No child left behind? How about when their English teachers don’t know English…

posted at 3:01 pm on September 4, 2007 by Bryan

From the “you can’t make this stuff up” files…

Hundreds of students in Arizona are trying to learn English from teachers who don’t know the language, state officials say.

The kids are taught by teachers who don’t know English grammar and can’t pronounce English words correctly. Last year, for example, a Mesa teacher stood in front of a class of language learners and announced, “Sometimes, you are not gonna know some.” A teacher in Phoenix’s Creighton Elementary District asked her kids, “If you have problems, to who are you going to ask?” A Casa Grande Elementary District teacher asked her kids to “read me first how it was before.”

Each year, the state evaluates a sampling of classrooms where kids are learning English. Last year, officials visited 32 districts and found similar problems at nine. Some teachers’ English was so poor that even state officials strained to understand them. The state also found that students learning English at all ages were being taught by teachers who did not have appropriate training or materials. At a dozen districts, evaluators found teachers who ignored state law and taught in Spanish.

Are they teaching English in Spanish?

(h/t NRO)


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As long as they have union protection and the money keeps flowing to the DNC, nothing will change.

JammieWearingFool on September 4, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Call me a profiling bigot, but did anyone think to check their citizenship?

- The Cat

MirCat on September 4, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Are they teaching English in Spanish?

Umm…yes. It’s called Spanglish. Soon to be official language of “America.”

Brat on September 4, 2007 at 3:16 PM

And we are constantly being told our schools need more money, for the sake of the children!

What a scam.

infidel4life on September 4, 2007 at 3:16 PM

again fails Multiculturalism , shocked me is

Theworldisnotenough on September 4, 2007 at 3:17 PM

My daughter’s teacher has blonde hair and blue eyes, but her spelling is atrocious. “Langauge Arts”, “acelerated reading”. My daughter can spell “language” for crying out loud, and she’s 6.

RW Wacko on September 4, 2007 at 3:18 PM

What, no red meat pic?

Seriously, this is a damning indictment of the AZ school system. Someone should ask McCain what he thinks. I’d like to see him bob and weave on that answer. Or HRC and BHO for that matter.

AZ residents should be crazy-pissed. It’s their money that’s being used to undermine our culture (what’s left of it). Of course I’m sure the same thing is happening in New Mexico and parts of Texas and California. Jammie is right, as long as the unions declare an intifada on any politician who says they take them on, this kind of crap will only get worse.

In a just world enraged mobs would storm the state Dept of Education and teach a few bureaucrats a hard, painful lesson. As for the teachers, if they want to teach Spanish there are about a dozen other countries they can move to. I’ll bet we can raise enough to pay for the move.

Thomas the Wraith on September 4, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Unfortunately, this has been happening for years – I attended high school in Hawaii in the late 80s and had teachers in English and other subjects using da kine pidgin in the classroom.

Fo real, you know. Completely lolo.

Slublog on September 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

The only thing we can say is that this needs to be added to the long list of other failings our public school systems are afflicted with.

Without a fervent demand for order, this sort of nonsense will intensify in magnitude and frequency.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Call me a profiling bigot, but did anyone think to check their citizenship?

- The Cat

MirCat on September 4, 2007 at 3:14 PM

It wouldn’t matter, some school districts are going out of their way to get Hispanic teachers, citizenship is not an issue. The most important factor is whether or not they can speak Spanish.

Theworldisnotenough on September 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Slublog on September 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

I have a coworker from Hawaii and that stuff sounds like Jar Jar Binks on acid.

Theworldisnotenough on September 4, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Yet another example of why I never went into the education field. Its gonna take a total collapse of the public school system before anyone has the discipline needed to rebuild it.

Bad Candy on September 4, 2007 at 3:20 PM

I have a coworker from Hawaii and that stuff sounds like Jar Jar Binks on acid.
Theworldisnotenough on September 4, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Haha. Great description. It certainly took some adjustment to understand what people were saying.

Slublog on September 4, 2007 at 3:22 PM

Its gonna take a total collapse of the public school system before anyone has the discipline needed to rebuild it.

why would you? uneducated people are easier to control

lorien1973 on September 4, 2007 at 3:24 PM

You should hear some judges speak, and quite a few Congresspeople.

JiangxiDad on September 4, 2007 at 3:25 PM

Fo real, you know. Completely lolo.

Slublog on September 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

They still talk da kine here brah

Kini on September 4, 2007 at 3:26 PM

why would you? uneducated people are easier to control

lorien1973 on September 4, 2007 at 3:24 PM

From the leftist perspective…the American people aren’t going to descend down that path, they’ll turn back before its too late, I think.

Bad Candy on September 4, 2007 at 3:27 PM

As long as the little darlings in school are taught how to say “I mean” and “you know,” everything will be OK. They’ll sound just like the majority of Americans.

