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Respect Education

August 31st, 2006 | by Dr. Forbush |

How can we fix our national education problem? Of course we must first admit that there is a problem. With all of the proposals being floated around the politicians - testing, accountability, more taxes, more discipline, higher teacher’s salaries, school vouchers, and magnet schools for example - someone must think that there is a problem.

Unfortunately the reality of the situation is a decline in the public demand for quality education. This is a cultural issue that begins with the respect of education in general. If there was a universal respect for education, then parent would be working to ensure that there kids were doing their homework, and behaving in school. If there was a universal respect for education teachers would be making salaries in line with management wages and people would be bending over backward trying to donate time and services to all education oriented organizations in the community.

There are many reasons why education has lost respect. First there are people who don’t believe that education is more than acquiring workplace skills in order to make a bit more money. Education is more than that. It is a collection of knowledge that needs to be passed on to future generations so that it won’t be lost. It is also the skill of rational thought that allows people to discover how the politicians and advertisers distort the facts to get you to do what they want you to do. It is also a pool of common knowledge that allows people to discuss the world around them on a higher level of understanding. It is also the key to protecting the community from dangers, like diseases, poisons and other less obvious things.

Second there are cultural biases against education that have seeped into our country. Some subcultures regard education as dangerous, especially for women or minorities. Some subcultures place less emphasis on education, claiming it isn’t cool, or it doesn’t give us the “whole” truth. These subcultures set a dangerous precedent encouraging children to skip school, or disrupt classrooms.

Third, parents find keeping tabs on their children too tedious and taxing. Many families have both parents working out of economic necessity. Parents come home from work to tired to deal with the children and end up sitting them in front of a TV or video game. When young children have questions about homework or topics covered in school many parents are too tired to answer the questions, or they have adopted the attitude that the school is responsible for there child’s education and they tell their children to wait until the next day for them to ask the teacher. A child with a helpful parent will learn much quicker than one with a parent who doesn’t give a damn.

Schools are an important part of the equation, but they are not the only part. An overall respect for the education system as a whole would go a lot further in repairing the damage than any suggestion that I have heard. This is because an overall respect for the system would take away some of these projects with ulterior motives like school vouchers. Everyone should realize by now that school vouchers are a way proposed by the religious right to enable the siphoning of education dollars out of the public education system to support schools that already exist free of government money. Catholic schools have survived without this extra money, that would come from every student already enrolled. By virtue of supply and demand the same students would remain enrolled and the tuition would increase respectively until each student would be paying the same amount that they already pay. The net benefit would be the private schools with the surplus cash. The net losers would be the public schools that would lose this money. Obviously taxpayers would not be willing to raise taxes to pay for the newly supported private schools. If people had a healthy respect for education they would respect how private schools actually benefit the public schools by allowing their tax dollars to go further.

Unfortunately the only way to change a “disrespect” for education into a “respect” for education is a re-education of Americans that is so deep it effects the entire culture. This is an enormous task, and it isn’t clear that it can even be done. At this point everyone is way too cynical to respond to any type of education campaign. How would one even begin?

Well, I am just planting the seed here with a little thought - please respect education, it is the only thing we have to show for all the effort made by the generations of humans that have occupied this planet.

—————————————————–

Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit

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  1. 49 Responses to “Respect Education”

  2. By REB 84 on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Dr. Fornbush,

    I would like permission to re-print this post on one of my blogs.

     http://www.QuestionItNow.com/educationb is dedicated to questions and issues releated to education and America’s place in the world community.  This blog was launched on 9/29/05 with the following post:

    Thomas Jefferson clearly articulated the challenge America faces in the 21st Century.

    “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed - more enlightened - as new discoveries are made - new truths are disclosed - and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances - institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him as a boy - as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

  3. By Becks on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Hey Doc-

    I think you’ve hit on the fundamental item that hampers our education system.  Unfortunately, I think you are incorrect in assuming that everyone wants to see our education system improved.

    I have long thought that the dumbing down of our schools is as intentional as it is sad.  The ruling class knows that an ignorant, un-educated, lazy, unquestioning public is much easier to manipulate and control than a thoughtful, curious, educated populus capable of thinking for themselves.

