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Progressive State Recognizes Futility of Public Schooling
Old 11-07-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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Progressive State Recognizes Futility of Public Schooling

Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade? - Yahoo! News

Get 'em their driver's licenses, and get 'em out.

Ha
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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Looks like a good program. I'm curious to see its implementation.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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Sounds good to me. After reading the basic premise, I immediately thought "wow, sounds like someone has been taking note of how many other countries run their secondary education systems".

Finally an education program targeted towards making things better and more challenging for the top half of students, instead of more programs to make sure the bottom half don't fail too bad.

Anecdotally speaking, at my particular "elite" high school ten years ago, 11th and 12th grades were essentially college classes with the top half of students taking most or all AP classes and/or college classes. This would essentially formalize the process of teaching college/uni level classes to those same kids.

It would have been good to see a proposal like this at the national level during the campaign season instead of the platforms put forth by both candidates.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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Progressive State Recognizes Futility of Public Schooling

I noted an interesting choice of word in your title - do you think of the word Progressive as encompassing "socially liberal democrats" - or "wild eyed libertarians"?

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Old 11-07-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hmm, well my educationally unexceptional 17 year old benefited from 4 years of high school - he is now getting mostly B's!!!! That would not have happened if he got the boot in 10th grade. Now he believes he can go to college and be successful.

The time was important for him to continue to be in the high school sheltered (relatively) environment, and the watchful eye of his guidance counselors (who have done an exceptional job working with us).

There is definitely a need for radical solutions, just not sure this would be the one, although I'd consider it if the options included something besides sending him off to college too early. College isn't just about classes, it's about maturity and independence too. Many of us nerds who went off to school at 17 or 18 struggled with that independence, and would have had a vastly different experience if we were sent off too soon.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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Hmm, well my educationally unexceptional 17 year old benefited from 4 years of high school - he is now getting mostly B's!!!! That would not have happened if he got the boot in 10th grade. Now he believes he can go to college and be successful.

The time was important for him to continue to be in the high school sheltered (relatively) environment, and the watchful eye of his guidance counselors (who have done an exceptional job working with us).

There is definitely a need for radical solutions, just not sure this would be the one, although I'd consider it if the options included something besides sending him off to college too early. College isn't just about classes, it's about maturity and independence too. Many of us nerds who went off to school at 17 or 18 struggled with that independence, and would have had a vastly different experience if we were sent off too soon.
I only wish I could have left high school earlier (only boys got to skip classes). High school was he!!.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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Progressive State Recognizes Futility of Public Schooling

I noted an interesting choice of word in your title - do you think of the word Progressive as encompassing "socially liberal democrats" - or "wild eyed libertarians"?

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My meaning is being willing to try new approaches to situations that have resisted improvement under all the old methods.

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Old 11-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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In Oregon some students who are having difficulty in pen & pencil classes are permitted to enroll in Community College where they have greater access to vocational programs. One of my nephews did that, entered an auto tech track.. and by golly the math he couldn't understand in high school became a slam dunk when applied to his area of interest. Particularly with boys (who usually mature later) keeping them in school through a vocational program can be a life saver. Today he is happy as can be as manager at Costco, still hates the desk part of his job and loves to be on the floor.

At the other end of the spectrum another nephew was told that his school had no more to offer, that he should consider other schools. His parents opted for a scholarship to a very selective HS because they didn't think he was ready socially for college. He is now an individual contributor at MS.

In my opinion there is no reason why classes taken in a college setting shouldn't be credited against a HS diploma at the same time that they are earned as college credits. If the student wants to go on to a selective university they should be permitted to take the SAT at the same time as those who stuck with the standard HS program.

For those who don't know, the International Baccalaureate exam is TOUGH. The SAT is a cake-walk in comparison.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:10 PM   #9
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Both of my parents skipped a couple of grades in school, entered university at 16 and graduated before their 20th birthdays. They wouldn't let my sister and me skip any grades, said it turned you into a social outcast. Last few years of HS were boring.

Bring it on: at least for the academically talented and for those who want to work in the skilled trades, unsure about the others.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:30 AM   #10
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My sister-in-law has been involved with an IB program - she was trying to get one set up in her area.

