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Article: 2 in 5 High Schools Don't Offer Physics

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Sadly not here. There are exceptions. And then some schools won't even take the AP credit.

 

 

For the most part I don't think we are really discussing the truly-gifted in this topic - I think we are discussing opportunities for the top 20% of high school students.

 

 

The student would have to show a transcript that demonstrates he has taken four years of high school level courses. For a student coming from a public school that does not allow differentiation, this would be impossible.

 

Also, while a 14 y/o may be academically capable of taking university classes, he may not be ready to live far a way from home in a dorm with adults. In fact, most universities would not accept this responsibility for such a young minor.

While I was OK with my DD taking uni courses at age 13/14 while living at home, I would not have considered graduating her and sending her to live in another state at a residential college. 

 

 

 

 

Possibly because there are 14yo ready for university level classes (academically) but not ready to take them at a university (socially/ emotionally).

 

Giftedness is not just about academics, something many, many people, not just school admin, don't understand.

 

It would be a dream if it was fully funded! Oh my, where is this place you are referring to? :drool5:

 

ETA: sorry for repetition, I didn't see ^^. Posting at the same time.

 

 

Bluegoat is from Canada.

 

My husband's university education was fully funded as well as an academic scholarship stipend for his BEng and PhD (skipped MEng), and you know where we are from :)

 

My impression was that this student was not needing the regular high school level courses because he or she had already done the work, one way or another.  To my mind, that is clearly a student who is gifted, one that most universities would want to be able to enroll.  Are American universities really so rigid that they would not be interested in such a student if he could not show that he'd completed the right number of credits?

 

I am in Canada, but university does cost money here, even if not at US levels - but if you are done with high school level work and are capable of university credits at 14, you would be very likely to get a scholarship.  I was rather under the impression that someone so gifted would also be likely to have significant scholarship in the US.

 

The problem of attending is a real one, but distance education seems like as good an option as "university" classes taught in a high school.  Or non-credit study options with some kind of mentor - I just don't see a student like that as someone who is going to fit into the regular boxes for education, no matter what is done.  Is it really the job of the school to just keep the student busy for so many years, rather than to deliver a high school education?

 

For the top 20% who are otherwise typical - I would think that if the school is teaching at an appropriate level, there is no need for so called university classes in high school.  Especially if they are reasonable about allowing the really capable ones to potentially graduate a year early which doesn't have the same issues as a young teen going off.  If the school isn't teaching at an appropriate level, ow will they teach university classes?

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On the 14 yr old in college thing, out of four local colleges and one CC here, only one allows students to apply for DE before 11th grade, and many have a minimum age of 16 as well. So, a 14 yr old who is classified as a Freshman wouldn't have the option, and most public schools are reluctant to allow grade skips.

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For the top 20% who are otherwise typical - I would think that if the school is teaching at an appropriate level, there is no need for so called university classes in high school.  Especially if they are reasonable about allowing the really capable ones to potentially graduate a year early which doesn't have the same issues as a young teen going off.  If the school isn't teaching at an appropriate level, ow will they teach university classes?

 

But for the top 20%, calculus and calculus based physics would be appropriate high school courses. They are not "university classes"; they have been taught at high schools for decades and are taught in other countries to all college bound students. They are only considered "university level" here because the general level of high school education is so pathetic.

 

Graduating early is not a reasonable option for the top 20% of students. Academic ability and maturity do not always go in sync. I do not believe that all those students are ready to enter a residential college - with 40% of the cohort going to college, that would be half of all college bound students. It dos not make sense to graduate 50% of the college bound cohort a year early because schools are so crappy.

 

And again: depriving students of the 12th year of high school education and making parents pay for an expensive college education just because school cannot provide an appropriate 12th grade is cementing inequality.

Edited by regentrude
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Been perusing this thread since it started, and thought to throw in a $0.02 now that the 20% number has been raised.

 

Here in NL post-elementary education is streamed/tracked. There are three main tracks (which works out to about 8 or so permutations). There is the highest track (VWO) which is pre-University, and that means University in the purely academic and research areas. Only about 20% of students follow this track. There is the middle track which leads to University, but for the white-collar type jobs, business, communications, healthcare, etc. Then there is the lowest track for vo-tech and blue collar jobs, auto mechanic, electrician, etc. 

 

My general sense among Dutch people is that there's not a lot of stress about which track kids enter. The "middle" track seems to be largely preferred, both that is leads to good jobs and because it's possible to move from there to the other tracks if interests change.

 

For the top 20% there's different types of courses they can follow, but the basic idea is that in grades 7-12 (according to US numbering) they take Latin and Greek and English and another modern foreign language. They follow the top math track. And they have a yearly integrated science with full labs. Then at the end they have a guided research project of their own. Is this expensive? I guess so. But for the middle track where they provide training in the latest graphic design program, or provide the students the tools to create their own business, is not inexpensive either. The lowest track where they provide a full assortment of tools and cars to work on isn't inexpensive either.

