Tag Archives: BBC

If Black lives matter, why isn’t your kid in school?

7 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART. Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/school-absenteeism-absent-from-the-classroom-leads-to-absence-from-participation-in-this-society/

Sara Guaglione of ischoolguide wrote in A new report from two nonprofits Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign revealed kindergarten attendance is linked to future academic success:

A new report from two nonprofits Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign revealed kindergarten attendance is linked to future academic success.
“Poor attendance is among our first and best warning signs that a student has missed the on-ramp to school success and is headed off track for graduation,” the report says. “We must address attendance and its connection to public health early in a child’s life.”
According to the Washington Post, the report discovered that 5-year-olds in kindergarten who were chronically absent lagged behind their peers in later grades, scoring an average of 20 percentage points lower on reading tests and 25 points lower in math. They also were twice as likely to be retained a grade.
The report found that absenteeism rates among kindergartners are nearly as high as those among high school freshmen. An estimated 1 in 10 kindergartners misses at least 18 days of school, or nearly a month of class, per year.

The Washington Post suggests that absences from kindergarteners may go unnoticed, as they are often associated with mental or physical health problems. Fourteen million absences – or one-third of all missed school days – are due to asthma, the leading cause of absenteeism, according to the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention.

But the consequences of missing school can be long-term.
According to the report, the association between poor attendance and lower National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores is a significant pattern that holds throughout the U.S.
Students who missed three or more days of school in the prior month had lower average NAEP scores in reading and math than students with fewer absences.
The report also notes that absenteeism in preschool and kindergarten can influence whether a child will be held back in third grade. Several studies show a link between chronic absence (missing 10 percent of the school year) in the early grades and a child’s ability to master reading by the end of third grade. Researchers in Baltimore and Chicago found the effects starting in preschool, the report adds.
http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/24388/20150903/report-attendance-works-kindergarten-future-academic.htm

Here is the report summary:

Absences Add Up

This state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group, and in every state and city tested.

Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success is based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It compares attendance rates and NAEP scores for every state and for 21 large urban areas.

Supplemental Tables:

These supplemental tables provided expanded information on the national trends shown in this analysis.
http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/absences-add/
The disintegration of the family has profound implications for the education success of children. Schools are dealing with the reality of certain cultural dynamics because many parents have not absorbed from their upbringing the thought that education is crucial to later success in life. Further, children of these parents often face emotional and economic challenges because of their family circumstance.

Related:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Hard truths: The failure of the family
http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family

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While Black folk are immobilized and stuck on Ferguson, Asian ‘star’ tutors advance Asian achievement

31 Aug

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Amanda Ripley wrote in the Wall Street Journal article, The $4 Million Teacher: South Korea’s students rank among the best in the world, and its top teachers can make a fortune. Can the U.S. learn from this academic superpower?

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country’s private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.
Kim Ki-Hoon, who teaches in a private after-school academy, earns most of his money from students who watch his lectures online. ‘The harder I work, the more I make,’ he says. ‘I like that.’ SeongJoon Cho for The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students’ online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).
“The harder I work, the more I make,” he says matter of factly. “I like that….” http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424127887324635904578639780253571520-lMyQjAxMTA0MDMwMTEzNDEyWj

It is difficult to theorize or surmise what is going on in a particular culture if one is not imbued with understanding the context of that culture. Still, Yojana Sharma’s BBC report about Hong Kong’s star tutors makes moi theorize that the families paying the hefty bill are not satisfied with being “minority” anythings.

Sharma reports in BBC article, Meet the ‘tutor kings and queens’ about the educators who are accorded as much adulation and status as rock stars in Hong Kong:

They strike glamorous poses in posters in shopping malls and on the sides of buses.
But they are not movie stars or supermodels: they are Hong Kong’s A-list “tutor kings” and “tutor queens”, offering pupils a chance to improve mediocre grades.
In Hong Kong’s consumer culture, looks sell. Celebrity tutors in their sophisticated hair-dos and designer trappings are treated like idols by their young fans who flock to their classes.
And they have earnings to match – some have become millionaires and appear regularly on television shows
The celebrity tutor phenomenon is a result of the huge growth in out-of-school tutoring in Asia.
It is fuelled by highly pressured examination systems and ambitious parents wanting their children to secure places at top universities and high-status secondary schools.
In societies where success is equated with good exam results, parental anxiety converts into a “steady stream of revenue” for tutoring establishments, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20085558

One person does not speaks for a group, but members of a group can often provide useful insight about the group.

