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Author Topic: Excellent article on American Education  (Read 11846 times)

Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2005, 11:21:50 am »

Equal quality to the public schools?  I don't think that would sell to anyone.  If you are planning a change in the academic curriculum of any school program why not shoot for the best of the private schools?  I do not mean religious schools because they are not nearly up to par as the secular schools. 

In 2000 I attended the RNC Platform meeting who were discussing improvements in the public schools across America.  Several teachers showed up to explain how they took schools in the lowest reading scores in areas of Los Angeles that the Board of Education had given up on.  One of the teachers was a tiny elderly Japanese woman who simply wrote up her own curriculum and took 7th grade of this school and brought them from last place on the list in California to first!  She jumped in with many of the old fashioned teaching methods that had been successful and got those kids ready for a chance at highschool and college.  Another teacher made a similar presentation and again used her own agenda and brought an all black school class from Oakland CA with the same results.

The Platform writers of the RNC yawned and explained that they were going to test the children instead of teaching them and the meeting was over. 

Is the purpose to put all children in the same level of education or extend that education to increase their interests in their own futures?  Every child learns at their own capabilities and to force them to be sheep and wait for others will not do a single thing for a single student. 

Think Charter Schools where the parents set the curriculum, or think private schools or even better think group home schools where parents gather as a group to teach their specialities to the kids. 
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SteveA

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2005, 01:07:03 pm »

To be fair, private schools enjoy part of their success from the fact that inactive parents, uninvolved in their childrens education, just flow with the system and end up with their children being taught under the public system.  Though that also seems to indicate that parents would become more active in education if this wasn't the case and even in public schools you can see that the family influence is what really differentiates most students.  I remember in California, at a large math contest from 100 schools, the two winners were both brothers ;D.  Pure coincidence?  I think not.  So if the current system breeds apathy in one of the major factors in education, it's an uphill battle from that alone.  And the other large flaw in education, at least when it comes to creativity which is an important part of technological growth, you can't create original and creative students using tools designed for mass production.  (And of course, our social safety nets teach people that it doesn't matter whether you work and get an education or not ... you'll be taken care of ... at the expense of people who did work and get an education).
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2005, 01:28:29 pm »

Steve, we aren't talking about mass  students as we find in California but smaller select schools to be set up in New Hampshire by the FSP.  I chose small private schools in t he Los Angeles area just to see that my kids got more one-on-one attention. 

My youngest was slow!  I knew that in public school she would be left way behind.  My oldest was a bright sharp active pain in the ass and would probably take over any public school she attended.  I faced a choice to find a school that could handle both.  I found the system and enrolled the older girl and she immediately found herself academically challenged and threw herself into a learning mode that calmed her down.  She had been bored. A few years later the younger one woke up and I believe it was the oral reading that I and my older girl were doing with the little one listening in.  I had no television and our books became our whole entertainment.  The day I found the little one picking up a book and pretending to read aloud while making up a wonderful story was the day I celebrated my choice of schools.  She sailed through with a breeze. 

The older girl has  PhD in Psychology and the little one has degrees all over the place including a membership in the N.Y. Bar Association.  Once they were introduced to education there was no stopping them.  They aren't that bright but the schools motivated them far beyond their friends in public school. 

The question is how will the parents of the children in the FSP choose the schools they want and do they even know what they want?  Social studies?  Science, Math, Art and Music?????  Are parents motivated towards the Universities for the kids or simple training classes for their skills?

