Educational Segregation

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AuthorTopic: Educational Segregation
Shock Trooper
Member # 5545
Profile Homepage #0
It's my Senior year in High School, so it's no surprise that educational matters are utmost in my mind. I've pondered the matter of educational segregation (the separation of students by "aptitude") for some time, and found myself rather split on it. Now, just one week before school gets in, I've suddenly shifted dramatically in a direction I was already leaning: toward the socialistic idea of equal opportunity, avoiding undue catering to the "bright" (meaning, in this case, those who score well on things like SAT and IQ tests). What caused this shift? An article in Time Magazine. It covered, in detail, the idea that we are "failing" our geniuses. It used the term "segregation" in a positive light. It criticized the disproportional amount of funding given to disabled students as opposed to gifted students. It made me rather angry. I'd love to hear all your opinions on the subject.

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Posts: 344 | Registered: Friday, February 25 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4239
Profile #1
*shrug*
I'm a bright student, and I never felt particularly neglected, but that was mostly because I:
1) Wasted huge portions of my middle school time on my teachers' computers (largely playing Avernum demos, in fact),
2) Worked independently in math during 6th and 7th grade,
3) went to a separate school for half the day during high school for my math and science.

Personally, I think that separating students into different schools is a bad idea because there's a strong correlation between student aptitude and parent involvement that's a bit of a circle, so separate schools means that, well, all the dumb kids get dumber. But within the school there absolutely should be separation, because let's face it, people learn at different speeds, in different ways, in different subjects. I only survived my English classes because sophomore year on I was in Advanced/AP classes.
In any case, it may well be that at your school the blend is appropriate enough that for you it doesn't seem necessary to segregate classes, but it's moronic in the extreme to put genius students in a classroom with those who just don't care about learning or are mentally retarded. It just makes things painful for all those involves and impedes their learning.

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Posts: 322 | Registered: Monday, April 12 2004 07:00
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I have to say that I can see no reason that a proper degree of separation of students by ability can be bad. Take for example high school math classes: Some students begin their first year with ALgebra 1a, others with Geometry. This is better for both sets of students (assuming that they were properly sorted in the first place) as the ones taking Geometry already know the material of Algebra 1, while those in Algebra 1 would not be prepared for Geometry. (This also assumes that these two classes are taught in this order, which is the case at most school in my area, but I realize is not fundamentally necessary.) Likewise, why insist that all students in an elementary school must study the same math curriculum just because they are the same age. In my opinion it is far better to take the students who have already mastered a certain level of material and move them on to the next while those who are not yet ready should continue from where they are.

I'm certainly not saying that students should be moved ahead in all areas of study because they have somehow been determined to be 'smarter' than others, or that more resources should be devoted to such 'smarter' students. Rather, students need to be taught at the highest level at which they are prepared to learn. When I was in elementary school myself, an IQ test labeled me as 'smarter' than most of the other students. This got me put in a special 'gifted' class, which honestly was waste of time. I didn't learn anything in particular in the gifted class, and I still had to do the same math, science, english, and social studies as all of the other students in my grade. In the cases of english and social studies, I think this was appropriate, but I was desperately bored in 4th grade having to learn about adding pairs of two digit numbers when my parents had taught me long division while I was in 3rd grade. On the whole, I think that this kind of thing meant that I got very little out of elementary school, but the problem largely disappeared as I got to high school and college where I could take classes that were actually challenging for me.

Edit: I should learn to use the Shift key correctly.

[ Sunday, August 26, 2007 16:58: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
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Profile Homepage #3
I don't disagree that it is necessary to provide the opportunity for a student to take the classes for which he or she possesses the ability to excel in, I just resent the idea that it is more beneficial to send a "gifted" student to a special school than to find a niche for them within the normal system. When they try to send academically challenged students to a special school, or try to hold them back three or more grades, there's an uproar. Being among your peers is a privilege, not a burden, and should be weighed with other factors when making such a decision.

