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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 2/7

An example of America’s continuing Cultural Revolution was reported on ABC News: “The mother of an 8-year-old Arizona girl who was presented with a “Catastrophe Award” for apparently having the most excuses for not having homework believes her child was humiliated by her teacher.”

So what!

When you scan the comments for this ABC piece , many sound like these, which I copied and pasted from the ABC News piece:

  1. “Where has this MOTHER been? why hasn’t she been      aware that her daughter hasn’t been doing her homework? Why is she going      on t.v. to complain about this issue?”
  2. “The mother wasn’t aware that her daughter had a      problem with homework? Maybe she should have gone to a parent/teacher      conference or two. But no. She goes on TV to cry and complain. At least we      know where the daughter gets her talent for making excuses.”
  3. ” It is not the teachers responsibility to have a      child do homework.. it is the parents! If a parent is having trouble      taking time in the evening to help her child than she needs to hire a      tutor.”
  4. “The mother should be more aware of what her child      is doing at school……I’m sorry but kids have homework every night maybe the      mother should go through her back pack once in a while. I’m so sick of      parents no being responsible for their children’s ACTIONS!!!!!”

As you can see, it is obvious that this mother was not doing the best job she could but she is not alone. In fact, she represents the average American parent as you shall discover. If you are reading this, I hope you are not one of those average parents.

Liberty.edu says, “Overall, most findings have shown parental involvement, whether at home or at school, have a moderately significant relationship with higher academic achievement, and this relationship has been found consistently across demographics (e.g., ethnicity, sex, or socioeconomic status) and measures of achievement (e.g., achievement tests, grades, and grade point averages). Research points to the conclusion that “parental involvement is an important predictor of children’s achievement in school” (Englund et al, 2004, p. 723).”

In addition, “A 1999 survey of St. Louis kindergarten students revealed that while 95% of the parents rated reading as very highly important, only 16% of the parents were reading to their children each day… .

“Parental involvement tends to diminish as children move to higher grade levels. In 1996 and 1999 surveys, 86% of parents with children in grades K-5 reported attendance at a scheduled meeting with their child’s teacher. Contrastingly, among children in grades 6-8 and 9-12, only 70% and 50% respectively had parents who attended meetings involving their child’s teacher (U.S. Department of Education, 1994).” Source: Parent and Teacher Perceptions of Effective Parental Involvement – A dissertation presented to The Faculty and School of Education Liberty University

 

A few comments criticized the teacher for giving the child an embarrassing award but most were similar to the few examples posted here.

What will it take to educate the average American parent to understand a parent’s responsibilities to raise and educate children?

However, there is another aspect of this topic that is more important than an eight-year-old that earned a negative award for not doing her homework.

Continued on June 6, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 6/6

Comparing the current method used to report API scores with my friend’s suggestion.

A numeric API score ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. The interim statewide API performance target for all schools is 800. A school’s growth is measured by how well it is moving toward or past that goal. The target date to reach this goal is 2014. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan admitted that 82 percent of public schools could be labeled “failing” under No Child Left Behind specifications as they are written at this time.

Current Academic Performance Index Growth by Student Group in California

2010 Growth API Comparison

All Students ­– 767
Black or African American – 686
American Indian or Alaska Native – 728
Asian – 890
Filipino – 851
Hispanic or Latino – 715
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 753
White – 838
Two or More Races – 808
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged – 712
English Learners – 692
Students with Disabilities – 580

My Friend’s Suggested API Report
(Since this does not exist, this is a fictional representation)

900 – 1000
5% of student population, which completed 95 to 100% of homework and/or class work and participated daily in class – average student with this API score reading at or above grade level

800 – 899
15% of student population, which completed 80 to 95% of home work and/or class work and participated often in class – average student with this API score reading at or within one or two years of grade level

700 – 799
30% of student population, which completed between 70 to 82% of homework and/or class work and sometimes participated in class. – average student with this API score reading two or three years below grade level

600 to 699
30% of student population, which completed between 55 to 68% of homework and/or class work and seldom participated in class – average student with this API score reading four to five years below grade level

500 to 599
15% of student population, which completed between 45 to 60% percent of homework and/or class work and rarely participate in class – average student with this API score reading at about fourth grade level

499 or less
5% of student population, which completed less than 10% of homework, 30% of class work and never participated in class – average student with this API score reading at about second grade level

Note — There may also be percentages for each of the six levels that show each ethnic group in each API ranking. For example, 800 – 899 = African-American 10%, Asian 30%, Latino 8%, and White 52%. This way we learn that of the 15% of total students that scored in the 800 – 899 range, there are students of each ethnic group in that API ranking.

Return to Solving the Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 5 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 4/6

To make this new Academic Index work, most if not all teachers use computer grading programs.  All teachers need do is make sure there are categories for homework, class discussion, students asking questions related to the work, class work, quizzes and tests.

I taught for thirty years and kept track of all of those categories easily.  I also fed that information into a computer-grading program. I knew who wasn’t doing homework—the same goes for class work and in many cases no matter how many phone calls I made or how many failure notices I mailed home to the parents, little changed.

For example, if the parent of a failing student came to a parent conference, I could tell them that his or her son did eight of 23 homework assignments and what the average grade earned was.  I could do the same for class work, students asking questions, quizzes, tests and for class discussions.

Since most of my tests on literature in the English textbook were open book, it was easy to see who didn’t read the story or study.  After all, I handed out study guides before each quiz and test.

For class discussions and questions related to the class work, I carried a clip board with a seating chart where I kept track of who said what by putting a mark next to the name of the student that was involved.

I transferred that information into the computer-grading program and at parent conferences, I could tell parents every facet of their child’s grade.

Students that never asked questions or took part in discussions had no marks next to his or her name for those categories and I could easily tell parents that their child never asked questions or took part in discussions.

In fact, I could tell them how many classroom assignments had been turned in and the grade for every assignment or the average grade.

Continued on May 19, 2011 in Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Some Teachers Should Earn Combat Pay

There’s more to the story of our daughter’s academic success than teaching her at home when one of her teachers was not doing an acceptable job. We also left the TV off Monday through Friday and provided a place for her to do her homework. Research shows that kids watch too much television. On weekends, we watched about two to four hours of TV—no more and we watched as a family.  She has never had a TV in her room.  No video games either.  We also took her to the library once a week and checked out books. When she was done with her homework each school night, her only form of entertainment was to read, and she did.

In 1977, Covina Valley School District wanted a tough substitute to tame an unruly art class at Las Palmas Middle School. The art teacher at Lao Palmas had a breakdown and was in the hospital under a doctor’s care. The Las Palmas’s principal called the principal at Giano Intermediate.

At the time, Giano had a reputation as the toughest school in the San Gabriel Valley due to the local street gangs. The principal was Ralph Pagan, a Korean War Veteran. He’d been hired to tame Giano.  I’d subbed at Giano many times the previous year, and Ralph recommended me for the job. I met the VP at Las Palmas after school one day, and he let me into the art room. What I saw shocked me.

Discover It’s the Parents, Stupid

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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