"Their report cards are a lie"

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"Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Queen K » Nov 24th, 2017, 7:06 am

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#212256

"His son's last report card stated that he met grade levels across the board, including spelling “high-usage words,” applying spelling knowledge, and printing and handwriting neatly.

“My kid can't spell at all today,” Brough said. “This is where I get angry.”

The assessor said she has seen similar reading and literacy issues with 10 other former Waldorf students.

“Typically, (they're) at least two to three years behind grade level in, not necessarily math, but in spelling and reading,” she said."



Uh OH.

Kudos to the parents who had their children tested by a teaching specialist and uncovered what most parents dread the most, that their child is behind.

However, is it entirely the teacher's fault if a child can't read or sound out letters of the alphabet? Yes, I really am suggesting teaching does not begin or end in the classroom.

What happened to reading aloud at home? To checking your child as you go a long? Do you wait years or months to find out?

Is everyone busy?
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Fancy » Nov 24th, 2017, 7:42 am

Children are usually reading in Grade 1 by Christmas. Some kids memorize books and fool their teachers and parents. It is important to take the time to change up the stories and ask a few questions once in a while. There are lots of workbooks that can help the parent and child catch up and teachers may have suggestions to speed up the process. I'm surprised at the number of families affected and one would think parent/teacher interviews would have shed some light on the situation. A grade 5 student not reading at a grade 2 level is more than a little concerning. How do they pass any test?
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby JayByrd » Nov 24th, 2017, 8:48 am

Agreed, children who are doing well, should be reading simple books (mostly) independently in Grade 1 by Christmas. My son is in Grade 1 and he's almost there...and while he's not "slow", he's not taking to it as quickly as some of his classmates either. But he's already close to that standard.

We take as much interest as we can in his schooling, and if he couldn't read at all by this point, we'd know, even if his teacher never said anything (and we firmly believe they would). I know finding that time is a struggle for some parents, and some simply don't bother. There are amazing tools they use to help early readers along, I don't remember there being any of that stuff in my primary school days.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Lady tehMa » Nov 24th, 2017, 9:21 am

Queen K wrote:https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-212256-1-.htm#212256

"His son's last report card stated that he met grade levels across the board, including spelling “high-usage words,” applying spelling knowledge, and printing and handwriting neatly.

“My kid can't spell at all today,” Brough said. “This is where I get angry.”

The assessor said she has seen similar reading and literacy issues with 10 other former Waldorf students.

“Typically, (they're) at least two to three years behind grade level in, not necessarily math, but in spelling and reading,” she said."



Uh OH.

Kudos to the parents who had their children tested by a teaching specialist and uncovered what most parents dread the most, that their child is behind.

However, is it entirely the teacher's fault if a child can't read or sound out letters of the alphabet? Yes, I really am suggesting teaching does not begin or end in the classroom.

What happened to reading aloud at home? To checking your child as you go a long? Do you wait years or months to find out?

Is everyone busy?


From the Waldorf Kelowna website https://www.kelownawaldorf.org/what-is-waldorf/
Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, balanced approach to education that integrates the arts and academics for children from preschool through twelfth grade. It encourages the development of each child’s sense of truth, beauty, and goodness, and provides an antidote to violence, alienation, and cynicism. The aim of the education is to inspire in each student a lifelong love of learning, and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.

In Waldorf schools, to understand the universe, one must first understand humanity. Waldorf schools work with an integrated balance of artistic, practical and intellectual content in the curriculum, with an emphasis on developing social skills and community values in their students.
The Waldorf approach works from the inside out, focusing on giving children a deep confidence in their own learning process, and having a profound sense of wonder and respect for life and learning.
Waldorf education is founded on the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist, philosopher, educator, writer, architect, and social reformer. The Kelowna Waldorf School is part of a growing network of nearly 2,500 schools around the world that deliver the renowned Waldorf education model.
Waldorf schools emphasize the importance of imagination and play-based pedagogy, which allows for the natural progression of key skills, including literacy, numeracy, social and emotional competence at a pace appropriate to a child’s development.
Two modern languages (French and German) are taught from the age of 5.
Waldorf schools work with the belief that education should be accessible to all, regardless of ethnicity, creed or financial circumstances.
The Waldorf school is an extended learning environment for parents and teachers to work co-operatively in support of children’s education. A strong community is highly valued at a Waldorf school.


