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(Salon)   The ugly truth about "school choice" and who's behind it   (salon.com) divider line 314
    More: Interesting, corporate campaign, civil rights movement, 23rd state, National Labor Relations Board, pet projects, minority group, redistribute wealth, presidential executive order  
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4913 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Jan 2012 at 10:59 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-25 11:31:26 AM  

Tommy Moo: The most important sentence in the entire article by far:

"School Choice Week is backed by many private schools associated with the Christian Right, which have an interest in steering children away from public schools that they believe will "indoctrinate" their children with liberal ideology, tolerance for LGBT people, and instruction that recognizes evolution as a viable scientific concept."

That's it. Done. This entire movement is nothing more than a bunch of Christians trying to get federal tax dollars to cover the cost of a private education for their kids that teaches creationism.


And protects them from the "evils" of secular thought.

I think they'd lynch a few of the Founding Fathers if they got a chance. Especially Jefferson.
 
2012-01-25 11:31:28 AM  

Carth: odinsposse: Carth: The biggest problem with school choice? It works. That drives people like Kristin Rawls crazy. The fact something her philosophy and ethics degree tells her is just so unfair and unjust produces results must send her into an fit of rage.

No, it doesn't work.

And is isn't good for the education system.

From your first link:

"Charter middle schools in urban areas-as well as those serving higher proportions of low-income and low achieving students-were more effective (relative to their nearby traditional public schools) than were other charter schools in improving math test scores"

That seems like a good thing.


Sure, but that's one narrow statistic in a study that looked in a much wider range. The bulk of the study shows that some charter schools perform significantly better than public schools but others perform significantly worse. Charter schools on the whole aren't a real improvement on public schools.
 
2012-01-25 11:31:59 AM  

The Homer Tax: thismomentinblackhistory: School choice saves lives. Literally. We have a considerable population of students from neighborhoods you wouldn't drive through during daylight hours. Their parents consistently cite gang activity in their school system as why they chose our school.

FWIW, I think what you're calling "school choice" is different from the "school choice" as described in the artice. If you're saying what I think you're saying, I support your version of "school choice."

TFA is talking about "School Choice" as in the new message-driving word that used to be called "school vouchers." As people started to figure out what that meant, they changed the name to something with a better connotation. The "School Choice" as described in this article means people getting tax vouchers to send their kids to private schools.


Thank you for the correction, I only glanced at the article. I work for a public charter school which accepts any student, though we also compete with local school districts.
 
2012-01-25 11:32:04 AM  

Tommy Moo: The most important sentence in the entire article by far:

"School Choice Week is backed by many private schools associated with the Christian Right, which have an interest in steering children away from public schools that they believe will "indoctrinate" their children with liberal ideology, tolerance for LGBT people, and instruction that recognizes evolution as a viable scientific concept."

That's it. Done. This entire movement is nothing more than a bunch of Christians trying to get federal tax dollars to cover the cost of a private education for their kids that teaches creationism.


Would you rather Christians get money to send their kids to private schools that teach creationism or fight the school boards to everyone has to learn it. I'd rather they have their own school so everyone, including employers know how useless their science classes were.
 
2012-01-25 11:32:34 AM  
I just mentioned this in another thread concerning Governor Daniels. Here is what is happening in Indiana:



Indiana authorized lowering property taxes to 1% ... when educational funding comes from our property taxes!

Then, fast forward a few months .... diverts public educational funding to charter schools.

Then, fast forward another few months .... lowers regulation and certification of charter schools and removes taxes.

Then fast forward a year .... wants to strip rights of public teacher unions.

Then fast forward to now .... "Look! Charter schools are amazing!" (Even though they are not required to pass all the same certifications and education requirements as public schools, are allowed to introduce any curriculum they want and can prohibit any children they want)

Indiana is ground zero for how the Republican Party want schools to be created in the United States. They see they are losing the battle over public education .... so they are going to make their own education systems at the expense of everyone. We will have an American public who is indoctrinated in both news and education.
 
