largegarlic wrote:I don't have kids, but I have lots of friends and family with toddlers, and they are starting to think about what to do about their schooling. I would say the majority think of public schools as a last resort (maybe like PFiDC) if there isn't a reasonable private/charter option.
In a way I think it's a shame in that the kids left in the worse public schools will only be the ones whose parents don't have enough money or don't care enough about their education to find better options, which would seem to just perpetuate the poor performance of these schools. On the other hand, I can understand as a parent, you don't want your kid to get an inferior education just for the sake of making a statement in favor of public education.
pittsoccer33 wrote:I took a business ethics class in college and I can't remember the exact context, but we were talking about what would happen if high schools were forced into market competition (sort of the way colleges are). The crux of the idea being that parents could send their kids to any school they choose. So it would be up to schools to compete for those vouchers or what have you, hopefully improving the quality of education in the process.
pittsoccer33 wrote:I live in the 15206 zip code and I'm not really sure how school assignments are handled in the City of Pittsburgh. The Montessori K-8 school in Friendship is probably the closest elementary school to me. What are the thoughts on that kind of education?
count2infinity wrote:Montessori schools are interesting, but just like any educational theory/practice out there... it works well for some kids, but not all kids. I think that's the biggest issue with any approach to teaching kids is that people think the best educational practice should just work for everyone, when it doesn't. Each kid is going to have a way they learn best. If a kid is naturally inquisitive and very self motivating to find answers to questions, then Montessori programs will work wonders for them.
MWB wrote:Not sure how many people look into this thread aside from the regular contributors, but I am curious about something. Charter schools are on the rise around the country. Vouchers are gaining steam again. If you have kids, or are planning on it, does sending your kids to a public school leave you with a negative feeling? Is that feeling specific to the school, or just general?
Pavel Bure wrote: Heck the school district was one of the biggest factors for my wife and I moving out of North Versailles. There was a zero chance I was sending my child to Woodland Hills
pittsoccer33 wrote:Pavel Bure wrote: Heck the school district was one of the biggest factors for my wife and I moving out of North Versailles. There was a zero chance I was sending my child to Woodland Hills
And this is what irks me. If a goal of our nation is to provide an education for children why does it matter where you live? You were fortunate enough to be able to move, from a logistical and cost point. Many others don't have that luxury.
MWB wrote:Biggest issue is definitely the home life.
I've heard some bad stories from people who teach at charters about how they are run. I think the biggest thing is that the administrators want to do things a certain way, which would cater to a certain type of student. However, they advertise as being great for any student. I know some people are really happy with their charters though.
Marketplace mantras dominate policy discussions. High-stakes reading and math tests are treated as the single metric of success, the counterpart to the business bottom line. Teachers whose students do poorly on those tests get pink slips, while those whose students excel receive merit pay, much as businesses pay bonuses to their star performers and fire the laggards. Just as companies shut stores that aren’t meeting their sales quotas, opening new ones in more promising territory, failing schools are closed and so-called turnaround model schools, with new teachers and administrators, take their place.
This approach might sound plausible in a think tank, but in practice it has been a flop. Firing teachers, rather than giving them the coaching they need, undermines morale. In some cases it may well discourage undergraduates from pursuing careers in teaching, and with a looming teacher shortage as baby boomers retire, that’s a recipe for disaster. Merit pay invites rivalries among teachers, when what’s needed is collaboration. Closing schools treats everyone there as guilty of causing low test scores, ignoring the difficult lives of the children in these schools — “no excuses,” say the reformers, as if poverty were an excuse.
columbia wrote:I just a radio report that local ACT scores have dropped, despite a larger number of students taking the test.
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