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Lady's Man
08-31-2008, 10:19 PM
Obviously the answer is yes. To me, this issue is probably the most important because i think a good education is key for the success of the country. In my opinion, i think the system needs a total makeover. For instance, instead of teaching kids Algebra that wont ever use it, why not allow these kids to learn a certain field of work, such as plumbing?

To me, throwing more money into the system wont fix anything.... not if the kids dont wont to learn in the first place. God knows, a lot of parents dont even give a **** if their children learn or not. My sister is a teacher and she cant believe the lack of parent involvment in their children's learning. So my solution would be to let the kids learn what they want. How do you guys feel about this issue?

jetsfan28
08-31-2008, 10:21 PM
That wouldn't work. Kids aren't mature enough to A) Know what they want B) Know what they are good at, and C) Make a smart, logical decision, as opposed to one based solely on emotion and, because of that, wouldn't pick the smartest job. Plus, no one wants to work 9-5 in a cubicle, but we do need people to take those jobs, and because of that kids need to be well rounded, leave their options open so they can do a variety of things.

gcoll
08-31-2008, 10:35 PM
For instance, instead of teaching kids Algebra that wont ever use it,
I actually use algebra quite a bit.

Also. Learning algebra and calculus, and trig, is not just about learning the subjects. It's also a way of expanding your mind, learning how to think...etc. etc. Problem solving.

It's like running. You'll likely never need to run anywhere, unless you're being chased. But running still keeps your body in shape, and healthy. The same is true of the "higher" math concepts. Exercises the mind.


So my solution would be to let the kids learn what they want.
No.

There are numerous problems within the education system. I'll go through a few of them.

- Teaching focuses on the dumb kids. Right now, there are state tests. Schools receive funding, and whatnot based on these test scores. What happens is....the kids who are already capable of passing the test are left out, and all the focus in the classroom goes to the dumb kids. That's a problem.

- Teaching unions, and job security. You can't fire a teacher. It's impossible. No matter how terrible a teacher is, she can't be fired. They get tenure after around 3 years, and then they're stuck in the system. And while there are plenty of great, hard working teachers out there.....there are just as many, fat, lazy, old teachers...who are just leeching off an inefficient system.

- Then you got the overhead. It's a bureaucracy. Superintendents, assistant superintendents, assistants to the assistant superintendent.......lots of boards lots of overhead. Visit a district office.....a lot of times they're really nice. Nice fountains, nice offices....etc. etc.

- Lack of choice. A kid in the inner city, in a ****** school......is forced to go to that school. They need to allow for school vouchers and bussing. A kid in the inner city, should not have to suffer because he lives in a bad neighborhood.

- Tax money. It's not divided properly. Now, I'm no socialist.....but if all the schools are under state ordinance, they deserve equal attention. Right now, the amount of tax money each district gets...is based on the taxes the people in the surrounding area pay. Now, if you live in a nice area....with normal people....great. But, if you live in a poor area, where nobody has any money.....there isn't a whole lot of tax money to collect. And the schools in that area suffer. Not to mention the fact that kids in that area, don't have the proper home lives, and they come to school woefully behind their counterparts in better areas, with more stable homes. My mom teaches in a poor area in Arizona. Teaches third grade....none of her students are at a 3rd grade reading level, and a lot of them are "second language learners". But you can't put them with other students of their own reading level. You can't send the kid reading at a first grade reading level to the first grade classroom....because that's against the law.

- Basically. It all comes down to this. You need accountability (teacher's hate that word), and you need the school system streamlined, and run more like a business.

Basically, the education system in this country needs an enema.

WES445
08-31-2008, 11:14 PM
I actually use algebra quite a bit.

Also. Learning algebra and calculus, and trig, is not just about learning the subjects. It's also a way of expanding your mind, learning how to think...etc. etc. Problem solving.

It's like running. You'll likely never need to run anywhere, unless you're being chased. But running still keeps your body in shape, and healthy. The same is true of the "higher" math concepts. Exercises the mind.


No.

There are numerous problems within the education system. I'll go through a few of them.

- Teaching focuses on the dumb kids. Right now, there are state tests. Schools receive funding, and whatnot based on these test scores. What happens is....the kids who are already capable of passing the test are left out, and all the focus in the classroom goes to the dumb kids. That's a problem.

- Teaching unions, and job security. You can't fire a teacher. It's impossible. No matter how terrible a teacher is, she can't be fired. They get tenure after around 3 years, and then they're stuck in the system. And while there are plenty of great, hard working teachers out there.....there are just as many, fat, lazy, old teachers...who are just leeching off an inefficient system.

