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Thread: It all comes down to education

  1. #26
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    My feeling about planning schools: I learned how to think as a planner. Now the students want to know how to do environmental reviews, and the schools complied. Much in planning schools these days equals trade school training. And the school is not the only guilty party.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Here's a bit of an oddity.....

    Back in the 1950s this Bear spent my first six years at Gesu Catholic School. My parents transfered me (and younger brother Bill) to the Washington Local District after that because the education in the suburban Toledo district was so much better than the fuddy-duddy Catholic schools.

    Yes, that changed. By the 1970s the Catholic schools (and other private/parochial schools) were providing much better educations. Washington Local still garners great academic scores.....Toledo Public not so much.....Catholic schools, very good scores.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    IMHO, the educational downfall began when teachers started rising and falling based on seniority instead of how well or poorly they performed in the classrooms.
    ROTFLMAO. Your statement is a totally absurd regurgitation of political propaganda. "Merit" -- ie, "how well or poorly they performed in the classrooms" -- is nothing more than a code-word for "favoritism".

    I speak from experience as a private school teacher for nearly 10 years.

    "Successful classroom performance" in non-union schools generally equates to:
    • no parental complaints
    • staying on the principal/headmaster/headmistress's good side by always being "supportive"
    • placating governing board members by making sure that their children always win -- starting QB, science fair, cheerleading squad, valedictorian, etc.
    • never rocking the boat by questioning administrative actions even when they are clearly unethical and/or not in the best interests of the students involved
    • being on the winning side in any administrative power struggle
    • not being the highest paid teacher in your subject area during a budget crises

    When somebody develops a practical and objective instrument to measure "classroom success", you can then talk about replacing seniority, but until that happens, there's nothing else that is even remotely fair.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian
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    That's because Indian education is crap. It's massively oversubscribed and goes entirely by rote and numbers. Very little creative thinking or thinking outside the box. A lot of what is taught is heavily outdated.

    I've worked on projects in India and have quite a few Indian colleagues (they are the largest single expat group in the UAE). The best and brightest still go overseas for higher education. The ones that come out of a run of mill Indian university with a BA in say, computer science, is absolutely not comparable to someone with a BA in CS from an US or Australian or UK university. Most applicants for jobs at my firm from India often boast having 2-3 masters as well as a plethora of certifications but when you ask them a few basic questions about what they can do in the role we're advertising, they fall far short.

    That's why employers in India have to spend so much effort providing job specific training. It's not a question of employers being "loyal" to their workers - far from it, as Indians are among the worst employers in terms of treatment of their staff.



    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    My second comment is about an article I read recently by an Indian writer commenting on how a large part of the rise of Indian information industries in the last decade has hinged on companies providing extensive and intensive job-specific training after hire. It’s a heavy investment of time and money up front, but they have found that by doing this, production is much higher as are retention rates (people stay at these jobs longer).

  5. #30
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    I get the impression that our education system and planning share a common problem. By working to allow more "public input" what you really seem to get is a small group of the crazies leading the charge and dragging everyone along with them...
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    That's because Indian education is crap. It's massively oversubscribed and goes entirely by rote and numbers. Very little creative thinking or thinking outside the box. A lot of what is taught is heavily outdated.

    <snip>

    That's why employers in India have to spend so much effort providing job specific training. It's not a question of employers being "loyal" to their workers - far from it, as Indians are among the worst employers in terms of treatment of their staff.
    So, my point was not really to exalt Indian education, but to recognize that the dynamic you mention - that the system does not teach much in the way of critical thinking and that a lot of what is taught is outdated - are also criticisms emerging in our own US system.

    As things speed up and our educational system gets larger and more cumbersome, it seems that the ability to make dynamic and responsive changes in curriculum that will benefit graduates in getting jobs is increasingly challenging. By the time you develop the curriculum and teach a generation, what you have been teaching may out of date (not for everything of course, but in some areas/fields this certainly is the case). And that pace is ever increasing in this information age.

    I am suggesting that, as a result, businesses (who may up to now have been reticent to do so) may need to begin serving a role in education by increasing the level and intensity of job-specific training (as such jobs become more specific and specialized). I don't see this as any kind of benevolent gesture on the part of the employers (here or in India) but simply what certain companies may have to do to remain competetive and increase the productivity of their workforce. It could, in theory, be a positive situation for employer and employee as the cost of simply firing someone may be higher than it is now. If you have to not only pay a salary but also training for a new hire, that is incentive to make the workplace a more tolerable setting. But, as you note, this may not actually bear out in reality.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #32
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    "Successful classroom performance" in non-union schools generally equates to:
    • no parental complaints
    • staying on the principal/headmaster/headmistress's good side by always being "supportive"
    • placating governing board members by making sure that their children always win -- starting QB, science fair, cheerleading squad, valedictorian, etc.
    • never rocking the boat by questioning administrative actions even when they are clearly unethical and/or not in the best interests of the students involved
    • being on the winning side in any administrative power struggle
    • not being the highest paid teacher in your subject area during a budget crises
    So, it's basically like any other position anywhere. Know the right people, stay on their good side, don't rock the boat, make sure they (those in power) feel empowered, and keep a low profile.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    So, it's basically like any other position anywhere. Know the right people, stay on their good side, don't rock the boat, make sure they (those in power) feel empowered, and keep a low profile.
    BINGO! How well a teacher actually does his/her job matters very little unless he/she is so grossly incompetent that it can't be hidden or glossed over -- as long he/she knows how to play politics.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    BINGO! How well a teacher actually does his/her job matters very little unless he/she is so grossly incompetent that it can't be hidden or glossed over -- as long he/she knows how to play politics.
    Teaching really is hard to measure performance. Its as much the teacher as it is the student. But like anything else these days- its become a target for armchair quarterbacking.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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