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Education system -- good or bad?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by BlueTalon, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Rookie

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    I don't know enough about British schools to be able to comepare them with American schools, but I think our education system is abysmal, for a number of reason.

    New topic, new thread. Let the flames begin!
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Parents and kids, that's what matters. They don't need new books or new buildings, the kids need to want to learn and the parents need to encourage it.

    Having a kid in 2nd Grade and Kindegarten, I can tell you, IMO, what No Child Left Behind will do . . . it will make the gap bigger. They're pushing the kids a lot faster than ever, I can't believe the books my 2nd grader has to read and be tested on. For kids with good parents, they will be more advanced than ever. Kids with parents who don't care will be in the same place but that place will be further behind the other kids who are in a better place.

    Parents and kids, that's what matters.
  3. PatsWickedPissah

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    There is a systematic anti-educational values culture problem in poorer inner city communities of color. Any black parent(s) dedicated to helping their kids face a culture where academic success is viewed as playing the white man's game. So the typical handicap of starting with an over stressed single parent household is exacerbated. I don't know how to solve this. Money has proven NOT to be the answer. Bill Cosby has made an attempt to change these cultural values and he's been villified for it.

    Alternatively, cultures that stress 'family values' of learning and education produce a disproportunate # of academic successes. Jewish immigrants and Asian immigrants are 2 specific examples of a family value on education producing great results even with impoverished beginnings.
  4. Harry Boy

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    Politically correct air heads still believe that a Black kid can't learn how to spell cat unless he is sitting beside a white kid (what an insult to black children)

    Cosby tried to tell them, he was crucified for it. He wanted the black parents to give support and help to the children, the "Left Wing And Racists Among Them" want the Government to somehow wave a wand and educate their children. Cosby also wanted them to stop killing each other on the streets, he was Crucified for that one to.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  5. Chevy

    Chevy Rookie

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    From a school-system perspective:

    Be concerned with EDUCATION, not lawsuits. Give the power in the classroom back to the teachers where it belongs. If you have a class of 30, and student 17 is cutting up, kick their butt out of the class and let the other 29 have a chance to learn. As it stands now, most schools wouldn't allow it.

    School boards and districts need to prioritize better:

    1-Students
    2-Parents
    3-Teachers
    4-Materials
    5-Support Staff

    Unfortunately, the Board and Superintendants think themsleves the priority.

    And there's so much more after this.
  6. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    The public school I attended, Boston Latin '87 sceamed very loudly that not enough money was being spent on schools imo. The zillion yr old hardwood floors were buckling up so badly that doors had to be kept either open or closed because you had to take the door off its hinges to change from one position to the other. There were no doors on any of the stalls in the bathrooms and little TP. The heating system was pathetic and I don't want to conjure up the memories of the cafeteria because I just ate. So I won't speak of that now. This school was and still is the very best public education has to offer teenagers in the city and building-wise it was horrible.

    I can't imagine what it must have been like for regular students attending regular schools because this was the only public school my parents would allow me to attend.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  7. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    Here comes some REAL fodder!

    It is high freakin time we abandon the outdated and inadequate public school system completely! Time to privatize the schools and kick the politicians, social engineers, and most importantly, the no good teacher's union out of our kids' lives!

    MCAS is a Joke! It punishes the kids and allows the fat lazy tenured p.o.s. to continue to subperform.

    Time to create a voucher system, allowing the parents the ability to choose schools that perform.

    I cant wait to hear the wailing and knashing of teeth from the social engineers on this one....And the first rediculous line will be... "the poor, poor, ghetto children will get subpar education, because the voucher will not cover the costs of a school like Phillips or the Groton School." Wow! I didn't know they got that kind of education now....

    NOW the real flaming shall begin!
  8. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's hard to evaluate the school system in general since different districts have different standards.

    Shirtsleeve I presume went to a lousy school or moved to a cheap suburb and sent his kids to a lousy school; otherwise, what would his reasons be based on?

    My view is that compared with the rest of the world, our nation is by many measures is the greatest, and that's in no small part due to our educational system. Despite it's flaws, it has turned out the world-class workforce and thinkers. That doesn't mean it can't use a lot of improvement, but those improvements won't come from voucher systems that cut funding for public education.

    One thing I will say, however, is that the tenure system needs to change because there is a small percentage of teachers who really are no good and are protected wrongly by the system.
  9. PatsWickedPissah

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    Tenure modification and vouchers so that inner city kids who want to escape disfunctional schools can, just like all the rich pols who send their kids to private schools.

    Earlier the point was made that local school admins are scared to death of litigation. They are. I know teachers who cannot take any measures to discipline kids because the vice principle is terrified to take any action.
  10. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    On this we agree.

    Sorry to dissapoint, but I was the beneficiary of a fine education at a public school. My children did and do go to fine suburban public schools. But herein lies the problem. There are many schools, mostly urban, that repeatedly subperform. Dispite my attempt to draw out the social engineers, I believe that this inequality needs to stop. The most efficient way to accomplish this is through a voucher system. These new urban private schools will be performance based by default. Parents will have choices when selecting the school to send their children to. Any school that cannot routinely produce a quality academic product will not attract students or their voucher money. These schools will fail as a business.
    Will this system provide for an equal education for all? Hell no. But neither does the system we have now.
    At least kids from poorer communities could be assured of a quality education, if not one replete with all of the benefits richer communities could afford.
  11. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As I understand the voucher system, it will completely stratify our educational system. The more money you have, the better the education your kids will get. If I'm poor, I'll send my kids to underfunded (because of tax money going to vouchers) public schools. If I'm lower middle class, I might be able to afford something a little better. And so on. Thus, the kids who need education most because they weren't raised in homes that emphasized education will be hurt most.