I also don't think this point of view is a product of any dramatic circumstance in my life. My school is very split between those who can barely speak English and those who take every AP class offered. Many of the latter group are transferring to other schools. With the exception of Aspen High, none of the other schools in the valley seem to offer any more. Although I refuse to take an IQ test, I did very well on both my ACTs and SATs; not genius level, but certainly high enough to avoid getting stuck in the "mentally challenged" category. Not that that means much, but that should be enough to avoid bias based on envy.

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Posts: 344 | Registered: Friday, February 25 2005 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #4
Think how difficult it must be for a teacher to keep track of how well 5 sets of students are doing when only taught 5 different levels of a subject. Now imagine if those 5 sets are composed of 25 people with individual study goals, and this happens in each of the 5 classes. Now that teacher is overloaded 25 times worse than before. The failure is not in the school for bunching students according to ability, or regardless of ability, but to society as a whole for failing to recognize that the ability of a "school" is limited when the population reaches infinity. In fact, I would propose that a school is an asset to learning until it reaches a certain size, and then it declines in value as the population continues to increase. If it important, then eventually someone will realize that it is not college that is so expensive, but that k-12 is so marginalized that there is a huge sticker shock after basic education requirements are met. You want to see society improved and lives maximized? Fund those grades as you would fund college. No? Then sit down and shaddup.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Agent
Member # 2820
Profile #5
I think the controversial debate concentrates on how much money should be spent on each of these educationally segregated classes, not whether we should have them. I think we can all agree that after the first few years of elementary school, the differences in learning proficiency in particular subjects become pronounced enough to justify the existence of multiple levels of difficulty for classes.

I do not know much about the funding distribution in other schools, but mine definitely spends enough on the honors students in my opinion. I find that many people in lower level classes are capable of high classes, but are simply not motivated. Unfortunately, wildly throwing money at this particular problem does not solve it.

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Posts: 1415 | Registered: Thursday, March 27 2003 08:00
Infiltrator
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Profile #6
This biggest problem schools face to day is the overwhelming large number of students who don't want to learn and just go because the half too. It easy to forget most kids that age want to go to a football game, go see a move, go to a club and ect. Segregation of this type isn't separating smart from stupid its separating those who want to learn from those who do. To be honest if you don't want to learn what are you doing in school in the first place.

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Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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The biggest misconception about this that needs to get cleared up right away is that treating everyone equally is not the same as doing the same thing to everyone. I'm in favor of individualized classes wherever possible, designed to teach to the needs of the students in the room and not designed for some faceless generic student.

I know that I personally would have become a problem if I were in regular classes with everyone else. Having at least advanced classes is a bare minimum to keeping a school functional, and accomodating learning differences of all kinds — the disabled, the exceptionally bright, whatever — is incredibly important.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
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quote:
Originally written by Actaeon:

Being among your peers is a privilege, not a burden, and should be weighed with other factors when making such a decision.
But who are one's peers? When I was accelerated from Year 8 to Year 11, I know that I felt I had a lot more in common with the older students than with those my own age. My academic and social life improved.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #9
quote:
because the half too. It easy to forget most kids ... go see a move, go to a club and ect
:D

[ Sunday, August 26, 2007 21:37: Message edited by: root ]

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #10
I'm with JS on this one: decent education needs a lot more money than it has been getting. At one point in my academic career, I considered bailing out of research and teaching high school. The alarming cut in salary that this would have meant scared me away. Public school teachers are paid really poorly in the US, and I doubt Canada or the UK is much better. The reasons must be historical: teachers were paid in respect and some security, teaching was thought to be a sort of sacred calling in which materialism had no role, it was one of the few professions open to women, and so on.

In the Great Depression, schoolteaching was probably the largest sector of public employees, so although schoolteachers weren't paid well, they were among the lucky few who could count on getting paid at all, and I bet the idea that teachers were getting quite enough persisted long.

I should find out how teachers are paid here in Germany. But school buildings and facilities are rather sharper than I recall seeing in North America (like most public facilities in Europe).

Segregation by academic ability used to be called 'streaming', since segregation meant racial segregation in the US, and it has gone in and out of fashion for forty years or more. I think I'm basically for it, although having a few enriched or advanced placement courses may be enough streaming, at least in most cases, and complete segregation may not be necessary.

