Response to snot (Original post)
Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:04 AM
MichiganVote (19,349 posts)
1. Ok, you want the truth-here is what I know
Has the quality of public education really gone downhill since I was a kid, or is that a myth?
Part reality and part myth. Its not a popular mainstream idea, but school funding is at the heart of much of this. Sorry folks but you really can't build a better mousetrap on a lick and a prayer. Money is necessary to run any program and education is no exception. So at this point, the Feds don't/won't help, the funding streams in the States often involve the middle man, often referred to as as the ISD-who takes the cream of the money crop first leaving local schools with less. And for all the morons out there who somehow believe that schools make $$ with special needs kids-shut the fuck up. This is a right wing talking point and it is not factually true. The "quality" of education for students suffer when schools cannot provide, decent professional development, music, art, PE or school counselors. If you belong in an area that manages to support its sports teams to market their district AND there are degenerative cuts to pretty much everything else--you are not dealing with a myth. You are dealing with a funding mess.
Have kids gotten harder to teach? For the self motivated kids-no. Yes to everyone else.
Are parents working too hard to help their kids, or to notice if they're failing, let alone get involved with the PTA or pay attention to school board elections? Granted some parents did not do so well in school. Granted then that working on schoolwork is difficult for parents who were/are limited in terms of time or effort. Parents working "too hard", not likely.
Are class sizes too big? Usually, but not in all locale.
Are populations more diverse? Depends on where you live. LA-yes. Atlanta-probably the same as decades past. Diversity is not the problem within school districts except when gangs run the school
In inflation-adjusted dollars, are we spending less per child than we were 50 years ago? Yes.
What factors are actually different now from when they were back when public education was strong (at least, it was strong at my school when I was growing up)? The tax base is piss poor in every state.
What are the causes of those changes, if any? The sense of civic duty in our society is gone, the Congress couldn't get a bird to fly past a frickin' window.
How does the current system actually work? Beats me.
How are the administrators selected? Usually by other administrators. Go figure.
Where is the union, what role has it played? How are union leaders selected? Most ed. unions have been gutted in the last 10 years.
What are the large and small, direct and indirect causes of the problems? Large-NO LEADERSHIP from the President, the Cabinet, the Congress, the locals and yes many parents too.
What are the real solutions? A coherent plan that focuses on the students. Not unions, not admin. and in some areas, not parents. And let's maybe consider that we are asking people out of college to start at 28k and get their heads blown off. Lets acknowledge reality, lets start there.
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Ok, you want the truth-here is what I know
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