Government schools should not be an option for these free-thinking people but if they need the public schools, extra tutoring should be planned too. 
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GT

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2005, 01:47:43 pm »

There is a group in southern New Hampshire organizing to sue the state to fully fund education. Nashua NH announced Friday they will sue the state too.

http://www.nhcafe.com
http://www.nhcafe.com/blog/

Of course NHCafe is not interested in anything but increasing the size of government and taxing the citizens to pay for education.
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2005, 02:01:24 pm »

I shudder at the thought but if that is what the people want, that is what they will get.  All t he more reason to open your own schools.
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GT

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2005, 02:20:18 pm »

The Founders of NHCafe are School Board and officials, a NH member of the house and a superintendaant. The $150,000 in "donations" that the group is funded by is monies pledged by school boards and Town Councils of the 15-18 towns involved with the group. NHCafe share little information other than an occasional press release yet they are funded with public money. The people seem to have little say.
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2005, 02:28:26 pm »

Are the in control of the private schools?  Do they control the curriculum of home schools?

The Board of Education in each district is elected!  No?
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5thconcerto

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2005, 10:50:07 pm »

Sandy,
 I agree whole-heartedly with what you are saying.
 Children want to learn. Public schools smother that desire. A childs education cannot be forced, but can, and must, be encouraged. When a spark of interest appears, run with it. Do not worry about a regimented system. The childs interest will roam far, and everything needed will eventually learned. We need to start thinking outside the box. The goal is not a college degree, it is an education that will serve the child well for a lifetime.
Alan
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BrianMcCandliss

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2005, 10:32:25 am »

Equal quality to the public schools?  I don't think that would sell to anyone. 

Actually it's ESSENTIAL under the basic precept of "Ceteris Paribus," basically meaning "all other things being equal--" which is essential to ALL comparisons. If you showed them that a $30,000/year elite prep-school is better, they'll just say "no duh-- but I don't have $30,000/year for each of my kids, and public school only costs me $300/year in property taxes; so it's a much better deal for the money, AND I can afford it."

So basically, they're already buying it, by voting for-- and USING-- public schools; they just don't realize the full price, and think they're getting a bargain. Show them a LOWER price on the same quality in the private sector, and it's impossible NOT to sell it.
For example, the above parent voter thinks they're getting a great bargain at $300/year for 2 kids in school; however they DON'T see all the"hidden" costs via increased prices, income taxes, mortgage-payments, interest-income etc. that they're paying. If they did, they'd realize that they're giving an averge of more than $400,000 over their own lifetime from their personal wealth, and that likewise an equal or better education could be purchased for less.


Consider the voter's rationale:
Voters spend money on the public school system, on the assumption that an equal education would cost more in the private sector-- otherwise, there'd be no point in spending ANYTHING on public schools.  By exposing this assumption as false, voters will naturally stop spending. Simple as that.

THIS is the beauty of capitalism-- it allows for QUANTITATIVE comparisons between products by each individual consumer, rather than the soft-sell politcs of state resource-allocation. There's no greater form of freedom.

For example,  if you see Cheerio's for $5/box, and generic "Oat Rings" cereal for $6, which do you buy? Obviously the better AND cheaper product.
However if the more-expensive Oat Rings are marked at $1/box, many people might be more likely to purchase the inferior product, if they don't find out that it's ACTUALLY equally or more expensive at the scanner check-out. Tell them that the Oat Rings-purchase will be credited toward the rest of their purchases (i.e. they're paying for it anyway), and MOST people will probably purchase it-- unless they REALLY like Cheerio's, they REALLY hate Oat Rings, and they got money to burn.

The key, then, is to SHOW people the actual figures, and expose how they're being ripped-off compared to the better product.
Once this is made clear how much the average voter is paying-- and the DOLLAR COST of an equal-quality education in the private sector, for comparison-- then public schools will end YESTERDAY.

The problem with current activists, is that they attempt to use QUALITATIVE arguments to sway voters; this is a mistake, since the public-school lobby has a MUCH more effective version-- i.e. pure shameless emotional rhetoric about "your child's right to an education" and  "the nation's future" etc.-- and a LOT more money to spend selling it thanks to the DoE, NEA and teacher's unions etc.
However, money talks louder than anything-- it only requires the ability to COUNT; so if you can PROVE that public schools cost voters more than private ones of equal quality, then they're history; it really IS just that simple.

