Thursday, October 05, 2017

Math Remediation

As a disclaimer much of what I write in blog form is brainstorming. It is a place for me to process thought and get them down. So things might be a lot disconnected.

I can not quite wrap my head around math remediation for college bound students.
Yesterday, State Superintendent Hofmeister said that families spend over 22 million dollars a year to cover the personal costs of math remediation for college students. I had the question on twitter why don't we give that 22 million dollars a year to the schools so we can prepare students with the math skills they need? I mean if the state wants schools to get students ready, they have a known cost. I do not believe the state thinks they should transfer those funds to schools. And then my circular reasoning says that 22 million is the out of pocket costs to families. But they are paying that money to the university. so it is costing the State that amount, the State just does not have to pay it, parents do. If it really cost the State money maybe they would do something to make a change? And then the State is probably happy that parents are paying for the remediation instead of the State having to pick up the cost earlier in the schooling of the child.

Students go through high school and take four years of math classes. Yet, those classes do not prepare them for college?

Edit: So in a quick search I did find a good article by Ben Felder on new math remediation classes being offered to high school students to get them college ready. http://newsok.com/article/5538665 The state department has a good article on the situation with much more detail at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/newsblog/2017-02-10/new-state-math-course-aims-reduce-college-remediation

Students have to take the ACT to get into the university in Oklahoma. I think the score for OU/OSU is around 24. I don't know what that means but I would think a score of 24 or more on the ACT would ensure students have the math skills necessary for college bound folks. And then I wonder as to the scores for local or community college and technology centers. This would be interesting. Much lower cost to attend. But I believe that remediation classes do not count in any way toward credit hours which is silly because students are paying for those classes. Could we not offer some sort of midway educational training for those students then?

I had parents who valued education to the extent I had a math tutor throughout my school career because I simply could not understand how to do math. I also had a language tutor because my ability to spell correctly was nonexistent. I need to look at my transcript to see what math class I had at UCO and my scores. I think I was able to take a course that made up for not taking a math class.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Teach

Wondering if the teaching students to be prepared for jobs that dont exist yet is also perparing them to not have training or desire to train for specific careers.
So people want to be a teacher yet they do not want to go to school to become a teacher. Why should they spend 2 years in college for something they will only do for six years.
The thought that people will have 7 distinct jobs or careers throughout working life why would we expect a person to devote 30 years to teaching?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

New school, New room

I'm now at Oakdale teaching technology and helping teachers use technology. So far has been a delightful experience.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Moving On

I have been at Sequoyah for 19 years and 9 months. I started in 1997 and was hired to facilitate the new computer lab, it became a certified position the next year. I have been asked by the folks at Oakdale to teach computers and help teachers with technology integration in the classroom so this is my last day at Sequoyah.
It has been a wonderful experience. So many students, teachers, administration have touched my life. Very bittersweet. Wonderful times and moving forward to unknown but surely glory days.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Engagement in the Classroom

So I think the issue I have been thinking about lately is engagement. Getting teachers to engage in a topic and implement it and embrace it and use it in the classroom.

Over and over there is a new initiative, a new program, a new way to do something. We work hard for a year or two and then it fades away. Great ideas everything from kindness to productivity to technology integration, some small scale classroom changes to whole system changes like OBE.

Love and Logic, Character First, Great Expectations, SPI, Rachel's Challenge, Character Strong, RAKIT, Key Words, Critical Thinking, Blooms, Piaget. Some of these concepts we have embraced fully, integrated them into our methods and philosophies and practices. Others have come and gone with bits and pieces integrated but the whole discarded. The programs make us better teachers and students better human beings. But over time interest wains, something else comes along as a mandate and something has give, something has to be left behind and it is often that extra something that is not a part of the curriculum. Some teachers or administrators will have a passion for the program and it gets promoted and encouraged, practiced and integrated and positive results abound.

It is almost is if there is a stasis. This is the way it works. Introducing something into the system makes a change for bit and then soon enough back to the way it is.

So for twenty years I have been teaching technology in the middle school classroom. It is the same as it has been. Some software comes and goes. Websites with new information. Applications and software gains popularity and fades away. Remember when PowerPoint first moved from a linear to a circular model? Remember making SWF movie files? Remember AOL? A computer in every classroom but little time for students to delve into the technology. We know what we know with technology but have little incentive to do anything differently then we have always done it. The method may change but the task is the same.

There is a revolution coming. We are going to change the way we do things or not. Either way it works. Teachers are going to teach. Students are going to embrace learning or find ways to avoid it. When every student has a computer it will be a transformative experience. Something as simple as I am at the front of the room and I see the students changes to I am at the back of the room so I can see their screens. We get up, we walk around, we put into practice all the techniques that make a good teacher.

With a technological device in the hands of every student the classroom will be altered. Teachers can use that device like a textbook and teach in the method they have always taught. Teachers can harness the power of the device and change the way they teach and the classroom will be transformed. Is one way better than the other? No. Does one way ensure success, No. Will things be different? Yes. Are we going to have a whole new set of issues to deal with? Yes.