Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-30-2024, 09:19 AM
 
19,783 posts, read 18,073,660 times
Reputation: 17269

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
It can. I'll give the example of two different cities of which I'm familiar.

Waco TX which has a metro population of about 250,000 has about 13 school districts that reach into and cover parts of the metro area. A lot of this is the consequence of past racial gerrymandering and white flight. There are places in the Waco metro area where you can literally see the school district boundaries from outer space because development patterns follow district boundaries.



Each one of these 13 districts operates a separate district office with a HR department, transportation department (school buses and bus routes) maintenance department, purchasing department. And there are about about 16 different high schools covering the Waco metro area ranging from about 100 students up to about 2500 students, each with principals, assistant principals, custodial staff, maintenance staff, etc. It also means 15 different football teams and football stadiums, 15 different theaters, 15 different school libraries and cafeteries, etc. etc.

Contrast that to Salem Oregon which is a larger metro area of about 430,000 but has only one school district covering all the urban and suburban parts of the metro area.



So for a substantially larger metro area they have just one district office, one HR department, one purchasing department, one transportation department. Bus routes can be made vastly more efficient. And for a much larger population they have just 6 high schools that are all roughly equal in size since they can adjust enrollment boundaries to make that happen.

Why does the Waco metro area need 13 different school districts and 15 different high schools when the larger Salem Oregon metro area only needs one district and 6 high schools?

The reason WHY things are like that in Waco is a legacy of racism and segregation. But the metro area is paying a lot more than it needs and getting poorer results (on average) as a consequence. And the students who have been carved out of larger urban districts to form little white enclave districts on the edge of town also suffer because they attend tiny little high schools that are too small to even have much in the way of things like AP classes, or when they do, it is cost-inefficient because they have 8-10 students in them. Yes, this is what happened, White residents on the edges of town carved out their own separate districts to avoid having their kids attend schools with Black students.

Now if you really want to see something crazy, look at how many different school districts cover metro San Antonio and this doesn't even include the suburbs: https://www.wegopublic.com/region/sa...districts-map/ although in San Antonio it is about making sure the rich don't mix with the poor and the White kids don't mix with the Mexican and Hispanic kids.


Errrr......that's not a map of Waco but Waco and surrounding areas. I can't see a scale but that graphic probably covers 1,100-1,200 square miles maybe more. Rhode Island is 1,214 square miles.

Waco is mostly served by Waco ISD.


ETA - there is a legend/scale. It's tough to be super accurate but I'll call that map 1,200 square miles +/- 75.

ETA II - the map is of McLennan County + some spillover areas. So I'll re-set my guess to 1,100 square miles.


ETA III - The Census Bureau or any similar definition of metro area simply doesn't fit well per this context. As the Waco Metro area covers three counties totaling about 2,700 square miles and maybe 25-30 towns.
_____________

The Texas Constitution codified local control of school districts, when desired. in 1876.

Long ago there was an attempt to install a system in Texas with around 40 massive districts, FWIIW TX is 256,597 square miles and currently has 254 counties. Texans revolted.

Also long ago just about any collection of roughly 20 families could form their own district.


Hopefully this will open for you,

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/curi...s-the-history/

Last edited by EDS_; 01-30-2024 at 09:43 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-30-2024, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,797 posts, read 24,297,543 times
Reputation: 32935
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Are you talking about TEACHERS when you say "professional educators"? They KNOW there are deep fundamental problems. And they have NO POWER to do anything about it.

Or, are you talking about the superintendents, curriculum committees, school boards, etc.? They're all about feathering their own nests. That's where the rot is, not down at the poor teacher who has 45 kids in a class, half of whom are below grade level, a quarter of whom are mentally disturbed, and who's supposed to teach AT grade level, while giving each student personalized individual attention and a separate grade every single day, plus two to three hours a day of paperwork now required to be done on the computer using the buggy malfunctioning "education programs" bought from the superintendent's brother-in-law; but she has to buy her own toner for the copy machine because the superintendent just got a new set of mahogany furniture and all the downtown staff are out on a three day seminar.
A quarter of students are "mentally disturbed"? Sounds like a parent problem. Or aren't parents responsible for their kids?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,534 posts, read 2,669,541 times
Reputation: 13048
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
A quarter of students are "mentally disturbed"? Sounds like a parent problem. Or aren't parents responsible for their kids?
Of COURSE it's a parent problem.

