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Buddha
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My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Our two sons go to a Presbyterian run school, the eldest is 12 years old, in 7th grade.

They go out and perform public service tasks two days each month and this past week, they went to a homeless shelter to help clean and move stuff and do helpful chores. At the end of the day, they put on a talent show and my kid played some guitar and volunteered to tell a joke or two....

So, he's standing up on the stage, in front of all his 6,7,8th grade classmates and the good people of the Christian Center for Families, with his two supervising teachers sitting at the back of the stage...

...and he starts his first joke...

"Three men are standing in line at the Pearly Gates, standing before Saint Peter. Saint Peter tells them that they will each have to explain the circumstances of their deaths before they can gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The first man says, "Well, sir, I suspected my wife of adultery, and went home early from work today to surprise her....

At that point, the female teacher leaped forward and did the ol' ixnay on the joke.

At which point, my son, says, mic still in hand, "No, no, really, it's not that bad..."

Well, the joke is not allowed to run to its punch line of "There I was, minding my own business inside a refrigerator" and the festivities concluded.

First...

I swear he never got that joke from me.

Second...

The guy teacher came up to him after the event to ask how the rest of the joke went.

I hereby swear that this is an absolutely true story.

Satch
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Kind of disappointing that your son's school has a teacher who's unwilling to give a good kid the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, consider the stories about teachers' behavior he'd be bringing home if he was in your local public school.

Oh yeah, you did consider that before you enrolled him in his current school, didn't you.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

To show you how this relates...when I was in 5th grade I doubt that I knew what adultery was. Now, students maybe too worldly for their own good, but you have to admit that the potential for this joke to go seriously south made a teacher very nervous.

Since that teacher probably did not know your son well, she was just afraid for the other children and the school.

Of course now we have gone way past that and students are mad because the condoms given out is school are not "brand names" and large enough. With 2 girls from my old middle school with babies, and 2 girls at my current high school with babies...the world is a different place for sure. None of the girls will marry the fathers.

I cannot tell you how glad that I am old, but I worry for my 15 year old son, Nick. At my high school some of what I see and hear is pretty depressing. "In the refrigerator" is pretty tame.

Buddha
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
Kind of disappointing that your son's school has a teacher who's unwilling to give a good kid the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, consider the stories about teachers' behavior he'd be bringing home if he was in your local public school.

Oh yeah, you did consider that before you enrolled him in his current school, didn't you.

Hi, Dixieland! (I still owe you a reply in our other conversation.)

My wife and I are products of public from back in the day that the village was allowed to raise a child, so to speak.

If we acted up on the playground, or on the way home, any available adult was allowed to emphatically point out the error of our ways and when the tale was relayed home, our parents actually backed up the other adult.

Being in hot water at school equaled being in hot water at home.

When my wife and I moved to Las Vegas, the public school stats were horrifying. Terrible test scores, poor grade performance, and only 60% graduate high school.

We opted to go private.It was out of academic concern, and not worrying that the kids had a Jesus deficiency.

The Presbyterian school is a godsend.

I love the school, too, and I am a stone cold heathen atheist! (My wife is the most perfect human ever and she is a Presbyterian, as is her family, and thus, our boys.)

Anywho....

My kid didn't so much get in trouble as get 'gonged' because the teacher didn't know where the joke might go, so I was amused and bemused by the whole thing and no bad vibes flowed in any direction. The lady teacher and my wife are quite friendly and they had to sneak away from the kids in order to crack up together over it. One of those times when you have to play it straight faced but you are laughing inside.

I hope I didn't skew the story as expressing personal displeasure!

I still laugh picturing the little guy with a mic starting in with that joke.

Onward in my digression...

Even though I'm a liberal, I think vouchers...and maybe even requiring every private school to accept a minimum number of voucher kids (with the proviso that they can also boot them if they act up) would be an experiment worth trying. It may work, it may flame out; but they did a cool thing in Vegas to create magnet high schools and kids have to apply to get in (like a voucher school.) The kids have performance and behavior expectations, the schools offer free transport for any kid in the valley to get there, and Juniors and Seniors also get the chance to go to the community college and take classes for college credit...for free, with free books...and they can't fill those seats fast enough. It seems that if parents hear of a school with expectations, they flock to it.

