Choice and/or School Vouchers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pashtun, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    ummm

    Everyone keeps trying to figure out what to do with the bad students .

    Here , there is a school , that they send all the students with behavior problems.

    Then, those students have to be very good to even be considered to go back to regular school.
     
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  2. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Not always. Transportation and school hours can come into play along with children needing to go to different schools.

    Sometimes parents do value education but can't make the change work due to reasons beyond their control.
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    We discussed this. It has some perks, though there is a worry of increasing the school-to-prison pipeline this way.
     
  4. Backroads

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    This is actually where I mostly don't care for a privatized system. If the government wants everyone educated (as it does now, no complaints), it's best the government offer a big help to it. Like now. We allow private schools, and most states allow homeschooling, but in the end public schools are always an option.

    Subsidizing most education would return it to the government job, rendering it fairly pointless.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I believe that those who advocate vouchers have given up on the school's ability to turn around. I suggest that some may believe schools would be motivated to fix themselves when they see droves of kids leaving, but we have seen that they just continue to march to the cliff doing the same things as before but now have one more excuse to add to their reason as to why they school is "as good as it can be".
     
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  6. Tyler B.

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    One of things about this tread that bothers me is that we often refer to "failing" schools. I worked at a low income school that was about 25% ELL and nearly 90% free lunch. There was so much turnover in the student population, that I usually had only a handful of students who stayed with me the whole school year.

    Our test scores were awful, yet the daily miracles we performed with those fragile kids made me so proud of being a teacher at that school of dedicated teachers. Would the posters on this thread say we were a failing school or a bad school? That term needs to be used more thoughtfully.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

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    Thanks for the reminder! I always try to put "failing" in quotes, or say, "Schools that received failing grades." I work in a really competitive school district, and our school is a "B," but we know that we offer extras that don't show up in the school performance score, and we feel like an "A" school!
     
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  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I personally am not using the word failing or bad, I am referring to how it is portrayed in the news. So in the news, they refer to it as both failing and bad, with most of the blame being on the teachers, imo.
     
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  9. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Unfortunately the government and politicians and all those on the outside don't see all the wonderful things you do on a daily basis. If you don't have the test scores to back it up, you're a failing school. it's sad but reality. If only we could change the definition of failing schools and not be so obsessed with testing.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    There are a lot of different definitions of "failing schools". They can fail in the sense of test scores which is the most obvious definition. But some schools fail in the sense that the teachers don't reach or connect to students. Some schools are failing in that teachers are not supported, and thus have high turnover. Schools can fail in the sense that students don't grow up and are prepared for the work-force or college because they're learning the wrong things. Or they can fail in that kids aren't actually learning things in general. When people say a "failing school" it seems like it is usually a mix of a few and there often underlying assumptions such as "This school has failing test scores because the teachers don't care about the kids." That's not necessarily true, but when some people are saying "failing schools" on this board, I get the sense that that's what they mean. When I say "failing school" I know I am thinking of a school where the students don't graduate or find some success in their future life.
     
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  11. TeacherGroupie

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    Property tax is based on the assessed worth of a parcel of land plus the the assessed worth of the improvements on it, and in most jurisdictions property tax has been the basis of school funding long enough to be mentioned in one of the Little House books and to figure as a question in that mythical Kansas eighth-grade math test of 1890-something. The bill goes to whoever is owner of record of the parcel. In my neck of the woods, property taxes include a chunk for education and smaller chunks to pay off bonds for county-level or local projects (my city is paying off its new headquarters for the fire and police departments, for example) and come due twice a year.

    Time was when the education money always stayed in the district in which it was raised, and that's the model in most of the US. Not surprisingly, wealthy suburbs that retain all their property-tax funding had beautiful and beautifully equipped public schools while struggling inner-city or rural districts with no tax base would be much less able to afford needed repairs. In California, however, since the Serrano school-funding court case, property-tax revenues for education have gone to the state to be redistributed according to a formula that's supposed to result in more equitable funding.
     
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  12. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    My experience has been the state redistribution model, outside of CA.
     
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  13. TeacherGroupie

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    Chances are that's a shift since the original Serrano decision.
     
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  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yes, I received support from the state and the state helped me with tuition - but I did not spend a penny of it at a private school - all of it was spent at public schools here in NJ - I purchased all of my books at the schools, too (As the state does not issue vouchers or reimbursements to DVR clients who purchase textbooks who are requesting reimbursements for things not purchased at the school UNLESS it is out of stock)

    I'd be willing to teach in the low SES district near me - they are finally in their schools after some delays with refurbishing & rebuilding their schools after Sandy. They're an Abbott district, too.