I mean. You know. They will.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 4, 2007 at 3:27 PM

I have a coworker from Hawaii and that stuff sounds like Jar Jar Binks on acid.

Theworldisnotenough on September 4, 2007 at 3:20 PM

I thought Jar Jar Binks was on acid. You mean he was acting like that on purpose?!

Lee on September 4, 2007 at 3:29 PM

Hundreds uh students in Arizona are tryin’ t’learn English fum teachers who don’t know de language, state officials say. Slap mah fro!

De kids are taught by teachers who don’t know da English grammar and kin’t pronounce English wo’ds co’rectly. Slap mah fro! Last year, fo’ ‘esample, some Mesa teacha’ stood in front uh da class uh language learners and announced, “Sometimes, ya’ aint audi-fivenna know some. What it is, Mama!” A teacha’ in Phoenix’s Creighton Elementary District ax’ed ha’ kids, “If ya’ gots’ problems, t’who you is audi-fivein’ t’ax’?” A Casa Grande Elementary District teacha’ ax’ed ha’ kids t’“read me fust how it wuz befo’e. What it is, Mama!”

Each year, de state evaluates some samplin’ uh da classrooms where kids da learnin’ Englush. Last year, officials tripped to 32 districts and found similar problems at nine of dem. What it is, Mama! Some teachers’ English wuz so’s poo’ dat even da state officials strained t’dig it fro dem. ‘S coo’, bro. De state also found dat students learnin’ English at all ages wuz bein’ taught by da teachers who dun did not gots’ appropriate trainin’ o’ materials. At some dozen of dem districts, evaluato’s found teachers who igno’ed state law and taught in Espanol.

MB4 on September 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Dammit, I should’ve said “US Americans.”

Such as.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

I mean. You know.

Heh, sounds like me.

Actually, I only do that when I’m nervous.

Bad Candy on September 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Call me a profiling bigot, but did anyone think to check their citizenship?

- The Cat

MirCat on September 4, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Considering you have to know English to become a citizen, I’d say it’s a fair question.

Yet another example of why I never went into the education field. Its gonna take a total collapse of the public school system before anyone has the discipline needed to rebuild it.

Bad Candy on September 4, 2007 at 3:20 PM

The pay isn’t bad though, at least not for recent college grads.

Esthier on September 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

School = Indoctrination into the Nanny state
Only the finest subjects taught, like Global Warming
History? Can’t learn anything about the past, it’s the future stupid

Kini on September 4, 2007 at 3:31 PM

i kin tech them cuz i r a gud spellor n i has a cellfone

ScottMcC on September 4, 2007 at 3:31 PM

I promise if you elect me I will disband the Department of Edukation, Edumancation, Ed. and fire all of the State Dept. employees and start over.
/Honest engine, I swear, Promise

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

MB4 on September 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Ebonics?

I think it’s more serious than I think… so

Kini on September 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Think Miss South Carolina and maps…..

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Relax, it is too late here. Arizona is a spanish state now, just like NM, CA, FL, TX. Now I know what “I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed me” means because I swear I am living in Mexico. Tucson and Mesa may as well be in Sonora. Try to save Nevada, Oklahoma, and the other 45 states before its too late.

AZCON on September 4, 2007 at 3:36 PM

Yep,
we need school choice. Beyond which public school your children are assigned, we need to ‘deregulate’ the government monopoly the modern school system has become.

We need to ‘privatize’ education. Sell the Department of Education at public auction, and sell the schools to private parties.

Instead of funding schools with property tax, charge tuition.

If the liberals want to show the rest of us how good a job they can do, let them buy up some of the schools, and show us how it should be done. Get the government out of it completely.

Just think about how much money could be saved by eliminating all that government oversight.

rockhauler on September 4, 2007 at 3:46 PM

It sucks when you think about all of the people in previous generations who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for this United States of America only to watch this generation just piss it away. It only took a little over 200 years to complete the whole rise and fall cycle. That has to be some kind of record.

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:46 PM

“Is our children learning?” GW Bush.

All the quotes above did sound very similar to the famous “Bushisms”. Perhaps this is all just a scheme by the president to make himself sound better to the general public by comparison? If everybody speaks like him then perhaps everybody will stop making fun of him. Hmmm.

Zetterson on September 4, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Everything is visual in “futureschool.” No English. No Spanish. Just pictures. The teacher holds a picture of a dog. The teacher grunts. One student raises his hand and grunts. The teacher nods with approval. Johnny knows how to see and grunt.

saved on September 4, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Several years ago my daugher, a sixth grader, showed me a letter she brought home from school – (Laredo Ind. School District). It was written so badly that I could not make out some of the passages had to guess at the real meaning of others. I circled errors and asked for clarification of others. The principle called and asked me in Spanish if I would like a translated version, not realizing I was correcting her English. The principle spoke only marginal English — I transferred her to Catholic school the next day…she does speak a nice Tex-Mex…

jimwesty on September 4, 2007 at 3:53 PM

It only took a little over 200 years to complete the whole rise and fall cycle. That has to be some kind of record.

