Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron

Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron


Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Leonardo Silva Everyone is a genius, but, if you judge a fish
by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life
believing it’s stupid. There I was working with a student,
Natalie, on solving equations. She had to multiply 2 x 9, and got stuck. This happens all the time, I’m used to it, but I decided to go
for the teaching moment. All she had to do
is count by twos nine times. Now, she tried and failed
four different times, on her fingers, on paper,
in English and Spanish. 2? 4? 8? 12? Natalie was 16 years old
and in the 9th grade, and she’s not alone
not by a long shot. I teach at a high school with a student
population of near 3,000. It’s one of 30,000
high schools across the US, so you have to imagine
how many Natalies are out there. Now, I’ve seen the best
of our school system and I can say that our best students can compete with the best students
from around the world. In fact, when looking at the PISA results, that compares our students
to other countries, we currently rank in the 20s. Yet, if we disaggregate our results
by district poverty level and compare the US District
to those top countries by poverty rates, it is clear that our students
are at the top. But our best students are only a small
percentage of the overall population even in the honors classes. And then, what about the Natalies? I specialize in teaching algebra
to the bottom 25% of high school students and I work mostly with those students. Now, the best of those
students want to do well, but, when they realize
what they’re capable of, they’re either stuck in a path
of academic mediocrity or they’re so close to graduation
they just need a credit to pass. It’s almost like a scene
of wasted potential. Now, the worst of those students have had no education
of character, common decency, appropriate language,
appropriate behavior. They barely know right from wrong. These are the students
who are at risk of dropping out, incarceration, or abusing social welfare. Now, what’s out there waiting
for those students? Jobs, college? They’re in an education system that says if you don’t go to college
you have no worth. So, their only alternative
is to be underemployed, to find illegal work,
or to abuse social welfare. Those students are marginalized by what
I call a toxic culture of education. It doesn’t matter
if a student is a gifted artist, a loving caretaker,
a talented musician, or a poetic writer Those students are the fish being judged
on how they climb trees because we say the
end-all-be-all is college or we’re leaving students
to the lowest skill level work. Even in the honors classes, these students
are so wrapped up about grades and answers they’re afraid to learn, and that’s impacting
how they’re performing at college. But I am not here to talk about
the current student loan debt crisis. Now, you have to understand,
I don’t place the blame on them. Yes, they can take credit
for who they are, but this is about something
much bigger than the students. Our toxic culture of education begins
with a classic supervillain archetype. I focus on Syndrome, from The Incredibles. The supervillain’s plan is to unleash
a doom on to the world that only this supervillain can stop,
thus gaining all the desired power. Now this is exactly
what happened in education, in the 1980s and before, and then culminated
in “No Child Left Behind.” Private education companies realized
they could use public education, a multi-billion-dollar industry, to create a nearly endless stream
of taxpayer money. They channeled millions of dollars
into lobbying efforts and focused on two words,
“rigor” and “accountability,” and put everything into place. State statutes were passed,
district rules were enforced, and then finally No Child Left Behind
became the national standard. Don’t get me wrong about politics. These efforts were underway
long before they were passed, so both parties get to take full credit
for their disastrous results, especially with “Race to The Top.” We somehow took the education system
that produced the individuals who put a man on the Moon with technology
less powerful than the phone in my pocket, and characterized
that education system as a failure using the word “accountability.” We only have one way
to address accountability: Standardized testing. So, we implemented standardized testing, and then a 1983 publication
called “A Nation at Risk” showed standardized tests
proved schools were failing, teachers were failing,
students were failing. And, when everything is failing,
guess what we need? New text books, new workbooks,
new resources, new training, accountability systems, new schools,
private schools, charter schools. And who is it that creates all of these
things that all of a sudden we need? Our supervillain:
Private education companies. The only way to feed a business model
in this toxic culture of education is to perpetuate a picture of failure. I would love to meet any education company that has a business model that is built
upon long-term student success. There simply is no money
in long-term student success. Now, how is it that we can believe
that a standardized test is what accurately
measures student achievement? How can we believe
that it measures student growth, that moment when a student’s light bulb
is finally lit, “Aha!,” that moment when a student says thank you
for helping him graduate with a 2.0 GPA? How can we attach a number to that moment when a third grader finally has
the ability to write his own name, who by the way has been labeled a failure
