachers. A growing number of students entering our school systems today are nonwhite students coming from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Interestingly enough however, many of the students enrolling into teacher education programs are WHITE FEMALES! School systems across the country are reporting a shortage in Black and Latino teachers, a shortgage that is dropping every year. Consequently, researchers have predicted that many Black and Latino students will be taught by predominately White women. Therefore, I'm worried that our schools are not doing enough to attract teachers of color AND they are doing enough to prepare White teachers for diverse classrooms. For example, every education program around the country should require teacher candidates (as well as new teachers) to take a minimum of five Spanish and/or Japanese courses. This way, teachers will be able to at least communicate with their bilingual students. Unfortunately however, many teacher education programs are not equipping preservice teachers will these skills. Many programs are still preparing teachers as if White, middle-class, English-speaking students will be the majority.
Last edited {1}
Many programs are still preparing teachers as if White, middle-class, English-speaking students will be the majority.---Rowe

Does this offer an interesting challenge? Graduate teachers who reflect the demographics of the student population.

The challenge of an immigrant culture should be gone by the second generation. Right?

So the challenge to new teachers is to be able to teach in ghe language and culture of the new student?

Something is wrong with that.

Clearly there is a need to understand the diveristy of a student population.

It is also 'compassionate' to teach a transition curriculum from foreign first-language students.

The focus of the school however should be to teach the soceital standard by which we are governed.

Is that too simplisitc?


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley
Clearly there is a need to understand the diveristy of a student population. It is also 'compassionate' to teach a transition curriculum from foreign first-language students.
The focus of the school however should be to teach the soceital standard by which we are governed.


Brother James, the "societal standard by which we are governed" has and is going to dramatically change. I recently watched a nightly news program that featured a progressive school where the teachers were teaching Kindergarten students how to speak Japanese! I forget where the school was located; however, the school's principal admitted to selectively seeking teachers who were bi and trilingual, because these teachers, he said, "Will be the most sought after educators in the very near future."
Last edited {1}
Brother James, the "societal standard by which we are governed" has and is going to dramatically change. I recently watched a nightly news program that featured a progressive school where the teachers were teaching Kindergarten students how to speak Japanese! I forget where the school was located; however, the school's principal admitted to selectively seeking teachers who were bi and tri-lingual, because these teachers, he said, "Will be the most sought after educators in the very near future."---Rowe

I don't think you are saying 'bi', and trilingual teachers will become the dicipline standard.

I am reminded that I went to a high school that recommended, and taught, Latin for the student looking to go to college.

Latin was abolished from the curriculum.

I went to a school that REQUIRED two semesters of German in the School of Chemistry and Physics, because so much of the technical literature was written in German.

German was abolished from the curricula.

I was speaking of societal standards. My point is that if a society is to survive there has to be control over what is dominant language of that society.

The practitioners of every language will want thing to be their way, AND in their language.

A society should not be reconstructed to the 'new kid'.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley
A society should not be reconstructed to the 'new kid'.


I understand the argument being made here, clearly. However, we have not been discussing how school systems should educate "a" new kid. We are talking about the education of a swarm of children from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds who are flooding public schools in unprecedented numbers. Therefore, one cannot stubbornly insist that we ignore this reality by teaching in the old ways that are traditional and comfortable for us. Instead, we must adjust to these changes, as many schools have already done. With regard to the management of society in terms of their being a dominant language, I think we have a long ways to go before English language speakers become the language minority.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley
A society should not be reconstructed to the 'new kid'.



I understand the argument being made here, clearly. However, we have not been discussing how school systems should educate "a" new kid. We are talking about the education of a swarm of children from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds who are flooding public schools in unprecedented numbers. Therefore, one cannot stubbornly insist that we ignore this reality by teaching in the old ways that are traditional and comfortable for us. Instead, we must adjust to these changes, as many schools have already done. With regard to the management of society in terms of their being a dominant language, I think we have a long ways to go before English language speakers become the language minority.---Rowe

I think you know I did not mean a single 'kid'. Nor did I say we 'teach in the old ways'.

