January 12, 2007 6:44pm CST
First and foremost I want to put out that I am a product of the American Public School system. I went to a public elementary school, a public middle school, a public high school and a public university. What are your opinions on our Primary amd Secondary Public Schools? This is the entire system below the college/university level. My two cents: Our public schools are pathetic. Half of all graduating senior would fail the basic citizenship test. Many are failing out or not going on in the Post-Secondary Education schools. Our schools are based off a system of tests as indicators as to how much you learn. Unfortunately, this tells me nothing on how much a person learns. No one who has attended a public school can say they never had that one class they absolutely despised so they did as little as possible down to memorizing answers just long enough to spit them back on to a test. I'm sure most did that even in classes they liked. This is a horrible way to learn. After taking that test, we too often dump that information to move onto the next set of information. Yes there are comprehensive final exams, but we are even coached on what parts to really actually study for on those. If it were up to me, grades would be out the window. If you wanted to learn you will, if you don't you wont succeed in demostrating your skills to get that job. It would be completely up to you. If you can't hack the skills to move on, you would volunteer to learn more to catch up. I openly admit there are flaws to this system, but it is better than what we have now.
• United States
16 Jan 07
I homeschooled all 3 of my kids for their lower years of school. They did have some schooling, both public and private schools, so I've had experience pretty much all around. My thoughts on the public school system as a whole is that it has a lot of catching up to do to the rest of the world. But that being said, there are many public schools that are quite good. There are systems out there that are working and systems that are not. I think we need to do a major overhaul and I honestly think we need to take some deep looks into the systems that are producing well. I too agree that grades are worthless. In the school system here they put so much emphasis on the testing for some pennsylvania state requirements that they actually do nothing but teach the answers to the tests! End results are that when these kids test for anything else, including sats and such, they're dumfounded. The state made it so that if your school gets so many "under average" students from these tests you lose the state funding. So of course the districts are worried about nothing but the money. It's sad as helll. (yes I had to put 3 L's so it would take it on mylot! LOL) When I taught my kids we learned without testing. I KNEW they knew the work because they could tell me about it, show me results and they loved to learn about it. No grade is going to make sure they truly LEARN it, but simply memorize it. I agree.
• United States
16 Jan 07
I agree with most of what you said. This is somewhat hot subject with me. I went to public school and I have two older kids in 11th and 12th finishing up their years of public schools. Now I have a seven year old in first grade. I didn't want to put her in public school and I homeschooled her for her prekindergarden and kindergarden but she so longed to be with other kids I had to let her go. I just can't see why other people can't see this. I have to stop short or I will be gonig on and on ans on.
• United States
16 Jan 07
I agree and I never went to public school. My parents sent me and my brother to Catholic school even though we aren't really Catholic (my dad is but the rest of us aren't) and almost went bankrupt with the tuitions just so we could get a better education. But even then we still were taught the tests a lot of time. Before NCLB made testing mandatory the Catholic schools in Chicago did tests every year from 3rd-8th grades. It was just normal. But they were only to gauge if we were learning on level with other kids our age. They meant nothing for our grades or for the school really. In high school, though, I remember junior year and the ACTs were coming up. Our teacher skipped us to the back of our Algebra book (I was in Advanced Algebra Honors which was a college level course) so we could learn trig because it would be on the test and we wouldn't normally get to it until the end of the year (after the testing dates). I remember many times just learning dates and facts long enough to take the tests. I crammed for them in between classes and usually did good but ask me what I learned back then and I probably couldn't tell you much. I hated history, especially, in high school because everything focused on dates and names. I am horrid at that. In college I took a history course that focused on what happened and not what date or the exact names and places. It was so fun and I learned that I really loved history. I wish they taught like that in lower grades. My daughter is in 1st grade this year (her 2nd year of public school) and I love her school. She learned to read in Kindergarten and is now at around a 3rd-4th grade level. But we are moving to Chicago and the schools there are over crowded and not very good so I will be homeschooling her and my son who will be in Kindergarten this falls. I will hopefully homeschool them as long as we live in Chicago.