Showing posts with label Myth of Collapsing Schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Myth of Collapsing Schools. Show all posts

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Global Parents

A recent discussion with my daughter's principal regarding the image below

ended up going a lot longer than I expected (nearly 30 minutes!) and produced a term that I'm going to be using a lot on this site: Global Parents.

The biggest challenge in education today are the parents. There isn't even an issue that comes close. Our schools aren't collapsing. In fact they are doing much better these days (more on that in a future post). It is the parents that are collapsing. Crappy parents, far too many crappy parents, are the reason why our country's education system has problems. At the crux of their shittastic personalities is the flaw of being in constant negotiation mode over the grades their child receives. This, in turn, leads to the much larger problem of not understanding what globalization truly means.

Many parents thinks their child deserves a better grade and they constantly whine about how they think their child did enough for an A. They are essentially fighting for and rewarding mediocrity. Ultimately, this type of approach works against the future of their children as they are inadequately preparing them for the future. If we are going to be competitive in the global marketplace and continue to be a superpower, it must start with excelling at the core subjects. They have to think globally, not locally. In the moment of trying to finagle a good grade for their son or daughter they miss the bigger picture. Do they honestly think that Chinese parents are bartering for a better grade when their kid did average work?

We always talk about demanding more of our children and our education system. But what about the parents?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Getting Better

The National Center For Education Statistics released its 2013 report card and much to the dismay of right wing bloggers everywhere, it shows improved reading and math scores for both 4th and 8th graders. Granted, the improvement is small and there still is an obvious achievement gap issue (which, in the bubble, means "Who gives a fuck? They are all lazy") but it clearly shows that we are geed in the right direction.

For those of you who have trouble with the English language, that means not collapsing:)

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Harmful Myth of Collapsing Schools

One of the most cherished tactics of the Right is to find a policy (health care, immigration, budget...whatever), find the flaws, and then blame anyone who isn't exactly aligned with their moonbattery about what to do regarding that issue. It's very convenient because there are always going to be flaws so they will always be able to find something. Nothing is perfect. Well, check that. Inside the bubble, everything they do is perfect despite reality (see: self delusion). Never is this more true than with the issue of education. Everything is terrible, they say, because liberal ideology has taken over and our students are stupid as a result. They point to test scores and other bits of information from the right wing blogsphere that "proves" public education is a failure.

A recent piece in Politico posits the question...what if a big part of our problem is this exact mentality? And not even close to being true besides? As the cartoon below this posts illustrates, we know full well the agenda of the Right. Those on the left that complain about education invariably want more money or power for their particular corner of the world so their intentions aren't all that much better. Yet, as the piece shows, we aren't really doing that bad and we should take reports of our "collapsing schools" with a grain of (actually, a giant boulder of) salt.

Then again, we’re 32nd on just one test. American kids do better relative to the world — though they’re still far from elite — on the PISA science and reading exams. And they do better as well on a different, equally respected, international math test known as TIMSS. On the most recent TIMSS test, from 2011, American eighth-graders handily outscored seven nations that had the edge on the U.S. in the 2009 PISA exam, including Great Britain, Australia — and, yes, Slovenia. Fourth-graders rocked the TIMSS test even more: They came out ahead of a dozen countries that had beaten the U.S. on the PISA exam.

Exactly right. You have to look at more than one test. And how about that ol' China canard?

As for China, it doesn’t participate as an entire nation; only students from three relatively wealthy regions — Shanghai, Macao and Hong Kong — are tested. That’s important to note because income correlates with success on standardized tests.

If the entire country was tested (as we are), China's scores would be considerably lower.

Ms. Simon does an excellent job of blowing up several of the myths about the state of our education system. The next time you see a story about how awful our schools are, please kindly refer to this article.