(They are graduating seniors who transfer to college as Juniors! My buddy's daughter graduated one June and started at Cal the next fall only two years away from her degree. The success stories...I could go on and on...

So, I'm hopeful we can turn this education debacle around.

So, 'conservative' about vouchers and 'liberal' about willingness to throw money at education.

Cheers, man.

tomjtx
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
Kind of disappointing that your son's school has a teacher who's unwilling to give a good kid the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, consider the stories about teachers' behavior he'd be bringing home if he was in your local public school.

Oh yeah, you did consider that before you enrolled him in his current school, didn't you.

Dixieland,
We have many great public schools with excellent teachers in the US.
The academic rigor is much greater now than when most of us were in school.

The problem is not with public school or its many fine teachers. It is with the unconcerned parents both in the private and public schools that wont take an active interest in their kid's lives.

You are just another conservative that will take any unjustified opportunity to blast the public sector.

My son was in a private school through 6th grade. He then went to a TAG(Talented and Gifted) public magnet school. It was just as rigorous.

He is now a Junior at the neighborhood public high school.

He has enough credits to graduate already. He has gotten top scores on numerous AP exams and consequent college credit.

His sociology teacher has a law degree from Duke (ranked 14th best law school in the US).
His AP psychology teacher has a masters degree.
The head of the english dept. is from england with an Oxford degree.
His PolySci teacher has a masters in international studies and is fluent in 3 languages.

What degrees do you have Dixieland ?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


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At which point, my son, says, mic still in hand, "No, no, really, it's not that bad..."

I love that part!

Freako
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Hilarious

JoeE SP9
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

The sad fact is, in this country we have many truly wretched public schools with teachers who are somewhat less than excellent. Decrepit facilities caused by inadequate budgets only exacerbate the problem. Most of these schools are in larger cities rife with other problems.
I agree that many of the problems wouldn't exist if more (it should be all) parents took an active interest. However, many use public schools as daytime baby sitters instead of educational institutions. Most parents with children in private or charter type schools take an interest. Usually they have a monetary investment. That always tends to make a parent take an interest. At the least they have made an active decision to place their child there. That also tends to make a parent take interest.
I'm not blasting anyone or anything. I'm merely pointing out the facts. One of them is, it's "know nothing", not "no nothing". I would expect a "university professor" to have a better command of spelling and grammar. A review of Strunk and White's "The Elements Of Style" is something you might consider.
I have a Masters Degree from The Wharton School of The University Of Pennsylvania and far from illiterate. I am also an agnostic liberal.
Yes, I use a spell checker. It should be obvious that I'm familiar with Strunk and White.

JoeE SP9
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

To add some levity. A little Catholic humor!

Three Nuns died and went to Heaven.
St. Peter stops them at the gates and says, "You were Nun's. To get into Heaven you have to answer a question"
He asks the first Nun, "Who was the first woman?"
She answers, "Eve".
"Good answer" he says, "You can go in."
He asks the second Nun, "Where did Eve live?"
She answers, "The Garden Of Eden".
"Good answer" he says, "You can go in."
He turns to the third Nun and says "You were the Mother Superior. Therefore you should have superior knowledge. So, your question will be harder than the other questions."
He asks, "What did Eve say the first time she saw Adam?"
She thinks, scratches her head and says, my that is a hard one".
"Good answer." he says, "You can go in."

tomjtx
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

JoeE,

My post was a reply to Dixieland, not you.

In reply to you one could just as easily say we have many wonderful public schools with teachers who are excellent.

Of course in a country as large as this we have both good and bad public schools.

The school I referenced is an inner city high school.

BTW, thanks for pointing out the need for proof reading. I refer more often to Strunz and Farrah than Strunk and White

Jim Tavegia
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

I would say that there are few "bad schools", but all too many undiciplined children who can easily make the learning environment bad. Disruption within the classroom is a bad thing, but here we have about 20% who view school as just a social event. A graduation rate of 60-70% is academic proof.

Our in school suspension list (ISS) is all too large every day, including this week, the last week of school. That is hard to justify for any student who can't stay out of trouble and under the radar for the last week.

