Comments » 70

rational writes:

Since Bluefish writes that she is impressed with the data, here is some to think about. “Robert Cutietta, PhD says that research indicates that music instruction improves everything from foreign language skills to self-esteem. But the strongest findings show that if a child is learning to read notes while learning to read words, word-reading improves. Cutietta says evidence that music aids math abilities is not as conclusive.” All the research I can find shows correlations between math and music not causations. You may ask what the difference is between correlational and causational data. Here is an example. Data shows that murder rates increase during the same months that ice cream consumption increases. Can you conclude that eating ice cream CAUSES murders? NO, the data is correlational data. There is another variable affecting the increase in ice cream consumption and murders. The same is true between the music and math connection. There have been multiple comments about getting rid of Stephanie Thompson because she is not “progressive”. What exactly is progressive? There is new research that shows electric shock treatment causes an increase in math. Do you want that type of “new” progression in the schools? People have touted the new progressive teaching strategies of Ft. Craig. I challenge you to find any research that shows the integrated, thematic, multiage, whole language strategies of Ft. Craig are new and progressive. It is an effective strategy but not the only effective strategy nor is it new. Furthermore these strategies are used in all the elementary schools. The biggest advancement made in teaching has been the integration of smart technology and promethean boards into the classroom. Here is another article. http://www.blounteducation.org/2008/0.... Wasn’t Stephanie Thompson the Director of Technology? Don’t we want someone in charge with a background in implementing technology? I wish newspaper would cover more of the positive/progressive strategies going on at all the local schools – not just rumors and perceived facts. I also think they need to cover more activities at ALL the schools. Ft. Craig is not the only school with good students, good teachers and good things happening. They are all good and have unique qualities about them. As a community we need to value and respect ALL that they do for our children.

rational writes:

I'm not arguing that music instruction is bad. I'm just asking at what point and at what age have we maxed out the benefits received from music? The research above indicates that the most benefits are received if you introduce music instruction before kindergarten. If you are arguing that music should be offered because it causes an increase in academic areas, aren't there other ways/methods to improve math, science, reading scores? Are there more time efficient ways to improve the scores? It seems to me that 3 days/week for 6th grade is plenty. I do this this topic is severe enough to have parents at "cresendo pitch".

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

Since Bluefish writes that she is impressed with the data, here is some to think about. “Robert Cutietta, PhD says that research indicates that music instruction improves everything from foreign language skills to self-esteem. But the strongest findings show that if a child is learning to read notes while learning to read words, word-reading improves. Cutietta says evidence that music aids math abilities is not as conclusive.” All the research I can find shows correlations between math and music not causations. You may ask what the difference is between correlational and causational data. Here is an example. Data shows that murder rates increase during the same months that ice cream consumption increases. Can you conclude that eating ice cream CAUSES murders? NO, the data is correlational data. There is another variable affecting the increase in ice cream consumption and murders. The same is true between the music and math connection. There have been multiple comments about getting rid of Stephanie Thompson because she is not “progressive”. What exactly is progressive? There is new research that shows electric shock treatment causes an increase in math. Do you want that type of “new” progression in the schools? People have touted the new progressive teaching strategies of Ft. Craig. I challenge you to find any research that shows the integrated, thematic, multiage, whole language strategies of Ft. Craig are new and progressive. It is an effective strategy but not the only effective strategy nor is it new. Furthermore these strategies are used in all the elementary schools. The biggest advancement made in teaching has been the integration of smart technology and promethean boards into the classroom. Here is another article. http://www.blounteducation.org/2008/0.... Wasn’t Stephanie Thompson the Director of Technology? Don’t we want someone in charge with a background in implementing technology? I wish newspaper would cover more of the positive/progressive strategies going on at all the local schools – not just rumors and perceived facts. I also think they need to cover more activities at ALL the schools. Ft. Craig is not the only school with good students, good teachers and good things happening. They are all good and have unique qualities about them. As a community we need to value and respect ALL that they do for our children.

Since we have promethean boards in all of our classrooms, why are 50% of our 8th grade students below proficient in math? How much did those boards and the training to use them cost? Has a cost/benefit analysis been done? I agree they help some teachers, but I think we went a little overboard on them. And why do the computers in the high school labs crash all the time when students try to use them?
About music instruction, I guess one phd has the final say on what is effective. There are plenty of other sites out there to contradict.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