    Yes- I said ruling class- don’t kid yourself- it IS about class.  It’s about class, greed, corruption and power.  Those in control will not give it up and an easily led citizenry will continue to be used and manipulated.  There is nothing more predictable than your average Joe Citizen, tired from working all day, watching Fox News while reclining in his lazyboy. 

    You spoke of other cultures that regard education with suspicion.  Cultures that do not allow their women and minorities an education.  why is that?  Both of the examples you site use education (or rather lack of it) as a tool to keep women and minorities under control.  What makes you think that this is not happening in our society?  When you consider all the things this country has been able to accomplish- and right next to that, consider the fact that we have one of the poorest education systems in the industrialized world- is it that we CAN’T fix our schools, or that we just don’t want to?

  4. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Becks,

    I don’t think that I actually said that “everyone” wants our education system improved. In fact, it isn’t obvious at all. That was why I had to find examples of what people have come up with in order to “fix” the education system. If “everyone” cared about education, then we could put together a “moon shot” project and study all of the issues and come up with the most successful approach possible and everyone would agree based on the data that this was the “best” possible way to accomplish it.

    Sadly, as you point out this is not the case. Education is dumbed down as you say, because the education system lacks respect. Giving “easy A’s” for a lame attempt to learn something defeats both the respect of an institution of education, but also the meaning of any accomplishment by those students. My two oldest kids were Valedictorians at their graduation, but they said that it really didn’t mean much because it was so easy. That is sad! If you make something a challenge people will want it more. Why do people run marathons? Not because they are easy, but because it shows that they have accomplished something that everyone else understands. Do they make marathons shorter so that more people can have the same feeling of accomplishment? No, it would be silly for someone to say that they finished a 5K and say it was just as good as running a marathon.

    Education has been used as a tool of control. That fact alone is a lack of respect for the institution. Also, I know that this is happening in our country on different levels. Parents often tell their children that they won’t pay for college unless the degree sought will be useful in the family business. This is an unrecognized way that education is still used this way. Many parents of kids I knew wouldn’t pay for their daughter’s college, but would pay for their sons, based on the fact that the daughters would just get married and waste their degree. But, even on a more local level “geeks” are often made fun of in school by peers. This activity encourages children to hide their intellect and act stupid in order to be accepted. If education were respected in this subculture the “geeks” would be just as proud to show off what they know, as the football players are to show off what they can do…

    I hope that helps clear up what I said.

  5. By Becks on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Sorry Doc- I did the assuming in my comment.  Actually, I assumed that you assumed- which is doubly damning I suppose.

    I understand the points you are making and agree regarding the fundamental lack of respect for education in this country.  And your point regarding ‘geeks’ is also too true.  For a long time now in politics, educated liberals have been sneered at and demonized by their opponents BECAUSE they are educated.  I don’t know about everbody else, but I never once voted for someone who I didn’t know was markedly smarter than I.

  6. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    hahahahaha. the solution is to re-educated americans? are you fruit loops? sounds like the normal stalinist response. re-education of the people. like the viet cong did to the south?

    look, listen to reality;

    1. people do not disrespect education, the disrespect  unionized public employee pseudo educational experts posing as professionals. today’s teachers do not even know the topics they teach. ask around, parents respect private schools, home schooling, they just have lost all respect for PUBLIC education. you failed. you stink. your thieves. go away.

     
    2. there are many types of kids. many types of parents. public schools will never satisfy the multitude of needs, and we, the parents, have no respect for you public employee’s and your ideas of how we should educate our kids. go away!

    3. this ain’t a village. they are not your kids. parents have a right to educate their children as they wish, not as you wish. you want parent responsibility. stop taking it from parents. is it bad for some kids. yep. but its bad for more kids now. nuttin is perfect. but we want our kids back, and we are done with even thinking these public monkeys know jack do da.

    hope that clear enough. your fired!  

     

  7. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Respect has NOTHING to do with the state of education. Education has become the victim of the struggle to control it. The Edjucrats insist upon retaining control over the system, even willing to trash the system in order to retain control. The biggest problem is that public education has been “socialized” and now has the efficiency of an old Soviet furniture factory. What we get is a Yugo system, at a Rolls Royce price. And the price is important, because it prevents all but the most wealthy from taking advantage of superior private schools. If education is not respected, then it is by its own teachers who put their own kids in the same private schools that they work politically to prevent others from attending. The same people that fight tooth and nail for abortion choice, fight just as hard to prevent the school choice of parents.

