Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:13 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:But it seems to me that the argument being run here is that the top ten percent can just off and go absolutely fuck themselves so that the bottom ten percent can get most everything.


No. The point is that the top ten percent, if they've already learned everything and are just so bored, have already gotten the same education as everyone else is going to get, and anything you stack on top of that (accelerated classes, additional advanced courses) is bonus. It's education beyond what you gave everyone else.

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:Isn't that a massive strawman? Is anyone actually suggesting neglecting the bottom 90%?


It's not a strawman because I'm not suggesting it's anyone's plan. My point is simply that this is a totally feasible suggestion from the point of view of "maximizing total education" without considering who is and isn't getting that education, and therefore that view is flawed.

Furthermore, if your public schools are only permitted to teach at a lowest common denominator level, parents with the financial strength to do so will put their kids into private schools to avoid this, it will become near impossible to get into tertiary education from a public school, and then you're segregating society into a rich, tertiary-educated class and a poor, non-tertiary-educated class.


And my point is that this is already happening. Analyze the income of those people in the top tracks, and see how that works out.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:14 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:We have to call the lower end of the spectrum something. So unless you can tell us which term we can use that you won't be offended by, don't bitch at us for it.
Call them something polite, like I've been doing for the entire thread.
Jahoclave wrote:But it seems to me that the argument being run here is that the top ten percent can just off and go absolutely fuck themselves so that the bottom ten percent can get most everything.
Can you please point out where that argument is being made? Because I see a lot of people talking about "everyone" and no one talking about just the lowest achievers. From your own quotes:
educating an average kid
beneficial to all groups, not just the smart kids.
improving the standard of education for everyone.
education across the board
the "everyone" who's meant to be deriving value from this thing.

And our argument back is that your definition of "everyone" appears to be the lowest common denominator.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:And our argument back is that your definition of "everyone" appears to be the lowest common denominator.


No, it's just a question of how you understand "fair".

Analogy time. Let's say you live in a country that has socialized health care. You get strep throat. Bad week, right?

I get brain cancer.

So what does the system do with us next? Well, you get some antibiotics that cost about 30 dollars, and take about two weeks to run their course, and I get 80,000 dollars worth of chemotherapy treatments and drugs.

At the end of our courses of treatment, we are both returned to perfect health (rather miraculously in my case). We are both doing pretty okay. Life is good, right?

But then you get to thinking...."Hey wait. They spent 80,000 dollars on Belial, and all I got was some 30 dollar antibiotics! I deserve better! They're shortchanging me just for having good health, and catering to the lowest common denominator!" So you decide that since you got better so much faster, and for so much less money, maybe you deserve 79,970 dollars worth of elective surgery to make you better than baseline. Maybe you need a better jawline. Or cybernetic eyes. I mean, after all, the government spent 80,000 dollar on me, right? It's only fair that they should spend 80,000 dollars on you, right? Go wild.

Wait, except that makes no fucking sense, because you're thinking of the amount of money spent, not the end result attained: the government didn't spend 80,000 dollars on me and 30 on you, they spent whatever was necessary to get us both to a "baseline" level of health, whatever that number happened to be. If you want the government to spend 80,000 dollars on you, get brain cancer. Oh, what's the matter, that sounds unpleasant and you'd rather just take your 30 dollar treatment and your perfect fucking health and go? That's about what I thought.

Now consider education the same way: It's not "shortchanging" the smart students when the school fails to educate them above and beyond the baseline level of education afforded to everyone else. It's just giving them the same thing for less money. If you want the government to spend more money on you, just be dumber. Hit yourself with a hammer or something. Oh, wait, being smart gives you tons of advantages that you'd rather not give up just to spite the government?

Then quit fucking complaining.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Now consider education the same way: It's not "shortchanging" the smart students when the school fails to educate them above and beyond the baseline level of education afforded to everyone else. It's just giving them the same thing for less money. If you want the government to spend more money on you, just be dumber. Hit yourself with a hammer or something. Oh, wait, being smart gives you tons of advantages that you'd rather not give up just to spite the government?

Then why keep the kids there once they hit the minimum required level of knowledge? Why not let the smart kids go home, or go further their education elsewhere, etc? Why keep them in a school filled with mediocrity?