And from a pro/con website
https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/waldorf-school/

What supporters say

Restricting access to television and video games stimulates children’s curiosity. These advocates argue that without TV or computers, children build a habit of reading and writing in their free time. Research studies support the claim that writing by hand encourages adults to recognize written letters more quickly than they would if they had typed them.
Children are treated as individuals and curriculum is tailored to their unique style of learning. Students are discouraged from competing and are free to learn at their own pace.
Children learn the meaning of teamwork and community. Working on group art and theater projects helps them learn collaboration at an early age.
Waiting until the later grades to teach reading and math promotes long-term achievement. Because brain development occurs at a different pace for each child, the Waldorf approach helps students thrive until their learning skills catch up with their development. What’s more, reading and math is approached differently than in traditional schools. Numbers, math symbols, and letters are introduced in first grade through stories so they are less abstract for children.

What critics say

Lack of access to technology cheats kids. In an increasingly high-tech world, depriving kids of access to and familiarity with technology puts them at a disadvantage and makes little sense.
Too much copying goes on in classrooms. Instead of using textbooks, students write and draw what they have learned during the day. When children have to write their lessons down each day, it discourages them from actual learning.
Waiting until the later grades to teach basic skills sets children back. Most do catch up in the later grades, but it’s difficult to assess when children aren’t tested in the early years.
Lack of testing gives students a disadvantage. Without standardized testing in the early grades, gauging student progress is difficult. How, critics ask, can you help a student who’s faltering without knowing what he’s learned? What’s more, students are ill-prepared for how to take tests by the time they reach high school and college.

Waldorf schools have a religious affiliation that isn’t fully acknowledged. Waldorf teachings are based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of anthroposophy, which is based on his spiritual beliefs. Throughout his life, Steiner pursued a kind of spiritual research, and wrote about Christianity and its links to Buddhism. Although anthroposophy isn’t taught at Waldorf schools, critics contend Waldorf’s teachings amount to a religion. In some communities where Waldorf philosophies are taught in public charter schools, critics view this as a violation of the separation of church and state.


When we were researching schools for our kids, we removed Waldorf from our list on the first run through.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby HP » Nov 24th, 2017, 9:34 am

Yes, I really am suggesting teaching does not begin or end in the classroom.


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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby TylerM4 » Nov 24th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Queen K wrote:However, is it entirely the teacher's fault if a child can't read or sound out letters of the alphabet? Yes, I really am suggesting teaching does not begin or end in the classroom.


Fully agree with your post. But did want to call this out. The teacher is likely not at fault for the child not reading as well as he/she should. What the teacher is responsible for is assessing the progress of the child and alerting if the child is not progressing normally. If you read the article with that thought in mind you'll see this is the main complaint of the parents involved. These parents missed an opportunity to take corrective action. It's difficult for a parent to assess a child's progress without assistance. Especially with the 1st child.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby GordonH » Nov 24th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Parents be aware not all private schools have high standards or standards at all.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby JLives » Nov 24th, 2017, 2:08 pm

The parents should not have been surprised by this. We went for a tour at Waldorf after becoming disillusioned with how boys are treated in elementary school in the public system. They were quite clear that they focus more on math in the lower levels as the kids aren't ready to be pushing reading and writing at that age. That was certainly the case with my son. Around Grade 3/4 is when they bring it in and by the end of elementary they are on track with kids from the public system. They told us flat out kids in the lower grades would test below public school taught kids if they reentered the public system. I think this is great for the kids who need it, I don't know how these parents could have been surprised by this though.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Fancy » Nov 24th, 2017, 3:14 pm

I think the surprise seems to be being told their kids can read when they can't. Being told they can spell when they can't.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby djanko » Nov 26th, 2017, 12:24 pm

Hello all, first time posting in these forums. Not really much of an online forum writer/blogger/whatever we call it, but I can't sit quietly while people bash the school I spent 8 years at and learned so much from.

