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Rocking the educational boat

September 9, 2013

The recent OBSERVER articles about test results from schools in both Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties were interesting to say the least, even enlightening in some respects....

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Sep-09-13 7:49 AM

Paul is a good lackey for the democratic teachers union and the govt as well.follow the money they always say. i did . it led right to the teachers union and suprise, suprise, it is a democratic thing. Paul notes the dumbing down of education. Who is in charge? the govt and its minions or stooges the democratic unions. Choice is only for abortions.The purpose of a public education is to make dumbacrats. The evidence for this is the inner cities who vote democrat continually and either go to the cemetery or jail in large numbers. Success!It is never the schools fault. It is always the fault due to greed of corporations and rich people when money allegedly is short . I have even read in these posts where it is said, give teachers a raise ! No better evidence of dumbacratitis than some of the posts here. The libs did their job well.

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Sep-09-13 8:18 AM

Steiner, your rant rings hollow here. This was an excellent column for the most part.

Paul, the two-track system used to be in place. BOCES was a viable alternative for students who clearly were not college material. Then the stigma was attached. Only college-bound students were "successes". Many of them still make 40K/yr with a ridiculous business degree while the BOCES plumbers and electricians pull 60-70K. Who's the success?

That's the fault of parents, guidance counselors, administrators, and the government. College is not the only "success path". The success of a school should not be tied to the number of college-bound seniors, but to the number of gainfully employed graduates they boast 5 or 10 years down the line.

Parents need to be involved with their kids' education. Don't ignore them for 13 years and then complain about the teachers when Johnny doesn't have a chance at Harvard. Maybe Johnny was always working on lawnmowers and cars growing up

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Sep-09-13 8:23 AM

(...) the parent should have seen that college wasn't in Johnny's future. And that's OK. Johnny will make 35/hr to fix our car because we didn't know how to change the air filter.

And absolutely, Paul, success of a teacher cannot be measured with a test. Teachers in Buffalo City Schools can't ALL be bad. Look what they're working with! Put them at Clarence, Sweet Home, Williamsville, do you think they'll still be "poor" teachers?

Parents need to take responsibility. Education begins at home. The teachers aren't solely responsible for a child's success. The entire system is not responsible. It's shared. The system needs to be a vehicle to enable a child to achieve success in the best manner for the particular child.

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Sep-09-13 8:55 AM

Poor test scores just may be a reflection of the decay of society and moral values in America. I agree that unions are part of the problem because they almost always result in quality going down while costs go up. However, we have to consider the changes in society. Half of our kids come from broken homes where one parent has to struggle just to make ends meet. Imagine trying to teach science, math or history to a child that can't speak English. How do you convince a kid that they need a good education when they know they can go on welfare, like their parents and live a pretty good life by their standards? How can you teach a child who doesn't bother showing up for school? Why do we compare American test scores with the students in Europe when only the brightest European kids take regents level courses and the rest are channeled into the trades? It's not a level playing field and a good first step would be to put a harness on the State Education Department and all of it's bureaucrats.

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Sep-09-13 9:03 AM

Agree with Paul and PR. There is no “one size fits all” gauge and “how many get into college” is a poor measure of a student’s future success.

Let’s try the German model, where 60% of high schoolers select a vocational path. At age 15-16 they enroll in a two- or three-year program, are in the classroom 1-2 days/week and in their apprentice program 3-4 days/week.

Kids can pick from 350 professions – blue-collar like electrician, HVAC or auto repair, and white-collar like sales, pharmacology or accounting. They even get paid during their studies(!) – the average monthly stipend is $900.

If they don’t hook on with the employer during their apprenticeship, their vocational certificates are highly sought by other prospective employers. That’s one reason why Germany’s youth unemployment rate is 7.7% - and here’s it’s more than double (16.2%).

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Sep-09-13 9:26 AM

The only reason schools are less successful today than they were 20,30 or more years ago is because of a bunch of government bureaucrats, with no educational experience, thinking they know how to better direct the educational process. Get the government out. Go back to tracking kids based on their abilities. High achievers on one path and low achievers on another. The one size fits all is what is causing the "dumbing down" of the schools. The low end is using resources that will never help them and, as a result, the high end are not being pushed to their potential. This is a GOVERNMENT issue, not a TEACHER issue.

