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#1 shinyhappypeople

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:37 PM

OK, I know the answer is no, but I just need to vent.

My niece is graduating from high school in a few weeks (yay!). She's a bright girl and a responsible student. She's a solid B student (some As), good attendance, and showed up physically and mentally for her classes.

She was in mainstream classes, doesn't have any learning disabilities and has normal test-taking abilities.

A few weeks ago, she took the placement testing for the community college and she is being placed in pre-algebra, remedial reading (I think it's a comprehension class) and remedial writing.

What the _________ was the school doing all this time? She showed up and did her part. She went to class prepared, turned in her work and earned good grades. But, the school didn't do ITS part. It failed her.
I'm so ticked off about them squandering four years of her life.

She'll get caught up. In the big picture it's not a huge deal. She'll be FINE. I'm just dumbfounded. How could this happen? They obviously weren't teaching her to read, write and do math all those years. So what were they doing instead?

Thanks for listening.

p.s. I was up in the air about whether to homeschool for high school or not. I've made my decision now.

#2 mmasmommy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:45 PM

I work at a local community college in the evenings. In the fall we will have 93 remedial english and math classes. :001_huh: I am dumbfounded that these kids are coming out of school without enough education to go into community college. They are being made to spend thousands of dollars on classes that do not count toward their degree because the high schools couldn't take the time to teach them properly.

The longer I work here the more I think I want to continue hsing through HS.

#3 elegantlion

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:48 PM

:001_huh:

Here's some fuel for your vent. http://www.salon.com..._school_english

#4 KristinaBreece

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:53 PM

I've wondered the same thing myself.

There's no way to word this without it sounding arrogant... so I'll just put it put there. I am smart. I took honors classes in high school, made As, and scored a 33 composite on my ACT. I graduated from a "competitive" high school in 2003. Imagine my shock when I started at a small liberal arts school (not a particularly exclusive one, to be honest-- they had a great music program, a great pastoral ministry major, and great scholarships for high test scores) behind. I was so out of my depth that I left the school after the first year & came home to attend a CC. In many of my classes there, I felt as though I was surrounded by people who hadn't even received an education as good as mine, and mine was, in retrospect, greatly lacking. This makes me: :001_huh: :confused: :glare: :cursing: :banghead:

#5 KristinaBreece

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:58 PM

:001_huh:

Here's some fuel for your vent. http://www.salon.com..._school_english


I know the concept isn't funny-- it's sad. But this made me :lol::

I spent so much of my adolescence feeling different and awkward, and those first canonical books I read, those first discoveries of Joyce, of Keats, of Sylvia Plath and Fitzgerald, were a revelation. Without them, I probably would have turned to hard drugs, or worse, one of those Young Life chapters so popular with my peers.



#6 Paz

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:59 PM

My ds went back to public school beginning in 8th grade. From what I observed the Honors and AP classes were more like the regular classes when we were in school. In order to be challenged at all he needed to take the honors classes. He said the few electives he took that weren't honors courses were horrible. Kids bouncing off the walls! The regular classes just didn't require much at all. And they made some changes recently and did away with most special needs services so they have mainstreamed all students so the teachers get little accomplished in regular classes because kids are in there who cannot master the regular curriculum but are expected to do so.

#7 Paz

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:02 PM

Oh, and for every year my ds was in public school his reading comprehension scores went down. He started at the very top but so little reading was required (he was reading TWTM booklists before going to ps) even in the honors classes, that his score dropped a bit each year.

#8 cin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:04 PM

I've wondered the same thing myself.

There's no way to word this without it sounding arrogant... so I'll just put it put there. I am smart. I took honors classes in high school, made As, and scored a 33 composite on my ACT. I graduated from a "competitive" high school in 2003. Imagine my shock when I started at a small liberal arts school (not a particularly exclusive one, to be honest-- they had a great music program, a great pastoral ministry major, and great scholarships for high test scores) behind. I was so out of my depth that I left the school after the first year & came home to attend a CC. In many of my classes there, I felt as though I was surrounded by people who hadn't even received an education as good as mine, and mine was, in retrospect, greatly lacking. This makes me: :001_huh: :confused: :glare: :cursing: :banghead:



Me too, for at least half of what she said :iagree:. And I'm not trying to be arrogant either. IQ 147, ACT 12 (old scoring) SAT 1400. Transcript showed a bright kid with ADD....grades were in the cr4p9er.