 

I always feel like the discussion of education in America is a bit like discussing how to make pie when you're trying to make a cake. For one thing, I can never see the Dutch system getting accepted in America. I remember when Outcome Based Education was floated and how the Christian right attacked it as being a tool for the New World Order, so that puts the kabosh on streamed education. Even though large parts of America are anti-education, I feel like many of the same parents would balk at a system that would leave their special snowflake out of the "my child is an honor student" top education track. For another thing, I feel like many Americans (speaking mostly of op-ed writers) don't really know what they want in education when it comes to the nitty-gritty details of how to teach kids and how to pay for it. There's lots of lofty talk about equality, grit, and achievement, then lots of knee-jerk reactions to how these can be done in real life. At this point I just sigh and shrug.

 

I don't think the Dutch system is perfect, it has its pros and cons. But yes, it does show that there is a top 20%, and that group deserves their own full and rigorous pre-University education.

 

 

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There will be students in every population who don't achieve at high levels. But studies over the years have shown that homeschooled students tend to schieve at higher levels than schooled students, regardless of the educational background of their parents.

 

Homeschoolers are individuals and will reflect individual interests and capabilities. But they tend to have higher achievements levels than their schooled peers.

 

 

I was homeschooled K-8 and these sorts of statements make me extra twitchy. I've offloaded my experiences/opinions on this previously, and at this point I'm worried that people find me whiny and jaded, but okay, in my own real-life the above was most definitely NOT true. I was interested in capable of high levels of education, but homeschooling did not only not offer that to me, it expressly denied me it.

 

I was homeschooled late 80's through mid 90's. We were part of a local homeschool group, and since our group was pretty much the only local group, we got everyone. Now that I'm involved in homeschooling myself and have been on these forums a while, I can look back and see all the different "types" that were in the group and how homeschooling worked out for them. There was the secular unschooler, whose daughter mostly read 1984 and plotted world domination (her words) and got her GED (and had to study for it...???). There was the girl who was probably HG or PG, whose mom seemed totally on the ball about providing challenging classes. There was the flustered mom, who anxiously worked through box curriculum and put her daughter in a Christian school as soon as she could manage the tuition (that daughter got married at 18 and never went to college). There was the chaos mom, who never managed to get her high-school son to co-op classes she paid for on time (if at all), I'm not sure what happened there, but I hope she folded the homeschooling towel and put him in school. There was the Prairie Primer mom with lots of hands-on activities, whose kids seemed to always have fun and learned a lot doing it, but didn't seem to do a lot of math. And there was UMC mom, who used her money and education to carefully outsource her son's education and create a college-prep transcript (she didn't get along with the rest of the group very well....). Then there was my situation, which devolved in not-schooling after 3rd grade or so, for a whole variety of complicated reasons, but suffice to say public school would have been heaps better for me and my older brother. Altogether, I saw how homeschooling could be good and bad, but except for the rare case (like the PG girl) I didn't see it as being, on average, in any way better.

 

I suspect the statistic that homeschoolers score higher in LA than math is a matter of culture, not homeschooling itself. The majority of homeschoolers (the ones who end up taking standardized tests, especially) come from conservative Protestant communities which have a culture of promoting biblical literacy. Even today the new translations, such as NLT or TNiV, are around the 9th grade in Lexile level. Children in these churches are expected to read, understand, and discuss from a "real" Bible from around 4th grade. If their family is moderately involved in church, they will have about 3 hours (per week) of group and/or instructor-led textual study. Then you get the odd person or book by someone who prefers the KJV, and you've got textual study in 19th century English. Then you have the encouragement for further daily reading and study, usually including additional study guides. This can't NOT have a cognitive impact on the LA scores of these kids, no matter where they are schooled.

 

Kids can have a talent for language, or math, and they can pick up skills in different places, including church. But unless the student continues to be challenged, that talent will just go stagnant.

 

To go back to the 20% thing... I feel like in America there isn't a lot of understanding of the 20% in high school, and even less in homeschool circles (where everyone in the room at a homeschool convention gets shocked and confused when the speaker comments that the standard Apologia sequence is not enough for a top science student). White-collar education is pushed, yes. If you come from a certain ethnic background in certain regions, blue-collar jobs are valued. But the purely academic level is the ignored elephant - unless you have an aware parent or happen to attend an aware prep school, it's only accidental if a student makes it to that level. Maybe it's just me, but if someone had told me in 7th grade the PLAN I needed to get to my dream of an academic career, I would have been all over it like a dog on peanut butter. But I was utterly lost, most people in my locality pushed basic white-collar jobs, my family pushed blue-collar jobs. The people I knew who were academics were either uncomfortable or reluctant to tell me the details of what that goal expected of my secondary education. My oldest has expressed an interest and talent for an area that would require a "top 20%" education, and that is why I stalk this forum and the high school board, because this is the only place where I can figure out what exactly that looks like.

