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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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4914 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Jan 2012 at 10:59 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-25 12:26:10 PM  

jigger: lysdexic: 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.


Yup, that's farked up. This won't fix it.


So sayeth lysdexic.


Why do you want to make more kids cry?

Don't be stupid.

The longer you deny school choice, the more scenes there will be of kids crying because they weren't allowed to leave their shiatty school.


Or you know, YOU could get off your ass and try to help fix all the schools.

btw, which "School Choice" are you advocating here? The actual SC in DC, or the "Intelligent Designed" SC FTFA?
 
2012-01-25 12:27:27 PM  

skullkrusher: qorkfiend: skullkrusher: qorkfiend: Some sort of flat school tax, then? Bad idea for the same reasons as all other flat taxes.

like pretty much every other tax you pay except income?

And most of those would benefit from being made more progressive, though I don't know how you could make a sales tax more progressive.

what's wrong with say a 1% tax on all earnings to pay for public schools? The number is made up, but why not just say that this is your obligation to support our school system: x% of your income?



For me, that is undesirable because it could tax people into poverty. If you changed the formula to be x% of (income - poverty line) then I would feel better about it.
 
2012-01-25 12:27:56 PM  

DarnoKonrad: It's just public monies being funneled to private religious interests. The law passed here in Indiana is already forcing districts to choose between buses and and actual schooling. It's going to be a disaster.


In conjunction with TAAS and its many off-spring, they've been using "school choice" as an excuse to de-fund education in Texas for years. If you want to know what the real concern of these folks is, you just need to look at the other things they fight for. We used to have "Robin Hood" school funding; excess revenue from rich districts was used it to help fund the thousands of tiny, poor, rural schools we have in this state. The same folks pushing "school choice" at the time objected to such "confiscations", took it to the state Supreme Court and got it declared illegal.

So what does Texas have now? Exactly what we had before the 80s; a handful of good schools in metro and suburban areas floating in a sea of rural schools that lack the resources to produce competitive college applicants. If you ever wondered why Texas does so poorly on educational assessments when it has one of the most robust economies, and some of the most accomplished research schools, in the Union, this is the primary reason; without an integrated, state-wide system for school funding, most of our population is stuck getting their primary education out of dinky schools that can rarely afford to even replace their textbooks.
 
2012-01-25 12:28:02 PM  

jigger: The longer you deny school choice, the more scenes there will be of kids crying because they weren't allowed to leave their shiatty school.


The video of "kids crying" are because they lost a lottery in an already existing "school choice" program. Therefore your assertion that epanding the "school choice" program will result in *less* "kids crying" is based on....what, exactly?
 
2012-01-25 12:28:25 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Parents are too stupid to choose schools. Obviously, the closest one to their house is the best. Right?


Well, usually. You really want to drive or bus little Johnny across farking town five days a week?

Here's a better idea, strap a backpack to the little farker and kick his ass out the door. The closer the school the better so he doesn't have all that far to walk. Learning how to dodge cars, evade or fight bullies, strengthen cardio, and manage time effectively should be part of growing up.

The condition of the school or teachers doesn't matter much. The strong and smart will rise to the top in any environment, and the weak and stupid will end up flipping burgers, just like God intended.

Unfortunately in many neighborhoods I swear to God I see parents drive their precious snowflakes four farking blocks, because they're afraid of "pedos" (in a city of 50,000 people no less. just tons of pedos just lurking behind every bush, you know. FFS, I haaaaaaaaaaaaaate helicopter parents).
 
2012-01-25 12:29:39 PM  

Deucednuisance: Carth: The biggest problem with school choice? It works.

Citation needed.

Here, let me counter your assertion with some facts of recent vintage.

But in recent months, almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, the school voucher movement has abruptly stalled. Some stalwart advocates of vouchers have either repudiated the idea entirely or considerably tempered their enthusiasm for it. Exhibit A is "School Choice Isn't Enough," an article in the winter 2008 City Journal (the quarterly published by the conservative Manhattan Institute) written by the former voucher proponent Sol Stern. Acknowledging that voucher programs for poor children had "hit a wall," Stern concluded: "Education reformers ought to resist unreflective support for elegant-sounding theories, derived from the study of economic activity, that don't produce verifiable results in the classroom." His conversion has triggered an intense debate in conservative circles. The center-right education scholar Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a longtime critic of public school bureaucracies and teachers unions, told the New York Sun that he was sympathetic to Stern's argument. In his newly published memoirs, Finn also writes of his increasing skepticism that "the market's invisible hand" produces improved performance on its own. Howard Fuller, an African American who was the superintendent of schools in Milwaukee when the voucher program was launched there, and who received substantial support from the Bradley Foundation and other conservative institutions over the years, has conceded, "It hasn't worked like we thought it would in theory."


