Classroom population

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by menageriekeeper, Aug 8, 2006.

?

How should classroom make up be decided.

  1. Students divided competely randomly with no thought as to ability, race or handicap.

    6 vote(s)
    28.6%
  2. Students should be divided according to the areas general population.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Students should be grouped as to ability alone.

    5 vote(s)
    23.8%
  4. There should be special classrooms for children with special problems(ie, handicapped children).

    8 vote(s)
    38.1%
  5. Children with behavior problems should be educated in a separate classroom, regardless of ability.

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  6. Classes should be divided by sex.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Classes should be divided by sex first, then race, then ability.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Classes should have approximately even numbers of of children from each represented group.

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
  9. I should be allowed to choose my child's teacher and classmates.

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  10. None of the above, there is a better way.

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    There is some discussion going on in my daughter's public elementary school about "stacking" the classrooms and having one class that is a "dumping" ground.

    Stacking the classroom means that the majority are smart, white and/or upper middle class. Dumping means the majority are children who are minority/spanish speaking, troublemakers, and/or disabled.

    So this poll is all about how students should be divided up between classes. We are talking about elementary grades only.
     
  2. Filmproducer

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    Wow, talk about opening up a can of worms. Ideally, I would love classrooms to be grouped according to ability, however, I do not believe public schools, especially in Florida, are adequately capable of making that decision; therefore, I believe that classrooms should try to equally represent, as much as possible, all groups in the student population. (proportionately speaking that is) I do believe that those children with behavioral problems need to be separated from the other students, as well those who are mentally challenged in some way. Race and/or class should have nothing to do with it, nor should physical disabilities, unless the student requires specialized full time care.
     
    #2 Filmproducer, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2006
  3. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Well here's a question for you:

    Where do you draw the line between a child with a learning disability such as dyslexia or ADD and a child who suffers from something more dynamic like autism or down's syndrome? All are considered mental challenges.
     
  4. Filmproducer

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    Exactly, that is an excellent question. Perhaps I should have said "severe" mental challenges. I see no reason why a child with dyslexia or ADD cannot be in a "regular" classroom with "regular" students. My comment was more along the lines of those who have been diagnosed as mentally retarded and/or autistic, etc., who have very specialized learning needs, which are virtually impossible for one teacher to address in a class with 34 other students. The same applies to my comment about students with behavioral problems. I see no reason why a child with ADHD cannot cope in a regular classroom. I think it is something that would have to be determined on a case by case basis. Some teachers are better equipped to teach a class with one or two ADHD children while others can barely cope with the "regular" students they have. I have found that the public schools here love to "label" children, and unfortunately that label follows them no matter how incorrect it may be. For example, my child was labeled as having anti-social behavior because he liked to write stories during his free class time instead of talking with the other students. Apparantly that is not normal for a second grader. It did not matter that he always played with the other kids during recess/PE, or at home after school. This label has followed him to a new school, and I need to set up a conference with the teacher now.
     
  5. gb93433

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    That was the case until many parents complained because they wanted their not so smart kid to have an "equal opportunity." No kid is given an equal opportunity by God. Not every kid has the same intellectual capacity from birth. Some must work harder than others to get the same place. Others will get there rather quickly while others never will.

    Too many parents think their child should be in college and not where they really should be.
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    But is that an excuse to simply not bother educating the "not so smart kids"? Should kids who learn slower or differently simply remain ignorant because it's to much trouble or to expensive to educate them?
     
  7. billreber

    billreber
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    Classroom population?

    This points out a problem with "No Child Left Behind" and the laws instituted after Columbine.

    1. Every child does NOT learn at the same pace or to the same extent. To expect all children to become Einsteins through education is just plain silly. (Exaggeration intended. Many parents seem to think their kid IS Einstein). When I was in school there were "advanced" classes for those who learned faster or to a greater extent. Now it seems like EVERY child is exposed to exactly the same learning material, and expected to learn it all, even when they do not understand it at all! And I have even seen teachers who could not explain the materials they were teaching!

    2. Children who are disruptive, and those who need special help, as well as some with conditions such as ADD and ADHD, are often "branded" at an early age, and then have a lifelong fight to get out of the "cellar" in education institutions.

    I have a nephew (a believer and ADHD) who was expelled from high school a few years ago, because he loved a girl and had written in a note to her that he wanted to protect her, even to the extent of "if someone hurt you I would kill them". (I am NOT condoning his words, BTW, just telling what he wrote). A third party saw the note and reported it. Since my nephew had been branded as antisocial as a preschooler, he got expelled, and was placed in jail for a week. No charges were ever made, and in fact he was exonerated of everything except bad judgement in his choice of words. (BTW, he got his GED diploma by age 17, never returning to public school).

    Incidently, the same week as that all happened, a TEACHER in the school had his class (sign language) use the exact phrase my nephew wrote in a classroom exercise. Not one of those kids or the teacher was expelled!

