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    We had a number of discussions here about schools. Is there an interest to look at how academics is being taught in different types of schools? how students at home or online are doing? (should have done a pre-pandemic test, but we are not always naviim, just bnei naviim).

    We could do similar tests for our children/grandchildren/friends and describe school and family and then compare. Anyone interested? If you don’t want to appear boastful, you can always say “submitting for a friend”.

    What data can we use? maybe SAT, P-SAT, but what for earlier grades? States have all different tests and many schools are not doing them, but percentages could be of interest.

    For direct tests, there is IXL diagnostics, but requires $9-$20/month or school subscription. We did that, it makes sense. I found online mathmammoth that lists paper diagnostic tests for math, class 1 to 7.

    Reb Eliezer

    My son could not afford the Kaplan Course, so he did not do as well on the LSAT and did not get a scholarship for law school. The poor have a disadvantage.


    Khan academy is the College board’s official partner and offers free SAT practice tests online. Remember also that the SAT math includes just algebra and geometry so no need for student to dwell on calculus problems for exam.


    This thread reminds me of the joke about how annoying it would be if Jonas Salk’s mother were a neighbor. “So, Estelle, did I tell you about my son Jonas. HE FOUND THE CURE FOR POLIO. So quit telling me about your son the surgeon making all that money in Great Neck.”


    It is not a matter of the poor being at a disadvantage because your son could not afford the Kaplan course, yielding lower LSAT scores and no law school scholarship.
    All 5 of my children went to law school, as did 3 of their spouses. Not one took the Kaplan or any paid course to prepare for the LSAT exams. Several bought used Kaplan LSAT books on eBay or Amazon for less than $50, just to get an overview of the LSAT exams.

    None of them took a Bar review course, after graduation before taking the Bar exam, and all passed on first try.
    Rich or poor had nothing to do with it, intelligence, study ethics, hard work and ability to analyze and reason determined performance.

    I have taught law school courses over the years and saw no difference in performance by rich or poor students that good be attributed to their economic status.

    Your observation is not valid. He could have taken the Kaplan Course and still have done poorly on his LSAT and not gotten a scholarship.


    CTL: How were you aware of every student of yours economic status, as to whether they were poor or rich?


    I dis not write that I was aware of the economic status of EVERY one of my students.
    That said: I taught in a small law school
    #1 I sat on the faculty scholarship committee and had access to applications
    #2 I had students fill out a survey form with details as to if they were full time or part-time students, held jobs, what they did for a living, married, single, children.
    #3 I taught my classes as a swing shift, teaching the same lecture in the morning and evening and students were free to attend either at will. We had many police officers attending Law School part-time, and as their shifts changed every few weeks they didn’t have to miss classes.
    #4 The Registrar would send students’ financial aid applications to certain faculty members for review (I was one of those who reviewed them, based on my undergraduate work/degree from Wharton).
    #5 The poor students didn’t have the $75-100,000 sports cars in the parking lot (this was 10-20 years ago)
    #6 More than once, I advanced, loaned, gave students money for books, food, childcare and rent.
    #7 I set up a textbook loan system where those who had bought textbooks and could afford not to sell them back at the end of the semester donated them to the lending library for students who found purchasing textbooks a major burden.


    ok, who else has children lawyers?! Of course, I should be the last person to complaining about topic hijacking …

    I was mostly thinking about getting a picture at middle or high school level. Lots of people here (including me) express strong opinions about education as they say now “without evidence”. There is also regional disparity. So, it would be useful for all of us to compare performance. Looking at law school may be useful for future generation, but also does not inform anyone who went into other life paths. Math and reading should be easy, not sure how to approach Torah and middos.


    We’ve had all the grandchildren, and asst Great Nieces and Nephews in residence since school shut down last March.
    Our local Board of Education has made available all its standardized testing and scoring at no charge so we can see how they are doing in general subjects.
    They can’t make this available to religious schools, but since the children are distance learning, they bundled our request in with other Home Schooling families,
    Testing was made available for English, Math, Science, US History and a cognitive test for art/music


    CT, you are a statistical gold mine!
    so do you already have numbers to compare improvement made when they were in school or from home?