And so now we hit the (heh) elephant in the room: poverty, and the fact that the middle class is systematically being destroyed, thanks in large part to shiat like this.
 
2012-01-25 12:29:47 PM  

BloodySaxon: And downwards of 3k. Your point?


Sounds like growing inequality, some families unable to afford any school at all, and good schools being out of reach for all but the wealthiest.
 
2012-01-25 12:31:03 PM  

ongbok: Newsflash.
Most students don't want to study or complete assignments.


...I feel you completely missed the point of my post. For an example to help clarify, when we were doing elements of composition as part of exploration of American artists, the students were given disposable cameras for assessment purposes. During recess, several of them wanted to take practice shots with digital cameras. The following week, every camera out of eighty was returned, filled with pictures, the vast majority showing clear understand of elements of composition.

Do you believe parents had to remind those students to do this piece of homework? Considering everyone had to be told to put them away during class and I saw them out during dismissal, I am doubtful.

This is not an anomaly in terms of assignments.
 
2012-01-25 12:32:36 PM  

fracto73: skullkrusher: qorkfiend: skullkrusher: qorkfiend: Some sort of flat school tax, then? Bad idea for the same reasons as all other flat taxes.

like pretty much every other tax you pay except income?

And most of those would benefit from being made more progressive, though I don't know how you could make a sales tax more progressive.

what's wrong with say a 1% tax on all earnings to pay for public schools? The number is made up, but why not just say that this is your obligation to support our school system: x% of your income?


For me, that is undesirable because it could tax people into poverty. If you changed the formula to be x% of (income - poverty line) then I would feel better about it.


Most of the different taxes you pay don't account for your income.
 
2012-01-25 12:32:43 PM  

Deucednuisance: Carth: The biggest problem with school choice? It works.

Citation needed.

Here, let me counter your assertion with some facts of recent vintage.

But in recent months, almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, the school voucher movement has abruptly stalled. Some stalwart advocates of vouchers have either repudiated the idea entirely or considerably tempered their enthusiasm for it. Exhibit A is "School Choice Isn't Enough," an article in the winter 2008 City Journal (the quarterly published by the conservative Manhattan Institute) written by the former voucher proponent Sol Stern. Acknowledging that voucher programs for poor children had "hit a wall," Stern concluded: "Education reformers ought to resist unreflective support for elegant-sounding theories, derived from the study of economic activity, that don't produce verifiable results in the classroom." His conversion has triggered an intense debate in conservative circles. The center-right education scholar Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a longtime critic of public school bureaucracies and teachers unions, told the New York Sun that he was sympathetic to Stern's argument. In his newly published memoirs, Finn also writes of his increasing skepticism that "the market's invisible hand" produces improved performance on its own. Howard Fuller, an African American who was the superintendent of schools in Milwaukee when the voucher program was launched there, and who received substantial support from the Bradley Foundation and other conservative institutions over the years, has conceded, "It hasn't worked like we thought it would in theory."


The link I provided in my followup showing how in DC it helped lower income and minority students improve test scores and was viewed favorable by parents. After talking with odin I saw that different states implement the system in wildly different ways and it has a great effect on whether the system is beneficial.
 
2012-01-25 12:33:21 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Sorry you're brick and mortar fantasies


Please tell me you're not teaching English.
 
2012-01-25 12:33:50 PM  

lysdexic: Or you know, YOU could get off your ass and try to help fix all the schools.

btw, which "School Choice" are you advocating here? The actual SC in DC, or the "Intelligent Designed" SC FTFA?


Hey, I pay ridiculous property taxes. I'm helping fix the public schools right now, aren't I? The people the government hires to handle these things are totally competent and effective, right?

I like the idea of a scholarship/voucher for every student that follows the student to whatever school they would like to attend. If the tax money goes to support religion, that should be disallowed since it violates the principle of the Establishment Clause.

