Results of Global Study on School Choice

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

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    This Global Education Monitoring Report contains this chilling sentence about choice policies:
    . . . they benefit wealthier schools, families and communities, increasing inequality and segregation.

    "Choice" turns out to benefit children from wealthier families and increase inequalities and undermine quality education for poorer students.

    This choice movement started with George W. Bush, was pushed forward by Obama and now is going full throttle with Trump despite all the evidence that it's not producing expected outcomes. All political parties are to blame by not keeping an eye on the consequences of this harmful policy.
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Didn't we just have this debate? Where's futuremathsprof to argue with you? ;)

    I agree though, these policies are paraded around like they're going to help struggling, poorer students, but I haven't really been convinced that they do.
     
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  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Actually, I said that public options should be emphasized on the whole, but alternatives should be made in certain instances when needs of underperforming students are not being met at “failing schools.” Again, I am not saying anything about the teachers in said schools, I am speaking to the lack of scholastic achievement. It is largely a cultural thing. My belief is that if students who are at-risk are removed from their less than desirable surroundings and put in a more structured setting, then they will flourish.

    I actually support public schools a lot — I am a product of the public schooling system.
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    In the article, it says “vouchers sometimes work, but not always.”

    It then goes on to say:

    “When education is not free, financial constraints can affect the ability to choose schools. School vouchers offer funds to families to help them overcome these constraints to choose schools more freely and therefore foster competition among schools. Targeted vouchers have had success in some contexts; for example, among low income recipients in New York, vouchers have had a significant positive impact on college enrolment and degree attainment by minority students. In Sindh province, Pakistan, enrolment levels increased by 30 percentage points in villages where schools received vouchers.”
     
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  6. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Be careful with your language. Saying poor academic performance is "cultural" could be a dog whistle way of saying low performance is racial. Low performance is unrelated to "culture" — it's a product of poverty.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You’re right, that is not what I meant. I did not mean to offend. I should have said impoverished settings.
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Ditto. Why gamble with your child’s future? If they are not learning the material in one school, then take them out and put them elsewhere. This makes me think of Einstein’s definition of insanity.
     
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  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Just yesterday I saw a dicussion offering the possibility of making the system completely voucher. Have your schools, let all families pick where to go by not allowing a default local school.
     
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    This could work!
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Based on what? Just the transportation issues alone would be difficult to overcome!! Not to mention overcrowding issues it could create.
     
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  13. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    That's already how it works in some areas. The area of Chicago where my mom grew up now does not have a "neighborhood" high school default. They never went to the closest school though, because the closest is/was a magnet school. Right now, they apply to a list of schools by ranking their options. I don't know the details of how they decide who gets in where. I'm not sure how well it works either, since most of the kids go to Catholic school anyway, even with the options of a few pretty decent public high schools.
     
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  14. Backroads

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    I'd imagine schools have limits to make things managleable. I'm not saying I support the idea, but as a full opposite of public, it could be feasible rather than selective vouchers.
     
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  15. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    So, you are blaming the teachers for their students' lack of progress? This seems presumptive since you are in California and the school you cite is in Baltimore.

    When I was teaching in a low SES school, we had such a highly transient population that by years end, I only had four or five students that started. Those kids I kept all year scored well on the state tests, but I was held responsible for students' scores when I only had them in class for a week.

    You also seem woefully ignorant of what happened in Milwaukee over 20 years of voucher schools. The radically defunded public schools continue to outscore them. Perhaps the Baltimore school needs more resources or our economy needs to offer more opportunities for poor families.
     
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  16. Tyler B.

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    This is exactly what's going on now. The data is piling up that "choice" does nothing for poor families except cause greater segregation and increasing inequality, and the powers that be (and some well-intensioned but poorly informed teachers) say let's have more of it.

    Did you read the study? Choice is a failure unless you are for segregation.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That isn't the only explanation. It could be the others who attend have no desire to learn making it impossible for the teachers to do a good job even when they try. Peer pressure, behavior problems, or schools falling apart could add to a lack of general learning.

