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Why is US Education Broken?

SolonKR
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3/19/2016 3:18:04 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
There's a very good thread below this asking people how they would fix the education system. I think that part of the reason there are so many different responses is that many of us have different reasons why we think it's broken.

Obviously, everyone agrees that schools need to be higher-quality and that they should be affordable, but we don't agree about why they aren't. Some say that it's because there's too much government red tape. Some say it's because the government doesn't do enough to ensure poor communities have equal access to good schools.

What are your thoughts?
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Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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3/20/2016 12:03:34 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/19/2016 3:18:04 AM, SolonKR wrote:
There's a very good thread below this asking people how they would fix the education system. I think that part of the reason there are so many different responses is that many of us have different reasons why we think it's broken.

Obviously, everyone agrees that schools need to be higher-quality and that they should be affordable, but we don't agree about why they aren't. Some say that it's because there's too much government red tape. Some say it's because the government doesn't do enough to ensure poor communities have equal access to good schools.

What are your thoughts?
Unitomic
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3/20/2016 12:55:14 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I believe that private school waivers will help up, rather then public schools. (and year-round schooling)

I'm sure a combination of some form would be best, but I don't know what that combination is.

Anyhow, like 90% of things, privatized is usually better then government.
SolonKR
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3/20/2016 3:48:08 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/20/2016 12:03:34 AM, Hayd wrote:
I do agree with her presented list of reforms, but I think it addresses symptoms rather than the root of the problem. Today's education still takes a one-size-fits-all approach, expecting that to somehow produce people suited to a wide variety of situations. The problem isn't that schools want to make everyone fit "feminine" interests (regardless of the veracity of that statement)--it's that they want to make people fit particular interests at all. We have only recently (through emphasis on STEM and the like) begun to recognize that trying to produce Jacks and Jills-of-all-trade alienates many people who are very strong at individual fields.

Take musicians, for example. Many of the most famous ones are not high-achievers at school, yet they provide enormous cultural benefits. We ought to be recognizing people for the talents they do have, rather than the talents they don't. Colleges (and selective private primary/secondary schools) shouldn't look at overall GPA's, they should look for achievement in narrower fields.

Now, that isn't to say that committing to educating people in more subjects is bad. Everyone should be required to take civic education, English, and basic math and sciences (non-exclusive list). But to cast people out of the system for inadequacies in one field when they excel in others is nonsense, and that's what happens now. Think of what you have to do to enter an Ivy League school. You have to demonstrate your status as a "well-rounded" student, with straight A's and extracurriculars that span a variety of fields. To what end? Why does a math major need to demonstrate excellence in English? Why does an English major need to demonstrate excellence in math? It's simply an exclusionary tactic to provide a pretense of a strong education (more = better), while in reality it values extraneous skills that will never need to be used.
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SolonKR
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3/20/2016 3:51:59 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/20/2016 12:55:14 AM, Unitomic wrote:
I believe that private school waivers will help up, rather then public schools. (and year-round schooling)

I'm sure a combination of some form would be best, but I don't know what that combination is.

Anyhow, like 90% of things, privatized is usually better then government.

Infrastructure, utilities, national security, protection of rights, economic stability... There are many things the government does better than private companies. Why is the US government's role in education a problem?
SO to Bailey, the love of my life <3
Hayd
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3/20/2016 4:57:51 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/20/2016 3:48:08 AM, SolonKR wrote:
At 3/20/2016 12:03:34 AM, Hayd wrote:
I do agree with her presented list of reforms, but I think it addresses symptoms rather than the root of the problem. Today's education still takes a one-size-fits-all approach, expecting that to somehow produce people suited to a wide variety of situations. The problem isn't that schools want to make everyone fit "feminine" interests (regardless of the veracity of that statement)--it's that they want to make people fit particular interests at all. We have only recently (through emphasis on STEM and the like) begun to recognize that trying to produce Jacks and Jills-of-all-trade alienates many people who are very strong at individual fields.

Take musicians, for example. Many of the most famous ones are not high-achievers at school, yet they provide enormous cultural benefits. We ought to be recognizing people for the talents they do have, rather than the talents they don't. Colleges (and selective private primary/secondary schools) shouldn't look at overall GPA's, they should look for achievement in narrower fields.

Now, that isn't to say that committing to educating people in more subjects is bad. Everyone should be required to take civic education, English, and basic math and sciences (non-exclusive list). But to cast people out of the system for inadequacies in one field when they excel in others is nonsense, and that's what happens now. Think of what you have to do to enter an Ivy League school. You have to demonstrate your status as a "well-rounded" student, with straight A's and extracurriculars that span a variety of fields. To what end? Why does a math major need to demonstrate excellence in English? Why does an English major need to demonstrate excellence in math? It's simply an exclusionary tactic to provide a pretense of a strong education (more = better), while in reality it values extraneous skills that will never need to be used.

