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Old 11-08-2011, 03:22 PM
 
2,313 posts, read 1,452,329 times
Reputation: 1202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Yes, and it also translates to poor communities with high percentage of the students from Asian families... I've mentioned several times about a refugee family from Vietnam... the father worked minimum wage jobs detailing cars...

His children... Doctor, Lawyer and Engineer... the children were driven to success and in this case the results speak for themselves...

Same for the Cambodian landscaper... the family earns a living doing yards... this included the Father, Mother and children...

He was beaming with pride one day when he said his son was going to medical school... he is now a doctor. He told his children they have a chance to make something of themselves if they studied hard otherwise they would have to work in the family business... all of the kids are successful and Mom and Dad still have the landscape business.
Most Vietnamese/Cambodian people under-perform vs. other groupings of Asian people, white, african american, hispanic.. namely because their immigration was not voluntary and they were refugees .. vs. the cream of the crop picked in recent immigration for places like China. While noting your anecdote, it doesn't speak for the whole and is actually statistically rare.

There is no special sauce... You hand pick cream of the crop, you will get skewed results.

That being said, a general rule for all races.. good parenting goes a long way in producing successful kids.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
11,926 posts, read 11,406,909 times
Reputation: 7178
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
There are many types and levels of elitism. For example: some people believe that anyone who does not share their view should not be allowed to vote. Some believe that anyone who does not conform to their educational standard is unworthy of respect. Etc. Our educational system is predicated on mass-producing competitive pursuit of prestige positioning (i.e. level and type of educational credentials) and financial earning capacity -- which, in turn, promulgates the ultimately unsustainable American dream of materialistic success.

That is its own form of elitism: "we're the good guys, they're the ignorant savages ... we must cull them from our system or convert them to our own brand of insanity."

Not everyone can exist at the top of a pyramid. Yet we disrespect the base and idolize the self-destructive.
This is a gigantic generalization and an example of YOUR elitism. In the context of this thread - I don't think it is applicable.

K-12 education, even with standardized tests, and all the stuff that gets people worked up, is still about passing tests, writing papers, learning chemistry, etc.

Parents who grew up expected to do well in school, tend to foster the same attitudes in their kids, and they choose to live in areas with good schools.

I know people who must send their kids to elite private colleges. It is beneath them to go to a public university. But the majority of educated people I know just want their kids well positioned for life after college. They aren't chasing a job with Goldman Sachs or Apple or anyone else in particular.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
11,926 posts, read 11,406,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottfreez View Post
Can you elaborate? "Who" the parents are, or what the parents do for a living, or what the parents do wrt the child's education...?
The book is a very engaging read, and I suggest you get a copy. Education is just one of the many topics included. I don't have it with me to give you an exact description. But in a general sense, the author (based on an unconventional analysis of data), concludes simply that children of parents that did well academically also do well. It means for example that kids from lower income levels do well if their parents did well.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:27 PM
 
7,154 posts, read 3,728,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
This is a gigantic generalization and an example of YOUR elitism. In the context of this thread - I don't think it is applicable.

K-12 education, even with standardized tests, and all the stuff that gets people worked up, is still about passing tests, writing papers, learning chemistry, etc.

Parents who grew up expected to do well in school, tend to foster the same attitudes in their kids, and they choose to live in areas with good schools.

I know people who must send their kids to elite private colleges. It is beneath them to go to a public university. But the majority of educated people I know just want their kids well positioned for life after college. They aren't chasing a job with Goldman Sachs or Apple or anyone else in particular.
There is no elitism presented in my statement ... and you could not have more totally missed the point I was making. Define "well-positioned" and you will define a materialistic benchmark. Nothing about any of today's educational system addresses the issues of character, individualism, service, sacrifice, creativity, or health. All qualities that are within the grasp of all men and women, and which are foundational for health, happiness, and contribution to family, community, and society. Everything about our present culture's educational system is directed at competitive positioning for material lifestyle -- whether at Goldman Sachs or at a local, more modest-sized corporation, or civil service, etc. -- and is predicated on some people achieving excellence over others' mediocrity -- thus resulting in success for some and failure for others. Value of some over others -- that is elitism. Who has more educational credentials, who has a better profession and professional positioning, who earns a more secure living -- as compared to appreciation for each individual, each in their own role and identity, however bold or simple. And the result of our present focus is a totally dissatisfied, neurotic society.

