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BREAKING: Senate confirms DeVos as Education secretary Vice President Pence breaks 50-50 tie

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posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 02:35 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
Some states are better than others. With a weak Department of Education (and it is currently weak), states can largely guide their own schools. If the DoE were stronger there wouldn't be a large disparity between them, the fact that there is, is proof that education is mostly in the hands of the states right now. I'm not a fan of the Department of Education largely because it's unnecessary bureaucratic bloat and it doesn't actually do anything. It's an agency without a purpose.

We agree on your latter points above, but I don't think that the DoE exerts weak influence on our school systems (basically, it holds it for ransom for funding). Regardless, I think that we could do better without the DoE than with--if the difference is between giving more power to the states to govern education than the federal government, I'll generally side with the states nine times out of ten.



If you don't teach to the test, what are you supposed to teach towards?

Teachers should teach for life, not tests. Tests are an inefficient way of measuring intelligence--they basically measure one's effectiveness of their short-term memory. The average adult forgets most of what they learn in school that has zero pertinence in daily life, yet we graduate kids into "adult life" (higher education and beyond) who don't even have the understanding how to budget their income or balance a checkbook. Yet, they have to have studied a foreign language or learned about the history of the Chinese empire.

Don't get me wrong--I'm in no way advocating ignorance on such topics, I just think that the priority of teaching for standardized tests (which in and of itself is a terrible way to gauge individual students' knowledge of what was taught) instead of teaching things that actually pertain to life outside of school is the incorrect approach to education.

College is where students should take courses that teach them about foreign languages or ancient history or religious studies or in-depth chemistry, as for the vast majority of human beings, much of that will have zero bearing on their future careers or life in general.



But they are presumably experts in the subject they're teaching, once you get into the level of school that has teachers for individual subjects. 6th grade and earlier is something of a different animal.

"Presumably" is the focal point of that sentence. Like I said, I know plenty of teachers who will tell you that the so-called experts in the subject matter are not even close. Whether you want to accept that or not is irrelevant to the discussion. Maybe it's just anecdotal evidence and only happens in the few locales where I've been told this, but that doesn't seem likely.


I was homeschooled for a year with a private tutor (parents had to work, so they couldn't do it) due to medical issues so I've experienced it for my 7th grade year. Other than that, zero direct experience.

How did you enjoy being homeschooled versus public school?




posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 03:24 PM
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originally posted by: FelisOrion
a reply to: xuenchen

Proof you have never entered an inner city school. Ever.


What if the culture of inner city was that of Asians and their dedication of education? (in general)

If the CULTURE is not positive to school and education - - - what do you expect the school and teachers to do?

CULTURE needs to change from within. Responsibility needs to come from those within the CULTURE.

There are successful people who come out of inner city. What's the difference? Why do some succeed?



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 04:14 PM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: FelisOrion
a reply to: xuenchen

Proof you have never entered an inner city school. Ever.


What if the culture of inner city was that of Asians and their dedication of education? (in general)

If the CULTURE is not positive to school and education - - - what do you expect the school and teachers to do?

CULTURE needs to change from within. Responsibility needs to come from those within the CULTURE.

There are successful people who come out of inner city. What's the difference? Why do some succeed?


I finally agree with you on something Anne.

It is about culture, and if you want positive culture you need positive leadership and that's ultimatly what is lacking in most inner city communities.

The difference between the successful and the ones stuck can be as simple as a positive role model.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 04:25 PM
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originally posted by: Enderdog
Perhaps that method is only best for bright students then, and not the non-mathheads, for which it is only confusing? Or perhaps train the teachers first?


There could be better ways of teaching it (I've seen lots of videos on youtube showing examples that are basically a disaster), but the whole point of it is that it's easier to do so the people that aren't as good at calculation can still keep up. Essentially, the main idea behind it is to move everything to rounded numbers, and then add/subtract one value from that group of rounded values.

Interestingly, many people in this thread and elsewhere have written about how we used to be better. If we want to go back to the old days, this is actually how mathematics was taught in the past, prior to "new math" and everything that has happened since.


originally posted by: SlapMonkey
We agree on your latter points above, but I don't think that the DoE exerts weak influence on our school systems (basically, it holds it for ransom for funding). Regardless, I think that we could do better without the DoE than with--if the difference is between giving more power to the states to govern education than the federal government, I'll generally side with the states nine times out of ten.


I'm not really sure where I side on the debate. I don't approve of the DoE as is, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily opposed to a competent centralized authority. The DoE is neither competent nor an authority right now though. I see two sides to this:

With a strong central authority we would have the power to fix below average states and bring them up to par (keeping in mind that someone is always going to be below average).

On the other hand, if we have 50 competitive bodies each working on their own, some states are going to excel, reap rewards, and provide a model for others to follow... at the cost that some states are always going to lag behind, and the people being educated there are simply missing out on the luck of the draw.

I could go either way really, there's benefits and drawbacks to each.


Teachers should teach for life, not tests. Tests are an inefficient way of measuring intelligence--they basically measure one's effectiveness of their short-term memory. The average adult forgets most of what they learn in school that has zero pertinence in daily life, yet we graduate kids into "adult life" (higher education and beyond) who don't even have the understanding how to budget their income or balance a checkbook. Yet, they have to have studied a foreign language or learned about the history of the Chinese empire.


