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Education - Public vs PrivateFollow

#1 Feb 09 2012 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm trying to wrap my head around the education issue in my state. The current legislation by our governor would allow for kids to go to any school they want, ignoring district lines and religious teachings.

I'm not sure that this is a good or bad thing.

I can buy into the argument that, in general, kids can get a better education at a private school. What I'm not sure about is if kids across the state can receive equality in education if the state simply provides funding for kids to attend any school they want. It seems like it's going to make it just that much harder for kids in our economically depressed rural towns to get a fair shake in the education world - mostly because of transportation issues.

Anyways, over-all many states are moving more and more to tax-payer funded private education. Leaving public schools with less funding. I feel like we, as a country or perhaps just as a state need to decide one way or another if we want to simply provide money to each kid to get the education they want or continue on with the traditional route of public schools. It just seems like providing public schools but then also paying for kids to go elsewhere if they'd like is not terribly efficient - or smart.

What do they do in Canada?

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#2 Feb 09 2012 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Anyways, over-all many states are moving more and more to tax-payer funded private education. Leaving public schools with less funding. I feel like we, as a country or perhaps just as a state need to decide one way or another if we want to simply provide money to each kid to get the education they want or continue on with the traditional route of public schools. It just seems like providing public schools but then also paying for kids to go elsewhere if they'd like is not terribly efficient - or smart.

My view of the issue is that it's still rapidly evolving. As local- and state-level school systems continue to experiment with different programs, we can continue to collect data that can then point to one method or another as being "better" or "more efficient."

The charge that I've heard most often leveled against the type of system that you describe is that, due to space limitations, not all kids will get into the school that they/their parents want. This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
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#3 Feb 09 2012 at 10:38 AM Rating: Excellent
There is a certain amount of funding that a private school gets, but it's not fully funded. I'm not sure about the details.

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Catchment areas for each school within the Division are established under the direction of the chief Superintendent. Students normally attend the school within the catchment area in which they live. Resident students may be permitted to attend any school of choice in the Division provided space is available. The Division is not responsible for transportation costs for students attending a school outside their catchment.
Separate catchment areas have also been established for specific language and alternative programs. The Division covers transportation costs for these programs.


They changed to this to allow people to choose schools with the idea that then they'd be more competitive. I think it's worked out pretty well over all, although I haven't really being paying close attention. This is all Winnipeg though.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 10:41am by Xsarus
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#4 Feb 09 2012 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
What do they do in Canada?
Varies by Province. I don't beleive we fund private schools through tax dollars here in Nova Scotia, but I'm only basing that on the fact that there aren't many private schools.
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#5 Feb 09 2012 at 1:00 PM Rating: Good
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In Canada, schooling is a provincial responsibility.

Here in B.C. we have 100% funded public schools, and three classes of private schools - private schools which get the same funding as public schools (looking at "appendix 2" where they are listed, they appear to all be First Nations schools), "Group 1" private schools which receive %50 of the per-pupil funding public schools get (generally non-exclusive religious schools) and "Group 2" (highly expensive/exclusive) schools that get 35% of the per-pupil funding given to public schools.

On a personal level I object to the group 2 schools getting a penny of public funds since they are really exclusionary, but it is really low on my list of things to be outraged about. The group 1 schools serve a lot of regular families that want their children to get religious/cultural instruction so I don't have the same issues with them. All schools receiving public funding need to apply provincial curriculum standards, so there are basic standards across the board.

My concern is that we've been been slowly withering our public school system (by not increasing funding to the rate of inflation and keeping up with other rising costs) so it is creating a situation where a lot of families are moving to the private system, which then lowers the amount of money going to public schools as a whole, exacerbating the problem.

I think your concerns about a system that fully funds private schools are quite valid. I think some state support of a private school system can be reasonable (and once you have it in place it is political poison to consider taking it away) and can help ensure that private schools meet curriculum standards, but it is really problematic to go down a path of hollowing out the public school system, and thus leave kids whose families can't afford to pay extra behind.



Edited, Feb 9th 2012 11:13am by Olorinus
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#6 Feb 09 2012 at 1:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.
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#7 Feb 09 2012 at 1:19 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.

