Steamboat committee proposes new graduation requirements

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Pilot & Today Staff

Current graduation requirements and proposed graduation requirement changes

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What: Presentation of proposed changes to the Steamboat Springs School District’s graduation requirements

When: 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Steamboat Springs High School commons area

— Steamboat Springs High School students would have to complete two more credits in their four years in school under new graduation requirements being proposed to the School Board. The change would increase the number of credits from 23 to 25.

Marty Lamansky, assistant principal at Steamboat Springs High School, said the increase doesn’t mean more students won’t graduate. He said that an average of the last three graduating classes revealed that 84 percent of students earned at least 25 credits.

Lamansky said a curriculum committee that has worked since March 2009 to review the district’s graduation requirements doesn’t think that’s an unrealistic bar for students to reach.

“I feel like we’ve got something that provides a good balance for what’s achievable for all students to prepare them for what they’ll encounter after high school,” he said.

Lamansky has presented the proposed changes to faculty and staff at each school and parent groups at the high school and middle school. He also will present the proposal during a public meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the high school commons area. Those in attendance will be encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.

If approved by the School Board in December, the new requirements would take effect next year for the Class of 2015.

The proposed changes in­­clude the addition of 0.5 credits in math, 0.5 credits of personal financial literacy and 1 credit of world languages. Also, the number of language arts credits would remain at 4, but 1 world literature credit requirement would be added.

Superintendent Shalee Cun­ningham said it’s important that Steamboat regularly reviews its graduation requirements, something that hasn’t been common in the past.

“I think graduation requirements should be consistently analyzed for any revision and change, just to keep them current,” she said.

Lamansky said new legislation in 2008 required that school districts review their graduation requirements.

Senate Bill 212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids, also required that the academic content standards — what students are taught — be revised. New standards were adopted in December 2009. And the legislation defined postsecondary and workforce readiness — what the state’s students should learn and know by the time they graduate high school.

Lamansky said the proposed graduation requirements place an emphasis on 21st century education, hence the addition of personal financial literacy and world languages. He said in the past, only parts of the graduation requirements were revised and that hasn’t happened for about 10 years. To his knowledge, Lamansky said a comprehensive revision of all graduation requirements hasn’t been conducted.

The proposed changes are based on decisions made by the curriculum committee, which included Principal Kevin Taul­man, a faculty member from each high school department, parents and students. Lamansky said he facilitates the committee but is a nonvoting member.

To make those decisions, Lamansky said a representative of each high school department presented the curriculum committee with the existing graduation requirement and what it should be. He also said the committee took information School Board members heard during community engagement efforts, which included an emphasis on personal finance.

And Lamansky said the committee also reviewed the requirements for other high schools in Routt County, on the Western Slope and along the Front Range. For example, he said Hayden, Soroco and Moffat County high schools all require 25 credits for graduation. He said the Gunnison Watershed School District re­­quires 26 credits, while a number of Front Range schools require only 22.

Lamansky emphasized that the proposed graduation re­­quirements were just the minimum. As he noted, a majority of students from the past three graduating classes exceeded 25 credits. He said less than 1 percent of those students didn’t meet the current requirement of 23 credits.

The School Board will consider a first reading of the proposed requirements at its Nov. 1 meeting. At that time, Lamansky said board members would provide feedback that the curriculum committee could review before presenting the proposed changes for a second reading at the Dec. 13 meeting.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

aichempty 3 years, 6 months ago

"World Literature" = "Can of Worms"

Anything un-American or anti-Judeo-Christian should be okay.

Let the games begin . . .

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chickadee 3 years, 6 months ago

...would be interesting to see how many would graduate if taking and passing a drug test was a requirement.

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bandmama 3 years, 6 months ago

So 16% of the students now, do not graduate with those 25 credits. How many of those credits are math related? And how much will that percentage increase? As a parent of a high school student who is already worried about graduating, why add more instead of concentrating on the credits required now. I actually had a teacher tell me last week that she had issues with her class concentrating and focusing on her. Why? Because she says she doesn't LIKE to make them NOT have access to the net in her class. I was floored. Helloooooo...... if the class isn't concentrating on what the teacher is saying because they are distracted, get rid of the distraction. I am all for a better education but since our kids are not getting all they should be gleaning now, why add to the pressure?