2012-01-25 11:33:21 AM  

odinsposse: Carth: odinsposse: Carth: The biggest problem with school choice? It works. That drives people like Kristin Rawls crazy. The fact something her philosophy and ethics degree tells her is just so unfair and unjust produces results must send her into an fit of rage.

No, it doesn't work.

And is isn't good for the education system.

From your first link:

"Charter middle schools in urban areas-as well as those serving higher proportions of low-income and low achieving students-were more effective (relative to their nearby traditional public schools) than were other charter schools in improving math test scores"

That seems like a good thing.

Sure, but that's one narrow statistic in a study that looked in a much wider range. The bulk of the study shows that some charter schools perform significantly better than public schools but others perform significantly worse. Charter schools on the whole aren't a real improvement on public schools.


I haven't read the whole PDF yet (obviously) but from the research in DC it was a very successful program that students and parents liked and had a measurable improvement. Do you know why the DC program worked and others didnt?
 
2012-01-25 11:33:54 AM  

Carth: Tommy Moo: The most important sentence in the entire article by far:

"School Choice Week is backed by many private schools associated with the Christian Right, which have an interest in steering children away from public schools that they believe will "indoctrinate" their children with liberal ideology, tolerance for LGBT people, and instruction that recognizes evolution as a viable scientific concept."

That's it. Done. This entire movement is nothing more than a bunch of Christians trying to get federal tax dollars to cover the cost of a private education for their kids that teaches creationism.

Would you rather Christians get money to send their kids to private schools that teach creationism or fight the school boards to everyone has to learn it. I'd rather they have their own school so everyone, including employers know how useless their science classes were.


I'd rather their kids get the education they deserve instead of being punished for their parents being evil farks.
 
2012-01-25 11:34:38 AM  
FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.

2. The teachers - the schools, in fact - stand in loco parentis: in the place of the parents. Yes, parents and teachers are in a collaborative relationship, but even then, the parents are the ones wearing the pants.

3. We have doubled per-pupil public educational spending in this country for the last forty years. And if the standardized test scores are any indication, we have precisely fark all to show for it.

3.bp.blogspot.com

TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.
 
2012-01-25 11:36:53 AM  

MasterThief: //whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.


Who else should be in charge of public education?
 
2012-01-25 11:38:32 AM  

MasterThief: TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.


Public education works, and works well everywhere there is not a concerted effort to destroy it. Instead of blaming "politicians" and "unions", you might want to look at the destructive anti-education right-wing policies the country has been laboring under. Blame yourself, you and all the other right-wing fundamentalists. You bought this.
 
2012-01-25 11:38:34 AM  

thismomentinblackhistory: public charter school


A what now? Methought a "charter school" was, by definition, a private school with a mandate to work in some kind of publicly funded partnership with the public school system.
 
2012-01-25 11:38:40 AM  

MasterThief: FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.

2. The teachers - the schools, in fact - stand in loco parentis: in the place of the parents. Yes, parents and teachers are in a collaborative relationship, but even then, the parents are the ones wearing the pants.

3. We have doubled per-pupil public educational spending in this country for the last forty years. And if the standardized test scores are any indication, we have precisely fark all to show for it.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 560x420]

TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.


You know what would smooth out that spending graph?

Factoring in health insurance expenditures.

So much spending in this country comes back to health insurance.

It adds peace of mind, sure, but the profit motive being tied to health insurance is killing our country
 
2012-01-25 11:39:22 AM  

qorkfiend: MasterThief: //whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.

Who else should be in charge of public education?


Giant corporate interests, who else? Welcome to Snow Crash.
 
2012-01-25 11:39:59 AM  

meat0918: MasterThief: FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.

2. The teachers - the schools, in fact - stand in loco parentis: in the place of the parents. Yes, parents and teachers are in a collaborative relationship, but even then, the parents are the ones wearing the pants.

