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public announcements: - Lograh — LiveJournal

Thursday, 28.Aug.2003

8:34 - public announcements:

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1) school is about to start for me. I'm going to be sitting in on one class and actually enrolled in a second. The one I'm sitting in on, it will be my third time through (I've passed the other two times with flying colours, thankyouverymuch), but that doesn't help at all. In fact, it just means I'll be spending longer on the homework than I did the first time through, because while I won't have any issues with the simpler stuff, that nasty back-end crap will have my mind reeling for days. So, I'm estimating I'll have likely an average of about 6-8 hours of homework per day (maybe more).

2) because of (1), I'll have just about no time for socializing. Those of you who knew me through my undergrad years will remember this from back then. When the semester starts, I dissapear

3) in spite of (1), if any of those of you taking math classes have any questions or need any help, *ASK*. I will still be willing to take some time to go over a point with you in hopes of helping you understand it. It also helps me, because all the stuff I'm doing now is going on in the background of what you're doing. It has actually happened that while going over the behavior of polynomials with someone that I gained some insight to certain ring structures I happened to have studied in class a week or so prior. Sure, I may have to turn you down once or twice, or perhaps call a particular study session short, but I will still make an effort to help you out. I realize this can be difficult stuff for some people, and you aren't helped any by the societal encouragement of math-illiteracy, so I will do what I can to help you overcome it.

Comments:

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From:lograh
Date:9:19 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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go for it, I'll join you in a heartbeat. I think it's disgusting how the modern-day society actually encourages people to be incapable of proper reasoning and comprehension.
Our education system says "oh, you are getting low marks in arithemetic? That's okay, you'll have a calculator to do it for you." I say it's *NOT* okay! Not being able to tell when the calculator is wrong is what sent the mars explorer into the sun. This isn't helped any by the prevaling opinion that we musn't upset anyone. No longer is someone a frelling idiot, they <whiney-voice>"have test anxiety"</whiney-voice>. We pass kids up the grade levels even though they get straight F marks in every subject (I saw it happen first-hand -- a friend of mine made a sport of seeing how far they'd pass him even though he was flunking every test in every subject (he got to high school without any problems)). We allow students to get high-school degrees without knowing the alphabet (again, I saw it first-hand). We let people enroll at universities who can't understand that 1+1=2 (yup, you guessed it: I've sat-in on the class that teaches that (and people still fail it)).

And then these same people have the gall to wander around asking "what's wrong with our society". *THEY* are what's wrong!

Sorry, I'll stop now, it's a topic on which I easilly start ranting.
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From:ktbee
Date:9:40 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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Even though the federal No Child Left Behind Act requires yearly testing for grades 2-12 in order to mark progress, the California Legislature and Superintendent of Public Instruction want to stop the high school exit exam and stop testing 2nd graders. Of course, there are rumors of losing federal money for not being in compliance with federal law. Tests this year showed improvement among California's students, but they still want to get rid of them. This article here demonstrates the harm the California Teachers Association is doing to California.
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From:lograh
Date:9:43 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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login required to read the article, and I have not an account with them.
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From:ktbee
Date:10:05 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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I sent it to you via email (don't worry, I copied and pasted)
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From:ktbee
Date:10:07 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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EDITORIAL
Second-Graders Matter

Times Headlines


The most recent school scores provide some of the best evidence that testing second-graders is a worthwhile endeavor. Their year-to-year performance helps the state track trends through the grades and gives valuable signals about what works and what needs to happen next.

Even so, the California Teachers Assn., never a booster of the accountability movement, is pushing a bill to eliminate second-graders from the yearly exams, geared to state standards. It says the tests cost too much and stress the children.

At $2 million, the cost of second-grade testing is a bargain. Even eliminating all standardized testing in California wouldn't produce a blip in the state's fiscal problem. Yes, some teachers say children break into tears during the long tests. But 7-year-olds cry over playground tiffs too. And without concrete evidence that the tests harm kids, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the teachers union is more stressed out about these exams than the children are.

The funny part is that the second-graders have been champs at test-taking — and teachers have benefited from this. Primary-grade students have shown some of the sharpest improvements since testing began, especially in reading. These rising scores told educators that the switch to phonics instruction and a standards-based curriculum was working — and gave the state strong reason to continue supporting the expensive 20-student classes in lower grades that the teachers association likes so much.

This year, the state got its first indications that those investments were paying off down the road: Scores in late elementary and middle school finally showed significant improvement, bolstered by better-prepared students reaching those grades and by the introduction of standards-based instruction for older students. Conversely, reading scores in the earlier grades showed lower rates of improvement or flattened. State education officials see this as a sign that the primary grades got their big reading boost from early reforms and that further help — in areas such as teacher training and innovative programs — is needed.

It's true that the nature of 7-year-olds makes test results less valid among individuals or small groups. Lower scores might reflect a child's shorter attention span for test-taking or even fine-motor fatigue from filling in all those bubbles. There are ways to address valid concerns, by shortening the second-grade test or giving it in shorter chunks. In aggregate, over the years, second-graders have been an important part of the school improvement picture. Taking them out now would be foolish.

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From:ktbee
Date:10:27 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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I have seen the CTA support reducing testing. I have been to committee hearings on AB 356 by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (reduces pupil testing and possibly reduces federal money for lack of compliance with federal law) and seen them testify in support(they are the sponsors of the bill). When you look at the Committee Analysis, you see them in support (and you see CFRW one of the few opposed). I think this bill is bad. Fortunately, it was recently amended (August 26). Previously, it had eliminated the Teacher Incentive Program. Now it just eliminates the monetary Techer Incentive Program but still allows for non-monetary compensation.
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From:ktbee
Date:10:29 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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Therefore, that is my proof that the CTA wants to reduce pupil testing and I believe that harms California pupils and schools.
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From:ktbee
Date:11:04 28.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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Just because CTA believes they are doing good doesn't make it automatically so.

Politics are opinions.
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