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NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, EVERY TEACHER A CRIMINAL?
https://www.freemarketnews.com ^ | Jan 13, 2005 | by David H. Smith

Posted on 01/13/2005 8:54:27 AM PST by FreeMarket1

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, EVERY TEACHER A CRIMINAL?

Jan 13, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com

by David H. Smith

WAS PRESIDENT BUSH'S 'NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND' INITIATIVE BASED ON FALSIFIED DATA - AND DOES IT MATTER ANYWAY? Education and Newsbriefs Correspondent (With reports)

The much-touted successes of the The Houston Independent School District (HSID) helped inspire the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act of 2002. Yet now it has been reported that HSID testing numbers may have been fudged.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Independent School District (HSID) is conducting an investigation of what it terms “suspicious” results on last years statewide tests.

If indeed HSID numbers have been “juiced” then the centerpiece of President Bush’s first term, the NCLB may have been developed based on faulty premises. Since the NCLB is a truly major federal program - funded by tens of billions - the stakes are enormous. The resultant political mess might damage Bush’s second-term agenda and make it harder to pass Social Security and tax reform.

While the administration has trumpeted progress regarding NCLB, the nation’s literacy rate continues to drop and Americans are less educated when compared with the rest of the world than they were 20 or even 10 years ago.

Now it seems NCLB is actually adding to public school problems because more and more teachers are succumbing to the urge to cheat and are recruiting children as accomplices.

One procedure, not in and of itself illegal is to “pre-teach” to the test by using examples that are similar to what the test will cover. Other activities teachers engage in are apparently frankly fraudulent, however.

• Earlier this month, an Indiana third-grade teacher was suspended after being accused of tapping students on the shoulder when they marked wrong answers - the state's third alleged incident in as many years.

• In September, Mississippi threw out portions of test scores at nine schools after discovering more than two dozen cases of alleged cheating. One fifth-grade teacher was fired after allegedly helping students on the writing portion of the test.

• In July, nine Arizona school districts invalidated portions of their test scores after teachers allegedly either read sections of the test to students or gave students extra time to finish. It was the state's 21st case of cheating since 2002.

The above examples represent only a tiny fraction of students in the public schools; however, cheating incidents may be severely under-reported because public schools administrators and teachers have incentives to cheat, and to cover up the cheating, nationwide, as best they can. In fact, data from Chicago public schools has given rise to estimates that serious cases of teacher or principal cheating occur in about 5 percent of elementary school classrooms. An algorithm has even been created by Harvard University educators to detect teacher cheating from student answer patterns.

How Did We Get Here?

Many still believe American public schools are salvageable - but a growing number of others, parents, teachers and savvy observers are equally sure they are not.

School failure, while still a relatively rare phenomenon in suburbia, is rampant in municipalities. New York City alone with its aging and inefficient educational plants and disheartening school violence, is said to have over 100 public-education facilities that should be shut down immediately - yet New York City, under court order, is readying a spending spree that will bring dollars per student up to $20,000 per annum. This is in contrast with private schools which can do the job for as little as $3,000 per pupil.

The trends toward more expensive - and inefficient - public education, driven by teachers' unions and a political process that finds it expedient to grant increasingly exorbitant union demands each year, is not abating. It is possibly a broken system, one in which the resources for a rennaisance may not be present.

Those who do not believe in the ongoing viability of public schools, often make the following points:

-THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS LOWERED, NOT RAISED THE LITERACY RATE: Before the Civil War, the literacy rate in the North was around 97 percent and in the South about 80 percent. According Sheldon Richman in his Separating School and State, “when Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to force children to go to school, literacy was at 98 percent.” Today the literacy rate in Massachusetts is said to hover around 90% - but again that’s the rate reported by the public school system itself.

-PRE-CIVIL WAR, COMMERCIAL SCHOOLS COMPETED ENERGETICALLY AGAINST EACH OTHER AND STUDENTS WERE THE WINNERS: Richman, again, "In colonial times through the early Republic period, when private schools were the rule, a great many people were educated, despite the relatively low living standards of the day. As the historian Robert Seybolt wrote: ‘In the hands of private schoolmasters the curriculum expanded rapidly. Their schools were commercial ventures, and, consequently, competition was keen.... Popular demands, and the element of competition, forced them not only to add new courses of instruction, but constantly to improve their methods and technique of instruction.’ … European visitors to early nineteenth-century America - such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Pierre du Pont de Nemours marveled at how well educated the people were.”