The obvious answer is to just burn down all the below-average schools. Then we'd only have above-average schools left!
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#8 Feb 09 2012 at 1:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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What bothers me is that it feels like an excuse to not actively fix the glaring issues with the public school system in the US, particularly those relating to low-income districts, as well as the particular issues faced by families with low income (regardless of district).

There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

It's unacceptable to me that we are going to spend public funds on just giving a few children that, because we aren't willing to invest in all of our children. Especially when, as others have already noted, there are serious issues regarding transportation for lower class families that would exclude them from the system completely, depending on their area.

Plus, I absolutely agree with Olorinus' sentiments about exclusivity. For example, public funds shouldn't be spent sending children to school in which they are required to attend a prayer session and bible class every day. And paying 30k per year for one child to go to an upper class private school is absurd--that same amount of money could do so much more for so many more children in public schools.

The fact that a lottery would be used to determine the quality of a child's education just makes it worse.

Finally, I have issues with the fact that we are essentially shelving the problem of managing our public schools in favor of private schools, which we don't manage at all. They aren't subject to any controls--if they want to teach your kids that evolution is a bunch of crap and that white people never enslaved black people, they can. They are also allowed to tell a child that they are going to **** for being *****.

TL;DR: I don't like it, because it ignores the real problems and uses public funds to help the few rather than the many. It's essentially an acknowledgement that they have no intention of trying to actually address issues in public schools, but are appeasing the middle class by giving them a (literal) chance to get into a better school.
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#9 Feb 09 2012 at 1:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.

The obvious answer is to just burn down all the below-average schools. Then we'd only have above-average schools left!
Time to invest in marshmallows.
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#10 Feb 09 2012 at 1:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

Finally, I have issues with the fact that we are essentially shelving the problem of managing our public schools in favor of private schools, which we don't manage at all.


A political gold mine is what we have here. It's win/win. You make it someone else's fault if the schools don't perform. You can end the private contract and hire someone new (tell me that won't be a consistent campaign issue on the local level) if things are bad enough. If things improve you take credit and get re-elected. You don't actually have to deal with any of the problems, and you can take credit if things go well.

Anyway, I'm cynical today. Plus I'm paying extra money for a private pre-school at the moment. Seven kids in the class atm though, IIRC. Would have killed to have those class-sizes.
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#11 Feb 09 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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My county has the usual assortment of public and private schools, with addition of three magnet schools (non-chartered). For the elementary school, enrollment was based purely on lottery, but for the health/science/engineering high school it was based on grades and an entrance exam, and for the fine arts school it was based on grades and an audition. (Truly talented kids could sometimes get in without meeting the grade requirements, but it was rare, and they still had to keep a C average or risk getting kicked out.)

That was one elementary, one middle, and two high schools, servicing a total of around 1500 students all together. The schools were so good and so popular that people often lied about where they lived so that their children could get access, putting down a relative's address or in some extreme cases renting an apartment within town. Why? Because there was no tuition at those schools, and they were better than the local private schools and worlds beyond the local public schools.

However, since they were still part of the public school system, we had the option to get a bus ride downtown where all three schools were located. My bus from the local high school to the school I actually attended was a short bus that had a total of three people on it most mornings.

So I think if they're going to pony up tuition assistance to the private schools, they can **** well put in some bus routes as well, at least within a given geographic area.
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#12 Feb 09 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
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#13 Feb 09 2012 at 2:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.


That's ridiculous. Everyone knows if a kid is dumb as moss it's the teacher's fault. Smiley: rolleyes
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#14 Feb 09 2012 at 2:35 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
The problem I have with private schools is exactly this "daycare" mentality that they're treated with. Enough parents do this to make it a serious problem, leaving the availability of education unequal to possibly equally talented or able students. It widens the problem, rather than addressing the root problem that education sucks in this country.
#15 Feb 09 2012 at 3:37 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
The problem I have with private schools is exactly this "daycare" mentality that they're treated with. Enough parents do this to make it a serious problem, leaving the availability of education unequal to possibly equally talented or able students. It widens the problem, rather than addressing the root problem that education sucks in this country.