    So why is parental apathy so hard to understand? If you care about your kids education, there is little that you can do about it other than pay out the nose. You vote and participate in the local school board elections, yet demands and controls come down the pike from the Federal Government, the State, and the Teacher’s Union. If you enroll your child in a private school, you still pay school taxes.

    And there is little accountability for public schools. Grade inflation, using unqualified teachers, mainstreaming schemes give students worthless degrees and hurt them in life. School administrators are even MORE willing to conduct social expirements of dubious value upon the students charged to them. Dallas Independant School district is now REQUIRING Bilingual education for all students. While perhaps helpful to Hispanics and Whites, the practice is potentially devastating to some minority students, having trouble already. Perhaps the distric should demonstrate some success teaching Reading, Math, and Science to minorities before subjecting them to PC social expirements.

    And the funding of this big education mess continues to be a problem. Louisianna is a poor state, even before Katrina. Yet the state pays its teachers a high salary compared to the average per capita income in the state, approaching Dr. Forbush’s ideal for teacher “respect.” Trouble is, the state can’t afford it, and the school taxes required continue to supress the local economies. Yet somehow, the traditional private schools and homeschools produce greater results for a fraction of the money. In fact, Democrats continue to pass education requirements that raise the cost dramatically. When AlGore proposed a mandatory National preschool, I immediately thought of how much it would raise the cost of education needlessly. It would free women to work, but it would bankrupt many innercity districts. The same goes for reducing class sizes, and many other things that raise pay for teachers, employ more teachers, but break the education bank and hurt the education of students.

     

     

  8. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you GC, for giving me an example of disrespect for education in general. Somehow you have all the answers and somehow if they aren’t implimented in your way, then they just shouldn’t be done. Who appointed you know it all?

    Obviously my suggestion of re-education was a demonstration of how impossible the situation is. Re-education is a non-starter. The problem is lack of respect as demonstrated by your post. You come in with the attitude that you know everything and the education system is flawed. In that dynamic there is no hope of anything ever working out. Until people go back to educating their own children and discovering the difficulties involved, they will not believe that the job of education should be respected.

    It is easy to sit around and play Monday morning quarterback, and your post is a brilliant example of that. But, until people like you change your attitude, we will remain in limbo and slowly the rest of the world will out pace our country…

    Perhaps the Golden Age is over.

  9. By Paul Watson The Cranky Brit on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman,

    Just a correction, but when public and private schools were compared, they performed about the same.

  10. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Also I will add. This subject is another “definition” essay. You say education is not respected, fine. But then you define “respect” for education as doing this, this, this , that, and this, all intended to blunt criticism and limit debate, as we debate the word “respect” rather than the real issues. I am not a Catholic, I think Catholics have an adulterated and incorrect religious doctine, but I would have sent my kids to a Catholic school in a heartbeat if I had  been allowed the choice by the government, because they would have gotten a superior education as compared to almost ANY public school. That’s RESPECT!

  11. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman,

    You are good at pointing out the problems, but I don’t see any of them being solved until people are able to come together and agree on some solutions that work to educate the children and not fund some special interests. The fight to control education as you call it will not end until those fighting give respect to the educators that they deserve. Without respect teachers are glorified baby sitters and students are just biding their time to get out. With respect for the institution comes the behavior needed to get the job done.

    On your analysis of Louisianna, I would say that the economics are based on supply and demand. If no one respects a quality education, there is no demand for it and people will not be willing to pay for something they don’t see as valuable. People pay a lot of money for a piece of compressed carbon, because jewlers have controlled the supply and created a demand, not because of any real value in the rock. Similarly in education, if people don’t see value in it they will not be willing to pay for it. The value comes from a respect for the knowledge and the process of attaining it.

     

  12. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    good dr. obviously you are a main ingredient in “the rpoblem”

     

    1. i do not disrespect education, i disrespect public govt run education.

    2. comparing results private vs public is looney tunes. it is not the result that is important, is that you, the state, lose control, and we the parents revert to control of our children.

