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Common core: An opportunity in Jamestown

December 4, 2013

The Affordable Care Act and the Common Core state standards are a lesson in how not to roll out new program....

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Dec-07-13 11:37 AM

any one that knows anything about common core would be doing everything in their power to stop it's implementation! Do some research on it instead of listening to the people that are taking millions in bribes to implement it. The feds offer money to the state the state offers money to the locals and the locals snap it up like hyenas. All the wile the kids are indoctrinated!

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Dec-05-13 10:53 AM


I took my first computer science class in Dunkirk High in 1978, and while they have evolved considerably since then it's not exactly new.

But the problem isn't computers, it's how districts integrate them into the curriculum. A computer by itself teaches nothing, but it is a useful and powerful tool but those deciding on how they their use is implemented don't have a clue about them so they just throw money at it.


Exactly, we don't have a shortage of college students and graduates in this country, but we have a severe shortage of tradesmen and the open positions pay as much or more then many positions that require a college degree.

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Dec-04-13 7:10 PM

Darkstar, I’ve said here before about young people being pushed into college courses instead of the trades. We literally have millions of men and women of working age who possess college degrees but at the same time have a severe shortage of welders, machinists, stone masons, carpenters, mechanics, heavy equipment operators, etc. Right now there’s an oil pipeline being built between Oklahoma and Illinois knows as the Flannagan South Pipeline Project. I personally know one of the supervisors on this project. He tells me that his certified welders are making up to $250,000 per year. These men work a hard six days per week for their money but they willing do it. Guys with nothing but a high school education and a trade school certification. The oil fields are clamoring for people with trade skills and they’re paying top dollar, so much that MacDonald’s has to start out at $15 per hour to find workers which are mostly retirees as the young folks are in the oil fields making $$$

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Dec-04-13 5:36 PM

used to be parents did their job, teachers did their jobs, school administrators did their job, now fingers point in a revolving circle and (58) are more concerned with a rally for NRG, how about doing what you're paid to do and forget the bogus rally, if everyone focused on what they can help change and not what they can't a lot more would be accomplished in this world

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Dec-04-13 5:34 PM

used to be parents did their job, teachers did their jobs, school administrators did their job, now fingers point in a revolving circle and (58) are more concerned with a rally for NRG, how about doing what you're paid to do and leave the bogus rally, if everyone focused on what they can help change and not what they can't a lot more would be accomplished in this world

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Dec-04-13 4:54 PM

At this time I realize that 8 years of mind numbing ignorance by the Bush/Chenay Administration and the Economic Melt Down made one person Ronald Reagan look good in comparison.Christie is not the answer !

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Dec-04-13 3:10 PM

"Mainstreaming" doesn't require a dumbing down of education. You leave what you teach alone, and those students flunk, and that ought to end that ridiculous policy. I'll give you that certain NEW things need to be added to reflect modern life, but all of the basic English, History, math and such are the same relative to need. You want to see the results of how we teach? Tell me how many College students required remedial education courses in say the 1960's or earlier, in any normal 4 year institution, compared to 2013. I rest my case. And parenting has SOMETHING to do with it, yes, but not all of it. Failing to make demands on students and a refusal to flunk them has.

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Dec-04-13 2:34 PM

Christopher, I'll answer that. Parenting in this country is the worst it has ever been in our country's history. As a result, students don't come to school ready to learn. Also, students at the middle and high school level rarely study and parents won't MAKE them study. Finally, the mainstreaming of special education students into regular education classrooms causes teachers to "dumb down" the material they teach so that all can comprehend. Why isn't there higher level critical thinking? Now you know......

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Dec-04-13 1:18 PM

Christopher, one thing would be computer science. Today, you can't even run a gas station without computer knowledge. And, if I heard correctly, there isn't much in the way of shop classes in school anymore, without signing up for a BOCES class, anyway. That may be due to insurance problems, or the sheer cost of "keeping IT hardware up to date"....or that ten principals need 2 or 3 assistants each to do their jobs for them, because, you know, "paperwork". Right.

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Dec-04-13 11:48 AM

A question: what ever happened to education that something like Common Core was deemed necessary? I don't believe there's one thing in Common Core that wasn't COMMON PLACE 50 years ago.

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Dec-04-13 11:07 AM

PR, you're close, but slightly off by a small bit: the parents of kids with poor grades are the ones that think their kid deserves better grades. Parents of kids who get good grades simply continue to encourage them to maintain their averages, which leads the kids to want to do so by hook or by crook (yes, this includes the possibility of cheating). The educational system itself can be part of the blame for the lack of vocational school grads. Trade schools are advertising like mad now because of the void of trained technicians for various skillets like mechanics, welders, etc. if I were a parent now, I'd consider my kid getting into one of those areas, as the starting salaries are as good/better than someone with a bachelors. But, these things are cyclical...

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Dec-04-13 10:34 AM

Gasp,it has to be the Christmas season as I agree with what Dcronig wrote. I say we all have a group hug down at the pier on Saturday!

