School Reforms?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Archwar, May 5, 2015.

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  1. This stems from this thread,

    Hello people of the Nation of Iwaku! I read the 'Is school even needed' and decided to make a debate thread about if school needs reform or not and if it needs a reform what kind?

    I live in what used to be the good U.S. of A before a bunch of potheads took office and began planting their weed all over the country so I say there must be major reform. Heck, the school I' going to now is going under renovation AFTER 50 YEARS OF EXISTING! Seriously, from what I was told duck tape was used to hold the pipes. ;_;, that's not very safe.

    Yet again, I do live in an area where more potheads run office so I don't know what is going on with the other schools currently.

    As of right now, I believe we need to change the grading scale where I live(cause it is stupid and idiotic) and we need to get rid of 'Standardized Testing' because it is a waste of my time when we're suppose to be learning. There's also no common sense classes which we desperately need and we need to have some more Field Trips as that not makes school fun, but also teaches how a person can function in today's world. All it is nowadays are 'test, test, and tests!'.

    Now, that might be more of a rant than a debate, but people can suggest what reforms need to be done or if there's no need. Chatter away my countryfolk! ​
  2. First, could you please not center the goddamn text. I am getting a migraine.
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  3. Where the fuck do you live? Why does it matter if people smoke anyway? Why not denounce alcohol and tobacco while you're at it? Stuff that actually kills people.

    Stuff's getting expensive in my area.

    Also, schools are built to fucking last. Fifty years is a good lifetime for a school. It's my job and career to handle taking care of schools, if it was done properly and well with only needed upgrades (AC, wiring, piping) then half of a century is plenty of time. It's also spelled 'duct' tape. As in used to hold ducts and pipes, that's the tape's job.
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  4. To be fair, duck tape is a brand, and if I remember correctly, duct tape as we know it was invented back in WWII in anticipation of the D-Day landings where they needed to make a water proof adhesive to secure equipment to vehicles and troops that could be quickly removed when it was needed during the assault.

    Anyways, that's another topic for another day.

    A thing that I heard some places are trying out is they're axing final exams because it's kind of fucked up to having around 30% of your final grade ride on a single test at the end of the year that doesn't really test your ability to retain what you learned, just your short-term memory and ability to cram shit from text books. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.

    Another thing I think they need to do away with is homework, ESPECIALLY in college. I didn't pay thousands of dollars to take a class to have a fucking professor tell me that I need to read and do entire chapters of the textbook for homework instead of learning it in class. I pay you to educate me. I don't think homework is an effective thing, and the only time it makes sense is for projects. I don't feel it enriched my school experience, it was just more tedious shit to do when I got home, which is something most jobs don't even heap on you. If you want to teach kids about time management, give them some time in class to do that shit and then if they don't finish, they take home what they missed to do. Teachers need to realize they aren't the only class kids are taking, so giving one kid hours of homework for one subject is screwing over their other courses. I also suspect homework's a huge reason school rubs people the wrong way and causes a lot of undue stress and needless pressure. Education should help kids learn, not be heaped out as a punishment.
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  5. @Windsong, if duct tape( and I thank you or catching that) was used to hold pipes together then chances were that one of the pipes could have dropped down and harmed people. I also didn't say we should have tore the school down, just that I believe that the school should have gotten fixed earlier so they didn't have to use the tape which could have gone into something else.

    Also, I meant the potheads in a metaphorical sense, cause you don't want one acting as a Senator now do you? And when I meant by planting their weed I meant they're planting their stupid ideas all across the country. Yes, I do know there's good people in office, but it seems that the potheads have the upperhand for now.

    I also thank you @Dervish for point that out for I did not know.

    I do agree with you. If a student manages it in class then they shouldn't have to do mountains of homework. We also have those really smart kids who get As on tests, but don't do their homework.
  6. Those are really really bad metaphors to try and use for debate. Especially if you're using it as some kind of derogatory term for people in office. I'd rather they be pot smokers than snorting cocaine or alcoholics honestly.

    On duct tape, I doubt that they would be using it to hold pipes up when there's a possibility of harming someone. To seal them or something, sure, but not as structural support, those are what zip ties and metal is for.
  7. I don't mean it in a derogatory sense. As for duct tape, I also do doubt that, but I wasn't there and thus have to check the sources.
  8. I'll copy the same post I made in the last thread about this.

    So much these!

    How I missed these obvious factors in my above list is beyond me completely.
  9. Well, I'll ignore the stuff about building maintenance because that's more a case by case issue than a problem affecting the whole schooling system. I'm also from the US, so some of my complaints and ideas might not apply elsewhere, and I'm just going to hit a few broad topics rather than trying to be comprehensive.

