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View Diary: I agree with The American Conservative. Wait, what? (241 comments)

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  •  Gates Foundation? (5+ / 0-)

    Some do...

    www.tapestryofbronze.com

    by chloris creator on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 04:08:42 AM PDT

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    •  The Gates Foundation (10+ / 0-)

      also has a significant interest in charter schools.  Who does that serve?  

      •  More than a few people believe in charter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GOPGO2H3LL, kyril

        schools as one way to address the failures of pulbic education.

        It may just mean that the Gates Foundation wants to improve education in this country.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:52:34 AM PDT

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        •  I think it means they want to (5+ / 0-)

          vouchsafe a voice in training their future workforce at the cost of other subject matter.

        •  The voucher approach to saving the failing public (5+ / 0-)

          education system is the same as saying we're giving up on these other kids in hope of saving a few.

          And that to me is a failure of public responsibility. We're damning ourselves to a more deeply entrenched and perpetual underclass and entire swaths of our communities to permanent economic depression.

          We need a serious federal mobilization to save all of our public education systems in the form of something like a massive Public Works Program. We don't need vouchers that leave 98% of the students in even worse conditions.

          But alas, we don't have the public will for such an effort and will continue, as a country, to rot from the inside out. Vouchers are merely the band-aid over the festering skin lesions.

          Thanks Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but your approach is feeble at best. You'd be better off trying to sway our national political debate and political direction with your billions.

          Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

          by Pescadero Bill on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:04:29 AM PDT

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          •  How do you figure? (0+ / 0-)

            There are many ways to do a voucher system, most of which are preferable to keeping kids in bad schools and telling their parents that their kids don't deserve a chance to succeed.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:34:26 AM PDT

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            •  Preferable to keeping some kids in bad schools, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Paul Rogers, lapin, adigal

              yet the bad schools will remain. What about the kids that don't have parents that give a fuck? Do we just abandon them?

              I knew a kid when I was in grade school. No father and his mom was a known junkie. He got himself up every day, got dressed and came to school on time. His clothes often reeked of urine that only later in life I realized must have been from rats or mice. In any case, who would have vouched for him? Who will vouch for the kids like him today?

              Fact is, that kid had a desire that was squandered. Our society, our public schools failed him and they fail millions like him every day. Vouchers won't save kids like that. We need the people, the resources, and the financial investment in the public schools to do it and save the 98% that a voucher system would leave behind.

              Unless I'm misunderstanding how a voucher system would work and would create segregation by fortune of having caring parents from those children that don't.

              Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

              by Pescadero Bill on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:33:47 AM PDT

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              •  When you start with a logical fallacy, it's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril, Paul Rogers

                no surprise you end up someplace strange.

                The starting logical fallacy:

                Because you can't help them all, you shouldn't help any.

                By that logic, we'd have no doctors because we can't cure every disease or fix every wound.

                No cops, either, because they certainly don't catch all the bad guys.

                Come to think of it -- there really is no need for schools because we can't reach every kid, especially those with the worst family situations.

                The second logical fallacy:

                Why must vouchers hurt those left behind?  If vouchers accounted for something less than 100%  cost to educate a child, that would mean more resources for the children left behind, not fewer.  

                If a small percentage of students used the vouchers, the impact would be negligible anyway.
                If 3 out of 4 students used vouchers that accounted for 90% of the cost of educating them, that would mean 30% more per-student money left for those left behind -- not to mention an ability to focus more directly on their needs.

                Would it work that way?
                Good question.
                The assumption that the kids remaining woudl be screwed, however, is meritless -- especially when you consider that, unless  they were already screwed, vouchers wouldn't have much impact.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:58:52 AM PDT

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                •  but at what cost? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  burlydee

                  is it worth it to make the education of 95% of the students 30% worse, in order that the other 5% might get an education 10% better?

                  I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                  by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

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                  •  I don't understand your question. (0+ / 0-)

                    school arithmetic.

                    You seem to be setting up a case where 95% of the students remain in public school while 5% take vouchers and go elsewhere.

                    I don't know where your "30% worse comes from, but we could make a case that reducing per-student spending by 30% would result in an equivalent reduction in education quality.  That's almost certainly untrue, but is not an unreasonable starting point.

                    What would it take for a 5% exodus to result in a 30% per-student reduction?
                    Hmmmmm. We'd have to hand each of those departing students a voucher worth 6.7 times the costs at the public school.

                    In Chicago, for example, current per pupil costs -- which excludes a number of fix-costs -- are over $12,000 per student.   Your scenario would require providing each departing student a voucher worth more than $80,000 a year.  

                    A more like scenario would provide vouchers worth $9,000.
                    In that case, each departing student would effectively give back $3,000 for the education of the remaining students.
                    Arguably, such a case woudl result in a 3% better education for those left behind.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:30:49 PM PDT

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                    •  it's never happened that way (0+ / 0-)

                      flight from public schools to parochial schools has  never benefited the public schools.  In fact, it's usually what caused the public schools to collapse in the first place.

                      I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

                      by happymisanthropy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:47:46 PM PDT

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                      •  How can you say that? (0+ / 0-)

                        I had my kids in  (not very posh) private schools for a few years.  What I remember is that I paid the same real estate taxes whether I put my kids in public schools or private.