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:36 pm UTC

Did you miss the part where I said that was the only kind of "tracking" I'd be on board with? Sure, once they've proven their competence, let them go home if they want. No reason to keep them. Hell, you spend less money on facilities by not having them there. Everyone wins.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:38 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that was the only kind of "tracking" I'd be on board with? Sure, once they've proven their competence, let them go home if they want. No reason to keep them. Hell, you spend less money on facilities by not having them there. Everyone wins.

Then I fully support your idea.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Owijad » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

The healthcare analogy doesn't fully address one of the roots of the complaint.
You say both patients are brought to baseline no matter the cost, others say both patients are treated for strep no matter the ailment.

That is, the argument seems to stem from disagreement over whether we're shooting for the same total number of facts taught to each student by the institution, or the same percent of learning capacity achieved by each student. I feel like in an ideal system our goal would be the latter, once past the absolute minimum of societal functionality.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:56 pm UTC

I don't think health care and education are comparable. In the first you're fixing something broken. In the second you're giving people something.

I think the question is, is the purpose to give children a certain level of knowledge, or is it to give children the opportunity to learn as much as they can. If it's the first, then Belial's "pass the test and out the door" system works towards that (and has the added benefit of not incarcerating children). If the purpose is to provide children with the opportunity to learn all that they can in a given time, mine is better.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:That is, the argument seems to stem from disagreement over whether we're shooting for the same total number of facts taught to each student by the institution, or the same percent of learning capacity achieved by each student. I feel like in an ideal system our goal would be the latter, once past the absolute minimum of societal functionality.

I agree that that is a distinction between the two schools of thought. BUT. There is nothing inherent in the second situation (the "ideal") that says that the smarter kids should be given extra anything at all to achieve their extra potential. Unless the other kids are achieving their absolute fullest, and therefore further resources would be wasted, then every kid still deserves equal resources, equal investment and equal opportunity.

Everyone can be taught more and educated better. There is nothing better about teaching a tenth module of English to a smart kid than an eighth to a less able kid. Since the education is aiming for a material result in the form of exam performance, I'd actually argue that when a kid clears the performance necessary to ace the exams, in many ways that kid becomes less deserving of resources, because there are others who might benefit tangibly from them. I would never take the resources away, I believe everyone should be treated equally. But as was said above, there are other options than just letting that smart kid stagnate. Let her out of school. Convince him to concentrate more on extracurricular activities. Add further classes on top of the basics. Let them all sit the leaving exams a year early and see what happens. Guide them in their own study, and examine them on it without offering them actual classes.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Duban » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

This is just very sad. The pro-mixed classes group completely fails to understand the fact that you don't need to give additional resources to the smart group. More or less Nobody from the "split classes by levels" is group even suggesting that. The pro-mixed classes group would actually have an argument if they didn't completely miss the point. Look through this thread and you'll find little to nobody suggesting that.

The argument is that students will be separated and placed into classes that best suit the pace at which they can learn. The "smart" students would be in classes that move at a pace that maximizes their learning while the "slower" students will be placed in a class that moves at a that they can keep up. There is no special materials, or funding involved. It simply allows all students to maximize their learning by letting them move at their own pace instead of mixing them together and screwing over all parties involved. Although the smart students would be particularly affected as the class tend to move only as quickly as its slowest student.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Duban wrote:The pro-mixed classes group completely fails to understand the fact that you don't need to give additional resources to the smart group.
*sigh*

The better able classes will get the more qualified and talented teachers. Even if they didn't that would just reverse the discrimination so that the less able students got the better teachers. Substitute for classroom resources, lesson times or whatever. Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations. In my experience, this has always meant that better classes get better teachers, and better resources.

Duban wrote:Although the smart students would be particularly affected as the class tend to move only as quickly as its slowest student.

If that is true then please explain why any student ever drops out of education. If the class were moving at their own pace, surely they would never fall behind?
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby General_Norris » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

Dream wrote:The better able classes will get the more qualified and talented teachers.


In fact it has been said the oppossite. Please check the post more carefully.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Chen » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:35 pm UTC

Dream wrote:The better able classes will get the more qualified and talented teachers. Even if they didn't that would just reverse the discrimination so that the less able students got the better teachers. Substitute for classroom resources, lesson times or whatever. Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations. In my experience, this has always meant that better classes get better teachers, and better resources.


