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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:09 PM
Original message
Public education is under attack, folks!
Public schools waste so much

By John T. Wenders Cato Institute


The biggest mistake an economist can make when analyzing U.S. public education is to presume that expenditures have anything to do with the necessary costs of educating students.

In the U.S. public education system, this assumption is dead wrong. There, total expenditures are allocated from the top down to mop up available revenues. How much any public school spends depends not on how much it needs for efficient operation but on how much it can extract from taxpayers. These revenues are then dissipated among various squabbling constituencies to feed their continuous demand for taxes.

In the topsy-turvy world of public education, the incentive is for efficient, low-cost schools to imitate the less efficient, high-cost schools by spending more. The result is that U.S. public education is greatly overfunded. Public school per-pupil costs are roughly 40 percent to 45 percent higher than those of private schools. When we take into account the larger number of private elementary schools and further adjust for special education, the difference narrows to about 36 percent.

Thus, U.S. public education wastes around $141 billion a year about 1.4 percent of 2000 gross domestic product, or about $501 per capita. Add in remedial education and the total comes to at least $157.6 billion a year about 1.58 percent of gross domestic product, or about $560 per capita.


Similarly, the requirement that public schools must admit any student is often cited as a reason for higher costs. But slower students are increasingly shoved into special education, and this program explains only about 10 percent of the cost differential between public and private education.

Most of the waste in public education is excessive labor costs. Over the period 1980 to 2000, national student enrollment grew by 15.5 percent, but total school employment grew by 37.4 percent, and teacher staffs grew by 35.2 percent. Public schools now have about one employee for every 6.5 students, and teachers make up only 40 percent of school employees. Our public schools have become vast jobs programs, reminiscent of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, rather than educational institutions.

Wherever competition with or among U.S. public schools is found, the evidence shows better and cheaper public school performance. Abroad, both direct competition and the presence of surrogate competition in the form of curriculum-based external exit exams produce better, cheaper education.

2005 Cato Institute

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/opinion/1...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Okay, what is the Cato Institute? This guy is so misguided it's almost comical.

But seriously, if the current 'reforms' continue unabated, within ten years we will no longer have traditional public schools. Our urban areas will be dominated by charter schools. Fundie private schools will dominate our suburban areas. And ALL kids will be tested, beginning in pre-school, several times a year, leaving little time for actual teaching and learning.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Really? The district I teach in has been issuing pink-slips
for the past 2 years.

Peace.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. So they are letting people go?
Can't afford to keep all those highly paid teachers, eh?
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #14
38. Nope. Our salaries are outrageous. LOL!
Peace.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think Cato is ultra neo-con.
They're not just attacking public education. They're attacking our children and our children's futures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Institute

I think we need to export them... Preferably to the front lines, such as they are, in Iraq; or maybe the Iraq-Iran border.

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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Cato seems to mix
Neocon and fascism with libertarianism just to be fashionable.
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. yup: neolib right-libertarian, connected to Dirty Industry, Penn & Teller
are members.
More in "Trust Us, We're Experts!" It has a Tom Tomorrow cover! You can't go wrong with Tom!
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. And like the Heritage Foundation, is entirely tax-exempt. nt
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converted_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. We need a foundation too! Do we have one? If not, how do we get one?
I'm serious.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Well we have NEA
and AFT and ASCD and several other professional educator associations.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. One thing I agree with: way too many administrative positions.
Teachers could take on certain adminstrative duties without adding on work time simply by becoming masters of their own domain. So many useless people are hired to ensure that teachers are doing their job... not just principals, but assistant principals, curriculum coordinators, directors of professional development, etc. The business model has been death for schools. I say this as an ex-teacher.

And don't even get me started on testing. Argh.
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NorCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. You got it SJ
schools are doing too much 'other' and not enough 'teaching.' It's not the teachers fault though, they are just the grunts pulling the hardest labor for the least buck.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
34. "Too much other"
should be taken up with the idiots like Wenders and Bush who want kids tested within an inch of their lives. I have actually had kids ask me "Why do they test us so much? When are they going to let us just learn?"

