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Old 10-30-2011, 01:25 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,929,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Stossel had an excellent expose' on this last week. Certainly, it is beyond argument that more money does not mean better education. And, the biggest obstacle to good education is tenure and collective bargaining. and, school administration is not without fault.
Stossel's "exposés" are a GROSS misrepresentation of education where he "cherry-picks" the things that support his arguments and conveniently leaves out the facts that discount his arguments. And, no, Wilson, the biggest impediment to good education is students who refuse to learn and clueless parents who do not support their teachers, school OR kid. And the ONLY thing a union provides is "due process" for their members. School administrators have all the tools they need to get rid of poorly-performing teachers.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:52 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,495,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Stossel's "exposés" are a GROSS misrepresentation of education where he "cherry-picks" the things that support his arguments and conveniently leaves out the facts that discount his arguments. And, no, Wilson, the biggest impediment to good education is students who refuse to learn and clueless parents who do not support their teachers, school OR kid. And the ONLY thing a union provides is "due process" for their members. School administrators have all the tools they need to get rid of poorly-performing teachers.
I can see that you have been lucky enough to have had little contact with schools "run" by strong unions. The seniority system, tenure, and negotiated staffing results in bloated districts where incompetent teachers rise to the top, get themselves assigned to the most important jobs and hamstring control of the classroom.

Although the Cincinnati teachers union is not what I would call "strong," at Hyde Park Elementry the entire place was staffed by near retirees half asleep, long past caring what happened to their students but who had optioned themselves into a school in a good neighborhood with safe parking and shopping etc. With the most alert and involved parent group in the CPS system why was it such a crummy school? Unions and tenure.

And, in exactly what job do the employees get tenure? And in what job do employees set their own working conditions through collective bargaining? There are good teachers and bad teachers. Why do they get to be superpowers who don't have to answer to anyone? My experience with teachers it that even the best of them are no more saintly than store clerks, or truck drivers. But, the system has gotten all askew where "due process" has morphed into tenure, and collective bargaining has morphed into the animals running the zoo.

If someone put me in charge, I'd give every parent, rich or poor, a voucher for the $13,500 we spend, and if they gave it to the administrators of a unionized school then these freeloaders would have a job. And, if they didn't, well then, we would have a new school system.

Last edited by Wilson513; 10-30-2011 at 05:00 AM..
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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I don't have enough direct knowledge of the subject of teachers' unions to really comment, but one thing from Wilson's posting did jump out at me. "And, in exactly what job do the employees get tenure?" Well, I have fairly direct experience with two. University professors, and in a state government merit system, which although is not really tenure does have exceptional safeguards established against firing. In both instances, a case can be made that without tenure these employees have a higher likelihood of being let go for reasons that have nothing to do with poor performance. In the case of professors, for teaching what might be unpopular ideas. For state workers, for not supporting the politics and campaigns of elected officials who supervise them.

Elementary and secondary teachers may have a legitimate need for collective bargaining, but I fail to see any legitimate need for them to be granted tenure.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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Perhaps, as Wilson says, my opinions are shaped by my experiences. And not just because I'm married to her, my wife is an outstanding educator. And, yes, she's never taught in a district like CPS. Our teachers and our district enjoy a very good relationship, so perhaps I don't know any better. And I've never lived in New Jersey,... But I'm frustrated that we've degenerated into one giant nation of envy; "If I don't get______ then that group of workers shouldn't either. I've never believed that public employees have ever gotten rich. And I'm willing to pay a fair share of taxes to ensure that they are. In fact, I can think of a LOT of government spending I'd like to eliminate to make sure that they ARE paid fairly... And as much as unions are a mixed blessing, I believe that they are necessary now more than ever (with some reasonable controls...)