for himself, his teacher, and his school? Yet we crave education standardization, we believe we need
these high-stakes tests, because we eat up the misinformation
provided by these companies and policies using a false validity
of their testing results. Our testing culture begins
in elementary school. Colleagues of mine work
with third graders, third graders who suffer from anxiety
from high-stakes testing. From a one-day, one-shot,
four-hour, computer-based test the future path of a student is set,
an academic identity is established, and a message is delivered loud and clear:
“Either you can or you can’t make it!” And no matter what
the teacher tells the student about how good they are
or what talents they have, if the student doesn’t score well
on that high-stakes test, the third graders know
exactly what it means and begin to define themselves, and it’s starting to happen
now in kindergarten. So, we continue this barrage
of standardized tests and the students continue failing, and the districts have to continue
the next initiatives that can solve the problems. Who is it that manufactures
these products? Who creates these solutions? Our supervillain, private companies
like Pearson and McGraw-Hill, who operate off policy and legislation
written by non-profit organizations and lobbying groups like ALEC,
the American Legislative Exchange Council. “Buy the next text book!
Buy the next workbook! Buy the next digital software package,
the next teacher evaluation system!” I have been through three
Algebra I textbooks in seven years, and still we stick
to the standardized tests. Guess who makes those? In this toxic culture, we illogically attempt to compare
education to business. We completely ignore the impact of poverty
and hunger on student achievement, and we pay no attention
to the non-cognitive factors, like personal habits and personal values, that are the realistic measures
and predictors of student achievement, and, that way, we can place the blame
on the schools and on the teachers to continue this cycle. And because we have
a toxic culture of education, the teachers and the schools have accepted
this accountability for all students, even those students. We take the blame for a student
who can’t focus in class because she hasn’t eaten
since yesterday’s lunch. We take the blame for a student
who’s always in trouble in school because he doesn’t know the difference
between right and wrong. We take the blame for a student
who can’t stay awake in class because she spends her nights
on a different couch depending on which friend takes her in. And when these students don’t score well – It’s about to get worse. The Common Core will do even more damage because of its emphasis
on high-stakes testing matched with its myopic standards
that are disguised in critical thinking. I’ve seen my daughter’s kindergarten
and first-grade assignments. This isn’t critical thinking. This is
developmentally inappropriate rote. You think they can fool me
with this stuff? Any education reform that doesn’t
address high-stakes testing and the non-cognitive factors
of true success, like character and integrity, is a complete waste of time
and it’s killing our kids. Right now, the public narrative
in education is all about curriculum, all about schools, all about teachers. We need to start paying attention
to our students and who they are. If a student fails Algebra I
in their 9th-grade year, I can tell you, chances are that it’s not because it was
too hard or they didn’t get it, Chances are that it’s not because they had
a bad teacher or were at a bad school. If a student fails in the 9th-grade year, the chances are it’s because the student was missing
some type with intangible characteristic, a non-cognitive factor,
that enables them to succeed, things like perseverance, initiative,
social skills, communication skills, curiosity, sometimes a full belly
or a good night’s sleep. Yet, none of these things are considered
in our definitions accountability. None of these things
are considered in our policies. So, all the talk about failing schools
and failing teachers and how we need to improve
the teachers and the schools needs to be shifted
to include failing students and how can we help the students. How can we help them be
better students, better people? How can we help them
with these non-cognitive factors like work ethic and character? How can we make sure
they’re getting enough sleep, getting enough to eat,
showing up for class? It’s the public narrative
that has to be shifted. We must talk about what is happening
in the lives of our students, even our honor students, because we’re simply creating
a massive population of future citizens who are afraid to attempt
anything challenging, unable to read or think critically, or unable to find a way
to earn a meaningful income. I’ll get to that in a minute. Right now in this toxic culture, all students are forced
to study abstract classes in order to be college-ready. And we throw around buzz words
like “rigor,” and “STEM,” and the public loves it. We eat it up, we think it’s fantastic, but we’re missing the point that “rigor”
has replaced the word “relevant.” I met with our district
and I pitched the idea to bring back home economics,
but this time as a math credit. First words in the response,
“That’s not rigorous.” So, forget teaching students
about measurement, taxes, discounts, loans, credit, debt, retirement planning, because it’s not as rigorous
as factoring trinomials and graphing logarithmic functions, so it can’t fit. There’s no room for that
in this toxic culture of education. There’s also no room
for the arts and for imagination, which are being systematically removed
from our public schools because I don’t think
anyone profits from those things. Now we have already felt the impact