I attended the Kelowna Waldorf School from Sept. 1996 - June 2003. I know the curriculum because I lived it as I was taught it. I know how the school strives operate, I know the value system, the sense of community, the supportive and loving atmosphere. Yes, Waldorf education chooses not to focus on literacy until about grade 3, or age 8. So what? Why does the public system hammer reading/writing into young children as fast as possible? What does this achieve? What research supports the efficacy of doing so? Have any of you watched Sir Ken Robinson's videos on how ineffective public education systems really are for our children?

Here are a couple of them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY (Do schools kill creativity?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U (Changing Education Paradigms)

Continuing on, have you done any significant research into child development and education? I have a bachelors degree in Social Work, and focused my degree on human development, specifically children and youth. While I won't go into great detail here, I can tell you that Waldorf education seeks to promote healthy attachments for young children, supports their exploration and curiosity of the world they live in, provides them with a community atmosphere in which they learn to be inter-dependent with their peers, and provides children with foundational training in critical thinking and analysis.

I would also like to point out that the "report card" opinion piece (highlight: OPINION piece. Opinions are not facts people) contains very vague information that does not tell us the specific circumstances of the children who were mention as having lower levels of reading ability than the parent was given to expect. Does this child have a diagnosed mental health challenge? A learning disability? We don't know, and this could very well impact that child's ability to learn/demonstrate their learning. As one of the other comments here states, were the parents involved in supporting their child's reading development, or were they dumping that responsibility solely on the school/teacher and then getting angry and petulant then their expectations were not magically fulfilled? Take some responsibility for your child's learning, please.

The opinion piece also mentions an "education specialist" who assessed the Brough family's son. This so called "specialist" makes the claim that “Typically, [Waldorf-taught children are] at least two to three years behind grade level in, not necessarily math, but in spelling and reading”. This statement is utterly false, and has no basis in fact. Whoever this "assessor" is, she is discrediting her profession with her false statements. As a Waldorf school graduate who knows dozens of other Waldorf graduates, including my 3 siblings, I can state that every single one of us has achieved high levels of both academic and economic achievement in our chosen career paths. I have worked as a social worker for the provincial government and the OKanagan First Nations people, my sister is a successful hair stylist for an Aveda salon, one of my brothers is a 3D animator for films and tv shows, and some of my closest friends from Waldorf are high-class chefs, well-paid entrepreneurs, tattoo artists who have worked in Vegas, and biochemical engineers. These people and their success stories are not the exception, as this so called "specialist" might claim; they are the rule. Waldorf schools provide the support, gentle but firm expectations, and creative, thought provoking atmosphere for children to develop their abilities and reach toward their true potential. Anyone who has taken the time to do their research, and ask genuine, thoughtful questions of students who have attended a Waldorf school for many years will get the same answer: Waldorf works.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Fancy » Nov 26th, 2017, 3:24 pm

djanko wrote:Anyone who has taken the time to do their research, and ask genuine, thoughtful questions of students who have attended a Waldorf school for many years will get the same answer: Waldorf works.

Apparently not in this case when so many left the school for (it seems) the same reasons.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Rider59 » Nov 27th, 2017, 4:05 am

djanko wrote:Hello all, first time posting in these forums. Not really much of an online forum writer/blogger/whatever we call it, but I can't sit quietly while people bash the school I spent 8 years at and learned so much from.

I attended the Kelowna Waldorf School from Sept. 1996 - June 2003. I know the curriculum because I lived it as I was taught it. I know how the school strives operate, I know the value system, the sense of community, the supportive and loving atmosphere. Yes, Waldorf education chooses not to focus on literacy until about grade 3, or age 8. So what? Why does the public system hammer reading/writing into young children as fast as possible? What does this achieve? What research supports the efficacy of doing so? Have any of you watched Sir Ken Robinson's videos on how ineffective public education systems really are for our children?

Here are a couple of them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY (Do schools kill creativity?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U (Changing Education Paradigms)

Continuing on, have you done any significant research into child development and education? I have a bachelors degree in Social Work, and focused my degree on human development, specifically children and youth. While I won't go into great detail here, I can tell you that Waldorf education seeks to promote healthy attachments for young children, supports their exploration and curiosity of the world they live in, provides them with a community atmosphere in which they learn to be inter-dependent with their peers, and provides children with foundational training in critical thinking and analysis.