Except that after the attrition process Joph talked about, the parents who aren't as invested in their children will be back in the public school, while those parents who actually are invested in their child's education (not just saying they are), will be able to provide a better education for their children. Those who want day care will get it. Those who want more for their kids will get that.


The problem with public education is that it has become day care. And the costs and effort involved in taking care of all those kids doesn't leave much left over to actually educate those who are trying to get an education. At the end of the day, we can't just spend out way out of bad parents raising kids who are bad students. But we can at least not lump the good in with the bad based solely on geography.
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#16 Feb 09 2012 at 3:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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And how is "If your parents don't care, you're ************ a good way to run a society?
#17 Feb 09 2012 at 3:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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That's a completely white-washed, middle-class way of looking at it. My brother teaches in a charter school, and his students are at least 95% black. The majority of them are from poor inner-city households. Most of them don't have two parents, many of them are being raised by grandparents, and plenty have parents in prison.

The fact that they were enrolled in the charter school is amazing in itself--it shows they DO have people who care about their education. Thing is, that's pretty much as far as it goes.

It isn't because their parents/guardians don't care, it's that their parents/guardians are spending all their energy on just trying to keep some semblence of stability in these kids' lives. They don't have time to help them with their homework (which they couldn't even do, because I can't even use the newest ways of doing mathematics).

If you have two parents with a fair amount of free time and stability, yeah--you can talk about lack of parental involvement in education. When the parents are barely educated (at best) and more than likely barely keeping their whole lives together, it's a whole different story. Yeah, low income families will often find themselves approaching school like it's a day care. But it's not because they don't care. It's because they have no options.

And I don't know what you are envisioning schools to be like, but they aren't like day cares. We are talking about the daycare mentality that parents have, not actual similarities between the two.

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.
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#18 Feb 09 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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#19 Feb 09 2012 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place. And the more relevant point is that if your parents don't care, the likelihood of any amount of money and effort by our education system to change your outcome is minimal at best, and in the process, we're denying the kids who aren't being screwed over by their bad parents a good education.

The government isn't making those kids be screwed. Their parents are. The question is to what degree it's the government's job, through public education funding, to try to undo bad parenting? And how much public money should be spent trying to do this?
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#20 Feb 09 2012 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place.


Well, that's sort of what laws do. Just sayin'.
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#21 Feb 09 2012 at 4:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place. And the more relevant point is that if your parents don't care, the likelihood of any amount of money and effort by our education system to change your outcome is minimal at best, and in the process, we're denying the kids who aren't being screwed over by their bad parents a good education.

The government isn't making those kids be screwed. Their parents are. The question is to what degree it's the government's job, through public education funding, to try to undo bad parenting? And how much public money should be spent trying to do this?


Know what makes good parents? Good education.

If you are going to justify ******** over these kids because their parents can't provide for them (which is directly correlated to the way their parents were screwed, because of how THEIR parents were screwed, etc.), then you're a classist *******.

Then again, we already knew that.
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#22 Feb 09 2012 at 4:13 PM Rating: Excellent
Even with the best schools and teachers, if the parent is disengaged, the probability of the kid actually applying themselves is a lot lower.

That's not an argument to stop funding education though. I don't really have a good solution for people who aren't good parents.
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#23 Feb 09 2012 at 4:14 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
That's a completely white-washed, middle-class way of looking at it. My brother teaches in a charter school, and his students are at least 95% black. The majority of them are from poor inner-city households. Most of them don't have two parents, many of them are being raised by grandparents, and plenty have parents in prison.

The fact that they were enrolled in the charter school is amazing in itself--it shows they DO have people who care about their education. Thing is, that's pretty much as far as it goes.


Yes. Because their parents care. Those who don't wont spend the effort to get their kid to a charter or private school. Of if they do, they give up on it after a short period of time because it turns out that it wasn't the school, but them (or their kid) that was the problem to begin with.

Quote:
It isn't because their parents/guardians don't care, it's that their parents/guardians are spending all their energy on just trying to keep some semblence of stability in these kids' lives. They don't have time to help them with their homework (which they couldn't even do, because I can't even use the newest ways of doing mathematics).


