by Hudson Star-Observer
March 21, 2012 at 6:03 am in Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson Middle School has nearly 1,300 students. The population is one of the reasons over a dozen teachers work from carts, having no permanent classroom. Continue Reading
Tags: Community, Education, updates 24 Comments »
If Ms. Benjamin doesn’t like her job then I’m sure there are 300 qualified candidates that will line up to take it. And how come they’re trying to sell us on “space for learning” without ever telling us what the average class sizes are? Sounds pretty fishy to me….
Hot debate. What do you think? 32 40
Where does it say that Ms Benjamin doesn’t like her job? This sounds like an incredibly impersonal and hectic approach to teaching. This “if you don’t like it go somewhere else” attitude gets very tiring.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 18
Let’s take a closer look at this story. The room mentioned in the piece apparently had a student population of 21. Is this the average class size at the middle school? If so, then the district’s claim of over crowding just went down the toilet. The kids are not being wheeled around on carts. Apparently the school has enough room for the students.
So what is the jest of the article? Teachers do not have offices or a permanent classroom. The real problem lies with the curriculum. How many subjects at the middle school could be considered fluff and thus ,eliminated to save space or the rubber on the cart wheels. If all the subjects are considered necessary, then carts offer the most efficient way of dealing with a poor structural concept. Remember, a couple million dollar addition was constructed on to the middle school without adding an inch of education space. If carts were such a big deal why did the district not add classrooms?
I look forward to next week’s HSO showing students being wheeled down the halls.
Hot debate. What do you think? 36 32
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So Margaret, what is the problem here? Grover Norquist and the Tea Party idealogues, such as yourself, what to shrink government (including public education) to the size where it can be drown in a bathtub. It seems like the plan is working just fine. Just keep cutting funding to public schools, get teachers on carts, the house-concept breaks down, test scores drop, the school is considered “failing,” so you shrink it some more. Death Spiral. Margaret, you must be so happy to see things are working out so well.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 23 36
I believe the paper ran a story the other week about an achievement award presented to the middle school. It seems like the carts are working.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 20
Why do the teachers and the administration think they are immune to the general downsizing of all facets of the workplace. I went from an office – to a cube – to my home office. I now work off a cart as I go from space to space and no longer have a my own test bench. Why should teachers be any different? They don’t teach in the same classroom each time, so why wouldn’t you expect them to be using a cart? Those thinking that teachers should have their own classroom that double as their own office need to come into the 21st century. Those days of one room schools are over.
Hot debate. What do you think? 35 29
So Margaret, what is the problem here? Grover Norquist and the Tea Party idealogues, such as yourself, want to shrink government (including government schools) to the size where it can be drown in a bathtub. It seems like the plan is working just fine. Just keep cutting funding to public schools, get teachers on carts, the house-concept breaks down, test scores drop, the school is considered “failing,” so you shrink it some more. Death Spiral. Margaret, you must be so happy to see things are working out so well in Hudson.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 19 30
The 21 students represent an overflow of students for the house Ms. Benjamin teaches in for that class period. The cart teachers teach the students who cannot “fit” into the existing core class in their house. So, the space need is actually reenforced by the very existence of Ms. Benjamin’s class section.
Also, the “fluff” classes are not the problem, per se. The houses were designed to fit approx. 150 kids, and they’re averaging ~215 kids. That’s the beginning and ending of the problem. Too many little bodies and too little space for them.
Additionally, the “fluff” teachers are doing an amazing job with the students. Several of them have been recognized as Kohl’s Fellows, and have had our students working with NASA, or giving them the foundational skills to participate in some of the amazing fine arts programs at the high school level.
As you pointed out, despite the extreme challenges posed by overcrowding, Hudson’s teachers are doing well by our students. How much further could they go with adequate facilities?
Hot debate. What do you think? 27 13
How much further could they go with adequate facilities? I would say zero. The question is bogus. Show me any study that shows a teacher gaining more knowledge and the ability to present it because they have their own room. This is like saying look at the results and the money we spend on education. Think how much further we could go with an additional $100,000,000. You are implying causality where none exists.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 23
So the assumption is, that we should allow unlimited class sizes, in the current facility, shove as many desks as possible into every square inch of classroom space, disregard any study that suggest that students learn better in smaller classroom, disregard any study that says that students learn best through differentiated instruction (tailoring lessons to meet as many learning styles as possible) and still expect teachers to deliver a 1st class education to our students?
