I don't disagree with Howard BealThese days you can't get
a job at Geneva. But, there is reality TV or Athletics.I have
listened to kids at the call center portion of where I work; its annoying to
listen to the mindless optimism while the English language is being butchered.
Re: the truth 5:12 p.m. Sept. 23, "liberalizing and leftestizing
our education system during the last 60 years is what has got us into this
mess."Is * leftestizing* a legitimate word? It does not matter.
Its superfluous & redundant.
RE: "Twenty-four percent of students at both grades eight and 12 performed
at the proficient level, meaning they were able to accomplish the communicative
purpose of their writing."Wrong! A correct claim might read,
"seventy-eight percent of students at grade eight performed at the Basic
level or higher, meaning they met or exceeded NAEP's grade level
expectations for eighth graders.From the National Assessment
Governing Board: [T]here is no mention of “at grade level”
performance in [NAEP achievement levels]. In particular, it is important to
understand clearly that the Proficient achievement level does not refer to
“at grade” performance. Nor is performance at the Proficient level
synonymous with “proficiency” in the subject. That is, students who
may be considered proficient in a subject, given the common usage of the term,
might not satisfy the requirements for performance at the NAEP achievement
level. Further, Basic achievement is more than minimal competency. Basic
achievement [C-/C] is less than mastery [B+/A-] but more than the lowest level
of performance on NAEP. Finally, even the best students you know may not meet
the requirements for Advanced performance on NAEP.
Re: one old man Ogden, UT"This is what happens when teachers are
expected to try to guide the progress of too many students."No,
this is what happens when parents don't spend the time to help educate
their children. When dad is in prison and mom is trolling for a new boyfriend
you certainly can't expect her to find the time to help little Johnny with
I think worf has a good point. My elementary age children go to 7 hours of
school and have at least 1 hour of homework a day. I think they learn more by
having time to explore after school rather than have to do homework. The other
day, they were up on a sand hill above the house playing archeologist. They
unearthed rocks and tried to classify them like dinosaur bones. In the hour or
so they were playing, I stayed out of the way and let them discover. They
probably learned more in that hour than they did at school that day. (By the
way, that is not a knock on schools, just an observation that kids still need
time to be kids in order to develop.)
A breakdown of a child's week:* 168 hours in a week* 56
hours of sleep* 55 hours of television and/or computer games* 35
hours at school----often more for tutorials * 8 hours getting ready, and
traveling to school* 7 hours of homeworkThis means 50 hours
of constant surveillance. They have no private time or space, and are
disciplined if they try to assert individuality in the use of their time.This leaves 8 hours a week to create a unique consciousness.How can students be creative writers when there's little background
experience to work with?I doubt Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Henry
Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, or the Wright Brothers were this limited with
having individual time.Perhaps less school would produce higher
educated people, and forget the crazy tests.
I'm not sure worf or The Truth actually know what is going on in the
schools. They just think they do. I would say ,if anything, English and
Numeracy are over taught in our schools. It has come at the expense of other
subjects. I will agree with worf that standardized tests are hurting education.
But I also caution them that the "good old days" were all that good. 50
years ago African-Americans were in different schools, 100 years ago, most women
weren't educated at all. And all generations have had high percentages of
illiterate students. It is the premium on literacy our economy now demands and
the actual tracking of data that has led to this "crisis" in education.
But when Johnny couldn't really read or write well 50 years go, he could
get a job at Geneva Steel and make a decent living. That is what has really
changed, not lower percentages of students lacking these skills. In fact,
students probably have more knowledge than any point in history and many
actually do write well. I even went through our public education system and can
write sentences with various sentence structure. Go figure...
the truth,Well stated.
Add to this factor the number of non-speaking English students thrust into the
education system daily so that teachers not only have to teach grammar and
sentence stucture, but also deal with children who don't even speak English
in the classroom. Scores probably reflect that problem. ESL should be mandatory
in schools. There is a program now in the fifth grade where students
practice writing a persuasive essay on a given subject matter on the computer
over a period of a few weeks. They then take a persuasive essay timed test on an
assigned subject on the computer. Scores are then recorded. It has been a great
experience to see how much this helps identfy problems for the student with a
teacher guiding them and getting them ready for the testing process.I have also noticed that the fad of texting on cell phones has limited
individuals' written ability as well as speaking ability by this
"shortcut" method of communication.
