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s/o How common is it for high schools to forgo textbooks?

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Ime farrar is right.  These tests include obscure material - if the dept chair decides a unit or a subuni isn't going to be taught due to low chance of being on test, the students who don't have a tutor or the right text will be caught short.  What we found is that the school was using dumbed down textbooks for some subjects, 

 

 

Dumbed down textbooks is different than "not the latest edition"-textbooks, and a dept chair deciding to not cover part of a book is also a different issue. I stand by what I said... having the previous edition of a book doesn't doom a school to having terrible standardized test scores. It might make a few points of difference, but it's not going to take a school from performing well to performing poorly (and if a school is really concerned about obscure material, they need just 1 copy of the latest edition so the teachers can see what new obscure topic is in it and teach that topic, like the thread on the high school board about box plots... it's not like 90% of the material students learn is obscure material that changes every edition). 

 

Again, I get that a few points will make some difference and that it doesn't help... I just think that having the previous edition of a book pales in comparison to having kids coming to school hungry, or tired, or distracted by whatever problems their family is having, having bad teachers, having no heating in the school, having a large percentage of kids with lead poisoning, or w/e issues a school might have (and yes, again, I get that not all schools are as lucky as to have enough previous edition books and paper and pencils and all that... but that *was* the argument... that having previous edition books was hurting poor schools, and preventing them from doing okay on standardized tests... and I'm saying that if everything else was wonderful - well-fed, healthy kids without worries, good teachers, good building with enough desks and heating and A/C and all that, that having the previous edition would be a minor inconvenience, not the ultimate test-score-destroyer). 

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Interesting. My friend has a daughter in 10th grade at the local public high school. She says her daughter is a straight A student, but shouldn’t be. Our state awards scholarship money for grades and ACT scores to every child. She says the teachers are giving out all the A’s they possibly can so kids can get more scholarship money.

Lovely. I don’t need him to get scholarship money. I need him to get a decent education and I need him to know hiw to sit down with a book/textbook and read it and pull out the info he needs for college courses.

 

Someone asked when we moved if we would go back to hsing. At this point he would never agree and trying to make him would be hellish. But why would he ever want to come back? He has seen the other side. Public school is so much easier and so much less work than homeschooling.

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Our high school no longer uses texts for biology, chem, physics, and math. I don't know what they are using this year, but they dumped all their texts from previous years. Fortunately, the teachers for those subjects are good friends, and they let me take them all! I was not impressed with the science texts as they are integrated. I drove around for a month handing out textbooks, with TE, worksheets, tests, etc. That reminds me--I need to ask if any more old ones resurfaced, as I'll take them to CHEC. I usually have 5-10 boxes every year. 

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My son’s highschool is pushing most materials to them electronically on their laptops. They get books for English (not textbooks, copies of the various books they are reading for class) and they have a math text book. That’s it.

 

All of the other classes he is taking- History, Careers, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Programming, Physical Science and most of their English materials come to them via their laptops.

 

The laptops are school issued for all students and there are internet hotspots available for students to take home of their family doesn’t have internet at home. There is an $85/year technology fee towards the costs of the laptop program with fee waivers for those who need them.

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My son’s highschool is pushing most materials to them electronically on their laptops. They get books for English (not textbooks, copies of the various books they are reading for class) and they have a math text book. That’s it.

 

All of the other classes he is taking- History, Careers, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Programming, Physical Science and most of their English materials come to them via their laptops.

 

The laptops are school issued for all students and there are internet hotspots available for students to take home of their family doesn’t have internet at home. There is an $85/year technology fee towards the costs of the laptop program with fee waivers for those who need them.

Do you know what types of electronic materials are being provided on their laptops?  My concern is not so much whether there is a physical book or an electronic text (although I personally prefer reading from hard copy than from electronic sources).  My concern is the trend I have seen for there to be course materials--often PowerPoints with bullet items being used rather than materials with sentences, paragraphs, and structure. 

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Do you know what types of electronic materials are being provided on their laptops? My concern is not so much whether there is a physical book or an electronic text (although I personally prefer reading from hard copy than from electronic sources). My concern is the trend I have seen for there to be course materials--often PowerPoints with bullet items being used rather than materials with sentences, paragraphs, and structure.