If this difference is due to differences in teaching ability, its going to occur regardless of how you separate your classes. Even with mixed classes some of the mixed classes will be better off than others due to the quality of teacher that is available. If there are enough students to fill a normal sized (i.e., same sized class as it would be if it were a mixed class) gifted class, the harm (resource wise) in doing so is minimized assuming you do not also favor them in any other way. Separating students by ability is where the problem lies. The problem occurs when you separate them by ability and THEN allocate more resources to them, over the lower ability classes.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:35 pm UTC

Dream wrote:There is nothing better about teaching a tenth module of English to a smart kid than an eighth to a less able kid.
How are you quantifying better, here?

Is it what the student gets out of it, personally? Financially?

Consider the same comparison, in college. Is there nothing better about giving someone an high-income degree, as opposed to a low-income degree? Not only do those degrees represent different levels of economic activity, they represent different levels of social value- the engineer that invents things will get paid more for those inventions, because they're worth more to other people than the poetry that an English major comes up with.
But what if the poet enjoys his poetry more than the engineer enjoys his inventions? Is that a comparison we can make between people? (I enjoy my favorite food more than you enjoy your favorite food?) Does society have an obligation to people to supply them with self-actualization, and can society even attempt to do that?

What if the smart kid wants the tenth module of English, and the less able kid would rather get a job than sit through the eighth module?


One of the primary problems with the "let them out early" model is that the people who derive the most benefit from education receive the least of it from the state. But, honestly, that's also probably the most efficient outcome. Time for a brief economics lecture!

Generally, when we talk about a good having an externality, we envision the demand function like this:
econ1.JPG
econ1.JPG (8.63 KiB) Viewed 3008 times

At all levels of output, the price society would pay for the good is higher than the price private individuals would pay for the good, leading to a 'market failure' because we aren't at the socially optimal level of output.

Does education have that kind of externality, though? Clearly, basic literacy and math skills have that sort of externality, and the argument for civic knowledge (basic history, operation of government, etc.) is about equally strong. But, individuals are able to capture the extra benefit that higher education provides for them through personal gain, both financial and intangible. A mechanic earns a higher wage than an unskilled worker, and a doctor even more. As well, the literati is nearly the sole beneficiary of their extensive readings. One could make the claim that the presence of educated people betters society as a whole, and it does, but that's different from an externality. The presence of the Coca-Cola company makes the lives of many people better- but that doesn't mean that Coca-Cola should receive more funds that it gets through voluntary transactions! Consumer and producer surplus are part of the benefits of a market economy, and are almost always lowered by government intervention.

So perhaps the demand function for education looks something like this:
econ2.JPG
econ2.JPG (7.17 KiB) Viewed 3010 times

Now the socially optimal level of output is equal to the privately optimal level of output, once you get above some minimum standard.

So, instead of requiring everyone to have 13 years of schooling, we should just provide people with the resources they need to have literacy (in both English and computers), basic math skills, and a basic understanding of the American government, and then let them determine (and pay for) what, if any, higher education they desire.

The easy counterargument is that this leaves the poor out in the cold, because the amount of state support to them has lessened. This could be fixed by lowering taxes or by a negative income tax to give them more money, which they then can spend on education if they want it.

The other counterargument is that the desires of parents and children will conflict at times, and so the state should step in- which assumes that the interests of the state and children are aligned more than the interests of parents and children. I hesitate to say this is true on the whole, but the issue of pathological cases has to be addressed somehow.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Duban » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Duban wrote:The pro-mixed classes group completely fails to understand the fact that you don't need to give additional resources to the smart group.
*sigh*

The better able classes will get the more qualified and talented teachers. Even if they didn't that would just reverse the discrimination so that the less able students got the better teachers. Substitute for classroom resources, lesson times or whatever. Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations. In my experience, this has always meant that better classes get better teachers, and better resources.

Connecticut is extremely liberal and students are not being discriminated against solely by race. Obama did win here by a landslide. The problem is with race comes culture. Black people may have as much potential as anyone else but due to a turbulent past they're more likely to come from a background that would cause lower grades. Yes, that is being fixed "a process that will take several generations" but you seem to have mixed the two issues. Its a different issue entirely.

Dream wrote:
Duban wrote:Although the smart students would be particularly affected as the class tend to move only as quickly as its slowest student.