of our education policies. There are thousands of highly
skilled jobs available right now. There’s opportunity for small business
development and innovation like never before. Yet, where are the majority
our students and graduates? There is an enormous opportunity
in this economy for our students but we just don’t enable it in the schools because we’re so focused
on accountability, and standardized testing,
and rigor, and college-ready. If we focus our attention
on getting students what they need to find their place in this economy, all students, especially those students,
would value education more highly, use their time more wisely, and make better decisions
outside of school. We’ve got to keep the college-bound
students going to college. We’ve got to continue that path. However, we need to be
more successful and more innovative. But what about the Natalies? I’ve got students that want to be
tattoo artists, mechanics, barbers, they want work. Some want to open their own businesses,
but they are those students. They constantly fail their classes,
they’re always in trouble in school, they may not even graduate. So, I say let’s scrap algebra for them, let’s teach those students
some tangible work skills that can help them in the future
the same way we used to do in this system before it was labeled as a failure. Why not get students out there
making a living for themselves, rather than us spending
another $ 10,000 in taxpayer money for another year of school for them
to learn how to factor trinomials? Why not get them into the economy? How do we deal with all of these
issues on a grand scale? I believe in Horseman’s 1850’s vision of an education system
that can improve mankind. In public education, we’ve got an amazing opportunity
to mold a better tomorrow. Yet, what we are currently doing
is so incredibly toxic. I have two solutions that would be better. The first idea I am not a big fan of.
In fact, I don’t like it. We could completely
defund public education, give back the $ 750 billion
into our pockets, no more taxpayer money going to private
companies and non-profit organizations in the name of public education and
on the heads of our public school children because that money’s not getting
to them or to the classrooms, and it’s certainly not going to teachers. My second idea, which I am in favor of,
is to double down on public education. We’ve got to eliminate
these toxic policies, eliminate this focus
on high-stakes testing, eliminate the corruption
in the cash flow, get the resources
more directly to the students, focus on them, on their abilities,
on their non-cognitive factors, train and allow the teachers to develop
relationships with their students, and assess them on what
they truly need to know: Thinking, reasoning, and learning. I believe in the potential greatness
of a public education system done right, and so do my colleagues. But, speaking of my colleagues,
the public narrative on teachers, thanks to education reformers
like Michelle Rhee and Bill Gates, is that our public schools
are teaming with horrible teachers. The reality is that most teachers are
accomplishing amazing feats of human achievement and motivation
with their students every day, and what they’re able to accomplish
is being done to spite a “professional” environment
of questioning, belittling, and self-doubt, due to accountability measures
and evaluation systems we had no stake in even creating. And teaching used to be called
the noble profession. So, why not make teaching
a profession once again? Why not train and allow the teachers
to develop their own assessment systems that can better fit their students needs? Why not encourage teachers
to collaborate with one another, or at least have a peer-review system
like in other professions? Why not involve teachers
in the policy-making decisions at the school level, the district level,
the state and national level? The truth of education policy is that
it is written and enforced by people who have spent either little
or no time in the classroom with the students these
very policies are affecting. Take a look at the makeup
of any boards of education, including local school boards
and secretaries of education. Why not involve the individuals
in direct contact with the students to help mold and shape
the environment of the students? Education is the only industry –
and it’s a $ 750 billion industry – that is developing a product without any
valid market research from its end users. Students aren’t asked
what they want or need, the teachers in the schools aren’t asked
what would work for their students, the public narrative has to be shifted! The schools and the teachers
are not the enemy! It is the private
corporations like Pearson that pay the lobbying groups like ALEC
to write these policies and laws that get passed over state dinners
and campaign contributions because of words like “rigor”
and “accountability,” to perpetuate a bottom line on the heads
of our public school children. Simply follow the money of all the public
tax dollars going to public education. How much of that money
is going to private companies and non-profit organizations for materials, training, resources,
vouchers, accountability systems, and the education bureaucracy
because the policies support that? Simply follow the money. So, we have to fight
this toxic culture of education, we have to change the public narrative
away from the curriculum, away from the schools,
even away from the teachers, and we have to focus on our students! We have to teach them how to think,
and how to learn, and how to innovate, not how to take tests. These are human beings! Why not stop judging the fish
on how they climb trees? (Applause)