    First and foremost, the central focus on standardized testing needs to be done away with. Standardized tests can serve a good purpose. Those mandatory statewide and nationwide standardized tests to gauge the average proficiency level of students in certain schools and areas is fine. What's not okay is tying school funding to standardized test scores, especially not in the backwards way it's done now. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 made it so schools have to administer those tests else they'll lose funding, and if a school gets bad scores they risk losing certain kinds of funding as well. This is ridiculous: we should be helping struggling schools, not taking funds away and forcing them to make cuts when they're already clearly struggling. As if that wasn't bad enough, some schools have also put in place systems where teachers only get pay raises if their classes do well on the big tests, and that's also pretty bad. Furthermore, putting so much importance on the results of these specific standardized tests makes it so teachers are pressured to teach the test, not to teach a full and good curriculum. They have to shove the material covered by the test into the heads of their students, so they can't afford to make many fun detours to keep them engaged, they can't let students go explore their own interests in the subject because that stuff probably ain't on the test, and anything not on the test may not get adequate (or any) coverage at all.

    After getting through the very basic level of things, students need to be grouped by skill rather than randomly by age. Having an extremely disparate classroom means the teacher has no good options to teach them all appropriately, because unless things get down to a very small student per teacher ratio there simply won't be enough time to give each kid individual attention. That leaves them with a few bad choices: teach to the highest achievers and leave everyone else behind, teach to the bottom achievers and leave the quicker kids restless with their potential unfulfilled, or teach to the average to go half and half on those previous problems. This competency-based grouping ought to be on a subject by subject basis as well, because someone very gifted in math won't necessarily be great in all other areas. There could be some age gating to keep things from getting too chaotic, but seriously, not all 10 year old kids are going to have the same level of ability in all subjects, so why are they just randomly lumped together? It's silly.

    Then there's the whole pipe dream package that can be summarized with "give schools a lot more funding." Just a solid cash infusion used wisely could lead to more equitable funding for schools in low income areas, a much higher teacher to student ratio, updated supplies and curriculum for all that lag behind, repairs to ancient and shitty buildings, more extracurricular activities, more field trips, so on and so forth.

    That's pretty much all that's needed on the large scale, as far as I'm concerned. Almost every other needed change comes down to quibbling about the curriculum, and that's too much of an annoying mire to bother with at the moment.
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  10. Now this I agree with.
  11. Ms. Opinionated here. Also, Ms. Common-Core-Needs-to-go-Fuck-Itself-and-Die-in-a-Hole.

    I hate the way education is handled. I mean yeah, school is pretty necessary and important. But school reform? If you asked me, we'd redo the entire system.

    You need free periods. Even if its so kids can take a nap or catch up on homework or heck, GO OUTSIDE. Our school, which recently achieved top re-accreditation scores, only lets the seniors go outside and only for ONE MONTH before they graduate. I miss the sun. I'm either inside the school doing work, doing work to get paid, or doing work for school at home. No wonder I'm taking pills for vitamin D. Most of our windows are, for whatever reason, COLORED IN RED or have a concrete slab over them. Which I mean, I get it; keeps the water and snow and dirt off. But it also hides all the sun???

    And more on free periods; gives kids in school time to get help and do work. I hate teachers that say "Well if you need help [with this thing I just taught you today] for the test [tomorrow, including content just learned today] then come after". No, I can't stay after on a given day just because you want me to. You explained this lesson like shit and now my test grade will suffer because I couldn't stay after the day before a test you JUST ANNOUNCED on material WE JUST LEARNED. But if you had a free period to go get help...

    Shorter classes. When you're sitting in a class you don't want to be sitting in, the shorter the class, the more focused kids will be. We used to have double blocks in middle school and about 20 minutes into the second block, everyone just gave up with the pretense of trying. I remember playing with water droplets on the table and pipettes in science class. If you really need that class to be an hour + long, split it up with a break inbetween.

    Rules on phone use. Let kids use it on the aforementioned needed breaks. Let kids use it when they aren't doing any work in class (I get yelled at so many times for finishing my work early and then moving onto other work or opening a book. Teachers would rather have me stare at walls than do something else productive. Thanks.). Let them use it at lunch. And if cheating really is a problem... 1) Don't use stupid, guessable wifi codes, 2) Proctor the test instead of SITTING ACROSS THE ROOM ON YOUR COMPUTER. I was surrounded by 3 kids cheating on a quiz today because the teacher sits on her computer while we test. You are busy, I get it. But if you don't want kids to cheat, don't put the problem kids across the room and proceed NOT TO WATCH THEM.

    Tests. Can they not be a huge part of grades? Not everyone is a good test taker, and besides; tests are the skill of memory, not the skill of knowledge. I memorize vocab terms and then regurgitate them onto my paper. Tests and quizzes reflect on 1) how often I make silly mistakes on math while trying to get my work done in a certain time period and 2) how well I remember random tidbits of information you didn't tell us was on the exam. I think the only tests I take on skill are those where you have to write an essay or problem solve in math, the latter being quite rare. They are stressful as heck and sure as hell don't help the teaching process. You can use them as a benchmark, sure, but why are they such a huge part of our grade?