That is ridiculous! As a parent of 3 children in the district, 2 of which are in the middle school I can tell you that it is so nice to hear that my daughter’s teachers say Hi or good morning to her in the morning when they pass in the hall. And that my son feels comfortable enough to approach all of his tears when he needs a little extra help. Or that if any of my kids need a little extra help, that they can count on any of their teachers to be willing to work before school, after school or even during their unpaid lunch time.
If any of you have been in the middle school, regardless of your political views you will see and feel what sense of community exists and how important that is in a kids education. When a student feels like their teacher actually knows them. Not just their name, but that their teacher really knows who they are (likes, interests ect..) than they are more likely to absorb the information and learn.
The truth of the matter is, if those of you that are anti-more space for learning and anti-school were to get your way and thing did not turn out who would you blame? The school of course. It is always someone else’s fault. The school, the government, anyone will do really as long as the finger doesn’t point back at you.
If we want our children to have a 1st class education then we as a community need 1st class teachers, 1 class administrators and a community attitude that is willing to do what is needed to get it done. In this case, we need more space and we need to come together do what needs to be done.
If we do not buy the dog track we are going to be paying a lot more for a sewer, water, building etc.. And then of course it will be someone else’s fault.
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 15
It would be nice to live in a perfect world, but the facts are salaries aren’t rising in the real world, but cost of benefits and living are increasing. So you want me to pay more taxes when I don’t have enough money to live on now? The problem is there are a lot of people paying little or nothing into taxes but they want a better education for their children. The public school cost per child is $10,000. If you have 3 children in school, you are on the hook for $30,000. If you aren’t paying $30,000 in property taxes, then you aren’t paying your fair share. Why do people think they are entitled to have everything given to them? Privatize education, make everyone pay for their children’s education and you can have a one on one ratio and unlimited space. If you aren’t willing to do that, then quit expecting EVERYONE else to foot the bill for YOUR kid’s education.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 20
The community benifits from a well educated population. Not every one can afford one on one that is true if your argument were to come to fruition, then only the rich would be able to afford to have their children educated. Good education=Good paying job=good tax paying community member. Uneducated community members=lower paying jobs (if any can be found)=lower tax paying communty=people complaining about how they are paying for all of the uneducated families with children to get food stamps and other social services.
A well educated community is an over all happier community. They are one of the same.
Some say that you can run education like a corporation and those same people often talk about “how in industry they are laying off workers and cutting benifits” but what they fail to consider is that we are not talking about products in the usual sense we are talking about our children. We educate all not just the wealthy and not just the very smart, but ALL of the children. It not like a factory or a buisness when if your “product” is defective you can discard it and just bring the “good” products to market. These are kids, people that are our future. They deserve the best.
Some say also that teachers are over paid and that “my benifits have been cut then so should theirs”. But then again when time are good and those same people are making 6 figure salaries, getting promotions and are bringing home 10 thousand dollar bonuses are not calling for teachers to get bonuses or 6 figure salaries and for teachers there in no hope for promotion because there is now where to promote to.
What is funny is that some of the same people that complain about our schools here in Hudson send their children to those same schools that are the target of their complaints. Why? Because deep down they know they are getting a great education. Seems like they just want to complain about something and the schools are an easy target.
On a different note, why is there not such a passionate conversation about the article that show student success? Those articles rarely even get 1 comment. I believe this is because it is the vocal minority of Hudson that are anti-school and if they were to comment about student success, then they would have to admit that OUR school are really kind of amazing. What other districts have students recognized at the local, state, national and international levels not once but multiple times? Why are you not so passionate about those successes?
The prioity should be the kids and their education. A good education will last a life time. Trying to score political points from your couch will be forgotten when the next “hot topic” rolls around or in 2 min. which ever comes first.
Hot debate. What do you think? 19 14
A child is a product of their environment. You can throw all the money at the kids that YOU want. How the parents act and how they treat their kids is going to determine a lot more how the kid turns out. You and the other commies want the village to raise your kids. If you want more and “better” education, then work harder, go to school, get a better job, earn more money. Expecting someone else to foot the bill for your child’s education is just more welfare.
Hot debate. What do you think? 16 18
Unless children are home schooled, most parents are not going to be teaching the children about math, reading, science, music, arts, literature, engineering, agriculture and so forth all in one day. To say that one is expecting a village to raise a child has nothing to do with the education of that child. You are right to say that how parents act and how they treat that child will help determine the TYPE of person that child becomes. I am sure that the teachers at our schools can vouch for that as they deal with all of the “parenting” that is done.
