View Poll Results: Nationalize Schools?

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Thread: Nationalizing the Education System

  1. #91
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    It isn't a failre of the states or local districts. It's a failure of families and culture. You can lead a horse to water..........
    Exactly! The systems that have trouble aren't the ones with caring parents and a community that supports schools. It's the places where the parents are absent from the process and the community doesn't care that have the issues.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    For many years, the nation of JAPAN was held up as the standard of excellence against which US school were measured and found lacking. In the 1990's I studied the Japanese system and was sent to Japan to observe their schools. One major reason for their success is they have a NATIONAL system with one standard curriculum that applies to the entire nation from Sapporo down to Okinawa. An office in Tokyo is responsible and everything in the schools has a uniformity and sameness in terms of course outlines, text materials, timelines, testing tools and other components. Teachers have individual discretion and ability to adapt these to their own style and methodology and they are not robots. National tests are perfectly dovetailed into that curriculum.

    The result is a system which produces a very highly educated population across a very broad swath of society. The result is a system in which kids excel at achieving the test scores which make us look bad here.

    The USA has a decision to make. Are we one nation with one people or are we something much less than that? The answer is steeped in politics, immersed in ideology and hamstrung by history and tradition.

    We badly need a national curriculum which would apply to the entire nation. I suspect America is NOT ready for nationalization of schools and still would want to retain some local control. But a nation wide curriculum is a badly needed and necessary component to achieving the results here that are normal and expected in Japan.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    For many years, the nation of JAPAN was held up as the standard of excellence against which US school were measured and found lacking. In the 1990's I studied the Japanese system and was sent to Japan to observe their schools. One major reason for their success is they have a NATIONAL system with one standard curriculum that applies to the entire nation from Sapporo down to Okinawa. An office in Tokyo is responsible and everything in the schools has a uniformity and sameness in terms of course outlines, text materials, timelines, testing tools and other components. Teachers have individual discretion and ability to adapt these to their own style and methodology and they are not robots. National tests are perfectly dovetailed into that curriculum.

    The result is a system which produces a very highly educated population across a very broad swath of society. The result is a system in which kids excel at achieving the test scores which make us look bad here.

    The USA has a decision to make. Are we one nation with one people or are we something much less than that? The answer is steeped in politics, immersed in ideology and hamstrung by history and tradition.

    We badly need a national curriculum which would apply to the entire nation. I suspect America is NOT ready for nationalization of schools and still would want to retain some local control. But a nation wide curriculum is a badly needed and necessary component to achieving the results here that are normal and expected in Japan.
    An activist post if I ever saw one. What is their teachers union like? What's their multicultural agenda like? Our problem isn't money or nationalism, it's attitude and politics.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    An activist post if I ever saw one. What is their teachers union like? What's their multicultural agenda like? Our problem isn't money or nationalism, it's attitude and politics.
    Activist post!? What does that mean?

    Here is info about the Japanese teacher unions

    Japan Teachers Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    To say that our problem is not money is ridiculous and an obvious falsehood to anybody who has ever studied different systems in America. When you have a disparity in per pupil spending that can reach 100% between districts, money is indeed a huge problem. But it is only one problem.

    Multicultural agenda? What are you talking about? Why did you bring this up? To what end? In the end, we teach kids... human beings - and regardless what nationality or culture or race they come from they are still kids who need to learn and get an education.

    Yes, attitude and politics are a problem. In what major endeavor of human action involving power are they not?
    Last edited by haymarket; 05-13-13 at 07:48 AM.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    National tests are worse than useless in painting a picture of education progress in America if we do not have a national curriculum. They test kids on things they may not have learned and fail to measure kids knowledge of what they might have learned.

    Consider this: for 33 years I taught Government and American History with an occasional elective or two thrown in. Right next door to my room was another teacher who did the same thing. Let us say that we both had three Government classes for a semester. There is no one semester Government text. All the publishing companies make a book designed for a year - two semesters. As a result, each of us is handed a 850 page text designed for two semesters of work and are told to turn it into a one semester course. We are told to teach only a portion of it. Each of us has the authority to design our own course.

    It is entirely possible that we each will design a very very different course but both using the same book. It is very very possible that the material my neighbor opts to cover will NOT be the material I cover and vice versa. Two teachers in the same school system, teaching in the same school, teaching the same Government subject, in rooms right next to one another teaching from the same book can and do teach two completely different courses.

    Now what happens when some outside group from California or Iowa or Minnesota writes up a standardized test of what they think high school Government kids should have learned and applies it to the kids in these classes?

    In Japan, this DOES NOT HAPPEN as they have a national curriculum and the tests are dovetailed perfectly to the materials and lessons taught all over the nation in every single school. In America, we do not even teach the same class in the same building sometimes.

    And until we do, national standardized tests are worse than useless.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    National tests are worse than useless in painting a picture of education progress in America if we do not have a national curriculum. They test kids on things they may not have learned and fail to measure kids knowledge of what they might have learned.

    Consider this: for 33 years I taught Government and American History with an occasional elective or two thrown in. Right next door to my room was another teacher who did the same thing. Let us say that we both had three Government classes for a semester. There is no one semester Government text. All the publishing companies make a book designed for a year - two semesters. As a result, each of us is handed a 850 page text designed for two semesters of work and are told to turn it into a one semester course. We are told to teach only a portion of it. Each of us has the authority to design our own course.

    It is entirely possible that we each will design a very very different course but both using the same book. It is very very possible that the material my neighbor opts to cover will NOT be the material I cover and vice versa. Two teachers in the same school system, teaching in the same school, teaching the same Government subject, in rooms right next to one another teaching from the same book can and do teach two completely different courses.

    Now what happens when some outside group from California or Iowa or Minnesota writes up a standardized test of what they think high school Government kids should have learned and applies it to the kids in these classes?

