Drastic Changes in Education

Discussion in 'General Education' started by rhoyalt06, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. rhoyalt06

    rhoyalt06 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2012

    The governor of Louisiana is calling for drastic changes in the educational system throughout the state. He is proposing that vouchers be made available to students from low income families so that they will be allowed to attend private institutions instead of public ones. Here is the full article. http://theadvocate.com/home/1826105-125/jindal-gives-education-specifics.html
    What do you think about this? I'll tell you what I think... Two thumbs :down:
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2012

    any clue how these private schools would fare if they were graded as the public schools are?

    Do the private schools even want the public school kids who have been attending the failing schools?

    Do private schools get to deny students who want to attend?

    Are teachers at schools receiving vouchers held to the same standards proposed by the governor?

    Is there a sliding scale so middle-income families get to take advantage of the deal as well?
     
  4. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    It is such a difficult situation; I agree with both of you. As someone who wants to eventually open a private/independent school (much farther down the road), these articles are starting to become of interest to me, and it is not always encouraging to read. I wonder if all private schools offer exactly what a child needs. Sometimes it is incredibly successful, but I am sure that is not always the case. NCScienceTeach, you have good questions, also.

    I value all kinds of schooling, and it is hard when one individual proposes such drastic changes.
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jan 23, 2012

    I'm sure the status quo in LA is just fine so we should just throw up random talking points to ensure nothing ever happens to upset the apple cart.

    Why does it matter what standards to which private schools are held? If a parent chooses to send their kid there over a public school that is the only metric that should matter.

    And how about this for a random talking-points question, why would any parent choose to send their kid to a school that operates on roughly 1/3rd the funding of your average public school?

    No wonder some people feel so threatened.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I would support a voucher plan that:

    1. Required any school that accepted vouchers to admit all of their students on a lottery basis regardless of academic ability, physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation, or past conduct at prior schools.

    3. The first year that a private school accepts voucher students, all current students at that school will participate in the same lottery as new students if they wish to continue to enroll for the following rule.

    4. Any school receiving vouchers may not expel any student without due process.

    4. Any student who attends the school using a voucher must attend that school for FREE. In other words, the voucher must cover all costs of tuition, books, uniforms, transportation, and extracurricular activities.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 23, 2012

    Living in Louisiana, and having attended and worked at both private and public schools, I can tell you that the main reasons I see people putting their children in private schools are: social elitism, religious reasons, sports (mostly football,) racism, and occasionally a desire to have a greater role in their child's education. I teach at a public school, and when we get transfers from some area private schools, they are usually at least a grade behind in terms of what they are able to do independently. Students who had all A's at a private school come to public school and learn that they are C students. However, test scores at private schools are good, so parents want to send their kids to those schools, not realizing that the scores have as much to do with the socioeconomic background of the parents as anything else.

    The status quo is not good in Louisiana, but just like there are good and bad public schools there are good and bad private schools. The state paying for students to attend private schools isn't going to help anyone, public or private.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jan 23, 2012

    Great post Sarge.
     
  9. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I would support Sarge's plan as well.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    How would the state afford this?
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    How would the state afford what, orangetea?
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I'm generally opposed to vouchers, but I would support Sarge's plan as well!
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I am oppposed to vouchers but I'd support Sarge's plan too. Mainly because I know no private school would ever accept those terms!
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This post is a "keeper"!
     
  15. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Ohio has been doing vouchers for years. Not a good plan at all, and costing the public schools tons of funding. Sarge, could you consider running for governor of Ohio?
     
  16. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Sorry, how is it affordable for states to pay for private school tuition for the students to attend private school?
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    orangetea, I dunno.

    knitter, sorry, but I devoutly hope Sarge is staying here on the Left Coast where he belongs.
     
  18. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    The cost is clearly an issue. The article wasn't too clear about how much money it would cost.
    For failing schools, I think parents should have the option to send their kids to a better public school. Not private. This would also take away jobs for public school teachers.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jan 23, 2012

    So I guess I'm quite popular tonight.

    The thing is that most people who favor vouchers are really in favor of a segregated school system. This system would not be separated by race, or religion, but would be one where you have schools that are devoid of all of the "bad kids" that make modern public education very problematic.

    To their credit, most voucher proponents are not aware that they are proposing a segregated system. All they know is that private schools are somehow "better" and should be within the reach of anyone regardless of whether they can afford them. That's a noble point of view that I can respect. What they don't realize, however, that the "better" aspect of private schools comes primarily from the fact that private school teachers are not tasked with dealing with the end result of nearly every social problem that plagues our society.

    One rather ironic fact about me (on many levels) is that I graduated from a very prestigious all-boys Catholic prep school. I got a very good education there. However, I don't think that it was because the teachers were any better in terms of teaching ability. What made my school "better" was that my teachers were far more free to teach than any public high school teacher could imagine in their wildest dreams.

    A lot of my high school teachers didn't even take attendance because they figured we would always show up to class just because we needed the information in order to get a good grade. They didn't need to worry about 80% of the classroom management issues public school teachers have. They didn't have to be "fun" or "engaging." All they had to do was present the material to us and have high enough academic standards that we learned it. And there were no remedial classes. English teachers did not have to teach spelling strategies. All they had to do was mark us down when we made spelling errors in our writing. And if you didn't have the math or reading skills to deal with chemistry or physics, too bad. I guess you go back to public school.