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100 thoughts on “Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron

  1. when he hit on the skill building and getting kids into the economy who just simply aren't interested in college education – absolutely yes.

    so many friends of mine wasted years and money buying into "you HAVE to go to college" – who are now in debt and working a job they didn't even need the degree for. tragic – and it should not be looked down upon to work in a job that does not require a degree.

  2. Sounds like he’s talking about educating the “whole person”. I’m on board, how ‘bout the rest of you?
    Instead of just measuring how well students can read and write and make calculations, we should be measuring how happy students are. We should be measuring how much a kid WANTS TO BE IN SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE THEY BELONG TO SOMETHING IMPORTANT.

  3. Schools enable kids to play around in America. In CA, they are ending suspensions. Students have no boundaries, nor are they expected to be responsible.Teachers have very little support from parents, colleagues, and administration.

  4. It's very true about artists, entertainers, and musicians. What does an artist do without college? They have to work odd jobs and struggle while they do their art. For creative people , there is not much support in society and a lack of encouragement in k-12 schools. Not everybody can be a mathematician or a scientist.

  5. If you have trouble in highschool its actually pathetic and just sad……
    Dont blame the school system. your on youtube you have internet which is all you need to access whatever information you want.

  6. we are in the top 20…
    yeah but there are only 20 first world nations… you are comparing yourself to the 3rd world nations
    wow you beat somalia in education big achievement

  7. Wow well said. I can validate his words, being that child in the low end of the spectrum who was unable to fully dedicate my self to education when my home life was in ruins. Being older now and much more stable my ability to focus and educate myself is limitless. My child is on the other end from where I was. Their grades definitely reflect that difference. This man is truly going to make waves. Everyone should be conscious of the issues he's expressing.

  8. I really enjoyed this one. I always get riled up when people say our education system is awful when we have accomplished so many engineering marvels. My thoughts are that option 1 and 2 that he presented are not mutually exclusive . In fact, I would argue that they must be done together to effectuate real change. Put the money and power back to the states where tailor made curriculum can be decided at the state and local levels to allow the teachers in the classroom a better chance of being able to have input in what is taught and how it is taught.

  9. I live in Germany and we have like 3 different types of middle/high schools for some reason. Gymnasium (the “best” one), Realschule (average-below average I guess?) and Hauptschule (below average). So when I was only in third grade my teacher lowkey told me that I had to get better if I wanted to get into Gymnasium and my grades weren’t even remotely bad (just for some context, elementary is only til 4th Grade).

  10. At my school, we have an hour long lunch. If you are failing, then you have to stay in class and study, do homework, retake tests for the first 30 minutes. Then you get released to lunch to stand in line for 15 minutes and eat in 15 minutes. My school has almost 4,000 students. I live in a desert. The cafeteria has space for maybe 500-700 students while others have to stay outside in the burning, hot sun. Basically, my school is saying, "If you fail, if you are struggling, if you have a learning disability, or any other reason you are failing besides just not caring about anything, you don't deserve an hour long lunch because you're a failure." It's honestly the most heartbreaking thing for me to see my friend who struggles with anxiety, depression, and working two jobs in the night to keep his family stable lose out on a simple, one hour break. He works so hard. He studies. He's there for everyone. But he doesn't deserve an hour lunch because, simply, he's failing algebra 2. He wants to be a solo-violinist.

  11. This guy took the words right out of my mind !
    It's not right, that a teacher would be blamed for poor test scores, when their hands are tied by the policies put into place by the polititions.
    And it's not right, that a student should feel like a failure because they don't fit into a mold. We all have different strengths and weaknesses.
    It spoke volumes to me when he said, "They took a school system that put a man on the moon with less technology than is in our phones and convinced us, it wasn't good enough."

  12. This was high energy right from the start. "They",propagandize fear in each &everyone of us. So it is fear of failure, fear of rejection. Then fear of fear. THIS MUST COME TO AN END. STOP THE COMMUNIST AGENDA &THE BOLSHEVIK ZIONIST ENTITY.

  13. Pardon my french, but what the font door– Taxes aren't as rigorous as trinomials? Okay. What about compound interest? Is that rigorous enough for you? Please explain to our country how to borrow money intelligently? Maybe that would improve the national debt crisis. OH wait– that's empowering the people. And your'e right, the money isn't getting to the teachers or students or schools– that's why I'm volunteering at our school's carnival this Friday so that we can get money where it needs to go.

  14. To describe school, you wake up at 5 am to go get yelled at and told what to do for 8 hours and go home to do homework that you were told to do and it tells you what to do and do that until midnight and then sleep. Then wake up and do it again, now repeat for 13 years.