If that is true then please explain why any student ever drops out of education. If the class were moving at their own pace, surely they would never fall behind?

and you can't recognize that some students are going to fail no matter what you do. Some people are just idiots that way.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations.

I guess we'll have to stop segregating the bathrooms, then. There's no way the boys' and girls' rooms can be perfectly equal, so the only fair solution is to put a padlock on the boys' room and send everyone into the girls' room.

Sure, it has needless problems, but at least it's FAIR.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:17 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Dream wrote:Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations.

I guess we'll have to stop segregating the bathrooms, then. There's no way the boys' and girls' rooms can be perfectly equal, so the only fair solution is to put a padlock on the boys' room and send everyone into the girls' room.

Sure, it has needless problems, but at least it's FAIR.


Even if that were a valid comparison, it suffers a problem of scale: where you pee is so COMPLETELY INSIGNIFICANT compared to how and how well you're educated.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby setzer777 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that was the only kind of "tracking" I'd be on board with? Sure, once they've proven their competence, let them go home if they want. No reason to keep them. Hell, you spend less money on facilities by not having them there. Everyone wins.


I agree (perhaps substitute home with "school library" or something so you're at least nominally encouraging independent learning), the biggest boredom-causing problem *isn't* not allocating enough time and resources to smarter kids, it's forcing smarter kids to do homework/quizzes/sitting in class on a subject that they have already amply proven their ability in. Let them sit in the school library and either study on their own (perhaps let them complete major essays or something for extra credit or special honors) or amuse themselves as they see fit (within reason).
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

Chen wrote:If this difference is due to differences in teaching ability, its going to occur regardless of how you separate your classes. Even with mixed classes some of the mixed classes will be better off than others due to the quality of teacher that is available.
If you split the classes with equal numbers of kids of every ability in each class group, then equal numbers of each ability level get the best, and every other teacher. That's the only way to be fair in a world where the best teachers can't teach everyone.

Vaniver, ironically, I understand the concepts behind your supply/demand graphs because I took an entirely ability integrated economics class in secondary school, and didn't lose out in any way form having less academically able students alongside me. In fact, I made some friends mutually appreciating the lyrics to Electioneering by Radiohead there. That aside you point seems to be this:
Vaniver wrote:So, instead of requiring everyone to have 13 years of schooling, we should just provide people with the resources they need to have literacy (in both English and computers), basic math skills, and a basic understanding of the American government, and then let them determine (and pay for) what, if any, higher education they desire.

The problem with this is that it merely move the goalposts from kids achieving the highest mark in final exams being the best, to kids achieving the fastest graduation being the best. If we let everyone go when they are capable of finishing the course, then there will be a heavy stigma against anyone who takes a year or two longer than everyone else to finish, and that will lead to a race to finish first, or at least in the main pack. So the main pack will be made up of kids who study flat out for most of their teenage years to graduate at 17 instead of 18, or earlier, and anyone who graduates at 18 will be suspect. At least at the moment you can take as long as you like to graduate and everything will be equal once you're through.

Duban wrote:Some people are just idiots that way.

Fucking hell.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Belial wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that was the only kind of "tracking" I'd be on board with? Sure, once they've proven their competence, let them go home if they want. No reason to keep them. Hell, you spend less money on facilities by not having them there. Everyone wins.


I agree (perhaps substitute home with "school library" or something so you're at least nominally encouraging independent learning), the biggest boredom-causing problem *isn't* not allocating enough time and resources to smarter kids, it's forcing smarter kids to do homework/quizzes/sitting in class on a subject that they have already amply proven their ability in. Let them sit in the school library and either study on their own (perhaps let them complete major essays or something for extra credit or special honors) or amuse themselves as they see fit (within reason).

The closest thing I had to this kind of system annoyed the piss out of my 4th year english teacher, because I'd be reading a book that was entirely unlike the ones that they were reading, yet I'd easily answer any questions she threw my way in an effort to get me to look at the book they were discussing. Yay, multitasking!

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

Dream wrote:The problem with this is that it merely move the goalposts from kids achieving the highest mark in final exams being the best, to kids achieving the fastest graduation being the best. If we let everyone go when they are capable of finishing the course, then there will be a heavy stigma against anyone who takes a year or two longer than everyone else to finish, and that will lead to a race to finish first, or at least in the main pack. So the main pack will be made up of kids who study flat out for most of their teenage years to graduate at 17 instead of 18, or earlier, and anyone who graduates at 18 will be suspect. At least at the moment you can take as long as you like to graduate and everything will be equal once you're through.
It depends on what your "graduation" entails. If it's a certificate that says "I can read, write, use a computer, do math, and understand the American government," then I don't think we're talking about 17 and 18 year olds.