    3. My wife served as a substitute teacher's aide a few years ago. She would sometimes be placed in a classroom with 2 or 3 antisocial kids. Her job was to watch them. She could not even stop them if they left the classroom, but only call the school office and tell the office staff that the student had left the room. That sure sounds like an "equal education opportunity" to me!

    Perhaps we as a nation/society should once again concentrate on the "personal responsibility" part of education. Each student needs to be responsible for learning what is assigned (with help, of course). If the student refuses to learn, they should be failed. If they can advance faster than others, they should be given that opportunity. And, of course, if they are a danger to themselves and those around them, they should be removed from the classroom. Performance should be the basis for advancement in school, just as it is in the "real world".

    Bill
     
  8. Filmproducer

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    That is exactly why I do not believe that schools are adequately capable of dividing students according to ability, especially in elementary school. The labels they receive in elementary school will follow them until they graduate from high school. My son attends public school, and I have never left his education to just his teacher. I always supplement what he does in school with exercises at home, and/or completely different subjects. He is well above grade level in all of his subjects, but I do not feel he is socially mature enough to even consider skipping grades. I always talk with the teacher in the beginning of the year and we work out a game plan for any supplemental work, etc.. Do I feel my son is an Einstein? No, but I do want him to work up to his potential, and to encourage him in all educational pursuits. No one can do that better than his father and I.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Personal responsibility would go a long way toward making schools better for kids and administrators alike.

    My favorite incident of the day happened at the high school. Get this: a student was arguing with an admin over (drum roll please) ......a tank top.

    Yep, the dress code expressly forbids tank tops. It is in plain English. This kid thought that because her shoulder straps were two inches wide, the standard for other types of clothing, that she could get away with wearing the top. Instead of saying oh, you are right I won't wear it again, the kid stood there and argued about it. :rolleyes: My goodness it was just a shirt! She was the kid. No respect for authority. It's a good thing it wasn't mine.

    Since today was the first day of school I got to see how our classes looked. Can't tell yet about ability, but the classes look pretty balanced otherwise. :) As a matter of fact, they even managed to break up the cliques (yes they even exist in elementary school).

    I do sometimes wish that my kids could be in classrooms of just kids who are of the same ability level, but there is something good to be said about the brighter children setting an example and helping along the slower children. And isn't helping someone less fortunate also a life lesson?
     
  10. Darron Steele

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    I bet you can count on it that either mommy or daddy was on the way to school to argue about how the rule should not exist or should not be enforced.

    We do not need to train our teachers better. All we need to do to make our schools better is to enable our well-trained teachers to DO the jobs they are well-trained for. This includes the following: that they are in charge in the classroom -- what they say goes, goes every time they say it, whenever they say it.

    Education bureaucrats who do not TEACH the teacher's subject area should be kept out of the way. Lazy limpwristed administrators need to do their jobs to support the school's objectives toward student learning -- not avoiding conflict. Further, the burden of proof needs to be on students and on parents who seek to support those students in disruption of everyone else's learning.

    The rights of individual students to disrupt classes should not trump the rights of classrooms full of students to a non-disruptive learning environment. The teacher should be enabled to proactively eliminate these situations consistently. Too many teachers who should be focusing on their presentation are forced to be distracted by political considerations.

    Off my soapbox I go for now.
     
    #10 Darron Steele, Aug 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2006
  11. Filmproducer

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    I guess it really depends on the state. Unfortunately FL really does need better trained teachers and fast. We do have some wonderful teachers, but the state is so desperate for teachers that pretty much anyone with a college degree, (in just about anything, from just about anywhere), can become a teacher. Substitute teachers do not need a degree of any kind, only a thorough background check, even those who take over classrooms during maternity leave or for extended periods of time.

    With that being said, I agree with most of what you say. Politics and bureaucracy greatly hinder teachers.
     
  12. rbell

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    My experience...

    Early elementary teachers tend to know HOW to teach very well...not all have a great command of the subjects, but most do quite well.

    The higher you go up the grade scale...fewer and fewer seem to know HOW to teach, although they have great command of the subject.

    Results: Most early elementary schools do well...most middle and high schools do miserably.

    My ridiculous proposal: Bring in teachers that know HOW to teach. Quit making "secondary education" a requirement. Attack the problem of student groups without input from the Teacher's unions...which are NOT in place to serve students...but only teachers.

    I'm not trying to be arrogant (oops...guess it's too late :laugh: ) but I was kind of ahead of the curve. I started reading at three, and read through the fourth grade reader in first grade. I never took a book home until eleventh grade--and only twice that year. I made one B in twelve years. Having said that...

    Only my first grade teacher ever challenged me and tried to accomodate me academically. The other eleven years, (private and public schools) I was positively bored to tears.
     

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