What wrong with your country's public school system?

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CryingTears15
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07 Feb 2016, 9:38 am

I'm from the USA, and I am conflicted about individuality. On one hand, students personalizing their classes leads to more interest and participation. However, I am afraid that students will limit themselves by writing off one class only to find two years in that they're interested in that track, and being two years behind.

I want teachers to tell kids why instead of just hammering information into our heads, things would have been so much easier then.

I wish there were more options for finding assignments and materials online for kids like me who struggle with organization, but that may just be me.

I wish people would realize that young kids can get depressed, or have mental conditions, like I did, instead of just yelling at us for being "lazy".

Elementary-wise, not forcing someone to socialize until they're ready would be more appropriate, they'll decide on their own what they want.



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07 Feb 2016, 9:53 am

I wish the politicians would put more money into hiring and retaining good teachers, instead of siphoning funds from the education budgets for their pet projects.

I wish the teachers were retained and promoted on merit, and not just because they belong to a union.

I wish the teachers' unions were abolished, and that the teachers were held accountable directly to the parents of the students.

I wish that only those parents who actually have children enrolled in school would have to pay the local "millage" tax to support the school.

I wish that school districts had zero-tolerance policies against bullying, and that those policies applied equally to students, teachers, staff, administrators, coaches, and parents.


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Pergerlady
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07 Feb 2016, 1:23 pm

First of all, it's completely academic-based, and for "budget" reasons, they cut out "unimportant" things like sports or music. Aside from that, the majority of people who work at public schools are completely ignorant about the subject of autism (at least from my experience) and they look down on and stigmatize autistic students. Public schools claim to be "bully free" zones, but they condone bullying, and when a kid reports being bullied, they will usually blame the victim.



btbnnyr
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07 Feb 2016, 2:24 pm

I think public school should teach solid fundamentals in fewer hours and cut out woo woo crap like pointless projects that parents do for their kids and group work that never teaches real group work but is usually one person doing the work with several freeloaders.


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07 Feb 2016, 3:29 pm

It would be easier to answer what isn't wrong with the public school system.

I'd say it takes too long mainly. All students are forced to attend school until 18 which holds them back and wastes a lot of time and effort. Allowing them to start higher education at 16 gives them more freedom and time to try out different courses if needed. The study material in high school is so arbitrary anyways, it's only about getting that ticket into college at the end of the run. No reason to make them wait so long in my opinion.



cathylynn
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07 Feb 2016, 3:43 pm

music is not unimportant. kids who are exposed to music ed do better in math.

teacher's unions fight for things that are good for students. just like nurse's unions fight for patients.



Cyllya1
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07 Feb 2016, 8:43 pm

There aren't many things I think that aren't wrong with it.

Here in the USA, there are some people who don't send their kids to school at all. They are legally classified as homeschoolers, but they don't make their kids do any homeschool work. Depending on what their other parenting philosophies are, they might be cool with the kids playing video games 16 hours a day for 13 years straight, or they might insist that the kid do something more "wholesome" like read a book or play outside. They'll give their kids academic instruction (personally, or enroll them in a class) if the kid requests it for any reason, but for the most part just try to give their kind an enriching life. Basically, what most good parents do during summer vacation, these ones do all the time.

You know how those kids tend to turn out? Perfectly fine! They don't go to school, and they are still able to do all those things that we allegedly need to go to school for. Get a job, go to college, start a business. The practice is called unschooling if you are interested in looking it up. In fact, for things like college placement, kids who went to school are often disadvantaged if they are in competition with unschooled kids.

This is how worthless school is. People act like you get your education from school, but it's generally your parents or other mentors who provide you with the training you need to succeed in adulthood. Sometimes school can put you in touch with good mentors, but it's not common. Among schooled kids, the ones with more active involved parents tend to do better, so I've seen people who work in the school system complain that the reason schools don't do a better job is because parents aren't involved enough. That's like blaming illness and injury for the reason hospitals don't save more lives. Parents being unable (or unwilling) to educate their kids is the whole reason for school existing! Those parents who are able to help their kids do well in school would still be able to educate their kids just fine if the public school system were not an option.

I had parents who tried very hard but weren't very good. I'm naturally talented at all the skills school tries to instill in people, so I was able to get good grades, score well on standardized tests, go to college, get good grades again, get a bachelor's degree... and then I realized I have no job skills, no life skills, and thousands of dollars in debt. The school system would probably point at me as a success story. I actually remember most of the info I learned in school (I feel like I remember more than most people), and some of it was very interesting, but none of it puts food on my table.

