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msilverstar

The Politics of US Public Schooling

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Jul. 22nd, 2006 | 03:05 pm
mood: angry
music: Hoyt Axton

I don't talk about politics much. It's so incredibly depressing that we have "leaders" who know how to win elections (barely) but can't see reality when it's kicking them in the face. It's been a hellofa five years.

Bush's big "achievement" in public schools in the US is to impose such outrageous testing requirements that they can't possibly be met, with the aim of substituting vouchers for private schools. The Secretary of Education went before Congress to ask for a hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) for vouchers. She didn't apparently even know that the same Department of Education did a survey, just released, that showed that public schools perform as well as or nearly as well as private schools in the key areas of reading and math, when students of the same social and economic status were compared. The difference, of course, is that private schools can reject kids with learning disabilities or tendencies to be disruptive. Source: Daily Kos report.

I walk the walk: my kids are in public school. We have the choice, we could afford private school, but most people can't. It's not always been easy, but we want them to learn about the real world, not just a safe mono-cultural island. Everyone deserves a good school, and our world needs more well-educated people.
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Comments {6}

Lilith

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from: lilithlotr
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
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As a former teacher, I can sure see both the allure of private schools, and the danger. I applaud your stand.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
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I didn't know you've been a teacher. Yeah, private schools create a tragedy of the commens, breaking down a system that's not perfect, but at least tries to serve all kids.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. It's like heath care: the demand is infinite, and there's no such thing as normal market forces. We have literally known kids who show up for kindergarten speaking Berber and a little French, and another one who spoke mainly Romanian. Imagine your average private school handling that???

And accountable (meaning testable) to high educational standards (meaning tests). Funny -- the world of work has little to do with test. I'm spitting mad about this crap.

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Giuliana

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from: antigone921
date: Jul. 23rd, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
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I dunno. I went to private school from pre-school on (and a Christian one at that), and I turned out relatively okay.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Jul. 23rd, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
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yes you did! But the point I'm making is not that private schools are bad for many kids-- it's not you as such.

But private schools tend to skim the cream of the smart and well-behaved, leaving all the hard cases to the public schools. And if parents get vouchers, even more people will pull their kids from public schools, so the schools will be even more starved of money than they are now, creating a permanent undereducated underclass. Which is a tragedy for everyone.

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