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<v Kent Manahan>"How is my child doing in school?" If you're a parent, you've asked that question many <v Kent Manahan>times. Often the answer you get has something to do with test scores. <v Kent Manahan>They play an important role not only as a measure of progress, but in setting curriculum, <v Kent Manahan>too. Tonight, producer Janice Selinger and I begin a series of special reports: <v Kent Manahan>"Public Education: Sizing Up the System" with a look at some of the changing <v Kent Manahan>views among educators on what and how well our children are learning. <v Woman>We are hoping to instill in our children a love of learning. <v Man>We've got to focus on, uh, reasoning skills, deductive skills, influential <v Man>skills, thinking skills. <v Man 2>They have to be able to take a thought, an issue, and have a beginning, <v Man 2>a middle, and an ending in the area of writing. <v Kent Manahan>Those are some of the goals, but there are differing views among educators on how to <v Kent Manahan>achieve them. Many believe there is too much emphasis on basic skills today, <v Kent Manahan>such as times tables and declension of verbs, and not enough stress on teaching a <v Kent Manahan>youngster to think. <v Kent Manahan>Educators are beginning to realize the need to teach a higher level of basic skills
<v Kent Manahan>to help develop a child's critical thinking ability so that students can draw inferences <v Kent Manahan>and conclusions, for example, after reading a passage from a book. <v Kent Manahan>But that means a lot more demands on teachers. <v Kent Manahan>Until 1982, minimum basic skills tests were given to New Jersey youngsters in the <v Kent Manahan>3rd, 6th, 9th, and 11th grades. <v Kent Manahan>The skills measured in those tests helped determine the curriculum or course of study for <v Kent Manahan>students. Over the years, an average of more than 90 percent of the students who took the <v Kent Manahan>test passed. Education Commissioner Dr. Saul Cooperman says the <v Kent Manahan>tests were no longer a challenge, and the need for a change was clear. <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>Employers were telling me that the children couldn't write and think, uh, and do <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>mathematics. And my reading of corporate literature is sometimes <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>75 percent of the corporations are giving basic skills, uh, <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>instruction in the corporations. <v Kent Manahan>Until this year, students in New Jersey were only required to pass a 9th grade minimum <v Kent Manahan>basic skills test in order to graduate from high school. <v Kent Manahan>Now they must pass a more rigorous high school proficiency test before graduation,
<v Kent Manahan>but it's still a 9th grade test. <v Dr. Saul Cooperman>That's a paradox to say, "How can we-how can we give a 9th grade skill <v Dr. Saul Cooperman>test?" <v Kent Manahan>to a 12th grader? <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>That's right. <v Kent Manahan>And call them a high school graduate. <v Kent Manahan>How can we? <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>Well, in the 9th grade, if someone fails that test, the <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>logic is that they should have several more times to pass <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>that test, and this was upheld by the legislature in 1978. <v Kent Manahan>Despite strong opposition, Cooperman would eventually like to see the tests change to an <v Kent Manahan>11th grade skills level. <v Kent Manahan>The new high school proficiency test goes beyond drill and practice learning. <v Kent Manahan>Dr. Joel Bloom, assistant commissioner in charge of testing at the State Department of <v Kent Manahan>Education, explains how the old basic skills test merely asked a student to find, <v Kent Manahan>for example, the area of a rectangle in a single process. <v Kent Manahan>The new test demands more. <v Dr. Joel Bloom; Department of Education>We ask them to problem solve. <v Dr. Joel Bloom; Department of Education>They have to take the ro- that figure that may be made up of <v Dr. Joel Bloom; Department of Education>multiple areas and break it down into squares or rectangles,
<v Dr. Joel Bloom; Department of Education>and then apply the formula, and then add up the results. <v Kent Manahan>It's believed the new test will eventually help students improve their SAT scores. <v Kent Manahan>But right now, seniors like Brooke Abbot and Nadene Smith of Summit High School say <v Kent Manahan>they didn't anticipate the pressure. <v Brook Abbot>The hardest thing about taking SATs for me was when I was sitting in that room <v Brook Abbot>with everybody around me. Everybody's scribbling down all these answers. <v Brook Abbot>I was just thinking that this is my ticket to school. <v Kent Manahan>64,000 New Jersey high school students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test <v Kent Manahan>required for college admission raised their scores an average 13 points last <v Kent Manahan>year, but the state still ranks 43rd in the national average in math <v Kent Manahan>and verbal skills. Only Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Indiana, Georgia, <v Kent Manahan>North and South Carolina rank lower. <v Kent Manahan>That troubles Dr. Cooperman, but he says it means more opportunity for more students. <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>Because we give the SAT, uh, to 2 out of every 3 <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>of our children, and because of the composition of the state, we do poorly.
