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ccmanuals
10-29-2012, 06:06 PM
It's nice to know Anny Romney will have a pet cause. What do you think about it?

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Ann Romney told Good Housekeeping magazine that the campaign issue closest to her heart is taking on teachers unions and dismantling public education as we know it. In an interview (http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/celebrity-interviews/ann-romney-interview-2012-election-issues), she told the publication:
Iíve been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to peopleís lives if they donít get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachersí unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.

Peerie Maa
10-29-2012, 06:11 PM
Is that it? Anything about the qualities of what replaces them and how to transition from one to the other?

George Jung
10-29-2012, 06:13 PM
I read a series of articles on this, in the Times as well as in the Atlantic - and the 'proof in the pudding' was that the charter schools were inconsistent in quality, but most failed miserably relative to what we have now.

Sorry, no links.

wardd
10-29-2012, 06:17 PM
Is that it? Anything about the qualities of what replaces them and how to transition from one to the other?

it's simple, just privatize

Chip-skiff
10-29-2012, 06:19 PM
I've read similar pieces on charter schools, which in some parts of the country seem to serve the cause of re-segregation and right-wing Christian prejudice.

I'll give Ms. Romney credit: I think she's wrong, but at least it's a real issue. I was expecting Mommies Without Borders.

Peerie Maa
10-29-2012, 06:29 PM
it's simple, just privatize

As in completely fee paying? Only rich kids, no state aid to educate the children of the poor? Ore some form of middle ground?

Dan McCosh
10-29-2012, 06:39 PM
As in completely fee paying? Only rich kids, no state aid to educate the children of the poor? Ore some form of middle ground? No. Charter schools are run by private companies for profit, funded by tax revenues allocated in the form of vouchers. Admission is up to the schools, hence they can restrict entry, not handle special education, etc., leaving these tasks up to the public schools which lose the revenue as some students leave.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-29-2012, 07:03 PM
No. Charter schools are run by private companies for profit, funded by tax revenues allocated in the form of vouchers. Admission is up to the schools, hence they can restrict entry, not handle special education, etc., leaving these tasks up to the public schools which lose the revenue as some students leave.

Yeah, we know... Smiler BLiar brought the concept in here - called "academies" - results, as in your case, very patchy...

blisspacket
10-29-2012, 08:01 PM
Charter schools take their applicants--students--based on school criteria. Each student comes with a voucher. The voucher is essentially a check for a fixed amount of money. Every kid has such a check/voucher. In any given state or school district, kid shows up with his voucher and signs on.

Now ask yourself what complexities might arise. This is now free enterprise, and not compulsory education to age of 16. This is a kid (perhaps his family behind him, hopefully) with a $check in the amount of perhaps $5000 for the school year.

If you think you've seen shenanigans on Wall Street and Banking, it ain't nothing to what you'll see (AND which ALREADY occurs where education vouchers have been implemented) if vouchers gain a foothold.

Our Public Education system HAS been influenced by teachers unions. We DO have problems. We DO have governance by publicly elected school boards who put in their time for the benefit of their communities. Kids are not widgets, kids are not Chevrolets, they are not a house made up of structural electrical plumbing aesthetic components. Kids are snowflakes, each different from one another, and subjecting each kid to become an economic share in some corporate scheme by providing him with a voucher is utter malarky.

wardd
10-29-2012, 08:03 PM
As in completely fee paying? Only rich kids, no state aid to educate the children of the poor? Ore some form of middle ground?

the 1% doesn't want them educated anyway

Nicholas Scheuer
10-29-2012, 08:05 PM
Sounds like she's spent too much time hanging around horse's arsses.

wardd
10-29-2012, 08:06 PM
Sounds like she's spent too much time hanging around horse's arsses.

her horses attend a charter school and see how well they did when it came time to perform

George Jung
10-29-2012, 08:29 PM
That's pretty good!

George Jung
10-29-2012, 08:39 PM
Did you catch the costs of sending your pre-school kids to some of those elite ... preschools in NYC? It was nuts - very competitive; very expensive (I recall $45,000/year, by senior yr. hs - more than Harvard). and ... the more they charged, the more people fought to get their kids in! There's a lesson in that, I believe! :P

wardd
10-29-2012, 08:56 PM
Who are the 1% and who don't they want to have an education?

romneys 1% about the 47%

wardd
10-29-2012, 09:03 PM
Perhaps you could elaborate.

i could but i won't

purri
10-29-2012, 09:09 PM
So it appears she doesn't support "Women Without Wallets."

wardd
10-29-2012, 09:26 PM
Well we can see the results you're getting now with public schools run by politicians and teachers' unions for their own benefit. The test scores tell the tale. I certainly don't claim to have the answer, but there's no doubt some kind of big change is in order.

we could adapt one of those northern european socialist school systems

George Jung
10-29-2012, 09:30 PM
The Family Unit (you know, parents and stuff like that) is a big part of the equation, one out of control of the public schools. Think that may explain the results we're seeing?

Keith Wilson
10-29-2012, 09:35 PM
S/V Knumbknotz (http://forum.woodenboat.com/member.php?41467-S-V-Knumbknotz)Any bets on who our newest Junior Member really is? Might his boat be wide and shallow with leeboards?


http://home.tiscali.nl/franklee/images/BOEIER1.JPG

George Jung
10-29-2012, 09:37 PM
Subtle he is not.

Horace
10-29-2012, 09:41 PM
Sounds like she's spent too much time hanging around horse's arsses.Leave it to Nick to make a truly insightful comment. *






:)

George Jung
10-29-2012, 09:41 PM
Lessee. 1) articulate 2) knowledgeable 3) reasonable 4) democratic

Yer definitely not electable (mighta been that last one!)

