Our recommendation: Springboro voters...

Our recommendation: Springboro voters should say 'yes' the first time to school levies

There are 31934 comments on the Dayton Daily News story from Feb 5, 2008, titled Our recommendation: Springboro voters should say 'yes' the first time to school levies. In it, Dayton Daily News reports that:

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Harmful Illusions

Cincinnati, OH

#23833 Mar 12, 2013
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
So why are we doing worse now than in 2008?
Dispelling the harmful illusions of over-rated excellence ratings is just the beginning of educating Springboro by our new reform minded BOE majority... we are on our way, but there is a lot of work to be done by our school superintendent to educate his staff of our school district's new philosophy of children first
budgeting.....

Bestowing the label of excellence on districts that do little to provide for students beyond basic proficiency helps no one. Even in elite, affluent suburbs, communities are lulled into complacent acceptance of the status quo even as their children perform at a level nowhere near excellent. This phenomenon is nicely explained by Jay Greene, coauthor of
When the Best Is Mediocre:

State accountability systems and the desire to rationalize the lack of quality options have encouraged the elites to compare their affluent suburban districts to the large urban ones in their state. These inappropriate comparisons have falsely reassured them that their own school districts are doing well. This false reassurance has also perhaps undermined the desire among the elites to engage in dramatic education reform. As long as the elites hold onto the belief that their own school districts are excellent, they have little desire to push for the kinds of significant systemic reforms that might improve their districts as well as the large urban districts. They may wish the urban districts well and hope matters improve, but their taste for bold reform is limited by a false contentment with their own situation.

Radio audiences laugh at the imaginary Lake Wobegon, where ALL students are above average, but Ohio has taken things to a level that some have described as Lake Wobegon on steroids, and the damage to the educational system is becoming evident. It is Time to take an honest look at state standards and to see how these “excellent” districts are truly performing. Parents, policymakers, and the general public no longer can afford to pretend that the emperor is clothed. It is time to take a look at the ugly, naked truth about the accountability system in Ohio.– www.oagc.com
miller thyme

Cincinnati, OH

#23834 Mar 12, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
Putting kids first means we first and foremost provide them with an actual education, not a semantic trip through the education industry pipeline
As is evidenced by the results of our test scores produced on the Ohio Achievement Assessment and the report on our high school that was commissioned by the Superintendent, we have much work to do.
Our teachers, regardless of how good or bad , are laboring in a system that does not produce the desired results. We simply cannot continue to push forward to our high school children who get less and less of the foundational learning each year.
Digging in anyones heels is always a bad idea, it cost one their mobility of action. Drawing lines in the sand is a false option, the line is arbitrary and can be moved at a whim.
Alacrity is what is required, not intransigence.
2000 plus kids who are not getting the program also cannot wait for another year to go by with no assistance from thinking adults.
Alacrity is what is required?

Alls ima saying is, can you expand on that?

Not intransigence?

Can you translate?

Ima just a simple one, protecting union best interests best as I can.
Parents Are Awesome