That's not what I'm talking about though. I agree with you. But you get that just because a kid is black and from a broken home, doesn't mean that kid is automatically a bad student. The whole point of providing tuition funding for private schools is to allow those kids who's biggest problem is the school they're in to go somewhere else. The fact that there are lots of other kids who's problem is their parents, or themselves and therefore no movement to another school will help them, aren't the issue here.

Quote:
And I don't know what you are envisioning schools to be like, but they aren't like day cares. We are talking about the daycare mentality that parents have, not actual similarities between the two.


And more often public schools are expected to fulfill that need. I'm not talking about nap time here. I'm talking about how for some students, the schools primary job (not by choice of course) is merely to keep them on campus for the school day and feed them lunch. And in some schools, the ratio of those students to the ones who are actually trying to learn is high.

Quote:
The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Yes. Because all wealthy kids are brilliant students and all poor kids are dumb as bricks. Or maybe, we give the kids who have potential to learn but were unfortunate enough to be born in unfortunate situations a better chance? There's an idea!
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#24 Feb 09 2012 at 4:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place.


Well, that's sort of what laws do. Just sayin'.


There's a difference between drawing the lines on the road and actually driving the car. Just sayin'.
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#25 Feb 09 2012 at 4:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't really have a good solution for people who aren't good parents.
Chemical castration or euthanasia are always viable options.
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#26 Feb 09 2012 at 4:20 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji - Can you honestly tell me that the glaring flaws of a completely private school system would be better than a public school system which accounted for the varying potentials of different children? The answer to a problem is not to introduce a system which not only does not fix much of anything, but introduces problems of its own.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 3:20pm by LeWoVoc
#27 Feb 09 2012 at 4:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
Even with the best schools and teachers, if the parent is disengaged, the probability of the kid actually applying themselves is a lot lower.


Exactly. We're not ******** over the kids. Their parents are doing that. Schools spend a huge amount of time and resources on those screwed over kids and see very very little improvement. I just think that the idea that we should hold back education resources for the kids who aren't screwed over because those things aren't likely to help the screwed over kids is pretty darn silly.

I mean, isn't that the argument here? That the engaged parents with the kids who pass entrance exams or whatever, will be able to send their kids to better schools, while rest will be "stuck" in the crappy public schools. And that's bad? So the better solution is to trap the kids who could do very well if only they weren't stuck in those same schools. All in the name of ensuring that those school receive more money?

Isn't that backwards? I think so.

Quote:
That's not an argument to stop funding education though. I don't really have a good solution for people who aren't good parents.


That's the point. There isn't a good solution for that. So let's not hold up funding education for those who will benefit from it because not everyone will take advantage of it to the same degree.
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#28 Feb 09 2012 at 4:25 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Sir Xsarus wrote:
Even with the best schools and teachers, if the parent is disengaged, the probability of the kid actually applying themselves is a lot lower.


Exactly. We're not ******** over the kids. Their parents are doing that. Schools spend a huge amount of time and resources on those screwed over kids and see very very little improvement. I just think that the idea that we should hold back education resources for the kids who aren't screwed over because those things aren't likely to help the screwed over kids is pretty darn silly.

I mean, isn't that the argument here? That the engaged parents with the kids who pass entrance exams or whatever, will be able to send their kids to better schools, while rest will be "stuck" in the crappy public schools. And that's bad? So the better solution is to trap the kids who could do very well if only they weren't stuck in those same schools. All in the name of ensuring that those school receive more money?

Isn't that backwards? I think so.

No. The point is to have public schools good enough for everyone, and let those that wish to push for a little more or who can afford it send their child to private schools.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 3:25pm by LeWoVoc
#29 Feb 09 2012 at 4:26 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
gbaji - Can you honestly tell me that the glaring flaws of a completely private school system would be better than a public school system which accounted for the varying potentials of different children?


You're going to need to frame that question better. How do you define a "completely private school system"? And can you list off the glaring flaws that it would have? Because it's quite probable that we aren't going to agree on those, so it's somewhat meaningless for us to argue which is better.