I'd like to see a system close to the Swedish system (for now).
 
2012-01-25 12:34:17 PM  

sweetmelissa31: BloodySaxon: And downwards of 3k. Your point?

Sounds like growing inequality, some families unable to afford any school at all, and good schools being out of reach for all but the wealthiest.


Schools can offer more scholarships to students in economic need if part of tuition is offset by vouchers.
 
2012-01-25 12:35:09 PM  

The Homer Tax: jigger: The longer you deny school choice, the more scenes there will be of kids crying because they weren't allowed to leave their shiatty school.

The video of "kids crying" are because they lost a lottery in an already existing "school choice" program. Therefore your assertion that epanding the "school choice" program will result in *less* "kids crying" is based on....what, exactly?


Hmmmm.

There has to be a lottery because the state only allows a certain number of spots in the charter schools. Duh.

Allow enough spots and there won't have to be a lottery.
 
2012-01-25 12:35:46 PM  

Deucednuisance: Carth: The biggest problem with school choice? It works.

Citation needed.

Here, let me counter your assertion with some facts of recent vintage.

But in recent months, almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, the school voucher movement has abruptly stalled. Some stalwart advocates of vouchers have either repudiated the idea entirely or considerably tempered their enthusiasm for it. Exhibit A is "School Choice Isn't Enough," an article in the winter 2008 City Journal (the quarterly published by the conservative Manhattan Institute) written by the former voucher proponent Sol Stern. Acknowledging that voucher programs for poor children had "hit a wall," Stern concluded: "Education reformers ought to resist unreflective support for elegant-sounding theories, derived from the study of economic activity, that don't produce verifiable results in the classroom." His conversion has triggered an intense debate in conservative circles. The center-right education scholar Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a longtime critic of public school bureaucracies and teachers unions, told the New York Sun that he was sympathetic to Stern's argument. In his newly published memoirs, Finn also writes of his increasing skepticism that "the market's invisible hand" produces improved performance on its own. Howard Fuller, an African American who was the superintendent of schools in Milwaukee when the voucher program was launched there, and who received substantial support from the Bradley Foundation and other conservative institutions over the years, has conceded, "It hasn't worked like we thought it would in theory."


I have a hypothesis. It sounds like the the school voucher project hit the same wall public schools have, lack of parental involvement.

I would be willing to bet that some parents got on the voucher programs, and expected that would be the panacea to their kids education problems, but changed nothing at home.
 
2012-01-25 12:36:25 PM  

ignatius_crumbcake: hubiestubert: I don't think that the current system is broken. I do think that NCLB strains it quite a bit though.

I agree about NCLB, but I'm basing my statements on my own experience of graduating from a very rural public school in 2000, before NCLB. It was an ok education. Not great. Lots of bad teachers, loads of jesus freaks, and about 500 kids who wanted different things out of life but were all crammed together in one building. I think I would have been better served in a school that offered more AP classes but no auto shop. Other kids would have been better off in a school with more vocational training and no band program. One size does not fit all.


We do need to de-stigmatize vocational training. The biggest problem with NCLB is that is pretty much a single approach towards learning.

Learning styles come into effect in teaching. Not every kid is concrete sequential in their learning style, and that is why you use different evaluation processes, and multiple teaching methods for material. NCLB is a singular evaluation system that doesn't take into account a lot of factors.

If anything, the system that the Clinton years put forward, that GW killed, would have increased variety of teaching methods and programs. We need to head towards those variety of teaching methods, and the current system discourages those methods, and you see the Idiot Brigade braying, because it is a model that is not as profitable for testing companies.
 
2012-01-25 12:38:57 PM  

meat0918: BloodySaxon: sweetmelissa31: ignatius_crumbcake: Isn't this a situation where the GOP wet dream of 'free market solutions' might actually work? Private schools will have to compete for students, so things like the amount of money spent on students and class size and graduation rates and college/employment rates become selling points. It would basically turn K-12 education into the college model

So basically we'd get a few thousand dollars voucher to spend at private schools that will end up costing upwards of $40K?

And downwards of 3k. Your point?

3K per child is still out of reach for most Americans that already live paycheck to paycheck.


Not with the voucher we were JUST talking about.
 