Very very true solon. You speak wise
OnlineMissionary197
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3/30/2016 5:48:22 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Part of the reason is that the public school system is biased. It inherited the Theory of Evolution as the true view for all public school. But this country is multi-cultural. There are no dedicated classes made for different cultures.

Second, public school is tax funded, but instead of the taxes going to education, its going to prisons, Climate Change activities, Foreign businesses, and the controversial funding of terrorists. The money gets thrown off to needless places.

Nowadays, its almost like anyone can be a teacher. There is a majority of people being hired a teachers just because they applied to it as a job, and past a simple Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader test. There are rarely any teachers with actual degrees who know what they are talking about.

Another is that unnecessary new classes are being funded. Like Gender Studies. People make such a big deal about their sexuality that the Government thought it would be a good idea to make it an school education. The saddening this is that they feel sex should be educated, rather than be taught with a parent to child private conversation.

Here are my reasons why our education sucks.
Jjjohn
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4/3/2016 6:57:04 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
"Nowadays, its almost like anyone can be a teacher."

Sure, if you have a college degree and a credential. But other than that, yeah anybody.

"There is a majority of people being hired a teachers just because they applied to it as a job"

to know that, you would have to be involved in the hiring of teachers. are you, or are you just making stuff up?

"There are rarely any teachers with actual degrees who know what they are talking about."

look up the bush administration's regulations about 'highly qualified' teachers. I do not believe you know what you are talking about here.
RyuuKyuzo
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4/9/2016 5:29:45 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I remember when I graduated highschool, walking out of the building and thinking to myself I'm walking out of here with no more employable skills than I walked in with.

Firstly, I think highschool should not be mandatory. I think it's pointless for most people and the average person would be better off learning some kind of trade in their teen years, rather than wasting their time shot-gunning several disciples, most of which they will never do anything with.

And if they finish trade school and realize there's still things about the world they want to know, well they're in luck because they're still young and totally capable of taking further classes in a different field, it's just that they also now have the means to make a living for themselves, because they learned an employable skill in their youth.
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Fernyx
Posts: 308
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4/20/2016 2:41:34 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I think one of the reasons is that they hold people back from reaching their potential. They hold back the top 90% to let the bottom 10% catch up. This means a lot of people cannot reach their potential and get board easy. Another reason why it is failing is because there is now a culture where being smart is not cool. This leads to many to act stupid and try to avoid learning so that they can fit in.
brontoraptor
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4/27/2016 1:01:56 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Darwinian fairytale
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...
Lonely-Bird
Posts: 51
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4/27/2016 10:41:59 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/27/2016 1:01:56 AM, brontoraptor wrote:
Darwinian fairytale

Middle eastern myth.

Neither of which has anything to do with education or this thread.
someloser
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4/29/2016 8:23:11 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Maybe it would help if the government didn't support stupid things like Head Start, No Child Left Behind, or blowing a few billion dollars trying to close achievement gaps that can't be closed to begin with.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
Lonely-Bird
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4/30/2016 12:34:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/29/2016 8:23:11 AM, someloser wrote:
Maybe it would help if the government didn't support stupid things like Head Start, No Child Left Behind, or blowing a few billion dollars trying to close achievement gaps that can't be closed to begin with.

why is head start stupid? do you have evidence or are you making an assertion with no evidence?

nclb is stupid, agreed.

why is closing achievement gaps a waste? are you saying some groups are stupider than others? or maybe they are just lazier than others?
Lonely-Bird
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5/3/2016 12:31:00 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 12:41:27 PM, Ubermensch-Tsoa wrote:
Because education is controlled by politicians and conformists.
I would say education is controlled by fools who think the non-existent market can solve anything.
Ubermensch-Tsoa
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5/3/2016 12:36:39 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/3/2016 6:57:04 PM, Jjjohn wrote:
"Nowadays, its almost like anyone can be a teacher."

Sure, if you have a college degree and a credential. But other than that, yeah anybody.

"There is a majority of people being hired a teachers just because they applied to it as a job"

to know that, you would have to be involved in the hiring of teachers. are you, or are you just making stuff up?

"There are rarely any teachers with actual degrees who know what they are talking about."

look up the bush administration's regulations about 'highly qualified' teachers. I do not believe you know what you are talking about here.

