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View Diary: Chicago Public Schools meltdown (181 comments)

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  •  Educated parents... (10+ / 0-)

    ...like the Diarist aren't hurt by bad schools. I know because my wife and I are in a similar situation.

    Parents like us know how to navigate the broken Public School system to get into Magnet Schools, Gifted Programs, and other safe spots.

    We have the wealth to move close to the few good schools, and the advocacy skills to get even the worst Public System Bureaucracy to cough up special services.

    Even if the schools aren't teaching, our kids learn at home -- white-collar parents have time and skills to devote to out-of-class education. We can be at home at 3:26 PM (2:26 PM, Chicago time) to wait for the school bus, as the Diarist is doing right now.

    It's easy to be for the status quo and against reform when the status quo is so...comfortable.

    But how do poor parents view reform? The answer is simple -- look at charter enrollment. When a charter school opens, in NYC, parents fight to get their kids in. They fill out forms, they beg, they wait in line, they enter humiliating lotteries. I suspect the same is true in Chicago.

    They'll do ANYTHING to get out of the broken public system.

    They'll do ANYTHING to have the same choices the Diarist and I have.

    Because they can't sit at home writing dKos posts on a Thursday. They need to be at work. They can't make-do with half a school. In short:

    1) My family has choices.

    2) The Diarist's family has choices.

    3) The current round of charter-school bashing is an attempt to deny choices to others.

    Like I said, it's easy to be against reform when the status quo is so...dammed...comfortable.
    •  You clearly haven't read enough about (41+ / 0-)

      charter schools if you think they do a better job educating people. People are lining up for these schools because they are told that they are better. In fact, charter schools average about the same as public schools.

      People such as you continue to ignore the central fact about education that is important at this time: the most important determinant in regards to the success of a school is the socio-economic status of the families of the students there. This is because we underfund our schools. You can support privatization as much as you want, which is what the charter school movement really is, but the problem is funding, that's the only thing that's changed significantly over the years. Schools do well when they are well funded and rich people can afford to make up the difference through fund raising, everything else is propaganda aimed at destroying teachers unions and public schools. And you've bought it hook line and sinker.

      •  Not true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        Some charter schools are better. Some are worse. Parents can choose which ones they want.

        What is better for my kid may not be better for yours. But if we have choices, we can decide what our kids need. Close the charters, and you remove the choice.

        Also, you write:

        "...the problem is funding, that's the only thing that's changed significantly over the years."
        Yes, it's changed, it's gone up! Public schools spend more money per kid than ever before, even adjusted for inflation. Yet the results remain bad.

        I admit, money means a lot. But there complaining that the public schools are "underfunded" doesn't explain all of their failure.

        •  What is the money used FOR? Certainly not for (25+ / 0-)

          music and art, things that are CORE CURRICULUM.

          Certainly not to give each student an UP TO DATE TEXTBOOK.

          Certainly not to give each student ADEQUATE SUPPLIES.

          Certainly not to give each student resources like the rich schools have.

          And certainly not pay teachers either.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

          by zenbassoon on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:10:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, true (21+ / 0-)

          I'll find the link somewhere  but in Chicago, the students do no better in the charters (numerous charters outfits) than in the public schools. Also, the chicago charters can boot out lower performing students and those with 'issues' that they then send back to the neighborhood school who has to take them no matter what.

          We're also having a charter school scandal here wherein the largest operator of charters, the UNO system, has been busted for all sorts of unethical practices and nepotism and sketchy contracting, etc.

          The city aldermen are trying to get a moratorium on opening any new charters in the city until this whole school closing mess is figured out.

          In fact, one school slated to close, Trumball, in my neighborhood which has almost 40% special ed students is slated to be closed and just the other day the turkish charter group, whose name escapes me now, got a special repreive from the state to go ahead and open a charter a few blocks away! Well, maybe now they can just use the Trumball building. That in essence seems to be what this all about.

          Another school- Manierre- in old town area is sitting on some really really nice property in a hot area. Now what do  you think will happen to that piece of premo land?

          It would just be better for all involved to just come out and tell it like it is. We are broke, we need $$, so we are consolidating and selling land to cover costs. Simple.

        •  We spend less than any other OECD country (20+ / 0-)

          except Switzerland per student on K-12 education. Funding is the problem.

