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Author Topic: Success?
philnotfil
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It is hard to claim it is the system is the problem when the very same system produces outstanding results in other places. It is more a result of the raw materials being sent to those particular schools. Look at the families of the students in those schools. Or the lack of families for those students.
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TomDavidson
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It is certainly true that the single best predictor of student success is the wealth of that student's family, regardless of school selection.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:

If we want to educate kids, we gotta scrap it and turn to something else.

Is it your belief then that all education should be essentially privatized? So we'd have an education marketplace, with poorer people sending their kids to something like a big box "Walmart"-school with affordable prices? And I suppose the *really* poor would home-school, out of necessity.

I fail to see how this produces a better result. I'm assuming you think economic competition will drive quality up, right? I suspect the outcome would sort of look like Time Warner vs. AT&T in some neighborhoods - two choices, with "meh" quality but a captive market.

No, I don't necessarily think it should be privatized. However, if it was, could it produce a worse result? The current system is generate a failure rate in excess of 90%. No matter what we did, it won't be much worse.

If I had the power, I'd get rid of the Dept of Education and send all the money it controls to states. I'd end the Teachers unions. From there, let the states decide what they want to do, maybe even let it be decided at the district level. Some may privatize, some may experiment with other options, maybe even restore the union if they want. Some may not be better but it's highly unlikely they'll be worse so we have little to lose.

I'd create the environment where we get the chance to restore education

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
It is hard to claim it is the system is the problem when the very same system produces outstanding results in other places. It is more a result of the raw materials being sent to those particular schools. Look at the families of the students in those schools. Or the lack of families for those students.

Sure, some places are doing well. There are pockets of education actually occurring. But we can see from national scores and averages, these are exceptions to the rule.

There are indeed cultural factors driving some academic results. But are they driving over 90% of it? No. I don't believe it's even close.

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TomDavidson
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Why?
Given that the percentage of wealth held by all but the top 10% of the country has shrunk by nearly 50% over the last decade, it doesn't seem unusual to assume that these "cultural factors" are driving a significant chunk of all academic results.

(We should also note that "a failure rate of 90%" is not in fact what the data shows.)

--------

For my part, I am distinctly curious what you think schools would be doing differently in the absence of teachers' unions.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:

If we want to educate kids, we gotta scrap it and turn to something else.

Is it your belief then that all education should be essentially privatized? So we'd have an education marketplace, with poorer people sending their kids to something like a big box "Walmart"-school with affordable prices? And I suppose the *really* poor would home-school, out of necessity.


The really poor can't home school because there likely isn't a parent who has the leisure to do that. Having a place to send your kids while you go to work is one of the functions of school.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
It is hard to claim it is the system is the problem when the very same system produces outstanding results in other places. It is more a result of the raw materials being sent to those particular schools. Look at the families of the students in those schools. Or the lack of families for those students.

Sure, some places are doing well. There are pockets of education actually occurring. But we can see from national scores and averages, these are exceptions to the rule.

There are indeed cultural factors driving some academic results. But are they driving over 90% of it? No. I don't believe it's even close.

School resources are mostly driven by local property taxes so of course some places are going to be doing better. As the wealth gap increases, the education gap increases as well. Which will contribute to the wealth gap increasing.
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AI Wessex
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There is a very active home schooling network in my city (Ann Arbor, MI). All of the parents who participate through the two centers that I know of pay fees to the HS associations on top of the property taxes that they already pay. So it's not like a public school is costing you money and home schooling is cheaper.

If I follow Rafi/G#'s argument to the logical conclusion, then states will decide whether and how much to spend per pupil without bearing the cost of any unwanted infrastructure. In Michigan the state legislature won't even pay to fix the roads, so I wouldn't expect much from them on this score either.

Without that infrastructure you will lose a lot of things, most of which would be unintended losses. For instance, parents with money would pay to send their sons to sports, music, science, arts or pre-med schools. Those without the money would largely be left out of those activities and later out of jobs where they would not have had the preparatory skills training in earlier years.

So, besides captains of industry or professors in colleges (which would also wither for lack of qualified students), only relatively wealthy families will produce doctors, lawyers, commercial artists, engineers, and even brutish Adonis's for professional sports.

