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(NBC News)   Principal of struggling Boston-area elementary school replaces security guards with art teachers - and student achievement improves. In other news, Boston SWAT teams are to be replaced by pottery instructors and mimes   (dailynightly.nbcnews.com) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, elementary schools, student achievement, Boston SWAT teams, test prep  
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3460 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 May 2013 at 11:35 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-02 01:50:13 PM
My cousin teaches there. From his perspective, this article is right-on.
 
2013-05-02 02:01:29 PM
Schools-to-arts beats schools-to-jails any time.

I've known more than a few people who never would have found anything to care about at school if it wasn't for the art or music department.  That's even in pretty good schools.
 
2013-05-02 02:04:38 PM

StrangeQ: College isn't right for everyone, and all jobs don't require a college degree to be successful.  If a student enjoys working on car engines, there ought to be an avenue to prepare them to pass an ASE certification when they graduate.


They have them.  They are called vocational schools and virtually every district in the northeast has access to one.

Phinn: It's surprising that you find it surprising.

Boston is the epicenter of the American Busybody Mentality.  It's the origin of sticking your nose in other people's business, and patting yourself on the back for being so involved.  It's where control freaks go to control other control freaks.  First it was the Puritans, and now its Democrats.  Little has changed, except they've gotten slightly less religious-y about it, and shifted their main focus of control-freak-ism from church to money.

As a result, they think every enterprise has to be run by people who believe they are more incredibly urbane and educated than everyone else.

Unfortunately, they're not nearly as bright as they think they are.

Government-run schools have no idea how many security guards to have, as opposed to art teachers, or anything else that costs money that could be spent on anything else.  Every economic decision they make is a guess.  Because they are government-run, and do not have voluntarily-paying customers, they receive no economic feedback whenever they make a decision.  They have no idea if they are actually meeting the preferences of their erstwhile customers, because they are not actually customers at all -- the children are forced to be there, and the adults are forced to pay.  They only way that a government-run enterprise knows when it's made a bad decision is when the political screeching gets louder than usual.  That's the only economic information they have to go by.

That's why these government-run enterprises go inexorably downhill toward ghetto status, and can only make a change when the levels of crappiness and cost become a full-blown political embarrassment.

See, also, the Big Dig.


You know how I know you've never been to a school board meeting?
 
2013-05-02 02:14:13 PM

Raoul Eaton: Schools-to-arts beats schools-to-jails any time.

I've known more than a few people who never would have found anything to care about at school if it wasn't for the art or music department.  That's even in pretty good schools.


But now they're still on food stamps and drugs, right? ;-)

/kids need arts
 
2013-05-02 02:27:52 PM

dustygrimp: They are called vocational schools and virtually every district in the northeast has access to one.


They do, I* just wish that there wasn't such a stigma attached to going to them. The world needs mechanics (more than it needs another lawyer, IMO).

*I realize the question was not directed toward me.
 
2013-05-02 02:33:49 PM

dustygrimp: StrangeQ: College isn't right for everyone, and all jobs don't require a college degree to be successful.  If a student enjoys working on car engines, there ought to be an avenue to prepare them to pass an ASE certification when they graduate.

They have them.  They are called vocational schools and virtually every district in the northeast has access to one.


I know they exist, I'm saying that every public high school everywhere should have one.

If you treat students like they're in a minimum security lockdown every day and make them feel like they're only at school because they're being forced to be there, it's going to do nothing but foster distrust and resentment.

If you give them the idea that they're actually learning useful skills and being at school is for their own benefit they just might be motivated a little more to be there.

The problem lies in getting that through the thick skulls of their American Idol watching, gun hugging, mouth breathing parents. Try telling them that the answer is less guns and more freedom for their kids and they'll lose their farking minds.
 
2013-05-02 02:34:03 PM

Gecko Gingrich: dustygrimp: They are called vocational schools and virtually every district in the northeast has access to one.

They do, I* just wish that there wasn't such a stigma attached to going to them. The world needs mechanics (more than it needs another lawyer, IMO).

