Are certain educational policies effective? Depends on what your goal is

Discussion in 'General Education' started by EdEd, Nov 30, 2017.

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  1. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    I wish I had some research, but we would be hard pressed to find research about emotional health and vouchers that would be reproducible. Schools function so differently, it would be difficult to find measures.

    I also think opportunity can sometimes be a reason to use a voucher or charter. The other schools may have different electives, a stronger parent base that hosts "school community" events, or other such differences.
     
  2. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Yeah, although I think we're moving in that direction with RtI expanding beyond academic schools. I think a lot of schools are starting to collect schoolwide behavioral data beyond disciplinary referrals, so the idea that we might - at some point - be able to measure your idea isn't ridiculous. Just may take us a few years.

    Absolutely. STEM/Engineering schools seem to be popping up like crazy. That's not a voucher thing necessarily, but is a "school choice" thing.
     
  3. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    I wasn't even thinking at that level. I was thinking about an already mismanaged school that has a non-functioning PTA, no or few electives or "specials", or no clubs, but at a voucher school these additions are available. I"m not thinking about a "magnet school" type of program, just activities that used to be in traditional public schools.
     
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  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Got it. Yes, that too.
     
  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Maybe all this casting about for the benefits of "choice" can stop. It's clear that charters and voucher schools do not offer the benefits to our society that they promised. School choice (vouchers/charters) is a failed experiment.

    * inovations due to fewer regulations - zip
    * lower salaries and lower credential standards for teachers and insane profits for owners
    • success through creaming the best students and dumping the rest
    • breakthroughs in achievement - zip
    • fresh path to economic or academic success for poor kids - zip

    What these choice schools offer is a way to boost segregation and drain public schools of resources. All the chatter about desires to flee behavioral problems or gain curricular/extra-curriculur benefits can be accomplished in public schools given the resources. It's crazy and inefficient to run parallel school systems.

    Read this brief article and see if you agree.
     
  6. Belch

    Belch Rookie

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    I've read that military style charter schools are becoming popular for students with behavioral problems, and that they are achieving a certain amount of academic success.

    From what I hear about violence in your schools, I can well understand why parents would rather send their children to a military style school, rather than one that has a proven track record of failure.

    As to the OP's question, the goal is for parents to have an alternative to the public school system. Whether that's a good or bad thing is not for teachers to decide, but rather parents.

    If parents prefer public schools to charter schools, then they will choose public schools. The only thing teachers can do is to make their school the more attractive choice.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2017

    You are correct, of course.
     
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  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Maybe you are right. Public schools should compete more with charters. One way to do this is to look at online charters, the poorest performing schools in the country.According to an analysis by USA Today,10 of the largest online charter schools spent an estimated $94.4 million in taxpayer dollars on advertising.

    K12 is famous for hiring hundreds of actors to demonstrate in front of the NY statehouse to support charters.

    All this has worked. Believing the outrageous claims in their ads, a half-billion a year in taxes flows into K12.Inc.

    This would be a way public schools could compete with charters: spend tax payer money on ads.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    So your solution is to give more money to schools that fail, year after year, with already some of the largest budgets? You like to cherry pick the extreme cases when I can highlight several instances of public schools that are doing just as bad or worse. You conveniently ignore those.

    Giving failing schools more money obviously isn’t the solution because if it were then students would be thriving. In fact, some of the worse schools have the most federal funding but students still underperform. This runs counter to your narrative.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  10. Belch

    Belch Rookie

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    First off, k12 incorporated appears to be targeted towards home schooling, which is attempting to close the barn door after the cows have left. You've already lost those students thanks to a perceived incompetence of public schools. Secondly, attempting to compete with "the poorest performing schools in the country" doesn't sound like a winning strategy.

    That said, most schools do have facebook pages, and I have seen some that run ads. Putting together a school advertisement video for youtube or your local television station could be a great extra-curricular project for students who want to learn how to do such things. It requires everything from script writers to lighting, to voice acting, to video editing which are all valuable skills in the marketplace.

    Or you can use some of the tax money you already get and spend it on a professionally produced advertisement campaign. You might have to fire a few "school resource officers" and cut down on teacher salaries. but then, any school that is so violent that it requires police roaming the hallways should probably forgo advertisements altogether. k12 inc might be a terrible choice for homeschooling, but at least students won't be attacked by their computer monitor.

    I understand that nobody likes competition. It takes a lot to stay competitive, but that is why it is good. It takes a lot, and sometimes that's just more than some can provide.

