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Old 01-30-2024, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,840 posts, read 24,347,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Between AI and offshoring there may not be many jobs for scientists and engineers.
Career "things" change, sometimes before we know it. Look at travel agents.
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Old 01-30-2024, 07:28 PM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,379 posts, read 10,670,669 times
Reputation: 12705
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
But you first must admit you have a problem.

The Dept of Education thinks the nation is doing great.
The U.S. Department of Education has little to do with what is taught in schools. There involvement was mainly involved in funding initiatives such as Common Core that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in certain subjects at the conclusion of each school grade. The Department of Education had the most involvement in passing special educations laws protecting and guaranteeing the rights of students with special needs.

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.
Agreed

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.
Good examples and these are probably representative of many cities in the U.S. The issues in Pennsylvania are somewhat different. When public schools started in PA, each city, borough, or township was responsible for educating their own students. They could start their own schools or contract with another city, borough, or township. This resulted in several thousand school boards who had to come up with a plan to educate their students. Rural townships contracted with small cities and bussed their students through other townships that had their own schools. School districts merged over time and the state mandated mergers in the 1960s. A stumbling block to further mergers was debt that school districts had taken on to build school buildings. That debt follows any merger or even a change in school district boundaries.

A move to a county school district also brings with it fears that local schools will be closed and students bussed to the larger schools. They also fear the loss of local high school sports and local facilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Well, "a poor job of inspiring youth to go into SE fields" is not the same thing as "what are all the things wrong with American education?"

Let's face it, the job of doing something about the below-average students is a big one and the nation has done a terrible job there. But these aren't the kids who'll be scientists and engineers, either. The question of this thread is "what do we do to have more SMART kids engaged in SE fields?"

Those smart kids are culturally influenced to think science and engineering are pursuits for weird autistic people without social skills, who are failures socially, have no sex life, and cannot be related to. A smart, extroverted, social kid who finds math and science interesting will be urged not to pursue those fields, because of this cultural bias. I believe that's 90% of why smart US kids aren't going into SE as much as they could, so we have to import them from countries and cultures where the term "engineer" is a source of pride, not an epithet to describe the aforementioned goofus.

The question of what to do with the dumb kids and the emotionally disturbed kids is a different question.
I agree with your first two paragraphs, but don't follow your logic in the third paragraph. Many smart kids are going the MBA route with hopes of working on Wall Street or in consulting with one of the major consulting firms such as McKinsey.

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.
I don't follow some of the people your label as professional educators. If you're referring to teachers' union leaders, they have little to do with education policy. Who are the policy staffers your refer to and where do they work?
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:16 PM
 
Location: WA
5,452 posts, read 7,746,787 times
Reputation: 8554
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
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.
I lived and taught there for 13 years. The Waco metro area is about the center 2/3 of that map. And if you were to draw a line around the suburban boundaries it would look something like this.



The Waco, Connally, La Vega, China Spring, Midway, Robinson, and Bosqueville school districts all contain boundaries that fall within the actual city limits of Waco and Lorena, McGregor, Hallsburg, and Crawford all contain suburbs of Waco.

The Bosqueville district was actually once part of Waco ISD but after integration, white parents carved it out as a separate district and then eventually built their own high school. You can see the high-priced suburban subdivision lines follow the district boundaries even from the air.

For example, this fence line running off into the distance actually marks the dividing line between the affluent White Midway ISD to the left where all the houses are being built in the upscale "Trails of Oakridge" subdivision where they actually have McGregor addresses: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...97733692_zpid/ from the majority Hispanic McGregor ISD to the left where there is nothing but farm fields. https://maps.app.goo.gl/YfmYB8MZWzr6BCtd9

There are even more egregious gerrymanders. For example, here is the Waco ISD northern boundary. This was long ago the White district. What is that weird slice pointing into the neighboring district?



Are there people living there? Nope, not a one. So why draw the district boundary lines that way?

What actually was located there was this: https://wacohistory.org/items/show/133 The General Tire company which at one time was Waco's largest private employer after Baylor University and the value of the property spit off millions in property taxes claimed by Waco ISD.