- PRUSSIA DEVELOPED THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL MODEL IN ORDER TO MILITARIZE YOUNG MEN: King Frederick William I of Prussia in 1717 set up Europe’s first national educational system and his son, Frederick the Great enlarged it. Ernst Troeltsch made this point in 1910: "The school organization parallels that of the army, the public school corresponds to the popular army." In truth the Prussian system organized children in grades to ensure bonds of sympathy between young, males who were later recruited by the Prussian army and assigned to the same units in full knowledge that the long association would guarantee ferocious fighters. Thus the system first imported by England and then adopted by the United States at the beginning of the 20th century is actually a militarized one. (Prior to the Civil War those children who were not home-schooled were often educated together regardless of age, with older ones in many cases tutoring younger ones.)

-THE PRUSSIAN MODEL WAS THE FIRST BLOW TO AMERICAN EDUCATION. JOHN DEWEY DEALT THE SECOND: The second and final blow to American education was dealt by the American Socialist/Progessive Movement led by John Dewey, In his article The Fraud of Education Reform, Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld explains: “The process was started by John Dewey, whose 1898 essay, ‘The Primary-Education Fetich,’ outlined what had to be done if the schools were to be used to bring about socialism. First, he said, we must divest ourselves of the notion that high literacy is a desirable goal. High literacy, he argued, produced selfish individuals with minds of their own who couldn't be efficiently collectivized.” Dewey himself wrote: "Change must come gradually. To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction." Doing his part to create “gradual change,” Dewey foisted upon American education two poweful concepts: “see and say” and “the-student-as-citizen first.” As a collectivist, Dewey was convinced that the aim of education was to create pliable workers first and educated men and women second (a distant second). Dewey’s ideas were first tried out in Russia after the Revolution; only after Russia explicitly rejected some of Dewey’s more radical methods, including see-and-say, did he bring them back to the United States and begin introducing them wholesale.

-DEWEY’S “SEE-AND-SAY” IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF THE FAILURE OF AMERICAN PEDAGOGY: Gene Zimmer, in his “How Psychologists Have Destroyed Reading Ability” points out that “Phonics [the process of sounding-out words] had been used successfully in the USA and Europe for many years to teach children how to read. It supplies the student with tools to expand their vocabulary. The [see-and-say] or whole-language approach (also known as "psycholinguistics"), developed by modern psychologists, denies the students these tools. ...” Zimmer also points out that: “The look-say reading methods were developed around 1810 for deaf mutes. The system works well for deaf mutes, but there is no obvious reason to use it for those who have the ability to hear sounds.” Dewey was attracted to see-and-say because he believed that it injected spontaneity into the classroom, since children – deprived of the logic of phonics – relied on guesswork to identify words. In the 20th century, and now the 21st, see-and-say has migrated from reading to mathematics – the so-called New Math that allows children to “figure out” various mathematical through guess work rather than logical processes. Deprived of rational pedagogy, America’s students are slipping further and further behind – yet the purposefulness of the educational system’s failure remains little known - even to many enthusiastic young educators ensnared by the system.

-A GRADUALIST APPROACH PRODUCES PUBLIC-SCHOOL SOCIALISM AND PLIABLE WORKERS: Dewey’s gradualist approach to the “dumbing down” of education is still being implemented within the nation’s public schools by Dewey-influenced educational establishments such as Teachers College. The mechanism is the predictable, Hegelian one – create a “crisis” and then advance “reforms” that spark yet more crises. Dr. Blumenfeld points out: “The Nation at Risk report sparked a new round of education reform, … [And] the next reform was initiated by President Bush in 1989 after the famous governors conference in Charlottesville, Va., in which six National Education Goals to be achieved by the year 2000 were announced with great fanfare: 1) All preschool children would start school ready to learn. 2) High school graduation rate would be 90 percent or higher. 3) Pupils would leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having shown competence over challenging subject matter. 5) U.S. students would be first in the world in math and science. 6) Every American adult will be literate. Both Governor Clinton of Arkansas and his brilliant wife, Hillary, were active participants in that governors conference, and when Bill Clinton became president, he added two more goals to the list: 7) Schools will be free of drugs, guns, and violence. 8) Teachers will have access to professional development. … Ten years later, not a single goal [had] been reached.”