Durnik
10-29-2012, 10:24 PM
This remark of Ann's, as all of Mitt's, seems to be designed to solidify the base - which is already solid - while driving away all the possible swing votes. I keep coming to the conclusion that Mitt is trying his damnedest to lose this election.. or, more precisely, he is doing his damnedest to make sure Obama wins.. Let's face it, Jon Huntsman would have garnered all the wealthy votes, all the ABO votes.. plus he would have corralled many of the swing votes. Instead, they ran Romney & his Stepford wife..

Admittedly it makes no sense.. but neither does the belief that he is _trying_ to win.

An aside - TN is (relatively) nearly devoid of Romney/Ryan signs.. while 4 years ago saw McCain/Palin signs _everywhere_. This year, I'd say Obama signs are about equal in number to Romney signs - a previously unseen phenomenon. I've read on blogs that this is true of other states too.. Anyone else out there experiencing anything like it?

enjoy
bobby

Nicholas Scheuer
10-30-2012, 07:23 AM
Have you got a "truly insightful comment" up there somewhere in this thread Horace? A good joke line maybe?

Do you really take the Bilge seriously, Horace?

Basir
10-30-2012, 07:56 AM
So much misinformation about Charter Schools on here.

Charter schools are public schools and have to be open to every student in the district. Space being limited, a lottery is often used. There are no criteria the student must meet.

The finance structure varies from state to state but is usually the same per-pupil amount the other public schools get for each student minus a percentage that the school district takes for administration costs.

Charter schools have been shown in study after study to be more successful at closing the "achievement gap" and revitalizing failing areas.

The idea floated here that charter school are voucher driven, elite schools that have people opting out of supporting the public education system are just flat out wrong.

The conservatives in this country are trying to hijack charter schools to use them as a tool for more union busting and for moving a step closer to voucher programs (which, again, charter schools are not). Don't let them do this. Get informed before writing off charter schools with all the falsehoods I see in the posts above.

For the record, my son goes to a charter school, that is also a Title I school, is 70% African American, has 85% of its students on free or reduced lunch (a metric used to gauge the financial state of the student population), and is providing a wonderful education to a lot of people in my neighborhood and community. There are other charter schools in Baltimore that are turning around the educational landscape here for lots of kids.

Supporting charter schools is supporting public education. Get informed.

David

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-30-2012, 07:59 AM
The USA spends a fair bit per capita on education, but it isn't all teachers salaries....


Average teacher salaries. California had the nation's highest average salary in 2002-03, at $55,693. States joining California in the top tier were Michigan, at $54,020; Connecticut, at $53,962; New Jersey, at $53,872; and the District of Columbia, at $53,194.

South Dakota had the lowest average salary in 2002-03, at $32,414. The other states in the bottom tier were Montana, at $35,754; Mississippi, at $35,135; North Dakota, at $33,869; and Oklahoma, at $33,277. Also in the lowest tier were the Virgin Islands, at $34,764; Guam at $34,738; and Puerto Rico, at $22,164.

Average beginning teacher salaries. Alaska had the highest average beginning salary in 2002-03, at $37,401. States joining Alaska in the top tier were New Jersey, at $35,673; District of Columbia, at $35,260; New York, at $35,259; and California, at $34,805.

Montana had the lowest average beginning salary in 2002-03, at $23,052. The other states in the bottom tier were Maine, at $24,631; South Dakota, at $24,311; North Dakota, at $23,591; and Arizona, at $23,548.

George Jung
10-30-2012, 08:19 AM
Basir, I don't have time to look for it now - but a series of articles in the NYTimes definitely contested what you're saying. Can you expand, or provide some links? It'd be useful.

Basir
10-30-2012, 08:54 AM
Norman,

Your really out of line here and I am offended by your words. You can disagree with the best way to provide education but how dare you tell me I am saying "screw you" to the rest of the students. I work hard, on my own time, taking unpaid time off of my day job, to meet with state legislators, to plans actions at city schools, to speak at public rallies, to organize other parents, all across Baltimore and Annapolis on behalf of our public school system. I put my own money into my program to go into public schools in Baltimore and teach math through building small boats. So no I am not "essentially" saying "screw you, I've got mine" to the rest of the students.

I worked with the Baltimore Education Coalition and the ACLU, pressuring our delegates and senators to reverse the cuts proposed to our state's education funding and to restore the "Thornton Formula" that makes its a constitutional issue that students in poorer areas are entitled to the same level of education as children in more affluent areas and that funding mechanisms be put into place to uphold this. This year we are working on a block grant funding bill to fix Baltimore's crumbling facilities. So, no, I haven't said "screw you, I've got mine" to anybody.

Charter schools exist to give faculty and administration freedom to pursue academic excellence without always needing to adhere to academic curriculum requirements dictated by the central school district administration. When they fail, they fail spectacularly, and when they succeed, they succeed spectacularly.

We are working on making Baltimore's public education the best in the nation and we are making strides, and charter schools are merely a component of that. I agree that all kids deserve the best in educational opportunities. Charters are not in conflict with this goal, but are a part of it. I invite you to look at the work being done by MarylandCan.

And no, Charter schools, by their very definition do not SPECIFICALLY exist to "opt out of public education". (By the way all caps is really obnoxious.) They exist to improve public education from within the system. The money is still in the public education system, as are the outcomes.

David

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 09:20 AM
If you haven't been watching for the past 30 years, the voucher and charter school concept has been the right wing end around to the destruction of public schools agenda.

Basir
10-30-2012, 09:27 AM
You are playing a semantic game here, or we just have a difference of definitions. Yes, they are opting out of the "conventional school system" but they are not opting out of public education. My son's schooling is paid for by the taxes I pay and he is a part of the Baltimore City Public School System. The name of his school, by the way, is Patterson Park Public Charter School, for Pete's sake!

I'm curious, genuinely so, did your kids go to public school?

I guess we have to agree to disagree about all caps. If I met you in person, you'd be yelling at me, that's what all caps denotes to me, not a hand gesture.