<v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>It's a reflection, ah, to a large degree of our less advantaged schools. <v Kent Manahan>If I asked you to rate our education system and I gave you a choice of very good, <v Kent Manahan>good, in need of minor adjustment, or poor in need of major overhaul, <v Kent Manahan>what would you choose? <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>I wouldn't accept your first choice but I- it'd probably closer to the second, uh, but <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>I think there are many areas we are in reasonably good shape, uh, but <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>there's much, much work to be done. <v Kent Manahan>Now we'd like to hear from you. If you could change one aspect of the education system <v Kent Manahan>to help make it better, would it be teachers, curriculum, or administrators? <v Kent Manahan>You can let us know by calling these 900 numbers, and at the end of the week we'll <v Kent Manahan>get- let you know the results of our poll. <v Kent Manahan>Dial 1-900-220-2111 for teachers, <v Kent Manahan>1-900-220-2122 for curriculum, or <v Kent Manahan>1-900-220-2133 to vote for a change
<v Kent Manahan>in administrators. Each call will cost you 50 cents. <v Kent Manahan>Those numbers will be repeated at the end of this program. <v Kent Manahan>Tomorrow night, we'll examine the quality of teachers in New Jersey schools. <v Speaker>[End of Part 1] <v Kent Manahan>"Only the best teacher will do for my child." That's what every parent wants, but <v Kent Manahan>is it a realistic expectation? <v Kent Manahan>Tonight, in part 2 of "Public Education: Sizing Up the System." Producer Janice Selinger <v Kent Manahan>and I examined the quality of New Jersey's teachers. <v Kent Manahan>Are they at the top or the bottom of the class? <v Kent Manahan>[Teacher teaching in the background] There are 80,000 teachers in New Jersey's <v Kent Manahan>classrooms. Each is required to have a teaching certificate. <v Kent Manahan>But are the best high school graduates entering the state's collegiate education <v Kent Manahan>programs? <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>Unfortunately, the students who are electing to go into teacher education <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>tend to come from, uh, the lowest achievement levels in the high school graduating <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>class. As the very best students are going into the sciences and going to pre-med,
<v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>going into business, into professional areas. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>Problem is, we're not able to attract the students we would like to teach our children. <v Kent Manahan>Why not? Why haven't we been more successful? <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>Don't treat them as professionals. We don't pay them as professionals. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>We don't educate them as professionals. <v Kent Manahan>[Mannix teaches in the background] Mary Ellen Mannix considers herself to be a <v Kent Manahan>professional. She's been a media specialist in Elizabeth for 14 years. <v Kent Manahan>Ms. Mannix and many other teachers resent criticism that their profession doesn't attract <v Kent Manahan>the best and the brightest. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>In teaching, if you are an average, not an average because that's positive, but a <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>mediocre person, um, it becomes very obvious in your classroom. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>You're dealing in-in-in an, ah, area that's- that demands far more. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>Ah, in a corporation, there are many mediocre positions <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>that you can fill and do a very adequate job. <v Kent Manahan>Most teachers in New Jersey graduate from state colleges. <v Kent Manahan>At Jersey City State, about half of the students who enroll require academic remedial <v Kent Manahan>work. Two years ago, the college began requiring education majors to maintain
<v Kent Manahan>a 2.5 average. <v Kent Manahan>These seniors described themselves as average students. <v Kent Manahan>They think that can be an advantage when they go out to teach. <v Sharon Boellmann; Student at Jersey City State>You can see where the student's coming from. I mean, the top of the class student, maybe <v Sharon Boellmann; Student at Jersey City State>they did have some struggles in that, but usually they don't. <v Sharon Boellmann; Student at Jersey City State>It usually just comes very easy to them. You get a child in the classroom that is an <v Sharon Boellmann; Student at Jersey City State>average student and you were, you can relate and see where they're coming from. <v Bobbi Adams; Student at Jersey City State>If I'm working with children from the city, I'm from the city, too. <v Bobbi Adams; Student at Jersey City State>So, if they're not doing too good in certain things, I could understand why. <v Kent Manahan>We spoke with one of your students here at Jersey City State, and in answering her <v Kent Manahan>question, she said to us that children don't perform too good. <v Kent Manahan>And obviously, she misspoke; she made a grammatical error. <v Kent Manahan>Does that concern you? <v Carlos Hernandez; V. P. Academic Affairs at Jersey City State>Sure. I would be concerned if that were a typical speech pattern of a student in any <v Carlos Hernandez; V. P. Academic Affairs at Jersey City State>major. <v Dennis Giordano; NJEA President>To present that for the viewers as the norm, rather <v Dennis Giordano; NJEA President>than the extraneous example that I believe it to be, is inappropriate. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>We need to do better than we have done at
