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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-22-2006, 08:59 PM   #181
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Re: More on teacher pay

The problem with American Education is not with the teachers, nor is is with the powerful teachers unions. The problem lies with the American attitude toward education and our tolerance for illegal immigration. When math and science scores are compared with leading industrialized countries in the world, Japan is always near the top. What is the reason? Japanese place an extremely high value on both education and the teaching profession. When the school day ends for a typical Japanese high school student, he or she does not go to basketball practice, or to work at McDonalds in order to make payments on a new SUV, nor do they waste precious homework time on a hot date. Instead, he or she goes to a "Juko", an after school tutoring site, where time is spent preparing for the college entrance exam. This exam is only given once a year during their senior year of high school, and if the student does not pass, he is she is not admitted to a university. High school grades or extra curricular activites do not matter when it comes to admission. Only the score on this test is considered. Many students also attend a juko on Saturday. Dating, automobile ownership and part time work is discouraged, because they take away from a focus on this all the important college entrance exam.

When students in Japan do well academically, parents do not attribute their success to innate ability or high intelligence. Instead, they believe it is because of perserverence and hard work. They believe that anyone is capable of academic achievement as long as they perservere and work hard.

Japanese mothers generally do not work. They are at home when their children arrive and make sure that they get to their Juko on time. Many Japanese mothers will even go so far as to keep a set of of the same text books as their children at home so that they can study in the day time and work with them when they are not at a juko.

Japanese teachers are rewarded with high salaries as are other occupations who have achieved the same educational level. Teachers held in high esteem by all of society.

Money on education is directed at helping everyone. Money is not spent on special education students at the expense of average or high achieving student. Special ed students are not catered to at the expense of someone who is capable of going to college. Teachers do not spend excessive time with low achieving students to the detriment of highly intelligent students. Americans tend to be much more sympathic toward children who have disabilities.

Japan does not encourage immigration, nor does it allow illegal immigration. Test scores are not pulled down because of immigrants who cannot speak Japanese.

In America, many students are very concerned with being the high school football, basketball or baseball star. Driving a fancy sports car or SUV is important to them. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend and excessive time spent dating is encourged and sometimes expected.

The problem is the United States has low math and science scores because we simply do not work as hard as the Japanese. How can we expect go have high scores on math and science exams when we simply do not spend as much time as they do on homework? While the typical American student spends his/her time after school at football practice, working at McDonalds or "dragging main street", the Japanese counterpart is at a juko studying for the all important high school entrance exam.

It's very simple. Japan does much better academically than we do, because they work hard at it. They spend many more hours studying than American students do. A typical japanese student might spend 30 hours on homework with an American student spending 10 hours. How would you expect the American student to do better? It has been said that Japanese high schools are at about the same academic level as American colleges.

The next time you blame American teachers for test scores, you might want to take a closer look at our culture. Our lower academic achievement might be because we do not work as hard as other countries, such as Japan. Perhaps, we place too much emphasis on high school sports. Maybe 16 and 17 years olds really do not need to drive a new SUV to school in order to impress their friends. Nor, should they be working a fast food restaurants 30 hours a week in order to make the high payments on these vehicles.

Should we really blame educators because Americans have failed to make school our number one priority? If part time work, sports and dating in high school takes a back seat to homework, what do you expect? The Japanese have a very homogenous society, with 99% of the people speaking the same language. We have been very tolerant in allowing illegal immigrants to enter our county unchecked and drain rescources from our educational system. It's very difficult for a teacher to instruct a classroom where only 50% percent of the students speak the English language. Don't forget that the Japanese educational system was modeled after the K-12 system of the United States during the U.S. post World War II occupation of Japan. They have truly beat us at our own game.


















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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-22-2006, 09:20 PM   #182
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Re: More on teacher pay

No doubt you are correct R.S.

However, the school teachers and school administration as well as the entire mega-industry of tax supported teacher training aids and abets this mal-distribution of effort and resources. It seems a quagmire wherein no one is really at fault but those who consider themselves experts in the field also have little motivation to make any of the radical changes that likely need to be made.

As for immigration, I concur completely with your analysis, but it seems that politically immigration control is dead in the water.

