A retired school teacher's comments
I received this comment a few days ago concerning my Coherent Curriculum article, and I thought it's enlightening enough to post here as well (emphases mine):
I am a retired public school teacher. I taught first, third, and 1-5 self contained LD and resource classes 1-5. As I walked the halls of my school and heard the lessons being taught, I was so enraged! I knew students sitting in those classes that had learned those skills I still heard being taught and retaught. The work on display outside the classrooms showed very little improvement beyond what the same children had done in the earlier years.
We spin our wheels over and over teaching the same thing year after year and wonder why they can't do better on testing. They are bored to death. This is not just in math. It is in phonics, language skills, creative writing, basic logic skills. As a nation we teach a "swallow and spit back out" curriculum that is mandated by the state standards.
If a child is capable of going beyond, teachers are not allowed to take them higher. "It's not on the grade level standards". Likewise, if a student needs to review last year's standards, it is not allowed. We must stay on grade level standards.
Now do you see why Johnny can't read, spell, write, solve problems, of think. He never had to. He just memorized information for a test and never saw it again until the next year when he rememorized the same facts and passed with flying colors. Homeschool teachers, please don't teach the "memorize and spit back out" method. Make you children reason, explain why or why not, defend a position with research data. Don't put out robots. Public school has already handled that job very well.