Friday, September 21, 2007

The Graying of Kindergarten

I read Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes yesterday and while I disagree with much of what author Marc Penn (chief advisor to Hillary Clinton's campaign) has to say--like the Republican Party is losing membership, its identity and is ripe for a breakup--haven't Democrats been saying that for the last 20 years? (yawn)--there is some good data that is worth contemplating. The book is divided into a number of chapters that identify microtrends in "religion, leisure, politics and family life that are changing the way we live." The trend that caught my eye was in a chapter entitled, "Smart Child Left Behind: Kindergarten Hold-Backs in America."

Penn points out that the big trend in education today is "holding kids back." And the odd thing is, the smarter the child is, the more likely they are to be held back.

It's called "red-shirting," after the practice of keeping college athletes out a year while they grow bigger. A U.S. Department of Education report issued in 2005 suggested that nearly 10 percent of American students in kindergartern were actually eligible to have enrolled the year before.

Who's doing this? The typical red-shirt child is a boy, with white, well-educated parents. So well educated that they know how good it feels to be at the top of their class--and they want that for their children, even if their children are currently smaller, less advanced, less developed, or less capable than their peers. So--ever the problem-solvers--they sign them up for peers who are one year younger.


Schools have also gotten in on the act and do what Penn refers to as pink--shirting:

In the past twenty-five years--in reaction to bold new standards in the 1980's that aimed to make American's elementary schools more rigorous--nearly every state in the union rolled back it's kindergarten cut-off date from December to about September, effectively edging the younger 5-year-olds right into next year's class...

The Chicago Tribune has called it "the graying of kindergarten."

Whereas virtually nobody used to be 6 in kindergarten, now a serious chunk of children are, including nearly 1 in 5 boys.


My question is, is holding a smart boy out of school for a year really good for boys? People say that boys mature slower than girls so maybe it's a good thing but I'm not so sure. As Penn points out, "most studies of red-shirted students have concluded that they do no better than their younger classmates in the long term, and that any short-term gains disappear by third grade."

Think about it, a smart boy is sitting in class, a year older and wiser than his peers and graduates at 19 year old. His life and adulthood is put on hold another year and he is in high school at an age where he can vote, marry and join the military. Perhaps in the short run, it might be helpful but it could also be contributing to why so many boys--especically smart ones--don't like school. The curriculum is already dumbed down and now you are a year behind. After this experience, it's no wonder that many smart young men have decided to skip college.

Labels:

51 Comments:

Blogger HMT said...

My daughter and son were both born in September. The school age cutoff in our area is in October. So both my children were just this side of the cutoff, i.e. born a few weeks later they'd start kindergarten a year later.

Our daughter started school "on time" and had some trouble in each grade at the start of the year, but by the end of the year was pretty much fine.

We started our son a year later than the "official" start age and he's done great each year. If we had it to do over, we'd have waited a year for our daughter as well.

The bottom line is, they're your kids and the age cutoff for school is an arbitrary point in time decided by people who have to deal with thousands of children. As a parent you are the only one who's going to look out for your kids specific needs.

9:54 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

In general, I think holding kids back is a mistake unless there is clear evidence they aren't up to the task. My youngest sister was born in May which put her in the youngest part of her class. But, she exelled academically and athletically (colege basketball scholarship and earned a Phd).

My youngest daughter, now in the sixth grade, was also born in May and also excels academically and in basketball although she's the youngest on the team.

It's easy to see in sports how holding kids back doesn't often work. My son plays football. Although he's always been around the 99th percentile for his age, during elementary and middle school other teams of the same grade would have 5 or 6 kids bigger than him. Now that he's reached high school, suddenly only 1 or 2 guys on the other team are taller than him.

Holding back may give you a slight headstart in the early years where it really doesn't matter as much. But in the long run it all evens out and people perform according to their ability and other factors.

10:44 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...

If these well-educated people would homeschool their children, they could do even better. By the time that most teens would be starting college, they could already have completed an associate's degree at a community college, allowing them to skip a lot of the dull classes in college and study more interesting things during their four years.

11:25 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...

Also, considering that education majors (the mainstream population among public school teachers) score at or near the lowest among those going to most universities, it's not like most parents are any less qualified today to teach. Most middle and upper class families could easily do better by their children than the average public school teacher.

11:27 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

I look at middle schoolers and note that the girls are often bigger than the guys. By the time they start HS in 9th grade, the girls seem almost mature, but many of the boys do not. There is some place at the end of MS and the beginning of HS when this difference is stark, where most of the girls look like young women and many of the boys still look and act like young boys.