Computers in school have often become disruptive with students on inappropriate websites even with constant vigilance by our IT people. They seem to know all the work-arounds.

All of these social skills have kept my wife and me continuing to home school Nick since day one. My goal is to help and assist the ones in public ed. who care to learn, try and motivate the ones on the edge, and keep the ones who are here because their parents make them come from disrupting the ones who want to learn. That swell Certificate of Attendence (4 years worth of no work) will mean little in 2010.

Some of our classes next year will have 35 students in them. So much for differentiation (we all do not learn the same) in the class room and now, less individual attention. When I am still, this year, using multiplication flash-card in high school it become clear how defficient we are.

I am not sure how my parents and grandparents valued education and now we have this generation in which many view it as a waste of their time.

Someone on this forum posted a quote from commedian Steven Wright: "Hard work pays off later...laziness pays off now", but really never.

Even though I am retired I thought I could try and make a difference inj Pub. Ed.. I think that I do, but some days the results are less obvious.

tomjtx
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

We all thank you for your dedication, Jim.
Those kids are lucky to have you.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

I appreciate the comment. Some days it is great fun. I have given up coaching as at nearly 63 I find I need a nap more often.

I have had a chance to teach at a "magnet" type city school and I found too many of the teachers there "elitist" as they thought that the high graduation rates and test scores were due to their "stellar" teaching skills. Really? Most A students will suffer through any teacher given them. The challenge in the classroom is just like in coaching: try to get the most out of the least, or at least more. That is where many championships are made.

Now with 300,000 teachers on the street and thousands of new ones graduating every June and December, you have to wonder when it will all come back. I ususally see the glass more than half full, but this time I am not so sure how long this downturn will last.

Buddha
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
I appreciate the comment. Some days it is great fun. I have given up coaching as at nearly 63 I find I need a nap more often.

I have had a chance to teach at a "magnet" type city school and I found too many of the teachers there "elitist" as they thought that the high graduation rates and test scores were due to their "stellar" teaching skills. Really? Most A students will suffer through any teacher given them. The challenge in the classroom is just like in coaching: try to get the most out of the least, or at least more. That is where many championships are made.

Now with 300,000 teachers on the street and thousands of new ones graduating every June and December, you have to wonder when it will all come back. I ususally see the glass more than half full, but this time I am not so sure how long this downturn will last.

I worry, too.

The mood in the country does not seem to be one where people would like to add any expense to their already significant tax burden for educational expense.

The discussion about asset allocation to schools seems to be more about where to cut than how the 'enhance.'

(I realize there is more to it than throwing money at the problem, just chatting.)

Even spending on state universities is drying up with the downturn.

The biggest woe of cuts is that it is not an entirely quick process to 'resume' after cuts have been implemented and moneys return.

There is also a strange movement afoot to equate academic expectations with 'elitism' or "Uncle Tom-ing" or any number of words.

In some communities, academic achievemnt is derided as selling out, and in other groups, excelling in academics is associated with the 'elitism' of certain political affiliations.

I shudder when I think of all the forces that look at education as a threat or in terms of it being something to be avoided and derided as not populist.

I joke that in 2020, at least one party's Presidential nominee will be vetted to make sure he or she did not attend a university.

j_j
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Sigh.

Ours (both of them) got in trouble in both preschool and kindergarden for saying "but Santa Claus is made up" or thereabouts.

All I know is the irate calls from the teachers who were deeply offended that the little one spoiled the myth.

And, you know, we didn't push it, in fact we presented it as "some people say".

2.5 year old: 'How he get in house?'
dad: He comes down the chimney
2.5 year old: (walks to fireplace, looks inside) 'WON'T FIT!'

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
I shudder when I think of all the forces that look at education as a threat or in terms of it being something to be avoided and derided as not populist.


I have seen this in action when otherwise capable people announce with pride that they have not read a book in years.

Pride in self-chosen ignorance. Very odd.

j_j
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


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Computers in school have often become disruptive with students on inappropriate websites even with constant vigilance by our IT people. They seem to know all the work-arounds.

So stop trying to thwart the clever, and reward performance, and stop blocking sites like www.randi.org and forums.randi.org as "objectionable" while you can go to the ICR and the Discovery Institute any time you like.