3. We have doubled per-pupil public educational spending in this country for the last forty years. And if the standardized test scores are any indication, we have precisely fark all to show for it.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 560x420]

TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.

You know what would smooth out that spending graph?

Factoring in out health insurance expenditures.

So much spending in this country comes back to health insurance.

It adds peace of mind, sure, but the profit motive being tied to health insurance is killing our country


FTFM

Have it as a separate line though.
 
2012-01-25 11:40:08 AM  

Carth: Do you know why the DC program worked and others didnt?


Because there was widespread fraud in testing. Teachers knew that their own jobs depended on their students' scores, so they made sure they passed.
 
2012-01-25 11:40:41 AM  

Carth: I'd rather they have their own school so everyone, including employers know how useless their science classes were.


That's fine, and nothing prevents them from doing so. Don't expect the rest of us to pay for it when you're choosing not to take advantage of public education.
 
2012-01-25 11:41:04 AM  

meat0918: ignatius_crumbcake: Podna: Most of these private schools don't have to deal with standards as high as the public schools.

Right, but they have to get students in the door. That doesn't happen if their tagline is "we have crappy standards!"

To use a restaurant analogy, places like Applebees are complete chain crap, but they don't get customers in the door by serving poisoned food. They serve generic, consistent food to an unimaginative public that craves mediocrity. The majority of private schools would be in the same mold, with a minority of schools appealing to the dedicated parents who seek out the best for their kids, just as the food-conscious seek out the best places to eat. Wouldn't the majority of students get the exact same level of mediocre education they get now? At least with school choice it would give families the chance to find the truly exceptional place to send their kid if they care to put in the effort to find it.

I guess my thinking is that if the majority of American schools were the education equivalent of Applebees, isn't that better than what we have now? The upside would be that some kids would get to eat at Charlie Trotter's, and that wouldn't be decided by income anymore.

Right..... Because the really nice private schools wouldn't increase tuition to keep out the riffraff, now would they?


No, they don't retard. More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.

They also taught me how stupid religion generally is.
 
2012-01-25 11:42:01 AM  

Zagloba: fraud


Citation if needed.
 
2012-01-25 11:43:12 AM  
When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."
 
2012-01-25 11:43:24 AM  

qorkfiend: Carth: I'd rather they have their own school so everyone, including employers know how useless their science classes were.

That's fine, and nothing prevents them from doing so. Don't expect the rest of us to pay for it when you're choosing not to take advantage of public education.


You'd be paying for it either way. One way you're paying for everyone to learn about creationism, sorry intelligent design, the other only people who want to.
 
2012-01-25 11:44:13 AM  

Zagloba: Zagloba: fraud

Citation if needed.


Page not found. What was the title I can google it.
 
2012-01-25 11:44:16 AM  

BloodySaxon: More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.


One Catholic school didn't in the past, so obviously no Catholic school ever did, does, or ever will do in the future.
 
2012-01-25 11:44:43 AM  

BloodySaxon: No, they don't retard. More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.


So, if private religious schools have the means to subsidize the costs to deserving low-income students through financial aid, why should the taxpayers do it?
 
2012-01-25 11:44:49 AM  
Summary of article for the TL;DR crowd "This is an idea that many people on both sides support, but because I *really* don't like the conservatives who support it, it must be a terrible idea no matter who else thinks it's a good one."

It's a conservative idea, that President Obama supports, but it's not *really* bipartisan because . . . oh wait, the article never gets around to explaining why President Obama's support doesn't count, it just makes a bald assertion and offers nothing to back it up.
 
2012-01-25 11:45:01 AM  

MasterThief: FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.


Absolutely. It's 100% the teachers' fault, and not at all the fault of parents who make excuses, don't ensure their kids do the homework, or generally ignore their kids' academic success. it's also totally not the fault of the students, some of whom are just little bastards or lazy or troubled. Nope, 100% the teachers' fault.
 
2012-01-25 11:45:37 AM  

jigger: When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."


