It’s too easy to blame the student

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2008 at 5:09 pm

It’s too easy to blame the student, but the problem of education is not just what walks into a classroom. If you provide a math curriculum that doesn’t get the job done and you have a school that just passes kids along, then what do you think their attitude will be when they walk into algebra class.

Our schools provide happy learning in K-6 where kids will learn “when they are ready”. Then, all of a sudden, kids have to take responsibility for their own learning no matter what the school does or does not do. Some kids do well, so the assumption is that when kids do poorly, it must be their own fault. However, most schools don’t want to know about all of the support (reteaching and tutoring) kids get at home. I reteach at home with Singapore Math, but the school must think that his good grades are due to Everyday Math. It’s a simple thing to ask parents. Most schools don’t.

Maybe it helps to look at less disaffected K-6 kids. When kids get to sixth grade without knowing their times table, the question shouldn’t be how the teacher is going to get the kids ready to take standardized tests. The question is why are they in sixth grade to begin with?

If you wait long enough, all problems look like they are the fault of the kids. Perhaps some are, but schools have to have some way to separate the issues. Most don’t even try. It’s too easy to blame the student.

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  1. Do you ever take a break from this math stuff? Not every kid or everybody’s kid has a problem with math. Some kids do just fine. Others do just great. If your kid has a problem with math, get him or her the help he or she needs. It’s not as much of a community-wide problem as you think. IT’S YOUR PROBLEM!!!

  2. PJ,

    Now that the election is over we see teachers crwling out from the wood work to comment.

    Gee, sounds like math and education in this village are STILL a hot topic.

    I wondr why? Could it be that we are in trouble her.

    It is obvious that a lot of parents don’t want to confront the issue and are afraid to speak out. Are even afraid to admit we have a problem re: the BOE election results.

    It is sad to see this lack of courage from so many.

    I do not put much faith in the BOE addressing the issue any time soon.

    Why should they, they see the results as vindication of their current do nothing policy.

  3. Regina is now being slammed by teachers. How interesting.

    There a probably a few principals who feel the same way.

    But there is that code of silence in Ridgewood.

    More than anything in this village, people hate to admit that we have a problem.

    And when people do bring it up they are labeled, smeared and vilified by the status quo establishment.

    One wonders why people are so willing to defend the indefensible.

    What do they have to lose by admitting a problem and then moving quickly to solve it?

  4. Do you ever take a break from this math stuff…no 1244 its still a problem this election just made it worse and this fuzzy math is destrying the school system ,btw you need to learn how to add to be a productive adult

  5. 12:44, if what you said reflects your true feelings, than please be aware that many, MANY others had these same feelings, but over time, and with enough attention to the subject, were brought to a quite different understanding of that same issue.

    In other words, your ignorance is showing, and you should educate yourself. One way to do so is to sift through archived postings on this blog using such keywords as TERC, Everyday, Botsford, constructivist, Saxon, Singapore, etc. Good luck, and keep a barf bag handy.

  6. The reason Math and education is “still” an issue, is that nothing was resolved by the BOE election. The election only exasperated the situation.

    Children deserve a better education than they are getting for 84 million dollars a year!!!

    Let’s see 5200 children divided by $84 million equals somewhere in the ballpark of $16 grand per kid.

    Do you really think they are receiving $16k worth of education?

    And that does not include what the HSAa kick in.

  7. It’s too easy to blame the student.
    It’s too easy to blame the teachers.

    Why don’t you blame management?

    Who is in charge of making sure the teachers have a small number of students and classes so they can mentor each one? Who is in charge of the guidance counselors who should call a kid down when they see his grades dropping? Who is in charge of purchasing curriculum so that teachers don’t need to spend hours “creating” supplemental material? Who schedules our teachers to have more than 100 students a semester?

  8. You should not be blaming just the teachers and the students. Try blaming the parents as well. If you don’t teach your children the value of education by making them do homework and study, then you are very much to blame for their failure or struggles. It’s about teaching reponsibility and expectations. It’s not all about who is friends with who, or what sports they play. Teach your children to take responsibility for their education!

  9. “NCLB is the wrong solution because it says we’re going to close this gap by giving the children of this school district 5 tests, 5 years in a row and give the school district money based on how they do on the test. And then they wink at the commonwealth of PA, the congress
    does, and they say don’t worry about this too much because you can pick the test and the passing score.
    Now you may find this hard to believe but I actually remember what it was like to be in high school, and I was quite good in math. I mean really good. But I was terrible in physics. I couldn’t get it to save my life, and I still don’t get it very well. I read every book on physics that is published because I’m determined to get it before
    I die. Back in school I would have done anything to be able to write my final exam and determine what my passing score is. I’d take the 10 easiest questions and you would get to do the exam on your own, baby. And you all are laughing, but you get the point.
    If you pick a hard test with a high score, and say come on, let’s don’t get excited, it may take a decade but we’ll close the funding gap. If you did that, your school would lose its federal money.
    Which would be a disaster, since already 80% of our schools are
    dealing with this unfunded mandate. And they have to cut back on history, economics and political science and music and the arts.
    It’s already a disaster for many places, you can’t do that.
    Instead, you take an easy test with low score, you get your check every year and over time your students will learn less. Which is why the teachers and the students and the parents and the teachers can’t stand this. We should change this, it is not working.”

    Bill Clinton, from a recent speech in PA.

  10. i love it blame the customer ,only in education the board knows better than everyone but is responsable for nothing what a joke !

  11. “Try blaming the parents as well.”

    Therefore, a school can’t do anything about determining whether they are doing a good job? Nonsense! Besides, I thought schools were supposed to provide educational opportunities to kids who don’t have parents who care.

    I would like to see a list of exactly what schools want parents to do, rather than some vague sort of agenda that absolves all of the schools’ problems.

    Schools really don’t know what makes some kids successful and some not. They just know that many get support at home. Maybe they think that this just means talking about the value of education and making them do their homework. It’s much more than that. Schools should try asking parents. They would get an earful.

    How many parents have gotten notes from school that ask them to practice basic math facts at home? This is especially annoying when parents know that it isn’t being done in class. You better put this on the list of things you ask parents to do. How many parents have spent hours upon hours filling in learning gaps required for school homework or projects? You better add this to the list of things you expect parents to do.

    My son is a good student not just because I stress education and make him do his homework. I do a whole lot more than that. I supplement, reteach, and fill in gaps.

    I make sure learning gets done!

    The school does not do that. You better make sure that you put that on top of the list of things you want parents to do. A parent can’t just sit there and tell kids to do homework they are not able to do.

    This doesn’t have to be some sort of vague guessing or blaming game, but it’s the school’s responsibility to find out what works and what doesn’t. Most schools don’t even try.

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