<v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>all of our colleges more so at some of our colleges <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>in, ah, educating our students. <v Kent Manahan>A recent study by the National Center for Education Information entitled "The Making <v Kent Manahan>of a Teacher" concludes that no assessment of qualification takes place <v Kent Manahan>at entry or exit levels from teacher certification programs. <v Kent Manahan>The study goes on to point out that today's education programs accept everybody <v Kent Manahan>who has the slightest aspiration to teach. <v Kent Manahan>We know about low SAT scores for students going into teacher education programs. <v Kent Manahan>We know about the high number of students who require remedial work going <v Kent Manahan>into these programs. Is that an indication that this study is right on? <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>I think the study, uh, as-as you've given the-the excerpts of it, is <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>right on. We are the only state in the United States in the past 2 years who <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>have said "No more; not here." And we're trying to turn around 43 <v Dr. Saul Cooperman; N.J. Education Commissioner>years of that non-system. <v Kent Manahan>New Jersey has taken steps to attract higher caliber teachers.
<v Kent Manahan>An $18,500 minimum salary bill is now in effect. <v Kent Manahan>Is the higher salary a guarantee? <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>It helps. <v Kent Manahan>We're talking now $18,500. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>No, it's a condition. Well, $18-$18,500 is pretty good. <v Kent Manahan>But what would be a guarantee? 25? <v Kent Manahan>35? <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>No. I-I-I- Well, I would argue that it's not the starting salary that's important, <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>but the potential the student can reach. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>It's how high the salary can go for an experienced teacher and whether <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>a-a good teacher can get special increments, merit recognition, <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>because they are good. <v Kent Manahan>Besides higher salaries to help attract more qualified teachers, the state has also <v Kent Manahan>designed an alternate route program whereby highly qualified professionals without <v Kent Manahan>prior experience can teach. <v Kent Manahan>And now, in order to be certified in New Jersey, graduating education majors must pass <v Kent Manahan>an exam. [Students talking in the background] These Jersey City State students had just <v Kent Manahan>taken the national teachers exam a couple of days before we arrived on campus. <v Kent Manahan>Most thought they failed, but the college now guarantees its graduates will pass
<v Kent Manahan>the test or get remedial help until they do. <v Kent Manahan>What was your opinion of the exam? <v Keri Burns; Jersey City State Student>It had nothing to do with-with teaching, in my opinion. <v Kent Manahan>Why not? <v Keri Burns; Jersey City State Student>It was too difficult. I felt it was more professional than general. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>The test was never intended and doesn't purport to test <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>the ability of students to teach. <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>The test is directed at whether or not the students are- know <v T. Edward Hollander; Chancellor, Higher Education>the subject area. They want to teach. <v Kent Manahan>Thousands of education majors took the national teachers exam in June. <v Kent Manahan>Looking at the results, Bloomfield College, Jersey City State, and Kean College in <v Kent Manahan>Union were among the schools with the highest failure rates. <v Kent Manahan>Trenton State had one of the best records. <v Kent Manahan>[Teacher speaking in the background] Of all the elementary education majors at the Mercer <v Kent Manahan>County School who took the exam, only 4 percent failed. <v Kent Manahan>[Children speaking in the background] A couple of years ago, Trenton State raised its <v Kent Manahan>requirements for incoming freshmen going into education. <v Kent Manahan>In addition, administrators say the key to the school's successful record is early <v Kent Manahan>practical experience in the field.