How many of us are really surprised by this report? When it is no longer
"kewl" to be able to write, read, or spell correctly, this is the
result. When parents refuse to become involved in their children's lives,
especially their education and allow their children to sit in front of video
games all day, not do homework, or hold them accountable for their grades, this
is the result. And it has nothing to do with "liberalizing"
education. It's a lack of priorities by most involved. My children know if
their grades are not at an acceptable level, they will not play video games,
participate in extra curricular activites. Homework is done before all other
things when they get home from school. If they need help, they ask.
I agree with WORFIt's not about large classes, bad teachers, or
lack of funding.But it is not politics is Political Correctness, and
wasting time teaching about sex, aand Liberal Pop science causes like global
warming and being green, and evolution, and acceptance for homosexuality,
tolerance and diversity training and how they think and feel about guns, and
socialist indoctrination and protesting, too much focus and money and time on
sports and other extracurriculars, teaching lefteat and liberal values, and so
forth,Get back to teaching the basics.That is all that
is needed. another test or another standard to follow will not
change anything.IF we are failing at math and science and writing,
it because we are not teaching it, nor taking the time to teach, not requiring
it, or excusing if little Timmy wants to draw offensive pictures rather than do
math.Get back to the basics, they have served us well the first 150
years.liberalizing and leftestizing our education system during the
last 60 years is what has got us into this mess.
Phred, you fell for it. I knew someone would. Understanding sarcasm also
requires mental exercise.
Jonathan,From the grammar advisory site Grammar Girl:"It's very important to remember that it's wrong to use good as
an adverb after an action verb. For example, it's wrong to say, "He
swam good."; Cringe! The proper sentence is He swam well, because swam is an
action verb and it needs an adverb to describe it. Remember, you can only use
adjectives such as good and bad after linking verbs, you can't use them
after action verbs."May I also suggest that a headline that
involves irony is ironic but the person who wrote the headline is being
ironical. I am not sure what meaning your incomplete sentence is meant to
convey.My favorite irritants are headline writers who insist on
writing in the present tense about something in the past as though it was still
going on; "Tractor Trailer Is Involved in Crash. It was horrible!"
At the state agency in which I was employed, the 'writing' was
horrendous, from the very top of the organizational food chain, down. In fact,
there were some at the 'lower' ends that were markedly more skilled,
in not just writing but in having an understanding of the organizational
workings and needs. How some administrative types attained their respective
positions was a continual source of both bemusement and irony. So, not
surprising given the findings stated in this article. 3Rs would go a long way.
U gotta b kiddin! No way. LOL. I have to tell my BFF about all of this. I
have to C this report to believe it cuz i think its wrong. L8R...
The vast majority of adults are also very poor writers. It is not a skill that
is valued by our society.
Let's quit making excuses.It's not large classes, bad
teachers, or lack of funding.It,s called politics. It's so
well disguised, and people just can't see it for what it is.How's those tests coming along?
I taught computer literacy as a college adjunct for 10 years, and I had my
students write a lot of reports. I found that a high majority of them
couldn't write very well. They didn't know simple things like
sentence-construction and basics of grammar. They seemed to write like they
spoke -- short statements, no complete sentences.
How ironical. The title of this article should read ‘Most secondary school
students can't write GOOD’
This is what happens when teachers are expected to try to guide the progress of
too many students. It takes time -- a lot of time -- for a teacher to provide
proper evaluation and guidance of students' writing. It's impossible
to do that when class sizes are too large.Add to that the fact that
teachers are fighting a terrific battle against shortcuts that make
"communication" between teens an almost completely foreign language.CU2NITE?The two cute comments from a couple of our regular
critics of teachers above reflect the reluctance of too many Americans to try to
find solutions to a huge and growing problem. One of them even reflects the
writer's lack of proper grammar.But they have all the answers.
Just ask them.(Then again. Maybe that's not such a good idea.)
Wait until you see what's in the pipeline.
How's the standardized tests working out?