LGP Education thread

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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby count2infinity on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:49 pm

education of our youth is something that all people of the nation should be concerned about. doesn't matter if you have kids or not, the education of the next generation is very very important to you whether you realize it or not. again, you're talking apples and staplers. if the industry you work in, kingsid, collapses tomorrow, how much worse off is the nation as a whole? I don't know what line of work you're in, but I'm curious. If/when the entire education system collapses the entire nation is in trouble and it seems as though it's well on its way there.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby Grunthy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Want to know how to improve education? Get the government the hell out of it. Since the Department of Education came into being, our ranking in the world has gone from number 1 to 17. Need I say more about how the government fails yet again?
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:21 pm

The federal government has had its hand in education far longer than that. A lot of this isn't federal though. There are a lot of bad decisions that are made on the local and state level that have a far greater effect than what happens in the ED. They certainly don't help though, with programs like NCLB and Race to the Top.

The problem with getting all government out of it is, what happens next? How do you educate all these kids? Entrepreneurs have entered the education business with very mixed results. Unfortunately, one of the bigger problems is that a lot of these private schools don't want anything to do with the kids who need help the most.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby shmenguin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:30 pm

state governments seem to do much more damage than federal. with education, the state government is the client and the students are the product. and that's why it's a junk system. the students should be the ones being served - not some jag who wants to look at fancy charts with standardized test results.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby Grunthy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:30 pm

MWB wrote:The federal government has had its hand in education far longer than that. A lot of this isn't federal though. There are a lot of bad decisions that are made on the local and state level that have a far greater effect than what happens in the ED. They certainly don't help though, with programs like NCLB and Race to the Top.

The problem with getting all government out of it is, what happens next? How do you educate all these kids? Entrepreneurs have entered the education business with very mixed results. Unfortunately, one of the bigger problems is that a lot of these private schools don't want anything to do with the kids who need help the most.



I realize the feds were in education before 1980, but they really started taking control once the department of education came into being. Also I thought for sure one would assume government meant the federal government. I have always advocated for states rights. So government would still be involved but on a state level. Also, a bad decision by a state only affects that state. A bad decision by the federal government affects every system. I argue the Race to the Top and NCLB a two of the biggest pieces of junk ever that have hastened the decline of education in this country.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:31 pm

MWB wrote:For some reason you want to pigeon hole this conversation into, "Teachers just whine all the time and everyone else has it just as bad." Not sure why. I'm more interested in talking about ways to improve education. Pretty sure c2i is in the same boat. Obviously I'm pissed about the pay aspect, but I'm more concerned about the ineptitude of legislators and the cavalier attitudes that you represent. This is what will continue to bring the education system lower. There are so many good to great schools that I fear will begin to falter as we go down this path.

As an aside, kingsid, what is your stake in this? Kids in school? Just curious about how a person's situation helps shape their attitude on this issue.


My response was based on your complaint about pay.

The latest average hourly wage in the country is $24.01. http://ycharts.com/indicators/average_hourly_earnings

Looking at average teacher salaries (http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/), 24 states have an average salary above $49,940.80, the average hourly wage over 2080 hours. So, on the average, teachers aren't underpaid. When you look at the states near the top, those are the most heavily populated, likely with the most jobs, so it's not much of a leap to conclude that the average teacher salary is greater than that of the average employee in the United States. You made the choice to live/work where you are, so while your statement that "pay for teachers is bad" may be true for you, it certainly doesn't hold water for the teaching profession as a whole.

I appreciate your concern for the decline of the education system, but I'd argue it will have minimal impact on our future. Bright kids come from bright families and will continue to do so, regardless of the nonsense testing practices being levied. School performance is more a function of the makeup of the families in the district than it is a result of the teachers in the district. More affluent and educated families naturally gravitate to the same areas and their kids perform better. If you took a group of teachers from an affluent district and dropped them into a poor district, you would see little to no improvement. Teachers can only work with what they are given in terms of students. You might see a onesie-twosie success rate, but by and large it would be noise. Like everything else in the world, student performance is going to be distributed normally.

I would guess that if you got dropped into a school in Palo Alto tomorrow your views would become decidedly less negative.

I have no kids (one on the way), but when the time to enter school comes, my priority will be living in the most affluent neighborhood I can afford. That along with the effort my wife and I put in will determine our child's future far more than changing the testing practices du jour.