    And standardized testing.... Firstly, no one cares (the students), secondly, YOU CAN'T STANDARDIZE EDUCATION, and thirdly, how is this helping us learn? Seriously. How is this helping us learn. Is it keeping some kids back from further education? Heck yes. So is it helping them learn? No. It's only real use is to gauge the level students are at, but does it really even do that well? How can you standardize something with so many variables?

    And the way we sort kids out. It should be by experience. Start us out by age but then sort it into skill. I guess everyone would start out in a similar age group, but then you'd have a lot more skipping grades or whatever, only it wouldn't be grades, because that's a shitty way of marking progress. If a first grader is taking really well to math, bump them to a faster paced class. Don't wait until high school to start splitting kids up into that sort of thing. And honestly, I'd be happy if grades/levels didn't exist. You have the set classes you need to take (yes, everyone needs some math and history) and then a certain number of classes you can choose to take of interest (you know, so you are prepared to have a future instead of leaving high school not knowing how to pay your taxes or run a business or anything) and then you can graduate. Something like that.

    I mean the problem with it all is that it's so different than what we have now, that implementing it and formulating it in a way that is solid and WORKS is hard. But its necessary. We can't group kids by age. We can't expect kids to sit in a school for 8 hours and LEARN. Where did we get the idea of "Sit in a room, listen to a lecture, and learn" from?

    And i know my post here isn't very coherent. It's mostly an angry rant. But it's things that really do need fixing.
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  12. If I remember correctly, the Germans have free periods. So, AMERICA WAKE THE HECK UP AND LEARN FROM THE GERMANS!
  13. I hate seeing movies of American schools with free periods. Most don't. And then you look at other countries and their gorgeous free period... I can feel the freedom slipping awayyy

    Yeah, like that will do anything. Unless it is A) Massive, B) Distributes the school system, or C) Violence.
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  15. I can't tell if this is a legitimate conservative view of yours or a clever satire of conservative views.
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  16. Neurologically speaking, the human brain isn't designed to do what the Western school system wants it to. There's a fair bit of research against things like standardized tests...but nobody seems to be seriously implementing these discoveries.

    In my opinion, curriculums are watered down these days. I took the highest level courses I could at my highschool and left feeling like all I did was memorize and regurgitate useless information for four years.

    I don't want to start prattling about how it should be fixed, though, because I don't think there is a quick fix.
  17. You made some good points. :)

    Some of which I'm adding to a list I'm storing/compiling so next time one of these pops up I have a bunch of criticisms ready to go.
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  18. Just thought of another one.
    Also try to sort classes my learning styles.

    One issue that can happen is too many varying learning needs in a classroom, with the Teacher only being human and on a time constraint there's only so many learning styles they can properly accommodate and appeal to.
    If Classes were sorted though to not only be on skill level rather than age, but also on how one learns it would allow far more teacher/student compatibility, and put less stress/demand on the Teacher to cover as many styles as possible, and instead have the luxury of specializing and focusing on one or two without fear of rejecting or leaving out most of the class.
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  19. I come from reading most of the posts on that thread about if schools were needed or not, and I've read this thread, and I'm surprised at the kind of things you people are saying about your schools o.O I'm argentinian, and on top of it, I live in a relatively small city. We're not a rural town, but we aren't Buenos Aires either.

    People here complaining about the workload in highschool, on top of all the homework they get, which apparently is worth several hours of extra work at home a day. I don't say I wanted to be a slave to the school back then, but I wish I either had a greater workload, or they compressed schooltime to only two days instead of five. What we did in five days could be easily compressed in little time. I finished all my work in class, and then couldn't do anything more. I wasn't allowed to play in my cellphone, read something else, bringing all my drawing supplies with me wasn't possible so I could only doodle in class... I feel like I lost too much time in highschool, and that's awful.

    Almost directly related to this: I agree kids should be grouped together according to skill. I was the overachiever kind of girl during both elementary and high school, because all of my school partners ended up dragging the class slower and slower, saying everything was too hard, or they were given too much material to read (30 pages a month is not too much, that's a page per day). I blame my inability to concentrate and frustation when I have big workloads, because I spent all my life in a school were I didn't need to put more than 10min per assignment.

    I also wish there were more options to choose what you want to study, on top of a fixed program. There isn't even a single optional subject in high school. And in college it's the same. I'm studying civil engineering, I have to pass about 40-45 subjects in order to graduate (I don't remember the exact number). From those, only TWO subjects in the whole career are optional. For those two, you get to choose just from four different subjects, and sometimes they can't teach you the subject you asked for because there is no teacher. Being in a small university sucks sometimes. -_-

    Dress code was another big problem in my school. The first three years, one could use whatever they wanted as long as it was decent. Then they decided that, despite girls being minors and not being able to choose if their bodies developed curves or not, their bodies were distracting, and they enforced a school uniform on girls only. I saw boys breaking the older dress code and nobody gave a fuck, but a girl would be sent home to change if she showed up with regular clothes instead of uniforms. I went straight to the principal -a woman- and told her how sexist it was, and she didn't care.
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