My first college writing assignment was for a psyche class, and I got a 'D'. It was my favorite class, and I worked HARD on that paper. I was feeling so good, almost smug when I turned it in. When I got it back, I was SHOCKED. I also had to take remedial algebra, or some such class. And this was community college.

SWB talks about writing. Her college is a very, very good one. And in her freshman writing classes, out of 30 kids, she might have 1 or 2 that come in knowing how to write.

#9 Surfside Academy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:04 PM

:iagree:

I've often wondered that if the DOE or the states try to crackdown on home schooling, a good lawsuit would be that they cannot provide the same quality of education as home educators. I don't know many districts that offer Latin, Greek, Logic or a myriad of other courses many homeschoolers teach their kids.

#10 cjbeach

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:04 PM

We are originally from a very, very good school district in NJ. People move from all over to move into our district. HOWEVER every child we know who has gone from this high school to the local community college has to take the remedial Math class before they could even matriculate. :confused: So how good can this supposedly good high school be? :001_huh:

#11 Harriet Vane

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

:001_huh:

Here's some fuel for your vent. http://www.salon.com..._school_english


Excellent article. I'd bet SWB would like it too.

#12 amo_mea_filiis.

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

I was one month too late to sue the school system for myself. You sure can sue for educational neglect!

#13 GoVanGogh

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:18 PM

I live in a nice suburb of a large southern city. The newspaper ran an article last year that compared the % of high school students requiring remedial classes in college by high school/city.
Surprisingly, the percentage from the nicest public school in the nicest suburb was withing 5-8 points of the worse public schools in the worse part of town. I believe our school (suppose to be one of the nicest around) was 72% of high school grads required remedial college classes.
My neighbor, a huge supporter of the ps system, insisted the newspaper's data was wrong. Then her straight-A, "gifted" son ended up in remedial classes in college. :001_huh:

#14 Mejane

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:19 PM

A few weeks ago, she took the placement testing for the community college and she is being placed in pre-algebra, remedial reading (I think it's a comprehension class) and remedial writing.


This is no surprise to me. I've seen the number of remedial classes at our local cc outweigh the college-level courses in a subject. It's high school all over again, folks.

#15 Surfside Academy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:26 PM

I live in a nice suburb of a large southern city. The newspaper ran an article last year that compared the % of high school students requiring remedial classes in college by high school/city.
Surprisingly, the percentage from the nicest public school in the nicest suburb was withing 5-8 points of the worse public schools in the worse part of town. I believe our school (suppose to be one of the nicest around) was 72% of high school grads required remedial college classes.
My neighbor, a huge supporter of the ps system, insisted the newspaper's data was wrong. Then her straight-A, "gifted" son ended up in remedial classes in college. :001_huh:


You would think that colleges would work with local school districts letting them know their expectations and how to prepare kids for college. Where's the disconnect?

#16 Mom0012

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:27 PM

I work at a local community college in the evenings. In the fall we will have 93 remedial english and math classes. :001_huh: I am dumbfounded that these kids are coming out of school without enough education to go into community college. They are being made to spend thousands of dollars on classes that do not count toward their degree because the high schools couldn't take the time to teach them properly.

The longer I work here the more I think I want to continue hsing through HS.


I do wonder about this though. If a child comes out of high school without basic reading, writing and math skills, how does the community college fix that with a class or two? Are the kids really better prepared after completing these remedial classes? My sdd (who does have lds) had to take all remedial classes at the CC and she was NOT able to move on, but maybe children who don't have lds can just quickly catch up?

