Everett Hill

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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
Revolution in Education. Let's talk specifics... What can we really do?
If memory serves me correctly, it took the Finnish 20 plus years to get their education system in order. 3 - 5 years is an ambitious goal. Not to mention their schools are smaller, kids don't have to attend until 7, students are held to a high standard and that is supported by the parents. School is about learning not childcare. That is a deeply rooted philosophy that must change in the states to improve.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
National Assessment of Educational Progress Report
Schools are struggling. I very much agree with you. There are many causes as to why this is happening. Yes, some of it is definitely poor teaching quality but not all of it. Teachers are most often stuck with what they are told to do, little support for discipline, and often no support from the families. Again, the free baby sitting and high expectations where there are none from the family. In the US, I find it interesting the drive towards internationalism in education. Especially trying to mimic other programs, like Korea, Japan, and Germany, and all that they offer in high education. However it is attempted to be done with no backbone. Meaning, teaching everything to a high standard, but don't hold kids actually accountable for failure. Until that is resolved, education will continue to struggle. I do question the motives behind those trying to run schools. Especially the political motives of individuals. It is not clear the reasoning or the end game. Ultimately, it is not to improve students education, rather to blame teachers for the failures of students, at least that is what it looks like. I wholly agree that the data is flawed and doesn't even begin to tell the story. This, and many other reasons are why I am no longer in education in the US public system. And much happier as an educator.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
National Assessment of Educational Progress Report
Charles, I don't think that one can say that education is failing based on just this information. Actually, I don't know how much one could actually generalize based on this information. We certainly can't compare our results today with those of the past. 50 years ago you could graduate college, with much less education, and get a good job that would support your family. We had less people in school. And the educational system was much different. You could expel someone and it meant something at home. It also meant you couldn't come back to school. Corporal punishment was allowed, right or wrong it was a deterrent. School was generally safer. Public expectations of children at school and home were radically different for most populations. Even if you didn't graduate you could probably get a job that would pay the bills. Now, as a result of many changing issues, schools are struggling. The issue of low income students is at the forefront of educational issues. Yes, there are issues with the NEA, government demands, parents who think schools are just daycare, etc. etc. and some are significant issues. But, even in the midst of all the issues and sometimes the train wreck of what the data shows, there are teachers doing really good work and students who are successful and not just a few of them. I would put forth that our schools are not being set up for success. The standard is "every child goes to college". That is not a reality nor should it be. Yet, that is the standard we weigh everything against. Anything less than that is failure. How then can a school be successful against those odds.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
National Assessment of Educational Progress Report
As I went back through these reports, I will say this. They aren't very good. Little background information on the data, sources not cited, and from a myriad of places. What I am used to seeing with educational reports of this nature is data that is purposely not clear. For example salaries. Are those top salaries for teachers or an average of the data and what was that data based on? If it was just information fed to a service then it may not be all that good. As for test scores, that is such a no brainer that it isn't even funny. Kids in high level math do well on high level math tests....duh. We spent money on that research? My high school students could do that research as well or better and for less money. One issue that is not addressed here is the issue of the changing tests. While I was teaching in public education, we were told the test was changing based on new standards. Any time you change the test, it is hard for the teachers to prep the students well if the target keeps moving. As a result, students also don't do well. My conclusion would be this, I would question how well the data was analyzed across the board and for what purpose and intent.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
Racism in United States: Is it alive and well or is it not?
Racism, ethnicism, hatred of another for being different is alive and well. Not just the "old school" racism of history but dislike or hate of others, even from the same race. It will always exist in some form and will not go away. Even in other countries there are examples of racism. Some countries only have on word of foreigner rather than the politically correct terms that exist in the US. Think of it this way, if the US had one word, say american, for those born here and one word for "not an american". Part of the issue I see is that people continue to fuel the fire of racism. They demand to be called something else than American. African - American, Filipino - American, Chinese - American etc. rather than just American. They emphasize the differences rather than the similarities. They say "I am different and you have to recognize that" rather than talking about similarities first. I respect pride of history and origin, but get frustrated by the demand to be recognized for differences but treated equally in all respects.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
What is your opinion on adaptive learning?
In my opinion, technology is becoming a crutch for many of the ills in education today. Don't get me wrong, technology used correctly, in an innovative way, can enhance education of students. However, things like this, using technology to adapt education for students, relies far to much on the technology and less on the educator. Tech can't fix everything. These systems are expensive, the software can't adapt to everything. Ultimately, someone is profiting from this, which is why these systems are in place. If money wasn't being made, the system wouldn't be created or provided to education.
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Everett Hill
Posted 3 months ago
National Assessment of Educational Progress Report
Shocking ground breaking stuff right there. Amazing what millions of dollars will get you in a fancy report by people making big money to ask questions. (sarcasm intended) Most of this is known information all ready in the public eye. A lot of it is just plain old common sense. But it sure seems common sense just isn't common any more.
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Everett Hill
Posted 4 months ago
How important is it to use technology and Internet for primary education?
In early primary years, I am actually opposed to it. Especially before say 10 years old as the child's brain is developing. There are concerns of addiction to the computer/internet and its effects on the young brain that may be irreversible. Plus, kids need to explore there world through play and activity, not just technology. Structured technology use in controlled measures is a useful tool. But that is it, technology is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. I would far rather see classes outside in the environment living and breathing the natural spaces and exploring than just looking at a computer screen and learning from it. However, technology can be useful in many ways that do not involve the student glued to a computer screen playing with the high tech toy in front of them.
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Everett Hill
Posted 4 months ago
Why is creative teaching a challenge for many teachers? How can we help teachers embrace the notion of creativity in their teaching?
I don't have the article citation, so I apologize for that, but not long ago, I read an article speaking to the issue of how Kindergarten is what 1st/2nd grade was not that long ago. The stakes are higher, the academic load is higher, and the demands are higher. On 5 - 7 year olds for gosh sake! Some places don't even require kids to enter school until age 7. You can't teach creatively using arts and crafts when you are required to academically prep these kids for higher grades. The ability to teach creatively is sucked from you. I agree that worksheets are boring. But they have a place. So do arts and crafts, technology, even pinterest. But just using those don't mean that the teaching is creative. If you are speaking to the issue of allowing the child to be more creative in their schooling, then you are speaking to a different issue entirely. The issue that academics, not whole child growth, drives education in many places in the world. I agree with you that kindergarten should be fun for students.
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Everett Hill
Posted 4 months ago
Why is creative teaching a challenge for many teachers? How can we help teachers embrace the notion of creativity in their teaching?
Greg, I see your point. Having taught for several years, I can tell you that there is no single right answer to stimulating students to do well. Sometimes the issue is conflicts with the teacher on a personal level. Sometimes it is conflicts with the students. Sometimes a simple lack of motivation or interest. Sometimes the subject matter is boring. Sometimes the student is bored because the content is actually below him or her. Sometimes the child is in basic survival mode and school really isn't as important as "where am I going sleep and what am I going to eat tonight?" I absolutely agree that teachers need to think and work creatively to meet the needs of the students and stimulate their learning. And good teachers I know do that. But even the best teachers I have met struggle with some students for a variety of reasons even with the best practices in place. I would qualify this with academic struggling, meaning the student is challenged by the content, is far different than struggling to survive at home which affects school. Two very different issues which need to be addressed separately. But yes, I believe that teachers can work creatively with their subject matter to increase the interest in their students through whatever means are available. And also that some teachers should do more.