David

ccmanuals
10-30-2012, 09:34 AM
I think we can agree though that all kids should have the same opportunity to obtain a quality education even though all kids will not embrace this opportunity.

Basir
10-30-2012, 09:34 AM
If you haven't been watching for the past 30 years, the voucher and charter school concept has been the right wing end around to the destruction of public schools agenda.


This is what I'm trying to fight against, this lumping in of Charter schools and vouchers. My son's school is a public school We work within the school district and we fight to improve the school district for all students at all schools.

Vouchers seem to me to promote elitism and class stratification in the worst possible way through a fundamental deception. Most private schools cost in excess of tens of thousands a year. Take Friends School for example, $26,000 a year, I think it was last time I checked. If you give a family a voucher for even half of that, most families are not going to to be able to afford the rest on their own anyway, so all the vouchers are doing are helping families who are already on the more privileged side of the scale defray the costs of something that might already be within their reach. You are not helping improve educational outcomes for those most in need.

Charter Schools are a completely different beast. Don't let the right wing win by throwing out something that was originally progressive and can work great by lumping it in with their "blame the poor for their poverty" kind of thinking.

David

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 09:37 AM
Throwing them all in together doesn't do any of them any good in my opinion.
This doesn't mean they should all get the SAME education.

They don't get the same education.
I have a daughter who teaches English to immigrant kids. These students are determined to be educated differently than the English speaking population of the school.
Another daughter (in the same high school) who, in her 2nd year, chose an entirely different level of studies than last year.

"Throwing them all together" is simple right wing propoganda.

Basir
10-30-2012, 09:45 AM
Norman,

I may not have been clear who I was addressing my question to. I am curious, did your children go to public schools?

David

Basir
10-30-2012, 09:51 AM
What charter schools do, however, is direct the effort to the wrong students.

Again, take a look at the population of my son's school, please. 70% African American, 20% Latino (mostly new immigrants) and 10% white. We are a Title I school and 85% of our population is on free or reduced lunch. So you are saying that because these kids parents were conscious enough to enter them in the admission lottery that they then are not underprivileged enough and we are helping the wrong population. Come down to Baltimore and tour the school and the neighborhood with me and see if you can say that again with a straight face. You seem to me to be very removed from the actual work being done down here in the trenches. The wrong students, that's rich.

Basir
10-30-2012, 10:14 AM
If I lived in a town with bad public schools, I'd certainly, as a parent, consider alternatives.... but I'd expect the town fathers to be working to improve the public schools for ALL children, not just some.

While I certainly don't consider myself a "town father" (things must really be structured differently up there in New England), I do consider myself part of the population who are working hard to improve public schools for ALL children, not just some. There are a lot of us, parents, teachers, staff, and the students themselves, who work tirelessly to keep funding level or increasing, to get money to improve the facilities, and to keep improving the resources to help the parents be more involved. We are also fighting to keep afterschool programs and community centers open. Charter schools are part of the fabric of these community-based changes and improvements. We lobby city hall, we lobby our state representatives, we organize letter writing and calling campaigns to pressure our governor and our mayor. We once even got 99 buses from Baltimore City to descend upon Annapolis (that was a sight!). We got our funding restored (for all schools, not just charters).

You chose to send one of your kids to a private school. I do not judge you for that. But there seemed to me to be judgement of me in the tone of your first post in this thread and that is what I take exception at. That, by advocating for charter schools, I am turning my back on the other kids in my school district and saying "screw you, I've got mine". I consider sending my son to a public charter school within the Baltimore City school district to be working within the public education system to improve outcomes for all children. I'm sorry that you cannot see that. I'm about as far left as they come politically, but I think you have let your knee jerk on this one and are getting on a high horse that you do not in actuality have (perhaps it is in the stable at your daughter's private school). Sorry, I couldn't resist that one, but really, being told that my Charter School advocacy is elitist by you is too much.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 10:19 AM
Basir does make a good case and Norman responds just how I might. Depends on the profile of the town/state. Maine will not have the same needs as Baltimore.
As charter schools evolve, they may successfully break away from their origins and prove worthy. But I don't see it in any way in Maine these days.
The teabaggin Governor got Charter schools adopted and 2 of the 4 initial applicants proved unworthy almost immediately. I could carry on for a long time about the direct connection of the charter school mission in Maine to an ultra conservative philosophy.

I've had kids in public schools in Maine for nearly 35 consequitive years. Rural and urban (if you can call Portland urban). I see public schools from an anthropolgical view. They feed the community. And many of our rural communities are in hard shape. There is no public school beyond repair. As a matter of fact, teachers and administrators across the state are dedicated to their vocation and as far as I am concerned the most valuable asset of the community.

In Maine the voucher/charter school development will draw the life/spirit out of already unhealthy comunities.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:40 AM
Is that it? Anything about the qualities of what replaces them and how to transition from one to the other?

They don't do specifics.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 10:41 AM
What happens to the kids who weren't lucky enough to get into the charter school?



They remain in a school environment that is far more likely to deteriorate than improve, due to the outflow of all resources that are now directed to a charter school mission.

It's like a guy who thinks he can keep 2 wood boats in Bristol condition on a beer budget.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:42 AM
No. Charter schools are run by private companies for profit, funded by tax revenues allocated in the form of vouchers. Admission is up to the schools, hence they can restrict entry, not handle special education, etc., leaving these tasks up to the public schools which lose the revenue as some students leave.

No private school should be allowed to play by a different set of rules than public schools play by.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:44 AM
Charter schools take their applicants--students--based on school criteria. Each student comes with a voucher. The voucher is essentially a check for a fixed amount of money. Every kid has such a check/voucher. In any given state or school district, kid shows up with his voucher and signs on.

Now ask yourself what complexities might arise. This is now free enterprise, and not compulsory education to age of 16. This is a kid (perhaps his family behind him, hopefully) with a $check in the amount of perhaps $5000 for the school year.