Lisa

#17 blondeviolin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:35 PM

I think it also depends on the area. I was fortunate enough to spend most of my schooling years in an area with a great school district and especially an awesome gifted and talented education system. Like many here, not to toot my horn, but I'm "gifted" too...along the lines of everyone else has posted that. Luckily, my first school district had it together. By third grade, if you were "gifted" it wasn't just a pull-out program, it was a completely different class. By the time you got to 7th grade, English and History were gifted class, and you could accelerate as far as possible in math. By 8th grade we were writing essays with proper thesis statements. I admit, in 8th grade I struggled with it. By the time I was a freshman, though, everyone in our gifted classes had it down pat.

But now, I'm 26 and in school full-time again. I'm dumbfounded by my peers and their inability to form cohesive thought on paper! Even just reading discussion boards for my online classes has me cringing. And sometimes? It's the professor's discussion I'm reading!

The real bummer here is that it's not just strangers that really struggle with it. My husband is a smart man too. SOMEHOW he got through his entire high school career and still can't write a proper essay. And citation? Forget it. He's lucky I'm his wife... hehe ;) He's also had to take three remedial math courses to get up to college algebra.

And I would NOT quote English/literature/composition as my strong point! I am definitely a math girl at heart.

So...with all that said, I graduated 8 years ago and BEFORE NCLB. I can only IMAGINE what the schools are like now!

#18 GoVanGogh

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:42 PM

I do wonder about this though. If a child comes out of high school without basic reading, writing and math skills, how does the community college fix that with a class or two? Are the kids really better prepared after completing these remedial classes? My sdd (who does have lds) had to take all remedial classes at the CC and she was NOT able to move on, but maybe children who don't have lds can just quickly catch up?

I started to type my experience earlier, then deleted it. But - here goes, because it does answer your question.

I hated school and 'tuned out' in elementary school. My parents then divorced when I was in middle school and I was bounced between extended family for the remainder of my school years. I don't say that as an excuse, just explaining my younger years. I graduated at the bottom of my senior class, just passed along grade to grade until I reached that point.
Years later, I decided to go to college. I went to the local community college and took their assessment test. I aced the language arts portion, probably because I was an avid reader and picked up enough along the way. But I flunked the math portion and had to take remedial math. The classes were set up as an open lab - I was assigned a time I had to report 'to class,' otherwise I was welcome to drop by anytime and work on my lessons. I had to work on my own, though the college had student aids walking around to tutor if I needed help. When I finished a lesson, I had to take a test before moving on. I was able to work through two full years of math in slightly less than two semesters.

From that experience, I think that - yes - if the student is dedicated, doesn't have a LD and has a tutor available, they can move along rather quickly.

#19 mmasmommy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:15 PM

You would think that colleges would work with local school districts letting them know their expectations and how to prepare kids for college. Where's the disconnect?


Everyone talks a good game about fixing the educational systems problems but just follow the money trail and see why it doesn't happen. The colleges make a boatload of money off of these classes. At $106.50 per credit hour (this is what our college charges) for a 3 credit remedial class (although no credits go towards a degree for these classes) $319.50 x 15 kids per class = $4792.20 x 93 classes = $445,702.50 x 2 semesters (not including summer) = $891,405.

I do wonder about this though. If a child comes out of high school without basic reading, writing and math skills, how does the community college fix that with a class or two? Are the kids really better prepared after completing these remedial classes? My sdd (who does have lds) had to take all remedial classes at the CC and she was NOT able to move on, but maybe children who don't have lds can just quickly catch up?

Lisa


I will speak to English at our college because that's the dept. I work with. There are 3 levels of English 001, 002, & 003. Depending on you initial placement you would work through the levels with the assumption that at the end you are ready to enter a traditional college English class.

#20 Mom0012

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:24 PM

I started to type my experience earlier, then deleted it. But - here goes, because it does answer your question.

