OT: Democracy in Action

Page 4 of 8  
And I do not know which group has more

Amen, brother. Much of the current malaise in education comes from those things.

I grew up in Holland, and went to university there for my master's. In the 50s and 60s, it was like a huge merit badge for the researcher who had studied/worked a year in the US. Big plus for advancement back home. And it still is for many, but now more orientals than Europeans. Work ethic is still a problem for many in the US. By far not all, because still very much of the best science is done in the US. But there is a greater proportion of foreigners who happily do grunt work to learn the ropes.

Then let's get those critters in Congress to give up some perks, and do more (I mean real legislative work). This pandering to the left and right fringes really gets me.

See above. I really believe that some people need to be paid appropriately. Teachers. Some cops, hospital workers, haven't thought of making a list of good people <grin>.
Also, I told you I retired in large part because I was fed up with compliance forms etc. We should simplify that to an absolute minimum, and tell everyone to take an oath to do the right thing(s). And if they didn't, such as doing ethically wrong things, falsefying data, abusing subjects, whatever, then they should really be punished, not just given a slap on the wrist, as is happening now.
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Han
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On 8/11/2011 11:54 AM, Han wrote:

I was educated by teachers that made far less and were far superior to most today. Our educational system throws more money at the problem than ever and yet the results are far worse. A higher salary is not going to get a better teacher. I guarantee you that if all teachers were given a 50% raise today that in 5 years the same teachers would still be teaching and the kids would not be learning any more than they are right now. If you want the kids to learn more the teachers will have to be held to a higher standard, be re-certified periodically, and paid for their performance.

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Agree. Teachers should be more motivated (especially the ones doing it already for a long time) and kids should be more willing to learn. Ask the Brits were the parents were ...
The work rules now stink. Get tenure, and you're practically set for life. OTOH, capricious or malicious firing is very difficult now. It goes both ways, but I agree, it should be easier to "grade" teachers and remunerate accordingly. Of course, if you get dealt a bunch of really unruly and stupid kids one year, life sucks.

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On 8/11/2011 3:39 PM, Han wrote:

I often think and believe that we are in this lousy situation because 95% of us live beyond our means. Yes I can afford that house if I get a 40 year mortgage with interest only/no principal on the front 10 years but should I? If only the schools would teach and require students to learn the true cost of borrowing money, how to make good financial decisions, and learn that borrowing money should be done as a last resort. This is absolutely as important as any subject being taught in school. With few exceptions if you have to borrow money to buy something you probably need to reevaluate you life style. If the wife works to help make ends meet you need to reevaluate your life style. IMHO one parent needs to stay home, plain and simple. When both parents are working, WHO is watching the kids????? The teachers would have a lot more success in teaching if a parent was at home when the kids got home.
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Rant well-taken. My mother was always home, and so was my wife's, but her mother is another story. (See, it doesn't always work the way it should). For us, we both had to bring in money if we wanted to live. When the kids came, my wife went into daycare (times were easier on the regulations way back then, but the pay was lower too). At first, we had had a babysitter, but after the third time that she said, by the way, next Monday you have to find someone else because I quit, my wife started to take in kids. Then we moved to New York, and we got a babysitter. Wife went to work early, I dropped the kids off later, and my wife picked them up around 4. Made for less family time, but it worked well. Both my kids became good people. So, that situation also can work. Now, both my daughter and SIL have to work, and my wife wlks over in the morning to help the granddaughters off to school, and is back there when they come home. We think they'll be big enough to be a few hours after school by themselves, and if not, the other grandparents live arounf the corner and can do something too.
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On 8/11/2011 8:01 PM, Han wrote:

