Decrease in student performance?

Discussion in 'High School' started by tcutonilli, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. tcutonilli

    tcutonilli Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2008

    I'm new to this forum, and I was wondering if anybody else has noticed a general decrease in student performance over the last 10 to 15 years. If so, does anybody have any way to quantify the changes? What changes have you observed?

    I guess I'm just curious to see if my "perceptions" of students is accurate or not (or even fair).

    Thanks
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 18, 2008

    From my perspective as someone new to the field, it seems like the problem is not really between a decade ago and today, but rather between urban areas and suburban or rural areas. Maybe others have different feelings on the matter, but that's how I see it.

    I grew up in a small city in the upper Great Plains--150k or so population-wise. Students at the high school where I went to school are continuing to perform at superior levels as a general rule. Students at the high school where I teach tend to perform at sub-par levels, except for a few highly-motivated students.
     
  4. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Mar 18, 2008

    I attended the high school that I teach at now, and things are more or less the same, but I have seen a small decline in the way things are run. In fact, we were a Level 5 Superior school until we got a new principal - now we're Level 4. My parents, who were educators, constantly tell me to get while there's still time because they expect education to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
     
  5. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Mar 18, 2008

    This is my opinion. I came out of school many years ago and graduateed from a private school. I am a career switcher currently working in a High School doing ISS.

    I believe the schools are too lenient, try to be too politically correct, too pampering, too inclusive ( wants EVERYBODY to be in class when a small handful don't want to be there thus are disruptive to the teacher and other students ), no parent involvement, school is daycare, disrepect from the students etc etc......

    Sorry, I spent 20+ years in corporate america so this is a totally new environment to me.
     
  6. LateBloomer52

    LateBloomer52 New Member

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    Mar 18, 2008

    I also spent 15 years in the private sector before finally getting to my calling this year. I think the thing that most surprised me was the lack of care that 10-20% of the kids seems to have. I have kids who do absolutely nothing, though they are definitely smart enough to get it.

    Another thing they have now that we did not is a Freshmen-separate situation. When we came along, we were in the general population, so if you were acting out, an upperclassman would let you know in a hurry. Today, they ALL act like 5 year olds and see nothing else, so they don't know they are doing something stupid. Our district also has laptops for each student, and there is NO reason for 9th graders to have their own computers. This is probably the biggest distraction for them - it's their own personal jukebox and arcade. They could care less what we're working on as long as they can play...and, frankly, I am very tired of policing it... Sorry - kinda off subject...

    Oh, and I do believe they are not as good a-students as we were. Some of them can't do 5th grade math, and they won't even give it a try. They'll just leave problems blank rather than give them a go...
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Mar 18, 2008

    I don't think the kids are getting any worse, I just think times are changing and the teachers and administration and people who write curriculum don't know how to keep up.
     
  8. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I don't know why
    I do know The basics have not changed

    Math hasn't changed 2+2 still equals 4, and C=2πr
    We still have Verbs, Nouns, adverbs, etc.
    We still have the scientific method
    The alphabet is still A, B, C, etc.
    In 1492 Columbus still sailed the ocean Blue
    Reading is still "fundamental" we still have books like
    "Flowers for Algernon", "Little Women", "The Good Earth", "Robinson Crusoe", "The Light in the Forest","October Sky","The Last of the Mohicans", "2001: A Space Odyssey ",​
    just to name a few
    What is missing?
    Teachers and administration and people who write curriculum don't know how to keep up. No I don't think so that is too easy.

    Think about Mindset

    Mindset List 2011
    BELOIT COLLEGE'S MINDSET LIST®
    FOR THE CLASS OF 2011​
    Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead.......
    Read it, here is the link
    http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/2011.php
     
  9. urbanteachergal

    urbanteachergal Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2008

    Hey, all. I just completed my first year teaching and I find that I am incredibly frustrated with student performance. I would agree with Irish Dave that it's a matter of mindset. Many of my kids are so defeated, or coddled, or something...that they won't even try to succeed.

    They feel that they can't do any test without some kind of cheat sheet. They won't study because they swear it won't help. They won't do homework because "it's too hard." I have to say that I think our curriculum is "dummed down" and the kids still struggle with it. How can you get into 9th and 10th grade and not know how to divide a fraction? A bad mindset sets them back and so their achievement dwindles.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I think a lot of it has to do with the expectations that are set. I see kids getting praised all the time in school for very mediocre work when they are capable of so much more. Why should they do more, if they get a huge pat on the back for this?

    At home kids get McDonalds and a trip to Toys R Us if they kick the ball at a soccer game.

    I think that years ago it meant more to be in the top of your class or do the best work you could possible do. I don't think these things are important to most kids anymore. I think many of us sort of grew up with the "why settle for second when first is available" mentality. Success to many kids today is getting your name in the top 100 on a computer game or sporting some new Abercrombie attire.

    I mean I am all for building a positive self concept, but not to the point where the child loses in the long run.
     
  11. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I agree that the kids are the same, but times have changed. They, in many instances, can be lazier these days and they don't see why it matters. Ease of access and information has bred a mentality where minimal is good enough. And like a previous poster mentioned, it is also often celebrated and rewarded. It is simply the most efficient means of getting from point A to point B in their minds, though. I really don't think they are intentionally trying to be lazy. It's just that hard work for the sake of hard work is a foreign concept to many of them. Makes it difficult for us to instill intrinsic motivation when they didn't do most of the work we'd like them to be proud of.

    I was recently teaching how to format a Works Cited page and they just point out online sites where they can plug in basic info and the site will create it for them in any format they need. It is defeating to know that anything they need/want in order to avoid thinking can be googled, copied and pasted. Ironically to me, they do not have any qualms about showing that they use these sites for what they call "research". I try to explain that their version of research quickly becomes plagiarism, but they think along the lines of it's already been done... why do I need to do it? I know.. I know.. we had Cliff's Notes books back in my time, but they have everything they need on a platter just a click away. That ease makes a such difference in how much they actually have to *think*.
     
  12. tcutonilli

    tcutonilli Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2008

    "I think a lot of it has to do with the expectations that are set. I see kids getting praised all the time in school for very mediocre work when they are capable of so much more. Why should they do more, if they get a huge pat on the back for this?"

    I am glad you mentioned this lemonhead. This is the other aspect of my original question that bothers me. I get students all the time that will do half (or less) of an assignment and they expect a big pat on the back for all the effort. What is going on? Where have they learned that this is ok?

    I think that we (society) have become so wrapped up in praising all the little things, trying to be positive about everything, and not hurt anyone's feelings that we've created a situation where too many young people today don't know how to work hard to obtain results or reach a goal, and sometimes if a certain result is not obtained, it's just not acceptable.
     

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