I hated school and 'tuned out' in elementary school. My parents then divorced when I was in middle school and I was bounced between extended family for the remainder of my school years. I don't say that as an excuse, just explaining my younger years. I graduated at the bottom of my senior class, just passed along grade to grade until I reached that point.
Years later, I decided to go to college. I went to the local community college and took their assessment test. I aced the language arts portion, probably because I was an avid reader and picked up enough along the way. But I flunked the math portion and had to take remedial math. The classes were set up as an open lab - I was assigned a time I had to report 'to class,' otherwise I was welcome to drop by anytime and work on my lessons. I had to work on my own, though the college had student aids walking around to tutor if I needed help. When I finished a lesson, I had to take a test before moving on. I was able to work through two full years of math in slightly less than two semesters.

From that experience, I think that - yes - if the student is dedicated, doesn't have a LD and has a tutor available, they can move along rather quickly.


Thanks for sharing your experience! It's something I've really wondered about.

Lisa

#21 OLG

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:25 PM

I was one month too late to sue the school system for myself. You sure can sue for educational neglect!


Ha- good to know!!

My 'education' about education came in the late 70's when I enrolled in a graduate program for education. The courses and teachers were absolutely pathetic. So, so dull and dumb. I became a drop out! Just could not endure the insane lack of challenge in the program nor the teachers and this was a good school too.

Our problems with education are extremely deep seated. Thank the good Lord for homeschooling!

#22 54879525

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:25 PM

Interestingly there is a blip in the NY homeschool regs that states one cannot sue the schools if homeschooling screws your kid up.

34. If a student instructed at home is unable to read adequately or find employment following completion of educational requirements as defined within the compulsory education laws, can the school district be held liable?
No. As a matter of public policy, the highest court in New York State has declined to recognize a cause of action for educational malpractice. Where the board of education and superintendent of schools make good faith efforts to implement the requirements of Section 100.10 of the Regulations, there should not be a basis for liability under current law.

#23 Sugarfoot

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:40 PM

Gosh, you know, it's examples like these that make me realize how lucky I was, although at the time, I didn't think my life was out of the ordinary at all. My elementary school was superb, yes, and it showed in my early education. My high school, though, wasn't a fancy, highly-rated school. What it did have was a few good teachers, no over-crowding, and no big "social-type" problems. I went to college well-prepared with good test scores and did fine in both my undergraduate and graduate programs. My experience was *nothing special.* What in the world is going on now?:confused:

#24 Martha

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:54 PM

:glare:

I think if the student was mainstream and earned good grades - they should be able to sue for fraud to cover the costs of the classes they need to get up to par.

60% of graduating students here have to have remedial classes at the CC.
For some that is predictable.
For the "A" students?
No. It is not acceptable. That A was given fraudulently.
I would be furious as a parent and as a student.

Edited by Martha, 11 May 2011 - 06:33 PM.


#25 Shannon in TN

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:03 PM

My dad was/is a math teacher. He's an awesome teacher and got teacher of the year back when I was a kid. After several years in a "traditional" ps, he moved over to a "non-traditional" ps, one of those "optional educational" schools teaching drop-outs and teen moms - those kids who didn't fit in the regular schools for whatever reason but they still wanted to work towards their diploma. His students loved him and he would talk with pride about so-and-so getting their diploma. (I have a point, I promise). He left the traditional ps because, if I remember right, they just weren't doing the job educating (I was a kid at the time, but I remember conversations he'd have with friends about it).

After several years at the Op Ed school, he "retired" because it became like "working retail at Christmas" and he was unable to give the kids what they needed because there were so many and there wasn't as much support from the school system, I guess because those kids were the "rejects" of ps. Now he teaches remedial math at the local CC. Again, he loves it, but he gets so frustrated because he'll have so many students that are just not putting forth the effort along with those really good students that are just needing review. And as someone else has said, there are just so many classes! He complains about the administration trying to change how they have their classes because of the bottom line ($$$).

Needless to say, he's very on board with us homeschooling our kiddos.

#26 Catherine

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:03 PM

I'm tutoring a boy now, my son's BFF, who at 14 has not the most basic grasp of arithmetic. He is learning, bit by bit, but he is a solid B student in the "B" track, of A, B, C, and did not know his times tables, couldn't do long division, did not know how to measure things with a ruler!! And he's a bright kid, there's no question.