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chickadee 3 years, 6 months ago

If the graduation requirements are so stringent then why are there so many juniors and seniors loitering about town in the afternoons? I understand that some of them finish class for the day before 1:00 p.m.--is that correct? Have those students already completed calculus, basic physics and chem? At least two years of a foreign language? Are they milling about town because they have nothing left to learn and they are ready for success at a University? I don't mean "college"---I am referring to bell curve weed out schools (no....not that kind weed out for which this town is known).

May I dare suggest that the math, science and language requirements of most public high schools are already way too lax?

That is my opinion. I do not expect everyone to agree with me. Mon opinion ne changera pas jusqu'à ce que les exigences deviennent plus strictes.

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Jeff Kibler 3 years, 6 months ago

USA: Ranked 27th in math and science, first in self esteem. Isn't it about time for competition and choice in education?

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bandmama 3 years, 6 months ago

why not lower the number of electives from 6 plus and add another Math or Science? Not all students are college bound. Why make it that more difficult for those that are trying for a diploma? My kiddo's IQ is higher than some of his teachers, he has been bored stiff for the last three years. And yes he is taking AP courses, and WAS planning on college. He is to the point now that he has told me he has NO intention of furthering his education right out of high school. (and no this is NOT a good thing with Mom) But in working with the school for the last MANY years I have to understand his point of view. Nothing makes me madder than to hear a teacher tell me that he is in class daily, is active in discussions and tests at 100%, but he still isn't passing, why? Because he failed to complete the 'busywork". Great way to encourage a kid who aces the tests and brings thoughts into class discussions. Fail him. Good job. The class I referrenced earlier is a prime example, instead of busy work (ie: homework for student who obviously has mastered the lesson...) why not encourage further knowledge by pressing that student to prove what he has learned? Offer some choices, fine you know the subject? Now right a five page essay telling me you have learned something. Show us what you have learned and be graded on that. Stop coddling every student and make them use those little minds. There are many that have them and are not able to express or glean anything because they are put in a box. Forget Electives, Concentrate on subjects that will further thier quest for a real education. On the other hand, keep in mind that as I said, not all students are college material, the need a high school diploma for a job. It really gets my goat that these kids will also be left in the cold as they cant not keep up. We are very fortunate in this district for the small classes and we have some ROCKING teachers. But we also have who dont seem to cut it. The GT program? HA. HA. HA. My kid was three quarters into the school year before he even knew he had an advocate. Good job there, as I didn't know either, then it was all about her and how her program was going to be cut if the kids under her wing didn't do well. After four meetings with the woman, I had to tell her that if she referred to my kid by the wrong name again, and disclosed personal information about the kid she THOUGHT was mine, then I was pulling him from the program. Guess what? He isn't in the program anymore. And they expect 100% from my kid? yeah....right.

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bandmama 3 years, 6 months ago

And before anyone yells about that IQ thing? No, mine isn't as high as his and yes it is difficult to deal with. I miss Lisa Ruff. She was a "teacher" and wasn't afraid to put a kid to the test and challenge them. And did an extemely good job. I hate to pull the "my tax dollars are paying for...." thing but sometimes parents need guidance and assistance. And yes I do expect the public schools to help in that. They failed in my book since Lisa left. A kid with a mind like mine has should NOT be failing when EVERY one of his teachers have told me they know he grasps the subject.he just didn't finish all 20 problems, but he and the teacher had a very nice discussion about the assigned topic.

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jk 3 years, 6 months ago

band. it's amazing how you beat both sides of that drum!! hahaha Give your kid more work to keep his high iq busy, yet don't fail him for not completing his assignments.? It sounds kinda like he has you buffaloed my Dear.

chickadee," Have those students already completed calculus, basic physics and chem? At least two years of a foreign language? Are they milling about town because they have nothing left to learn and they are ready for success at a University?" What if they don't pass a drug test yet still have all of this accomplished???

Jeff, Competition and choice in academics, as well as sports, would be great to see again!!!

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chickadee 3 years, 6 months ago

@jk

I have known of several students who have completed those core college prep classes and who would not have been able to pass a drug test. Some picked up criminal records prior to graduating, which made college apps difficult nothwithstanding good grades and high SAT scores.

Even CU requires an explanation for students who have been suspended, placed on diversion or have had criminal charges. My understanding is that the app gets a lot of scrutiny no matter how high the grades and the SAT scores if there is a criminal history or one incident of suspension.

Some, but not all, of those students are still living. Many have achieved college degrees even though they engaged in binge drinking and pot smoking throughout college. Could they have done better if they were sober? Are they as competitive as they would be if they were sober? All other things being equal, I would expect the sober kid to kick the high kid's arse on just about any kind of test.