We could try improving schools instead of shutting them down and turning to yet another horrifically bad "market-based solution". There's that.
 
2012-01-25 11:46:31 AM  

Talondel: Summary of article for the TL;DR crowd "This is an idea that many people on both sides support, but because I *really* don't like the conservatives who support it, it must be a terrible idea no matter who else thinks it's a good one."

It's a conservative idea, that President Obama supports, but it's not *really* bipartisan because . . . oh wait, the article never gets around to explaining why President Obama's support doesn't count, it just makes a bald assertion and offers nothing to back it up.


Because Obama's a center-right politician? It's a conservative idea through and through. Even if it wasn't, it sucks. What's your damn point?
 
2012-01-25 11:46:52 AM  

Carth: I haven't read the whole PDF yet (obviously) but from the research in DC it was a very successful program that students and parents liked and had a measurable improvement. Do you know why the DC program worked and others didnt?


I don't know the specifics of DC so I really can't say. I was going to say "It's in the study" but I realize that this study isn't the one I originally wanted to link. I actually wanted to use this Stanford study which talks a little bit about why different charters may act differently. Mainly they attribute different laws concerning charters. It's the pdf on the right hand side called "multiple choice."
 
2012-01-25 11:46:53 AM  

MasterThief: FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.

2. The teachers - the schools, in fact - stand in loco parentis: in the place of the parents. Yes, parents and teachers are in a collaborative relationship, but even then, the parents are the ones wearing the pants.

3. We have doubled per-pupil public educational spending in this country for the last forty years. And if the standardized test scores are any indication, we have precisely fark all to show for it.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 560x420]

TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.


The reason for #3 is the attitude of #2.
Parents need to step up and take an interest in their kids eduction, read to them when younger, have them read to you as soon as they can, be involved, be on the kid to do the homework. More money by itself does nothing.
 
2012-01-25 11:47:38 AM  

Bag of Hammers: Yeah, good luck fitting that on a bumper sticker, Libtard.


Translation: tl;cra
 
2012-01-25 11:47:51 AM  

jigger: When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."


They can go to that school, their parents just aren't going to get a subsidy from the taxpayers to do it.
 
2012-01-25 11:48:26 AM  

Carth: You'd be paying for it either way. One way you're paying for everyone to learn about creationism, sorry intelligent design, the other only people who want to.


You can fight against creationism in public schools, which is a fight that the creationists lose every single time. The question is not "Should everyone learn creationism, or should only the people who want to learn about it?", because that's the way it already is. The question is, "Should taxpayer money be used to teach creationism in a private school?" and the clear answer is no.
 
2012-01-25 11:49:18 AM  

hubiestubert: Not just strict skill sets in one subject, then another, but integrating skill sets across the board. Critical thinking skills, critical reading, problem solving, across subject matter. Science, math, reading, art, all to encourage and enhance the others. Cross disciplinary approaches were found to strengthen skills and provide our kids with skill sets that were useful for more than just coming up with a right answer, but building skills to be able to find answers to questions not asked yet.


I totally agree that this needs to be brought back. I'm just not sure that taking a 'one size fits all' approach will ever do it justice. If, instead of one school district for 2000 kids there were 10 small private schools for 200, wouldn't those kids likely get a better education? Those schools would focus on different things, from the gifted to the troubled, from the artistic to the technical, and parents would have a choice over which school would be a better fit for their kids.

Invariably some kids with absentee parents would probably get short changed along the way, but they're probably being short changed now. Also it would allow jesusland freaks to milk the government to teach nonsense, but they do that now in their homes. People already move to nicer areas to get away from the rifraff. I just think that public education is already dealing with most of the negatives from school choice, and none of the positives. I'm not saying it's perfect, but isn't the current system broken?
 
2012-01-25 11:50:10 AM  

thismomentinblackhistory: School choice saves lives. Literally. We have a considerable population of students from neighborhoods you wouldn't drive through during daylight hours. Their parents consistently cite gang activity in their school system as why they chose our school.