- Then you got the overhead. It's a bureaucracy. Superintendents, assistant superintendents, assistants to the assistant superintendent.......lots of boards lots of overhead. Visit a district office.....a lot of times they're really nice. Nice fountains, nice offices....etc. etc.

- Lack of choice. A kid in the inner city, in a ****** school......is forced to go to that school. They need to allow for school vouchers and bussing. A kid in the inner city, should not have to suffer because he lives in a bad neighborhood.

- Tax money. It's not divided properly. Now, I'm no socialist.....but if all the schools are under state ordinance, they deserve equal attention. Right now, the amount of tax money each district gets...is based on the taxes the people in the surrounding area pay. Now, if you live in a nice area....with normal people....great. But, if you live in a poor area, where nobody has any money.....there isn't a whole lot of tax money to collect. And the schools in that area suffer. Not to mention the fact that kids in that area, don't have the proper home lives, and they come to school woefully behind their counterparts in better areas, with more stable homes. My mom teaches in a poor area in Arizona. Teaches third grade....none of her students are at a 3rd grade reading level, and a lot of them are "second language learners". But you can't put them with other students of their own reading level. You can't send the kid reading at a first grade reading level to the first grade classroom....because that's against the law.

- Basically. It all comes down to this. You need accountability (teacher's hate that word), and you need the school system streamlined, and run more like a business.

Basically, the education system in this country needs an enema.

Damn gcoll, right on. totally agree. I will add alot of kids are scared to go to school in some innercities. You would too, if you have seen some of those schools and the area around them.
Kids don't want to learn? What kid want to go to school, when there video games to be played? I went to school, because if I didn't my momma would have beaten my butt. I would try to fake a illness to get out of going, and momma would make me well again by reaching for the belt. Screwed-up parents are part of the problem. How many of them know who their kids' teachers are? attend PTA meeting? Check homework? Some these parents have giving up on acheiving a better life and they instill this B.S. in their kids. When mine son worked at Mcdonalds, he told me horror stories about people driving up to the drive thru window with their kids in the back seat and pot fumes pouring out the car window. What can you do about people like that? If the parent believe that education is important, the kid will learn, if he want to or not. Thanks mom.

DenButsu
08-31-2008, 11:58 PM
- Lack of choice. A kid in the inner city, in a ****** school......is forced to go to that school. They need to allow for school vouchers and bussing. A kid in the inner city, should not have to suffer because he lives in a bad neighborhood.

- Tax money. It's not divided properly. Now, I'm no socialist.....but if all the schools are under state ordinance, they deserve equal attention. Right now, the amount of tax money each district gets...is based on the taxes the people in the surrounding area pay. Now, if you live in a nice area....with normal people....great. But, if you live in a poor area, where nobody has any money.....there isn't a whole lot of tax money to collect. And the schools in that area suffer. Not to mention the fact that kids in that area, don't have the proper home lives, and they come to school woefully behind their counterparts in better areas,

I agree with a lot of what you said there.

And zooming in on these two points, I'd say the second one kind of answers the first.

Because the problem you're really talking about in the first one is the inability of inner city kids (or generally speaking, kids who live near crappier schools) to access better schools. But the thing is the "choice" solution is really only a partial band-aid to that problem. The solution you describe in the second point - to make school funding more equitable, and raise the quality of inner city/poorer schools - is just absolutely more essential to me.

Because unfortunately, there are just a lot of parents - whether they're "too busy", whether they're too indifferent, whether they just aren't well educated themselves, whether they're neglecting their kids due to drug/alcohol abuse, whatever the reasons - who either wouldn't be able to or wouldn't choose to pursue school choice options even if they existed.

And so the first, most important solution - it seems really clear to me - is to make that first choice, that immediate choice, that automatic choice of whatever school happens to be closest, an acceptable choice.

There should be no public schools providing an unacceptable quality of education in the U.S. There will always be problematic schools, there will always be struggling schools, there will always be poorer and richer schools, but there's just too much wealth in the U.S. for there to be any excuse for there to be people in ANY community where the quality of education at their local schools is just absolutely unacceptable.

"Not unacceptable" ain't even setting the bar that high, ya know? :shrug:

rhino17
09-01-2008, 12:27 AM
Taking plumbing in 8th grade would have been interesting :)

gcoll
09-01-2008, 12:31 AM
And so the first, most important solution - it seems really clear to me - is to make that first choice, that immediate choice, that automatic choice of whatever school happens to be closest, an acceptable choice.