You all want "the best" for your children -- where "the best" earns better opportunity, respect, results. It is all comparatively based rather than individually based. Not everyone can have "the best" ... if everyone had "the best" "the best" wouldn't be "the best". So what you really want is some to excel over others. And, of course, you want those "some" who excel to be yours. That is elitism.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,511 posts, read 6,477,710 times
Reputation: 6064
I was trained to respect statistical data and to avoid giving significance to anecdotal evidence. Now that I'm all grown up, I doubt the validity of much "research" because I've witnessed first-hand the cooking of books by "respected institutions". So, anyway, the anecdotal....
I've lived in CA and in Europe for years and know the "social mobility" factor for much of both places. The Danes and Swedes fare better than most of their fellow Europeans, but they're taxed up the wazoo. On the good side, they have better social and health services (for the many), but half your salary going to the state means less money to buy a home, a car, etc... which all costs quite a bit, even by North American standards. The reason why I'm back in CA is that there are a variety of jobs for me here. My pickings in Europe are slim and the competition is greater.
Regarding education in CA, the demographic is much different now than it was 40 years ago. The biggest issue is dealing with students whose first language is not English. Add to that a set of standards coming from the state level that encourages a "teach to the test" mentality. This drives a very uninspired curriculum.
I wish the motivation could come from the local level where districts could choose their own curriculums. That would include bringing back the more practical courses such as "shop" classes because not everyone is cut out for university nor has that desire either. There are districts (back east) that use programs that have had great success with multi-ethnic populations and these can be used or adapted to local needs in CA. Education in CA is a monolithic machine and I place more blame on bloated administrations than I do on unions, who are relatively toothless. Frankly, I wish unions could force out deadwood admin, thereby saving a six-figure salary for two or three qualified teachers who work directly with students.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
2,603 posts, read 2,081,781 times
Reputation: 2038
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrarunner View Post
this is why i believe the fundamental flaw in ca education system traces back to the serrano decision which put funding in the hands of the state...

The state has taken also taken over day to day operation of troubled local districts... Didn't seem to make a difference in my opinion.
^^^ +1 ^^^
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,600 posts, read 6,438,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoun View Post
More true in NorCal than SoCal.

The "cultural mindset that doesn't value education, discipline or intellectualism" is very common in SoCal's wealthy neighborhoods and towns. For example Newport Beach closing down libraries because "nobody reads". You'd never have something like that in similarly wealthy Marin or Peninsula towns.

Schools in wealthy neighborhoods tend to be safer (unless those schools are part of huge dysfunctional mega-sized school districts) but not always more oriented towards learning.
While I agree with this in part, it doesn't explain why some schools in the same districts/region do so much better than others. By 'some schools' I am including all schools such as charter, private, etc... Could it be that the culture in these underperforming schools is really a subculture of low expectation (hence performing) teachers, administrators, parents and students? When I talk about low expectation I'm not merely talking about test scores . Rather I'm talking about comprehension and mastery of primary subjects. This misguided focus on scores has gotten progressively worse over the years.

The bar has been set so low in the classroom with no child left behind and a whole host of other poorly mandated teaching practices that the general public school system impedes real learning (vs. teaching to the test) more than it seems to encourage it. Even well meaning teachers can get caught in these traps.

While my wife and I both attended public school in CA back in the day we have opted to homeschool our kids now for many of the reasons mentioned among others. And our kids are doing great while fully engaged and enjoying their learning process.

I don't see things improving much for the state as well as the nation unless a major change occurs - not evolutionary. It needs to be revolutionary. In the meantime many parents will continue to scramble to find the best educational solution for their children they can. Not every caring parent will be able to live in the pricier neighborhoods or send their children to private schools. And while this is a theorectical discussion for some, for current parents it is a reality of daily life.