So if we were to get a fund to hire private accounting-firms to compare the costs between public and private schools of equal quality (again "Ceteris Paribus"), and show voters that privates schools are just as inexpensive-- and just as good, or better-- than public schools, then the voter would naturally vote to abolish them immediately.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2005, 11:55:54 am by BrianMcCandliss »
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2005, 12:34:14 pm »

Charter schools have no tuitions!  Some are superior to government schools and some are not.  It is up to the parents to make that judgment.  Many parents who are just making do with their incomes tend to hire tutors for afterschool subjects.  I have tutored as have both my daughters.

My husband refused to pick up tuition for the girls because they were only girls!  I decided to try out a "Carden Academy" private school on my own to see if the older girl would do well.  She loved it!  I made the commitment for both girls but it meant my working 2 jobs, driving an old 17 year old chevy and putting the girls on the public bus.  They thrived and always wanted to return. 

My feelings were that they only go through 12 years of school once and if they wanted to go on to the University it would essential as the Los Angeles Public schools were horrible.   We lived in a run down cabin without heat for 18 years and the girls would have to locate firewood after school in order to survive.  I soon began to make good money and managed some luxuries but always set aside college tuition because my husband would never pick up that tab.  We went through braces, broken bones but I always kept my credit good and could  borrow money on the old cabin that continued to grow in worth.  We took no vacations, the girls had no bikes and going camping was out of the question.  The girls worked after school at various jobs and bought their own goodies that little girls like.

We had no television and certainly no cable connection and I drove the same old car for all those years.  One can get what they want if they want to pay for it.  Oh, yes I paid for public school through my property taxes and it was a lot more than $300 per year. 

Both girls were accepted in the University of California and immediately got jobs to pay for their extras.  They were well prepared for this difficult school and never made less than a 3.8 grade average.  It took team work which many parents and kids aren't willing to do but in my case it was all they knew.  My kids are tri-lingual and have traveled all over the world.  They are well read in most subjects and are at home anywhere on the planet.  They have been introduced to the Art world and both are collectors.  They know symphonic music as well as pop and are always in an audience somewhere.  They were raised on Shakespeare as that is what I did for a living.  I costumed several small Shakespearean theaters and worked for several private colleges who did Shakespear summer sessions.  The girls were always involved in everything.

They are in their 40s at this time, married, professional women raising their families with all the best education possible.  They are both printed authors with many books under their belts including text books. 

I can only share my experiences with a good academic school for the kids and hope others can find the way to do it too.  Nothing I could have done would have compared with the education my kids got from these schools.

I can't imagine doing it any other way.

I think we are discussing equality education or the possibility of ideal education.  I chose ideal.
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SteveA

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2005, 12:48:48 pm »

Many people believe that because someone else is footing the bill at least they personally are still getting a good deal but it's only a short run gain and long term losses.  In the long run, it's not the military, our political strength overseas, the number of teachers we publicly employ or how many hours a day we can manage to keep our children in school that matter, it's the quality of life for people that counts most.  This is just like a bank account where improvements occur over time and multiply as we invest more into it.  It's not only economic of course but most social realms depend on a stable and abundant physical foundation to flourish.  Whether or not it's called theft, it we decide it's ok to sacrifice the interests of people who become successful in favor of those who aren't, we create a scenario where success is limited for everyone.  I forget the exact quote but Thomas Jefferson said something like government should not take bread from the person that grew it and it's easy to see why this can create a large problem - if bread were taken from people that grew it and given to those who had none, then anyone hungry who tried to grow bread would find this taken and given to others.  People would be denied an ability to feed themselves and would be at the mercy of everyone elses good intentions (somehow lacking in the governmental realm).  If it were truly redistributed equally, then whether or not you worked would make virtually no difference in your quality of life, so since noone would find little of any personal benefit to work (except possibly personal satisfaction in completing a job) people would either starve or be forced to work - look at any socialistic government around the world to see that generally both occur - you're forced to work, given rations of what everyone produces, and the quality of life stil sucks.

