Results of Global Study on School Choice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tyler B., Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Sorry. The US guarantees the right to FAPE for everyone. It's not a reality show singing contest where the judges eliminate contestants. Nor should education be run that way.
     
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  2. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Agreed. I agree with Tyler that vouchers have shown very little success and effect in the communities that need stronger education, and reduce needed resource for public schools. However, I'm going to disagree with Tyler and agree with Belch that culture really is a part of the issue and it's not just poverty, though poverty plays a HUGE factor. It might sound bad, but it's true in my opinion, that the culture of some communities causes them to either not trust the public education system, not value it, or not take advantage of it. Poverty often produces a set of ills but it's often culture that dictates the response to poverty and how different people deal with it.

    More money is necessary to solve the problem but it has to be used effectively. Sometimes money is raised but it goes towards things that aren't necessarily effective like technology or some other thing that is supposed to be the magic pill that solves the problems of poverty and the culture associated with it in the US. Just throwing money at the problem isn't likely to fix anything while that culture still exists and students exist within it.

    I was intrigued with something I read somewhere about a private school that was only for impoverished communities, and that was free for these students. Just being a "private" school doesn't mean anything, and results of private schools are often skewed by the fact that they can heavily edit their school's attending students at will. That's not what was intriguing about this school. I thought it was intriguing that it was ONLY for these students, that it was completely free for these students, and that students LIVED there. In fact their stated purpose was to eliminate the inequalities that arise from difficult and varied home-lives by completely housing, feeding, and clothing the students at their school.

    It was essentially a boarding school, but free and only for students who need it. This in my opinion would effectively remove students from the culture of poverty that often stunts academic success and places them in a setting where the culture can be more effectively shaped by the teaching professionals to provide kids with the best possible learning environment and ensure all their needs are met.

    I just thought it was an intriguing idea and would like to see some government funded public schools take this route for districts that really need it.
     
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  3. Belch

    Belch Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Yes, I've come to realize after participating on this forum that teachers in the U.S.A. are incapable of removing even the most violent students from your schools in order to protect the student body and faculty, so of course you cannot "eliminate contestants".

    As to whether education should be run that way, I'm getting the idea that some parents might disagree with you. Suffice to say that I certainly do.

    I guess that thanks to your laws, there is a public option open for the most incorrigible students, just as there should be an option for those who want to study without fear of bodily harm.

    This is why I support vouchers.
     
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  4. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Nov 12, 2017

    I understand when classes are too large in some places. I also understand you don't like TFA from your comments.

    I don't disagree that there are kids who need more resources, but there are reasons beyond "not enough money" that they don't have them which is why more money won't work. when a school system is spending twice as much as other districts and the students still don't have the resources, money isn't the problem. That is what you see in many impoverished districts. It isn't lack of money. It is lack of those in charge in the district failing to allocate the money properly. No money in the world is going to fix that problem.

    I won't be responding to you about this topic anymore. You have made it much too personal by attacking who I am and inserting your assumptions about what I know and understand. It isn't worth my time to discuss the issue anymore when you do such things. You even insulted others to try to backhandedly insult me in a prior post.
     
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  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Nov 12, 2017

    So poverty doesn't cause learning problems? I'm guessing you think the earth is flat, too.

    Let's do what the Chinese do on PISA test, prevent their poor kids from taking it.
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Tyler, I'm generally with you on school choice, TfA, etc. We're going to come to the same general conclusions, most likely. Where I disagree is that bifurcated, all-or-nothing attitude toward poverty & education. Educational achievement is so very clearly the result of so many things - poverty being one of them, but not the most determinant (Sadly, that's actually IQ, which we can't do much about). So, from a professional perspective, we really need to stop having this argument where we look for the singular cause of poor achievement above all others.

    The issue of money is not easy, unless you make it so. For example, I've often said that we'd fix our educational problems (some at least) virtually overnight if we paid teachers $100,000 in Kansas, then adjust up for cost of living in other parts of the country. We'd attract only the best and brightest, and competition would be so high for those positions that performance would invariably go up. Of course, this wouldn't fix everything though as even the best teachers can't fix all educational problems with all kids, because education is complex.

    Likewise, try that same thought experiment with poverty: Do you think all educational issues would disappear if we removed poverty?

    Sure, there are plenty more things we could buy with more money. a2z's point, though, is that there are things we can do even without more money, and as educators we should do them. We don't need more money to do better reading assessments with kids in second grade classrooms. We don't need more money to upgrade to a step-wise time out procedure from a more simplistic one.

