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    #175588 - 11/22/13 09:36 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: Gardengirl09]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Gardengirl09
    KADmom, we must live in the same district! Attending their scripted meetings make me crazy:-)


    Then we all live here. Who knew? wink

    In all seriousness, I have no idea WHAT to do, KADmom. Bostonian has given you some really good ideas.

    I just fear that the forces driving some of these shifts are about money and numbers, and that we have neither of those things on our side in advocating for GT education.

    My DD's school has fired teachers, in spite of (as you noted) not being able to hire them fast enough to even keep up with attrition as it is. They definitely control the message, and heaven help you if you refuse to cooperate or play along. They will retaliate. We've seen it this year in how they've treated my DD's disability accommodations. It's just shy of actionable, and no way do I truly think that is accidental.

    I'm just so tired that I can't really think of what to try next. I have tried everything I can think of-- parent advisory boards, application to be "selected" for a parent seat on the board (mysteriously, the current member opted to "stay on" in light of my packet, which they never even acknowledged receiving in the first place)... talking with curriculum and instruction administration, etc. etc. etc.





    cry
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #175590 - 11/22/13 09:42 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    KADmom, many people on this forum have bad experience with their schools and districts. But what you are describing in this and your other thread
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...early_educ.html
    is in a completely different league.

    The people running your schools are severely wacko, and someone needs to shine a spotlight on these bizarre practices. You have to go to the media about this and bring the intense scrutiny this deserves.



    Well, while having NO adult in the classroom (as reported in the first post in this thread) is certainly beyond the pale, everything else is stuff I was playing Cassandra about two years ago with Pearson's takeover of Connections (my DD's school).

    There is so much rigidity and so little understanding of what education even is in this model that it is crazymaking. Truly crazymaking.

    The people running this show from the top-down honestly believe (or they've drunk the Kool-Aid, anyway) that "education" can be "optimized" by mechanizing the process and removing the pesky "inconsistencies" produced when one allows individual teachers to script or interact with children and curricular objectives. Teachers are (I'm really not kidding here) seen more as a potential liability (a source of human error) than anything else, and curricular goals/benchmarks ARE the ultimate goals in the model.

    It's not education that they are seeking-- it's efficient operant conditioning.

    sick

    But you can't say that. Well-- you can. But there is nobody listening. The only people who can hear that message are just as powerless to respond to it as we parents are.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #175595 - 11/22/13 09:53 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: KADmom
    ...I fear that this misguided drive to standardize education and improve test scores is happening all across the country, and if not, at least in certain pockets.


    I'm going to put in a plug for standards here. The Common Core is probably the single best development in US education in decades.

    Our education system has serious problems. Fads like whole language reading, math with no right answers, and goofy tricks for solving problems are the norm. With so few subject experts teaching, there's a lot of susceptibility to these fads. The Common Core fixes a lot of that because the standards were developed by experts.

    I agree with HowlerKarma (in another thread) that the rollout has been imperfect. However, the schools are as much to blame for this problem as anyone. It's not like someone came along and gave them a month to get ready. The change was scheduled and announced THREE YEARS ago.

    Personally, my fear is that the textbook manufacturers aren't up to the task of writing books that accurately reflect the standards. The problem is worsened in math because many K-8 teachers don't understand mathematics. Many of them were taught fads or just had to memorize. Plus, contemporary textbooks don't offer any information about why stuff works, either.

    So, it's no wonder that so many teachers are having trouble, but again, the schools have all known that the CC was coming for a long time. So did the textbook people. They all had plenty of time to look at this stuff and get ready. That's what professionals do.

    I agree that the situation may be very frustrating for students and parents. But I also ask myself how many parents have bothered to look closely at the standards (very few, I suspect) and how many approached their school boards in 2010 or 2011 to ask how their schools were getting ready for the CC rollout. And I wonder how many parents are being fooled with misinformation coming from the shouters among us (a lot, I suspect).




    Edited by Val (11/22/13 09:59 AM)

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    #175602 - 11/22/13 10:40 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    Ah. So you've BTDT. This is not encouraging, but what you say rings true. I guess we're all along for the misguided ride whether we want to be or not.