I would also like to point out that the "report card" opinion piece (highlight: OPINION piece. Opinions are not facts people) contains very vague information that does not tell us the specific circumstances of the children who were mention as having lower levels of reading ability than the parent was given to expect. Does this child have a diagnosed mental health challenge? A learning disability? We don't know, and this could very well impact that child's ability to learn/demonstrate their learning. As one of the other comments here states, were the parents involved in supporting their child's reading development, or were they dumping that responsibility solely on the school/teacher and then getting angry and petulant then their expectations were not magically fulfilled? Take some responsibility for your child's learning, please.

The opinion piece also mentions an "education specialist" who assessed the Brough family's son. This so called "specialist" makes the claim that “Typically, [Waldorf-taught children are] at least two to three years behind grade level in, not necessarily math, but in spelling and reading”. This statement is utterly false, and has no basis in fact. Whoever this "assessor" is, she is discrediting her profession with her false statements. As a Waldorf school graduate who knows dozens of other Waldorf graduates, including my 3 siblings, I can state that every single one of us has achieved high levels of both academic and economic achievement in our chosen career paths. I have worked as a social worker for the provincial government and the OKanagan First Nations people, my sister is a successful hair stylist for an Aveda salon, one of my brothers is a 3D animator for films and tv shows, and some of my closest friends from Waldorf are high-class chefs, well-paid entrepreneurs, tattoo artists who have worked in Vegas, and biochemical engineers. These people and their success stories are not the exception, as this so called "specialist" might claim; they are the rule. Waldorf schools provide the support, gentle but firm expectations, and creative, thought provoking atmosphere for children to develop their abilities and reach toward their true potential. Anyone who has taken the time to do their research, and ask genuine, thoughtful questions of students who have attended a Waldorf school for many years will get the same answer: Waldorf works.



I would also like to point out that the "above post" is an opinion piece (highlight: OPINION piece. Opinions are not facts people)

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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Fancy » Nov 27th, 2017, 7:10 am

And a lot can change in 15 years.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Silverstarqueen » Nov 27th, 2017, 8:04 pm

The Waldorf school has a particular approach and pacing for when they introduce various learning skills, with their own rationale for that timing or approach. I have no idea why parents would enrol their child in a private school, with a non-standard approach to the curriculum, and then complain later about the non-standard approach to the curriculum.
If people don't like the school or it's results they should not place their children there in the first place. Have they talked to any parents who have had their kids there for a few years? Have they seen any of the work results from the children who attended?
If they are going to place their children there, they had better inform themselves as to how or why things are being done differently, preferably before the fact. Would they send their children to a gymnastics school and then try to tell the coaches how they should do the job? Would they send their child to a Christian school and then complain later about them teaching the bible or prayer? (These days they probably would).

"“We asked her what sound does the letter B make, and she kind of looked at us like she had no clue what we were talking about,” Hales said. “That day was when we decided to pull her.”
A parent that would pull a child out of school on this basis has no idea of how to assess a child's learning progress.
Letters don't make sounds. I read all day, the room is silent.
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Re: "Their report cards are a lie"

Postby Fancy » Nov 28th, 2017, 7:19 am

Silverstarqueen wrote:I have no idea why parents would enrol their child in a private school, with a non-standard approach to the curriculum, and then complain later about the non-standard approach to the curriculum.

If the parents are told their child can read, wouldn't you believe the school?
Silverstarqueen wrote:If people don't like the school or it's results they should not place their children there in the first place.

The parents gave the school the chance until they saw the results (or lack thereof).

Silverstarqueen wrote:"“We asked her what sound does the letter B make, and she kind of looked at us like she had no clue what we were talking about,” Hales said. “That day was when we decided to pull her.”
A parent that would pull a child out of school on this basis has no idea of how to assess a child's learning progress.
Letters don't make sounds. I read all day, the room is silent.

I highly doubt the parents pulled the child on that one example - I would think that was the last straw. How would you know a child can read if they never sound out the words? Teachers and families left the school before (an exodus) - there was a problem. Obviously there's another one.
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