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Think the Mongols did it faster. But your point is well taken.

JiangxiDad on September 4, 2007 at 3:55 PM

AZCON on September 4, 2007 at 3:36 PM

You better count-out the North East. We’ve been finished for a few decades, and for a variety of reasons. From what I hear, ditto for upper midwest. How does that leave your list?

JiangxiDad on September 4, 2007 at 4:02 PM

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:46 PM

What generation?

Bad Candy on September 4, 2007 at 4:03 PM

just another reason to home school.

jdpaz on September 4, 2007 at 4:08 PM

the American people aren’t going to descend down that path, they’ll turn back before its too late, I think.

you have more faith in people than I do. This culture now things stupidity is the highest form of life. We honor our stupid people with shows, endorsement deals and fame.

lorien1973 on September 4, 2007 at 4:13 PM

The great part is that the illiterate teachers make the exact same salary as the very best teachers in the school. Yeah Unions!!

Clark1 on September 4, 2007 at 4:23 PM

I would strongly suggest against immersing oneself into the current culture in America. It will pass. History has shown that the american people do rise up and solve big problems that face our country. One can certainly look to the time periods just before the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Great Depression/WW II and not think that our country has never been faced with great difficulties before. Instead we as a nation have defeated each of those great challenges willingly, rationally, and ingenuity.

It is tragic what is going on today. There seems to be a general breakdown of government and institutions. There will come a time when we will make the choice to restore our nation back to its greatness.

This problem will get fixed, we just have to put up with more nonsense in the meantime.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 4:25 PM

I wish I had my juniors (in college, mind you) email me their lab reports. I clearly listed in my syllabus what was the point structure for each report was. They could earn a maximum of 50 pts to a minimum of -300 pts. I had students scoring -90 for spelling, grammar, and capitalization errors.

Did I mention these were 4-6 page reports?

Nethicus on September 4, 2007 at 4:36 PM

saved on September 4, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Even Biology labs are visual now. My daughter, in an AZ school no less, only did “paper” labs last year in Honors Biology. Apparently hands on is not necessary if you have good pictures to look at and can accurately write down what to do if you were actually physically touching an animal being dissected.

mauioriginal on September 4, 2007 at 4:51 PM

My friend’s mother is a teacher in Houston.

She teaches one of the district’s non-English speaking elementary school classes.

Her class is a mix of kids from all over the world (Indonesia, Vietnam, Romania, Thailand, etc). The only kids she doesn’t get are the Spanish speaking kids (there are enough of them that they are combined into one class and taught by a different teacher).

Her class is taught entirely in English and, the largest group of kids she’s ever had that spoke the same language were 3 siblings from Indonesia one year that spoke Bahasa (?).

By the end of the first semester (so, Christmas break), the kids in her class can all have short conversations with her in English. By the end of the first year, almost all of them are ready to mainstream into English speaking classrooms. The longest she’s ever had a child in her class was 3 years for an extremely slow learner that had learning disabilities.

In contrast, the kids in the Spanish class are taught in Spanish by a teacher that is natively fluent in Spanish. Most of them haven’t mainstreamed to English classes by the time they leave the elementary school (6th grade).

The best part is that the teacher that teaches in Spanish is paid $4000 more each year because she’s a bi-lingual teacher.

The whole system is broken.

JadeNYU on September 4, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Ain’t nothin’ but a thang man! Shiiiiiiat!
Just wait until we have them teaching mandatory creationism.

TheSitRep on September 4, 2007 at 5:15 PM

Ah, brings back memories of a math teacher in junior high who would very kindly ask “what you don’t understand?” Hey, at least she wasn’t teaching English!

The craziest thing I lived through in Oakland public schools was an Advanced Placement test. The idiot administering the test couldn’t understand the instructions and shorted us 15 minutes. Something about 15 minutes to read and then however long to write our answers and she just didn’t get it. Of course, when the whole group protested, she just decided we were lying for our own gain.

MamaAJ on September 4, 2007 at 5:24 PM

I’ve taught in the Phoenix area and I can vouch for that article. You’d be amazed and the piss poor English among teachers. Don’t get me started on other subjects.

Tim Burton on September 4, 2007 at 5:57 PM

Does this also explain Ms. Teen South Carolina?

GOD BLESS AMERICA!
paratisi

paratisi on September 4, 2007 at 6:07 PM

In our school district, if a teacher sends home anything that has egregious errors in it (aside from the minor typo) and the PTBs down at district find out about it…it is mentioned to them. We are expected to have command of the English language no matter what we teach.

As for me, I can talk English real good.

/ouch

Bob's Kid on September 4, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Don’t criticize teachers. Their feelings are easily hurt.