Cincinnati, OH

#23836 Mar 12, 2013
Common Core: Intrusive Data Tracking
The Common Core ensures that the states build expensive high-tech systems that will track student performance and other personal data and provide that information to the federal government.“Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career.”
- U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, from a June 8, 2009 speech
Common Core: Exorbitant Price Tag
The unfunded mandates associated with the Common Core are open-ended in areas such as professional development, new textbooks and instructional materials, testing, and data-tracking systems. A recent study shows implementation will cost $16 billion or more nationwide, with about 90 percent of this paid for by states and local districts, despite the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grants. The Common Core fuels a money pot of tax dollars going to pre-selected vendors.
Where Things Stand
In the Nation – Only a few states have turned a cold shoulder to the federal grants and waivers requiring Common Core.
&#9679; Texas, Nebraska, and Alaska refused to participate.
&#9679; Indiana’s Senate Education Committee voted to delay implementation of the Common Core until after it was reviewed by a study committee.
&#9679; South Carolina has legislation pending to pull out of the Common Core supported by the Governor.
&#9679; Virginia has pulled out of the Common Core, and Minnesota has refused to sign on to the math portion.
&#9679; Utah is holding legislative hearings on withdrawing from Common Core.
&#9679; South Dakota has slowed down the implementation of the Common Core with the passage of a bill that requires public hearings around the state.
In Georgia – State School Superintendent Kathy Cox and Governor Sonny Perdue committed Georgia to the Common Core upon signing the Race to the Top grant application in January 2010. In July 2010 the State Board of Education officially adopted the Common Core, only one month after the content standards were released in English Language Arts and Math. In the fall of 2010, Georgia agreed to become a “governing state” of the PARCC assessment consortium, meaning Georgia will implement these tests starting in 2014-15, though the tests are yet unseen and their costs unknown. Current State School Superintendent John Barge campaigned against Race to the Top, but upon taking office, he embraced it and the Common Core.
Sub-standard Standards of the Common Core
English Language Arts (ELA) Standards – Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas served on the Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the ELA standards because of poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature, and low reading levels, such as 8th grade levels for 12th grade students. Even the Fordham Institute – a Common Core proponent -- gave Georgia’s current ELA standards higher marks than the Common Core.
Math Standards – Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off, stating,“It’s almost a joke to think students [who master the common standards] would be ready for math at a university.”
Next on the Common Core Agenda – Expect the feds to aggressively push adoption of national standards in science and social studies, just as they have in English and math.
Take Action
Tell your legislators to stop Race to the Top mandates and the Common Core. Get connected at www.stopcommoncore.com
Parents Are Awesome

Cincinnati, OH

#23838 Mar 12, 2013
Common Core: Intrusive Data Tracking
The Common Core ensures that the states build expensive high-tech systems that will track student performance and other personal data and provide that information to the federal government.“Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career.”
- U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, from a June 8, 2009 speech
Common Core: Exorbitant Price Tag
The unfunded mandates associated with the Common Core are open-ended in areas such as professional development, new textbooks and instructional materials, testing, and data-tracking systems. A recent study shows implementation will cost $16 billion or more nationwide, with about 90 percent of this paid for by states and local districts, despite the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grants. The Common Core fuels a money pot of tax dollars going to pre-selected vendors.
Where Things Stand
In the Nation – Only a few states have turned a cold shoulder to the federal grants and waivers requiring Common Core.
&#9679; Texas, Nebraska, and Alaska refused to participate.
&#9679; Indiana’s Senate Education Committee voted to delay implementation of the Common Core until after it was reviewed by a study committee.
&#9679; South Carolina has legislation pending to pull out of the Common Core supported by the Governor.
&#9679; Virginia has pulled out of the Common Core, and Minnesota has refused to sign on to the math portion.
&#9679; Utah is holding legislative hearings on withdrawing from Common Core.
&#9679; South Dakota has slowed down the implementation of the Common Core with the passage of a bill that requires public hearings around the state.
In Georgia – State School Superintendent Kathy Cox and Governor Sonny Perdue committed Georgia to the Common Core upon signing the Race to the Top grant application in January 2010. In July 2010 the State Board of Education officially adopted the Common Core, only one month after the content standards were released in English Language Arts and Math. In the fall of 2010, Georgia agreed to become a “governing state” of the PARCC assessment consortium, meaning Georgia will implement these tests starting in 2014-15, though the tests are yet unseen and their costs unknown. Current State School Superintendent John Barge campaigned against Race to the Top, but upon taking office, he embraced it and the Common Core.
Sub-standard Standards of the Common Core
English Language Arts (ELA) Standards – Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas served on the Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the ELA standards because of poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature, and low reading levels, such as 8th grade levels for 12th grade students. Even the Fordham Institute – a Common Core proponent -- gave Georgia’s current ELA standards higher marks than the Common Core.
Math Standards – Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off, stating,“It’s almost a joke to think students [who master the common standards] would be ready for math at a university.”
Next on the Common Core Agenda – Expect the feds to aggressively push adoption of national standards in science and social studies, just as they have in English and math.
Take Action
Tell your legislators to stop Race to the Top mandates and the Common Core. Get connected at www.stopcommoncore.com
Parents Are Awesome

