Elementary School Kids

What do you think is the problem with the U.S. education system/student
September 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Comparatively speaking, the United States does not starve its education system of revenue. The U.S. is one of the leaders in spending on Education, and yet it's schools are rated "average" by international bodies.

The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

Worse, out of 34 OECD countries, only 8 have a lower high school graduation rate. The United States' education outcomes most resemble Poland's, a nation that spends less than half on education than the U.S.

The U.S. spent an average of $10,615 per student in 2010.  Some districts spent over $18,000 (D.C., NY).  Obviously, we can't throw money at a problem like this. 

So what is the real issue here?

Update:  This post just blew up today.  It's going to take me a while to read all of this.


  • momofkandb
    September 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    How about parental support of school?

  • Venae
    by Venae
    September 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Unions, sucky teachers and sucky parents.

  • sakpoints
    September 21, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Quoting WesternNYmom:

    I agree.  Up here the standardized tests are used to determine how much funding from the state each district receives the following year. Unfortunately that means, school who's student perform poorly on these exams get less funding than districts with better scores.  I have hated the  No Child Left Behind Act from the day it was written.  I was so happy when our district announce that it was moving away from it last  year. The reason I don't like it is because, under the Act, students are divided up into categories (African-American, Latino, Developmentally Disabled etc).  Each group is then evaluated seperately by how well they performed on the exam.  The overall performance then determines the amount of state funding the district gets. Districts who show lower test scores get less funding while districts with better scores receive and increase in funding.  It makes no sense to me. The only thing this is doing is punishing the students. There are several districts in this area that  can't afford to purchase updated equipment (computers, science lab equipment etc.) and some teachers are forced to teach history classes with outdated textbooks. The sad part is this was happening when I was in school. I remember in my 9th grade world civilization class, our textbooks were 20 years out of date, and my history teacher had to print out handouts from her textbook for the rest of what we needed to learn. Our school could not afford to purchase updated books that year. It was a mess.  That was in 1991, and the sad part is more students are being forced to learn this way. Sorry to rant, but it makes me mad.  



    Quoting banana-bear:

    Too many things to list out but the biggest issue I have is with standardized testing.

     I wish our school could move away from the tests.  Our school performed well over all but we did not meet the mark for reading in the 'lower economic level' students which caused our scool to fail AYP.  Since this was the second year in a row they had to send a letter home notifying parents and ask surrounding schools if they would be able to take any of our students at our districts transportation expense.  First I think our school does a great job and the children struggling are most likely from families that do not help their children at home. I would much rather the district using their money for something other than busing our kids to other districts that sadly would not do any better with the kids that are struggling.

  • snowangel1979
    September 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM
    I'm in Michigan, it was a smaller school but It's only open door if your in the pta (it's not really a rule but that's how it is, plus DS was in class with the pta president's son. Every time I tried talking she would be right in our business but that's a whole other story LOL)

    I'm not one of those parents that blames the school but It's hard to punish my child for things that happened 2 weeks ago or something that you can't get a straight answer on.
    The school wanted to label him with all these labels. Emotionally disturbed, PTSD, ADHD, ODD. He has one of those, ADHD. His physiologis laughed and said umm No, mentally he's healthy and normal. He's just smart and figures out what will work with people.

    They pretty much have no programs for students. Above or behind in their studies. (Unless they are severely disabled.) But they want to be quick to label the students, so they can get that extra money and do nothing for that student.

    Quoting starbeck96:

    We also HS now.  THis is our first year.  My daughter is 5 and is very hyper, but very smart.  She is also very easily distracted.  We knew that this would be a problem very quickly.  My boys asked if we would HS them also.  They are in 9th grade.

    We live in Alabama and I've known a few parents that went and sit with their kids during class.  It is sad that they would not let you.  I probably would have done it anyway..lol.  Our schools here all have open door policies.  you can go in at any time as long as you don't cause interruptions. 

    This happens so much in schools though.  The kids get bored and then start acting up.  That is when the teacher should have extra work for those kids to do.  That would help with the problem some.  It is a shame that more parents are not like this though.  So many of the paretns here just don't care that their kids are misbehaving because they don't have to deal with it.  Sadly many of the kids that act up do it for attention as well because they don't get it at home.

    Quoting snowangel1979:

    I tried to do that when DS was acting up.
    (go sit in his classroom, I would have done it everyday untill he straightened up)

    The teacher said I was not allowed to. I could volunteer for a few hours which consisted of pulling students out in the hall for reading or copy things for her. How could I watch him if I was in the hall.

    Instead the school couslaer and someone from the immediate school district had to "watch" him and tell me what was going on. I could never get a straight answer on what was going on. I would get he's doing good and then 3 weeks later she would call with a list of everything he did wrong all month.

    He was bored is what it was, they wouldn't do anything to help him. He just had to get used to being bored. He would get done with his work in 2 minutes and start getting in trouble. He wasn't allowed to learn anything above grade level. Period.

    We homeschool now. He's between 2-4 grade levels above his peers. We do formal schooling 2 hours a day. That's it. So, that kinda squashes the hours of extra homework theory for us. We work more on quality then quantity. We don't move on untill he has it mastered.

