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

Voters
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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. #81
    Educator ronpaulvoter's Avatar
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Of the choices listed, weakening the teachers' unions is the most effective one. Firing incompetent teachers comes second. Online education can also improve education.

    For public schools, considering how wasteful they are, longer school days and years, higher salaries, and more funding are just throwing money away. We can already observe this by comparing the heavily funded Washington D.C. schools with poorly funded schools elsewhere.

    The most effective way to improve education is a separation of education and state--in other words, privatization of all education. We all know, or should know, that private and home schooling are far superior to the government-run variety. And the cost per pupil is far less.

    So why keep throwing money into the dumpster of government-run education? Do you want your children to be pawns for the state and the teachers' unions?

    Why not demand an effective way to improve education? Chop off the heads of the teachers' union hydra and use half the money spent on "public" education to provide far superior educations for everybody.

  2. #82
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    You left a few things out. Higher standards that don't involve a bubble multiple choice test. A culture that values reading. More tiger moms and dads. Just to name a few more.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  3. #83
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    You left a few things out. Higher standards that don't involve a bubble multiple choice test.
    I like this idea, but I'm not sure how to implement it in practice. Maybe standardized tests aren't the best way, but I think there needs to be SOME kind of empirical measurement. How do you suggest holding teachers to higher standards?
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  4. #84
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I like this idea, but I'm not sure how to implement it in practice. Maybe standardized tests aren't the best way, but I think there needs to be SOME kind of empirical measurement. How do you suggest holding teachers to higher standards?
    Focus on a small set of questions (not answers). Encourage thougth that requires reading and thinking. They won't be as easy to grade as a bubble sheet, but they would tell uis more. Example: Pose a question for the semester / quarter: How big does the new parking lot have to be to accomodate x number of new students, with a budget of x. This si a small example, and likely wouldn't take the entire semester, but a more complicated question could. The answer would ideally involve a number of displines: math, science, writing, business, and government.

    yes, we have to memorize rules and facts and such, but memorizing without applying has limitations.

    It also helps to visit the classroom. Adminsitraters, peers, parents and any interested party should be able to schedule a visit and watch the teacher work. I visited all my kids classes and found it quite enlightening.

    Also, the standard has no meaning if attached to money AND the schools get to make their own tests. This encourages cheating of some sort, even if nothing more than dumbing down.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  5. #85
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    1. More choices. Parents should choose which school their child attends. High schools need to include more vocational training. There need to be more online classes. Start by funding schools at the state, rather than the local, level so that every parent is contributing to every school, and so has a right to send their child to any school they choose.

    2. More parent involvement. Choices should help with that one.

    3. End the traditional school year that was based on the needs of an agricultural society. How many kids are needed to work on the farm in the summers in today's world? School needs to be year around.

    4. Use technology. Every classroom should have a video projector and a teacher trained in its use. The teacher should have a computer with at least Power Point and internet connection to use to illustrate lessons. Homework should be internet based, with every student connected. Some students need the option of an online education.

    5. Get rid of the layers of bureaucracy. Money collected for education needs to get to the classroom, where the education actually takes place.

    6. Evaluation needs to depend on more than test scores. If we want to know how well kids can write, take a writing sample. How well they read is best assessed by a reading inventory. There are many tools for assessment.

    7. If we are to use standardized testing to evaluate schools, then do it on a matrix sample basis. Not every child needs to spend hours bubbling in every bubble, and when they are required to do it, attention and motivation lag, depressing test scores. If each child had only a few questions to answer, then the results combined, we'd have a much truer picture of overall student achievement. Even better: Ask the questions on line, where both the student and the assessor have immediate feedback. Kids really don't care about a test when they won't see the results for months.
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  6. #86
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    I agree with everything DittoheadNot wrote and want to add one more thing. One advantage this country has over most others is invention and entrepreneurship. This tradition should be preserved as a part of our education.

    This means teach children how to teach themselves, problem solving, invention, and calculated risk taking. This means less of a focus on things like rote memorization of math problems or meeting whatever testing criteria and not actually understanding anything.

    This country should lead. We should be the ones inventing Ipods, not necessarily the ones mass producing pairs of pants.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 01-31-11 at 01:26 PM.

  7. #87
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I agree with everything DittoheadNot wrote and want to add one more thing. One advantage this country has over most others is invention and entrepreneurship. This tradition should be preserved as a part of our education.

    This means teach children how to teach themselves, problem solving, invention, and calculated risk taking. This means less of a focus on things like rote memorization of math problems or meeting whatever testing criteria and not actually understanding anything.

    This country should lead. We should be the ones inventing Ipods, not necessarily the ones mass producing pairs of pants.
    Exactly, but how do you measure that on a standardized test?

    Our test driven curriculum is a large part of the problem.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Exactly, but how do you measure that on a standardized test?

    Our test driven curriculum is a large part of the problem.
    You don't. But standarized tests are easy to grade and give politicians amunition.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  9. #89
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    You don't. But standarized tests are easy to grade and give politicians amunition.
    yes, which they then shoot at our "failed government schools", the evil teacher's unions, the need for more "prayer in schools" and other absurd targets.

    There is a (hopefully small) percentage of the population that would gladly do away with public education and substitute it with private schools they could use to indoctrinate children in their way of thinking. Ammunition is very important to them.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  10. #90
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    Re: Which of these things would improve education in the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    yes, which they then shoot at our "failed government schools", the evil teachers unions, the need for more "prayer in schools" and other absurd targets.

    There is a (hopefully small) percentage of the population that would gladly do away with public education and substitute it with private schools they could use to indoctrinate children in their way of thinking. Ammunition is very important to them.
    Private education via some kind of voucher system seems to me like it could work if there were enough oversight/standards to prevent the abuses you mention.

    But perhaps I'm wrong.

    The various ideas about improving the testing process to more accurately reflect student’s abilities, and provide them with more feedback/learning… I like em’.

    As it stands, I think the tests are designed more to give schools justification for more funding in one area or another, rather than give parents an idea of how their kids are doing.

    When I was homeschooled, all the tests I took that were set by my parents were shortly thereafter critiqued, and then the reasons for my incorrect answers discussed, etc…

    Later, when I was teaching myself at times, I’d do the problem, check the answer, then congratulate myself or try to find out why I had screwed it up.

    Now, that kind of setup can’t be exactly duplicated in a classroom environment, outside assigning under 10 students to a teacher, or something similar.

    On the other hand, designing the learning environment to as closely resemble such as is possible seems a good idea.
    Education.

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