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Days of sitting are over, Youngstown teachers told

Published: Fri, August 10, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick



The days of students sitting in rows of desks while a teacher lectures are over.

“Sit-and-get times are done for everybody,” Beverly Schumann, the city school district’s executive director of curriculum, told fourth- through sixth-grade teachers.

The teachers assembled Thursday at Choffin Career and Technical Center for professional development about curriculum mapping and the Common Core Standards. Common Core is an initiative adopted by most states that outlines the knowledge and skills children should learn in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

They are to be fully implemented in Ohio in the 2014-15 school year, but districts have been making the transition, incorporating elements of the Common Core into instruction.

Schumann said the new standards are more rigorous and geared toward making students ready for college and careers.

Teachers have to do more to monitor and assess students to ensure they’re grasping information.

Rachael Smith, elementary curriculum supervisor, said students have to learn how to construct meaning.

“We’re moving toward authentic assessments,” she said. “Kids will be showing what they can do. It’s not so much pencil and paper stuff.”

The curriculum mapping sets up when concepts are to be taught throughout the school year, and Schumann said teachers can’t deviate from it. It ensures that students in the same grade level across the district are learning the same concepts at the same time.

The changes also move away from the teacher being the only person in the classroom who’s allowed to talk.

“The kids are allowed to talk to each other,” Smith said. “We want it to be a little messy.”

Educators are teaching students to be learners, to be able to find information, sift through it and reason what it means, she said.

With moving into the Common Core in fourth through sixth grades, the city district is ahead of many surrounding districts, Schumann said. Some districts are only looking at the new standards for kindergarten through third grade.

Professional development is planned for city school teachers of other grades later this summer.


1michael1757(487 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Call ME an idiot,because I have no idea of what I just read & what it mean's, I'm 55.

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2Bman(151 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

".....The changes also move away from the teacher being the only person in the classroom who’s allowed to talk...“The kids are allowed to talk to each other,” Smith said. “We want it to be a little messy.”..."

Let the chaos begin.

Education begins at home. Schools can only reinforce what is taught at home. If a student enters schools without being taught the proper social skills and respect for others, nothing a school can do will compensate for what is lacking.

This new policy will take away City school teachers' ability to maintain control and provide an atmosphere where some students, who want to learn, can learn.

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3kensgirl(1046 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm 55 too but I get the idea of the article. Michael1757, here's the lowdown. They're blaming teachers because the kids come to school ill equipped to learn. They're not taught their ABC's before kindergarten. Mom's out with her latest worthless boyfriend smoking dope and the kids raise themselves. So let's blame the teachers because it's THEIR fault these parents (biological) are morons. The kids are the biggest losers here because they don't have a chance from the gitgo. Tnere you have it Michael. It's not the teachers who can't teach it mom and dad.

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4RoadGlideUltra(3 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This is idiocy. And people wonder why kids don't learn anything. So, the plan now is to just let them hang out and talk instead of sitting, listening and learning. Sounds very Obama-like. We'll let them go through school, learn nothing and then just put them on welfare.

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5DwightK(1531 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This article doesn't explain the changes very well. Are kids no longer allowed to sit? Will they now be talking in class? What are the specific changes being described? Come on Vindy, this needs some work.

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6walter_sobchak(2634 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"Educators are teaching students to be learners, to be able to find information, sift through it and reason what it means, she said."

Really, if this concept is being taught to "educators" at a workshop and it is new to them, we see one part of the problem. My teachers (not my mother) taught me my learning skills and they were reinforced at home. Unfortunately, that is the heart of the problem. Some parents choose failure for their children in life. So be it. But, I don't understand how the learning concepts can be taught if students aren't expected to behave and keep their mouths shut. A "messy" classroom environment doesn't teach skills. But, talking to one's neighbor "to find information, sift through it and reason what it means" used to be called cheating in my school days.

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7VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

What ever happened to the basics, like reading, writing and arithmatic? Was it so bad when we were children that we were taught poorly? Are we that stupid today? I seem to recall going through school with A's and B's, then going off to college and getting my degree. My wife has 2 degrees and we were both educated by school teachers using papers, blackboards (green boards) and no computers! We are shocked to discover students today do not know how to multiply and can't understand what they are reading!?! This is progress?

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8Mooneygrad72(42 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

As a retired Califorian teacher, who taught using common core let me try to explain. Every student will need to learn basic core curriculum, reading, math, history and science, AT an acceptable level. Having students and teachers "on the same" page, helps when students are moved from school A to school B AND rids the educational system of having a history teacher who stops at the Revoluntioary war, because he/she is an expert in that area and they drag it out all year, ( Yes that does happen) or an older teacher who refuses to teach the more modern areas of hhistroy. ( yes I am picking on history teachers)
Students are expected to ask mor questions, lead discussions, and work together for a common solution. So in a MAth clas, the lesson is finished and it is now the students chance to work on the solutions together, trying to make sure all in their group (3- 4 in a group works best) understands the steps and logic behind the solution. If not, others in the group try to reexplain, using perhaps, different terms for the reteachable moment. There is no one way to teach a concept, yet we do have teachers who still use this inane philosophy.
Students can and do learn from each other. This is a wayof allowing that to happen in a copntrol environment. The teacher must have a sense off when things are not working, when to intervene with a group, or pull all the students back into full classroom lecture ( for a lack of a better word word) for re-teach. If this sounds familiar to some (- back in the 80s it was called cooperative learing) one must remember that the educational system is circular -- we keep re-inventing the same old things but with new names. Can it improve Ytown schhols. YES, if dome correctly, but it will take more than one or two years to reach all students and ensure teachers are doing it correctly. As for no more sitting, Teachers NEED to bemoving around the classroom, checking in with the groups, not sitting and doing other things, like talking on a phone.