There has always been a 'cry' that 'We are being 'inundated by foreigner'.

I did say the 'rule of immigration' is the first generation is lost.

I now submit that there is a good reason for that position. The responsibility to adapt rests with the immigrant, regardless of origin.

This is not saying society should not extend (openly) those benefits that intended to help.

But it does not mean a nation composed of immigrants takes on the persona of each new wave.

If insisting on maintaining the society is stubborn, I call it survival.


PEACE

Jim Chester
My children are the sole purpose of my life.

After experiencing our first child going from Kindergarten through fifth grade at a public school (Meeting both White Trash and negroified children). We decided to send them both to private Christian schools.

Though discipline does start at home, sending them into an unhealthy environment (my opinion is public schools are, in general, unhealthy) helps defeat your objectives.

Of course, Private schools are expensive ($900 a month), but they are our investment for the future. It has been a blessing since. And, despite the cost, it is worth it.
"(Meeting both White Trash and negroified children)"

---------------------------------------------

First, please explain "negroified," second, what could possibly be the problem with your child 'meeting' so-called, "white trash" and "negroified" children, especially in pre-k and elementary school?

Please elaborate . . .
quote:
Originally posted by The_Congo:
After experiencing our first child going from Kindergarten through fifth grade at a public school (meeting both "White Trash" and "negroified" children...Though discipline does start at home, sending them into an unhealthy environment (my opinion is public schools are, in general, unhealthy) helps defeat your objectives.


Because public schools are largely funded by property taxes, the quality of a school has little to do with the type of children who attend and everything to do with the neighborhood in which the school is located. If a public is located in an affluent community where the residents pay high property taxes, then the school environment will be better than the public school that is located in a poverty-striken community. Thus, what you really want to shield your children away from is poverty, not "negrofied/white trash." Jonathan Kozol (1991), author of the book Savage Inequalities blames funding public schools with property taxes for contributing towards the widening academic achievement gap between affluent Whites and Black and Latino minorities. Kozol (1991) says that because many Blacks and Latinos cannot afford to live in affluent school districts, they get the worse public education and consequently are denied access into mainstream society. He believes that it is a system that works very hard to keep minorities at the bottom of American society. Sadly, African Americans who do finally manage to reach the surface of America's social and economic success tend to abandon urban communities for "greener pastures" (affluent suburbs), taking their resources with them. Rather than stay to improve the schools and communities where Black people are the majority population, they insult and blame the people who stay behind for being too "negrofied" to achieve "like they did." Some feel that kind of attitude is what is also responsible for preventing African Americans from helping themselves achieve.

Other Book References:
Jothan Kozol(1995) The Shame of A Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling In America.
Last edited {1}
Property taxes here in NJ are only one way the public schools are funded. We have 31 "Abbott Districts" which receive additional taxpayer money. I believe the school district in Newark NJ spends approximately $18,000 per student, per year. The district I live in spends approximately $11,000 per student.
Why, if not the home environment, are the almighty 'standardized test scores' so much better for the school that gets LESS money?

Top 25 school districts NATIONWIDE of over 10,000 students in per-pupil spending, 2002-03 school year
http://www.teach-now.org/newsdisp.cfm?newsid=80

1) Newark, NJ $17,652
2) Trenton, NJ $15,438
3) Jersey City, NJ $14,820
4) Patterson, NJ $14,514
5) Camden, NJ $14,499

That was for three school years ago, it is even higher now.

Another question, we rehab properties in Trenton, NJ and routinely pass the high school there at opening and closing. It is so rare as to be noteable to see any kids carrying books into or out of the school. Why??
quote:
Why, if not the home environment, are the almighty 'standardized test scores' so much better for the school that gets LESS money?