*I realize the question was not directed toward me.


On that I agree 100%. On top of that, there is nothing stopping those kids from going on to college either.
 
2013-05-02 02:38:11 PM

give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have

are in wealthier neighborhoods and have more committed parents and more intelligent students, resulting in higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised don't let reality get in the way of your talking points..
 
2013-05-02 02:56:10 PM
keypusher - I was going to refute your claim that income = intelligence, as it seemed to be illogical, but when I went to the Googles to find proof, I found that there is a strong correlation between poverty and low IQ. Now I haz a sad.
 
2013-05-02 03:11:53 PM

Gecko Gingrich: keypusher - I was going to refute your claim that income = intelligence, as it seemed to be illogical, but when I went to the Googles to find proof, I found that there is a strong correlation between poverty and low IQ. Now I haz a sad.


Does a correlation at one end of the distribution imply a correlation at the other end?

Did your research reveal a correlation between individuals' incomes and their IQ, or a correlation between their parents' incomes and children's IQ?
 
2013-05-02 03:20:48 PM
 
2013-05-02 03:38:00 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Gecko Gingrich: keypusher - I was going to refute your claim that income = intelligence, as it seemed to be illogical, but when I went to the Googles to find proof, I found that there is a strong correlation between poverty and low IQ. Now I haz a sad.

Does a correlation at one end of the distribution imply a correlation at the other end?

Did your research reveal a correlation between individuals' incomes and their IQ, or a correlation between their parents' incomes and children's IQ?


But he would find a correlation between individual's incomes and their IQs if he looked.
 
2013-05-02 03:38:05 PM

StrangeQ: I know they exist, I'm saying that every public high school everywhere should have one.

If you treat students like they're in a minimum security lockdown every day and make them feel like they're only at school because they're being forced to be there, it's going to do nothing but foster distrust and resentment.

If you give them the idea that they're actually learning useful skills and being at school is for their own benefit they just might be motivated a little more to be there.

The problem lies in getting that through the thick skulls of their American Idol watching, gun hugging, mouth breathing parents. Try telling them that the answer is less guns and more freedom for their kids and they'll lose their farking minds.


Destigmatizing trade schools and convincing parents that their kids can still do better than they did with a vocational education is half the battle.  Bringing shop and home ec back to comprehensive high schools would be a good step, but I think the arts are more important for the college prep crowd.
 
2013-05-02 03:41:04 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Gecko Gingrich: keypusher - I was going to refute your claim that income = intelligence, as it seemed to be illogical, but when I went to the Googles to find proof, I found that there is a strong correlation between poverty and low IQ. Now I haz a sad.

Does a correlation at one end of the distribution imply a correlation at the other end?

Did your research reveal a correlation between individuals' incomes and their IQ, or a correlation between their parents' incomes and children's IQ?


I had a boss who taught me that you should never be overly worried about the answers you're going to receive, you should put all your thought into the questions you ask, because your questions determine the information you get in the answers.  This is an example of an excellent question that yields useful information.

FWIW, BU, my farkie for you is "Well spoken provacative troll (IP issues)".  I've forgotten why, but I'm updating it.  You're not a troll.  You're a smart asshole, and god bless you for it.
 
2013-05-02 03:42:06 PM

Gecko Gingrich: The latter


"Duncan and his colleagues also examined the links between economic deprivation and children's development, using data from the Infant Health and Development Program, a separate sample of nearly 900 low-birthweight children followed from birth to age 5 "

The study you are citing has biased data, as it does not even bother to look at how much of the child's IQ was related to other factors, like oh say, the fact that the children in this study were all low-birthweight, which is a known catalyst and risk factor for mental development problems. In that respect, it makes sense that a higher-income family would have access to more resources to offset this natural disadvantage, but it in no way demonstrates that a person's IQ is directly related to their parents' income.

If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...
 
2013-05-02 03:43:21 PM
*to be able to

Sorry about that missed flub..
 
2013-05-02 03:45:24 PM

dustygrimp: StrangeQ: I know they exist, I'm saying that every public high school everywhere should have one.