2012-01-25 12:39:07 PM  

skullkrusher: fracto73: skullkrusher: qorkfiend: skullkrusher: qorkfiend: Some sort of flat school tax, then? Bad idea for the same reasons as all other flat taxes.

like pretty much every other tax you pay except income?

And most of those would benefit from being made more progressive, though I don't know how you could make a sales tax more progressive.

what's wrong with say a 1% tax on all earnings to pay for public schools? The number is made up, but why not just say that this is your obligation to support our school system: x% of your income?


For me, that is undesirable because it could tax people into poverty. If you changed the formula to be x% of (income - poverty line) then I would feel better about it.

Most of the different taxes you pay don't account for your income.



You suggested a tax on your earnings, that already takes income into account. If you would like to make it a tax on something else then it would be a different issue.
 
2012-01-25 12:40:17 PM  

meat0918: BloodySaxon: sweetmelissa31: ignatius_crumbcake: Isn't this a situation where the GOP wet dream of 'free market solutions' might actually work? Private schools will have to compete for students, so things like the amount of money spent on students and class size and graduation rates and college/employment rates become selling points. It would basically turn K-12 education into the college model

So basically we'd get a few thousand dollars voucher to spend at private schools that will end up costing upwards of $40K?

And downwards of 3k. Your point?

3K per child is still out of reach for most Americans that already live paycheck to paycheck.


The Homer Tax: BloodySaxon: What this basically comes down to is some alter shill in love with the status quo turning this into an artificial left right wedge issue, when shaking up the current system is anything but. There are plenty of villains to go around without pretending that charter and voucher systems are nothing but reactionary religious conspiracies.

There's plenty of ways to advocate a departure from "the status quo" regarding education without giving people taxpayer money to send their kids to private schools.


No argument here. Are you so confident that charters and private schools don't have some answers?
 
2012-01-25 12:40:33 PM  

jigger: Hmmmm.

There has to be a lottery because the state only allows a certain number of spots in the charter schools. Duh.

Allow enough spots and there won't have to be a lottery.


No, there has to be a lottery because the charter schools only enroll a certain number of students
 
2012-01-25 12:41:18 PM  
Ah. This is why the School Voucher idea suddenly came back to life here in Arizona.
 
2012-01-25 12:41:23 PM  

fracto73: You suggested a tax on your earnings, that already takes income into account. If you would like to make it a tax on something else then it would be a different issue.


that's circular. Most of the taxes you already pay can drive you to poverty since they do not account for their earnings. Why would a school tax exhibiting a similar characteristic be a deal breaker?
 
2012-01-25 12:42:10 PM  

The Homer Tax: jigger: Hmmmm.

There has to be a lottery because the state only allows a certain number of spots in the charter schools. Duh.

Allow enough spots and there won't have to be a lottery.

No, there has to be a lottery because the charter schools only enroll a certain number of students


and because lotteries are a great way to get poor people interested in something
 
2012-01-25 12:44:32 PM  

Delawheredad: I had to laugh at the phrase "bogey man of bad teachers." As if there are NO bad teachers anywhere in any district. Every parent who has had a kid in school will tell you that EVERY school has at least one bad teacher who has no business being around children.

i ended up not going to the college of my choice because one of my high school teachers was a pedophile who made every guy in his classes creeped out to the max. Because of his constant staring at my junk and inappropriate comments I got a C in English for the ONLY time in my life. We complained endlessly about the guy but the school administration claimed that we were imagining things and making things up. About 10 years after i graduated they were finally forced to get rid of him because he propositioned a teenager in a parking lot and a cop happened to see it. For over two decades this pervert was ruining the education of countless numbers of young men but he must have just been a "bogey man." .


That's horseshiat.

Well, not just about the pedo teacher but the notion that he forced you to not go to college.

I purposely flunked a class in a fit of teenage rebellion and still made it into a good private school of my choice. Mom is a lunchlady, dad dug water wells and I paid for it myself. I can't imagine your one C made that much of a difference.

Yeah, you had a crap teacher, but was he really the problem or just a convenient scapegoat?
 
2012-01-25 12:45:26 PM  

jigger: There has to be a lottery because the state only allows a certain number of spots in the charter schools. Duh.


