snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > Moot Court

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 30 July 2016, 11:13 PM
Errata's Avatar
Errata Errata is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 13,153
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Try teaching 20 or 30 grade school kids adequately when 5 can't read at all, 5 can read at a level years ahead of their age, and 10 to 20 are reading at about their grade level.
Exactly. It's hard to individually teach a whole classroom of kids simultaneously, so you have to pick some pace, which will be too fast for some and too slow for others, probably erring on the side of the lowest common denominator so as to leave as few behind as possible. But what if you don't just have one classroom? If you have 2 or 3 classes worth of kids, do you A) divide them based on how far along they are, or B) split them up randomly so that all 2 or 3 classrooms are full of students with a large discrepancy in how far along they are? If you divide them up randomly, then you end up having to teach all the classrooms at the pace of the very furthest behind students. If you divide them based on performance, then you can teach the classrooms at 2 or 3 different paces. One classroom will be at the slower pace, and the other at a faster one. Some people right here in this very thread are advocating instead that you instead teach all 2 or 3 classrooms at the slowest pace, because that's more fair. Then, in a sufficiently bad school district, you end up with virtually no students on track to go to college, instead of half of them. For any parent who wants their child to get an education and who has the resources to bail, you're not leaving them much of an option, so the whole district just keeps getting worse under a policy that makes no attempt to challenge the better students.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 31 July 2016, 12:28 AM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,194
Icon24

There are degrees of streaming, though. I think I hit the "sweet spot" in the UK system. I don't want to sound as though my own childhood was automatically best simply for nostalgic reasons, but I think the education system was set up fairly well while I was going through it.

For several decades before my childhood, children in the state system went to primary schools until the age of 11, when they took an exam (the "eleven plus"). This exam was an academic exam, and was presented as "pass / fail". If you passed, you went to grammar school - the academic stream, from which you would have taken O-levels, then perhaps A-levels and have had the choice to go to university. If you failed, you went to (I think this is what they were called) a Secondary Modern, which were more vocational. I'm not sure whether Secondary Modern students were also offered O-levels (I think they must have been, because my mum failed her eleven plus, but went on to get O-levels and A-levels, which would have been an achievement then), but there was another qualification called a CSE which would have been offered to people who weren't taking O-levels for some reason.

A university would have expected O-levels and A-levels; you could do vocational qualifications at a polytechnic with CSEs.

Once you were in one stream or the other following your eleven plus, it was quite difficult to switch, as far as I know - you were more or less stuck there on the basis of this exam.

By the time I was at secondary school, all this had been abolished in my area at least. (It was under the control of local authorities, I think). I went to a Comprehensive, which means that there was no streaming at the age of eleven. Everybody went to the same state school. But we did have streaming within the school, and necessarily so - as Errata is arguing. It was easy enough to move from a lower set to an upper set, because it was based on how well you did within your individual classes, and everybody was in the same school being taught by the same teachers (in different classes). You just got taught at the pace that the school had judged was right for you.

I was also in the first year to take a new qualification called the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), which was a combination of the old GCE (or O-level) and CSE. (You can work out what those stood for yourselves... at least, if you want to be in one of the upper sets you should be able to). So there was no longer a need for teachers to decide which qualification you were going to end up with. It wasn't a perfect meritocratic split, because the GCSE had several different papers at different levels of ability, and there was still a division in which your teachers could decide you weren't going to take the more advanced papers, and therefore the maximum grade you could get would be a C.

Beyond that, though, we were all in the same schools; we all took the same exams for the same qualifications; and (most importantly) grants still existed for university or polytechnic qualifications - rather than loans. (The distinction between universities and polytechnics was dissolved while I was actually at university). So for a year or two, I think things were about right.

Then grants were abolished in favour of loans; tuition fees were introduced; nowadays the eleven-plus seems to be making a comeback and schools are being deliberately split up by ability to apply for them (presented as "parental choice"). So I think I did hit the sweet spot, for somebody from an average background, quite well... It's a bit sad that this ideal is now out of fashion, seemingly even on the side that I would have thought benefited most from it...
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 31 July 2016, 01:00 AM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
Join Date: 06 October 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
She doesn't have an ESL/ELL license (her licenses are chemistry and math and her degrees are in chemistry and linguistics) but the position didn't require a license. They wanted a Spanish speaker because of the general perception (completely unsupported by actual enrollments) that the education system in Indiana is awash with Spanish speaking kids.
Was this a long time ago? I'm pretty sure Indiana would require certification in ELL/ESL (or ENL...just looked it up. Indiana calls it English as a New Language and does require certification for teachers. TESOL would also count).