          What is better for my kid may not be better for yours. But if we have choices, we can decide what our kids need. Close the charters, and you remove the choice.
          Yes, pray to the market, it shall be our savior and our only savior! Of course, you ignore the fact that parents like you already know how to get your kids into better schools, and then you take that money away from public schools. Yay privatization! And I'll say it again, charter schools average no better than public schools, so really, it sounds like you just want to pull a Rahm, you're going to get yours and your kids' so screw everyone else if they don't have the time to figure out which are the good schools. We need good public education and the only thing that charter schools do consistently is undermine public education.
          I admit, money means a lot. But there complaining that the public schools are "underfunded" doesn't explain all of their failure.
          No, it doesn't. The other half of the problem is the supremacy of standardized testing. Race to the Top was such a failure that the people running it had to lie about test scores.
          •  You have it backwards. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward

            Educated, white-collar parents aren't looking for Charter Schools. We don't need them.

            Both the Diarist and I have our kids safely tucked into special niches in the public school system. We know how to do that, you see.

            The status quo works very well for The Comfortable:

            - Comfortable white-collar parents.
            - Comfortable suburbanites.
            - Comfortable unionized teachers.
            - Comfortable wealthy families in Private Schools.

            It's not working for the poor. And that is who we need to help.

            If I was selfish, I'd simply remain silent. If I was really selfish, I would actively oppose reform...as a disturbing number of people on this "progressive" site tend to do.

            •  You don't seem to understand the issue (10+ / 0-)

              Poor people have a problem figuring out how to get their kids into good schools, and charter schools do no better at education than public schools, therefore, there is no reason that charter schools are an improvement.

              Which part of "charter schools are not better than public schools" do you not understand? It's been shown in studies again and again and you pretend like t has no bearing on the conversation.

              If I was selfish, I'd simply remain silent. If I was really selfish, I would actively oppose reform...as a disturbing number of people on this "progressive" site tend to do.
              No, if you were really selfish you'd get a job for a company that benefits from the privatization of schools and then push for the privatization of schools. I don't know what kind of work you do in education, but if you're going to be advocating for the privatization of schools here it would be good if you could let us know if there is a conflict of interest.
            •  No. (13+ / 0-)
              If I was really selfish, I would actively oppose reform...as a disturbing number of people on this "progressive" site tend to do.
              Opposing charters is not opposing reform.
              Opposing the breaking up of teachers' unions is not opposing reform.
              Opposing vouchers is not opposing reform.

              Those of us who believe in public schools have been proposing reforms for years, but they're not the kinds of reforms the corporatists want to hear.

              Classroom size has been increasing.
              Administrative positions have been increasing.
              Standardized testing has been increasing.
              Scripting has been increasing.
              Paperwork has been increasing.
              Cuts to support services for students have been increasing.

              None of these improve education. Not one. Most of them make it more difficult for teachers to do their jobs.

              The data show that most public schools are doing fine, but that kids in poverty are struggling.

              The data overwhelmingly demonstrate that poor kids need a lot of support beyond the classroom.

              These are the bald, inconvenient facts.

              But you simply ignore this by saying "we can't fix poverty, so let's do these other things" -- none of which have been shown to work.

              You say let's fix the schools, but then ignore the data that shows what the real problem is.

              I'm an educator -- I teach at a community college, so I see the first-hand the result of public schools and of poverty -- and I grow weary of your straw man argument that those who disagree with you are opposed to reform.

              I want to see schools get better -- I've willingly accepted low pay for a couple of decades now because I believe in the transformative power of education.

              But the reforms that are being pushed upon us aren't coming from people who know much about the classroom. Some are simply seeking to put public dollars in their own pockets. Others, however, have better intentions, but don't seem to realize that their experiments are causing changes that we won't be able to recover from when they fail -- and they will fail because, once again, they don't address the underlying causes.

              So stop with the straw men, please. Stop implying that those of us who oppose current "reforms" have ulterior, less than honorable motives.

              Beware the man of one book.

              by fiddler crabby on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:43:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ulterior motives. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Victor Ward

                Anyone who is pro-reform is accused of being a shill for corporate profiteers.

                Since that's the level of discussion we've chosen, why not point out that many groups have Strong Financial Interests in blocking reform?

                (A house in a good school district costs $300,000. The same house in a bad school district costs $50,000. If you fix inner-city schools, somebody is gonna lose a quarter-million...)

                Or we can just stop the ad hominem altogether.

                I support Charters not because they are a complete solution, but because they are politically possible. Do you really think that Suburban Soccer Mom is going to vote for you to raise her taxes so you can gut the value of her house?