If you treat students like they're in a minimum security lockdown every day and make them feel like they're only at school because they're being forced to be there, it's going to do nothing but foster distrust and resentment.

If you give them the idea that they're actually learning useful skills and being at school is for their own benefit they just might be motivated a little more to be there.

The problem lies in getting that through the thick skulls of their American Idol watching, gun hugging, mouth breathing parents. Try telling them that the answer is less guns and more freedom for their kids and they'll lose their farking minds.

Destigmatizing trade schools and convincing parents that their kids can still do better than they did with a vocational education is half the battle.  Bringing shop and home ec back to comprehensive high schools would be a good step, but I think the arts are more important for the college prep crowd.


I think arts is great as well.  If nothing else, it can help foster an appreciation for things deeper than our current "reality" culture.  Show the kids there is something more to the world than vapid entertainment and blind obedience to authority.
 
2013-05-02 03:52:47 PM

Clemkadidlefark: I like to paint when I'm through with the day's chores around the ranch.

Like my damn house. And the bigger barn. And the stables. And ... damn painting is never done. Though I guess I wouldn't call it art.

What was the question?


I think we found George Dub's Fark handle.
 
2013-05-02 04:08:34 PM

Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...


Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-05-02 04:09:20 PM
In case people not from around here are confused:

The "Boston-area" school is in fact a Boston school. Roxbury is one of the bad parts of Boston. The town was annexed by Boston in the 19th century.

Roxbury = poor people
Mattapan = Murderpan
South End = used to be run down until gays redecorated it
Dorchester = black criminals
South Boston = white criminals
East Boston = airport
Back Bay = grids and yuppie stores
Allston = college students
Brighton = college students
 
2013-05-02 05:03:16 PM

Gecko Gingrich: Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...

Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.


While true, it really irks me that people immediately point to studies like this and say, 'See! This study proves that poor kids are dumb,  therefore we should stop wasting money on schools in poor neighborhoods!" Or people use these studies to "prove" that minorities are dumb, because minorities are more likely to be poor.

It saddens me that studies are then used to justify cutting off public funding to the inner-city schools where districts are already struggling to keep competent teaching staff, and have little to no resources for elective courses and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the high school in the nearby suburbs gets a public grant for a new football field, costing more than the annual operating budget of the inner-city school.

We have all this extra money laying around for new sports fields in affluent neighborhoods, but we have no money for improving grades in urban schools, and they use the excuse "poor people are dumber, so why waste more money on them"
 
2013-05-02 05:14:27 PM

Loreweaver: Gecko Gingrich: Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...

Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.

While true, it really irks me that people immediately point to studies like this and say, 'See! This study proves that poor kids are dumb,  therefore we should stop wasting money on schools in poor neighborhoods!" Or people use these studies to "prove" that minorities are dumb, because minorities are more likely to be poor.

It saddens me that studies are then used to justify cutting off public funding to the inner-city schools where districts are already struggling to keep competent teaching staff, and have little to no resources for elective courses and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the high school in the nearby suburbs gets a public grant for a new football field, costing more than the annual operating budget of the inner-city school.

We have all this extra money laying around for new sports fields in affluent neighborhoods, but we have no money for improving grades in urban schools, and they use the excuse "poor people are dumber, so why waste more money on them"


What utter horseshiat.  Go find one example of public funding to inner-city schools being cut because "the students are dumb."
 
2013-05-02 05:55:22 PM

Loreweaver: Gecko Gingrich: Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...

Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.

While true, it really irks me that people immediately point to studies like this and say, 'See! This study proves that poor kids are dumb,  therefore we should stop wasting money on schools in poor neighborhoods!" Or people use these studies to "prove" that minorities are dumb, because minorities are more likely to be poor.

It saddens me that studies are then used to justify cutting off public funding to the inner-city schools where districts are already struggling to keep competent teaching staff, and have little to no resources for elective courses and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the high school in the nearby suburbs gets a public grant for a new football field, costing more than the annual operating budget of the inner-city school.

