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The Republican case for the Universal Basic IncomeFollow

#77 Jan 21 2014 at 8:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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A lot of these are minority students so obviously the answer is zoology.
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#78 Jan 21 2014 at 10:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
A lot of these are minority students so obviously the answer is zoology.
Evolution, except in the red states where it's simply "God's will" or whatever.

And US schools will succeed when the people actually decide they want them to succeed. Surprisingly if you invest the minimum amount of money and time necessary to educate your students it doesn't make a huge difference whether the people you're having do it work in the private or public sector. Then again, we're mostly a service based economy these days. How much do you really want to spend educating someone who's going to be a waiter for most of their adult life?
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#79 Jan 21 2014 at 10:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Probably the most interesting thing I've seen recently is the introduction of a "mindfulness" program in underperforming elementary and middle schools. The kids are generally coming from terrible home lives and instead of paying attention in class, are stressed out from their home situation. They can't focus in school with everything else happening around them. The program teaches meditation and yoga as a means of helping kids separate home life from school life. So far they've had a pretty good success track rating, although the studies are still limited.
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#80 Jan 21 2014 at 11:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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And that's all well and good until some ignorant fundie decides that yoga is a heretical religion.
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#81 Jan 21 2014 at 11:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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Catwho wrote:
The kids are generally coming from terrible home lives and instead of paying attention in class, are stressed out from their home situation. They can't focus in school with everything else happening around them.
Which is hardly surprising, and just to add to that it probably hints at how helpful the parents can be when their lives are that messed up.

I don't envy the school situation though. The demands on what an education needs to produce to keep pace with a global market have never been higher, retiring baby-boomers are sucking up the education dollars, teachers face declining compensation and less job security, peaking economic stresses are keeping parents less involved, and after all that the students still have to put themselves in a god-awful amount of debt over 4 years of college just to find out they aren't qualified for anything more than an part-time internship.

Yay Smiley: yippee
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#82 Jan 21 2014 at 12:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Probably the most interesting thing I've seen recently is the introduction of a "mindfulness" program in underperforming elementary and middle schools. The kids are generally coming from terrible home lives and instead of paying attention in class, are stressed out from their home situation. They can't focus in school with everything else happening around them. The program teaches meditation and yoga as a means of helping kids separate home life from school life. So far they've had a pretty good success track rating, although the studies are still limited.

Novelty helps distracted kids, it's a known thing. Introducing anything novel helps focus them, it's a known phenomenon. The problem is that implementing rolling novel programs (because the effect wears off) is fairly difficult and expensive. Also less than ideal that as far as perception and funding goes, this sort of "shows promise" ******** gets money, continues past the point of novelty then fails. This is why there is a common misconception that education reform consists of "fads." What it generally consists of is a series of differing techniques that all show promise initially because of the powerful novelty effect then die out as it's shown they aren't actually any more effective.

I don't have a solution, it's just probably important to note that while many people on "my" side of the political spectrum have a desire to see this sort of thing as beneficial, the reality is you could probably replace "mindfulness" with "watching French Cinema" "Baking cookies" or "learning to juggle" and see the same temporary effects.
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#83 Jan 21 2014 at 12:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hey, if that novelty is reducing the number of kids who are given suspensions by 75%, I think it's worth it.

Yoga and meditation have been proven to reduce stress levels, high blood pressure, and increase mindfulness in adults. It's not stretching it to see if it could have the same benefits in stressed out kids.

Edited, Jan 21st 2014 1:09pm by Catwho
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#84 Jan 21 2014 at 12:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Hey, if that novelty is reducing the number of kids who are giving suspensions by 75%, I think it's worth it.

You're missing the point. It isn't worth it, because it pulls funding away from sustainable programs that help the same populations perpetually, not until they get bored. It's not a zero sum game, but it is close to that in the districts in question. Grant money being forever thrown at this sort of thing is grant money that isn't being spent on other potentially more effective techniques.


Yoga and meditation have been proven to reduce stress levels, high blood pressure, and increase mindfulness in adults. It's not stretching it to see if it could have the same benefits in stressed out kids.