I have heard that when it comes to college, when the kids start, many of the girls are ready for really serious relationships, while the boys are not. By graduation, the boys have often settled down as well as the girls have.

So, seeing the difference in physical and emotional maturity between boys and girls, in general, I would keep back a son if he were near the cutoff and was't mature for his age. But probably not a daughter.

I hate being a sexist, but I do see very big differences in maturity in middle school and high school on average between the boys and the girls.

11:55 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger tdjohnsn said...

Bruce, I don't think your statement is sexist at all. Boys and girls are equal by the time they graduate from college, they just take a different path maturity and physically getting there. I teach at a small art college, and every year when the freshmen start, it is in stark relief how much more mature (although not always in good ways...) the girls are than the boys. It is also amazing to watch the boys catch up all at once, as if they are just waiting for some trigger to turn them into men.

12:22 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

My mom spent the first years of my elementary education vainly trying to get me advanced. None of my friends were my age and I basically felt like I was sitting in a cage full of monkeys. I was reading 6th grade text in 1st grade, but listing to friggin' painful "Dick and Jane" reads.

No. Age has nothing to do with where a child should be. Aptitude only.

2c.

12:37 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I disagree with much of what author Marc Penn (chief advisor to Hillary Clinton's campaign) has to say

Kudos to you, it would be hard for me to read a book if it was attacking my politics. I turned 6 during the fall in Kindergarten and that was in the late 80s. I also went to Head Start before that. I do not have any kids yet, but I think I'll have my boys start school at the typical age as long as they are capable.

4:12 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

I think you may be missing a big part of it Helen.

When those boys get to high school and start playing sports, their bodies will be one year older and bigger, as well.

Well educated white parents are very into youth sports these days, where it's usually done by age, not grade level.

Not true with American varsity h.s. sports, where it's grade level, not age, that matters.

Really, it makes sense if you want to give your child every advantage athletically, and for most of the popular boys's sports nowadays, size, plus that extra year of skills training, matters.

4:22 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Serket,

I think it's important to read books even if they don't agree with one's political position--you can often learn alot from them--about the way that other people think, new ways of approaching problems that you didn't realize or just information that will help you make your own political points better. Also, people have political beliefs that are different from mine, I might not like or think their views are accurate but they have the right to express them. Too bad so many on the left don't give others the same courtesy.

4:34 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

Too bad so many on the left don't give others the same courtesy.

Helen:
Respectfully, you see a lot of that on the "right" too. I suspect it's an individual, and not a party, thing.

Perhaps we're more apt to notice when it's discourtesy against our "side" though.

To me the worst is not discourtesy so much but the other party/side mischaracterizing our views and then criticizing based on those mischaracertizations.

Hopefully in the coming years we'll see it really is to our benefit politically to start working together to tackle some of these out-of-control issues bi-partisianly.

I think Mitt Romney can do that because he has in the past.

4:38 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Weed said...

“Who's doing this? The typical red-shirt child is a boy, with white, well-educated parents. So well educated that they know how good it feels to be at the top of their class--and they want that for their children, even if their children are currently smaller, less advanced, less developed, or less capable than their peers. So--ever the problem-solvers--they sign them up for peers who are one year younger.”

Key phrase, “smaller, less advanced, less developed, or less capable than their peers.” That seems like THE reason to hold a kid back a year.

As Penn points out, "most studies of red-shirted students have concluded that they do no better than their younger classmates in the long term, and that any short-term gains disappear by third grade."

As the father of 3 sons, of which only the youngest was held back, performing at grade level would be considered a positive outcome. I wish I had held my older sons back, but they eventually caught up anyway.

P.S. I’m new to commenting, so forgive me if I messed up the quotes.

5:05 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

When those boys get to high school and start playing sports, their bodies will be one year older and bigger, as well.

Well educated white parents are very into youth sports these days, where it's usually done by age, not grade level.


Mary, this is what I was trying to point out is usually a mistake. By the junior year in high school, being a year older rarely gives someone an advantage. I don't have any empirical evidence but anecdotal evidence abounds.

Had I been born 6 weeks later I would have started school a year later. I was MVP on my high school basketball team my junior year. Had my youngest sister been born 4 weeks later she would have started school a year later. She was first string all-state and player of the year in a 300,000 person county.