ELL/ESL/ENL teachers rarely speak the language of the kids they serve. I'm not sure what position the school you are talking about really wanted, but it seems weird.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 31 July 2016, 01:27 AM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
Join Date: 06 October 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 877
Default

Sorry for the double post, but I'm going to quote in chunks here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
Exactly. It's hard to individually teach a whole classroom of kids simultaneously, so you have to pick some pace, which will be too fast for some and too slow for others, probably erring on the side of the lowest common denominator so as to leave as few behind as possible.
That's not how it works. It is hard to meet the needs of all of the kids, but that's what we learn to do. You don't pick one pace and teach every kid that way. You have multiple paces. You have multiple ways to instruct. You have multiple ways to assess. It's called differentiation. Here's a super simple link that gives a basic run-down.

Quote:
But what if you don't just have one classroom? If you have 2 or 3 classes worth of kids, do you A) divide them based on how far along they are, or B) split them up randomly so that all 2 or 3 classrooms are full of students with a large discrepancy in how far along they are? If you divide them up randomly, then you end up having to teach all the classrooms at the pace of the very furthest behind students. If you divide them based on performance, then you can teach the classrooms at 2 or 3 different paces. One classroom will be at the slower pace, and the other at a faster one.
What grades are you talking about here? What subjects? Again: differentiation negates the need for tracking.
Pace is not really a concern. All kids can learn quickly or in an in depth slow manner if you present the material in a way that meets their needs.

Why tracking is bad:
http://www.theatlantic.com/education...chools/382846/

http://news.stanford.edu/pr/94/940302Arc4396.html

http://www.ascd.org/publications/boo...ntling-It.aspx
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 31 July 2016, 02:02 AM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,532
Default

I don't think Errata is talking about tracking. He's talking about splitting kids into classes by ability/knowledge temporarily and with greater fluidity then tracking. This is most often down for math and reading in elementary school.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 31 July 2016, 02:33 AM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
Join Date: 06 October 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 877
Default

That is still tracking.
From my third link in my previous post:

Quote:
In modern tracking systems, students are assigned to different levels of the same course, or to a course with a different curriculum that is either more or less rigorous (Lucas, 1999; Oakes, 2005).
In some schools, tracking begins with kindergarten screening. IQ and early achievement tests designed to measure so-called "ability" determine track placement in the elementary years, thus setting in place an educational trajectory for 12 years of schooling. In other schools, tracking is a meritocracy that relies on teacher recommendations, grades, and student motivation to determine placement. In still others, students and their parents are allowed to choose a track, with certain conditions attached to the placement.
snip
Some tracking systems, referred to as ability-grouping systems, assign students to different classes based on their perceived ability in that subject. Still other tracking systems are called leveling systems—students, at least ostensibly, study the same curriculum, but they may need to first pass prerequisite courses (e.g., pre-algebra, pre-biology) or take the same course for a longer period. In a leveling system, a course might be taught to both high-achieving 8th graders and lower-achieving 10th graders. Or a course offered to most students in one period per day might be offered to students deemed "lower achievers" for two periods a day. Whatever the course's title or structure, grouping some students together and requiring them to take that course apart from other students is a form of tracking (Oakes, 2005).
*And I'm not arguing against all pull out/pull in types of instruction. That can be part of differentiation. But what was being said was extremely simplistic and detrimental to many students.

Last edited by St. Alia; 31 July 2016 at 02:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 31 July 2016, 02:53 AM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,532
Default

So are you suggesting that separating kids by their aptitude in any subject is always tracking and therefore bad?
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 31 July 2016, 02:55 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,376
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
Some people right here in this very thread are advocating instead that you instead teach all 2 or 3 classrooms at the slowest pace, because that's more fair.
Who, precisely?

Please go back and read what people are actually saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I don't think Errata is talking about tracking. He's talking about splitting kids into classes by ability/knowledge temporarily and with greater fluidity then tracking. .
No. He's talking about evaluating children prior to kindergarten and dividing them into different overall tracks, between which there is very little fluidity. This is what he originally said on the subject:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
It's not so weird to divide them, but it is weird to put a label on it and tell the kids about it. In my elementary school, they did a basic evaluation of the children prior to kindergarten and divided us up into separate classes. But they never once explained the difference, so I just assumed it was random. I thought my friend was just lucky that he got to watch videos of the "Letter People" during school, while I had to do boring stuff like multiplication tables. Some of the kids did drift between tracks over the years, but not all that many. So they were pretty much choosing who would get a more advanced high school diploma right from the very start, though it wasn't set in stone.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 31 July 2016, 03:32 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

I don't know how it was done in elementary school (or even if it was done) but certainly by high school here in Ontario they are dividing the classes based on ability. When my kids were in school not so many years ago there were at least two tracks in subjects like math and english. They were called "applied" and "academic". I don't think it takes a degree in education to figure out the difference between the two and what the outcome was meant to be. Some kids were on track for university and some weren't. And for most kids those choices were made by them or for them as early as grade 9.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 31 July 2016, 04:28 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 9,254
Baseball

My daughters in Ottawa had the choice of Core, Applied and Academic.