Yes, very good quality, tough education.

ta,
mew

skipping years - my mother did, and didn't think it was a bad idea. I think it depends on the age and maturity of the student - and if there are good honors / AP classes around, staying in whatever grade might be more useful.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:58 AM   #11
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I'd say change the system to: elementary school 8 years. Classes 6 days per week. This is the system I went through. Worked very well. Give exam to check for fitness/aptitude for academia or trades.

Then give the option, weather to continue in school, trade or be done. Most who opts against continuing schooling, likely will change minds about working hard labor for a few years.

Those who decide pushing pencil for a living is better than shoveling will re-enter school and make for a better motivated student.

Fire away.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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Is99, that would work in many areas where there is agreement on the day of worship. Unfortunately class days will stay at 5 a week. What parents who are involved in their children's education do is take a day to enrich their education. Some take language or science or arts classes, others go to the library.

The OP implied that public schooling is futile. I don't think that is the case. I think that the program is too rigid. It would be great to have a 'voucher' for 12 years of public schooling and when the student has completed the 8th grade the parents can pick the best track for their child, even interrupt his or her education for a year or two if they choose. I recall a classmate of my son's who was heck on wheels. His parents sent him to a developing country on a service project. When he returned he was a changed kid and reflected an appreciation of the opportunities afforded him.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:40 AM   #13
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I actually question one of the points in this article:

Quote:
Critics of cutting high school short, however, worry that proposals such as New Hampshire's could exacerbate existing socioeconomic gaps. One key concern is whether test results, at age 16, are really valid enough to indicate if a child should go to university or instead head to a technical school - with the latter almost certainly guaranteeing lower future earning potential.
Almost certainly? I'm not convinced.

In a day and age where everyone is expected to go to college, a degree is becoming a commodity like a high school diploma was in past generations. We're becoming a society where everyone can program computers or design electrical circuits or practice medicine and so on... and fewer and fewer people can overhaul an engine, service an elevator or replace old, rusted pipes because those blue-collar jobs are "beneath" their precious little ones.

Add to that the fact that many of the trades are some of the most offshoring-resistant careers there are -- are you going to ship a transmission to China or India to fix it? -- and I would not at all be surprised if in 10-20 years we have glut of workers in "highly educated" fields and not enough people in the trades.

I think the idea that everyone needs to go to college is vastly overrated and, in many cases, a positive disservice to some kids. The more college is emphasized and the more everyone is steered to it, the less value a degree adds. I wonder how long it will be until the graduate degree is considered the minimum education level to be hired for anything. Insanity...
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:45 AM   #14
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I actually question one of the points in this article:

Almost certainly? I'm not convinced.

In a day and age where everyone is expected to go to college, a degree is becoming a commodity like a high school diploma was in past generations. We're becoming a society where everyone can program computers or design electrical circuits or practice medicine and so on... and fewer and fewer people can overhaul an engine, service an elevator or replace old, rusted pipes because those blue-collar jobs are "beneath" their precious little ones.

Add to that the fact that many of the trades are some of the most offshoring-resistant careers there are -- are you going to ship a transmission to China or India to fix it? -- and I would not at all be surprised if in 10-20 years we have glut of workers in "highly educated" fields and not enough people in the trades.

I think the idea that everyone needs to go to college is vastly overrated and, in many cases, a positive disservice to some kids. The more college is emphasized and the more everyone is steered to it, the less value a degree adds. I wonder how long it will be until the graduate degree is considered the minimum education level to be hired for anything. Insanity...
Not only is the premise wrong, it is beside the point. We don't have to offer Harvard to every possibly late blooming and also possibly dull, non-achieving student.

Time for a little triage- we are drowning in costs and poor outcomes.

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Old 11-08-2008, 06:58 PM   #15
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Absolutely we are drowning in costs and poor outcomes, I think because we are trying to push students through the same educational pipe line. We need a different type of voucher system that can be used once a student has passed a basic skills test, a voucher that can be pocketed and used when the student is ready to acquire either academic or vocational skills. Many boys don't have 'sitting flesh' for academics in adolescence but they often settle down a couple years later and look back at wasted opportunities. Some students find high school boring, they are ready for class work that challenges. Idle minds in school are a waste of resources.