    But if it was the teachers who were incapable of imparting knowledge because of lack of content knowledge or lack of management skills, kids do deserve the ability to go elsewhere.
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Baltimore spends $15,564 per pupil. How much more do you think they should have?
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    California pays $11,329 per pupil and school districts are still asking for more. It just never seems to be enough...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  20. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    That's an outrageous sum! Those greedy, greedy teachers!

    I know how we can punish them. Let's destroy public schools and spend the money on a system that benefits children from wealthier families and increases inequalities and undermine quality education for poorer students
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Let us assume the following:

    More money/resources for public schools = greater student achievement

    Yet, in many public schools that receive the most federal funding, the students are still underachieving. Isn’t that the opposite of what teachers and district officials are saying should happen? If more money is the answer, why does there still seem to be little to no change in student performance?
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I am really confused by your response. You are the one advocating that the problem is lack of resources "money". So, two posters show you that schools are well funded and you respond as above. I don't get it.

    Think about the amount of money going towards one classroom of 25 kids in Baltimore. About 387,500 dollars per classroom to educate kids for 180 - 185 school days. That is about 2,095 dollars per day. Granted, the costs cover more than just the classroom for those days of education, but you can see that enormous sums of money is going to the district. The resources are allocated. This same district will complain they have limited text books and actual resources for children.

    More resources to school systems doesn't do a darn thing except cost the tax payers more.

    If a district won't clean up its act, why should kids have to stay in dysfunctional systems?
     
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  23. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    How do you know the Baltimore system is dysfunctional? Highly stressed families produce kids with expensive problems.

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Baltimore schools are dysfunctional. Of all the available solutions, why would you suggest a discredited solution? This is like saying, don't like chemotherapy? Try leeches.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Tyler, since you advocated for more money, could you explain why schools with the highest per pupil costs are producing the worst results? Why do you keep advocating for a solution that continues to fail and just drains taxpayers of more money? Why do you keep saying they need more money?

    If, as you claim, Baltimore schools aren't dysfunctional, you must believe that the students are incapable of learning.
     
  25. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I don't get why you are slamming Baltimore teachers instead of the profound poverty that their students experience.

    You want worst results? Try vouchers and charters. The lowest performing schools in the country are the online charters. Twenty years of voucher schools in Milwaukee produce far worst results than the public schools they are supposed to replace.

    Why don't you advocate for a proven solution to low-achieving schools?
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    So you are saying they are incapable of learning.

    What is your solution? You said more money but that is obviously not sufficient based on all of the school systems that have the highest per pupil have the worst results.
     
  27. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I'll respond to your first statement, your second statement isn't accurate. The Salisbury School in Connecticut charges $50,000 per student and has excellent results.

    Of course highly-stressed children can learn. These children need highly-trained teachers, small class sizes and a rich support staff.

    WhenI was teaching in a high poverty school, I remember a student, Danni, who came into my fourth grade ready to fight and a non-reader. Danni, at 9 years old, had been in 11 different schools. Her mother, a 24 year-old motel maid with a substance abuse problem was barely able to deal with the complexities of life. By showing the mom a list of low-income housing that would keep Danni in my school's attendance area, I was able to keep Danni all year. She went from PreK to high third grade in reading levels. As she progressed, her behavior problems lessened. She wrote me a note at the end of the year that I still have: Thank you for teaching me to read and be good. Love, Danni

    These kids can learn. In Danni case, it was a matter of a stable school situation. Other students need much more. They can be costly to educate, but it's more expensive to give up on them.
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    One anecdote doesn't fix a system.
     
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  29. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    a2z, you are better than this. Futuremathprof likes to kick the anthill and see what happens, Rockguykev is like Statler and Waldorf: if it's influenced by a union, it's bad.

    But you. You so often add thoughtful comments and great probing questions to a discussion. Here, you ignored my suggestions for improving public schools that serve a economically deprived population and just commented on the anecdote. It's not like you to offer a banal comment that deserves no discussion. Does this mean you have nothing to add?

    What do you think of the suggestions I offered to improve those schools? What do you have to offer to the discussion other than advocating for a system that causes greater segregation and worse outcomes for poor kids?
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I see you arguing against things, Tyler, but I don't see much in terms of suggestions to fix things. Yes, you said more money to schools but that isn't the real answer. You gave an anecdote and claim all of the kids you had all year were successful. Great. You might be one heck of a teacher.