There is no point to my post. A lot of high school children in Steamboat Springs abuse controlled substances and have inadequate parental supervision. Not enough H.S. students in the U.S. are sufficiently educated in math and science. There are some people who are well educated in math and science who abuse controlled substances. Yada, yada yada.

This is boring. I'm out.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

Spring of my senior year in high school, I was done before lunch and that was after calculus, AP chem, took physics junior year and so on. So don't disparage high school kids just because some figured out how to be have a short day.

Hopefully, the credits rule does not make it harder for high school kids to take classes at CMC. One of the best students in my senior class graduated with a GED because she was taking too many college classes and not enough high school classes.

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chickadee 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh wait. I am not done. Here is a rant.

Will someone puhhhhhleeeeeease explain to my WHY there are so many high school students loitering about after 1 p.m. who claim that they are finished with school for the day? What's up with that? Why don't they have to be in school until at least 4 p.m. or so like in the good old days? Keep 'em locked up on campus, off the streets and outta my way. During lunch too. Those high school drivers are a menace!

And why does the school let them leave campus stuffed-too-many-people-in a car causing all that annoying traffic congestion by the post office. They drive their crap can cars and are too busy playing touch butt, flirting and texting to look where they are going. They are traffic accidents waiting to happen. They make the lines for food too long in places like Azteca and City Market. G.D. nuisance they are. If I want a burrito, I do not want to have to stand in line behind 15 teens who should be IN SCHOOL. And they are probably HIGH.

All of this free time on their hands and how many of them could solve a differential equation or translate a text from Latin?

They sure do know a lot about pot dispensaries.

And by passing a drug test, I do not mean a horticultural test on how to grow weed. That one many of them can pass. Some of them are home schooled on that subject.

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jk 3 years, 5 months ago

chickadee, they should all be required to write an comedic rant like yours also!! I am sure they could all come up with several paragraphs regarding stuffy old fuddy duddies that generally hate kids 'cause they didn't get to grow up in a ski town!!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, don't blame the kids that if they wanted to learn how to solve a differential equation that they are off campus because nothing past calculus is taught at the high school. I'm told some take calculus at CMC and so I'm not even sure if calculus is taught at the high school.

And SB high school has about twice as many kids pass the standardized math test as than the average Colorado high school. So the school is doing a better job than most.

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frankly 3 years, 5 months ago

Here is the problem with not completing the "busywork" ... when the student is at his or her job, after high school, and the boss has them do the task of, say, data entry, transcribing information, or other boring, menial work (and ALL entry level jobs have this), will the student be able to buckle down with the discipline to complete these wretchedly boring, but required, tasks? Busywork is for practice, and some students need more practice than others, but public education is the law of averages and the epitome of a social system. Don't like it? Home schooling is an option, or private school. If a student is so gifted, he or she should be able to complete the "busywork", turn it in, and then read a stimulating book quietly while others are working (which, ha ha, he or she will not have the opportunity to do in his/her entry level job - who gets to pleasure read on the company dime?). Again, it is discipline. A student that is not disciplined at school will not succeed in an entry level job. Unfortunately, no matter how brilliant he or she may be, doing what the boss tells you, whether you want to or not, is part of working in the REAL world. I've had many jobs I didn't enjoy, but I thank my parents for instilling in me the work ethic of doing what I was told, whether or not I felt the task was "worthy" of my intelligence or not, and completing it to the best of my ability. Einstein worked in a patent office for years, for pete's sake, and didn't get a promotion until he mastered machine technology - he seemed to make the most of his "busywork". Entitlement makes our young folks blind ...

Yes, the upping of the graduation requirements is a good move. I realize all kids will not go to college, but they should have enough education to make the choice, and not be forced out of competition by a weak curriculum.

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JusWondering 3 years, 5 months ago

In an effort to be productive here, I am very encouraged by the proposed requirements! For too many years our educational system has abandoned many of the core requirements to be a successful member of society. Specifically I am very pleased to see a requirement for financial literacy. Americans are woefully lacking. In fact, I would unequivocally state that we are headed for disaster in the next 15 years thanks to the baby boomers who are the most financially irresponsible generation in our nation's history. There was a survey earlier this decade of the American populace asking simple questions to quantify financial literacy and Americans failed miserably (can't find the reference easily). Did you know... only about 1/2 of Americans can compound simple interest for more than two years. And we wonder why we had the 2008 mortgage collapse?! Start focusing on fundamentals and leave the confidence building electives out! And, oh yeah, build results-oriented accountability into the educational system.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

justwondering, Financial literacy is a core requirement and not a watering down of the curriculum? Isn't adding nice-to-know topics like nutrition, driver ed, and so on, the very definition of watering down the curriculum? I think it is great to offer that class, but adding it as a graduation requirement means some kids are taking that class instead of something else that they and their parents think are more important for them.