BTW, teachers suffered much less cuts than school employees. Unfortunately however, teachers suffer without support staff. Why can't people see that?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. I agree
but I also think this problem can be exaggerated.

I remember learning years ago that the employees in a school district that have the biggest impact on student learning are not the teachers, but the administrators. They really carry the heaviest load.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. I'm biased, of course...
I left teaching because I was tired of fighting the administration -- I was an effective teacher by any measurement, but in spite of the fact that my students excelled and the parents were supportive, the adminstation gave me and the other teachers absolutely no respect. THEY were the experts; THEY were in the position to tell us what to do, and we were supposed to keep our heads down and chug along like good little automatons.

The system is created so that stupid teachers can function passably -- and smart, innovative teachers are completely redundant.

And administrators may carry a heavy load in terms of paperwork or hours or whatever... but that load compares not a whit to that of thirty young lives all looking to you for guidance, love, inspiration, etc.

Sorry... lot of bitterness... :(
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Hey I hear you
I could write a book detailing horror stories I have been involved in or witnessed in this education business. For many years, I have wondered why administrators are not required to take a class in how to get along with people. I was once reprimanded for having school stationery on my desk. When asked why it was there, I replied "Because I work here?" That got me written up for insubordination. A good friend got in trouble last year when students picked the lock on her classroom door and stole her purse; she was told that if she had better classroom control, the kids wouldn't have stolen from her. The tricky part was that the kids who stole it were NOT her students.

The Peter Principle is alive and thriving in education.

But administrators really do have a larger affect on student achievement than teachers do. Think about it. Administrators hire the teachers, they design the programs, they make up the schedules and they buy the supplies. We cannot accomplish a lot without adequate materials and up to date textbooks. If the district hires a twit to teach the class next door, when those kids don't learn, can you really blame the twit? When that twit is allowed to stick around long enough to get tenure, whose fault is that?

Like it or not, we need adminstrators. We could not begin to function without them. And when the kids fail, I would much rather blame the administrators than look for fault in my own teaching :) Seriously, research supports this - those important people downtown who run our school districts have a bigger impact on teaching and learning than the lowly teachers who actually do the teaching.

And you know, at least once a year I remind one of those important people I work for that there is a reason their paycheck is bigger than mine. I sure enjoy telling them that.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #26
45. I know the power of a great principal...
A great principal can turn a school around almost instantly -- he or she can improve morale, make teachers feel listened to, empowered, and motivated, and can, of course, help hire excellent staff. And a bad principal can suck the life out of a school even faster. One teacher has an effect on a small group of kids, but a principal has an effect on many more. So I know what you're saying!

I have no objection to a small corps of truly qualified, dedicated, brilliant administrators.

I do think there are (in many districts) too many of them, though, and that they're (very often) paid way out of proportion to their value -- again, it's the business model that says the more you pay the CEO the more valuable your organization is.

:hi:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #45
47. Our whole pay structure is so screwed up
in this business.

My school won an award from the state one year. Only school in our district to get it. And our principal was the lowest paid administrator in the district. The following year, she asked for a raise and was denied. They told her she wasn't heading a large enough school. So more kids means a higher salary??
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
33. You want teachers to do whaaaaaaaaaat?!
hahahahahahahahaaa!!!!!!

I can't even get them to do ATTENDANCE daily for crying out loud! And without the principals and vice-principals, who in the heck is going to do discipline? The teachers can't make decisions like those and shouldn't! They are there to teach, not discipline.

You must have been one of those good teachers that turned in your attendance daily, no? In order to get operational funding, we have to prove kids attend, yet the teachers don't help out much in that area and we are NOT in the classroom!

Please, get serious! heheheeeeee
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #33
51. Wow -- sounds like a truly chaotic school.
I can't even imagine not turning attendance -- my schools kept very close tabs on our kids. That's a pretty basic element of discipline, actually.