Good luck getting parents to take the responsibility for their kids' mental health in the inner city. There are always a large number of parents who are trying their very best; it's not them I'm talking about; it's the ones who are absent, non compos mentis, in prison, utterly irresponsible, etc., etc., etc.

Because of policies that have come down through the courts, the droolers screamers and fighters have to go into the regular classrooms. Add those disruptions to the large number who're well below grade level, and you have a recipe for abysmal performance in teaching the normal kids. Everyone suffers except the people who sell curriculum materials and the top officials in the school system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 10:14 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
34,705 posts, read 58,031,425 times
Reputation: 46172
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Hell, most Americans don't even know what pedagogy is. And they're the ones electing school boards.
Unfortunately, those voting Americans are a product of the USA edu output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
A quarter of students are "mentally disturbed"? Sounds like a parent problem. Or aren't parents responsible for their kids?
More excuses (In edu it's always someone else's problem)

In real life (innovation, job creation, economic growth --- non-taxpayer funded). We play the hand we're dealt, and we succeed or die trying.

Looking at the parents / home life / circumstances of very successful 'real-life' contributors.... Few had parental support. Most had the contrary, and overcame their obstacles. Many succeeded BECAUSE they HAD to overcome barriers.

Coddling does not produce leaders. We should have picked that up in World History or Literature studies during Jr High.

If not then.... There's always Boot Camp.

inspiring youth to go into science and engineering?. The vast majority of my coworkers were 'inspired' because they didn't want to be running a shovel, or meeting the demands of a barking drill sergeant, or staring at the be-hind of a cow 12 hours a day, or fighting forest fires, sweeping floors, or stuck on a fishing boat for weeks at a time.the rest of their life. There are ways to avail these wonderful decision opportunities to the youth of today. Rather than sitting at a school desk being told how they should think and view the world. They could just participate, and Do It!

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-30-2024 at 10:24 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 10:28 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,080 posts, read 18,252,401 times
Reputation: 34961
Other countries don't care about our problems and are producing X numbers of scientists/engineers compared to the US.

The future is technology and the US will fall behind.
China is the top country for patents.
They are also ahead of us in nanotechnology, synthetic biology, 5G/6G technology, etc.
(study out of Australia)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 10:34 AM
 
12,846 posts, read 9,045,657 times
Reputation: 34914
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Are you talking about TEACHERS when you say "professional educators"? They KNOW there are deep fundamental problems. And they have NO POWER to do anything about it.

Or, are you talking about the superintendents, curriculum committees, school boards, etc.? They're all about feathering their own nests. That's where the rot is, not down at the poor teacher who has 45 kids in a class, half of whom are below grade level, a quarter of whom are mentally disturbed, and who's supposed to teach AT grade level, while giving each student personalized individual attention and a separate grade every single day, plus two to three hours a day of paperwork now required to be done on the computer using the buggy malfunctioning "education programs" bought from the superintendent's brother-in-law; but she has to buy her own toner for the copy machine because the superintendent just got a new set of mahogany furniture and all the downtown staff are out on a three day seminar.
Thank you. That is a great question that I hoped someone would bring up. Note that I tried to write "professional educators" in quotes as a bit of an indicator. I separate them into two groups with pretty much the same definition you did -- TEACHERS vs "professional educators." For the most part I have no issues with the "boots on the ground" classroom teachers. I do have some questions about the teacher training process but most of that falls on the "professional educators" who run things.

By "professional educators" I'm referring to the administrators, theoreticians, Education College academics, union leaders, policy staffers, and others in the Education/Industrial Complex who dream up, advocate for, and force through all the policy crap that teachers have to deal with on a daily basis. A true professional is always learning and accepts responsibility for their body of work, while also trying to mitigate the impacts of those things they aren't responsible for but cause impacts on their work. They don't make excuses or seek to put responsibility elsewhere.

With that said, not all those in classrooms get a free pass. Not all of them know their subject or belong in a classroom. I suspect that the vast majority of us all have stories of one or more that are just cringy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,065 posts, read 7,235,755 times
Reputation: 17146
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
This times 1000. Our education system is unable to admit it has a problem.





Let's take both of these together.

Sure, there are minor differences, but at a fundamental level, what is so different in the basic curriculums? Math is still math. English is still English. History is still History. Science is still science. 2+2=4. Even looking at Common Core, the real issues there were not so much about standards, but about pedegogy. Now that is all over the place in the US. But that also goes right back to the professional educators.