It's the "assembly line" model of education. They just get moved along, whether they understand or not. I would like to go in to have a talk with all of his math teachers for the past 7 years. Grrr...

#27 betty

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:38 PM

In math I blame the introduction of the calculator. Most major curriculums used in public school use calculators now. Kids are taught to use the calculator in elementary school. I did not use a calculator in any math class. I don't think i used them in my advanced calculus class in college. I used calculators in all my chemistry courses and taught myself differential equations.

Now, schools are requiring graphing calculators for algebra 1. It's so stupid. The kids don't understand what's happening to the numbers--it's just magic with the calculator.

I also blame McDonald's and the introduction of cash registers that do all the thinking. (I don't really blame McDonalds). In the late 80s I started teaching sp ed--kids with learning disabilities. Most of my students had part time jobs. Entry level, minimum wage jobs where they had to be able to count change quickly. If they didn't have good arithmetic skills to begin with, their skills leaped forward when they started that first job. I now see a lot of kids who do not have basic arithmetic down at 16 years old (kids not identified with LDs). If you don't learn basic arithmetic, learning basic algebra is very difficult, because you will be stumbling over arithmetic while trying to learn the abstract concepts of algebra.

#28 Ester Maria

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:52 PM

... And then I am "cruel", "inconsiderate of children psychology" and "have insane criteria" when I rave against grade inflation. :banghead:

Stories like some of those shared on this thread make my lycee education look like graduate school, seriously.

That A was given fraudulently.
I would be furious as a parent and as a student.

:iagree:
Yes, a million times yes.
The worst thing you can academically do to somebody is not to stretch him so much that it even "hurts" a little - the worst thing you can do is to coddle people into thinking they know something when they do not, give them easy As, set them up for major disappointments in life and crises over their own education, and have them struggle in their 20s (and 30s and beyond) with things they were supposed to graduate with. Fool them into thinking they are advanced and bright when they are not. Have them completely crashed afterward, after some international experience and comparison of their own mediocrity with what could have been.

And the worst thing is, it is no longer mediocrity. The trend of mediocrity started in our generation and we suffered from it - but in our kids' generation, it turned into the trend of real and tangible subpar education, not just less-than-ideal, and this generation suffers from actual illiteracy. In schools which are a lot fancier than our generation had, in seemingly perfect conditions to learn. I get furious whenever I see that and it seems that it is becoming a rule rather than a bad exception.

#29 mmasmommy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:52 PM

We will not discuss the college student that came in tonight to drop off a paper and had to count on his fingers to figure out what number month May is. :001_huh:

#30 NayfiesMama

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:55 PM

OK, I know the answer is no, but I just need to vent.

My niece is graduating from high school in a few weeks (yay!). She's a bright girl and a responsible student. She's a solid B student (some As), good attendance, and showed up physically and mentally for her classes.

She was in mainstream classes, doesn't have any learning disabilities and has normal test-taking abilities.

A few weeks ago, she took the placement testing for the community college and she is being placed in pre-algebra, remedial reading (I think it's a comprehension class) and remedial writing.

What the _________ was the school doing all this time? She showed up and did her part. She went to class prepared, turned in her work and earned good grades. But, the school didn't do ITS part. It failed her.
I'm so ticked off about them squandering four years of her life.

She'll get caught up. In the big picture it's not a huge deal. She'll be FINE. I'm just dumbfounded. How could this happen? They obviously weren't teaching her to read, write and do math all those years. So what were they doing instead?

Thanks for listening.

p.s. I was up in the air about whether to homeschool for high school or not. I've made my decision now.


Actually, I believe that sometimes you CAN sue a school for ... something... but I don't remember what it's called. That's one of the reasons homeschool groups have to be careful about calling their services tutoring, because they don't want to fall under the "school" laws of teaching.

Really sorry!! Good for her that she can catch up, but bad for the students that can't!