    3.  who put me in charge? of my own children? good doctor, do whatever you wish with your children. send them to rainbow and pony and hugs schools for all i care. stay away from my children. stay out of my pocket. and we are all good.

    your myopia is illustration of point central in the education problem. you think you know how to educate other people’s kids. we do not “need to come together” we need you professionals out. if we want you, we will call you and hire you. until then, go away. and yes, it is the absolute solution. parents get what they want, and you govt employees do not.

    i repeat. go away. you had our money. you had lots of years. you failed. go away. 

     

     

  13. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman,

    One reason a Catholic education system works is because the school is allowed to demand respect. People who don’t respect the institution are shown the door. Parents respect the teachers and the teachers enjoy their jobs, even if they don’t get paid as much as the public school. But, in the public schools there is less respect, teachers are threatened with little repercussion to the threat. The threats come from all directions, from local officials, state officials, board of education, parents and students. In an environment filled with threats instead of mutual respect the hostility grows and teachers seek any means necessary to relieve the stress.

    If all involved could respect each other for the job that everyone is trying to do, instead of attacking each other for being the idiots that they believe they are we could have the system of education everyone seeks.

  14. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks Paul, you have illustrated my point. The raw scores were higher for private schools are higher and then the scores are “adjusted” to where they are about the same based on sex, gender, socioeconomic status ect. However, the average cost for private schools is still lower!  This is the type of thing we could be debating instead of the meaniing of words. Since democrats are so extremely hostile to ANY public funding of a religious based private school, and will go to court to prevent it, in spite of the possibility of a better ecucation or the desire of the parents, we could  discuss a simple plan to at least REFUND the parent’s school taxes to at least offset the cost.

  15. By Paul Watson The Cranky Brit on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Yes, Rifleman, that’s to account for the fact that private schools tend to cream off the best students, so their grade point will always be higher because they’re starting from a higher base. So the scores get adjusted to account for that. Nothing unusual about that.

  16. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    GC,

    What makes you think I have anything to do with the public schools? My involvement with the schools is that I have four children attending them. I have two in high school and two in grade school. I deal with the buracracy of the education system that has been created by paranoid people who don’t respect the people who work in the education system. Parents now need to be finger printed in order to drive on a field trip. Why? This is because of a lack of respect for the parents.

    If everyone could agree that we all want a better education for the children then we wouldn’t have parents threatening to sue a teacher or principal at the drop of a hat. Why do parents threaten to sue? Because they don’t respect the educators. All of this mutual disrespect builds and forces more and more buracracy into the system. 

  17. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Sorry, but you law of supply and demand doesn’t count because the tax system is not a free market. the money is taken from everyone, even those that have no children without question and violence and inprisonment is threatened for those that don’t pay taxes. Lousianna is forced to pay more for the same thing. If that is respect, then their education problems should be solved right?

  18. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman,

    A simple definition for respect is defined as an attitude in which each member of the relationship tends to believe that the other members of in the relationship have the best interest of the common goal in mind. Therefore, teachers believe that administrators are doing the best they can with the resources they have. Parents believe that the teachers and the administrators are doing the best they can with the resources allocated. Administrators believe that teachers and parents are doing the best job with the resources allocated. Taxpayers believe that they are getting the best they can out of the resources allocated.  

  19. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman, people vote for politicians and politicians decide on taxes. In some places taxes are voted on directly, like here in California. If people aren’t getting what they want they vote the politicians out. That is why our taxes are so low now.

     

  20. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Yeah, Paul, the parents of the lower performing students can’t afford the private school, becuase a certain political party has made it near impossible for them to do so. Perhaps, let’s admit it, Blacks, would perform on a level equal to other races if they weren’t locked into a broken public school system. I think that it has been demonstrated by some courageous educators that they can!  The Washington DC school system is a prime example of this trap. Predominantly Black and having more money spent per student than anywhere else in the nation, graduates and honor students from the district are unqualified for college. So they have more respect, yet the schools are still broken and the educators are cheating the students with a phoney diploma. Critcize the DC schools and you are called a racist. So even if the systems are equivalent, the teachers themselves don’t believe it as they enroll their own kids in private schools on a higher rate than the general public.