<v Dr. Leon Durkin; School of Ed, Trenton State College>I think if you're gonna learn about theory and practice of teaching, you can't just learn <v Dr. Leon Durkin; School of Ed, Trenton State College>about it; you've got to have an opportunity to do it and to see it in practice. <v Kent Manahan>About 20 percent of Trenton State's education majors eventually drop out of the program. <v Kent Manahan>For some, it's too difficult. Others find teaching is not for them. <v Kent Manahan>Interestingly, only 1 of the 4 teachers we gather together said she would definitely <v Kent Manahan>go into teaching all over again. <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>When I finished my graduate studies, I had the option of applying other places, and <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>I kept saying, "Oh, that's what I'm going to do. <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>I should get out of teaching now. I can make more money, I can do other things." But <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>something held me back. I really love what I do. <v Robert Kirsch; Summit H.S. Teacher>I don't know if I can say yes or no, I would go into teaching. <v Robert Kirsch; Summit H.S. Teacher>I love teaching; uh, it's been good to me. <v Robert Kirsch; Summit H.S. Teacher>I've had a lot of great opportunities in teaching. <v Robert Kirsch; Summit H.S. Teacher>So, I c-can't; I'd have to give a lot more thought to that. <v Kent Manahan>What about you, Kaaren? <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>I don't think I would stay in it as long as I have. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>It- I love doing it, but it's-it's a luxury that I can't afford.
<v Kent Manahan>Now it's your turn to speak out on education. <v Kent Manahan>We're conducting a poll so you can let us know what you think. <v Kent Manahan>What aspect of our educational system most needs improvement in your opinion: <v Kent Manahan>teachers, curriculum, or administrators? <v Kent Manahan>Give us a call at these 900 numbers. <v Kent Manahan>Dial 1-900-220-2111 if your answer is <v Kent Manahan>teachers, 1-900-220-2122 for curriculum, <v Kent Manahan>or 1-900-220-2133 for administrators. <v Kent Manahan>Each call will cost you 50 cents. <v Kent Manahan>Those numbers will be repeated at the end of the program and we'll have the results for <v Kent Manahan>you on Friday night. Tomorrow night, challenging gifted and talented students <v Kent Manahan>and those who need remedial help. <v Speaker>[End of Part 2] <v Kent Manahan>Under New Jersey's Public Education Act of 1975, students are guaranteed <v Kent Manahan>the right to what has been termed a thorough and efficient education, but <v Kent Manahan>some poor urban districts charge that they aren't getting enough money from the state to <v Kent Manahan>keep up with suburban areas. <v Kent Manahan>So they filed suit against New Jersey, citing the need for equalized tax resources
<v Kent Manahan>to help fund education. <v Kent Manahan>There are no easy answers for wiping out problems in urban districts, but there are some <v Kent Manahan>success stories. Tonight, in part 3 of "Public Education: Sizing Up the <v Kent Manahan>System," we go to Elizabeth and Camden, where pilot programs and innovative <v Kent Manahan>teaching work. <v Kent Manahan>[Sound of children and geese in the background] Twice a year, these <v Kent Manahan>4th grade students from Camden leave the city and experience a whole new environment <v Kent Manahan>in nearby Winslow Township. <v Dwayne Gaines; Camden 4th Grade Student>It feels good being out in the country. That's where- this is where my dad <v Dwayne Gaines; Camden 4th Grade Student>grew up back in the country. <v Dwayne Gaines; Camden 4th Grade Student>That's why I love to be out here. <v Jim Flanagan; Environmental Center>We try to reinforce the skills of the boys and girls are learning in the classroom, <v Jim Flanagan; Environmental Center>doing it in a more active, hands-on approach, uh, giving them a taste <v Jim Flanagan; Environmental Center>of nature, trying to point out here at the facility, the different trees, bushes, and <v Jim Flanagan; Environmental Center>animals that they also have in the-in the city. <v Kent Manahan>With some federal help, Camden has set up this basic skills improvement program.