  15. I feel like math is one of the most useless subjects in school. I understand some people like math (can’t relate to that but I get it) but it’s completely unlike the other major subjects in the worst way. Science is important to know about the world around us, how to keep it “healthy”, how to keep our selves healthy, curing diseases etc. History of yours own country is very important and “those who forget history, are destined to repeat it.” English is important for writing letters/offers to other while getting your point across well, and for poetic/creative student writers interested in pursuing it. And of course classes such as P.E. are good for our health t and to prevent obesity. And lastly foreign language classes and public speaking are very important skills for the real world. But what does math help with besides becoming a math teacher? I understand if you want to be a rocket scientist or something, but I personally don’t think the whole population needs to know how build a freaking rocket!

    Forgive me for my rant, I just feel very strongly about the subject 😂

  16. I have not studied for my algebra one test tomorrow and understand next to nothing in that class. The teacher gives too many notes (like eight pages in 30 – 40 minutes) and expects us to get somewhere between 10 – 25 questions done in the 20 to 30 minutes of class. This is an issue for me because I am not that quick at math and am very confused a lot of the time but never actually having the time to ask questions. All the work has to be written out as well as the questions, and that's great for a lot of people. Not me. I write slowly and get frustrated quickly with things that are difficult to understand because I fear the failure that comes from not understanding which just makes me more frustrated. Please help. I need to know how to balance a multiple variable 'and' equation by tommorow. It's 12:30 pm and I hate my life. See you guys later.

  17. While there is a lot of what I agree with in this talk, there is one thing I can't, why? Because what and how you teach is as important as all other factors, which have efect on learning.

    When I was in secondary, in our computer classes we were learning how to format a document in Word (while we had seperate lecture on clerk stuff on PC), how to install an app, how to use command line and a bit about theory on networking… How many of my peers do you think could actually apply this knowlege? None. What is the value of this knowlege, when what you learn is not applied? It's none. How do I know this happened? When I went to Uni, I had to set up routers for my peers, because almost nobody knew, how to properly set up a router. One of my coleges achieved this, and then proceded to connect LAN port to dorm network, prompting DHCP "dispute" and brought down the entire network! Such was level of IT knowlege based solely on textbooks…

    Or a question, why do lab workers need to know literature? It's outright useless to them, but in my country, school leaving exam has two parts, common consisting of Literature, foreign language and math, and special, consisting of field specific subjects and I'm like "Why? Why waste like one fifth of an effort on useless information, when there is so much actually useful skills, you could have worked to master?"

    All which is learned must be applied, otherwise it doesn't spark interest, it has no value. Ask your selves, how many times have you heard "When will I use this? Why do I need to study this?", well mr. Katz has a very good point about math, which is the least favoured subject in my country. Where will kids ever use Pythagorean theorem? Well, about once or twice in life? And how many times in life will they need to calculate them selves repayment on a bond? Definitely more often. So, teachers, ditch Pythagoras when teaching powers, use interest rates and mortgage calculations! And I'm certain, you won't hear "why am I learning this?" ever again.
    Or computer science. Let the kids run the router and the switches, this will lead these people to networking proficiency. Google, Microsoft, Red Hat… all these tech companies will be gratefull to you.
    Or why is there not first aid workded in to human anatomy lecture? That would put anatomy knowlege to use, which actually saves lives!
    So, to cut this short. Yes, more emphasiss needs to be put on the students and their circumstances, however, that doesn't mean you can roll back on buzzwords like "STEM", because there are legitimate reasons to push (or better yet pull) people in these ways. And there is another thing I believe wasn't addressed here, the sheer volume of knowlege people need to know these days just to get a job, while at the same time primary and secondary education takes approximately same time to complete under normal circumstances as fifty years ago… Information density is ever growing, yet, human ability to assimilate new knowlege is more or less constant in this time frame. It might be a good idea (and sooner or later will become inevetable) to get a weedwhacker in to the curiculum and get the useless stuff out, only to be taught to those, who can be reasonably expected to actually use it, or who them selves choose to study it.

  18. I remember more information from my conversations with people who know stuff than from the lectures and studying of said lectures. I can recall that the top layer of the skin is dead keratinized cells that protect the alive skin cells underneath because a friend explained that to me in a normal conversation and I found that quite interesting so it stuck. Yet when my teacher explains me what enzymes do and why I cant even remember what an enzyme is the next day. I wonder why it happens like that.

  19. When I attended elementary school in Colorado, we were in school 5 hours per day, and there was never any homework. The schools focused on creativity and play. What happened?

  20. School is simply an outdated model for learning. I'm okay with providing K-3 in this training style of school system, but after 3rd grade, your students should already know how to read, write, and perform algebra.

  21. All courses in middle school and high school should be considered an elective, why should I have to take socials when I could use that block to take woodwork, IT or business?

