Senate How should Education be reformed?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ghost, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    YES.
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    The main concern I would have with equal state funding is making sure the allocation process is also equal so there aren't "gaps" in equal funding emerging from *misallocation* of funds.

    You have to pay people to administer the funds, the allocations, and the use.
  3. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    There shouldn't be so complex a method that that becomes a large bureaucratic mess. Simple even allocation, no complex formulas. The furthest I'd go would be to weight it based off of attendance rather than raw enrollment numbers, just to equalize the funding per student hour part of it.
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Have you seen politics? :p

    Simple even allocation still has to be done by self-interested individuals who can be lobbied for favors.

    edit:

    That's the promise and there are cases of success, but not enough examples to call it an huge success in need of no improvement.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Sep 4, 2012
  5. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    Conversely, that sort of thing is going on on a local level in every district. So doing it just once would consolidate it. As i said, it can be done poorly, but the concept is good.
  6. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Oh I agree. And I'm not drawing a distinction between local, state, and national. In fact, you could argue there might be less self-interest at the national level than the local level in allocation and favoritism. Mis-information and misreading of local opinion by national legislators/administrators could actually work in "national equality" perhaps.

    Not sure.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Sep 4, 2012
  7. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

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    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    Wow, way to generalize about all teachers! Awesome. I didn't know that all of us were whiny b******!
  8. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    Sorry if my relaying my direct experience offends you.
  9. PRENNTACULAR VIP

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    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    The problem with direct experience is, I have direct experience that contradicts yours. So either, one of us is wrong, or, it's just more complicated than what you are making it out to be.
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    Well, anecdotal evidence is just that. Someone would have to try to do an impartial survey, with a base/standard value of comparison. Somehow. If that's even possible.
  11. PRENNTACULAR VIP

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    Dec 21, 2005
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    Right. So maybe we shouldn't make claims about how colored people have an anti-education culture.
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    And if it was just me, I'd agree with that. It was almost universal with my class of would-be teachers. And it wasn't all "colored people", but we all had at least one student who presented that attitude problem.
  13. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    I have met plenty of white people that don't like much education
    MASTERPRENN likes this.
  14. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

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    Jul 31, 2002
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    On the 'let's make sure every state has equal funding for its schools idea," I went to school in New Mexico, which at the time was #48 in per capita student spending. However, when I came to California for sixth grade, I was reading/comprehending at the level of a high school senior. I learned to read phonetically while in school in New Mexico (grades 1 thru 5), which is the best way to learn to read.

    That #48 in per capita student spending doesn't mean much because, in New Mexico at least, the money was spent on students and teachers, not on administrators. It's how the money is spent that is important, not how much money per student the school district has to spend.

    So, just throwing money at schools may not be the best solution.
    Last edited by Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi, Sep 5, 2012
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  15. harpua Chosen One

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    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Wow... this is incredibly ridiculous, and pretty offensive. How do you know that these "people from another culture" feared the white man and his teachings? Is this something that was inferred? If so, what was it that led you to infer this?
  16. MrZAP Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    Quoting this because I'm appalled at the language used, not to mention the idea behind it. Parents and students should be treated as "customers" or "consumers". I think, like Guy, that parents should have to send their children to the school assigned to them. Schools should be incentivized to do well because they have a responsibility to the students, not to "attract" anyone. Ideally there would be no "better" or "worse" schools; they'd all be equally great. And aside from that I dislike education being seen as an economic service. It is a social responsibility. Schools should be funded per student, yes, but that should be unrelated to the matter. Parents shouldn't have to worry about where they live in terms of whether or not their children will get a good education. They just shouldn't.

    I agree with everything in Koohii's first post aside from the cultural stereotyping (though I do think that the importance of education should be a value instilled in everyone. I just don't think that's a matter of race.), I especially like the idea of letting people succeed and fail at their own pace. Education should be more individualized.

    I'm also curious about what people think about something that hasn't been brought up yet: higher education and the economics involved. I personally would love completely governmentally funded (quality) higher education. I think that everyone should have equal access to it regardless of economics. Tax people more if necessary (and it would be), but education itself should always be completely free.

    What are your thoughts on that? Do you guys agree or disagree with me and why?
  17. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Part of the problem with that approach is that it limits what programs can be offered in a single district.

    For example, one of the high schools I attended has since become an IB magnet school for the county. Our county also has a magnet school for science and technology (widely regarded as one of the top schools in the nation). It has other schools that focus on other areas. While they all offer the same basic, 4-year high school diploma, that specialization allows the county to offer a greater variety of programs to all of the students in the county. Requiring students to attend a school simply because of matters of geography would reduce those offerings.