But that's not the end of it. Without people to fill those jobs they will be either filled by the fore-mentioned immmigrants, either legal or illegal, or more likely those kinds of jobs themselves will disappear. As they do go away, so does the economic base for our way of life. You may wish that to happen, Rafi/G#, but did you stop to consider it?

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AI Wessex
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Eh, too late to edit the previous post:
quote:
For instance, parents with money would have to pay to send their sons to sports, music, science, arts camps/schools or pre-med schools.
quote:
You may not wish that to happen, Rafi/G#, but did you stop to consider it?

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Rafi
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quote:
For my part, I am distinctly curious what you think schools would be doing differently in the absence of teachers' unions.
I don't believe teachers are so incapable that they cannot function without a union. If that's the case, then perhaps that's a major part of the current failure.

However, as I said, if they decided they really had to have it let them do it.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
It is hard to claim it is the system is the problem when the very same system produces outstanding results in other places. It is more a result of the raw materials being sent to those particular schools. Look at the families of the students in those schools. Or the lack of families for those students.

Sure, some places are doing well. There are pockets of education actually occurring. But we can see from national scores and averages, these are exceptions to the rule.

There are indeed cultural factors driving some academic results. But are they driving over 90% of it? No. I don't believe it's even close.

School resources are mostly driven by local property taxes so of course some places are going to be doing better. As the wealth gap increases, the education gap increases as well. Which will contribute to the wealth gap increasing.
This is a really tired excuse for continuing failure. He "more money" argument had not held for quite some time. The average cost per student in Detroit is significantly higher than private schools yet those private schools seem to produce better results. Pouring ever increasing amounts of money into this is a justification to continue the failure.
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D.W.
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You are right that per pupil funding is a poor measure. It actually costs more to educate children from different areas.
The buildings may cost more to construct or maintain.
Heating or cooling them may cost more.
Cost of living changes by location such that wages for teachers and other staff may cost more.
I expect costs to stock cafeterias vary by location.
Transportation of students certainly vary in cost.
Number of students in a particular grade may land such that you overcrowd some hurting student performance or, economically worse, have too few students yet still pay that teacher the same as if they had a full class.

Setting a fixed amount of per student funding is defiantly not the answer. Assigning blame because some other area did a better job with less is just as flawed however.

I don't follow Detroit's school system enough to know what if any of those apply so the above shouldn't be read as a defense but rather a caution not to over simplify.

I will say that of all the places the government could "waste" cash, it hurts my feelings the least to see that place be education.

[ November 02, 2015, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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TomDavidson
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The purpose of a union is not to make otherwise incapable teachers able to function, G#. What specific things do you think schools would like to do that unions make impossible?

The reason I ask is that schools are not clamoring to be rid of unionized teachers. Rather, Republican legislators are, on the grounds that unions make it harder to screw up school funding on a whim.

[ November 02, 2015, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
It is hard to claim it is the system is the problem when the very same system produces outstanding results in other places. It is more a result of the raw materials being sent to those particular schools. Look at the families of the students in those schools. Or the lack of families for those students.

Sure, some places are doing well. There are pockets of education actually occurring. But we can see from national scores and averages, these are exceptions to the rule.

There are indeed cultural factors driving some academic results. But are they driving over 90% of it? No. I don't believe it's even close.

School resources are mostly driven by local property taxes so of course some places are going to be doing better. As the wealth gap increases, the education gap increases as well. Which will contribute to the wealth gap increasing.
This is a really tired excuse for continuing failure. He "more money" argument had not held for quite some time. The average cost per student in Detroit is significantly higher than private schools yet those private schools seem to produce better results. Pouring ever increasing amounts of money into this is a justification to continue the failure.
Again, what is your alternative to "continue the failure"?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
[QB] The purpose of a union is not to make otherwise incapable teachers able to function, G#.