GOOD-HEARTED AMERICANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM IS ENGINEERED FOR FAILURE: The American public school system, as vast and expensive as it is, is indeed being manipulated – steered by men and women with convictions no less radical and powerful than Dewey’s. To buttress this point, Dr. Blumenthal cites a famous 18-page letter written by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy to Hillary Clinton after William Jefferson Clinton’s election to president: “I still can't believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met Wednesday in David Rockefeller's office with him, John Scully, Dave Barram and David Haselkorn. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were more expansive than I have ever seen them -- literally radiating happiness. ... The subject we were discussing was what you and Bill should do now about education, training and labor market policy. ... What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone -- young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student. ... “ Dr. Blumenthal concludes: “The Tucker plan fulfills Dewey's dream of a dumbed-down worker training system in which the government plans your life for you.”

For those inclined toward pessimism about public schooling, the above citations indicate that the problem of American education may run far deeper than standards can address. An argument can certainly be made that the system – developed apparently as a Prussian military exercise and expanded at least partially as a “Progressive” method of promoting socialism - is not salvageable no matter how much money is thrown at it.

Daniel Koretz of Harvard University comments: "Cheating is not the most fundamental problem. It's the canary in the coal mine." The coal mine to which he refers trying to get the desired results by dumbing down the educational process. He adds: "I think we are in desperate need of accountability in schools, and tests have to be a part of that. But it's a mistake to do it this way, to set arbitrary targets and expect schools to meet them." ................. Full Article www.FreeMarketNews.com


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: bush; dewey; education; nclb; nochildleftbehind; publicschool; school; schoolsystem; seeandsay; teacher; teachers

1 posted on 01/13/2005 8:54:28 AM PST by FreeMarket1
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To: FreeMarket1

Good article.

Let me ask you a question: If public schools are eliminated, what replaces them? Do poor kids stop going to school, or do they get vouchers? I'm just interested in your opinion, because I have thought about this a lot.


2 posted on 01/13/2005 8:58:12 AM PST by RockinRight (Sanford for President in '08!)
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To: FreeMarket1

So the teachers cheat on the tests and it's Bush' fault?

Of course!


3 posted on 01/13/2005 8:58:31 AM PST by Bigh4u2
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To: FreeMarket1
Doesn't "No Child Left Behind" mean No Child Gets Ahead?

ML/NJ

4 posted on 01/13/2005 9:00:22 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: FreeMarket1
One procedure, not in and of itself illegal is to “pre-teach” to the test by using examples that are similar to what the test will cover. Other activities teachers engage in are apparently frankly fraudulent, however.

Nothing wrong with teaching examples like those found on the test. Presumably the test contains the types of problems we want a student to be able to solve. Cheating is different, these teachers need to be fired, and student cheating needs to be stopped.

5 posted on 01/13/2005 9:03:16 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: FreeMarket1
The trends toward more expensive - and inefficient - public education, driven by teachers' unions and a political process that finds it expedient to grant increasingly exorbitant union demands each year, is not abating. It is possibly a broken system, one in which the resources for a rennaisance may not be present.

This was recognized in the 70's in a book called "The Education Hoax" which advocated new school boards, new administrations and new teachers. But clearly wan not within the reach of the public.

6 posted on 01/13/2005 9:04:55 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: FreeMarket1
"THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS LOWERED, NOT RAISED THE LITERACY RATE: Before the Civil War, the literacy rate in the North was around 97 percent and in the South about 80 percent."

This guys numbers are obviously high - even if you exclude the Black population. Agenda? Bias? Truth? Naw ...

7 posted on 01/13/2005 9:06:30 AM PST by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: ml/nj
Doesn't "No Child Left Behind" mean No Child Gets Ahead?

I have heard this before, as I understand it, schools get held accountable for failure, and if failing get additional resources to help and if they still fail they are closed and kids move to other schools. As these weaker kids move to other schools, does this mean they drag down the other schools, or do the good schools pull them up?

There is nothing in the law that says a good school be punished or defunded because the kids are succeeding. So if NCLB fails the brighter students it is yet to be shown.

There are other factors of course, bright children may get their education despite the schools, and maybe have more alternatives because their parents probably are brighter and more successful as well. But I see nothing wrong with holding failing schools accountable.

From where do you come in this debate? Do you support the current system? Want to throw more money at it? Are you a teacher, former teacher, union member, parent of a kid in the school system? Home school? Private school? What is the solution you propose?