Edited by SarahW
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But for the top 20%, calculus and calculus based physics would be appropriate high school courses. They are not "university classes"; they have been taught at high schools for decades and are taught in other countries to all college bound students. They are only considered "university level" here because the general level of high school education is so pathetic.

 

Graduating early is not a reasonable option for the top 20% of students. Academic ability and maturity do not always go in sync. I do not believe that all those students are ready to enter a residential college - with 40% of the cohort going to college, that would be half of all college bound students. It dos not make sense to graduate 50% of the college bound cohort a year early because schools are so crappy.

 

And again: depriving students of the 12th year of high school education and making parents pay for an expensive college education just because school cannot provide an appropriate 12th grade is cementing inequality.

 

Perhaps they ought to offer it - they do here, at least in most schools.  But I don't see why anyone would call it a "college" course or try and make it a transferable credit - that does not happen here.  It isn't a college credit, it's a high school math credit, often not a separate one.

 

But I don't think it is the case that there is some laid out, "right" level that is very obvious to be what is the top level that high schools teach.  Every system is going to have to say, at some point - this is what we will offer at our most advanced level, that is what we will develop curricula for, hire teachers for, and so on.  There is probably a range that could be defended as sensible or logical in pretty much every subject. 

 

For very special students, the answer will almost certainly have to be a made to fit solution - maybe some sort of independent study credit.  But as far as calculus, or some other topic - if it is not normally offered at high school, but it is offered at university with the knowledge that it is new, I don't see how that is a huge problem - university bound kids will have an opportunity to get it.  Kids that aren't going to university might not, unless their educational path teaches it later as well, which it would have to do if it wants them to know calculus. 

 

I am not sure how much demand there is to learn calculus for those who don't intend to use it in some way after high school.  It seems like the kids who take it in high school are almost always the ones who go on to university.

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Been perusing this thread since it started, and thought to throw in a $0.02 now that the 20% number has been raised.

 

Here in NL post-elementary education is streamed/tracked. There are three main tracks (which works out to about 8 or so permutations). There is the highest track (VWO) which is pre-University, and that means University in the purely academic and research areas. Only about 20% of students follow this track. There is the middle track which leads to University, but for the white-collar type jobs, business, communications, healthcare, etc. Then there is the lowest track for vo-tech and blue collar jobs, auto mechanic, electrician, etc. 

 

My general sense among Dutch people is that there's not a lot of stress about which track kids enter. The "middle" track seems to be largely preferred, both that is leads to good jobs and because it's possible to move from there to the other tracks if interests change.

 

For the top 20% there's different types of courses they can follow, but the basic idea is that in grades 7-12 (according to US numbering) they take Latin and Greek and English and another modern foreign language. They follow the top math track. And they have a yearly integrated science with full labs. Then at the end they have a guided research project of their own. Is this expensive? I guess so. But for the middle track where they provide training in the latest graphic design program, or provide the students the tools to create their own business, is not inexpensive either. The lowest track where they provide a full assortment of tools and cars to work on isn't inexpensive either.

 

I always feel like the discussion of education in America is a bit like discussing how to make pie when you're trying to make a cake. For one thing, I can never see the Dutch system getting accepted in America. I remember when Outcome Based Education was floated and how the Christian right attacked it as being a tool for the New World Order, so that puts the kabosh on streamed education. Even though large parts of America are anti-education, I feel like many of the same parents would balk at a system that would leave their special snowflake out of the "my child is an honor student" top education track. For another thing, I feel like many Americans (speaking mostly of op-ed writers) don't really know what they want in education when it comes to the nitty-gritty details of how to teach kids and how to pay for it. There's lots of lofty talk about equality, grit, and achievement, then lots of knee-jerk reactions to how these can be done in real life. At this point I just sigh and shrug.

 

I don't think the Dutch system is perfect, it has its pros and cons. But yes, it does show that there is a top 20%, and that group deserves their own full and rigorous pre-University education.

 

 

I think this kind of system makes a ton of sense to me.  What I find odd is that here in Canada, whenever anyone talks about something like this, it's seen as classist and elitist.  But to my mind, that assumes that you see the white collar and vocational tracks as somehow less than the academic track.  That is, it's only classist to people who accept classist valuations of different kinds of work.

 

We North Americans seem to like to think that we have abandoned social class, but I think in many ways we are worse, because what we really want is to be in the highest classes and say that is a result of our hard work and gifts, just what we deserve, and anyone could do it if they had what it takes.  Ad then we want to forget that we depend on others to do other kinds of work for us.

Edited by Bluegoat
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Perhaps they ought to offer it - they do here, at least in most schools.  But I don't see why anyone would call it a "college" course or try and make it a transferable credit - that does not happen here.  It isn't a college credit, it's a high school math credit, often not a separate one.