I have folder full of letters from parents thanking our school for finally implementing their student's IEP. Plenty of them are the kinds of parents who brought lawsuits against their former districts, searching for something better, and they've found it at our school.

Is there a corporate mentality of bottom line profits and trying to recruit as many students as possible? Yes.

But that's not to say there isn't a considerable upside for many of the families we help. Sorry you're brick and mortar fantasies are crumbling. In 50 years most high schools will probably be converted into condos.


So, smaller class size helps students learn? How about that!

Picking and choosing from motivated parents and families makes for a better school experience? You don't say!

Bully for you and your school. Now how do we make it work for everyone?
 
2012-01-25 11:50:13 AM  
Lost Thought 00

The appropriate solution, obviously, is to shut down the entire public education system

Not at all but there HAS to be some mechanism for getting rid of bad and incompetent teachers in both private and public schools. The plain fact is that private schools can weed out the bad teachers much more quickly. I maintain that EVERY school both public and private has bad teachers. You can't use the phrase "bogey man of bad teachers" and expect to be taken seriously. Hell even universities have incompetent and lousy professors. It is a basic FACT that some people in EVERY profession are LOUSY at their jobs!

How do you propose to get rid of bad teachers? Are you in agreement with the author of the Salon article that bad teachers are a "bogey man?" If so you are delusional.
 
2012-01-25 11:50:16 AM  

Lost Thought 00: "School choice" is simply a new moniker for reinstituting state-sponsored segregation. A way to keep your precious upper class snowflakes away from the lower class darkies.


it's really nothing like that at all but your race baiting hysterics are noted.
 
2012-01-25 11:50:18 AM  

A Dark Evil Omen: jigger: When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."

We could try improving schools instead of shutting them down and turning to yet another horrifically bad "market-based solution". There's that.


Wow. No one ever thought of improving government schools before. Great idea.
 
2012-01-25 11:50:51 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: All the debate about funding or teacher training, etc., is minor compared to the quality of the inputs (students) into the system. Public schools are required to deal with the worst of the inputs, one way or another, whereas private schools can avoid the dregs.


Would disagree strongly. While private schools, and charter schools including those which use lottery systems, do get to be rather selective about who remains in the school, and the initiative of the parent speaks to at least minimal involvement, teacher training is not "minor". Would prefer to see a condensed academic study on human development and population research, followed by practicum for methodology and materials development, followed by longer duration field experiences with transitions into the role of educator.

We do some of this, but with little intensity or continuity. The moment there is the shift from pre- to in-service teacher, the teacher has effectively the same responsibility as a veteran teacher as far as providing adequately yearly progress to this classroom of X number of students. Those couple of lesson plans, the smattering of child development, and introductory experience working with students done in the course of becoming a teacher are laughably ineffectual.

Granted, parental involvement, at a local level, would be easier to rectify, thus reducing problems with students in terms of behaviors and skills, as opposed to asking colleges of education to suddenly change without incentive.
 
2012-01-25 11:52:30 AM  

The Homer Tax: BloodySaxon: No, they don't retard. More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.

So, if private religious schools have the means to subsidize the costs to deserving low-income students through financial aid, why should the taxpayers do it?


Because obvious SOME of these schools have it figured out. The benefits of diversity and experimentation in schooling and seeking out the best ways to educate are so important it's almost painful that so many people can't farking see it. The alternative is this draconian garbage heap we call public education. Bureaucracy is unadulterated evil when it holds education hostage.

I am aware of the religious education and had to endure some of it myself, but the benefits of the total experience far outweigh any attempted indoctrination. As I've said before, Catholic education made me both secular and relatively liberal (when compared to much of my family).

Do charter schools necessarily have to be religious? No.
 
2012-01-25 11:52:42 AM  

The Homer Tax: jigger: When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."

They can go to that school, their parents just aren't going to get a subsidy from the taxpayers to do it.