    In Japan, this DOES NOT HAPPEN as they have a national curriculum and the tests are dovetailed perfectly to the materials and lessons taught all over the nation in every single school. In America, we do not even teach the same class in the same building sometimes.

    And until we do, national standardized tests are worse than useless.
    The get rid of the national standardized test. Education at the state level is appropriate in our society and culture. Where there are poorly performing schools, then the community should rise up and demand better of their representatives. I can understand them seeking help from the Feds but that's not one of the items that my tax dollars should be supporting in another state. Those tax dollars should support my nearby basket case--Philadelphia where even non-Catholics would rather send their children to Catholic school than the bloated public school.

    As for Japan, is there anything about that society we want to emulate? I believe diversity is a stupid concept, but I do appreciate variety.

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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    A huge controversy in my state is we instituted standardized tests and a LOT of weight is placed on schools, teachers, administrators and students on how well the kids do on them. Principles lose their jobs (reassigned to lowering paying desk jobs), teachers pay is affected and students don't get promoted. Teachers complain that educational enrichment is lost because they are forced to spend the school year focusing on preparing students for the test and much of what students should get out of a comprehensive education cannot be assessed in a standardized test. Secondly, they say professional educators know best how to educate students and all of these testing ideas originate with politicians who are not experts in education. For teachers I know would scrap the standardized tests if they could.

    One thing that is never mentioned and even I recognize this; how we'll a student does in school has is based in large part on the environments the the kids come from. Holding teachers accountable because they are unlucky enough to be assigned to a low performing inner-city school where education is not reinforced by the parent in a home where dysfunction is normal is simply unfair. Then taking the teacher lucky enough to be assigned to a suburban school when both parents surround the child with educational stimuli, cultural enriching vacations around the world, access to home computer networking and the online resources to study at home, time to check homework assignments, no gunshots or street drug sales on the way to the library, etc., etc. etc.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    The idea of a single educational product which will meet the needs of each of our citizens is ludicrous. There is a reason why each year our cell phones get better yet cheaper, while our education system gets' more expensive yet at best limps along at "below average". That is because in the first market, resources are directed by consumers, but in the second they are directed by politicians.

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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    The get rid of the national standardized test. Education at the state level is appropriate in our society and culture. Where there are poorly performing schools, then the community should rise up and demand better of their representatives. I can understand them seeking help from the Feds but that's not one of the items that my tax dollars should be supporting in another state. Those tax dollars should support my nearby basket case--Philadelphia where even non-Catholics would rather send their children to Catholic school than the bloated public school.

    As for Japan, is there anything about that society we want to emulate? I believe diversity is a stupid concept, but I do appreciate variety.
    We can learn from others and that includes the Japanese who have much to offer our society. And education would be near the top of that list.

    So if we do not like the contents of the message, then we get rid of the messenger? Standardized tests are now so ingrained into the system that any effort to get rid of them is doomed and DOA. It is most likely only going to get worse.

    Are we one nation or are we not? This is the central question at the core of this discussion.

    Once upon a time in a bygone America which no longer exists, people considered themselves as Virginians or New Yorkers but those days are gone with the wind. Today somebody is born in New York, moves to Maine as a child, finished high school in Pennsylvania, attends college in Michigan, does grad work in California, gets a job in Washington, marries somebody with experiences in other different states, resides in Florida for 12 years, relocates to Alabama, and then retires to Arizona.

    Those old regional loyalties are as out of date and as quaint as Daniel Webster proclaiming he is a Massachusetts man in the 1800's.

    Today the kid poorly educated in Chicago might rob your house in Milwaukee because he cannot get a job. The kid who failed to learn in Oregon might move to California for better social service benefits and cause your taxes to soar. The guy who screws up your household repair in Iowa causing a leak or fire down the road because of poor schooling in Kansas costs you and costs society.

    We can no longer afford to draw a line in the sand at the city limits or state line.
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    Re: Nationalizing the Education System

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    We can learn from others and that includes the Japanese who have much to offer our society. And education would be near the top of that list.

    So if we do not like the contents of the message, then we get rid of the messenger? Standardized tests are now so ingrained into the system that any effort to get rid of them is doomed and DOA. It is most likely only going to get worse.

    Are we one nation or are we not? This is the central question at the core of this discussion.

    Once upon a time in a bygone America which no longer exists, people considered themselves as Virginians or New Yorkers but those days are gone with the wind. Today somebody is born in New York, moves to Maine as a child, finished high school in Pennsylvania, attends college in Michigan, does grad work in California, gets a job in Washington, marries somebody with experiences in other different states, resides in Florida for 12 years, relocates to Alabama, and then retires to Arizona.

    Those old regional loyalties are as out of date and as quaint as Daniel Webster proclaiming he is a Massachusetts man in the 1800's.

    Today the kid poorly educated in Chicago might rob your house in Milwaukee because he cannot get a job. The kid who failed to learn in Oregon might move to California for better social service benefits and cause your taxes to soar. The guy who screws up your household repair in Iowa causing a leak or fire down the road because of poor schooling in Kansas costs you and costs society.

    We can no longer afford to draw a line in the sand at the city limits or state line.
    I'll pass on your vision of the country as one homogenized land. I prefer a common thread with state variations based upon the wishes of its citizens. You may advocate for English as a national language but if some border state wants to include signs or instructions in Spanish as well, that is their business.

    As for your example of someone born in NY, etc. That person has a better idea of the things that they liked and didn't like about the various places they lived. Instead, you want someone in Washington, DC to decide how things should be and everyone else has to accept it. I'm not in favor of that level of tyranny.

    As for standardized tests, I'm not the one that said they are worthless. You were the one who wants to change the educational system because: "national standardized tests are worse than useless."

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