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Sep-09-13 11:04 AM


One of the problems is that, let's use DHS as an example, their aid is based on how many students at in the morning and in the afternoon, so encouraging students to get VoTech training at BOCES would negatively effect the schools funding so they're not going to do it.

This is part of the reason there is now in school suspenion, since if the student is at home they don't get paid for them.

Also from my time working in the ER it was funny that students would always show up at about the same time everyday, since even when sick/injured the school would try and keep them there until the time of day that the district recieved full payment for having them that day, after which they would send them home.

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Sep-09-13 11:23 AM

It's all about the kids, DarkStar.. all about the kids.


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Sep-09-13 1:58 PM

The bigger question is what will education be in the future. Computers and robots are replacing humans in the work world. Jobs are fewer and fewer because they are being performed by robots.

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Sep-09-13 3:12 PM

Yeah, but someone's gonna need to repair those robots. Oh, wait - it'll be OTHER robots! :-)

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Sep-09-13 11:01 PM

You know DK, there used to be a saying that the US was always ten years behind Europe in many areas...let's hope its true with our educational system.

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Sep-10-13 8:00 AM

hey pr, for the democrats and the govt to escape any blame for the educational system and the effect it is having on the inner city folks is like saying BP is not responsible for the oil spill in the gulf a few years ago.I find it very amusing that i am called hollow, ignorant,etc after reading so much and doing so much in the chemical industry. tell us learned libs, if not you , then who is responsible for the poor results ? Any attempt at choice in schools via vouchers is ignored over and over. Indeed Holder is suing Louisiana over its voucher system. He claims it is causing segregation. In reality he just wants to make more democrats or rather dumbacrats. The old fashioned way, like Hitker and his liebensborn program, from kids.libs where are your screams for choice ?

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Sep-10-13 8:10 AM

phil gets it right. Moral decay can be laid at the feet of the libs. If it feels good do started in the 60's. for the city folk the decay started after brown vs board of education. thats when city folk began to out number white folk in prison. pr says its the total system. hey pr, home schooling is fought fiercely and so are vouchers. the sytem is the govt and thats liberal and union. What part of that dont ya get pr ? need a govt grant ? Cronig wants the european model, where kids are professional students and unemployment is high. follow the money and it leads to lberals. And these same people call the oil companies greedy. Wow, you libs need an education. How did you libs get to be so infatuated with yourselves and the govt ? its the money and it leads to liberals as the govt takes a huge bite out of us and its getting bigger.

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Sep-10-13 8:17 AM

BOCES is NOT an option for every student due to cost. School districts "buy" so many 'slots' each year. So , say Dunkirk bought 20 'slots' and your child is the 21 child who would like to go to learn auto mechanics, you are out of luck. To me that is a disgrace. Rather than choosing what is best for the student, money is dictating their education.

I worked with many 'troubled' youth in our area. I cannot relate the issues and trauma that many of them had to go through at their young ages. Many of my adult friends have never had to deal with such issues, such as trying to figure out how to feed your younger brothers and sisters when you parents were too stoned or drunk to do so, having to sit outside doing your homework and watching your siblings as your mom worked her second night time job as she did not have enough money to pay for a sitter, etc

By the way not ONE of them had a goal of growing up to be a welfare bum.

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Sep-10-13 8:25 AM

I would like to know why they did away with the Industrial high school and what we need to bring it back.

Many students would like to pursue vocational trades that require training. A bridge between the school training and apprenticeships, work placement, or further vocational training should be in place.

No student should be able to graduate without knowing how to write a check, how to calculate interest (amazed how many do not understand true cost of buying something from rent to own), make a budget, know LIFE SKILLS.

By the way...I do not think I could pass that 8th grade test!! How many of you have looked it over? Yikes some of the things I have never even heard of ha ha

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Sep-10-13 8:30 AM

judeye, you got it wrong again. On PBS i have seen where young inner city males,the guys who do all the violence cant wait to get in gangs or even do a crime. we want to be a bum !the no snitch rule is proof. Dont say anything as we want to be criminals and bums. If you do we will retaliate . we love being a bum . In WSJ, there was an article about how a bulldozer maker is trying self driving dozers as they cant get anyone learned enough to drive a dozer. but the system produces many murders, welfare bums and its the gun lobbies fault. How did ya liberals miss all this ? saving the planet ? judeye, you are for choice, i never see you advocating vouchers,just abortions. Does choice stop at the private parts ? The libs are fascinated by them.

