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banyon
05-28-2007, 12:32 PM
Poll to follow.

I posted part of this article from the Nation below because I think it highlights some of the failings of the No Child Left Behind Act. But It also has several ideas for reform.

I think most people would agree that our children are not faring well compared to their international counterparts, but for some reason I don't hear too many of the candidates talking about this on either side. Is this election going to be about terrorism and Iraq to the exclusion of everything else? That seems odd to me since every President since Reagan has vowed to be the "education president".

Even if the candidates are going to ignore the issue, I have included some poll options, which do you think are workable or unworkable? Which would be the most effective? Is it just not that big a deal anymore?

banyon
05-28-2007, 12:51 PM
Evaluating 'No Child Left Behind'

When Congress passed George W. Bush's signature education initiative, No Child Left Behind, it was widely hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough--a victory for American children, particularly those traditionally underserved by public schools. Now, five years later, the debate over the law's reauthorization has a decidedly different tone. As the House and Senate consider whether the law should be preserved--and if so, how it should be changed--high-profile Republicans are expressing their disenchantment with NCLB, while many newly elected Democrats are seeking a major overhaul as well.

What happened? Most discussions focus on the details of the more than 1,000-page law, which has provoked widespread criticism for the myriad issues it has raised. All of its flaws deserve scrutiny in the reauthorization debate, but it's also worth taking a step back to ask what the nation actually needs educationally. Lagging far behind our international peers in educational outcomes--and with one of the most unequal educational systems in the industrialized world--we need, I believe, something much more than and much different from what NCLB offers. We badly need a national policy that enables schools to meet the intellectual demands of the twenty-first century. More fundamentally, we need to pay off the educational debt to disadvantaged students that has accrued over centuries of unequal access to quality education.


NCLB's Promise--and Problems

In 2002 civil rights advocates praised NCLB for its emphasis on improving education for students of color, those living in poverty, new English learners and students with disabilities. NCLB aims to raise achievement and close the achievement gap by setting annual test-score targets for subgroups of students, based on a goal of "100 percent proficiency" by 2014. These targets are tied to school sanctions that can lead to school reconstitutions or closures, as well as requirements for student transfers. In addition, NCLB requires schools to hire "highly qualified teachers" and states to develop plans to provide such teachers.

NCLB contains some major breakthroughs. First, by flagging differences in student performance by race and class, it shines a spotlight on longstanding inequalities and could trigger attention to the needs of students neglected in many schools. Second, by insisting that all students are entitled to qualified teachers, the law has stimulated recruitment efforts in states where low-income and "minority" students have experienced a revolving door of inexperienced, untrained teachers. While recent studies have found that teacher quality is a critical influence on student achievement, teachers are the most inequitably distributed school resource. This first-time-ever recognition of students' right to qualified teachers is historically significant.

This noble agenda, however, has been nearly lost in the law's problematic details. Dubbed No Child Left Untested, No School Board Left Standing and No Child's Behind Left, among other nicknames, the law has been protested by more than twenty states and dozens of school districts that have voted to resist specific provisions. One state and a national teachers association have brought lawsuits against the federal government based on the unfunded costs and dysfunctional side effects of the law. Critics claim that the law's focus on complicated tallies of multiple-choice-test scores has dumbed down the curriculum, fostered a "drill and kill" approach to teaching, mistakenly labeled successful schools as failing, driven teachers and middle-class students out of public schools and harmed special education students and English-language learners through inappropriate assessments and efforts to push out low-scoring students in order to boost scores. Indeed, recent analyses have found that rapid gains in education outcomes stimulated by reforms in the 1990s have stalled under NCLB, with math increases slowing and reading on the decline.

At base, the law has misdefined the problem. It assumes that what schools need is more carrots and sticks rather than fundamental changes.

A Focus on Testing Rather Than Investing. Most centrally, the law does not address the profound educational inequalities that plague our nation. With high-spending schools outspending low-spending schools at least three to one in most states, multiplied further by inequalities across states, the United States has the most inequitable education system in the industrialized world. School funding lawsuits brought in more than twenty-five states describe apartheid schools serving low-income students of color with crumbling facilities, overcrowded classrooms, out-of-date textbooks, no science labs, no art or music courses and a revolving door of untrained teachers, while their suburban counterparts, spending twice as much for students with fewer needs, offer expansive libraries, up-to-date labs and technology, small classes, well-qualified teachers and expert specialists, in luxurious facilities.

The funding allocated by NCLB--less than 10 percent of most schools' budgets--does not meet the needs of the under-resourced schools, where many students currently struggle to learn. Nor does the law require that states demonstrate progress toward equitable and adequate funding or greater opportunities to learn. Although NCLB requires "highly qualified teachers," the lack of a federal teacher supply policy makes this a hollow promise in many communities.

At a time when the percentage of Americans living in severe poverty has reached a thirty-two-year high, NCLB seeks to improve the schools poor students attend through threats and sanctions rather than the serious investments in education and welfare such an effort truly requires. As Gloria Ladson-Billings, former president of the American Educational Research Association, has noted, the problem we face is less an "achievement gap" than an educational debt that has accumulated over centuries of denied access to education and employment, reinforced by deepening poverty and resource inequalities in schools. Until American society confronts the accumulated educational debt owed to these students and takes responsibility for the inferior resources they receive, Ladson-Billings argues, children of color and of poverty will continue to be left behind

banyon
05-28-2007, 12:53 PM
Disincentives for Improving Learning. Even if NCLB funding were to increase, its framework does not allow for important structural changes--for example, a system of teacher preparation and professional development that would routinely produce high-quality teaching; curriculums and assessments that encourage critical thinking and performance skills; high-quality preschool education, libraries and learning materials; and healthcare for poor children. Instead, the law wastes scarce resources on a complicated test score game that appears to be narrowing the curriculum, uprooting successful programs and pushing low-achieving students out of many schools.

To go back to first principles, we must ask what US schools should be doing in a world where education is increasingly essential and the nature of knowledge is rapidly changing. What would we need to do to graduate all of our students with the ability to apply knowledge to complex problems, communicate and collaborate effectively and find and manage information?

