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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5747

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Florian. I clearly need to be more attentive.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5096

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How perceptive, matty notices that I am angry at right wingers over the educational attitudes. Might it stem from Republican policy, or am I just an ignorant angry lefty? Matty may be sorry he asked. This year, class size in the school where I volunteer went up from 17 to 23 in the first grade. The reading recovery teacher retired and couldn’t be replaced because of uncertainty over the budget. Certainly some cuts in all State funded programs in California were inevitable, but education cuts were higher because the Republicans leveraged the 2/3 majority to trade tax cuts for big business. Those resulted in higher cuts for education, and are the stimulus behind Proposition 24 on the November ballot. Of course the businesses who got the tax breaks are fighting that with misleading ads.
http://www.sacbee.com/2010/09/29/3064059/gop-seeks-tax-breaks-in-california.html

Might the comments of some on this forum engendered anger? Lets see what folks have said. Well, here’s stevenbard:
Quote:
My grandparents were well educated and morally strong, having been educated in little red school houses in Kansas and Utah. (for pennies a day) Why do we need Billion dollar $chools? Governments always fail. ALWAYS.

Then there’s Isobar’s comment that we’ve spent more on education and welfare than the war (October 4)
Quote:
Besides. we've spent FAR more on welfare (and education ... each ... ) than we've spent on the Iraq/Afghanistan war in the same time frame. Look it up.


Iso's accuracy rate is about 50%, and this comment, cribbed from a conservative web site, falls into the well wide of the target category. Add in his comment that education doesn't depend on money and teachers unions are the worst problem in the country.

Then there's the Texas Board of education, taken over by a group of Bible thumpers who changed the curriculum to support their agenda. The agenda of some of the Christian right includes teaching creationism in school as "science", school vouchers. They have organizations like the Reason Foundation, and are closely allied with Focus on the Family. They would rewrite the constitution to make this country a theocracy, and attack public education at every opportunity.

Yes, these people, and you, piss me off. But they do illustrate the problems of not investing in education.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The three highest spenders per pupil in the contiguous US are New York, New Jersey and Washington DC. This "investment in education" has routinely produced substandard academic results. DC's academic standards are appalling and have been for years. Michelle Rhee (prominently featured in the "Waiting for Superman" documentary mentioned previously) came in and tried to clean house in the face of tremendous teachers union opposition. Despite widely acknowledged academic improvements and national accolades, she has just been fired by the new DC mayor, Gray, who received huge teacher union support for his campaign.

In large parts of this country more than enough money is being spent.........it is not being spent effectively.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am concerned that increasing costs incurred to fund teacher pension plans (some underfunded by up to 30%) will further reduce the available funds to providing education.

Let's say we begin taking students out of public school systems and allowing tax credits for private schools. The obligations to the retirees will not decrease. Less public school teachers, less into the plans.

Just one way that private school vouchers can aid in destroying public schools.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5096

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe--read any of the thoughtful reviews of Waiting for Columbus before you annoint Michelle Rhee a saint, castigate unions, or conclude that there is an easy solution. You can find one in the latest New Yorker, another in Nation, and many on the editorial pages. The movie misrepresents both Gates conclusion about unions and charter school success by focusing on anecdotes rather than rigorously looking at the facts.

You are right that money alone will not do it, and clearly there is not enough money to hire super-teachers. Oakland's experience shows that some systems have been pillaged for patronage--you can find similar anectodal evidence of failure and dysfunction. But like the story in the New Yorker about teachers awaiting termination, it represents a small fraction of the total picture. !/40th of 1% in that case. I have fired tenured civil servants--and been thanked by those who remained. Yes, it did take work and due process, but that was my job. The alternative to tenured teachers is school boards that fire them because they mention evolution, or they are gay. Don't tell me that has all changed; look at Texas and tell me with a straight face that many of the right wing school boards in this country wouldn't fire teachers for political reasons.

Teachers salaries are very low for the most part, and there is a vast existing infrastructure of schools and teachers, 3/4 of that public. In the school where I volunteer there are weaker and superior teachers, but none without commitment, and a principal determined to achieve a minimum quality of teaching and upgrading skill levels of all of the teachers. I've watched mentoring sessions by master teachers, been mentored by them one on one, and observed master teachers in the class room. I've also helped teach first graders that started the year not knowing the alphabet and went into second grade virtually at grade level in readying.

It is a little more complicated than blowing up the unions and starting charter schools for whiny middle class parents.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14003

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew up in good public schools ... in very rural Alabama in the 1950s. My wife taught in public schools through 1976. With no kids, I have virtually no personal experience with public secondary schools since then. I don't think I ever heard anyone say as much as "crap" -- surely not "shit" -- in classrooms or hallways through the 12th grade. My homework often took me until past midnight in the seventh grade, as it did 6 to 7 nights a week through seven years of college. My secondary school lunches were always meat, vegetables, fruit, milk, and a light dessert ... NEVER any junk food, for $1.10 a week (a buck a day today). But now that it makes national news that some "outrageous" school principal has instituted a ban on swearing in school, phys ed is history, and bikinis are damned near accepted school attire, there's no doubt that things have changed since the day my wife was backed up by the principal for punching out a high school student after he slapped her.

I've got to believe much of the degradation of our schools stems from political correctness, horrid parenting, excess government intervention, TEACHERS' UNIONS (Google "rubber rooms"), and the entitlement mindset. I wouldn't hire any of the arrogant Gimme generation from today's schools to flip my burgers if they didn't know how to behave, dress, and function in polite society, and I don't see how extra money will help any of those problems.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5096

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

segregated schools in Alabama. Why am I not surprised.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5747

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good catch mac. Growing up Alabama might be one of the big reasons why isobars hates Obama so much. I know from my father, who as a child often spent summers in central Alabama, that he never was fond of blacks throughout his life. Also, having done quite a lot of business in Alabama, it's a real different world when it comes to race and religion.
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2361
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine a closet in Richland full of white sheets. Shocked
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1394

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on, now, guys - that's way past the line.
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florian - ny22

http://www.windsurfing.kasail.com/
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