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Old 03-07-2007, 07:03 PM   #1
Achilles
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Bill Gates pushes for better schools

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A federal study released last month showed about a third of high schoolers fail to take a standard-level curriculum, which is defined as including at least four credits of English and three credits each of social studies, math and science.

Gates also called on lawmakers to give more resources and attention to improving the teaching of math and science knowledge essential to many of today's jobs. Another recent federal study found 40 percent of high school seniors failed to perform at the basic level on a national math test. On a national science test, half of 12th-graders didn't show basic skills.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:01 PM   #2
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Looks like Dawkins isn't the only one! Thank goodness we have more people to help!


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Old 03-07-2007, 09:52 PM   #3
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Let's hope he gets it. I've seen people, even in the workplace, who don't have the most basic of education.

And since it is a bit of a topic, let's leave religion out of schools while you're at it. Unless you want to run into white sheet territory and close off schools to cultual diversity.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:05 PM   #4
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And since it is a bit of a topic, let's leave religion out of schools while you're at it.
It's not that they're religious that worries me, it's that they are allowed to outright lie to their children. This is schools, museums, and libraries we're talking about here. Institutions of learning and knowledge.

If a school teaches its kids that Jews were the cause of World War II, that the Earth is triangular, or that the FSM is real, I say get them to correct their ways. It's no more freedom of speech in my eyes than a food company putting faulty nourishment information and warnings on their products.

Likewise with museums and libraries. By all means publish nonsensical claims, but the second you promote them as fact - you've got fines coming at you.

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Old 03-07-2007, 11:13 PM   #5
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^^^^
Check out this video (specifically 60:58-65:35)

Scary thing is that the university in question is accredited!
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:25 PM   #6
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The problem with the schools is that they're not about learning. They're about memorizing answers for tests, and then you can forget them entirely until the standardized test later in the year. Of course, it's easy to just cheat on the tests anyway and pass with no problem.

Plus, the topics they teach are totally retarded. Not everyone needs to know oceanography. Not everyone is going to use trigonometry. And learning how to label every single part of a sentence is not really essential to being fluent in English. Really, what they teach in high school is almost entirely a waste of time. It would be better to just not have high school at all, and let teens get started on working, college, or whatever they're going to do with their lives. That way they'll be better at what they do later on through the training, experience, and education they get along the way.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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No doubt the public school system needs to be revamped. I don't think high school should be abandoned, but I do think a lot could be done to make the curriculum more effective. I don't see anything wrong with having a set of standard proficiencies required for graduation, but I think the game has to be more than "teaching to the test".
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:48 PM   #8
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Movie on math education.

I agree entirely with TK's first paragraph. The second I disagree with, because no matter how obscure the thing being taught is, someone is going to use it. What's lacking in my opinion is education on problems in life, such as (here I go again) mental and physical illness, grief, marriage, divorce, raising kids, training pets and so on. Practical stuff we actually need so we don't have to learn the hard way. As it is, there's a minimum of this, comprised by subjects such as Health, Home Economics, and Psychology. This is stuff that, unlike oceanology and trigonometry, the majority of students will require.

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Old 03-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Movie on math education.

I agree entirely with TK's first paragraph. The second I disagree with, because no matter how obscure the thing being taught is, someone is going to use it. What's lacking in my opinion is education on problems in life, such as (here I go again) mental and physical illness, grief, marriage, divorce, raising kids, training pets and so on. Practical stuff we actually need so we don't have to learn the hard way. As it is, there's a minimum of this, comprised by subjects such as Health, Home Economics, and Psychology. This is stuff that, unlike oceanology and trigonometry, the majority of students will require.
I agree with this. While it is true, however, that SOMEONE may get something out of memorizing the layers of the ocean... I don't think that justifies forcing every student to pass the class or not graduate. If someone thinks oceanography will benefit them, have it as an elective. Or better yet, just have them research it themselves online. I could learn more from Wikipedia than from a public school.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
I could learn more from Wikipedia than from a public school.
That's probably true, but the studies would support that your capacity is the exception rather than the rule. The unfortunate reality is that public schools frequently find themselves have to cater to their lowest performers. The good news is that you get to looks like a rock star with minimal effort
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