SouthernGent on September 4, 2007 at 6:09 PM

As long as the little darlings in school are taught how to say “I mean” and “you know,” everything will be OK. They’ll sound just like the majority of Americans.

I mean., like, Yyou know. They will.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 4, 2007 at 3:27 PM

You forgot one of the most important words, but don’t worry. I fixed it for you.

Bob's Kid on September 4, 2007 at 6:12 PM

why would you? uneducated people are easier to control

Not when they start rioting and looting.

jihadwatcher on September 4, 2007 at 6:13 PM

Even Biology labs are visual now. My daughter, in an AZ school no less, only did “paper” labs last year in Honors Biology. Apparently hands on is not necessary if you have good pictures to look at and can accurately write down what to do if you were actually physically touching an animal being dissected.

It might be because of money, no lie. Science is really expensive to teach, and biology especially takes up a huge portion of our annual budget.

Bob's Kid on September 4, 2007 at 6:17 PM

Bob’s Kid on September 4, 2007 at 6:17 PM

There’d probably be plenty of money if they got rid of all the overhead expenses caused by the bureaucracy.

I attended a public school in a fairly wealthy district in Missouri (the benefit of being the one poor neighborhood in a wealthy town). We were probably averaging about $6,000 per student. My friend attended a private Catholic school in Los Angeles. The tuition was about $3,000 per student. His school had far more resources, class offerings, trips to DC for all 9th graders, overnight trips to a nearby island (Catalina) to study marine biology, etc than my school. I can’t help but wonder what I was supposedly getting for the extra $3,000 per year that tax-payers were paying.

Not that I’m knocking public schools. I happened to have quite a few dedicated teachers that were experts in their subject. On of my teachers even offered to teach an advanced history class before school for anyone that was interested. They told him there was no money in the budget for it. He offered to do it for free. They told him he couldn’t because it would violate the union contracts and that they would just pretend he’d never offered so he didn’t get into trouble. *sigh* As I was saying, I was lucky enough to have good teachers that were trying to educate us.

JadeNYU on September 4, 2007 at 6:38 PM

This seems to be more of a reflection on the quality of teachers our universities are turning out. The link at
http://www.ade.az.gov/certification/requirements/TeachingCerts/RequirementsforElementaryCertificate.pdf

has the teacher requirements to teach in Arizona. If the state is following those standards it is a matter of US college grads that are not competent in teaching English. Not sure what immersion or assimilation has to do with it. The teachers are required to teach english and don’t have the requisite skills to do so.

They are even required to have a structured english immersion training.

Believe me when I say I sympathize. I’m living in Louisiana and some of the teachers have no business teaching any subject.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 6:40 PM

Dang, them home-schooled kids gonna whoop some major tail in the future job markit!

NTWR on September 4, 2007 at 6:46 PM

My local elementary public school rocks. Flag raising every Friday. PTA that raises 100K + every year. Teachers who encourage parents to drop in anytime. Teachers that give out their personal cell phone numbers! Gifted program for my daughter. Extra help for my son. Principal who knows all 1200+ students by name. I could go on and on.

I’m quite happy with the state of the public school.

tlynch001 on September 4, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Bradky,

If you are troubled by the quality of teachers that the universities are churning out, then you are really going to be hating life very soon. Many of today’s teachers are of the Boomer generation, and they are starting to retire. In the short coming years, there is going to be a major shortage of teachers. There is already a shortage already, so the shortage will get much, much worse.

What this means is that states who will be suffering such a large deficiency in new teachers, like California, will have to get rid of things like credential programs and the like if they are to keep their educational system from complete collapse. This does not include financial incentives but merely available spots that are filled. (IMHO credential programs are unnecessary in themselves as you are not typically taught anything new outside of a B.A degree aimed towards education.)

Both of my parents were teachers in South Central Los Angeles. They’re retired now, and have emigrated to the US by moving to Arkansas so they can be closer to family.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Both of my parents were teachers in South Central Los Angeles.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 6:59 PM

At which schools did they teach?

baldilocks on September 4, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Fortunately mine are grown and until they have kids of their own I can take a breath. You make some good points. In rural states like Louisiana it is increasingly difficult to get teachers to settle in small towns. I think you will begin to see a move towards more distance education where kids will be in classrooms with television feeds and the assistants will just be there to maintain order and proctor tests.
Home schooling is probably the ideal at this point but that requires a real commitment from the parents to sacrifice material things for a couple of decades. We did that (not homeschool but spouse stayed home to take care of kids) and don’t regret it a bit. All three kids got scholarships and have done well.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:05 PM

I agree that the school systems are too bureaucratic, as it just about the rest of everything else government related, and they need a serious restructuring. Public schools were great, and with the correct trimming, among other things like passing laws that make schools more immune to lawsuits (to get away from the moronic “zero tolerance” policies schools have had to enact to limit lawsuits. Better to make everyone miserable than to get sued.)