And it wasn't consumer financial literacy that caused the mortgage collapse. It was perfectly reasonable for consumers to accept money for nothing and place a free bet on the bubble continuing. Blame a lack of rational critical thinking on the insiders that thought they could combine risky things in a way that eliminated risk. It'd be great to teach the critical thinking skills that can look at a sophisticated statistical analysis and say it is BS if argues that it can eliminate risk.

It'd also be great to teach the kids how to recognize the folly of thinking AIG's financial instrument insurance could be relied upon despite AIG counting the entire premium as profit and not putting any aside for reserves to pay off any future claims. And remember, after being shot down by US accountants, AIG moved that business to London where they got a favorable ruling by accountants saying that was legal. So teach our kids the details of various countries accounting rules so they could figure out what AIG was doing so they would be smart enough to figure out the next bubble and, instead of taking the doomed free bet, they know enough to short the crooked companies?

Man, that'd be one heck of a high school class.

Instead it'll be as boring as watching paint dry by having the kids do things like balance a checkbook. One of those classes which the smart kids use as study time to do their homework for academic classes. And learn how the system works by not obviously ignoring the teacher while knowing the teacher is not going to object if it is done subtly because no one wants the discussion in the principal's office of the student ignoring the teacher of a class that is a waste of time.

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

Frankly-I agree with you that homework can be a learning tool for future employment. I have a problem with an hour and a half classes that still assign homework. Homework is practice for what is being taught. If in an hour and a half the kids dont get it, then by all means, yes they need the practice. When the kids do understand the concepts, that time could be used to further the concept instead of boring the student to tears. chickadee-what in the world has convinced you that these kids are all nasty little stoners? Really? Perhaps if you took your lunch a little earlier or later in the day?

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

@bandmama

I cannot take lunch any later. It is really important that I am at home every afternoon so that I can yell outta my window at any kids who try to walk through my lawn.

KEEP OFF THE GRASS! <<that is what i yell at them.....get it?

Yesterday there were two of them out sledding. at 2pm (!!!)when they should have been in school LEARNING CALCULUS AND MANDARIN CHINESE. they were probaby STONED. and they had their dogs with them. off leash. walking through my yard...g.d. kids.

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JusWondering 3 years, 5 months ago

Scott, First, nowhere on the REQUIREMENTS did I see nutrition or Driver's ed. Second, financial literacy for high school to me is not balancing a checkbook; my 4th grader knows how to do that!

Third, I never attributed financial illiteracy to causation. This was you. It WAS a symptom. Pretty easy to know that I am in a home that I can't afford if I can't balance a checkbook and understand VERY basic time value of money calculations. It's kind of difficult to know that I am hosed if I don't understand that if I have $100 in a savings account with a 2% interest rate I will have more than $102 in five years (an actual question from the survey I referenced; less than 80% could answer the question correctly). Academia would absolutely agree on it!

There are a number of surveys conducted all pointing to the same conclusion. The Feds thought it was important enough to launch mymoney.gov. I am not going to get into an argument with you over AIG, Lehman and the rest of them... they would not have created their "investments" if the American public weren't idiotic enough to buy them. A product only survives for a very short time if there is no market to sell it in.

The boomer generation is the most financially ill-prepared generation in the history of our country and are merrily racing their way into bankruptcy with your mindset. Personally I don't think we have a problem with Social Security. Boomers will never be able to retire and draw the benefit until they have worked themselves to death at which point they will receive payments for a very short time... good news for the rest of us! The downside of this is we can't put you out to pasture and in the old folks home as soon because you are too broke; so you are stuck living with us - your kids (payback is hell by they way).

Nutrition is nice-to-know? What planet are you living on? - with the propensity of obesity in the US I do not see a problem teaching kids about it. With our new National healthcare system I want people to know that if they eat too much or incorrectly they will get fat and have health issues that I have to pay for! There are LOTS of studies on that one showing that it costs US over $147 BILLION a year... doesn't seem like a nice to know subject to me.

Driver's ed? - perhaps a little more of a luxury; but less so in Routt County.