    The following covers the 16 that are in grades 3-12
    English up 25%
    US History up 27%
    I have been teaching/tutoring both of those subjects to supplement the school assigned work and zoom/Google meet teacher led lessons
    Math up through Algebra 2 and Trig up 12%. I am no use with Calculus or Statistics, I never took Calculus and had one semester of Statistics 50 years ago and don’t remember much.
    Science DOWN 15%, The children, especially 7-12 grades are suffering by lack of labs. Just reading the textbooks and watching videos, does not make up for the live experiments in labs. It is very boring without this. In discussion with a neighbor who is the Science department head at one of our town’s middle school, this is definitely consistent with results of public school students who are distance learning or in school 2 days a week this year under the hybrid model. None of our town’s public school students attend live more than two days a week.
    Art and Music cognition are at grade level. Instrument instruction is lacking. We have two baby grand pianos and a couple of electric keyboards. Youngest daughter plays well and tries to teach a bit, but we have no ability to teach strings, horns or woodwinds or the desire to listen to endless hours of practicing scales….VBG

    these academic gains seem consistent with those white, upper middle class students learning at home; who have professional, educated parents with the time and interest in teaching. The students suffering are those of limited means;
    They have limited computer resources, no private study spaces, parents not educated and able to teach advanced subjects, adults having to go out to work leaving limited supervision during the school day.
    I have been told the students with the lowest scores are often only children, starved for social interaction that comes at school.
    We have made a family decision to keep the children in the compound this entire school year.


    CTLawyer, thanks for the info.
    Maybe we should pair up – We are doing statistics right now … I’d love to teach more Calculus but kids are questioning it. They even peaked at my work and noticed that even my “mathematical” work does not involve Calculus. … Although I do enjoy covering gaps in my English and History.

    Biggest problem with music – younger kids try to play piano in the (rare) moments older ones study.
    I agree on effects on students from families without educated parents (I think it is education level, not income, that matters).

    I want to notice that there is big difference between regular school making it online, as you have and we tried for some, and fully online schools that we are using. Both have benefits. Your school is good due to having a regular social circle and involved teachers. Online schools have limited interaction with teachers who do not know kids. At the same time, constant Zooming involves lots of waste time and frustration. I wish we could start a school that combines these approaches.

    Encourage schools to make it less interactive. Here is how it look in fully online: online list of tasks for a class – for a week or whole semester; multiple choice “quick checks” 3-5 questions after every topic with immediate feedback; longer quizzes weekly; long tests/portfolios every couple of weeks.
    In addition, there are live lessons – 1-2 per subject, per week, that are recorded. One good thing is that kids (eventually, hopefully) learn to control their own schedule. Some like to binge on the same subject for a week, for example, and then forget about it for a month.


    The grandchildren, etc.
    Are not all enrolled in the same schools.
    We have three whose school is running in-school classes full time. Along with a few others (helps that I am on the board) insisted that classroom lessons be streamed live. Don’t want them returning to that school in the future and find they are not doing things by the method thee school uses/prefers.
    Because we have so much space and multiple dwellings in the compound, we don’t suffer issues of music interfering with study. One piano and the electric keyboards is in the studio over the garage building. The other is in our living room in a wing with out bedrooms or study area. We divided my late MIL’s home next door into classrooms, study areas and a lunchroom. we don’t want the kids studying in their bedrooms and claiming they need doors closed/locked for ability to concentrate.
    I disagree with your premise about educated/intelligent as opposed to income level. If a highly intelligent poor person has to absent him/herself from the house 12 hours a day in order to put food on the table, keep lights and heat on, etc. The children don’t benefit as much as with a moderately intelligent parent who can afford to be at home and nurture.
    MRS. CTL. has been a designer/builder/Realtor for 40 years but always maintained a home office (with a separate entrance for clients from the outdoors). She was always home when our children were home from school. Any appointments at job sites, showings, vendors were made during school hors or at times I could be home. Thus she has a successful career while being a stay at home mother. Could she have made even more over the years working full time in an outside office, yes, but money beyond a certain amount isn’t going to change our life.
    B have high schoolers and are looking for acceptable credit courses at reasonable prices that can be started at any time and done at your own pace; I highly recommend you look at the online classes offered for High Schoolers by Brigham Young University. Because the Mormons require outreach journeys across the world of all members, they have devised a top notch fully accredited on line US High School. The credits are accepted all over and on transcripts by the best US colleges and Universities.