Quote:
The answer to a problem is not to introduce a system which not only does not fix much of anything, but introduces problems of its own.


We'd need to determine that first though. And then compare lists. If you define a completely private school system and provide your list of glaring flaws. I will gladly provide a counter point, including my own list of the flaws of our current public school system.
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#30 Feb 09 2012 at 4:29 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
I mean, isn't that the argument here? That the engaged parents with the kids who pass entrance exams or whatever, will be able to send their kids to better schools, while rest will be "stuck" in the crappy public schools. And that's bad? So the better solution is to trap the kids who could do very well if only they weren't stuck in those same schools. All in the name of ensuring that those school receive more money?

Isn't that backwards? I think so.
There shouldn't be crappy schools. The schools that are crappy need to be improved. The idea that there are better schools and that some schools won't give as good an education is the problem. You should set up every school so that the motivated kids that go there get a good education. If a school won't give a good education to a motivated kid, then it is failing.
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#31 Feb 09 2012 at 4:31 PM Rating: Decent
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So the children don't deserve a quality chance at all, because the chance that they'll have the wisdom to take advantage of it is low?

You're a terrifying human being.
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#32 Feb 09 2012 at 4:33 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
No. The point is to have public schools good enough for everyone, and let those that wish to push for a little more or who can afford it send their child to private schools.


And what do you do when a school has 50% or more of its students who are uninterested in learning (regardless of reason), many of whom are in gangs, dealing/using drugs, and will skip class without thinking about it. What do you do for the other 50% who might actually want to learn, but are in an environment where it's nearly impossible to do so. What do those 50% do when the rules of the school require that the other half be put into the same classrooms, and sit in their chairs (else the school might lose funding for not teaching the students), resulting in constant disruption.

Is the solution to keep them all in the same school, where the kids who might have succeeded now are less likely to do so because of the environment in the school? Or do we let those kids go to a different school where 100% of the kids want to learn? The argument I'm replying to is one where people focus on the plight of the kids left behind and insist it's unfair to force them to remain in those schools while the other kids move out.

But that's pretty dumb, isn't it? It's those kids who are making those schools so bad. We can debate why or how, or who's to blame, but that's the reality. You can't move them to another school and get rid of the problem. They are the problem. And no one is proposing a solution to that problem here. We're asking whether it's right to let the rest of the kids go somewhere else where they can learn, or to we keep them there and drag them down with the others?


I think we should let any student go to any school that will take them. Use vouchers, or whatever system to accomplish this. Yes. This will result in the bad students all being lumped together. But is that really "bad"?
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#33 Feb 09 2012 at 4:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Maybe it's just different out west here, but there are a number of good private schools that are affordable to middle income people. Sacrifices need to be made of course, but all but the most exclusive schools are pretty affordable.
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#34 Feb 09 2012 at 4:35 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Maybe it's just different out west here, but there are a number of good private schools that are affordable to middle income people. Sacrifices need to be made of course, but all but the most exclusive schools are pretty affordable.


Define affordable?
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#35 Feb 09 2012 at 4:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
There shouldn't be crappy schools.


But there are. Yeah. Reality bites!

Quote:
The schools that are crappy need to be improved.


How much money do we spend on this?

Quote:
The idea that there are better schools and that some schools won't give as good an education is the problem.


No. The problem is that some people refuse to acknowledge that the reason some schools are crappy is because of the students who attend them. You can build the latest state of the art education facility in the wealthiest part of town and then bus all the kids from the worst school in the worst ghetto, and guess what will happen? It will be just as bad a school.

However, if you allow just the kids who want to learn to attend that new state of the art school, and leave the rest in their bad schools, you don't make the bad schools that much worse (if at all). But you vastly improve the quality of education and the opportunity for success for the kids who are able to attend that new school.


I see a lot of positives and very few negatives.


Quote:
You should set up every school so that the motivated kids that go there get a good education.


Nice pipe dream. In the real world, this is more or less impossible to accomplish. Not for every school. If the number of unmotivated kids in a school exceed a certain number, it will create a bad education environment for all the kids. And the only way to spend your way out of that is to create two different sets of classrooms. One for the "bad" kids, and one for the "good". And at that point, why not make two different schools instead?


