Sunday, January 17, 2010

Public Schools = Overpaid Underachievers

For some reason there is anger in the air. It's Sunday, a day of peace and tranquility, so why take it out on our public schools? Because they are not performing competitively, that's why. Most schools from grades 1 to 12 fail to teach our kids much of anything. They are producing a product that is uncompetitive in the marketplace. Somewhere between kindergarten and 12th grade youngsters are supposed to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Instead they are producing high school graduates that can't read, can't write, and can't add 2+2.

These graduates arrive at college unable to sign their own names, so they are immediately put into REMEDIAL classes. This is a joke. Most of these college freshman underachievers drop out the first year. Half of the rest drop out the next year, and only a small percentage, very small percentage, actually graduate from college.

Let's get rid of PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  They are very expensive and they don't get good results. There are (at least) five good reasons to close them all and start over:

(1) State and Federal spending on Public Schools has been corrupted and is now ineffective.  The present reimbursement systems do not work and they are a significant burden on taxpayers.

(2) It is time that elementary, middle, and high schools have to COMPETE for students.

(3) Teachers that MERIT promotion pay should get it. Teachers that don't MERIT promotion should be eased out of the system.

(4) Administrators (District Superintendents, Principals, Vice Principals, etc.) should be paid on a MERIT scale and no more than twice to three times the average teacher's pay in their district.

(5) Students should be PAID for the grade they achieve. The student's pay should go to their parents or guardian. Parents apparently MUST be rewarded for their kid's achievement in order to obtain their support.

And . . . . . ?


Rain said...

Naturally I disagree completely. We must fix public schools and not give up on most of our population. It is not to our benefit to have an ignorant populace (witness the result of that too often today). Your idea would leave behind those who cannot afford to go to private schools. Giving money to parents, to choose their own kids schooling means my tax money might be funding fundamentalist educations that teach things like creationism with the earth a few thousand years old, as a fact. I would resent that a lot. Schools could be fixed and a lot are still providing good educations (I have 2 grandkids in public education with good teachers-- this year anyway. My grandkids (11 and 8) can write quite well, are competitive, and creative). I think you read too much negativity and need to get some positive info that comes from sources other than fox ;) Where education may be failing some places, much of that is parental fault and won't be fixed by giving those parents money. That's the wrong motive for the parents or the kids. It should be about education for its own value. You can get a very good education, be a very literate person and not make a big salary and vice versa. Money is not the criteria for everything. Our school systems were not helped by No Child Left Behind and the concept that testing is everything needs to be thrown out.

Kay Dennison said...

Yes, our schools need help and yes, there is a literacy problem but public education should not be abandoned. I think things like discipline and standards of excellence need to be restored and not just in the schools. Education starts at home.

Bump's Stump said...

Kay . . . You are exactly right. But it isn't happening. (1) The NHSC claims "About 70% of high school students need some form of remediation. The most common problem is that students cannot comprehend the words they read."
(2) I said the State and Federal funding system was broken and need to be fixed. I guess I didn't explain further that I am starting to think that State and Federal VOUCHERS be used to finsnce student education through the 1-12 grades. (3) Unlike Rain, I am not afraid of fundamentalist teachers of creationism as long as the opposing view is given equal exposure. (4) It is a fortunate Grandparent whose 12th Grandchild can write a single page double spaced essay, using language properly, and without using computer assistance, spell the words correctly. That child will be at the very top of his or her class. (5) BUT YOU SAID IT ALL WHEN YOU STATED THAT EDUCATION STARTS AT HOME. Right on.


Rain said...

I am afraid of fundamentalism and like you I have strong opinions on where my tax dollars go. I don't want vouchers. I want the public system fixed with less frills and more solid educating time. It did it before and it can do it now. No Child Left Behind has done all it can to demolish real educating. Talk to any teacher and you will see how damaging it is to teach children only how to pass tests. I think some of that was intended to get the vouchers. I would be very unhappy to see more religious ignorance taught with my tax money. And vouchers can be to people who pay zero taxes. I will do all I can to keep our public system working as anything else is the road to ignorance and more religious bigotry. When children only hear the fundamentalist teachings, they don't know there are alternatives. Some parents like that just fine. Not me.

And I don't know where you are hearing about these totally failing schools but if it is inner cities, then I'd say that's a problem of poverty and parenting. Schools can only do so much. The group in this country who want to demolish them won't be done ruining our culture when they are gone. It's step by step. Education is our only hope and we won't make it better by tearing it down.

Rain said...

Out of curiosity, could you tell me the source of that information from the NHSC? Is that the testing system that teachers detest so much or something else? And what are they doing involved in education exactly as I thought that was the Department of Education on the federal level (which I was thinking ought to be abolished as it doesn't seem to help much with local educating)? I will admit most of what I know is direct experience with my grandchildren, what i hear from my daughter on their experience with their teachers, and two good friends who both teach in public high schools but in different parts of the country. I don't btw have a problem with charter schools which any parent can send their children to now as they have a charter from the district to teach what the district teaches. That is not the same as private schools that have no such obligation. You don't need vouchers though for charter schools. Some of them have had a lot of success in difficult areas.

One of the biggest things we could do to make a difference in the motivation of kids would be to guarantee any child who graduated from high school with at least a B average and had a good behavioral record could go to college with minimal cost. That lets them see working hard has a place it can get them. Right now much of the middle class is being priced out of higher education. Very different than when I went to college and most any family could afford it. I would never have been able to go without that kind of state help out there to all colleges. It's disappearing thanks to budget cuts and the emphasis on getting corporate and government grants. That's the saddest thing to me as it's the step up for kids from families like mine.

Member said...

Rain . . . Thanks, as always, for your input. Now and then I sound off just to relieve my frustration. I really don't know how to fix the schools . . .but I am positive they need fixing. I will try to answer some of your questions in my next blog.


Rain said...

We believe that one way to fix them is to make them stick to the basics. They waste a lot of time today with frills. Also forget the no child left behind testing that has left teachers so frustrated. The teacher unions haven't helped either with protecting bad teachers and making it hard to fire them. (and I say that with a good friend, an excellent teacher, who is a union president). My grandson though suffered through his second grade with a teacher that everybody knew was incompetent but she couldn't be fired. Fortunately he had parents who worked with him and the system and this year, in third grade, he has a good teacher that is starting to undo the damage that other one did to his feelings of his own ability. Children need to be taught that school is their job and they shouldn't expect it to amuse them. With the world as it is, all the video games, the movies, a lot of kids don't know how to work but it's not the fault of schools