Communities should work together to keep kids in class

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  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 1, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    A child asking "why do I need to learn this?" is more a reflection on what he or she hears at home than how content is taught. The technologies are being used because that is the context of how today's students will use those skills when they enter the workforce.

    While our technologies have changed, we still need strong reading, writing, and mathematical skills. That won't change. A well-read employee will have better problem-solving skills. A better writer will also know how to communicate more effectively with co-workers. Strong math skills will help people budget their finances and keep their places of employment from financial disaster.

    I agree that students are tested too frequently, and we need better ways to assess their skills and knowledge. Perhaps if we allowed the teachers to make those judgment calls instead of the people who never step into the classroom, we would see better results.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 30, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick - um- no... my wife is an educator, and my company produces software used in many school districts called Curriculum Pathways. I step in to the class room regularly, and I hear about it across the dinner table daily. The school my wife teaches at is actually a school that is considered progressive in their teaching techniques - and scores well on EoGs. And yes, they have things like magic boards and the like. So I am a little aware of what is going on.

    But the end game is still the same. Assessing if a child knows the subject matter hasn't changed. Because some kid memorized a math formula doesn't mean they can put that skill to use in context. How often do your hear kids say "why do I need to learn this"? Testing doesn't prove a kid understands how to use a skill - just that they can memorize.

    The obsession with the three R is backwards. Putting the same material on a computer screen doesn't mean learning has been revitalized. Teaching through memorization doesn't teach kids how to think, interact or solve problems.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 30, 2013 3:23 p.m.


    I concur with The Real Maverick. What you say is pure nonsense. Teachers regularly use i-pads, cell phones, promethean boards, youtube, computers etc. They regularly have students produce products where they regularly required to use graphics, imbed videos, make presentations etc. Again, what you say is a great talking point but further from the truth and what the actual reality of what happens in schools today. Again, except the challenge, go to a school for more than just a 10-minute drop in visit and certainly go beyond what you hear on AM radio or what some disgruntled 15 year-old told you.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    "How we teach hasn't changed in two hundred years."

    When was the last time you stepped inside a classroom and actually stayed to watch the entire lesson?

    Simple question.

    I'm an educator and your comment couldn't be further from the truth.

    This is a problem we have in this state (in particular). It is complete and utter disrespect towards education from those who know absolutely NOTHING about education.

    If you truly feel like teaching techniques, procedures, strategies, styles, and materials haven't changed in 200 years then you really need to get out and visit a classroom.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Whatever you do, please don't forward this to any politician. The last thing you want to do is let a politician believe that he has an answer.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 29, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    What we need to do is not worry about forcing kids to stay in school.... but re-imiaging school and the learning process into something that is relevant for the next century, and something kids want to be part of.

    How we teach hasn't changed in two hundred years. And yet the world in which we live - has. Reading things from a book isn't the only way to learn anymore. A college degree isn't needed for many to gain the skills they need to support themselves and their families. We need to step back, scrap the existing notion of what the mission of a "school" is, and reinvent the process around the real world or kids are growing up in.

    For the great many, a two year trade certificate after high school is all they need to have the skills to compete in a global economy. Not everyone needs trig.... lets stop educating to silly notions of what is needed to be smart and rather teach to skills that will make kids be successful.