Nobody likes being bored. How many people here would like to be cooped up for hours of every day being forced to go through trivial drills in basic arithmetic and phonics? If we did that sort of thing to murderers in prison, there would be supreme court cases. Yet there are brilliant kids in elementary grades who have already mastered these things as well as any adult, and who are just as agonizingly bored by the exercises as any adult would be.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #11
Honestly, the biggest problems are at the elementary school level. It's there that some students get in their head that learning is uncool, or that they're stupid, etc. and that impacts the rest of their pre-college education. I'm in favor of combined classes where everyone is held to a high standard, and then some separation happens in middle school (two levels? three?) before in high school, when things are further stratified.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #12
I think the biggest problem in the US education "system" these days is not "tracking," as I've always heard it referred as before, but the great disparity in funding between schools within a state or county. Since the lion's share of a school system's funds tend to be derived from real property taxes, schools in poorer districts tend to perform more poorly. The contrast could not be stronger than the neighboring school districts here in the nation's capital. At the low end of the spectrum, you have DC public schools and Prince George County, Maryland's public schools continually failing their populations; however, just to the west, you have Montgomery County, Maryland's schools and Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia's schools constantly cited for excellence in education. It really does boil down to funding. While there has been the rare case of a PTA deciding essentially to take over funding a public school (this has been the case with at least one elementary school in NW DC), it frequently is much easier for these parents to bail their children out into private schools.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #13
Yes, in practice US public education must be bought for your children, when you buy your house. A district with high housing prices gets high local taxes, because these are generally based on market value. It can therefore afford good schools. Good local schools then dramatically boost local housing prices.

It's all good ol' local democracy and the free market, but its consequences approach a caste system. To a Canadian this seems like another clear case where a little tyranny is called for — though I'm not sure the situation is as much better in Canada as it should be.

Y'all need some taxation without representation, here.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #14
It's definitely *not* just the funding - the Abbott districts in New Jersey get hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid but have little improvement to show for it. I think that it's the attitudes of the parents and students towards their education that makes the biggest difference. And let me add in teachers - teachers can stunt growth just as much as they can encourage it.

Also, I'm in favor of larger school districts like Montgomery County (I had almost seven years there) in place of town-level school districts like you see all over New Jersey. School districts in affluent towns will do just as well with $80 million as they do with $150 million.

[ Monday, August 27, 2007 08:18: Message edited by: Drakefyre ]

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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Profile #15
I think Drew is talking about the same thing as I.

You need a minimum amount of funding per student to keep a school district afloat. You need another level of funding to attract gifted teachers. The 80 million to 150 million figures are crap without any idea on what that represents in spending per student. It takes time to get a community invested in education, and yeah, it doesn't happen just because of money. It happens because a few kids get really excited about a class, and that keeps on happening until parents start talking about it in bars, church, etc. But it starts with proper levels of funding.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Nuke and Pave
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The problems with American school system are due to fundamental flaws in the system's structure, and can't be solved by just throwing more money at schools, even if in some cases more money is needed.

One of the biggest problems is that American schools are run the same way as medieval universities, with each teacher the complete master of their classroom, protected by a tenure and only loosely guided by state education requirements. A system like that relies on each teacher being a brilliant educator, capable of developing a corriculum, making up good tests (a skill that takes years to master), keeping the students' attention, oh, and perhaps even teaching the material. Teachers like this do exist, but there will never be enough of them to fill every class in every school, no matter how much you pay.

The solution that top education systems in the world have come up with is to have curriculum designed by professionals. You can't staff each classroom with a brillian educator capable of making good lesson plans and fair tests that don't have to be graded on a curve, but you can find enough of them for a curriculum development commission. This is the approach taken by Russia and, I think, other countries with top school systems.

As for the results of the two approaches: coming from an 8th grade in a good Russian school, my math level had matched at least 11th grade in a very good American school, and science level was also a couple grades ahead of my counterparts in an equally good American school. (It's harder to compare science level directly, because in Russia Chemistry, Physics, etc. are taught simultaneously, instead of teaching Physics in 9th grade, chemistry in 10th, etc.)