  21. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    taxpayers will never get value for their money, because govt is the worst provider of services. ergo: there will never be respect for govt schools, or unionized govt anything else.

    let us go.

    give us our money back and go away.

    our taxes are low now???? clearly not grounded in reality.  you would like euro tax levels? and the lowerstandard of living  and no growth, hi unemployment, resurging social problems and declining services?

    low taxed/ good god that is sick. 

    u guys are neo-stalinists, just as bad as neo-cons. just replace your grand plans with individual choice and worry about your own kids. 

     

     

  22. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    If you need to see what exactly is, was, and always will be wrong with American education, all you have to do is read a couple of the above posts from the Fringe Right amongst us.

    Anti-intellectualism is a stong American character trait.  We are, afterall, a nation of the world’s castaways - the tired, the poor, the huddled and oppressed masses, the wretched refuse, the homeless, and yes - lots of criminals.

    Wealthy, happy people do not emigrate.

    America is a nation of immmigrants.

    This is why we don’t do well in school, why we are so violent, why we suffer from so much vice, why we abuse drugs and alchohol, why we are so religious.

    So, what can we do?  Well, the only thing you can do is try - and the publics schools are the one and only place to do that.  Other countries have teachers’ unions, other countries have roughly the same cirriculae, other countries have standardization, but other countries do not have our demographics.

    That is the only reason why we disrepect and therefore fail at academics in general as Americans.

    Anyone who says otherwise is simply proving my point.

    JMJ

  23. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Oh, and GCBlues - your European example?  Who has better academic achievement?

    JMJ

  24. By Rifleman on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Yes, the idea that people vote for politicians and politicians make the laws is generally true, however, the control that the people cna then exert upon a particular school is limited. Some taxing entities, like here in Texas, are independant government agencies, that are appointed by other politicians, and can raise school taxes as they see fit, generally every year, in spite of the fact, that higher property assessment raises the taxes anyway. There is also the action of the courts, and again, here is Texas, some school districts have been under the courts supervision for more than 20 years.

  25. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    hahahaha jmj. yes, i am the great unwashed anti intellectual right. and if i dissagree i prove your point. belch.  oh god. help us from you pontificators of intellectualism. hahahahaha. oh man, that post is rich. thnx for the laugh. 

    as a right wing multi lingual expat ,currently in nicaragua and costa rica, self employed all his life person with experience in international business plus a single dad raising two young women for over 20 years, now 21 and 24 i have a pretty good idea of global intellectualism. and your point sir es mierda de toros!  yeah, i am gonna hire some frenchman, or maybe someone from holland to manage a business. what a hoot.

     

  26. By Dr. Forbush on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rifleman,

    Republicans control Texas, they can cut all the taxes and everyone can homeschool their children if they want. Here in California we voted a temporary parcel tax to fund building a new school. The schools get money based on the number of student days of attendence. If people didn’t like how much they were paying, they could vote new people in and change the laws, like they did with prop 13. Of course without respect for education they don’t believe it is worth paying for, and funding for education continues to decrease when adjusted for inflation…

    You get what you are willing to pay for. 

  27. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    GCBlues, Bush went to Yale.  Whoopy. 

    Gracias por probar mi punto.

    JMJ 

  28. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    hay no problema comrade ….. by the way, did i forget to mention your side sits to pee. 

    you know really, we want nothing from you. we just want our money back and to be left alone …its you leftys that need us. ….. “grrrrr the right has our money, how can we regulate everyone’s lives into global goodness w/out their money ….grrrrrr” 

    embrace your dependancy.

     

     

  29. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    GCBlues, I don’t take your money.  Never have.  I pay - and pay, and pay.  The difference between you an me - I love my country and want it to do well.  I’m not a self-serving, myopic know-it-all who pretends to have easy answers without sacrifice or burden.  I carry my burden with pride.  You bitch about it like a child who can’t share his Tonka truck in the sandbox.

    All the other successful nations have teachers’ unions, high tax revenue funding, standardization, and public universality.  So, what makes us different?  Us.  So yes, do we need to consider changing the way we do things?  Sure.  Do we throw the baby out with the bathwater?  Of course not.