We have all this extra money laying around for new sports fields in affluent neighborhoods, but we have no money for improving grades in urban schools, and they use the excuse "poor people are dumber, so why waste more money on them"


So, you're not denying that the data is correct, just don't like how it may be used? Don't kill the messenger, man.
 
2013-05-02 06:23:42 PM

keypusher: Loreweaver: Gecko Gingrich: Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...

Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.

While true, it really irks me that people immediately point to studies like this and say, 'See! This study proves that poor kids are dumb,  therefore we should stop wasting money on schools in poor neighborhoods!" Or people use these studies to "prove" that minorities are dumb, because minorities are more likely to be poor.

It saddens me that studies are then used to justify cutting off public funding to the inner-city schools where districts are already struggling to keep competent teaching staff, and have little to no resources for elective courses and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the high school in the nearby suburbs gets a public grant for a new football field, costing more than the annual operating budget of the inner-city school.

We have all this extra money laying around for new sports fields in affluent neighborhoods, but we have no money for improving grades in urban schools, and they use the excuse "poor people are dumber, so why waste more money on them"

What utter horseshiat.  Go find one example of public funding to inner-city schools being cut because "the students are dumb."


Easy ... Federal funding is currently related to test scores. The "smarter" your students are (AKA the better they do on the standardized tests) , the more money your school gets. The studies above just give them a way to justify this new system.

Where do you think the reasoning came from for this funding system? They dole out more funding to the schools with the highest test scores, which just happen to be affluent schools who don't need the extra funding to help their students perform.

Since funding is suppose to based on need, what "need" do the schools with the highest scores (and richest parents) have? The only way you can justify it is by claiming the schools with the "smarter" kids will put the money to better use. So, you create a few studies that show that kids in poor schools are dumb, tie it to the fact that they are poor, then you can make the claim that poor schools will waste the funding because their kids are not smart to benefit from improved funding.
 
2013-05-02 06:30:45 PM

Nana's Vibrator: Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.


There is actually a significant amount to be cut from school budgets in terms of materials for mathematics and reading and procedural nonsense for this. If you simply cut the Florida standardized test, the FCAT, teachers would have about one further week of instruction to provide as well as five or greater planning sessions devoted to procedural information and preparation, and administrators and some instructors would have an additional two or three training sessions devoted to other subjects, plus the funds to develop, print, collect, process and analyze are now freed, as are the funds from all of the related materials. Let us not forget the reduced stress on all involved, including the children, and having no sharp point whereafter students feel school has finished despite having a month remaining. You would also have programs such as mine active, paying me and numerous other program instructors to do what we do rather than administer tests for two weeks. The technology also becomes available, as do the activities, and students are no longer off due to the sudden schedule shifts which often occur. This says nothing to the incalculable amount of time spent teaching in a manner to best represent the assessment nor materials chosen to align with them which are not drawn specifically from, nor the school culture which focuses on this.

Let us see, this is another week of instruction minimum, two weeks of program instructors, two weeks of available administration, five more planning periods per teacher, two or three more training sessions for about five staff of each school, material costs, research costs, etc., and all manner of school atmosphere and pressure, all from elimination of this manner of test which is rather ubiquitous. This is efficient use of money because if we simply took the week of instruction and two weeks of program instructors and production cost, we would be able to increase the scores we want but for less, guaranteed.

I do not mean to oversimplify this or suggest you are in favor of such, merely pointing out folks are enthralled to some notion of what school is with parallel rows of desks and textbooks and pencil and paper and fill-in-the-blank, thus we take for granted all of this has to be there to be a school. The reality is what makes schools great are all of those additional, specific programs such as the arts and music and various clubs and projects and such.
 
2013-05-02 07:07:32 PM

Heraclitus: So when you treat kids like prisoners they act like prisoners?

When you treat them like students they act like students?

What will they think of next?