Sorry, the net nannys do nothing but present a dishonest view of the world to the kids not smart enough to proxy around.

But I do agree that there is a lack of responsibility on the part of many students. I get my ear chewed off on a regular basis by both of my kids, who have been known to tell off somebody who was interrupting class, at least once sent to the principal for doing it.

The principal, I will give credit, agreed with me when I asked "so WHY should she have to tell somebody to be quiet so she can hear the teacher talk, anyhow?"

Around here we also have "Running Start" where kids can do college classes for both HS and College credit. Both of mine have done it to escape the high school math curriculum, which isn't "Discovery Math" (which is a way to teach people never ot learn math, nothing more or less), but which is almost as bad. It's sad, the teachers actually know math and have the same opinion I do of the math curriculum, I can't blame them at all.

There is a military term for this kind of curriculum. I suspect Stephen and John don't want me to use it.

j_j
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
I have had a chance to teach at a "magnet" type city school and I found too many of the teachers there "elitist" as they thought that the high graduation rates and test scores were due to their "stellar" teaching skills.

Here the pride and joy is the "International Baccalaurate School" magnet schools.

Their big pride is WE GIVE MORE HOMEWORK AND THOSE KIDS HAVE TO WORK HARD.

This teaches a kid who already gets it nothing more than "this is stupid, offensive, and wasting my time".

My kids have about 8 times the homework I did. They haven't learned any more than I did, and have learned an extremely strong aversion to make-work, one that I suspect is not what the school intended.

I'm not arguing in favor of no homework, but 6 hours worth for a straight A student is just stupid. What's even stupider is that "present" is how they are graded, there is no feedback, the papers never come back corrected, and as far as I'm concerned, that's simply a waste of everyone's time.

And yes, I'm sure they aren't graded. I have two junior skeptics for offspring, both have confirmed this quite clearly, and have shown me the evidence, homework for which they got full credit.


Quote:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Elk
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


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. . . while you can go to the ICR and the Discovery Institute any time you like.


Yes.

Talk about corrupting young minds. We are in constant battle with these powers of darkness.

(I am on the board of the National Center for Science Education, NCSE)

Buddha
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Ours (both of them) got in trouble in both preschool and kindergarden for saying "but Santa Claus is made up" or thereabouts.

Maybe time to teach them the value of letting others enjoy themselves?

I can see them now...

"OK, class, I hope you all have a nice Christmas and that Santa brings you wonderful presents."

JJ Jr: "Santa? Evidence?"

Did you hear about the dyslexic who sold his soul to Santa?

dbowker
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Quote:
At which point, my son, says, mic still in hand, "No, no, really, it's not that bad..."

I love that part!

Yeah-that is truly in the Famous Last Words category!

Satch
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Can't help but smile when a self-described stone cold atheist describes his kids' school as a Godsend.

Magnet schools are showing a lot of promise everywhere - even, to some degree, in Chicago. Advanced kids taking Jr. College classes for free - Hooray!

I could join you happily in throwing money at education, the question is how. I can't see that the Feds should have much direct control. Investment has to be local with some emphasis on getting the money into the classroom where the kids are. Problem where I live is top-heavy admin. costs. I'm also anti-tenure. Generally conservative as hell, (yes, conservatives believe in hell - and heaven and good and evil, etc.) I still have a soft spot for education. Worked in that field for thirty years.

Regards our other conversation, no hurry, the issues aren't going to go away. What I'm thinking so far is that your world has lots more shades of grey in it than mine. Who's right or wrong? Who knows, maybe nobody.

Buddha
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Can't help but smile when a self-described stone cold atheist describes his kids' school as a Godsend.

Part of the fun!

I'm a soft atheist....I call myself a non-evangelical atheist.

It's not my job to convert you over dinner.

I have seen some crazy athiest shit in my day, let me tell you.

I had one buddy who raised his kids as stone fist in iron glove atheists and during his oldest's first semester away at college, he ran into a Krishna at the airport and was a goner.

He never had a chance to weigh 'well adjusted faith' vs. anything else and the first time his brain encountered 'faith' of any fervent type, he placed into the faith niche in his brain and started selling flowers in airports.

