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View Diary: Ed Reform: Seductive Arguments and Attractive Solutions (74 comments)

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  •  We have the treasure to eradicate... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, talktothemike, Chi

    ...poverty. Alleviate hunger anxiety, provide healthcare, improve and stabilize children's living environments and you will go a long way in solving your education problem. We don't need standardized tests to improve the U.S, education system.

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

    by semioticjim on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:21:24 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That is why I always... (0+ / 0-)

      ...specify "politically feasible" solutions.

      Yeah, we could do all those fantastic things. They would work. It would be the best solution.

      But it will not pass the House of Representatives this year. Next year doesn't look good either.

      It is immoral to make poor kids settle for what's Bad because we cannot yet give them what's Perfect.

      •  Let's use a little subterfuge and ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... convince folks, even ones who read this diary and your comments that our inner city schools are failing, when in reality, American public educators do better at educating poverty stricken children than any other country in the World.

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

        by semioticjim on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:53:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That study is a SCAM. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood

          Did you read it?

          They base their conclusions on six countries. But they eliminate half their sample (Canada, Finland, and Korea) because these countries are "high-scoring".

          Of course, these are the countries whose poor kids beat our poor kids on tests. (see Table 5 in the link).

          That's like saying "ManhattanMan is the handsomest guy in America except for Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Robert Redford, George Clooney..."
          In Canada, the country that is sociographically most similar to us, every single one of their social classes outperforms every single one of ours.

          Did you even read the study? Did you even look at the graphs in The Atlantic article you linked?  Nearly all of the light blue dotted lines are above the dark blue dotted lines.

          The only improvement is shown in the past few years, when (the Establishment apologists tell us) everything supposedly went south due to testing.

          •  Finland's education strategy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semioticjim

            is to not have disadvantaged kids.

            It's a powerful, and quite different philosophy than we seem to be interested in in the US.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:27:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  elfling, I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ManhattanMan

              that we in the United States don't seem to be as interested ending poverty as the do the people of Finland. But one of the strongest moves they have made in order to end the crushing poverty they came out of was to provide a high standard of education, including a national core curriculum, to all Finnish children.

              http://www.ncee.org/...

              When the student lacks a firm command of the nuances of the core subjects in the curriculum, project- and problem-based curricula often result in very shallow knowledge gained in the classroom. What makes it work in Finland is the fact that these pedagogies and learning methods rest on top of solid mastery of the core subjects in the curriculum, acquired by Finnish students in the lower grades...

              Would you not agree that the high standard and quality of the Finnish education system has had some effect on the economic, social, health and equal justice standards they have achieved during this period?
              •  All their kids have food and health care (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Linda Wood, ManhattanMan

                Kids who do not have food, health care, and a safe place to live are substantially hindered - in a biological sense - from having the attention span to learn abstract, complex material.

                In the US, there is a study that shows you can see the test scores drop if there is a murder within two miles of the school.

                It does not matter if there is a high quality curriculum in place if the kids spend their nights in fear or their days worrying over a painful tooth... and it especially does not matter if the kids don't get to school because the family is constantly moving or couch-surfing.

                In California, we have a high standard of learning and we have a strong state curriculum. We also have thousands and thousands of well trained teachers who really care about kids. It's not sufficient.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:34:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It's chicken-and-egg. (0+ / 0-)

                1) Reduce poverty and we get better education.

                2) Improve education and we reduce poverty.

                What I've been saying is that #1 requires massive political capital and the defeat of incredibly powerful entrenched economic interests.

                #2 only requires getting the Teacher's Union to allow a few charter schools in a few neighborhoods, some spending on smaller class sizes, and free breakfasts for kids we are supposed to be feeding anyway.

                Go for #2. Get some gains. Then circle back and take a bite out of #1. But do the easy thing first, otherwise we'll get bogged down and do nothing.

                (But getting bogged down and doing nothing is what the Entrenched Educational Establishment wants...)

                •  We have a few charter schools in a few (0+ / 0-)

                  neighborhoods, we have smaller class sizes than when I was a student, and we have free breakfasts for low income kids.

                  It hasn't raised test scores to 100% proficient.

                  We are not doing nothing. And there have been substantial gains.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:15:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  You are making some big errors here. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassidy3, Abelia

            I will repeat what I posted (using a more detailed set of data from PISA that on the link above).

            In any school tested with poverty rates at 10% or lower the US scores are highest.