At 14 and in the younger half of his class, my youngest son is the strongest, and close to the biggest, player on his freshman football team although some of his teammates are 16 years old. And, my 11 year old daughter who is nearly two years younger than than some of her basketball teammates is the starting center and as tall or taller than anyone on the team.

A late start doesn't overcome genetics. I think it's harder on the late starters who get used to dominating sports in the middle school years. Then in junior high and high school everyone else catches up and maybe passes them when it really matters. It's much better for someone to help their kids excel in activities the kids enjoy rather than start planning a successful athletic career before kindergarten.

The maturity aspect is over blown. Some people confuse high activity levels with immaturity. With a few exceptions, starting your kids a year late in school is worthless at best.

5:33 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

I see this reference to boys "maturing" slower than girls to be a red herring, as the schools seemed to do just fine with both boys and girls until the leftists got ahold of the schools. Now, all of a sudden, the boys can't learn because they aren't "mature" just like the girls couldn't learn back in the 90's because of the Patriarchy.

As far as the "maturity" mem goes, I'm not seeing much alleged maturity in the incessant character destroying gossip teenage girls employ against each other, or their texting their friends or applying makeup while driving a 2000+ lb vehicle.

It is Twaddle.

6:07 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Dragon Hawk said...

I didn't hold my son back and so many of his peers were held back. He was the smallest kid in class, and during 2nd grade, the teacher made them lug home every book they had for homework, the weight of which nearly bent my little kid in half. I always felt that she was probably designing her teaching for these "elderly" children. It wasn't fair to my kid that he was at the correct age for his grade, while these other kids that were significantly bigger were not, but my son suffered anyway.

Yes, things have evened out, but I wish I had known about this 'trend' and held my son back as well.

7:13 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

M,

The problem is that since all of the parents are holding their kids back, your kid is the one who suffers if he is the right age. Luckily, he will be finished with the homework (at least high school homework) a year earlier than his peers.

7:24 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

Mary, this is what I was trying to point out is usually a mistake. By the junior year in high school, being a year older rarely gives someone an advantage. I don't have any empirical evidence but anecdotal evidence abounds.

I respectfully disagree. It might be maturity rates, but as some here have noted boys generally get that quick "growth spurt" BUT some get it earlier and later than others, based on their own metablism or genes, I guess.

That's why even at the same age levels (no one bumped up or held back) you do see baby-faced boys who still are in their junior high bodies, and some who are already physically men -- hairy, shaving, filling out, etc.

By grabbing that one extra year, your son has a better chance of hitting that spurt alongside others if he is a late bloomer. And even if he is "average" for his size -- however you define that -- the one extra summer of sports camp, plus the extra year of playing on the travelling team in the youth sports, DOES matter.
Had I been born 6 weeks later I would have started school a year later. I was MVP on my high school basketball team my junior year. Had my youngest sister been born 4 weeks later she would have started school a year later. She was first string all-state and player of the year in a 300,000 person county.

At 14 and in the younger half of his class, my youngest son is the strongest, and close to the biggest, player on his freshman football team although some of his teammates are 16 years old. And, my 11 year old daughter who is nearly two years younger than than some of her basketball teammates is the starting center and as tall or taller than anyone on the team.



From the physical description of you, your sister, and children dadvocate, it sounds like your genes are wonderful -- good and strong and maturing early. No so in other families, again perhaps because of genes or the family's history of nutrition. There you see more "late bloomers", which makes sense also if you consider these are often well-educated people who perhaps did not have the opportunity to play sports, and were more "geeks" themselves. But now that they have money and are successful, they definitely are investing in athletic careers for their children. The next generation is often bigger and stronger because of these advantages, but still, those like your family might have an earlier physical advantage based on those inherent genes. (Was yours a healthy rural family that ate well?)

If your children have an advantage because they mature early "At 14 and in the younger half of his class, my youngest son is the strongest", others would like theirs to be able to put on a few pounds, and hopefully be a year closer to having that growth spurt kick. Plus, the extra year of camps and skills training to compete with yours.

And I think you're missing the point. The goal isn't to have the kids dominate in elementary and middle school sports (where outside school, they are usually play in age leagues anyway.) The goal is to have them play better in high school, where sports so often determines popularity.

And not to worry. These children of the well-to-do are also receiving excellent educations too, because of the opportunities that can be sought and provided there too via enrichment programs, travel, and private educations. But you can't exactly buy your child a bigger body (except indirectly in what you feed them, and if you have them start lifting in late middle school, etc.)