To bad they teach what ever the politicians think our children should learn.
someloser
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5/3/2016 5:04:17 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
On-topic: http://voxday.blogspot.com...
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
triangle.128k
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5/20/2016 12:09:13 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 3/19/2016 3:18:04 AM, SolonKR wrote:
There's a very good thread below this asking people how they would fix the education system. I think that part of the reason there are so many different responses is that many of us have different reasons why we think it's broken.

Obviously, everyone agrees that schools need to be higher-quality and that they should be affordable, but we don't agree about why they aren't. Some say that it's because there's too much government red tape. Some say it's because the government doesn't do enough to ensure poor communities have equal access to good schools.

What are your thoughts?

Common core, the Department of Education, Standardized testing overdose, too many public schools exist, education is too centralized, etc.

De-centralizing education, abolishing common core and the department of education, as well as privatization of schools to compete will drastically cause primary to secondary US education to become better.
Rukado
Posts: 527
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5/20/2016 2:28:29 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 3/20/2016 3:51:59 AM, SolonKR wrote:
Infrastructure, utilities, national security, protection of rights, economic stability... There are many things the government does better than private companies. Why is the US government's role in education a problem?

Because the US government's role in education contributes to producing utterly stupid people who write posts like yours. (I know you're not really so utterly stupid, you just have a fascist obsession which you try to cover up by pretending the government does education better than the private sector.)

Even if granting your list of things the government does better than the private sector, those are things are of a different character than education. You know that. And, the fact is, the private sector does education better than the government. Private schools produce students of superior academic performance, and they do that at a lower cost. Private education is also less coercion of private citizens (this last point is why you hate privatizing education).
SolonKR
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5/20/2016 10:17:11 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 2:28:29 PM, Rukado wrote:
At 3/20/2016 3:51:59 AM, SolonKR wrote:
Infrastructure, utilities, national security, protection of rights, economic stability... There are many things the government does better than private companies. Why is the US government's role in education a problem?

Because the US government's role in education contributes to producing utterly stupid people who write posts like yours. (I know you're not really so utterly stupid, you just have a fascist obsession which you try to cover up by pretending the government does education better than the private sector.)

?

Even if granting your list of things the government does better than the private sector, those are things are of a different character than education. You know that.

Sure, but it shows that the notion that government mucks something up just because it's involved is absurd. The character of government involvement should be the question. No one's saying that the government should have complete curriculum and staffing and administrative control, or anything close to that. The government can have a smaller constructive role. For example, one of the major issues with NCLB is that we can't make intra-state comparisons w.r.t. student achievement when it comes to standardized tests. Creating a national achievement test solves that issue, and is a net positive even if all the rest of NLCB is torn away.

And, the fact is, the private sector does education better than the government. Private schools produce students of superior academic performance, and they do that at a lower cost.

Private schools tend to be exclusionary by nature of their carrying a price tag (the poor can't send their children there). It's a well-known fact that the wealthy tend to do better in school than the poor by virtue of their superior resources, and the private schools tend to have superior resources in turn by virtue of their increased flow of money. In other words, a large part of why they appear superior is because the resource-deprived students are all in public school. Privatize the system, and you will see their performances decline (assuming a voucher program; completely free-market education infringes upon the right to an education, is inherently undemocratic, and will regress our economy by creating a class of perpetually uneducated, unskilled laborers in a service economy that demands skills).

Private education is also less coercion of private citizens (this last point is why you hate privatizing education).

Straw-man. I have no issue with private schools existing. I don't even have blanket opposition to privatization. If there's a mandatory price ceiling that is exactly equivalent to the value of state or federal (not local, as that leads to economic disparity; state does as well, but to a lesser extent) government-granted vouchers, and guaranteed access to reasonably distant schools (ghetto kids have to be able to leave the ghetto), that's not a terrible issue. But, that's not what most voucher programs aim for, and I can't support a program that attempts to restrict the access of the poor to a quality education.
SO to Bailey, the love of my life <3
SolonKR
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5/20/2016 10:19:08 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 12:09:13 AM, triangle.128k wrote:
Common core, the Department of Education, Standardized testing overdose, too many public schools exist, education is too centralized, etc.

Why are those all problems, in your view? Particularly the second one, as I don't think I've ever heard an actual argument for its abolition, and the fourth one, as I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

De-centralizing education, abolishing common core and the department of education, as well as privatization of schools to compete will drastically cause primary to secondary US education to become better.

How?
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SolonKR
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5/20/2016 10:21:18 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/3/2016 5:04:17 AM, someloser wrote:
On-topic: http://voxday.blogspot.com...