I handled 90% of the discipline in my classroom myself -- granted, it was elementary school, so the problems were very different from high school (I'm guessing that's where you are?). The principal/office staff only got involved in discipline if there was a fight on the playground. Classroom discipline was absolutely integrated into everything we did, and I found that the administration usually didn't know the children well enough to discipline them effectively, anyway. (They used do pull kids out of math, say, to make them sit in the office for the afternoon -- which the kid would LOVE because math was their worst subject, and that was the LAST thing they needed to miss! :grr:)

Again, I don't deny the importance of a good principal and a vice-principal for large schools and upper grades.

But I've often fantasized about running schools more like universities... giving teachers the same freedom and respect that professors have... no one dressing you down for half an hour because your bulletin board is off-season... letting teachers design their own curriculum and tests... the adminstration hidden away in an office somewhere... aaaaaahhhhhh.....
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. No, but it's very large
I'm working summer school at the high school and work junior high during the regular school year. I'm sorry, but it's not been my experience to see teachers voluntarily handing in attendance when they need to and sometimes not taking it!

Sometimes I wish I worked with the little guys in elementary. Teens are sooooo hard.

BTW, most of the teachers love support staff because we help them with everything and are a safe place to go and complain about their students.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #52
56. Secondary teachers are generally
less cooperative with administrators than elementary. You could say the elementary teachers are easier to intimidate.

But I love the kids so much I am staying in elementary. Teens are obnoxious.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. You got that right!
I work in middle school during the regular year and that is without a doubt the MOST obnoxious age! High school kids are easier!

Regarding the teachers? They made us work 3 hours overtime (Oh dear God, what will the D.O. say?!) because they didn't turn in attendance in a timely manner. Today was the last day of summer school...and I'm off to have a kiwi margarita or two! yahhhhhhhoooooooooo! :toast:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. How hard can it be
to turn in attendance? That's nuts.

My district is getting an online attendance program. So we will take attendance in class and log it in to a computer in our classrooms. They are even talking about a program where the kids have to sign in using a password, so they will be basically be recording their own attendance.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Very hard, apparently!
The teachers already HAVE laptops in their classroom, we use the SASI system. All they have to do is pull up the class roster and click PRE, TDY or ABS. Even that is tooooooooo hard for some! The district spent thousands of dollars to buy those stupid laptops too.

I like the idea of the students signing it. That is very cool!
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
43. I'm also a retired teacher and agree... with the exception
of Principal and Assistant Principal positions. In my experience they were sorely needed (that is, when they proved themselves to be effective administrators who supported their teachers instead of hindering them).

I've worked in four different school districts and they were ALL top-heavy as far as central office personnel and staff.

Argh is right! Useless standardized testing is one of the reasons I left education. I loved teaching, too, before the politicians and intrusive bureaucrats became involved in it. :eyes:






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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
44. I agree with you on that
school districts seem to have lots of highly paid people at the district level--doing what? Some of them need to be downsized.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #44
53. I agree that the district offices could
definitely be downsized, execs at the top could stop giving themselves bonuses and give up the car allowance too! I agree, they are topheavy but the schools are NOT!
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Kerrytravelers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. 1 teacher for every 6.5 students?
Really? Then why do my classrooms run out of chairs and desks with 0ver 35 kids in a room?

Humm... maybe mr. john t. wenders of the cato institute is... a liar... just like his president.
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DODI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. It is one employee to every 6.5- I know our school system is very
top heavy -- too many higher paying jobs downtown and not enough teachers in the schools. A lot of political appointment type stuff which adds nothing.
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lizzieforkerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
35. You are forgetting about the cafeteria workers, bus drivers,
and janitors that is included in that "employee" ratio.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. No...it was one EMPLOYEE per 6.5 students. I would imagine the....
...ratio of teachers to students is pretty similar to your situation, 1 teacher per 35 kids.

This Cato-moron is attempting to blur the edges by including all employees of of public schools...cafeteria staff, janitorial staff, administrators at all levels, etc.