So why not "buy them" the extra time by starting them late. I hardly think if it's a good school, the one-year-older kids will be bored. And if the schoolwork is easier for them, or they have more confidence based on their sports success or that extra year living experience/maturity, so what? That's an advantage since usually you haven't covered exactly what you're doing in each grade level outside of class. First time through for everyone, but the older kid again possibly is just more "ready" for all of it.

With a few exceptions, starting your kids a year late in school is worthless at best.

Think of dating too. The better developed (which yours do early), more athletic, and more confident usually are more popular. What do you think the well-off academic-geek parent wants for his boys that perhaps he didn't have himself? Exactly.

Not saying I'd do it necessarily, but if others are, depending on where my child's birthday fell, I'd definitely consider. Plus, Mom's often get that one extra year before sending them off to kindergarden, and if you're not paying daycare and are doing zoo/museum/sporting/theatre-type enrichment trips, why so eager to sign them up for school which so often is only day-long kindergarden these days, because so many moms work and don't want to pay half-day daycare anymore.

Different strokes, different folks. Check out the ages and grade levels of those attending some of the sports camps, and you see this is a growing trent. I would still argue, a lot for that athletic advantage reason.

8:05 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

As far as the "maturity" mem goes, I'm not seeing much alleged maturity in the incessant character destroying gossip teenage girls employ against each other, or their texting their friends or applying makeup while driving a 2000+ lb vehicle.

I think what they sometimes mean re. maturity is girls can be sexually active earlier than boys.

Older boys often are interested in dating younger girls. Even early-blooming and strong athletic boys though rarely have sex opportunities with older girls, and are not thought of yet as sexual material for girls their own age who are only interested in the older ones who are driving earlier, have more money from jobs, etc.

8:09 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Kathy said...

No one has mentioned the changes that have occurred in the requirements for kindergarten. I think these are driving this trend as much as anything else. Whereas in the past children weren't expected to read and write until first grade, now, at least where I am, these skills are expected in kindergarten.

Many kids are not developmentally ready for that at age 5. Some are, but boys especially, taken as a group, tend to read and develop fine motor skills later. And the schools, who now have testing even in the early grades, are moving the cutoff back so that they don't have as many immature (academically) kids who won't be able to pass the test.

One of my sons has a birthday just after the cutoff here, and the other has his just before it. However, I homeschool so I will start them on the "kindergarten" work when they seem ready, not in September of the year they are already 5 as the schools mandate. (I'll do the same for my daughters.) The only dilemma that leaves me with is which grade level to put them with in Sunday school. lol

9:39 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Mary,

All I'm saying is that holding kids back doesn't help in the long run, which is the opposite of what you're saying I think. Coming from a large family and my ex-wife coming from an even larger family, I can think of one person whom being held back helped. That was a girl who repeated the first grade rather than started late.

Over the years I've known or been acquainted with quite a few people who played sports on the college level. To my knowledge none were held back before entering school. What holding a kid back does do is delay their entry into adulthood.

Frankly, sports performance is a poor reason to hold a kid back. Extreme immaturity, very small size or such makes more sense. A girl in my grade school entered school a year late because she was very small. She was so small that, although a year older, she was still the smallest kid in her class.

Here's a good example of the absurdity when way to much importance is put on sports. I wonder if anyone really knows how old the two guys in the story are. One played against my oldest son in the 7th grade. Comparing how old they said he was then and how old they say he is now, someone lied somewhere.

If you hold your kid back just in hopes that he/she will be better in sports, you put too much importance on sports. My kids and I are just lucky and we're trying to take advantage of it.

11:08 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

All I'm saying is that holding kids back doesn't help in the long run, which is the opposite of what you're saying I think. Coming from a large family and my ex-wife coming from an even larger family, I can think of one person whom being held back helped.

And I'm disagreeing. You're arguing from your family's experience, and you've already told us they mature early and thus can dominate in school physical competitions. Perhaps you are deadset against this trend because your children (and grandchildren presumably) would no longer have that physical edge by age.

Over the years I've known or been acquainted with quite a few people who played sports on the college level. To my knowledge none were held back before entering school.

Wait and see in a few years, when it was more commonplace to see the students "held back"? It's ppor logic: maybe you didn't see it, because it didn't happen much in the past.

Frankly, sports performance is a poor reason to hold a kid back.