Here is Arthur Hu’s take on INTRODUCTION TO BASIC ASIAN VALUES:

One of the most central features of a culture are its values. Values are the standards by which one may judge the difference between good and bad, and the right and wrong things to do. Though some values are universally shared among all cultures, it is the contrast and differences in values of different cultures that can account for the interactions and perceptions that occur between different cultures.
Traditional values are a common thread among individuals in a culture. Stereotyping comes about because of common behavior patterns that are based on common values, and distortion and misperception can come about as a result of misunderstandings of those values. Stereotyping can also be dangerous because people are individuals with their own values which may vary a great deal from the traditional ideal. Values can vary quite a bit depending upon one’s generation, class, education, origin, among other factors. For example, there is considerable difference in what might be called “traditional” and “modern” American values.
Although each distinct Asian culture actually has its own set of values, they all share a common core, which is probably best documented in the Japanese and Chinese traditions, and by philosophers such as Confucius, whose writings had considerable influence throughout Asia. In the Asian American experience, these values interact with what might be called simply “western” or “Caucasian” values, but if one contrasts the values of America with those of Europe, it can be seen that these are really “Modern American” values that provide the best contrasts.
Asian values are very much inter-related. They all support the view of the individual as being a part of a much larger group or family, and place great importance on the well-being of the group, even at the expense of the individual. American values, on the other hand emphasize the importance of the well-being of the individual, and stresses independence and individual initiative. Although it may seem that values such as education, family, and hard work are shared between cultures, these values manifest themselves quite differently in the two cultures.
Some Asian values are so important that some of the cultures, especially the Japanese have given them names of their own, and are used commonly. Here is a list of some of the most outstanding values:
Ie (japanese) – The family as a basic unit of social organization, and as a pattern for the structure of society as a whole.
Education – The whole process of child rearing and education as a means of perpetuating society, and of attaining position within society.
Enyo (japanese) – The conscious use of silence, reserve in manner.
Han (chinese) Conformity, and the suppression of individual attriputes such as talen, anger, or wealth which might disrupt group harmony. (Chinese)
Amae (japanese) – To depend and presume upon the benevolence of others. A deep bonding in human relationships between one who is responsible for another, and one who must depend on another.
Giri (japanese) – Indebtedness, obligation and duty to others, reciprocity.
Gaman (japanese) – Endurance, sticking it out at all costs. Self-sacrifice for the sake of others.
Tui Lien (chinese) – Loss face, shame. The final standard as to how well one lives up to these values.
Family and Education
Probaly the most notable aspect of the modern “Asian Model Minority”¬stereotype is that of the academic overachiever. A number of asian students have done conspicuously well in terms of test scores, gifted student programs, admissions to prestigious schools, academic awards, and in classical music. Though obviously not all Asians fit this pattern, this trend can be attributed primarily to the basic notion of the family, and the central role that education plays in the family.
Great importance is placed on child rearing, and education is a funda¬mental aspect of this. Asian parents are more likely to spend much more time with their children, and drive them harder, sometimes even at the expense of their personal time and ambitions of the parents themselves. Though Americans might consider Asian parents to be dominating, parents in turn are expected to give children all the support they can.
While it would no be unusual for an American parent to hire a babysitter to watch the kids while they go out, or expect their children to put them¬selves through college lest the parents sacrifice their own stand of living, this is much less likely in an Asian family. Living in an extended family is not unusual, and filial piety, respect for parents is a very important principle.
Unlike the youth orientation in American culture, age and position are most highly respected. The Asian family has within it a heirarchy which is a mirror of the structure of society as whole. For example, the parent child relationship is carried further on to ruler and ruled, employer and employee. Education is the most valued way of achieving position, an success in education is viewed as an act of filial piety. In imperial times, examinations were the only way to achieve position in China. Even in America, education is seen as a key to social mobility, and economic opportunity. Education for their children was a major reason why many immigrants came to America from Asia. http://www.asianweek.com/2012/04/28/introduction-to-basic-asian-values/