We might want to be doing some of the things that higher-achieving countries have been doing over the past twenty years as they have left us further and further behind educationally. As an indicator of the growing distance, the United States ranks twenty-eighth of forty countries in mathematics, right above Latvia, and graduates only about 75 percent of students, instead of the more than 95 percent now common elsewhere. Most high-achieving countries not only provide high-quality universal preschool and healthcare for children; they also fund their schools centrally and equally, with additional funds going to the neediest schools. Furthermore, they support a better-prepared teaching force--funding competitive salaries and high-quality teacher education, mentoring and ongoing professional development for all teachers. NCLB's answer to the problem of preparing teachers for the increasingly challenging job they face has been to call for alternative routes that often reduce training for the teachers of the poor.

Finally, high-achieving nations focus their curriculums on critical thinking and problem solving, using exams that require students to conduct research and scientific investigations, solve complex real-world problems and defend their ideas orally and in writing. These assessments are not used to rank or punish schools, or to deny promotion or diplomas to students. (In fact, several countries have explicit proscriptions against such practices.) They are used to evaluate curriculum and guide investments in learning--in short, to help schools improve. Finally, by asking students to show what they know through real-world applications of knowledge, these other nations' assessment systems encourage serious intellectual activities that are being driven out of many US schools by the tests promoted by NCLB.

Narrowing the Curriculum. No Child Left Behind has actually made it harder for states to improve the quality of teaching. At the core of these problems is an accountability system borrowed from Texas and administered by an Education Department with a narrow view of what constitutes learning. This system requires testing every student in math, reading and, soon, science and issuing sanctions to schools that do not show sufficient progress for each subpopulation of students toward an abstract goal of "100 percent proficiency" on state tests--with benchmarks that vary from state to state.

Ironically, states that set high standards risk having the most schools labeled "failing" under NCLB. Thus Minnesota, where eighth graders are first in the nation in mathematics and on a par with the top countries in the world, had 80 percent of schools on track to be labeled failing according to the federal rules. In addition, states that earlier created forward-looking performance assessment systems like those used abroad have begun to abandon them for antiquated, machine-scored tests that more easily satisfy the law. As emphasis on drilling for multiple-choice tests has increased, the amount of research, project work and scientific inquiry has declined, and twelfth grade reading scores have dropped nationwide.

The Education Department has discouraged states from using more instructionally useful forms of assessment that involve teachers in scoring tasks requiring extensive writing and analysis. Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Vermont, among others, had to wrestle with the department to maintain their sophisticated performance-based assessment systems, which resemble those used in high-scoring nations around the world. Connecticut, which assesses students with open-ended tasks like designing, conducting and analyzing a science experiment (and not coincidentally ranks first in the nation in academic performance), sued the federal government for the funds needed to maintain its assessments on an "every child, every year" basis. The Education Secretary suggested the state drop these tasks for multiple-choice tests. Thus the administration of the law is driving the US curriculum in the opposite direction from what a twenty-first-century economy requires.

Distracting Schools From Productive Reforms. Other dysfunctional consequences derive from the law's complicated accountability scheme, which analysts project will label between 85 and 99 percent of the nation's public schools "failing" within the next few years, even when they are high-performing, improving in achievement and closing the gap. This will happen as states raise their proficiency levels to a national benchmark set far above grade level, and as schools must hit targets for test scores and participation rates for each racial/ethnic, language, income and disability group on several tests--often more than thirty in all. Missing any one of these--for example, having 94 percent of low-income students take the test instead of 95 percent--causes the school to fail to "make AYP" (adequate yearly progress).

Worse still, there is a Catch-22 for those serving English-language learners and special-needs students. In Alice in Wonderland fashion, the law assigns these students to special subgroups because they do not meet the proficiency standard, and they are removed from the subgroup as they catch up, so it is impossible for the subgroups ever to be 100 percent proficient. Schools serving a significant share of these learners will inevitably be labeled failing, even if all their students consistently make strong learning gains. Those who warned that the law was a conservative scheme to undermine public schools and establish vouchers were reinforced in their view when the Bush Administration's recent reauthorization plan recommended that students in schools that do not achieve their annual test benchmarks be offered vouchers at public expense.

As a result of these tortuous rules, more than 40 percent of the nation's public schools have been placed on intervention status at some point in the past four years, including some of the highest-achieving schools in the nation and many that are narrowing the achievement gap. These schools have sometimes been forced to dismantle successful programs in favor of dubious interventions pushed by the Education Department--including specific reading programs under the Reading First plan, which, the inspector general found, was managed in such a way as to line the pockets of favored publishers while forcing districts to abandon other, more successful reading programs. Although some of these schools are truly failing and require major help to improve, it is impossible to separate them from schools caught in the statistical mousetrap.

Punishing the Neediest Schools and Students. At least some of the schools identified as "needing improvement" are surely dismal places where little learning occurs, or are complacent schools that have not attended to the needs of their less advantaged students. It is fair to suggest that students in such schools deserve other choices if the schools cannot change. However, there is growing evidence that the law's strategy for improving schools may, paradoxically, reduce access to education for the most vulnerable students.

NCLB's practice of labeling schools as failures makes it even harder for them to attract and keep qualified teachers. As one Florida principal asked, "Is anybody going to want to dedicate their life to a school that has already been labeled a failure?" What's more, schools that have been identified as not meeting AYP standards must use their federal funds to support choice and "supplemental services," such as privately provided after-school tutoring, leaving them with even fewer resources for their core educational programs. Unfortunately, many of the private supplemental service providers have proved ineffective and unaccountable, and transfers to better schools have been impossible in communities where such schools are unavailable or uninterested in serving students with low achievement, poor attendance and other problems that might bring their own average test scores down. Thus, rather than expanding educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color, the law in many communities further reduces the quality of education available in the schools they must attend.

Perhaps the most adverse unintended consequence of NCLB is that it creates incentives for schools to rid themselves of students who are not doing well, producing higher scores at the expense of vulnerable students' education. Studies have found that sanctioning schools based on average student scores leads schools to retain students in grade so that grade-level scores will look better (although these students ultimately do less well and drop out at higher rates), exclude low-scoring students from admissions and encourage such students to transfer or drop out.