PS As for original question of separating students by ability, it's hard to strike the right balance between every single student being forced to adhere to the same curriculum (Russian approach) and nobody being challenged to show any effort (American approach). The right answer is somewhere in between, but I don't know where.

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Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #17
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

The problems with American school system are due to fundamental flaws in the system's structure, and can't be solved by just throwing more money at schools, even if in some cases more money is needed.
Correct. No one is saying that money is the only necessary ingredient.

quote:
One of the biggest problems is that American schools are run the same way as medieval universities, with each teacher the complete master of their classroom, protected by a tenure and only loosely guided by state education requirements. A system like that relies on each teacher being a brilliant educator, capable of developing a curriculum, making up good tests (a skill that takes years to master), keeping the students' attention, oh, and perhaps even teaching the material. Teachers like this do exist, but there will never be enough of them to fill every class in every school, no matter how much you pay.
I have no idea what school system you are describing. It wasn't that way when I went to school, and isn't remotely like that in the school district where I currently reside.

quote:
The solution that top education systems in the world have come up with is to have curriculum designed by professionals. You can't staff each classroom with a brilliant educator capable of making good lesson plans and fair tests that don't have to be graded on a curve, but you can find enough of them for a curriculum development commission. This is the approach taken by Russia and, I think, other countries with top school systems.
This is the system that Oregon is leaning toward, with centrally developed curricula and testing schema. It sucks. It ignores that different students have different needs, and punishes students, teachers, and districts when they veer from the pre-set goals of the "head in the clouds" curricula developers.

quote:
As for the results of the two approaches: coming from an 8th grade in a good Russian school, my math level had matched at least 11th grade in a very good American school, and science level was also a couple grades ahead of my counterparts in an equally good American school. (It's harder to compare science level directly, because in Russia Chemistry, Physics, etc. are taught simultaneously, instead of teaching Physics in 9th grade, chemistry in 10th, etc.)
In 11th grade I was taking Pre-Calc, Trig, AP Physics and AP Biology, AP English, and History of the Ancient World. I find it incredible that Russian children are taught those subjects 3 years prior. My high school was public, and the only one I was eligible to attend.

quote:
PS As for original question of separating students by ability, it's hard to strike the right balance between every single student being forced to adhere to the same curriculum (Russian approach) and nobody being challenged to show any effort (American approach). The right answer is somewhere in between, but I don't know where.
I don't see that as the American approach. My teachers challenged me, and other students, every day. 20+ years later I see teachers still challenging students to bring forth their best. I find it disheartening that your view is so dismal, when I see hope, despite the many challenges faced by a publicly funded education system.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #18
Of course it can't be just funding, or burying cash in the playground would save the school. You do also have to spend it in the right places.

And in general I think you must need permanent funding, not just aid for a few years which might get cut off at any time. Few talented professionals are going to stake their careers on that.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #19
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Sarcasmon:

...
quote:
One of the biggest problems is that American schools are run the same way as medieval universities, with each teacher the complete master of their classroom, protected by a tenure and only loosely guided by state education requirements. A system like that relies on each teacher being a brilliant educator, capable of developing a curriculum, making up good tests (a skill that takes years to master), keeping the students' attention, oh, and perhaps even teaching the material. Teachers like this do exist, but there will never be enough of them to fill every class in every school, no matter how much you pay.
I have no idea what school system you are describing. It wasn't that way when I went to school, and isn't remotely like that in the school district where I currently reside.

I was under the impression that all American teachers are expected to make their own tests and lesson plans. I also heard that the concept of "tenure", developed to allow university professors to criticize the government, is applied in America to protect math and science teach who don't care about their students or the subjects they teach. Please correct me if this isn't the case.

quote:
quote:
The solution that top education systems in the world have come up with is to have curriculum designed by professionals. You can't staff each classroom with a brilliant educator capable of making good lesson plans and fair tests that don't have to be graded on a curve, but you can find enough of them for a curriculum development commission. This is the approach taken by Russia and, I think, other countries with top school systems.
This is the system that Oregon is leaning toward, with centrally developed curricula and testing schema. It sucks. It ignores that different students have different needs, and punishes students, teachers, and districts when they veer from the pre-set goals of the "head in the clouds" curricula developers.