Cincinnati, OH

#23840 Mar 12, 2013
-continued -
Common Core: Intrusive Data Tracking
The Common Core ensures that the states build expensive high-tech systems that will track student performance and other personal data and provide that information to the federal government.“Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career.”
- U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, from a June 8, 2009 speech
Common Core: Exorbitant Price Tag
The unfunded mandates associated with the Common Core are open-ended in areas such as professional development, new textbooks and instructional materials, testing, and data-tracking systems. A recent study shows implementation will cost $16 billion or more nationwide, with about 90 percent of this paid for by states and local districts, despite the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grants. The Common Core fuels a money pot of tax dollars going to pre-selected vendors.
Where Things Stand
In the Nation – Only a few states have turned a cold shoulder to the federal grants and waivers requiring Common Core.
&#9679; Texas, Nebraska, and Alaska refused to participate.
&#9679; Indiana’s Senate Education Committee voted to delay implementation of the Common Core until after it was reviewed by a study committee.
&#9679; South Carolina has legislation pending to pull out of the Common Core supported by the Governor.
&#9679; Virginia has pulled out of the Common Core, and Minnesota has refused to sign on to the math portion.
&#9679; Utah is holding legislative hearings on withdrawing from Common Core.
&#9679; South Dakota has slowed down the implementation of the Common Core with the passage of a bill that requires public hearings around the state.
In Georgia – State School Superintendent Kathy Cox and Governor Sonny Perdue committed Georgia to the Common Core upon signing the Race to the Top grant application in January 2010. In July 2010 the State Board of Education officially adopted the Common Core, only one month after the content standards were released in English Language Arts and Math. In the fall of 2010, Georgia agreed to become a “governing state” of the PARCC assessment consortium, meaning Georgia will implement these tests starting in 2014-15, though the tests are yet unseen and their costs unknown. Current State School Superintendent John Barge campaigned against Race to the Top, but upon taking office, he embraced it and the Common Core.
Sub-standard Standards of the Common Core
English Language Arts (ELA) Standards – Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas served on the Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the ELA standards because of poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature, and low reading levels, such as 8th grade levels for 12th grade students. Even the Fordham Institute – a Common Core proponent -- gave Georgia’s current ELA standards higher marks than the Common Core.
Math Standards – Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off, stating,“It’s almost a joke to think students [who master the common standards] would be ready for math at a university.”
Next on the Common Core Agenda – Expect the feds to aggressively push adoption of national standards in science and social studies, just as they have in English and math.
Take Action
Tell your legislators to stop Race to the Top mandates and the Common Core. Get connected at www.stopcommoncore.com
Really

Dayton, OH

#23842 Mar 12, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
I suppose if you like lying to yourself, then the status quo is okay by you.
That is fine, it is all about choice.
I happen to choose actual achievement over candy league soccer trophies.
But whatever floats your boat.
We still have over 2000 plus kids in this district that are not getting the education we are all funding.
If you care to refute any of the arguments I have made, please feel free to publish your alternative reading.
Somehow, you never seem to be able to come up with that angle.
From all of your stats about the last 4 years, I'm beginning to believe we are getting exactly the education we are funding!
Really

Dayton, OH

#23843 Mar 12, 2013
Harmful Illusions wrote:
<quoted text>
Dispelling the harmful illusions of over-rated excellence ratings is just the beginning of educating Springboro by our new reform minded BOE majority... we are on our way, but there is a lot of work to be done by our school superintendent to educate his staff of our school district's new philosophy of children first
budgeting.....
Where are we on our way to??? If the goal is to increase test scores how is that accomplished? What specifically is the board doing to improve the education in Springboro? What are they doing for the gifted students to further their education, what are they doing for the special needs students to help them? PSEO has always been an option so the board hasn't done anything new there, AP classes are far and few between based on other school districts, challenging electives are being removed at the HS level, etc.

Everything I have seen so far indicates the board is: 1st: doing everytyhing they can to reduce spending (regardless of effects) and 2nd: doing what they have to based on state requirements (buying books for common core standards, increasing technology to support all-electronic testing in 2014, etc.). What new and innovative ideas have the board come up with to actually improve the education in Springboro? And no, trying to put in a charter school does not count - for the simple reason that they did not have a reason to put the charter school in, they were only considering the cost effectiveness of the charter school and not the purpose of the school (again, money came first above students).