The schools to which I am referring, and Kozol describes in his book, are the schools and students who suffer from the poorest conditions and community environments, schools where the student population is made up of mainly African American students. In these schools, the students are not academically on par with students who attend affluent private schools and public schools. In terms of their academic consistency, they do not perform as well as well as mainstream students. A brief surge in standardized test scores over a course of a few years cannot be counted as making improvements if the scores cannot remain constant. Furthermore, it is no secret that African American students do not perform as well as White and Asian students on standardized tests. The world of academia is flooded with research confirming this assertion in addition to research designed to solve, or at least address this problem.

quote:
Another question, we rehab properties in Trenton, NJ and routinely pass the high school there at opening and closing. It is so rare as to be noteable to see any kids carrying books into or out of the school. Why?


Here, readers are getting conflicting messages in argument. At the start of your argument, you praise the students in your district for performing well on standardized test scores despite limited funding. Now, you discuss concerns about the students in your district arriving to school having no books. How can the students perform well on standardized test(despite limited funding) if they rarely arrive to school with any books?
quote:
Here, readers are getting conflicting messages in argument. At the start of your argument, you praise the students in your district for performing well on standardized test scores despite limited funding. Now, you discuss concerns about the students in your district arriving to school having no books. How can the students perform well on standardized test(despite limited funding) if they rarely arrive to school with any books?[/quote]

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear at all, was I? I was talking about three different districts:
1. Newark - $18,000 a year per student, horrible graduation rate, horrible test scores, horrible environment (schools unclean etc.)

2. Trenton - $15,000 a year per student. See Newark comments, plus add personal observations of no students bringing home or taking books to school.

3. Home district - $11,000 per student, racially diverse student body, high test scores, high graduation rate, schools in good repair. Students worry me they are going to damage their backs by carring ultra heavy backpacks to and from school each day (elementary to high school age)

Now go back to my original question - how can the students in Trenton ever improve their learning if they never bring any books home from school?? How can we work to change this?

As far as the "These racial groups just don't do well on standardized tests." Can't argue with that - I agree. On the other hand, it doesn't explain how my racially diverse home district manages to have excellent test scores across all the NCLB 'categories' of race, etc.

FYI, just so you know my bias, I taught in Trenton's (inner city urban) elementary schools and although I don't live there, I chose a career change and when my children came a long chose to homeschool them rather than send them to our 'excellent' home district.
quote:
Home district - $11,000 per student, racially diverse student body, high test scores, high graduation rate, schools in good repair. Students worry me they are going to damage their backs by carring ultra heavy backpacks to and from school each day (elementary to high school age)


Though these school characteristics are impressive, this situation, obviously an exception, does not represent the norm. You described your home district as being "racially diverse." However, in schools where Black students make up most, if not all of the student population, particularly in poor urban environments, the students tend to suffer from the worst school (and home) environments, including schools that are understaffed and have been for quite a number of years with uncertified, unqualified teachers. Of course there are many ways that this can be remedied, but the point is, you cannot use your home district as a standard by which other schools should perform, especially if your school has at least the basic necessities in order to perform, like qualified and motivated teachers and enough textbooks for the children to use.

quote:
Now go back to my original question - how can the students in Trenton ever improve their learning if they never bring any books home from school? How can we work to change this?


This is a question that Trenton school administrators (principals) and teachers will have to explore. Perhaps teachers can apply some kind of reprimandation to students who are not carrying textbooks home. Perhaps they can establish some kind of reward system. There are many programs that can be used to motivate your students. However, if a large number of students are not bringing home textbooks to do homework assignments, etc. clearly, that reveals a problem on the part of the school and those who are responsible for the students, NOT the students themselves. If clear directions are given and guidance and structure are established, right from the beginning, children will do exactly what they are told.
quote:
However, in schools where Black students make up most, if not all of the student population, particularly in poor urban environments, the students tend to suffer from the worst school (and home) environments, including schools that are understaffed and have been for quite a number of years with uncertified, unqualified teachers. Of course there are many ways that this can be remedied, but the point is, you cannot use your home district as a standard by which other schools should perform, especially if your school has at least the basic necessities in order to perform, like qualified and motivated teachers and enough textbooks for the children to use."