 

AP is in Canada:

https://apcanada.collegeboard.org/

 

example colleges:

http://international.collegeboard.org/programs/ap-recognition/canada/carleton-university

 

http://international.collegeboard.org/programs/ap-recognition/canada/university-toronto

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When I was a kid, my H.S. with about 1000 kids in the senior class.  Physics wasn't required to graduate, but you needed the approval of your Chemistry teacher.   She said I wasn't smart enough for Physics.  Shortly after that I joined Mensa, got a B.S in Physics and later an Masters in Engineering.  

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I think this kind of system makes a ton of sense to me.  What I find odd is that here in Canada, whenever anyone talks about something like this, it's seen as classist and elitist.  But to my mind, that assumes that you see the white collar and vocational tracks as somehow less than the academic track.  That is, it's only classist to people who accept classist valuations of different kinds of work.

 

We North Americans seem to like to think that we have abandoned social class, but I think in many ways we are worse, because what we really want is to be in the highest classes and say that is a result of our hard work and gifts, just what we deserve, and anyone could do it if they had what it takes.  Ad then we want to forget that we depend on others to do other kinds of work for us.

 

 

The Russians at my work have commented that the schools here are much more communist than their schools were under communism.  

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There will be students in every population who don't achieve at high levels. But studies over the years have shown that homeschooled students tend to schieve at higher levels than schooled students, regardless of the educational background of their parents.

 

Homeschoolers are individuals and will reflect individual interests and capabilities. But they tend to have higher achievements levels than their schooled peers.

 

I was homeschooled K-8 and these sorts of statements make me extra twitchy. I've offloaded my experiences/opinions on this previously, and at this point I'm worried that people find me whiny and jaded, but okay, in my own real-life the above was most definitely NOT true. I was interested in capable of high levels of education, but homeschooling did not only not offer that to me, it expressly denied me it.

 

The studies Haiku references tend to have serious procedural flaws, including self-selection bias. They should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

 

I suspect the statistic that homeschoolers score higher in LA than math is a matter of culture, not homeschooling itself. The majority of homeschoolers (the ones who end up taking standardized tests, especially) come from conservative Protestant communities which have a culture of promoting biblical literacy. Even today the new translations, such as NLT or TNiV, are around the 9th grade in Lexile level. Children in these churches are expected to read, understand, and discuss from a "real" Bible from around 4th grade. If their family is moderately involved in church, they will have about 3 hours (per week) of group and/or instructor-led textual study. Then you get the odd person or book by someone who prefers the KJV, and you've got textual study in 19th century English. Then you have the encouragement for further daily reading and study, usually including additional study guides. This can't NOT have a cognitive impact on the LA scores of these kids, no matter where they are schooled.

Protestant Christians are a minority of homeschoolers in my area, and the culture of the majority in the home education community is the same as the dominant culture in the overall community. Home educators in this area tend to emphasize heavily reading aloud and literature, which I think sufficient to explain better performance on Language Arts tests among local homeschoolers. I can only speak for my particular microcosm :)

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We have IB programs too.  But the emphasis is really different, I think, for most people.  Probably because our university system and particularly admissions are different.  There is just no sense that you "have" to get all these extra special credits or extra-curriculars to get accepted to a good university, and the money situation is typically not so tight.

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The Russians at my work have commented that the schools here are much more communist than their schools were under communism.

Yes!!!

Over there the concern was the equality of opportunity. Here is the equality of outcome.

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The studies Haiku references tend to have serious procedural flaws, including self-selection bias. They should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

 

Protestant Christians are a minority of homeschoolers in my area, and the culture of the majority in the home education community is the same as the dominant culture in the overall community. Home educators in this area tend to emphasize heavily reading aloud and literature, which I think sufficient to explain better performance on Language Arts tests among local homeschoolers. I can only speak for my particular microcosm :)

 

 

I'm really curious where you live that homeschooling-because-Christian is the minority. Not that I think you're lying or anything, but I think the national stat is that conservative Evangelicals are still the majority?

 

I was mostly riffing off the fact that I recall that the major "homeschoolers are better" study was based on self-reported Iowa's administered by BJU. I believe conservative Christians would be in the large majority in that sample.

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I think one issue is that teacher are hired as full time teachers. My high school had two classes of physics. Each class had around 12-16 students. That was only two periods for the teacher. Assimg one planning period that left three other bell periods. I'm not sure what else he taught. Maybe a 9th grade physical science?

 

I think a lot of schools would not have run sections with only 12-16 students.

 

If a school could hire a teacher part time, that would allow them to pick up people who worked half days as teachers and half as something else (ex engineers). It might let you employ someone who had retired from engineering.

 

This is close to how my high school handled the physics situation. It was a high-poverty high school, and there weren't funds to hire a full-time physics teacher or enough potential physics students to justify the expense. So our principal hired a Stanford grad student to drive in 1 period a day to teach just one section of physics. He was a big, burly black guy who had grown up poor in the inner-city and done a stint in the Marines before going on to college. I have no idea how our principal found this guy or cut through the red-tape to hire an uncertified teacher to teach just a single class period, but Mr. Marine Corp was a fantastic physics teacher and we all loved him.