Since Bluefish writes that she is impressed with the data, here is some to think about. “Robert Cutietta, PhD says that research indicates that music instruction improves everything from foreign language skills to self-esteem. But the strongest findings show that if a child is learning to read notes while learning to read words, word-reading improves. Cutietta says evidence that music aids math abilities is not as conclusive.” All the research I can find shows correlations between math and music not causations. You may ask what the difference is between correlational and causational data. Here is an example. Data shows that murder rates increase during the same months that ice cream consumption increases. Can you conclude that eating ice cream CAUSES murders? NO, the data is correlational data. There is another variable affecting the increase in ice cream consumption and murders. The same is true between the music and math connection. There have been multiple comments about getting rid of Stephanie Thompson because she is not “progressive”. What exactly is progressive? There is new research that shows electric shock treatment causes an increase in math. Do you want that type of “new” progression in the schools? People have touted the new progressive teaching strategies of Ft. Craig. I challenge you to find any research that shows the integrated, thematic, multiage, whole language strategies of Ft. Craig are new and progressive. It is an effective strategy but not the only effective strategy nor is it new. Furthermore these strategies are used in all the elementary schools. The biggest advancement made in teaching has been the integration of smart technology and promethean boards into the classroom. Here is another article. http://www.blounteducation.org/2008/0.... Wasn’t Stephanie Thompson the Director of Technology? Don’t we want someone in charge with a background in implementing technology? I wish newspaper would cover more of the positive/progressive strategies going on at all the local schools – not just rumors and perceived facts. I also think they need to cover more activities at ALL the schools. Ft. Craig is not the only school with good students, good teachers and good things happening. They are all good and have unique qualities about them. As a community we need to value and respect ALL that they do for our children.

Local statistics. 50% of 8th grade students below proficient in math. 30% of music students below proficient in math. 65% of nonmusic students below proficient in math.
Now maybe these numbers are just correlational, but would you really want to make all those music parents who moved her for Maryville City Schools programs angry enough to move away? They would take all those students who are talented in math and science with them. Then where would the schools be? Maryville City Schools will soon be accused of false advertising if they continue to chisel away at the music program.

rational writes:

in response to sunshine:

Local statistics. 50% of 8th grade students below proficient in math. 30% of music students below proficient in math. 65% of nonmusic students below proficient in math.
Now maybe these numbers are just correlational, but would you really want to make all those music parents who moved her for Maryville City Schools programs angry enough to move away? They would take all those students who are talented in math and science with them. Then where would the schools be? Maryville City Schools will soon be accused of false advertising if they continue to chisel away at the music program.

If you continue to state that instruction in music CAUSES an increase in math/academic achievement you will be providing false advertising. It does not. There is another variable affecting the fact that 50% of 8th grade students are proficient in math and 70% of music students are proficient in math. I'd have to look at the demographics closer to make an educated guess as to why that may be the case. If music parents want to pull their kids out and go somewhere else, its their choice. I don't know where they are going to go.

rational writes:

Music is such a vague/general term anyway. What specific music instruction strategies correlate to higher achievement? Do my kids remember the 50 Nifty United States if they sing the song? Yes. Does it help some kids stay focused if classical music is playing in the background? Yes. Instead of focusing only on band/orchestra why not look at specific teaching strategies that help achievement. Integrating music, art and PE into the academics seem to be a better way to boost achievement rather than a separate band class. There is a teacher at SHE that does basically open gym in the morning. But if a child wants to do pull ups, or shoot baskets instead of counting his shots or pull ups by ones, he tells them they have to count by 8's that day or whatever. So 3 pull ups would not be 1, 2, 3 but 8, 16, 24. My youngest child knew his multiplication tables by the end of kindergarten. Its not about having separate isolated music and arts instruction but integrating different teaching strategies into academics.

sunshine writes:

You earlier stated "I think students with a natural math ability are naturally better in the arts." If Maryville music instruction attracted these type of students to the schools, why do you want to discourage them? All the music people are fighting to do is to keep what they already have.
And what is that other variable why the music students are better in math? I would love to have that discussion with you.

rational writes:

I'm not discouraging them. I'm not saying don't be involved in music. I'm saying let's promote balance. Let's encourage a variety of activities. Music, band, orchestra, choir, listening to music, music theory, arts, 2D arts like drawing, painting, and 3D arts like ceramics, theater and Athletics, all kinds - you get my drift. Then while in those classes, purposefully draw academic connections. Learn songs that relate to the academic classroom - don't learn songs ONLY for the sake of performance or a concert.
Without studying the data, I still think that kids who are successful in music or who are drawn to music at the Middle School/HS Level are students who already have some math ability. The concept of octaves, and fractions comes easier to them or they were introduced to music before Public School even began. Its not to say that determination, motivation and hard work doesn't overcome ability at some point. Data probably suggests that the 50% of 8th grade students who are below proficient in math have been low since elementary school. If they are below proficient in 8th grade have they been gradually increasing or stayed flat? If you are at 20th percentile in 3rd grade but 30th percentile in 4th grade you are still below proficient but improving. Actually if you stay at the 20th percentile year after year you are improving but only at the same rate as you peers. I don't know what the specific data is on these kids and I would assume the public data doesn't identify specific children either - it would be a confidentiality issue.