Is there a benefit to requiring people to receive education until they are a certain age? Where should we set that age?

If the result of setting it low, say 14, is that some people choose to enter the workforce early, and don't continue their educations formally or wait until much later in life to do so, will that inequality be something that the state should fix? Will it matter that the extra four years of schooling might have little to no positive impact, while the extra four years of working might make them better off in a number of ways?


I guess this is another way to word the question- at what point do we let people to decide to pursue a lifestyle that requires little education? We would like everyone to be smart enough to have a college education, and use it well- but supposedly 70% of Americans over 18 don't have college educations, and thus a similar number of jobs don't require college educations.

I mean, one of the giant strengths of American business is the small businesses started up by (mostly) regular people. That seems like something that less formal education would encourage even more- going door to door selling a product or service is far better entrepreneurial training than sitting in a classroom.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Lumpy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

The teacher that teaches higher level material is still not necessarily the best teacher for students at the bottom with behavioral or dedication problems. I don't see you addressing that. Some people here are calling them "idiots" or "dumb," and I see this as a valid assessment only if taken in the sense that you can be smart enough to pass a test, but still dumb if you procrastinate studying until the day before it.

Still, I don't see the point about students with higher behavioral correction and moral guidance needs being separate from those that need higher focus from the teachers on the course material being addressed, beyond criticism and disbelief at the crude or crass wording being used.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Telchar » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that kids in the above average learning track are much more likely to learn on their own and so any disadvantage they may or may not suffer must be weighed against the fact that it will be more likely to be compensated when not in school vs the kids that are not above average.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby the_phoenix612 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:12 pm UTC

Looking at this through a totally insensitive and blind eye to niceties, one gifted child is worth more than one back-of-the-class idiot. That is not to say that the back of the classers are worthless, far from it. We need lots of back of the classers, but they don't need the calculus, or the organic chemistry classes the gifted kids do.

There are really 3 levels of students, though. The gifted kids, maybe 10-20% depending on where you live. I live in an affluent suburb in Texas, and 30% of my elementary school tested gifted by state standards. The middle 60-80% are the ones that get screwed the most. Most schools have honors tracks, but if you're not in an honors track you're stuck with the 10-20% who have no motivation to learn, a troubled home situation, and frankly, no potential. Some kids just don't have potential. I know that flies in the face of the "everyone is someone" bullshit, but its time to face the facts. Octomom was never going to be a nuclear physicist.

Any system that mixes the levels WILL screw children. Schools do not have enough resources to properly fit every child to their optimal curricula. Therefore, SOME children WILL get screwed. Yes, I feel as bad about it as you do, but we have to make some tough choices.

The great thing about the middles is that they CAN overachieve if properly nurtured. It is what separates them from the bottoms. So the "standard" track that schools have by default fits these kids and they have the ability to float up to the honors if they excel. The bottom students, even if given the absolute best curricula for their abilities, will not succeed. This is a quality that PLACES them in the bottom category. The top kids, however, are our future. Futures are not shaped by the idiots, (except in democracies every 4 years :() but by the smartest kids. They do the inventing, the composing, the writing, the researching, THEY drive our societies and our economies.

Therefore THEY are the ones who need the most special treatment. There will always be opportunities for the less-educated, but the bottoms will never go to college, and neither will some of the middles. The gifted kids WILL, and that needs to be nurtured.

There is nothing more tragic to me than a gifted child waste their potential in a school system that has their science teacher use words like gazillion in lessons and insist that kilometers are longer than miles.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:19 pm UTC

the_phoenix612 wrote:stuff with a brief mention of the best country in the world, Texas.

But how does one of the kids prove that they no longer belong in the track that they're set into by some fucktard with a clipboard?

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:21 pm UTC

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby the_phoenix612 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:24 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:stuff with a brief mention of the best country in the world, Texas.

But how does one of the kids prove that they no longer belong in the track that they're set into by some fucktard with a clipboard?


Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Lord Aurora » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

the_phoenix612 wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:stuff with a brief mention of the best country in the world, Texas.