    The 2012 study was from the NJ DOE - There are multiple studies stating information to the contrary.

    See: This study from 2013 - http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/nj_preschool_study_shows_gains.html - students who participated in preschool in Abbott Districts were less likely to require special education services or be behind grade level. This article has a less newsbite summary of that study - http://prospect.org/article/abbott-districts-fortunate-few

    Here's some info from the DOE in 2015 - http://www.nj.gov/education/ece/research/PreschoolQualityEvaluationStudy15.pdf
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

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    uh, not all of us want those things. I don't want universal pre-K nor k-14. I'd rather formal education start at first grade and end at 10th, with the option of continuing to 12th.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Not to derail the thread, but what's the case for either?

    Personally, I'd be fine with a public offering through 14 as long as it wasn't required (let adults be adults and choose) but I have a bee in my bonet that forcing earlier and earlier education will compound problems.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Why 10th grade? That's an idea I hadn't heard befote?
     
  18. otterpop

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    This is an intriguing idea.

    I'd like to see more career and technical education in grades 11-12, definitely.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Those areas that still have vocational training do start those programs in HS. Some start in 10th grade depending on the district. There are districts in the country where vocational education still exists and is available for students.

    It is interesting when we look at countries that track starting in 8th grade or beyond and we marvel about the idea of technical training because it was the backbone of American education for decades. Not sure when it went awry because every district I have ever been in had vocational training as part of the HS options.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We have vocational training at our HS. Kids can come out with a certification in welding or other stuff, and get a job right out of high school.

    I worry about making HS optional for 11-12 though, because most 10th graders seem to be of the opinion that they don't need high school, and it isn't until they reach 11th or 12th grade that many of them mature enough to realize that it is actually beneficial to graduate and even go to college. I just foresee a lot of poor decisions being made because of lack of maturity. When I was that age, I didn't even care about graduating or going to college. I wanted to travel the world as a drifter. lol.
     
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  21. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I think public school should go through community college. That's a place where technical and career training is affordable and directly connected to future employment or an academic degree. K-12 was established after 1900 when the world was a different place. Time to adjust to this world.
     
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  22. Backroads

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    But should 13-14 be required?
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    So basically free 2-year college tuition. I think that's definitely doable and would go a long way toward getting our workforce prepared for the future. The truth of the matter is the reason a lot of people are unhappy because they lost their jobs isn't because of any politician making any economic mistakes or immigrants. Like you said it's because the world is now a different place, and people need to adjust and adapt. A lot of the jobs that used to exist are or will be replaced by computers or automation. If people want to survive they need to get better a education and learn how to do more technical and skilled work or knowledge work. Making 2 year colleges free will help those who need to develop or update their skillset.
     
  24. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That wouldn't make sense. It's difficult enough trying to force 9-12th graders to attend school and not drop out.
     
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  25. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But why when vocational education works so well in the schools that have it in 11-12th?

    Where I went to school students chose a concentration for HS whether it be college prep, business, general, or vocational. There was also the ability to mix the tracks.

    I just don't see the need to extend mandatory schooling when it can be accomplished in the already available system and help eliminate some of the issues we already have in schools.
     
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  26. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    And frankly, I love the idea of options. Though might it be best to boost those programs in general schools?
     
  28. otterpop

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    I understand both sides. Most kids don't love going to their high school classes. However, there's a difference between not liking it but going anyway, and just plain hating it and actively working against the system. If a student is going to actively make it more difficult for others to get an education because they really, truly don't want to be there, why not let them have some options? Frankly, if a student is going to sleep or talk through Algebra II or Senior English, not turn in any work, or fail by not putting in the slightest amount of effort, I think there's no point in them being there. I'd rather that those kids had the option of taking a mechanics class or a welding class, or something that they might actually gain some employable skills from.

    Peregrin, I don't know anything about your academic history, so maybe you did fail all of your classes, but I'd guess you put in some kind of effort, even if you did want to be a drifter. :) You must have ended up with some kind of diploma or GED, which means you tried to some extent.
     
  29. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree, but isn't it all about compliance in schools. The student must learn to comply because someday in the "real world" there will be a time where compliance is needed. The funny thing is that someone might end up learning about compliance more by being in an environment that they have smaller doses of compliance required while doing things that suit their needs better.
     
  30. EdEd

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    I'm not at all for free higher education, and not really because it costs more to taxpayers. In short, pushing everyone into higher education would lead to "education inflation" - people needing increasingly higher degrees just to compete, without regard for what actually needs to be learned at each step. (As a side note, it's so interesting to see how many doctoral folks are teaching now - strange that I run into it at all.)

