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Old 10-10-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,222 posts, read 7,002,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Should we expect uniform quality and coverage of subjects from our schools? Should public schools, at least up until High School, be a Federal responsibility?

Schools are paid for through local taxes.
Some schools have inferior equipment and teachers because there is not enough money.
Some neighborhoods are upper middle class where parents take the time to interact with their children more, go to PTA meetings, help with homework. Perhaps they don't require extra resources.

I know, there are those who get very indignant over too much federal power already, but I am thinking about what is the most effective way to have the best work force possible for the future of the country.

Do you think this would be an overall good change?
***************
Not only NO but HELL NO! Get the Feds totally out of education. Local school boards have a better idea of what their children need and State and local funding will be more efficient.. Federal mandates and guidelines have lowered rather than raised the achievement levels of students in the past thirty years.

GL2
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:53 AM
 
15,308 posts, read 16,874,788 times
Reputation: 15029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
***************
Not only NO but HELL NO! Get the Feds totally out of education. Local school boards have a better idea of what their children need and State and local funding will be more efficient.. Federal mandates and guidelines have lowered rather than raised the achievement levels of students in the past thirty years.

GL2
All the countries that beat us in all the international competitions have national curricula. In fact, Japan even has specific topics that must be covered on specific days and weeks each year. Teachers have discretion in HOW they teach but not in WHAT they teach.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Nesconset, NY
2,198 posts, read 3,296,937 times
Reputation: 2080
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Should we expect uniform quality and coverage of subjects from our schools? Should public schools, at least up until High School, be a Federal responsibility?

Schools are paid for through local taxes.
Some schools have inferior equipment and teachers because there is not enough money.
Some neighborhoods are upper middle class where parents take the time to interact with their children more, go to PTA meetings, help with homework. Perhaps they don't require extra resources.

I know, there are those who get very indignant over too much federal power already, but I am thinking about what is the most effective way to have the best work force possible for the future of the country.

Do you think this would be an overall good change?
Your post assumes too much that isn't completely accurate.
- Are you sure schools are paid entirely through local taxes?
- Are you sure inferior equipment and teachers are solely the result of "not enough money"?
- Are you sure there are "upper middle class" neighborhoods that rely on public schools?
- Are you sure "upper middle class" parents should be characterized as "attending PTA mtgs., help with homework"?

For one, upper middle class, can be defined as household incomes starting around $500,000/yr....I'm not seeing that demographic choosing public school when there are private schools avail. but for those who do I'm not seeing these parents attending PTA or helping with homework...they hire tutors and tutoring prep. companies (not all...but many).

I think you mean lower or middle middle class which begins around $150,000/yr.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:57 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 14,911,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Department of the Interior, really? In with the national park service? I . . .don't. . . think . . . so! You really do need to brush up on the facts.

Federal Role in Education

Why do you think kids in different communities have different learning needs?
Well, here you go: A previous Department of Education was created in 1867 but soon was demoted to an Office in 1868.[3] As an agency not represented in the president's cabinet, it quickly became a relatively minor bureau in the Department of the Interior. In 1939, the bureau was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, where it was renamed the Office of Education. In 1953, the Federal Security Agency was upgraded to cabinet-level status as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Source: Act to Establish a Federal Department of Education, 1867 | Federal Education Policy History via United States Department of Education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why do I think kids in different communities have different learning needs? Because they do.
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:01 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 14,911,090 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
All the countries that beat us in all the international competitions have national curricula. In fact, Japan even has specific topics that must be covered on specific days and weeks each year. Teachers have discretion in HOW they teach but not in WHAT they teach.
The best prep and independent schools in the US don't teach that way- the teacher has a broad curriculum to follow, but it's up to him or her and the kind of class they have on HOW to teach it. Teaching is not formulaic.
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:07 PM
 
15,308 posts, read 16,874,788 times
Reputation: 15029
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
The best prep and independent schools in the US don't teach that way- the teacher has a broad curriculum to follow, but it's up to him or her and the kind of class they have on HOW to teach it. Teaching is not formulaic.
No, but WHAT to learn should not be up to local school districts. For example, a class in Algebra I should include the same concepts no matter where you are learning it. So too should a course in American History. You can learn English with different books, but the concepts of critical thinking and analyzing the text should be the same no matter where you are or what books you are using.
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:19 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 14,911,090 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
No, but WHAT to learn should not be up to local school districts. For example, a class in Algebra I should include the same concepts no matter where you are learning it. So too should a course in American History. You can learn English with different books, but the concepts of critical thinking and analyzing the text should be the same no matter where you are or what books you are using.
I agree, with the emphasis on the LOCAL. There is no way in the world we should aspire to a teaching system where every 2nd grade classroom is on p49 on 10/11. That may work in a society as monocultural as Japan, but no way would that work in a pluralistic as the USA.
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Not Nowhere
1,321 posts, read 1,737,243 times
Reputation: 1747
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Actually, the textbooks are quite variable. Note that Texas is taking out History curricula by eliminating all contributions by minorities, eliminating Thomas Jefferson and calling separation of church and state into question.

Texas Conservatives Win Vote on Textbook Standards - NYTimes.com

Even in math - Algebra I may not cover the same topics in the same order (so kids who move mid-year can be screwed). Geometry can be taught as real Geometry or as Geometry without proofs (as was done in my inner city Chicago school and which led to my getting out of teaching the year they decided no kids would get the standard class). Physics is sometimes taught as real Physics and sometimes taught as Conceptual Physics (with no math).

A National curriculum with standards would hopefully change this.
And what if it didn't? What if it enshrined nationwide all of these things that you see as problems?
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:06 PM
 
15,308 posts, read 16,874,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vanderburgh View Post
And what if it didn't? What if it enshrined nationwide all of these things that you see as problems?
It can't enshrine the things *I* see as problems because the complaint I have is a lack of a uniform curriculum.

It could, of course, make a standard that was too low. However, if we actually allow people who know the content to make the standards that will be unlikely.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Not Nowhere
1,321 posts, read 1,737,243 times
Reputation: 1747
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
It can't enshrine the things *I* see as problems because the complaint I have is a lack of a uniform curriculum.

It could, of course, make a standard that was too low. However, if we actually allow people who know the content to make the standards that will be unlikely.
My mistake, then. It sounded to me like you weren't in favor of the Texas version of History, teaching Geometry without proofs, or conceptual Physics classes.

I agree with your last part, but that is what gives me concern about the idea of national schools/standards. I think that getting the right people in place to set the standards is what is unlikely to happen.
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