It depends on the class.

 

In history for example, it is Big History, a set curriculum. So readings/ebook, worksheets, assignments and video content.

 

In Aerospace Engineering and Physical Science, it is a robust amount of resources which are largely created or currated by the teacher. Definitely not powerpoint or lecture notes.

 

In Careers, it’s mostly just links the the assignments and sometimes examples like “these are sample resumesâ€.

 

In his computer programming class, they did all of the work online.

 

In Robotics, it was all in class with the only web contents being how to program the robots.

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No textbook here.  If children have textbooks, parents would be able to help them with math, and they don't want math taught non-common-core style by parents.  'Cause then the kid might find an efficient way to get the right answer.  So said a teacher at the local elementary school. 

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Part of the issue at my school is that the district chose lousy science textbooks. At least the textbooks for chemistry and IPC are lousy. I haven't looked at the others.

 

For forensics, we have only 35 copies, but we need to have them in two different classrooms because there are two of us teaching it. So neither of us has a complete class set. When we work on case studies from the text, we have to make photocopies of it in order for all of the students to have their own copies. I have 29 in one of my classes and 31 in my other class. The other teacher has 32 in her class.

Edited by AngieW in Texas

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It doesn't have to be "Nothing" -- it can just be "Not enough"

 

And yeah -- we've got University libraries -- University of Texas at Austin and the Austin Community Colleges. Since no one in our house attends the colleges 1) We do not really have access to them and 2) I would not expect to find books there written to even a precocious child's understanding level (we found DS could read at a higher level than he can really do effective research)

 

If there are actually books, I'd expect to see some in the bibliographies.  That there are zero is suggesting to me that they haven't actually looked.

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If there are actually books, I'd expect to see some in the bibliographies.  That there are zero is suggesting to me that they haven't actually looked.

 

Ah in our bibliography we did have a couple of books. There were just many more URL links due to the above.

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Dumbed down textbooks is different than "not the latest edition"-textbooks, and a dept chair deciding to not cover part of a book is also a different issue. I stand by what I said... having the previous edition of a book doesn't doom a school to having terrible standardized test scores. It might make a few points of difference, but it's not going to take a school from performing well to performing poorly (and if a school is really concerned about obscure material, they need just 1 copy of the latest edition so the teachers can see what new obscure topic is in it and teach that topic, like the thread on the high school board about box plots... it's not like 90% of the material students learn is obscure material that changes every edition). 

 

Again, I get that a few points will make some difference and that it doesn't help... I just think that having the previous edition of a book pales in comparison to having kids coming to school hungry, or tired, or distracted by whatever problems their family is having, having bad teachers, having no heating in the school, having a large percentage of kids with lead poisoning, or w/e issues a school might have (and yes, again, I get that not all schools are as lucky as to have enough previous edition books and paper and pencils and all that... but that *was* the argument... that having previous edition books was hurting poor schools, and preventing them from doing okay on standardized tests... and I'm saying that if everything else was wonderful - well-fed, healthy kids without worries, good teachers, good building with enough desks and heating and A/C and all that, that having the previous edition would be a minor inconvenience, not the ultimate test-score-destroyer). 

 

It's that they are constantly, subtly manipulating the phrasing in these things to try and make sure that it hits the kids who read their books to be easier for them and that it's phrased much more obscurely for the kids who didn't get that text. The tests are a product to help them sell more textbooks. They love it when the test has to be rewritten. It's good for their profit on a number of levels. Does it doom them? Well, it doesn't doom a rich school with kids who are constantly being exposed to content at home too. I think it does help doom a poor school. When you've already got several roadblocks, this is yet another one.

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It's that they are constantly, subtly manipulating the phrasing in these things to try and make sure that it hits the kids who read their books to be easier for them and that it's phrased much more obscurely for the kids who didn't get that text. The tests are a product to help them sell more textbooks. They love it when the test has to be rewritten. It's good for their profit on a number of levels. Does it doom them? Well, it doesn't doom a rich school with kids who are constantly being exposed to content at home too. I think it does help doom a poor school. When you've already got several roadblocks, this is yet another one.