#31 beaners

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:56 PM

We will not discuss the college student that came in tonight to drop off a paper and had to count on his fingers to figure out what number month May is. :001_huh:


....I do this. I also can't tell my left from my right without making the L. I can get an A in calculus, but I probably couldn't pass kindergarten.

#32 Sugarfoot

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:05 PM

My kids DO have learning disabilities. Not slight ones, either. I worry about my oldest constantly. But you know, he's doing algebra this year as a 9th grader. His reading comprehension and vocabulary are both excellent. It's been such a struggle, and we WORK at it, year after year after year.

It just makes me angry and sad to hear about perfectly capable kids who are shorted of their education. How depressing for them to have to start college learning what they should have been taught before they got there.

#33 Denise in Florida

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:07 PM

I work at a local community college in the evenings. In the fall we will have 93 remedial english and math classes. :001_huh: I am dumbfounded that these kids are coming out of school without enough education to go into community college. They are being made to spend thousands of dollars on classes that do not count toward their degree because the high schools couldn't take the time to teach them properly.

The longer I work here the more I think I want to continue hsing through HS.


The other annoying part of this is that our community college is so busy offering remedial courses that there doesn't appear to be any resources left for the college level classes.

There are three level of mathematics before College Algebra.

College Algebra
Intermediate Algebra
Beginning Algebra
College Prep Arithmetic

In any given semester there will be 5 or more sections for College Prep arithmetic. Pre-Calculus is offered 1 section per semester. Calculus (1 section) is offered Spring and Summer only. Calculus 2 (1 section) is offered Fall only. Calculus 3 is offered irregularly.

This makes it difficult to plan how to progress in math, particularly if you fall 'off-cycle'. Also with only one section offered you don't have much flexibility in planning other classes. :glare:

#34 abacus2

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

My Dh graduated from an average high school and entered community college. The person inputting his schedule for the first semester was completely shocked that he did NOT have to take any remedial courses.

#35 Aggie

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:44 PM

You would think that colleges would work with local school districts letting them know their expectations and how to prepare kids for college. Where's the disconnect?


Andrew Pedewa told us in a conference that the writing part of the SAT came from corporate America telling universities the new grads couldn't write. The universities didn't want to teach writing, so by putting the writing portion on the SAT, the high schools are being forced to teach writing. In theory, anyway.

:glare:

60% of graduating students here have to have remedial classes at the CC.
For some that is predictable.
For the "A" students?
No. It is not acceptable. That A was given fraudulently.
I would be furious as a parent and as a student.



Do you know what would happen to a teacher if s/he didn't have any A students? If her standards were high and no one bothered to do the work or learn anything? She would be told to lower her standards so some kids could get A's.

As for teaching writing, I can't imagine a worse teaching job. Some middle school classes here have 25-30 students per class. Grading writing assignments has to be a time- and energy-sucking adventure.

This isn't to excuse anyone, but there are many factors and most work against actual learning.

#36 Ester Maria

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:53 PM

Do you know what would happen to a teacher if s/he didn't have any A students? If her standards were high and no one bothered to do the work or learn anything? She would be told to lower her standards so some kids could get A's.

I also get suspicious if repeatedly there is a situation that nobody has an A in a particular teacher's class. Just as I am suspicious when nobody fails and everybody seems to have As and Bs, repeatedly.

The problem is that nowadays people complain only about the former situation. :glare: In good ol' times before grade inflation, the latter was just as much the cause of complaint (among colleagues at least) so it was easier to keep a balance.

#37 Denise in Florida

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:06 PM

...I also can't tell my left from my right without making the L.


Me too!:lol::lol:

I think these functions are a different part of the brain. I can analyze a contract but I can't put the file in the correct order without singing the ABC song. :lol:

#38 Mothersweets

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:06 PM

:001_huh:

Here's some fuel for your vent. http://www.salon.com..._school_english


Great article.

#39 elizabeth

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:11 PM

I wish one could. There are several here that could benefit from having to account for their decisions to keep dead weight instructors in place. In the practice of law we see it as tough love...:lol: It is abysmal in my city.

