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Maki-chan
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2011, 09:29:11 am »

The schools around here don't have air conditioning unless they were built within the last 20 years or so, which would be a while after my time there. ^_^;; I can't remember a lot of days where it was really needed anyways and even on hot days in June, school was done around 2:30PM before it really got roasting hot. The school year in the United States is the shortest of the G7 industrialized nations and, like you said, our national test scores show it when compared internationally (against China for example). The yearly school schedule in our country is based on an 18th century agrarian society and absurdly out of date. Granted, we all need a vacation from time to time, but what I see kids doing all summer long is hardly productive and is in fact counterproductive. Some of the standardized test score results I've seen from my own kids show sometimes that they score lower in the fall at the start of a new school year than they did in the spring before summer break. A vacation is okay, but it needs to be shortened a great deal or broken up into smaller segments so that the slide backwards every year is greatly reduced.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 09:31:33 am by Maki-chan » Logged


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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2011, 11:00:11 am »

I didn't realize the 180 day thing was that old.  It helps explain why we're lagging behind.  I've been hearing for a long time that our quality of education is poor compared to various other countries.  A longer school year with occasional yet brief breaks could help, but I imagine that would require more money, and the system is struggling financially already.
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2011, 03:06:11 pm »

Elsewhere, they don't start as early in the day either. My high school started classes at 7:30, in Europe, they don't start class until 8 or 9am. We also focus more on memorizing for standardized tests instead of actual learning.
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2011, 09:39:34 pm »

I think my early high school classes started at 7:45.  Not as early as at your school, but I hated having to get up so early, I'd be barely alert for that first class.  Ironically, standardized testing began in China a very long time ago, according to Wikipedia.

Quote
The earliest evidence of standardized testing was in China, where the imperial examinations covered the Six Arts  which included music, archery and horsemanship, arithmetic, writing, and knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies of both public and private parts. Later, the studies (military strategies, civil law, revenue and taxation, agriculture and geography) were added to the testing. In this form, the examinations were institutionalized during the sixth century CE, under the Sui Dynasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standardized_test

It's not a bad concept, and allows easier comparisons of students.  There really is a difference between memorizing for tests and learning, though.  Just because a student scores well on these tests, it doesn't mean the knowledge will be retained and then applied in the future.
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Galaxia
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2011, 05:00:07 am »

Several of my teachers in college said they refuse to teach classes that early because none of their students do well in them.
I know memorizing for standardized testing isn't a unique problem to the US, I've seen complaints about the same thing in other countries. But since No Child Left Behind, we have even more emphasis on the tests since they're now tied to school funding.
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