Says you. Parents have different goals for their children, and as I explained above, there is a greater emphasis now on organized youth sports among the well educated, well to do. If they can afford the extra year's opportunites for their child, absolutely parents can make that choice, no matter what other parents may think.

My kids and I are just lucky and we're trying to take advantage of it.

Perhaps your children and (grandchildren to be) will actually improve their early games by competing against other students who presumably will be more their size with the extra year's growth and weight. Don't fear losing the advantage -- think of it as upping the competition.

8:55 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

Dadvocate:
And I just read your blog where you wrote of the potential varsity state-champion hopes of your son's current freshman team. People have whispered hopes that his class will be the nucleus of a state championship in a couple of years. From what I've seen, this may come true.


Do you think 16-year-olds, who presumably were held back somewhere, will help contribute to those hopes? At 14 and in the younger half of his class, my youngest son is the strongest, and close to the biggest, player on his freshman football team although some of his teammates are 16 years old.

9:07 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Locomotive Breath said...

I hate being a sexist, but I do see very big differences in maturity in middle school and high school on average between the boys and the girls.

The high school my son attended used this as an excuse that the top of the class was overwhelmingly female. I'm sure the overwhelmingly female teachers preferred to teach in the way that the "mature" female students learned.

Can someone explain to me why there was such a flap about girls not succeeding 30 years ago but there is now not a comparable flap about the boys not succeeeding? I don't think the inherent nature of the child has changed and the fact that the boys are "less mature" is simply no excuse.

9:50 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Melody said...

If I had it to do over, I'd have kept my son at home an extra year. He was a late summer baby, so had just turned five when kindergarten started. He could read almost anything you put in front of him, had an extensive vocabulary and was very adept at puzzles and strategizing board and card games. He was also a big kid.

Kindergarten through fifth grade were HELL on that poor kid. Partly, he was bored. But mostly, he wasn't mature enough to sit in a classroom from 8:30 to 2:30 being bored without misbehaving. He still needed his naps, and more physical play. A negative pattern was set in K and 1st grade that continued to give him problems. Third grade had a few improvements, but that was due a remarkable teacher with A.Clue about boys. Among the problems with these bright, but immature boys is that they get in the habit of not having to pay attention in class. You can train them to stay in their seats, but they've learned to tune out the teacher. Then the class starts getting to new material that they need to pay attention to learn.
So, you have to cut into the physical play time they need at home to work with them, which makes them even more disengaged from school. And so it goes...

I'm not even convinced that K is best for all children. If they learn the necessary basic skills, why not let them stay at home an extra year and enter first grade as a six year old. They do a LOT of growing and changing between five and six.

10:59 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with Locomotive Breath. It seems that the achievement gap between boys and girls is often written off due to the fact that boys mature slower. At least, this is routinely the case when we compare GPA's. But how is it, that boys with much lower GPA's do as well or better on the SAT and ACT? I think the answer is that the way grades are given out favor the working styles of girls more than boys. Less emphasis is placed on a test of what you know and instead on how often you do your homework, or how much time you put into project, or class participation. I had classes where as much as %25 of my grade was based on homework and class participation. But I hated homework, if you just looked at my test scores (what I learned) I was an A student. When homework and class participation came into play I was an average B student, not because of what I learned, but because a relatively disengaged from the classroom lifestyle. I think it is a situation shared by many boys throughout school.

11:53 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is the concluding statement from an article in teachermagazine.org called "The Self-Control Gap" which contends that girls do better in school due to greater self-control.

" Studies examining how well SAT scores predict college grades actually showed that girls got higher grades in college than boys who outscored them on the college-admissions tests, she said.

“Girls just work harder,” Ms. Eccles said. “Being a good student, broadly defined, is important to them.” "

This is my point again, if you just test boys on what they learn they do as well or better than girls. But, when you attach strings to it, like homework that counts towards a grade or how often you participate in class discussion, boys do worse. To me this sounds like a clear sign that boys are learning the material just fine, but that they are disengaged from the classroom atmosphere, or that the tasks assigned do not appeal to them as much as girls. In my experience, it is not difficult to grab the attention of children, it really doesn't take much. So if boys are bored and can't sit still because they're trying not to fall asleep it's not their fault, it's the school's fault and the teacher's fault. They need to start adopting teaching styles that appeal to boys rather than pander to girls who are of the same gender as %90 of the teachers.

12:06 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

I think it is a situation shared by many boys throughout school.

I think there are a number of bright, physically active girls bored by the "sit still, please the teacher, and do your busy work for points" routine too.