So receving a few bucks grant from government might give a short term gain to someone, it only creates long term problems for everyone.  (Besides the money is given back only after strings are attached anyway, so a dollar given by the federal/state government is worth less than keeping it out of federal/states hands altogether).  If there really are benefits to large scale planning, people can do so voluntarily and demonstrate the benefits to others and attrach more followers in a voluntary and peaceful manner with much fewer bad side effects.
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2005, 02:09:25 pm »

Bravo!  Well stated Steve!
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dowcet

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2005, 10:51:13 pm »

So basically, they're already buying it, by voting for-- and USING-- public schools; they just don't realize the full price, and think they're getting a bargain. Show them a LOWER price on the same quality in the private sector, and it's impossible NOT to sell it.

In many communities, no one is "voting for [...] public schools" in any meaningful way. The schools have existed for generations and the structure of politics make it extremely difficult to do anything about it. Of course many communities are exploring charter schools and other alternatives, but in many places where people have tried to pursue those ideas and not been able to politically, it probably wasn't because of an informed popular consensus against them, it was because of bureaucratic control. Maybe there are a ton of places where vouchers and/or charter schools have been posed as referenda, or at least made into campaign issues, but not in most of the places I've lived.

So in many cases, people use public schools simply because they don't have the money to take advantage of what private options happen to be available. I guess in many other cases, people use public schools because they just don't care or don't realize that there could easily be a better way. Either way, I don't buy your idea that you just need to show the numbers and everyone will agree to close down the public schools, because the numbers are already out there, like in the Cato Institute report I linked to earlier in the thread.
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BrianMcCandliss

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2005, 07:08:47 am »

So basically, they're already buying it, by voting for-- and USING-- public schools; they just don't realize the full price, and think they're getting a bargain. Show them a LOWER price on the same quality in the private sector, and it's impossible NOT to sell it.

In many communities, no one is "voting for [...] public schools" in any meaningful way. The schools have existed for generations and the structure of politics make it extremely difficult to do anything about it. Of course many communities are exploring charter schools and other alternatives, but in many places where people have tried to pursue those ideas and not been able to politically, it probably wasn't because of an informed popular consensus against them, it was because of bureaucratic control. Maybe there are a ton of places where vouchers and/or charter schools have been posed as referenda, or at least made into campaign issues, but not in most of the places I've lived.

So in many cases, people use public schools simply because they don't have the money to take advantage of what private options happen to be available. I guess in many other cases, people use public schools because they just don't care or don't realize that there could easily be a better way. Either way, I don't buy your idea that you just need to show the numbers and everyone will agree to close down the public schools, because the numbers are already out there, like in the Cato Institute report I linked to earlier in the thread.

This is simply not true: the will of the people wins out in any democracy. If you ran for office on the position of privatizing schools-- or petitioned a referendum for same-- your success would be determined by the strength of the will of the voters in that direction.

And you didn't link to ANYTHING, ANYWHERE in this thread.

People don't have the money to go to private school, because they're ALREADY spending all their money on PUBLIC shools-- they simply don't REALIZE it because no one's done an accounting-study to prove it. You think they're not PAYING that money, just because it comes from the GOVERNMENT? Where do you think the GOVERNMENT gets its money?

Once they DID realize privatization was cheaper, they'd vote for it tomorrow.

Also, private schools are over-priced because they usually cater to the rich, and there's not much competition; only 12% of the population uses private schools, and they ALREADY pay for public schools. Obviously, they've got money to burn-- or REALLY high priorities.

However, in a free market, private schools could not cost ANY more than public schools of equal quality, once all costs are tabulated-- it's simply impossible.

It's so simple that no one wants to believe it-- however if you want me to believe that something is in my best interest, you gotta SHOW ME THE MONEY. Once you show people how much they'll save-- TO THE PENNY-- then they'll DO something about it.

