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Old 05-16-2012, 07:39 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
67,348 posts, read 54,947,129 times
Reputation: 18717
Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-burgher View Post
Of course the Fins can count on their taxes to pay for higher ed and health care as well as a more egalitarian society with less crime. As for food, I just read an article about a mathematician who did a study on changes in the US Obesity rate - he claims it all boils down to the fact that the US overproduces food and that food has gotten too cheap due to farm policy. Maybe it should be more expensive.
I find that "solution" rather shocking.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:41 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 1,744,589 times
Reputation: 1569
One thing about Pittsburgh's public schools, at least the subs are trained in hand-to-hand combat:

Quote:
The teacher pushed him away, tore off his bandanna and then ran into the school building, Ms. Pugh said
[LEFT]
Read more: Substitute teacher fights off attacker at Pittsburgh school
[/LEFT]
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Lawrenceville)
4,710 posts, read 2,545,155 times
Reputation: 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I have studied school issues for over 20 years now with the League of Women Voters. I have to say at this juncture that I am speaking for myself here. I am not in favor of charter or magnet schools except for the fact that they keep the kids in the public schools, and the parents are often highly motivated to work from within the school system. I think more effort should be made to improve all the schools. It has long been said that the wealthy have school choice. They can afford private school, or they can afford to live in areas where the public schools are high caliber. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that the wealthy often seem to get their kids into these "lottery" schools, as well.
Of course wealthier parents will gain a disproportionate number of slots, even in lottery systems, because they tend to be both more knowledgeable regarding the system, and more committed to exploiting the system to the fullest. In contrast, many poor parents probably either don't know about magnets, don't understand why they might be important, or just plain don't care.

In addition, some school systems, like Pittsburgh, intentionally balance things. Historically, Pittsburgh intentionally set racial demographics of 50% black, 50% white+other. The purpose was stated to be in order to have a diverse community, but i think in practice it was because once schools begin drifting to much highter than 50% black they become seen as undesirable by white parents sadly, which sets off a chain reaction of white parents increasingly feeling "uncomfortable" until the school is 95% black. In 2003, the Supreme Court found that Pittsburgh couldn't keep the quota system, which has since been replaced with selection measures which seek to "balance" on the basis of family income.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:29 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
67,348 posts, read 54,947,129 times
Reputation: 18717
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Of course wealthier parents will gain a disproportionate number of slots, even in lottery systems, because they tend to be both more knowledgeable regarding the system, and more committed to exploiting the system to the fullest. In contrast, many poor parents probably either don't know about magnets, don't understand why they might be important, or just plain don't care.
So who are these charters and magnets benefitting?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Lawrenceville)
4,710 posts, read 2,545,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
So who are these charters and magnets benefitting?
Everyone?

I'm not sure why in order to be valid they need to just benefit the poor. Indeed, I think it's far more likely, all things considered, that a school will fail in the U.S. context if everyone is poor, no matter what educational system is used, because the social network will be more monolithic and self-reinforcing as the kids get older.

Also, unless there is some middle/upper class buy in into any program, it's far more likely to be cut. See how on a national level "welfare" was always much more hated (and still is, in phantom form) than Social Security.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:51 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 1,744,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I am not in favor of charter or magnet schools except for the fact that they keep the kids in the public schools, and the parents are often highly motivated to work from within the school system. I think more effort should be made to improve all the schools. It has long been said that the wealthy have school choice. They can afford private school, or they can afford to live in areas where the public schools are high caliber. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that the wealthy often seem to get their kids into these "lottery" schools, as well.
I can respect your view, but I disagree most strongly. My own experience of charters in PA is considerably less than 20 years long, but it is direct. While there are possible criticisms of charters in general, one gross misrepresentation is that charters serve the wealthy. With all respect to you personally, that is simply a falsehood bandied about, very often by people with a motive for abolishing charter schools.

Parents who seek out charter schools for their children are often highly motivated, but in my experience that motivation derives more often from a lack of wealth, combined with desperation to provide their children a fair chance at a good education, as from any inclination to "work" the system.

In this state, wealth buys an address with good schools attached. If it were not for charters many parents who can't afford an expensive address or private tuition would have no choice but to accept a substandard - often, a miserably substandard - education for their children. Charter schools are, for many parents in my own acquaintance, the only saving grace in an otherwise deeply unfair system of public education.

By all means let us reform public schools in Pennsylvania so that everyone has access to a good, affordable education. I desire nothing more for this state. But misrepresenting charter schools as bastions of privilege does nothing to advance that cause and only serves to deflect attention from the real sources of inequality and privilege in this state's system of public education.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:52 PM
 
36 posts, read 19,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Thanks for taking the time to find that information and post it. It seems like Britain still has an "achievement gap".



I have studied school issues for over 20 years now with the League of Women Voters. I have to say at this juncture that I am speaking for myself here. I am not in favor of charter or magnet schools except for the fact that they keep the kids in the public schools, and the parents are often highly motivated to work from within the school system. I think more effort should be made to improve all the schools. It has long been said that the wealthy have school choice. They can afford private school, or they can afford to live in areas where the public schools are high caliber. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that the wealthy often seem to get their kids into these "lottery" schools, as well.
I would be interested in your reasons against charter/magnet schools. Are wealthy families really interested in sending their children to these schools?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:58 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
67,348 posts, read 54,947,129 times
Reputation: 18717
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Everyone?

I'm not sure why in order to be valid they need to just benefit the poor. Indeed, I think it's far more likely, all things considered, that a school will fail in the U.S. context if everyone is poor, no matter what educational system is used, because the social network will be more monolithic and self-reinforcing as the kids get older.

Also, unless there is some middle/upper class buy in into any program, it's far more likely to be cut. See how on a national level "welfare" was always much more hated (and still is, in phantom form) than Social Security.
These schools are not benefitting the students who have to go to crappy schools. A school that skims off the cream of the crop, like many charters and magnets, takes these kids out of the neighborhood school system, thereby helping to create schools with all poor students, or all low achieving students.
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