 

If providing a quality education is the priority, there is usually a way to make it happen. Even in the inner-city. 

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Maybe slightly OT, but since we were talking about fully-funded college education for 14yos, this 12-year-old is in a Canadian uni for physics! Awarded a scholarship too!

It is my hubby's favorite university which is why we are aiming for a Canada college tour. Of couse shopping at Montreal, visiting the German town of Kitchener and going to Niagara Falls is also part of the plan :lol:

 

Hubby's colleague graduated from there this year and liked the engineering school.

 

I an KIV this though for when oldest turns 15 (11th grade)

"Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students"

https://uwaterloo.ca/institute-for-quantum-computing/programs/quantum-cryptography-school-young-students

 

ETA:

Hubby was an exchange student and it was cold enough to leave ice cream out, no fridge required. They also did a lot of Canada road trips on Greyhound while there.

Edited by Arcadia

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Maybe slightly OT, but since we were talking about fully-funded college education for 14yos, this 12-year-old is in a Canadian uni for physics! Awarded a scholarship too!

 

My friend who is a prof in the classics department I attended was telling me they had a 13 year old girl touring the separtment last year to possibly attend this year.  They were quite keen to have her though I don't know where she decided to go.  Her parents were actually going to move to wherever she ended up going, but there were still some logistical issues with regard to her age.  But, I don't think anyone doubted they could make it work.

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I'm really curious where you live that homeschooling-because-Christian is the minority. Not that I think you're lying or anything, but I think the national stat is that conservative Evangelicals are still the majority?

 

I was mostly riffing off the fact that I recall that the major "homeschoolers are better" study was based on self-reported Iowa's administered by BJU. I believe conservative Christians would be in the large majority in that sample.

 

I don't think they are the majority where I live, in eastern Canada.  Though they are very into organizing things and have been the msot visible, because the other big group is unschoolers.  For a long time unschoolers were the dominant force here in homeschooling, if you could call them a force.  Probably I think because of the big surge of hippies we had here in the late 60's, there is a real little hippy descendant population.

 

But increasingly I think people homeschooling are neither unschoolers nor doing it for religious reasons, they are people who are doing it for academic reasons of one kind or another.

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I'm really curious where you live that homeschooling-because-Christian is the minority. Not that I think you're lying or anything, but I think the national stat is that conservative Evangelicals are still the majority?

 

I was mostly riffing off the fact that I recall that the major "homeschoolers are better" study was based on self-reported Iowa's administered by BJU. I believe conservative Christians would be in the large majority in that sample.

I sent you a PM.

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This is close to how my high school handled the physics situation. It was a high-poverty high school, and there weren't funds to hire a full-time physics teacher or enough potential physics students to justify the expense. So our principal hired a Stanford grad student to drive in 1 period a day to teach just one section of physics. He was a big, burly black guy who had grown up poor in the inner-city and done a stint in the Marines before going on to college. I have no idea how our principal found this guy or cut through the red-tape to hire an uncertified teacher to teach just a single class period, but Mr. Marine Corp was a fantastic physics teacher and we all loved him.

 

If providing a quality education is the priority, there is usually a way to make it happen. Even in the inner-city. 

Awesome - this is the kind of success story I like to hear about!

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I agree, and stated as much earlier. I don't agree, however, that a school has to provide classes of any level of rigor that a particular student might need or want, such as another poster's example of (I believe) an 9th grader who was ready for studying college-level classes.

If they can't provide an appropriate education for a student, then the education they do provide should not be compulsory.

 

But as of now, students must attend school until age 16-18, depending on the state. And it is not always easy to graduate early given that there are other hoops to jump through to meet graduation requirements.

 

Not every area has DE options, either.

 

So that is the problem, IMO. If you can't provide real learning experiences, but still require students to attend, you are essentially warehousing human beings. That is unethical IMHO.

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Re: part time teachers: I'd be willing to bet there are quite a few people trying to eke out a living as adjuncts at universities who would be happy to add on part time work in a high school to that.

 

Which is as much a sad commentary on the state of academia as it is a proposition to improve the situation in secondary schools, but there it is.

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If they can't provide an appropriate education for a student, then the education they do provide should not be compulsory.

 

Keep reading. You'll get to the part where I state I'm not in favor of compulsory attendance.  :thumbup1:

Edited by Haiku
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Keep reading. You'll get to the part where I state I'm not in favor of compulsory attendance. :thumbup1:

I did get there. :) But you can't change things all at once, with the way things are set up now.

 

What do teens do if they are ready for "college level" study but are too young to live away from home, too young to hold jobs with significant hours, too young for pretty much anything else but high school, in our society? I suppose online college options will help some of them.

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For the top 1% of intelligence, or the top 1% of that 1% in the case of the PG, I support early college. But for the other 19% of the "top 20%" I am absolutely opposed to it. For them DE or early graduation is a sign of the utter failure of secondary education in America.