There are restrictions on the amount of students you may have in any given classroom, and charter schools have limits to the amount of classrooms based on the resources for constructing the school and available faculty, but I do not know of any states where charter schools are only given X number of students as a rule.

I suppose the state may only allow a certain number of spots by only giving a certain amount of funding to charter schools, but this is a disingenuous way to present this as though the big, bad government is trying to strangle the brave charter school.
 
2012-01-25 12:45:32 PM  

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, all the good kids are able to leave the bad area and come to your school leaving only the gangstas and hooligans behind? That's amazing! Thank goodness nobody falls through the cracks. It's so awesome that all kids can just go over to the "good schools" now!
 
2012-01-25 12:47:20 PM  

skullkrusher: fracto73: You suggested a tax on your earnings, that already takes income into account. If you would like to make it a tax on something else then it would be a different issue.

that's circular. Most of the taxes you already pay can drive you to poverty since they do not account for their earnings. Why would a school tax exhibiting a similar characteristic be a deal breaker?



You said a tax on earnings, I suggested a change to that formula which already took income into acount. The other taxes are easy to plan for, buy a smaller house or buy less expensive things and you pay less in property or sales taxes. Not so with an income tax.
 
2012-01-25 12:48:21 PM  

Carth: 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.


That assumes that those differences are portable. As said elsewhere in this thread student filtering and limited class size are big factors in student achievement and genrally a major factor in the differences between public and private schools. Those can't be farmed out to school systems at large.
 
2012-01-25 12:48:21 PM  

BloodySaxon: No argument here. Are you so confident that charters and private schools don't have some answers?


Did I ever say that they didn't? I'm not necessarily opposed to a means-tested subsidy for students to attend secular private schools. That would only be part of a solution though, it's certainly not a panacea.
 
2012-01-25 12:49:44 PM  

jigger: And yet there are huge swaths of the populace who are not educated.


Nice attempt at deflection.

It's one of those things society provides to all its members, regardless of whether or not they actually need it at the moment. Should you get a tax refund if your house never catches fire and you don't need the fire department?

Eh, this is going to start a whole new discussion of everything that's funded through taxes and I've got shiat to do, so...


It's a simple question. Should taxpayers get a refund if they don't take advantage of the services provided to the public at large by default?
 
2012-01-25 12:50:53 PM  

hubiestubert: School choice is fairly simple: it's bait and switch, and always has been.

It's not about teachers overwhelmed by classroom sizes, or administrators who don't support them. It's not about a labyrinthine system of testing-funding equations that look at teachers as the last responsible unit, as opposed to the principles and administrators who are in charge of those school systems to hold accountable for performance standards. It's not about underfunding systems, and then declaring the best way to make those systems better, is to cut more funding from them, and shove even more kids into them with consolidation efforts that are designed to stress the schools more to prove a point about magnet and private schools' "competitiveness" to our public schools. It's not even about the differences between private and public schools in that private schools are not on the same playing field since they are not required by law to take everyone, and can then jigger their numbers and successes by simply flushing kids who underperform or cause trouble.

It's none of those things. School choice is about getting the American taxpayer to pay for private school education, and call that fair, to make the American public feel bad about their schools and DEMAND that the taxpayer take on sending kids to private schools, and schools for profit, and subsidize these efforts. It is about getting public money into private hands, plain and simple.

It is about getting the public to pay for religious schooling or private school education, and the bait and switch comes down to the idea that when school choice is implemented across the board, that students from the less well off families will be allowed to attend those schools as a "choice" beyond a few token charity cases to maintain the illusion. It is about getting public money into private hands, and rather than examine education in a fashion that is open and honest, we have a lot of folks who are looking to game the system in order to get sweet cheddar from it. From testing firms, from coaching and tutoring firms, from those who are investing in private magnet schools, from those who are looking at their own private institutions to be paid for out of public monies. They smell public fund gravy, and they want it. Badly. And they are willing to lie, they ware willing to pay folks at a local and state level to game the system so badly that the public will scream for them to step in, and once they do, they will extract a large amount of cash from the system, and Johnny will be back in public school, his teachers will not be unionized and hold very little power to affect change in their school systems, and the administrators will be so beholden the state, that they will do damn near anything to keep their jobs, as opposed to doing the jobs that they know they should do.