Here in Madison, Alabama, one of the wealthiest school districts in the state, my wife and I have been scurrying around to buy school a year's worth of school supplies for our 2nd-grader, and our kindergarten terror. Want to know why? Because the state has seen fit to cut school budgets to the bone, to include releasing some teachers. This trend has continued despite adding three new elementary schools over the past three years.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. Where I live
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 07:42 PM by proud2Blib
the state funding formula allows districts to raise taxes for facilities, but not for day to day operations. So we have all these new buildings going up and lots of remodeling of older facilities, but not enough money to adequately supply classrooms. So they may have a beautiful new facility but not enough in the operating budget to pay the electric bill or to buy pencils for kids.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
58. Same here in CA
We have two new schools in my district, and not enough staff to operate them. Doh! Of course, we also have Governor Boobengrabber who 'borrowed' a couple billion dollars last year from education with a promise to pay it back and now the asswipe refuses. Ahnold is not very popular anymore. He should have stuck to B movies!
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. states really need to change their funding set-up for schools
as I recall from IA years ago----money in building fund could NOT be used for salaries or supplies........sometimes the district had way more money than needed and the other fund had nothing......there was no way to use the surplus the way the district needed to use the money

I was told school financing was set up this way in most states because earlier there was a lot of misuse of funds, so now everything is spelled out in detail
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. This is one of their silliest myths
They usually count custodians, maintenance, clerical and cafeteria workers when they figure those low teacher/pupil ratios.
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not surprised by his figures.
Most of the waste in public education is excessive labor costs

Most of the spending in any school is on labor.

80% of a typical school district's budget is salary-and-benefits.

My wife works for a private school, and I work in a public school.

We have the same degree - we met in graduate school.
We have within a year or two the same total years of experience.
We both have one extra-curricular.

I make over 20% more than she does in basic salary.
Her retirement plan has no employer match, and the benefits aren't nearly as good as mine.
My tuition costs are covered by the district for coursework for certification.

And at eight years experience, she is the third- or fourth-longest-serving teacher in her building.

At seventeen years, I am not yet in the top 25% of service time in my building.

All the people who were hired with her eight years ago are gone, to public schools, to make some real money, so they can eventually retire, or get braces for their kids, or not work two jobs.

If private schools spent like public schools, they would cost like public schools.

The Cato Institute doesn't really want public over private, or confessional over non-religious. They are nominally libertarian, but they're mostly cheapskates.

Knowing where they come from, they want CHEAP!, and private is how you get cheap.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. Great post!!
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 07:58 PM by proud2Blib
And very true. There are so many things folks who are not in our business do not know - especially the cost of labor. Transportation is another. This is usually the #2 expenditure for a public school district, and it's an expense private schools do not have.

And you are so right. The conservatives do not want public education in our country. They want voucher funded private schools and charter schools that do not have to follow state and federal regs. The biggest reason, IMO, is based on racism and bigotry - they don't want THEIR kids in a public school with just any other kids, especially the poor ones. And the easiest way to pay for these private and charter schools is to steal the money currently allocated to public schools. Hence, NCLB.

I am hoping the pieces of this puzzle are beginning to fall into place for DUers, at the very least.
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put out Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
37. Well, yes ma'am.
I must serve all children living within my attendance area, whether in public or private school. I screen them, I refer them to professionals outside my area of expertise, I ascertain they are immunized and that they have been seen by physician. Children attending private schools within my attendance area receive nursing care, speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, reading teaching, specialized physical eduction, physical therapy, pre-school education, a social worker and counseling if we have it.

From the public school!

And guess what. We have families, the "normal" children attend the private schools. The ones with special needs come to the public schools. They are excluded from private schools.

Because only the public schools offer the mandated services for impaired children and an appropriate education for their little souls.

Hey, saves some families a bit of money not to have to pay for their children's' needed services, not available in the private school.

Hope this makes sense. Oh yes, I forgot; the public school system transports them from their private school to our public school at public school expense.

Yes ma'am, proud2Blib.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #37
48. And my tax dollars support that lunacy
grrr.

In MO, we provide those services but after school and the parents have to transport the kids to us.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
42. EXCELLENT point.
If private schools spent like public schools, they would cost like public schools.