In reality, there are very few teachers who can do better than the pre-designed curriculum. (And if that is the case, they should be helping design a better one.) However, if these teachers can prove that their curriculum works better, they should be allowed to use it.

quote:
quote:
As for the results of the two approaches: coming from an 8th grade in a good Russian school, my math level had matched at least 11th grade in a very good American school, and science level was also a couple grades ahead of my counterparts in an equally good American school. (It's harder to compare science level directly, because in Russia Chemistry, Physics, etc. are taught simultaneously, instead of teaching Physics in 9th grade, chemistry in 10th, etc.)
In 11th grade I was taking Pre-Calc, Trig, AP Physics and AP Biology, AP English, and History of the Ancient World. I find it incredible that Russian children are taught those subjects 3 years prior. My high school was public, and the only one I was eligible to attend.

When entering high school, I was placed into pre-Calculus, was able to take AP Physics without taking regular one, and was pretty bored by regular Chemistry. I also had known (although largely forgotten) names, locations on map, and capitals of all countries of the world, and had had several years of history, including world history (which probably included most of things covered by American ancient history class). In literature, I would have been expected to read War and Peace in 9th or 10th grade in Russia. To be fair, I went to a good school in Moscow, so an average school in a remote province would obviously have much lower standard. However, I've found a good school in San Francisco Bay Area to have curriculum similar to the one you've described.

quote:
quote:
PS As for original question of separating students by ability, it's hard to strike the right balance between every single student being forced to adhere to the same curriculum (Russian approach) and nobody being challenged to show any effort (American approach). The right answer is somewhere in between, but I don't know where.
I don't see that as the American approach. My teachers challenged me, and other students, every day. 20+ years later I see teachers still challenging students to bring forth their best. I find it disheartening that your view is so dismal, when I see hope, despite the many challenges faced by a publicly funded education system.

[/qb][/quote]
In all the American schools I've seen, you can graduate high school knowing only the most basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, perhaps with a few "advanced" topics like percentages). You also can gradute taking only a couple basic science classes and remedial English. I wouldn't call that "challenging students".

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Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #20
Every study I've seen shows that when teachers are able to engage students on any level (ie not just being a lecturer/talking head), students will respond better and if not get better grades, at least be more likely to move on to college or trade school. This is especially necessary in poorer and inner-city school districts that are the least "desirable" for teachers (although personally I think they're the most desirable/rewarding).

I wish I had more time to write something a little more insightful, but I'm still at work. Maybe I'll go back over my old "Sociology of Education" notes.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #21
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Sarcasmon:

...
quote:
One of the biggest problems is that American schools are run the same way as medieval universities, with each teacher the complete master of their classroom, protected by a tenure and only loosely guided by state education requirements. A system like that relies on each teacher being a brilliant educator, capable of developing a curriculum, making up good tests (a skill that takes years to master), keeping the students' attention, oh, and perhaps even teaching the material. Teachers like this do exist, but there will never be enough of them to fill every class in every school, no matter how much you pay.
I have no idea what school system you are describing. It wasn't that way when I went to school, and isn't remotely like that in the school district where I currently reside.

I was under the impression that all American teachers are expected to make their own tests and lesson plans. I also heard that the concept of "tenure", developed to allow university professors to criticize the government, is applied in America to protect math and science teach who don't care about their students or the subjects they teach. Please correct me if this isn't the case.

This is hard to say, because there's no such thing as a typical American school district. Every place handles it differently. In my experience, schools had "department chairs" for each subject that developed a curriculum, and teachers developed lesson plans. Some departments had department-wide tests, others relied on teachers or textbooks to provide them.

quote:
quote:
quote:
The solution that top education systems in the world have come up with is to have curriculum designed by professionals. You can't staff each classroom with a brilliant educator capable of making good lesson plans and fair tests that don't have to be graded on a curve, but you can find enough of them for a curriculum development commission. This is the approach taken by Russia and, I think, other countries with top school systems.
This is the system that Oregon is leaning toward, with centrally developed curricula and testing schema. It sucks. It ignores that different students have different needs, and punishes students, teachers, and districts when they veer from the pre-set goals of the "head in the clouds" curricula developers.