#40 shinyhappypeople

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:17 PM

Do you know what would happen to a teacher if s/he didn't have any A students? If her standards were high and no one bothered to do the work or learn anything? She would be told to lower her standards so some kids could get A's.



:iagree: Exactly.

Parents complain to the teacher. If the teacher stands strong, the parents move up the food chain and complain to the administration. The administration then admonishes the teacher about being more flexible.

A friend of mine is a high school English teacher. Actual stories from her "this shouldn't be true but it is" file:

(1) She was required by the administration to accept late work. Literally, a kid could turn in every homework assignment at the very end of the semester and she had to accept it.


(2) She was teaching remedial English one year. Her class was full of kids who, at age 14, literally could not read. The program she used started with "a, a, apple." They'd just been passed through year after year. Whether the cause was learning disabilities, a home life that did not value education or some other issue is irrelevant. The fact that their illiteracy hadn't been addressed much sooner is totally unacceptable.

(3) Parents repeatedly chewed her out because their child was failing. My personal favorite was the parent who told her that it was the teacher's fault for not inspiring the child to want to learn. If my friend was more inspiring, the child would be motivated to do the work.

And yet the NEA wants to tell me that my girls are being robbed of a high-quality education by my teaching them at home. I picture NEA folks squeezing their eyes shut, plugging their ears and singing "la, la, la" lest some of the reality of public education disturb their happy, colorful, fantasy world.

#41 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:19 PM

I went to a small liberal arts college and my advisor was surprised when I didn't have to take remedial classes. Apparently not many students passed the test we had to take the first week of orientation. I was the only one in my freshman colloquium who did not have to take the "How to Use the Library" class. And this was back in 1987. It doesn't surprise me that it hasn't improved.

#42 Martha

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

On the positive side of things...

I am ALWAYS feeling I am not doing enough, not pushing hard enough, being too easy on them bc I'm mom and the list goes on.

Well at the very least, thanks to so much of these types of things being so ridiculously common, I can have at least some small confidence they won't be any worse than the typical average A student.

You would think I'd feel happier about that.

Yet I don't. Just frustrated and worried for my children's future. Sigh.

#43 Farrar

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:32 PM

In this case, I'm sure you couldn't, but people sue the schools for educational neglect all the time. At one point, it was one of the reasons that the per pupil cost was so insanely high for our school district while the quality of the education was so low. Everyone who had lawyered up had managed to win big settlements and the district was paying for private schooling for a mind-boggling number of kids.:glare: What a vicious cycle too, huh? The more they paid, the less they had to actually educate the kids and the more likely they'd be sued and have to pay more. Sigh. I'm not much of a fan of Michelle Rhee overall, but she did help put a stopper on that issue.

#44 bbsweetpea

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:42 PM

The number 1 reason I homeschool is because in high school I had to FIGHT to get into honors and AP classes. I was making over 100 average every six weeks in English. Half of my classes in regular class where reviewing things for the kids that goofed off. However I did not "test" high enough for honors classes so they wanted me to stay in regular classes. I told my guidance counselor that I would drop out and get my GED because I was bored.

They finally put me in Honors my Junior year. I took AP English, AP Chemistry 2 and another AP class. I had Honors Math as well. I scored A's the whole year in every class and did fine. I scored a 32 on the ACT and yet when I got to college I still felt behind. IMAGINE if I had stayed in the regular classes like they wanted me to!

My husband graduated in the top 3% of our class and still struggled with English in College. We live in a very good school district. There is NO reason for kids to struggle so much if they do their job in High school.

#45 kolamum

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:36 PM

Just be aware that when you write out your child's transcripts to be careful. I have a family member who landed in remedial because the person who wrote the transcripts thought it would look better to state the child took 2 different forms of a second language {it was true, they did, but they took full courses for both} and messed a part of the math up {how and why confuse me} and thus the child ended up in remedial classes because of it.

Child was moved out quickly because they had no need to be there, BUT.. due to transcript glitches it can happen. Maybe the same is true of your niece, maybe not.. I also know children who went to PSHS and were told by some teachers they'd never graduate and others who did graduate but can't read at all or above a 3rd grade level. I guess it depends on the teachers and if most of them could find a middle ground it might be good.