My thoughts on how to improve schools: follow the German route. By 10-12, it's not hard to identify the academically inclined. Move the rest to a vocational track. There will be plenty of opportunities to make good money in industry with the relative decline in mechanical capabilities this country will soon experience.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:32 pm

count2infinity wrote:education of our youth is something that all people of the nation should be concerned about. doesn't matter if you have kids or not, the education of the next generation is very very important to you whether you realize it or not. again, you're talking apples and staplers. if the industry you work in, kingsid, collapses tomorrow, how much worse off is the nation as a whole? I don't know what line of work you're in, but I'm curious. If/when the entire education system collapses the entire nation is in trouble and it seems as though it's well on its way there.


I work in defense. I'll let your political views determine the relative importance of my field. It won't hurt my feelings. :fist:
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby shmenguin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:36 pm

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
MWB wrote:For some reason you want to pigeon hole this conversation into, "Teachers just whine all the time and everyone else has it just as bad." Not sure why. I'm more interested in talking about ways to improve education. Pretty sure c2i is in the same boat. Obviously I'm pissed about the pay aspect, but I'm more concerned about the ineptitude of legislators and the cavalier attitudes that you represent. This is what will continue to bring the education system lower. There are so many good to great schools that I fear will begin to falter as we go down this path.

As an aside, kingsid, what is your stake in this? Kids in school? Just curious about how a person's situation helps shape their attitude on this issue.


My response was based on your complaint about pay.

The latest average hourly wage in the country is $24.01. http://ycharts.com/indicators/average_hourly_earnings

Looking at average teacher salaries (http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/), 24 states have an average salary above $49,940.80, the average hourly wage over 2080 hours. So, on the average, teachers aren't underpaid. When you look at the states near the top, those are the most heavily populated, likely with the most jobs, so it's not much of a leap to conclude that the average teacher salary is greater than that of the average employee in the United States. You made the choice to live/work where you are, so while your statement that "pay for teachers is bad" may be true for you, it certainly doesn't hold water for the teaching profession as a whole.


find the chart for people with college degrees and then maybe you'd be onto something.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:47 pm

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:My response was based on your complaint about pay.

The latest average hourly wage in the country is $24.01. http://ycharts.com/indicators/average_hourly_earnings

Looking at average teacher salaries (http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/), 24 states have an average salary above $49,940.80, the average hourly wage over 2080 hours. So, on the average, teachers aren't underpaid. When you look at the states near the top, those are the most heavily populated, likely with the most jobs, so it's not much of a leap to conclude that the average teacher salary is greater than that of the average employee in the United States. You made the choice to live/work where you are, so while your statement that "pay for teachers is bad" may be true for you, it certainly doesn't hold water for the teaching profession as a whole.


My complaint about pay was stated because I believe it has a direct result on poorer quality of education, because it's leading to good teachers leaving. And yes, it is in a narrow area, an area that directly affects me and the kids here. I'm well aware of the choice I made, and luckily my wife has a higher paying job so that we can afford for me to do what I enjoy. I was making much more when I worked in PA, but the quality of job was much lower.

As an aside, my hourly wage is just above that $24, and that assumes me working 8 hour days and only working 190 days a year (not accurate, but for the sake of this we'll go with it). No, I don't expect anyone's pity, as it is what I chose, but I do think it's a problem. And when you look specifically to the area I teach, where most families moved here because of the quality of schools, it is a disservice by the local and state government.

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:I appreciate your concern for the decline of the education system, but I'd argue it will have minimal impact on our future. Bright kids come from bright families and will continue to do so, regardless of the nonsense testing practices being levied. School performance is more a function of the makeup of the families in the district than it is a result of the teachers in the district. More affluent and educated families naturally gravitate to the same areas and their kids perform better. If you took a group of teachers from an affluent district and dropped them into a poor district, you would see little to no improvement. Teachers can only work with what they are given in terms of students. You might see a onesie-twosie success rate, but by and large it would be noise. Like everything else in the world, student performance is going to be distributed normally.


If you took the best teachers and dropped them into the poorest district, you would see some improvement. You are right, though, parents are they biggest factor, by far.

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
I would guess that if you got dropped into a school in Palo Alto tomorrow your views would become decidedly less negative.


The same problems would still exist elsewhere, so it wouldn't really change. I'm lucky enough to teach in a great school, with great parent support and a great staff. That doesn't mean that I can't have issues with some things.

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
I have no kids (one on the way), but when the time to enter school comes, my priority will be living in the most affluent neighborhood I can afford. That along with the effort my wife and I put in will determine our child's future far more than changing the testing practices du jour.