Please be specific.
Just Watching

Lebanon, OH

#23844 Mar 12, 2013
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
Where are we on our way to??? If the goal is to increase test scores how is that accomplished? What specifically is the board doing to improve the education in Springboro? What are they doing for the gifted students to further their education, what are they doing for the special needs students to help them? PSEO has always been an option so the board hasn't done anything new there, AP classes are far and few between based on other school districts, challenging electives are being removed at the HS level, etc.
Everything I have seen so far indicates the board is: 1st: doing everytyhing they can to reduce spending (regardless of effects) and 2nd: doing what they have to based on state requirements (buying books for common core standards, increasing technology to support all-electronic testing in 2014, etc.). What new and innovative ideas have the board come up with to actually improve the education in Springboro? And no, trying to put in a charter school does not count - for the simple reason that they did not have a reason to put the charter school in, they were only considering the cost effectiveness of the charter school and not the purpose of the school (again, money came first above students).
Please be specific.
How about what the teachers can do differently, any ideas.

For all the professional knowledge available, the thoughts and solutions don't seem to be forthcoming.
Just Watching

Lebanon, OH

#23845 Mar 12, 2013
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
From all of your stats about the last 4 years, I'm beginning to believe we are getting exactly the education we are funding!
Actually, we are spending way to much for the return provided.
Just Watching

Lebanon, OH

#23846 Mar 12, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
You asked how much a fifth grade teacher should be paid, you left out the rest.
What were the spread on this teacher's students results on the OAA Math test the past three years?
If this person has had the same gifted children the past three those numbers in and of themselves would answer the the bulk of the questions you pose.
Still waiting on the results
93% and above----
85%- 92.99%------
75%- 84.99%------
63%- 74.99%------
Below 63%-------

Just fill in the blanks.

I would expect the gifted class to be residing in the top two tiers
Question JW

Mason, OH

#23847 Mar 12, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
<quoted text>
Still waiting on the results
93% and above----
85%- 92.99%------
75%- 84.99%------
63%- 74.99%------
Below 63%-------
Just fill in the blanks.
I would expect the gifted class to be residing in the top two tiers
Why can't you give the people An answer? You keep adding something new to your list of requirements when they fulfill your previous details needed. Just answer the question in a dollar amount, how much should said teacher get paid? Don't give us a bunch of crap about where their test scores fall, answer according to your previous requirements on which people have you. Because you love stats so much here is one for you: chances Just Watching gives a dollar amount in a post about what a teacher should make...0/100 or 0%
Just Watching

Miamisburg, OH

#23848 Mar 12, 2013
Question JW wrote:
<quoted text>
Why can't you give the people An answer? You keep adding something new to your list of requirements when they fulfill your previous details needed. Just answer the question in a dollar amount, how much should said teacher get paid? Don't give us a bunch of crap about where their test scores fall, answer according to your previous requirements on which people have you. Because you love stats so much here is one for you: chances Just Watching gives a dollar amount in a post about what a teacher should make...0/100 or 0%
I think all teachers should make a minimum of $85,000.00.
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#23849 Mar 12, 2013
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
So let me get this straight, you are implying that if a teacher teaches honor students that get high grades on their OAAs, that teacher is worth more than a teacher that teaches non-honor students??? Exactly how do you compare apples to apples???
Yes, there are fewer teachers that are certified to teach say A/P Physics than there are to teach third grade in elementary school. Supply and demand will make the teacher with the needed and scarcer skill set more valuable.
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#23850 Mar 12, 2013
5th Grade 2011-2012 Ohio Achievement Assessment Tests Results.
.
Math .......52 possible points on the test
.
.
State Rating System and distribution of students for the 5th grade
.
Limited.......... 20 Students
Limited.......... 25% was the Average score for this group
Limited..........definition--0 -17 correct answers =(0-33% correct)
.
Basic..........35 Students
Basic ..........40% was the Average score for this group
Basic..........definition--18 - 23 correct answers =(34-44% correct)
.
Proficient........107 Students
Proficient........54% was the Average score for this group
Proficient.........definition- -24-32 correct answers =(46-62% correct)
.
Accelerated.....76 Students
Accelerated.....67% was the Average score for this group
Accelerated.....definition--33 -37 correct answers =(63-71% correct)
.
Advanced........213 Students
Advanced........82% was the Average score for this group
Advanced........definition--38 -52 correct answers =(73-100% correct)