There are evangelical atheists who want Moses off the Supreme Court building, no nativity scenes on public land, no crosses in Joshua Tree...but just try to find one who will pick up your Christmas shift!

Atheistic fundamentalism is as crappy as religious fundamentalism.

As long as I'm ranting...

Of all the things to print or press onto money, why "God?"

That's the last thing God's name should be burdened with.

And what's up with people who only listen to "Christian music?" Is their faith so weak that a run through "Twist and Shout" is all that would be required to bring it tumbling down?

Cheers, man.

Satch
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Relax, tomjkx. Since you live in Texas, I'm not surprised that you're generally happy with what goes on in your local schools, but that doesn't' justify your tirade or your rudeness. You're a little like the proverbial blind man holding the elephants trunk and describing the elephant as cylindrical. He's right, as far as he went. Be thankful that you are in a community where public education is doing what you see as a good job. Such communities aren't as common, by any means, as our country needs for them to be.

Incidentally, it appears that your state legislature is convinced that in the general area of Social Studies, the state curriculum gude needs, shall we say, a little tweaking? Good for them.

More important than the degrees I earned, where this topic is concerned, is the fact that I spent thirty years earning my living in the education field. So it isn't at all surprising that I know a lot more about it than you do.

Couldn't agree more about the family influence on state of affairs in education. Who wouldn't? It does seem strange though, that someone who seems to go looking for a "nasty conservative" to condemn for his views wouldn't also be making the usual "they can't help it" liberal arguments in defense of the family environment's negative influence on educational outcomes. Perhaps there's more to both of us than meets the eye.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Buddah, "And what's up with people who only listen to "Christian music?" Is their faith so weak that a run through "Twist and Shout" is all that would be required to bring it tumbling down?" end quote

Now my wife and I are fully exposed. WE have won twist contests while "fully converted" at a nice watering holes. We listen to all kinds of music; my wife more southern gospel than me, and just about everything else but opera ( I am academically challenged). WE don't do anything with snakes and try to be tolerant even of people who don't "believe" in vinyl. The Baptist nightmare is when Jesus turned water into wine. It was a wedding celebration. The Ten Commandments can easily keep me on track.

As for school, we hardly have any homework as I am not sure it would get completed anyway, but there is some when needed. Our block schedule gives us 1.5 hours per period, plenty of time to do what needs doing.

I also have a neat way for students during their slack time to learn all 27 amendments which I do think is important. They generally enjoy it once they get started.

I also created a chart for them to learn their squares and square roots to past 1,000 without knowing much. There is a real neat pattern to it. Surprisingly what happens is they end up knowing the ones to nearly 25 squared which is what I want anyway.

ncdrawl
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

My little girls are going to Christian schools, no doubt about it..or a charter school of some sort.

tomjtx
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
Relax, tomjkx. Since you live in Texas, I'm not surprised that you're generally happy with what goes on in your local schools, but that doesn't' justify your tirade or your rudeness. You're a little like the proverbial blind man holding the elephants trunk and describing the elephant as cylindrical. He's right, as far as he went. Be thankful that you are in a community where public education is doing what you see as a good job. Such communities aren't as common, by any means, as our country needs for them to be.

Incidentally, it appears that your state legislature is convinced that in the general area of Social Studies, the state curriculum gude needs, shall we say, a little tweaking? Good for them.

More important than the degrees I earned, where this topic is concerned, is the fact that I spent thirty years earning my living in the education field. So it isn't at all surprising that I know a lot more about it than you do.

Couldn't agree more about the family influence on state of affairs in education. Who wouldn't? It does seem strange though, that someone who seems to go looking for a "nasty conservative" to condemn for his views wouldn't also be making the usual "they can't help it" liberal arguments in defense of the family environment's negative influence on educational outcomes. Perhaps there's more to both of us than meets the eye.

Actually Dixieland, I have been in education for 34 years and counting so I doubt you know more about it.

The worst thing to happen in Texas lower education recently is the idiotic decision to distort history in the social studies curriculum.
The only good thing there is that the majority of teachers will ignore the politically slanted textbook.
But now the university history Profs will have extra work "unteaching" the high school propaganda.