Which is exactly what most people do. That is what we did. That's why it's all the more frustrating to see these attitudes by politicians; attitudes which ignore the main reason that their constituents moved into a particular area.

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
My thoughts on how to improve schools: follow the German route. By 10-12, it's not hard to identify the academically inclined. Move the rest to a vocational track. There will be plenty of opportunities to make good money in industry with the relative decline in mechanical capabilities this country will soon experience.


Agree completely. The vocational ed system needs to come back, and come back strong.
Last edited by MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:49 pm

Grunthy wrote:
MWB wrote:The federal government has had its hand in education far longer than that. A lot of this isn't federal though. There are a lot of bad decisions that are made on the local and state level that have a far greater effect than what happens in the ED. They certainly don't help though, with programs like NCLB and Race to the Top.

The problem with getting all government out of it is, what happens next? How do you educate all these kids? Entrepreneurs have entered the education business with very mixed results. Unfortunately, one of the bigger problems is that a lot of these private schools don't want anything to do with the kids who need help the most.



I realize the feds were in education before 1980, but they really started taking control once the department of education came into being. Also I thought for sure one would assume government meant the federal government. I have always advocated for states rights. So government would still be involved but on a state level. Also, a bad decision by a state only affects that state. A bad decision by the federal government affects every system. I argue the Race to the Top and NCLB a two of the biggest pieces of junk ever that have hastened the decline of education in this country.


Unfortunately, a lot of states are making a lot of bad choices.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby Grunthy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:55 pm

It only affects those states. If some states become extremely successful, others will model after them. Cannot do that with a federally controlled system.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby shmenguin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:58 pm

i don't know if teachers are under-payed as a whole. but good, young teachers are definitely under-payed. 100% of the time. that degree of certainty isn't something you see in the private sector.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:02 pm

Grunthy wrote:It only affects those states. If some states become extremely successful, others will model after them. Cannot do that with a federally controlled system.


States can still do what they want. It's a fallacy to think otherwise.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby columbia on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:02 pm

shmenguin wrote:i don't know if teachers are under-payed as a whole. but good, young teachers are definitely under-payed. 100% of the time. that degree of certainty isn't something you see in the private sector.


Setting education aside, it seems like recent grads are often overpaid relative to older workers in the up-to-and-including-middle-management realm.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby Grunthy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:10 pm

MWB wrote:
Grunthy wrote:It only affects those states. If some states become extremely successful, others will model after them. Cannot do that with a federally controlled system.


States can still do what they want. It's a fallacy to think otherwise.



They can do what they want within certain parameters. I know all the politics involved with this crap in education. My entire family is basically in the education system from teachers through administrators. The guidelines set by the federal system seriously hinder what can be done. So yes within these guidelines a state can "do what they want."
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:42 pm

You're right, there are hinderances. I just wish more state leaders would say no to the carrot of Race to the Top. I just think the state leadership is far too weak in this area and looks for any easy way out they can.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:13 pm

More details starting to trickle in about the proposed budget for NC. I know it doesn't really matter to people here, but many states are moving in this direction, and my belief is that it is extremely shortsighted and will continue to harm public education. Some of the highlights:

-Elimination of over 9000 education positions.
-Voucher program is actually $50 million over two years.
-Elimination of tenure will be replaced by 1, 2, or 4 year contracts. If you are in the top 25% of effective teachers you have the option of receiving $500 to lose due process rights. Still no indication of how the evaluation will be handled (for those who say, "in the real world it's like that," I wonder how many of you took on a job without an indication of what your expectations were to be considered successful).
-No pay increase, as has been the case since 2007. This for a state that has had a great amount of growth since 2007. In that time, NC has gone from 25th in teacher pay to 46th.

My favorites...
-Schools will be graded on a scale of A to F. How? 80% will be based on standardized test scores and 20% will be based on growth. Many states are also adopting this A to F school grading system. So 100% of a school's "grade" will be based on the one or two tests (in elementary schools) that a student takes.
-$77 million cut in text and materials. This for a state that just adopted a new curriculum and had yet to get materials for it.

But hey, this is good for education, right?
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:57 pm

Teach for America has made an interesting transformation in recent years. The original intent of TFA was to place its trainees into schools that have shortages of teachers, generally inner-city schools. However, it now seems to hold two main purposes - replace existing teachers with experience and provide a pipeline to teachers to charter schools.