            In any school tested with poverty rates at 25% or lower the US scores are highest.

            No other tested nations even have schools with poverty rates higher than the US. Do you get it yet? We educate more students in poverty than any other nation in the world.

            It's not test scores. It's not better teachers. It's not more charter schools or private schools. It's not more money in the classroom. It's poverty that matters.

            You are arguing for a cause that you cannot support because the factual data--and I think I went to pretty great lengths to document my post--show that the major criticisms of public ed are largely bogus. There are lots of other valid criticisms that public ed deserves, but they won't bring about the kinds of changes the privatizers want so they hang onto the false narrative and hope the folks like you are so pounded by falsehoods that you can't see the facts when they are presented.

            •  No. (0+ / 0-)

              We are not doing a better job at educating poor kids.

              Poor kids in Canada, Korea, and Finland do better. Check Table #5 of the EPI study.

              We may be doing better at running schools with high concentrations of poor kids. I'll give you that.

              But why do we have schools with high concentrations of poor kids? Because whenever anyone tries to give a poor family the choice to leave, the proposal is slapped down by the Entrenched Educational Establishment.

              Our public schools are financed by local city boundaries. These boundaries are segregated by income. By locking kids within these boundaries we create segregation by income.

              1) We don't want vouchers, so the poor kids can't get to private schools.

              2) We don't want charters, so the poor kids can't switch to other public schools.

              3) Busing within the district is politically impossible.

              4) We then whine, wail and complain that (OMG) the school has a high concentration of poor kids!

              5) Rinse and repeat.

              •  We have schools with high concentrations of poor (0+ / 0-)

                kids because we have too many poor kids.

                One quarter of American kids live below the poverty line. The poverty line! That's cardboard box and couch-surfing money in most places.

                It is mathematically impossible to create American schools where at most 10% of kids live below the poverty line. The best we could possibly do is 25%.

                Over half of all American kids qualify for free or reduced lunch.

                It is mathematically impossible to create a situation where all American schools have less than half FRL with busing.

                We have whole districts in California, large ones, where 90%+ of the kids qualify for free and reduced lunch.

                If we can get every child to a school with less than 10% of kids in financial stress, we will have the best schools in the world. But the only way to do that is to make more "rich" kids and fewer poor kids.

                Firing teachers, merit pay... none of that will get those kids safe, secure housing and a quiet place to read and study.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:22:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I have tried to be polite. (0+ / 0-)

                But you really make it hard. The best example I have is that in Washington state all students have choice on what school they wish to attend. We aren't the only state with that law. So stop making things up about "whenever anyone tries to give a poor family the choice to leave, the proposal is slapped down by the Entrenched Educational Establishment." That's BS. Pure BS.

                And by the way. We aren't complaining that the schools have a high concentration of poor kids. We are complaining that ignorant people such as yourself don't see that we work harder to protect, feed, mentor, and educate these children than anyone while you and your ilk attack us as not doing enough.

                Frankly we are complaining--not that schools have too many poor kids. We are complaining that there are too many poor kids period. You just don't get it.

          •  Of course I read it! (0+ / 0-)

            The authors are expert analysts from the Economic Policy Institute.

            Their conclusion?...disadvantaged students in high-poverty schools will tend to achieve at lower levels than similarly disadvantaged students who are dispersed in more heterogeneous schools.

            One in four American children live in poverty in the United States. Our standardized high stakes test prep education system was designed by the same edushysters who are responsible for the crash of '08.

            Talk about a failure of imagination....

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

            by semioticjim on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:52:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The problem you have MM ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Abelia, talktothemike

            ...is a data processing system predicated on objectivism. Objectivism assumes that learners are all equally motivated to participate in a state mandated curriculum, the common core (written by David "people don't give a shit what you feel or what you think," Coleman), is a top down mandate that does nothing for children in terms of optimizing learning experience, but is a helluva good tool for judging the nations classroom teachers based on high stakes standardized tests of which test publishing companies are raking in the dough.

            When I think of the educational naïveté of policy makers who designed an educational system based on Pavlovian behaviorism, I have to conclude, it wasn't naïveté, but a concerted effort to destroy public education .

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

            by semioticjim on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:47:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But the point of my article is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abelia

        The political powers are telling a false narrative about what is wrong with public ed. Solutions built on a false narrative will not fix the problem and will likely make them worse.

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