Vouchers are not the answer because it won’t stop private schools, who now have access to government funds, from raising their rates. Private schools, like every other business, are not open to simply educate kids, that is merely a service; they are in business to make money.

Nor does a reward type of system work, where the assumption is that the schools will be graded based on testing performance. This is a ridiculous premise to hand out government funds. What could be a “bad” teacher because of poor testing performance, could just be a classroom full of kids who are poor students and were merely graduated up the system. Certainly there are bad teachers, but this reward system won’t solve the problem.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:10 PM

ahhh the public school system at its best.
What next math teachers that cant count.

Mojack420 on September 4, 2007 at 7:13 PM

Bradky,

As strange as it sounds, the system won’t get fixed until the money runs out. While it’s easy to raise taxes and spend these dopey programs, like that idiotic video thing that you mentioned, this problem will continue. Yes, parental involvement is one of the cruxes of this problem, but that is a different discussion. Once the money runs out, governments will be forced to trim and slim down. They will need to become “lean and mean” as they once were before when taxes were low. Experiences has told us that dumping money isn’t the solution at all. In California here, over 50% of the annual budget goes towards education. This is written in the state’s constitution!

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:15 PM

baldilocks,

My mother was an elementary teacher at 28th St Elementary School. My father was a high school english teacher at Jefferson High School. You may have heard about that school, there was a riot there a year or two ago, thankfully my father was off track then. We have year-round schools in SoCal.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I’m not sure it is idiotic as you describe it. Distance learning is being used in a lot of environments now, including college classes. Books aren’t eliminated, you simply have a teacher instructing 200 students instead of 25. The teacher’s aides would likely be some of the kids parents opening up some jobs in areas where they are scarce.
Some classes it would not be appropriate for. If you eliminate the need for some teachers by going this route, you will realize pretty significant savings in 5-10 years.
But what you get in terms of quality in the small towns is shaky at best.
A lot of people thought home schooling was a huge mistake and as it turned out they were wrong. I think if applied smartly distance learning has some real potential.

And a side benefit is that by reducing the number of teachers you weaken the current NEA stranglehold on what happens in the schools.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:25 PM

UTLA, which is the school district for L.A. had newsletters that talked about the serious deficiency the system, forgetting the rest of the state, will have around 2008 with a large amount of the school system’s Boomer teachers majorily start their retirement. They were talking about a shortage crisis with available and incoming teachers in 2001 or 2002 when my parents first started thinking about retirement outside of the Peoples Republic of California.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Bradky, my apologizes for misreading what you said. I thought you to mean it was a bad thing.

I believe it is idiotic in nature because it fundamentally requires too much funding to set up, just like the Clinton Administration’s idea of putting the internet in every classroom. It takes not only a lot of money to get such a system going, but another layer of bureaucracy to maintain the system. I believe this solution is in the wrong direction. Come to think of it, to me, it is along the similar argument towards electronically monitoring the border. While I agree that technology is important, I do not believe it should replace certain things like good old fashion manpower.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:30 PM

I forgot to add that I agree wholeheartedly that the elimination of the NEA is a good start. The federal government is micromanaging the classroom with the likes of “No Child Left Behind”. Just as much of a bad idea it was to add the Department of Homeland Security on top of a failing bureaucracy, so too, was it a bad mistake to have done the same with the weakening institution of education.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:33 PM

It sucks when you think about all of the people in previous generations who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for this United States of America only to watch this generation just piss it away. It only took a little over 200 years to complete the whole rise and fall cycle. That has to be some kind of record.

LakeRuins on September 4, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Yeah.

Spirit of 1776 on September 4, 2007 at 7:39 PM

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:30 PM

Thanks for the reply. I’m in the IT field and know all too well the risk of counting on technology to solve everything. By itself it is not a solution but in conjunction with other reforms I think it has some value. My wife taught Japanese to rural schools through a combination of video telecast and telephone conferences with the classroom for a couple of hours a week for the live interaction. It wasn’t perfect but without it the schools couldn’t afford language teachers on the county school budget.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:39 PM

I am confident that my country will find a way to solve the problem, eventually. To steal a line from Casablanca: “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.” We’ve been through tougher situations before, hell a civil war, so we’ll find a permanent solution and get our educational system back on track.

We’ll just have to put up with more stuff like the topic of the thread in the mean time.

By the way, I’m from AZ and it troubles me to see they’re affected by the same plague that CA has had for much longer and is more widespread.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:25 PM

I have to politely disagree. The distance learning thing might be a useful supplement, but it is the teacher/student ratio that makes it a poor choice.

The reason why home schooling works so well is because it is one on one education, plus there is the strong re-enforcement you get from your parents. In effect, with home schooling, the student has a private tutor.