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

Chicky- Now I get it, as long as you have your priorities straight. Have you considered calling a truant officer and keeping a supply of rotten eggs with you to throw at them? The kids, not the officer. Justwondering......After the cummute into town this morning, Drivers Ed is a good thing in Routt County.

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Chris Peters 3 years, 5 months ago

Chick, Please regale us with the tales of your successful childhood. I expect to hear how pious, respectful, and sober you and your fellow students were. Please answer in Mandarin and include a couple of differential equations to help my stoned out child understand how much better life was with Warren G Harding as president.

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housepoor 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the keeping them on campus for lunch, you get behind 20 of them at Azteca and you'll be waiting a half hour

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

Now now....they have every right to buy munchies anywhere they want. They ARE buying locally.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

Bandmama, The reason that even a 90 minute class gives homework is because people learn things by repeated exposure to the topic. In fact, studying the same topic in different environments helps the brain isolate the subject from the context of the room and so on. So homework is about learning the subject in a different spot than the classroom so the kids will learn it better.

As for financial knowledge:

The American public was not buying CDOs and any of the other mortgage backed securities.

They were accepting mortgages being given to them with no down payments. And many knew they could not afford to own the house based upon their income. But when their mortgage allowed them to pay less than accruing interest then they could "afford" to buy a house with nothing down and minimal income. The buyer brought basically nothing to the table and was buying on the hope (by the buyer) or expectation (by the lender) that housing prices would continue to increase. So in a few years the buyer could refi with their home equity and hopefully improved personal income into a conforming loan. Meanwhile, those buying CDOs were implicitly assuming that housing prices would continue to increase so it didn't matter to whom they were lending because in a few years the secured asset (the house) was going to be worth more than the debt anyway.

Based upon whom had put what at risk, it was a reasonable financial move for buyers to accept the mortgages being offered.

It was a rather stupid move by the financial industry to fail to recognize the risk of a decline in housing prices. Certainly their math geniuses that came up with the statistical models that justified CDOs would recognize the feedback effect that would happen if housing prices were to decline. So anyone inside these financial institutions that had been willing to ask a simple question would have seen the risk. Which is why Goldman Sachs had greatly reduced their exposure even as Citigroup and BofA went all in.

Anyway, I just see financial literacy as a real difficult class to teach when it is required for graduation because it has to be something most everyone can pass without teaching what the academically strong already know. There are polls that show a large number of people don't know basic geography, that there are 3 constitutional branches of government and so on. So making graduation requirements based upon the public's ignorance of basic knowledge is not very smart. There was even a poll on religious knowledge showing that a great many Christians are not only ignorant of other religions, but couldn't associate Martin Luther with the Protestant Reformation.

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

Scott- an honest question, Do you regularly bring home 2-2 1/2 hours of work home with you every night? Do you feel that that makes you better at your job? I am willing to bet that you wouldn't appreciate it either. Sorry excessive homework/busywork is a pet peeve of mine. I agree with many of your other opinions though.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

Bandmama, Well, amount of time depends on the person. Neighborhood high school kids seem to do well enough and they say they have about an hour a half per night.

Standard job has an eight hour work day. Full day at high school is six hours so even 2 1/2 hours of homework results in an 8 1/2 day. Considering the amount of money being spent to educate your child, you really don't have much to complain about. Maybe your son needs help on strategies on how to do it faster.

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

Ok, Chrisp, since you asked,

我的童年是成功的,虔誠

Don't knock the value of learning a little Cantonese or Mandarin. It is not necessary to know the language to establish business connections in Guangzhou, but it helps.

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mavis 3 years, 5 months ago

Scott--- maybe you could be in charge of giving an assessment determining how many of them can balance a checkbook and understand home and auto loans in their Jr. year and you might start humming a different tune. Not every parent teaches the basics so good for you.... but personal finance is going to help a whole lot more then some additional lit classes

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Chris Peters 3 years, 5 months ago

Chick, Respect! 而不是读报纸,我应该学习我的有机化学。

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

@Chrisp

Since I am just a crabby old geezer it is probably ok for me not think about what I learned in o-chem and to instead keep on wiling the hours away reading newspapers, looking out the window and yelling at kids to keep off the grass.

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exduffer 3 years, 5 months ago

A finance course for kids whose 529 account earns half of the rate of tuition increases would be great!

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JusWondering 3 years, 5 months ago

Scott Writes: "The American public was not buying CDOs and any of the other mortgage backed securities"... um, yeah they were. If the American public had a 401k plan or IRA and if that 401k plan had a stable value fund (and in many instances a money market fund) they were more than likely buying interest in CDOs. How else was the rate of return so high on these products for so long? Scott, stick to what you kinow.