8 posted on 01/13/2005 9:13:50 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: FreeMarket1

education bump


9 posted on 01/13/2005 9:19:01 AM PST by rommy
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To: RockinRight
Public schools have their share of bad teachers but the real problem lies with the children, up to 45% of some inner-city schools have students for whom schools are mere holding pens.

The two types of ineducable students are the defective and the disinterested; the defective have measurably insufficient intelligence while the disinterested are either emotionally undeveloped or simply unwilling to participate in what, to them, holds no foreseeable purpose.

The school system insists on mainstreaming both types to the detriment of all and believes firmly they are doing the "right thing."

Follow-up studies on the disinterested show that at later stages of life many suddenly see the benefit in education, usually specific education for vocational or social-acceptance reasons.

The defective however are always dependent on others for much of their daily needs and recall mostly nothing of those years kept cooped up except the other students about them making their lives miserable with taunts and ostracism.

No Child Left Behind institutionalizes and mandates this blueprint for failure and will bring nothing but fraud and disappointment.

10 posted on 01/13/2005 9:23:41 AM PST by Old Professer (When the fear of dying no longer obtains no act is unimaginable.)
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To: FreeMarket1

Personally, I made damned sure my children WERE "left behind" by homeschooling them and keeping them from the clutches of the socialists.

They are now grown and very successful and happy, thank god.

NCLB is indeed nothing but enforcement of the socialist brainwashing system.


11 posted on 01/13/2005 9:26:31 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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To: RockinRight

No, they get drafted in the coming draft and killed on the battlefield since they are not able to produce goods and services for the rest of us.


12 posted on 01/13/2005 9:32:42 AM PST by clearsight
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To: FreeMarket1

Pretty good article.


13 posted on 01/13/2005 10:04:54 AM PST by jcb8199
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To: KC_for_Freedom
From where do you come in this debate? Do you support the current system? Want to throw more money at it? Are you a teacher, former teacher, union member, parent of a kid in the school system? Home school? Private school? What is the solution you propose?

Wow! You want me to write a book right here on FR.

I certainly do not believe there is any role for the Federal government in education. It is my opinion that the Department of Education is unconstitutional.

I'm not sure what the "current system" is because it is hardly monolithic. Lots of kids at some public schools may come out not being able to connect Abraham Lincoln with the "Civil War," but that wasn't the case for my kids and it wasn't the case for me. (Of course none of us learned what a lowlife Lincoln was.) For my kids, especially, they got a classical education in (public) high school, including four years each of Latin, that is the sort of education the colleges should be giving but don't. (One went to UVa. The other is about to begin his final semester at Cornell.)

I'm not a teacher, a former teacher, or a union member. I think teachers' unions are especially bad for education generally.

Public schools can work, but if I were king I would probably eliminate them in favor of private schools. Home schooling seems to work well in the few cases I know about, but I'm not sure that it can ever educate more than a tiny fraction of the population.

As for realistic solutions, the first is to revert to local control. I absolutely believe that NCLB programs should be eliminated unless local school districts want to implement them.

I think that the civil courts should have absolutely no say in what happens in a public school. (Read Democracy by Decree to see that even liberals know they've screwed things up with their advocacy suits.)

ML/NJ

14 posted on 01/13/2005 10:06:16 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Old Professer

Not one of Bush's better moments, this plan. My girlfriend and I agree on this, but not much else. She's an avid liberal, and basically agrees with your statement that you can't force kids of different types (unable to learn vs. unwilling) into the same standards.

Where we disagree is how far to take it. She says the federal gov't should stay out of the schools, but when I say "So, you think we should eliminate the Department of Education," she disagrees, but can't come up with a real reason why.


15 posted on 01/13/2005 10:10:57 AM PST by RockinRight (Sanford for President in '08!)
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To: FreeMarket1

There seems to be a pattern lately of the dems saying that everything Bush does IS BASED ON FALSIFIED DATA.

Has anybody else noticed this.

My take: Because Bush won't take the dems advice, then the data Bush is using is not valid.


16 posted on 01/13/2005 10:20:06 AM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: ml/nj

Thanks, I have to agree with you on almost every point. I am a former teacher, saw first hand what a mess the unions make of things. Was laid of on senority even though my work for the school was benefitting a large number of students. Got paid the same whether I worked hard or not. I don't disagree that the feds have no place in education, but I can see the side of the arguement that says maybe local control has been lost to the side with the union power. In this case something needs to break the union power, or we just let the "current union led system control the vast majority of school districts until somehow the locals come to their senses.