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: The link between poverty and education:
The Huffington Post article, Poor Students With Poorly Educated Parents More Disadvantaged In U.S. Than Other Countries about the effect of income inequality:

Intuitively, a child’s academic performance is likely higher if he or she has highly educated parents, and lower if the child has less educated parents. A new report confirms that’s true, but reveals that American children of poorly educated parents do a lot worse than their counterparts in other countries.
Income mobility just within the U.S. has significantly declined since the mid-90s, according to a report this month by the Boston Federal Reserve. In recent years, families were more likely to stay within their income class than before — the rich are staying rich, and the poor and middle-class are struggling to move up the economic ladder.
But the Pew Economic Mobility Project takes it a step further by asking the question, “Does America promote mobility as well as other nations?” Researchers in 10 countries took to analyzing socioeconomic advantage as a function of parental education.
Researchers found that a child’s economic and educational status is more affected by parental education than in any other country studied.
Using a basic metric, researchers studied performance gaps on vocabulary tests among five-year-olds with highly educated parents, moderately educated parents and poorly educated parents. Among the English-speaking countries studied, the American gap between children with highly educated parents and poorly educated parents was the widest, while the Canadian gap proved to be the most narrow. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/18/poor-students-with-poorly_n_1101728.html?ref=email_share

The is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education, there is what works to produce academic achievement in each population of students.

What moi observes from the Hong Kong and Korea cases is that success does not occur in a vacuum and that students from all walks of life can benefit from the individual intervention to prevent failure. The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture.

See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? http://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

Resources:

Culture of Success http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:
Is there a model minority?
http://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

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Lying like a rug is the thing to do: It’s just Chelsea Handler being normal

15 Nov

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Michael, Jr. the comic was doing a show at a prison. One of his jokes to the prisoners went like this: you have have two choices. Choice A is doing the right thing which might not be fun. Choice B is doing the fun thing which will have consequences and you might have to explain later. That brings this comment to Chelsea Handler, self-acknowledged skank who has gone on to a measure of notoriety with monetary benefits. These are the facts as posted in Chelsea Handler explains food poisoning lie:

Comedienne Chelsea Handler lied about having food poisoning to get out of a live TV appearance after walking into a shower door and injuring her eye.

Handler was due to be interviewed on the “Today” show on Monday morning, but she pulled out at the last minute and the show’s hosts were told she had been struck down with illness.

However, Handler made a miraculous ‘recovery’ to appear at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in the evening, as well as taping an interview on “Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night” talk show that day, and she was forced to admit the
food poisoning story wasn’t true.

She tells Fallon, “That was a lie. I wasn’t sick. … No no, I wasn’t drunk or anything. I am very injury prone. … I have bruises. … I literally walked into a shower door this morning. I hit my eye and so everything’s puffy and … I just couldn’t go … I hit myself (with the shower door) and I just didn’t want to go and be on a morning talk show … And I apologize. It’s not fun to book somebody and have a guest not show up.” http://blog.seattlepi.com/people/2012/11/14/chelsea-handler-explains-food-poisoning-lie/

There isn’t a question about whether Handler lied, she freely admits it.

For a good discussion of the ethics of lying, consult the BBC article, Lying and truth-telling:

Nobody who writes about lying nowadays can do so without acknowledging an enormous debt to this groundbreaking book: Lying: Moral choice in public and private life, by Sisela Bok, 1978.

What is a lie?

Lying is a form of deception, but not all forms of deception are lies.

Lying is giving some information while believing it to be untrue, intending to deceive by doing so.

A lie has three essential features:

  • A lie communicates some information
  • The liar intends to deceive or mislead
  • The liar believes that what they are ‘saying’ is not true

There are some features that people think are part of lying but aren’t actually necessary:

  • A lie does not have to give false information
  • A lies does not have to be told with a bad (malicious) intention – white lies are an example of lies told with a good intention

This definition says that what makes a lie a lie is that the liar intends to deceive (or at least to mislead) the person they are lying to. It says nothing about whether the information given is true or false.