Fast Forward 50 years and the leaders of the city of Waco made a similar decision when they decided to locate the new Waco Industrial Park just across the district boundary in Midway ISD on the south end of town instead of more local and central locations right off I-35 on the other end of town where the tax dollars would have flowed into the now majority Black and Hispanic Waco ISD.

District boundaries in Texas are not just about who lives there, but also what kind of money they can lasso. Both industrial development and residential development follows these convoluted district boundary lines.
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:26 PM
 
Location: WA
5,452 posts, read 7,746,787 times
Reputation: 8554
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
The U.S. Department of Education has little to do with what is taught in schools. There involvement was mainly involved in funding initiatives such as Common Core that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in certain subjects at the conclusion of each school grade. The Department of Education had the most involvement in passing special educations laws protecting and guaranteeing the rights of students with special needs.
The DOE is primarily a passthrough vehicle through which Federal dollars are passed on to states and localities to support K-12 and higher education (student loans, Pell grants, Title 1 grants to school districts serving poor students). Tens of Billions of Federal dollars (maybe hundreds of billions if you include student loans) pass through the DOE to states, localities, and higher education. It is the DOE that writes all those checks.

It is secondarily the regulatory agency to enforce education laws passed by Congress which are mostly Special Education, Title 9, Americans with Disabilities, McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Act etc.

And it is also a data clearinghouse for educational data collection across the various states.

The DOE has virtually no role in curriculum development.
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,840 posts, read 24,347,720 times
Reputation: 32967
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
The DOE is primarily a passthrough vehicle through which Federal dollars are passed on to states and localities to support K-12 and higher education (student loans, Pell grants, Title 1 grants to school districts serving poor students). Tens of Billions of Federal dollars (maybe hundreds of billions if you include student loans) pass through the DOE to states, localities, and higher education. It is the DOE that writes all those checks.

It is secondarily the regulatory agency to enforce education laws passed by Congress which are mostly Special Education, Title 9, Americans with Disabilities, McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Act etc.

And it is also a data clearinghouse for educational data collection across the various states.

The DOE has virtually no role in curriculum development.
You know they're not going to believe you.
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Old 01-31-2024, 07:30 AM
 
12,850 posts, read 9,064,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post

I don't follow some of the people your label as professional educators. If you're referring to teachers' union leaders, they have little to do with education policy. Who are the policy staffers your refer to and where do they work?
Once again, unions advocate for policies they want implemented, develop their visions of those policies, lobby Federal and state on behalf of the policies they want and against the policies they don't want, and provide funds to the campaigns of politicians who favor their policies. Just look at the NEA and AFT websites, they don't hide any of this.

Staffers is the common general term for the people behind the scenes who actually write the language in policies, laws, regulations, etc. They can work for any of the unions, lobbying companies, education companies, US ED, or at the state or local level.

.
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Old 01-31-2024, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,840 posts, read 24,347,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Once again, unions advocate for policies they want implemented, develop their visions of those policies, lobby Federal and state on behalf of the policies they want and against the policies they don't want, and provide funds to the campaigns of politicians who favor their policies. Just look at the NEA and AFT websites, they don't hide any of this.

Staffers is the common general term for the people behind the scenes who actually write the language in policies, laws, regulations, etc. They can work for any of the unions, lobbying companies, education companies, US ED, or at the state or local level.

.
Okay, we get it. You're anti-union. The organizations that built middle class America.

I was a union rep for my school in Maryland for 2 years. Each year the union would come up with about a dozen proposals to start negotiations. Half would be 'educational stuff', the other half would be pay and benefits. Once we got into real negotiations, the 'educational stuff' usually disappeared and the almost total focus was on pay and benefits. Not once in 2 years in a union state did I, as a building rep, have to become engaged in anything about educational policies. The issues were always pay, benefit, or working conditions considerations, and very few of those.

In a non-union state the next 20 years, as a school administrator, I had to deal with the local teacher 'organization' a total of...wait for it...once...in 20 years, once...and the teacher organization actually backed me, not the complaining teacher.

That's just to put a littler perspective on it.
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Old 01-31-2024, 08:02 AM
 
19,804 posts, read 18,099,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
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.

I've read tnff's comments per all this for a while now. He does not simply blame teachers and pro-educators for our current and it seems worsening K-12 problems.

That said when all of The Department of Defense, Colleges and Universities, hiring managers and business leaders across the country ID poor math and science skills as a pervasive problem per recent high school grads we need to assess education top to bottom.

texasdriver posted PISA test results by country and race elsewhere. I suggest everyone here spend a couple of open minded minutes looking at the results.

IMO a place to start would be vigorous tracking. ID the kids who have little shot due to disinterested parents, low IQ, behavioral issues whatever and do the very best for this group that we can but separate them from kids who demonstrate more better results.

Teacher pay. I'd be willing to pay for better teachers but I'm not willing to pay weak performers more. For a long time teachers have been lowest rung of college graduates per any large rising professional group. A while back someone posted GRE results by major and let's just say it painted an ugly picture around teachers.

Funding........all of the per pupil funding metrics teaching advocates throw out there fall apart when we compare state vs. state spending and outcomes. Further, the same applies when we examine say US Black PISA scores which are bracketed by kids from countries that spend fractions of what we spend per kid (FE Moldova sports an average annual income of around $12K, Moldova spends around $3,000 US per pupil per year).

Until US public K-12 makes some serious changes look for more and more motivated parents to take the private, homeschool or charter paths.
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Old 01-31-2024, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,542 posts, read 2,687,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
I agree with your first two paragraphs, but don't follow your logic in the third paragraph. Many smart kids are going the MBA route with hopes of working on Wall Street or in consulting with one of the major consulting firms such as McKinsey....
What part don't you understand? Have you consumed any products of US popular culture in the last 40 years? The smart kids who want to pursue science, math, engineering are UNIFORMLY portrayed as "geeks, nerds, autistic, Aspergers" - ugly, no social skills, undesirable to the opposite sex, awkward, unable to converse on ordinary subjects, thick black rimmed glasses mended with adhesive tape, two left feet on the dance floor, completely inept at sports, and just generally "weirdos" - which NO kid wants to be. Does that sound like a portrayal that will attract, or repel, smart kids who could pursue their interests in SE subjects, or who could do something else?
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Old 01-31-2024, 08:21 AM
 
19,804 posts, read 18,099,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
I lived and taught there for 13 years. The Waco metro area is about the center 2/3 of that map. And if you were to draw a line around the suburban boundaries it would look something like this.



The Waco, Connally, La Vega, China Spring, Midway, Robinson, and Bosqueville school districts all contain boundaries that fall within the actual city limits of Waco and Lorena, McGregor, Hallsburg, and Crawford all contain suburbs of Waco.

The Bosqueville district was actually once part of Waco ISD but after integration, white parents carved it out as a separate district and then eventually built their own high school. You can see the high-priced suburban subdivision lines follow the district boundaries even from the air.

For example, this fence line running off into the distance actually marks the dividing line between the affluent White Midway ISD to the left where all the houses are being built in the upscale "Trails of Oakridge" subdivision where they actually have McGregor addresses: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...97733692_zpid/ from the majority Hispanic McGregor ISD to the left where there is nothing but farm fields. https://maps.app.goo.gl/YfmYB8MZWzr6BCtd9

There are even more egregious gerrymanders. For example, here is the Waco ISD northern boundary. This was long ago the White district. What is that weird slice pointing into the neighboring district?



Are there people living there? Nope, not a one. So why draw the district boundary lines that way?

What actually was located there was this: https://wacohistory.org/items/show/133 The General Tire company which at one time was Waco's largest private employer after Baylor University and the value of the property spit off millions in property taxes claimed by Waco ISD.

Fast Forward 50 years and the leaders of the city of Waco made a similar decision when they decided to locate the new Waco Industrial Park just across the district boundary in Midway ISD on the south end of town instead of more local and central locations right off I-35 on the other end of town where the tax dollars would have flowed into the now majority Black and Hispanic Waco ISD.

District boundaries in Texas are not just about who lives there, but also what kind of money they can lasso. Both industrial development and residential development follows these convoluted district boundary lines.

I didn't claim money/tax-base wasn't a factor in district maps.....money is always a factor.

You seem to lay most of this at the feet of racism and white flight.

1. Texas had more districts before white flight than after.
2. Texas' independent district system was codified in our constitution in 1876 many decades before white flight.
3. There is no doubt some early districts were set up to be white and others black. With a second pulse several decades ago.
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