View Poll Results: Which of these things would improve education in the US?

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  • Longer school days

    14 16.47%
  • Longer school years

    31 36.47%
  • Better pay for teachers

    29 34.12%
  • More charter schools

    27 31.76%
  • More public vouchers for private schools

    34 40.00%
  • Weakening teachers' unions

    42 49.41%
  • More funding

    31 36.47%
  • Reallocation of funding (e.g. on a state level instead of on a district level)

    27 31.76%
  • Firing teachers who fail to perform to the standards the school board expects

    50 58.82%
  • More online education, replacing some brick-and-mortar schools

    17 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

  1. #221
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Those are good points Fiddy... but when I talk to the TP people here, they don't just focus on economic issues. They seem to focus more on the Constitution and the founders. Bachmann and Beck (TP supporters) also talk about the constitution and the need to follow it, so it seems they would advocate more constitutional issues involving states rights and constitutional issues with the Patriot Act. The only one they are focused on is repealing Obamacare, or at least the part that gives the federal government the authority to make us buy something.
    Well, some of that is going to be filtering the words of a people (the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution) to look at what they need to do economically, which also happens to be the biggest crisis for the United States political spectrum.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  2. #222
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray_Fox_86 View Post
    I think charter schools would be better. They cost half of what the taxpayers pay for public schools. And in charter there are no unions. So an ambitious principal or teacher can really do great things for the kids. But with public schools.....well they are just crap.
    n my state of Michigan, the per pupil allocation for charter schools is about 98% of what it is for public schools but they spend over a thousand dollars less in actual classroom instruction expenses. Half of all charter schools finish in the bottom one quarter in test results.

    So the OPPOSITE is true here of your claim.
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    n my state of Michigan, the per pupil allocation for charter schools is about 98% of what it is for public schools but they spend over a thousand dollars less in actual classroom instruction expenses. Half of all charter schools finish in the bottom one quarter in test results.

    So the OPPOSITE is true here of your claim.
    You live in Michigan. Michigan sucks. Here in Illinois the opposite of your claim is true. Every state is different.

  4. #224
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray_Fox_86 View Post
    You live in Michigan. Michigan sucks. Here in Illinois the opposite of your claim is true. Every state is different.
    Every school is different, too, and that goes for traditional and charter schools.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  5. #225
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Most of the things that would actually help aren't even on this list.

    1. More teachers and smaller classes. Why would anyone imagine that one person is capable of educating 30-40 or more students at once. Especially young teenagers. Smaller classes (which requires having more teachers) will help the kids feel more involved, and make them care more about learning. Kids react to personal connection, not being a number in a system. At the same time, these teachers wouldn't be so overworked. This could help out those teachers that don't measure up. Teaching is a hard job, and making it a bit easier on them could allow them to do a better job. Keep in mind, this is reducing the quantity of work, not the quality. No teacher should be permitted to provide a shoddy education, but it would be easier to do the job well if they weren't spread so thin.
    As far as I know, most of the empirical evidence has not shown a very strong correlation between class size and student performance. That's not to say that there are no circumstances where this might be a factor, but I do think it's somewhat overhyped. Students in small classes, on average, don't perform THAT much better than students in large classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale
    2. More vocational training. There is absolutely no reason why a high school graduate should not possess the necessary skills to immediately walk into a technical job. Learning for learning's sake is great, but people need jobs. Instead of making sure that kids can recite some Robert Frost and know all about Ancient Rome, let's teach them about plumbing, or carpentry, or real organizational skills. This way, these kids will have job opportunities open to them beyond working a fryer for minimum wage. Now, this is not to say that more academic education is not important, but if we have limited time to educate someone, let's not skimp on practical skills.
    I agree with this, we should have more vocational schools in this country...both for high schoolers and for older people. The "academic" subjects are fine for people who actually want to go to college, but I disagree with the mindset that college is the default thing to do after you finish high school. If we encouraged more vocational training, I think there would be far fewer dropouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale
    Together, these changes would allow a school system to better prepare a young person for the actual life they will be leading after graduation. School will be viewed as a more important resource to these kids, since the reward at the end (employment and money), will seem like a much more sure thing, instead of a crap shoot. Kids drop out of school and deal drugs because they don't think school will help them. Let's make school REALLY help.
    Completely agree.
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  6. #226
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Layla_Z View Post
    That is not true of any job. At most jobs a boss has to document issues and give the employee time to "fix" the problem. There is a human resources department that oversees the whole thing. That is not true for a non-tenured teacher.