Do you really want to push a political agenda in the educational system where it has no place ?

Does it make you feel comfortable to paint liberals with such a broad brush ?
There is no contradiction in being a liberal and recognizing the profound importance of parenting in a child's life.

Satch
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Well, I was wrong again, there isn't more to you than meets the eye. Pushing a political agenda in the classroom is the stock in trade of ideologues like you sir. You've begun at the lowest levels, emphasizing "self esteem" over achievement, group dynamic over individual responsibility, and the result has been a generation or two of pathetic individuals who don't even know what it is that they don't know and who are proud of it.

Time in grade means nothing in and of itself - and you know it. The question is whether you provided a circumstance which was supportive of the learning process and what it was you encouraged students to learn.

Your lightining fast move to assert the overall excellence of public education today,and your attempt to negate my valid criticism by personal attack based on no information whatever about me tells me and others who you are.

Enjoy your pension and keep trying not to be ashamed of what goes on in far too many classrooms.

Satch
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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

A soft atheist, eh? I think that's one of those shades of grey I referred to earlier. Why didn't you settle for agnostic? No position to defend, only questions.

In college, I lived for a while with a fascinating guy named Red Kellner, a tough little Irish Catholic from a rough town where everyone worked for the railroad including Red's father. Red had been an alter boy and a champion wrestler. We both had the habit of studying late so we'd often wind up brushing our teeth at some time near dawn. His usual greeting was. " God, pick a side." Good arguments. He could handle either side very well. I wish Red was still around so I could lay your soft athiest on him.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

You are so off the mark I don't know where to begin.
I have never pushed self esteem over achievement or group dynamic over personal responsibility.
Forget it,
It is not worth engaging you .

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Couldn't help notice that you didn't deny pushing your political agenda in the classroom. Nor, in your opening response to my post did you make any attempt to engage me, as you put it. You generalized from a single school system with which you're familiar to the general state of education and you tried to respond to my criticism by labelling me a political radical and questioning my educational background.

It pays to know what you don't know. There are many contributors to this forum whose knowledge of the physics of sound reproduction is so superior to mine that I absolutely refuse to argue with them. I just read what they write, hope to learn from it, and occcasionally ask a question. Where education stands in our country today is a topic you probably should avoid arguing.

At least you might want to check out the record of "success" Arnie Duncan racked up when he ran the Chicago Public Schools. That may give you some hint of what is to come now that Obama has given him license to meddle with schools everywhere in the country

Good Luck to you.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

tomjtx: "Do you really want to push a political agenda in the educational system where it has no place ?"

I know you must be saying this tounge-in-cheek. Right? To think that most major universities are not left-leaning IS a little distorted, but, I accept that for what it is and have learned to try and think for myself. When most college professors never held real jobs in the private sector they lack the understanding of "applied learning".

For a while some thought that teaching phonics was a waste of time until reading scores started dropping. Smart parents bought Hooked on Phonics to make up for the lack of institutional understanding.

Curriculums are like the Constitution...a lving breathing thing. They will change over time as they probably should. Believing in local control I have no problem with Texas or any other state doing what they think is best.

Politically, No Child Left Behind is a failure. Many are leaving themselves behind, but yet the "system" wants to hold teachers accountable for "student effort". Really? Our prisons are full of people that society can't motivate to behave. Do we blame the President of our Governors? Most prisioners test at or below the 4th grade level, and are under any measure unemployable. Did school leave them behind or did they make a conscious choice to do no work?

It is still a work in progress.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Jim,

I can't say I disagree with anything in your post.

Of course, since I teach music, politics never comes up, nor should it.
I would be wasting valuable teaching time doing that.

In classes that deal with political ideas the prof "should" be a dispassionate guider of discussion and analysis.
Unfortunately that isn't always the case. There are advocates on both the right and left.
(Not all college profs are liberals).

I am with you on No Child.
We shouldn't expect our schools and teachers to do the job the parents and students should be doing themselves.

More local control usually leads to better results.

Gotta run take my kid to school , but, like I said, it doesn't look like we disagree here.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Apoligies to anyone else who may have read the rants I directed at tomjtx. I thought, since he had started down that road, it might be interesting to see how he'd react to personal attack. A little tit for tat, so to speak.