But how does one of the kids prove that they no longer belong in the track that they're set into by some fucktard with a clipboard?


Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.
What? No. That's...really? Like, you really think that's a good idea?

You're being serious?

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:55 pm UTC

Lord Aurora wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:stuff with a brief mention of the best country in the world, Texas.

But how does one of the kids prove that they no longer belong in the track that they're set into by some fucktard with a clipboard?


Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.
What? No. That's...really? Like, you really think that's a good idea?

You're being serious?

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby philsov » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:59 pm UTC

the_phoenix612 wrote:Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.


The G/T test in texas is hardly what I'd call standardized.

And there is a very fundamental difference between a G/T student and an honors student, though they do get lumped together to save resources, especially in smaller schools.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Is that not how it's done now?

12% gifted overall in the year does not in any way mean that 12% of history students are good enough at history that they need further education beyond the set syllabus.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Is that not how it's done now?
My school had opt-in Honors classes. You had to request it. The funny thing is, the Honors classes were way easier than the regular. Or at least I thought so... far less homework.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby the_phoenix612 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:15 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.


The G/T test in texas is hardly what I'd call standardized.

And there is a very fundamental difference between a G/T student and an honors student, though they do get lumped together to save resources, especially in smaller schools.


That is a given, but Honors programs are the best way to address the needs of gifted students without being prohibitively expensive.
Lord Aurora wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:stuff with a brief mention of the best country in the world, Texas.

But how does one of the kids prove that they no longer belong in the track that they're set into by some fucktard with a clipboard?


Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.
What? No. That's...really? Like, you really think that's a good idea?

You're being serious?

Dear God.


You gonna articulate the problem you have, or just gawk at it like an idiot?
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:19 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:Let the states set standards on whatever bullshit standardized tests they use.

Or, lets say the school has 12% gifted students. If this child's grades in, say, history, are in the top 12% of the school, they're eligible for the Honors History classes.


The G/T test in texas is hardly what I'd call standardized.

And there is a very fundamental difference between a G/T student and an honors student, though they do get lumped together to save resources, especially in smaller schools.
The G/T test program is complete horseshit.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:31 am UTC

I'm going to repeat this;
TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:I'm failing to understand what's wrong with the following scenario. You have 150 students in a year level, and 5 maths teachers. You could split them randomly into 5 classes, and teach them all the same, lowest common denominator stuff, or you could stream them into 5 different levels of capability, each containing 30 students per class. You'd probably then tend to allocate teachers who are better at teaching to the lower streams and teachers with a greater mathematical knowledge to the higher streams. All the kids get equal resources. Jumps between classes could be arranged at certain times throughout the year when new topics are being taught, so no catch-up would be required. Other subjects (with the possible exception of language, which could be split into separate classes for native and non-native speakers) would not be subject to the same streaming, so you're not partitioning whole schools into "smart" and "dumb" groups.

Not everyone wants to be an engineer, and so not everyone needs to be taught how to solve differential equations!

Now can anyone explain what on Earth is wrong with having separate classes teaching maths to a level of reasonable numeracy and engineering mathematics? It's not separating "smart" and "dumb", it's just recognising that some people are more maths-oriented than others. Hell, when I finished high school, the student who achieved, IIRC, the second highest tertiary entrance score in my school was in one of the lowest maths streams! How could a "dumb" student achieve such good results? Because she was a humanities student, not a sciences student, and the fact that she was studying basic maths is only indicative of her mathematical ability, not her overall academic ability.

So for those advocating everyone be taught the same material, where/when do advanced mathematical subjects like calculus and differential equations get taught? If never, then why not?

Belial wrote:Analogy time. Let's say you live in a country that has socialized health care. You get strep throat. Bad week, right?

I get brain cancer.

So what does the system do with us next? Well, you get some antibiotics that cost about 30 dollars, and take about two weeks to run their course, and I get 80,000 dollars worth of chemotherapy treatments and drugs.

Spoiler:
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Except that you're arguing that students shouldn't be segregated on the basis of ability, so wouldn't a better analogy be treating both the strep throat and brain cancer with the same treatment? I'd be more inclined to just throw out the whole hospital analogy though...