Otherwise, it's just some vague notion, and they'll never change it.

So the choice is simple-- you can fill volumes with your rhetoric, or you can charter a simple cost-comparison study and get RESULTS. I see a lot of talk here, but not ONE POST other than mine which actually talks about why voters would choose a privatized system of education over the current one.
The answer is, only ONE REASON: if you can PROVE it's cheaper and better. ONLY an independent cost-comparison study will do that.
Otherwise, you're just jumping up and down saying "PICK ME! PICK MY SYSTEM!" with no quantitative proof or evidence. It WON'T WORK.
Of course some people don't WANT it to work-- it's easier and more neurotically-gratifying to do it THEIR way, and then complain when it fails.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2005, 11:59:30 am by BrianMcCandliss »
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Sandy Price

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Re: Excellent article on American Education
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2005, 07:40:58 am »

Brian, in a Democracy the voters can change any or all members of the Board of Education to improve the schools.  People do have the money for private education because private schools are opening up all over America.  Where there is heavy poverty, many corporations are funding these private schools or helping out funding of Charter schools.  Those schools will work if the parents work at it.

Sadly most Americans are not educated well enough to understand the situation and will always insist that the government make the improvements to the system.  NO!! That is absolutely the worst thing to ask. 

The problem Brian, is that the Federal Government  sets mandates for all public schools and these mandates never improve the academics but develop administtrations.  Private schools put the tuition into the students themselves and many of these schools start in somebody's garage or basement. 

We must focus on the purpose of these schools.  Are they done for the social development of the children or are they done for academic training?  If you go back to the early days of American schools and read some of the books we have mentioned here, you will see that those one room schools focused on academics and survival skills.  The kids only attended school about 3 to 4 hours a day because they had work to do at home or on the ranch or even in a manufacturing plant.  These kids knew their future depended on their academic training because if they didn't work, they didn't eat.

The FSP is based on libertarian ideas of individuality.  You seem to want a collectivist attitude within their schools.  Their whole purpose of the FSP is to train the next generation to live away from government programs and develop their own.  Is it that you don't understand this?

If the parents want to prioritize their money to pay for private education, what is it to you?  Millions of Americans are working 2 jobs to do this and their kids understand the sacrifice and work with them with eagerness. 

When we lived in Encino California, our tuition for our daughter was $2K per year.  My property taxes in our home showed $2K taken out of our taxes for public school.  Now that was a shock to me because the quality of the education between the two systems was great.  The kids coming out of public school did not qualify for the Universities without 2 years of junior college.  That is the time most kids drop out of education.  Berkeley took students from many foreign lands and private schools because that is how they kept their high standards up.  My husband was a college professor and checked out all the universities to see where they got their freshmen.  I found some really good prep schools and worked my way down to the best academic 1st through 12th schools I could find. 

From day one my kids were motivated academically and every May I would sit them down and ask if they wanted to return to their private school or go with their neighorhood friends to the school down the street.  Both girls requested to return to the private school as they loved it.  That was my incentive to work 8 hours a day for a company and weekends designing costumes for a bunch of actors.  It was a team effort with the kids and it was a success.

Many of my neighbors in the Santa Monica mountains worked full time and we managed to cover the kids when they were home.  I was  home on weekends and would take all the kids with me to the theater where they could watch rehearsals and somtimes become walk ons for the productions on Sunday.  My evening were spent with fittings and designing with help from my kids.  Our entire daily lives were a team thing.  But remember we had no television and certainly no computer.  Many times in the evening my girls would read to us and we got through many good books this way.  Show me the reading lists from your government schools and we can talk about quality education.

I can't believe you are a part of FSP thinking as you do about individual education for the kids.  I can only hope you attend all the Board of  Education meetings and become familiar with how your local schools are allocating the tax money into the education of the kids. 
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