    I think we can accomplish job skills/vocational education training at the high school level. If we did feel that we wanted to preserve high school as more of a liberal arts place, then I could probably get down with publicly supported vocational education/training at the post-secondary level. But, the idea that we'd be sending kids to college for free to get degrees in sociology is a bit much in opinion.
     
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  31. otterpop

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    I kind of agree with this, but I'd like to see some kind of happy medium. Perhaps students with the highest test scores could win special government grants to make education affordable. It would give students an additional reason to try harder.
     
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  32. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I was one of those that was able to get by just by doing the tests and attending. I rarely did homework or at-home projects, and didn't get stellar grades but I passed most of my classes this way.
     
  33. Peregrin5

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    I think the problem is that there is an increasing economic and class divide between those with a higher education and those without. The jobs that are hiring are requiring more and more higher levels of education even ignoring the "a bachelor's degree is your ticket to even apply" jobs. They require higher skill levels, and these skills can be taught to some students at the high school, but for most others, there is simply too much curriculum and classes students need to take already to get a good general education plus the education they need to succeed in these new jobs. I believe higher education should be free because all of the manufacturing jobs are going to be going overseas or to robots. If we want to keep from having an enormous and extremely impoverished lower and lower-middle class, we need to help them future-proof themselves by helping them become more educated and able to get more jobs related to knowledge work, innovation, and things that can't be replaced by cheap overseas labor or robots.
     
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  34. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I don't believe this to be the case. I believe many of the jobs require the same skills, but there is a glut of people with college degrees for jobs that used to require a high school diploma (one that actually meant something). Being an admin in an office just required a HS diploma, typing, and grammar skills, as well as the soft skills that many jobs require. Now you need a BA degree. The job really doesn't require anything extraordinary that has to be learned in college or university.

    Paralegals used to not need a BA, now they do. Why? Because the quality of those without is now too poor and there is a glut of people with degrees. So, why look at those without when you can get someone with a degree for cheap since so many people with degrees still need a job.
     
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  35. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This thread has me thinking about high school. I was soooooo incredibly lazy. I got passing grades, but had zero ambition. I oh-so-clearly remember my 10th grade English teacher telling my mom, "Your son has so much potential. I wish he'd put forth some effort!"

    Once I started college, though, it's as though my brain fog cleared and I started working to my potential. I chalk it up to maturity!
     
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  36. a2z

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    I do agree some was probably maturity. I also think that part of the issue in general, maybe not with you, is that kids are forced to attend school for so long. For many kids school is a caustic environment for many reasons. Sometimes it is the social aspects and other times it is the culture of the school. For some it is the absolute time suck on stupid things that don't benefit the student at all.

    Once in college, it is a choice to be there and you have some choice in what you take. You are no longer doing it because it is mandatory. That really makes a huge difference with a lot of people even in adult hood.
     
  37. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I think another issue is a "need". I think once you finish high school there is some reality checks. I think the idea of what one is going to do to survive starts to kick in, slowly at first and then accelerates.
     
  38. EdEd

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    I'd second a2z's response as a first response to this: Another dimension of the "education inflation" concept I mentioned before is that skills are being pushed back to higher levels of education. What many may learn in senior year of college, others learn senior year in high school. Part of why this is the case is because we 1) set a goal that everyone should graduate from traditional, college-prep high school, and then 2) we had to adjust expectations so that we didn't fail so many people. So, we've ended up with large numbers of unqualified folks in college, who aren't really learning "college-level" material. The solution, in my opinion, is not to continue pushing the "college standard" by offering free college for all. If this happens, the value of each degree level will just be that much more further diminished.

    I also want to respond directly the the inequality argument. Because I believe free higher ed would change the value of a college degree, I don't believe pushing college will result in parity. If anything, those of means will simply go pursue a masters or higher degree, and the "entry level" qualifications for jobs will become a higher degree (e.g., masters) - this is what a2z was referring to about secretaries and paralegals. So, I don't think we'd see equality - we'd just see that equality continue, but with higher levels of education.

    Here's something I may support though - If we could set really rigorous standards for high school graduation and college entrance, then really rigorous standards for staying in school if the government is picking up the tab, I'd be willing to consider support of free higher education. Education inflation would be substantially lower than even present levels, and it would require those participating to give 100%.
     
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  39. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    The profession fights any measure of standards now. ACT, SAT, etc mean nothing. The only thing that means anything is a teacher's grade, which we know in many cases is inflated and doesn't always measure what the grade is supposed to be measuring.

    So, I agree 100% with you, EdEd. I just think that there is no way it will happen. The profession would have to admit how poorly students are really doing.
     
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  40. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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