When I hear all the complaints about schools not teaching kids anything of value these days.....

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11/5/2018 8:18 PM

.....I really feel fortunate that our local districts seem to be the complete opposite of that. These kids are going to be greatly impacted not only by learning how to build things, but also by how much a little bit of kindness can really help others who are less fortunate.

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11/6/2018 5:15 AM

That is awesome! Our public schools around here are awful as far as offering options to kids to learn something outside of your standard math, science, English. We had to enroll our son into private school to be able to open up those kinds of options for him. Wish our local districts were more like the one above

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11/6/2018 4:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/6/2018 4:53 PM

A school district is the smallest form of government. Also known as political. That is all


But that was a very nice gesture to offer that to that kid.

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GP740
Since 1987

11/6/2018 5:04 PM

footglove wrote:

That is awesome! Our public schools around here are awful as far as offering options to kids to learn something outside of your standard math, science, English. We had to enroll our son into private school to be able to open up those kinds of options for him. Wish our local districts were more like the one above

Stuff like that amazes me, as this is at our "standard" high school, not at one of the other options that we have here. Even when we were just north of Seattle there were a lot of options for students to do plenty of vocational ed, arts, sports med, etc.

Our kids can study auto body tech in high school, and while they aren't going to be 30+ year experts at 18 years old, they do get a pretty solid exposure to it to see if it's an interest. My youngest son took a semester of basic auto repair as a sophomore and learned quite a bit more than I expected. He learned enough to do a pretty good brake job on discs or drums!

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11/6/2018 5:10 PM

GeorgiePorgie wrote:

A school district is the smallest form of government. Also known as political. That is all


But that was a very nice gesture to offer that to that kid.

They're doing it for more than this one kid, and this is just one example of the things our schools do to relate things they are teaching students to the world around them.

Of course school districts are political. Anytime there is a chance that stakeholders can disagree on something, it becomes political. What was your point intended to be?

How have you become involved with your local schools to affect a positive change?

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11/6/2018 6:27 PM

My new policy is that I have no comment on politics here at vitalmx.

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GP740
Since 1987

11/6/2018 11:04 PM

GP was referring to politics and Vital. We can make all the positive or negative change we like.

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11/7/2018 9:01 AM

There was 6 yr age difference between my 1st and 2nd child . When 2nd child started school they quit teaching most of what older child was taught , just tried to teach what was on tests. Seemed as though they were trying to dumb down, History, Government etc. Its as if they don't want kids to know our past so they can be easily manipulated..

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11/7/2018 10:05 AM

magoo1982 wrote:

There was 6 yr age difference between my 1st and 2nd child . When 2nd child started school they quit teaching most of what older child was taught , just tried to teach what was on tests. Seemed as though they were trying to dumb down, History, Government etc. Its as if they don't want kids to know our past so they can be easily manipulated..

I don't think it has anything to do with being manipulated. Jobs and funding are based on test scores. Therefore, test scores are what become most important. Teach to pass the test=kids lose out

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11/7/2018 3:54 PM

magoo1982 wrote:

There was 6 yr age difference between my 1st and 2nd child . When 2nd child started school they quit teaching most of what older child was taught , just tried to teach what was on tests. Seemed as though they were trying to dumb down, History, Government etc. Its as if they don't want kids to know our past so they can be easily manipulated..

My oldest and youngest are 8 "school years" apart, and if anything our area keeps adding options, alternatives, etc.

Our schools still teach the materials to pass the standardized tests, but those truly are some bare minimums, not the absolute desired maximum.

My kids are all over the spectrum, too. I have one who is now a PhD math student and was the top graduating senior in "pure" math at one of the top 15 overall universities in the world, and one who has a learning disability brought on by his birth mother abusing drugs and alcohol while he was in the womb, and two that are in the middle of those extremes (one with a Bachelors, another currently pursuing one). All have had great opportunities for learning, including history, civics, etc.

I'm not sure about the funding arguments, either. One of the middle schools that my children attended had a difficult time meeting the "test score" goals that were set by the state. Rather than get funding cut to the bone, they received extra funding to address the areas that they were having issues in, such as math specialists, science program additions, etc. At one time there was talk of funding issues with schools or districts that didn't show any improvements over a long period of time, but those concerns have mostly proven unfounded.

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11/7/2018 4:15 PM

I would like to see a return of stressing to kids not to litter. Bring back Woodsy the Owl and campaigns like that. Where I live littering has just gotten out of hand, and the illegal dumping on back roads is just ridiculous, The sides of almost every road have become pigsty. Many Millennials and onward have no shame about littering, and whenever you see one of those "Adopt a Highway" crews working to clean up a section of highway or road of trash, most of the volunteers are older people, Baby Boomers or Generation X.

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“Adhering to 1970’s Standards of Political Correctness”

11/8/2018 6:34 AM

Smart rule of thumb: live in the best school district you can afford. It may require some level of "downsizing" from a housing perspective, but strong schools typically increase a property's resell potential.

That rule is especially true here in Texas, where property taxes largely support the ISDs (independent school district). Admittedly our property tax rates are a bit high (~2.3% of appraised value annually), but if you have kids, it's a worthwhile investment. So find that ISD with a high median housing market, buy a place on the lower end of that spectrum, and reap the rewards!.

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"You can't resist the louder pull..."

11/8/2018 7:55 PM

LoudLove wrote:

Smart rule of thumb: live in the best school district you can afford. It may require some level of "downsizing" from a housing perspective, but strong schools typically increase a property's resell potential.

That rule is especially true here in Texas, where property taxes largely support the ISDs (independent school district). Admittedly our property tax rates are a bit high (~2.3% of appraised value annually), but if you have kids, it's a worthwhile investment. So find that ISD with a high median housing market, buy a place on the lower end of that spectrum, and reap the rewards!.