    Again, this returns to an all-or-nothing way of thinking. More money isn't always needed, but sure - it can help. Can't we both be right?
     
  7. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Also to mention that article blames fat cat teachers with their "exorbitant" pensions and "evil unions". Well, If there were no pensions or unions then you would have even more teacher turnover and lower results. I know this doesn't happen everywhere, but there are many teachers who are getting physically assaulted in places like Baltimore (not to mention verbally), so honestly I think it's a miracle any teacher is willing to teach there now. That's why they need to use TFA privatization schemes to fill spots. Many schools lose half their teachers before the end of the year.

    As I've said many times, the money spent on schools matters much less than the income level of the students' families. Not saying low income students can never achieve, but the odds are stacked against them and it's not the teacher's fault. They come into high school with 5th or 6th grade reading and math skills (if that), and some people think adding more AP classes for them is the answer. How can they do college work if they can't do middle school work, let alone high school work? They don't have the basic skills, so by the time they get to high school it's sadly too late because they are so far behind. Even in kindergarten, you can see stark difference between the haves and have nots in the same classroom.

    So much of this is determined by whether parents read to their kids and get them reading young. Low income parents are stressed out putting food on the table and can't do what rich or middle class parents can do for their kids. Low school results will never significantly change without addressing poverty and lack of decent paying jobs/high cost of living/violence/gun availability, etc. Without addressing those issues in society, various "reforms" will only be tinkering around the edges. They're putting a few rain buckets in a house with a leaky roof instead of replacing the roof! The "irresponsible culture" some people point to is a RESULT OF, not the REASON FOR the poverty and low results.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  8. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Your example supports the argument that teachers are, in part, at the root of the failure to adequately educate students in the US. I agree with this completely. Because teaching not only requires a complete understanding of the content, it requires understanding psychology, and a personality that is suited to the profession. Any leg of that stool that is weak will diminish the ability of the person to be the most effective.

    I do think it would be decades before all schools would be filled with quality teachers across the board and the public would not stand for current teachers being paid for the skills they may or may not have plus the pension that goes along with it (in some districts). Since we can't determine who is effective now, I don't see the states or the US moving in a direction for much higher pay.
     
  9. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    I went from teaching at one of our state's poorest schools to one of the richest. When at the first school, we had fund raisers throughout the year and the parents were excited that we gathered nearly $5,000 with our carnival, candy sale, and so forth. At my new school, we had an auction that pulled in nearly $48,000 in the first month of school. The educational resources at the second school were world class.

    Part of the reason Finland stays on the top of the educational scoring game is their 3% poverty rate while we have a 23% child poverty rate.

    Eded, you are right. Money isn't the only solution to lower scores in high poverty schools, but iit's part of it. This thread started based on a report about what wasn't working for poor schools. Do you think it's a good idea to push for strategies that actually cause harm to low income communities?
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Much of this is determined by whether the parents have educated the children for the school.

    In many cases public school is just a framework and "lesson plan" so to speak. Public schools rely on parents to do a large amount of the teaching. That is why students whose parents can and do teach them are successful and students who do not have that support are rarely successful. This indicates that schools are not all that successful in educating students. It is a system problem, not necessarily a specific teacher problem.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Some teachers may be a PART of the problem. But teachers in general are not at the root of failure for educating students in the US. Ed was only giving options for what some teachers might do to improve education at their particular classrooms and in my opinion, those changes wouldn't have much effect overall. But they are things that COULD be done and teachers are always looking for things that COULD be done to improve education and the lives of their students.

    For perspective lets look at other things that are at the root of failure of education in the US that have much greater weight:
    • poverty
    • drugs
    • crime
    • racism
    • intolerance
    • reduction of taxation that would benefit public schools
    • the failure of schools to remove students who are violent or in a place where they are affecting the learning of others to places that could actually help them (yes Belch, I agree with you that this is a problem, but the solution isn't simple without violating some of our country's closely held principles regarding education)
    • the pressure to pass every student on despite their level of learning by administrators, parents, and politicians
    • devaluation of the professionalism of teachers
    • an sue-happy society
    • the onslaught of social media presence in every aspect of student lives
    • etc. the list goes on and on.
    I just feel the way you phrased your statement: "teachers are, in part, at the root of the failure to adequately educate students in the US" was misleading. I know you qualified it with "in part" but if you really think about it, the number of teachers that are not quality teachers is probably exceedingly small in the grand scheme of things, and have almost negligible effect when considering the other concerns.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yes. We have problems in the US with what you say. However in most schools the population of students who might be a danger to others is extremely small, probably less than 1 percent. It would be kind of foolish for vouchers to be put forth as a solution because it is unlikely that the surrounding schools could support the other 99% of the population that wants to escape these few students. They'd have to build new schools and such which would be incredibly expensive. A more sane solution would be to build and administer special smaller schools (with specialists) or educational options particularly for these students so they can be removed from the public setting, while the rest of the population can learn in a safe environment.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Nope. EdEd specifically addressed the notion that higher pay would bring higher performing teachers. He did say it wouldn't fix all problems.