It might be an individual thing -- which affects more boys -- but plenty of girls' parents would back you on this too.

In 6th grade, I was always in trouble for finishing early, and either talking with friends or in some other way "disrupting" because I was bored. The teacher assigned me to help the slower kids, because I had already mastered the work she assigned.

My mother visited, explained I was bored and asked if instead of making me into a teacher's helper, if there were other ways to challenge me to keep me from what she viewed as "misbehaving".

(Mostly, the teacher was complaining I was "off page, reading ahead" or answering her questions having read ahead already.) The teacher's solution was to assign me "Oliver Twist" as outside reading. ("please sir, I want more!")

In fairness, this was 6th grade, and we didn't start splitting up for gifted classes until 7th and 8th, where they combined some of those two grade levels for the advanced faster-paced classes. Suddenly, my in-class behaviour was fine.

It's not just a boy thing, though numbers-wise more may be affected than girls.

*fwiw, I was an early October birthday and started Kindergarden when I was 4 -- soon turning 5.

12:12 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Why is school giving grades based on how hard you worked? Shouldn't grades be given based on what you learn? Having been a boy at one point, I definitely did as little work as possible to get by. School was a nuisance, a sad reality that I just had to deal with, and a distraction from all the other things I would rather be doing, such as playing music, chess, reading a book I actually enjoyed (I still can't get over how boring "Great Expectations" was), or playing with friends. Because of this, I considered my work to be done when I knew the material and hated having to do extra work that didn't help me learn the material whether it was a book report, a creative project, or unnecessary homework, all of which judged how much I was will to work, not learn, and counted towards my grade.

12:20 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

Also, I don't think we can focus blame only on female teachers.

Particularly in high school, I think many male teachers favor the young women in their classes too. I don't know if it's "competition" between some of the younger male teachers and their male students, but I'm sure we could all tell stories about male h.s. teachers favoring their female students over the males.

Read Frank McCourts "Teacher Man" memoir of his years teaching at a good school in Brooklyn (Stuyvesant) for an honest acknowledgment that male teachers are often more attracted (not necessarily sexually, but in an affectionate likeable way) to helping the females in front of them.

12:22 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mary, that's interesting that you point out that male teachers too favor girls sometimes. Perhaps this is because of how we train our teachers to teach. Teachers have certain expectations regarding how they should go about any given lecture based on how they were taught to teach in college. In which case, the bias against physically active students or students who are disengaged from the work ethic --but not necessarily from just learning-- goes all the way up to the level of higher education and the way we train our teachers.

12:29 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a quote from fairtest.org "How is the ACT biased?

Race, class and gender biases give White, affluent, and male test-takers an unfair edge.
ACT scores are directly related to family income: the richer students' parents are, the higher are average scores. But score gaps between groups on the ACT cannot be explained away solely by differences in educational opportunity linked to social class. According to ACT research, when all factors are equal, such as course work, grades and family income, Whites still outscore all other groups. If the ACT were not biased, Asian Americans, who take more academic courses than any other group, would likely score even higher. Moreover, boys score slightly higher than girls across all races, despite boys' lower grades in high school and college when matched for identical courses."

This is given as evidence to the bias in standardized tests. Because boys get lower grades, the result in standardized testing must be biased. Why is it that these analysts are incapable of seeing things the other way. It could easily be that the tests are actually quite fair and that grades are the area that favor white, affluent, girls.

12:42 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

Perhaps this is because of how we train our teachers to teach.

Maybe. It might also be the sexual energy running through the classes at that age that we're really not supposed to acknowledge.

We think of our teachers as sexually neutered, but they are humans and this is a sexual time for the adolescents. There's a big gap -- an undefined but definitely there space -- between teachers physically/illegally messing with their students (which sadly happens, but rarely) and the much more common I am certain attraction of red-blooded men to these teenaged girls some of who undeniably are attractive at their young ages where they are testing their sex appeal, and joking/pleasing with the teacher.

Lots of boys just don't play that game.

Now me? I was a flat-chested h.s. girl, not much into makeup or the latest clothing styles, so I could kind of "stand back" and observe what was going on. There's a lot of extra-curricular interaction -- in homerooms, pep rallies, and off-class time sports events where teachers do interact with students in fun and better get to know them.

Nothing illegal or wrong taking place at all, but we really should acknowledge that some teachers probably have some students they like more than others, for non-academic reasons.