Chicago Public Schools laid off over 1000 teachers, but at the same time nearly tripled its TFA budget.
Some of the teachers could be replaced by Teach For America recruits, as the district has committed to more than doubling its investment in the TFA program that trains college graduates for five weeks then sends them into schools for two years at a time. The Board of Education voted to increase its payment to TFA from $600,000 to nearly $1.6 million, and to add up to 325 new TFA recruits to CPS classrooms, in addition to 270 second year “teacher interns”.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/21411000-4 ... d-off.html

Yes, this will save money in Chicago. Any chance it will improve the schools?

As of last year, a third of TFA trainees are placed in charter schools. Many of the charter schools not only get public money, but also have a nice donor supply coming in. So why rely on TFA?
TFA alumnus Gary Rubinstein sees the shift to charters as a betrayal of the mission.

"When I entered TFA, we wanted to be on the front lines. We wouldn't have accepted a job teaching in a school that was doing well," said Rubinstein, who now teaches math in a top-performing New York school.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/ ... 5O20120816

One of the more popular "fixes" for schools is that TFA will provide cheap labor and bring about incredible reform. Statistics on the amount of improvement TFA brings are mixed at best. The number of TFA recruits that stay in teaching is also up in the air. But what politician can turn down a program that makes it look like they are doing something?
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby count2infinity on Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:16 am

As with any educator, TFA is hit or miss. It does bring valuable assets into the teaching profession especially when the person brought in has a strong drive to teach and have an impact on the lives of students, but it also brings in riff raff that couldn't cut it in their field, so they join TFA for a job, and that's all they see their position as... a job. Not a career. I think that (as with seemingly every educational program out there) it had very good intentions, but became a shell of its original intention.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:55 am

You're right, it will be hit or miss like every educator. I don't have a problem with people who choose to do it. My greater concern is how those people are being used to fill certain political agendas in education.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:10 pm

New York saw a dramatic drop in test score results (across the board, roughly half as many students passed as the previous year). That is pretty astounding, until one finds out part of the reason why. They changed how they consider who passed and who didn't by aligning results to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The state scores have four levels: level 4 is the highest, level 1 is the lowest. In the present scoring scheme, students who do not reach level 3 and 4 have “failed.”

NAEP has three levels: “Advanced” is the highest (only about 3-8% of students reach this level). “Proficient” is defined by the National Assessment Governing Board as “solid academic performance for each grade assessed. This is a very high level of academic achievement.”). “Basic” is “partial mastery” of the skills and knowledge needed at each grade tested.

“Proficient” on NAEP is what most people would consider to be the equivalent of an A. When I was a member of the NAEP governing board, we certainly considered proficient to be very high level achievement.

New York’s city and state officials have decided that NAEP’s “proficiency” level should be the passing mark.

They don’t understand that a student who is proficient on NAEP has attained “a very high level of academic achievement.”

Any state that expects all or most students to achieve an A on the state tests is setting most students up for failure.


http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/09/will ... /#comments

At best, this is woefully misinformed leadership that has resulted in more cries about how awful the test scores. At worst, it is a leadership that is willfully making test scores look bad so that they can push an agenda for more charter schools and privatized education.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby columbia on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:15 pm

Setting aside the profit motive, where do they plan to get the "good" teachers to replace the "bad" teachers for said charter schools?
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby ExPatriatePen on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:45 pm

columbia wrote:Setting aside the profit motive, where do they plan to get the "good" teachers to replace the "bad" teachers for said charter schools?


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 71520.html

Just an FYI. Draw your own conclusions.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby MWB on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:22 pm

That's an interesting article. Certainly some parallels between the SK system and the US system, in that the more money a family has the more they can pay for education. And I completely agree with this:

Schools can also build trust by aggressively communicating with parents and students, the way businesses already do to great effect in the U.S. They could routinely survey students about their teachers—in ways designed to help teachers improve and not simply to demoralize them. Principals could make their results far more transparent, as hagwons do, and demand more rigorous work from students and parents at home in exchange. And teacher-training programs could become far more selective and serious, as they are in every high-performing education system in the world—injecting trust and prestige into the profession before a teacher even enters the classroom.
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Re: LGP Education thread

Postby count2infinity on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:19 am

It's difficult to compare SK to the US in any sort of way in terms of education and educators. The view toward education and teachers in that country is similar to the views of doctors in this country. Regarded as upper echelon citizens. Respected beyond belief. Not to mention the fact that the parents in that country beat it into every kid's head that education is important. It is something to be valued. The same cannot be said about America. Here, education is something to be scoffed at by a large number of citizens and it's pretty sickening.
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