I'd say Mexico's situation (and the situation of other developed nations) is much more indicative of structural flaws owed to universal education's origins in the Industrial Revolution than the bizarre notion that expanded access necessarily leads to mediocrity, not to mention the corruption rampant in the Mexican system. Education used to have a much narrower role, but today's service economy has much wider needs; yet, we still expect everyone to achieve proficiency in the same subjects at the same pace, at least until college (even then, there's Gen Eds that most people hate).

The solution isn't to reduce access; it's to reform the system--help kids move at their own pace and focus on teaching more narrowly/engaging. My high school's leveled classes come to mind--kids who wanted to learn more could (with a GPA carrot), and kids who didn't need pre-calc by the time they graduated could just learn elementary algebra. Of course, that system still suffers from a stigma that higher levels are better and more desired by colleges, but if a college rejects an English major because he/she doesn't do well at math, it's because that college is, in formal terms, stupid.

Plus, I oppose reduction of access to education on moral grounds--every person ought to have a right to determine their own path in life, and depriving one of an education while granting it to others unfairly restricts a person's opportunities.
SO to Bailey, the love of my life <3
SolonKR
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5/20/2016 10:22:29 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 4/29/2016 8:23:11 AM, someloser wrote:
Maybe it would help if the government didn't support stupid things like Head Start, No Child Left Behind, or blowing a few billion dollars trying to close achievement gaps that can't be closed to begin with.

Why is Head Start stupid?
What specifically are you referring to with the last idea?
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someloser
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5/20/2016 10:41:05 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 10:22:29 PM, SolonKR wrote:
At 4/29/2016 8:23:11 AM, someloser wrote:
Maybe it would help if the government didn't support stupid things like Head Start, No Child Left Behind, or blowing a few billion dollars trying to close achievement gaps that can't be closed to begin with.

Why is Head Start stupid?
because it was, on nearly all fronts, a long term... failure. why it still exists is beyond me.

It's just another ineffective band-aid.

What specifically are you referring to with the last idea?
that, maybe, the government can't solve some achievement gaps through direct intervention. or at all.

it's not impossible to imagine it might be able to. but when one makes (multi billion dollar) policy decisions based on untested and improbable ideas... at best, it's reminiscent of what the germans call "wunschdenken"
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
triangle.128k
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5/20/2016 11:55:46 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 10:19:08 PM, SolonKR wrote:
At 5/20/2016 12:09:13 AM, triangle.128k wrote:
Common core, the Department of Education, Standardized testing overdose, too many public schools exist, education is too centralized, etc.

Why are those all problems, in your view? Particularly the second one, as I don't think I've ever heard an actual argument for its abolition, and the fourth one, as I'm not sure exactly what you mean.
Is it not a problem when the Department of Education dictates all these useless rules schools must abide by? And they dictate the way teachers have to teach? The US public education system is absolute statism. Private/Charter schools are far superior to public schools because they aren't open to these retarded rules and the curriculum that public schools must abide by.

Why is it that nearly all public schools offer the same courses, have the same exact curriculum, and there's just a lack of diversity within public education?

De-centralizing education, abolishing common core and the department of education, as well as privatization of schools to compete will drastically cause primary to secondary US education to become better.

How?

Instead of parents sending their children to the closest public schools, parents will look for good quality schools and apply there. Perhaps the children might even look for schools themselves if they really do care about their education and all.

By this nature, students will work harder to get into good schools and learn more in the process. The liability here is on the schools to provide a challenging curriculum and teach their students well. So when you have schools competing with each other, then the quality of schools drastically increases.

Public schools are far too popular in the United States, and they have massive government interference. Essentially, the public school system is a Marxist dream with the curriculum being controlled by Washington DC bureaucrats.

tl:dr, Capitalism will fix the USA's primary and secondary education system.
Rukado
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5/21/2016 2:38:59 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 10:17:11 PM, SolonKR wrote:
Sure, but it shows that the notion that government mucks something up just because it's involved is absurd.

The government does muck up everything. It's the nature of the beast. The thing about your list of things the government "does better than the private sector" is that those things are natural monopolies, where private sector competition is hard to apply. Education is not a natural monopoly, but can easily be as competitive as Fast Food franchises.

It's a well-known fact that the wealthy tend to do better in school than the poor by virtue of their superior resources, and the private schools tend to have superior resources in turn by virtue of their increased flow of money.

Parochial schools are not elitist and they operate on a fraction of the money public schools operate on. And, their students, even if drawn from the ghetto, do better than their public school counterparts.

Straw-man. I have no issue with private schools existing. I don't even have blanket opposition to privatization. If there's a mandatory price ceiling that is exactly equivalent to the value of state or federal (not local, as that leads to economic disparity; state does as well, but to a lesser extent) government-granted vouchers, and guaranteed access to reasonably distant schools (ghetto kids have to be able to leave the ghetto), that's not a terrible issue. But, that's not what most voucher programs aim for, and I can't support a program that attempts to restrict the access of the poor to a quality education.

