Public education

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by IntheFold, Mar 5, 2011.

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  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2011

    Oh, okay. My plan is for the money to be more evenly (allowing for COLA adjustments) among schools. Not counties/districts. Wouldn't that help in Miami-Dade?

    I agree the tax thing needs to be solved. The Super's idea is great. That, along with distributing the money by school need, not by district/county need, would make things much better.
     
  2. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Okay, then without some sort of central administration receiving the funds, how do the schools receive the money? Also, how do they contribute to common expenses such as transportation and district wide activities?
     
  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oh, and I do get what you're saying, it's just that I've seen what can happen with the ideas you propose actually get put into place. It seems great on paper, but in reality, a whole slew of new problems arise.
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I don't know.

    It seems criminal to let kids follow the path of poverty (or wealth) simply because they were unlucky (or lucky) enough to be born in their circumstances.

    A slew of new problems arise. If it was simple, we'd have solved it by now. If we could solve the problems of how schools contribute to district wide expenses, or even if we couldn't, bringing justice and fairness to all young people would be worth the try.

    Or maybe I should just work on my own little sphere of influence and not lose sleep over this ? ;)
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    But Tiffany, what you are saying is exactly the proof that leadership matters - it takes someone with your humble attitude, ear, and willingness to engage in servant leadership to empower teachers. And, I guarantee that you are doing much more than just simply sitting back and letting teachers run the show. By acknowledging the expertise already in the building, and leading with expert servant leadership, you are truly making a difference!
     
  6. EdEd

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    It's been fun to read the posts since I logged off earlier! TeacherShelly - heck no, don't give up on great discussion! I think there are a few take home messages from this conversation, though, the first being that larger educational issues can be as tough and complicated as classroom ones. Too often teachers see what it feels like when outsiders try to solve their problems, thinking that there are simple and easy solutions inside the classroom. If we are asking outsiders to understand the complexities inside the classrooms, than we must ask teachers to understand the complexities of education outside the classroom. In other words, we should give the same respect to those solving these difficult macro-issues as teachers expect to have respect with micro-level issues. It doesn't mean politicians can't talk about classroom strategies, or that teachers can't discussion state-level funding issues, but we all need to have a healthy respect of what we know and what we don't.

    Similarly, another issue is the importance of leadership, and the distinctiveness of that skill set. With respectfulness to Tiffany (I think that's your name!) who is an elementary school principal, there are areas of expertise that administrators must have that teachers don't necessarily need. There are complex and important issues/decisions at each level of education - from the classroom to the state DOE - that require certain levels of knowledge and expertise. We need to respect that, and rather than work toward promoting our own agendas that may have limited scope, we should promote the hiring and retention of highly qualified folks in education - not just teachers, but building-level admins, district level folks, state DOE folks, and the feds.

    At the same time, there's nothing wrong with discussions like these, as long as we realize the limitations of our own ideas. I don't think there's anything wrong with a group of parents sitting around talking about how to improve education in their schools, as long as they understand that they aren't teachers and don't necessarily have that expertise. I don't think there's anything wrong with news reporters talking about educational initiatives after viewing Waiting for Superman, as long as they realize they don't have the expertise required to be conclusive. Likewise, I don't think there's anything at all wrong with teachers talking about solving state level budget issues, as long as they realize they don't have the expertise and training to run those things and make final decisions.

    For too long, all educators - from the top down to the bottom - have suffered from not being valued and respected, and I don't believe education will truly change until we all respect the complexities of the jobs we do.
     
  7. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Apr 2, 2011

    Just getting more money it's not the solution. It also matters how schools choose to spend that money. I worked at an inner city school with high incidents of gang violence and this school was known to be one of the best funded in the city. However, the P controlled how to spend the money and since most parents weren't involved or didn't know how schools work, she had freedom to do whatever she wanted. This P was a dictator who treated teachers poorly and didn't seem to care about the emotional needs of students from the neighborhood. Many great teachers left because of her lack of support in all aspects and money didn't help much in this case.

    It's not how much money a school gets, it also matters how that money is used. I don't believe that the only solution is to just bring more money.
     
  8. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    You hit the nail on the head
     
  9. TeacherShelly

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    I also don't think money is the silver bullet. My point was simply that I see huge gaps in the amount of money schools in my geographic location have, based on the income of the families who live in each district. It is not fair that one student is born 1 block away from another and they have completely different financial resources at school because of it.

    Regarding decision making, I know that I don't have the answer. There is no one answer and if I became a politician and tried to solve the social justice problems in my community, I'd get schooled right away on the reality of many things I don't see from my role as citizen, parent, and teacher. Since I will not be a politician, though, I have to try to find out the parameters of the problem anyway, and that's what I think I'm doing. I'm trying to understand the issues at hand because some of them, I'm sure, are not unchangeable necessary injustices.
     
  10. TiffanyL

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    Apr 2, 2011

    Thanks EdEd. I agree that leadership really does matter. I certainly don't just sit back...I do a whole lot of listening and then I can help to navigate the ship a bit better....based on what I am hearing. It works at our site and we have a great deal of respect for one another.
     
  11. TiffanyL

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    Apr 2, 2011

    This makes a lot of sense. The thing about posting threads is that one sentence does not sum up the whole of what a person's beliefs are. Just because you are mentioning money, does not mean that you believe this is the only answer.

    But....oy, the frustrations of trying to get all of your thoughts on paper, or the net.

    Your posts have made it very clear that you desire more for children in general and particularly children who are born to unfavorable situations.....very admirable and speaks straight to my heart!!!! :thumb:
     
  12. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    When it comes to money, money is needed but...
    ... throwing money at the problem has its own problem it is like a first grader trying to pitch for the Yankees vs Roger Clemens (Roger Clemens currently holds the record for the most Cy Young awards won, with seven) Money needs to be "thrown" at the right things not willy nilly.

    Money is spent on every "new" idea that comes along.
    Education needs to filter the way the money is spent.

    "New" ideas are like being at the beach each wave comes in and everybody gets splashed & excited, then there is an ebb and then there is a "new" wave to get splashed and excited about.
     
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