- There are NO bad schools unless we are talking about schools that are falling apart, because they are starving for funds to repair and update the infrastructure
Americans believe a lack of financial support is the biggest problem currently facing public schools, according to the 44th annual Phil Delta Kappa International/Gallup poll of public attitudes toward public schools released Wednesday, but they also say that balancing the federal budget is more important than improving the quality of education. – Governing.com
- There are NO FAILING schools except when VAM is used to measure them and VAM has been proven to be misleading and does NOT work.
As is the case in every profession that requires complex practice and judgments, precision and perfection in the evaluation of teachers will never be possible. Evaluators may find it useful to take student test score information into account in their evaluations of teachers, provided such information is embedded in a more comprehensive approach. What is now necessary is a comprehensive system that gives teachers the guidance and feedback, supportive leadership, and working conditions to improve their performance, and that permits schools to remove persistently ineffective teachers without distorting the entire instructional program by imposing a flawed system of standardized quantification of teacher quality. – Problems with the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers from the Economic Policy Institute
- There is poverty and very little is being done to deal with it
The negative effects of poverty on all levels of school success have been widely demonstrated and accepted; the critical question for us as a caring society is, can these effects be prevented or reversed? A variety of data are relevant to this question, and recent research gives us reason to be both positive and proactive. The impact of poverty on educational outcomes for children, U.S. National Library of Medicine
- Some families are dysfunctional
Communities and schools are currently facing unprecedented levels of unmet mental health needs, and children with emotional or behavioral challenges are less likely to learn while at school. Dysfunctional Family Structures and Aggression in Children: A Case for School-Based, Systemic Approaches With Violent Students
- Most public school teachers work 60+ hours a week teaching, correcting, planning, prepping and calling parents
Annual teaching hours by education level, 2010 among OECD nations. The U.S. ranked 3rd place for most hours worked by teachers behind Argentina in 1st place and Chile for 2nd place. – Figure 4.7
The average number of teaching hours in public primary schools is 782 hours per year in OECD countries but ranges from fewer than 600 hours in Greece and Poland to over 1,000 hours in Chile and the United States. … Teaching time is defined as the number of hours per year that a full-time teacher teaches a group or class of students. … Working time refers to the normal working hours of a full-time teacher and includes time directly associated with teaching as well as the hours devoted to teaching-related activities, such as preparing lessons, counselling students, correcting assignments and tests, and meeting with parents and other staff. Data are from the 2011 OECD-INES Survey on Teachers and the Curriculum and refer to the 2009-10. How much time do teachers spend teaching? OECD
- There are children who learn and children who don’t learn—for whatever reason—that has little or nothing to do with the quality of teaching, and the children who don’t learn are causing the low VAM scores Child Neglect: A Guide for Prevention, Assessment and Intervention
- Just because a teacher teaches, that doesn’t mean a child will make the effort to learn and the parent or parents will support the learning process so learning takes place
Researchers have evidence for the positive effects of parent involvement on children, families, and school when schools and parents continuously support and encourage the children’s learning and development. The Benefits of Parent Involvement: What Research Has to Say
- There is an overwhelming avalanche of evidence that there are MANY crooks and liars in the corporate supported public education reform movement using VAM scores to drive their goals toward more wealth and profit that has nothing to do with the learning of the most at risk and difficult to teach children, the children who cause the low VAM scores in the first place.
There’s been a flood of local news stories in recent months about FBI raids on charter schools all over the country. FBI Tracks Charter Schools
In Ohio, “$1.4 billion has been spent since 2005 through school year 2012-2013 on charter schools that have never gotten any higher grade than an F or a D,” Collins said. NBC4 Investigates: Taxpayers Left Holding Bill for Charter Schools
A compilation of news articles about charter schools which have been charged with, or are highly suspected of, tampering with admissions, grades, attendance and testing; misuse of funds and embezzlement; engaging in nepotism and conflicts of interest; engaging in complicated and shady real estate deals; and/or have been engaging in other questionable, unethical, borderline-legal, or illegal activities. This is also a record of charter school instability and other unsavory tidbits. Charter School Scandals
- In conclusion, the case for public school success in the United States:
The average high school graduation rate, ages 24 – 65, for all OECD countries—including the United States—is 75%.
The high school graduation rate for the United States, by itself, ages 24 – 65, is 90%
The 4-year+ average graduation rate among all OECD countries—including the United States—is 37.7%.
The 4-year+ college graduation rate in the United States is 42%—the 4th highest in the world, but the U.S. has about 3 college graduates for every job that requires a college degree.
Among major English speaking countries, the United States is ranked 2nd for functional literacy.
- In the United Kingdom, the child poverty rate is 17% and the adult functional literacy rate is 80%
- In the United States, the child poverty rate is 22%, and the adult functional literacy rate is 65%
- In New Zealand, the child poverty rate is 22%, and the adult functional literacy rate is 55%
- In Australia, the child poverty rate is 10.9%, and the adult functional literacy rate is 53.6%
- In Canada, the child poverty rate is 14.3%, and the adult functional literacy rate is 51.5%
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”