    Treating teachers fairly is in the best interest of the students because it keeps good teachers in the classroom.
    I agree that we should treat teachers fairly. But "fairly" is a far cry from the current union-dominated system that exists today. As Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the New York City school system, recently noted, it's often easier to execute a convicted murderer than it is to fire an incompetent teacher. That might be a bit of a hyperbole...but Klein knows what he's talking about. In NYC, it's practically impossible to fire a bad teacher for ANY reason, including gross sexual misconduct with a student. And it's not for lack of trying, as Klein was a prominent education reformer. The problem is so bad that New York City has "rubber rooms," where they send incompetent teachers and pay them to do nothing all day.

    I know that those problems probably aren't as bad in some parts of the country, but sadly the union's deathgrip on public schools is far too common in many big cities, especially in the north.
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  7. #227
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Actually, there is a pretty good reason for that. The idea is that someone who wants to be a teacher is dedicated to the subject they teach. Given the amount of training required and relatively low salaries that accompany most teaching posts, there's still good reason to think that's the case. Teachers are supposed to be dedicated to truth, and as new truths arise in their field of study, or old ones become politically uncomfortable, they're supposed to teach those anyway, because education is about the truth.

    Administrators, on the other hand, don't conform to those conditions. They can be prone to act according to the dictates of politics. So, for instance, when a high school biology teacher in the 1920s starts teaching evolution rather than creation, tenure is supposed to prevent him getting fired. Or when a school board wants to eliminate the Illiad from the curriculum because it's too violent, or the Epic of Gilgamesh because it's too erotic, or the Grapes of Wrath because it's too gritty, the teachers are supposed to be able to tell them to kiss off. When they want to stop teaching multiplication tables because there are calculators now and it's a waste of time and money, the teachers are (again) supposed to be able to tell them no without fear of retribution.

    I'll be the first to admit that, in practice, in our public schools, this works less well than it should. But that's the theory, and if you do away with tenure, education ends up in the hands of politicians.
    But surely we can make a distinction between teaching controversial subjects, and not teaching anything at all. There are plenty of teachers who fall into the latter category who deserve to be fired.
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  8. #228
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I agree that we should treat teachers fairly. But "fairly" is a far cry from the current union-dominated system that exists today. As Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the New York City school system, recently noted, it's often easier to execute a convicted murderer than it is to fire an incompetent teacher. That might be a bit of a hyperbole...but Klein knows what he's talking about. In NYC, it's practically impossible to fire a bad teacher for ANY reason, including gross sexual misconduct with a student. And it's not for lack of trying, as Klein was a prominent education reformer. The problem is so bad that New York City has "rubber rooms," where they send incompetent teachers and pay them to do nothing all day.

    I know that those problems probably aren't as bad in some parts of the country, but sadly the union's deathgrip on public schools is far too common in many big cities, especially in the north.
    New York City does not have a contract which spells out in detail how to get rid of incompetent teachers? I find that impossible to believe.
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    New York City does not have a contract which spells out in detail how to get rid of incompetent teachers? I find that impossible to believe.
    They do, but it's a bureaucratic nightmare. There are many rounds of appeals and documentation before a contract can be terminated, and the union can drag the case out for years if they want to. Surely there is some middle ground between arbitrarily firing a teacher without any notice for teaching some controversial book, and "rubber rooms" created because unions make it virtually impossible to fire a teacher for ANY reason including gross incompetence or sexual misconduct.
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    They do, but it's a bureaucratic nightmare. There are many rounds of appeals and documentation before a contract can be terminated, and the union can drag the case out for years if they want to. Surely there is some middle ground between arbitrarily firing a teacher without any notice for teaching some controversial book, and "rubber rooms" created because unions make it virtually impossible to fire a teacher for ANY reason including gross incompetence or sexual misconduct.
    We can only conclude that the contract between the NYFT and the Board of Education was mutually negotiated and signed of their own free will by both parties. But for some reason, you find the teachers unions at fault. Why is that?
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    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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