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School days school days dear old rotten rule days.

 
 
FreeDuck
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:41 pm
bm
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:42 pm
I wasn't sure about 99 cents for the shirt, thought I remembered I'd said something when I got it, checked, found it, I was wrong... it was 97 cents... :-D

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1089093#1089093
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:42 pm
Hi FreeDuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miss ya!
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:43 pm
I went to typical elemetary schools - quite a few of them in Texas and Oklahoma.

I went to the prisonesque jr. high school wich was a "tough" school - meaning lots of fights and problems, not rigorous academics. The teachers were mostly terrible though some were just worn out. The only thing I learned in jr. high was how to get away with things and get out of trouble on the rare occassion I was caught.

I went to an exceptional high school: Booker T. Washington, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was one of the first so called magnet schools in the country. They recruited from all over the city, required an interview and acceptance, had an amazing staff of teachers and tons and tons of money.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:46 pm
sozobe wrote:
Hi FreeDuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miss ya!


Hey! Miss you too. I'm at work so don't have much time, but I have something to say here having just carefully choses where I live in order to send duckie to an excellent elementary school, where he just started yesterday. According to him it is 200% better than the old one and I agree, but I have more to say about it when I get the time.

I'm still reading everyone's comments so I'll be back soon with something more interesting to say.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:50 pm
(The Time link didn't let me go beyond the first paragraph... have to be a subscriber...)
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:52 pm
So you've found a house? Excellent! Looking forward to getting more details when things have calmed down a bit.

That's SO great that Duckie loves his school! Yippee!
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:57 pm
jespah, you dragged up a few memories and hit on some very interesting points!

My first grade teacher was quite unhappy with my parents about my knowing how to read. They had not taught me properly and I did it wrong, so it seemed. I had to pretend I didn't know how to read so I could "learn" how to read. Go figure that one out!

The current issue of Esquire magazine has several excellent articles about the correlation between floundering science scores (and I would assume math as well) and the rise of and embracing of religious fundamentalism. You ought to take a look!

Your comments about community involvement really struck a chord. Just this morning there was an article in our paper about the "walking school bus". Schools that can't afford school busses are relying on community members to usher groups of children to school. So far it is really working well. I think it's a great idea.

What you say about your neighborhood schools is very much like one of the school bus walkers said. She doesn't have kids in the school but she wants to make sure all the kids get there, and get there safely.

Oregon, known for its liberal splendor, votes down every single tax issue realated to improving the schools then everybody cries because the schools are so terrible. That might color my perception of public v. private schools.

Earlier in the thread I talked about the old Outdoor School and how it has been gutted. Nobody cares. Everybody cries. Pathetic.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 01:04 pm
Hi FreeDuck!

I'm sorry, soz. I tried to make that clear that you had to pay for the Time article. If you subscribe to the magazine I think you can get it for free. I'll try to dig out my old copy and see if I can pull up some relevant points.

Linkat that's an excellent point about large schools. Small schools aren't likely to offer several different language classes and the like. But when you've got 40 kids in a classroom you wonder if much learning is taking place.

It is nice of you to add that "think like a kid" perspective regarding breaks from school. I need to think on that topic a bit more.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 01:10 pm
Oops, missed that, sorry.

I agree that's a great point about community involvement. (Tons of other thoughts, but rushing around doing this n that while sozlet's at preschool...) Our community has one of those coming right up, lots of "vote yes!" signs around, sure hope it passes.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:29 pm
This is one of those topics that knocks around in your brain when you're away from the computer (boomer's good at those), random thoughts I had when I was away now that I'm back:

One thing I remember about uniforms, though I don't remember from where (can try to look it up) is that even the central idea that they mask/ make socioeconomic factors less important has not held true in real life. Kids will ALWAYS find ways to broadcast status. Whether it is hairstyles, or shoes, or makeup, or a certain kind of bracelet worn a certain way, they'll figure it out. And they'll often do it in a way that goes under the radar of adults -- it's plain not that controllable.