If the locals were going to come to their senses I guess they would have by now. So NCLB places some accountability and testing on the schools. Maybe this will expose some incompetance so that the local voters will take back their schools. I would agree that the dept of education should be abolished but maybe with some accountability creeping in the left will add their support to getting rid of the fed role?

My child went through public school, I deprogrammed him in the evenings. He is getting a basic education now in Auburn. (One of the schools that still teaches a core in great literature, although he is not interested in latin, good for you though) Lots of his classmates carried sighs for Kerry after school for extra credit points. Public schools are not doing well, and if a system could be found to break them I would be for it. (I supported vouchers for that reason) I agree with you that education would be better if it was all private, but I can see how truely poor and illegal immigrants would not like it. Any change will probably come slowly, or would be highly disruptive.


17 posted on 01/13/2005 10:40:20 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: RockinRight
I deliberately used the provocative term, defective, to illustrate the hypocrisy of public policy that allows the elimination of perspective members waiting to join the class of the living for purposes of perfecting society while denying that those already here who are unable to contribute are used as pawns in some evil chess game to sanction state power while also refusing to admit the truth that confronts them daily.

Far better would be a society that recognized the limits of the defective as demonstrated and either made accomodations for their assisted welfare or ignored them to their eventual demise.

18 posted on 01/13/2005 10:41:35 AM PST by Old Professer (When the fear of dying no longer obtains no act is unimaginable.)
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To: RockinRight
Let me ask you a question: If public schools are eliminated, what replaces them? Do poor kids stop going to school, or do they get vouchers? I'm just interested in your opinion, because I have thought about this a lot.

WE allow allow the business community to educate our children. Nothing has changed since the formal schooling of children began as far as what must be done. Teach them to read, write, spell, speak and and do math. Teach them legitimate history. Present them with factual material to discuss and encourage them to debate and come to their own conclusions. Do all this employing teachers who MUST succeed if they are to remain employed and pay them a good wage to do this job. The children of this nation are our real treasure and we need to do all we can to nurture and grow them both physically and mentally.

19 posted on 01/13/2005 10:49:41 AM PST by JoeV1 (The Democrats-The unlawful and corrupt leading the uneducated and blind)
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To: JoeV1

Education should not be a for-profit enterprise.

I, for one, would not want Pfizer and McDonalds being responsbile for educating my children.

I won't deny that there are problems with public education and great reforms are needed. (I also won't get into the details because I don't have time right now.)

But I firmly believe that the education of children is the responsibility of the community, not business.


20 posted on 01/13/2005 1:00:22 PM PST by rommy
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To: rommy
I, for one, would not want Pfizer and McDonalds being responsbile for educating my children.

You misunderstand. The government pays for the education and private concerns administer it. No unions, no bloated administrators as we have now, just a tough curriculum administered by teachers held to strict standards and whose pay is merit based. WE could save BILLIONS while giving thew children a much better education.

21 posted on 01/13/2005 1:04:41 PM PST by JoeV1 (The Democrats-The unlawful and corrupt leading the uneducated and blind)
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To: JoeV1

And how do you propose to hold private concerns accountable?

Say for instance that Company A is administering all of the schools in the Hypotheticalville's schools districts. (As would likely happen, we live in an age of corporate consolidation, not in an age of small businesses competing with each other in a model of pure capitalism)

Now, say that Company A decides to operate these schools at the lowest possible cost in order to maximize their shareholder return, thereby providing an exceptionally low quality of education for their students.

How does the community hold Company A accountable? There's no competition, no way to take your children to another school without paying an exclusive private school a great deal of money in tuition.

The parents therefore are as much of a captive market for Company A as they were for the public school district that existed before them.

The point I'm making is that businesses do not exist for their customers, they exist for the benefit of their shareholders and therefore they do what makes economic sense in order to maximize shareholder return.

Therefore, placing businesses in charge of education ensures that education will be delivered in a manner which maximizes the benefit, not to the children being served, but to the owners of the corporations delivering the education.



22 posted on 01/13/2005 1:50:17 PM PST by rommy
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To: KC_for_Freedom
I should amend my previous remark about colleges not giving kids a classical education. It is possible to get a classical education probably at most colleges, but certainly at UVa and Cornell. I know because I take classes from time to time at both so I know what is offered. The problem is that there are almost no requirements to take any classes except for ones major, so one could get a degree from either UVa or Cornell and not recognize names like Aquinas, Hobbs, or De Tocqueville.