If you think you've seen shenanigans on Wall Street and Banking, it ain't nothing to what you'll see (AND which ALREADY occurs where education vouchers have been implemented) if vouchers gain a foothold.

Our Public Education system HAS been influenced by teachers unions. We DO have problems. We DO have governance by publicly elected school boards who put in their time for the benefit of their communities. Kids are not widgets, kids are not Chevrolets, they are not a house made up of structural electrical plumbing aesthetic components. Kids are snowflakes, each different from one another, and subjecting each kid to become an economic share in some corporate scheme by providing him with a voucher is utter malarky.

Here's one problem with vouchers. Let's say tuition is $12,000 a year and the government provides a $5000 voucher to all. Tuition goes up to $17,000 and the same kids go. Only one who makes out is the school.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:47 AM
Who are the 1% and who don't they want to have an education?


You misconstrue. They simply want the private sector to make a profit out of educating our kids. That profit is more important than whether the kids get educated.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 10:50 AM
No private school should be allowed to play by a different set of rules than public schools play by.

They have been for centuries. If you already haven't, add "privatization" to those words the right wing conservatives use to end run all social programs they have wanted to crush since the New Deal.

It is easily shown that Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher plan will not crush Medicare immediately but will be as effective as setting pancreatic cancer to it.

ccmanuals
10-30-2012, 10:52 AM
You misconstrue. They simply want the private sector to make a profit out of educating our kids. That profit is more important than whether the kids get educated.

This can't be over stated.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:53 AM
Well we can see the results you're getting now with public schools run by politicians and teachers' unions for their own benefit. The test scores tell the tale. I certainly don't claim to have the answer, but there's no doubt some kind of big change is in order.

Actually, the last time every high school student in the country was tested, as I recall, public school students, on average, did better than those of private or perocial schools.

There is actually no fair way to compare. Private schools, by their nature, have kids from homes with parents who have better educations and make more money. They "siphon" these students out of the school system, leaving behind the lower income families.

Then people like you blame the teachers.

My mom was a teacher. She taught in public schools and then took a job teaching in a private school. The private school told her not to give any student less than a "C" whether they deserved it or not. The reason for this was so their promotional material would show their students maintained higher grades, and that convinced more families to pay to send their children to that school. Mom refused to do so and left.

The point here is that PROFIT is the motivating factor of private schools; period. Everything the private sector does is driven by the profit motive.

ccmanuals
10-30-2012, 10:55 AM
We are seeing the same thing happen right now in the privatization of the penal system.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 10:55 AM
The USA spends a fair bit per capita on education, but it isn't all teachers salaries....

In MOntclair, NJ, bussing is a major expense.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 11:00 AM
We are seeing the same thing happen right now in the privatization of the penal system.

In 20 years, the privatization of Texas prisons will collapse Texas as a functioning commonwealth. Might take less time before the lowest bidder takes their money and runs.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 11:03 AM
Norman,

Your really out of line here and I am offended by your words. You can disagree with the best way to provide education but how dare you tell me I am saying "screw you" to the rest of the students. I work hard, on my own time, taking unpaid time off of my day job, to meet with state legislators, to plans actions at city schools, to speak at public rallies, to organize other parents, all across Baltimore and Annapolis on behalf of our public school system. I put my own money into my program to go into public schools in Baltimore and teach math through building small boats. So no I am not "essentially" saying "screw you, I've got mine" to the rest of the students.

I worked with the Baltimore Education Coalition and the ACLU, pressuring our delegates and senators to reverse the cuts proposed to our state's education funding and to restore the "Thornton Formula" that makes its a constitutional issue that students in poorer areas are entitled to the same level of education as children in more affluent areas and that funding mechanisms be put into place to uphold this. This year we are working on a block grant funding bill to fix Baltimore's crumbling facilities. So, no, I haven't said "screw you, I've got mine" to anybody.

Charter schools exist to give faculty and administration freedom to pursue academic excellence without always needing to adhere to academic curriculum requirements dictated by the central school district administration. When they fail, they fail spectacularly, and when they succeed, they succeed spectacularly.

We are working on making Baltimore's public education the best in the nation and we are making strides, and charter schools are merely a component of that. I agree that all kids deserve the best in educational opportunities. Charters are not in conflict with this goal, but are a part of it. I invite you to look at the work being done by MarylandCan.

And no, Charter schools, by their very definition do not SPECIFICALLY exist to "opt out of public education". (By the way all caps is really obnoxious.) They exist to improve public education from within the system. The money is still in the public education system, as are the outcomes.

David
I applaud your efforts, but in between the words you write I keep hearing "separate but equal" or "separate but unequal"

No private school should get to play by rules the public schools can't play by.

If we'd like to change some of the public school rules, fine. Of all the teachers in public schools I've dealt with as I went, as my children went, and as their children are going, only a couple appeared incompetent, and neither of them taught for long.

If I look at the big picture, the conservatives tell me kids need two parents (I'm not sure I agree, but that's their seemingly universal opinion). They don't like single moms, welfare, or foodstamps. Meanwhile they pass laws creating more of all these things. The public schools have to take all children. Private schools get to select. This may help those children who get into the private school (I'm not sure of that, either) but is certainly harms the quality of education for those children not so fortunate.

John Smith
10-30-2012, 11:06 AM
Norman, you're obviously a supporter of the status quo. I view the large numbers of students emerging from public schools unprepared for higher education or employment as the fundamental problem with the status quo. Do you agree that this is a problem? My personal opinion is that under the current system schools are run based on compromise between School Board politicians and powerful teachers' unions. Nobody with any real power in the fight is looking out for the students. Sure, sometimes there are PTAs and whatnot that get involved, but they don't wield the power that the unions an politicians do. Somehow the focus needs to be returned to the needs of the students. And I don't believe a one-size-fits-all approach is in the best interest of most students. We need to do a better job of meeting the specific needs of ALL the students from the motivated high achievers to the bottom of the barrel unmotivated juvenile delinquents and everything in between. To turn around your line of reasoning, what you seem to be saying is "Screw your kid the honor student. My underachieving hoodlum is entitled to hold him/her back". Throwing them all in together doesn't do any of them any good in my opinion. I don't claim any expertise in education and I don't have specific recommendations to fix these things, but the first step in fixing a problem is always defining it and acknowledging that it needs to be fixed. I think we can all acknowledge that the results we're currently getting from public schools are way below where we'd like them to be and that not all students have the same needs and abilities. We can and should do a better job at making sure every kid gets the best education FOR THEM. This doesn't mean they should all get the SAME education.