 

I say that as someone who started DE when I was 15. Maybe I was underprepared (viz. all my previous twitchy posts about my experience being homeschooled) but my GPA was usually 3.5+, sooo.... But basically, all DE did was provide challenge and content that should have been offered to me in secondary school. By the time I got to the point where I had learned what my teenage brain was curious about, I had my BA. And if you're not independently wealthy, there's no such thing as then going on to get a more challenging University education to learn what my adult brain wanted to do with what my teenage brain learned. Grad school admissions are cutthroat and don't care if you started college at 15. "Just go to Grad school" absolutely can not be taken for granted, especially from a poor school background.

 

The top 20% deserve their own appropriate pre-University education.

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The top 20% deserve their own appropriate pre-University education.

Netherlands VWO track is described as PreU on the internet. Not sure what percentage of cohort is track to VWO.

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Netherlands VWO track is described as PreU on the internet. Not sure what percentage of cohort is track to VWO.

About ~15% of the students attend VWO, ~20% attend HAVO (middle track), ~65% attend VMBO (lowest track, which contains 4-5 seperate tracks).

 

Of those top 15% who attend VWO, roughly half attend Gymnasium (with Latin and Greek added to English, French, and German), the other half Atheneum (same courses, just no Latin&Greek).

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Netherlands VWO track is described as PreU on the internet. Not sure what percentage of cohort is track to VWO.

 

I'm not sure I understand the question?

 

Here's an article that describes the Dutch system in American terms. The article is wrong when it says there's no choice about what track to follow though. The "advice" (as it is called) is largely based on a standard test taken at about age 12, but there's also a teacher recommendation, and ultimately the parent and student make the final decision. If the student is on the borderline, or if there's just no interest in an eventual academic career, the parents often reject a VWO advice and choose a lower program. The VWO is understood as being hard, and if the student isn't cut out for it and doesn't want it, why go through the stress?

 

The middle track(s) also lead to post-secondary education which in America would also fall under the heading of "University."

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If the student is on the borderline, or if there's just no interest in an eventual academic career, the parents often reject a VWO advice and choose a lower program. The VWO is understood as being hard, and if the student isn't cut out for it and doesn't want it, why go through the stress?

 

The middle track(s) also lead to post-secondary education which in America would also fall under the heading of "University."

That's true!

 

However, if a student is borderline VMBO-HAVO most parents want to try HAVO, because VMBO schools are often seperate from HAVO+VWO schools and are thought to have more discipline problems.

 

Large schools usually have 7th grade classes for VMBO-HAVO or HAVO-VWO, in order to give children another year to see which track would be a good fit.

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About ~15% of the students attend VWO, ~20% attend HAVO (middle track), ~65% attend VMBO (lowest track, which contains 4-5 seperate tracks).

Of those top 15% who attend VWO, roughly half attend Gymnasium (with Latin and Greek added to English, French, and German), the other half Atheneum (same courses, just no Latin&Greek).

 

 

Is there any subject to "replace" Latin and Greek or does the students in Atheneum just have two subjects less?

 

 

I'm not sure I understand the question?

I was wondering what percentage gets track/stream into VWO. Tress answered that. Thanks.

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Is there any subject to "replace" Latin and Greek or does the students in Atheneum just have two subjects less?

The Gymnasium students have less hours Dutch and English, but need to cover the same content.

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In some ways I agree with you when you say all kids' needs can't be met with the current budget constraints that most districts have.  OTOH, I do not see justification for spending a large portion of the district's budget on the bottom 50% of academic performers, especially when it is the top students who are going to be leading the scientific, technical, and cultural advances in our country; that seems short-sighted to me.  It also seems that money distribution is favoring the lower achieving students, which is wrong and unfair, in addition to short-sighted.  I do recognize that not every student can be served by public schools (extremes at either end of the educational spectrum).  However, the current funding model seems to favor low or average perfomers.

I know. I think there should be.


I find that very snobby. A standard college-prep education is not basket-weaving.

There are few kids who are ready for AP Physics C in 9th grade. I don't think it's a wise use of taxpayer money to duplicate college-level classes in high school if there a few kids who would benefit from them.

I think free DE should be available for those exceptional students. I think free DE should be available for any kid who wants it. I also think that there should be less spending on the war industrial complex so that we actually have enough money to give every student an excellent education. But we don't, so not every public-school student can get an individualized education. With limited resources, I think that money should be spent on kids with disabilities and kids who struggle before it is spent providing college classes in high school. I understand that's not perfect. But smart kids have advantages that disabled and struggling students don't, and in the current political and financial climate, we make choices.

Ideally, that wouldn't be the case.

 

Edited by reefgazer

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I think sports teach valuable teamwork and should be well-funded, as well.  I think the football and baseball rackets are overboard, but I do think sports are valuable.  I agree with you that they should be open to all, however.

I don't think the schools should have sports at all. Or if they do, they should be for everyone, not just for a few who make the team.

