There should be a school for that

  • Article by: MITCH PEARLSTEIN
  • Updated: September 22, 2012 - 5:17 PM

Our strongest students don't measure up in science, technology, engineering and math. Let's create a fertile environment.

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pumiceSep. 22, 12 8:11 PM

Re: "The dangerous distance between America's strongest students and their counterparts around the world -- with top pupils elsewhere consistently coming out ahead." First, Mr. Pearlstein, where is the data to back up that statement? From what I understand, American students who take rigorous courses in math and science hold their own quite well. Rather than elite, boarding school high schools for a select few, institute high national literacy, numeracy, and science standards, implement best teaching practices, apply brain research to learning, challenge every student to work up to his/her full potential, and replicate what works for every student in every school in every state across the nation. History provides a model: In 1958 Congress passed the National Defense Education Act, and US taxpayers and US children responded to 1957's Sputnik humiliation.

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arspartzSep. 23, 12 3:12 AM

American education is too fixated on the achievement gap and why Johnny can't read. We should be concerned with why our top kids don't excel. Ask you local school board what the per pupil cost (not per "pupil-unit" cost) of special education is relative to the programs for the fast learners. Ask them how many times the fast learners are simply told to "help the other kids" rather than advancing on to a more difficult subject matter.

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luzhishenSep. 23, 12 7:30 AM

"there are relatively few three- and four-year academically selective high schools across the country" ...as opposed to athletically selective schools. If we made the high school athletes walk around the track at the same rate as the kids in the median of athletic ability, we'd be importing Chinese athletes as well as TVs. We do need a Bronx High School of Science.

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luzhishenSep. 23, 12 7:33 AM

"Who should lead and teach at such a school? Teachers must be true experts in the subjects they teach, and a principal must have the authority to both choose and sometimes let them go, free of the excessive constraints regarding licensing, seniority, terminations and such routinely gumming up most public schools. " So how come Stuyvesant and Bronx can do it? Last time I checked, NYC had some pretty good teachers' unions.

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editor25Sep. 23, 12 8:26 AM

Too bad that Mitch doesn't admit that his other hobbies - promoting charter schools and high-stakes testing - directly go AGAINST his desired claim to want to improve science learning. Just look at the charter schools of Eric Mahmoud. He's proclaimed as a wunderkind for raising math and reading scores, but fifth grade students at his two charter schools score ZERO percent proficiency in science. Why? They teach to the test.

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Thumper5316Sep. 23, 12 8:30 AM

arspartz..."Ask them how many times the fast learners are simply told to "help the other kids" rather than advancing on to a more difficult subject matter." After the MPS had my oldest take Algebra again in 7th grade after he had taken it in 6th grade and did exceptionally well (he started 1st grade at age 4 and has always been highly intelligent), we found out the hard way that the majority of the teachers in the MPS (with the exception of a handful of the elementary teachers) don't care much about teaching a student. They teach to a class. That's why my husband worked two jobs for ten years so that the others could attend private high school.

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cdeesendSep. 23, 12 8:34 AM

I believe we have a STEM school in Anoka-Hennepin District 11 and it has been operational for years, obviously under the radar

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jenninminnSep. 23, 12 9:09 AM

Thumper: "we found out the hard way that the majority of the teachers in the MPS (with the exception of a handful of the elementary teachers) don't care much about teaching a student. They teach to a class."....Oh really? Please substantiate your post. And keep in mind, there is a difference between fact and opinion. Not asking for your opinion here. And while you are at it, maybe you could describe what teachers do when they "teach to the class" and how (and why) they ignore the individual student. Cite credible references please. PS... FOX News does not count as a credible source. And since you applied this statement to all of MPS, include specific examples across grades 6-12 that are covered in your comment.

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pumiceSep. 23, 12 9:12 AM

Re: "We do need a Bronx High School of Science." Slight revision if I may, luzhishen: "We need a Bronx-High-School-of-Science-quality high school in every school district across the nation."

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elmore1Sep. 23, 12 9:14 AM

Rudy had some wacky ideas (peat moss farming, Olympics on the Iron Range, etc) but he was spot on with this idea. We need reform in education top to bottom to compete globally. Just throwing more money at education hasn't worked so far. We need a comprehensive vision, cooperation and targeted funding with measures across public and privately funded education.

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