    JMJ        

  30. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    i question what you consider “successful” 

    india maybe? you need to understand the euro social model is gonna be run over no matter what you or i say. your done. its over.

    yes, you take my money. you advocate its confiscation.

    myopia may include equating your love of me paying taxes to unionized public employees as love of country. thats a tad pathetic. 

    seems if we were all a little more self serving and a little less worried about our neighbor’s business we might all be better off. or as my dad used to say, if we all would just wipe our butts, we would have a world full of clean bottoms. you ant farmers had your shot. you failed. go away. 

     

  31. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    By successful I meant every other First World nation on the Earth.  Nobody’s confiscating anything from you.  Every dollar you ever earned owes it’s existance to the USA.  Pay your fair share back.

    JMJ 

  32. By Greg on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Dr. Forbush:

    The only thing that can possibly improve public education is competition. That’s why I advocate vouchers. I don’t want to siphon away tax dollars from public schools and give those dollars to religious schools. I want public schools to compete for customers like GM, McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart do. Competition will give us better schools.

    I know you have a fondness for government, and the thought of vouchers troubles you. It shouldn’t. School vouchers provided by the government would still amount to public education. Think of Food Stamps. No one I know considers it anything but a government program even though its recipients redeem those vouchers at privately-owned groceries.

    As far as the cost of education rising up to devour whatever value we place on the voucher is concerned, you make a good point. Public education via vouchers will be as costly as it is now, unless we give parents the ability to check the sure-to-be impulse of educators (both private and public) to charge a tuition that is equal to whatever the value of the voucher may be. One way to do this is to allow parents to put any unused portion of their child’s voucher into a college fund for that child. This way, if the value of the voucher were $10,000, parents would have an incentive to seek out schools that offered a quality education for under $10,000. Schools, in turn, would be pressured to keep tuition under $10,000 in order to attract customers.

    Finally, can you please point out the subcultures that “regard education as dangerous, especially for women or minorities”?

  33. By Jersey McJones on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    Greg,

    You sound reasonable.  Hear me out here.

    How many schools can you fit in any given place at any given time?  How much choice do you really want to have?  Do you want to ship your kids off in several different long-commute distances every day?  How can you fund that unless you do it over a large, centrakky funded area?

    Think about it.

    School choice is a fuckin retarded, stupid, foolish misnomer.  We don’t need or want a “choice.”  What we want is educated kids.

    JMJ 

  34. By gobigred on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    I agree with Greg.  I was raised in public, taught in public for many years, send children (still young) to private, have friends with children in public, charter, magnet, homeschool and private.  Each one of my kids and my friends kids are inviduals and learn different and do best in different environments.  And, children constantly change (so their schooling needs/settiings may too).  Greg’s idea of the voucher limit and putting extra into a college fund if not used is a great way to keep education costs at a reasonable level.

    My shirt shopping analogy to education for you to figure out:  Some walk into the store, see what they want, and buy.  Others read the newspaper and find all the deals and shop when items are 40% or more off.  Some want a certain type of store with certain type of customer service and return policies as well as certain brands that are available.  Some garage sale and go to thrift stores. Some search online and buy over the internet and catalog shop.  Heck, some stay home and make their own clothing.  But less than .01% go naked.  And we all do not need to buy or want to buy Hanes size XXL mens white t-shirts.  It does not make sense.  Everyone likes to have choices in shirt shopping, because there have been times where the customer service was bad, the store was poorly run in a scary part of town, the shirt didn’t last, or their was a flaw in the material. 

    Disrespect in general is part of the Hollywood culture that has been around for decades, if you haven’t noticed.  It just isn’t as much fun to take part in when you are in charge.  That is why some of these parents chuck the schools and do it all themselves.  Incredible, but they have seen and heard too much. 

     

     

  35. By gcblues costa rica on Aug 31, 2006 | Reply

    pay my fair share determined by you to what you determine i need. how paternal of you all.

     
    thanks for making your toitalitarian views so clear. public education is imploding  from the weight of its own inefficiency. the sooner we no longer have public schools the sooner we will be rid of you co-dependant ant farmers. no matter what we write here, their failure is only accelerating. good riddance.

  36. By Jersey McJones on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    GCBlues, oh ye of the “sit to pee” jokes that prove my point - this is a democracy. We all can vote together for our representatives who then propose tax bills and spending bills.  Don’t like it?  Vote for someone else.

