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View Diary: Billionaire donors drive anti-teacher, pro-testing education reform agenda (213 comments)

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  •  A few problems with this (9+ / 0-)

    First, there is little evidence that private schools are necessarily better than public schools. Whether the students you teach are unprepared tells us little about the systematic dynamics here.  

    Second, the idea that no alternative arises unless there is some problem fulfilling the states functions is certainly not the case. That simply isn't how public policy works, and even if it was, it would mean the billions of of dollars being spent by these foundations to convince us that our schools are failing was wholly unnecessary.

    Your call for destruction of the American public schools system under the presumption that any alternative would be better is misguided.

    FWIW, I'd say that one of the major reasons why students come to college unprepared is a lifetime of being taught how to do well at standardized tests at the expense of the sort of skills that are useful for active citizenship and college. That is a legacy of the corporate reform agenda.

    A nation founded in name of self-determination & popular government has no business supporting autocratic regimes.. @DavidKaib

    by David Kaib on Sun May 20, 2012 at 07:45:10 PM PDT

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    •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maf1029, Bud Fields, Mostel26

      Not to mention that much of the reform agenda involves teaching the kids things that aren't true.

      For example, a friend of mine said that an eighth-grade teacher he knows told him that the state tells them to teach the students that states can nullify a federal law that they disagree with.  (Dead serious; this is actually what the state of Texas has in the eighth-grade curriculum.)

      So the children grow up to be... uh, Fox News-watching morons.  Then Republicans complain about kids being "indoctrinated" (read: told the truth) when they get to college.

      28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Sun May 20, 2012 at 08:19:14 PM PDT

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    •  Actually the difference between (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maf1029, Bud Fields

      private, non-profit schools and public schools is that private schools can provide an arts and science education for students that public schools are no longer allowed to provide.  I find it ironic that many politicians who use public schools as whipping boys, send their own children to private non-profit schools with strong arts and science curricula.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Sun May 20, 2012 at 09:20:32 PM PDT

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      •  My friend, the difference between private (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, elfling

        schools and public schools is that private schools can choose who attends and public schools cannot.  Most private schools are very expensive so there is a socio-economic filter for starters.  And then they apply many other filters.  I loved the editorial by David Brooks about how all colleges should now be evaluated by student test scores - the guy has no clue that the Ivy League is the the Ivy League because they only select the highest performing students!  They can't be compared to other schools with different selection criteria.  Public schools have no selection criteria at all.

        •  I was speaking of grade schools and high schools (0+ / 0-)

          It appears you are referring to colleges and universities.  I would reiterate that public grade schools and high schools have little choice in what they teach.  Private  non-profit grade and high schools can choose what they will teach and most frequently provide well rounded arts and sciences curricula.

          There is absolutely no irony in the fact that people who can afford nationally rated colleges and universities or have the grades to get in, do so.  Needs diverge at the college level.  Different kinds of schools serve the needs of different kinds of students.  My daughter could not afford to attend a public university.  She did the necessary studying and activities leadership to be subsidized for a national level college.  It was the first school she attended where the majority of the students were her academic and ability peers which was a very important piece of her education.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:17:18 PM PDT

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    •  Just one nitpick: DEEPLY misguided. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:39:38 PM PDT

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