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Sep-10-13 8:51 AM

Steiner, you're a first-class moron. The same tired rant every single time. Every other poster on this board knows I'm as conservative as they come, many of them disagree with me almost all the time. It's just that they also know I read each piece, understand the issue, and voice my opinion ON THE ISSUE, whether they like it or not.

You turn every column into a rant on women and liberals. Look, I like to rant about liberals as much as the next guy, but you either didn't read Paul's column, or you refused to comprehend what he was getting at. It was a good column that outlined just a fraction of the myriad of issues with the education system in America.

Get over yourself. I can't even read your comments anymore. We could probably agree on 98% of every subject but you ruin the conversation with the same tired, hollow BS every time you activate your keyboard. Steinertron. *****.

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Sep-10-13 8:52 AM

Those *'s were for L M F A O.

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Sep-10-13 8:53 AM

You now are back to having, I'm assuming, NO allies on this board. I refuse to back you up. You just "ate one of your own" so to speak and lost a potential ally. Go back to mom's basement and save the world with your Steinertron.

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Sep-10-13 8:57 AM

the libs missed that virtually every govt person in DC sends their kids to private schools. But they fight the same thing for their constituents. Another good example of wanting to be a bum. In Brooklyn a person of color said i hate white folks and attacked a 62 year old one. This guy later died. Welfare bums again, out of wedlock births are a sure ticket to poverty and welfare. they have skyrocketed in the city folk. How is it you learned libs miss al this ? Is it al about the kids or control of them by those dumb, democratic union the heart of every problem, there is a liberal denying they did it.

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Sep-10-13 9:04 AM

hey pr, if you are so smart, how do you miss that its the libs controlling education ? Its the libs that altered society starting with the 1960s riots in the cities.Its the libs behind the skyrocketing out of wedlock births. Its the libs who send their kids to private schools and deny that to others. where am I wrong on this ?. As for women, they are totally confused if the posts here are accurate. I have said over and over. men have done all the earth changing science and business.Historical facts denied by the libs. You support a system whose sole intent is to perpetuate the system and make one not even ignorant, but stupid. I am wrong for being against this ? tell me where i am wrong.

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Sep-10-13 9:07 AM

STEINER is right about the out of wed-lock births. All we need to do is read the birth announcements in THE OBSERVER to realize that the majority of births in Dunkirk are out of wed-lock. The fact is that in the black community the birth rate for single mothers is 73% while in the white community it is over 50%. What ever happened to morality and values? What chance do those kids have for a normal and productive education and life when they are either on welfare or have no father in the home? Have you noticed the sparce attendance in churches lately? Maybe our society could use a heavy dose of morality! This problem is not limited to Dunkirk. Shame on Americans for being so stupid.

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Sep-10-13 9:15 AM

hey pr, the libs have made you so ignorant, you could only muster a L M F comment.You sure are smart pr. The steinertron invention is equal to teslas rotating magnetic field discovery. that drives all of the worlds motors, pr.All of civilization.I am sure it would have been discovered sooner if the libs and their adamant, steadfast refusal of choice in education plus its skyrocketing cost prevented it. who runs the colleges, liberals. See the proffessor book. pr, you like dk cannnot think creatively. my mothers basement. It was my parents who encouraged me to read books. I have a personal library of over 2000.tell me how moronic i am pr. learned liberals like paul and the rest always seek to avoid blame for the mess they made. they have done a good job just by name calling. Like you pr. Name calling aint science.

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Sep-10-13 9:23 AM

phil got it right. Who has made americans so stupid? the libs. the libs with their constant attacks on western civilization and religion. The libs with their you did not build that. Who did build that libs ?the govt ? Nope. The gals for sure fell for it as witnessed by out of wedlock births. Gals are prone to nervous disorders.Fact from TV and books, by gals themselves. it was the curious european who made america. Libs got rid of that in 1965 immigration act, all done by libs. we are seeing the fruits of 50 years of attack on society by liberals and i am called moronic.Pr proves againa and again, you can only agree with the libs. Christopher too. he has called me bipolar. Christopher does not know science or history or what life really turns on. thats why they are so sure of themselves.

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Sep-10-13 9:28 AM

Steiner, when you can write a thought with proper sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar, I'll believe you're as smart as you say you are. Until then, I'm going to have to assume that you, like your ramblings, are moronic and incoherent.

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