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9excel(1167 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

AWESOME! This allows the kids to teach each other the core values of their community!

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10JoeFromHubbard(1743 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago


You and I must be "Old School," I completely agree with you.

It seems that every generation, or more often, there are "experiments" in educational techniques that must be a reaction to the failure of students to absorb what is expected.

Our generation had no computers, smart boards, or internet access yet we learned enough in old school education to engineer all of this.

You have to feel sorry for the teachers who come between the academic engineers employed by government and students raised by parents who are too ignorant to care.

The academic engineers, most of whom have never taught in a real class room, concoct teaching methods that do not solve the basic educational problems but satisfy the need to "do something, even if it's wrong" attitude of the general population.

When one looks at the family life, or lack thereof, of many of Youngstown's students it is apparent why they do not learn.

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11jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Another great idea that might work in a small class [10-15 srudents] of well behaved kids who are ready to learn when they arrive at school. The problem in Youngstown and most other inner city districts starts at home-not in the school building. Until the lack of family "support" at HOME is addressed forget about these experiments in education. Go back to the 50's- 60's models that us old farts learned under. Somehow we learned most of what we were asked to. Most of us could get into college if we tried. Because of the breakdown in society's basic mores the school teacher has to maintain discipline first-otherwise nothing can be taught to the few who really wish to learn. These thugs are always asking for RESPECT-respect for what? It starts and ends in the HOME. VERY SIMPLE. How to fix the home? NOT SO SIMPLE. 1-self-control-as in not haviing more kids than You yourself the parents can afford to feed and clothe. 2-some form of discipline at home. 3-church or religion in some form. Get these 3 ideas working and then maybe the students would have a chance at learning in public school. Otherwise the underlying problems will prevent Any form of teaching from success.

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12Westsider(269 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I would be interested in seeing the research on this program's effectiveness in the urban school setting. The majority of children in the Youngstown City School district are in "survival" mode - meaning if they wake up in the morning it is a good day. Many of them (not all) have had no dinner and have done no homework. Their first meal of the day is the breakfast they get in school. They lack the basic tools (pencils, paper, computers) to inform their classwork. If this is to work, it would have to be in a boarding school type setting, where the student's after school activities and care is overseen by professionals who care whether they are nourished or complete homework. By the way, this is not a racial problem, children of all ethnicities are affected by this. It isn't that I am against new and different methods, but all factors must be taken into consideration before adopting this model.

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13mrblue(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

You still need the support of the parents at home. Do you really think they care? I hate that I sound all sour, but look around and you will see what I mean.

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14TylerDurden(367 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Mooney Grad, that was a good explanation.

I just don't see a group of 8 year olds having an intellectual conversation about addition when sitting by themselves. That is why they are there, to be taught and led by an adult.

In any event, it doesn't hurt to try. The up and coming generations are so scary that it really shouldn't matter one way or the other.

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15Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It is part of a dumb down down process as the academic goals come from the U.N. to the national government then the states and on down to the local level. If you don't understand it how do you suppose the kids will?

Cooperative learning or consensus learning dictates that if we sit in a group and agree that 2+2=5 then that is the truth. The reasoning behind the answer is more important than correct answers. The teacher is seen as a facilitator rather than a teacher. The students are actually led to believe that they came up with the answers on their own so they buy into it but in reality teachers use peer pressure to get agreement within the group.

Objective truths don't exist so why try to learn about them lets just agree to change the rules. Matrix anyone?

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16southsidedave(5185 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Much easier said than done...try teaching sometime, not as easy as you may think.

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17Education_Voter(1137 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

And the administrators have to stand up there and say,"This will work."
Even when classes are overloaded because of budget problems?
A scary thug is in your group, and what he wants to talk about is fighting the kid in another group.
Nobody in the group has an idea of what to do except for the smart kid who does it all.

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18taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

mooneygrad....it scares me that you are a retired teacher and can't spell half of your post correctly! I think if you want to get a point across to the rest of us, maybe you should proof read or, hmm, maybe know how to spell!

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19Mooneygrad72(42 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Taxpayer Please excuse my typing! Did not realize it matters as much as the comments. As a Mooney grad, I was not allowed to take typing since I was on the college bound track. Besides that, I am sitting in 113 degrees and the keyboard is not happy with the high humidity; it is skippng letters and the space bar does not always work. Others got my message !!

Perhaps, you should retake basic math -- a few mistakes in that long passage; does not equate to 1/2. Probably a public school grad. ( P.S. I am very well educated -- you can call me DR. Mooneygrad as I have my EdD.)

As for it working inYtown-- it works in LA, San Dig, west side of san Berdoo. And they mirror the Ytown population. The teachers and community MUST give it time and do the program the right way, Hopefully, it will not be thrown out at the end of a tear or two, before the aggregate data becomes useful.

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