Recent studies in Massachusetts, New York and Texas show how schools have raised test scores while "losing" large numbers of low-scoring students. In a large Texas city, for example, scores soared while tens of thousands of students--mostly African-American and Latino--disappeared from school. Educators reported that exclusionary policies were used to hold back, suspend, expel or counsel out students in order to boost test scores. Overall, fewer than 40 percent of African-American and Latino students graduated. Paradoxically, NCLB's requirement for disaggregating data by race creates incentives for eliminating those at the bottom of each subgroup, especially where schools have little capacity to improve the quality of services such students receive. As a consequence of high-stakes testing, graduation rates for African-American and Latino students have declined in a number of states. In the NCLB paradigm, there is no solution to this problem, as two-way accountability does not exist: The child and the school are accountable to the state for test performance, but the state is not held accountable to the child or his school for providing adequate educational resources.

banyon
05-28-2007, 12:54 PM
There are hundreds of proposals for tweaking NCLB, but a substantial paradigm shift is required if our education system is to support powerful learning for all students. The Forum on Educational Accountability, a group of more than 100 education and civil rights organizations--including the National Urban League, the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens, as well as the associations representing teachers, administrators and school boards--has argued that "the law's emphasis needs to shift from applying sanctions for failing to raise test scores to holding states and localities accountable for making the systemic changes that improve student achievement."

How might this be done? A new paradigm for national education policy should be guided by dual commitments to support meaningful learning on the part of students, teachers and schools; and to pay off the educational debt, making it possible for all students to benefit from more productive schools.

A new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) should start by helping states develop world-class standards, curriculums and assessments and to use them for improving teaching. Returning to the more productive approach of President Clinton's Goals 2000 initiative, the federal government should assist states in developing systems for evaluating student progress that are performance based--including assessments like essays, research papers and science experiments that are embedded in the curriculum and scored by teachers using common criteria--leveraging intellectually ambitious learning and providing information that continuously improves teaching.

School progress should also be measured in a more comprehensive manner--including such factors as student progress and continuation, graduation and classroom performance on tasks beyond multiple-choice tests--and gains should be assessed by how individual students improve over time. To eliminate the statistical gantlet that penalizes schools serving the most diverse populations, the AYP system should be replaced with a continuous improvement model. While continuing to report test scores by race and class, schools should be judged on whether students make progress on multiple measures of achievement, including those that assess higher-order thinking and understanding, and insure appropriate assessment for special-education students and English-language learners. And "opportunity to learn" standards specifying the provision of adequate materials, facilities and teachers should accompany assessments of student learning, creating benchmarks for the pursuit of equity.

The new ESEA must finally address the deep and tenacious educational debt that holds our nation's future in hock and insure that every child has access to adequate school resources, facilities and quality teachers. Federal education funding to states should be tied to each state's movement toward equitable access to education resources. Furthermore, the obvious truth--that schools alone are not responsible for student achievement--should propel attention to programs that will provide adequate healthcare and nutrition, safe and secure housing, and healthy communities for children.

Major investments must be made in the ability of schools to hire and support well-prepared teachers and leaders. While NCLB sets an expectation for hiring qualified teachers, it does not include supports to make this possible. Federal leadership in developing an adequate supply of well-qualified teachers is needed. Just as it has helped provide an adequate supply of physicians for more than forty years, it can provide training for those who prepare in specialties for which there is a shortage and agree to locate in underserved areas.

A Marshall Plan for Teaching could insure that all students are taught by well-qualified teachers within the next five years through a federal policy that (1) recruits new teachers using service scholarships that underwrite their preparation for high-need fields and locations and adds incentives for expert veteran teachers to teach in high-need schools; (2) strengthens teachers' preparation through support for professional development schools, like teaching hospitals, which offer top-quality urban teacher residencies to candidates who will stay in high-need districts; and (3) improves teacher retention and effectiveness by insuring that novices have mentoring support during their early years, when 30 percent of them drop out.

For an annual cost of $3 billion, or less than one week in Iraq, the nation could underwrite the high-quality preparation of 40,000 teachers annually--enough to fill all the vacancies taken by unprepared teachers each year; seed 100 top-quality urban-teacher-education programs and improve the capacity of all programs to prepare teachers who can teach diverse learners well; insure mentors for every new teacher hired each year; and provide incentives to bring expert teachers into high-need schools by improving salaries and working conditions.

Students will not learn at higher levels without the benefit of good teaching, a strong curriculum and adequate resources. Merely adopting tests and punishments will not create genuine accountability. In fact, adopting punitive sanctions without investments increases the likelihood that the most vulnerable students will be more severely victimized by a system not organized to support their learning. A policy agenda that leverages equitable resources and invests strategically in high-quality teaching would support real accountability--that is, accountability to children and parents for providing the conditions under which students can be expected to acquire the skills they need to succeed.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070521/darling-hammond/3

mlyonsd
05-28-2007, 01:00 PM
I picked "other" because I didn't see an option for what I think is the biggest problem.

Find a way to make parents care about education. I think the kids of parents that do make up a majority of those college bound.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:11 PM
BTW,

Most standardized testing is more than multiple choice, at this point. Both Arkansas literacy and math tests have Constructed Response items, and the Literacy test has two writing questions that are more "free" response, something like: choose someone to go on the next stamp the USPS puts out, and justify your choice.

banyon
05-28-2007, 01:16 PM
I picked "other" because I didn't see an option for what I think is the biggest problem.

Find a way to make parents care about education. I think the kids of parents that do make up a majority of those college bound.

Options 16 and 17?

banyon
05-28-2007, 01:18 PM
BTW,

Most standardized testing is more than multiple choice, at this point. Both Arkansas literacy and math tests have Constructed Response items, and the Literacy test has two writing questions that are more "free" response, something like: choose someone to go on the next stamp the USPS puts out, and justify your choice.

Including the tests mandated by NCLB? They aren't mult choice? I don't know I am really asking.

I figured you and Kotter would lead the way on this one. I meant to post it a while back when we talked about it as a tangent on some thread.

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 01:18 PM
Nothing needs to be done by the govt anyway. You're asking the same institution who broke it to fix it. Nope. It's just more of the same.

Keepiing them in school longer won't work. It's just a bandaid. Increasing pay won't do it either. No teacher who can recognize quality, wants to work in a system as f'd up as the public education system.

I say begin by getting the Federal Govt out. Abolish the DOE which has made things worse. Let local control reign. If anything, allow for tuition tax credits for those who opt out of the system.

I think peer evaluation of teachers by teachers would be a complete disaster.
They can protect their own and not even know it. If anything is peer reviewed already it's education and the accreditation system is a joke.