I figure for reasons that are beyond me America and most of the western world has a death wish. We will likely have that wish granted.

Ha

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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-22-2006, 09:29 PM   #183
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Re: More on teacher pay

Retire Soon--That is an interesting point. It also reminded me of my high school. The year before I attended they offered up to seven classes per day, one could be a study hall. So essentially students could graduate a little earlier if they took a class for all the time alloted. My freshman year the school had run on hard times and decided to cut one period per day. So we were down to six classes per day. Instead of cutting sports or requiring the parents of the athletes pay for participation class time was cut. I'm not saying sports are a waste of time, but the last time I checked football/basketball/cheerleading/volleyball were not required to graduate. The sports do teach valuable lessons, but are not academic. School is academic. The programs that are not designed to further education should be the ones on the chopping block. Not classes.

Ha--I agree with your statement about the teachers being the drug dealers.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-22-2006, 10:09 PM   #184
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Re: More on teacher pay

I read an article somewhere saying that students participate in competitive sports in college are more successful in business.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-23-2006, 12:26 AM   #185
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Re: More on teacher pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire Soon
nor do they waste precious homework time on a hot date.
.............
The Japanese have a very homogenous society, with 99% of the people speaking the same language.
Japan has come up with some really cool stuff (seen Steamboy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboy http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/s...igation-2.html )
But how much longer are the Japanese going to be with us at the rate they are replacing themselves with robots? Maybe more hot dates are needed. If you don’t know about this, google; Japan population decline robots. You’ll get dozens of articles about Japan’s radical demographic trend and their affair with robots. The consequences are mixed I suppose. It’s not all bad. But they are definitely boldly going where ain’t nobody gone lately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire Soon
The problem lies with the American attitude toward education and our tolerance for illegal immigration
I won’t disagree with that. But I think relativism and subjectivism are closer to the root. These habits of thought are common in America. In education do we too often express them through celebrating diversity and placing self expression and “critical thinking skills” above the “sand the floor” and “paint the fence” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Karate_Kid - not a Japanese movie but close enough and in line with your thoughts here, I think) work of learning some actual facts to think about so as to have some thoughts worth expressing or actual knowledge of something to think critically about?
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-23-2006, 09:08 AM   #186
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Re: More on teacher pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire Soon
When the school day ends for a typical Japanese high school student, ... he or she goes to a "Juko", an after school tutoring site, where time is spent preparing for the college entrance exam. ... Many students also attend a
juko on Saturday. Dating, automobile ownership and part time work is discouraged, because they take away from a focus on this all the important college entrance exam.

Japanese mothers generally do not work.

Americans tend to be much more sympathic toward children who have disabilities.

Japan does not encourage immigration, ... Test scores are not pulled down because of immigrants who cannot speak Japanese.

The problem is the United States has low math and science scores because we simply do not work as hard as the Japanese.

It's very simple. Japan does much better academically than we do, because they work hard at it.

The next time you blame American teachers for test scores, you might want to take a closer look at our culture. Our lower academic achievement might be because we do not work as hard as other countries, such as Japan.

Should we really blame educators because Americans have failed to make school our number one priority?
You forgot to add that while all of this may accurately describe the differences between Japan's attitude toward school and ours, you wouldn't trade places. At least I hope you wouldn't.
Quote:

Don't forget that the Japanese educational system was modeled after the K-12 system of the United States during the U.S. post World War II occupation of Japan. They have truly beat us at our own game.
They haven't beaten us at our own game because their educational system is a parody of ours - not a clone.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #187
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Re: More on teacher pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire Soon
They have truly beat us at our own game.
Gosh, that would explain the last 15 years of Japan's economic and cultural world domination. Or the last generation. Or the last century.

I don't believe that a rigid rote-memorization curriculum, a heirarchical business system, rigid R&D protocols, and cultural intolerance are the recipe for success. High test scores, reverse engineering, and a great public image, sure. But a great family and a well-rounded quality of life-- not so sure.

Our kid goes to Kumon after school and two neighbor kids (American father, naturalized Japanese mother) spend their Saturday mornings at a juko. I think there's a big academic difference between them and the rest of the neighborhood kids, but perhaps that's because the parents place a high priority on education-- not because one's Japanese and the other's American.