12:44 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

"but we really should acknowledge that some teachers probably have some students they like more than others, for non-academic reasons"

Sexuality is probably a factor here. But I knew and witnessed plenty of students who were just brown-nosers. Their propensity for kissing the @$$ of every teacher was a large part of their strategy for academic success.

12:49 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

I think what I call "sexuality" (or light flirting more like) and you call "brown-nosing" might be the same thing.

12:58 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Mary E. Glynn (censored, again...) said...

You know, like when those clubs had things to sell (do they still do all that fundraising in school?) and certain teachers could be counted on to support certain students by pledging support for them, or buying things in the classroom (before the bell rang).

1:03 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

There's an article somewhere on the birth months of European soccer players. The first 3 months are much more likely. Youth teams there are separated by birth year, e.g a 1991 team would have all kids born in 1991. So when 6 of 7 year olds show up to play, coaches in favoring the fastest, most agile, etc. turn out to pick the oldest. They get the most practice, play etc. and ultimately form the professional ranks. Similalry, if parents want their son to play, particulalrly football, they prefer for him to be in the older, rather than younger, potential cohort of the team. One boy on my son's football team from a wealthy family just squeezed in in his senior year. He was almost 19 and then by state law couldn't have played. Priorities? As you know, it was the president of the University of Oklahaoma that said he hoped 'to have a University the football team could be proud of.' It is for a respected individual in light of his contribution, sharing in group mission dynamic that this possibility is sought for the child at a younger age.

1:51 AM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger Alcibiades said...

I actually enrolled into kindergarten early, but I took it twice (no, I didn't "fail"). My parents' reasoning was that I wasn't receiving enough social interaction and that it would be good for me.

I don't think it had the desired effect because I don't do anything socially.

2:07 AM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Alcibiades, have you forgotten about writing for Kesher Talk and commenting at Just One Minute? Besides, wasn't finger painting an unneat, neat activity?

3:06 AM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I hate this. Our 5th child was born Sept 3. She has developed every way we'd expect and last year, we had to have her tested to see if she was ready to start kindergarten. She passed the tests with flying colors.

And what happens last year? #6 is born. Sept 4.

Part of what bothers is what my wife pointed out. Now 6 is the age for kindergarten so the state has insisted that reading start in kindergarten. IOW, kindergarten is the new first grade!

When I was growing up, my friends often were the younger students who were pushed ahead (as was the trend then). In fact two of my closest college friends are more than a year younger than me. Both are excelling in their chosen fields and I ask isn't it possible that they'd have been hurt academically had they been forced to sit in classes that weren't appropriately challenging?

I realize that there a social differences between a very bright 4 year old and a not so bright 6 year old (the latter may be more mature in other ways). If you don't have cutoffs you could hypothetically have a range of 2 years between the oldest and youngest. OTOH a rigid cutoff might very well impose costs on brighter children who can't get ahead?

Why aren't the cutoffs treated as suggestion rather than imposed as fiat?

11:30 AM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

The,
My mom was an atypical girl. She had a class (JR High?) where your grade was based upon keeping all of your papers together and turning them in at the end of the term. She lost some papers and it killed her grade. I'm sure on average boys would be hit harder with a class like that. This was probably in the 70s. I am more timid and less into sports than most guys, but even I was really bored by pointless work in school. I am a fast learner with a great memory and I did well in school, but I think there were aspects that were wasteful.

Mary,
When I was in JR High a male teacher was caught having sex with a student.

2:12 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

Mary, I think bias is a group thing, but that there are individual exceptions. I agree that there are partisans on the right, but I think there are more on the left. Sometimes smart and rational liberals do make good points. I just can't stand it when they are full of hatred and lies. I sent out a letter today to a Democratic Senator from Montana because he was the only person in his party that voted against giving DC a House vote and I agree with him. I am in Utah which is what the whole bill is about and I disagree with my own Republican Senators on the topic.

Barack Obama also seems like someone that would try to work together, but I've heard his views are very progressive. I don't know if Mitt Romney can win a general election becomes of the Mormon factor. I listen to Glenn Beck on the radio and he is always saying that both political sides need to work together and find common ground. I agree with him that it is important, it is just difficult to achieve.

2:21 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Kathy said...

Now 6 is the age for kindergarten so the state has insisted that reading start in kindergarten. IOW, kindergarten is the new first grade!

You have it backwards though. The state mandated reading in kindergarten, which is what has pushed the schools to make the students in kindergarten older. When first grade work is expected in kindergarten, the younger students are more likely not to succeed. Don't get me started on how this affects rates of ADHD and learning disabilities, especially dyslexia and dysgraphia, when kids are pushed too early.