<v Kent Manahan>The children are exposed to new learning experiences. <v Kent Manahan>Very often, the result is a contagious desire for more. <v Kent Manahan>[Teacher teaches in the background: Teacher: "W", Students: "West"] In Camden, 65 percent <v Kent Manahan>of the students need remedial work. <v Kent Manahan>The district spends an average of $3,700 per pupil each year, well <v Kent Manahan>below the statewide $4,337 average. <v Kent Manahan>But even at that level of spending, the supplemental program at the Lanning Square School <v Kent Manahan>has been highly successful. <v Kent Manahan>Here, 95 percent of the students who took the minimum basic skills test last <v Kent Manahan>year scored above state standards. <v Kent Manahan>The school district credits dedicated teachers as well as involved parents. <v Kent Manahan>Carlton Wilson and Mark Merrill each have young children at the Lanning Square School. <v Kent Manahan>They're generally pleased with their academic progress. <v Mark Merrill>I can only compare that to what we learned, what I learned when I was, uh, in <v Mark Merrill>kindergarten. We were learning "Old McDonald had a Farm," [Teaching in the background] <v Mark Merrill>whereas my children were coming home knowing all of their ABC's,
<v Mark Merrill>um, writing skills, um, drawing skills, uh, speaking <v Mark Merrill>skills, and I think that that's very positive, and, ah, <v Mark Merrill>forming the foundation for their educational skills, ah, in the future. <v Speaker>[Teacher reading to children in the background: "And I'm going up to the meadow to make myself fat"] <v Kent Manahan>After years of seeing low test scores in Camden City schools, administrators <v Kent Manahan>decided to start remedial work in preschool. <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>That's consistent with national research that says if you expose a <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>youngster 4 years of age to a quality program, ah, well, <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>he's going to have his readiness skills strengthened. <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>Ah, it's just common sense that youngster's going to do better. <v Kent Manahan>[Teacher teaches in the background] But high absenteeism and socio-economic problems <v Kent Manahan>common in city areas are all important factors which detract from the learning <v Kent Manahan>process. <v Kent Manahan>Why do basic skills scores continue to be so low in urban areas? <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>The test scores in urban areas are generally
<v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>not looked at in terms of where the youngsters start and where we bring <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>them. Ah- <v Kent Manahan>Isn't that an indication then that we should start someplace else? <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>No. <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>Ah, we need to look very closely at the child and-and make a decision as to whether <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>or not we are in a position to educate or whether or not we're educating <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>the total child. <v Kent Manahan>[Teacher teaching in the background: It's called a boxing turtle because when it's <v Kent Manahan>frightened...] What Camden is doing for students in need of remedial work, the city of <v Kent Manahan>Elizabeth is doing for gifted and talented youngsters. <v Kent Manahan>When students enter the 1st grade here, their parents can apply to a special program <v Kent Manahan>which runs from 2nd grade through high school. <v Kent Manahan>Boys and girls are picked not just on academics, but also on athletic ability and <v Kent Manahan>visual and performing arts skills. <v Kent Manahan>[Violin in the background] These children have come to School Number 21 to study the <v Kent Manahan>performing arts. None of them have ever played the violin before, but here, they're <v Kent Manahan>learning about the instrument by recognizing its many different sounds. <v Kent Manahan>Here, as in Camden, there is an emphasis on firsthand experience.