The one promise this country makes to our children is an equality of opportunity.

IN all areas of life if we make a decision where one group does better, inevitably another group does worse.

There is a great deal of room to improve public schools. Blaming the teachers and their union is a cop out. They've been made a scapegoat this past year, being blamed for our lousy economy, but no one can point to a single private sector job that was lost because we have too many teachers.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 11:08 AM
To be fair to Basir, he's NOT talking about privatization of school systems... in his case, it's the creation of PUBLIC charter schools.

Right Norm, but it's not a bad idea to sight the more global philosophy to make the point.

Chris Coose
10-30-2012, 11:17 AM
We need to throw out the system.



Ann Romney

Dan McCosh
10-30-2012, 11:35 AM
To be fair to Basir, he's NOT talking about privatization of school systems... in his case, it's the creation of PUBLIC charter schools. "Public" charter schools are privatized public schools. They are owned by private interests. (In Michigan, the state superintendent of school owned a dozen), they operate as private schools with open enrollment, and the students pay with money collected as taxes. The system was established here as an alternative to pressure from the Catholic school system, which wanted state subsidies, but that never gained any traction. One side effect is that many are converted from former Catholic schools. The funding levels theoretically match the per-pupil expenditure at public schools, which is why any student attending one means that much less for what is left of the public school system.

Curtism
10-30-2012, 12:43 PM
"Public" charter schools are privatized public schools. They are owned by private interests. (In Michigan, the state superintendent of school owned a dozen), they operate as private schools with open enrollment, and the students pay with money collected as taxes. The system was established here as an alternative to pressure from the Catholic school system, which wanted state subsidies, but that never gained any traction. One side effect is that many are converted from former Catholic schools. The funding levels theoretically match the per-pupil expenditure at public schools, which is why any student attending one means that much less for what is left of the public school system.

Here in Florida there's a push on via ballot initiative for a state constitutional amendment to do what Dan describes in the part of his post I bolded.


The proposed measure would prevent individuals from being barred from participating in public programs if they choose to use public funds at a religious provider. Essentially, the measure moves to repeal the state's ban of public dollars for religious funding, also known as the "Blaine Amendment."

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Florida_Religious_Freedom,_Amendment_8_%282012%29

It needs 60% approval to pass and I'm hoping it doesn't come close. The lines between church and state are blurred enough already.

Orange
10-30-2012, 02:32 PM
Charter schools politically might be an area that both red and blue can meet and reach agreements. I've seen both sides of the political isle finding reasons for promoting them.

Regardless, it appears that change is coming to how schooling occurs. Americans are loosing faith in our expensive public schools. My guess is we are likely to see a period of experimentation with different education possibilities - charter schools, vouchers for school choice, internet learning, etc.

"Americans Flee Public Schools"
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/07/26/americans-flee-public-schools/

snippet from the article:


Something very strange is happening around the country: students are disappearing from Americaís public schools.
The New York Times reports (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/education/largest-school-districts-see-steady-drop-in-enrollment.html?_r=1) that many of the countryís largest school districts are rapidly losing students as parents lucky enough to have the choice switch their kids to private and charter schools. In the countryís largest school districts, public school enrollment is down by about 10 percent while charter school enrollment is up by more than 60 percent. This mass flight by newly empowered families is forcing tough choices on school districts:...


&

"Americans Lose Faith in Public Schools"


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/20/americans-lose-faith-in-public-schools/

From Walter Russell Mead's sight ~


The latest Gallup polls (http://www.gallup.com/poll/155258/Confidence-Public-Schools-New-Low.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20Banks%20-%20Business%20-%20Congress%20-%20Education%20-%20Government%20-%20Healthcare%20-%20Institutions%20and%20Infrastructure%20-%20Law%20and%20Order%20-%20Media%20-%20Politics%20-%20Supreme%20Court%20-%20The%20Presidency) measuring Americansí confidence in the nationís institutions have been released, and the news is not good. Newspapers, banks, and small businesses all took a hit, while gains for the Congress, the Presidency, and the criminal justice system were relatively minor. One of the largest drops was for public schools. According to the poll, confidence in public schools has dropped five percentage points in the past year to 29 percent, a historic low since the question was first asked in the early 1970s.
That number has been in a long, slow slide for the past forty years:
This decline is alarming but understandable. With each passing year it becomes increasingly clear that the big-box school model that carried America through much of the 20th century is no longer working. School expenditures have increased even as performance has declined or stagnated, and international comparisonsconsistently show (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html)America falling short relative to other developed nations. Meanwhile, across the country, parents who can afford it are pulling their children out of highly bureaucratized public schools and putting them into private ones where they can at least have some influence in the shape of their childrenís education. Small wonder that public schools are losing the support of the public they were created to serve.
The solution, as we have remarked before (http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/18/l-a-teachers-face-new-evaluations/), is a decentralized system that puts more power into the hands of parents and teachers. This would work wonders to restore peopleís confidence in our schools as a whole.

