The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane

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Just want to interject some other aspects of life lessons into the discussion that too much homework doesn't allow time for. The first is doing some household chores on a regular basis. No I am not advocating turning kids into household divas, but dishwasher duties, trash duties, daily bed making, and learning how to do some of the essential chores around a home before they go off to fend for themselves e.

The advantages of kids learning to be an employee as well as the satisfaction of a wage packet is a life lesson that can't be duplicated any other way. Too many kids appear to be graduating high school with an impression that chores just get done by magic and generous allowances are their due or reward for academic performance that they have no idea how the other half live. The life lessons from doing these two activities would be just as influential on their futures as a good GPA.

Parent - you make extremely good points. Our kids would be doing much higher valued things with their time if they were not overloaded with homework. The problem you will encounter is that in order for homework to drop, something else must change. Homework is propping up a broken system. You'll need to either: - accept lower grades as an individual. OR - lower curriculum standards as a state. It's just more homework and families more motivated and monitized to get it done.

To get better teaching with less homework you need better skills in the trade, and accountability. Accountability is legally impossible, so discussion usually stops there. Imagine for a moment a system with accountability To get better skills in the trade you need smarter people collaborating with best practices. Normally in the real world it takes a high skill level manager a lot of effort to overcome NIH and personal pride to get adoption of Best practices. Still, this relies on very experienced management focused on the issue. Most schools don't have that. The tenure laws render most school management very weak and teachers are masters of their own domain.

So they do what they think best, and hubris prevents them from improving. So what do they do best? What they learned in college. And what is that?

We are getting our teaching skills from the same public education system that is broken. After a few generations of this cycle We are eating our own dogfood now. How to fix: - stronger hiring standards that include strong parent and student feedback before tenure. Only 1 of 3 should pass - you need to weed out a strongly defective population. If you don't teach all the kids all the material, your gone. Tenure only goes to those who have been here ten years, who not only teach students, but coach and collaborate to teach new teachers.

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Like real dedicated hours teaching teachers. Eat breathe sleep. New hires focus on this intensively for a few years. They should have lighter class load and smaller classes as they are not as experienced, and need the time to focus on the fewer students they have, and to learn the best practices of their seniors. Real, dedicated hours learning best practices.

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Create a breeder school that teaches teachers and students. Best practices should be written down and reviewed and updated quarterly.

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And controlled experiments should guide improvements. The goal should be best learning outcomes with minimal homework. Time in front of an excellent teacher is way more valuable than anything else. Many teachers won't like this. Let the unhappy people go. All of this and more is needed. And you're turning the titanic with a paddle. Where in the Constitution is this right guaranteed?

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Teri Badwin is the president of the teacher's union. She will have the ultimate say on homework just as a board member gave her undue influence in the bullying policy fiasco not so long ago. Look it up, it's preserved on paloaltoonline. I would suspect that Teri and the few PAEA executive board members are working with CTA cartoonist and PAEA negotiator Wendy Dillingham-Plew on defensive responses such as we have too many students and not enough time, the administration has not trained us properly, and the old cliche of the parents are attacking us.

Skip all the in-between and just ask PAEA to improve it. Ha ha ha.

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  7. Um, if they wanted better quality teaching with less homework, they would have adopted best practices years ago. And unfortunately employees rarely self-organize. So with weak management, unions fighting any attempt at organization and teachers uninterested in hearing someone else's opinion on how to teach better, you'll find that teacher quality is not happening.

    There is just no structure in place to organize the teaching of teachers, AND to remove those who resist such improvements. If PAEA wanted it to happen, it would already have happened. Back to US History, Thanks for pointing out my error. Web Link From the California AG website: "The right to a public education in California is a fundamental right fully guaranteed and protected by the California Constitution" Thanks for the history lesson, though it throws in a whole other level of complexity.

    The Brown decision was based on the 14th Amendment I think , so a case based on the 4th amendment would probably have a similar dynamic between the state and federal jurisdictions. I wonder if it would even need to be a federal case after all, but a state case. If the case were waged on behalf of those who simply want the choice to have a high quality public education without homework but without taking the choice to have an education that involves 24 hour expectations away from those who wish it after all, it would essentially outlaw boarding school , who then would take the side of defending the state's right to that kind of control over children's and families' lives?

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    But I am no lawyer - thanks for clarifying the law. Does that mean that schools today give out 17 hours of homework a night? There needs to be a certain amount of homework in high school so they are prepared for college. Yet, my child in regular lanes had several overly challenging teachers one year so bedtime was Midnite after 6 hours of homework and my child was sleep-deprived and depressed.

    Advanced and AP classes add an extra minutes of homework per class. I don't know how the students who are taking 5 APs can get much sleep. To the OP, don't worry about grades until high school or they could get burnt-out when they reach high school. My children appreciated that. As far as having chores, there is no time for chores and when they become adults, they will rise to the occasion.

    I wonder how many parents posting here once thought about being teachers, and why you decided against it. Low pay? Too much work? Working on weekends? Constant criticism from parents? Someone above mentioned a day of shredding homework. I suggest a teacher walkout day protesting the way they are constantly dissed by P. A parents who, as always, know it all. Nora Charles, This has been an extremely helpful and civil discussion, please join us.

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    Please start by reading the thread rather than a few posts and jumping in with an off-topic trollish comment. If you would like to just vent with unsupported opinions and sweeping condemnations of parents, please start a separate thread. Are you a current parent or teacher in this school community? I am a district parent and know parents in every school in the district, and your opinion of them sounds like the bias of a crank, not based in fact. I have found parents in this district to be some of the most caring and intelligent I have known anywhere. They are one of the reasons I think this district is great.

    I feel the same about our excellent teachers. If you even read the comments above all the way through, I think you will see far more praise of our teachers than criticism. That's really not what the thread is about. This thread is about whether there is a basis in law for schools to assign homework, it's not about ending high-quality education, or even ending homework for those who think it's important for their own children, but about setting boundaries, especially for those who need them. The kind of work my child is doing outside of school is currently higher quality and a strong education not available in school, and the homework -- like making a t-shirt for science class about an element my child already had to write a cartoon about -- conflicts directly with the ability to do that higher quality work.

    In fact, it's not even just the time or the assignments, it's simply the expectation that the time after school is at the disposal of the school that is the issue. If families wish it for their children, and if the families believe it is in the best interest of their children's education, they should be able to choose to have non-stop homework that stretches to bedtime and impinges on breakfast.

    I wouldn't want to take that away from someone who benefits from it, I was that kind of student. School boards were set up to allow local control for schools, meaning, control by locals, i. The intent was not to foster insular organizations with no checks and balances - that is fundamentally undemocratic and against the reason for school boards in the first place.

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    So whether you like or, as you have voiced, resent the input of parents, it is a fundamental and important part of education code and in this district, the high quality of the district. Times have changed. The pace of change is accelerating, and it's no longer just the pace of technological change. Children are wending their way through school while districts play extremely slow catch up.