.
Applying Mr. Malone's same grading system used for assigning percentages to grades earned in the college credit program (PSEO)
.
F.....Below 62.99% correct answers.......162 Students
Percentage of Students.....36% receiving F

D..... 63%- 74.99% correct answers......95 Students
Percentage of Students.....21% receiving D

C......75%- 84.99% correct answers........90 Students
Percentage of Students.....20% receiving C

B..... 85%- 92.99% correct answers........77 Students
Percentage of Students.....17% receiving B

A..... 93% correct answers and above.....27 Students
Percentage of Students....6% receiving A
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#23851 Mar 12, 2013
4th Grade 2010-2011 Ohio Achievement Assessment Tests Results.
.
Math .......52 possible points on the test
.
.
State Rating System and distribution of students for the 4th grade
.
Limited.......... 8 Students
Limited.......... 25% was the Average score for this group
Limited..........definition--0 -16 correct answers =(0-31% correct)
.
Basic..........32 Students
Basic ..........57% was the Average score for this group
Basic..........definition--17 - 24 correct answers =(33-46% correct)
.
Proficient........108 Students
Proficient........60% was the Average score for this group
Proficient.........definition- -25-36 correct answers =(48-69% correct)
.
Accelerated.....104 Students
Accelerated.....76% was the Average score for this group
Accelerated.....definition--37 -42 correct answers =(63-81% correct)
.
Advanced........176 Students
Advanced........83% was the Average score for this group
Advanced........definition--43 -52 correct answers =(83-100% correct)

.
Applying Mr. Malone's same grading system used for assigning percentages to grades earned in the college credit program (PSEO)
.
F.....Below 62.99% correct answers.......104 Students
Percentage of Students.....24% receiving F

D..... 63%- 74.99% correct answers......76 Students
Percentage of Students.....18% receiving D

C......75%- 84.99% correct answers........93 Students
Percentage of Students.....22% receiving C

B..... 85%- 92.99% correct answers........98 Students
Percentage of Students.....23% receiving B

A..... 93% correct answers and above.....57 Students
Percentage of Students....13% receiving A
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#23852 Mar 12, 2013
3rd Grade 2009-2010 Ohio Achievement Assessment Tests Results.
.
Math .......52 possible points on the test
.
.
State Rating System and distribution of students for the 3rd grade
.
Limited.......... 14 Students
Limited.......... 39% was the Average score for this group
Limited..........definition--0 -24 correct answers =(0-46% correct)
.
Basic..........46 Students
Basic ..........55% was the Average score for this group
Basic..........definition--25 - 32 correct answers =(48-62% correct)
.
Proficient........158 Students
Proficient........72% was the Average score for this group
Proficient.........definition- -33-41 correct answers =(63-79% correct)
.
Accelerated.....124 Students
Accelerated.....84% was the Average score for this group
Accelerated.....definition--42 -45 correct answers =(81-87% correct)
.
Advanced........124 Students
Advanced........93% was the Average score for this group
Advanced........definition--46 -52 correct answers =(88-100% correct)

.
Applying Mr. Malone's same grading system used for assigning percentages to grades earned in the college credit program (PSEO)
.
F.....Below 62.99% correct answers.......59 Students
Percentage of Students.....13% receiving F

D..... 63%- 74.99% correct answers......83 Students
Percentage of Students.....18% receiving D

C......75%- 84.99% correct answers........127 Students
Percentage of Students.....27% receiving C

B..... 85%- 92.99% correct answers........149 Students
Percentage of Students.....32% receiving B

A..... 93% correct answers and above.....46 Students
Percentage of Students....10% receiving A
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#23853 Mar 12, 2013
Follow the progression of the same class starting in third grade and moving to fourth grade and then fifth grade.