Ascew
10-30-2012, 03:43 PM
There is a charter school in our area that uses the lottery system, because there are always too many families trying to get their children in, ours included. The school receives the same amount of money per pupil from the taxbase as the traditional public school. The reason our family wants to get our children into that school is quite simple...by all metrics, the students that attend that school outperform the local traditional public schools. There is no criteria that gives any student an advantage in gaining acceptance. The difference, as Norm points out, is that the parents of the students that apply probably care more, and are more involved in their children's education. Where I disaggree with Norm is that I don't think it is a bad thing. I want the best education for my children, and frankly the public school is disappointing. In an effort to make everything fair for everyone, my children are not challenged and bored and not getting the best education.

Charter schools have a limited amount of time to perform to the same standards that traditional public schools use. The ones that don't meet those standards are not allowed to re-new their charters. I would like to see more and more of these charter schools, I would like to see all children get into smaller, better performing, more tailored programs to get the best, most appropriate education. Some students have the potential to be rocket scientists, some teachers, some lawyers, some electricians, some bakers, some unskilled labor. All students should have the same access to education, but not all students will be able to perform at the same level of academic achievement. I think vocational high schools are a great idea too, they focus a smaller group of students into tailored programs. I think the more of that we have, the better the results of the educational system as a whole we will have.

Ted Hoppe
10-30-2012, 04:00 PM
Note that you frame the issue around one thing: YOUR children.

I'm glad that YOUR children are getting a better education than the ones who didn't win the lottery, but....

...what does it say about the children who DON'T luck out, and get admitted? What do WE say, as citizens? "Sorry"?

The egalitarian rules of education that older generations held no longer apply. Not even Obama's kids go to public school. At his kids school - Sidwellt costs $32,000 a year per child.

Ascew
10-30-2012, 04:04 PM
Note that you frame the issue around one thing: YOUR children.

I'm glad that YOUR children are getting a better education than the ones who didn't win the lottery, but....

...what does it say about the children who DON'T luck out, and get admitted? What do WE say, as citizens? "Sorry"?


My children haven't gotten in, but we keep trying.

Ascew
10-30-2012, 04:06 PM
What do WE say, as citizens? "Sorry"?


Let's have more charter schools, so more kids can get a better education.

George Jung
10-30-2012, 06:15 PM
This is what's going on in SD this election cycle - always someone trying to divert for their personal agendas:


Referred Law 16 would revamp teacher evaluations, end automatic tenure for teachers and install a merit pay system for top performing teachers. The teachers’ union objects to the changes, which were approved by the Legislature earlier this year, and the South Dakota Education Association — the local affiliate of the NEA — collected signatures to refer the issue to voters.
Initiated Measure 15, meanwhile, would raise the state sales tax by 1 cent, from 4 percent to 5. The additional money, roughly $180 million a year, would be split evenly by K-12 education and Medicaid providers, thus an alliance between the NEA and the state’s hospital systems."

George Jung
10-30-2012, 07:14 PM
If we all raised our kids like the Asians do here, it'd be a different ballgame, as well. So much for that.

Ian McColgin
10-30-2012, 07:47 PM
There are plenty of substandard charter schools. If you select for student population, parental economic stability, and total financial support, charter schools do no better and no worse than public schools. In some states, like Massachusetts, the exclusivity of charter schools, their ability to cream students, is supposed to be amiliorated by as sort of admissions lottery. But, strangely enough, the levels of special needs and other underperforming students who get into the charter schools somehow end up not staying there. What charter schools do as a broad phenomenon is snag the "easy" students and leave the public schools with less money per student to deal with the hardest students.

johnw
10-30-2012, 08:15 PM
People love to bash our schools, but they are actually not bad.


http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/12/amazing-truth-about-pisa-scores-usa.htmlThe amazing truth about PISA scores: USA beats Western Europe, ties with Asia.

What I have learned recently and want to share with you is that once we correct (even crudely) for demography in the 2009 PISA scores (http://pisa2009.acer.edu.au/downloads.php), American students outperform Western Europe by significant margins and tie with Asian students. Jump to the graphs if you don't want to read my boring set-up and methodology.

The main theme in my blog is that we shouldnít confuse policy with culture, and with demographic factors.

Which begs the question, if everything we know about our schools is wrong, have they failed us?

johnw
10-30-2012, 08:20 PM
And here's the cold water for the charter alternative:



http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/MULTIPLE_CHOICE_CREDO.pdf
The group portrait shows wide variation in performance. The study reveals that a decent fraction
of charter schools, 17 percent, provide superior education opportunities for their students.
Nearly half of the charter schools nationwide have results that are no different from the local
public school options and over a third, 37 percent, deliver learning results that are significantly
worse than their student would have realized had they remained in traditional public schools.
These findings underlie the parallel findings of significant state‐by‐state differences in charter
school performance and in the national aggregate performance of charter schools. The policy
challenge is how to deal constructively with varying levels of performance today and into the
future.

johnw
10-30-2012, 10:28 PM
You already ackowledged charter schools are better in your post #75.
"I'm glad that YOUR children are getting a better education than the ones who didn't win the lottery,"

See post #86. Apparently, they are more often worse.

Ascew
10-31-2012, 06:59 AM
..., then every school should be one...

Agreed, lets start the transition. The faster the better.

Ascew
10-31-2012, 07:03 AM
What makes you think that 'lesser' students hold the 'better' ones back?

They do. My daughter is constantly complaining that 3 boys, one more than the other 2, don't pay attention and the teacher constantly has to go over the same material. Having spoken with other parents, they hear the same from their children. Without those 3 boys in the classroom the other 25 would be getting much more education during their time in the classroom.

Ian McColgin
10-31-2012, 08:22 AM
It's important to avoid lumping some charter schools in some districts with the mass of the charter school movement. One is about educational innovation and a genuine effort to provide a beacon to the wider public school system. The other is a profit driven enterprise that rides on the suspicion and mistrust all too many feel for local institutions. And just because some of those institutions deserve the mistrust does not make the rejection of community a good response.