Right. But that is also the tougher of the two goals.

So, while you say the bussing is just a "band-aid"....it is. But that's not a reason not to do it.

And in a lot of the inner cities and stuff.....the problem isn't just the school. It's the families. Kids come into my mom's school, having never even seen a book. But, there are laws against holding kids back grades, and there are laws against separating the "dumb" kids from the smart ones.

So, while funding is a problem....there are lots of bull **** laws and rules, that **** everything up. So, you gotta get rid of those. You gotta give smart kids, in ****** schools....a chance to challenge themselves, and actually learn.

Because look at it this way. A student, who is a good student....can go through the school system in a poor community.....get to college, and be WAY behind, simply due to the fact that everyone in their community, sucked. That's not fair.

You gotta allow kids to choose which schools they want to go to. Offer bussing as well. To fix it, it is going to cost more money. There is no doubt about that. I do not object to more money going into education. I object to more money going into the education system, as it stands right now.

For example. I believe Obama suggested that paying teachers more would help things. Which it would. But, not without allowing them to be fired, as well. Higher pay for teachers....would attract more people to the occupation, and if some fat low life is occupying the seat already, in their tenured glory.....what good does it do? You're just upping the pay of people, who don't get results. And went to school 30 years ago, and haven't learned a thing since.

That's where the bussing of students could help. You attach a dollar value to every student. The school that student chooses, gets the dollar amount attached to that kid. That increases the revenue for the better schools....which allows them to pay teachers more, afford more technology renovations and whatnot. It punishes the under performing schools as well. Which would suck for the students stuck there. But adequate bussing is key for that plan to work.

I think a first step may be the elimination of school districts, and to put all schools under state control directly. Because, right now...it's to fractured, and it's too disorganized...and again. The tax thing. Certain districts get more tax money, simply because they are in rich neighborhoods.

Perhaps I'm rambling a bit on this. But this is an issue that actually gets me a bit worked up. Because it seems like so much in the education system, is designed to screw over kids. You've got the administrators who are completely out of touch, and just feel the need to consistently waste money. You've got the teachers, who complain non-stop about not being paid that much (as if the salary of a teacher was kept secret while they were studying), and might be the fattest group of people on earth. And then you got the teachers' unions who have a lot of power within the school system, and are designed to protect the inefficiencies and the incompetence of school teachers, instead of helping the kids.


And this isn't even getting into the high schools. This is mostly geared at the elementary schools for me. But, with high schools....I think a key component is, you need to throw kids out. Encourage certain kids to drop out. If you're at the high school level, it's already clear who is a **** up, and who is not. You can't let the **** ups ruin the learning atmosphere for the rest of the kids. Get them out of there.

Sabres39
09-01-2008, 01:30 AM
Perhaps I'm rambling a bit on this. But this is an issue that actually gets me a bit worked up. Because it seems like so much in the education system, is designed to screw over kids. You've got the administrators who are completely out of touch, and just feel the need to consistently waste money. You've got the teachers, who complain non-stop about not being paid that much (as if the salary of a teacher was kept secret while they were studying), and might be the fattest group of people on earth. And then you got the teachers' unions who have a lot of power within the school system, and are designed to protect the inefficiencies and the incompetence of school teachers, instead of helping the kids.


And this isn't even getting into the high schools. This is mostly geared at the elementary schools for me. But, with high schools....I think a key component is, you need to throw kids out. Encourage certain kids to drop out. If you're at the high school level, it's already clear who is a **** up, and who is not. You can't let the **** ups ruin the learning atmosphere for the rest of the kids. Get them out of there.
I am definitely sick of teachers complaining about their pay. My Economics teacher often complained about having a White Collar job with Blue Collar pay. Meanwhile, he had us watch movies the entire time and posted on forums. Not to mention they get as many suck days as they want, only work 6-7 hours a day, and make great money hourly.

As for your comment on the child's upbringing, I couldn't agree more. My Mom is a school nurse, and she has had to call child services on a couple people, and they have in fact gotten their kids taken away from them. And the sad thing is, it is in a pretty good school district, I could only shutter to imagine what it would be like in city school's.

PUGS1688
09-01-2008, 02:05 AM
I think it all has to do with discipline, and new age technology that keeps kids unfocused on what matters.


Check this out...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umICHwvMQqA

DenButsu
09-01-2008, 02:20 AM
So, while you say the bussing is just a "band-aid"....it is. But that's not a reason not to do it.