    What suggestions did you offer to fix the schools other than money? I am honestly asking because I read this entire thread and didn't really see you giving solutions.

    Small class sizes has not shown to produce gains in student achievement.

    Highly-trained teachers? Right now, in all states that I know of, all teachers are supposedly highly qualified. You claim it can't be the fault of the teachers, that it is the students and their environments (poverty), yet your solution is for highly-trained teachers which suggests that teachers are part of the problem with the failure of harder to teach students. You can't have it both ways.

    Robust support staff should be available when a district is receiving 15K+ per student.

    Now, I saw what you did there regarding Salisbury School in Connecticut. You chose a single private school to claim I am wrong about per pupil funding vs results when we were talking about school districts.
     
  31. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:
     
  32. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Oh good, personal attacks. Now we're getting somewhere.

    I love your implication that since I teach in California and don't toe the union line I must not have any experience with poverty. I've taught in a title 1 school for the last 15 years. I've taught the newcomers class with kids who spoke literally no English. I've been involved in AVID for the last 20 years.

    I've seen countless kids buried by a broken system and that is more important to me than seeing teachers get paid more. I'll take my position over the alternative any day.
     
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  33. Tyler B.

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    So sorry to cause offense. I thought you would smile over the comparison. It wasn't intended as a personal attack. I respect your contributions to the discussions I read.

    I hope Futuremathprof isn't offended.
     
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  34. futuremathsprof

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    This is a bit of an underhanded comment, but I’m over it.

    Don’t you see the irony of selecting a high-achieving PRIVATE school to make your case, lol?!
     
  35. futuremathsprof

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    There’s nothing wrong with a little verbal joust every now and then. ;)
     
  36. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'd argue that there's plenty of other impactful decisions that lead to a school/district's success/lack of success than just the money (though money certainly is one piece of the puzzle).

    ...and I think that illustrates why you can pull tons of anecdotes of places that receive more money per kid and places that receive less money per kid, and in the end, find high and low-performing schools within each.
     
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  37. futuremathsprof

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    Those are not anecdotes, but examples of each type, but you are otherwise correct.
     
  38. FourSquare

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    Can the answer be everyone is a little right? I do think more money for everything would be helpful. More money for community based organizations that alleviate poverty. More money for businesses to invest in underserved communities and create jobs. And definitely more money for school improvement...top of the line facilities and resources. Teacher training in differentiation and culturally relevant teaching for the students in front of them. Extra "wraparound" positions...aides, counselors, nurses, etc.

    If we invested in neighborhood communities AND their schools, nobody would need a voucher. However, I understand with the current state of things why a family would want to use one.
     
  39. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Try to imagine a class full of high needs impoverished students — many with behavior and learning problems. If you think a teacher would be as effective with a class like this of 40 as with a class of 20, I suspect you aren't really a teacher.

    Also, you may not be aware of Teach for America, a program with noble roots that came about when a teacher shortage existed in high needs schools. TFA takes fresh college graduates and gives them 5 weeks of training, then sends them into (mostly) high needs schools. Currently, districts hire TFA teachers that displace actual credentialed teachers. TFA now is the spearhead of a movement that claims teaching is not a profession, and that anyone with a few weeks training can do it. Several states have attempted to enact legislation to prevent teaching from becoming a career. This is teacher-slamming at its most destructive.

    Yes, I think poor kids need more resources to be successful. If you think otherwise, you are not paying attention. This costs money. It's money not thrown away on an ineffective "choice" programs.
     
  40. Belch

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    All I will attempt to add to this conversation is that if public schools don't want to deal with the downsides of vouchers, then you'd best get your act together and create a situation where people/tax payers actually want to fund your.... schools.

    If you can't do that, then you deserve to go.

    Pointing to how your system is better for low income students is not doing that.

    You'll have to actually produce desireable results, which so far, you have managed to evade.

    If you can't, then.... to the dustbin of history, you go.
     
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  41. Belch

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    That is a dubious claim at best, considering that east asian students who all suffer from lower GDP per capita than American students are outperforming American students.

    It's certainly not poverty that keeps your underperforming students from academic achievement.

    Sorry, but no.
     
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