                Do you really think the Upper Middle Class actually wants their kids competing against well-educated kids from poor neighborhoods?

                The grand master plan to End All Poverty will not pass Congress this year. Next year doesn't look good either. Charters, however, will.

                Something is better than nothing.

                •  How can we know if you're a shill or not (8+ / 0-)

                  If you refuse to disclose where you work. We know you work in education, and that you refer to tests as something you do. Given how much you support reform I'm assuming you don't work in a public school classroom, especially given that you're a former wall-streeter. So what exactly do you do?

                •  Did I say you were shill? (9+ / 0-)

                  Work with what I actually did say.

                  Charters are politically popular because they promise something for nothing. They're politically popular because its easier to demonize than to take the effort to solve the real problems.

                  They're also politically popular because they serve a corporate agenda -- there's lots of money and lots of pr behind the destruction of public schools, and it would be nice if you'd at least acknowledge that fact.

                  The "something" you're talking about might not be better than nothing -- there's plenty of data that shows it's worse than nothing for a whole lot of kids.

                  But data's not politically popular, I guess.

                  btw, here's my experience as an educator: Twenty years in the classroom, five classes a semester, teaching a lot of kids who grew up in poverty, and many who continue to struggle with it.

                  What's yours?

                  Beware the man of one book.

                  by fiddler crabby on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:02:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are misreading the data. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Victor Ward

                    The data shows that some charters are better and some are worse.

                    If parents are free to choose, they can choose the better ones.

                    Here in NYC, charters have been shown  to be a net positive.

                    Yes, there are scams, scandals, and profiteering.  Just like there are in Public Schools. But using Charters is a cost-free (yes, something for nothing) way of getting some kids a better shot some of the time.

                    When Dennis Kucinich becomes President and we have 67 Progressive Senators, we can solve Poverty. But until that happy day, it is immoral to ask kids to wait for a solution.

                    As for my educational experience, my most relevant experience has to do with Real Estate. I'm a landlord and I see every day how our screwed-up educational system robs families by means of the whacky housing market.

                    People say the Recession was caused by a housing bubble. But what they won't say is that the housing bubble was caused by families fleeing horrible inner-city schools.

                    Don't believe me? Ask Elizabeth Warren...yeah, I went there...

                    •  Cost free for who? (6+ / 0-)
                      Yes, there are scams, scandals, and profiteering.  Just like there are in Public Schools. But using Charters is a cost-free (yes, something for nothing) way of getting some kids a better shot some of the time.
                      You are championing a purely selfish viewpoint - Ayn Rand would be proud.

                      Do what is good for you, and everyone else can go to hell.

                      Turn the public school system of this country into a for-profit enterprise, which is what you are advocating by cheerleading for charter schools, and education will just be just as good as our healthcare system - where if you aren't rich, you die.

                    •  But it's not cost-free. (10+ / 0-)

                      Struggling public schools have to struggle even more as charters dump their non-performers back into the public system. Funding shifts from public schools to charters, while at the same time public schools have to deal with those kids charters can turn away -- kids with disabilities (one of the biggest costs in public schools, by the way), kids whose parents don't/can't live up to charter requirements for involvement, and so on.

                      And all those teachers who will be losing their jobs? It's not because of selfishness. You might not be aware that public school teachers are one of the backbones of the black middle class. Charters tend not to hire a lot of people of color -- take a look at the studies for that. Middle class black neighborhoods are taking a serious hit because of public school closures and the hiring patterns of charters.

                      And all those local schools that will close? They're also community centers in poor neighborhoods, providing adult and ESL education, job training, meeting spaces, and a host of other services that help serve poor communities.

                      And some kids doing better some of the time also means some kids will do worse. That seems pretty much status quo, to me.

                      But if you're just a bottom-line, $$$ kind of guy, then yeah, it's all cost-free.

                      Beware the man of one book.

                      by fiddler crabby on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:16:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You keep saying this, but you don't seem to (8+ / 0-)

                      grasp that it is statistical nonsense:

                      The data shows that some charters are better and some are worse.
                      Uh. No, duh.  Left unsaid in this particular example is "than what" -- but generally as you've expressed it, you've indicated "than non-charter public schools". This is practically a statistical tautology. Has it not occurred to you that the data also show that some non-charters are better than the "average" non-charter, and some are worse?