School administrators DO have the tools to get rid of bad teachers. I know plenty that are frustrtated that those tools aren't used often enough. I also think the changes in our society as well as the idea of not doing things like raise behavior standards in classroooms and other novel educational ideas are hamstrung by so much political baloney (and not just from teacher unions). So many of the problems in education are blamed on teacher unions. But most of the problems would still be there even in the absence of the unions.

Frankly, I'd like to see the return of some of the worker protections we've lost over the years. Yes, I'm all for businesses being able to thrive. But not at the expense of everone and everything else in this country...
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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wilson -- i haven't read in detail everything you have said about schools. but i think i get the gist (apologies if i do not). don't you think if the bureaucracy / administration was the problem that charter schools would be at least as, if not more successful, than the public schools? with one exception, every charter school in cincinnati is, well, bad.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:33 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,495,763 times
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Originally Posted by progmac View Post
wilson -- i haven't read in detail everything you have said about schools. but i think i get the gist (apologies if i do not). don't you think if the bureaucracy / administration was the problem that charter schools would be at least as, if not more successful, than the public schools? with one exception, every charter school in cincinnati is, well, bad.

There is a reason for that. And, the union owned demorat politicians have it set up to fail. It comparing apples with tadpoles.

First, the "charter schools" operate on less than half the $$ per student that CPS does. Second, parents do not get a voucher that they can use at their choice. They must spend it at a "participating charter school." They cannot spend the vouchers on existing private and religious affiliated schools. So, what you are left with is a new schools, formed by sometimes idealistic, sometimes opportunistic, persons run on a shoestring. Even so, I think you will find tremendous loyalty to some of these charter schools.

I think with St. Xavier HS costing no more than CPS, if you gave parents a voucher for what it is really costing CPS to educate the kids, no one would choose CPS. For a couple thousand plus the voucher you could send tyour kids to Country Day. Schools like Purcell cost half as much as CPS spends. Vouchers would work if they really were vouchers and not ghetto coupons.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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What would be interesting is to compare the performance of the local parochial schools with those of the various public schools ...
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:02 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,495,763 times
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
What would be interesting is to compare the performance of the local parochial schools with those of the various public schools ...

Choose a metric, I think most of the stats are published. Graduation rate, % admitted to college?
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,193 posts, read 5,818,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Choose a metric, I think most of the stats are published. Graduation rate, % admitted to college?
Niether of which are really indicative of anything. I don't want my kids to get into just any college but a good college. The real way to judge would be to look at the top half of the students in a given district and see where they go to college. For example, in top districts it is fairly common for at least a few kids to go to the best schools, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, etc. In other districts, the top students aren't going to the top schools.

You may personally hate it but the SAT is pretty indicator of how kids are doing in school. I realize that it isn't perfect and that generally more affluent kids do better but I still think it is the best criteria we have.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:10 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,495,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robrobrob View Post
Niether of which are really indicative of anything. I don't want my kids to get into just any college but a good college. The real way to judge would be to look at the top half of the students in a given district and see where they go to college. For example, in top districts it is fairly common for at least a few kids to go to the best schools, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, etc. In other districts, the top students aren't going to the top schools.

You may personally hate it but the SAT is pretty indicator of how kids are doing in school. I realize that it isn't perfect and that generally more affluent kids do better but I still think it is the best criteria we have.
First off, it wasn't my idea to try to rate schools in the first place. My question was rhetorical. Trying reading the thread first.

Second, the SAT is intended to predict success in college, nothing more. It is no indicator of how they are doing in school at all. that is the last thing one would derive from an SAT score. And, as a part of that it mostly tests intelligence. Raw intelligence. Of course an intelligent person who has never been in an American government school classroom won't do as well as he would if he had, but he will still score miles above what a below average person who has dutifully done all of his homework and got decent grades at a good government school like Mariemont or Wyoming. Any intelligent kid from any school will outscore a below average kid from the best school. That's why they can study endlessly for the SAT, retake the test and the score goes up 1% or so.

So, try again.

Last edited by Wilson513; 11-04-2011 at 06:39 AM..
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