In response to:

“One-Third of Fourth Graders are Functionally Illiterate”

Captain-Jeff Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 8:26 AM
Good education begins with good parenting! The problem is not with our schools, our teachers, our buildings, our textbooks or education funding. We have by far the best school facilities in the world. Our teachers are among the most educated people in the country, most with one or more advanced degrees. While our textbooks have gotten so heavy that the kids are getting back problems from carrying them and they are laced with liberal biases, by and large our kids have the books they need. The problem quite simply is that there is little or no motivation to learn emanating from the parents. Parents on welfare, SSI, and food stamps are too busy watching Idol or the Bachelor on their large-screen TV to insist on homework or bed times.
eddie again Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:56 AM
what you write may be accurate, but it also begs the question of why spend billions of dollars educating children of parents who do not give a rat's behind about their children's education.

if we want to eliminate government waste, maybe we should just eliminate all government spending on education?
Becca in TX Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 11:14 AM
We should definitely eliminate all FEDERAL government spending, and involvement, in the public schools. They should be funded and run at the local level.
Captain-Jeff Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 8:30 AM
cont. Even educated parents with good jobs are too busy (or tired) with their jobs and advancing up the ladder to supervise their children and help with homework at night.

I once heard a parent say to a teacher, "My kid doesn't do homework. What's the point of getting an education? The government takes care of me and it will take care of my kid."
Captain-Jeff Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 8:33 AM
If you want to fix education in America, let more people starve. Parents who are starving because they can't get a job want to make sure that their kids have an education so they can get a job.
JRusso Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 8:54 AM
Kids see their teachers for more hours of their "awake" time than they do their own families. While I think that parents who send their kids to public school are bad parents, ultimately, teachers are to blame.

MY BIL is a HS teacher with a Master's degree. He assigns Steven King books for his English Literature class. He says, "So kids are interested in learning."

Seriously??? Steven King??? I guess JF Cooper is too challenging.
Becca in TX Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:04 AM
I got custody of my grandkids 5 years ago. My granddaughter was 10 and her little brother was 16 months. After dealing with the public schools (not in a large city) for 4 years with her, when it came time for him to start school I put him in private school. Her sophomore year of HS in a LITERATURE class they started reading To Kill A Mockingbird when the second half of the school year started. Two weeks til the end of school the teacher just showed the movie because they were only halfway through the book. I read that book in 4 days (after a job and kids) and they couldn't get it read in 4 months!! That teacher was fired at the end of the school year, but all of his students had already lost a year. I finally got her to go to the ..........
Becca in TX Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:06 AM
same private school her brother goes to for her Junior year. I had to put her in an after school tutoring program for the first two months of school because she was so far behind where they were in the private school, and she'd been an A/B student. The public schools are failing the kids.
Becca in TX Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:09 AM
The problems with the public schools are not because of the teachers (although many of the good teachers have gotten out of teaching because they're tired of what they have to put up with in public schools). A lot of the problems are caused by so much federal government interference and so much political correctness and the fear of being sued. Zero Tolerance rules are a joke. Teachers and administrators aren't allowed to use any judgement or common sense. Private schools are much better.
Leslie96 Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:42 AM
While I agree with some of what you say, I disagree with you that teachers are not to blame...yep, they are well educated but...many want an "easy" job..summers and all the holidays off and then complain they work too much. Chicago teachers make more than any in the country and they have the worse success rates! We have made things too easy and jumbled things in that don't belong in schools! They don't teach basics..how to balance a check book, save money, etc. how much to buy a house, basic life lessons which in turn makes parents who don't know either..that you need a job it you want to buy a car or put gas in a car or buy food...There are way too many teachers who don't know how to spell correctly! What? And in today's age, with tech
Leslie96 Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:44 AM
and texting I get that not many kids spell right but teachers are there to teach these basics...I wouldn't expect less! and neither should other parents. I also want to add that many teachers have gone thru the dumbing down process themselves in colleges and are not expected to be that good...some are excellent, probably teaching a class they love...and that will come thru in their students but they should expect their students to do better not just get by! As should the parents...but they are what they were taught....
Leslie96 Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 10:47 AM
You put it better than I did but thats what I meant above....thanks. too much pc and everyone wins attitude...can't hurt feelings because some kid may not be as good in one thing as another...they aren't expected to excell...
Becca in TX Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 11:13 AM
Leslie-You can't compare Chicago teachers with Texas teachers. Texas teachers are basically non-union. Texas is a right-to-work state, very few teachers join, and the union has no pull in Texas. Texas teachers don't make 80-90K per year-they make 50-60 but the cost of living is lower and they don't pay union dues. I don't think our public schools have deteriorated to the point that Chicago's have, but there's still way too much federal involvement and they don't do nearly as good a job as the private schools.

The U.S. education system is failing our kids and has been for decades. Thus, the first step towards solving this problem is admitting that we have one. And we certainly do -- as AFP’s Casey Given points out in his op-ed in The Hill today:

Since 1983, the freshmen high school graduation rate has increased a measly 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress has stagnated, dropping by 1 point in reading and increasing by merely 4 points in math among 17-year-olds from the early 1980s to 2008. Today, one-third of fourth graders are...