The only thing that should matter is results. That can only be monitored by the market which would include parents.

banyon
05-28-2007, 01:22 PM
Nothing needs to be done by the govt anyway. You're asking the same institution who broke it to fix it. Nope. It's just more of the same.

Keepiing them in school longer won't work. It's just a bandaid. Increasing pay won't do it either. No teacher who can recognize quality, wants to work in a system as f'd up as the public education system.

I say begin by getting the Federal Govt out. Abolish the DOE which has made things worse. Let local control reign. If anything, allow for tuition tax credits for those who opt out of the system.

I think peer evaluation of teachers by teachers would be a complete disaster.
They can protect their own and not even know it. If anything is peer reviewed already it's education and the accreditation system is a joke.

The only thing that should matter is results. That can only be monitored by the market which would include parents.

Yeah, I included the Sudanese education program option just for you. :Poke: :)

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 01:26 PM
Yeah, I included the Sudanese education program option just for you. :)
They have a rich and varied private system funded with tuition tax credits?
Funny, they seem too poor for that.

Youu do know literacy rates were higher before all the money we put into this?

You can throw all the money in the world at it and still not fix it.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:29 PM
Including the tests mandated by NCLB? They aren't mult choice? I don't know I am really asking.

Well, I can't speak for every state, but in Arkansas there are multiple choice as well as writing portions. In Literacy, the writing portions make up a larger component of the overall score than the multiple choice. NCLB leaves it up to each state to handle their own accountability programs, AFAIK. That's been a source of problems as well, because many states' tests aren't considered to be rigorous enough.

banyon
05-28-2007, 01:29 PM
They have a rich and varied private system funded with tuition tax credits?
Funny, they seem too poor for that.

Youu do know literacy rates were higher before all the money we put into this?

You can throw all the money in the world at it and still not fix it.

Are you saying that increased funding is the primary cause of the decline?

I would think there would be several more viable candidates.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:31 PM
No teacher who can recognize quality, wants to work in a system as f'd up as the public education system.


:shake:

I hate to nitpick your post, but that's just not true. There are far more good teachers in my school than poor teachers, and they're perfectly happy working in public education.

Pitt Gorilla
05-28-2007, 01:37 PM
I say begin by getting the Federal Govt out. Abolish the DOE which has made things worse. Let local control reign. I honestly don't care about "control" either way, but I am curious how local control makes the situation better. If we are really not performing as well as other countries on NAEP etc, which of the countries ahead of us have schools with local control? I honestly don't know.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:41 PM
Here's my perspective:

The accountability initiative is definitely improving certain aspects of education. I think that as new teachers are trained within the new system, things are going to get better (or at least they're going to appear to get better insofar as we use standardized test scores as a measure of success). It's not necessarily that teachers are getting better as a whole, but teaching methods are being, somewhat, standardized and implemented across the board. New teachers generally have a better understanding of the tests and more willingly embrace them than older teachers.

That being said, teachers are also getting very good at working the system. We're trained now to do so much documentation and paperwork, that we can make things look good on paper that aren't necessarily an accurate reflection of the day to day teaching that takes place in the classroom. This is, unfortunately, one major drawback I see in the new teaching. In the past, a student had the luck of the draw on their teacher. They might get a wonderful teacher who was entirely present and devoted to the classroom. They might also get a completely worthless fool who does nothing. There was no real way to tell the two apart in the past, and it was really up to the individual teacher to be a conscientious professional. With the increased emphasis on accountability and documentation, a teacher may be very, very good at that aspect of "teaching" yet still be a horrible classroom teacher. Of course, this is where the assessment programs enter the picture, and the rubber meets the road. The problem is that assessment programs aren't necessarily an accurate measure of teacher quality or student learning either.

Pitt Gorilla
05-28-2007, 01:51 PM
Here's my perspective:

The accountability initiative is definitely improving certain aspects of education. I think that as new teachers are trained within the new system, things are going to get better (or at least they're going to appear to get better insofar as we use standardized test scores as a measure of success). It's not necessarily that teachers are getting better as a whole, but teaching methods are being, somewhat, standardized and implemented across the board. New teachers generally have a better understanding of the tests and more willingly embrace them than older teachers.

That being said, teachers are also getting very good at working the system. We're trained now to do so much documentation and paperwork, that we can make things look good on paper that aren't necessarily an accurate reflection of the day to day teaching that takes place in the classroom. This is, unfortunately, one major drawback I see in the new teaching. In the past, a student had the luck of the draw on their teacher. They might get a wonderful teacher who was entirely present and devoted to the classroom. They might also get a completely worthless fool who does nothing. There was no real way to tell the two apart in the past, and it was really up to the individual teacher to be a conscientious professional. With the increased emphasis on accountability and documentation, a teacher may be very, very good at that aspect of "teaching" yet still be a horrible classroom teacher. Of course, this is where the assessment programs enter the picture, and the rubber meets the road. The problem is that assessment programs aren't necessarily an accurate measure of teacher quality or student learning either.People are working the system and education is suffering (in many cases). States are lowering their definitions of "proficient" so that NCLB goals can be met. More teachers are teaching to the tests, focusing on the mimicking of procedures over the understanding of the content. Different states use different tests (and benchmarks), so it would be difficult to tell if overall learning is improving (if we assume that the tests can paint any sort of accurate picture of student learning, which they generally do not).

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:57 PM
Different states use different tests (and benchmarks), so it would be difficult to tell if overall learning is improving (if we assume that the tests can paint any sort of accurate picture of student learning, which they generally do not).

Right. I touched on that in post #12.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 01:59 PM
Where's the "pay students for good performance" option?

A guy I know works for the Department for Education Reform, and he's pretty seriously looking into putting together an initiative/pilot program for this. It's completely insane, but it's almost so crazy that it might work.

banyon
05-28-2007, 02:12 PM
Where's the "pay students for good performance" option?

A guy I know works for the Department for Education Reform, and he's pretty seriously looking into putting together an initiative/pilot program for this. It's completely insane, but it's almost so crazy that it might work.

That wasn't an option because I never heard anyone propose that before. How would it work?

banyon
05-28-2007, 02:13 PM
BTW, jAZ, you were supposed to vote for "link teacher pay to student performance". That's straight from Obama's website. :)

'Hamas' Jenkins
05-28-2007, 02:42 PM
BTW, jAZ, you were supposed to vote for "link teacher pay to student performance". That's straight from Obama's website. :)

I really hate that idea.