  22. This was 5 years ago but absolutely nothing has changed. I’m a 7th grader but since literally 1st grade, my parents have drilled into my mind that anything under a 100, maybe a 95 at worst, is failing. Whenever I get a grade, I don’t think about how I can better myself or how I got something wrong, but instead about how I’m going to literally fail life and how I won’t gat into a good college or get a good job, only because of how the school system works and how my parents are trying to make me do more and get better grades. On top of that, I’m a slow worker, so anything that take 30 minutes for a normal person takes me an hour, as well as me having 13+ extracurricular activities so that it’ll look good on my college applications, so that I can “stand out.” And apparently, it’s the same with a lot of people in my school, most of us being overachievers because our parents know what other people are doing and how we can get into top colleges (we’re all Asian don’t hurt me). It’s crazy.

  23. i’m one of those Natalies… i only started truly learning once i entered my college of choice… multiplication is hard and i can barely hold a cashier position

  24. Something else I'd like to add. College is not immune from this, at all. If anything, it's much more more revealing of the problems of the toxic culture. Not only do college students have to go through the same cycle of exams, homework, and grade scrutiny, many students can't even choose the major that was meant for their heart either because (a they are so hung up by money that they instead try to aim for the highest paying major or (b have become so lost in their time in K-12 that it takes a while to even assess what major speaks to their heart. It's sickening!

  25. Pearson??? The ones who created what I wish I could call MethLab but it's actually MathLab???
    And OH…MY…****ING…LORD!!! Home economics, not only REMOVED from the curriculum, but also TURNED DOWN??? For it's non-rigor??? That's literally where algebra becomes necessary for most people, yet it's tagged non-rigorous??? If those people can legit say paying bills is "not rigorous," FML!

  26. He said it without saying it. When morality becomes subjective, you can’t teach morality anymore. Anything is up for grabs. Socrates said it well. “Education is not the filling of a vessel, but the kindling of a flame.”

  27. Preach! This is from 5 years ago, and sadly we are still in the same situation with no hope of change in site. You are brilliant, and I hope your message passes on and makes a ripple effect to help change education for the better.

  28. I was bullied by most my teachers, I’ve been asked if I wanted to live alone sense I was 5, I had add and dyslexia and I started reading late.

    I remember feel hot and overwhelmed coloring in circles while listening to the scribbles of other pencils.

    In high school they took away my art/music classes for “academic support” Ide do my 2 hours of home work in school because my father had no clue/time to help me.

    I remember one time I wanted to get my English grade to an A+ and one of my academic support teachers directly unplugged my computer because I was editing an English paper instead of doing my math…

    The teach then proceeded to tell me she makes 110k a year because she’s good at her job. (She had a Tenure position in a union school) nothing I did to said mattered, I’m still struggling with myself worth 10 years later…

    I got kicked out 5 weeks before graduation, I was failing gym. They were MAKING me do yoga class so I was naturally disappointed (no big energy relief after sitting for 4-5 hours at a desk. So I slept during yoga class 🤗 that got me an F(letter grading in physical education). So the next month we had pickle ball and I was so excited to get my grades up I went all out. The coach(former wrestling coach Miro who won a coaching award) told me “to take a step back and calm down”

    That did it I lost all cool a had, I stood up for myself and was thrown out of school for tipping a broken table over as he chased me through the locker room and screamed so loud at me spit hit my face…

    I’ve attempted self harm two times and I wasn’t successful thankfully, I still struggle with anxiety depression and scuicidal thoughts on a regular basis.

  29. I am now a high school speaker. Not only did i come from 2 abusive parents that left me with no future…. I am now a skilled trade expert. Skilled trade is the ticket out of poverty. Then i paid for college at night with my skilled trade. debt free. I also tech the emotional part of overcoming a broken childhood. i teach with love and compassion. I teach to Rise Above It, and Never Ever Give Up!!!

  30. Where were you when my kids were in school? My daughters middle school had to postpone the parent teacher conferences for a week ( I don't remember why) they sent out a note : please except our apologies" it said, when I called them on accept except I asked them to apologise to the students and show them they were human too teachers and parents and even the government makes mistakes. there was nothing ever said and I was never invited to another PTA meeting again. if we make our children think we've never made a mistake they will expect nothing but perfection from us. It's not wrong to make mistakes it's wrong not to learn from them 😉

  31. For me school didnt feel important. Not to mention if i had homework which was primarily math of some sorts i couldnt take it home for help. My parents have no clue what theyre looking at.