In short, there are great charter schools but they do not off-set the extent to which the movement is used to make money and undermine public education at the same time. So long as the formulae for funding charter schools involve taking some per capita money from the mainline public schools, this will be a fundamental problem and will pose a sharp and systemic negative to the individual positives that some charter schools do. We have too many public school teachers buying basic classroom supplies with their own money to pretend otherwise.

ccmanuals
10-31-2012, 08:34 AM
I'm a proponent of merit based pay for teachers that provide good teachers the opportunity to earn more. I'm sure his union opposes this. But regardless of WHY he does it, I'm pretty certain it effects his performance as a teacher. Everyone should be saving 11% or even more of their income for their retirement. Many don't, and enjoy their iPhone data plans, expensive cars, etc. and then expect the rest of us taxpayers to take care of them when they're old.

Yea, them teachers sure have a life of luxury.

Ian McColgin
10-31-2012, 08:49 AM
Stratified classes is an old old argument. Generally it's applied in what we used to call junior high school, now middle school. Up through sixth grade the bulk of the education is all subjects one teacher. Starting in seventh grade, kids get different teachers for math, english, social studies, foreign language, sciences, etc.

Stratified classes came to our school just as I hit seventh grade as part of a set of reforms promoted by people like my mother, by then the elected Secretary on the School Board, who were part of that WWII generation who bore the baby boom and who promoted school expansion, the taxes for which dismayed citizens a half generation or so older who did not want to pay for other people's children.

It is absolutely the case - as I found from my own limited high school level teaching - that lumping the brighter kids together makes for really fun teaching where the synergy of the students is an important part of the superior outcome. As the children grow into youg adults, this student synergy can become so important that it makes up for really terrible teaching, which is why a place like WGU (World's Greatest University, aka Harvard) has great outcomes despite the fact that collectivly the faculty can't teach their way out of a paper bag.

As it turns out, good teachers with suitably limited classes (like no more than a dozen in any class) can teach for all the students just fine, providing the extra touches it takes to meet every student's special needs, whether it's the superior student's need for more of a challenge or the dyslectic's need for a different approach. And it also turns out that the mixed classes provide a better environment for the other important parts of education - growth in community, more generous socialization, appropriate competition, etc.

If you have a school system that is committed to education on the cheap with large class sizes, then stratified classes are a handy way to select the kids who can learn despite what the system does and select out the kids who will pull down the high stakes test averages. Despite some examples of innovative education, the profit quasi public schools we call charter schools fit nicely into the mass education on the cheap select out the losers model.

I've never had kids and if I had, it would be grandkids 'twould be in school now. Many in my class figure it's in their self-interest to oppose taxes for schools. I certainly see the waste, the bloated administration and such, but 'starving the beast' does not improve education. Involvement with the schools, smaller classes and adequate budgets improve education. Since the products of today's schools will be the working people and professionals who will be around when I totter to my dotage, I've a vested interest in they're being the best they can be.

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 08:52 AM
Without commenting on your daughter's quite specific situation, the notion of segregating kids by learning ability (at least within reason) is a hopeless spiral. In any collection of kids, there will be faster and slower learners.... and the ones who are slower benefit from the environmental mix.

It was common practice, when I was school age, to segregate educational tracks like that. We had the 'college prep' section, the 'business' section, and the 'general' section... and you can imagine how the kids were stratified under that principle. Even within the sections, the kids were further stratified... and we were VERY conscious of the class structure. The kids in what they called the 'business' section were considered incapable of college work... and were, instead, taught typing and simplistic accounting (nothing more than addition and subtraction). The kids in the 'general' section were basically throw-aways.... and had no 'competition', nothing to inspire them; in those classes, bad behavior was the only way a kid could earn the respect of their peers. You can imagine the outcome.

Let me ask it another way: suppose your daughter is stratified into a class with only high achievers... and half the class achieves better than she does. Is SHE holding the brighter kids back? The so-called "tracking" system was pretty common when I was in school. It pretty much mirrors society at large, and still underlies the educational system. The form varies, however, whether it's "tracking" in a public school, enrolling in private school, parochial schools, charter schools, etc., buying into "good" neighborhoods, and so on. It's hardly democratic, but the reality is that a relatively small percentage of kids benefit from advanced course material, and packing everyone into those classes does damage the ones who can achieve.

Boater14
10-31-2012, 09:04 AM
History lesson. Since desegregation the holy grail, fantastic dream has been to get public funds into all white "academies" in the south. They sprang up like weeds in the aftermath of school desegregation. That bit of dreamland has morphed into this voucher/charter school movement. No data to suppport claims at all. But we have seen school operators buying buildings, leasing them back of their schools and wacking the taxpayer. Like fracking, this went nuts under dems and in PA. You have welfare system that aids and abets kids having kids, a slice of society that sees no downside to out of wedlock births, girls who'll give it away to a guy who'll never work, courts giving kids back to junkie parents and the kids failing at school is the teachers fault? Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life. her opinion on anything is meaningless. My mother came from very little and raised two ons who fought for America. Ann romneybraised sons who made money backed by immense trust fund. If MS has been her greatest challenge she sure lucked out. After 14 years it hasn't slowed her down a bit. she says this is their last campaign.....thank god.

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 09:19 AM
The big-city school systems used to fund various high-achieving schools, even while the average classroom was in chaos. The best case for charter schools is the seriously dysfunctional inner-city classrooms, and this is also where they enjoy the greatest participation and support. As I noted early, they are playing the same role Catholic schools historically played, offering an alternative to some pretty bad public schools. A friend who attended A Catholic school said she was often told by the nuns to shape up, or "you will go to public school and get beat up". I'm not a supporter of charter schools, but I think the problems they attempt to address are very real.

PhaseLockedLoop
10-31-2012, 11:55 AM
...He does this for a shockingly low salary... and has to divert a full 11% of his income to his pension plan. It's no picnic.

I don't want to inflame anybody here, but my wife, who was a teacher for many years in Dover and Watertown, MA, tells me that the following observation nearly always enrages teachers, but teachers generally get 12 weeks or so off each year. That's a hell of a fringe benefit. If you knock 10+ weeks' pay from my income, it wouldn't look so good either.