Another thing is that when kids are all in uniforms, physical differences become more of a focus. When everyone is wearing the same clothes, it's much more obvious who's fat, who's thin, who has long legs, who has short legs, etc., etc., etc. When people are all wearing different things, and things that they like/ look good on them, these differences are still there of course but the contrast is not quite so stark.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:34 pm
Those are both excellent and very persuasive points, soz.

I feel my mind changing on the uniform matter.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:39 pm
OK, found something scholarly about uniforms:

http://www.gate.net/~rwms/UniformDWilliams.html

Excerpts:

Quote:
The University of Notre Dame study also belies the claims that uniforms improve discipline: "Our findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on . . . behavioral problems" (Brunsma and Rockquemore 1). So, despite the claims that the improving disciplinary numbers being issued by Long Beach, California, are attributable to uniforms, the data seems to contradict those assertions.

Another example of a district's policy failing to produce the results often touted by uniform supporters is the Miami-Dade County, Florida policy. In an effort to obtain the dramatically positive discipline results reported by Long Beach, Miami-Dade County implemented a similar policy in many of their elementary and middle schools beginning in the 1996-97 school year. The results were, at best, disappointing and, at worst, alarming. The elementary schools with mandatory uniforms saw a slight decrease in discipline problems. Unfortunately, the high hopes held by the district for immediate, significant improvement in discipline were not realized. Sabrina Walters, a reporter for the Miami Herald writes, "The drastic decline uniform supporters had envisioned did not occur" (1). Alarmingly, in middle schools, where uniforms were mandatory, fights nearly doubled over a four-year period from 186 in 1996-97 to 284 in 1997-98.[/i] The district administrators attempted to explain away this startling fact by pointing out that fights increased at nonuniform schools as well from 152 to 201 over the same period (1). The conclusion of the Miami-Dade Study states,

    This study has not proven the unequivocal effectiveness of mandatory uniforms. If school uniforms promoted educative behavior, as powerfully as conjectured, the incidents of safety infractions should have declined dramatically subsequent to the establishment of uniform policies at elementary schools in Miami-Dade County. However, as indicated the changes in frequency of these infractions were independent of which dress code was operative at a school. (Miami-Dade 4-5)


Quote:
Improved academic achievement is an additional benefit frequently attributed to mandatory uniform policies. Consistently, however, data from true scientific study seems to contradict this claim. In the study performed by Drs. Brunsma and Rockquemore, test scores at schools having mandatory uniforms actually dropped (1). The school district in Long Beach, California, continues to produce test scores significantly below the state average despite years of mandatory uniforms ("STAR California" and "STAR Long"). Despite claims set forth by proponents that uniforms improve academic performance, there is no empirical data to lend validation to these claims.


Quote:
Supporters further claim that uniforms improve attendance. According to proponents of these policies, uniforms improve school attitude and spirit which brings about a net decrease in truancy and absenteeism. In Long Beach, California, attendance has slowly improved in elementary and middle schools since their mandatory uniform policy has been in effect. Attendance has also improved at the high schools where no uniforms are required, at a more statistically significant rate ("In Schools" 2). This would seem to indicate an overall trend rather than uniform-induced improvement. Further study of these statistics indicates that the trend of improved attendance has been ongoing since 1990 (2). In Polk County, Florida, where the most restrictive, district wide uniform policy in the nation was set in place in 1999, the opposite of Long Beach attendance results is emerging. In the 1998-99 school year there were 506 truancy cases investigated in Polk County. By January 2000, the district was on track to break that record for the 1999-2000 school year (McBride "Schools" 1). The truancy rate is so bad that in an effort to curtail it, the Superintendent of Schools is seeking to criminally prosecute the worst offenders, including a seven-year-old boy (Shah 1). The effect of truancy and absenteeism was also addressed in the University of Notre Dame study. No direct causation was shown (Brunsma and Rockquemore 1). There is no scientific data which shows that uniforms have a positive impact on attendance. In fact, it is possible that in some cases, absenteeism and truancy may increase under these policies.