Would this be done on the GPA level or the Standardized Testing level?

The first would invite corruption and/or grade inflation, the second would be more of "teaching the test".

banyon
05-28-2007, 02:49 PM
I really hate that idea.

Would this be done on the GPA level or the Standardized Testing level?

The first would invite corruption and/or grade inflation, the second would be more of "teaching the test".

I'm not sure, but here's Obama! (http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/)

Innovating Teacher Pay and Teacher Support

School districts across America face systemic barriers to attracting and putting the best teachers in schools where they are needed the most. Although the federal role in education is limited, one way the federal government can make the most of its scarce resources is by fostering innovation -- identifying the best programs and practices, and helping expand them around the country. Senator Obama introduced the Innovation Districts for School Improvement Act to award grants to school districts that try new methods to improve student achievement and reward effective teachers. Under this initiative, 20 districts across the country would get grants to develop innovative plans in consultation with their teacher unions. High-performing teachers would be eligible for pay increases of 10 to 20 percent of their base salary. These innovation districts would be required to implement systemic reforms and show convincing results. These best practices would provide models for other school systems to adopt.

Here's the bill:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.2441:

I guess it died in committee.

NewChief
05-28-2007, 02:51 PM
I really hate that idea.

Would this be done on the GPA level or the Standardized Testing level?

The first would invite corruption and/or grade inflation, the second would be more of "teaching the test".

The thing that sucks about this around here is that the Walton Family Foundation (also behind the Institute for Education Reform) is pushing this system like crazy. They're giving out money right and left to any districts who will implement performance pay systems.

'Hamas' Jenkins
05-28-2007, 02:54 PM
I'm not sure, but here's

Here's the bill:

.

It's not that there is a dearth of pedagogy out there. One problem is that many of the most gifted people are tied up in the academy making 35-50K a year. If you offer those people 60k to teach in a public system, you'll automatically reap some benefits.

mlyonsd
05-28-2007, 03:27 PM
Options 16 and 17?#16 - Where I'm from parents can volunteer all they want. I suppose it might depend on what you mean by involve them more. And I especially don't know what holding them accountable means.

#17 - Where I'm from anyone can run for the school board. They are also invited to speak at school board meetings. Again, I guess it would hold them accountable means.

What I meant was IMO parents don't seem to care enough that their kid is average. Not enough to sit down with them for a couple hours a night doing homework and such.

banyon
05-28-2007, 03:35 PM
#16 - Where I'm from parents can volunteer all they want. I suppose it might depend on what you mean by involve them more. And I especially don't know what holding them accountable means.

I don't know either. But maybe some of the people voting for that option could spell it out a bit.

#17 - Where I'm from anyone can run for the school board. They are also invited to speak at school board meetings. Again, I guess it would hold them accountable means.

I was thinking maybe it should be easier than running a political campaign to get 1/5 slots. As someone who voted for this option, I would think that each school should have a review board of parents. They might have input in hiring/firing decisions or control over some minor funding. In wealthier school districts, parents have no trouble getting the school's attention, but poorer districts aren't often held to the same standard by teachers. I'm not sure it's the solution, probably a combination of things are needed, but as poorly as we are doing, it is definitely time for some new ideas.


What I meant was IMO parents don't seem to care enough that their kid is average. Not enough to sit down with them for a couple hours a night doing homework and such.

I agree with your observation. Do you think anything can/should be done about it?

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 03:45 PM
Where's the "pay students for good performance" option?
When I moved my daughter from one school to a new one they were big on the reward system when they made certain targets. It is good to validate them but it can go to far imo. They did it a bit much encouraging us to buy things or take them places. The problem is you gotta get them a sports car by the time they're 16 as their toys get bigger. ROFL

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 03:48 PM
Are you saying that increased funding is the primary cause of the decline?
No but despite the increases, which has been significant, things have not improved.

banyon
05-28-2007, 03:55 PM
No but despite the increases, which has been significant, things have not improved.

I agree that throwing more money at it without a plan would fare no better on this issue than it would for Iraq.

I do think spending on certain areas (viz., teacher pay/loan repayment) would do more. Most of the increased $ seems to have gone into administration, which doesn't usually help.

So what do you attribute the decline in literacy to?

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 03:58 PM
:shake:

I hate to nitpick your post, but that's just not true. There are far more good teachers in my school than poor teachers, and they're perfectly happy working in public education.
I don't mind you nitpicking it. I would like to explain more though.
I said who can recognize "quality". That's subjective and includes who is a good teacher. Everybody has their own standards and they vary. Therefore, it's my opinion.

I just feel that those in the system do not have high standards ( nor always low, just mediocre) and were also educated in the same system. So they have little else to compare things too.Kinda like if ya' don't know anything or been exposed to anything else, but that system then you're going to accept that system and be fine with itómaybe even like it.

Now that does not mean I don't feel there are no good teachers who love what they do no matter where or what. Overall, though I feel the standards are just mediocre. I see other teachers where I work who love it but allow some things that I am appalled at.

BucEyedPea
05-28-2007, 04:01 PM
I agree that throwing more money at it without a plan would fare no better on this issue than it would for Iraq.

I do think spending on certain areas (viz., teacher pay/loan repayment) would do more. Most of the increased $ seems to have gone into administration, which doesn't usually help.

So what do you attribute the decline in literacy to?
Standards, methods and a politicized curriculum.
Education has been more directed to the affective domain than the academic.

BTW, teachers at my kid's school make half what public school ones make with less benefits. They are very dedicated group. As much as I do not like the DOE and says it's one of the best in the country.

Logical
05-28-2007, 04:10 PM
Where's the "pay students for good performance" option?

A guy I know works for the Department for Education Reform, and he's pretty seriously looking into putting together an initiative/pilot program for this. It's completely insane, but it's almost so crazy that it might work.

I paid my kids for grades achieved and it worked fair for one and great for the other two.

banyon
05-28-2007, 04:26 PM
Standards, methods and a politicized curriculum.
Education has been more directed to the affective domain than the academic.

Agree with this mostly. You should see the school politics in Kansas if you think it's bad there.

BTW, teachers at my kid's school make half what public school ones make with less benefits. They are very dedicated group. As much as I do not like the DOE and says it's one of the best in the country.

Why do you think that is? Do you think that teachers in your area are just more dedicated than their counterparts in other states?