I had five years experience in private schools before making the jump to public. The last private school in which I taught paid me a little under $18k/year (without benefits - with them my pay would have been around $15k), and this was a year-round school.

Whose owner drove a Jag.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Cato is the Heritage Foundation of the libertarian right.
A big time think tank mostly concerned with eliminating taxes and public entities as a whole.

We seriously need to be far more concerned with what these TAX-EXEMPT political organizations are up to.

Most of the talking points come straight out of Cato and the HF.

http://www.cato.org/
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. They would love to end public schooling
They can afford private schools.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Exactly. But privatizing all education won't work. It leads to kids
sitting on the floor as their desks are hauled away because the school was over budget.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. They want the money
currently allocated to public schools. Then their kids can go to the best schools in the country on the taxpayer's dime. Or they can homeschool them - again at public expense. (Hopefully everyone reading this remembers how Santorum made $$ off of the state by homeschooling his children).

And the best way to get that money? Trash the public school system enough to convince Average Joe that it is just not working and it's time to try something different.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. checking in
:hi: I'll write more on the thread tomorrow. Thanks for this.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Hey you!!
How is your summer going?

When do you go back? I have 2 more days of summer school and then a whole week and a half off. :woohoo:
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #27
39. we report back a week from this Tuesday.
My summer school ended last week, but then I missed most of a two-day inservice this week with my first-ever allergy attack. Guess I'll get to make that up this fall. :eyes:

I'm excited about going back, though. I've got a lot more to do over the next week, but I'm ahead of the curve on my planning. :) :hi:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #39
46. Yuck, that is way too early
I will be on vacation all that week. We are going to NC.

We report back on the 22nd and kids start on the 29th. I will be working the week of the 15th though - I am on the new teacher in-service committee. And I will be using every spare minute I have that week to get my room fixed up. They never give us enough time once we are back.

Summer goes by waaaaay too fast.
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WeirdOne Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
25. When isn't it?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #25
50. Didn't used to be
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 08:36 AM by proud2Blib
I've been in the business long enough to remember when we were actually praised and appreciated. That attitude has changed considerably in the last 25 years. All this negative started with the Reagan adminstration. I remember it well.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
28. First lemme say to P2B and all the other
teachers here. Thank you. All 3 of my kids are in public school, and if it weren't for the quality of the teachers their education would suck. Sure there is an occasional bad egg, but for the most part public school teachers are overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated. They use old books and old AV equipment, they make screens out of flipchart paper, they spend their own money on things they need to properly educate their classes. Hell my youngest's kindergarten teacher held a learning to read class every Tues this summer, on her own time with her own money. Talk about dedication. The Cato institute can kiss my ass...
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Thanks walldude
Will you take pictures and post them? I would love to see these assholes kiss your ass :)
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #28
40. echoing P2BL
Thanks, walldude. :)
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #28
49. I saw so many good posts on this thread that I hardly knew
which to reply to.

I second what walldude said: thank you to all the teachers here.
I commend you: you have a thankless job, lots of responsibility, and lots of times, not much backup from administrators. (Remember a few years ago, at a school in KS, a teacher gave her students a bad grade for plagiarism? The parents bellyached to the administrators and the administrators told her to back down. She quit.)

I have great respect for teachers, dealing with students who oftentimes nowadays have little if any respect for authority, and with parents who often think the sun shines out of their kid's arse.

A few years ago, a woman said to me that there was a conspiracy against the public schools. I thought the idea was goofy. I don't think so now.

The majority of the time, what you hear in the media about schools is negative. The students don't learn anything, blah, blah, blah.

I think many students learn a great deal--but you rarely hear about that.

True, some students don't learn much; some get all the way through school with minimal academic skills. But there are people out there who can't learn, lots out there who are unmotivated.

But considering what they are working with, I think by and large the public schools do a good job.