 

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About ~15% of the students attend VWO, ~20% attend HAVO (middle track), ~65% attend VMBO (lowest track, which contains 4-5 seperate tracks).

 

Of those top 15% who attend VWO, roughly half attend Gymnasium (with Latin and Greek added to English, French, and German), the other half Atheneum (same courses, just no Latin&Greek).

 

The Dutch wiki page cites 20%. Not sure where they get that number from. I'm sure there's a government organization somewhere who could tell us for sure. :D

 

I thought many Atheneums offered a few years of Latins as an option. Maybe it depends on the school and the area? My SIL had Latin in school, and I'm pretty sure she didn't do Gymansium or vwo+.

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The bolded is a huge part of why funding is so paltry for more advanced students, which in turn drives down overall achievement, which in turn means US students perform poorly worldwide.  But interestingly, I don't see anyone clamoring to change this formula.  Whiny parents who insist on an A for their average little darling are close behind in the dumbing down of schools. 

Btw, I know that the idea of an "appropriate" education is part of this discussion, and that if kids are ready to study college classes in 9th grade, they are entitled to this. That is actually not the case. A "free, appropriate public education" (FAPE) is guaranteed only to students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. There is no law mandating that highly accelerated or gifted students be provided a college-level education in the public schools. I am not making any judgment of whether this is good or bad; I'm just mentioning it as a fact. In discussions of accelerated and gifted students, I see discussion of what is an "appropriate" education for them, and I think sometimes people think that the public schools are legally required to provide anything to any student who would benefit from it.

 

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A neighbor of mine is a high school biology teacher and mainly teaches AP Bio.  He was corralled into teaching Latin because the school had no Latin teacher that year.  Huh?  Ridiculous.

But that is only because we do not require high school teachers to be qualified to teach their subjects.

If we required math teachers to have math degrees and paid them accordingly, this would not be a problem.

 

It is ridiculous that we let people teach high school who do not possess subject expertise. And that is not just a problem in math; it is equally a problem when the German teacher is asked to teach Spanish and is one lesson ahead of the student in the book. 

 

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A neighbor of mine is a high school biology teacher and mainly teaches AP Bio. He was corralled into teaching Latin because the school had no Latin teacher that year. Huh? Ridiculous.

There is supposedly a lot of Latin in Biology. Still it is shortchanging the students regardless of public school or private.

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A neighbor of mine is a high school biology teacher and mainly teaches AP Bio.  He was corralled into teaching Latin because the school had no Latin teacher that year.  Huh?  Ridiculous.

 

Yeah, there is this fallacy that a good teacher can teach anything.  Which makes no sense if they don't know it themselves.  I think what happens is that a good teacher is defined as a good classroom manager.   So, most of the kids probably just learn what they learn from the book.  

 

I experienced that myself.  I was hired to teach Physics and then was also given a combined class of kids that wanted to take AP Pyschology and the kids that were forced in regular level of Psych because they were likely to fail.  So, some of the top kids and some of the bottom kids.   No one even asked if I've ever even taken a Pysch class.  The vast majority of the kids were illegals from Mexico.  The Spanish teacher was legendarily bad.  Even sweet kids who never had a harsh word about anyone agreed that she was baaaaadddd.   Many of them knew they needed help with grammar, but didn't trust her.  

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An individual student may be "fine", but the funding model that distributes educational dollars intellectually downward drags the entire system down for everyone, even average or just regular above-average (not gifted) students, which will eventually drag the entire country down.

I believe the thinking is that gifted kids will be fine whether or not we support them.
http://www.raisinglifelonglearners.com/it-stinks-to-be-gifted/

 

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In some ways I agree with you when you say all kids' needs can't be met with the current budget constraints that most districts have. OTOH, I do not see justification for spending a large portion of the district's budget on the bottom 50% of academic performers, especially when it is the top students who are going to be leading the scientific, technical, and cultural advances in our country; that seems short-sighted to me. It also seems that money distribution is favoring the lower achieving students, which is wrong and unfair, in addition to short-sighted. I do recognize that not every student can be served by public schools (extremes at either end of the educational spectrum). However, the current funding model seems to favor low or average perfomers.

In looking at our district's budget, which is published online, by far the single biggest chunk of instructional dollars is spent on the lowest 15% of kids. These are the kids who are in special education because they have intellectual disabilities, physical/medical disabilities, or both. Given that these are our most vulnerable children, I have no problem with spending the most money on them to make sure that they are not just neglected and warehoused, to use the word of a previous poster.

 

The next largest chunk of money goes to the kids in the 16th-89th percentiles. Given that this is where the vast majority of kids fall, this is appropriate, imo.

 

The smallest chunk of money goes to the top 10%, the kids who are taking AP classes and calculus and, now that dual enrollment has expanded so much here, probably take DE classes, too. I'll be interested to see, now that the rules for DE funding have changed and schooled students can have as much DE money as they want (homeschoolers still have to fight over a limited pot) how much that budget increases. In our district, the smallest chunk of instructional dollars goes to the smallest population of students. I'm not really sure how that can be construed as a problem. Should the top 10% get 20, 30, or 40% of the budget?