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    #175603 - 11/22/13 10:44 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: Val]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    Val, I have two friends who have my utmost respect and are both experts in their fields of education and they both conclude the standards are excellent and what our children need. Their analysis is that the standards suggest teaching go deeper and more focused. Less skimming of the surface of unnecessary things.

    That said, standards are not the same as standardized education, a one-size fits all idea: lets bomb the data producers (children) with a middle of the road curriculum and hope some of it sticks.


    Edited by KADmom (11/22/13 10:46 AM)

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    #175606 - 11/22/13 10:50 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: KADmom

    That said, standards are not the same as standardized education, a one-size fits all idea: lets bomb the data producers (children) with a middle of the road curriculum and hope some of it sticks.


    ITA.

    KADmom, aside from standards etc - were you able to verify that your ds' class was left without a teacher in the room for that entire day? That would have me very concerned - and I'm sure it's against your school district policy. That one thing would have had me on the phone to the principal first and then the school district superintendent.

    polarbear

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    #175608 - 11/22/13 10:55 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: polarbear]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    It was one class, his morning class and apparently the other science teacher down the hall popped in for a minute to give them something to do then left to be with her class. Ds says they did what was asked of them and then talked amongst themselves. I imagine the principal is aware of the snafu and complaining about it after the fact might be counterproductive. Needless to say, I am keeping tabs on what goes on in there and luckily my ds is open with me.
    I have a feeling that class is bonding nicely at the moment (being facetious here, but also not).

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    #175611 - 11/22/13 11:10 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Common standards are good I feel. The problem is that when they are measured by testing and the results are reported etc kids get taught only what is in the test. That has obvious problems.

    Also the whole point of having teachers is they can adjust and re-explain in a way that works for each kid. This doesn't work with a script (i thought you had teachers'unions?) or if the teacher is rigid and unsympathetic.

    Like i said on another thread if you are going to give the teachers a script and not let them deviate from it you don't need trained teachers. It is hugely insulting to them to suggest they use such a script and i am not surprised if the ones that can afford it are leaving.

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    #175614 - 11/22/13 11:20 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: KADmom
    It was one class, his morning class and apparently the other science teacher down the hall popped in for a minute to give them something to do then left to be with her class. Ds says they did what was asked of them and then talked amongst themselves. I imagine the principal is aware of the snafu and complaining about it after the fact might be counterproductive. Needless to say, I am keeping tabs on what goes on in there and luckily my ds is open with me.


    It's secondary school then, right? Sorry I forgot and thought it was elementary. This scenario wouldn't bother me smile

    polarbear

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    #175616 - 11/22/13 11:36 AM Re: Losing Ground for Gifted Advocacy. [Re: KADmom]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    I'm not a math teacher, and my children aren't school age yet, so I have no real experience with CC. Having said that, my sister-in-law is a high school math teacher currently teaching CC and she is not a fan.

    I just read this synopsis:

    http://math.berkeley.edu/~wu/CommonCoreVI.pdf

    and it leads me to believe that CC is largely the answer to made-up problems. They want me to believe that understanding similar triangles is a prerequisite for understanding the slope of a line? I don't buy that. I don't believe that everyone comes to an understanding of the slope of a line in the same way. A geometrically minded person might envision triangles. An arithmetically minded person may be happy to understand it as a ratio. Someone with cycling experience may imagine hills of different grades. Let's consider a line with a slope of 0, or infinite slope. Where are their triangles now?

    One of the things my sister-in-law is dealing with is asking high school students who are currently learning English to explain all their math steps. It seems that CC is injecting more english into math class, and in doing so, they are inhibiting these students in the single area where they used to be uninhibited.

    Beyond that, I put myself in the place of these students who are asked to "show" and "explain" mathematical concepts, and I ponder what that implies. Does anyone know? Are they looking for paragraphs? Pictures? Movies? I tend to think in moving pictures. How often will teachers mark the explanations of gifted students as wrong because they don't understand them? How will this affect students on the autistic spectrum?

    All in all, I'm not impressed. I am an engineer, and I make use of mathematical properties daily that I can't recall the names of. A concept by any other name works just the same, after all. I've commented before that I see mathematics as its own language, and offering a written explanation of a mathematical concept is asking for an unnecessary translation.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with students demonstrating mastery by solving numerous varied problems on a theme. What goes on in their heads is their own business, and their ability to relate that to others is an issue wholly distinct from mathematical mastery.

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