It's stretching it to assert *any* of that, actually. Meditation is harmless is the primary reason it's advocated by health professionals. Really, that's the primary reason, not efficacy. Mediation can counteract acute stress, but so can screaming, singing, hopping on one foot, etc.

If you want to say "I like the idea of meditation and yoga" just say that. There doesn't need to be some objective measure of their "goodness"
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#85 Jan 21 2014 at 12:24 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:


I don't have a solution,
Crop rotation.

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#86 Jan 21 2014 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Crop rotation.

May be the way to go, honestly. Cycle three or four programs through districts in a state over 10 year periods or whathaveyou. Problem, of course, is GOP governor gets into power "we're spending out tax money on teaching inner city kids to knit?" Wah wah wah. Little Shemecula is right back slinging the crack rock.
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#87 Jan 21 2014 at 12:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:


I don't have a solution,
Crop rotation.

This year we aren't teaching grades 2 or 6. They'll be allowed to run wild on the playground all year and given a pamphlet entitled "Paper or plastic? Knowing your place in the world." This will allow those teachers a chance to recharge and we expect the better grades from next years' 2nd and 6th graders to more than compensate.
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#88 Jan 21 2014 at 12:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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This year we aren't teaching grades 2 or 6. They'll be allowed to run wild on the playground all year and given a pamphlet entitled "Paper or plastic? Knowing your place in the world." This will allow those teachers a chance to recharge and we expect the better grades from next years' 2nd and 6th graders to more than compensate.

There's a serious theory that skipping the middle school grades, say 6-8 in the US would be better for everyone. Children retain almost nothing they learn during that time, and could probably rub their junk against each other and inanimate objects without the framework of learning getting in the way. I'm in no way joking. Obviously, trying to sell that against "they should be learning things, what can we do to make pubescent 13 year olds want to study trigonometry" is a losing battle, but in terms of what might be most effective, it's an interesting case study.
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#89 Jan 21 2014 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
This year we aren't teaching grades 2 or 6. They'll be allowed to run wild on the playground all year and given a pamphlet entitled "Paper or plastic? Knowing your place in the world." This will allow those teachers a chance to recharge and we expect the better grades from next years' 2nd and 6th graders to more than compensate.

There's a serious theory that skipping the middle school grades, say 6-8 in the US would be better for everyone. Children retain almost nothing they learn during that time, and could probably rub their junk against each other and inanimate objects without the framework of learning getting in the way. I'm in no way joking. Obviously, trying to sell that against "they should be learning things, what can we do to make pubescent 13 year olds want to study trigonometry" is a losing battle, but in terms of what might be most effective, it's an interesting case study.
Public standardized education should start as soon as the kid is potty trained and finish when they're ten or eleven. They can learn a crap ton of stuff in that time period. Then they take off the pre/pubescent years - or if they can have various forms of phys-ed for 3 years (<3 the monkey bars). Then begin specialized education around 14 or 15.

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#90 Jan 21 2014 at 12:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Obviously, trying to sell that against "they should be learning things, what can we do to make pubescent 13 year olds want to study trigonometry" is a losing battle, but in terms of what might be most effective, it's an interesting case study.
I'd buy it, assuming we can find something for them to do with that time of course. Most people aren't going to want a hormonally volatile individual sulking around the house all days of the week.

Elinda wrote:
Then begin specialized education around 14 or 15.
That's something else we could use some help with. "Kids working" isn't popular, but there's only so much they can learn outside the lab/factory/office/whatever.

Edited, Jan 21st 2014 10:49am by someproteinguy
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#91 Jan 21 2014 at 12:56 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Obviously, trying to sell that against "they should be learning things, what can we do to make pubescent 13 year olds want to study trigonometry" is a losing battle, but in terms of what might be most effective, it's an interesting case study.
I'd buy it, assuming we can find something for them to do with that time of course. Most people aren't going to want a hormonally volatile individual sulking around the house all days of the week.
Set them out on the streets penniless and shoeless.

They'll learn.