Many have bemoaned the lack of achievement by our high school students when compared to other nations. What many fail to realize is that the student body tested isn't as all encompassing as our own, those who aren't academically inclined aren't in the testing pool, they are in the trades or working.

The one thing that concerns me is that children from dysfunctional homes will be shuffled off track. A student without engaged and caring parents will retreat to the streets. That happens even now but maybe, if these kids are picked up by law enforcement, that services - including what is available in an education voucher - can re-direct their lives.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:08 PM   #16
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Many have bemoaned the lack of achievement by our high school students when compared to other nations. What many fail to realize is that the student body tested isn't as all encompassing as our own, those who aren't academically inclined aren't in the testing pool, they are in the trades or working.
That may be true. But it is also true here in the States. If you test a typical 11th or 12th grade class, you won't be testing all the folks held back for one or more years and who have not reached 11th or 12th grade yet. You also won't be testing the hordes of dropouts. And the dropouts are predominantly the ones that weren't doing so well in school.

So I don't know that US vs. foreign test results are really skewed one way or the other. It would be interesting to see facts on this, including some adjustment to the test scores to account for this. It is rather disappointing to see the US consistently falling in the bottom third of OECD countries in their triennial education surveys. I don't recall what grade level or ages were tested in the OECD surveys I'm thinking of.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:57 AM   #17
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Then give the option, weather to continue in school, trade or be done. Most who opts against continuing schooling, likely will change minds about working hard labor for a few years.

Those who decide pushing pencil for a living is better than shoveling will re-enter school and make for a better motivated student.
That's what happened with me. I was so bored in HS that I almost dropped out, continuing only because it was my senior year and I figured since I was that close I might as well stay with it. Little of the coursework seemed relevant to anything - algebra and geometry particularly so, until I wanted to learn to fly an airplane. Only then did the relevance become clear. I needed someone to show me practical applications for all that stuff and no one did.

I took a semester off, unloading trucks at a department store, deciding whether to go into the military or go to the local community college. Decided on the college, since if I didn't like that I could quit and go in the military, but that doesn't work the other way around. Also this was in 1968, Viet Nam was in full swing, and I wasn't enthused about being sent to someplace I couldn't find on a map to get shot at for reasons I didn't understand. So I found I (generally) liked the college except for the required underwater basket weaving classes, hired on with the police department and launched from there.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:02 PM   #18
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My early years were a bit more complicated. 8 yrs elementary school, 1yr (kinda like American High school) 3 yrs Industrial Electrician school. High priority interrupt: Got passport to emigrate to USA. There is a very long story in there.......I'll pass on that for now...

Go to local high school in NY with note from my brother: I need a work permit. Start working in a local factory making early style integrated circuits (really discrete devices encapsulated) all the while learning English.

Got drafted at 19, in 1967 ("green card" holder permanent resident privilege ), beat the draft date by enlisting in US Army before draft date. Got to travel to interesting places and do interesting things. Enhance English vocabulary with high quality military expletives.

And so on. Did not get to college until 1983, Got a BS degree in 5yrs while working full time. Having plenty of life experience in the school of hard knocks, arguing with professors with impunity, priceless.

So you might see why I'd be agains forcing anyone to enter high school.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:45 PM   #19
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Love it!

Immigrants are the folks with get-up & go because they got up and went. They also are more likely to have hope that they can improve on their opportunities. People like you are rock solid. Assuming that you have children, what did you tell them about high school and what did they do?
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:51 PM   #20
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Eh, no kids. With the type of work/life I followed, no woman stuck around long enough for marriage, or kids. What fascinated them at first encounters were the very things they came to resent in short order when I continued doing them.

Got married several years ago, must be getting slow.

OTOH my nieces did finish high school, one tried college, dropped it. Both got married, had kids, several grand nieces nephews made it trough college in fits and starts. They are all doing well.

Edit add: Regards telling little/young ones, how/what, I don't. I show by my life example, tell stories if asked for. I might explain if asked, how I would handle/do something. Motto:if you listen to me, you'll do it your way. It is your life, you will live with the consequences.
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