Core was enough to earn a credit to graduate. It was to enable the student to use that knowledge in everyday life.

Applied was enough to graduate and go onto the workplace with that knowledge.

Academic was enough to graduate and to go onto higher education.

In the school they were in with a lot of ESL and ELD** students, the core programme was quite active.

**I don't quite know what ELD stands for, but it is pre-ESL. It is for immigrants to Canada who don't speak English or French to get them some level of proficiency in English (in this case). My younger daughter is a ELD volunteer to help these students during the week in social settings.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 31 July 2016, 05:28 PM
Moku's Avatar
Moku Moku is offline
 
Join Date: 19 October 2008
Location: Nowheresville UK
Posts: 1,421
Default

Quote:
There are degrees of streaming, though. I think I hit the "sweet spot" in the UK system.
That was a system 'in the U.K.' rather than 'the UK System. There has never been a UK wide education system.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 31 July 2016, 06:02 PM
Bill Bill is offline
 
Join Date: 02 January 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,769
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I don't know how it was done in elementary school (or even if it was done) but certainly by high school here in Ontario they are dividing the classes based on ability. When my kids were in school not so many years ago there were at least two tracks in subjects like math and english. They were called "applied" and "academic". I don't think it takes a degree in education to figure out the difference between the two and what the outcome was meant to be. Some kids were on track for university and some weren't. And for most kids those choices were made by them or for them as early as grade 9.
Interesting.

When I was in school, more than a few years ago, everyone took the same classes up through seventh grade, although there was grouping by ability.

During seventh grade, our homeroom teacher made a recommendation for each of us that we take the "college" or "commercial" (non-college prep) course starting in eighth grade. But the final call was up to the parents. So the choice wasn't "made for them" by the school.

Thanks.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 31 July 2016, 06:15 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,376
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
My daughters in Ottawa had the choice of Core, Applied and Academic.

Core was enough to earn a credit to graduate. It was to enable the student to use that knowledge in everyday life.

Applied was enough to graduate and go onto the workplace with that knowledge.

Academic was enough to graduate and to go onto higher education.

In the school they were in with a lot of ESL and ELD** students, the core programme was quite active.
UEL, was it common for children to start off in the core program, but later to move into other tracks as their language proficiency improved?

Or was the choice made one time and it was then assumed that (possibly except for rare cases) the student simply stayed in that track?

What age was the choice made at, and who made it?
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 31 July 2016, 06:30 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 9,254
Baseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
UEL, was it common for children to start off in the core program, but later to move into other tracks as their language proficiency improved?

Or was the choice made one time and it was then assumed that (possibly except for rare cases) the student simply stayed in that track?

What age was the choice made at, and who made it?
There is no track. Every student decides his/her own academic pathway. So, those whose English was not strong may stay in applied English (or core) but take academic mathematics.

Core is really geared towards those who came to Canada as an immigrant at the age of 13, entered high school due to age and education in their previous country, but did not speak much of the language. They would go through an ELD and ESL programme while taking core classes. If they managed well at, say, grade 10 core science, they could take the grade 10 applied or academic science during another session.

My older daughter graduated a couple of years ago, and she knows of girls her age that did not consider themselves smart enough for academic classes, but once they did the applied and aced the curriculum in grade 11, they jumped to academic grade 12.

So, in summary, the students chose their own paths, and it was possible for students to switch levels, even by retaking some courses in the same grade. They were not bound by any tracks.

And now for some research:

ELD - English Literacy Development

The Academic, Applied and Core (also sometimes called Basic) are colloquial names. Their real names are much better than those:

Academic - Subject for College and University
Applied - Subject for the Workplace
Core - Subject for Work and Everyday Life

Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 31 July 2016, 07:32 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,376
Default

UEL, that sounds to me like it makes a lot of sense.

And it also sounds to me very much as if the basic assumption is that the purpose of the core classes is to give the children what they need to be able to switch to either the academic or the applied if they choose to do so.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 31 July 2016, 08:19 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 9,254
Baseball

My gut feeling is that Core/Basic (Work and Everyday Life) is to ensure basic literacy and numeracy among the graduates. At my girls' school, there is no distinction upon graduation whether the student has most credits at any level. Although they do have awards etc for classes, every class has a student recognised as excelling in that class.