Perhaps my opinion is distorted because I did so poorly in a couple of university classes where the ‘classroom’ was an auditorium, and most if not all of the other students were both smarter, and better prepared.

rockhauler on September 4, 2007 at 7:46 PM

To me, the homeschool idea is a good one, but taxes the way they are forces both parents to work. Thus, kids are shuttled off to public school. Not many families have the luxury of having one parent stay home, which is why there is such concern over the public school system now.

If you are one of the lucky few who can do it (stay home to raise kids), the more power to you!

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:52 PM

rockhauler on September 4, 2007 at 7:46 PM

I could be wrong. But I think in rural areas particularly eliminating full time teachers and replacing many of them with class assistants you would have many of the parents taking on those jobs because they could participate in their children’s education and work a schedule compatible with that of the kids.

A teacher in louisiana makes roughly 30K per year. If you hire teacher aides at 7-8 bucks an hour, pay them for time only, their salary would be around 12K a year. for the sake of argument let’s say a school with 50 teachers could cut back on 10 teachers by using distance learning the school has a net savings of 180K and still has adult presence in the classroom. Since it is distance learning the class size would still be 25-30 students in a class, but would be broadcast to multiple classrooms.

I’m always open to ideas but haven’t seen that many alternatives explained in detail.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:55 PM

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:55 PM

I remain open to the idea, but skeptical. As you describe it with a local ‘teachers aide’, the distance learning lecture is still a supplement to the local classroom.

In a technical subject, the local teaching assistant would have to be competent in the subject in order to respond the the student questions, since it is impractical to expect the distant lecturer to respond to all the demands for attention from the large class, and it is that interaction between student and instructor where learning takes place.

I’m sure you would agree, that in learning your technical field, it was important that your individual questions were addressed by your instructors, in a way that made sense to you.

How does your suggested distance learning scenario differ from something like “The History Channel”, or “Discovery Channel”, or taped lectures?

It was my experience that in the auditorium, we students sat and listened while the lecture told us what was in the textbook. I could read the textbook, but when I didn’t understand it, listening to the lecture repeat the material didn’t help. Plus, it was easy, as just one of many hundreds of students, to just sit back and do nothing.

In my opinion, where the education establishment has gone wrong is concentrating oh ‘how to teach’ rather than being competent in a subject. In other words, if a teacher knows the litany, the Kant, of the eduction establishment they don’t have to know the subject they are teaching. Thus, you get an English teacher who ‘knows how to teach’, has all the proper credentials, but can’t speak English.

rockhauler on September 4, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Bravo, Bryan! An education post!

Allah’s busy with 699 comment posts with atheists expounding on how much they hate Christians, and Christians expounding on how evil the other Christians are, etc.

But here is my reddest meat: tax money down a shithole, a brainwashing operation staffed 95% by lefties, with our children as guinea pigs, an bloated and growing Federal bureaucracy in support of a local and state-funded operation, a continuing experiment in multi-culti bullshit…

This is the shangri la of political scams.

Jaibones on September 4, 2007 at 9:08 PM

If these people in Arizona aren’t in the process of recalling their Board of Education members they are getting the education they deserve. This can be fixed. Just vote in an entire new group for the Board of Education and be very vocal about why. I’ve seen this work very nicely in the past. However, most people have no idea who is even on the local BoE, and probably have no idea what they are supposed to do. Lazy voters like this get what they deserve.

Buford on September 4, 2007 at 9:10 PM

Fortunately mine are grown and until they have kids of their own I can take a breath. You make some good points. In rural states like Louisiana it is increasingly difficult to get teachers to settle in small towns.

Sometimes I think of retiring early and then going off to some other state and doing just that…teach for a few years more in one of those small rural towns. I’ve read that those small schools don’t usually attract teachers who are, ummm, as over edumacated as I am, and it might be nice to work somewhere like that. The pay would suck compared to what I make now, but if I had the retirement pay from CA it might work. And the cost of living would likely be a lot less than it is here.

Thinking about it.

Bob's Kid on September 4, 2007 at 9:12 PM

A teacher in louisiana makes roughly 30K per year.

Ouch.

Bob's Kid on September 4, 2007 at 9:16 PM

A teacher in louisiana makes roughly 30K per year.

Bradky on September 4, 2007 at 7:55 PM

Life’s cheaper in rural Louisiana, Bradky.

The average cost to teach a child in elementary school is $10,000 per year — and that’s without any capital expenditure. Give me the building and long term equipment, and then $300,000 per year to teach 30 fourth-graders, and I can do it better than we are now. Betcha.

The highest cost per pupil of any district in the country is Washington, D.C.; let’s get a quick show of hands for all those who believe that the students coming out of the District demonstrate the value of additional education funds.

Here in south suburban Chicago, we have two gym teachers from my high school days still on the payroll: they are making over $150,000 per year. To teach gym class. And coach a sport or two. They will receive 80% of that per year upon retirement … for the rest of their lives … without Social Security withholding for taxes.