Out of the teachers I know they do say that there is a certain constituency of incompetent people who cannot be replaced because of seniority. That is one concern, which can be weighed against the concern of schools themselves trying to cut costs by going for the lowest common denominator in pay-grade.
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AI Wessex
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How much of a factor is that? In my kids schooling, we ran across one or two bad teachers, but most were good or excellent. The other kids were more often the problem, actually.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
[QB] The purpose of a union is not to make otherwise incapable teachers able to function, G#.

Out of the teachers I know they do say that there is a certain constituency of incompetent people who cannot be replaced because of seniority. That is one concern, which can be weighed against the concern of schools themselves trying to cut costs by going for the lowest common denominator in pay-grade.
Yes, unions stand for the status quo, they protect the system. Keeping unions is not a step to reform. I am sure the left would oppose dissolving the unions (see above). This is a powerful liberal influence and provides a ready made supply of young voters - the vast majority of which cannot read or think critically. Let's not belabor the point as to why they would want that, the answer is obvious.

But, if a state or district subsequently decided to unionize, that fine with me. I just support the idea of giving the education system a chance to become system that educates again.

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scifibum
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It's clear that massive changes are needed in Detroit, but you keep using that fact as evidence that massive changes are needed everywhere.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Let's not belabor the point as to why they would want that, the answer is obvious.
Your post was an entirely political statement, almost completely fact free.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Yes, unions stand for the status quo, they protect the system.
This is a fascinating untruth. Why do you believe this?
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
It's clear that massive changes are needed in Detroit, but you keep using that fact as evidence that massive changes are needed everywhere.

Do you think Detroit is an aberration? An outlier while the rest of the school districts in America are producing? National results tell us this is not so. Detroit isnt even in the bottom 25. Consider that for a second. A school system that had a failure rate like Detroit is not the worst we have.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Yes, unions stand for the status quo, they protect the system.
This is a fascinating untruth. Why do you believe this?
Well, because it's true. But the truly fascinating part is your reaction. Look, we all know the teaches Union is not going anywhere. It's protected by the political class. No matter what this Union does or stands for, it will always be there as long as it continues to support the stairs quo. It's too powerful, too connected. But any criticism of it, any threat no matter how small ( and my scribblings on a internet backwater forum gets no smaller) is met with your personal attacks and trolling. No criticism is allowed, nobody can point out the failure or suggest anything other than the education system will fall apart without the union to support it.

You're gonna get what you want, your children and grandchildren will get what you want. I sent mine to private school, so I'm all good. [Wink]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Look, we all know the teaches Union is not going anywhere.
I live in Wisconsin. Pull the other one; it has bells on.
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TomDavidson
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As a side note, G#: leaving aside the methodology used to assess the 25 worst schools in the country (which, since it's based on NCLB testing, isn't something I'd normally endorse), do you notice something interesting about them?

[ November 02, 2015, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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jasonr
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quote:
There are indeed cultural factors driving some academic results.
I'd suggest to you that cultural factors are the primary driver of academic results, by far.

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty to say about teachers unions and the havoc they have caused where I live - but I really doubt the union is responsible for the large part of academic success or failure. That's like blaming police incompetence for high crime rates.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
It's clear that massive changes are needed in Detroit, but you keep using that fact as evidence that massive changes are needed everywhere.

Do you think Detroit is an aberration? An outlier while the rest of the school districts in America are producing? National results tell us this is not so. Detroit isnt even in the bottom 25. Consider that for a second. A school system that had a failure rate like Detroit is not the worst we have.
You are comparing a school district to individual schools. If you took the best school district in the country, you could find individual schools that outperformed that district.

The schools in that story fall into two categories, they are either charter schools or schools for the poor.

American schools are outperforming their inputs. In other developed countries, the poverty of the community the school is located in and the poverty of the families whose children are not powerful predictors of student success in those schools. Sadly, in the US, poverty is one of the most powerful predictors of student success.

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philnotfil
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Left out some thoughts in that last paragraph.


American schools are outperforming their inputs. At every level and by every demographic grouping our students are doing great. The problem is that we have so much poverty, especially children in poverty. To make it worse, in other developed countries, the poverty of the community the school is located in and the poverty of the families whose children are not powerful predictors of student success in those schools. Sadly, in the US, poverty is one of the most powerful predictors of student success.

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