    Oh - and watch out down there - Chavez doesn’t care for assholes who make sit-to-pee jokes.

    Here, my friends, is the perfect example of why we need more civics education.

    JMJ 

  37. By gcblues costa rica on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    you can teach me nothing about civics, but clearly you need a map lesson about “down here” senor hugo is 1000’s of kilometers away.

     the usa is a republic, not a democracy, you clown liberals may get a charge voting other people’s rights and incomes away and claiming its “democracy” but it just reveals how uneducated you are in the histroy of govt and the differenc between a republic that reserves the rights to individuals, and a demos.

  38. By Jersey McJones on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    I know where Hugo is, Blues.  And you’ll be singing the blues when the Chavistas make there way there.  Hehe.

    “In Nicaragua, former President Daniel Ortega, the one-time guerrilla leader who led the Cuban-backed Sandinista regime in the 1980s, is running first in the polls. A survey by the M&R polling firm released last week shows Ortega would get 32 percent of likely voters’ ballots, followed by former foreign minister and banker Eduardo Montealegre with 25 percent and Sandinista dissident Edmundo Jarquin with 20 percent.”

    And a Republic, Bluesboy, is a Representative Democracy.  On top of that, much school funding IS directly democratic, ballotted as initiatives at election time, Blueballs.  Clueless…

    JMJ 

  39. By gcblues costa rica on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    i am sure your are thrilled at the thought of communism spreading. por los pobres right. but of course the surest way for daniel to be thrown out is to be re-re-elected, and thrown out again for more imcompetenmce and violence.

    obviously nicragua is not a discussion you could handle with any intelligence. have you ever met a nica let alone know any sandinistas or even know who sandino was? keep rooting for hugo, as he becomes the mugabe of latin america your pride will be validated. neo-stalinist dems of the usa …sin piche.  ….mismo por su ideas de educacion. buenas suerte comrade.  

  40. By Jersey McJones on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    You idiot.  I lived in the New York area most of my life - oh yeah - except when I lived in L.A..  I’ve probably known more than you.  But I guess you sympathize with the Nun Killers, huh?  Did you like it when they killed the Liberationists Nuns?  Did it make you happy?

    Hugo is doing great.

    You’d better get back up here soon.  Dinosaur.  People down there are getting pretty sick of your type.

    JMJ

  41. By gcblues costa rica on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    keep talking comrade. you enhance your patheticism. hugo is doing fine ..hahahahahahahahahahaha. 

    u may wish to use alternate info sources, narconews, moveon, and mother earth have not served you well …lololol oh, i crack me up….. but you neo-stalins are so pathetic. sit to pee indeed. 

     

  42. By Jersey McJones on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    You can always spot a weak and insecure man…  “Sit to pee,” indeed.

    So, your political assuations make you a man, huh?  Do you drive a big truck?  Sports car?  Own lots of guns?  A lot of material possessions?  Do you bully underlings?  The weaker and smaller?  Like nuns?

    I don’t sit to pee.  I stand over you.

    JMJ  

  43. By Greg on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Jersey McJones

    Thanks for the comments. You make some good points. I don’t contend, however, that vouchers will provide us with educational nirvana overnight. It will takes years for the salutary incentives that vouchers introduce to bear fruit. But over time, new schools will emerge to compete for students. Some of those schools will be right down the street from existing public schools. Rember, a school needn’t be a large building with a mini-football stadium that serves thousands of students. It could be a couple of rooms in an office building that serves twenty students.

    Finally, I don’t think you are being fair when you write “we don’t need or want ‘choice.’” Right now the ideological tenor of our public schools is far closer to the world views of Noam Chomsky than to William F. Buckley. If it were the reverse, if our public schools were administered by an army of National Review-heads, I dare say that you would welcome “choice.” 

  44. By Paul Watson The Cranky Brit on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Greg,

    Given that teachers have to work hard, put up with quite a bit of abuse/hassle from parents and politicians and don’t get paid all that much, perhaps people with Buckley-esque world views see better ways of making more money with less problems?

  45. By Dr. Forbush on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Greg,

    I don’t understand how vouchers is equal to choice in schools.

    Imagine that there is a voucher system and it is calculated that every student is entitled to $1000.00 voucher. Now, imagine a Catholic school charges $1000.00. And, imagine a private school charging $6000.00. All these numbers are just for the sake of argument and the exact tuition is not the point.