Dream wrote:Since the education is aiming for a material result in the form of exam performance, I'd actually argue that when a kid clears the performance necessary to ace the exams, in many ways that kid becomes less deserving of resources

Wait, maybe I'm missing something here. Do all students in the US all take the same exams or something? Because here (Victoria, Australia) there's not a single exam that every student would take. In my final year of school, I had exams for English, mathematical methods (calculus, probability, etc), specialist mathematics (engineering maths), physics and chemistry. A different student (who may have gotten a better or worse overall score than me) might have had exams in English literature, history, politics, international relations, and French. I don't think we would have received significantly better or worse resources because of our different subjects.

Dream wrote:there are other options than just letting that smart kid stagnate. Let her out of school. Convince him to concentrate more on extracurricular activities. Add further classes on top of the basics. Let them all sit the leaving exams a year early and see what happens. Guide them in their own study, and examine them on it without offering them actual classes.

Further classes and extracurricular activities? So now you're advocating extra resources for the "smarter" kids? :?

Dream wrote:The better able classes will get the more qualified and talented teachers. Even if they didn't that would just reverse the discrimination so that the less able students got the better teachers. Substitute for classroom resources, lesson times or whatever. Unless all teachers and all facilities are perfectly equal, streaming will mean that some ability levels get better chances and more resources in their educations.

Different subjects, not better teachers, not better resources, just different subject material. Engineering maths rather than basic maths. English literature rather than English as a second language. Not labelling someone as "smart" or "dumb" across the board. A person could be studying advanced maths and basic English, or basic maths alongside advanced English literature and a second language. What is wrong with that?

Dream wrote:If that is true then please explain why any student ever drops out of education. If the class were moving at their own pace, surely they would never fall behind?

In that case though, doesn't "moving at their own pace" mean not moving at all?

[Edit: Fixed a quote I messed up. Apologies to Duban!]
Last edited by TheSkyMovesSideways on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:03 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Duban » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:53 am UTC

TheSkyMovesSideways wrote:
Duban wrote:If that is true then please explain why any student ever drops out of education. If the class were moving at their own pace, surely they would never fall behind?

In that case though, doesn't "moving at their own pace" mean not moving at all?

NOT MY QUOTE!!!! Please fix it so that dream is noted as having said that and not myself.

Also note that my counterarguement was that some people are going to drop out/fail no matter what you do. The only thing you can do is minimize that number.

Edit: thank you
Last edited by Duban on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:15 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:07 am UTC

the_phoenix612 wrote:There is nothing more tragic to me than a gifted child waste their potential in a school system that has their science teacher use words like gazillion in lessons and insist that kilometers are longer than miles.
How about a school system that categorizes a child as stupid at a young age and says "fuck 'em, they'll never get to college anyway." The purpose of the public school system is to prepare students for college, not try to teach them as much as possible before they turn 18. If a kid is doing well enough in school that they don't need to perform at the level of everyone else in their grade, let them move ahead. If they've transcended the need for high school, let them go to college. In the mean time, wouldn't the school's money be better spent preparing as many students as possible for college, rather than helping the top 10% who will almost definitely get into college anyway become over-prepared?

I'd like to see some science that support the defeatist attitude that under-performers at a young age won't ever reach a point where they can get into a good college. Because I've seen plenty of kids turned from the bottom rung to college-worthy with just a year of extra attention. Categorizing students as inherently stupid seems like the best way possible to fuck up their entire life.

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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:43 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:The purpose of the public school system is to prepare students for college
Really? Because from its first advocates onward, it's been promoted as a way to make better citizens. I don't really see a reason to change that- not only is it neither desirable nor possible for everyone to go to college, that's not at all the government's responsibility.
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Re: Connecticut School Wants to Group Smart and Dumb Kids Togeth

Postby Belial » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:12 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
TheAmazingRando wrote:The purpose of the public school system is to prepare students for college
Really? Because from its first advocates onward, it's been promoted as a way to make better citizens. I don't really see a reason to change that- not only is it neither desirable nor possible for everyone to go to college, that's not at all the government's responsibility.


Actually, from its first advocates onward, it was intended to set a certain, large percentage of students up for failure: to make sure that x percent went on to college and intellectual pursuits, but not too many, because we needed folks to work our factories and clean our floor. So make sure the odds are stacked against them, so the few that slip through and go on to college do it despite the structure of the school, not because of it.

It was kindof an intentional decision on their part.
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