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Dec-04-13 10:25 AM

Please people.....they won't even hold a student back and you expect they are going to tell a parent your kid is not college material. Parents think their little darlings are gifted. If they were truly parenting they would put their child on the path they belong on. The other problem is all of the bean counter jobs are disappearing. Even jobs for college graduates are hard to come by. This Country is a mess with no solutions in sight.

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Dec-04-13 10:10 AM

Cue the Steinertron anti-woman, pro-voucher, CO2 rant in 3..2..

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Dec-04-13 10:08 AM

I don't know what's going on this morning, but either the topic of education gets us all thinking straight, or there's a full moon or something.

Dcronlg you're right. Parents have no accountability in this whole mess we call "public education". They want to punish teachers for having failing kids, but look at the home life of some of these kids. Absentee fathers and mothers who either don't care, or aren't educated enough to care.

Then in your "richie rich" neighborhoods, parents are both working, kids are unsupervised until 5:30pm, parents are so self-absorbed with their "stress" that they don't take any time to get involved in Johnny's education.

I'm not pro-teacher, but I feel they are up against it with incompetent parents and administrators.

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Dec-04-13 9:58 AM

Dark Star is on to something, as is Judeye -- two common sense appraoaches that should be reviewed and implemented -- if it were not for....parents.

Kids aren't held behind when they should be because their parents get upset at the stigma. Kids are behavioral problems in the classroom because their parents don't discipline them. Parents focus more athletics than academics -- keep sports program but cut teacher positions. Increase BOCES but parents don't want to pay for it. Get better, more skilled teachers (because some current ones are inept), but parent don't want to pay for them. Parents believe their kids should get "B"s just for attending class. Parents believe their kids are unique and special, when they are just average. Parents don't attend parent-teacher conferences when they should.

On and on and on...

The heart of our educational dysfunction -- once one of our greatest strengths -- are dysfunctional parents, regardless of party or philosophy.

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Dec-04-13 9:54 AM

"... are forces into ...."

I REALLY need to start re-reading my comments before hitting the post button, although I would love an edit button, even if only that only allowed a post to be edited for 15 minutes or so after it was made.

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Dec-04-13 9:31 AM

I should have said .. it's OK that some students don't belong in college. It's not OK that thousands are enrolling when they have no business being there.

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Dec-04-13 9:30 AM

Well said DarkStar.

We have to remove the stigma attached to being a BOCES student. Trades are honorable professions and those students more inclined for that curriculum should be steered toward it.

Administration needs to stop fostering this idea that college is the only path to success. It's not. There are masses of kids enrolling in college that shouldn't step 1 foot in the door. And again - that's OK.

Maybe if kids weren't told they were failures if they aren't academically inclined, they'd feel more comfortable opting for the trade path. They will excel in their own setting and freed from the pressures of CORE path, they will be better off in all areas of their education.

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Dec-04-13 8:37 AM

Many students would could do well in trade school are forces into a college track in school not for their benefit, but instead for the financial benefit of the school and the educational system as a whole.

So then when we fast forward several years we have another High School or college dropout with no skills as opposed to a skilled plumber, electrician, carpenter or other tradesperson but of course the important thing isn't the student but instead it is to feed to public education machine.

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Dec-04-13 8:34 AM


The problem with things like PISA is that they do not take into account the realities of many of those countries. For example, in many countries, especially in Asia, it is not uncommon for the schools to evaluate children very early and those who don't "measure up" are given vocational training instead of regular schooling, so in effect they compare the best and brightest of those countries against all US students.

Personally I think the US should follow their actions, although not as early as many of these countries do. The problem is there is HUGE money in public schools and public/private colleges and the unions would fight tooth and nail a common sense approach that put many students in trade schools.

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Dec-04-13 8:25 AM

judeye, you are the most science challenged poster here. Once again , all of you miss just who controls the public schools. Why its the dumbacrats. How many programs have we seen to improve education and how many trillions has it cost ? Why fracking has given us a better return than education. The US is below Poland, a country who hitler mocked repeatedly.that would make the liberals someone that hitler could mock. choice should be more than abortions, it should be vouchers. But thats never going to happen. Holder is shaking down private schools in louisiana to see how many voucher kids they accept. Why to stop vouchers. those dumbacrats.

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Dec-04-13 7:45 AM

Common Core no matter how you chose to spin it is not a good thing!!! Enrollment is up in private schools because they do not do Common Core. Public Schools are lacking for many reasons. Lack of rules, push students ahead even if they should be held back, students don't speak English, too many discipline problems, too many poor teachers, poor Administrators and on and on. What will the idiots that came up with Common Core come up with next after it flops???

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Dec-04-13 7:40 AM

opportunity to riot

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Dec-04-13 7:38 AM

The 2012 results for the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released on Tuesday and the standing of U.S. students changed little since the last time the test was given in 2009. The United States ranked 26th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading.

The US is behind most third world countries that competed in the testing.

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