Obviously we have good and bad schools, teachers, etc. Also obviously we need to have better ones.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

A few further thoughts on our schools.

One thing that has impressed me is the increased rigor of both the private and public schools.
In the 60's it was normal to have algebra in the junior or senior year. Now we have pre-algebra in the 8th grade.
Then you get algebra freshman year followed by calculus, trig etc.

Students are learning to write research papers with footnotes and bibliographies in the 5th grade.
This is so much more advanced than what was done 40 years ago.

Schools with solid middle class demographics tend to do well. Schools with mixed demographics tend to do fairly well and very well if you score only the AP and Pre AP classes. This is the demographic within the demographic.

The major problems seem to be in the ghetto schools. No surprise there.
It is hard to educate children that are taught not to care about learning.

There is increasing talk about investigating the assumption that everyone should finish high school. Perhaps vocational schools are an alternative.

Everything should be on the table in our search to improve our schools that need improving. Ideology is the only thing that should be checked at the door, IMO.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

A soft atheist, eh? I think that's one of those shades of grey I referred to earlier. Why didn't you settle for agnostic? No position to defend, only questions.

Not what I meant by 'soft.'

I think whether or not someone has faith is an issue where I do not feel the need to enlighten somebody.

Flogging someone every time I see them about atheism amounts to nothing more than being pestered by an evangelical Christian who thinks he must be earning Jesus points by spoiling every conversation he has with his prostelyzing.

Not so much a 'shades of grey' thing as it is not wanting every discourse to end with same topic.

Now, why 'conservatives' all seem to coincidentally love guns and the death penalty and magically march in lock step about their hate of abortion and gay marriage, that's an open range!

Hmmmm....Maybe there is some overlap with religion, in that both groups seem to have inherited their unblinking beliefs!

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

I see our math studies less intensive then when I was in school. I think the extensive use of calculators has done that.

I also think that writing has fallen greatly, especially spelling. I do think that texting lingo has produced much of the student's lack of word knowledge. Knowing how to write complete sentences and paragraph structure seem lost as well. I also know that some of the writing rules have changed, or at least been bent.

I hope your school keeps your music program. It saddens me to see that as one of the first things to be considered for cuts.

Yes, we are probably closer than you think. I just tell my students that when they are about to be interviewed for a job, I want them to stand out as the better candidate. That is why they are in school in the first place.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
"OK, class, I hope you all have a nice Christmas and that Santa brings you wonderful presents."


Actually, both times it came about because some kid shouted at them "Santa is going to be mad at you" over typical kidly things.

Both of them had already heard the "just let it be" concept by then.

Quote:

Did you hear about the dyslexic who sold his soul to Santa?

No, but I hope he didn't contemplate the existance of doG.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
Pushing a political agenda in the classroom is the stock in trade of ideologues like you sir.

Really? How is defending factual history over this Texas historical-revisionist history "pushing a political agenda".

Defending this hideously anti-American agenda in Texas is an act of absolutely scurrilous hatred for the United States of America.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
I see our math studies less intensive then when I was in school. I think the extensive use of calculators has done that.

I also think that writing has fallen greatly, especially spelling. I do think that texting lingo has produced much of the student's lack of word knowledge. Knowing how to write complete sentences and paragraph structure seem lost as well. I also know that some of the writing rules have changed, or at least been bent.

I hope your school keeps your music program. It saddens me to see that as one of the first things to be considered for cuts.

Yes, we are probably closer than you think. I just tell my students that when they are about to be interviewed for a job, I want them to stand out as the better candidate. That is why they are in school in the first place.

Actually Jim, I teach at the university level in a college of music so no danger of music cuts there.
In his high school my son will take AP music theory next year , they seem to have a pretty good music program.

How is the level of writing in the AP classes at your school ?

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
Actually Jim, I teach at the university level in a college of music so no danger of music cuts there.
In his high school my son will take AP music theory next year , they seem to have a pretty good music program.


That's good. Here, all of the music programs are either "period 0" or "period 7" meaning before or after school.

