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

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  •  As a retired teacher with 34 years of service, (9+ / 0-)

    I can answer Justanothernyer's comment....What is relevant are the answers to these questions:

    1.  Is the public education system serving all students adequately?

    Clearly, the answer to this is no.

    2.   Do we know how to fix the educational system?

    The answer to this also appears to be no.

    3.  What can we do to get answers to question 2 consistent with real world constraints?

    Answer 1. It's not but it can.

    Answer 2. Yes, we do know how, but both the public and their leaders don't want to afford it. Yet it's an investment to:  a) lower class size to no more than 20 students per teacher -- preferably 10 to 15.  To keep crowding the same 30 per classroom, or as many as 40 per class for twelve -- twelve-- years is to structure failure.

    Two kinds of studies have been replicated and have NEVER been disproven since the 30's and 40's. They are definitive and  have always yielded the same result. First are the studies done on class size. Lower class size is one of two most valid and reliable indicators that achievement. So lower class size. That means hiring more teachers. No one wants to spend the money. Colleges dropped the ball by closing schools of education in the 70's and 80's.

    The other kind of study is the Time On Task study which shows that, no matter the socioeconomic status of any students, sufficient time on task causes achievement. It has never been disproven, either. Implementing this might mean having longer time in core courses -- reading, writing, math, science, business and history/civics -- per day, per year. We could have a 15-year pre-college education system. Why keep cramming the exponentially increasing knowledge we accrue into the same 12 years. But time on task results don't work with large crowds. No one wants to afford more teachers for lower class sizes, so no one wants to afford more time on task structuring, either.

    Answer 3. The real world constraints are the reason the above two answers are not implemented.

    You can't keep wanting to stick with 'real world constraints' and get a different result.

    When you want to leave the insanity bubble, you will find out that a country 300 times the size of Finland can get Finland's results.

    But it costs up front. If we can spend $50,000 or more per year for prisoners 'on the back end,' why won't we spend that per year for children 'on the front end.' Because we're stupid about public spending.

    We have the answers. But we keep wanting something for nothing. You get what you pay for. There are plenty of educationally successful countries that do invest more in their children and their learning structures than does the USA. We cheap out on our kids and think they'll pick up the slack. Same with the teachers.

    The science is in, but the 'problem' never gets solved because the public and their leaders won't devote the money and peoplepower enough to implement them.

    No one can tell me it won't work. No one. It's never been tried here.  

    •  The 1% paid attention to these studies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TDDVandy, Mostel26

      and the structures of their private schools do mirror the excellent results of other educationally successful countries. That's why Obama's mom and grandparents sent him to the best, most expensive schools.

      What billionaires won't tell the rest of society is that they deeply believe that they can never spend too much money on their own children's educations -- paying for lower class size, more time on task, with no perks ever denied for 'enrichment' studies and activities, boarding school life --  while they pile on the money to prevent restructuring public schools the same way. They use "cost/benefit", "bang-for-buck" analyses -- because that's what the cheapskate public will swallow.

      What they do is this, even if it takes a generation:
          Defund.  'Reform.' Stigmatize. Privatize.

      That's how they eliminate the 'competition.' No, it's not rational. It's political and self-interested. Face it, everyone. All the above-discussed mystifications work in their favor.  

      •  Most of the cheerleaders for education reform (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady

        at least, those who are not among the 1%, seem to be oblivious to all of this.  It really is simply about privatization and not about making the schools better.

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

        by TDDVandy on Sun May 20, 2012 at 09:05:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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