But my point was this - Where the heck is all the money going?? If the "poor districts" are getting $8,000 a kid MORE than my district, WHY can't they afford to buy books, attract teachers with higher salaries, fix the schools etc.?? In NJ, which is my only point of reference, we pour millions of dollars into the school districts, the "poorest" districts won a court decision (google "Abbott vs. Burke") so that they get as much money per child as the RICHEST district in NJ. Not the same as the middle class districts, but as the richest districts. This money has been pouring in for at least 10 years to these districts, and STILL the situation of the schools being in bad condition, not enough textbooks etc. has not changed. Where is the money going??

I understand you cannot change the home environment. I realize if you have a child coming to school who has no good place to sleep, no decent meal and no encouragement to learn you have a hard time helping them to excel. But at least if you are taking the taxpayers money use it for the essentials and give the kids a safe environment to go to school!

I strongly suspect the money is being used- to line administrators and well connected contractors pockets!

NJR
quote:
I strongly suspect the money is being used- to line administrators and well connected contractors pockets!


----------------------------------------------


BINGO!
quote:
Originally posted by NJRoadie:
If the "poor districts" are getting $8,000 a kid MORE than my district, WHY can't they afford to buy books, attract teachers with higher salaries, fix the schools etc.?


I don't know NJ. I don't know what is going on in your district. But again your district does not represent the norm, and it reads as if you are attempting to make a connection between what is taking place in your district to what is taking place all over the nation, when it is not. Millions of dollars are not being poured into the poorest school districts all over the nation. It is my understanding that most of the money that is given to public schools comes from property taxes. And in the DC-Maryand-Virginia school districts, I see evidence of this. In areas where mainly affluent Whites, Asians, and people from India reside, the schools look like space ships, decked out with latest technology, the most highly-qualifed teachers, and the best-managed staff. Travel to Washington, DC and neighboring counties where poor and middle class Blacks reside, and you will see the schools looking like holy hell: Teachers come and go every two years, schools are understaffed, kids are way out of control (because the school lacks consistency and structure), no one is learning because teachers have to spend 90% of instruction time discplining students, etc., etc. I have worked in these schools, and so I know what is going on. Why do you think the government has created these enticing teacher incentive packages designed to lure qualified teachers to poor school districts? Because no one wants to work in "those type of schools," work with "those type of children," or live among "those type of people."

Finally, why wouldn't administrators and well-connected contractors in predominately White school districts be just as interested in lining their pockets as those in racially-diverse districts? To make such a suggestion would imply that administrators and contractors responsible for White school districts are more morally grounded than those responsible for Black school districts. This may be the case in your district, who knows, but its certainly not the case nationwide, unless you have evidence or can produce a creditable study that proves it so.
Last edited {1}
Just to add to what Rowe's above post,

There is also a problem with poor blacks being directly involved in what is going on in their school systems/districts. From what I see, it also depends on whether or not what monies are spent and how, when, where, and why will be questioned and or scrutinized by the greater community. Often African Americans do not question how much money is going into their children's schools, where, when and how it is being spent, which would be another reason for schools in non-poor districts/communities being better equipped and maintained and staffed than those in poorer districts/communities, since middle class whites/others have usually WILL be the ones to question the school funding, may be more likely to have a knowledge the legal obligations of the school/district to students attending and the community at large, may be able to draw the probono or otherwise legal expertise from within their own community of parents and/or friends if there is a question of funding and/or quality of education being taught and/or students' rights.

Also, I would like to add that one reason that poor students perform poorly that is never discussed or admitted to is the fact that they are treated differently in some or most cases and are not expected to perform any other way by even the teachers that teach them. In a lot of cases vibes the students pick up on and the attitudes teachers often display towards them (while they are in contact with them for as much as six hours per day) usually already sub-consciously engrains a psychological 'self-fulfilling prophecy of failing and/or failure and unworthiness, causing young minds to loose interest early, give up easily, or in defense and/or retalliation against such negativity directed toward them, 'cut off their nose to spite their face' by refusing to perform or to perform to the fulliest potential.