My wife and I had our first and only child after being married 6 years. She was always ready, I was not, but it was meant to happen. almost 24 years ago our son was born. We did the personal baby sitter/nanny thing and that led to day care, private school/day care, and then one day when our son, Bryan, was 7 and in a private school I had had enough of my job, I hated it. I have always been in automotive management, I had my own tire store at 21. The last formal job I had I was the GM of a wholesale AC/Delco distributor. Finally I said I had had enough and turned in my resignation, I was asked to take a 2 week vacation and reconsider, I came back an quit.
I became the at home parent and began this custom design and furniture building business at home to keep me busy. Not going to a job every day went against every survival instinct that I had. We probably took a 60% income cut when I quit working the 9 to 5 routine. My son immediately started going to public schools when he started third grade. He had a great teacher that helped him transition from an 8 student classroom to a 35 student class room. Bryan did well in school, strictly an A,B student, certainly better than his parents ever did in school but my wife and I had to battle with the incompetent teachers that would take home work and immediately throw it in the trash can because some one was out of line. We saw this type teacher behavior time and again and had one on ones with the principal and teacher way too often. All of the students were treated this way but we seemed to be the only parents that cared. I was the first to tell the teacher that I wanted to hear of any problems that my son might be causing, that never happened. Teachers would seek us out at PTA meetings to compliment us on how well behaved Bryan was. I don't think so much that we did any thing special other than one of us was at home every day when Bryan came home from school. Other kids did not have that benefit.
Bryan flourished. He was invited to attend a special high school in a poor school district. We thank God for that school and the opportunities Bryan had at that school. Unlike the typical baby sitter school this school was by invitation only. This school operated much like a college and many of the students had a hard time coping with the first few weeks of school. Each class passed out the semester itinerary and it was totally up to the student to perform all the work, attend the seminars, and schedule their own tests. The school taught time management and responsibility. College bound graduates consistently averaged above 97%. This school was not looking for smart kids, as the only requirement to attend was that applicants conduct grade be satisfactory or better. On the other hand, the teachers had to have much better qualifications to teach at that school. There was never a shortage of teachers waiting in the wings to fill a position should one come up.
College was an easy transition for Bryan, because of his SAT scores, so so in the grammar/English section, pretty high in the math section, he was invited to apply to the Honors College at the U of H. He, shall we say, was lucky to be accepted. I warned him that the curriculum would be more rigorous but the benefits would be long lasting. He made his first C his first semester. That never happened again. Three of his professors tried to get him to change his major including a strong offer to go towards working on his doctorate and teaching at the college. Another wanted him to change to investment management, and another wanted him to work towards a federal tax degree. He stayed the course and ended up graduating with a bachelors in Accountancy, Summa Cum Laude. One year later he had his Masters degree, 4 months later he had filled all requirements to become a CPA except the for the required year of work experience. He passed all 4 CPA exams with a 94 average, first try.
Today, 10 months later he has almost gotten his year behind him and he works for KPMG. They recruited him in January of 2009 and he went to work "very full time" last October. He loves his job although he does have long hours during the busy season, Jan -April. He logs approximately 300 -350 hours per month during that period. Not unusual for him to work 7 days a week, get home at 1:00-2:00 am and be back at work at 7:00am.
I attribute a lot of his of his success to good work ethic and some one being at home when he got home from school.
Bryan is still single, is a home owner and hopes to be "totally" debt free by the end of next year. Not too bad for a 23 year old guy.
OK,OK,OK, I'll stop bragging! I've had TWO beers. ;~)
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Leon wrote:

Did he build any of the furniture in his house?
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On 8/12/2011 12:02 AM, Bill wrote:

Actually he assisted me in building his night stand and dresser many years ago.
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Great story. We need to clone you, your wife and Bryan many times <grin>.
CONGRATULATIONS!!
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Han
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On 8/12/2011 6:26 AM, Han wrote:

The beers were 8.7% alcohol. ;~) My son turned me on to "stouts"
Thank you Han, but I think there was a mix up at the hospital 23 years ago. ;~)
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wrote in

LOL! Someone asked why my son had red hair, just like the todller of the other couple in the 2-family home. I said, milkman.
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Han
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On 8/11/2011 11:46 PM, Leon wrote:
<snip of the key to educating a child>

"Parental involvement" ... hardly any kid succeeds without it today.
We personally met everyone of my kid's teachers from K-12; had weekly, if not daily, note/email correspondence with them; confirmed every parent/teach appt and ARD meeting (and, when it appeared necessary, in writing, with a letter indicating we may be represented by legal counsel .. it was indeed necessary on occasions and it insured they would pay attention, and by gawd they did!); and Mom was seen several time a week, walking the halls and visiting with the teachers.
The rationale was that they were educating our kid, we were paying for the education, and we believed in letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that we, as involved parents, demanded stellar performance out of both the kid, _and the teacher_.
Although my youngest was "main stream", she was a special education kid, with an above average IQ, who, simply due to a severe learning disability, required alternative methods to gauge the depth of what she actually learned from her school work. It was amazing how many teachers balked at the (legal) requirement for them to do so.
It is certain that without the actions in the first paragraph above, this kid would not have ever gone on to college (as she did), and would have fallen through the ever widening cracks in the educational system.
In short, the educational system in this country was originally instituted to provide an education ... it has now been subverted, mostly by progressive machinations (union, etc.), to be _primarily_ concerned with its own perpetuation in current form.
You can proffer opinions to the contrary until you're blue in the face, my friends ... but you can NOT overcome the ACTUAL fact of the deplorable state of the educational system in this country today!
Again: "Parental involvement" ... hardly any kid succeeds without it today.