  32. I wonder what's worse: judging people based on their education and refusing them jobs just for not having an expensive piece of paper (perpetuating this toxic education culture) or pushing students to go to school, get good grades, go to college or even graduate school, get a Bachelors or Masters, and then refuse them work because ”they don't have experience”?

  33. This is both good and bad. We have to find a balance between the working-class thing and the school we have today. Since this is most school systems around the world.

  34. He talks about failing students missing some kind of non-cognitive, intangible characteristic (which I completely agree with), such as perseverance, initiative, social skills, communication skills, curiosity, or things like a full belly or a good night's sleep. He says there is no mention of these things in the accountability system, and the attention needs to be shifted to the students (as opposed to the teachers and schools), but adds to it, "How can we help them be better students, better people? How can we help them with these non-cognitive factors like work ethic and character, and how can we make sure they're getting enough sleep, etc?" My district's answer to this is free breakfast and lunch to feed them, but accountability for the other non-cognitive factors (except sleep) is put on to the teachers. We need to teach communication and social skills, habits of mind, and how to behave, and WE are held accountable for the results of this in addition to students meeting the standards.

  35. with the help of my sister who introduce me to a hacker, i'm able to pass out of school with flying color. i couldn't thank enough, i just need to shout him for what he has done for. he did rescue my academic career from nothing to the best. meet him on what'sapp. (+1 323 248-1347)

  36. One of the best talk I've listened to a touch of aggresive and passive posture from the speaker which as an educator whom I am. Makes me wonder about the educational system in Ecuador nowadays.

  37. So often do teachers lack a real relationship with their students. We need teachers that know how to teach individuals, not classes.

  38. i’m glad that in IB we are really focused on actually learning things and making connections and analysing. Standardised testing SUCKS but it’s not as bad in IB since the tests are at the end of senior year. And you’re forced to take philosophy and all sorts of stuff. I’m very thankful for it at sometimes even though it’s insane.

  39. From k-7th grade I was in public school, but in 7th I started getting bad grades. Too much work from too many classes, too much stuff to remember, that I don't even care about anyway. Too little time to do what I enjoy. In 8th and 9th grade I was home schooled, and it was a little better. I didn't have to get up as early, I had some control over my classes, more free time, better quality food that I can make at my own home. But I was lonely. I could barely ever see my friends from public school because they were always busy because of it, an I didn't really click with anyone from my home school group. So this year, 10th grade, my parents gave me a choice. I went back to public school mostly because I wanted to see my friends again and have some human interaction, and to have the "high school experience". I am I think just over a month in and I already want to quit. My grades are bad, my health is dropping because of not enough sleep, I have no motivation to do well. I just want to walk out of the building and never turn back. I can't do what I enjoy. I could die, any of us could, tomorrow, and for me the only thing that would flash before my eyes would be school, a micromanaged life where I have no freedom in the "land of the free". The land we pledge to every morning failed us. I don't want to be here any more, it isn't worth it. I feel like nothing I do will make me happy.

  40. In some cases when you’re an honor student, you feel the pressure to be perfect in grades, influencing you to not speak up when you don’t understand something. I know this might sound weird to people who haven’t went through this, so to be clear and concise, you teach yourself if you don’t automatically grasp what is intended to be taught to you and than comes with an infinite amount of cons.

  41. I am thankful every day they still taught kids how to write when i was in public school. Most college students write like their brain didn’t develop.

  42. While I agree with much of this, there are bad teachers out there. I failed my 9th grade algebra class, because my teacher did not care to teach the subject. We were told to do the problems that had the answers in the back of the book without explaining how to get to those answers. Many kids just wrote down the answers, I did not and failed. Retook the class in the 10th grade and had a teacher who explained how to do the problems. Got a A-. Some teachers just don't care. Would have been nice to have had a teacher like Mr. Kats for my 9th grade teacher. This was back in the 80's.

  43. Our public schools are a place where you learn usless things and when he mentioned the economics I was not surrprised because I never learned how to live in the real world

  44. This is a massive epidemic, but its not treated as such, I see the rising scores and i belive it is the fear of "Failure"
    but the way school defines failure is when a student was one question off from passing, and gets bombarded about how hes failing…
    so then, why is it when a child fails at something like Art, Music,or sports, there told "Oh, maybe its just not your thing" but doesn't apply to history or science classes

  45. I learned to pass tests. Now, 6 years after my final exams, I got a job in IT at the academy I studied at. I wanted to learn programming in my own free time, but turns out that I forgot all the intermediate math I learned for the tests. My old maths teacher still taught at the academy, and I asked her if I could borrow a text book. She still remembered me, and asked why. I told her that I only learned to pass, not to use it in life and now I have to go back and relearn everything again. She started crying, blaming herself for not doing enough to prepare her students. I comforted her, saying it's not her fault; the education system expected me to pass, not to learn. She did everything she could.