When you say work harder though, when did working hard guarantee that you earn more? That is not always the case. Often the hardest workers are those that have the least education and the lowest pay.
I guess the truth of the matter is, that is this great country of ours, you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. I do not infact expect to change any minds by writing this post. I am just so tired of a FEW people bashing the school and even fewer speaking up in their favore.
What IS sad is that you would have to resort to name calling as a strategy to feel that your are “right”. Often that speakes to one character more so than speaking to the topic at hand. If thats what you feel you have to do, then I truly feel sad for you. To think that in this day and age that you have to sink to that level of personal attacks probably reflects your comment ”
How the parents act and how they treat their kids is going to determine a lot more how the kid turns out.”
Like or Dislike: 19 10
A U.S. Department of Education overview of research points out the following negative effects of overcrowding and inadequate facilities on teaching and learning: “Crowded classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of time teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or, indeed on teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required material. In addition, because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an overcrowded classroom, the likelihood increases that they will suffer from burnout earlier than might otherwise be the case.”
Other items reported in the brief overview:
*lower scores on tests of reading and mathematics
*lower morale in students and teachers
*higher rates of absenteeism
*increased levels of stress in students and teachers
Think about the companies we see in the news now and again (like Google); they provide all sorts of amenities to their employees because they know that happy people are better workers. Of course, schools do not have anywhere near the resources of a corporation like Google, but the underlying principle is the same: treat your workers (in this case students and teachers) as well as you can, and they will perform at higher levels. I do not see that providing enough physical space for students to learn and teachers to teach is such a crazy thing to do.
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 13
Statistics from the Department of Government Education, enough said. One Guy answer this question: What are the class sizes at the middle school? The Superintendent doesn’t want to answer that one.
Hot debate. What do you think? 13 18
As a teacher how much of your salary and benefits are you willing to donate to the cause. It is for the kids after all.
Hot debate. What do you think? 16 21
The school administrators need to wake up and start running the schools like a business. There is too much unnecessary administration, too much waste and mismanagement of money. And the ones that scream the loudest about more money are the ones that pay the least and have 6 or more kids in school. They want better for their kids via state involvement financed by others instead of doing something about the problem. Spend more time with your kids. Put down the bottle or TV remote and talk to them.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 15
When my child was in school, the Hudson school district was trying to get as many kids as possible labled “gifted and talented”, because they got extra money from the state (supposedly for the “gifted and talented” programs).
Like or Dislike: 10 6
Corporations like Google are few and far between. The average corporation is losing money, laying off employees, cutting costs and benefits and giving ZERO raises.
Some people aren’t living in the real world.
Hot debate. What do you think? 15 17
Christina C. – Throwing more and more money at education isn’t making it any better.
And you don’t think a parent that drinks and/or smokes will have a child that has a greater chance of drinking and/or smoking? Kids learn what they live. If the collects welfare, the child is more apt to collect welfare. You can throw as much money into schools as you want, it isn’t going to change learned behaviors.
Like or Dislike: 14 15
What your talking about is more a kin to a totalitarian community rather that the United States. What it sounds like you are suggesting is that it is not worth educating a child based on who their parents are. So who would decide who is “worth” educating? You? The community? A team of wealthy busness owners? Who? What if it were you or your children that was deamed un worthy to educate?
Is it not those very children of the drinkers, smokers and the children that are on welfare that would benifit from a great education? If their parents are not good roll models, then who is going to teach them the value of becoming a good community member? And would it also benifit the community and break the cycle of drinking, smoking and welfare? Often time it is at school that those very same children that you mentioned can feel safe for the first time and can see what it is like to behave like a respected member of the community.
A good teacher can break the cycle if they are given the tools to do so. Having small class sizes, highly skilled teachers and a learning environment where they feel safe to learn is even more inportant to the children you mention and makes the case for good strong schools and all that comes with them.
So thank you for binging that up.
Like or Dislike: 12 11
Back to the village concept again.
And to clarify, I didn’t say there was a problem with drinking and smoking, I simply used it as an example of learned behavior. You took it a step further and declared it as evil and identified government workers as saviors in rescuing the poor abused child. Neglect and abuse are far worse than an occasional drink or smoking, which are legal behaviors.
Like or Dislike: 13 13
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