If you follow the states obfuscated labeling program our children appear to be doing better each year.

The reality of the traditional grading scale Mr. Malone incorporates to translate college courses taken under the PSEO program belies the euphemisms.

We are embracing and defending the indefensible. The system is not producing the results we all wish it were, it is a time for a change.

And 2000 plus children fail to get the education we promised them each year.

Let someone else put a monetary value on these results.
question

Miamisburg, OH

#23854 Mar 13, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
<quoted text>
I think all teachers should make a minimum of $85,000.00.
OK so we pay all teachers a minimum of $85,000.00 per year, what is the max pay for a teacher?
Parents Are Awesome

Cincinnati, OH

#23855 Mar 13, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
I must admit to be slightly amused at all of the demands for transparency from the Board on anything they do.
I contrast that with demands for transparency from our Athletic Programs. Whether it be the Booster Club, The Fan Store, a public accounting of each sports teams finances, etc. All of these were supposed to be filing financial reports monthly with the Superintendent's Office. A repeated public records request turned up a few pieces of paper here and there, but nothing that resembled anything like a real financial statement, or even general accounting ledger.
I hear not a word of exhortation from the people who are howling about $15,000 being spent to investigate better ways of educating our children, but raise not a word over the unaccounted $1,000,000 athletic budget.
I watch as pork barrel employment practices for the junior high basketball games balloon out of control, while they neglect to raise one dime to help offset those same costs.
Since second grade every player in the select basketball program has been supported by their parents donating their time and effort. Running the clock, doing the books, collecting the money at the gate, and manning the concessions stands when call upon.
Suddenly, in the 7th grade, we find that the only people qualified to run a time clock are school employees being paid $25 per game to do so. The only people who can run a set of books are school employees who are paid $25 per game to write down who scored. The only people capable of collecting money at the door are school employees, once again on the payroll.
The athletic director claims she is not capable of running a concession stand, every other venue we visit is capable of doing so and does, with the exception of Xenia. Instead the athletic director at the junior high and the principal say it's best to use the vending machines where we get a cool $100 per week or so from 8 the games played in our gym each week. When we ran our own concessions we made $3500 over a two month period.
This same athletic director used to be the person at the gate collecting the admission fees and selling concessions, of course it did cut into the amount of time she had for reading.
Please don't cry those crocodile tears for me when you complain about fraud and waste, we see it every day.
Worth Repeating .
Really

Dayton, OH

#23856 Mar 13, 2013
Just Watching wrote:
Follow the progression of the same class starting in third grade and moving to fourth grade and then fifth grade.
If you follow the states obfuscated labeling program our children appear to be doing better each year.
The reality of the traditional grading scale Mr. Malone incorporates to translate college courses taken under the PSEO program belies the euphemisms.
We are embracing and defending the indefensible. The system is not producing the results we all wish it were, it is a time for a change.
And 2000 plus children fail to get the education we promised them each year.
Let someone else put a monetary value on these results.
It's Dr. Malone.

You keep indicating a change is needed but I have looked on previous postings and I don't see anything of substance (or specifics) that will help. Maybe if you fully believed in the changes you think are needed then you would continue to write what needs to be done rather than continuing to write how many students are stupid and failing.

I do have a question, why do some students excel and others don't? Could it be that the subject matter is being taught but not all of the students retain the information? So what should a teacher do? Continue to focus on limited subject matter until everyone gets it?

I would like to know how much you understand about what your kids are learning. Take for example, science, how much of what they are learning did you learn in high school? Did you take Physics in HS? How much history are they learning today compared to what you learned in high school? There are students taking Algebra in 7th grade (and possibly 6th)- was that an option for you?

Again, I believe the subject matter is being taught, it's the retention of the information that is the problem. Maybe we should look into more homework to force the students to absorb the material. How about online help that can be used at home - similar to Study Island? Tutoring and after-school help is available but not taken advantage of. Please focus on helping those students you so often quote as failing rather than bringing them down all of the time.

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