“30%, and I already stated that. Along with the fact that the result is 12-13% of undergraduate students are legacy admissions. And the other 87% (or the VAST majority, in case that's confusing to you) are NOT legacy admissions. Meaning, MOST students at Harvard got in for other reasons. Which is the opposite of what you are railing on about.
Seriously -- were you rejected and never got over it?”
Aryeh Melaris on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:47:11
“I think that you have been drinking the crimson kool-aid. If you are denying what Bill said about his own school, better take it up with him. ”
“And again, did I say that the teachers chose it? I said OUR K-2 experience didn't SEEM developmentally appropriate. It was a pretty mild statement, really, and it also seems like perhaps you might even agree with it? And in those times when it is obvious that the constraints are wrong, do you think blaming the kids for what you "have to deal with" is appropriate? Hopefully you don't. I don't even know that most teachers do that, which is why, again, I was careful to talk only about my own experience. But I bet you are smart enough to know that there are some teachers who do that -- be honest. And we had a couple, okay? I've certainly had experiences with many that did not do that; I could see the contrast. Is it possible you could give me the benefit of the doubt about what I experienced?
You know, if you want things to change, you might want to be vocal about what is wrong, and support research that is at least trying to create public discussions that could in turn benefit you greatly -- rather than joining in to jump on the parents who want to see the same changes you do.”
“1. Telling me what is required by a "state mandated test" is not the same as providing justification of value. It may or may not, but our culture of testing mania is not always right. Do you think formulaic writing (often for computer-scored essays) is producing good writers? Perhaps you do; it's an interesting area with a lot of debate.2. You might have missed that I wrote only about my particular experience, and that it was limited specifically to K-2, and a tiny sample of teachers. Were you there?3. Did I even remotely suggest that a student beginning 4th grade should not be able to write a coherent sentence? Or more than that?”
Gwenhevare on Jan 6, 2013 at 23:19:24
“Frankly I think that the testing is horrid, but that doesn't change the reality of the situation. It's there, we have to deal with it. It's not the teachers that chose this. ”
“Thanks. (And I always enjoy running in to you.) Apparently even taking care to not to draw sweeping conclusions and to point out that my experience is only that, it seems others think I am personally criticizing all teachers. And an inadequate parent. Or something. I could write pages and pages about our experience -- then and now. It's so far from what some assume, I guess, but, sigh, that's the nature of little posts in a comment section.
Education is a complex, challenging problem. I've likely spent more time studying it than your average parent, but absolutely not more than your average researcher, and all I really know is how to recognize what isn't working. It's a start, but in the end, it's not much.”
“A few people seem to have missed that part. The idea that what needs to be done in later years must then be pushed into earlier years is part of what has gotten us in this mess.
I like your posts. Especially because I haven't the energy to deal with Grinling's attempt at debate.”
KeithTexas on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:07:52
“Thanks, that is my point exactly and it helped me to see it by your comment. Education is a progressive process. The ages, gender, and rate of matration must be considered in order to give a child what they need at each stage. ”
“Then feel free to re-read my first post. I think you might have missed some of it. Especially the first two sentences, and the last third. Because you are countering assertions I never made and asking questions about things I already explained.”
Grinling Gibbons on Jan 6, 2013 at 08:00:44
“I did read it. You did claim it was anecdotal, but then went on in the second post to say that the issue was one son was reading too far above grade level (not typical of young boys) but didn't like writing (also not typical). You said that since boys don't like to sit still, the teachers were biased by making them do writing, which requires sitting still. And yet - was your son doing his reading while hanging from the monkey bars? That's ALSO an activity that requires sitting still. I know you thought you were very clear, but you were anything but.
I think this entire subject lends itself to facile conclusions. I do know that it's harder to get an active child started in school - because in my case, I had a daughter who was that way. And perhaps statistically boys are more active and a little less mature in k-3. But none of that is new, and the fact that kids sit still in school - as they ALWAYS did - does not imply bias against boys.
You homeschooled your kids, which is hardly practical or desirable for most parents.. That allowed you to design a curriculum for an unusual student who, for instance, loved to read but hated to write, and somehow could do one but not the other, while sitting still. However, that's the ultimate "special flower" technique, and doesn't explain anything about teaching average boys in a general sense, such as most will”
“I never said your school was biased against your sons. Did I?
I also loathe that "special flower" stuff; it doesn't work, right along with "values education" where the kids recite platitudes about being a good friend. And I don't raise my kids that way.
My 5 year old son could sit for hours and read to himself or listen to much more advanced books. Way beyond what many could do. But his writing skills didn't match his reading skills, and sitting and reading was not an option for him at school -- because the other kids weren't reading, he had to tolerate sitting through teaching of reading, and a lot of writing. Tough problem. Not handled well in his classroom, but again, it's a tough problem.
I'm glad your son did well. But don't pat yourself on the back too hard. Some children (boys and girls) can't do full-day concentration on seat work at 5 and 6 years old. And it isn't for lack of parental preparation; it is simply perfectly normal. (When I went to kindergarten, none of that was expected. We had a half-day only, it included a snack and rest time and story time and play time. Not very academic stuff, but it was more interesting and developmentally appropriate. Somehow it worked out okay for me; I ended up at an Ivy League college.)
