So who do you think IS the problem because there clearly is a problem? In recent years, I have encountered teens who not only couldn’t do the math 200+8-158=150 but others who couldn’t read a watch (with hands, not digital numbers) or find any country you care to mention on a map.
I have encountered a number of contributary issues:
– Teachers unions who value job security for teachers above competence;
– The widespread notion in minority teen circles that doing well in school is "uncool" or, dare I say it, "white" and therefore to be scorned;
– The "progressive" notion that a high school diploma is a right, not something you must earn, which leads them to scream bloody murder when large numbers of uneducated kids can’t pass state tests required for graduation–and demands for them to graduate anyway (thus cheapening the value of the diploma for the kids who did earn it);
– The "everybody gets a prize" or the "everybody is special" mentality that teaches kids they deserve the best and have to work for nothing.
two large factors (although there are others):
1- the increase in exam based assessments. The state and federal governments continue to create an environment where success is solely based on an exam, not comprehension and retention. Beginning about 20 years ago, the focus of the government has been to test students. This is in addition to the tests that were already being administered. This cuts down class time, since preparing for the test is important for both the school and the teacher – both of whom get their own assessment based on the test.
These tests are administered, not at the end of the year, but in the middle of the year. Many federal tests that rate students come in March, months before the school year ends. This is a huge problem, because schools, whose money is based on the results of these tests, have no choice but to teach to the test. Then, once the test is over, they resume teaching the state curriculum, which may or may not be the same material as the federal exam. For example, the 4th grade federal test in history will likely have federal history questions on it, but in some states, 4th grade history curriculum is State History. Thus, when it comes time to take a federal exam, teachers pause their state curriculum to pass the federal test, losing precious time to complete their state history curriculum. The fight between state curriculum and federal testing is causing schools and teachers to be caught in the middle of teaching two curricula.
2- Schools have been forced to take on the role of parent. This is very complicated and sensitive topic. But in the end, the school is in a lose lose situation when it is forced to take the main role as parent. Parents want the schools to be responsible to teach discipline and character education (never mind the fact that discipline and character education shouldn’t be held off until a child goes to school – since most of a child’s behavior patterns and personality is developed before they enter kindergarden), but parents are never happy as to how the schools choose to deal with discipline and character development. The main reason: every parent is different, there is no way a schoo,25,327982.026,1,28745,184.108.40.206
328007,327982,327982,2007-09-10 12:10:44,RE: Only in America!”