'Hamas' Jenkins
05-28-2007, 04:33 PM
I paid my kids for grades achieved and it worked fair for one and great for the other two.

Some schools give students Visa gift cards for certain achievements. My PIL's give my wife's little brother ridiculous amounts of money for his 'achievements' but all it really does it motivate him to do just well enough to get the grade, kind of like how Peter did just enough not to get fired in Office Space.

Paying kids is not the answer, because then you'll have to keep dangling carrots in front of them for achievements in college as well.

mlyonsd
05-28-2007, 06:34 PM
I was thinking maybe it should be easier than running a political campaign to get 1/5 slots. As someone who voted for this option, I would think that each school should have a review board of parents. They might have input in hiring/firing decisions or control over some minor funding. In wealthier school districts, parents have no trouble getting the school's attention, but poorer districts aren't often held to the same standard by teachers. I'm not sure it's the solution, probably a combination of things are needed, but as poorly as we are doing, it is definitely time for some new ideas.

But who get's to be on the review board? It sounds like another level of school board to me. I see what you're saying and agree to some extent as long as the logistics can be worked out.

Your point regarding the wealthier school districts reinforces my thinking....parents that want to can make a difference.

I agree with your observation. Do you think anything can/should be done about it?

If you or I could figure that out we'd be heros. My fear is this country has become soft to where we just expect things to happen without working for them. Unfortunately the wake up call might be when the global economy turns all of our kids into people that just mow lawns. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Not everyone is capable of analytical/logical thinking (this forum is proof of that) so not all of our kids will be able to compete with the brightest from other countries.

One big difference is our kids spend their time watching tv, playing video games, and going to the mall instead of being instilled with the idea they are the only ones that can determine their own future.

VAChief
05-28-2007, 07:27 PM
NCLB does not provide funding for schools...it does have provide consequences for schools who do not meet AYP (adequate yearly progress).

One of the flaws in the system is each state decides what test will be used...Texas raised their pass rates in reading and math back in the 90's by lowering the standards on the test...not exactly the intent of accountability...also schools where there are less than 50 students in certain reporting categories (race, special ed., free and reduced lunch students) do not have to meet AYP...so a school that has 49 total minority students and 25 pass is considered "accredited" while a school with 50 total minority students and 30 passing is considered a "failing school."

Logical
05-28-2007, 08:30 PM
Some schools give students Visa gift cards for certain achievements. My PIL's give my wife's little brother ridiculous amounts of money for his 'achievements' but all it really does it motivate him to do just well enough to get the grade, kind of like how Peter did just enough not to get fired in Office Space.

Paying kids is not the answer, because then you'll have to keep dangling carrots in front of them for achievements in college as well.

First I am not talking major money it was a way for them to earn their allowance. I had them sign up for the weekly progress reports from all their classes (yes I realize not all school districts offer this but Poway does), then they got a bigger payment for the quarterly grades. No it did not have to continue on through college, one already has his bachelors, my daughter is finishing her associates this semester then will transfer to get her bachelors. The one it only worked fair on went to college but never got a degree. She has dyslexia so school has always been more difficult for her anyway.

banyon
05-29-2007, 08:33 AM
Not everyone is capable of analytical/logical thinking (this forum is proof of that) so not all of our kids will be able to compete with the brightest from other countries.

One big difference is our kids spend their time watching tv, playing video games, and going to the mall instead of being instilled with the idea they are the only ones that can determine their own future.

This is a much bigger proiblem than people are typically willing to admit. Kids don't read anymore.

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death) predicted a lot of this back in the 80's. Unfortunately for kids, the book has never been made into a movie. :doh!: :)

StcChief
05-29-2007, 09:18 AM
Alot can be done with these choices.

Where is the Disband the NEA option

banyon
05-29-2007, 09:20 AM
I honestly don't care about "control" either way, but I am curious how local control makes the situation better. If we are really not performing as well as other countries on NAEP etc, which of the countries ahead of us have schools with local control? I honestly don't know.

This question seems to have disappeared into thin air... :hmmm:

banyon
05-29-2007, 09:23 AM
Alot can be done with these choices.

Where is the Disband the NEA option

It is option #23. (I could only type so much. :p )



Some of the poll votes are interesting though. Not split on the normal con/lib lines.

I'd like to hear some people weigh in on this "hold the parents accountable" idea that mlyonsd and I were guessing about. How can we do that?

StcChief
05-29-2007, 01:18 PM
Accountability of parents.

Contract signed by them to ensure changes in student performance, aid in homework, learning environment at home, monitored by school officials as needed.

Sully
05-29-2007, 01:46 PM
Accountability of parents.

Contract signed by them to ensure changes in student performance, aid in homework, learning environment at home, monitored by school officials as needed.
This is very close to what happens with students that are "exceptional." It's called an IEP, and the parent HAS to sign off on it, and meet with at least a couple of the teachers. It's time consuming, but maybe something like this would be useful for all students.

NewChief
05-29-2007, 02:13 PM
This is very close to what happens with students that are "exceptional." It's called an IEP, and the parent HAS to sign off on it, and meet with at least a couple of the teachers. It's time consuming, but maybe something like this would be useful for all students.


Except the IEP (individualized education plan) has very little to do with the accountability of the parents. It is about making sure that the teacher makes the accomodations necessary for that student to help him/her compete on an equal playing field and take into account that student's disabilities.

I've been saying for quite a while that we're moving toward a system where every student will have an IEP. We already put together AIPs (Academic Improvement Plans) for any student who doesn't make proficient/advanced on their state tests.

Sully
05-29-2007, 02:25 PM
Except the IEP (individualized education plan) has very little to do with the accountability of the parents. It is about making sure that the teacher makes the accomodations necessary for that student to help him/her compete on an equal playing field and take into account that student's disabilities.

I've been saying for quite a while that we're moving toward a system where every student will have an IEP. We already put together AIPs (Academic Improvement Plans) for any student who doesn't make proficient/advanced on their state tests.
Yeah, I'm just taking my grad classes for certification, and learning about the IEPs, and it doesn't look like it's much accountability. But it seems tricky, because so many parents, it would seem, would start crying, "Don't tell me how to raise my kids." However, the stuff at home is the most important part to learning, so there has to be some give and take there.
I really don't know how to hold them accountable, as there would be no way to penalize the parents without penalizing the students. But at the very least these types of things make sure that, as educators, we know the parent knows what is going on, rather than by sending stuff home and never really knowing if they are reaching the parent or not.