#46 weddell

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:10 AM

The school mentioned in the article is our local high school! It's a pretty crazy place actually. It is huge and I hear there are some social problems because of it's size and diversity. I've also heard that if you are in honors sections, you are pretty segregated from the other students and get a pretty decent education. But not so much if you aren't.

It makes me want to do an extra lesson of FLL today!

#47 Eleni

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:37 AM

I started going back to school last year at the local CC. It seemed the logical way to go and it would save money.
I had been out of school for 16 years, and tested into the highest required English course.
In a Humanities class I took on Ancient Civilizations, I was the only person in the class to consistently receive A's, or to receive an A at all. My instructor asked if I would be willing to tutor anyone who wanted to be tutored. So I did.
It was horrible. These "kids" were recent graduates, mainly from the school district we reside in...one that is a top national district and people move here so their kids can attend the schools.
I seriously wondered what on Earth these kids were even taught in school.

#48 WishboneDawn

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:01 AM

I do wonder about this though. If a child comes out of high school without basic reading, writing and math skills, how does the community college fix that with a class or two? Are the kids really better prepared after completing these remedial classes? My sdd (who does have lds) had to take all remedial classes at the CC and she was NOT able to move on, but maybe children who don't have lds can just quickly catch up?

Lisa


I'm wondering the about the reciprocal of that. If some kids can get caught up on years of high school with only a class or two why are people wasting their time with years of high school? :)

#49 54879525

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:06 AM

I sometimes wonder if remedial courses at community colleges aren't just money making scams. I know our CC has so many remedial courses (compared with other courses) that I wonder if anyone can graduate with anything from them without fulfilling some of the requirements with remedial classes.

#50 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:23 AM

The real bummer here is that it's not just strangers that really struggle with it. My husband is a smart man too. SOMEHOW he got through his entire high school career and still can't write a proper essay. And citation? Forget it. He's lucky I'm his wife... hehe ;) He's also had to take three remedial math courses to get up to college algebra.


It's almost like we're married to the same man! James Bond couldn't write a propper essay if his life depended on it. I have to proof anything he writes for school (he has an associates, but is working on his bachelors). And algebra is the bane of his existence.

I also blame McDonald's and the introduction of cash registers that do all the thinking. (I don't really blame McDonalds). In the late 80s I started teaching sp ed--kids with learning disabilities. Most of my students had part time jobs. Entry level, minimum wage jobs where they had to be able to count change quickly. If they didn't have good arithmetic skills to begin with, their skills leaped forward when they started that first job. I now see a lot of kids who do not have basic arithmetic down at 16 years old (kids not identified with LDs). If you don't learn basic arithmetic, learning basic algebra is very difficult, because you will be stumbling over arithmetic while trying to learn the abstract concepts of algebra.


When I was in high school, I worked fast food (not McD's) and every shift, I had to work the drive thru because I was the only one who could count back change in my head. This was before they had registers that could do multiple orders at a time. I would just cash it out and figure out the change when the car got to the window. All the other teens had to have a calculator and still got it wrong sometimes. I tried and tried to teach a few of them how to do it, but they just couldn't grasp the concept. It never occurred to me then that it might be because they didn't have a good foundation of basic math.

I went to a small liberal arts college and my advisor was surprised when I didn't have to take remedial classes. Apparently not many students passed the test we had to take the first week of orientation. I was the only one in my freshman colloquium who did not have to take the "How to Use the Library" class. And this was back in 1987. It doesn't surprise me that it hasn't improved.


I went to a large university, but was one of the few who got to skip English 101 and 102 because I actually knew the stuff that was taught in that class (imagine that!).

My high school was a small (and expensive) all girl school that offered an excellent education (they even had Latin!). Dh went to his local public high school (in a different state from where I lived) and I am amazed at the education (or rather LACK of education) he received. The difference in our educations is astounding and makes me incredibly grateful to my parents for sacrificing to be able to send me to a good school.


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