So they have to pay for school twice if they don't want to go to a shiatty school? Most people can't afford that.

You've seen the footage of little kids crying when they didn't win the lottery to get into a charter school and get out of the shiatty school their in, and when they do win the lottery it's super happy joy time.

Why do you want to make more kids cry?
 
2012-01-25 11:53:48 AM  

qorkfiend: BloodySaxon: More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.

One Catholic school didn't in the past, so obviously no Catholic school ever did, does, or ever will do in the future.


You're making the absolute statements based on what seems to be a projection. I provided a counter example. Are you imagining private schooling to be something from an 80's movie?
 
2012-01-25 11:54:17 AM  

hubiestubert: This went out the window with NCLB.


Well, there's your problem.

It's bizzarre, the hoops the teachers are going through to comply with NCLB and other bullshiat programs. There's no real measurement of quality or learning, at least on those damned tests and forms. If a kid misses a question - ONE question - there's a little STOP sign next to the name. If you see more STOP than GO signs then the teacher gets in trouble. The kid might know the answer but not test well. The kid might be having a bad day. None of that matters. It's all about the numbers. It is seven kinds of farked up and we're just in farking elementary school.
 
2012-01-25 11:55:16 AM  

sno man: MasterThief: FTFA: Access to opportunity is replaced with demands for universal "excellence" and "achievement," in which teachers are punished for student "failure." This pits parents against teachers.

1. It is the teachers' responsibility to teach. If the students fail to learn, then yes, the teacher has not done their job. And in any well-functioning organization, people who do not do their jobs get fired.

2. The teachers - the schools, in fact - stand in loco parentis: in the place of the parents. Yes, parents and teachers are in a collaborative relationship, but even then, the parents are the ones wearing the pants.

3. We have doubled per-pupil public educational spending in this country for the last forty years. And if the standardized test scores are any indication, we have precisely fark all to show for it.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 560x420]

TL;DR version: [worldssmallestviolin.jpg]

/spent nine years of bureaucratic hell in public school, will never send any child of mine there
//whoever had the idea of putting politicians and unions in charge of education needs to be dragged out into the street and shot.

The reason for #3 is the attitude of #2.
Parents need to step up and take an interest in their kids eduction, read to them when younger, have them read to you as soon as they can, be involved, be on the kid to do the homework. More money by itself does nothing.


But how do we do that when we "failed" generations of students, and many parents couldn't give a damn about their kids education?

I'm lucky with my child's public school. The parents there are extraordinarily involved, and the teachers really go the extra mile. They also have many retired teachers volunteering to help catch kids up or take the gifted kids aside and work with them to keep them interested and involved and not bored.

On a separate note, I wonder if some parents feel shafted and screwed by their education and their old teachers and are now taking out those frustrations on their children's teachers?
 
2012-01-25 11:56:32 AM  
How about my local elementary school? The next nearest private school for those grades is 20 miles away, clearly out of walking distance. Add in the fact that 90% of the kids at that school ride the bus because they don't have a parent that has a job that lets them both drop off and pick up their child. The next nearest public schools are already all full up with kids and don't have any more space.

So unless you can figure out a way to a) force the private school to accept anybody, and b) force the private school to provide transportation, then school choice won't do dick for that 90%. Oh, and the school choice that keeps being pushed in my state won't cover the full cost of any private school, so absolutely every family at my local school would still have to somehow find thousands of dollars a year to pay for it.

School choice in South Carolina is a thinly veiled attempt to get the state to pay for private schools, in a way that would help absolutely no one that doesn't already have their kids enrolled there. Small government and balaced budget ftw.
 
2012-01-25 11:56:35 AM  

A Dark Evil Omen: karmaceutical: I'm as liberal as they come and I like school choice initiatives. There has to be a way for the school system to separate motivated kids from not-motivated kids. If you push 5 motivated kids into a classroom with 20 un-motivated kids and all the focus goes towards bringing those 20 up to speed and you risk loosing the other 5. Lots of school districts have this already with lottery schools and magnet programs etc... but it needs to be done more.