Or even MORE importantly, get involved with your local schools. I've been amazed at how instructors and administrators have been willing to share, and to listen, if you take the time to get involved.

Not every person you interact with is that way, of course, but the vast majority of them are in my experience. Especially if you are interested in helping to improve the entire organization, not just trying to lobby for a better grade for your kid, etc.

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11/8/2018 8:57 PM

footglove wrote:

That is awesome! Our public schools around here are awful as far as offering options to kids to learn something outside of your standard math, science, English. We had to enroll our son into private school to be able to open up those kinds of options for him. Wish our local districts were more like the one above

APLMAN99 wrote:

Stuff like that amazes me, as this is at our "standard" high school, not at one of the other options that we have here. Even when we were just north of Seattle there were a lot of options for students to do plenty of vocational ed, arts, sports med, etc.

Our kids can study auto body tech in high school, and while they aren't going to be 30+ year experts at 18 years old, they do get a pretty solid exposure to it to see if it's an interest. My youngest son took a semester of basic auto repair as a sophomore and learned quite a bit more than I expected. He learned enough to do a pretty good brake job on discs or drums!

Glad they still have that up your way, back a few years ago when I was in HS all we heard about in the shop was how they wanted to get rid of it.pinch

After my class left I think the auto program held on for maybe one more year, then it was finally axed. The incredibly competent people making decisions evidently didn't feel that a program of that sort was needed because they were there to prepare kids for college, even though we lived in an incredibly low performing and poor area where maybe 20% of a class moved on to college if they were lucky. I kid you not, they were hosting the state superintendent of school at our HS for a few days one year, and our cocksucker of a principle basically told all of us in the shop we needed to move our junky looking cars out of the shop parking lot because it looked trashy while the higher-ups were there. Might as well have just walked up and individually kicked every single one of us square in the balls.

Funny thing is, without a wood and auto program in HS I probably would never have gone on to get a ME degree in college, so the joke is kind of on them. It kills me to think how many kids are missing out on this stuff and the many potential career paths it can lead to, even in my line of work the things I learned are invaluable. Our auto teacher had a friend who was a retired machinist, and watching how methodically he went about taking measurements and coming up with solutions to problems we ran into had a huge impact on me over the years. I saw how well respected he was, how he carried himself, and how attentive he was to detail, and that gave me a lot of inspiration to try to reach that level of skill one day. From what I saw in college hands on mechanical experience is seriously lacking in a lot of engineering students, and I don't understand why it's evidently so damn hard for administrations to see the value of these kinds of programs in providing that experience.

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11/8/2018 9:30 PM

JM485 wrote:

Glad they still have that up your way, back a few years ago when I was in HS all we heard about in the shop was how they wanted to get rid of it.pinch

After my class left I think the auto program held on for maybe one more year, then it was finally axed. The incredibly competent people making decisions evidently didn't feel that a program of that sort was needed because they were there to prepare kids for college, even though we lived in an incredibly low performing and poor area where maybe 20% of a class moved on to college if they were lucky. I kid you not, they were hosting the state superintendent of school at our HS for a few days one year, and our cocksucker of a principle basically told all of us in the shop we needed to move our junky looking cars out of the shop parking lot because it looked trashy while the higher-ups were there. Might as well have just walked up and individually kicked every single one of us square in the balls.

Funny thing is, without a wood and auto program in HS I probably would never have gone on to get a ME degree in college, so the joke is kind of on them. It kills me to think how many kids are missing out on this stuff and the many potential career paths it can lead to, even in my line of work the things I learned are invaluable. Our auto teacher had a friend who was a retired machinist, and watching how methodically he went about taking measurements and coming up with solutions to problems we ran into had a huge impact on me over the years. I saw how well respected he was, how he carried himself, and how attentive he was to detail, and that gave me a lot of inspiration to try to reach that level of skill one day. From what I saw in college hands on mechanical experience is seriously lacking in a lot of engineering students, and I don't understand why it's evidently so damn hard for administrations to see the value of these kinds of programs in providing that experience.

There was a lot of grumbling when our high school got rid of its wood shop, despite the district making it very clear that their plan was to develop a very much needed vo-tech center that would include a construction trades program that would do most of the things that the wood shop classes did, and much more. Actually there still is some grumbling from some folks who don't really get involved much and just like to bitch and moan.

But our district basically built a vo-tech system for not only themselves, but several other neighboring districts as well. Students from 4 or 5 districts can attend these programs and get credits towards high school graduation at the same time. In talking to an instructor there, he loved the fact that the campus is separate and not right next to the high school because it has resulted in having more students who are actually interested in the fields instead of people just taking a "shop class" to try to screw off in.

Here are the current areas of study available, this doesn't include things like the class talked about in the original post that is modifying the cars with hand controls.

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11/9/2018 5:15 AM

Our school district here preaches college college college. They minimize anything outside of that, if you don't go to college, you will be stuck as a low life factory worker your whole life in their eyes.

I did the college route. Hated it. Never learned how much money you could make in any sort of skilled trade. Luckily, I stumbled into a plumbing apprenticeship and fell in love. I am now a licensed plumbing contractor with multiple college degrees and recently took on a major leadership role for the largest commercial and industrial contractor in my state. I wish our school district would have put more emphasis on what is possible outside of the standard college experience, I wouldn't have wasted years of my life struggling to find my calling.

The school my son goes to is incredible. They have a working farm that all of the kids take turns caring for the animals. They spend as much time outside as possible for lessons. They make their own lunch daily. This year they built a new building that houses a bicycle shop for the high school kids to run. It is an operational business that allows them to learn hands-on type stuff at the same time as financial, customer service, management and accounting. I felt cheated by the public school system in our area. My son will not have the same experience as me.

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