High Expectations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 20, 2018

    What expectations can you have of yourself if you don't know the content? Your high may be the basic of a well-educated co-worker.
     
  2. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 20, 2018

    My last school used the term expectation instead of rule. While it worked for some things, the general change often had me scratching my head. It never felt quite right.

    I like your thoughts about keeping the terms separate.
     
  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 20, 2018

    Yep, I've heard it. Usually they say that they don't expect much from their students. I have coworkers that admit it is just easier to let kids do what they want (talk, watch movies on their phones, etc.) than to enforce class rules. I've been told by coworkers that students learn responsibility best when they can decide how to spend the classroom time and basically conduct study hall all day, every day. These teachers know their expectations are lower than other teachers' but they take the path of least resistance.
     
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Exactly right, sadly.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wow, just wow.
     
  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    None of this should be the least bit surprising to anyone who keeps up on the declining state of our education system. With the exception of the few diamonds in the rough, there's plenty of overwhelming evidence that no negligible improvement has occurred for over 20 years! I was actually thinking of starting a provocative thread entitled Hoodwinked! Anyone interested?
     
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  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I really get tired of listening to my colleagues complain about how bad education in the US is. For the last 40 years, student test scores have been going up—until No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top (Republican and Democratic administrations). These terrible programs made high-stakes testing federal law and instituted programs whereby low performing schools got fewer resources and punishment in order to motivate the "lazy" teachers to make their high poverty, highly stressed students perform better on the tests. Now we have DeVos: enemy of public education.

    The true villains of public education are not the teachers (and I know not every teacher is a brilliant, committed person), it's the federal bureaucrats who don't understand education or teaching.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2018

    I think there is no question that test scores are rising, but that study is statistically misleading. It reminds me of a principal I know of at a charter school that wrote up a report and proudly exclaimed that there was a 100% increase in the number of students that passed the state tests from the previous year. Yet upon reading the report, one finds that the number only went from 15 who passed to 30 out of roughly 800. That is not significant and the administrator was spinning the numbers to make it seem as if students were achieving much more than they actually were, but I’m digressing. The students were still overwhelmingly failing, though just slightly less than before.

    Back to your article: I read through it and examined several graphs and determined the gains are minimal (the scores have stayed pretty consistent over 40 years). For example, very few scores have statistically significant increases or no change and the averages only increased by a few points in many cases over that time period (like 1-5 points). Personally, I wouldn’t tote that as a major success. Especially since I keep reading time and time again about how entire districts in many states throughout the nation have a plurality or a majority of their students who fail tests and/or do not graduate and/or who can’t demonstrate mastery in pretty much anything. That is extremely concerning and should be looked at under heavy scrutiny. To demonstrate, I read an article of how a class valedictorian couldn’t pass their state’s high school exit exam after multiple attempts, which is nothing short of pathetic. It’s almost as if swathes of students have learned absolutely nothing in their ENTIRE public school educations (12+ years) besides being able to read and write at a minimally basic level.

    Frankly, it’s scary when I see students who: 1) struggle with basic arithmetic as an adult or can’t tell time, who can’t use a ruler to take measurements, or are incapable of handling money (How is that even a thing?), 2) are barely able to manage writing a single paragraph (Seriously?), 3) think rudimentary classes are exceedingly difficult (they’re called remedial courses for a reason), or 4) can’t even show proficiency in the only language that they purport to know. This indicates to me that many public schools (as well as many private schools) have absolutely failed them.

    Tyler, under the section “improvements seen in reading and mathematics” it says many of the results are not statistically different than the results in 1973. “No change” is reported elsewhere throughout the paper. The graphs that follow also show how averages have stagnated and/or increased only ever so slightly over 40 years. That’s not good enough mathematically.