That’s the Senate Retirement Plan.

Who thinks we can afford that?

Jaibones on September 4, 2007 at 9:34 PM

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL PASS, IT ONLY MEANS THEY WILL NOT BE LEFT BEHIND.

EACH STUDENT PROCEEDS TO THE NEXT GRADE LEVEL, EVERY YEAR, REGARDLESS OF THEIR GRADES/SCORES. IF THEY HAVE TO STAY IN 12TH GRADE AS SENIORS FOR MANY YEARS, SO BE IT.
.
I’VE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS ABSOLUTE DISASTER FOR TWO YEARS NOW. IT’S REAL, AND IT’S RUINING OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR FUTURE AS WELL AS OURS.
.
we aint got no good enouf teachers weak to weak, month to moth in are scholls, lemme tell ya.
.

shooter on September 4, 2007 at 9:52 PM

Cue Ralph Wigum:

“Me fail English? That unpossible.”

VolMagic on September 4, 2007 at 9:57 PM

My father was a high school english teacher at Jefferson High School. You may have heard about that school, there was a riot there a year or two ago, thankfully my father was off track then. We have year-round schools in SoCal.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:17 PM

I’ve more than heard about “Jeff”–I live in its district. (No children, however.) My grandmother and great-aunt graduated from Jeff back in the forties.

I graduated from LAHS, however, and was wondering whether I knew one of your parents. God bless them for hanging in as long as they did.

baldilocks on September 4, 2007 at 10:44 PM

As an educator in CA, I know most of my colleagues are literate. But today I cringed after a co-teacher pronounced genre as “jonner,” after 1) I had pronounced it correctly and 2) after a 7th grade student -ouch!- corrected him! He’s a nice guy, but I won’t let him teach anything else in front of my class! Not until he learns how to spoke! ;)

skpman15 on September 4, 2007 at 10:54 PM

skpman15 on September 4, 2007 at 10:54 PM

.
I would like your honest opinion, if you can write it publicly. :-)
As an educator, do you agree with my assessment of no child left behind?
look just above at -shooter on September 4, 2007 at 9:52 PM

My sons grades have plummeted in high school after doing pretty well in his previous years. He did well in math but in 9th grade he got behind in algebra, then tanked. ( he doesn’t live near me and I found out months into the problem….which we’re still working on).
His teachers, vice principal, principal , counselor all told me he progresses thru to the next grade level regardless of his grade scores…until he’s a senior. Then he, and scores of other students, will have to repeat their senior year until they pass, or drop out.

shooter on September 4, 2007 at 11:30 PM

rockhauler on September 4, 2007 at 8:19 PM

As I described about the distance learning my wife was involved in teaching it worked kind of as follows:
1. Teacher broadcast lesson to x number of classrooms in several states.
2. Native Japanese speakers conducted telecons with the classrooms for interactive practice and questions about 2-3 hours per week. Class sizes were around 10-15 since it was a language class. My wife had six classes in six states and spent about 30 hours a week working with them “live”.
3. The way it is taught is each classroom still consists of the normal number of students (25-40 depending on school size).
4. The assistants would need to get specialized training I agree.

I don’t claim it is the perfect solution but part of a comprehensive strategy to address public education.

If the US really wanted to improve its educational approach and I was king for a day I’d make the DOE quit producing nothing as they are now and establish a centralized curriculum that all states had to follow. That is how they do it in Japan and it works very well — some criticisms to be sure but they have a 95% literacy rate with a language that requires them to know 1200 characters in order to graduate high school. They have to pass a test to get into high school as well as college.

Jaibones on September 4, 2007 at 9:34 PM

30K is applicable to the larger cities where it is more expensive. The rural areas are paying 20-25K on average. Texas pays in the mid to high 30′s so guess where most of the talent goes and what we are left with.

I’m certainly not a proponent of throwing more money at student education. That’s why I think a new approach needs to be applied. I’d be rich if I had a workable plan.

Bradky on September 5, 2007 at 12:08 AM

“If you have problems, to who are you going to ask?”

It’s sad when a teacher doesn’t even know how to spell ‘aks’ :(.

Kevin M on September 5, 2007 at 7:47 AM

I’m quite happy with the state of the public school.

If memory serves, when president Peanuts & Love gave the teacher’s unions the Department of Education in exchange for their support, a major function of the DoEd was to “standardize” schools throughout the nation.

Your happiness with your local school underscores the problem; when parents are concerned and involved, schools generally do well, when the parents aren’t…

oldleprechaun on September 5, 2007 at 7:56 AM

Your happiness with your local school underscores the problem; when parents are concerned and involved, schools generally do well, when the parents aren’t…

oldleprechaun on September 5, 2007 at 7:56 AM

Unless of course the teachers and administrators don’t give a rats bottom what the parents think. I have found that to be the case in my area.(Semi-rural, upstate NY)

THEY have an agenda and teaching our children to read and write is NOT the primary objective any more.