And here even my kids; classical HS education fell down. (I'm Jewish.) I asked my daughter when she was 13 if she knew who Mary was. She didn't. I think it is insane for people to grow up in this country and not know the basics of the dominant religion here.

ML.NJ ML/NJ

23 posted on 01/13/2005 2:33:37 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: RockinRight
Let me ask you a question: If public schools are eliminated, what replaces them? Do poor kids stop going to school

Couldn't you ask the same question about food, clothing, and shelter? Children can be a great motivator for parents, but when the state comes along and says, "I'll take care of your children," then the motivation ceases for some.

ML/NJ

24 posted on 01/13/2005 2:38:35 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: rommy
Education should not be a for-profit enterprise.

Oooooh, Can't have any evil profits be made.

So what would your incentive be for someone to build and staff a school?

ML/NJ

25 posted on 01/13/2005 2:42:20 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

You are correct, my son is Jewish as well, and quite ignorant of the Christian religion.

The nice thing at Auburn is all undergrads have to take the core (an 18 unit program) However, if desired some of the courses no longer require the classic books be taught. My son fortunately did not take those classes to satisfy the requirement.


26 posted on 01/13/2005 2:44:14 PM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: ml/nj

There is no incentive for private concerns to build and staff a school beyond a)religion-based education (i.e. Catholic school) b) profit or c) creating an institution by which the priviledged will ensure that their children recieve an education which will gurantee them entrance to one of the nation's top colleges (i.e. exclusive east-coast private schools)

None of these are good models for mass education.

Religious organizations cannot be responsible for mass education for the reason that not every student would subscribe to the religion that is promoted at the school, therefore their civil rights would be violated if they were forced to attend such a school. (For instance, can you imagine how Catholic parents would feel if their children were forced to go to a school which actively promoted the Southern Baptist Convention or Mormonism?)

For profit organizations are in the business of maximizing their shareholder value, not providing a quality education for the masses. Their educational philosophy would inevitably be driven by a profit-loss mentality that preclude them from taking the student's needs into account first. (i.e. Instead of providing nutritious, USDA recommended foods, we will outsource our cafeteria to Pizza Hut. I recognize that this is occurring today in public schools, I'm simply saying that it would undoubtedly be even more prevelant in for-profit private schools which existed on a mass scale.)

And the third model cannot be used for obvious reasons. (Not every parent can afford the twenty thousand dollar plus tuitions that those schools charge.)

Public schools may not be a great solution, but they are the best one we have for delivering education to the masses.

Rather then abandon public education, we need to radically reform it and make it less top-heavy, more responsive and more responsible. We need more classrooms, more teachers, fewer bureaucrats and more money for quality textbooks and supplies. Furthermore, we need to attract a better quality of teacher to the field of public education. (A good model for doing this is for the government to forgive a large amount of student loans for those who recieve high marks in college and are willing to sign multi-year contracts with a public school.)


27 posted on 01/13/2005 3:13:37 PM PST by rommy
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To: ml/nj

Incidently, someone on one of these threads had an excellent idea the other day about how to reform bureaucracies that exist within. public schools. He proposed that we limit the size of school districts in order to prevent bureaucrats from consolidating their power within school districts.

I thought it was a fantastic idea, enough so that I've been discussing it with several friends of mine since then.


28 posted on 01/13/2005 3:22:29 PM PST by rommy
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To: rommy
For profit organizations are in the business of maximizing their shareholder value, not providing a quality education for the masses. Their educational philosophy would inevitably be driven by a profit-loss mentality that preclude them from taking the student's needs into account first. (i.e. Instead of providing nutritious, USDA recommended foods, we will outsource our cafeteria to Pizza Hut. I recognize that this is occurring today in public schools, I'm simply saying that it would undoubtedly be even more prevelant in for-profit private schools which existed on a mass scale.)

It's always amazing to me that there are people who think that businesses that don't cater to the needs of their customers can survive. You are willing to trust career bureaucrats with education (despite the fact that on balance they have failed miserably for many years) but you won't trust some greedy capitalist. I can't figure this out.

And what's the most important thing at a public school to a lefty? Why it's the food they serve at lunch! If the school SELLS (No food should be given away.) food the parents don't want their kids to have or if the food is overpriced, the parents can provide lunch for the kids the way mine did for me, and we did (mostly) for ours.