"making graduation requirements based upon the public's ignorance of basic knowledge is not very smart". LOL

Regarding actuarial models... yep they knew it. They even warned of it. Few, including Joe 401k or IRA investor, wanted to believe it and since they needed to make up dot-com bubble losses to be able to retire with any semblance of an income stream. Financial services firms (that are in it to make money) kept building products for the pigs to lap up. No one escapes responsibility here.... and the American public was to ignorant to see the VERY basic math that it didn't add up. Our kids and grandkids will be studying the ignorance of the American public over the past 15 years for decades to come!

Scott, I am not saying that a graduation requirement should be a thorough understanding of CAPM. I am saying that a high school student should be able to compound interest over five years! Clearly very rudimentary knowledge if you are going to buy houses, cars, etc and invest in anything. Seems pretty logical to me that you would want to know exactly how much the new Dodge RAM actually costs you.

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oldskoolstmbt 3 years, 5 months ago

soroco has had 25 credit requirements for years....the kids do great! my two graduates even entered college as sophmore's with these new requirements...it's achievable!!!!...this sort of thing usually worries parents more than the student(s)

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

oldskool- WAY back in the days of the dinos, I also had 25 to graduate. wasn't a problem. Knew what was expected and spent my senoir year taking Home Ec and child developement classes and graduated with a few credits to spare. My issue with inceasing the current number is that at this stage in the game? More emphasis can and should be, fine tuning the classes that are required now and really, six and a half electives are about three to many. In my ever, Humble opinion. Chicky- so who got the eggs? Were you shoved to the front of the line at Aztecky? You should have been, by golly we have jobs and those little stoner slobs had all afternoon to eat those munchies. I am patiently awaiting your response. HA!

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

lol..bandmama. I do not throw eggs except maybe in the figurative sense on this blog. Still considering the use of humane traps and noose poles.

I take back my complaint about kids at Aztecky because I am glad that they are supporting a local business. Azteca is yummy.

Do schools still offer Home Ec classes? Back in the olden days we learned to make a wicked jello salad in 7th grade home ec. Those skills come in handy, don't you agree?

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

How humane do the traps have to be? There are not Home Ec classes like we had, and I bet we made the same Jell-O salad, did it include manderine oranges and whipped fluff? LOL! I think all kids should graduate knowing how to at least cook an egg, sew on a button and run a load of clothes. AND make Jell-O salad. (dont underestimate those rotton eggs, as kids my sister and I would load snowballs with them. Yes, we ruled at snowball fights...)

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aichempty 3 years, 5 months ago

I still remember the greatest shortcoming of high school teachers being that the only thing they learned how to do was teach school. There's a lot of value in learning skills from someone who has applied that skill in the real world. Taking math in high school from people who only learned how to teach math was not a huge help in preparing me to take math at engineering school. The old "when will I ever use this in real life?" question could never be answered, and so I did not appreciate the need to know the fundamentals instead of just making the grades. Big difference.

Mama,

Hopefully your son will mature and figure out that there is more to doing well in school than sitting in class and being able to pass tests without doing homework. The world is full of really smart, lazy and underemployed people who never learned the value of doing what was expected of them in order to get a grade or be paid well.

My college roommate started college at the same place I did, on the same day I did, after graduating from the same high school I did. He had better grades and higher SAT scores than me -- his father was an electrical engineer who had mentored him through high school to get ready for engineering school. In the end, my friend blew off a lot of work in college, flunked out twice, the second time after I had graduated. He finally got his bachelor's degree eight years later, the same semester I got my masters degree after I had also flown as a pilot in the Navy for five years before going to grad school.

During that time, my friend gave up at least $10,000 a year that he could have been earning if he had done the work in engineering school. He also had to finish college at night because he had to work a full-time day job to help support his family (his wife also worked).

So, here is a real-life example of a smart kid who did not understand why it was important to do the assigned work. It cost him a lot of time and money later. Nobody cares how smart you are unless your grades show it when they consider your application for college, or for a job. If you don't need a transcript to apply for a job, you will spend your life working for chump change alongside people who don't need to be smart to hold the job. It may not be fair, but for most people, that's how it is.

I've done okay, but I have been working for more than 20 years in a field where I have to show my transcript when I apply for a job. The people looking at it made good grades and they want to hire someone who is qualified for the job. That's why grades are important for some people for the rest of their lives, and your son needs to know that blowing them off today really can hurt him 20 years from now.

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