"School Choice" is disingenuous bullsh*t from the get go. It's bullsh*t plain and simple and no matter how much you dress it up, it's about getting public money for folks who just want the public to pour money into their trough. And they are willing to pay a lot of folks to scare the bejeebus out of you to get you to willingly do that.


^ THIS

My stupid fundie Evangelical lutheran private school was ape shiat about this. They wanted taxpayers to help fund their campaign of intolerance and theocracy. They even held rallies that they forced us to go to... And this was in 96.
 
2012-01-25 12:52:07 PM  

BloodySaxon: No argument here. Are you so confident that charters and private schools don't have some answers?


They do have some answers: limiting the student body and removing non performers is pretty much the key. They aren't public school models, and thus aren't really comparable.

Essentially, all of these models are about segregating kids away from the riff raff. That is their Golden Bullet. Getting kids away from non-performers. Looking at scores improve by skewing the testing pool. Not necessarily about improving the methods of teaching, but excising the kids who have difficulties from mucking up the test scores.

That's not necessarily about improving education, but gaming the standards. We can do better. For all our kids.
 
2012-01-25 12:52:32 PM  

The Homer Tax: BloodySaxon: No argument here. Are you so confident that charters and private schools don't have some answers?

Did I ever say that they didn't? I'm not necessarily opposed to a means-tested subsidy for students to attend secular private schools. That would only be part of a solution though, it's certainly not a panacea.


I'm not looking for the magic bullet. I thought I made it clear just how difficult I believe all these issues are.

Oh and I asked that question because, while you sound somewhat hostile to the idea, I didn't want to assume.
 
2012-01-25 12:53:29 PM  
"Parenthood gives you a very narrow focus... We want to protect our children. If we feel that a school is not doing what it needs to do, we'll fight to send our children to another one. These parents sometimes don't realize that what they're advocating is not fair to everybody.

Yes, sometimes a parent is desperate to avoid the one school that is mysteriously last to get funding from the county for anything ... the one with a hole in the gym floor the size of a small car; the one where teachers' have to duct tape their aging chairs back together and have no place for their books; the one where your friends' daughter was assaulted by individuals who were not even students at the school.
 
2012-01-25 12:54:03 PM  

qorkfiend: It's a simple question. Should taxpayers get a refund if they don't take advantage of the services provided to the public at large by default?


No.

/see, that was easy.
 
2012-01-25 12:54:34 PM  

qorkfiend: jigger: And yet there are huge swaths of the populace who are not educated.


Nice attempt at deflection.

It's one of those things society provides to all its members, regardless of whether or not they actually need it at the moment. Should you get a tax refund if your house never catches fire and you don't need the fire department?

Eh, this is going to start a whole new discussion of everything that's funded through taxes and I've got shiat to do, so...

It's a simple question. Should taxpayers get a refund if they don't take advantage of the services provided to the public at large by default?


Sure. Use it to pay for your funeral.
 
2012-01-25 12:55:23 PM  
next they're gonna tell us that liberal causes are bankrolled by rich liberals...

odinsposse: That assumes that those differences are portable. As said elsewhere in this thread student filtering and limited class size are big factors in student achievement and genrally a major factor in the differences between public and private schools. Those can't be farmed out to school systems at large.


my catholic school was 30-40 to a class, no air conditioning, crowded as all get out... my brother teaches in a charter school with all kinds of fancy technology and 20-30 students per class (perhaps they are supposed to be 30, but many students are truant or simply wandering the halls any given day). in which school did learning occur?
 
2012-01-25 12:55:58 PM  

Carth: The link I provided in my followup showing how in DC it helped lower income and minority students improve test scores and was viewed favorable by parents.


You are aware of the ongoing fraud scandal regarding standardized testing in DC, are you not?

"Snowflake's getting all As now, we love this school!"
 
2012-01-25 12:57:34 PM  
You only have to step into one of the many dysfunctional urban middle schools and high schools in America once to realize that you can't blindly throw money at the problem. A lot of these schools have reached a point of no return. The environment is so poisonous that the first priority you have as a parent is not that your kid graduates, but that they make avoid prison and make it out alive. I don't blame the teachers. Their cause is hopeless. But I do blame the administrators, politicians, and union leadership that are more interested in protecting their salaries and pensions than actually addressing the problem.
 