ML/NJ

29 posted on 01/13/2005 3:33:08 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Businesses fail to cater to the needs of their customers all the time and continue to post record profits at their customers expense. (Think Merck as an example.)

Businesses exist to maximize profits to their owners, not maximize benefit to their customers. If those two coincide, then excellent, however if the needs of their owners are different then the needs of their customers, then the needs of their owners will be met first.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's capitalism working as it should. Corporations exist for their shareholders.

*smiles*

I used food as an example because it was the first one that came to mind. (And it's important, the nature of the food that is served at school certainly impacts a child's health as well as their educational performance.)

However, a better example comes to mind; textbooks.

Would you rather that a school used the least expensive textbooks they could find or would you rather that they used the highest quality textbooks they could afford?

A for-profit educational model will likely be driven to use textbooks supplied by the lowest bidder, which may or may not be of high (or even acceptable) quality.

How do you propose to prevent that?

I should note that I'm not completely opposed to a system of mass private education, I just don't believe that such a system is possible without greatly impacting the already low quality of education found in American schools in a negative way.

Furthermore, my original question hasn't been addressed.

How do parents hold a for-profit corporation that has a monopoly on local education accountable?



30 posted on 01/13/2005 3:47:24 PM PST by rommy
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To: ml/nj

Of course. I am just fishing for ideas.


31 posted on 01/13/2005 4:16:26 PM PST by RockinRight (Sanford for President in '08!)
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To: rommy
Businesses fail to cater to the needs of their customers all the time and continue to post record profits at their customers expense. (Think Merck as an example.)

I really don't know much about Merck, except that they develop and sell drugs. Ar you suggesting that the drugs they sell don't provide benefit to the people taking them? And drugs (and other medical businesses) are bad ones to analyze because of the corrosive effect of insurance, and especially government insurance.


Businesses exist to maximize profits to their owners, not maximize benefit to their customers.

You really have no clue. I charge by the hour, and so do others who do what I do. So some think they can pad their hours and make more money. Maybe they get away with it once or twice with some deep pockets client. I do my jobs in the shortest time I know how, and my customers give me all the work I can handle. I want them to make gobs of money on the jobs I am involved in. I care more about their bottom line than most/all of their employees and stockholders because the more money they make on me the more I can charge.


I used food as an example because it was the first one that came to mind. (And it's important, the nature of the food that is served at school certainly impacts a child's health as well as their educational performance.)

Public schools may have suffered their most noticeable decline when you lefties began to turn them into nutrition centers. Schools are for educating, period.


However, a better example comes to mind; textbooks.

Would you rather that a school used the least expensive textbooks they could find or would you rather that they used the highest quality textbooks they could afford?

Textbooks are not a good example for you to choose. First they are a relatively small budget item for schools. Maybe each kid uses books that cost a total of $500 new each year. But the books are used for several years so maybe the cost per kid per year is $150. Even if there were a wide choice the difference in cost between the choices would be what $50 per kid per year? Big deal! And it's governments that go to the lowest bidder, not businesses. I'd much rather have a businessman decide what history books my kids should read than have that decision made by some nameless bureaucrat someplace.


Furthermore, my original question hasn't been addressed.

How do parents hold a for-profit corporation that has a monopoly on local education accountable?

Maybe the same way they deal with the only grocery store for miles around? For profit monopolies aren't nearly as rapacious as your government protectors would have you believe. The monopoly I worry about is in Washington DC.

ML/NJ

32 posted on 01/13/2005 4:51:19 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
Merck marketed Vioxx.

There are numerous examples from the pharmaceutical industry where the needs of the shareholders came before the needs of the consumer, numerous instances where corporations such as Merck knowingly marketed dangerous drugs. Believe me, I'm not saying that capitalism is bad. Capitalism is wonderful, furthermore, I like corporations, they produce useful goods and services. However, one must keep in mind that corporations (for the most part) are vehicles for enriching their shareholders, not necessarily entities which exist for the common good.

Education is an enterprise which is fundamentally geared towards promoting the common good (i.e. a more educated populace) therefore it would seem like flawed thinking to trust corporations with the education of children.

You really have no clue. I charge by the hour, and so do others who do what I do. So some think they can pad their hours and make more money.

Ahh... I should have been more careful with my language. What I should have said was... "generally speaking, businesses exist to maximize profit for their owners..."

