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View Diary: Privatizing our Public Schools -CUSD Ground Zero - This is a National Issue (42 comments)

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  •  it is NOT about making teachers' jobs easier (0+ / 0-)

    it is about creating equitable schools for all children. When some schools have less than 11% free-lunch kids, and others have 75%+, there is a major equity issue. Evening out the demographics does not equal sacrificing anyone's daughter. Schools that have about 40% low-SES families are able to find ways to support their children so that no one's learning suffers, but when the numbers go up, the schools become overwhelmed and things go downhill.

    I vehemently disagree with you that standardized testing and "choice" are the Republicans best ideas. (Of course, I'd be hard pressed to choose any of their ideas as "best.") You still haven't explained how either of these things will make schools better, for anyone. Do you really want your daughter in a school where the teachers teach to the test, where she will spend significant hours learning how to answer multiple choice questions and recall isolated facts? Would you rather she be taught how to write effective dialogue, or be drilled on how to use quote marks and punctuation properly? That's just one example of the reality of what you are wishing for.

    Paying teachers more isn't going to make them any better at teaching 35 kids than 20. As far as paying them to work with low-SES populations, my district already offers $2k/year bonus for teachers who work in hard-to-staff schools, but guess what, it hasn't convinced experienced teachers to transfer. Why not? Read this.

    You are right, the Bush family wasn't called on to sacrifice anything for anyone, but if that's your model for citizenship we can stop right here because I seriously doubt that there is an argument in the world that I could put forth that will convince you of anything.

    •  You write... (0+ / 0-)

      Schools that have about 40% low-SES families are able to find ways to support their children so that no one's learning suffers, but when the numbers go up, the schools become overwhelmed and things go downhill.

      I don't believe that "no one's learning suffers". Have you got any data showing that middle SES kids in a 39% low-SES school perform as well as middle SES kids in a 10% low-SES school?

      But suppose I pretend to believe you. When the Hockaday School (Jenna Bush's alma mater) accepts their share of the low-SES kids, give me a call. But that won't happen. The Teacher's Unions never push to make the wealthy sacrifice their kids. That would require speaking truth to power. Instead, they go for the easy pickings, like my daughter.

    •  Accountability (0+ / 0-)

      Yourpost on another thread says:

      The awful irony is that because they are staffed by so many low-seniority teachers, as many as 67% of the teaching staffs at these schools received layoff notices in March.

      Perhaps layoffs should not be done by seniority, then?

      If we monitored which teachers were the best, we could make sure that their jobs would never be in jeopardy. But instead of firing the worst, we fire the youngest. Judging from the rest of your post, they are also the hardest-working.

    •  Standardized tests (0+ / 0-)

      Do you really want your daughter in a school where the teachers teach to the test, where she will spend significant hours learning how to answer multiple choice questions and recall isolated facts? Would you rather she be taught how to write effective dialogue, or be drilled on how to use quote marks and punctuation properly? That's just one example of the reality of what you are wishing for.

      I think you are making an unfair caricature of standardized tests. There are good tests out there, that test comprehensive knowledge, such as most of the AP tests.

      Also, I am suspicious of those who claim that learning cannot be measured. If you cannot measure what you have taught your students, how do you know you are doing any good at all? How do you know you are helping?

      Just saying that you have a warm fuzzy feeling that a kid writes "effective" dialogue isn't good enough. We need to compare one kid to another across the state so we can discover which teaching methods work best.

      (That unquantifiable warm fuzziness can also get a nasty Pygmalion effect going. "I like Joey, he looks like a good kid, I'm sure he knows his grammar. Susie doesn't look like a good kid, she's gonna need more help...")

      If a kid doesn't "look like" he's smart, a standardized test can save him from being tracked into the wrong class or getting an unfair grade.

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