Not necessarily. But I'm definitely saying that the highest priority should be placed on the most fundamental and most urgent reforms.

And regarding this:


I believe Obama suggested that paying teachers more would help things. Which it would. But, not without allowing them to be fired, as well. Higher pay for teachers....would attract more people to the occupation, and if some fat low life is occupying the seat already, in their tenured glory.....what good does it do? You're just upping the pay of people, who don't get results. And went to school 30 years ago, and haven't learned a thing since.

Here's exactly what he said in his speech. It's obviously an extremely simplified breakdown, but nonetheless, it addresses both sides of the equation:


I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

What's on his website doesn't get into "punishing bad teachers" but it does get into rewarding them based on merit and based on willingness to serve more needy communities:

Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers


* Recruit Teachers: Obama will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.
* Prepare Teachers: Obama will require all schools of education to be accredited. He will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.
* Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, Obama's plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. He will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.
* Reward Teachers: Obama will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.

So that's more encouraging teachers to step up via incentives than it is holding bad teachers accountable (which, as a teacher myself, I do believe in and I've been in "senior" positions where my evaluation of other teachers has, in two cases, led to their firing - more for personal reasons (inability to work well with students) than "performance/results" reasons, but it's something I've been responsible for). But it is, in my opinion, a major step in the right direction. And if good teachers are well taken care of, and Obama is able to implement and follow through with this plan, he'll have more leverage in future negotiations with teachers unions.

ari1013
09-01-2008, 11:55 AM
Algebra's a necessity. Even in fields like plumbing.

Our education system is broken because we're not funding the right things. Here in St Louis, only 60 cents out of each dollar of education funding actually go to school materials and teachers. The other 40 cents go to athletic programs and administrative costs. When history books are talking about the cold war that's currently going on, you've got a problem.

ari1013
09-01-2008, 11:58 AM
- Tax money. It's not divided properly. Now, I'm no socialist.....but if all the schools are under state ordinance, they deserve equal attention. Right now, the amount of tax money each district gets...is based on the taxes the people in the surrounding area pay. Now, if you live in a nice area....with normal people....great. But, if you live in a poor area, where nobody has any money.....there isn't a whole lot of tax money to collect. And the schools in that area suffer. Not to mention the fact that kids in that area, don't have the proper home lives, and they come to school woefully behind their counterparts in better areas, with more stable homes. My mom teaches in a poor area in Arizona. Teaches third grade....none of her students are at a 3rd grade reading level, and a lot of them are "second language learners". But you can't put them with other students of their own reading level. You can't send the kid reading at a first grade reading level to the first grade classroom....because that's against the law.

Very well said.



- Basically. It all comes down to this. You need accountability (teacher's hate that word), and you need the school system streamlined, and run more like a business.


I agree 100% with accountability. I disagree that it should be run more like a business. NCLB forces business-like results from schools. And all we've gotten from it is test-prep going on at schools as opposed to actual learning.

ari1013
09-01-2008, 12:00 PM
I am definitely sick of teachers complaining about their pay. My Economics teacher often complained about having a White Collar job with Blue Collar pay. Meanwhile, he had us watch movies the entire time and posted on forums. Not to mention they get as many suck days as they want, only work 6-7 hours a day, and make great money hourly.

As for your comment on the child's upbringing, I couldn't agree more. My Mom is a school nurse, and she has had to call child services on a couple people, and they have in fact gotten their kids taken away from them. And the sad thing is, it is in a pretty good school district, I could only shutter to imagine what it would be like in city school's.
If you think the pay is great relative to the work, go become a HS teacher.

yaowowrocket11
09-01-2008, 12:02 PM
Obviously the answer is yes. To me, this issue is probably the most important because i think a good education is key for the success of the country. In my opinion, i think the system needs a total makeover. For instance, instead of teaching kids Algebra that wont ever use it, why not allow these kids to learn a certain field of work, such as plumbing?

To me, throwing more money into the system wont fix anything.... not if the kids dont wont to learn in the first place. God knows, a lot of parents dont even give a **** if their children learn or not. My sister is a teacher and she cant believe the lack of parent involvment in their children's learning. So my solution would be to let the kids learn what they want. How do you guys feel about this issue?