I am curious as to what tests these are that are so closely linked in wording to a specific text book. Are these state exams?  In these cases, who is publishing the test and who is publishing the books?  Are they two different companies?

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Dumbed down textbooks is different than "not the latest edition"-textbooks, and a dept chair deciding to not cover part of a book is also a different issue. I stand by what I said... having the previous edition of a book doesn't doom a school to having terrible standardized test scores. It might make a few points of difference, but it's not going to take a school from performing well to performing poorly (and if a school is really concerned about obscure material, they need just 1 copy of the latest edition so the teachers can see what new obscure topic is in it and teach that topic, like the thread on the high school board about box plots... it's not like 90% of the material students learn is obscure material that changes every edition). 

 

Again, I get that a few points will make some difference and that it doesn't help... I just think that having the previous edition of a book pales in comparison to having kids coming to school hungry, or tired, or distracted by whatever problems their family is having, having bad teachers, having no heating in the school, having a large percentage of kids with lead poisoning, or w/e issues a school might have (and yes, again, I get that not all schools are as lucky as to have enough previous edition books and paper and pencils and all that... but that *was* the argument... that having previous edition books was hurting poor schools, and preventing them from doing okay on standardized tests... and I'm saying that if everything else was wonderful - well-fed, healthy kids without worries, good teachers, good building with enough desks and heating and A/C and all that, that having the previous edition would be a minor inconvenience, not the ultimate test-score-destroyer). 

 

Where in NY are you seeing hungry children?  This state is over the top with food support...they even have feeding stations all summer long for age 0 to 18, no questions asked. 

 

where in NY are you seeing teachers that can't teach basic?  

 

A/C?????  Really???

 

The previous editions in my district are 10+ years old.  You bet your boots that not having the current does affect the students.  But it sounds like you only want to hear about poor districts...not us.  We are middle class, which means we don't get Title 1. Poor schools have Title  1 money and lots of grants for things like orchestra. They aren't lacking current books.  

 

Sounds like a rant.

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I am curious as to what tests these are that are so closely linked in wording to a specific text book. Are these state exams?  In these cases, who is publishing the test and who is publishing the books?  Are they two different companies?

 

No, I think they are the same companies producing tests and texts.

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No, I think they are the same companies producing tests and texts.

I think this is more of a problem of the tests than the textbooks.  Some of it seems to be driven by trying to test knowledge, education, and understanding with "objective" multiple choice questions.  I don't have much experience with k-12 standardized testing, but I do have some experience with testing for professional designations.  

 

I was on a team that was reviewing a professional exam.  There was an exam question that the group of professionals in the room agreed there was not a correct answer given.  The testing company claimed it was a valid question because of their psychometric statistics which were more important than the correctness of the questions and answers.  They pointed to a certain sentence in the required reading that the question was taken from to "prove" their answer.  The sad thing was I was the author of the required reading--the sentence was taken out of context and had no meaning on its own.  

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Where in NY are you seeing hungry children?  This state is over the top with food support...they even have feeding stations all summer long for age 0 to 18, no questions asked. 

 

where in NY are you seeing teachers that can't teach basic?  

 

A/C?????  Really???

 

The previous editions in my district are 10+ years old.  You bet your boots that not having the current does affect the students.  But it sounds like you only want to hear about poor districts...not us.  We are middle class, which means we don't get Title 1. Poor schools have Title  1 money and lots of grants for things like orchestra. They aren't lacking current books.  

 

Sounds like a rant.

 

 

I was talking about the US in general, listing possible disadvantages poor and/or poorly performing districts have, not NY specifically. Not everything is about your district (whichever that would be). But hey, rant away. And while I mostly wasn't thinking NY when I mentioned A/C, yes, A/C is an issue even in NY when it's 90-something and humid, like when my oldest had PT and Speech one summer... the physical therapist got a fan from the district because one of her students was heat sensitive, but realistically, those therapy sessions were pretty ineffective because everyone was too hot to do much, and part of the reason I declined summer therapy after that summer. 

 

Farrar, yes, occasionally they'll come up with some new weird phrasing for something. For the most part though, if the school district buys 1 copy, teachers can make sure to include that new phrasing in their teaching. Like I said, I agree it doesn't help... I just think it's one of the smallest problems schools have.

Edited by luuknam

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