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Author Topic: Race to Nowhere  (Read 1020 times)

Offline BjornBee

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Race to Nowhere
« on: January 25, 2012, 08:05:58 PM »
Has anyone seen the documentary film "Race to Nowhere"?

I have three kids in elementary school. I am amazed at the amount of work they sometimes have. I think that I as a parent, needing to wait till the kids come home from school, to plan my evening plans with the kids, is a bit much.

The way I figure it, if you have my kids for more than 6-1/2 hours a day, and you can't teach them what they need to know, then that is an indication on the school system. How dare anyone think you have the right to come into my home, by demanding my kids do work every evening, and give them bad grades if they don't do it.

I also have a sister who home schools 4 boys. She openly admits that she needs about 2 hours of concentrated study and teaching per day, and her boys pass every standard they throw at them with flying colors.

So what are schools doing with the other 4-1/2 hours a day?

Some say and justify the homework, by saying that kids spend way more time watching television as compared to homework. So what! Who gave these school the godlike position to say how they should spend their evenings. I say I should say what my kids do when they come home. I am the parent.

I am more and more becoming to think that public school is a joke. I was asking in a conversation the other day about whether anyone tried to sue a school over homework demands placed upon kids outside the structured format that the school has in place during the day.

Think about it. If your boss stood at the door and handed out 2-3 hours of work for you to take home every night without pay, you would scream that your being treated like a slave. Heck, we even have laws about youth work hours if they were dipping ice cream. But a teacher can hand out anything they want. 

So a simple search found a huge movement of parents and teachers giving schools blowback on the idea of overloaded homework assignments. And at least one elementary school outright banned homework altogether.

I think we all have much more on our schedule with our busy lives. But it seems schools with all the advancements supposedly made over the years, can't teach any better without hour upon hour of homework.

I might have more time myself for the kids, but I have to go figure out what the fundraiser it is now that they want me to do. But that is another subject.

Anybody else have any thoughts on this matter?
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Online kathyp

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Re: Race to Nowhere
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 09:22:31 PM »
I am more and more becoming to think that public school is a joke. I was asking in a conversation the other day about whether anyone tried to sue a school over homework demands placed upon kids outside the structured format that the school has in place during the day.

i don't have a problem with some homework because it teaches kids to work independently.  research and reports, as an example, are probably best done off school hours. as kids get older and head for college, that practice in independent work will be priceless. however, some schools do pile it on. 

you are correct that public school is worthless.  they teach to the lowest denominator and kids spend 12 years learning what they could have learned in 1/2 the time.  i honestly believe that unless your state gives you good options for charter schools or some kind of alternative education, you highest budget priority as a parent should be figuring out how to keep your kids out of the public school system.
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Race to Nowhere
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 11:08:56 PM »
I do agree with Bjorn that loading elementary kids down with homework is probably pointless and controlling as Bjorn suggests.  At that age, school is probably more important for social development than intellectual thinking.  Kids should be allowed to be kids at some point!  Leave the adult pressures out until Middle School or High school.

At an older age, the idea of classroom instruction is to convey new knowledge to a student in the limited amount of time the teacher is available.  The purpose of homework is for the student to practice what they were instructed so they remember it.  Remember the old saying, ‘practice makes perfect’.  It often takes repetition for a human to learn/remember something.  How do people become good bee keepers?  Does that happen by just listening to a teacher for an hour, or does it also require the student to actually crack over a hive at home?

No, I haven’t seen the documentary, but it sounds interesting.

kids spend 12 years learning what they could have learned in 1/2 the time.
Really?  So kids should be able to learn high school Calculus by age 9?  What age did you learn Calculus by?

I agree the public education system is not the most efficient teaching process around, but don’t y’all also believe there is some important social development that takes place in school too?  Like getting along with others?

Offline Rex Smith

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Re: Race to Nowhere
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 01:42:13 AM »
There's obviously a large range in the quality and offerings that our public school systems have.  I'm in the Dallas area (Richardson).  My kids are overworked as well - but I support it - because the programs they are in by MY choice - keep them active with other kids that are "achievers" - whether it be in marching band or athletics or the other programs that *do work*.

I agree - BjornBee, that in many cases - my overachiever kid (10th grade) stays up WAY too late doing homework... but she *chooses* to take the AP classes and Dual-Credit classes that give her college credits while attending high-school. 

My 8th grader attended a meeting tonight, to attend our STEM program through HS next year - in which Science/Technology/Engineering/Math are emphasized - and encouraged during 11th & 12th grades through summer internships.  Engineering & pre-calculus classes for them start their freshman year. Man - I just wish we'd had those opportunities when I was a kid.  So far - all 3 of my kids are on track to exit HS with an associates degree at the same time - through our public education system.  I say keep 'em busy with something to keep their minds active and bodies productive in a positive manner - as long as it truly does contribute to some long-term goals.

They are loaded with homework.. but it is far from pointless, and far from a race to nowhere.  I see goals at the end.. and hopefully, my kids do as well.