Finally, the fundamentals of education rarely changes enough for it to matter a lot whether or not books are new, etc., or that state of the art equipment is priority, but it does matter the teachers' attitude toward teaching and the students that are being taught and also, (another thing that is rarely mentioned), that teachers be allowed to teach, and not be so restricted by rules and regulations that have nothing to do with teaching, but often merely interfere with the teachers' ability to teach AND DISCIPLINE in the classroom. Right now, it really appears that the average teacher spends a large percentage of time that could be used for teaching doing administrative paperwork, (another thing that has little if anything to do with teaching).
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by NJRoadie:
If the "poor districts" are getting $8,000 a kid MORE than my district, WHY can't they afford to buy books, attract teachers with higher salaries, fix the schools etc.?


I don't know NJ. I don't know what is going on in your district. But again your district does not represent the norm, and it reads as if you are attempting to make a connection between what is taking place in your district to what is taking place all over the nation, when it is not. "

I think I've stated plenty of times that what happens in NJ is my ONLY point of reference. Specific to this situation -
NJ is a densely populated state with lots of urban areas. I think it is fair to look at what is happening - In NJ when money IS in fact being poured into the school systems in the poor districts and ask WHY, WHY, WHY isn't that money producing some good schools, with superior supplies and teachers who stick around? And I think it is fair to say, if it isn't happening in NJ when money has been poured into those districts for years, it isn't likely to work in other places. At least not until we figure out WHY the enormous sums of money aren't getting us what other districts are able to buy for much less. And I'm talking strictly about buildings, books and teachers.

"It is my understanding that most of the money that is given to public schools comes from property taxes."

And as I explained, in NJ this is how it works too, except for the 31 so-called "Abbott" districts, which due to a court ruling are given additional state aid - enough to equal them getting as much funding as the richest district in NJ.

I wonder if the reason the money (in my opinion must) be getting swiped by someone is because as Sunnibian said, there isn't as much neighborhood oversight. I know the attitude in our area (which gets some state aid, and is racially diverse) is that this money is somehow 'free money' - as if it was coming from some magical money tree and not from taxpayers (i.e. OUR!) pockets. I've heard more than once on a new school referendum "Let's add this fancy football field, since we are getting state aid at 40% ..."

"Teachers come and go every two years, schools are understaffed, kids are way out of control (because the school lacks consistency and structure), no one is learning because teachers have to spend 90% of instruction time discplining students,"

This is a huge problem, but what I am saying is that I have not seen here in NJ, that throwing more money at it fixes this problem. We've tried that here and we still have these problems!!!

I think it comes back to the community - we need to place emphasis on learning as a critical part of success in life. Too often I see kids who think they are going to be the next sports star etc.

Another thing that I think would help a lot is home ownership programs. We rehab houses in Trenton, NJ. We take a house that was burned out, boarded up and filled with trash and clean it out, gut it, rebuild the inside, fix up the outside (new windows etc) and really make it look terrific. Then we put in a new sidewalk to replace the broken up trip hazard out front, and what do people do when we leave? Write all kinds of junk in the wet cement. What is up with that?? But I digress...

"Finally, why wouldn't administrators and well-connected contractors in predominately White school districts be just as interested in lining their pockets as those in racially-diverse districts?"

Oh they ARE! And often they do, or do for a while and get caught. This is NJ we are talking about - where the biggest medical college is under federal investigation for embezzelling millions of dollars of medicare/medicaid money by double billing for at least ten years. It happens all over the place and whereever it happens makes me angry. Yet this makes me more angry because it hurts the kids directly, and seems so obvious that I don't know how it isn't caught.

"To make such a suggestion would imply that administrators and contractors responsible for White school districts are more morally grounded than those responsible for Black school districts."