2012-01-25 12:58:29 PM  
The most powerful, she says, is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which brags of helping introduce more than one thousand pieces of school choice-related legislation to legislators every year.

I'm not sure, but I believe ALEC also assisted the prison industry with writing immigration law in Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama.

Their involvement with schools would help explain an incident that occurred in a local school last year. A prankster set off fireworks in a classroom. So, with no charges, no arrests, no reading of rights, no attorney, and no parental notification, much less consent; every kid in the classroom was fingerprinted.
 
2012-01-25 12:59:20 PM  

Vangor: ongbok: Newsflash.
Most students don't want to study or complete assignments.

...I feel you completely missed the point of my post. For an example to help clarify, when we were doing elements of composition as part of exploration of American artists, the students were given disposable cameras for assessment purposes. During recess, several of them wanted to take practice shots with digital cameras. The following week, every camera out of eighty was returned, filled with pictures, the vast majority showing clear understand of elements of composition.

Do you believe parents had to remind those students to do this piece of homework? Considering everyone had to be told to put them away during class and I saw them out during dismissal, I am doubtful.

This is not an anomaly in terms of assignments.


So do you think you would have the same success rate for math homework? Vocabulary words? Book reports? Science reading? The point is most homework isn't fun exciting stuff. It is the boring monotonous stuff that has to be done in order for you to learn a subject. That is the stuff that students don't want to do and sometimes have to be forced to do by their parents.
 
2012-01-25 01:00:21 PM  

meat0918: I would be willing to bet that some parents got on the voucher programs, and expected that would be the panacea to their kids education problems, but changed nothing at home.


So, in and of themselves, you're arguing, voucher programs are value-neutral?

Since they have well-known problems of wealth distribution and religious advancement, as well, what farking good are they?
 
2012-01-25 01:02:17 PM  

hubiestubert: BloodySaxon: No argument here. Are you so confident that charters and private schools don't have some answers?

They do have some answers: limiting the student body and removing non performers is pretty much the key. They aren't public school models, and thus aren't really comparable.

Essentially, all of these models are about segregating kids away from the riff raff. That is their Golden Bullet. Getting kids away from non-performers. Looking at scores improve by skewing the testing pool. Not necessarily about improving the methods of teaching, but excising the kids who have difficulties from mucking up the test scores.

That's not necessarily about improving education, but gaming the standards. We can do better. For all our kids.


I think you're making a leap in logic there. Since we're on that subject though, I do feel that some level of segregation not currently allowed in public schools may be legitimate.

Right now we have social promotion as the model for education, which is essentially shoving kids along like cattle regardless of ability and situation. The ability to segregate underperformers may actually be beneficial to both groups. The achievers get a little clear air and a chance to work, much like a quiet court room allows the law to be best served. The underachievers would gain more individual attention, allow for differently specialized teachers, among other possible benefits.

If you're talking about axing kids straight out of the school, that already happens even publically. I have two privately funded special education centers in the town I work in, where behaviorally challenged, troubled, struggling, and/or abused children are sent in lieu of their public school. Many (not the majority by far) were expelled.
 
2012-01-25 01:06:45 PM  
Clearly the current system is ideal and shouldn't be changed at all.

We are totally fine accepting 15th in world education stats. Well, that was the high point, it might be below that now.

/why mess with success?
 
2012-01-25 01:08:26 PM  

sno man: rumpelstiltskin: If the public schools had any idea how to teach Johnny how to read, this wouldn't be an issue. But they don't. Those of us who live in districts that spend 14K or 15K per student per year are tired of the public schools telling us it's a funding problem. The public schools don't know how to do their jobs, and parents are going to try other ways to get their children educations.Who's conducting the experiments? Parents don't care. They want their kids to know how to read.

If you want your kid to know how to read, read to your kid. a lot.


Stupid kids, really should have picked more responsible and educated parents.

They really have no one to blame but themselves.
 
2012-01-25 01:08:41 PM  
"When you have growing numbers of homeless students, increasing economic inequality and waves of budget cuts year after year," it is unrealistic to blame failure on the teachers"

At the junior high and higher level, in this area, I think there are two private schools that truly do a better job of educating children than the public schools. They offer tons of AP classes; require multiple foreign languages; have outstanding extracurricular programs and so on. They also have tuition of about $30,000 dollars per year, per child.

