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Country Discussion Topics
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School Children Seeing Red
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Peanut    Posted 08-26-2004 at 06:41:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Saw a story on the news a couple of days ago that still irks me.

Apparently some sociologist decided to conduct a study of the self esteem levels of local school children. The study involved interviewing children and asking them to express their feelings when they see red marks on their school work. The vast majority of the children said they felt bothered by the red marks. Furthermore, the interviewer asked the same children if they would feel better about their self if the teacher marked incorrect answers in another color such as purple. The majority said they would rather see another color.

The local school district took these findings and are implementing the following policy for teachers:
- Use a color other than red to mark incorrect answers. Red is an aggresive color and has no place in a constructive learning environment.
- Recommend using blue or black to mark incorrect answers.
- Recommend rotating colors if the teacher chooses not to use blue or black. This way other students will not know what the mark-ups mean when they see other student's work being handed back to them.

Now maybe its just me but I have some issues with this garbage.
1) Of course the students feel bothered when they see red (this assumes they care about their grade). It takes a degree in sociology and a study to figure this out? I wonder how much $$$ the study cost the school district. Yes, that was money that should have been used to pay the teachers more money or used to increase insurance benefits.
2) Students have been seeing red marks for incorrect answers for years. Of course another color would appeal to them. Problem is, in a few years the alternate color (like purple) begins to bother them too. Sooner or later we'll run out of colors unless the teachers use "Strawberry Sky" or "Soft Tangerine" Crayons.
3) If the alternate color scenario above is true and blue and black is used to mark incorrect answers then all students will become bothered by blue and black also. What color will they use to complete their work? Using blue or black to complete their work will be too depressing for students in a constructive learning environment.
4) Rotating colors is just silly. Do teachers honestly think that students are that stupid? While watching the teacher pass out corrected papers, if I see blue marks today and green tomorrow and orange the next day I am smart enough to figure out the Little Johnny next to me has some answers wrong ... no matter what the color. Duh!!!
5) Bottom line - the student still provided an incorrect answer. If the student cares they will be bothered by that and hopefully learn from that experience.

Kids are brought up these days without knowing how to deal with set-backs and defeat. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you must learn how to hit that pitch. You cannot expect a child to grow up and succeed in if you make rules and policies to avoid negative feelings. Let's face it, grown-ups in the corporate world or any industry don't give two p00ps about your feelings. If kids do not learn how to deal with setback at a young age, they'll find themselves in therapy their entire lives or perched in a clock tower shooting randomly at people.

OK - Off my soapbox now.


Len....NY    Posted 08-26-2004 at 12:53:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Peanut, I saw this same article a couple of days ago and it's still a preposterous sounding idea. An A or F by any other color is still excellent or fail, respectivly.Degree and rate of achievement will always vary with the individual so why try to sugarcoat it.
As to the better use of funding monies, well ya' know, most teachers do better financially , job security,and benefits wise than the average worker. So I think maybe the tax payer could make better use of this money.


Peanut    Posted 08-26-2004 at 12:59:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ok by me being a taxpayer.

Honestly though, I am all for paying teachers based on student achievement. Not all of their wages just a portion ... kind of like a bonus program. Higher student acedemic success means higher teacher salary. A little extra incentive never hurts. It might encourage some of the teachers who just "go through the motions" to do more for the kids.


Len....NY    Posted 08-26-2004 at 13:34:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Peanut, I do realize that most teachers work hard, to their best of ability, and in often difficult situations. But,tenure and much too powerful unions will prevent any necessary weeding out of dead wood. Oh! Please don't get me started on administrators.LOL


screaminghollow    Posted 08-26-2004 at 11:43:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Next thing ya know, the budget information will change the red ink for those "in the hole" to another color. Heaven forbid some groups get stigmatized because the don't have any money and the budgets get the negative amounts printed in red. Next it will be an ethnic thing. Imagine all the poor martians, they must be so traumatized by their home being referred to as the red planet. All their children must have an inferiority complex. Maybe that's why we never found evidence of life on Mars. The Martians are all too embarrassed to be associated with red so they hide. That must be it. That sociologist could'a saved NASA a bunch of money. Heck, he could have warned NASA that we wouldn't find no Martians cause they are all so upset at the color red.

Maybe that's why I don't care for strawberries. Darn things remind me of kindergarten and those horrible red marks on my papers. It was so traumatic to have those red marks and circles around misspelled words. Must have looked alot like strawberries. Gosh! Now I'm going to need counseling. Repressed childhood memories have brought on a bout of depression. It's so saaaaad!

