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Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47515773) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Again, I completely agree. But I refuse to support throwing more money at the problem until they fix the systemic issues. If we are buying iPads while lacking pencils, this is just plain stupid and we need to address the stupidity. We already spend more per pupil than any other country in the world, and more in constant dollars than at any time in our history. More money will not fix anything.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47515049) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I'm convinced that the teachers union is hell-bent on protecting bad teachers. Heck, they even oppose methods to try and measure teacher performance. Don't get me wrong - I'm not firmly on the side of the people who want to base teacher pay on standardized tests. But any interest which ignores the need to routinely purge the bottom of the barrel is clearly self interested at the expense of my kids. I therefore oppose simply throwing more money at the problem, since I feel it would be ineffective until the underlying structural problems are dealt with.

As an aside, I don't understand the approach that most unions take. Their position would be much stronger if they made their membership stronger. Culling the herd should not be such a cursed concept. Hard working union members should be incensed when slackers hitch on for the ride. Instead we see an institutional protection of the weakest members.

Comment: Re: We shall see. (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47512253) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I'm gonna double quote you here:

I know this isn't true, because I sure as hell don't have most of the table memorized.


I made no specific effort to memorize a huge table of calculations. Instead, I *naturally* memorized the results of calculations that I saw often. 8*8 = 64. I saw such things often, so I memorized them naturally.

So do you have 8*8 memorized or don't you? I find it hard to fathom how you could see 8*7 and not immediately think "56". Can you provide an example of your thought process? That would allow me to understand what you are suggesting as an alternative and allow me to consider that my kids would be better off having that instead.

But that's their choice.

As kids get older, sure, they make more and more choices. But at the age of 8 when they learn multiplication tables, they have very few choices. The need to learn how to read, full stop. They need to learn basic arithmetic, full stop. These are essential life skills - as critical as learning about appropriate social interaction.

But I would say that using a calculator really doesn't take that much time

If you need a calculator to do 30% off, then I feel sad for our public education system. This is the reason that grocery stores get away with selling larger bottles for a higher price per ounce than the smaller bottles. Liquid Tide, I'm looking at you... If everyone spent 2 weeks rote memorizing these allegedly pointless tables when they were 8, we wouldn't have such shenanigans.

Comment: Re: We shall see. (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47512045) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

You don't need to memorize a huge table of calculations in order to figure out what 30% off is.

Yes, you do. Unless you want to take an inordinate amount of time or whip out a calculator. You need to have at least up to 10x10 memorized if you want to do even quick and dirty estimates.

that doesn't mean that someone won't be able to do or understand mathematics; that's just completely insane, and I have no idea how someone could come to such a huge misunderstanding.

I never made such a statement. You could do 3x6 = 6+6+6 every single time and still understand how it all works. You'll stand there in the grocery store like a retard, but you'll eventually get it done.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 403

by MightyYar (#47507293) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

I shouldn't even touch this discussion, but "genocide" is not the right word here. The Muslims are out-reproducing the Jews. In 2005 there were 1.2 million Muslims and 5.3 million Jews in Israel/Palestine. Now there are 1.65 million Muslims and 5.3 million Jews. That's a 45% increase in the Muslim population and a 14% increase in the Jewish population over the same period.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47506677) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I completely agree. But I disagree that money is the stumbling block here - it is easy to blame finances, except for three facts:
- Funding for the US is, on average, either the highest or one of the highest in the world per pupil.
- Funding levels have consistently gone up in constant dollars since the 50s.
- Funding is more even now than ever. Education used to be almost 100% locally funded and now it is more than 50% funded by the states.

I no longer worry much about the funding - I feel that the answer must be that the whole institution is fundamentally flawed. They spend millions on shiny new facilities, state of the art teaching materials, smart boards, etc. They have huge administrations to deal with acres of paperwork resulting from the shift to state (and now federal) funding. They have a fad mentality when it comes to teaching methods, completely changing the school's curriculum whenever the winds of educational reform are blowing.

And yet, colleges continue to complain that students - even good students from "good" schools - are unprepared when they arrive.

Your solution won't be rejected because it is too expensive. Your solution won't be adopted because it makes some kids unequal to others - like summer school. And we mustn't damage their little psyches - that is supposed to be done later on by cold, hard reality.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 205

by MightyYar (#47506579) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Technically you are right, but they control the company completely and are the head of the conglomerate which includes Kia. Weird, complicated Korean corporate/government world. In any event, the two vans differ in ways similar to the above examples and share common platforms and drive trains. I'd be surprised if they did not plop out of the same factory.

Comment: Re: We shall see. (Score 1) 262

by MightyYar (#47506557) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Plenty of people don't have it memorized at all, and that's fine.

It's fine in the same way that it is fine to not know your state's capital. You can live without the knowledge, but if you can't even figure out what 30% off is at the mall, that's pretty pathetic.

useless rote memorization on people

Some memorization is indeed useless, and I agree that I hate it. But that doesn't mean that ALL rote memorization is bad. Addition, subtraction, multiplication are all essential life skills for anyone who ever deals with money - which is everyone.

And do you think my complaints end at multiplication tables?

No, but I do think it has a whiff of extremism: ALL rote memorization is bad. I think that is as absurd as basing all education on rote learning. I and the other poster mentioned multiplication tables because they are such an obvious example of rote learning. Your average 8 year old can memorize the table to 9 or 12 in a week or two. At that point, reinforcement and they are set for life. Sure, it's no fun - but this isn't about discovery, this is about making your brain a shitty pocket calculator... there's nothing fun about that.

No, it's not necessary. To claim that it's necessary is simply absurd and defies all logic.

What functional adult in modern society does not need to calculate percentages? I have to admit that I find your argument slightly amusing.

Comment: Re: minivan dead? (Score 1) 205

by MightyYar (#47505063) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

LOL, well I'm just being practical... how do you hold down a job if you are driving kids all over the place all the time. I team up with other parents. So, for instance, I work near the summer day camp and often pick up and drop off other kids there on my way. Other parents help me out with other dropoffs. This week, a friend is taking my son to camp with her sons, which saves me a stop and probably adds a whole hour or so to my working day.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 3, Interesting) 262

by MightyYar (#47504871) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Two things:
- Teachers (at least around these parts where they are all unionized) have a ridiculously steep slope to their salary curve. They make a pittance in the beginning, and are paid quite handsomely just before retirement. They have no one to blame for their crappy starting salary then their senior teachers - they negotiate this in. I would much rather flatten the curve.
- I'll get massacred for this, but the teachers aren't all that important. The kids in good districts would do fine even with mediocre teachers and the kids in horrid districts are pretty much doomed no matter how good the teachers are. You can see this in action right now. They have this absurd "everyday math" thing happening in the schools, and every parent that I know here in the burbs is re-teaching their kids math when they get home. That is not happening in a household where the single parent works 3 jobs. There is a reason teachers in those districts say things like "if I can get through to just one child..." They have realistic goals and they know that most of the classroom is doomed.

Don't get me wrong, when my kids have a good teacher it is really satisfying and makes the whole parenting thing much easier. But you know what? I don't fall into despair when they get the mediocre ones because my kids will be just fine. You could triple the pay and it wouldn't substantially improve the low-performing districts - there are systemic issues far deeper than the quality of the teachers.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll