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Education: Who needs it? Not Americans.

LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
education.jpg

Here's a thread about Education in the United States (bring in other countries if you would like for context), and how it's currently getting screwed royally in the ass by the number crunchers.

Anyone in the education field at the moment will tell you, budgets are in the red, and no one wants to pay for them. We aren't talking a couple thousand dollars, we're talking over 20 million in some cases.

I’m using District 204 in Naperville, IL as start off because what is happening is very symbolic to education in general.

Here’s a statement by the superintendent about the budget cuts:
http://ipsdweb.ipsd.org/News.aspx?id=28616

Some notable sections:
Spoiler:
.

How does a district such as this get in so much debt? We’re seeing the after-effects of the recession that is supposedly “over”. Taxes man. People don't have the money to pay 'em, and this hurts the schools big time.
But good thing we bailed out the financial sector, right? That's the important thing in America, right? Moving on.


What this actually means to the people working in District 204:
-all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)
-class sizes in high schools are going up to 40, possibly 45 students per room
-music technique and other core music programs are being nixed completely
-if it isn’t math, science, or reading, no one is going to fund it
and other things I'm sure I'll learn about as my spies tell me.


Why are they gutting it from the inside out? Well, it’s a lot easier to hide school financial problems when they’re...hidden. This is a common approach schools are taking to their financial problems: they are firing teachers and staff, increasing the load on the employees who are lucky enough to stay, and keeping the extracurricular programs a Okay.

Why? Because it looks good, that's why. District 204 has a reputation to maintain. And maintain it they will, even if it severely removes whole chunks of education.

Ah, but there’s a catch to keeping extracurricular programs: they are increasing the prices for participation. We’re talking $50-$150 per program.

But lilnoobs, that’s not a big deal, at least they are funding them properly! Oh, but it is. District 204 is unique because it houses both financially well off (and I mean well off) children, and title 1 students who are on free lunch. Basically, the changes also give a big fuck you to the poorer students. (I’m sure this is exactly what the wealthier part wants, as these cuts will eventually lead to the district being split, but that’s fortune-telling on my part).

Let’s rewind back to nixing music technique. Why? Because music technique is basically group private lessons. With that gone, guess who’s going to perform better in the orchestra? Guess who can afford private lessons for their students? Guess who’s going to get the solos, or the performances? Guess what is going to happen there?

"So some students won't have as thorough a music education as they once did. Big deal?" First off, fuck you if you think that. Secondly, District 204 is a leader in the Arts for all of Illinois! They provide equal funding to sports and the arts. Ever heard of a district that did that?

Guess what? If the leader caves, then the sub-par schools will certainly be like "oh but D204 does it without this, so we can too. Let's cut it!" Goodbye music in IL!

So how did this all happen?
A perfect storm. The recession and housing crash because without taxes from the districts, schools suffer directly. Then idiotic programs and funding from politicians came along, namely, No Child Left Behind.

But anyway, let’s get onto some snippets to see the damage being done. Please remember when reading budget cuts, these school boards don’t find magical ways to eliminate funding. People get fired. In the case for District 204, every single non-tenured teacher.

We all know California is fucked, but here they go cutting education:
Spoiler:

That last part is the most telling. Even though enrollment will increase, California won't respond to the growth with funding. Double whammy.


Here’s something from cbs reporting the similar destruction of education throughout the country:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/08/national/main5293969.shtml
Spoiler:


Look at that. 53% are unable to save teaching positions for core subjects or special needs. That’s over half of districts surveys will be doubling up on their teachers. Then what else can be cut? How about the food your children eat! How about non-important subjects such as foreign language (oh the irony of it all), art, music, PE. If you ain't Math, Science, or Reading GTFO!
Hope you don’t have children at the moment.

This is what cbs uses as one of its sources for the above article and it has some telling exceprts from it as well:
http://www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Policy_and_Advocacy/files/AASAStimulusSurveyAug09.pdf
Spoiler:

The Stimulus does not stimulate anything; it doesn't even help hold the status quo! Dear fucking god. What'll happen when the money is gone? Hope people can pay taxes? Ah yeah, that's it. Let the taxpayers pay for the budget debts because banks were irresponsible. But we'll bail out the banks, schools can hold their own.

Well, I've let my views known on what I think about the economic causes for the education problem, but what else?

Let's look at two political bullshit programs that directly affect budgets.

First, we have Race to the Top (what a dumbass name).

Here's the wiki entry to get you updated on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_to_the_top


And here's extra info to know who is currently "leading" the race and what counts as "winning":
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0304/Race-to-the-Top-Which-states-made-the-list-of-finalists

Basically, like many ill-conceived ideas, Race to the Top is a simple principle that doesn’t work in practice.

School pay, and consequently, teacher pay is directly linked to student success. That means, teachers get paid based on their students’ performance. Good idea, right? Well in theory.

Except for the teachers that deserve more pay. You know, the ones who choose to go to underpriveldged schools with their students Title 1 and 90% of them not speaking English as a first language, and their parents not spending any time with them because they are working X number of jobs, and they still can't afford proper housing, food, or anything else. You know, the ones who work the hardest for the people who need it the most.
What this system effectively does in practice is give money to those who already have money. It also doesn't necessarily give money to teachers who work the hardest. It’s utterly garbage, and I was completely and utterly horrified to know that Obama was behind such a pile of steaming puke piss.

Which leads to the next big failure: No Child Left Behind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act


Suffers from many of the same pitfalls as Race to the Top, but also gives the added incentive for schools to discard programs that aren’t tested.

Go back to the top. Why do you think Music is getting gutted in District 204? It’s not on the standardized tests. So besides the pitfalls of the other failure of a program, No Child Left Behind gives the additional incentive to streamline education to Math, Science, and Reading.

Remember Social Studies? There’s some children who don’t even learn Social Studies anymore because it’s not on these tests. When are they going to learn the difference between a country and a continent? How about where places are located on the globe? If it’s not on the test, why should teachers teach it?

Both of those programs sound good, but are rubbish. Race to the Top hasn't been out long enough to see that it's rubbish, but No Child Left Behind has been out long enough that there's plenty of studies linking its bullshit.

But let's take No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top to an extreme, but real example:
RI.jpg
Rhode Island.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0225/All-teachers-fired-at-R.I.-school.-Will-that-happen-elsewhere
To the dismay of many local and national union members, all the teachers, the principal, and other staff of Central Falls High School were fired by the board of trustees this week. The move is part of a dramatic turnaround plan proposed by the superintendent and approved by the state education commissioner.

Don’t be surprised if more of these “turnarounds” happen in the next year.

Furthermore, the two political programs scapegoat the teachers. You know, if the student is dumb then it’s obviously the teacher’s fault, right? If the student doesn't care, it's up to the teacher to make him or her care, right? Bullshit. But that’s not PC. And why should it be the student's responsible for his or her own education? That's madness.



To put all this into a global context, here’s the proportion of GDP America spends on education compared to other countries:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp

United States ranks 37 out of 132. Not the worst, but for being the world’s leading superpower, how is anything less than #1 in education acceptable? We certainly get rage-filled hard-ons when someone says, "remember the children", but we sure as hell don't practice what we preach (We as in Americans).

Now keep in mind America is 37 on expenditure but effectively #2 on the Duration of Compulsory Education. So we require people to be in school the longest, but don't proportionally fund it? This makes sense how?

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_dur_of_com_edu-education-duration-of-compulsory




TL;DR
I want American education to get better funding through and through. Right now it's underfunded and, consequently, being gutted from the inside out. If it was up to me, I would fund education more than any other service (including Military). Currently, programs like NCLB and Race to the Top don't help education, but rather, hurt it. Streamlining education to the top 3 is a bad thing. Teachers pay should not be directly linked to student success.


Think that's unreasonable?
Let's talk about funding Education in America.

Lilnoobs on
«1345

Posts

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Welcome to the balanced budget fetish. The first thing cut is the biggest expense, and at the state level that's education. Same story with the stimulus: most of it was offset by the state budget cuts and of course President Snowe cut the 100 billion in state aid in the bill.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Not really on topic, but I had to post this somewhere.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aikjdi3psUE

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    stream
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • GeorgeWashingtonPlunkittGeorgeWashingtonPlunkitt Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.
    I was thinking, why the hell doesn't the federal government lend the states money at zero real interest during bad economic times and then have them gradually repay them during good times? No one really pays attention to the balanced budget amendments as far as I can tell anyways, they just hide the borrowing they do (at exorbitant interest).

    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?
    Spoiler:

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.

    The recession is already over for the wealthiest americans. Part of the problem is how much our economy is shifting, soon it won't matter what happens to the middle class or the poor - the economy won't be for them or about them in any way.

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Wow, Race to the Top sounds really dumb, not sure if it's worse than No Child Left Behind but it's at least on par.

    How about instead of making funding for public education a fucking game, we assign money as it's needed throughout? But I guess that's the tricky part because it's needed everywhere.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.
    I was thinking, why the hell doesn't the federal government lend the states money at zero real interest during bad economic times and then have them gradually repay them during good times? No one really pays attention to the balanced budget amendments as far as I can tell anyways, they just hide the borrowing they do (at exorbitant interest).

    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?
    Spoiler:

    President Snowe said no. That's why.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • GeorgeWashingtonPlunkittGeorgeWashingtonPlunkitt Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.
    I was thinking, why the hell doesn't the federal government lend the states money at zero real interest during bad economic times and then have them gradually repay them during good times? No one really pays attention to the balanced budget amendments as far as I can tell anyways, they just hide the borrowing they do (at exorbitant interest).

    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?
    Spoiler:

    President Snowe said no. That's why.
    But I'm not even talking about state aid (which I also think is a great idea and fuck the Senate centrists for blocking it), I'm talking about lending. The federal government could encourage counter cyclical spending to some extent just by lending a hundred billion or so to the states.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?
    Spoiler:

    Good question. And interesting you bring up private schooling.

    I don't know where to search or even where to start, but I wonder what the funding of private school and public school are. And even if they are comparable.

    My gut tells me Private schools have sufficient funds because they can charge whatever they want and let in whoever they want. Public schools are under-funded because everyone is accepted and there's no tuition cost.

    But even so, according to the survey in the OP, more than half the districts in the U.S. will be cutting their programs. Which begs the question, was the American education over-funded these last few years?

    I don't buy that premise, but that's a natural question to ask with the "does more money help" line. Throwing needless money into a pot might not help, but throwing money into something that's sinking under its own weight might.

  • GeorgeWashingtonPlunkittGeorgeWashingtonPlunkitt Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I was actually joking about the more money bit. I'm of the opinion that we should be funneling money into schools and stop trying to come up with free lunch methods of education reform. It was a joke that I got from an article that observed that people who were sending their children to incredibly expensive schools would often ask that question.

    Though I did go to private schools most of my life and my observation is what makes them better than many public schools is mostly smaller class sizes. Which requires money, obviously.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Balanced budget is fine if people would get over their fears of taxes that they'll never be in a high enough income bracket to worry about

    Seriously are we going to have to slide into another great depression before people wake the fuck up and realize that our society cannot hold without raising taxes on the rich?

    No, at this point we need to repeal all the balanced budget amendments, because it forces either:

    1) Raising taxes during recessions = bad times
    2) Cutting spending during recessions = even worse times

    The balanced budget amendments are a cancer.
    I was thinking, why the hell doesn't the federal government lend the states money at zero real interest during bad economic times and then have them gradually repay them during good times? No one really pays attention to the balanced budget amendments as far as I can tell anyways, they just hide the borrowing they do (at exorbitant interest).

    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?
    Spoiler:

    President Snowe said no. That's why.
    But I'm not even talking about state aid (which I also think is a great idea and fuck the Senate centrists for blocking it), I'm talking about lending. The federal government could encourage counter cyclical spending to some extent just by lending a hundred billion or so to the states.

    Legislatively it's the same idea.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I was actually joking about the more money bit. I'm of the opinion that we should be funneling money into schools and stop trying to come up with free lunch methods of education reform. It was a joke that I got from an article that observed that people who were sending their children to incredibly expensive schools would often ask that question.

    Though I did go to private schools most of my life and my observation is what makes them better than many public schools is mostly smaller class sizes. Which requires money, obviously.

    I thought as much, but I still think it's something to address as it's a common counter-point (even if it's really not).

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    But anyways, on the subject of education. As someone who has gone to private schools most of my life, I have to ask, will more money really help?

    In a micro sense. No. Results for any project (with that project being the education of a set of individuals) is not going to increase by throwing money at the problem. It can indeed be detrimental

    In a macro sense. Yes. You can either define this as the purchase of any good at an increasing amount requires a higher price to satisfy the higher supply requirements. Or you can define this as the set of possible trade-offs between cheap, fast, and good(choose two). If you need good or fast to go up, you've got to start relaxing your cost assumptions.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    -all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?

    More to the point, in previous education threads it was carefully explained to me that we do not, in fact, employ teachers who desire to work for money; we employ teachers who want to teach. I remain doubtful of the applicability of this concept but let's roll with it. So we have a massive recession and budget crunch - why not slash wages and maintain the same number of staff rather than keeping wages the same and slashing the number of staff? Wouldn't the former be almost universally better for students under any kind of budgetary pressure?

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This is what happens when you decide bailing out car companies and banks is more important than basic education.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I've always wondered about the American tying of Education with sports and paying through the nose for them as the district in Lilnoobs example. On this side of the Atlantic schools don't really care due to lack of space and support, and sports which need less equipment being popular, but things still work because there are lots of independent clubs and facilities that kids can go to and get semi or full professional training.

    Is the linking necessary because distance and/or lack of public transport is making independent facilities non-viable, cultural attitudes, something else, or a mixture?

  • GeorgeWashingtonPlunkittGeorgeWashingtonPlunkitt Registered User
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    -all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?
    So you can have some degree of job security.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    -all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?

    Because, as you seem to be unaware of, there are crazy parents out there that will try to get teachers fired if they don't teach The Reality Of The World As Outlined In <insert name of religious text here>. And without tenure, they'd be a lot more successful than they are now.
    ronya wrote: »
    More to the point, in previous education threads it was carefully explained to me that we do not, in fact, employ teachers who desire to work for money; we employ teachers who want to teach.

    That's an evil myth, promulgated by those people who want to be able to balance school budgets on the backs of teachers by making them out to be people who entered into sacred trust with the community. And then when the teachers ask the community to pay them a commesurate wage with their professional training, they then get treated like they've violated that trust.
    ronya wrote: »
    I remain doubtful of the applicability of this concept but let's roll with it. So we have a massive recession and budget crunch - why not slash wages and maintain the same number of staff rather than keeping wages the same and slashing the number of staff? Wouldn't the former be almost universally better for students under any kind of budgetary pressure?

    Because "for the children" is a bullshit rallying cry. And the funny thing is that austerity measures tend to vastly outlive the periods of austerity that they are used for. And the teachers aren't idiots - they know this damn well.

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    Spoiler:
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    -all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?

    More to the point, in previous education threads it was carefully explained to me that we do not, in fact, employ teachers who desire to work for money; we employ teachers who want to teach. I remain doubtful of the applicability of this concept but let's roll with it. So we have a massive recession and budget crunch - why not slash wages and maintain the same number of staff rather than keeping wages the same and slashing the number of staff? Wouldn't the former be almost universally better for students under any kind of budgetary pressure?

    Realistically it makes more sense _for the staff_ to cut numbers than wages. At least then those that stay continue to make a living wage. If you cut wages for everybody you'll just have a gradual exodus as staff members find jobs (hopefully) that allow them to pay the bills.

    It's not super responsible, but most Americans budget for just about exactly what their current household income is and foolishly believe that that number will never really go down. Cut everybody's wage, fuck 100% of the staff financially. Cut 30% of the staff, fuck 30% of the staff financially.

    steam_sig.png
  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I think the problem is a "one size fits all" mentality of education coupled with a, seemingly, very strong desire of American parents to want their world view taught in school (because it's natural, don't you know?)

    If I were an mad education-scientist I'd try and solve the budget shortfall by shortening the length of the school day, while increasing the 'mix' of activities/programs/courses offered in school. I've always wondered what life would be like if kids spent 3 hours a day/4 days a week in school and the rest of their time they spent playing kickball, blogging, digging holes, playing with welding tools and generally getting into "medium trouble."

    Since there is such high unemployment in the U.S. I assume that'd free up some parent's time to be with their children, or at least aware of what they were up to. If all parents increased their level of participation in their child's life, that'd make room for a business to higher more staff.

    That might be overly romantic though. I'm a little bitter at the education process based on my upbringing.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?

    There isn't really a good reason. Teachers are just as likely to be crazy and such tenured by a fundamentalist as they would be to be fired for not toeing the line

    More to the point, in previous education threads it was carefully explained to me that we do not, in fact, employ teachers who desire to work for money; we employ teachers who want to teach. I remain doubtful of the applicability of this concept but let's roll with it. So we have a massive recession and budget crunch - why not slash wages and maintain the same number of staff rather than keeping wages the same and slashing the number of staff? Wouldn't the former be almost universally better for students under any kind of budgetary pressure?

    Possibilities:

    1. Because the decision to work for teachers is not simply between "nothing" and "teaching". Slashing wages in the primary labor market can quite induce teachers, who still need money to live, to look for work in the secondary labor market.

    Such if you slash wages, your higher productive teachers are more likely to leave for greener pastures even if their primary motivation to teach is because they enjoy it.

    If you slash employment you are able to cull your less productive teachers instead

    2. Unions holding wage pressure up.

    End of the day, it would be nice if we could say "would you agree to wage reductions if we later give bonuses to make up the difference when we have the cash?" but i don't believe that that promise would carry much weight given the political considerations of education funding. Similarly i am making the assumption that the school districts and politics are rational towards maximizing education with regards to costs and that simply might not be true for a variety of reasons.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited March 2010
    You're right that, in some cases, we're seeing the conjunction of two different things:

    a) The economy took a hit, especially property values, and since most districts get most of their money from property taxes, schools are hurting for money now that that bubble has burst. Budgets are decimated (more than decimated, speaking literally), which gives district an excuse to;

    b) fire teachers. The problem is that nobody really knows what is wrong with education right now, but teacher quality is certainly worth a look. There was an article in the nytimes magazine last sunday that cited a study showing that teacher quality had a huge impact on student performance after controlling for things like income. And in most districts it is ludicrously difficult to fire even obviously bad teachers, to say nothing of those performing at minimal expectations. It may turn out that it's not the answer, but it is worth a try.

    As to comparing money spent on education, that list shows us devoting a larger share of GDP than a lot of other developed countries, and because our GDP dwarfs that of most countries, that's an awful lot of resources. Does anybody have a per-student dollar amount comparison between countries?

    Edit: Ah, same site. So, #3 behind Austria and Switzerland. Not too shabby.

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This is what happens when you decide bailing out car companies and banks is more important than basic education.

    Short term, it probably is.

    Though if U.S. had invested in education rather then cars and banks say, 50 years ago, they probably wouldn't have to be bailing out car companies and banks right now.

    I see the same problem in education then most other things U.S. has - you are the BEST in everything, you got the best hospitals, best companies, best places to live in, the most advanced technology...and the best schools, but only about 10% of your population can participate in those things. The rest have to go for option B, C, D, or if they are really poor, option Ö.

    Also, there is another thing where you are best, and it's probably a big contributor to your money problem.

  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    This is what happens when you decide bailing out car companies and banks is more important than basic education.

    Short term, it probably is.

    Though if U.S. had invested in education rather then cars and banks say, 50 years ago, they probably wouldn't have to be bailing out car companies and banks right now.

    Yea, but the money those business bring in generate lots of tax dollars that you can use to spend on education.

    Not trying to be a jerk, just saying it's tough to make the decisions.

  • Enosh20Enosh20 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Lilnoobs wrote: »

    wait, how up to date is this?
    when i was going to school you needed to have 8 years of mandatory elementary school, now it's 9, but here it says 7... (slovenia that's it)

    and I am quite sure it's 9 years beacose I have been going through the laws just recently

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm not sure why people keep bringing up the bailout in comparison with spending the money on schools, they're not really comparable expenses. One was a short term emergency fund to make sure the economy did not collapse any further, the other is a very long term recurring expense to build up for the future.

  • msh1283msh1283 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As another note for this thread, Kansas City is closing 29/61 public schools by this fall.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100311/ap_on_re_us/us_closing_schools

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    -all non-tenured teaching staff are being rifted (aka fired)

    Wait, why does anyone get tenure at a teaching position lower than graduate? You're not exactly going to be at the forefronts of research there, you won't be leading the charge to overturn some popular orthodoxy. What's tenure here for?

    More to the point, in previous education threads it was carefully explained to me that we do not, in fact, employ teachers who desire to work for money; we employ teachers who want to teach. I remain doubtful of the applicability of this concept but let's roll with it. So we have a massive recession and budget crunch - why not slash wages and maintain the same number of staff rather than keeping wages the same and slashing the number of staff? Wouldn't the former be almost universally better for students under any kind of budgetary pressure?
    Tenure in schools isn't the same as tenure at the university level. It basically just means you get an extra strike or two, and that you're recognized as being relatively self-sufficient as compared to the newer teachers that get checked in on constantly. It is in no way a freedom from responsibility clause on the level that it is for professors.

    On your second point; teachers are teachers because they want to be teachers. But they also want to be able to feed themselves. There are certainly some districts that could do that without leaving their staffs destitute, but there are enough others that would simply lose staff with no chance of getting them back. The educational sector isn't a monolithic structure, there are "better" and "worse" districts to work for, for reasons such as working conditions, wages, etc. You can't have the lower paying schools, usually the ones that really need more good teachers, cutting their wages because then you get employee flight to better paying places.

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  • MorgensternMorgenstern Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Man, we're going to use that money and bomb the fuck out of all your schools so then we're on equal footing.

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  • Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2010
    Georgia is cutting $300 Million from its budget and its going straight for the state colleges first where enrollment has almost tripled over the past year or two due to people being out of work and looking for any sort of technical degree to help them get back on their feet again.

    Including my cousin who was going for Radiology Technician and that program is one among many that her school is probably going to drop. And this is on top of $260+ Million that's already been cut because of a whopping $1 Billion Budget Deficit.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Georgia is cutting $300 Million from its budget and its going straight for the state colleges first where enrollment has almost tripled over the past year or two due to people being out of work and looking for any sort of technical degree to help them get back on their feet again.

    Including my cousin who was going for Radiology Technician and that program is one among many that her school is probably going to drop. And this is on top of $260+ Million that's already been cut because of a whopping $1 Billion Budget Deficit.
    Pennsylvania has similar stuff going on, but it's not as rough on the majority of universities because there's only one official state college. But tuition rates are going up extremely fast across the board to compensate for lower state funding. I haven't heard of any place closing their doors.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • General_WinGeneral_Win Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Poor, soon to be less educated Americans.

    Is there no student loans? Up here we have em' interest free until you're done school. Doesn't pay for everything but it certainly helps.

    Not that student loans would help with the dumbing down of the whole system.

    tf2_sig.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Poor, soon to be less educated Americans.

    Is there no student loans? Up here we have em' interest free until you're done school. Doesn't pay for everything but it certainly helps.

    Not that student loans would help with the dumbing down of the whole system.

    There are, and if the Senate weren't owned by banks, they'd be being reformed to be more useful. Tuition costs are still skyrocketing.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm sorry - but when it came to negotiating the extra tutoring pay of the teachers in RI, the union was definitely pushing too much. They wanted $90 an hour, which comes out to something absurd like $250,000+ a year.

    Yeah, no, that's robbery and shouldn't be tolerated.

    sig.jpg
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Poor, soon to be less educated Americans.

    Is there no student loans? Up here we have em' interest free until you're done school. Doesn't pay for everything but it certainly helps.

    Not that student loans would help with the dumbing down of the whole system.

    That is only if you are able to get government backed loans. Many people get private loans and end up getting fucked in the process.

    sig.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    I'm sorry - but when it came to negotiating the extra tutoring pay of the teachers in RI, the union was definitely pushing too much. They wanted $90 an hour, which comes out to something absurd like $250,000+ a year.

    Yeah, no, that's robbery and shouldn't be tolerated.
    Like I said, there are places that pay very well.

    Then there are places like inner city Philly, where I'll be making $30k before taxes.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    I'm sorry - but when it came to negotiating the extra tutoring pay of the teachers in RI, the union was definitely pushing too much. They wanted $90 an hour, which comes out to something absurd like $250,000+ a year.

    Yeah, no, that's robbery and shouldn't be tolerated.
    Like I said, there are places that pay very well.

    Then there are places like inner city Philly, where I'll be making $30k before taxes.

    Yeah, except none of their salaries even came close to that number. I know how little teachers get paid, and it's precisely why I'm not going into the field, but $90 an hour is way too much. I don't know any public school system that pays $90 an hour to a teacher.

    sig.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    I'm sorry - but when it came to negotiating the extra tutoring pay of the teachers in RI, the union was definitely pushing too much. They wanted $90 an hour, which comes out to something absurd like $250,000+ a year.

    Yeah, no, that's robbery and shouldn't be tolerated.
    Like I said, there are places that pay very well.

    Then there are places like inner city Philly, where I'll be making $30k before taxes.

    Yeah, except none of their salaries even came close to that number.
    I really can speak to the proceedings themselves, but a common tactic in contract negotiations is the overpitch. Start higher than you actually expect to get and let them talk you down. Starting with an opening of exactly where you want to wind up is the surest way to ensure you don't get it.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    I'm sorry - but when it came to negotiating the extra tutoring pay of the teachers in RI, the union was definitely pushing too much. They wanted $90 an hour, which comes out to something absurd like $250,000+ a year.

    Yeah, no, that's robbery and shouldn't be tolerated.
    Like I said, there are places that pay very well.

    Then there are places like inner city Philly, where I'll be making $30k before taxes.

    Yeah, except none of their salaries even came close to that number.
    I really can speak to the proceedings themselves, but a common tactic in contract negotiations is the overpitch. Start higher than you actually expect to get and let them talk you down. Starting with an opening of exactly where you want to wind up is the surest way to ensure you don't get it.

    I can see that. I got the impression that they wouldn't budge from it though - I might be reading into things.

    But dear god, $90 is overshooting by miles upon miles.

    sig.jpg
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