    Failure is a good thing, which is why I don't have a big black telephone with a rotary dial on it. Out with the bad and in with the good.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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  12. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Dec 3, 2017

    I see you are back to smearing noble, hard working teachers with the term "failing schools". Earlier you said you would drop that term.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Alright, so how about this: some people may value school choice not because of academic achievement or educational equality, but because people value individuals having control over how government resources are spent on their behalf.

    The point of this is that I often notice anti-school choice advocates attempting to narrow the conversation to one centered on achievement outcomes, when academic achievement is not the only goal of a public education system. This doesn't mean that camp doesn't value educational achievement, simply that government resources be administered in a way that is less redistributed and more individualized.

    More broadly, here's another argument: The government is not a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged citizens. It's an organization designed to address the needs of all citizens, not simply ones in need. Asking the question, "What's beneficial for a middle class family" or even "What's beneficial for a wealthy family" is not only acceptable, it's mandatory. The government absolutely needs to set up systems so that higher wealth individuals can't infringe on rights of lower wealth ones, but that's very different from attempting to set up structures which yield disproportionate benefit to certain groups of people, or attempt to take one person's property and give it to another. In short, equality of opportunity is not the same as equal outcomes.

    Of course, this might be identified pretty easily as a conservative argument. I may or may not share that perspective, but I can pretty easily determine that it's not only a valid viewpoint, but most likely the original intent of those creating the US & state governments. My point with this is that it's entirely possible for a compassionate teacher to be dedicated to increasing the quality of education for disadvantaged students, yet have a "small government" view of the education system. A liberal, "big government" view of the education system is not required to be a generous, selfless, determined teacher.
     
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  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    That may be part of it, but I doubt that is the main reason.
    Before I get started, let me say that I am anti-voucher.

    I chose a school for both of my children because it offered two things: more brown and black classmates and because the parents at that school tended to be more involved. My children were the minority at their school, racially. I wanted more involved parents because that tends to mean a more enjoyable and productive elementary school experience. There were two other schools with a bit more parental involvement but the schools were so white that it was sometimes hard to even find a child with brown hair. I wanted more diversity for my children.

    I participated in school choice because their assigned school, although predominantly brown and black, had little parental involvement and lots of problems. The children were undisciplined, state scores were abysmal and teacher turnover was outrageous. I did not chose to racially segregate my children. It just happened that the problems I wanted to avoid were found at the school where students come from a culture where education is not valued as much.

    You can't assume that parents are choosing to avoid skin color.
     
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  15. 2ndTimeAround

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    They do if they believe rumor, reputation and rhetoric. We have a school in the next district over that has a GREAT reputation. People have literally moved to the city so their kids can go to it. These parents tend to be helicopter parents who expect their kids to get into great colleges and think that sending them to the "good school" will do it. Helicopter parents expect all A's and fight the administration and teachers if their "all A" student in middle school suddenly gets a B. So the school starts slowly inflating grades. Then parents start believing it is even better because of course their average-IQ yet genius gets all A's. The cycle continues for a very long time. Meanwhile the truly great schools are the ones being ignored.
     
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    I mean no respect. I wish I had a better descriptor for it. I look at it like this: If the school is not successful then it is a failure. There is no other option. The school collectively is a failure, not the teachers. Sorry, but English has never been my strong suit.

    And please address my question instead of providing an emotional response. I would like something substantive to discuss rather than feelings.
     
  17. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Comrade

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    I call dibs on starting next week's voucher discussion!!!
     
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    I’m starting to wonder if you and Tyler B. have other responses to disparities in school besides race. It’s getting old.

    Parents send their kids to the best schools because of their proven track records, NOT race. If I had children I would thoroughly research all of the surrounding schools in terms of their high school graduation rates, API scores, average AP scores, etc. I also would look at the kind of colleges that students matriculated to from said schools. I would not send my hypothetical children to a school with students who have severe behavioral issues, where gang violence and gang activity are prevalent, test scores are abysmal, teacher turnover rate is high, and graduation rates are low. It would be ludicrous to send them to anything less than the best schools if I have the resources to put them there. Race has nothing to do with it, and this is coming from someone who is very multicultural.

    Please stop playing the race card so much. You need a different talking point.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Comrade

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    Hahaha! Sure thing, my friend.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You may not have made decisions about schooling based on skin color, but I can assure you that others do. I'm assuming nothing--it's what parents say directly. In my city, parents will straight up tell you that they want their kids at a white school. They will use that phrase. They may also mean that they don't want their kids at a school where there are behavior problems and low test scores, but they will straight up say that it's the brown and black kids who directly cause the behavior problems and low test scores. They will tell you that they want their kid at a white school because there won't be brown and black kids to cause disruptions or bring down test scores.
     
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