My neighbor’s son is a nurse with the ANG and he was sent to Kuwait a few times during the beginning of the war. My son (9 at the time) sent him a few care packages while he was there. The nurse e-mailed my son to say thank you and he offered to come to the school(THE SAME SCHOOL HE ATTENDED AS A CHILD)and talk about what he did in Kuwait. He worked in a hospital taking care of wounded soldiers, ours and theirs alike.

My wife mentioned this to my son’s teacher and you would not believe the letter we got from the school. Aside from the fact that the teacher has no composition skills, she also showed her TRUE feelings about the Iraq war. She said in the letter that, “We do not feel that speaking about the war is appropriate in the school environment as it is very controversial.” WELL WHAT WAR WASN’T?!?!?!?!??!?! HOW ABOUT THAT LITTLE THING CALLED “THE CIVIL WAR”?!?!?! Guess that is off limits too? I asked the stupid bi#@% about that and she just stood there and blinked.

Best part of the letter was this, “The school district feels that parents have the right to discuss the war at home.”

I asked her AND the principle what would happen if the school district felt the we DID NOT have the right to discuss the war at home. They had no answer.

The school system in America is MUCH worse than most people think.

Talon on September 5, 2007 at 10:29 AM

My friend’s mother is a teacher in Houston.

She teaches one of the district’s non-English speaking elementary school classes.

Her class is a mix of kids from all over the world (Indonesia, Vietnam, Romania, Thailand, etc). The only kids she doesn’t get are the Spanish speaking kids (there are enough of them that they are combined into one class and taught by a different teacher).

Her class is taught entirely in English and, the largest group of kids she’s ever had that spoke the same language were 3 siblings from Indonesia one year that spoke Bahasa (?).

By the end of the first semester (so, Christmas break), the kids in her class can all have short conversations with her in English. By the end of the first year, almost all of them are ready to mainstream into English speaking classrooms. The longest she’s ever had a child in her class was 3 years for an extremely slow learner that had learning disabilities.

In contrast, the kids in the Spanish class are taught in Spanish by a teacher that is natively fluent in Spanish. Most of them haven’t mainstreamed to English classes by the time they leave the elementary school (6th grade).

The best part is that the teacher that teaches in Spanish is paid $4000 more each year because she’s a bi-lingual teacher.

The whole system is broken.

JadeNYU on September 4, 2007 at 5:12 PM

JadeNYU,

This is known as HISD’s Bilingual Program. As a former English Teacher in HISD years ago, I remember when this was introduced.

After claiming 50+ languages were spoken in Houston daily, the Bilingual Program was identified as one solely for Spanish-speakers. 1 1/2 hours each day was to be taught in English.

But wait! Before you ask why only 1 language was singled out or why only 1 1/2 hours a day in English, it gets better: They could find nobody in Houston (either willing or able) to teach in English and Spanish.

So where did they go for teachers? Why, Mexico City of course!

How many of these “teachers” could speak English? None. (NONE!)

It just ensured ESL students would outpace their Spanish-speaking counterparts, and that Spanish speakers would remain part of the permanent underclass. Exactly what the Left wants.

Miss_Anthrope on September 5, 2007 at 12:04 PM

UTLA, which is the school district for L.A. had newsletters that talked about the serious deficiency the system, forgetting the rest of the state, will have around 2008 with a large amount of the school system’s Boomer teachers majorily start their retirement. They were talking about a shortage crisis with available and incoming teachers in 2001 or 2002 when my parents first started thinking about retirement outside of the Peoples Republic of California.

Weebork on September 4, 2007 at 7:27 PM

UTLA is not the district, it is the teacher’s union for LA’s teachers. The district is LAUSD, Los Angeles Unified School District.

Both groups are extremely political and powerful. The district and teacher’s unions both operate from the liberal playbook on social issues. However they have often found themselves in opposition to each other, usually around contract time.

Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan to take over the school district caused great consternation and political infighting between the two.

Many people here are harping on teachers. I won’t. Many teachers make great sacrifices to teach their students. Also, in California you must have at least a BA to teach or even sub.

My mother taught for many years in LAUSD and she was constantly spending her own money and working outside of the classroom, on behalf of her students. She had two Masters degrees and never stopped learning.

She did not speak Ebonics. Nor would she tolerate its use. She was often at odds with the administration because of her high demands. There were and still are many competent, dedicated teachers in LAUSD.

LAUSD will continue to fail as long as local politicians treat Los Angeles like an municipal extension of Tijuana. We have normalized spanglish, gang culture and political activism among kids in our most challenged neighborhoods. We have marginalized standards, American culture and values.

Remember, LA is the social harbinger for the rest of the nation.

The Race Card on September 5, 2007 at 5:15 PM