    And I am happy to see that more students are taking more “advanced” math than in prior years as a percentage of the total student population. However, there are still very few math and engineering graduates being churned out annually and colleges are coming out and saying incoming students are woefully underprepared for college-level maths. There is a reason for that.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pb...roll-students-arent-prepared-higher-education

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-04-27/high-school-seniors-arent-college-ready-naep-data-show?context=amp

    https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/201...lege-or-career-ready-says-nations-report-card

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.br...ge-performance-less-than-you-might-think/amp/

    https://www.chronicle.com/article/High-Schools-Set-Up/139105
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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  9. Been There

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    Jul 21, 2018

    I avoided the staff lunchroom so that I could eat my lunch without having to listen to the endless vents of frustrated, angry or depressed teachers. I also stopped participating in a carpool after experiencing the non-stop chatter of colleagues who couldn't wait to talk shop both to (starting at 6:30 in the morning) and from school - an hour each way! No one really likes to hear others complaining about their work day in and day out, but the reality is that dysfunctional schools are active breeding grounds for ever-mounting work-related stress.

    With regard to the 2008 NAEP report that you cited, I concur with FMP comments. Many teachers have difficulty interpreting statistical data, especially when test results are presented in a way to make unflattering figures sparkle. The purported "gains" often don't match what one sees in schools. Here are some links to articles that may help explain what's going on:

    NAEP 2017 Reading Results
    NAEP Shows Little to No Gains in Math, Reading for U.S. Students
    National Test Scores Reveal a Decade of Educational Stagnation
    How Can Cities' NAEP Report Cards Be OK, When Students Are Doing Worse?
    Academic Expectations Around the Country, in Two Maps
    NAEP: A Flawed Benchmark Producing the Same Old Story

    To help you better understand the complex issues in public education, I would highly recommend Seymour Sarason's book, The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform. It was required reading for a stimulating graduate seminar I took at Stanford many years ago, but its message still applies today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  10. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Jul 21, 2018

    I'm with you - I don't generally socialize with my colleagues at work. They're always gossiping about something or someone and I refuse to take part in that.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2018

    Absolutely beautiful post. Well put!
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  13. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jul 22, 2018

    There are some downers for sure, but I try to avoid the ones who I don't trust. The ones who try to look good to the principal by reporting on what others say. They're in all professional fields, not just teaching. This type is most dangerous when there's a new manager and they're trying to get "in" by ruining morale. A smart principal will quash it, but I've had some who encourage it.
     
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  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2018

    My confusion with high expectations are -- when are expectations too high? We had a lot of kids with ADHD this year and they really struggled at the end of the day. The behavior was often atrocious and I was really glad that I didn't have to teach too much at the end of the day (my mentor taught two subject areas and she taught science at the end of the day). I helped out with science but she often just gave kids free time, because it was honestly easier than getting through a lesson. Sometimes I would feel like free time every Friday was not appropriate for the grade level (8th grade) and they should be doing academic work every period (except on special days, like the day before the holiday.) Even the day before breaks, I planned games that we could do so it was a "fun day" but the students were still learning. My mentor sometimes said that I had higher expectations for students but I wasn't sure if it is such a good thing. I just felt like so many of my students were already so academically behind that I wanted them to use their academic time effectively. Maybe the kids just couldn't focus at the end of the day and needed the free time? I definitely want to set high academic expectations but I also do not want to stress out the kids!
     
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  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 22, 2018

    When I think of High Expectations done correctly, I think of correctly challenging expectations. I think of weight loss for an example. If you had 3 people: (150 pounds overweight, 42 pounds overweight, and 2 pounds overweight) and had them for 3 months, what might be correct expectations if the ultimate goal was being 0 pounds overweight. One could correctly allow the 2 pounds to get to 0. But what about the other 2? Let's say 7 pounds/month would be considered high expectations and excellent growth. Then losing 21 pounds would be the goal of the first two.

    In the classroom asking low students to improve far more than we can expect top students to do isn't high expectations, it is insanity. About 1 1/2 years of growth would be considered very high expectations for any student. Sometimes admin asks more, but talk is cheap and often not realistic. IMO high expectations should also be realistic.
     

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