Quote:
If a school won't give a good education to a motivated kid, then it is failing.


Yup. We have a lot of failing schools. I thought this was about discussing solutions to that rather than just standing around talking about how such things shouldn't happen.
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#36 Feb 09 2012 at 4:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Maybe it's just different out west here, but there are a number of good private schools that are affordable to middle income people. Sacrifices need to be made of course, but all but the most exclusive schools are pretty affordable.


Define affordable?


$500 - $1000 a month for a full time program.
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#37 Feb 09 2012 at 4:45 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
So the children don't deserve a quality chance at all, because the chance that they'll have the wisdom to take advantage of it is low?


I thought that providing the opportunity to attend a private school with tuition funding was about helping children get that quality chance (as you put it)? Isn't trapping kids in the crappy schools they're in doing far far more to limit their options?

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You're a terrifying human being.


Strange. I'm the one advocating for giving kids more options to obtain a quality education. How does that make me a terrifying human being?
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#38 Feb 09 2012 at 4:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Maybe it's just different out west here, but there are a number of good private schools that are affordable to middle income people. Sacrifices need to be made of course, but all but the most exclusive schools are pretty affordable.


Define affordable?


$500 - $1000 a month for a full time program.


I definitely wouldn't call those affordable at all. Especially for any family with multiple children. Median household income in the USA is 50k. One kid would take 1/5th of your income just in tuition fees.

The cheapest I have found for NJ so far is 10k. For "good" programs. I know of some awful christian schools around here, so I didn't bother to check their costs.

Besides, one of the problems I was specifically citing was that Private Schools were inaccessible to anyone other than the upper-middle. Reducing that to the middle-middle doesn't really change my argument at all, and would only slightly temper the problem.
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#39 Feb 09 2012 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory wrote:
The cheapest I have found for NJ so far is 10k.
The ****? St. Francis Prep is about $7,500 a year tuition. I somehow doubt that the cheapest private school in New Jersey is more expensive than one of the best in New York. You calculating full twelve months, or the average 180 day school year?
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#40 Feb 09 2012 at 4:54 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place.


Well, that's sort of what laws do. Just sayin'.


There's a difference between drawing the lines on the road and actually driving the car. Just sayin'.


Makes for a nice bumper sticker, I guess, but that doesn't refute my point in the slightest. I was simply pointing out how silly the quoted phrase was, and not making a statement about the larger argument.

The day you post the words "My bad, I misspoke" it'll be a cold day in ****.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 5:57pm by Eske
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#41 Feb 09 2012 at 5:01 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

I definitely wouldn't call those affordable at all. Especially for any family with multiple children. Median household income in the USA is 50k. One kid would take 1/5th of your income just in tuition fees.


One more reason kids are expensive. Smiley: wink

Honestly though, we're comfortably under 50k and have budgeted for education expenses to take up about 20% of the income. Whether that comes through other programs or private school remains to be seen of course (we're actively debating the best way to spend that money). Again, I didn't say you wouldn't have to make sacrifices, but these are your kids, kind of important...

idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

Besides, one of the problems I was specifically citing was that Private Schools were inaccessible to anyone other than the upper-middle. Reducing that to the middle-middle doesn't really change my argument at all, and would only slightly temper the problem.


Fair enough, I suppose it's a bit of arguing semantics anyway.


Edited, Feb 9th 2012 3:02pm by someproteinguy
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#42 Feb 09 2012 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
idiggory wrote:
The cheapest I have found for NJ so far is 10k.
The ****? St. Francis Prep is about $7,500 a year tuition. I somehow doubt that the cheapest private school in New Jersey is more expensive than one of the best in New York. You calculating full twelve months, or the average 180 day school year?


So far, I've only seen yearly tuitions. The tool I was using was showing schools in a 50 mile radius around my location. Saw 10k to 30k. Peddie (one of the best, not in that 50 mile radius) is 35k for day students (45k for boarding).