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 05:58 PM
This is a much bigger proiblem than people are typically willing to admit. Kids don't read anymore.

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death)predicted a lot of this back in the 80's. Unfortunately for kids, the book has never been made into a movie. :doh!: :)

Absolutely right. I can see it in my own son. Even though he is a straight A student he doesn't read fiction just for fun.

I'm sad for him he's never found a book he couldn't put down.

Logical
05-29-2007, 06:02 PM
This is a much bigger proiblem than people are typically willing to admit. Kids don't read anymore.

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death)predicted a lot of this back in the 80's. Unfortunately for kids, the book has never been made into a movie. :doh!: :)

Interesting all three of my kids (all adults now) read a ton of books. Two of the three also love video games and TV so evidently doing all three is quite possible. Not sure what I did right but I am happy it turned out that way.

redbrian
05-29-2007, 06:09 PM
I picked "other" because I didn't see an option for what I think is the biggest problem.

Find a way to make parents care about education. I think the kids of parents that do make up a majority of those college bound.

My thoughts on the issue as well.

I have had several teachers tell me they know who the problem kids will be by the absence of the parents.

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:10 PM
Interesting all three of my kids (all adults now) read a ton of books. Two of the three also love video games and TV so evidently doing all three is quite possible. Not sure what I did right but I am happy it turned out that way.
Question...were video games and tv made available to them their entire time growing up?

I'm still searching for that one book that will make my son love reading for fun. Right now he's just a text book kid. That might be part of the problem. He's 11.

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:13 PM
My thoughts on the issue as well.

I have had several teachers tell me they know who the problem kids will be by the absence of the parents.

I think in this feel good about yourself everyone loves everyone atmosphere today any kid could excel if their motives were directed.

I don't think the teachers are to blame. Parents should be lighting that fire.

Logical
05-29-2007, 06:24 PM
Question...were video games and tv made available to them their entire time growing up?

I'm still searching for that one book that will make my son love reading for fun. Right now he's just a text book kid. That might be part of the problem. He's 11.

Yes, I don't know why they learned to love reading, they just did.

Adept Havelock
05-29-2007, 06:28 PM
Question...were video games and tv made available to them their entire time growing up?

I'm still searching for that one book that will make my son love reading for fun. Right now he's just a text book kid. That might be part of the problem. He's 11.


Finding that "hook" can be difficult. When I was working retail books in college, the best part of the job was when some parent dragged a kid in to find them a book, and then seeing the kid come back a little later to find another one "like that one".

Best of luck with yours. I assume you've already tried fiction about things he's interested in. Sometimes it's the strangest thing that will grab them. I remembe one high school kid who hated reading and needed a book report subject. Somehow I talked him into trying "Lost Horizon", and he loved it. Started working his way through Mark Twain and Jack London after that, IIRC. With another kid it was some kid's sports book series. My nephew got the bug when I handed him John Christopher's "The White Mountains", first book of his "Tripod" trilogy. Afterwards, he thought it was much better than the comic he liked from the Boy Scout magazine.


I don't think the teachers are to blame. Parents should be lighting that fire.

Yes, indeed. Truer words have seldom been spoken.

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:32 PM
Yes, I don't know why they learned to love reading, they just did.

Good for them. Although you were probably hogging the Atari trying to beat their score in Asteroids so they couldn't play when you were home. :)

redbrian
05-29-2007, 06:32 PM
I think in this feel good about yourself everyone loves everyone atmosphere today any kid could excel if their motives were directed.

I don't think the teachers are to blame. Parents should be lighting that fire.

Most teachers are definitely not to blame; it is the parentís responsibility to have the kids ready for school, it is the parentís job to follow the Childs school progress and demand that they do the best work possible.

The mentality of a lot of our parents is just sad, for example the State of Missouri has a program called A+, this program (which involves maintaining a 2.5 gpa, doing 100 hrs of community service and performing mentorship duties) rewards the student (who completes the program) with 2 yrs of free education at a JUCO, yet many parents do not have their children enter this program for a lot of really bizarre reasons, the biggest being itís to hard for the kids.

If you demand and expect the child to perform they will, if you tell them they canít and put no demands on them they will fail.

As to lighting a fire under the ass I agree completly, my son will be taking Chem. at summer school this year as he only got a C in the class, which is not good enough in our household, he must maintain a 3.2 gpa (required for the Gold Medalion program)

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:33 PM
Finding that "hook" can be difficult. When I was working retail books in college, the best part of the job was when some parent dragged a kid in to find them a book, and then seeing the kid come back a little later to find another one "like that one".

Best of luck with yours. I assume you've already tried fiction about things he's interested in. Sometimes it's the strangest thing that will grab them. I remembe one high school kid who hated reading and needed a book report subject. Somehow I talked him into trying "Lost Horizon", and he loved it. Started working his way through Mark Twain and Jack London after that, IIRC. With another kid it was some kid's sports book series. My nephew got the bug when I handed him John Christopher's "The White Mountains", first book of his "Tripod" trilogy. Afterward, he thought it was much better than the comic he liked from the Boy Scout magazine.



Yes, indeed. Truer words have seldom been spoken.

"Lost Horizon". I probably should know it but I don't. Thanks, I'll look it up.

NewChief
05-29-2007, 06:34 PM
I'm still searching for that one book that will make my son love reading for fun. Right now he's just a text book kid. That might be part of the problem. He's 11.

Literacy is becoming an area of expertise for me. I'm no expert on young adult or juvenile fiction, depending on my librarians for recommendations, but I can give you a few pointers on trying to get him to like reading:

1) Appeal to his other interests. If he likes sports, get him fiction that has to do with sports. If he likes military stuff, do that. If he likes hunting and fishing, go with something along those lines.

2) Find a good youth librarian, and have him sit down with him or her. The ones at my school are exceptional, but they're all good at matching readers with books.

3) Discuss the books or not. It's really depends on the kid. I was the type of reader that liked to read privately. The books I read for fun were "mine," and I really wasn't that interested in discussing them with other people as a young reader. Even though my dad and I always read the same books when I was growing up, we rarely discussed those books. Other kids love to talk about what they're reading and get validation and encouragement on what they're reading.

Good luck! I"ll be facing the same issue soon as well. It will break my heart if my kid isn't a reader.