sunshine writes:

But they have delved into their data enough to compare the scores of those in music vs those who aren't.
So, I'm confused here. Should there be less music in Maryville City Schools to add more time to "academic" subjects like science and math, or do you believe there aren't enough different types of arts opportunities for the kids. Either way, they lose with a five period day in 4-7. And what exactly does 74 minutes of math look like? Who has successfully taught students of these ages in 74 minute classes? Have their test scores increased?
It sounds like you are an advocate for integrated instruction. Why does a 74 minute class period in one subject receive your support?

rational writes:

I don’t know what they are using the statistics for. At MIS, band, orchestra or study hall are the only 3 choices for one period. The kids who chose band/orchestra are already doing well in their course work. If they are not, they need to be in study hall. So band/orchestra isn't increasing achievement scores. Their achievement in years past gives them to ability to choose music.
In response to your other question, I personally think that 3 days/week for band is great at 6th grade. It gives kids band exposure and also time to see what other subjects may interest them. Balance and variety of classes are great to the extent that the budget will allow. I don't think the amount of time in a particular class matters as much as how effective students & teachers are with that time. Yes, you can be effective in 75 minutes of math. I got involved with this discussion because I took offense at negativity I was reading. I don’t think personal attacks are necessary and I think all the schools are doing a great job and deserve more recognition from the media than what they are receiving.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

I don’t know what they are using the statistics for. At MIS, band, orchestra or study hall are the only 3 choices for one period. The kids who chose band/orchestra are already doing well in their course work. If they are not, they need to be in study hall. So band/orchestra isn't increasing achievement scores. Their achievement in years past gives them to ability to choose music.
In response to your other question, I personally think that 3 days/week for band is great at 6th grade. It gives kids band exposure and also time to see what other subjects may interest them. Balance and variety of classes are great to the extent that the budget will allow. I don't think the amount of time in a particular class matters as much as how effective students & teachers are with that time. Yes, you can be effective in 75 minutes of math. I got involved with this discussion because I took offense at negativity I was reading. I don’t think personal attacks are necessary and I think all the schools are doing a great job and deserve more recognition from the media than what they are receiving.

Music education specialists say it is most important to have daily instruction in the beginning for music. The point is, why take anything away? There is no budget issue regarding this. Add to the programs that are already successful.
Don't be a slave to a 5 period day.

contacs1 writes:

in response to rational:

Since Bluefish writes that she is impressed with the data, here is some to think about. “Robert Cutietta, PhD says that research indicates that music instruction improves everything from foreign language skills to self-esteem. But the strongest findings show that if a child is learning to read notes while learning to read words, word-reading improves. Cutietta says evidence that music aids math abilities is not as conclusive.” All the research I can find shows correlations between math and music not causations. You may ask what the difference is between correlational and causational data. Here is an example. Data shows that murder rates increase during the same months that ice cream consumption increases. Can you conclude that eating ice cream CAUSES murders? NO, the data is correlational data. There is another variable affecting the increase in ice cream consumption and murders. The same is true between the music and math connection. There have been multiple comments about getting rid of Stephanie Thompson because she is not “progressive”. What exactly is progressive? There is new research that shows electric shock treatment causes an increase in math. Do you want that type of “new” progression in the schools? People have touted the new progressive teaching strategies of Ft. Craig. I challenge you to find any research that shows the integrated, thematic, multiage, whole language strategies of Ft. Craig are new and progressive. It is an effective strategy but not the only effective strategy nor is it new. Furthermore these strategies are used in all the elementary schools. The biggest advancement made in teaching has been the integration of smart technology and promethean boards into the classroom. Here is another article. http://www.blounteducation.org/2008/0.... Wasn’t Stephanie Thompson the Director of Technology? Don’t we want someone in charge with a background in implementing technology? I wish newspaper would cover more of the positive/progressive strategies going on at all the local schools – not just rumors and perceived facts. I also think they need to cover more activities at ALL the schools. Ft. Craig is not the only school with good students, good teachers and good things happening. They are all good and have unique qualities about them. As a community we need to value and respect ALL that they do for our children.

No, the teaching methods you listed are not new. Ft Craig has been doing them successfully for 13 YEARS!!!! They are new and progressive compared to the old methods of teaching, which the other elementary schools still cling to. Sure, the other schools have taken bits and pieces of the ITI framework and used them to probably a noticable improvement to the "old ways." You can thank Ft Craig for that - without Ft Craig showing that new can work, you wouldn't have that in the other schools. However, this school system and many like it refuse to let go of the past and embrace what works and reinvent teaching to the 21st Century.