I would not envision a jump from Core to Academic, at least without an Applied step along the way or some other educational assist. But it is not impossible. Some of the south Asian students in my girls' school barely spoke English, so were in ESL, but were in Academic maths and sciences. And, I am no doubt certain that if they had arrived in Canada a few years earlier, they would have been beyond ESL, into Core, and maybe Applied English. But TL, you are 100% right, if the student decides to do so, they can take the higher classes (pre-requisites might have to be met, though).

All told, I'm comfortable where the education system is for my daughters. I know of some areas where there can be changes. But for the most part, I think the 75% solution has been met.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 31 July 2016, 10:04 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,906
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Alia View Post
Was this a long time ago? I'm pretty sure Indiana would require certification in ELL/ESL (or ENL...just looked it up. Indiana calls it English as a New Language and does require certification for teachers. TESOL would also count).

ELL/ESL/ENL teachers rarely speak the language of the kids they serve. I'm not sure what position the school you are talking about really wanted, but it seems weird.
ESL is a bit different since it is meant to help the kids learn English. The position (about 8 years ago) was to serve as a liaison for the students so the kids had someone that could understand them and that could answer their questions, act as a go-between with the teachers and administration etc. So it wsa pretty important that the person spoke the same language as the kids. Only problem was that in a big organization what makes sense and what get written into the job requirements often don't match.

In Indiana you can be hired to teach even without the needed certification. You just have to make timely progress in getting the certification once hired and need to ultimately get it.

Last edited by jimmy101_again; 31 July 2016 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Added last part.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01 August 2016, 01:38 AM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
Join Date: 06 October 2010
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 877
Default

That sounds like a translator or a bilingual ed program, not an ESL/ELL teacher IME.

In the schools I've worked in, ELL* teachers are specialists with their own classes of ELL students who take their ELL class as one of their electives (for secondary) or do a pull out in small groups (for elementary). There are often many native languages represented in one classroom, so translating wouldn't even be an option most of the time.

*We use the term ELL here in Minnesota, but it means the same thing as ESL or ENL.

I'm not an expert on every state and every districts way of doing things. So what is the norm in my experience may not be the same someplace else.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01 August 2016, 02:30 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,376
Default

Another reason why entirely separating college prep and technical prep may be a bad idea for high school students:

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/...n-college-prep

-- for that matter, though there's no emphasis on that in the above story, there are plenty of people who would be happier as, say, plumbers or roofers, than in jobs involving sitting at a desk in an office or cubicle all day; and some of those people are entirely capable of doing well in college prep courses. Not to mention that if they wind up running their own businesses, they may need some of the information more likely to be taught in those "academic" subjects.

(And we need good plumbers and roofers, at least as badly as we need good office workers.)

We should be doing our best to teach all students the basics they need to take care of themselves; and the basics they need to get and hold a job; and the basics of what's needed to start off in college. Nobody's going to be equally good at all subjects -- but being bad at a particular one isn't an indication of overall incapability. Not everyone is starting from the same point(s) of knowledge learned at home -- but the thing to do about that is to provide the lacking knowledge, not as the only thing those children could possibly manage to learn, but as a necessary start.

None of that means that it's necessary to make all the kindergarteners or first graders spend all day learning the alphabet, just because some of them don't know it. But it does mean that it's a terrible thing to say that because a child doesn't, for instance, know the alphabet on first getting to school, that child is probably doomed to be seriously limited throughout life in what they can learn: and should therefore be assigned with little expectation of movement to classes intended only to teach limited information.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 02 August 2016, 04:22 PM
Sooeygun Sooeygun is offline
 
Join Date: 30 May 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 1,139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
The Academic, Applied and Core (also sometimes called Basic) are colloquial names. Their real names are much better than those:

Academic - Subject for College and University
Applied - Subject for the Workplace
Core - Subject for Work and Everyday Life

My SIL is a math teacher and usually has Core classes. She tells her students that one of her goals is to make sure they don't get ripped off out in the world. Another is to help to make sure they are ready for the work world. She asks them to name the job they would like to get, then they had to research the requirements (often apprenticeship programs. The kids were surprised to find that some of their chosen jobs had a math requirement or test. So (as much as she can within the curriculum) she tries to prepare them for those tests.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Most Common Language In Each US StateóBesides English And Spanish Steve Social Studies 46 19 May 2014 05:03 PM
Why did the Spanish Flu primarily target the young? DawnStorm The Doctor Is In 6 08 February 2013 10:01 PM
Spanish judges - paid by the page Victoria J Legal Affairs 0 04 July 2009 09:52 PM
A Spanish Mystery snopes Spook Central 0 24 September 2008 07:24 AM
Dog and peanut butter -- Spanish version? Cactus Wren NFBSK 19 17 April 2007 07:40 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.