<v Kent Manahan>Goals are set for students and high standards are maintained. <v Kent Manahan>There is a regular system of checks and balances between the school and district <v Kent Manahan>administrators. <v Kent Manahan>[Teaching in the background] In this 2nd grade science class, there are no textbooks. <v Kent Manahan>Children learn to listen and conduct experiments much the way they would in junior high <v Kent Manahan>school. The program started in 1979. <v Kent Manahan>Some of the first youngsters to go through the school are now in high school. <v Kent Manahan>A number of informal follow ups done on those students over the years have shown a high <v Kent Manahan>rate of academic success. <v Kent Manahan>Most are honors students, generally in the top 10 percent of their class. <v Susan Miksza; Principal, School 21>In addition to teaching children what we would call the 3 R's, we are teaching <v Susan Miksza; Principal, School 21>them how to feel good about themselves, 'cause if you feel good about yourself, you're <v Susan Miksza; Principal, School 21>going to go on to achieve more. <v Kent Manahan>[Teaching in the background] Administrators at the Lanning Square School and School 21 in <v Kent Manahan>Elizabeth give credit for their successful programs to hardworking, highly creative <v Kent Manahan>teachers and supportive parents who take an active role in their children's education. <v Kent Manahan>Do you ever reach a point in the city- <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>Mm-hmm. <v Kent Manahan>-of Camden, do you think, where you can guarantee to the parents that the students who
<v Kent Manahan>are graduating are the best that they can be? <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>We're at this point that we will continue to-to guarantee them that we will do everything <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>that we possibly can in the Camden City schools-- <v Kent Manahan>And are you doing that? <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>--to get our students towards that- <v Kent Manahan>And are you doing that? <v Dr. Roy Dawson; Acting Asst. Superintendent>Are we doing that? We are certainly on the right track. <v Kent Manahan>What do you think of New Jersey's education system? <v Kent Manahan>We're conducting a poll and we'd like to hear from you. <v Kent Manahan>In your opinion, what aspect of our educational system most needs improvement: <v Kent Manahan>teachers, curriculum, or administrators? <v Kent Manahan>Dial 1-900-220-2111 if your answer is teachers, <v Kent Manahan>1-900-220-2122 for curriculum, or 1-900-220-2133 <v Kent Manahan>to choose administrators. Each call will cost 50 cents. <v Kent Manahan>Those numbers will be repeated at the end of this program. <v Kent Manahan>Tomorrow night, parents and teachers speak out on public education. <v Speaker>[End of Part 3] <v Kent Manahan>For the past 3 days, New Jersey network has been conducting a poll to go along with <v Kent Manahan>our series "Public Education: Sizing Up the System." The poll is not scientific;
<v Kent Manahan>it's at random. And those participating paid 50 cents to register their votes. <v Kent Manahan>Here's the way the vote turned out: when asked what aspect of the educational system most <v Kent Manahan>needs improvement, 56 percent of those who called said administration, <v Kent Manahan>29 percent said teachers, and 15 percent of those who voted <v Kent Manahan>said curriculum changes. <v Kent Manahan>For the concluding part of this series, producer Janice Selinger and I spoke with some <v Kent Manahan>teachers and parents about the need for change. <v Kent Manahan>We begin with a group of parents from Cherry Hill and Camden. <v Kent Manahan>Surprisingly, when we asked in which area they would like to see some changes made: <v Kent Manahan>teachers, curriculum, or administrators, 3 out of 4 said curriculum. <v Carlton WIlson; Camden Parent>Different areas have different populations, different people populate different areas. <v Carlton WIlson; Camden Parent>So you would, ah, take your curriculum is suited more towards the people <v Carlton WIlson; Camden Parent>who live there as opposed to a standardized curriculum for an entire area. <v Elaine Lessig; Cherry Hill Parent>Curriculum, again, I just think that-that the world
<v Elaine Lessig; Cherry Hill Parent>is changing so rapidly from what used to be. <v Kent Manahan>Mark Merrill, a father of 2 young children in the Camden public school, had a different <v Kent Manahan>answer. <v Mark Merrill>I would have to think that the, uh, if any changes were to be made, it would <v Mark Merrill>have to be in the administrative levels because that is where we get- <v Mark Merrill>everything else falls under that, because that's where all the policies are set. <v Mark Merrill>That's where, um, the curriculars are made up. <v Kent Manahan>Syvonne Forkin, a former teacher and the mother of a Cherry Hill Junior High student, <v Kent Manahan>feels curriculum is the most important area for change, but she would also like to <v Kent Manahan>see some improvement in teacher training. <v Syvonne Forkin>Our teachers are doing an excellent job, but everyone can improve. <v Syvonne Forkin>And I don't think there's enough opportunity for in-service, uh, <v Syvonne Forkin>with our teachers in new areas that they're going to be teaching, such as <v Syvonne Forkin>in a computer program or in even new <v Syvonne Forkin>ways of teaching and how to approach children. <v Kent Manahan>Since the parents we spoke to seem generally satisfied with teachers, we decided to find