                      You cite Warren -- but of course, Warren's argument is not to replace public schools with for-profit charters, or to hand out vouchers that can be used at private schools. Rather, her argument is that parents should be able to send their kids to any public school -- at least, if they can get them there. Something you overlook in her argument is the implication that all of the schools would  get equal funding, which is something you've dismissed elsewhere as politically undoable.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:35:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  He's nothing if not inconsistent. (7+ / 0-)

                        Never stays on a single point, either.

                      •  Yeah, you almost got it. (0+ / 0-)

                        1) Some charters are better, some are not.

                        2) Some public schools are better, some are not.

                        We have not even considered that what is "better" for one kid may not be "better" for another. Why not let families choose?

                        Unless you think you are wise enough to make the choice for them and just stick them all in the public school. Are you really that wise?

                        The sad thing is that rich kids will not be subjected to your "wisdom". Rich kids have the choice to move to leafy suburbs.

                        Why not let poor kids have some choices, too?

                        Also, I never claimed that Warren advocated charters. I only claim that she agrees that the housing bubble was cause by the education crisis.

                        •  Here's a good reason why not... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SilentBrook, maf1029, fiddler crabby

                          In Ohio, at least, charters underperform and cost more than public schools.

                          But hey, as long as your kid benefits, all the rest of the kids can just deal with the shit, right?

                          Or is it still "all for the good of the children"?

                          •  But only SOME... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...charters under-perform! Many do not!

                            Just don't send your kid to those that aren't good!

                            Only send your kid to the ones that are better!

                            It is your choice!

                            Why can't that be understood?

                          •  Not if you live in Ohio. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SilentBrook, maf1029

                            Learn to look outside your own situation. Remember that local is not national. Remember that national affects local.

                            Your choices are detrimental to the country.

                            You seem to be happy with that.

                          •  *you* almost get it. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            maf1029

                            Only some public/not-for-profit schools underperform. Just don't send your kid to those that aren't good!!

                            For-profit, privately owned schools can offer nothing -- nothing -- in the way of positive reform, that couldn't be achieved as reliably and practically as within the model of public, not-for-profit schools. Every perceived benefit of a for-profit school can be duplicated without private capital. For-profit schools carry all of the same risks as public schools, with all of the additional baggage of capitalism thrown in, including the single most serious shortcoming of capitalism (with respect to the goods produced, that is): The corporation's purpose is to make money, not educate your kids, and to the extent that they can dupe you, they absolutely will. At every turn, they will strive to deliver to you the absolute bare minimum that they can without losing you as a customer -- and they will feel good about doing it.

                            I think charter schools are fine and dandy: As long as they are public schools, owned by the public, accountable to the public, and with no mandate other than to do the best they can to teach the kids.

                            The corporate for-profit school model is nothing but an organized pillaging of the public's money, right on a par with privatizing Social Security (which would, under that circumstance, need to be renamed, since a private system would be neither social nor secure).

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:05:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm wise enough to know that for-profit schools (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          maf1029

                          are a scam that will inevitably lead to McSchools staffed by semi-trained semi-skilled, owned by corporations whose CEOs rake in 10s of millions of dollars per year.

                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:54:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not stupid, either. (8+ / 0-)
                  The grand master plan to End All Poverty will not pass Congress this year. Next year doesn't look good either.
                  You don't do your cause any favors by engaging in condescension.

                  Beware the man of one book.

                  by fiddler crabby on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:08:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Privitization is not reform (8+ / 0-)

              Obama: self-described moderate Republican

              by The Dead Man on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:57:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Comfortable unionized teachers? (5+ / 0-)

              Where exactly are you going to find any of them, these days?

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:21:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The US spends HUGE dollars on education! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward

            Here is the data from the 2006 OECD report (Table B-1).

            Per-student spending is US Dollars

            USA              13,447
            Switzerland      12,667
            Norway        11,487
            Austria         10,895
            Denmark       10,395
            Sweden        9,523
            Netherlands        9,330
            UK                9,309
            Japan                8,872
            Belgium        8,827
            Iceland        8,823
            Australia        8,678
            France        8,428
            Italy                8,263
            Ireland        8,092
            Finland        8,048

            I don't know where you get the data about the OECD outspending us.

            •  That report is higher education and K-12 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fiddler crabby, sandblaster

              Not just K-12.

              According to those numbers I was mistaken and the US isn't the worst, although I can't find any current information and I'm pretty sure things have changed since 2006. That's what I get for not checking my sources well enough.

              It seems like these stats should be more easily available in this day and age. Information super highway my ass.