That durned sociologist should a knowed better than to bring this up. A whole generation of folks having problems with red check marks on papers. He should have known better than to make these findings public. A reasonable person wouldn't have made these results known. Now all these folks are having issues and need counseling as a direct and proximate result. That's mal practice. I am going to sue the sob!.. That's it, a liberal application of greenbacks would make me feel much better. Got to go type up a lawsuit.


Old John    Posted 08-26-2004 at 09:13:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Hunnh!, Kinda like giving everyone in a foot race a trophy, so's no one feels left out.

It'd kinda make the Olympics.......funny.
No losers, eveyone wins. Hunnh!

Get real. There's only ONE BEST, ONE Winner.
The rest are losers, even if they get Silver or Bronze.
'Til Later,
Old John


digusted    Posted 08-26-2004 at 14:49:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
what an asinine remark to make about those who earn a silver or bronze medal at the games. They sure as hell are anything but losers. Can't believe you said such a thing


Dennis/AR    Posted 08-26-2004 at 12:15:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
When we were in the awards business, parents would try to buy their children, who didn't win academic awards, identical awards of the winners.

Great message to their children huh?

We REFUSED every time to make up the phoney awards. Gotta tell ya parents get real Pi$$ed off
at that fact.



JB    Posted 08-26-2004 at 08:40:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
What hoopla! When corporal punishment was taken away as a possibility when necessary, IMO, the kids took over the schools. About the worst can happen is a 3 day suspension. And they think that is to be dreaded by a student that don't want to be there in the first place?

At first, I thought the red mark article was a joke, and it well may be. However, if not NOW, then sooner or later! I have 3 great grandkids going to 2 different schools, all well behaved youngsters. In one school, they come in with a smiley pasted on their chest if they had a 'green light day' (all good, never had to be called down, and lessons prepared.) In 2 years, only one red light day between the 2 boys. The little girl, on the other hand (diff school) comes in with no smiley, and yesterday I asked her if they didn't do the green light day at her school. She frowned, and said no smileys at her school! That they did the One, Two, Three! "1. Warning, 2. Name posted, 3. Straight to the office!" I grinned inside, thinking, "This kid is getting the message that an adult is in charge.. and good for them!!!"


Peanut    Posted 08-26-2004 at 08:52:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
I wish it were a joke but unfortunately it is not.

Now the problem I have is that my kids are presented with conflicting "learning" environments. The kids run the school (you are absolutely right) and the parents run the home.

Just the other day my wife was correcting my son's homework assignment (we always review their work) and he got real upset saying she hurt his feelings when all she did was point out the errors. My wife started to cave in until I stepped in. Now I may be handling a little too strong for some folks but I am comfortable with it. I told my son that hurt feelings or not his assignment was not correct. He needs to deal with emotions and correct his work like his mother said. It is OK for him to be upset but that does not change the fact he must do what is expected of him. While he can be upset he must also be respectful to others and not say/do things that are not acceptable. A few "gator tears" later he did what we asked. I REALLY worry about how this would have gone down had this happened at school.


Bkeepr    Posted 08-26-2004 at 08:37:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our school district is in to this kind of "feel good" crud too. Graduates can't do basic math in their head or write a coherent sentence, but by golly they sure feel good about themselves. My kids used to hate us because we said things like "there's a word spelled wrong, find it and correct it," or "look it up" or "let's do the multiplication tables again." Now they thank us because college is easy and the job picture looks good.

Tom A


EngineerJoyce    Posted 08-26-2004 at 08:13:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good SoapBox. You are absolutely correct, Peanut. Children must be corrected to know what's right and wrong. The color is irrelevant, but it must get their attention. That whole color thing is stupid - as are lots of ther things our school have been doing lately.

Kids aren't taught to spell because it would stifle their creativity. True/False and Yes/No questions are nearly prohibited. questions must be open-ended like: What do you think it would be like if the moon were made of cheese? No wrong answers, graded on how well they write an answer. Questions like "How many digestive compartments are in a cow's stomach?" That would be too restrictive. STUPID!!!!!

After a whole batch went through that crap and got ruined, they are apparently changing their tune. My kindergarten daughter will be having spelling tests starting after Christmas - Thank goodness!

BIG SoapBox!


mojo    Posted 08-26-2004 at 07:13:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why do they think red became an aggressive color? In a few years purple will be aggressive and they'll switch back.


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