My husband works in the south bronx and his school only has kids who have committed a violent offense. it has a bit under 200 kids in 7 grades and one security person at any time. While there are a bunch of things different than other schools like smaller classes. and mental health intervention they are treated like kids, not criminals. Teaching the the 3 Rs, as well as art and gym and its all put together in a way to help them learn to control themselves. And they have a higher non revisionism rate than almost any other program. They loose about a teacher a year because they cant take it but most of the teachers have been there 8+ years (he has 16) so basically you are right.

Oh and he was a mime but not anymore (frowny face tear)
 
2013-05-02 10:38:18 PM

ZAZ: In case people not from around here are confused:

The "Boston-area" school is in fact a Boston school. Roxbury is one of the bad parts of Boston. The town was annexed by Boston in the 19th century.

Roxbury = poor people
Mattapan = Murderpan
South End = used to be run down until gays redecorated it
Dorchester = black criminals
South Boston = white criminals
East Boston = airport
Back Bay = grids and yuppie stores
Allston = college students
Brighton = college students


You forgot Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, and Charlestown (Dominicans, Dominicans, trees and families, bank robbers, respectively).
 
2013-05-02 10:40:38 PM
And I forgot Hyde Park (all of the above + Menino).
 
2013-05-03 02:34:32 AM

TelemonianAjax: BarkingUnicorn: Gecko Gingrich: keypusher - I was going to refute your claim that income = intelligence, as it seemed to be illogical, but when I went to the Googles to find proof, I found that there is a strong correlation between poverty and low IQ. Now I haz a sad.

Does a correlation at one end of the distribution imply a correlation at the other end?

Did your research reveal a correlation between individuals' incomes and their IQ, or a correlation between their parents' incomes and children's IQ?

I had a boss who taught me that you should never be overly worried about the answers you're going to receive, you should put all your thought into the questions you ask, because your questions determine the information you get in the answers.  This is an example of an excellent question that yields useful information.

FWIW, BU, my farkie for you is "Well spoken provacative troll (IP issues)".  I've forgotten why, but I'm updating it.  You're not a troll.  You're a smart asshole, and god bless you for it.


I am honored.  WTF are "IP issues" in this context?
 
2013-05-03 09:05:55 AM

Loreweaver: keypusher: Loreweaver: Gecko Gingrich: Loreweaver: If family income really were a true measure of IQ, I would have never been smart enough able to graduate high school, let alone go on to earn an engineering degree...

Maybe you should look up "correlation". Also, how statistics work.

While true, it really irks me that people immediately point to studies like this and say, 'See! This study proves that poor kids are dumb,  therefore we should stop wasting money on schools in poor neighborhoods!" Or people use these studies to "prove" that minorities are dumb, because minorities are more likely to be poor.

It saddens me that studies are then used to justify cutting off public funding to the inner-city schools where districts are already struggling to keep competent teaching staff, and have little to no resources for elective courses and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, the high school in the nearby suburbs gets a public grant for a new football field, costing more than the annual operating budget of the inner-city school.

We have all this extra money laying around for new sports fields in affluent neighborhoods, but we have no money for improving grades in urban schools, and they use the excuse "poor people are dumber, so why waste more money on them"

What utter horseshiat.  Go find one example of public funding to inner-city schools being cut because "the students are dumb."

Easy ... Federal funding is currently related to test scores. The "smarter" your students are (AKA the better they do on the standardized tests) , the more money your school gets. The studies above just give them a way to justify this new system.

Where do you think the reasoning came from for this funding system? They dole out more funding to the schools with the highest test scores, which just happen to be affluent schools who don't need the extra funding to help their students perform.

Since funding is suppose to based on need, what "need" do the schools with the highest scores (a ...


CITATION PLEASE
 
2013-05-03 10:04:35 AM
Art, music and dance are basic necessities of life. When sad, happy, depressed, in love, in mourning - all are ways of expressing our emotions. Replacing ridiculous un-needed security allows the students to express their emotions and humanity in ways that are natural. The principal did the right thing by re-introducing the arts and by showing confidence in that the students are not going to carry knives and guns in their backpacks to school. Put up a sign that says "This is a safe zone - no weapons allowed. Have a nice day!" would work also.
 
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