I'm making no such suggestion. Being a crook seems to cross all races.
quote:
sunnubian: Also, I would like to add that one reason that poor students perform poorly that is never discussed or admitted to is the fact that they are treated differently in some or most cases and are not expected to perform any other way by even the teachers that teach them. In a lot of cases vibes the students pick up on and the attitudes teachers often display towards them (while they are in contact with them for as much as six hours per day) usually already sub-consciously engrains a psychological 'self-fulfilling prophecy of failing and/or failure and unworthiness, causing young minds to loose interest early, give up easily, or in defense and/or retalliation against such negativity directed toward them, 'cut off their nose to spite their face' by refusing to perform or to perform to the fulliest potential.


I agree.... this is a really important point and I wondered - from the teachers among you (?) - if this aspect of teaching is ever touched on in training, or discussed between teachers.

My other question is, after initial 'teacher training' and beyond day-to-day teaching experience where/how do teachers expand their knowledge? I'm curious... teaching is a mix of psychology, curriculum, staying technology-literate, ideas, and being socially-aware. Corporations have seminars and training courses... what about teachers?
.
quote:
I agree.... this is a really important point and I wondered - from the teachers among you (?) - if this aspect of teaching is ever touched on in training, or discussed between teachers.


Certainly, I've discussed the impact teacher expectations has on students' academic performance in the forum before. In fact, there is a discussion taking place right now about this issue in the Politics forum under the thread entitled, "Are Schools Failing Black Boys?" This issue is also heavily discussed in education programs and textbooks. I'm currently enrolled into Master's Education Program and the subject of teachers' expectations is discussed quite often. However, the fact of the matter is, no matter how much sensitive training a teacher receives, a teacher cannot deny his or her socialization and upbringing. Each of us is under the influence of sex socialization, race socialization, and culture/family socialization. Thus, when teachers walk into their classrooms, they bring their socialization and upbringing with them.

quote:
My other question is, after initial 'teacher training' and beyond day-to-day teaching experience where/how do teachers expand their knowledge?


Most teachers are expected to attend monthly workshops that are designed to keep them abreast of the latest and most effective best teacher practices, research, and teaching strategies. Also, many teachers, after a certain number of years of teaching, decide to return back to school for their Master's degree, which requires them to do lots of research. By doing research, teachers can stay abreast of current teaching strategies that have proven to be the most effective with students. Lastly, education journals (e.g., Journal of Negro Edcuation, Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Exceptional Children, The Reading Teacher, etc.) are loaded with current research and recommended teaching strategies. Most teachers subscribe to at least three education journals in order to stay current in their chosen field of interest.
Last edited {1}
thanks for your response Rowe. You made some good points.

Yes I have been reading the other threads...and I wondered whether these issues get discussed much between teachers themselves on a day-to-day basis also? I guess it depends on the dynamics and politics of that group of teachers.

I'm glad to hear there are monthly workshops - that's impressive. And, I imagine, a good opportunity to talk with and meet a wide range of teachers from different schools and perspectives.

I'm curious merely as a bystander, how people learn, what influences their behaviour and attitudes, developing their individuality and creativity, etc. especially in children - so a lot of the responsibility falls on the adults they meet - primarily school and family, but also from all walks of life.

I almost went in to remedial teaching after school, but changed direction into the arts.

I've met more teachers in my adult life who have lost that passion, sometimes very early on in their careers. With a mindset like that, I despair at the room full of children they teach.

It's obvious that you are passionate about teaching - it beams out! kiss
.
quote:
Originally posted by art_gurl:
I wondered whether these issues get discussed much between teachers themselves on a day-to-day basis.


Perhaps novice teachers may discuss this issue on a day-to-day basis; however, just like in any other profession, after gaining experience, knowing how to teach students becomes second nature.

quote:
I'm glad to hear there are monthly workshops - that's impressive. And, I imagine, a good opportunity to talk with and meet a wide range of teachers from different schools and perspectives.


Sure, that's one of the purposes for attending the workshop: to network with other teachers. Other purposes include exposure to new teaching strategies and better ways to assess students.

quote:
I'm curious merely as a bystander, how people learn, what influences their behaviour and attitudes, developing their individuality and creativity, etc. especially in children - so a lot of the responsibility falls on the adults they meet - primarily school and family, but also from all walks of life.


Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Lev Vygotsky (1986), both pioneers in the field of educational research, believes children learn primarily through their social interaction with others. Piaget, however, believes children develop more quickly when they interact with one another than when they interact with adults. Vygotsky, on the other hand, believes children learn more from the instructional interactions they have with those who are more intellectually advanced, particularly if the instruction fall within the child's "zone of proximal development." Vygotsky refers to the difference between what a child can do on his own and what can be accomplished with some assistance as the zone of proximal development (ZPD).

In terms of a child's psychological and personality development, this may be explained by Erik Erikson's "Epigenetic Principle" (1902-1994). Erikson's epigenetic principle states that in fetal development, certain organs of the body appear at certain specified times and eventually "combine" to form a child. Erikson hypothesized that just as the parts of the body develop in interrelated ways in a human fetus, so the personality of an individual forms as the ego progresses through a series of interrelated stages.

quote:
I almost went in to remedial teaching after school, but changed direction into the arts.


We definitely need more teachers in Special Education. However, I am a firm believer in doing what makes us happy.

quote:
I've met more teachers in my adult life who have lost that passion, sometimes very early on in their careers. With a mindset like that, I despair at the room full of children they teach.


I always tell people that teaching is one of those professions that requires a warrior-like spirit. Because it is taxing, and at times can be punishing, you cannot be one of these people who gives up easily on a challenge. One of the most difficult aspects of being a teacher, at least in my view, is having to reassure the parents of your competence as a teacher, particularly if you are a young teacher. Many parents, understandably, are protective of their children. However, some parents can become quite defensive when it comes to their child. I call these parents, "Headache Parents," because they think every teacher's job must evolve around the needs of their child, and no one elses'.

quote:
It's obvious that you are passionate about teaching - it beams out!


Thank you for the compliment! I will maintain this passion for as long as it sustains me. I do plan to eventually get a doctorate's degree, however. Then, I plan to teach at the college level in an education program.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
Just to add to what Rowe's above post,

There is also a problem with poor blacks being directly involved in what is going on in their school systems/districts. From what I see, it also depends on whether or not what monies are spent and how, when, where, and why will be questioned and or scrutinized by the greater community. Often African Americans do not question how much money is going into their children's schools, where, when and how it is being spent, which would be another reason for schools in non-poor districts/communities being better equipped and maintained and staffed than those in poorer districts/communities, since middle class whites/others have usually WILL be the ones to question the school funding, may be more likely to have a knowledge the legal obligations of the school/district to students attending and the community at large, may be able to draw the probono or otherwise legal expertise from within their own community of parents and/or friends if there is a question of funding and/or quality of education being taught and/or students' rights.

Also, I would like to add that one reason that poor students perform poorly that is never discussed or admitted to is the fact that they are treated differently in some or most cases and are not expected to perform any other way by even the teachers that teach them. In a lot of cases vibes the students pick up on and the attitudes teachers often display towards them (while they are in contact with them for as much as six hours per day) usually already sub-consciously engrains a psychological 'self-fulfilling prophecy of failing and/or failure and unworthiness, causing young minds to loose interest early, give up easily, or in defense and/or retalliation against such negativity directed toward them, 'cut off their nose to spite their face' by refusing to perform or to perform to the fulliest potential.

Finally, the fundamentals of education rarely changes enough for it to matter a lot whether or not books are new, etc., or that state of the art equipment is priority, but it does matter the teachers' attitude toward teaching and the students that are being taught and also, (another thing that is rarely mentioned), that teachers be allowed to teach, and not be so restricted by rules and regulations that have nothing to do with teaching, but often merely interfere with the teachers' ability to teach AND DISCIPLINE in the classroom. Right now, it really appears that the average teacher spends a large percentage of time that could be used for teaching doing administrative paperwork, (another thing that has little if anything to do with teaching).


Good points.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×