            •  That certainly is a juicy pie for corporations (7+ / 0-)

              to dip into at cost+ rates.

              Obama: self-described moderate Republican

              by The Dead Man on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:58:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yep, we sure do. (6+ / 0-)

              Of course, there's a big difference between the mean, the median, and the 25th percentile -- we spend a lot more on some kids than we do on others.

              And, as was noted elsewhere, these numbers include university education -- which is extraordinarily expensive in the US, and which also is, to a greater and greater degree, funded by the individuals, not the state.

              However, the real bottom line is this: A huge reason we spend so much on education is because unionized teachers generally receive superior health care benefits, and our health care costs are ludicrous. This is something that is hidden in the statistics. When those other countries calculate the amount they are spending on education, it doesn't include $20,000+ per teacher per year allocated for-profit healthcare, but only whatever rather more reasonable fraction of the typical teacher's salary is taxed away for regulated, price-controlled, universal health care.

              The solution offered by the for-profit schools industry is simple: Reduce teachers to the approximate economic status of convenience store associates. I suppose that is one solution, but the only real solution is to increase Medicare taxes (including applying them to unearned income) and funding Medicare for all, at which point we'll find out how much we're really spending on education in this country.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:00:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're comparing nations which have a single, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SilentBrook, maf1029

              unifed national educational system, because they have populations of from 10 million to maybe 60 - 80 million, to the US which has about 3,500 different school districts in 50 different states, each of which has its own separate Department of Education.  It is not a fair comparison, because some districts probably spend more and some probably spend much less.  

              The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

              by helfenburg on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:01:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Charter advocacy propaganda is an illusion.... (10+ / 0-)

          ..it's a false choice. Until high stakes standardized testing is eliminated, children will still be outside the decision making processes central to the learning activities they engage in. That means children are still cogs on the test prep assembly line machine including well funded corporate/publicly funded charter schools.

          Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

          by semioticjim on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:12:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I call BS. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward
            "Until high stakes standardized testing is eliminated, children will still be outside the decision making processes central to the learning activities they engage in."
            Prove it.

            Standardized tests ensure that the child is central to the decision-making process, because we test the child.

            - We don't measure how many degrees the teacher has.

            - We don't measure how popular the teacher is with the Principal.

            - We don't measure the length of the school day, wealth of the parents, or the child's race, color, nor creed.

            - We measure what the child actually knows.

            So if you think this is not child-centered, prove it. Link to some data, please.

            •  Saying this assumes that the tests (8+ / 0-)

              are appropriate for every child and are a good assessment of their learning skills. They aren't.

              We measure what the child actually knows.
              You measure? I see, so you work for a testing firm. Good to know.
            •  Does this mean what the child actually learned (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, mrkvica, SilentBrook, maf1029
              We measure what the child actually knows.
              in the classroom of do you measure the test information that the teacher taught the child so he/she could keep their job?

              "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

              by gritsngumbo on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:32:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Standardized tests are crap. (8+ / 0-)

              I know, because I used to work on them.

              They do not test what a child knows in any adequate way.

              Testing companies create random questions that ask about a specific bit of learning, and those questions are plopped into a test to hit numbers decided in advance by state Education Departments and people at the testing companies -- who, by the way, aren't all that smart. One test might have four useful questions and six that are not, but if the numbers assigned to those questions add up to the target score, hey, that's what's on the test this year. Too bad if your class didn't cover that section yet -- it's on the state standards, that means the teacher taught it! Right?

              People cheat too, with documented incidents of school personnel changing student answers after the fact or "helping" students who aren't supposed to have accommodations. And why do they test kids who obviously aren't native English speakers in English and then count their scores? Why do they make Special Ed students take these tests and count their scores? It's as ridiculous as expecting 100% of students in this country to reach grade-level progress by 2014 when they spend so much time testing and preparing for testing that there isn't any actual time to teach! There have also been instances of states lowering the passing score because so few students were passing, it would have been a scandal to fail so many. If you can't win honestly, cheat, I guess. Quite the lesson for our students to learn.

              If all parents actually realized what's been on the tests their kids have been taking for years and years, and all the crap that goes on behind the scenes for money, money, money, they would have rebelled before now.

              Either you have no idea what is on those tests and how they are created, or you do, and you just won't admit how worthless they really are.