 

FWIW, our district sucks (and I mean that objectively; it is regularly in the bottom five districts in the state). I'm not under any illusions that the kids with disabilities are getting super-fab services while the top 10% languish. Pretty much everyone gets crap here.

 

I don't believe that institutional schools can meet every student's needs or are the most effective, attractive, and efficient way of doing so. I'd like to see radical changes to the schools. In the meantime, I'm really ok with the most vulnerable students getting the most help. Although I certainly understand that having incredibly bright, gifted, or profoundly gifted kids is its own kettle of fish that brings along its own struggles, with the limited resources we are given to run the schools, I'm pretty much ok with not doling out the lion's share to the kids who will be more likely to succeed simply based on their inherent gifts.

 

But again, to be clear: I don't believe there is much that can be done with the existing structure of schools to make things better, and I think the schools need radical reformation. I don't think throwing good intentions at bad structures and hoping they stick is the best way forward.

Edited by Haiku
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I think sports teach valuable teamwork and should be well-funded, as well.  I think the football and baseball rackets are overboard, but I do think sports are valuable.  I agree with you that they should be open to all, however.

 

My kids play one of the most expensive sports there is. I'm not in favor of school budgets being diverted to it. I'd much rather see community sports (my kids play for non-profit community organizations) that give scholarships to low-income kids. I'm the scholarship coordinator for our son's organization. We do not turn away kids due to lack of ability to pay. 

Edited by Haiku
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In some ways I agree with you when you say all kids' needs can't be met with the current budget constraints that most districts have.  OTOH, I do not see justification for spending a large portion of the district's budget on the bottom 50% of academic performers, especially when it is the top students who are going to be leading the scientific, technical, and cultural advances in our country; that seems short-sighted to me.  It also seems that money distribution is favoring the lower achieving students, which is wrong and unfair, in addition to short-sighted.  I do recognize that not every student can be served by public schools (extremes at either end of the educational spectrum).  However, the current funding model seems to favor low or average perfomers.

 

I don't think top or gifted students should be shortchanged, but I really dislike the implication that students who don't meet the meritocracies version of academically talened aren't worth spending much money on.  I think the programs for all students, be they academic or business/tech or vocational should be really good and strong.

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Interestingly, as of 2014 (the most recent year reported), 57.6% of teachers in our cruddy district had masters or doctoral degrees.

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Interestingly, as of 2014 (the most recent year reported), 57.6% of teachers in our cruddy district had masters or doctoral degrees.

How many of those are masters or doctorate in education, though, vs. chemistry, math, history, etc.?

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How many of those are masters or doctorate in education, though, vs. chemistry, math, history, etc.?

 

I don't know. It didn't break it down. I just found it interesting that more than half the teachers had graduate degrees.

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In some ways I agree with you when you say all kids' needs can't be met with the current budget constraints that most districts have.  OTOH, I do not see justification for spending a large portion of the district's budget on the bottom 50% of academic performers, especially when it is the top students who are going to be leading the scientific, technical, and cultural advances in our country; that seems short-sighted to me.  It also seems that money distribution is favoring the lower achieving students, which is wrong and unfair, in addition to short-sighted.  I do recognize that not every student can be served by public schools (extremes at either end of the educational spectrum).  However, the current funding model seems to favor low or average perfomers.

 Without getting into a direct debate on the merits or demerits of argument you're making, I would propose that 'mass public' education policy has as much to do with sociological and political perspectives; as economic and technological advancements.

 

Here is just one of the many studies that refers to the 'origins and expansion of mass public education'.

 

The U.N. has classified education as a human right, especially in the developing countries- 'Education For All'. Another one, this time by UNICEF.

 

IMhO, the natural fall out of education being considered as a human right/ for all is that standards (whatever they may be) are lowered to be inclusive of all.

 

 

ETA: A study reflects on the relationship between mass education and democracy.

Edited by ebunny

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An individual student may be "fine", but the funding model that distributes educational dollars intellectually downward drags the entire system down for everyone, even average or just regular above-average (not gifted) students, which will eventually drag the entire country down.

 

The bolded is a loaded statement which unless backed by data (For eg- Who are the biggest contributors to GDP) seems egregious. 

 

ETA: An article in Forbes talks about the GDP in U.S. Guess what contributes most to the U.S. economy? Consumerism.

 

To quote: 

 

 

 Stimulate consumer spending. How? We’ll tackle that in more detail another time. However, here’s some food for thought. To stimulate consumer spending, individuals must be employed. To achieve full employment – which is around 5.0% according to the Fed – businesses must have a reason to hire. Therefore, government must provide an incentive for businesses and consumers so businesses will hire and consumers will spend

 

Edited by ebunny
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