My kids both abandoned instrumental playing at school when they had to decide to either go early or stay late. I think this is pretty dumb, really.

And there isn't a music theory class to speak of.

Quote:

How is the level of writing in the AP classes at your school ?

Pretty miserable in my opinion. I see what my AP offspring is writing, and it's not exactly pulitizer catagory, for sure.

My gripe here is the math curriculum. They have several very good teachers who are extremely good at teaching science and math, but not as part of the math and science curriculum, wherein they have to follow the craptastic math and science programs foisted on them.

The programs pretty much argue:

1) Science means "work hard and remember a lot of stuff"
and
2) Math means "you'll never understand this, just memorize the lot"

The teachers I refer to also teach other "occupational" classes like electronics, computer technology, etc, in which they actually teach students to understand, and in the electronics class, how to actually do some math.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

OK gotcha, athiest it is. Incidentally, where religious ferver is concerned, it's hard to beat the belief that man's activities are the cause of and potential cure for global warming .

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
OK gotcha, athiest it is. Incidentally, where religious ferver is concerned, it's hard to beat the belief that man's activities are the cause of and potential cure for global warming .

So, you argue that "belief is the process of looking at data and seeing clear, obvious, and established trends in global temperature measurements".

If that's what you're arguing you're nothing more than another denialist. What else do you deny? Does the sun in fact orbit the earth? Is the earth flat? How far do you go with your denial?

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
I see our math studies less intensive then when I was in school. I think the extensive use of calculators has done that.

I also think that writing has fallen greatly, especially spelling. I do think that texting lingo has produced much of the student's lack of word knowledge. Knowing how to write complete sentences and paragraph structure seem lost as well. I also know that some of the writing rules have changed, or at least been bent.

The same tendency is seen in most western countries I think. When I was in school 1959-69 most students could at least spell at an acceptable level. For 8 years I have worked closely with uni students, ph.d's and other "well educated" people considerably younger than myself, and a large percentage of them are unable to construct a correct sentence in their native lingo. I find that very disturbing.

Reading text on TV shows the same problem, reading newspapers also. The education system has failed when opting some things out, or changing it's prorities during the past 25-40 years.

Dyslexic? I believe that term has changed as well...

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

j-j,
here is an excellent site by one of our top climate scientists:
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

And for interesting takes on policy:

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:
j-j,
here is an excellent site by one of our top climate scientists:
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

Define "our".

Also, please be specific, are you presuming that I am endorsing Anthropomorphic warming?

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Quote:
j-j,
here is an excellent site by one of our top climate scientists:
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

Define "our".

Also, please be specific, are you presuming that I am endorsing Anthropomorphic warming?

I wasn't presuming anything. I find Pielke Sr.'s site to be one of the most educational. I thought you might find it interesting.

I'm not sure what you mean by "endorsing".

By our I simply meant he is internationally recognized in his field.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
j-j,
here is an excellent site by one of our top climate scientists:
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

Define "our".

Also, please be specific, are you presuming that I am endorsing Anthropomorphic warming?

I wasn't presuming anything. I find Pielke Sr.'s site to be one of the most educational. I thought you might find it interesting.

I'm not sure what you mean by "endorsing".

By our I simply meant he is internationally recognized in his field.

Hmm, now, how many internationally recognized people have different points of view?

Rather a lot, I'd say. After all, it is really easy to show the effects of CO2 on infrared radiation, and quite a few weather records seem to be rather convincing, as well. I don't find denial of the obvious very convincing, no matter who says it. I will say that I'm much less convinced of AGW than of GW, though.

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...

Dixieland made a good point. Global warming is partisan, for some reason.

Most conservatives deny global warming by virtue of being conservative.

Most liberals accept it by virtue of being liberal.

Kinda like the concept of evolution.

If a topic has the word "science" associated, it has devolved into being a elitist ploy, according to the right.

Any conservative here who can list the science the far right does believe in?

Gravity, or intelligent falling?

Expanding Universe?

Big Bang?

Time before 6,000 BC?

I'd love to see the list of far right approved science!

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Re: My kid's a good little Presbyterian...


Quote:

Did you hear about the dyslexic who sold his soul to Santa?

That's tragic. This is why we must help children with dailysex.

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