Plumbing? Seriously? I'm a teacher, and if I ever taught plumbing, I would quit. IMO, there are probably more jobs involved with Algebra (statisticians, TEACHERS, research, etc) than plumbing. Mathematical jobs are much more important than learning how to unclog a toilet. I am a geography teacher, and people might say, "When will children need to know where Sweden is?" Well, to be a productive member of society, common knowledge of the world is necessary. On the news, when we hear "Middle East", the only reason we know what and where it is is because of education. We cannot control the parental issue, because frankly, some parents are selfish and only care about their occupation, not their child's education.

Uncle Funster
09-01-2008, 12:09 PM
*self deleted*

PUGS1688
09-01-2008, 01:09 PM
Take a look at the majority of posts in this forum alone and you will see that the system is clearly broken. Hell, most of these people haven't gotten the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation mastered yet.

But these are the geniuses that will be choosing our next leader!

LMAO, so true!

Sabres39
09-01-2008, 01:39 PM
If you think the pay is great relative to the work, go become a HS teacher.Nah, not something I am really interested in.


Take a look at the majority of posts in this forum alone and you will see that the system is clearly broken. Hell, most of these people haven't gotten the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation mastered yet.

But these are the geniuses that will be choosing our next leader!

I thought you were leaving for a couple months?

Lady's Man
09-01-2008, 01:52 PM
what do you guys think of giving teachers more incetives to go into these inner-city schools?

tomno00
09-01-2008, 02:13 PM
what do you guys think of giving teachers more incetives to go into these inner-city schools?

the problem with your plan is that teaching is not an incentive-based profession to begin with. By doing this, your just throwing more wasteful dollars into the system. Ive said this before and ill keep saying it. Its all up to the child and whether or not he/she wants to take the initiative to learn. And that initiative comes from the parents. If a child doesnt have the support of his/her parents, then absolutely nothing will change.

gcoll
09-01-2008, 03:33 PM
NCLB forces business-like results from schools. And all we've gotten from it is test-prep going on at schools as opposed to actual learning
Yes. But it's not like "actual learning" was going on before the tests were implemented.

And you do need some way to measure, and set standards.


If you think the pay is great relative to the work, go become a HS teacher.
They knew that coming into the profession. It's still true, but teachers have no right to harp on it.

And most of those that harp on it, are ****** teachers anyway.


what do you guys think of giving teachers more incetives to go into these inner-city schools?
It already exists (at least here in AZ) If my mom were to go to a nicer district, she'd have to take a $10,000 pay cut.

DenButsu
09-01-2008, 10:02 PM
the problem with your plan is that teaching is not an incentive-based profession to begin with.

Huh?

On what grounds do you assert this?

I'm a teacher, and if I had a job offer for a teaching post in a more challenging environment that provided better pay, I'd sure as hell consider it.

tomno00
09-02-2008, 09:25 AM
sorry, what i meant to say is that teachers dont become teachers because of the money, just as doctors dont become doctors because of the money.

spartanbear
09-03-2008, 03:06 AM
Do not discount the value of parental/community involvement in the school systems particularly the "inner city" schools that people get so worked up over.

Personal anecdote: My wife and I are "inner city kids" she attended inner city schools her whole life (other than college GO GREEN!) and I lived in the inner city but went to private school (other than college GO WHITE!) - . One large difference I noticed is that in my school parental involvement was a requirement and if your parents could not attend thwn someone else's parent stood in proxy it was encouraged (this was my situation a great deal of the time for me I was raised by my granny, we didn't have a car and well getting on and off the bus was tough for the ol' gal). If your parents did not participate things happened up to and including being asked to leave the school. Can't do that in the schools my wife attended but what did she lucky enough to have a mother -who gave a crap- she stayed involved in her children's educational lives (even taking off work to ensure their priorities related to school were tended to) but the other parents didn't do that. They did not have to some were disinterested,unwilling, intimidated, uneducated themselves, you name it. Moral of the story - I have a feeling that if in these "inner cities" we were able to get more parents, families, and members of the community involved then maybe some of these children will have a better chance at success. The community has got to put more value on education (that's not to say they don't but it's gotta be priority one education must supecede everything else for all children).

I do agree with most of the comments regarding funding. We cannot continue to spend more money it's silly and wasteful. You can give the teachers and the students state of the art everything and if they are unwilling to exhaust their resources you still have the same issue only with better looking equipment.

I think that some of our communities are broken and the result is that everything in the community suffers and the schools don't get special treatment in this regard.

Eastside Scott
09-03-2008, 01:17 PM
I actually use algebra quite a bit.

Also. Learning algebra and calculus, and trig, is not just about learning the subjects. It's also a way of expanding your mind, learning how to think...etc. etc. Problem solving.

