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View Diary: Public Education's 'Shock Doctrine Summer' Rolls Out (171 comments)

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  •  I think we should specialize schools (1+ / 0-)
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    but remove this competitive dog-eat-dog zero-sum-game element.

    Highly gifted kids are better served by their own school. Some kids will do better in a large school with lots of elective choices. Some kids will do better in a small school with close adult attention. Some kids are very into technology and some come alive with the arts.

    The problem is that when you make a "charter" school that sucks out all of the technology-oriented kids out of a school system - and then act SHOCKED! SHOCKED I TELL YOU when the original school's math scores go down. Obviously the teachers at the charter are better than the teachers at the original school, who have suddenly discovered their inner slacker. Right? Serious penalties are in order at Original School!

    If we all understand going in that this is going to happen, and has to do with the natural proclivities of the kids, it's easier for everyone to realize that even though they want Pumpkin to have great math scores, that the best school for her is the neighborhood school with her best friend and beloved drama teacher. Sending her to school with other people with great math scores may or may not raise her math scores (see "Bart the Genius" for a funny and more complete expression of this idea).

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

    by elfling on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 06:52:38 PM PDT

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    •  Good example, but is the point for schools... (0+ / 0-)

      to evaluate well or for kids to get the best possible education?

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 07:25:03 PM PDT

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      •  Well, that would be the problem, wouldn't it? (1+ / 0-)
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        We say one but we act on the other.

        We need to develop measures that truly evaluate what kind of education the kids are getting, and it's going to require real people walking into the schools, talking to students, parents, teachers, and administrators, looking at test results and portfolio samples, and making a judgement.

        In California, we have an organization that does that, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and they provide accreditation so that for example UC knows that the high school classes offered are sufficiently rigorous to meet their requirements. They evaluate and they make recommendations and it creates something of a networking opportunity for both the home and visiting staff.

        You'll learn a lot more about a school from that report than their STAR test results.

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

        by elfling on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 10:05:09 PM PDT

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