    I guess I have to ask why the taxpayers should be paying teachers more if it won't bring about improvement in the performance.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Ah, I guess I missed that part of his post. I disagree with the sentiment that simply paying teachers more would fix much of what's wrong with the current state of U.S. education. I DO think it would stem the flow of good teachers migrating out of education because of teacher devaluation and low pay which certainly isn't helping the current problems any however.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Aren't they all good? I thought that was your argument or did I misunderstand?
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    At present time, I think the majority of teachers are good (or want to be good) teachers. The profession naturally attracts those that care about students and are hard working. However as devaluing of teachers increases, the more experienced teachers who are used to a certain level of respect are leaving the profession. They are continuously replaced by newer teachers who again, care about students but are less experienced, but who will gain experience with time, but as the devaluation continues, they too will leave. Teaching becomes an accelerating revolving door until it gets to the point where people are no longer staying long enough in the profession to gain expertise.

    I don't think we are there yet, but we are making strides in this direction.
     
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  17. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Wait, are you saying that I read to my own children, gave them music lessons, hauled them to athletic events because the school told me to do that?

    I agree that schools need to be more successful at teaching poor kids. I also agree that it's not a matter of teacher quality, although we should all look to raise the bar higher.

    The USA is already world class at teaching our middle and high income students. To work on educating impoverished children, the USA should make it a priority to address problems like fully funding public schools, providing small class sizes and additional staff development, hiring appropriate support staff, purchasing top notch instructional resources, and reducing segregation.
     
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  18. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Nov 12, 2017

    This study has never been done in a choice-only scenario as I proposed in theory.
     
  19. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Broad response here: I think we're still focused on a past-oriented blame game of "who caused the problem." I think that can be helpful, but what's even more helpful is simply asking the question, "What can I do given the resources I have?" If we focus on our opportunity to fix problems rather than our responsibility for having caused them, a lot of this back and forth goes away and we're left with a more focused attitude toward the situation. We're here now, right at this point in time. Moving forward, what can each of us do to increase educational outcomes? It's as if we see the very asking of this question as conceding some artificially created debate.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Specific response to teacher quality: Part of the problem with reaching consensus is that we disagree on what a teacher's responsibility is. To demonstrate, here's an analogy:

    Heart health can be approached both from a preventive perspective (e.g., encouraging healthy eating) and an intervention perspective (e.g., heart surgery). Let's say a patient eats poorly throughout life, and let's say for sake of argument that it's because the patient comes from a low-wealth background and limited access to healthy food.

    Now, let's say the patient has a heart attack and the heart surgeon performs surgery, but doesn't use the best techniques in the field. The patient dies, but would not have if a different, more effective surgeon had performed the operation.

    In the situation above, it's hard to argue that the surgeon caused the patient to have heart problems, but it could be argued that the surgeon is responsible for the result because it's the surgeons's job to use the most effective techniques available.

    In education, it's really, really tough to make a case that bad teachers are systemically causing low achievement with poor students. However, I don't think that's the case that's being made by most knowledgeable folks. I think they're saying that teachers are heart surgeons, responsible for cleaning up someone else's mess, but responsible nonetheless.

    There are clear implications when it comes to accountability - we shouldn't hold heart surgeons accountable for the incidence of heart disease, but we should hold them accountable for using the best strategies we have available when attempting to fix the problem. We could either assess/evaluate them by process/input in which we measure the degree to which they use effective strategies, or we could compare them with other surgeons who have the same inputs (patient type, equipment available, etc.).

    Some of this may seem obvious, but here's a major point of contention I see some folks argue from the "poverty is to blame" side of the debate: That teachers shouldn't have to deal with the effects of poverty in the first place - that students should come to the classroom prepared to learn, and if not it's not the responsibility of the teacher to address that preparation gap. In other words, if a student comes to school from an impoverished background, nothing else matters. Like the heart surgeon analogy, I think those on the "teacher accountability" side of the debate would argue that being effective even in the condition of adverse inputs is part of the job - a core responsibility (of course with the caveat that when we assess teachers we take these inputs into account).
     

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