I have a hard time perceiving the Japanese you describe among the visitors that I see in Waikiki & Waikele. In fact they behave & spend more like the young adult Americans that I see among them.

Let's hear about Japan's educational achievements from people who have lived & worked in both countries. Bpp? Anyone else?
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-23-2006, 12:26 PM   #188
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Re: More on teacher pay

I agree that rote memorization can definitely stifle creativity. However, my point is that when Americans become upset when our math science and scores in comparison to other countries, we should take culture into account. Yes, indeed the Japanese do consistently score near the top in these two areas as do most other Asian countries. Sure, we probably spend more time emphasizing individual creativity, but our test scores are never the less near the bottom. Immediately, everyone blames American teachers, who have and always will be the scape goat for everything that is wrong with education.

I believe that all of society needs to take some responsibility for our schools, and not just the teachers. I've never seen anyone blame parents for low academic performance. Yet, these adults that allow their children to work 30 or 40 hours a week at a part-time job. Sure, sports do teach self-discipline and how to work together as a team, but do our kids really have time to do as much homework with these other activities?

Let's face it. Our children generally do not put as much time into school and homework as Asian students. It's very convenient for us to blame American teachers. But, the fact remains that on average our students do not put as much time into their studies as students in the top performing countries. As the old saying goes, "You only get what you put into it."

World-wide test score comparisons are frequently what upsets Americans about our schools. Teachers are an easy and quick target. How many of the people on this board have spent a full day in an elementary or high school classroom in the past year? I've met principals that could not even handle it, because they've been too far removed from the classroom for far too many years and are no longer in touch with the realities of teaching.

We need to take some responsibility and also take a close look at ourselves when we become upset with education. Japanese students may have high test scores, but they also have the highest teen suicide rate in the world. However, they do have a society that has much better self discipline. Many Vietnamese immigrants after mastering our language actually do much better academically then their American born peers. It's not because they are smarter than we are, it's because they work harder and practice more self-discipline. If our teachers are incompetent, how is it that these Vietnamese immigrants excel so quickly?

It's not easy to teach kids that were once drug babies because their mother was a meth addict during pregnancy. It's not easy for a teacher to convince a child to do his homework when the kid's father is in prison and his mother is a prostitute. It's not easy for teacher to conduct a lesson when many of the kids are foreign born and only speak their native tongue fluently. These examples are all very common in the U.S. How many Japanese teachers do you think have to contend with these same problems? Again, take a look first at our decaying society before you place the blame on American educators.





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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 12:57 PM   #189
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Re: More on teacher pay

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Again, take a look first at our decaying society before you place the blame on American educators.
No problem there.

But instead of pegging our evaluation of the education system to test scores, I'd want to take a more results-oriented approach... say GDP or per-capita income or the number of other country's citizens clamoring to get into this country's education system.

As for teacher performance, I thought Freakonomics laid out one of the system's best teacher-cheating detection systems.

BTW, there's no need to graduate from college if you're one of the very few who can become a productive member of society without a sheepskin. And I believe that homeschooling has capably demonstrated that there's not even a need to use the public education system.

Gates & Buffett were on PBS a while back with a Q&A session to Nebraska business students. Warren walked out on the podium wearing his alma mater's jacket and Gates walked out wearing a Harvard sweatshirt. Soon my brain went "Hey, waitaminnit..." and a couple minutes after that Buffett announced "I think I should point out that I'm the only college graduate on this podium." (I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that Buffett was turned down for Harvard, or with the fact that Gates never finished there.) So, humiliated and protesting, Gates took his sweatshirt off. Those two probably arranged the stunt in advance, but it was a good demonstration that you don't have to be a college graduate to succeed... and graduating from the world's highest-scoring education system is also no guarantee of success.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 02:48 PM   #190
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Re: More on teacher pay

Bottom line, parents who put a premium on their kids education, meaning they were read to taken to libraries made to LOVE LEARNING and had that instilled at home works.


