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Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader - not in Palo Alto

Original post made by Parent x3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2008

My family have started to enjoy Thursday evening's watching "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader" and I am wondering just where they get the questions from. I have a highschooler, a middle schooler and a 4th grader and many of the questions asked are just off the radar in my kids' experience. Of course I know that this is a quiz show, but like many of the adults on the show I know I learned some of the stuff and have forgotten it, but my kids' assure me that they have never heard of some of the stuff the brainy kids on tv know and as for the questions for the lower grades, my secondary school kids certainly didn't learn it in elementary school.

What do other parents and kids think? Is Palo Alto behind the rest of the country or are my kids just not that smart?

Comments (5)

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Posted by Go Figure
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 9, 2008 at 11:49 am

Seriously grades in PA schools are given for making you feel good - and of course the child. Have you ever seen how may "My child is an honor roll" stickers are handed out. More than 60% of the school gets it.
ParentX3, you have brought out a very good point, which no one is ready in acknowledge.
Ever wonder why Asian and Indian parents send their kids to private schools.
Even other local school districts in the Bay area (Cupertino and Mission Fremont) are doing better than Gunn and Paly.
You live in HogWash Palo Alto. In fact Palo Alto moving towards not even getting involved in any rating system. You must hold the district officials' feet to the fire. And please stop paying extra parcel taxes for an already rich school system. It ain't the money, it is the will and accountability.

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Posted by Aaron
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Feb 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

"Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader" is a TV SHOW. It's not a scientifically backed study nor is it representative of what most fifth graders know. Parent x3, if you want to see how your kids are doing, check the star test results. You can compare how your kids did, and also how your school did in comparison to other schools in California. You can probably find it online. I wouldn't worry if I were you.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 9, 2008 at 3:38 pm

The question is simple: What do you think of the show?

As a teacher I feel some of the questions are not based on the California state standards, which is what all public school teachers are required to teach. I find the show entertaining, but I do question where on earth they get some of those contestants!?

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Posted by Parentx5
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Most of the questions are quite simple ... as they start approaching the 5th grade level, they can become challenging ( to someone who was in college 20+ yrs ago ).

We enjoy the show ! My 3rd grader can answer most of the 1st, 2nd grade questions.

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Posted by Nat Vora
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2008 at 1:40 am

Hi I am a Canadian originally from India and have been reading the comments. I will answer the question why do Indian & Asian parents send their kids to private school. The answer can be found in the response from Mary. The standard set are just too low. If I have a 5th grader who could not answer any of the questions on the show I would be seriously worried and would start planning for their future schooling in Vocational schools. I feel that the schooling standards are extremely poor in North America and we as parents need to supplement the education and training of our kids. The teachers here are mmore interested in striking fo rtheir pay and stuff to bother about our Kids' future.

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