I also agree this is not simply a California problem, though CA does have its own issues. The broken public school system is national in scope. The whole cheating epidemic has gotten out of control nationwide: Why Teachers Are Helping Their Students Cheat

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 11-08-2011 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:07 AM
 
13,128 posts, read 23,424,760 times
Reputation: 7382
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
While I agree with this in part, it doesn't explain why some schools in the same districts/region do so much better than others. By 'some schools' I am including all schools such as charter, private, etc... Could it be that the culture in these underperforming schools is really a subculture of low expectation (hence performing) teachers, administrators, parents and students? When I talk about low expectation I'm not merely talking about test scores . Rather I'm talking about comprehension and mastery of primary subjects. This misguided focus on scores has gotten progressively worse over the years.

The bar has been set so low in the classroom with no child left behind and a whole host of other poorly mandated teaching practices that the general public school system impedes real learning (vs. teaching to the test) more than it seems to encourage it. Even well meaning teachers can get caught in these traps.

While my wife and I both attended public school in CA back in the day we have opted to home school our kids now for many of the reasons mentioned among others. And our kids are doing great while fully engaged and enjoying their learning process.

I don't see things improving much for the state as well as the nation unless a major change occurs - not evolutionary. It needs to be revolutionary. In the meantime many parents will continue to scramble to find the best educational solution for their children they can. Not every caring parent will be able to live in the pricier neighborhoods or send their children to private schools. And while this is a theoretical discussion for some, for current parents it is a reality of daily life.

I also agree this is not simply a California problem, though CA does have its own issues. The broken public school system is national in scope. The whole cheating epidemic has gotten out of control nationwide: Why Teachers Are Helping Their Students Cheat

Derek
You raise the interesting topic of home schooling.

Again, I only see what is around me...

The number of homeschoolers increases... the first one I knew was 24 years ago... she is a public school teacher in a "Good" district and felt her children were being short changed... she went home schooling and never looked back... her two children did very well in the University System and both qualified for early admission... She was fortunate in being a pioneer of sorts because being a credential teacher made it legal back then.

As to No Child Left Behind... I still remember Senator Kennedy saying his legislation is the greatest legacy of his long career in politics and something the nation will benefit from for years into the future...

It was certainly one of the few truly bi-partisan pieces of legislation in my time.

As to districts... take Oakland for example.

The Oakland district has top performing public schools and many very low performing schools... I know children that attend both and teachers at both.

The challenges are great and parents/stable home life are key factors...

As others have said... I can never see the day where outcome can be guaranteed irregardless of how many dollars are spent.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:46 AM
 
298 posts, read 276,201 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
The book is a very engaging read, and I suggest you get a copy. Education is just one of the many topics included. I don't have it with me to give you an exact description. But in a general sense, the author (based on an unconventional analysis of data), concludes simply that children of parents that did well academically also do well. It means for example that kids from lower income levels do well if their parents did well.
Sounds right. Conversely ... 'Out-smarting' one's parents can bring on unexpected/unintended strain in the relationship. If the relationship is not already very strong and healthy - and let's face it, many aren't - the subject of education becomes just one more thing both parties don't share in common.

Education is so important to those who know it's value, that, forced to make a decision, they would pursue it even to the detriment of familial relationships.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
2,603 posts, read 2,081,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoun View Post
... Nevada, whose schools are even worse than California's, was never known for good schools like California was. They skimped on their school system. They never cultivated their universities much: I can remember when UNLV was trying to attract California students with generous scholarships and relaxed requirements just so it could get more students...
True. But Las Vegas has always been a "blue collar" town -- not that there is anything wrong with that. A college degree has never been particularly valuable for rank and file employment in the hospitality/gaming industries. (Nevada's #2 employer, after hospitality/gaming, is the mining industry). A couple working full-time in a casino -- perhaps one person in the cash cage and another supervising maids on a floor of a hotel -- can together bring home a very nice middle-class income in a town where that income affords a middle-class lifestyle (house in the burbs, two cars in the garage). Well, until the recession cut everyone's hours.

Nowadays, there are signs of life in Nevada schools. See my post about the Andre Agassi College Prep Academy, a charter school serving low-income & disadvantaged children in the worst part of Las Vegas, in a separate thread here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/21542689-post27.html


Bottom line: I have hope, but only if we reject the "business as usual" approach to public education.

At the same time, for example, the #2 school in the world for hotel & hospitality management is UNLV (after Cornell).
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