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Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by philnotfil, Oct 17, 2013.
I agree too. In a broad sense, I think we all agree that the public education model is outdated and that more vocational schools would be a good thing. Of course, there are those pesky details. :grin:
In the long term I think there should be less federalism in education (not more), but I think as to finding something that works, the states should take a more experimental role in the short term finding ideas and models that might work at a national level. I think that's how the country functions best.
No doubt. One of my concerns is one that I am sure we agree on as well. I worry about large companies abusing the vocational schools and creating crap schools while getting easy money.
Which is why I think these things need to be handled as locally as possible wrt government.
All sorts of consent on TH in this thread...
Yes, let states experiment. Yes, keep the school-based educational experience public.
The private sector need to play a role here, but not in the classroom. Industry is going to have to accept a greater role of trainer/educator of their workforces to a large degree. The needs of the workplace are now too varied, specialized, and changing for any school system to churn out ready-to-go workers for all.
Agreed. This has been happening forever in most of the EU countries.
My oldest goes to a private school. He has one first year teacher, who is a retired public school teacher of 30 years. She told me point blank she was there to teach. She didn't have to work and couldn't wait until she got her 30 and her pension so she could do what she loved doing and that was teaching. She makes about 70% of what she was making in the public schools with less benefits on top of that. She told me she didn't consider teaching in a private school work because she enjoyed it so much. 2/3 of her time in public school was dealing with discipline issues. She doesn't have that in private school.
So while she is making less with less benefits, she is extremely happy and loves going to teach everyday. This woman is awesome. I am afraid if I met her 2 years ago, I would probably have a different opinion of her. She was a very unhappy person.
Private schools expect accountability (of course not all). Which leads to a better work environment.
Did you ask her how much that pension was worth?
Some public schools are great. Most are ok, and sure, some need complete overhauls. But that's the same with many private and charter schools. And if/when you lump all the groups together and compare, average test scores per student isn't dependent on what type of school the student went to, but rather other demographic information. Economics is a factor, but it's more of a correlation rather than a causation. The biggest factor in a student's achievement is parental/guardian involvement. Point blank. If a kid has an adult, or better yet, multiple adults who care what happens to the kid, gives him proper boundaries, sets up basic rules, and teaches the kid the basics, the kid is more likely to succeed than not.
My daughter is in third grade, in public school, and we had her parent/teacher conference last night. The teacher is a 15-year vet and the school has very little teacher turnover year-to-year. It's K-6 with something like 25 classrooms. They had only 3 new teachers this year. Of course, we were very selective in where we decided to live, and our daughter isn't in this school by accident. And yes, we researched the other options, including charter and private, but felt the public was the best option for our daughter.
And things are working out great. The teacher was gushing over our daughter about how smart, attentive, and inquisitive she was. Her test scores showed she is way above grade level in both reading and math and she is a joy to have in the classroom. The teacher then asked us how much we read to her when she was little, and the answer is every night before bed. Teacher said if every parent would take that 10 minutes every night, our schools would be a much better place to learn. Sadly, not enough parents take that time, and no school, public, private, or charter, can make enough difference.
If your private school sucks, then you're completely free to pull your kids out and send them to another school.
If your public school sucks and you don't have the means to send them to a private school, you're screwed.
Vouchers would solve the latter.
Good one. My GF teaches at a HS in the poorest county in VA. Sure, I'm biased, but my opinion is that she's excellent. The school and most of the students and parents agree. She only has problems when she tough-loves the students (no teacher-sex comments please! Although I make them all the time...) And it's almost always the parents. The students get frustrated, but they almost always eventually admit it's fair.
But my point is that this dirt poor school in VA meets your description. Mostly solid teachers. A few excellent ones. And a few duds that need to be in a different field. Most of the students are capable to good. A few excellent ones. A few duds. And the parental situation is highly correlated.
The school has two principals. One is outstanding. The other is essentially unnecessary. The teacher my GF replaced was a train wreck and was forced out. This is my GF's first teaching job. She has zero political connections. We just recently moved to that area. She saw an opening, applied, and was hired. But the forced-out teacher was indignant and tried to make it as difficult on the GF as she could. She showed up out of the blue during school days to "pick stuff up." She tried to get the GF involved in the politics of it all, but that's just simply not her style. And the GF is a master of killing you softly, which just made the forced-out teacher that much more bitter. She went to the school board and tried to get them to make the class all computer based (Spanish.) They do indeed teach it that way in the middle school, and it's useless. But she couldn't get it done.
So guess what the ex-teacher did--she ran for school board. And GOT ELECTED. So for the past year she's been trying to get all Spanish (and French) courses computer-based. She hasn't been successful yet. Spanish is not a Standard of Learning subject in VA so it's always in the line of fire. It's also an extremely conservative area, so many people have the attitude that learning Spanish is "giving in" to those dirty YouKnowWhaticans.
She also spear-headed a staff reduction movement. Of course the GF doesn't have tenure. And while she was successful in getting rid of, among others, some janitors and special-ed teachers and even a long time (and purportedly strong) chemistry teacher, she didn't get the GF. However, each year the GF works on a one year contract and has to sweat it out to see if she gets "rehired." And they string it out until the last minute. We literally find out a few days before school starts. And since she started in the middle of a school year, she has to essentially wait an extra year to get tenure. In the meantime, we just hope that the ex-teacher doesn't sway the rest of the school board to eliminate the language teachers or finally get the GF specifically. And along the way she wreaks havoc on the school because of this insipid crusade to avenge herself.
My GF hasn't joined the union and doesn't intend to, although I have urged her to simply as a potential extra level of protection from this maniac. Mainly she wants to teach and stay out of the politics of it all. About half of the teacher here are in the union. And BTW, every teacher that was shed was non-union. Good or bad, that's what happened.
Anyhoo, I guess what I'm saying is that as with most things, our school situation is a mixed bag. This school performs surprisingly well considering the county. And it has mostly good teachers. But there are some who get too much cover from the system. Then again, at least as many of the problems originate with people that the voters chose and the polices that they pursue--actions that aren't inherent in the public system but very much driven by individuals and their private agendas.
If you're even a half@ss parent then your child will likely get a solid education there (especially in Spanish :grin And the problems you encounter are just as likely to exist in a private school. The people there are no less prone to push personal agendas for any number of motives.