If only you knew my boys. Your implication of "hyperactivity and hypermasculine values" is laughable. But I'm sure you didn't mean to suggest you were judging me and them without actually knowing us. Right?”
Grinling Gibbons on Jan 5, 2013 at 22:23:41
“How were your schools biased against your sons then? If your son was reading above grade level, that isn't anti-male bias that the teacher couldn't reorganize her whole syllabus, was it? Boys reading ABOVE grade level is not the kind of problem people are talking about boys having. My sons read above grade level as well, and became bored with school (a different kind of problem) but that wasn't bias either - just being outside of the mean.
I also know full well that not all kids are ready to sit still at 5 or 6. My daughter was the one in our family who wasn't ready for sitting still and who struggled to read. I had to work hard with her to get her up to grade level by 3rd grade, but always held her to high standards, refused to ever let her blame the teacher or school, and in the end she also excelled academically.
I'm curious how you think your boys experienced bias, and strictly on the basis of their being boys.”
“S'okay. I might have agreed with you at one time. I have two boys (and no girls) and I'm defensive. I see -- again, just like you are saying, only anecdotally -- women simply handling more. Multitasking, managing, watching people's feelings, creative problem solving. But I love the multiple intelligences idea, don't like IQ pigeon-holes, and think all of "smarter" is just too damn hard to make a claim. Or I just need to say that my boys measure up. :) :)
Thanks for the discussion.”
Brace4impactz on Jan 5, 2013 at 22:29:00
“My comment was never meant to be an "all" statement. There are certainly many boys who excel. Reading your intelligent response would lead me to believe your sons fall in the excel category, because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Thanks for the thoughtful response. ”
“Of course you want him to develop the skills he needs. But if he is developmentally not capable of achieving that, your wishes aren't going to matter, and he's only going to end up feeling terrible.
You can wish that a young child has "perseverance, conscientiousness and self-control", but if you don't realize the development of those skills might take years, you are both just going to be very disappointed.
How old is your son, I wonder? And do you have more than one child? Experience with a variety of learning styles, asynchronous development?”
whalepeace on Jan 5, 2013 at 20:44:26
“Plenty of boys do just fien in school. Boys who come from homes where there are books, where the parents are mature and intelligent, where there is some positive discipline, where the parents value learning and education, these boys do just fine.
Boys who do not do fine in school are often boys from unstable households where drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, or an absentee or uninvolved father play a role. Girls seem somehow to be more resilient against these family pathologies.”
“My evidence is only anecdotal. As mother of two boys, it did seem that K-2 was biased against them. Varying a bit with school and teacher, of course, but overall, the expectations didn't fit with what I was reading was appropriate developmentally. We moved after that, homeschooling until we got settled, and then never stopped. I am fortunate that it worked for us and the boys have flourished -- lots of opportunity to move, to work on areas at times when they could focus and do something else when they could not, go quickly through things that came easily and spend time when it did not. It's impossible for classrooms to do all of these things, however, and I do feel for teachers who have such incredible constraints. But those teachers we had in the younger years, who just kept thinking there was "something wrong" with each boy (and some of the girls as well) -- they scared a lot of us parents and it didn't take long for the kids to think there was something wrong with them, too. A bunch of the girls were quite happy to sit and and do table work (a lots of writing) for long periods, for example. The teachers would set this up, and it was clear to all it was expected. But it was just not appropriate for many of those young kids.”
Gwenhevare on Jan 6, 2013 at 20:59:21
“Our 4th graders are expected to be able to write a 5 paragraph essay in three different types of styles (expository, narrative, and persuasive) for the state mandated test. If, as teachers, we don't do a lot of writing we are not doing them a service. I get students in the beginning of 4th grade who cannot even write a coherent sentence...”
Grinling Gibbons on Jan 5, 2013 at 21:39:14
“I never felt the school was biased against my sons. Maybe it was because I'd prepared them before they ever started school to want to read, to sit down and write their letters or do puzzles and to make sure they knew how to settle themselves and concentrate. There is very little any student can accomplish if they don't develop the ability to concentrate.
My oldest son now has a math PhD and teaches college students. His opinion means the most to me and he believes that American kids are suffering from "special flower syndrome" where they were encouraged to see themselves as special cases requiring special personalized teaching methods - rather than just submitting to the age old method by which all humans learn, concentration and effort.
In the case of boys, I see even with newborn babies how parents start characterizing them as "holy terrors" when they're barely a month old. Parents do all they can to encourage hyperactivity and hypermasculine values in their sons, then have the nerve to blame the teachers who can't cope with the unteachable kids they've created.”
CabinAgue on Jan 5, 2013 at 16:28:40
“Good grief it bugs me when HP removes my paragraphs.”
“Different, not smarter. (Though my husband might agree with you. :)”
Brace4impactz on Jan 5, 2013 at 21:12:15
“This is just my personal opinion based on how much faster girls develop (walk, talk, etc.). My parents own and operate a private school which also has a pre-school development center. I'm sure they would argue that all students start equally, but from my observation, girls seem to have an early intelligence and motor skills advantage. They also seem to mentally mature faster. Within my own family the men are fairly intelligent (all college grads), but the women are brilliant (MBA's and Doctors). My daughter had her MBA at age 21. I won't talk about what I was doing at age 21. So my comment is by no means scientific, but more based on personal and family experiences. That's why my comment started with "I believe", instead of "Facts show".”