This definition covers ordinary cases of lying and these two odd cases as well:

  • the case where someone inadvertently gives true information while believing that they’re telling a lie
    • I want the last helping of pie for myself, so I lie to you that there is a worm in it. When I later eat that piece of pie I discover that there really is a worm in it
  • the case where nobody is deceived by me because they know that I always tell lies

Lying and statements

Some philosophers believe that lying requires a statement of some sort; they say that the liar must actually speak or write or gesture.

Sisella Bok, author of a major philosophical book on the subject of lying, defines a lie as:

an intentionally deceptive message in the form of a statement http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/lying/lying_1.shtml

The essential question in the Handler situation is should society lionize the intentionally bad behavior of those in the public eye?

The first question readers might ask is, can anyone married to Ozzy Osborne and having their own reality show spout the truth? The answer on the cult of celebrity, yes. Sharon Osborne is right that the cult of celebrity detracts from honoring true heroes and destroys any attempt to instill positive values in children. We have a whole generation of young women who are intelligent and could have wonderful careers and families who now aspire to be nothing more than highly paid sluts and whores. More about that later. In Sharon Osbourne: The dark side of fame…and why the cult of celebrity is destroying today’s children Sharon says:

How depressing that the loftiest ambition a child of 14 can summon up is to have breasts the size of barrage balloons. It was bad enough that she regarded ‘being famous’ as a worthy goal – not ‘being talented’, you note.

When Ozzy was starting out as a musician in Black Sabbath, for him and his contemporaries fame was simply a by-product of doing something they loved, not an end in itself. Of course, they wanted to be successful and to make money, but they certainly didn’t expect it and that wasn’t the reason they were in a band.

Today, though, young people regard fame as a birthright. They have a sense of entitlement the size of one of my houses.

I recently heard about the work of an American psychologist who discovered that in the Fifties only 12 per cent of youngsters agreed with the statement, ‘I am an important person’. By the end of the Eighties, that figure had risen to 80 per cent. I think we can all guess what it is now.

Children leaving school today no longer want to be doctors or lawyers or architects. All I ever hear is ‘I wanna be famous’, or ‘ I wanna be a celeb’.

There is an epidemic of fame-obsessed youngsters – aged between ten and 25 – who wrongly believe celebrity is a shortcut to wealth and happiness, and who are convinced it will bring them everything they want. An entire generation that doesn’t understand that nothing worth having comes easily.

I’m not a politician – and that’s politics’ loss – but it seems obvious to me that many teenagers part company with the schools system with little or no actual education.

And because the traditional family unit has more or less collapsed, these children probably haven’t been brought up with any real values. We used to call them latch-key kids. How many people do you honestly know who sit down together and have a family dinner every night?

You preach, sister!

Survival values are positive values and Denise Witmer’s summary of Teaching Positive Morals and Values -Why It Is Important? describes some positive values:

Values are the desirable principles in someone’s character that society considers worthwhile. Friendliness and courage are values. Morals work with the judgment of values as they emerge in actions. ..

  • are successful in their relationships with other people. They know how to treat another person with respect and know how to earn respect from other people. They are the type of people who you find you want to be friends with.
  • contribute positively to society by reaching beyond themselves out into their community. They get involved and help where they can.
  • take responsibility for their actions. They try to fix any mistakes they make. They are capable of feeling a sense of accomplishment when they finish a task. People who do not have base values aren’t even able to feel good about doing something right.
  • are capable of learning and growing both socially and emotionally.
  • are generally happier. They grab on to the best of what life has to offer them. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel when life gets tough.

Success in life is picked up in bits and pieces along our journey.

As a society, we are either not transmitting good values and/or not rewarding those who display good values and really are the heroes who make this world a better place to live. Probably the answer is yes on both counts. Meanwhile the Handlers of this world are manhandling basic decency and responsibility. No matter as she skates along, the morons who support her sleazy slide are lubricating her glide path with plenty of mammon

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