    And expulsion was pretty much the way most behavior or academic problems were dealt with. GPA below 2.0: Goodbye. Two F's in one semester: Goodbye. Fighting: Goodbye. Drunk at a game or a dance: Goodbye.

    I actually do not recall doing very much in class other than listening to lectures, taking notes and taking tests. The only classes where I ever got out of my seat were PE and science labs. Homework was problem sets, study guides, essays and term papers. I had only one teacher (9th grade history) who actually assigned anything resembling a "project" that stepped outside the realm of standard academic written work.

    We all put up with this (quite enthusiastically I might add) because our parents were paying good money for us to be academically tormented exactly as we were. We were getting instruction that was very similar in nature to what we would face in college and that was precisely what our parents wanted.

    So if you were wondering where my ideas come from, now you know.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sarge, you have phenomenal ideas. Thank you.

    As for me, I have decided that when I do open a school, it will be a charter school. I have pondered on it... a lot. It is not just funding that has driven this thought, it is also the fact the staff HAS to teach to standards and be accountable. I would not want to know the students at my school are behind in any way- and that they are fully prepared for the next level of education (in the case of K-8, high school). I want to see how my students measure up to others in the state, even if it means taking state tests. I want to know that my staff is doing the right job, challenging and encouraging the kids.

    I have just been thinking about what will be most feasible for the future- and I have realized that I don't likely want to pull away from the public school system because in many ways, it has its benefits.
     
  21. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    <<The thing is that most people who favor vouchers are really in favor of a segregated school system.>>

    Wow. That's some strawman you set up there. This is the kind of nonsense that makes any meaningful discussion of school improvement impossible. (Now I have given you a strawman in return.)

    Your 4-point plan is to essentially federalize private schools. "I would support private schools if they were forced to be exacty like public schools." Yes, that would solve all our problems.

    The question of cost is irrelevant. You don't pay more for vouchers. As I mentioned private schools generally operate at a significantly lower per-student cost than public schools - reguarly at less than 50%. One could provide a voucher for a student and still provide his/her local public school with half the funding he/she would have generated by attending - only now they don't have to pay a penny to support the student.

    Lastly, I think the line that says it all is "It could cost public school teachers their jobs." So what? Why is that at all relevant to a discussion on improving schools? If I lose my job because a better product comes along so be it. Our education system should not exist to provide jobs.
     
  22. Letsgo

    Letsgo Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2012

    Florida attempted a similar system, but the Florida court ruled in unconstitutional to use public money on private schools.
     
  23. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    We are going down the charter school route in the UK but we call them Free schools (free from local government control). However they are also free to teach what they like as long as they do English, Maths and Science. They do not have to employ qualified teachers, any Tom Dick or Harriet will do. There is no obligation to have Sport or Phys ed on the curriculum. Schools are being opened in former shops, or office buildings. Of course the free schools should not select their intake but there are many ways of 'selecting' and they will do it. How can this be better?

    Our other wheeze is Academies. Again schools taken out of local Government control. Again free to choose their own curriculum and hire who they like. Except these will be run by private companies for profit using taxpayers' money!
     
  24. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    But why should a private school be forced to accept certain students? Isn't that the point of being private...being able to accept whoever you want to? Some private schools may use test scores, and if a student doesn't have the test scores, they should still be let in?
     
  25. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I think people are saying that it is not fair to proclaim public schools as failing and pay public money to private schools when private schools are not evaluated like the public schools and can turn away/expel low-performing students. If private schools want to take public money in the form of vouchers, they should have to meet and be evaluated by the same standards of quality using the same evaluation tools.

    I don't think private schools should be forced to accept certain students or do the whole standardized testing rigmarole. If there are people who for whatever reason don't find what their child or family needs in the public schools, that's their choice. However, I also think they should not receive any public funds. Once they do, the Sarge Doctrine should apply.
     
  26. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    ^^^
    Oh, I see. I completely agree.
     
  27. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    "Sarge Doctrine?"

    Wow. Wait until you read my manifesto.
     
  28. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    There are a few problems I see with Sarge's plan. '

    "1. Required any school that accepted vouchers to admit all of their students on a lottery basis regardless of academic ability, physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation, or past conduct at prior schools." - I 100% agree with this part. Students are students, and the point of school is to educate them regardless of their background. Unfortunately, private schools are not always equipped to deal with "different" students, especially those with special needs.

    "2. The first year that a private school accepts voucher students, all current students at that school will participate in the same lottery as new students if they wish to continue to enroll for the following rule." - This is ridiculous. You're taking PAYING students and penalizing them for wanting to continue to go to their own school! There should be a certain number of spots open to voucher students, and that's where the lottery is.

    "3. Any school receiving vouchers may not expel any student without due process." - Okay, but only the students who are voucher students.

    "4. Any student who attends the school using a voucher must attend that school for FREE. In other words, the voucher must cover all costs of tuition, books, uniforms, transportation, and extracurricular activities." - The point of a voucher is choice -- the money spent on a typical public school education will instead be spent on a private education. So, the parents would get a voucher for $6000. That's it. Otherwise it isn't economically feasible. And THAT is the problem with the voucher system. What school costs $6000/year to attend? The average cost of private school tuition in this country is $8549 (capenet.org). Catholic School is roughly $6000; non-sectarian private schools are $17K. So, the voucher system either subsidizes a private school education or pays for a Catholic education. Hmm.
     

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