                        That means the schools were getting money from me to educate my kids, but not having to educate them. IE, they had more resources per pupil than would be the case if I had sent my kids to the public school.

                        Sorry, but it's hard for me to see how that hurts the public schools.   More resources per pupil should result in better education, not worse.  If education declines under those circumstances, there is something seriously wrong with the school system and one could not fault parents for pulling their kids.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:59:08 PM PDT

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                        •  You want to take money out of the public schools (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pescadero Bill

                          and put it into private schools, so there is less money and kids whose parents don't care enough left in public schools. Nice.

                          My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

                          by adigal on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 04:39:03 PM PDT

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                          •  I want nothing of the sort. (0+ / 0-)

                            I want kids to have a chance at life, and consider that more important than protecting sacred cows.

                            If public schools are so badly managed that more money per pupil results in a worse education, then maybe we should shut them down altogether.

                            You must believe that true, at least in some places.  It's not true where I live.  I have two kids in public schools now and am pleased with the education they receive.

                            Schools that are so awful that more money can't help them teach the kids -- what are we to do?  Sprinkle pixie dust and hope for the best?

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:13:49 AM PDT

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        •  the gates foundation (5+ / 0-)

          is a disgusting attempt to corner even more of our culture and turn it into a giant microsoft which extracts more and more wealth from us poor slobs.

          Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

          by BlueDragon on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:21:06 AM PDT

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          •  I think that is a little harsh (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, Paul Rogers, mightymouse

            I have long been a strong critic of Microsoft and strongly oppose the Gates' Foundation's advocation of charter schools as a panacea for our school system.  However, they do support worthwhile programs to improve health and nutrition abroad.

            I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

            by Eric Blair on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:54:38 AM PDT

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      •  If you lived in some school districts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        in this nation, you'd be all for charter schools, because the public schools are failing.  That's just a fact.  I'm lucky because I live in a state and a city with good public schools, so my decision where to send my kids, public or private, is a personal choice, not an educational necessity.

        Gates isn't trying to kill public education.  He's trying like hell to save it.

        VULTURE/VOUCHER 2012. FUCK YOU, MIDDLE CLASS!

        by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 07:35:29 AM PDT

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        •  nope (5+ / 0-)

          and the fact that he thinks he knows what needs to be done galls the hell out of me.

          the man who couldn't sit still for a harvard education.

          Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

          by BlueDragon on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:23:37 AM PDT

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        •  But that's by design (7+ / 0-)

          Before school desegregation, some districts invested decently in white schools while being miserly with black schools.  When integration was finally being enforced in the 1960s and 1970s, white people in majority-black and some other districts simply dropped out of the public schools and moved to segregation academies.  The public schools were left entirely black, and funded as little as the white burghers could get away with.  Funny how a county can have a black school-age population but a white voting majority.

          Now the "charter school" movement allows what would have been segregation academies to get public money, further weakening the money available to the public schools.  Sure, they're not allowed to say "all white", and like some (not all) private schools, they may take token blacks, but everyone knows what the game is.  But nobody's allowed to say ti out loud.  It's as obvious as Lord Voldemort, Cthulhu, or others "who should not be named".

        •  False choice (5+ / 0-)

          The choice is not between failing public schools and good charter schools.  Public schools in this country have been very good.  Some of them are poor now, but that does not mean that they can not be fixed.  Similarly, there are a lot of really bad charter schools and they are no solution to anything.  In fact, it is very interesting that the studies of charter schools have found that, collectively, their outcomes are no better than public schools and often marginally worse.  One would expect that the "buy in" associated with the choice to move ones kids into a charter school would lead to better outcomes, but this does not seem to be the case.

          I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

          by Eric Blair on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:51:46 AM PDT

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        •  Please - he knows nothing about education (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          I think I will do some brain surgery later. I read about it. In the papers.

          My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

          by adigal on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 04:40:13 PM PDT

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      •  It serves Republicans (4+ / 0-)

        Because they see teacher's unions as a Democratic thing, therefore an impediment to them being elected.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

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    •  Why should Bill Gates get to decide (7+ / 0-)

      Where ALL of his profits should be invested?  He should be paying a higher share of TAXES, and we the people, through our representatives, should be deciding where the greatest needs are for those funds.

      Then, if he still wants to play with a Foundation to dole out additional charity, great.  But I want a significant share of the money I've paid Microsoft to be invested back into America first in the form of general tax revenues.

      We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

      by susanWAstate on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:54:31 AM PDT

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      •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WheninRome

        And I also agree with the Germans who came out against the "Giving Pledge" two years ago.

        One of the key points from the Spiegel article was made in an interview:

        SPIEGEL: Forty super wealthy Americans have just announced that they would donate half of their assets, at the very latest after their deaths. As a person who often likes to say that rich people should be asked to contribute more to society, what were your first thoughts?

        Krämer: I find the US initiative highly problematic. You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA. So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That's unacceptable.

        I wrote a diary about it at the time. The Gates Foundation is not what it seems, IMO. Just taking a look at their partner for GM food should make any environmentalist shudder.

        A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

        by FinchJ on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:59:22 PM PDT

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