This says that the average tuition for schools that are members of the National Association of Independent schools is 17k. Those who aren't members have a median of 10k. Only parochial schools ever seem to approach cheap.
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#43 Feb 09 2012 at 5:18 PM Rating: Good
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Also, it's a joke to think that this can actually provide opportunities for a substantial number of impoverished students. NYC has a great program that lets students apply to enter any other school in the district. The end result is that the best ranked schools get thousands of applications every year--WAY more than they can keep. Most students end up in the same, crappy school they would have had anyway.

So it's pure lottery. And your parents can't do anything about it, because chances are they don't have the time or funding to address things. And, like I said, education has changed so immensely in just the past decade (let alone past 30 years), that parents cannot be relied upon to help children with their homework anymore, even if that was an option.

Our only choice for actually addressing the issues faced by income disparity is to address those issues directly. Take Teach for America. When they enter a classroom, they don't hide these issues from their students. They lay them out there, and work to create an environment that allows the kids to believe that they could possible believe in any future other than the only one they have known. The end result is that the students end up doing WAY better.

But it takes a LOT of energy on part of the instructor. And it's the kind of thing that only good teachers can or will do. Which is why you need to PAY for good teachers for those schools, because they'll not only need to create those environments, but they'll also need to play catch up with the kids.
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#44 Feb 09 2012 at 5:46 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Besides, one of the problems I was specifically citing was that Private Schools were inaccessible to anyone other than the upper-middle. Reducing that to the middle-middle doesn't really change my argument at all, and would only slightly temper the problem.


But wouldn't funding the tuition from the state education program solve this problem? Granted this is the Cato Institute, but their numbers are pretty similar to others I've read in the past:

Quote:
Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region.

To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more than the estimated median private school.

Citizens drastically underestimate current per-student spending and are misled by official figures. Taxpayers cannot make informed decisions about public school funding unless they know how much districts currently spend. And with state budgets stretched thin, it is more crucial than ever to carefully allocate every tax dollar.


Point being that it would cost significantly less money for the state to simply pay tuition costs and send kids to private schools than they currently spend providing the eduction in the state run schools. It would be so much of a savings, that they could probably throw in bus costs, free lunches, and uniforms for those schools that require them, and still save a bundle.

I'm not saying that this is a magic bullet solution, but if the argument against private schools is cost, then this should be a legitimate counter point.
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#45 Feb 09 2012 at 5:52 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
But wouldn't funding the tuition from the state education program solve this problem?


No.

Why? Because we don't have anywhere close to the number of private schools to accept even a small fraction of the number of potential applicants. Because, to screen these applicants, schools will either use tests (which skew heavily in favor of the middle class) or a lottery system to admit students (so it isn't based on need).

Because most people are living in situations where they can't drive their kids to private school every day.

My whole issue with the system is that it's a band-aid that does nothing to solve the actual problem, but takes a huge amount of money from the initiative to actually bring about change.
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#46 Feb 09 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Good
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Granted this is the Cato Institute

If you have to excuse your source, it's time to find a different source.


Edited, Feb 9th 2012 5:54pm by Jophiel
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#47 Feb 09 2012 at 6:16 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory wrote:
Because, to screen these applicants, schools will either use tests
I have absolutely no problem with there being standards that require a moderate amount of effort on the children's and parents' part. Just letting kids coast from grade to grade is why our system has gone to **** to begin with.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 7:17pm by lolgaxe
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#48 Feb 09 2012 at 6:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't have any clue why you would infer that from what I said. My issue is with placing entrance exams on private schools and then using those scores to select between potential students. 9/10 times (if not way more), it will go to the student from the better-funded school system.
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#49 Feb 09 2012 at 7:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Let's add the context back into that question:

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Besides, one of the problems I was specifically citing was that Private Schools were inaccessible to anyone other than the upper-middle. Reducing that to the middle-middle doesn't really change my argument at all, and would only slightly temper the problem.


But wouldn't funding the tuition from the state education program solve this problem?


No.

Why? Because we don't have anywhere close to the number of private schools to accept even a small fraction of the number of potential applicants.