About that "arranged marriage" seminar that is upcoming ... :~)

You're authorized, Bubba.
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Hey guys, just confirming that all of you are very correct and right!! Parental involvement is key. As grandparents, we try to keeep that up, but we know we are slowing down ... Any and all accomplishments in this family are almost solely attributable to my wife. Credit goes were credit is due.
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"If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war." -- A Nation at Risk (April 1983)
http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/risk.html
And it has only gotten worse since then.
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On 8/12/2011 9:08 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

Great link!
> And it has only gotten worse since then.
Damned shame that after almost 30 years nothing has been accomplished, overall, to improve the situation.
As the parent of an Eagle Scout, IIRC, I'm sure you are painfully aware of the situation and took the same kind of steps aforementioned.
All one has to do is take a look at the sorry conditions of the school system in Detroit, MI.
To put the blame for that fiasco on anything other than progressive educational dogma, which has been the ONLY guiding factor in Detroit for the past 40 years, is patently ridiculous.
... and true to form, Rachel Maddow, on MSNBC the other night, blamed the sorry state of the Detroit schools, and in particular the closing of a High School for pregnant girsl in Detroit, on "conservatives"!
Go farking figure ...
We don't have a chance with both extremes trumpeting that kind of totally irresponsible journalism.
(Yes ... I watch MSNBC nightly just to get a picture of both extremes, I already know what divisive BS is being slobbered in the public trough from the other extreme)
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You do recall correctly. I even have a bumper sticker on my car: "I'm proud of my Eagle Scout".
And yes, we did. His older brother went to public school for the first two years, and part of second grade -- after that, it was Catholic schools all the way. AJ, the Eagle Scout, is attending a Catholic college too (his choice, but obviously we're pleased).
The story of how and why we switched Ken (#1 son) from public to Catholic school is ... well, the short version is that his second-grade teacher was completely incompetent, and the school administration refused to do anything about it -- assistant principal told my wife, when she requested they transfer our son to a different classroom, that "if we did that, then every parent would be asking for a transfer." Yeah, well, that oughta tell you something about that teacher, ya think? So we transferred him right out of the whole school district.
We were fortunate to be able to afford to do that, but seeing the results, the sacrifice was worth it. Both boys wound up with very generous college scholarships. Ken's in law school now.
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On 8/12/2011 5:21 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

<I left the entire thing in instead of snipping>
63% of the student body in HISD in 2010 were "At Risk" students! 63% of over 200,000 students!!!
Where are the parents??
Sheeesh ... this tells you immediately what the culture is going to be like in ten years, yet folks continue to bop thru life with the idea that "Happy Days" is what the current educational system is like ... the reality is that much of it is a cesspool of total and demonstrable incompetence.
Just imagine what the children of these 63% are going to be like!
I chose to send my daughter to public schools because I'm paying for it and I was bound and determined to make it work ... but damn if it wasn't an eye opener, and a lot of hard work to boot.
I was raised Catholic but always had a great respect for the Jews of this country because they heretofore always sent their kids to public schools in the US and, as a result, made those schools better for all concerned with their strong family ties and parental involvement ... that is no longer true. Most of my Jewish friend's children, of the same age as my youngest daughter, went to private schools.
Given the choice, there is no way I would go through that again.
Due to political correctness, and to a large measure progressive thinking (if you can call it that), we have squandered the only legacy that really counts for the future ... an education for our children.
And, for those who think an education at the much vaunted universities in America is worth more than a warm bucket of spit these days, open your eyes with this:
http://wouclips.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/10-reasons-to-skip-the-expensive-colleges /
</rant>
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On 8/12/2011 8:49 PM, Swingman wrote:

http://wouclips.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/10-reasons-to-skip-the-expensive-colleges /
When Bryan was choosing between colleges he was most interested in Rice and UofH. His HS counselor said that he had the grades for Rice but he would most likely be passed over for a "non-white", foreign student, or female. We drove around and through the campus prior to that meeting and I noticed a similar mix in the student body.
I early on told Bryan that the University did not matter as far as career was concerned so much as what you actually learned. I did tell him that an Ivy league school was going to help him get his first job but after that his work ethic and reputation was going to trump any school he attended.
When he was interning with KPMG he heard mention that they typically choose more students from UofH over UT and A&M because of their experience. Most all of the UofH students had at least part time jobs where as the more privlidged students that simply went to school had no work experience and had to be taught "everything".
Totally agree with that article you posted the link to, especially the Honors College comments, The students get first pick at the professors and have much smaller more personal classes.
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Right, but that first job is far more important than the college. But the college gets that first job.

That's the reason I got my first job. I worked as a technician for the university while I was in college. The hiring manager liked people who worked over people who study. ;-)

I did get first pick of classes in my major, not because of honors but rather I worked for the department (had to schedule classes and work). Yes, it was a big perk. It allowed me to get the professors I wanted.
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On 8/13/2011 9:40 AM, Leon wrote:

It's hard to believe that 70% of the undergraduate classes at most universities are now taught by outsourced, "paid-by-the-course", adjunct professors!
A sad state of affairs ... this corporate model of teaching was unheard of in my day.
Might as well get some of that "discount knowledge from the local community college", if it's the same folks doing the teaching!
Hell, at this rate it won't be long before Haji's teaching physics at Harvard ... from a call center in New Delhi.
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