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Education: Who needs it? Not Americans.

245

Posts

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Which brings up a lot of good issues to discuss.

    So what if they want to get paid $90 per hour? Don't other less honorable jobs make that much? Why shouldnt teachers make that much? Should they never make $90 per hour? And if so, why?

    But even so, the $90 was for the additional work the school board was mandating. Work after-hours that the contract was requiring. The teachers wanted to negotiate out of the $30 per hour they were offering (which is lower per hour than most teachers make) so they shot back with $90. The school board fired everyone (including non-teachers) with a 5-2 vote.

    http://www.projo.com/news/content/central_falls_trustees_vote_02-24-10_EOHI83C_v59.3c21342.html

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Which brings up a lot of good issues to discuss.

    So what if they want to get paid $90 per hour? Don't other less honorable jobs make that much? Why shouldnt teachers make that much? Should they never make $90 per hour? And if so, why?

    But even so, the $90 was for the additional work the school board was mandating. Work after-hours that the contract was requiring. The teachers wanted to negotiate out of the $30 per hour they were offering (which is lower per hour than most teachers make) so they shot back with $90. The school board fired everyone (including non-teachers) with a 5-2 vote.

    http://www.projo.com/news/content/central_falls_trustees_vote_02-24-10_EOHI83C_v59.3c21342.html

    I believe in modest living - I don't think any person on this planet really needs $250,000 a year. I think teachers deserve good pay, but I know from my personal experiences in teaching that I would rather have resources and awesome text books than additional pay. I want the satisfaction of doing my job well, and I can't do that with a shitty algebra 2 book that claims to be about exploratory learning but is just rife with bullshit, is ten years old, and confuses students more than helps them.

    In regards to pay - I'm from CT, one of the states that pays the best but also requires the most out of its teachers. I think it's robbery offering someone $35,000 to teach when the job requires you to work 10-12 hours a day to be good at what you do. That pay gets bumped up once you get your masters - to about $45,000. I think that's kind of pathetic considering what teachers put up with.

    Teachers really have many bosses. You have the administrators (who are divorced from reality sometimes) and the parents. More importantly, you have an obligation to the students to teach them and develop well-rounded individuals - unfortunately, the parents and administration can get in the way of that sometimes.

    What really pisses me off is that a lot of text books come out of Texas, and most recently, the Texas lobby is trying to get books to paint conservatives in a more positive light (the hell?). I'll post the article here as soon as I can.

    sig.jpg
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Teacher's in aggregate aren't even paid poorly. According to the BLS, the median primary/secondary teacher's wage in 2006 was $45,151, with an average number of hours worked pegged at 1458 hours per year. Perhaps the number of hours is somewhat underreported for teachers, but efforts are made to provide accurate numbers for salaried individuals by the BLS. Prep time is included for instance. BLS page is here

    In comparison, the median wage for all workers is $33,634 with 2,017 hours worked. I fail to see then, how teacher pay is the big issue. What is an issue is that pay is controlled by a pretty poor taxation system and it isn't split in a manner that aids learning. Property taxes as the basis for school funding is a very bad idea.

    In addition, when budget cuts do get made, guess who gets the ax. Everyone without the sacrosanct tenure afforded to teachers for nothing more than seniority. Granted, this can happen in the corporate world too, but it generally isn't encoded into a contract with a powerful lobbying group at its back. The structure for teacher pay is a sad joke.

    In addition real spending per pupil has been consistently rising since the 1980's, with little to show for it. Granted some of that has to do with spending on special ed, but certainly not all of it.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bear in mind that teachers 1) are more highly educated than the populace as a whole since the job requires a college degree at the minimum, and 2) do a good portion of their work outside of "work" with grading and planning and such.

    Comparing their compensation to other professionals with post degree education would be a more accurate assessment of where they should be in terms of earnings.

    It's also worth pointing out that you have some schools with $100,000+ salaries and others with <$30,000. Teachers aren't a monolithic block as far as income.

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  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Anyone got news on Obama's administration messing around with tenure? I've heard hints of it, but nothing I can find that doesn't come from leftwing or rightwing poles.

    As for tenure, teachers with it can still be fired; the school just removes the position. Bam. Teacher gone.

  • BeltaineBeltaine The End of TimeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Property taxes aren't the basis for school funding.

    Free and Reduced lunches are.

    Plus, a lot of these states that are having troubles in education have done a pretty poor job in managing their budgets regardless.

    Loudly announcing that they'll be cutting education and civil services is the easiest way for them to get the attention of the powers that be to get into gear and find more money through new taxes or whatnot.

    You never hear that they're going to cut out as much unnecessary funding in other areas of the state before they start cutting teachers, police, and fire because most everyone agrees that that is what they SHOULD be doing.

    In Tennessee, we have no state income tax. We depend on a 9.75% sales tax for revenue. So, economy is down, people aren't spending, and surprise! We don't have enough funding. Wheel taxes have been raised in nearly every county in the last couple of years. Small business taxing increased. But we still have some of the lowest property taxes in the country because the state is largely rural with tons and tons of FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED wealthy "farm" landowners.

    To be honest, the .gov should dissolve the federal Dept. of Education, NCLB, and all this other bullshit. Cut taxes across the board equaling the amount that would have been spent on education federally, giving money back to the taxpayers to be used by their indivudual states to fund each individual state's education system as they see fit.

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  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Bear in mind that teachers 1) are more highly educated than the populace as a whole since the job requires a college degree at the minimum, and 2) do a good portion of their work outside of "work" with grading and planning and such.

    Comparing their compensation to other professionals with post degree education would be a more accurate assessment of where they should be in terms of earnings.

    They still compare fairly well. On an hourly basis they make ~11% more than other professionals. I'd imagine that their hours are somewhat underreported. Teachers no doubt take some of their work home, but so do other professionals and it is hard to measure.
    It's also worth pointing out that you have some schools with $100,000+ salaries and others with <$30,000. Teachers aren't a monolithic block as far as income.

    Yes, which is a valid problem, hence why divorcing funding from property tax is a good idea.

  • KevinNashKevinNash 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.

    Tuition costs are skyrocketing precisely because of these kinds of loans.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Bear in mind that teachers 1) are more highly educated than the populace as a whole since the job requires a college degree at the minimum, and 2) do a good portion of their work outside of "work" with grading and planning and such.

    Comparing their compensation to other professionals with post degree education would be a more accurate assessment of where they should be in terms of earnings.

    They still compare fairly well. On an hourly basis they make ~11% more than other professionals. I'd imagine that their hours are somewhat underreported. Teachers no doubt take some of their work home, but so do other professionals and it is hard to measure.
    When you're talking about a purely salaried position, though, looking at it in terms of hourly wage isn't terribly instructive.

    It's not like teachers typically use the 2 months they have off every year to go into high finance. They're either planning for the next year, getting recertified or some other thing.

    I'm not saying being a teacher means a life of destitution, but when the place you work is only open 40 odd weeks of the year you're not going to have the hours on paper that someone who works in the private sector does. You've still got to live on your paycheck all year round, though.

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

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    KevinNash wrote: »
    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.

    Tuition costs are skyrocketing precisely because of these kinds of loans.

    Orrrr they're skyrocketing because the state funding that used to pay for a lot of the public universities costs is going away.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
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  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    KevinNash wrote: »
    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.

    Tuition costs are skyrocketing precisely because of these kinds of loans.

    Orrrr they're skyrocketing because the state funding that used to pay for a lot of the public universities costs is going away.

    It's hardly going away. The total subsidy might be reduced like in California, but the subsidy still amounts to a 66% reduction in the actual cost of tuition. In fact compared to the actual cost of school it continues to get more subsidized as a percentage and not less.

    That doesn't mean much in terms of the actual cost though.

    That's a separate issue however. It's no secret that if people who have no money and no credit history qualify for a $100,000 loan at 5% that the universities are all going to keep tuition as high as possible in line with whatever loans are granted because they know their clients will pay it.

    If government sponsored college loans were abolished college tuition in America would drop significantly.

  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    When you're talking about a purely salaried position, though, looking at it in terms of hourly wage isn't terribly instructive.

    It's not like teachers typically use the 2 months they have off every year to go into high finance. They're either planning for the next year, getting recertified or some other thing.

    I'm not saying being a teacher means a life of destitution, but when the place you work is only open 40 odd weeks of the year you're not going to have the hours on paper that someone who works in the private sector does. You've still got to live on your paycheck all year round, though.

    Yeah well the BLS doesn't do the median salary breakdown by type of work. But you can look at the charts and compare a given listing. Registered nurses for instance make 55,390 as a median annual salary. And median salary is deceptive in the reverse way, since some portion of those teachers do engage in income earning during that time off, which wouldn't appear under their occupational salary.

    Orrrr they're skyrocketing because the state funding that used to pay for a lot of the public universities costs is going away.

    Tuition increases proceeded the current state budget woes by many many years.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    State budget woes were preceded by the current crisis for a long time.

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    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    State budget woes were preceded by the current crisis for a long time.

    Here you go. Gaze upon the second chart. Tuition costs have been outpacing generalized inflation for decades. In fact the only years it hasn't done so are in years where we have had god-awful generalized inflation. The data series from the College Board goes back to 1958. So try again.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    Teacher's in aggregate aren't even paid poorly. According to the BLS, the median primary/secondary teacher's wage in 2006 was $45,151, with an average number of hours worked pegged at 1458 hours per year. Perhaps the number of hours is somewhat underreported for teachers, but efforts are made to provide accurate numbers for salaried individuals by the BLS. Prep time is included for instance. BLS page is here

    In comparison, the median wage for all workers is $33,634 with 2,017 hours worked. I fail to see then, how teacher pay is the big issue. What is an issue is that pay is controlled by a pretty poor taxation system and it isn't split in a manner that aids learning. Property taxes as the basis for school funding is a very bad idea.

    In addition, when budget cuts do get made, guess who gets the ax. Everyone without the sacrosanct tenure afforded to teachers for nothing more than seniority. Granted, this can happen in the corporate world too, but it generally isn't encoded into a contract with a powerful lobbying group at its back. The structure for teacher pay is a sad joke.

    In addition real spending per pupil has been consistently rising since the 1980's, with little to show for it. Granted some of that has to do with spending on special ed, but certainly not all of it.

    yeah the "teachers are poor" thing I don't buy into too much. Especially when you consider the platinum-plated-gold benefits they get(at least in WI). Even if you credit them with an extra 200 worked hours, the 400 spare hours they don't work could be translated into 4k+(I had a teacher who bartended in the summer and made bank). Also the lesson planning thing is over stated, IMO. For a new teacher I'm sure its a huge pain, but after their 5th year teaching 3rd graders to multiply and divide I'd assume they have that lesson plan down pretty well.

    Special ed spending bothers me to some degree. For actual learning disabilities(dyslexia/down/autism) its fine, but my elementary/middle/HS had a room for the kids with really bad genetic problems etc. The teacher-student ration had to be 1:3 at most, and most these kids were vegetables for all real purposes. They'd hold up the 2 lunch choices on sheets of paper, and at most some of the kids would hit one with his hand(my cat does this with cans of food, doesn't mean he understands "chicken or tuna"). IDK how many thousands of dollars these rooms cost to build and keep staffed, but they might as well have burned it. There has to be a point with special ed where the ROI is so low you can't justify spending the $.

    I think we need to start tiering schools as well. Separate HS into a college prep and a community college type system. Theres nothing wrong with being a paralegal/machinist/mechanic/chief/plumber and making people who are going to go that path spend 2-3 years in community college after HS instead of starting it in 10th grade seems dumb to me. This would also allow the HS that focus on college to push the base material up a few levels in difficulty. Esp in some of the 'softer' subjects like English and History which in my experience were pretty worthless at my HS(outside of the 3 AP classes).

  • TlexTlex Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    'softer' subjects like English and History

    grr!

  • JauntyJaunty Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jaunty wrote: »
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.
    “I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

    uhhhh
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    How is he interpreting that, exactly?

    This is one of the worst things I've read read in a long time. The Texas school system's job is not to ensure a new generation of loyal Republicans.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.

    Definitely true, but both the banks and the car companies seem to have done it to themselves - you don't need to approve a trillion house loans and you don't need to design a new model car every year - I have a feeling that if these companies weren't being greedy bastards they wouldn't be begging for money.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jaunty wrote: »
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.

    I'm surprised there isn't more uproar about this. It's pretty fucking blatant indoctrination.
    Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

    It was defeated on a party-line vote.
    And people wonder why Texas has the reputation it has.

  • CJTheranCJTheran Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jaunty wrote: »
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.

    I think I'm going to cry.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Suriko wrote: »
    [
    And people wonder why Texas has the reputation it has.

    Nobody wonders about that. I think it's pretty clear at this point. Texas has a reputation for being an ass-backwards hellhole because Texas is an ass-backwards hellhole.

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  • ethicalseanethicalsean 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 you can go out of your way to get the local mayor to come after school to talk about his job and how a city is run... only to have one fuck of a parent call in and scream that the liberal agenda is attempting to indoctrinate his child and get it all cancelled. It stands to reason when you try to present a history before the exodus of the Jews from Egypt that you might run into a few irrate fundamentalists who don't like monkies.

  • Just Like ThatJust Like That Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Jaunty wrote: »
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.

    FLURTEGURBAH

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Jaunty wrote: »
    So I didn't know where to put this article about Texas revising the curriculum but this seems to be a good place to talk about it.

    FLURTEGURBAH

    The worst part is how the rest of the country gets most of its textbooks from Texas.

    Curriculum and tone are decided for the rest of us through texas.

    sig.jpg
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.
    Just to cut this off real quick, this didn't happen. Most of the businesses bailed out don't employ many people. And bailing the ones out that DID employ people didn't help, because those companies still cut huge numbers of jobs anyway (because, y'know, demand was down because we were in a recession). Supply side economics doesn't work when there is not sufficient demand (which means it never works as a stimulus measure. Or ever, for that matter.).

    steam_sig.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This wasn't exactly supply side economics. Particularly the banks. This was no one can get a loan so you know, business ceases. Not good. As for the auto industry bailout, I'm from Michigan and thus horribly biased.

    Of course the repeal of regulations and the lack of new ones thus far is a different story.

    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.")
  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.
    Just to cut this off real quick, this didn't happen. Most of the businesses bailed out don't employ many people. And bailing the ones out that DID employ people didn't help, because those companies still cut huge numbers of jobs anyway (because, y'know, demand was down because we were in a recession). Supply side economics doesn't work when there is not sufficient demand (which means it never works as a stimulus measure. Or ever, for that matter.).

    Without agreeing or disagreeing with your post: I just meant that you can't throw a bazillion dollars at education and think that your country will be mega-prosperous in in 20 years. You need the rest of society to be active too, otherwise the geniuses that are raised will just move away. Or be really smart with crappy jobs.
    This wasn't exactly supply side economics. Particularly the banks. This was no one can get a loan so you know, business ceases. Not good. As for the auto industry bailout, I'm from Michigan and thus horribly biased.

    Of course the repeal of regulations and the lack of new ones thus far is a different story.

    I haven't heard of anyone disagreeing with the bank-bailout in any fundamental way. Everyone I've heard on NPR debates agreed with the principle of saving the sector.

  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Welp, the The State Cabal of Stupid Fuckers finally won. I'm surprised the moderates held as long as they did.
    DeeLock wrote: »

    Someone please come mess with Texas.

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.

    this is a pretty popular view on what's wrong with our education system - along with blaming the teachers, the lazy students, a system that encourages fact memorization rather than critical thinking

    but yeah that's not the problem. The sad thing is (our budget problems notwithstanding) we have the knowledge and tools to fix our education system. Which schools are most successful? Rich schools. Where are rich schools? Rich districts. It's tempting to assume that schools are successful because they have more money available to them (they thus have a higher per pupil expenditure rate). But a major study showed that increasing per pupil expenditure only increases student performance in an extremely limited fashion with sharp diminishing returns. They found the same with class size, only dramatically decreasing class size was found to affect pupil performance meaningfully.

    So why are rich schools successful? Because they have rich students. Wealthy students have access to unrivaled age 0-6 education, very low rates of birth complications, very good prenatal and neo natal healthcare, and a powerful family network that works to assure their success. Poor students rarely have any of these, and so poor schools tend to be massive failures.

    Unfortunately, and few people want to acknowledge this, whether or not a child will graduate from highschool is often determined before they enter the education system. The amount of mental stimulation a child recieves from age 0-6 is absolutely critical to their overall development, and is arguably far more important than any 7 years of education they receive beyond that. Yet the government spends a tiny amount of money on 0-6 education, and even less guaranteeing that poor mothers recieve counseling and pre natal and neo natal healthcare, which can lower instances of learning disablities and chronic health problems. A health care program for a pregnant woman is usually cheaper than the amount of resources needed to care for a developmentally disabled child.

    There are programs in place like baby college which has essentially closed the race gap in its participants by tutoring poor mothers and providing them with health care and educational tools. This is all we need to fix the education system, but americans are very much against telling parents how to raise their children, so we continue inventing the 'real problem' with the american education system. We spend a lot of money on education, but we spend it in the wrong place.

    75trafim7bi2.png
  • GeorgeWashingtonPlunkittGeorgeWashingtonPlunkitt Registered User
    edited March 2010
    “Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Terri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”
    So I assume that "Communism" will be replaced by "social democracy" to remove its negative connotations as well?

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Made of Win.

    This needs liming so hard.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.

    this is a pretty popular view on what's wrong with our education system - along with blaming the teachers, the lazy students, a system that encourages fact memorization rather than critical thinking

    but yeah that's not the problem. The sad thing is (our budget problems notwithstanding) we have the knowledge and tools to fix our education system. Which schools are most successful? Rich schools. Where are rich schools? Rich districts. It's tempting to assume that schools are successful because they have more money available to them (they thus have a higher per pupil expenditure rate). But a major study showed that increasing per pupil expenditure only increases student performance in an extremely limited fashion with sharp diminishing returns. They found the same with class size, only dramatically decreasing class size was found to affect pupil performance meaningfully.

    So why are rich schools successful? Because they have rich students. Wealthy students have access to unrivaled age 0-6 education, very low rates of birth complications, very good prenatal and neo natal healthcare, and a powerful family network that works to assure their success. Poor students rarely have any of these, and so poor schools tend to be massive failures.

    Unfortunately, and few people want to acknowledge this, whether or not a child will graduate from highschool is often determined before they enter the education system. The amount of mental stimulation a child recieves from age 0-6 is absolutely critical to their overall development, and is arguably far more important than any 7 years of education they receive beyond that. Yet the government spends a tiny amount of money on 0-6 education, and even less guaranteeing that poor mothers recieve counseling and pre natal and neo natal healthcare, which can lower instances of learning disablities and chronic health problems. A health care program for a pregnant woman is usually cheaper than the amount of resources needed to care for a developmentally disabled child.

    There are programs in place like baby college which has essentially closed the race gap in its participants by tutoring poor mothers and providing them with health care and educational tools. This is all we need to fix the education system, but americans are very much against telling parents how to raise their children, so we continue inventing the 'real problem' with the american education system. We spend a lot of money on education, but we spend it in the wrong place.

    I think, more generally then just that, most of the issues with education come back to the home environment. So much of how good you do in school is based on what happens to you outside of school.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    State budget woes were preceded by the current crisis for a long time.

    Here you go. Gaze upon the second chart. Tuition costs have been outpacing generalized inflation for decades. In fact the only years it hasn't done so are in years where we have had god-awful generalized inflation. The data series from the College Board goes back to 1958. So try again.

    So what IS causing it?

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Saammiel wrote: »
    State budget woes were preceded by the current crisis for a long time.

    Here you go. Gaze upon the second chart. Tuition costs have been outpacing generalized inflation for decades. In fact the only years it hasn't done so are in years where we have had god-awful generalized inflation. The data series from the College Board goes back to 1958. So try again.

    So what IS causing it?

    I will wager this has something to do with it:

    1106bb.gif

    (which gives the mainstream, Federal Reserve-esque interpretation of the situation - the real returns to education have increased, increasing demand for education, which both bids up the cost of education and increases the proportion of each generation of the US population with given higher education)

  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Man, that's a shitty graph. It could at least be named better. Something like "change in real hourly wage by education".

    Pony_Sig.png
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This summarises the mainstream economic explanations of the rise of tuition fees:
    2. Economist William Baumol explained one reason tuition has risen. Consider an industry that uses only labor in production and experiences no technological progress, assumptions that arguably approximate colleges and string quartets. The price of its output will have to grow with the price of labor. The price of labor (the real wage) will, in turn, grow with economy-wide technological progress. Using the numbers in the above table from the Times, one finds that Harvard tuition has grown at 2.8 percent per year (note that this is adjusted for overall inflation). Real GDP per capita grows about 2 percent per year--a rough measure of economy-wide technological change. Thus, much of the increase in tuition, but probably not all, can be explain by the Baumol effect.

    3. Over the past thirty years, the college premium has risen substantially. That is, workers with college degrees have enjoyed stronger wage gains than those without--a phenomenon often attributed to skill-biased technological progress. This rising college premium has had two effects on college tuition. First, colleges use a lot of educated labor in producing their output, so their costs have risen faster than they otherwise would. Second, the rising college premium has increased the demand for the services of colleges. Supply shifts left, demand shifts right, and the price unambiguously rises.

    4. Colleges have gotten increasingly good at price discriminating. (Recall the discussion of price discrimination in chapter 15 of my favorite economics textbook.) The list price is set high, and then many customers are offered a discount called "financial aid" based on their ability to pay. Here's the secret plan: In the future, Harvard will cost $1 billion a year, and only Bill Gates's children will pay full price. When anyone else walks through the door, the message will be "Special price, just for you."

    source. Mankiw is often center-right but he didn't blame unions in this post so that's something (the three given are fairly neutral, I think). The graph above is just reason #3, of course.

    @Garthor: eh, it doesn't show year-on-year changes, it shows real wages in 1970 dollars. The title is correct, surely?

    edit: a note for people on the left side of the spectrum. The welfare implications of #4 are pretty stunning; it entails the university capturing 100% of any welfare surplus to education in the limit. This is a genuine concern to which we should swing the legislative hammer. Economic logic suggests that "we charge Peter more to allow Paul to attend" is not something universities would prefer to do; they'll just charge Peter more and keep the revenue. #4 sounds like de facto progressive taxation but it is not!

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Mankiw is often center-right but he didn't blame unions in this post so that's something

    There are teachers Unions for college professors?

    Edit: What i was trying to say was that micro level price considerations for labor for high school teachers, unions can have an effect.

    Fake Edit: Is it bad that i knew who that was quoting simply because i read "my favorite economics textbook?"

    Also, #4 can actually occur with charging peter more to charge paul less. Colleges value are derived from the value of their output, which is of course derived from the value of their inputs. If paul cant pay but can make the college better in the long run, charging peter more may allow the university to charge paul less to go.

    This also makes sense with public institutions which have a more broad education mandate. However, with the case of Harvard, its unlikely that they would have any issue eating some short term loss on paul that necessitated charging peter more, so the end effect is the same as the price discrimination listed in #4.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Mankiw is often center-right but he didn't blame unions in this post so that's something

    There are teachers Unions for college professors?