Then there's also bunch about the problems with the "opt out" policy -- basically, having a school uniform policy is illegal without an "opt out" aspect. But the kids who do in fact "opt out" have lots of problems. And there are enforcement issues... etc., etc.

(All emphases mine.)
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:43 pm
I dunno Boomer. I went to a private school from Kindergarten through 6th grade and that was a school where we had to wear uniforms.

For 7th and 8th grades I went to a public middle school and found that my peers were several years behind me in most subjects (the exception being history). I took honors English, math and science courses and basiclly got labeled as a nerd.

For high school I went to a public high school in a fairly large city nearby and decided to just get lost in the crowd so I didn't exert myself at all. It fit in better with the other students but pretty much coasted through high school. I took whatever classes I wanted to take without caring much whether they'd do me any good in the long term.

In retrospect that was stupid on my part but most of my classmates graduated as functional illiterates. Now we joke about which state prison to hold our class reunions at. (My graduating class was some 4000 people most of whom have spent some portion of their adulthood living on one or another correctional facility in CT. Very Happy )

The amazing part is that of the 30 of us that were in my elementry school class and were all forced into the public school system have all done fairly well for ourselves.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:49 pm
I'm sure there are schools that have a uniform policy that are great schools.

The question is, is it the uniforms? If a not-good school without a uniform policy institutes one, would it become a good school? Or even make any positive difference?

I had pretty much the same experience as you -- absolutely fantastic experience up to 6th grade, most of us performing well over our grade level (I was reading at the college level, several of my friends were too), and then less-stellar schools after that. Didn't really feel challenged again until college.

But that school didn't have a uniform policy...
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Linkat
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:50 pm
But boomerang - you can still have small classrooms and a large school. I remember many of my classes being under 20 kids. Besides gym, I can't remember any ever having 40 in a class.

I do like having uniforms, but not too strict uniform codes. My daughter attends private and wears a uniform. But they keep more to things like: shirts must be solid color with collar or turtle neck/sweaters, neat attire, no baggy pants. More like that - except for Chapel day where the code is much more strict. To be honest, it is just easier on me (and cheaper).
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:51 pm
(And the people I've kept in contact with from my hippy-dippy, no-uniform school have done really well for themselves too -- doctors lawyers award-winning filmmakers whathaveyou.)
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:57 pm
sozobe wrote:
I'm sure there are schools that have a uniform policy that are great schools.

The question is, is it the uniforms? If a not-good school without a uniform policy institutes one, would it become a good school? Or even make any positive difference?


I don't know if uniforms really do or don't make a difference - I was just relaying my own experiences. My own daughter only attended public schools (with no uniforms) and has done pretty well thusfar (2 more semesters of college to go! lol).

My own suspicion is that uniforms probably enhance an already good school and detract from an otherwise poor school. Uniforms provide a sense of identity and no one wants to identify with a loser. Wink
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 03:58 pm
One thing I've noticed for a few of these (the Boy Brains/ Girl Brains and some uniform stuff I've seen) is what I'll call the Stone Soup Effect. They do all of these reforms at once and, aside from that, are obviously invested in showing they work -- this probably leads to just generally more energy put into teaching, more innovation, etc.

Then they choose one of the things they did and say, "That's it! That's why!"

Yep, and that stone is what lends the yummy carroty tomatoey meaty flavor to the soup...
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 04:05 pm
That's what I was saying about private schools. The kids I knew who went to them when I was a kid and the kids I know who go to them now seem to be well advanced in comparison to public school kids.

My teenage neighbor goes to a very good private school that only runs through grade 8 so this will be her last year there. She will be transferring to public schools. She will be going from having a dozen kids to a class to having 30+ kids to a class. She will go from having famous acrobats teach PE to not having PE. She's not too stressed about it but her parents are freaking!

She help our other teenage neighbor, who is a grade ahead of her, with his homework.

I'm a believer in that you get what you pay for. My fellow Oregonians aren't willing to spend on education so I'm trying to figure out what to do.

I may have to resort to public school but I am going to investigate private schools for sure. A lot of them have financial aid and such too.
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