As for the number of "education systems" we have, that's really a flawed comparison. Let's take Finland, the darling of how educator's view things. Finland is a small country with a single common culture of just over 5 million people, with a third of that within a single metro area. Pick any region of 5 million people in this country and describe how many cultures are in that region. People love to compare Massachusetts vs Mississippi. Ok, so how would you implement the same school system in both states? And just for grins, add another M to the mix -- Montana. That's just three states with very different cultures, populations, population densities, etc.

Rather than try to shove a "one size fits none" solution, why not look at improving the pedagogy at the implementation level -- the classroom where the students are? But once again that gets back to the professional educators having to acknowledge a problem.
Finland does a really good job. It's not a particularly rich country. It wasn't even a country prior to 1917; it was part of the imperial Russian empire. Then it had wars of independence and was torn up pretty well by WWII. Their status is no excuse for us - we had 150 year head start on them as a stable country and are far, far richer. What they have that we don't is a single education system that responds to inputs. They have more centralization.

The kind of reforms up and down the bureaucracy that would be needed can't be done at a national level, because there is no such thing. They would have be done a t the state & local levels. Instead of one reform you'd need 50 plus hundreds of variants. Each time you dilute the reform the less effective it gets.
That's a big part of the problem - we have no way of making Montana do what works for Montana, much less having Montana implement what works in Finland.

Quote:
Education/Industrial Complex....
The existence of a complex IS a big part of the problem. Ultimately, what we have are individual educators, some of whom are better than others with a wide variance is specialization and professional experience, doing the best they can while having to respond to different parts of said complex. Oh and they are underpaid so we don't get particularly good applicants, especially not in economically good times like we have now.

Generally speaking, reforms that have worked at state levels are often simple. Mississippi had strong gains on reading NAEP test scores in the 2010s. What it did was fairly simple - they focused on core skills in early grades, what in edu-speak is called "early intervention." They cracked down on truancy, did what it could to see to it that students were actually in school. Then it..paid people - hired a lot of reading tutors and trainers of teachers in reading for K-3, reduced class size for those reading cohorts, and they held back students in 3rd grade who didn't pass.

They're still well below national median but far less so than they were prior 2013 when the program was passed.

Last edited by redguard57; 01-30-2024 at 01:24 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 01:51 PM
 
14,400 posts, read 14,298,103 times
Reputation: 45727
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Thank you. That is a great question that I hoped someone would bring up. Note that I tried to write "professional educators" in quotes as a bit of an indicator. I separate them into two groups with pretty much the same definition you did -- TEACHERS vs "professional educators." For the most part I have no issues with the "boots on the ground" classroom teachers. I do have some questions about the teacher training process but most of that falls on the "professional educators" who run things.

By "professional educators" I'm referring to the administrators, theoreticians, Education College academics, union leaders, policy staffers, and others in the Education/Industrial Complex who dream up, advocate for, and force through all the policy crap that teachers have to deal with on a daily basis. A true professional is always learning and accepts responsibility for their body of work, while also trying to mitigate the impacts of those things they aren't responsible for but cause impacts on their work. They don't make excuses or seek to put responsibility elsewhere.

With that said, not all those in classrooms get a free pass. Not all of them know their subject or belong in a classroom. I suspect that the vast majority of us all have stories of one or more that are just cringy.
There is a school district in my state that ranks 134 out of 157 in the state in terms of test scores. Only 25% of students are proficient in math. Only 31% are proficient in English. Over half the students who attend are non-white which is unusual for a state like Utah which is very white. Approximately, 75% of the students are getting a subsidized school lunch. I could add many other factors. The area in which this district exists has one of the highest per capita numbers of violent crime, it has one of the highest per capita number of single parent households, and it has one of highest per capita numbers of people on public assistance of some form or another.

I somehow think these children are not going to do magically better if we kick their teachers around and claim they aren't doing their job. The problems in this school district and in others are larger than "teacher quality".

Some of us think the problem is one that cannot be solved by simply blaming either "professional educators" or "teachers". I've written about it earlier, but it goes back to the fact that children are only in school about six to seven hours a day. They are somewhere else the rest of the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,797 posts, read 24,297,543 times
Reputation: 32935
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Unfortunately, those voting Americans are a product of the USA edu output.



...
What country were you educated in?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 04:06 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,080 posts, read 18,252,401 times
Reputation: 34961
Between AI and offshoring there may not be many jobs for scientists and engineers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:52 PM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top