And I'm tired of the corporate media always coming out with this news about schools that is so damn negative, most of the time.
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
29. This stuff is utter BS
A large number of the attempts to privatize schools in JEB's Florida have been abysmal failures and occasionally proven to be little more than outright scams designed for nothing else but to steal from the public coffers.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. The charters here
are mostly abysmal failures. And so far, no one is making money off of them. We even have a few run by the Walton family; they are the worst.
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Patchuli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. What a misguided moron!
Schools are run with skeleton staffing. Our district suffered huge cuts to classified staff, meaning less administrative (more waiting for students and parents to conduct business), less custodial staff (schools are dirtier), less equipment, less textbooks, less everything. Not to mention, this 'No Child Left Behind' is a joke but no one is laughing. They expect all this testing and performance proving without providing any money to do it with. Kids tell me they are sick to death of being tested and don't even do it seriously anymore. When are these conservative idiots going to WAKE UP?!

It's obvious to me that this Wenders guy fits right in with the rest of the ignoramuses at the Cato Institute.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer school. Our teachers found the following quote in their mailboxes. Very appropriate in light of that nonsensical Wenders article. Can we say 'clueless?!' Or is itjust 'agenda' to push charter schools? Wenders didn't cloud his agenda with actual facts.

"Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task."
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lizzieforkerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
36. It's the Day Care Model-
Republicans saw that people would pay $1000 dollars a month to send their children to day care and then pay nothing for public education. They want parents to continue to pay the $1000 to them. So trash the schools until parents have no choice.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
41. where to start?
The biggest mistake an economist can make when analyzing U.S. public education is to presume that expenditures have anything to do with the necessary costs of educating students.

Actually, the biggest mistake an economist can make when analyzing U.S. public education is in thinking that he can understand the enterprise at all from an economics point of view. Should we cut out waste and corruption? Surely. Should we err, however, on the side of the students we claim to care about so much? Yup. Years ago on DU, someone made the point that health care institutions in America should be loss leaders. Schools should too.

I'll be forwarding the bill for all the shit I buy for my classroom out of my own pocket this year to Mr. Wenders. :evilgrin:

These revenues are then dissipated among various squabbling constituencies to feed their continuous demand for taxes.

No, no bias here. :eyes:

Public school per-pupil costs are roughly 40 percent to 45 percent higher than those of private schools.

Public schools are required, by law, to do far more than private schools are. I very seriously doubt he adjusts nearly enough for special education costs alone.

But slower students are increasingly shoved into special education, and this program explains only about 10 percent of the cost differential between public and private education.

Horseshit. Public schools are limited in the percentage of students allowed into special education and, in my school at least, that percentage does not AT ALL encompass the number of students enrolled who need some level of special ed services. Show us your numbers, Mr. Wenders.

Public schools now have about one employee for every 6.5 students, and teachers make up only 40 percent of school employees. Our public schools have become vast jobs programs, reminiscent of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, rather than educational institutions.

I believe that P2BL has already pointed out the dishonesty of "one employee for every 6.5 students" - we can only assume that Mr. Wenders is counting the food service folks, bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, etc.

Besides which, if he's so hot about the number of support staff needed in public schools today, where is his ire at No Child Left Behind, whose endless, stupid requirements for testing and so forth make extra support staff necessary?

Wherever competition with or among U.S. public schools is found, the evidence shows better and cheaper public school performance. Abroad, both direct competition and the presence of surrogate competition in the form of curriculum-based external exit exams produce better, cheaper education.

Show us the numbers, but show them genuinely corrected for the different requirements between public and private schools.

Asshat.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #41
62. Europe.......teachers get paid better than in US and have HIGH RESPECT
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 07:57 PM by bobbieinok
this impression based on some observations in Germany and Switzerland
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4_TN_TITANS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
54. hehe......
I'm going to forward this thread to the wife - a teacher and an NEA delegate. I should be able to hear the explosion 25 miles away when she reads that CATO crap !!!!
}( }( }(
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newportdadde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
55. Ow yeah.. the problem is too much money.
My wifes last year of teaching in 2003, making sub 30k a year by the way her budget was cut so bad that WE bought supplies for the room.

Fuck the Cato insitute and its libertarian, free market BS it spews.
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