    Quoting starbeck96:

    Well, I think alot of the problem is that kids have no respect for teachers.  There is no real discipline in school anymore and alot of parents just don't care. 

    IMO if a child is continuously acting up (and has no mental issues) then instead of sending them to in-school suspension, make their parents come up to the school and sit with them.  After a few times of pulling mommas and daddies off work to come sit with their child, I guarantee you would see a difference in the child within a few days...

    I also agree with the post that said in other countries parental involvement is better than here.  Too many parents here just use school as a babysitter. 

    Our high school here gives tons of HW..When my boys were in 7th and 8th grade they had homework but they have what they call "exploratory class".  Sometimes it was art or music.  Sometimes it was used to go over certain lessons that the kids were having trouble with.  The kids who played football went to the coach's room and they were allowed to eat a snack, drink gatorade, and do HW.  This was very nice since the boys didn't get home until after 6 many evenings...

  • amazzonia
    September 22, 2012 at 3:25 AM
    Do you have a website I can check? I come from Europe and I'm freeking out more and more closer we are getting to the school years lol and this sound like a really cool thing!

    Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

  • Amac29
    by Amac29
    September 22, 2012 at 4:32 AM
    Oh, I assure you that accountability stops at the teacher. Why did Johnny fail? What did you do to help him? Did you give make up work? Call the parent? What interventions?

    I've never met Johnny.

    Then how can you fail someone you don't know.

    He never came.

    So give him the make-up work.

    He skipped, there's nothing for him to make up. He doesn't come up.

    So pass him.

    18 years in the classroom. The student is not accountable. He's just a victim of crappy slacker teachers who can't teach.

    What's wrong with our education system?
    1. Uninvolved parents.
    2. No Child Left Behind.
    3. A system that homogenized children.
    4. Absent parent
    5. Tv
    6. The Me Generation
    7. Parents that enable apathy
    8. Technology
    9. Teachers' jobs threatened if more than 10% fail.
    10. No child left behind means no child ever gets ahead.

    Quoting marilyn623:

    I think the accountability just gets passed along. Its not her fault, its his and so on and so forth and noone ever has reprocussions, except the students.

  • LisaSmock
    September 22, 2012 at 4:51 AM
    That's sad

    Quoting LostTheSlipper:

    Quoting Malley:

    I'd be interested to find out how the average time spent on homework and studying in the US compares to other countries. As a teacher I get alot of pressure not to give much HW. Kids have busy lives with sports.

    I'd REALLY like to find a movie (educational) I saw in high school or college on the life of a girl in either China or Japan and rewatch it. It showed her getting up at like 5:30 or something so she could get to prep classes before school, then she'd go to school, she'd leave school and go to some other type of learning thing, come home and have dinner, maybe do chores (can't remember fully) and then have to do homework till like 12 or 1am before going to sleep and doing it all over again. It was kind of interesting.

  • jesusismyfriend
    September 22, 2012 at 8:37 AM
    The government needs to get out. If we made it so that schools had to perform well or they loose students then bet they would step it up
  • MrsSamMerlotte
    September 22, 2012 at 8:49 AM
    Parents who think it is not their job to teach their kids.
    Teachers who no longer care about their jobs enough to do them right but they do not get fired from their job because they have been there for so many years. There is a word for it but I forget what it is called.
    Students don't care enough to learn.
    Too many state tests force teachers to teach what may not be as important. Many topics are missed because of it.
    No child left behind.
    Younger grades should probably be grouped by how advanced they are and what they know so the smarter ones are not bored.
    Everyone forgets that not all children learn the same way. All classes are taught in the same boring way and every person has a different learning style. It doesn't work. Also, smaller children learn best through play and many schools have hardly any recess and they expect them to sit still for long periods of time.
    Aaaaaand class sizes are too big. Too many kids in each class.
  • funnymommy71
    September 22, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I was not aware that they don't require high school. But, I know most give tests and early on in 7-8th grade to see where the students apptitude and interest lies as far as vocational or University education.  The main problem here is exactly that.... vocational is looked down on.  Gee, my best friends son is an electrician- just became a journeyman and makes around $55,000- he is 24. I know of NO one else at 24 except nurses that make that money at that age. I have 5 friends that got Masters in Ed. only 2 are working as teachers here in NY- the rest work elsewhere due to hating the system or can't find a job- and now have upwards of $50- 75,000 debt.  Bless them.  The ideal for us is college where we all know is not always the way for some. Gotta look to the future needs of our country and job outlooks (aka- a big one- anything Geriatric!)

    NCLB, race to the top and never ending "teach for the test" sucks and has to be done away with. And, I agree with types of learners.  The only way kids are identified as this is if they are classified "Special Ed" and I know my son is a visual learner.

    BTW- I am very involved with my kids education and have a great relationship with the teachers!!

    Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

    Countries in Europe don't requre high school. Only those that have certain grades continue on to high school and then college so those tested are usually ahead of our general population.. It is no shame in europe to choose a vocational training program instead of college.

    IMO ~ since the CA state high school exit exam is written at an 8th grade level, they should give the kids a choice of a vocational program, that includes some high school xourses, instead of forcing kids to learn things the majority will never use.

    They also need to revamp the Elementary grades so that there are different classes for different TYPES of learners. Classes should be grouped by ability, not age.

Elementary School Kids

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