Edited, Jan 21st 2014 7:57pm by Elinda
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#92 Jan 21 2014 at 1:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe they could receive some social training during those middle years. Hygiene, phys ed to burn off some of that energy, how to talk to each other, maybe some art and music classes.

Parents would never allow it, of course. Not competitive enough.
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#93 Jan 21 2014 at 1:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm sure we could find a way to make it competitive enough. My kid has whiter teeth and more twitter followers, his art was hung in the center of the wall, while your kid's art was hung off to the side. We also spent $2,000 on his ultra high-definition 128 pack of crayola crayons.
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#94 Jan 21 2014 at 2:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Parents would never allow it, of course. Not competitive enough.

Stick 'em in a forest with a stack of weapons and let 'em fight on TV.

That's my totally original and not at all derivative idea.
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#95 Jan 21 2014 at 3:00 PM Rating: Good
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Competitive yoga.

We can do this if we try hard enough.
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#96 Jan 21 2014 at 3:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Apparently.
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#97 Jan 21 2014 at 5:13 PM Rating: Default
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smash wrote:
There's a serious theory that skipping the middle school grades, say 6-8 in the US would be better for everyone. Children retain almost nothing they learn during that time, and could probably rub their junk against each other and inanimate objects without the framework of learning getting in the way. I'm in no way joking. Obviously, trying to sell that against "they should be learning things, what can we do to make pubescent 13 year olds want to study trigonometry" is a losing battle, but in terms of what might be most effective, it's an interesting case study.


I actually learned and retained a lot through those years. Then again, I took advanced courses that covered more "new" material rather than recycling the same garbage from elementary school. I would support cutting out high school years before middle school years. I've actually done very minor research on math students in k-12 education and students tend to favor math in the elementary years, but fall off in the middle school years. There are several theories behind that, but the point being is that the middle school years are when students start their educational paths, e.g., science vs art.

What I've noticed personally is that students in high school are much less impressionable and have already decided whether or not they want to learn, pass and or fail. The ones that eagerly seek knowledge and seek higher learning take more challenging courses or courses in their vocational/technical area of interest. Although I fundamentally disagree with allowing students to drop out of school, if I had to pick a group of students, it would be the high school students that are just there because its law. I would allow them to transition out of the system, freeing up resources for the students who do want to learn.

Edited, Jan 22nd 2014 1:14am by Almalieque
#98 Jan 21 2014 at 6:19 PM Rating: Decent
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I actually learned and retained a lot through those years. Then again, I took advanced courses that covered more "new" material rather than recycling the same garbage from elementary school.

Assume I made some sort of joke about black people reaching sexual maturity faster or something in this space, or alternately, a valid argument about your anecdote not weighing heavily in the aggregate data. I learned a lot during that time, as well, but I'm a fucking genius and deriving education policy from my personal experience would likely not scale well when applied to people with the misfortune to not be me.
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#99 Jan 21 2014 at 6:36 PM Rating: Good
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I remember two things from middle school, aside from general ennui and learning to read music. 1. That moment in 7th grade algebra when multiplication of fractions finally clicked. That was almost a spiritual moment, and one never repeated in mathematics again until 12th grade calculus when I learned that the derivative of both sin and cos are 1. 2. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both..."

****, even the class I enjoyed in 8th grade, literature, only avoided being a waste of time because the teacher just let me go to the library and write once a week while my peers struggled through SRA reading kits. (Oh hey, those things are on iPads now. Neat.)
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#100 Jan 21 2014 at 6:45 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Haha... way to totally miss the point.


Um... You get that it's kinda not possible for me to miss the point about my own argument. It's possible for *you* to do so by thinking that I measure "big/small" government in a way that isn't actually true. But if I tell you "this is why school vouchers doesn't violate my small government ideology" no amount of you insisting that it does/should is going to be true.

I do find it really interesting how consistently liberals attempt to argue that they know better what conservative positions should be than conservatives. Which is just plain bizarre.
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#101 Jan 21 2014 at 6:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Um... You get that it's kinda not possible for me to miss the point about my own argument.


Certainly not twice.

Edited, Jan 21st 2014 7:49pm by Smasharoo
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