We have a physician and a college prof with a PHD, they were my stepchildren, met the wife when these kids were 2 and 4. A real bum for a father their biological one, BUT we never bad mouthed the guy, never made it so they could not see him. He was busy doing his thing and was happy to let me be the stepfather. We sent the kids to a suburban school system, nothing fancy, no computer in the house they loved to go to school loved to read. heck they even HAD to go to the State College instead of the Ivy league schools that they were admitted to. BUT they went to the Ivy League school After college heck my stepson was paid to get his PHD!! the daughter well she has medical school debt but her specialty will pay the debt quickly.

Anyhow the teachers that taught them in school were my friends and collegues, teacher union types and they both had perfect SAT scores and ranked in the top 10 of their classes when they graduated from high school.

Its all about the PARENTS :

Yep I am tooting my own horn!
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 08:51 PM   #191
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Re: More on teacher pay

I agree with newguy888 that, "It's all about parents" when it comes to success in education. We're required to obtain a license to drive a car, a permit to remodel a home, a certificate to teach, but we don't need permission from anyone to bear children. Our lawmakers can legislate funds to construct more efficient highways, build better space shuttles, provide for better national security, but they cannot legislate anything to make better parents. This is precisely the problem.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 10:05 PM   #192
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Re: More on teacher pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire Soon
I agree with newguy888 that, "It's all about parents" when it comes to success in education. We're required to obtain a license to drive a car, a permit to remodel a home, a certificate to teach, but we don't need permission from anyone to bear children. Our lawmakers can legislate funds to construct more efficient highways, build better space shuttles, provide for better national security, but they cannot legislate anything to make better parents. This is precisely the problem.
So explain to me why unlicensed Japanese (Finnish, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Korean, French, German, Swedish, Polish, etc., etc.) parents seem to rear better school achievers?

Ha
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 10:35 PM   #193
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Re: More on teacher pay

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So explain to me why unlicensed Japanese (Finnish, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Korean, French, German, Swedish, Polish, etc., etc.) parents seem to rear better school achievers?

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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-24-2006, 10:48 PM   #194
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Re: More on teacher pay

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Originally Posted by Nords
Let's hear about Japan's educational achievements from people who have lived & worked in both countries. Bpp? Anyone else?
My kid's still in nursery school, so I am not much of an expert. Coincidentally, a story came out in the paper the other day that the head of some education committee (I forget who/what) was decrying the reliance on jukus, saying that jukus are doing all the work of educating kids, and the schools are not pulling their weight.

Of course, the ones pushing the kids into jukus are the parents, so maybe they really are the secret ingredient after all. Also, it is socially acceptable and understood for kids to spend after-school hours at a juku, whereas that kind of behavior might get one beaten up in the US, if my memory serves.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-25-2006, 10:58 AM   #195
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Re: More on teacher pay

Here are my takes on education:

Standardized test score is indicative of how well a student master a certain subject, but it does not measure a student's ability to think or solve problems. It is used to rank school. It may not bear any significance of how well a student will do in society after graduation since the main factors to become successful are ability to communicate, think, and to solve problems. Pure memorization of facts and fixed methods that are of paramount to attain high scores in tests are of little use at most businesses that require innovation to strive except for the government.

Everyone is responsible for education. As parents, we must encourage our kids to learn, stress the importance of education and provide the resources and environment as required. Kids must realize that learning is a key to success and possibly survival. Educators must provide the education that are needed by business -- communication and thinking skills. Instead of lecturing, educators need to promote two-way communication. The government needs to provide the appropriate funding for the schools and hold them accountable for results. Since it's very difficult, if not impossible, to measure creativity, problem solving, communication skills effectively, the current standardized tests may suffice in the interim until we can develop a better means - bummer.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-25-2006, 04:29 PM   #196
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Re: More on teacher pay

Unfortunately, standardized tests are here to stay and rightly or wrongly they are all we have to measure academic achievement. In fact, states rely on these tests more now than ever before. I am not judging the merit of jukus. There are a lot of after school tutoring programs available to American children as well. It's just that Japanese and other Asian cultures have made more of a committment to education than has America.

