
Re: Finland
Posted:
Feb 15, 2012 7:18 PM


Well, I was about to write that this hypothetical and exceptional example of one falls outside of the practical limits of public education. And I feel this way about the other extreme as well. I do not think it is practical to expect public education to fly individual students to other schools regardless of the circumstances. I realize that this goes against the doctrine of "Free and Appropriate Education". Actually it only goes against half of that doctrine. I have never happened upon the case of an exceptionally bright student being flown anywhere but there are many examples of feces throwing kids being flown.
This discussion began with the statement that gifted students do not cost more than special ed students. In fact, gifted students generally cost less than even ordinary students. I refer back to my original proposal that elective periods, in subjects, be established. My instincts were true enough to realize that such a system would be more easily (effortlessly) implemented starting in 7th grade rather than 4th. And by "in subjects" I mean advanced classes in actual subjects that have been advanced by mankind. Not the ungifted educationalist's idea of "enrichment".
Bob Hansen
On Feb 15, 2012, at 5:05 PM, Haim wrote:
> Robert Hansen Posted: Feb 15, 2012 3:40 PM > >> Why you? I guess I am not following why someone at the >> elementary school can't teach algebra? > > This is one of those "how many mistakes can you spot in this picture" kind of puzzle. > > First, we have a system of elementary education in this country wherein teachers are required to teach math but they are not required to know math. It is unlikely that anyone among the permanent teaching staff of an elementary school can teach algebra. Again, in a large, highly variegated country like the U.S., one will find an exception here or there but, on the whole, it is highly unlikely. Subject specialists do not start to make an appearance until middle school, and even there they can be rare. > > Therefore, if a 5th grader is going to be taught algebra, either he gets transported to a middle school (or high school) or, if there are several such students, a specialist will be transported to the elementary school. > > This now brings up the question of the specialist teacher. In many cases, the simple fact of math competence will not qualify our Richard to teach algebra to a 5th grader. Richard may be competent and qualified to teach algebra to a middle school student, he may even be excellent at it, but to teach algebra to an elementary school student, many school districts will require certification in special education or gifted education. > > We now come to the underlying assumption: that the school district is going to teach algebra to a 5th grader. Lottsa luck with that. I remind you that the ironclad rule of most school districts, sometimes written sometimes unwritten, is: no academic acceleration under any circumstances. > > Furthermore, I point out that Richard has posed a hypothetical. Take a moment to consider the strangeness of that. Why a hypothetical? With all his years of teaching, why does Richard not tell us about some real 5th grader who really got taught algebra in his school district? How was that organized? > > What are the odds that in all the schools in his district, over all the years, not a single 5th grade child was ready, willing, and able to learn algebra? Why does his district not already have a policy for teaching algebra to 5th graders, to say nothing of a program for it? Why, in the year 2012, a hypothetical? > > I think the answer is selfevident. Richard has to talk in hypotheticals because the hypothetical he describes never happened. The rule in his district, like in most districts, is No Academic Acceleration Under Any Circumstances. His scenario has never happened, and never will, and it has nothing to do with transportation costs or onsite instructors or any such thing. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready?