Anyway, though I assume that the Romney approach to education is pernicious, I've got to say that the education system currently in place is in some way responsible for the lack of critical ability and independent thought in the populous. It seems to me a very powerful propaganda machine, turning out blinkered masses who aren't even aware that they're being shoveled aside economically, even while smug jackasses like Romney take pleasure in telling them to take it and like it, with Obama more circumspect. I don't want to argue politics here other than to observe that campaigning is conducted on a nearly moronic level, and the educated public doesn't seem to notice. I don't see how charter schools would help, but if I had kids, I'd home school them.

Ian McColgin
10-31-2012, 12:32 PM
"So you think throwing the kid who wants to be an auto body repair person into the AP Calculus II class with the kid who wants to be an astronomer will create "synergy"?" [#109]

Knumbknotz forces some false notions to inferr a silly notion or two. VocEd as we knew it some decades ago is pointless in today's age where auto body guys need math, computer, and language skills not required in the past. AP Calculus is, like any AP course, an elective for students who have finished all the HS level math courses. While many college-bound students will give the auto shop courses a miss, some budding engineers might love it. To indulge in a stereotype. And whether bound for life as a carpenter or as an architect, courses that bring the modern equivalent of mechanical drawing and physical maths together are of value.

Especially as kids get on to high school, there may be a need for some classes that really emphasize specific math, language and reasoning skills that we view as fundamental to a high school degree, presumably because they also fit a person to be adaptable in our economy, but we should be encouraging individual growth in ways that encourage community rather than exacerbate class distinctions.

PhaseLockedLoop
10-31-2012, 02:04 PM
I can't address your wife's situation, but regarding my son-in-law, even when you count only the days spent working, and subtract all time off, including vacations, school closings, and summers off, it's still pretty low pay.... especially for someone who spent a LOT of money to get a BS and TWO, count em, TWO MS degrees (and they were necessary, to make the salary at least somewhat better). I have only a BS, and was out-earning him (adjusted for inflation) only ten years into my career as an electrical engineer... and that was nearly 40 years ago.

Yeah, I don't disagree, and I'm all in favor of teacher's unions too, though not necessarily crazy about some of the contracts they've been able to get. In Ann Arbor, for example, five years as a teacher gets you lifelong dental care. Of course if we had so-called socialized medicine, such problems wouldn't come up.

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 02:05 PM
Local teachers salaries top out at about $80,000. That's also the median family income for the community. I would say that the underpaid teacher is largely a myth, along with the underpaid police officer. Comparing to an EE degree, normally the highest starting salary of any undergraduate degree, doesn't make a lot of sense.

PhaseLockedLoop
10-31-2012, 02:23 PM
Romney is a "smug jackass" and Obama is "circumspect"? :D That's the best one I've heard in a very long time! are you sure you aren't among the "blinkered masses" yourself?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. For one thing, hardly anyone agrees with me. Various neuroses may obtain, but I'm not a victim of the cultural trance.

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 02:41 PM
Engineers in general start high, then see small incremental pay increases, which means that often a new recruit get more than senior people. Teachers usually start low, with lock-step increases usually based on seniority and advanced degrees, with a substantial fringe package that ends up with a substantial pension. Moonlighting in the summer is part of the deal. Public employes in general today are making far more than they did 30 years ago, relative to the general public.

Canoeyawl
10-31-2012, 03:32 PM
Everyone should be saving 11% or even more of their income for their retirement. Many don't, and enjoy their iPhone data plans, expensive cars, etc. and then expect the rest of us taxpayers to take care of them when they're old.

I guess this Knumbknotz is a compassionate conservative...

Would you suggest we should just summarily execute them? Or perhaps cast them out in the dead of winter?

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 05:10 PM
I guess this canoeyawl is a socialist.

Do you think it's OK for someone to live irresponsibly and then end up as a burden on society due to their poor decisions? Do you think it's OK to hire someone with a pension as part of their compensation, and then not pay it when it comes due?

George Jung
10-31-2012, 05:40 PM
Sounds good - but how to do it? It basically involves a 're-calculation' of an already completed career.

Dan McCosh
10-31-2012, 05:53 PM
No, I think government employees with compensation including pensions that are way above market rates should have those pensions capped and paid out at Net Present Value to the employees to get the liability off the books of government agencies that can't afford it. Convert them to defined contribution plans rather than defined benefit plans. That's what's happening to everyone else who works in the real world. The "real world" is full of companies unloading their pension liabilities on the government, having failed to pay or fund their contractual obligations. No one is offering to pay out at present value, public or private. In fact most companies refuse to do so. As for government employes converting to defined contribution plans, I guess you noticed that Clinton did this already, one way he balanced the budget.

Canoeyawl
10-31-2012, 06:00 PM
The "real world" is full of companies unloading their pension liabilities on the government, having failed to pay or fund their contractual obligations.

Mittens made a lot of money doing just that, over and over again.

Canoeyawl
10-31-2012, 06:07 PM
Do you think it's OK for someone to live irresponsibly and then end up as a burden on society due to their poor decisions?

Perhaps someone did not make poor decisions, perhaps they became ill and were properly screwed by their insurance company.
There are a lot of scenarios that make your argument a silly one. The insurance companies know that when they drop a liability that someone else will pick up the slack. It's the American way, and they are capitalizing on it.

ccmanuals
10-31-2012, 07:06 PM
No, I think government employees with compensation including pensions that are way above market rates should have those pensions capped and paid out at Net Present Value to the employees to get the liability off the books of government agencies that can't afford it. Convert them to defined contribution plans rather than defined benefit plans. That's what's happening to everyone else who works in the real world.

How about if the gov't employee is being paid lower than the market rate?

BTW, gov't employees are already on contribution plans. You need to do a little homework.