Public School Systems In The U.S. (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?)

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I was just sitting here trying to help my son with his math homework and I find it troubling. I find it troubling that the classes are so oversized that kids have trouble getting much one-on-one attention if they're not understanding something.

I find it troubling that even though there is tutoring offered in my son's school, it's also crowded and the teachers that are in charge of these sessions may not even be familiar with how other teachers are instructing kids to do a particular task in their class. Therefore, they're also unable to help much of the time.

I find it troubling that the schools are practically begging parents to work with their kids in order to help them maintain passing grades, yet they've completely changed most of the methods in which the material is being taught to our children. Have you tried to help your kid with their math homework recently? Many times I end up becoming the student!

I find it troubling that schools have faced so many budget cuts and continue to be on the chopping block when they should be our #1 priority! This is the future of our country!

I recently read an article about how people from other countries view the U.S. when they come here to visit for any length of time and the comments from a couple foreign exchange students that I read was that the school work was "too easy".

Wow! Too easy for them, but most parents don't understand most of it? There's something seriously wrong here and it must be addressed very soon.

Jeff Foxworthy was really onto something when he started the "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" show. Actually, I mentioned that before my son started 5th grade last year and many other parents also shared my concern. The younger parents seem to be more in touch, but we that are older, not so much.

How can you help your kids when the schools have changed everything? It's frustrating!
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    FIRST of all, until recently, this was handled by the STATES! For the past few years, they have been trying to get an INTERNATIONALLY ordained structure in NATIONALLY called, among other things, COMMON CORE.

    Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

    I was just sitting here trying to help my son with his math homework and I find it troubling. I find it troubling that the classes are so oversized that kids have trouble getting much one-on-one attention if they're not understanding something.
    WOW! When I was at school, they tried to keep classes roughly around 30, at least in california, and from what I have heard elsewhere. How big are they elsewhere?

    I find it troubling that even though there is tutoring offered in my son's school, it's also crowded and the teachers that are in charge of these sessions may not even be familiar with how other teachers are instructing kids to do a particular task in their class. Therefore, they're also unable to help much of the time.
    They are standardizing the "teaching methods", but they are ODD!

    I find it troubling that the schools are practically begging parents to work with their kids in order to help them maintain passing grades, yet they've completely changed most of the methods in which the material is being taught to our children. Have you tried to help your kid with their math homework recently? Many times I end up becoming the student!
    YEP, many HATE IT!

    I find it troubling that schools have faced so many budget cuts and continue to be on the chopping block when they should be our #1 priority! This is the future of our country!
    You are seeing the GOOD side! It gets worse! And this requires ALL NEW BOOKS AND MATERIALS! And you apparently HAVE to teach them the way THE "SCHOOLS" want, or your kids may FAIL the tests to go to the next grade!

    I recently read an article about how people from other countries view the U.S. when they come here to visit for any length of time and the comments from a couple foreign exchange students that I read was that the school work was "too easy".
    MOST exchange students likely came here for the HIGHER grades, and THEY haven't been HIT with the weird stuff yet. But the US system hasn't been that great. Of course it depends on many things. Some are FAR harder than others.

    Wow! Too easy for them, but most parents don't understand most of it? There's something seriously wrong here and it must be addressed very soon.
    A parent that did OK in school, is bright, and finds the current system hard may simply not understand the crazy common core stuff.

    Jeff Foxworthy was really onto something when he started the "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" show. Actually, I mentioned that before my son started 5th grade last year and many other parents also shared my concern. The younger parents seem to be more in touch, but we that are older, not so much.

    How can you help your kids when the schools have changed everything? It's frustrating!
    Jeff foxworthy's show ran off of a LOT of things. The hubris that 10yos aren't exposed to that much, the stress of having to get it right NOW, some obscure questions, the amount of time. And they were probably selected only based on back story, claims, and attitude. The kids were, in part, chosen on ability. And the kids likely ARE taught the stuff as part of their tutoring.

    Some of the missed things were just BAD! And the people that passed ONLY the first 3 questions and ONLY because they cheated? WOW! Note to non viewers. You compete against a 5th grader(10yo). You have like 3 cheats you can use if you are in trouble. But some were just bound to happen to the best.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    There was an indepth study of "poor" schools that had great results. And the one thing they all had in common was teachers that made their classes interesting.

    The best teacher I ever had taught middle school grammar, maybe the least favorite subject for teenage boys.

    He invented a "game" that we'd play, so it became a fun class. Basically, the class was q and a. He'd go through the class and ask a qustion of student. If that person got it wrong, he'd ask the next student the same question, and so on until someone got it right.

    At that point, all the students that got the question wrong, "moved down" by taking another seat in the order, and the student that got it right would "move up".

    At the end of the grading period, the students in the top 1/3 of the "line" would get their grades shaded up half a grade, the middle third's grades would stay the same and those in the bottom third would have their grades shaded down.

    There was one kid, we'll call "Billy", that didn't study much. He'd have to move down so often, sometimes he'd be out in the hall and when he missed another question, the teacher would shout to him out in the hall "Move down Billy!". There was a time or two when Billy was past the water fountain. The whole class would LOL! (You had to be there.)

    IMO, we need to either get rid of, or retrain, the Ben Stein monotone "Bueller? Bueller?" style teachers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post


      Yeah, I caught that. Honestly, I haven't had a chance to look at it in-depth. It looks like we'll be losing a significant amount of federal funding as well for making that decision.

      Honestly, I rarely watch the local news because it's really quite disturbing. Nothing but death and mayhem. I don't need to put that garbage in my head every day.

      From what I understand, Arizona wants to do their own thing. I'll be interested to see what that is because what's happening now stinks. They need to be able to hire more QUALITY teachers and reduce class sizes by 10-20%.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

        Yeah, I caught that. Honestly, I haven't had a chance to look at it in-depth. It looks like we'll be losing a significant amount of federal funding as well for making that decision.
        NO! In 2010, the PASSED the COMMON CORE! People lined up to KILL it a couple days ago. But the BILL was killed. So common core is still there.

        Honestly, I rarely watch the local news because it's really quite disturbing. Nothing but death and mayhem. I don't need to put that garbage in my head every day.

        From what I understand, Arizona wants to do their own thing. I'll be interested to see what that is because what's happening now stinks. They need to be able to hire more QUALITY teachers and reduce class sizes by 10-20%.
        Who cares about "teachers" if they are teaching garbage. They might as well fire all the teachers. Next to teaching your kids the right stuff, the best thing is to NOT TEACH the bad.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I remember in elementary school one of my teachers telling us everything in the US would be metric by the time we graduated high school. How's that working out?
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I remember in elementary school one of my teachers telling us everything in the US would be metric by the time we graduated high school. How's that working out?
      Yep. I remember that too. Do you remember the "take 10 minutes and learn the metric system" commercials? The American public vetoed that idea pretty quickly.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
        Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

        Yep. I remember that too. Do you remember the "take 10 minutes and learn the metric system" commercials? The American public vetoed that idea pretty quickly.
        I also remember seeing certain road signs that had US/Metric (Miles/KM) on them. Don't see those anymore.

        Frankly, I find the metric system easier. I wish they DID convert all those years ago.
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