Ok. But your earlier argument was one of cost, not open slots in schools. If we eliminate the cost (and let's assume transportation as well) problem so that a student in the ghetto has the same financial ability to attend a given school as a middle class kid, then what remains is the selection process of the school itself.

Quote:
Because, to screen these applicants, schools will either use tests (which skew heavily in favor of the middle class) or a lottery system to admit students (so it isn't based on need).


Most private schools use tests. Charter type schools tend to use lotteries. If we assume a test, how does that skew? It skews in favor of those capable of doing well on the test. Period. Doesn't matter where you live. You're looking at statistics across an entire population in a poor neighborhood versus a middle class one. But that's not the issue here, right? I thought the problem we're trying to solve is for smart, capable, motivated kids, who are stuck in poor schools because they can't afford to go to better ones. And this absolutely does take us a giant step towards solving that problem.


And let's not forget that if we did implement this solution, more private schools would be built to meet the need. ****. Some currently public schools might turn private and maybe we'd get improvement that way. You're assuming that the school market wont adjust to that change. It obviously would. Also, your assumption of skew might be present in the current crop of kids, but not in the next generation. If that kid from the poor family always attended a good private school from kindergarten on, then that kid's not going to have any issues continuing to qualify for each successive level of education.


You need to look a bit further down the line to see how this changes things.

Quote:
Because most people are living in situations where they can't drive their kids to private school every day.


Again though, the cost savings are so significant that we could toss in transportation and still save a boatload of money. And I disagree with that. Motivated parents will find means to transport their kids to school. I went to a private school in South Bay (pretty much spitting distance from Mexico). We had kids who traveled from Mexico every day to attend school there. And these were not all rich kids (some where of course). Some of them literally walked across the border crossing, and then took a bus to school (or walked, or got a friend to pick them up).

You can find ways to get transportation. My brother and I used to get a ride to school from some other people who lived a half mile or so away. It wasn't a carpool because my mom's work schedule didn't allow her to drive. They were just nice and gave us a lift. So every day, we walked to their house to get a ride to school. And when we stayed after for football or basketball practice? We took the bus. Or we walked (not often, because that was a long long long walk). Or, we waited until our mom could come get us.

You manage. It's not easy, but you do it.

Quote:
My whole issue with the system is that it's a band-aid that does nothing to solve the actual problem, but takes a huge amount of money from the initiative to actually bring about change.



I think that the problem is that too many people are trying to solve the wrong problem. We can't fix bad parenting (or at least that's outside the scope of education policy). But it seems like too many want to use the education system to fix exactly that, or offset the damage caused. That's noble and all, but the kids getting caught in the middle are those who's education resources are being consumed in that expensive and questionably successful goal, resulting in a poorer education result for them.


Do we try to "save" all the kids and turn our education system into a social services system? Or do we concentrate on educating those who want to be educated to the greatest ability we can and in the most efficient manner we can? Because right now, we're sacrificing a **** of a lot of kids who could have gotten better educations, gotten out of their poverty and made something of their lives and given better futures to their children, all on the altar of trying to save everyone.


I think that's absolutely a mistake, but that's been the driving principle for our public education system for the last 30-40 years.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 5:02pm by gbaji
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#50 Feb 09 2012 at 7:03 PM Rating: Good
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Personally, I think it's absurd to expect a CHILD to realize the value of education, and choose to give up on those who haven't done so.
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#51 Feb 09 2012 at 7:06 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I don't have any clue why you would infer that from what I said. My issue is with placing entrance exams on private schools and then using those scores to select between potential students. 9/10 times (if not way more), it will go to the student from the better-funded school system.


So... If we gave poor students the opportunity to attend those better schools (better funded has nothing to do with it in this case) from day one, they'd be just as competitive as the middle class kids. Right?


It's because they can't get into private schools early on, and are stuck in the crappy public schools in their neighborhoods that they receive a worse education and can't do as well on entrance exams. And let's be honest, doing worse on the exams is the least of the problems here. If they do worse on those, then they'll also do worse getting into college, and worse getting into a job, and therefore have a worse economic outcome down the line.

Don't you see how forcing these kids to stay in the local public schools is what prevents them from getting out of their poverty?
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