As you state in a later post, you've seen integrated teaching work. So you can't say it's ineffective when your youngest learned multiplication tables ahead of everyone else because of integrated teaching.

contacs1 writes:

The arts being "threatened" by the budget ax have been happening for quite a while, probably since arts were introduced into public education. I can remember having this same issue when I was in choir in high school 20 years ago. This country has an overall attitude that athletics are more important than an actual education.

Arts are always the 1st program to be headed toward the chopping block, and I've never understood why. The arts are an acutal commonality between every human on this planet, regardless of nationality, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, or language. Why, especially in the truly global world we live in, would we want to squander that??

Is my son going to become a professional percussionist because of his education? Maybe - maybe not. But his chances of becoming a professional athlete are even less. Even if he didn't become professional, he has that knowledge of sight reading and music interpretation and enjoyment of a piece of music that he can utilize for the rest of his life. Athletes can't say that.

rational writes:

in response to contacs1:

No, the teaching methods you listed are not new. Ft Craig has been doing them successfully for 13 YEARS!!!! They are new and progressive compared to the old methods of teaching, which the other elementary schools still cling to. Sure, the other schools have taken bits and pieces of the ITI framework and used them to probably a noticable improvement to the "old ways." You can thank Ft Craig for that - without Ft Craig showing that new can work, you wouldn't have that in the other schools. However, this school system and many like it refuse to let go of the past and embrace what works and reinvent teaching to the 21st Century.

As you state in a later post, you've seen integrated teaching work. So you can't say it's ineffective when your youngest learned multiplication tables ahead of everyone else because of integrated teaching.

I don't thank Ft. Craig for integrated teaching. It just naturally occurs when teachers in the same building have a mutual respect for each other, time to talk to each other and desire to cooperate. It can occur through a natural conversation of "hey, we're doing X this week can you reinforce it in your class?" That attitude I sense in your post of "we're better because we do the Ft. Craig way" just really rubs me the wrong way. I think its great to have pride in your school but this pride in Ft. Craig seems to have evolved to superiority. That superiority undermines the cooperation. I think cooperation really important in a school system.

sunshine writes:

Maybe Contacs is just trying to be positive about what he likes about the school. That way you won't get that negative vibe you're so dreading from Fort Craig parents. I think at Fort Craig the integration was a guarantee, not an option.

tennessee7 writes:

could be that Maryville City Schools are following the rest of what's happening in Maryville...no leadership...the Chamber hasn't done anything for years and there hasn't been an effective County Mayor for years...

agentorange007 writes:

I think I will try to bypass this MCS mess and see if I can get my kids into the proposed charter school.

http://www.blounttoday.com/news/2011/...

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

I think I will try to bypass this MCS mess and see if I can get my kids into the proposed charter school.

http://www.blounttoday.com/news/2011/...

That's what it is. A mess.

tennessee7 writes:

in response to sunshine:

That's what it is. A mess.

and, so is Blount County...

contacs1 writes:

in response to rational:

I don't thank Ft. Craig for integrated teaching. It just naturally occurs when teachers in the same building have a mutual respect for each other, time to talk to each other and desire to cooperate. It can occur through a natural conversation of "hey, we're doing X this week can you reinforce it in your class?" That attitude I sense in your post of "we're better because we do the Ft. Craig way" just really rubs me the wrong way. I think its great to have pride in your school but this pride in Ft. Craig seems to have evolved to superiority. That superiority undermines the cooperation. I think cooperation really important in a school system.

You may think it naturally occurs, but if there isn't an environment supporting cooperative teaching, then it doesn't happen. Each teacher has their own core things to teach to. Unless there is support from the principal and possibly beyond, then it's hard to explain why two or more teachers are trying to coordinate their weekly plans. Any coordination takes more than just a single conversation to occur.

I'm sorry you think I'm giving off a superiority vibe. I am the last person that anyone would claim to have a superiority complex. However, I am proud to be a Ft. Craig parent, if for anything because Ft Craig is successful. For years, Ft Craig was called "an experiment" or "a test." It was by pulling teeth that it was even born as a Dynamic Learning site. Now, alot of the same teaching methods have been shared with the other elementary schools and are working. Even still, Ft Craig is still considered "an experiment." MCS cannot remove the red-headed-stepchild label from Ft Craig, despite the wonderful things and great students it has nurtured all these years. No credit is given to Ft. Craig, and certainly it's not good enough to change the entire system to ITI, but by-golly, they're happy to reap the rewards.

I've never had the attitude that my children or my family were better than anyone else in this district because of Ft. Craig. If anything, I've experienced the reverse-bias from other parents and teachers because of our Ft. Craig years. Do I compare my experiences at the other schools to those I've had at Ft. Craig? Absolutely. There's nothing wrong with that. Any superiority you sense might be more of an "I told ya so" than "I'm better than you."

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