    By the way, an in-law's sister was a substitute teacher in North Carolina a few years ago. She was paid $7/hour and had help clean the cafeteria after lunch. That's how lousy education is for poor kids in North Carolina now; just think how much worse it would be if that school system got even less money.
  12. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    No, you miss the point. The public school system should be eliminated. Period. All kids of school age recieve the same voucher from the state and or federal govt. The poor kids get the same base voucher as the rich and middle-class kids. Sure, the rich kids will have the benefit of extra funding provided by their parents. But underperforming public schools in the cities will be a thing of the past.
  13. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Rookie

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    I don't think you would, unless you just didn't care much about your kids.

    Voucher initiatives vary. The one I was most familiar with was one that got shot down in California about 20 years ago. At the time, the state was spending $5200 per student. The proposal was to allow vouchers of $2600 to parents, which would actually save the state some money. Of course, the teachers union spent $20 million in retirement fund money to defeat the initiative, and it didn't pass.

    Patters, the way the system exists NOW, "the more money you have, the better the education your kids will get." People with more money will always have more options! Vouchers are a way to level the playing field. In the California example, there were private schools that charged less than the amount of the voucher. That meant that poorer parents would have had a choice about where they could send their children to school. Apparently the same situation happened in Cincinatti, because I remember hearing a poorer black mother talking about how vouchers enabled her to send her kids to a decent school, and how killing the voucher program would be a virtual death sentence to her children's chances for a good education.

    And for whatever reason, it seems like those on the left (those that lecture us on the right about compassion and whatnot) are the ones so adamant about keeping poor people trapped in the education system they're in, regardless about how those poor people feel about it. We on the right are all about empowering them and giving them a choice in the education of their children. Doesn't that strike you as a bit odd?
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BlueTalon, I start from the premise that our educational system helped make us the nation we are today -- the sole superpower, the richest economy, the most inventive people, one of the freest societies, and so on. I know there are bad teachers and bad school districts, but that's true in private schools, too, which are often subject to less regulation than public schools. I think the system works quite well, but can be improved. I think private schools open a pandora's box of problems, including corruption, proselytizing, discrimination, and so on. I'm not saying all private schools are bad, but I assume the percent of bad private schools is similar to the percent of bad public schools. The problems with education first need to be defined. What specific things do you dislike about public education and can they be corrected under the system that brought America to world supremacy?
  15. Harry Boy

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    Get your kids out of the "Big City Schools" that is where all the "Social Sh!t" is taught. Go to the Rural area's they teach the kids how to Read & Write. (no condom classes either).
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  16. JackPMiller

    JackPMiller Rookie

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    I know here in my city, the public schools here are using books from the ealy 70's, and 75% of the class are unable to get books to all those students, because there is not enough books to go around. I know, because I know some teachers, and they told me that. So, I guess it is hard to learn, when there really are no books to learn from.
  17. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Rookie

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    Patters, the public school system contributed mightily towards making us a superpower... right up until about the '60's. Then things got messy, and the public school system has been devolving ever since. We used to have some of the smartest students in the world, now our students test out around the bottom of industrialized countries in science and math. Students at private schools and homeschool students consistantly test better than their public school peers. That tells me that there's something structually wrong with the way education is happening at public schools.

    Part of that structure is the teachers union. One teachers union official (I believe this was sometime around when the voucher initiative was being debated in California) said, and I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember the exact quote, "We'll care about students' interests when they start paying union dues." Teachers unions stand in the way of every kind of education reform, and they'd rather see a poor-to-mediocre dues-paying teacher keep his/her job than see that teacher be replaced by a good teacher. Is there something wrong with this picture? I think parents who care about their children might have something to say about that. As a student, I remember being able to tell the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher.

    For me over here on the right, this issue is about a number of things, but mostly it's about quality education and parental choice. Competition can only improve the situation.
  18. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First, what evidence do you have the private school and homeschool kids consistently do better on tests? Second, when you say one group does better than another, are you comparing students with similar demographics and backgrounds?

    Teachers unions have little to do with the quality of education. They are focused mostly on teacher's compensation and benefits. Teachers themselves are the ones who teach and who prepare curriculums under the guidance of the nonunion administration. On the issue of tenure, I agree the system has to be modified, but at the same time let's recognize there are an awful lot of good, sincere public school teachers. I believe there are a number of public schools that are experimental, so unions are not necessarily in the way of progress in that area. But, it's true, unions do want to get the best deal for their members.
  19. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Rookie

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    Do you have any idea what your teachers' and administrators' salaries are? That might be part of the problem.

    I can't imagine that nobody in that school district has enough initiative to contact other school districts and see if they have any newer books. Some districts replace their books all the time, so lack of books really isn't the problem there -- it's lack of gumption to overcome that obstacle, assuming your information about the books is reliable to begin with. If I was a teacher facing that situation, I'd be calling schools, libraries, legislators, and within a couple weeks I would have enough books for my class.

    But even if that were the real issue, it still wouldn't stop education from happening. Part of what colors my perspective is that I spent 1995 in Russia, and I spent a lot of time in the schools there. One particular class that stands out in my mind was a 3rd grade English class. The building they were in was so old that the stone steps in the stairways were worn down in the middle. They had ancient books (from the 60s or 70s) that were falling apart. The blackboard was old and faded, the biggest piece of chalk was less than an inch long, no eraser (just a rag)... and one motivated, skillful teacher with a group of motivated students. In spite of the obstacles, education took place there, and better than what happens in most places in this country.
  20. PatsWickedPissah

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    Interesting. In Boston the city spends far MORE per student than in the 'wealthy ' suburbs. Ask yourself why. And then ask about teachers' union contracts, administrators' salaries and mandated expenditures by the state. Bet they're not for reading, writing and arithmetic. Just my guess.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006

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