You can attribute a lot of that from our Federal and State controlled Educational programs..."Teach to the Test"I found this
No local input necessary -
Teach to the Test -
Teach to the lowest common denominator -
No Discipline allowed -
Pass the failures to the next grade to deal with
There are smaller and smaller numbers of youth who get involved,
most from the guidance or push from their "family"...
:What's so bad about teaching to the test?
If teaching content standards is considered teaching to the test, it may not be such a bad thing.
Is teaching to the test bad?
It all depends on the test and the teacher. If the test measures the skills students are expected to be learning and teachers prepare students by teaching those skills, then teaching to the test is a good thing.
But if the test is not directly related to what is being taught or teachers depend on repeated drills with old test questions to prepare students, it's a different story. Teaching to the test can waste valuable learning time.
No Child Left Behind puts testing on the front burner
The federal No Child Left Behind law (NCLB), which went into effect in 2002, has caused schools to "be accountable," which translates into focusing a lot of attention on state standardized testing and results. It requires all schools to test students in grades 2-12 in reading, math and science. Each state chooses its own test and standards of proficiency. Schools that don't show that students are making "adequate yearly progress" toward achieving proficiency are subject to federal sanctions, including loss of federal funds, providing free tutoring, allowing students to transfer to another school, and if all else fails, a complete restructuring of the school.
Critics of the law say that the emphasis on testing in reading and math means other subjects, such as social studies and the arts, are getting less attention. Some schools have even done away with or cut back on recess time because of the pressure to spend more school time preparing students to pass state tests.
On the positive side, students across the country (particularly in the lower grades) have made progress in basic skills in reading and math, but studies show that the improvements don't necessarily hold up in middle school and beyond, when the tests get more complex and critical thinking skills are necessary.
It's all about alignment
In the wake of NCLB, there is much talk about aligning instruction, curriculum, standards and assessment. This basically means that teachers and students have a clear idea of what they are expected to learn. In the best of all possible worlds, the state provides textbooks and curriculum that match the standards, and the tests measure achievement of the standards. Most state Departments of Education are working to devise systems that do just that, but many are not there yet. A study by the American Federation of Teachers found that 11 out of 50 states completely met the criteria for having both strong content standards and documenting that the tests align to the standards, specifically in grades 3 through 12 and subjects (reading and math) required by NCLB.http://www.greatschools.org/students/academic-skills/400-teaching-to-the-test.gsI'm not an advocate...I just don't want to see testing eliminated."Teach to the lowest common denominator"Not quite the negative you've framed it as considering this:
Why Finland's Unorthodox Education System Is The Best In The World
All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.
The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World.
Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for "professional development."
The school system is 100% state funded.
All teachers in Finland must have a masters degree, which is fully subsidized.
There is no merit pay for teachershttp://www.businessinsider.com/finlands-education-system-best-in-world-2012-11?op=1
Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians. Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to the most recent survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Equality is the most important word in Finnish education. All political parties on the right and left agree on this,” said Olli Luukkainen, president of Finland’s powerful teachers union.http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html?c=y&page=2
Teachers, who are fully unionized
, follow state curriculum guidelines but are accorded a great deal of autonomy as to methods of instruction and are even allowed to choose their own textbookshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_FinlandWell that certainly deflates the arguments from the union hating righties."No Discipline allowed"That's simply NOT true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_disciplineI suspect you meant Corporal punishment...which I have issues with considering how subjective and arbitrary history has shown it could be meted out...but sadly, it appears it's still legal in many states:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment
"Pass the failures to the next grade to deal with"Can't argue with that since it does seem to happen.
I'd much rather the US modeled the educational system after Finland.