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View Diary: Why are so many education "reformers" graduates of non-public schools? (214 comments)

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  •  Class size is the way it works. (17+ / 0-)

    Having attended both public and private schools, I can tell you from my experience as a child that small classes made an incredible impact on teacher effectiveness.  This is the secret of private schools, fifteen kids vs thirty.  If reformers were serious about improving public schools, they would double the number of teachers and support them fully in lower grades where some children need more individual attention.  Instead they want to do the opposite, rationalize (read cheapen) the system, turn it into an assembly line with savings taken from teachers' salaries so that they can monetize it effectively.  It's about profit, not teaching.  
         When these hedge fund education experts start paying their fair share of taxes instead of 15% or start sending their own kids to urban public schools, I'll start listening to them.  Right now it sounds like another scam from the same entitled criminals who are bringing our country to its knees.

    •  A-fricking-men (9+ / 0-)

      The same people who screwed up the economy want to take over our schools. I say hell no.

    •  class size by itself is not magic (12+ / 0-)

      you need qualified teachers and the appropriate teaching space

      now, if you have that, then sure -  if you want to teach proper writing, the teacher cannot have 6 classes of 35 each.  Not enough time to work with each child giving appropriate feedback.

      It is worth noting that high-scoring Finland not only committed to high quality teaching -  try being in top 10% or so of college class - and to little if any standardized testing, and while the OECD does not have figures on average class sizes, a variety of other sources point at class sizes at around 20 or perhaps slightly less at secondary level.  Finnish teachers also do not have 6 classes as do teachers in my school, so their total pupil load is less as well

      Also worth noting Between the period 1996 and 2006, salaries in Finland for newly trained teachers rose by 32%, 30% and 27% for teachers in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary level respectively.  This is the period of time when Finland made significant improvements in its performance in international comparisons.  

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 09:30:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention the fact (7+ / 0-)

      that private schools can cherry-pick their students.

      It makes a real difference

    •  Are you ready to pay? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, beforedawn

      Reducing class size will cost serious bucks.

      We have 6,000,000 teachers in the US making an average of about $70k/year each (this includes benefits).

      That's $420 billion in teacher salaries.

      If you want to reduce class size by half, you need to find another half-trillion per year. I have a plan on how to get the money, but I don't think it will pass the House.

      This doesn't include building new classrooms and facilities. And of course every 20 teachers require an Administrator, a HR executive, an Educational Consultant, and a Bureaucrat (to make sure they don't get too much actual teaching done).

      This could get expensive....

      •  boy are you off (6+ / 0-)

        we have less than 4,000,000 public school teacher. The figure of 70K is somewhat high, even with benefits -  remember that many public school teachers are in districts where the benefits are not that great, and the median teacher salary for all teachers is probably around 53,000, but the mean salary is closer to 43,000 -  remember, we get a lot of turnover in the first few years, and starting salaries are not necessarily all that great.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 11:26:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I stand by my numbers... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          ...on salary. Unless you have a link (that includes benefits), that shows otherwise.

          Remember that you need to get the cost of the benefits, not the value. If you get a pension with an NPV of $250k, but it costs another $20k to administer, the total cost is $270k.

          My $70k number comes from Wisconsin.  

          My "6,000,000" number for teachers may be flaky, though, If you say it's 4,000,000 then I'll take your word for it.

          Anyway, let's say we need $280 billion/year instead. That is still more than we are likely to find under the couch, lol.

      •  I support taxing capital gains (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NWTerriD, mrkvica

        full out and why not just stop fighting losing wars and start rebuilding America?  That $2 billion a day could go a long way here at home.
        We can't afford not to improve public education.

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