              "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

              by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:03:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Prove it? (6+ / 0-)

              Ah education policy by statisticians and politicians. The dream of those supposed “reformers” who are not burdened by experience or expertise.  Reducing everything and everybody to a number makes it so easy to paint schools and teachers as failing. Pick your statistic and repeat it over and over. What great talking points for the media. Heck, you can even play that game while posting here on Kos.
               The truth is, of course, more complex than a simple test score, more complicated than data backed arguments about fourth graders by statisticians and researchers who wouldn’t know a fourth grader if they fell over one.  
              Your faith in standardized testing speaks volumes.  

            •  Prove to me... (5+ / 0-)

              ...that standardized testing is good for America. Last time I checked, after 30 years of standardized education and 12 years of high stakes testing, 26% of children in America are living in poverty, gap between rich and poor is the largest it has ever been, US wages have stagnated while productivity has dramatically increased and creative learning opportunities in our schools is on the decline.

              Standardized tests ensure that the child is central to the decision-making process, because we test the child.
              ManhattanMan this statement reveals a deficit in your understanding of what it takes to optimize learning experience for a group of heterogeneous learners.

              It also reveals you are an advocate for corporate test publishing companies or other corporate interests related to corporate education rephorm.

              Children are not in control of their educational experiences when testing companies dictate to them what they will learn, how they will learn it and when they will learn it. Problem is...children learn at different rates and in different modalities.

               What you are prescribing is Pavlovian Behaviorism for other peoples children.

              Bad, bad, bad...

              You disrespect teachers who work in incredibly difficult circumstances.

              Here is your data...I've got a ton more.

              I have observed thousands of children who are not motivated to experience or participate in standardized learning experience and do not take their tests seriously.

              Then their are other children who are driven to tears because they do not deal with the stress caused by your damned tests, many of whom end up hating school and end up dropping out.

              We know their is a concerted effort to destroy public education in America by those who profit from standardized testing.

              I consider you as one who is aligned with the corporate rheeform movement.

              Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

              by semioticjim on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:34:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He probably isn't just aligned with them, he's (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                semioticjim, SilentBrook, maf1029

                probably employed by them.  He's definitely not an educator, however.  Never misses an opportunity to push charters in these diaries being the upper-middle class, privileged guy and all that kind of thing that he always makes sure everyone knows...

                If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

                by livjack on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:34:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  We don't know what the tests test because (5+ / 0-)

              their contents are secret and the students who take them and the teachers who adminster them are sworn not to discuss their contents.  Teachers discuss them at the risk of losing their jobs per the test security agreements they are made to sign.

              Go into  a school and observe what goes on.  You don't know.

              The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

              by helfenburg on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:04:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That increased funding goes mostly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, semioticjim

          to educate kids who need specialized teaching methods for their educations.  (Note I'm not using the term special ed.)  It's not intended to go to the average students.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:35:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's no such thing as "public schools". There (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, maf1029

          are over 3,000 school districts in the U.S. and they are all quite different, so it's just not legitimate in the first place to talk about "public schools" as if they constitute a uniform monolith.  

          And what is their "failure"?

          The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

          by helfenburg on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:42:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Name 1. (0+ / 0-)

          Take your time.

      •  Here in Ohio (24+ / 0-)

        The GOP has been experimenting with charter schools for over a decade.  The evidence here was clear - charter schools don't provide an improvement over public schools.

        In fact, the biggest player in the system, White Hat Management, has turned out to be very, very corrupt

        Link

        There are big profits in charter schools, but not much quality.  The schools are underfunded, buildings falling down, teachers unqualified and underpaid and the results show they're no better.

        Link

        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 03:08:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ManhattanMan's Profile (9+ / 0-)
      Former Wall Streeter.

      Now works in education...some may think this implies a "vested interest" in educational policy, so it's disclosed here.

      Forgive me, but "works in education" activates my weasel word sensor. What work do you do in education, if I may be so bold to ask?

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I mostly agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, lurkyloo, semioticjim, SilentBrook

      I find it to be very common for middle class and rich people to be outraged about something horrific but the fix they go for tends to only make them feel better rather than actually helping the poor.

      My only issue with your logic is that if poor parents do not know to navigate the public school system, how are they going to navigate the charter system to find a good one? What is the difference between getting your kid into a public magnet school and a good charter school?

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can you show us that charters are better. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, maf1029

      Of course, after the public schools have been bashed for decades, people are going to believe that a charter is going to do a lot better for their children.  But do they?  From what I read, there's absolutely no proof of that.  But people just continue to believe.... it's a faith-based education.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:40:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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