    >> insisted that classroom lessons be streamed live.

    One school here tried hybrid, with best intention, with teachers trying to pay attention to both class and remote and really losing it all. Sounds you are just passively watching, that makes sense.

    >> Doors, classrooms –
    have similar problems. We let them to misbehave (aka bribery), don’t want to be too strict under these conditions. This is tolerable given that spigot of bad middos coming from school is closed [ hope they aint reading!]

    interesting re: BY, thanks. This is similar to Chabad Shluhim schools, I guess. When we were exploring online education pre-Corona, a Rav recommended it from seeing Shluhim kids at remote locations, who are well socialized online.

    We are mostly using a state online school that is run by a company called Connexus (not available in NY, NJ, but is in many other states, call your legislator and fight unions to allow/expand in your state). Hard to beat the price, and spends serious resources, zero negative social effects. I think all Jewish schools should outsource secular studies to such schools (+ some mentoring). There are a couple of yeshivot that do this. for Jewish studies, there are bunch of home-schooler style shops, like Melamed Academy. Looking for something more exciting in a long term.


    There are a good number of Chabad Shluchim whose children are enrolled in the BY on line school. Those who want their kids to get a college education, have found these are far more recognizable and accepted for college credit/admissions, as well as state required testing for high school diplomas.
    Re: on-line classes, listening in or participating
    Over 10 years ago I taught a section of Family Law that met Tuesday and Thursday nights. It was limited to 20 students in the class live and 20 on live. The on line students watched a live stream, but could not interact during the lecture. They were encouraged to email questions. During the 10 minute break, I reviewed the emails and attempted to respond during the second hour.

    I taught a 3L level wills and trusts specific to CT (school was in MA, but many students were from CT and would practice here. This was a small class of about 12, so we used Skype with full interaction with those in the class and those participating remotely.

    Zoom classes in our area have been a failure, too much freezing and bad wifi in area of a small town. Our Public schools are using Google Meet with better success. Those attending in person go either Mon/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday in order to keep class sizes down and observe social distancing. No in school students on Wednesday…the buildings are deep cleaned then. Requiring teachers to deal with in school students and remote at the same time has been a failure. So there are time periods when in school students have specials (music, art, gym) that the classroom teacher interacts with the children at home. After the year end break, grades 2-5 are expected to resume 4 day in person learning. Middle school and high school cannot resume this because there is not enough space to establish more classes for social distancing.


    zoom wifi: by the way, these two words should not go together! wherever possible, invest in ethernet cables.
    agree on dealing w/ school and remote at the same time is impossible.

    talking about better learning: questions is indeed an issue. I find it uncomfortable to interrupt the Rav in our local class as often as in person. We covered more material as a result :), but I am then have to google my questions or post here.


    Ct CT government funded laptops and/or tablets for every student who needed one (including those in private schools). Problem is the laptops are Chromebooks and the Tablets are iPads, nether has ports to work with ethernet cables. Free WiFi Hotspots have also been provided for those who cannot afford or didn’t have internet service. Cable providers such as Optimum have free emergency WiFi access in one hour increments in most CT cities (not in the little towns such as where I live). This Zoom and WiFi are an eveil match for many schoolchildren

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