Bear in mind the private schools referenced do not feed children or otherwise provide material support to their students. As these are non-profit schools, presumably, the bulk of the tuition goes toward educating children.

Show me the public school that receives $30,000 dollars per year.

We need to decouple property taxes from schools so that poor children from poor neighborhoods are not condemned to attending poorly funded schools. We need to further federalize school funding so that ignorant buttheads at the state level can't slash school funding when the state budget gets tight. Then we need to make serious investments in our public schools.
 
2012-01-25 01:11:07 PM  

A Dark Evil Omen: 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?


Last I checked, the "partisan" part of "bi-partisan" means "party" as in "two party." So if something has "two party" support, it is in fact "bi-partisan." The fact that you consider Obama center-right is completely irrelevant to whether or not the idea has bi-partisan support.

The entire article is a joke. I reads like the left wing equivalent of a Free Republic post about George Soros and ACRON conspiring to turn the US into a socialist state. It tosses around a bunch of liberal boogie men like Rush Limbaugh and the Koch brothers, and then claims that if they support something it must be a horrible idea. The only paragraph where they actually get someone on record attacking school choice is completely moronic.

"When they talk about choice, whose choices are they referring to? Are the children of people who are savvy enough to get out of the public schools the only children who are worth educating in our society? What happens to the children who don't get out? It seems the [people behind School Choice Week] knowingly embrace the idea of creating a second tier of schools for those American citizens who don't or can't 'choose' - and they are perfectly okay with a divided society of winners and losers."

I'm not even sure where to begin in tearing this apart. First, he implies that some people aren't "savvy" enough to take advantage of school choice. Really? Your best attack against something is that some people won't be bright enough to use it? Is there anything government does that isn't subject to the same attack? Take the individual mandate to purchase health insurance (which was, coincidentally, also an idea from the Heritage foundation that this article is attacking).

I mean, some people won't be savvy enough to realize that they can get subsidies from the government to help cover the cost of their insurance, and will therefore go without insurance and be forced to pay a penalty. Isn't this the government discriminating against people who aren't savvy enough to figure out how the system works? Aren't we in effect creating a two tier system of health care in this country? One for people who let the government subsidize their health care costs, and one for those who don't?

What a ridiculous argument. It's also tinged with the notion that the underprivileged can't possibly be smart enough to figure out how to help themselves. And because some people aren't savvy enough to take advantage of a system that would make some people better off, we should all continue to suffer under the current broken system, lest we create some inequality.
 
2012-01-25 01:11:40 PM  
MusicMakeMyHeadPound

Reading comprehension is clearly not your thing. I went to college just not the "college of my choice."
Why because my C in English implied to colleges that I was not a good student and lacked an aptitude in English which was not the case. I only got a C because i was dealing with a creep. After i got into a crummy college i applied myself made the dean's list and was able to transfer to a good school. The worst year of my life at the crummy college was ONLY because of the pervert giving me a C. Just about every other guy in the class saw a drop in their grade in his class so what happened to me no doubt affected others.
 
2012-01-25 01:14:18 PM  

Lunaville: We need to decouple property taxes from schools so that poor children from poor neighborhoods are not condemned to attending poorly funded schools. We need to further federalize school funding so that ignorant buttheads at the state level can't slash school funding when the state budget gets tight. Then we need to make serious investments in our public schools.


yes, that is the ticket. it's the funding. surely has nothing to do with 23 year old mothers with five kids not teaching them how to act or read.
 
2012-01-25 01:15:37 PM  

BloodySaxon: Right now we have social promotion as the model for education, which is essentially shoving kids along like cattle regardless of ability and situation. The ability to segregate underperformers may actually be beneficial to both groups. The achievers get a little clear air and a chance to work, much like a quiet court room allows the law to be best served. The underachievers would gain more individual attention, allow for differently specialized teachers, among other possible benefits.


Sorry, but that's a terrible idea. I'm sure you got all enchanted with the Wire's education solution but in the real world you can't expect that kind of preferential care being given to low performing students. They are much more likely to simply be ignored until they drop out. That's why it isn't allowed. In fact school choice and AP/IB programs are largely attempts to get around those restrictions. They are great for students who make the cut. Everyone outside the educational green zone is pretty much screwed and the purpose of public education isn't to find the winners and abandon the losers.
 
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