It's like running. You'll likely never need to run anywhere, unless you're being chased. But running still keeps your body in shape, and healthy. The same is true of the "higher" math concepts. Exercises the mind.


No.

There are numerous problems within the education system. I'll go through a few of them.

- Teaching focuses on the dumb kids. Right now, there are state tests. Schools receive funding, and whatnot based on these test scores. What happens is....the kids who are already capable of passing the test are left out, and all the focus in the classroom goes to the dumb kids. That's a problem.

- Teaching unions, and job security. You can't fire a teacher. It's impossible. No matter how terrible a teacher is, she can't be fired. They get tenure after around 3 years, and then they're stuck in the system. And while there are plenty of great, hard working teachers out there.....there are just as many, fat, lazy, old teachers...who are just leeching off an inefficient system.

- Then you got the overhead. It's a bureaucracy. Superintendents, assistant superintendents, assistants to the assistant superintendent.......lots of boards lots of overhead. Visit a district office.....a lot of times they're really nice. Nice fountains, nice offices....etc. etc.

- Lack of choice. A kid in the inner city, in a ****** school......is forced to go to that school. They need to allow for school vouchers and bussing. A kid in the inner city, should not have to suffer because he lives in a bad neighborhood.

- Tax money. It's not divided properly. Now, I'm no socialist.....but if all the schools are under state ordinance, they deserve equal attention. Right now, the amount of tax money each district gets...is based on the taxes the people in the surrounding area pay. Now, if you live in a nice area....with normal people....great. But, if you live in a poor area, where nobody has any money.....there isn't a whole lot of tax money to collect. And the schools in that area suffer. Not to mention the fact that kids in that area, don't have the proper home lives, and they come to school woefully behind their counterparts in better areas, with more stable homes. My mom teaches in a poor area in Arizona. Teaches third grade....none of her students are at a 3rd grade reading level, and a lot of them are "second language learners". But you can't put them with other students of their own reading level. You can't send the kid reading at a first grade reading level to the first grade classroom....because that's against the law.

- Basically. It all comes down to this. You need accountability (teacher's hate that word), and you need the school system streamlined, and run more like a business.

Basically, the education system in this country needs an enema.

This is a great post. I have a couple of issues with some of your fixes. My point of view is that I am a parent of a child in Indianapolis Public Schools, the largest sytem in the state of Indiana, definitely an "inner-city" system, and one that by all obvious measures is "failing".

First issue I have is with "school choice". My issue boils down to availability. In Indianapolis for example there are City public schools, City magnet schools, Charter Schools, Township public schools, and private schools. Sounds like a lot of choice yes? And it is. But break it down Take the International School for example. It is a highly regarded private school funded in large part by Eli Lilly Compnay and high tuition rates. They have a waiting list right now. If every one of the 30,000-some-odd IPS students were somehow presented vouchers to go anywhere they wanted, how many would logically choose the International School? 50%, 75%? How many of those students could International School take right now? Zero. How many would they try to squeeze in ahead of the parents waiting to pay full-boat tuition? Zero. This is the same across the board. Parents would try to flock to the top 10-20% of schools available in the area. These schools could not handle them, and thus the system does not work. Not to mention that the parents who just don't give a crap (and the percentage is sadly more than you would hope it was) all just stay put in the crappy school they are in and that school loses funding and all of its students who have good home support and are trying hard making the school even worse than it was before with absolutely no chance of improvement.

More funding for inner-city schools is also a falacy that is disproved in some of your other points. Indianapolis Public Schools receives more dollars per student than any other system in the state. The problem is as you state that they spend it on bloated administration instead of in the classroom. In my opinion, you do not throw more money at them unless you also take control of how they spend it, and that ain't coming anytime soon.

I am all for the idea of higher pay for teachers. I think that gives you a better crop of people coming into the pipeline each year. People who might really have teaching in their blood put instead become Architects, Engineers, Accountants, Lawyers because they want to earn a better living. You have to live with a couple of generations of current teachers being overpaid in some cases, but eventually you weed them out and the strategy pays off. I feel the same way about cops by the way. I think you pay them more so youget better people, then you weed out any losers from the current crop as you go.

ari1013
09-03-2008, 02:21 PM
Bingo. The school boards need to do a better job of allocating the funds. And that's where a federal mandate could help -- force the schools to spend a certain percentage on textbooks, computers, etc. so that it doesn't all go into bureaucratic waste.