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Failed schools: a proposal

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Let's let the parents decide which public school their children can attend. Let the schools compete for the public monies, based on the merits of the individual districts.

    Let the cirricula and textbook listings be published, public knowledge. Let the credentials and experience, as well as salaries and benefits, of all of the teachers and administrators be ranked.

    Let the student:teacher ratios be set forth in public discussion. Let the children's performance, both on standardized tests, as well as regular school work, be public knowledge, in aggregate.

    Let the grading methodoligies be public knowledge.

    Let the students decide the best place for their children to attend, and then let any reasonable transportation costs be reimbursed to the parents.

    As for the schools that get emptied, shut them down. Tear down the buildings. Let the teachers and administrators compete for jobs at the remaining schools on a free-market basis.

    No need for vouchers. No need for tax increases. No need for gimmicky "magnet" schools. Just good, solid, competition.
  2. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    I like the idea. However, transportation is a big issue. What good is it having the "right" to send your kid to a better school, but no means for getting them there. Reimbursment would be fine for those that could pay the costs up front, but those are the ones who probably live in the better districts to begin with. Trey and Lashonda would still be in the same position as they are now, going to PS 187 and getting a crappy education. Being allowed to go and actually going are two very big differences that would give us the same situations we have now.

  3. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Actually, wapu, I used the word "reimbursement" on purpose, since it was the most ambiguous one I could think of at the time.

    The actual mechanism for paying for such transportation could be reimbursement after the fact, a monthly allotment, something provided by the school districts......I'm certainly open to whatever combination of plans would work best.
  4. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    A good, common sense, point.
    But, in my opinion, not one to hold up the reform ideas stated in the origional post of this thread.
    Transportation is a significant part of the budget NOW.
    I just don't think re-vectoring that transportation to the school of choice would (should) be a show stopper.
    A tiny bit of organization applied to what is now a gross inefficiency would surely be a wash, in expenditures?

    I'd just hate to see such remarkable, straight thinking, ideas canned due to the inability to fix a simple logistic problem.

  5. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I only see one flaw. Those that are most concerned about education will be the first to pull their kids from the bad schools and send them to the good ones. But with only "bad" kids, the bad schools will close, which will transfer the "bad" kids to the good schools again, where discipline problems, poor performance, etc., will occur again. The good kids will leave again for another school, the once good school will decline, and so on, the cycle continues.

    An obvious solution to this would be to restrict entry to the good schools, but the idea of "separate but equal" doesn't appeal to me.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Very succinct, Mike.
  7. Basilio

    Basilio Banned

    Well, let me weigh in as an educator who also has a political and economic background, often educators receive so much blame for the state of the education system, when we are simply part of the system.
    Yes, we have some power, but we must contend with the fact that we deal with an unruly, powerful administration that has dictatorial powers. We also are put under much pressure if our failure rate is too "high".
    Students are given these tests where they are expected to learn high-order thinking..... This is an environment where we have so many students per classroom... I mean try to teach high order thinking to 34 students! Frankly, I think the public wants failed schools, because they won't invest in smaller classrooms for one, not that it is a panacea or cure-all, it definitely is not. When the administration doesn't care about the teachers, then what happens to the kids in the end when we get shafted? I think Connecticut has higher scores, but they do spend a lot more
    than other states do... But the demographics also play a role...

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