cpb is on the republican chop block
in times like these many americans are convinced uncle sam just can't afford big bird
and the juan williams fiasco definitely hurt
i'll keep you apprised as things develop
IMO, to the greatest extent possible, budget cuts should be focused on areas that are not investments e.g., don't produce long-term benefits. After all, a dollar of "savings" achieved from reducing education expenditures might be partially or completely offset by the long-term costs associated with a less educated, less competitive future workforce. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, those long-term costs associated with a lack of competitiveness are growing. Unfortunately, the way governments typically handle fiscal issues is to treat a dollar of expenditures (consumption or investments) as identical, even as the investments yield long-term benefits, while consumption does not.
Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-02-11 at 06:05 PM.
I agree, there are areas where improvements can be made. I know one of the reasons private schools have fared better is a lower student to teacher ratio. I think that is one area where we can improve our public schools as well. What specific areas do you see that need improvement?IMO, to the greatest extent possible, budget cuts should be focused on areas that are not investments e.g., don't produce long-term benefits. After all, a dollar of "savings" achieved from reducing education expenditures might be partially or completely offset by the long-term costs associated with a less educated, less competitive future workforce. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, those long-term costs associated with a lack of competitiveness are growing. Unfortunately, the way governments typically handle fiscal issues is to treat a dollar of expenditures (consumption or investments) as identical, even as the investments yield long-term benefits, while consumption does not.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/...03_Chingos.pdfFlorida’s Class-Size Reduction Mandate Did Not Improve Student Achievement, According to Harvard University Study
CAMBRIDGE, MA – A new study finds that Florida’s 2002 constitutional amendment mandating a reduction in the size of classes in school districts throughout the state had no discernible impact upon student achievement, either positive or negative.
Florida’s constitutional amendment, which forced districts to use state funds for class reduction unless they had already reduced class sizes to an acceptable level, had no impact on average student performance. Students in schools where districts were not forced to spend their money on class size reduction improved as much on state tests as those attending schools in districts subject to the constitutional mandate. The study also found no significantly different impact on the average performance of ethnic and racial groups or between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students.
As you can see, the study also found that ethnic, racial groups, economically advantaged, as well as economically disadvantaged students were not affected by class size.
Florida has wasted $4 billion a year on this boondoggle.
In terms of more general matters, I suspect that setting and communicating concrete learning objectives and regularly, rigorously, and objectively measuring progress toward those outcomes using a wide range of tools and techniques can provide a picture of what's happening. Studying various teaching techniques (and different techniques might work differently with individual students due to differences among these students) and delivering more customized support tailored to each student might help. Sharing and emulating "best practices" might be helpful. Compensation structures (teachers and administrators) will need to be more closely tied to outcomes. Given the importance of an educated workforce, all levels of education (primary, secondary, higher) need to make it a renewed priority to improve outcomes among Hispanic and black students (given that they will represent a larger share of the future workforce given the demographic changes underway) and added investment toward that end will be needed. That renewed priority is not a matter of "social engineering" that some critics might claim, but a matter of growing urgency. Either the U.S. will have a more educated workforce at home or it will need to dramatically expand immigration to address challenges to its competitiveness. If current graduation trends hold, the U.S. will find itself in a weaker competitive position and that outcome would have broad adverse consequences that would, further undermine educational results and future competitiveness.
However, improved schools/teaching is just one component of a strategy aimed at improving student learning outcomes and graduation rates. One cannot overemphasize that educators face challenges that can be more demanding than those associated with many other fields. For example, educational outcomes are not just a function of what happens in a classroom. They are also a function of what happens outside the classroom (home, community, etc.). Students coming from a lower socioeconomic background (be it with parents having lower educational attainment, lower incomes, etc.) are at a decided disadvantage to their counterparts from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Less learning support is available at home, because parents with lesser educational attainment cannot provide the higher-level support that their more educated counterparts can. Poverty or near-poverty might lead to exposure to fewer books/fewer cultural opportunities that support learning e.g., fewer trips to museums, and less parental attention due to the greater need for parents to work more hours to meet their families' living needs, etc. A less nutritious diet can also have an adverse impact on student learning. Mitigating those barriers to learning will also have to be included in a comprehensive approach toward improved education.
Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-03-11 at 09:11 AM.
If small class size is so important, how does anyone in a freshman college civics course with 100 students ever learn anything or pass the course ??