In Japan, there is nothing more important than education. We're a second chance society. If a high school student in the U.S. blows it with low grades, he or she can still go on to a community college, and with reasonably success can transfer to a four year college after two years. However, in Japan if one ends up at a two year college, it's a dead end for them. The fact that they did not score high on that all important college entrance exam in the first place, means they are doomed for failure. A university will never accept them. They'll never have a prestigous career with companies like Toyota or Sony. This is exactly why the Japanese high school student works so hard during those precious four years of high school; they know if they don't pass the test, there is absolutely no second chance. Is it possible that many Amerian high school students slack off in high school because they know they can always obtain forgiveness in a community college and end up graduating from a 4 year university anyway?

I am in not way shape or form advocating that American culture become like Japanese culture. American parents dream of seeing their sons and daughters compete on high school athletic teams. Some even encourage part-time jobs to finance car ownership. A few even allow their kids to stay out late on school nights. In all fairness, we need to take our lack of committment into account when our schools are criticized for low math & science scores in world-wide comparisons. Ultimately, the blame for low performance is unjustly placed on the schools.

In America, we pay a lot of lip service to how important education is for our children. However, we do not seem to carry through with our actions. School is not the main priority for many people. Many parents do not make their children do their homework. Some will even take their kids out of school to go on an extended vacation. But, the minute something goes wrong at school, all the blame is placed on the teachers.

In Japan, parents do not make up excuses for low academic performance. They believe that children excel because of perserverence and hard work. Here in America, we often attribute high grades to just "being smart."

We're now in a global economy whether we like it or not. Many of our best jobs are being outsourced by American corporations to other countries where the workers are sometimes better educated and often willing to work for far less money. If keeping these career positions in our own country is important, we are going to have to compete by having higher academic achievement. Our kids are going to have to work harder with parents taking far more responsibility. Education will have to become a higher priority than cars, sports and part time jobs.

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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-25-2006, 05:07 PM   #197
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Re: More on teacher pay

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Originally Posted by Retire Soon
In America, we pay a lot of lip service to how important education is for our children. However, we do not seem to carry through with our actions.
I see our kid's education as the key to ensuring that she successfully launches from the nest.

So I'm willing to devote extra hours & $$s now to avoid boomerangs later...
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-25-2006, 07:05 PM   #198
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Re: More on teacher pay

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Originally Posted by bpp
Of course, the ones pushing the kids into jukus are the parents, so maybe they really are the secret ingredient after all.
I think there's a huge difference between parents who simply try to put their kids on the educational "fast track" and those who actively work with their kids to build a strong foundation.

Shinichi Suzuki, the guy who started the famous music school in Japan, wrote a little book about his teaching philosophy:

Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education

One of the impressions I got from his book was that Japanese parents were competitive and wanted the "best" for their kids, but not many of them were willing to put in the time to actually help their kids along the path.

In any case, he has an interesting approach to education, and it seems to yield excellent results (in both the realms of music and more general education). His basic message is that almost all kids have the ability to become "geniuses" like Einstein or Mozart. It requires immersion in the subject matter (so that it becomes second nature), making learning fun (basically through layered goals and positive reinforcement), and a social network that provides good examples.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-26-2006, 08:58 PM   #199
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Re: More on teacher pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
His basic message is that almost all kids have the ability to become "geniuses" like Einstein or Mozart. It requires immersion in the subject matter (so that it becomes second nature), making learning fun (basically through layered goals and positive reinforcement), and a social network that provides good examples.
Like:
- Local high-schoolers Lucia and Philip Mocz.
- Tiger Woods golfing with his dad as a baby.
- Ron Howard using his dad's movie camera and "directing" his "action" when Ron was barely in elementary school.
- The Wilson brothers singing three-part harmony with their parents in the car during family road trips.
- Steven Tallarico* growing up spending all his time playing under his parent's piano and singing in their weekend shows.

*Later he changed his name to Steven Tyler.
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Re: More on teacher pay
Old 12-27-2006, 12:25 PM   #200
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Re: More on teacher pay

Nords, you have cited some excellent examples of people who have become very successful in life because of the dedicated efforts of their parents. As any good teacher will tell you, "Education begins at home." By the same token lets also give credit to the public school teachers who "made a difference" by also helping to educate Lucia & Philip Mocz, Tiger Woods, Ron Howard, The Wilson Brothers, and Steve Tallarico as all of them learned to read, write and do arithmatic in our American Public School System.
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