  46. This speaker was passionate, well educated on the topic. he stated the problems AND solutions!! I learned so much from this, thank you so much.

  47. As a straight-A "bright, perfect student" in grammar and high school and then a 3 times college dropout with a learning disability who raised herself out of welfare poverty finally as an entrepreneur, I approve this message. Also, I wish I hadn't gotten those loans.

  48. I remember when I used to try to build all sorts of machines with Legos and random junk that I found around the house when I was little.
    Now all I wanna do is play videogames and watch YouTube videos after coming back from school but I can't even do that in peace because I have homework to do and exams to study for.

  49. I had a HUGE class load last semester! HUGE. I had to fit in working full-time, complete a 60 hour practicum, plus I was taking 15 credit hours.

    -I am poor
    -My family is poor
    -I grew up in poverty
    -Nobody in my immediate family are college graduates.

    Guess what? I PASSED!!! & I didn't need for anybody to lower the bar.

    If its ever TOO HARD, & someone lowers the bar for you… LIFE WON'T.

    Toxic Culture = Complain enough & everyone will lower the bar for you.

    As a Professor said to me "Put in the sweat, its not getting easier"

  50. I'm worried for my youngest brother now! He's not even in school yet! So pure, and school is going to ruin him!

  51. student keep failing these tests not because there's something wrong with the students but because there's something wrong with the tests

  52. school is toxic. I got a C- on one on my interim reports (every other one I got As) and now I'm seen as not trying.

  53. All of what he said is precisely why my niece, who has her Master's degree in science (I think it's geopolitical, but I know zero about 99% of college degrees), and her teaching certificate, stopped teaching after just one year, and now works happily as a secretary instead.

  54. Im 25 now, even when i was in high school i felt like it was a waste of time, 7 years later i remember nothing about what they taught me yet it hasnt hindered me much if at all.

  55. In my country we have public education, and only public education. It leads to an idea that everyone is equal on all areas, prohibiting the individuals who actually care to progress and the ones who struggle are left behind because they cant keep up. In short, we are all at the same level but unfortunately the level is low. We become great workers though, never questioning the status quo.

  56. A couple years ago I managed to get a scholarship for my son to attend the local Montessori shool. I did not want him to feel the pressure of high stakes testing. Now he is in 2nd grade. Apparently in 3rd grade they have a test that all the private schools take. It shows how his school is doing in comparision to others. He is terrified of failing. Even in the private schools they have this sort of testing. It is sickening.

  57. There are times we have 3 big tests and half of my class isn't even at school because it's too much for them. It's so crazy that they aren't even changin anything.

  58. I am an incredible bio student, I have a lot of empathy, I am courteous, I am involved in community politics, I stand for what I believe in, and yet
    I have panic attacks during math tests, I don’t understand a lot of math concepts, I started to cry when I opened up my old grade 12 math book about a month ago.
    The emphasis put on math to get into university is unreasonable, and it caused me to have to get a therapist at 16.

  59. I spent 4 years in a private, "special" school because I was deemed to have a learning disability. I had a C average in high school because none of the classes interested me and most of them I just took because why not? I was constantly surrounded by people with vastly better grades and people who thought I'd fail. Now, 5 years later, I'm a flight instructor with multiple pilot licenses and ratings and I'm preparing to apply at a major airline as a First Officer. Don't give up, don't let people convince you you're not smart or capable enough to pursue your dream.

  60. What a powerful and passionate speech. I hope it will reach more and more people who care about the state of education.

  61. It's been five years and not a single thing has been done, we need more people like this man. He finally put into words some of the biggest reasons I and so many of my friends, failing or in AP classes, are depressed, suicidal, and all together a shell of what we used to be. Five years where this man's words could have gotten me, a sophomore in highschool, and everyone else my age the resources we need to ACTUALLY succeed in life. I don't know taxes, mortgages, how to get a job, how to save money, how to have good work ethic, or how to deal with my own emotions, but I do know what the quadratic formula is. Then the blame is put on us for failing, for not making enough money, for trying to find a new and different way of doing things. This man's words are so impactful, I sincerely feel he needs to be heard.

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