In reality, there are very few teachers who can do better than the pre-designed curriculum. (And if that is the case, they should be helping design a better one.) However, if these teachers can prove that their curriculum works better, they should be allowed to use it.

The problem here is that the pre-designed curriculum cannot accommodate both the slowest and fastest learners without one group feeling marginalized. This is where individual teachers and schools have to make decisions or risk losing their students. Again, these do not translate well to other situations - they're very specific adjustments.

quote:
quote:
quote:
PS As for original question of separating students by ability, it's hard to strike the right balance between every single student being forced to adhere to the same curriculum (Russian approach) and nobody being challenged to show any effort (American approach). The right answer is somewhere in between, but I don't know where.
I don't see that as the American approach. My teachers challenged me, and other students, every day. 20+ years later I see teachers still challenging students to bring forth their best. I find it disheartening that your view is so dismal, when I see hope, despite the many challenges faced by a publicly funded education system.


In all the American schools I've seen, you can graduate high school knowing only the most basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, perhaps with a few "advanced" topics like percentages). You also can gradute taking only a couple basic science classes and remedial English. I wouldn't call that "challenging students".[/QB][/QUOTE]
Yes, you can graduate. The three state examinations I've looked at were all given to high school juniors and went up at least through Geometry and advanced algebra. There is also writing/reading comprehension, and in some cases science. But that is the lowest common denominator. Some students (unfortunately) are challenged by this. A lot of other students are challenged by honors and AP classes. Generally the students that end up getting "lost" in the system are middle-level students that just drift under the radar, not behind enough to merit extra help, and not smart or motivated enough to take AP classes or seek out extra opportunities.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #22
It's important to realize that in the United States there is formally only one type of high school and one high school diploma, regardless of what work or further study one pursues thereafter.

In Germany, in contrast, there are three different streams of secondary school, which take different numbers of years to complete and provide different qualifications. Students who attend a 'Gymnasium' generally take until age 19 to obtain the 'Abitur' that qualifies them for university; Hauptschule and Realschule students finish by ages 15 and 16, respectively, and are not usually eligible for university.

In Britain there are 'A levels' and 'O levels', with 'A levels' required for admission to university.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, up until fifteen years or so ago, there was a Grade 12 diploma that could be taken to end high school, but university entrance required a further Grade 13 diploma. Now I understand there is some sort of 'voluntary grade 13' or something in Ontario; most of the rest of Canada has just had 12 grades of high school as in the US. In Quebec high school runs until grade 11 only, but then one can take the two years of CEGEP (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel), which is needed to qualify for university entrance.

I'm curious how the Russian system works now, and how the Soviet system used to work.

The American system is a one-size-fits-all high school diploma. So the minimum requirements to obtain it are comparatively low. The maximum amount of education that one can obtain in an American high school is considerably higher.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #23
That's a good point about American high school diploma being the lowest common denominator.
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

...
I'm curious how the Russian system works now, and how the Soviet system used to work.

The American system is a one-size-fits-all high school diploma. So the minimum requirements to obtain it are comparatively low. The maximum amount of education that one can obtain in an American high school is considerably higher.

In Russia the last two grades are also optional and you can go to trade school instead. They've also transitioned from 10 to 11 year system in late 80s/early 90s, expanding first 3 years to 4. (And starting at 6, rather than 7 years old.)

So you can either go to a trade school after 9th grade (8th under old system), or go to university after 11th grade (10th under old system).

However, there are also public "kindergardens" that start from around age 3 and go until school at age 6. (Both parents work in Russia/USSR, so there had to be an institution to take care of children.) Unlike American kindergardens, Russian ones don't teach reading and writing, but I assume they still help start kids' development earlier.

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However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
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Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #24
From my (admittedly limited) experience, preschool is just glorified daycare. Kindergarten is required in the US and it's there that reading, writing, and number concepts are first introduced. Along with "sharing."

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00

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