In any case, the personal example you cite simply reinforces what I said. You say that you complete jobs as quickly as possible and your customers give you all the work you can handle. Therefore, you are maximizing your profit while behaving ethically. Kudos to you. However, it is not always the case that ethical (or desirable) behavior is the route to maximum profits, when that is the case, economic imperatives often dictate that corporations behave in a manner which negatively impacts the public. (Enron and WorldCom and Global Crossing come to mind.)

Public schools may have suffered their most noticeable decline when you lefties began to turn them into nutrition centers. Schools are for educating, period.

Yes, schools are for educating. However, students are at school for approximately eight hours a day, which means they eat at least one, if not two meals there. Therefore, nutrition plays a role in education. (And numerous studies have shown that proper nutrition or the lack thereof plays an important role in educational success, i.e. GPA. Food is fuel for the brain after all.)

You might be against school lunches and believe that parents should pack their kids a lunch, but what about the kids whose parents don't have the money or don't care? Shouldn't they get to eat healthy food also?

All that being said, I would support mass private education if you could show that certain criteria could be met. First, schools must be accountable to more then shareholders and a corporate board. Second, quality education must be available to all children, regardless of their parents income. Third, the education that is being delivered should be of a quality equal or greater to that which was previously available in public schools. Fourth, political agendas should not shape the curriculum. Fifth, schools must be diverse and representative of the community. Sixth, teachers should be highly paid professionals, not temps or hourly wage workers. Seventh, there must be a balanced curriculum that includes both arts and sciences. Eighth, there must be no hidden agenda in the curriculum to promote the idea of students as eventual consumers of corporate products and schools must not become advertising vehicles for large corporations. (i.e. "Now children, today's lecture is sponsored in part by Pepsi...)

Can private schools deliver this on a mass scale?

33 posted on 01/13/2005 6:54:41 PM PST by rommy
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To: rommy
What
s your take on Charter schools? My son went to one, and excelled once out of public school. They get minimal funding in most states, and consequently they must rely on parental involvement, and parents contributing needs, like paper cleaning supplies, bathroom needs, hand soap, etc etc. But we willingly did it, buying in bulk. The learning environment was much more inspiring for the kids too.
34 posted on 01/13/2005 9:37:06 PM PST by gidget7 (God Bless America, and our President George W. Bush)
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To: gidget7

I support charter schools, as long as they are held accountable to meet educational standards.

In your charter school, were parents asked to shoulder some of the cost of textbooks? (Our of curiosity?)


35 posted on 01/13/2005 10:11:13 PM PST by rommy
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To: rommy
And how do you propose to hold private concerns accountable? Say for instance that Company A is administering all of the schools in the Hypotheticalville's schools districts. (As would likely happen, we live in an age of corporate consolidation, not in an age of small businesses competing with each other in a model of pure capitalism) Now, say that Company A decides to operate these schools at the lowest possible cost in order to maximize their shareholder return, thereby providing an exceptionally low quality of education for their students.

If they provide a low quality of education for the children then they get FIRED, something we can't do with teachers today. It is in the best interests of the corporation running the schools to get the job done as efficiently as possible. That is their responsibility to the shareholder. If they can combine low cost with higher levels of education then everyone wins. Another idea would be charter schools which have proved successful

http://edreform.com/_upload/CSTRecordSuccess2003.pdf

How does the community hold Company A accountable? There's no competition, no way to take your children to another school without paying an exclusive private school a great deal of money in tuition.

+++Already explained above and besides how are the schools today being held accountable? Under the present failed system you still have to pay to take your child to a private school.

The parents therefore are as much of a captive market for Company A as they were for the public school district that existed before them. +++When a concern such as the teachers unions have no competition and no productivity requirements we get what we have today. Lazy teachers and a bloated Administration system within the schools. I read somewhere and don't know how true it is, that there are 3 administrators for each teacher in our public schools. That is just plain ludicrous.

The point I'm making is that businesses do not exist for their customers, they exist for the benefit of their shareholders and therefore they do what makes economic sense in order to maximize shareholder return.

Which they cannot do if they get "fired" for non performance, something union teachers are shielded from.

Therefore, placing businesses in charge of education ensures that education will be delivered in a manner which maximizes the benefit, not to the children being served, but to the owners of the corporations delivering the education.

Already addressed this above.

36 posted on 01/15/2005 11:33:52 AM PST by JoeV1 (The Democrats-The unlawful and corrupt leading the uneducated and blind)
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