    If you offer parents a choice between different schools, they can then choose the one that will be a best fit for their children. Not everyone learns the same way, and so offering choices makes it easier to cater to different learning styles. Some students do better with "block scheduling" (where half of your classes are one day, and the other half are the next day, with individual classes lasting twice as long each day), while others do better with a traditional schedule (having the same classes every day). It's better to fit the students with the programs that would best help them, rather than try to fit every student into the same cookie cutter.

    How do you reconcile this with a policy of assigning students to specific schools?

    I disagree that education should always be completely free. If it doesn't cost you anything, you will not value it as much. It should be affordable, but not free. Because education usually increases your earning potential, it makes sense for a person to be able to pay off their educational expenses from that increase in earnings. (For example, I am currently researching graduate programs that could bump my salary by $15000 or more per year. At a cost of $20000-30000 for the programs over 2 years, I could easily afford to pay back loans to pay for it. Personally, I'm taking a different approach of finding a new job that will help pay for it, reducing my costs to about $5000 for the program.)

    Also, it's important to recognize that not everyone needs to go to college. It's not a good investment for many people. In many cases, you can make a much better living learning a trade (like plumbing, electrical work or heating/AC repair) or gaining work experience. Where I work, we have two Windows administrators. One has a Masters in CS, and the other did about 1 year of college before dropping out. Of the two, the one without a degree seems to have the far more practical experience and problem solving skills. Similarly, of our two Unix administrators, I am the more senior admin despite the other admin having far more education (he has a Masters and is working on a second), because I have a lot more practical experience.

    Making higher education free would only encourage people to go to college when they could very well be better served by a different path.
  18. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Today I found out I hate whitey. Who knew?
  19. Lord Vivec Chosen One

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    What determines whether going to college is a good investment? How much money you have? Under your system, how many people who could, say, advance the science will be left behind because society deemed college wasn't a "good investment?"
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Why? Why shouldn't they be treated as customers? They are paying for the service are they not?

    And why would you limit parents choices regarding education? Nothing is more important than education. So, if a private market is optimized to have willing buyers and sellers of goods and services, why would we suddenly treat education differently with a monopolization of services and choice?

    You want better education performance. I want better education performance.

    We're not getting better at it with the status quo.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Sep 6, 2012
  21. Valairy Scot Chosen One

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    Sep 16, 2005
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    How can we "equalize" education when we know parental support is crucial, yet some districts have higher rates of parental involvement? Not just the parents helping out at schools but the home environment?
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  22. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Why am I not surprised that you didn't actually read my post before criticizing.

    I started off by saying that college should be made affordable, but not free. How does that translate into basing the decision on "How much money you have"?

    Whether it is a good investment or not is a question that each individual (not society) has to evaluate. However, I think that as a society we are trying to force people into college who are not generally suited for it, and who would be better served taking other paths. There is nothing dishonorable with trade schools or apprenticeships, for example, and you can earn a very reasonable living in such fields. I know plumbers with only a high school diploma who make more money than I do as an IT professional! (And they have greater job security. My job could be outsourced to India and almost completely done remotely. It's hard to get someone in a call center in India to fix a broken pipe in Washington DC.)

    The simple fact is that there are a lot of people out there who have gone to college and really shouldn't have. Some of them went for a year or two because it was "expected" of them, and then dropped out. Others completed college, but got a degree that is essentially useless for them to actually find a job (or they could have gotten the same job without the degree).

    It's better for us as a society to provide multiple different avenues for people to improve their lives. For some people, an Associate's Degree is the best course of action. For others, a 6-month trade school to learn plumbing, followed by an apprenticeship with real world experience is the best course. For some, looking for a job straight out of high school is best.

    The problem is that our society has tried to send the message that you have to go on to a 4-year college, and anything else is failure. College is not the only path to a rewarding, profitable, and enjoyable career.
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    That is a very good question and one that even aggregate programs at the local level have difficulty solving. Nationally, it would be nigh impossible. It's hard enough to get a clear concise focused plan at the local level due to differences of opinions and lack of intensity measurements(how willing a parent is regarding their choice or opinion).

    Making it national and subjecting it to all sorts of other information streams and pressures might well make it impossible.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Sep 6, 2012
  24. Lord Vivec Chosen One

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    Apr 17, 2006
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    You still haven't answered what you think is the criteria for college being a good investment.
  25. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    My criteria would be landing a job in my degree field and not having 100k in outstanding student loans.