Most existing voucher programs are restricted to the poor. Anyway, I'm sure there's a least dozen more onerous rules you'd want imposed on voucher schools that you're not mentioning here... with the goal of making voucher schools every bit as bad as existing public schools.
SolonKR
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5/21/2016 4:01:14 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/21/2016 2:38:59 AM, Rukado wrote:
At 5/20/2016 10:17:11 PM, SolonKR wrote:
The government does muck up everything. It's the nature of the beast. The thing about your list of things the government "does better than the private sector" is that those things are natural monopolies, where private sector competition is hard to apply. Education is not a natural monopoly, but can easily be as competitive as Fast Food franchises.

I repeat: "Sure, but it shows that the notion that government mucks something up just because it's involved is absurd". Explain how, specifically, government messes education up, and how it necessarily messes it up.

It's a well-known fact that the wealthy tend to do better in school than the poor by virtue of their superior resources, and the private schools tend to have superior resources in turn by virtue of their increased flow of money.

Parochial schools are not elitist and they operate on a fraction of the money public schools operate on. And, their students, even if drawn from the ghetto, do better than their public school counterparts.

I never said they were "elitist". Public schools spend about $10,000 per student nationally (1). Secular private schools spent about $20,000 per student (remember, tuition is not congruent with school spending) from 2007-2008, while Christian schools managed an average of $7,000 and most Catholic schools spent about as much as public schools (2). This separate study explains that there is a clear and significant correlation between spending and standardized test scores (Christian-school children performed on average 10 points worse on many assessments than public school children), that the concept of lower spending for higher outcomes in private schools is largely a myth, that public schools actually spend less on administration as a percentage due to size, that schools that spent more attracted better teachers (in terms of both where they got their degree from and certification, which isn't a perfect metric, but it's better than nothing) (3). See Appendix A for a quick tl;dr, as well as page 14-15. Part of the reason private schools seem so effective is that they often are subsidized by churchgoers or corporations; their tuition is not representative of their costs.

Straw-man. I have no issue with private schools existing. I don't even have blanket opposition to privatization. If there's a mandatory price ceiling that is exactly equivalent to the value of state or federal (not local, as that leads to economic disparity; state does as well, but to a lesser extent) government-granted vouchers, and guaranteed access to reasonably distant schools (ghetto kids have to be able to leave the ghetto), that's not a terrible issue. But, that's not what most voucher programs aim for, and I can't support a program that attempts to restrict the access of the poor to a quality education.

Most existing voucher programs are restricted to the poor. Anyway, I'm sure there's a least dozen more onerous rules you'd want imposed on voucher schools that you're not mentioning here... with the goal of making voucher schools every bit as bad as existing public schools.

Straw-man again. To claim that I want voucher schools to be bad is ridiculous, and based on the examples I presented, you now know why I have the issues I have. One of the other facts you'll find in the study I cited is that the overwhelming majority of private school students who use vouchers go to religious schools, because they're the only ones reasonably affordable compared to most voucher benefits. If we're going to privatize the whole system, that absolutely has to change, and it's on you to explain how you would solve that, because to force students to go to religious schools courtesy of the government or not at all is a violation of the separation of church and state.

I'm not saying private schools are bad. I'm saying that privatizing education as a whole has terrible, terrible problems.

Sources:
1. http://www.governing.com...
2. http://www.washingtonpost.com...
3. http://greatlakescenter.org...
SO to Bailey, the love of my life <3
SolonKR
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5/21/2016 4:02:50 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/20/2016 10:41:05 PM, someloser wrote:
At 5/20/2016 10:22:29 PM, SolonKR wrote:
At 4/29/2016 8:23:11 AM, someloser wrote:
Maybe it would help if the government didn't support stupid things like Head Start, No Child Left Behind, or blowing a few billion dollars trying to close achievement gaps that can't be closed to begin with.

Why is Head Start stupid?
because it was, on nearly all fronts, a long term... failure. why it still exists is beyond me.

It's just another ineffective band-aid.

Source?

What specifically are you referring to with the last idea?
that, maybe, the government can't solve some achievement gaps through direct intervention. or at all.

it's not impossible to imagine it might be able to. but when one makes (multi billion dollar) policy decisions based on untested and improbable ideas... at best, it's reminiscent of what the germans call "wunschdenken"

That's not what I meant. I meant what achievement gaps, what efforts to solve them, measured by what, and analyzed by whom?
SO to Bailey, the love of my life <3