Adept Havelock
05-29-2007, 06:37 PM
"Lost Horizon". I probably should know it but I don't. Thanks, I'll look it up.

I don't know if that would grab him or not. It's an English "adventure" story about four travelers who escape a revolt in China, only to have their plane crash in the Mountains of Tibet. Some Sherpas lead them to the "Valley of the Blue Moon" and the Llamasery of "Shangri-La". Mystery, Peril, and such ensue.

I've always loved it, and was pretty surprised when that kid liked it to.

Frank Capra also did a great film adaption of it.

Penchief, good call. :thumb:

redbrian
05-29-2007, 06:38 PM
Literacy is becoming an area of expertise for me. I'm no expert on young adult or juvenile fiction, depending on my librarians for recommendations, but I can give you a few pointers on trying to get him to like reading:

1) Appeal to his other interests. If he likes sports, get him fiction that has to do with sports. If he likes military stuff, do that. If he likes hunting and fishing, go with something along those lines.

2) Find a good youth librarian, and have him sit down with him or her. The ones at my school are exceptional, but they're all good at matching readers with books.

3) Discuss the books or not. It's really depends on the kid. I was the type of reader that liked to read privately. The books I read for fun were "mine," and I really wasn't that interested in discussing them with other people as a young reader. Even though my dad and I always read the same books when I was growing up, we rarely discussed those books. Other kids love to talk about what they're reading and get validation and encouragement on what they're reading.

Good luck! I"ll be facing the same issue soon as well. It will break my heart if my kid isn't a reader.

If the parent is seen picking up a book and reading it, it is more likely the kid will to.

Also if you read to the kid starting at a very young age it helps a lot.

All 3 of my kids read (the middle one maybe just a bit to much)?

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:41 PM
Most teachers are definitely not to blame; it is the parentís responsibility to have the kids ready for school, it is the parentís job to follow the Childs school progress and demand that they do the best work possible.

The mentality of a lot of our parents is just sad, for example the State of Missouri has a program called A+, this program (which involves maintaining a 2.5 gpa, doing 100 hrs of community service and performing mentorship duties) rewards the student (who completes the program) with 2 yrs of free education at a JUCO, yet many parents do not have their children enter this program for a lot of really bizarre reasons, the biggest being itís to hard for the kids.

I've never heard of that kind of program before but it sounds very forward thinking to me.


If you demand and expect the child to perform they will, if you tell them they canít and put no demands on them they will fail.
I agree with that, although some kids have adversities beyond their control that need extra help. My wife spent several years as a teacher's aide for the Special Ed kids so I know that as fact.


As to lighting a fire under the ass I agree completly, my son will be taking Chem. at summer school this year as he only got a C in the class, which is not good enough in our household, he must maintain a 3.2 gpa (required for the Gold Medalion program)

Impressive. My ownly concern would be he see's it the same way and isn't already planning on which nursing home to plant you in when you're '69. :)

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 06:45 PM
Literacy is becoming an area of expertise for me. I'm no expert on young adult or juvenile fiction, depending on my librarians for recommendations, but I can give you a few pointers on trying to get him to like reading:

1) Appeal to his other interests. If he likes sports, get him fiction that has to do with sports. If he likes military stuff, do that. If he likes hunting and fishing, go with something along those lines.

2) Find a good youth librarian, and have him sit down with him or her. The ones at my school are exceptional, but they're all good at matching readers with books.

3) Discuss the books or not. It's really depends on the kid. I was the type of reader that liked to read privately. The books I read for fun were "mine," and I really wasn't that interested in discussing them with other people as a young reader. Even though my dad and I always read the same books when I was growing up, we rarely discussed those books. Other kids love to talk about what they're reading and get validation and encouragement on what they're reading.

Good luck! I"ll be facing the same issue soon as well. It will break my heart if my kid isn't a reader.

The ironic thing is my wife was a librarian for several years....while doing so she was the town "story lady". Thanks for the info.

redbrian
05-29-2007, 06:56 PM
I've never heard of that kind of program before but it sounds very forward thinking to me.


I agree with that, although some kids have adversities beyond their control that need extra help. My wife spent several years as a teacher's aide for the Special Ed kids so I know that as fact.



Impressive. My ownly concern would be he see's it the same way and isn't already planning on which nursing home to plant you in when you're '69. :)


It's true that some kids are special needs but they are in the minority (a lot fewer than some professionals would have us believe, the vast majority of kids can perform at high levels when properly motivated).

I've got the old folks home taken care of, I have informed him I'm going to live with him and lay around on his couch in my underwear eating peanut butter from a spoon and watching cartoons all day.

mlyonsd
05-29-2007, 07:00 PM
It's true that some kids are special needs but they are in the minority (a lot fewer than some professionals would have us believe, the vast majority of kids can perform at high levels when properly motivated).

I've got the old folks home taken care of, I have informed him I'm going to live with him and lay around on his couch in my underwear eating peanut butter from a spoon and watching cartoons all day.

That's funny. I took my son to the golf course today and on a par 3 got him to make a bet.....if I hit a hole in one he'd have to pick up all my bills when I turn 60...if I missed I'd give him a dollar.

Unfortunately I was 10 yards right. But I thought it was a wise gamble. :)

NewChief
05-29-2007, 07:10 PM
If the parent is seen picking up a book and reading it, it is more likely the kid will to.

Also if you read to the kid starting at a very young age it helps a lot.

All 3 of my kids read (the middle one maybe just a bit to much)?


Yeah. They say that there's a huge correlation between student performance and the number of books in the house in which they live. There are definitely things you can do, like you said, but there's no sure fire method, unfortunately. My parents did all the right things. Huge library, kept us in Hardy Boys, National Geographics, etc. etc., had family story time, and dad was a voracious reader. Neither of my brothers are readers (one has the mind and disposition for it, but he's dyslexic), but I'm avid.



Mylon: your wife probably knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do. As I said above, you can do all the right things, and still come out with a kid that just isn't into it.

NewChief
05-29-2007, 07:12 PM
If you demand and expect the child to perform they will, if you tell them they canít and put no demands on them they will fail.


One of my favorite teacher quotes:

"No one rises to low expectations."

Logical
05-29-2007, 07:15 PM
Good for them. Although you were probably hogging the Atari trying to beat their score in Asteroids so they couldn't play when you were home. :)

LOL Asteroids was indeed one of my favs. Damn I am old.