In the state where I live, kindergarten is not mandatory. I don't know anyone who is skipping it, but if I were not homeschooling I would seriously consider it.

2:48 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Kathy said...

Why aren't the cutoffs treated as suggestion rather than imposed as fiat?

Partly because of the desperation of schools to make sure students pass the tests. Partly because too many parents want to use K as free daycare and so they want to put their kids in at the earliest possible time, with no regard to readiness. The easiest way for the schools to deal with that is to have a hard and fast cutoff date.

2:51 PM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

serket...

Thinking about the story of the frog and scorpion, I don't have any desire to meet in the middle with liberals. I do not think as, or believe as they do. There is little common ground, from my point of view.

And I believe them to be scorpions, no matter what they say.

7:28 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Alcibiades said...

There are multiple people named "alcibiades", so you must be thinking of a different person.

I'll see if I can change my alias.

12:39 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Kathy - Thank you for correcting me. Though, as you acknowledge, the result is still the same.

On the topic of imposing the cutoffs: I still have a problem with it. When the state introduced the new cutoffs, the superintendent wrote that studies were "inconclusive" as to whether children would benefit from the new cutoff and indicated that the impetus for adopting it was so that Maryland would be in line with neighboring states!

10:40 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

br549 said...

"Thinking about the story of the frog and scorpion, I don't have any desire to meet in the middle with liberals. I do not think as, or believe as they do. There is little common ground, from my point of view.

And I believe them to be scorpions, no matter what they say."

br549, that doesn't leave much room for anything but violent confrontation or complete disengagement. As a liberal when I read something like that it makes me want to give up on trying to talk to or understand conservatives -- after all, they think I'm some kind of evil creature. I agree with Dr. Helen -- its good to read things from all points of view, and sometimes you begin to view things differently. For example, I disagree with a lot of things Dr. Helen posts but reading her has helped to open my eyes as to how men and boys are also oppressed in this country.

4:36 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Amy,

Thank you and I'm glad to have you here!

5:53 PM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naaa, there is still the voting booth, Amy.

I speak of and for myself only. My own points of view. I hope I make that clear. I am not a scholar, an intellectual. I am, however, a dad.
A dad concerned for his kid's futures.

I did as you speak of. Went to many liberal sites for a while. To read, to participate. To try and understand where they come from, and why. On the sites, people are vocal, pretty hard core. Pretty vicious at times, too. No room but for their way. Not talking only (or even) about men's views. National interest views, world views. I would not consider all liberals to be that way. But a rather large and vocal amount of them for sure.

I have no desire to compromise with a liberal point of view, on almost everything. I am forced, like most of the the rest of us, to compromise my ass off every day to bring home bacon.

What I see happening is everyone is becoming oppressed, no one is being "freed". This country may perhaps be going backwards in an effort to become "progressive". Hard lines are being drawn between the sexes, political party lines, you name it. We are fragmenting quite clearly as a nation. As long as that continues, I will but stand my ground. I gotta shave every morning, and look at myself.

10:47 PM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

室內設計,室內設計,室內設計,裝潢,室內設計,室內設計室內設計公司
,搬家公司,搬家公司,台北搬家公司,搬家公司,室內設計
這一家租屋網免費刊登不用錢耶
搬家公司,健身,茶葉A片,SEO,SEO,SEO,motel,led手電筒,棧板,二胎,隔熱紙,照明,健身,a383,a383,,二手家具,a383,胸章,車燈,
文山搬家
,兼職小姐,南港搬家,大安區搬家,松山搬家,中山區搬家,八里搬家,
五股搬家,
泰山搬家,大同區搬家,中正區搬家,士林搬家,萬華搬家,

台北搬家公司,台北搬家公司,客人,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,加油棒,台中搬家公司,台北市搬家公司,台北縣搬家公司


台中美食


台北美食


新竹美食


桃園美食


台中美食小吃


台中美食餐廳


大台中美食網


台北美食餐廳


桃園美食餐廳

桃園美食網

新竹美食網


新竹美食餐廳

 

3:06 AM, March 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

視訊做愛視訊美女無碼A片情色影劇kyo成人動漫tt1069同志交友網ut同志交友網微風成人論壇6k聊天室日本 avdvd 介紹免費觀賞UT視訊美女交友..........................

11:31 PM, May 19, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home