    So, basically any student in the public schools could go to a Catholic school for free, in theory. And, all of the students at the private school are able to pay $1000.00 less than they have been paying. If a new school were to come into existence, it would be more likely to compete with the “free” education than the “private” education, right? Well, we still have the public schools looking for students, right? By default the public schools get whatever the value of the voucher is, no question. But if everyone were to leave to get the better Catholic education who is goin to be in the public school? Well, actually the Catholic School will not be able to take the additional students, because they would need to build new buildings to house them. So, chances are they would raise tuition to stem the flow of egar students. And, if they raised their tuition to $2000.00 they would have the same number of students by supply and demand arguments. Public schools will get the $1000/student rate. And, the private school will most likely raise their tuition as well, because if they were able to afford the tuition before, they can still afford it now. A potential new school would somehow need to fit between the Catholic student and the “free” education, because if they could make a school work on the $1000/student tuition they would have already done it. How do we get “new” schools out of this mess? Please explain it to me.

  46. By Greg on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Dr. Forbush:

    I believe the flaw in your response is this: You are stuck on the notion that a “school” is a mammouth building that can accomodate hundreds if not thousands of students. I my mind, however, a school can be as simple as a single room in an office or professional building that accomodates twenty students. There is thus no need for the owners of a newly minted school to build anything. They can, when they are in their mom-and-pop stage, rent whatever space they need.

    Finally, there is one more thing you have overlooked. Competition for students will spur innovation on the part of educators. Right now, for example, public schools can’t take advantage of America’s propensity for volunteerism. You couldn’t teach a history or science class pro bono in your local public high school. The teachers’ union would have a fit. But in a truly competitive environment, many schools would welcome volunteerism as a way to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. It is altogether possible, then, for a $1,000-tuition school to compete with a $6,000-tuition school.

  47. By gobigred on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Even in this discussion of educational vouchers (or not), I believe we are behind the ball and the generation of 22 and under will have their children taught in such unique and practical ways, that the idea of a “new building” might as well be mute.  With technology expotentially advancing, the internet, podcads, and the like, education will not be so much “where” but “how” will be brought back to the forefront.  Your kid in a school with lots of bullying or fear of bomb threat?  Then tune into your computer/Ipod, etc. and Mrs. Jones will be teaching 4th hour history there  today.  You know the report today that this year’s  SAT scores are the lowest in the last 31 years?  (because they want a written part and redid it this year)?  That is ok.  You have a choice…you can attend a class at the local high school or use a practice DVD to take the practice tests. 

    Kids today have had to put up with a lot negatives in our society, so they will improvise to make it better than they had it.  Maybe get together at the school building for a soccer game or art class, but it will be different.  The traditional track will still be there, but it will become less normal as time passes.  Some educational experts and government officials are watching the data come in for test scores in elementary, vs. middle school, vs. high school and the high school performance across the nation is not too great.  There is a day when traditional high school is just a thing of the past.  The data for a lot of minority students is dismal.  Somethings are just meant to change.

  48. By Dr. Forbush on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Greg,

    So, you are suggesting that parents should be able to keep the voucher and teach their children at home? I think that idea would win out among the drug addicts that have kids.

    I also disagree with your suggestion that lay people can’t voluteer to teach classes at the public school. I myself have voluteered to teach three different classes at my public school. I have taught “Science Fair preparation,” Astronomy, and Model Rocketry. I had no problems…

     

  49. By Greg on Sep 1, 2006 | Reply

    Dr. Forbush:

    When I write “teach a class,” I mean teach a class for the whole academic year (e.g., sixth period biology at Rydell High). Is this what you have done? If that’s so, I commend your local public school. What state do you reside in? Up until quite recently, I lived my whole life in New York, and I doubt the volunteerism I’m suggesting would fly in the public schools of that state.

    Good point about the drug addicts. Vouchers would have to come with some strings to ensure reasonable standards. Should a home-schooling parent met those reasonable standards, though, I say he or she is entitled to redeem his or her child’s voucher to pay for the cost of education (e.g., supplies, field trips, swimming classes, tutoring for subjects the parent can’t teach, etc.).

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