    Yes. There are other groups.

    Unionization is typically less among all professional groups, though - what you have are associations or other institutions which often carry out similar actions. Doctors don't "unionize" by forming unions, by and large; what they do is raise the bar for becoming a doctor higher than might be otherwise necessary. Likewise with higher ed, where the people in charge of expanding hiring are often the same people whose wages might be reduced via said expansion. There is an obvious conflict of interest here.

    re: edits. Mankiw always does that, it's cute the first time but after that it gets annoying.

    On #4: even if students cannot inter-temporally shift consumption (through loans), colleges can certainly do so; if Paul cannot pay but will bring the college benefits in the long run, the college can take out a loan (so to speak).

    I was of course speaking in terms of a model where the college derives value from its tuition revenues; if we introduce an element where students bring their own value to the university, then we can just add the "benefit to university" values together: in effect, from the college's perspective Peter and Paul pay a "tuition" equivalent to their tuition plus their long-run benefit. Well and fine, but this still has the issue of surplus capture and that there would be Marys whose disposable income and long-run benefit to college will not meet the college's combined "tuition"; colleges will not fund Mary from Peter and Paul's combined "tuition" and my point stands.

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Loklar wrote: »
    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.

    this is a pretty popular view on what's wrong with our education system - along with blaming the teachers, the lazy students, a system that encourages fact memorization rather than critical thinking

    but yeah that's not the problem. The sad thing is (our budget problems notwithstanding) we have the knowledge and tools to fix our education system. Which schools are most successful? Rich schools. Where are rich schools? Rich districts. It's tempting to assume that schools are successful because they have more money available to them (they thus have a higher per pupil expenditure rate). But a major study showed that increasing per pupil expenditure only increases student performance in an extremely limited fashion with sharp diminishing returns. They found the same with class size, only dramatically decreasing class size was found to affect pupil performance meaningfully.

    So why are rich schools successful? Because they have rich students. Wealthy students have access to unrivaled age 0-6 education, very low rates of birth complications, very good prenatal and neo natal healthcare, and a powerful family network that works to assure their success. Poor students rarely have any of these, and so poor schools tend to be massive failures.

    Unfortunately, and few people want to acknowledge this, whether or not a child will graduate from highschool is often determined before they enter the education system. The amount of mental stimulation a child recieves from age 0-6 is absolutely critical to their overall development, and is arguably far more important than any 7 years of education they receive beyond that. Yet the government spends a tiny amount of money on 0-6 education, and even less guaranteeing that poor mothers recieve counseling and pre natal and neo natal healthcare, which can lower instances of learning disablities and chronic health problems. A health care program for a pregnant woman is usually cheaper than the amount of resources needed to care for a developmentally disabled child.

    There are programs in place like baby college which has essentially closed the race gap in its participants by tutoring poor mothers and providing them with health care and educational tools. This is all we need to fix the education system, but americans are very much against telling parents how to raise their children, so we continue inventing the 'real problem' with the american education system. We spend a lot of money on education, but we spend it in the wrong place.

    I think, more generally then just that, most of the issues with education come back to the home environment. So much of how good you do in school is based on what happens to you outside of school.

    true, but baby college works to minimize that effect. it's part of the larger umbrella of the harlem's children zone, which, if you follow the link, has some pretty startling statistics. I highly doubt there is another education program which has anywhere near the success hcz has - a whopping 100% of third graders at or above state levels for math, 87% of 8th graders at or above grade level for math, and 90% of the students involved in afterschool programs go on to college.

    Keep in mind that these are all at-risk, poor children who without this program would have an abysmal rate of graduation, much less going on to college. the hcz is unique because it follows children from conception to graduation, and this puts them on the same level as middle and upper class children. Like I said, the education problem has been solved already, but this has a strong socialist bent and it makes people uncomfortable, and it costs money up front. So we continue to make up other problems are supposedly plaguing the school systems.

    75trafim7bi2.png
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