I think society would benefit profoundly if we just got rid of school and started using the resources on something more like activity centers that some have (optional) classes on the side. Objectives should be:

--Giving kids access to a large variety activities their parents might not otherwise be able to afford or organize--field trips, camps, computers, music lessons, just hanging out with other kids, etc.
--Providing childcare (a lot of parents who would otherwise be able and willing to homeschool their kids can't do so because they depend on the school system for free childcare, even though it's fairly crappy childcare)
--Giving kids a safe place to avoid abusive or neglectful parents. (And put them around people who will notice and report it if they are abused in a way that is illegal.)
--Giving kids access to adult guidance (academic support and otherwise) when their parents are unable or unwilling to spend much time with them.
--Helping identify and support kids with special needs or less obvious disabilities.
--If possible (this one is hard), get kids in touch with mentors who will teach them legit grown-up skills.

But... no matter how perfect schools are, the next problem is that our society is set up so that some people will be worse off than others, and the ones that are worst off have it horrible. If only 60% of people can get good jobs, employers will hire the best ones (or the ones they think are best), and the other 40% will end up with crap jobs or no jobs even if they are well-educated highly competent geniuses with master's degrees. A school system that focuses on sending kids to post-secondary education just makes it worse because that means you have a crushing load of student debt but no job to pay for it.

[/rant]


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nick007
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11 Feb 2016, 2:48 am

What was wrong with me & school is that I have lots of disabilities that affect my learning style & I the school system taught me like they taught everyone else. I did alot better when I went to a school for dyslexia from middle of 5th through 8th grade.


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16 Feb 2016, 7:51 am

Four words: Youth Criminal Justice Act or at the time I went Young Offender's Act

I understand the purpose behind it to hold youth to a different standard in criminal law and to keep the past from ruining them but it's pretty much a get out of jail free card for anyone under 18 in Canada. I would also say that ironically enough, school is run like a prison in many ways. The parallels between school and jail (from what I have been in documentaries) is frightening. I would also say that the focus is on memorizing useless, abstract facts (like war dates) rather than actually learning useful skills (like home repair).

School is basically a minimum security holding facility. Most people I know go college until about 30 because there are so few jobs and it would lead to rioting in the streets if they weren't kept busy.



Cyllya1
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19 Feb 2016, 2:16 am

GiantHockeyFan wrote:
School is basically a minimum security holding facility. Most people I know go college until about 30 because there are so few jobs and it would lead to rioting in the streets if they weren't kept busy.


I wonder how the job market would fare if the thousands and thousands of youngsters in school suddenly had 10-35 more hours of free time every week. Many of them would probably join the job market, but as long as they aren't required (or allowed, in most cases) to support themselves independently, they probably wouldn't spend that whole time working and would have more leisure time. More time to spend on entertainment products... entertainment products that some grownup could be employed for making!


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CommanderKeen
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23 Feb 2016, 8:46 am

99% of people I have met that work in public schools is an idiot. College is different, but you can definitely tell the quality of staff in public school versus college. Oh, and the teachers that I have met that worked in public school that weren't idiots; they also worked at a college part time.



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24 Feb 2016, 6:40 pm

The USA has teachers that challenge, teach and mentor their students. Of course not all of them. Yes this is true even with teachers that work with students in or on the Spectrum.

One counselor told me and interesting feedback received. The student liked the connection because the counselor did not use "pat counselor answers and questions". Are there bad teachers and Admins? Of course.


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MissAlgernon
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24 Feb 2016, 7:14 pm

I'm in France.
If there is one thing I truly hate about the school system here, it's that they confuse "we're all equal" with "we're all the same". Being both equal and different at the same time is something incompatible, apparently. So providing a different education for kids who need it is considered as unfair and neglecting NT kids.
People don't know neurodevelopmental disabilities either. Apparently, kids with learning disabilities are lazy, and autistic kids are either "retarded" or victims of big bad vaccines. The only kind of disability that is acceptable is disabilities requiring a wheelchair. As for kids who aren't diagnosed yet, sometimes even teachers hate and bully them.
Anyway, what I can tell about France, and I know that the same problem exists in other countries but not to the same extent, is that there is that horrible idea saying that diversity should be eliminated in order to achieve equality.



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26 Feb 2016, 6:53 am

I'm not sure if my post said what I intended.
There are great administrators , teachers and Counselors in public schools. Done around here even have great Social Workers.

Like in all occupations there are some that are not so good.

To those of you who did connect with good ones dd you let them know it at the time or perhaps after graduation?

For those that had oroblems with staff - did you ever do behaviors that you knew would get you out of school suspensions?

I wonder if there is a song like Officer Krupke(West Side Story) for Aspies/ ASD.
If not perhaps someone could write lyrics and music.

"If we can't laugh at ourselves, others will beat us to it."


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Fnord
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26 Feb 2016, 10:51 am

MissAlgernon wrote:
I'm in France. If there is one thing I truly hate about the school system here, it's that they confuse "we're all equal" with "we're all the same". ...
It's similar to equating "Equality" with "Fairness".

Image


The image on the left represents "Equal Treatment", while the image on the right represents "Fair Treatment".


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