<v Kent Manahan>out if the teachers in our series were satisfied with themselves. <v Kent Manahan>Mary Ellen Mannix of Elizabeth spoke frankly: <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>[Teacher teaching in the background] I don't think everybody who thinks they can teach can <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>teach. It takes a lot. It takes a lot of patience. <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>It takes a lot of understanding. It takes a lot of background, a lot of work, a lot of <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>sacrifice. <v Kent Manahan>Rick, Mary Ellen, Kaaren, and Bob all have advanced degrees in their specialty <v Kent Manahan>fields. They differ on how, but they do agree the teacher training in New Jersey needs <v Kent Manahan>improvement. <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>People that I see coming out of the program have had too much, ah, <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>in-classroom work in areas such as how to teach social studies, how to teach math, how to <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>teach reading instead of providing them with a background, a liberal arts background, uh, <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>background that they can really pick and choose from when they do teach, provide a lot to <v Mary Ellen Mannix; Elizabeth Teacher>their children. They're so limited. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>I think teachers should- licensed teachers should have to go to school 5 years, 4 <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>years in liberal arts or whatever their specialty is and 1 year of teaching. <v Kent Manahan>Interestingly, when we offered the teachers a chance to size up parents' interest in the <v Kent Manahan>children's education, the teachers spoke openly.
<v Kent Manahan>How about parents? Do they give you enough support? What do you think? <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>I would say no, that they don't. <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>I think it's more of an attitude of the child is turned over to the school system to <v Kaaren Patterson; Elizabeth Teacher>be taught. <v Rick O'Neill; Summit Jr. High School>Parents who I see most often, either in school, <v Rick O'Neill; Summit Jr. High School>back to school night function, or other functions, are the parents of students who <v Rick O'Neill; Summit Jr. High School>are doing well, and the parents who I don't meet too often, uh, <v Rick O'Neill; Summit Jr. High School>unless I initiate it usually, are the parents, uh, of students who are not doing well. <v Kent Manahan>Citing mostly financial reasons. <v Rick O'Neill; Summit Jr. High School>I have a difficult time living in the same town where I teach. <v Kent Manahan>3 of the 4 teachers in this series, all of whom have been teaching for 10 years or more <v Kent Manahan>and make less than $28,000 a year, said they would not go into teaching <v Kent Manahan>again. <v Syvonne Forkin>Money is essential because we have to have that to live, but <v Syvonne Forkin>we really have to have the kinds of people who are really interested in this because of <v Syvonne Forkin>the children. <v Kent Manahan>And that's really the bottom line: the children.
Program
Public Education: Sizing Up the System
Producing Organization
New Jersey Network
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-zg6g15vp2v
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Description
Program Description
"Public Education: Sizing Up the System examines New Jersey's educational system in four parts. Why do the largest majority of our students consistently test so low? Why aren't the best and the brightest attracted to teaching? And what concerns do parents and teachers have about our educational system? "The series points out the shocking fact that students graduating from high school are not guaranteed a twelfth grade education. They are only required to have ninth grade skills. "The report looks for answers to what would guarantee top notch teachers; raising salaries, admission standards at state college or a national examination. "We also talk with a graduating education major who makes a grammatical error on camera. We ask how she can teach children. "Viewers are also asked to participate through a poll. We ask what aspect of the educational system most needs improvement -- teachers, curriculum or administrators. "Everyone is concerned about the quality of education. Public Education: Sizing Up The System is an in-depth look at the problems as well as possible solutions. There are no automatic guarantees that an educational system can be the best but there are many areas where it can be much better. "Part One of the series is background -- just how are our children doing in school. Part Two is the meat of the series. Please try to take a look at that segment."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
1985-10
Asset type
Program
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:24:47.401
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: New Jersey Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-b296462eb2c (Filename)
Format: U-matic
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Citations
Chicago: “Public Education: Sizing Up the System,” 1985-10, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-zg6g15vp2v.
MLA: “Public Education: Sizing Up the System.” 1985-10. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-zg6g15vp2v>.
APA: Public Education: Sizing Up the System. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-zg6g15vp2v