And, even assuming I agree, school vouchers and closing the public schools entirely are the way to do this? Really?

Orwellian farking language. It's not "school choice", it's closing the public schools.


I think you are taking this to some kind of extreme. Christian fundies want tax dollars to run their little Bible Camps. I get that. They perceive a problem in public schools (right or wrong) and are well-connected and can get their complaints and solutions to the top of the stack. There are still several other groups of people who have the same kinds of issues and need options too... because, and get ready for this one, the public school systems in many states have utterly failed to keep up with the changing populations. I'm not trying to make a political statement about the causes and I don't have the answers. All I know is that if you can't afford to live in a zip code with "good" schools in some states (Florida, for example) then your kids are farkED.
 
2012-01-25 11:56:49 AM  

odinsposse: Carth: I haven't read the whole PDF yet (obviously) but from the research in DC it was a very successful program that students and parents liked and had a measurable improvement. Do you know why the DC program worked and others didnt?

I don't know the specifics of DC so I really can't say. I was going to say "It's in the study" but I realize that this study isn't the one I originally wanted to link. I actually wanted to use this Stanford study which talks a little bit about why different charters may act differently. Mainly they attribute different laws concerning charters. It's the pdf on the right hand side called "multiple choice."


That is an interesting study, though it admits it "pose more questions than it answers". It shows that in some state charter schools perform better than public schools (particularly in urban and lower income areas) and in other they perform worst. It posits some ideas as to why but it seems like if we model a charter school system on areas were it works it could turn out to be a good thing since almost every study points out parents and students like it better.

It would be interesting to see the data broken down into parochial and secular schools to see if the difference is character school quality is affected.
 
2012-01-25 11:56:56 AM  

BloodySaxon: qorkfiend: BloodySaxon: More than 50% of my Catholic high school's students were on some form of financial aid provided by the school. We were also far more diverse than the public school of the town we were in.

One Catholic school didn't in the past, so obviously no Catholic school ever did, does, or ever will do in the future.

You're making the absolute statements based on what seems to be a projection. I provided a counter example. Are you imagining private schooling to be something from an 80's movie?


I'm pointing out that the plural of anecdote is not data. Your Catholic school worked one way, which doesn't mean that all Catholic schools work that way.
 
2012-01-25 11:57:13 AM  
ignatius_crumbcake: I don't think that the current system is broken. I do think that NCLB strains it quite a bit though.

NCLB creates problems that it then it demands be fixed. It is a self fulfilling sort of education policy, and strains not just our education system, but exacerbates problems inherent in any public school setting.

Couple those problems being amplified with this sort of policy, with general economic woes, and outright efforts to defund education to create demand for public monies going into private school education, and you have the bait and switch that offends me so much.

It offends me, because we have shortchanged a lot of kids over the years to try to break our education model. It isn't an unintended consequence. It is by design. And a generation has had to suffer lowered expectations and limited opportunities because some folks decided that they weren't in enough on the public trough.
 
2012-01-25 11:57:21 AM  

jigger: So they have to pay for school twice if they don't want to go to a shiatty school? Most people can't afford that.


Tough shiat. Seriously.

What about all the people who don't have school-aged children? Do we all get vouchers as well since we're not sending kids to the public school system?
 
2012-01-25 11:58:05 AM  

jigger: A Dark Evil Omen: jigger: When you deny school choice, what you're telling the student is "No, you can't go to a better school. You have to keep going to that shiatty school. Tough luck, kid."

We could try improving schools instead of shutting them down and turning to yet another horrifically bad "market-based solution". There's that.

Wow. No one ever thought of improving government schools before. Great idea.


I mean actually improve, not right-wing "improvements" where they dismantle the actual education part, try to shiatcan all the teachers and give massive raises to distant school board bureaucrats for turning the lunch room into a profit center.
 
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