Tests aren't trying to measure intelligence though. Intelligence is once of those weird concepts that everyone talks about but we can't actually identify and we've never made a test that can measure it either. When I think of intelligence, what I personally think of isn't a measurement of what you already know or even how fast you learn, but rather the ability to draw analogies between different tasks and reuse what you already know rather than needing to commit something new to memory.

The idea of tests is that we're measuring if someone can solve problems of a given complexity in a given subject not how smart they are.

As far as classes go, I've long believed that all students should be given a class on personal finance. I had one in high school but it was an elective. I think it should be a requirement. Additionally, either as part of a personal finance class or as a stand alone module I also believe all students should be given a class on contract negotiations. Negotiating work contracts is the highest value thing you will ever do in your life, or if you're looking at it in terms of opportunity cost... the most expensive thing. I think it's absurd that we don't give students practice at it. Actually, I've had an idea for a thread for a while asking people what they would like to add/remove from the school curriculums. I've never gotten around to making it though.


College is where students should take courses that teach them about foreign languages or ancient history or religious studies or in-depth chemistry, as for the vast majority of human beings, much of that will have zero bearing on their future careers or life in general.


The best time to learn languages though is when you're young. So I think grade school is an excellent time to teach it. History is a great subject too but there's a big difference between college and grade school history classes. The older you get, the more these classes revolve around concepts and events such as states rights and slavery opposed to facts and figures like how many men and cannons were involved in Gettysburg. The former is useful information and great material to provoke critical thinking, the latter is a waste of time. Sadly, developing brains often can't comprehend the concepts so proper history discussions aren't appropriate for children. I think we could tone back on pre college history, but I think having a general overview of the subject is still healthy. Children should know the major points of the Civil War for example.



"Presumably" is the focal point of that sentence. Like I said, I know plenty of teachers who will tell you that the so-called experts in the subject matter are not even close. Whether you want to accept that or not is irrelevant to the discussion. Maybe it's just anecdotal evidence and only happens in the few locales where I've been told this, but that doesn't seem likely.


The more you learn, the more you realize that no one actually understands anything, and most experts themselves know enough in their field to know how little they know, which also makes them not consider themselves experts. My use of expert here is more a general term to describe someone that has spent years studying a subject, and sometimes applying it. In addition to having spent years passing that knowledge on to others. Not necessarily a person who knows every single detail about that subject.


How did you enjoy being homeschooled versus public school?


It had it's ups and downs. As a kid I liked it because I could watch cartoons until 11:00 in the morning, go at it with my teacher for a few hours, then do my assignments, and be done by 4:00 in the afternoon or so and have time to watch more TV until my mom got home around 7:00. That basically made up my entire 7th grade and I can't really contrast it with a 7th grade where I didn't have that life. The closest would be 8th grade, certain classes gave me an experience that I couldn't get at home such as a technology class which let me use lasers, learn basic welding, and play with breadboards. My science class where we built trebuchets and catapults then got to test them by launching eggs with them across the school grounds and fire rockets into the air. Other classes like my reading classes were largely a waste of time.

If I had to rank things, my private school experience was by far the best, followed by public school, and home schooling comes in last. It wasn't bad, but looking back on it I just don't think I got as much out of it as I did the other two.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 04:33 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
Interestingly, many people in this thread and elsewhere have written about how we used to be better. If we want to go back to the old days, this is actually how mathematics was taught in the past, prior to "new math" and everything that has happened since.


When I was in school in the 50s, it was exactly the same. Read, study, take a test. Math was just your standard 2 + 2, etc.

The focus was on the middle kids, the intelligent and less intelligent were pushed aside.

Teachers had Pet Students, which they really can't do now.

I read up on the Common Core math and talked to some posters who really know what they're talking about. I think its great. In the long run you can see how it is a much better system working with 10s and blocks of numbers.

You still have to learn your math facts. We still do flash cards.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 04:37 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986

originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: FelisOrion
a reply to: xuenchen

Proof you have never entered an inner city school. Ever.


What if the culture of inner city was that of Asians and their dedication of education? (in general)

If the CULTURE is not positive to school and education - - - what do you expect the school and teachers to do?

CULTURE needs to change from within. Responsibility needs to come from those within the CULTURE.

There are successful people who come out of inner city. What's the difference? Why do some succeed?


I finally agree with you on something Anne.


It's an ATS phenomenon.

If you hang in here long enough



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986

It is about culture, and if you want positive culture you need positive leadership and that's ultimatly what is lacking in most inner city communities.

The difference between the successful and the ones stuck can be as simple as a positive role model.


YES!

You promote a "Gansta" mentality, that's what you're gonna get.

A friend of mine was a prison guard. He said the one common denominator is "It's always someone else's fault".

This blame game that's been going on recently is ridiculous. Everything starts with YOU. There is no peer pressure, there is only Personal Responsibility.

My 9 year old tried to tell me he got in trouble because kid next to him talked to him. So, I asked: "Did you respond, did you talk?" Yes. YOUR fault. You chose to respond. YOUR fault.

My mom during the depression (she was a teen) always had a job. Why? Because, she convinced her bosses that she was the person they needed.

The CULTURE of poverty. How many generations after generations remain in poverty? That's a pattern. And an excuse.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Oops! Had to go up and grab the thread title - - drifting.

BREAKING: Senate confirms DeVos as Education secretary Vice President Pence breaks 50-50 tie

Anyway, there is zero excuse for any child in the US not to get a quality education. However, it does required dedication and work from parents as well as student - - and educators.

My issue with DeVos is her push for vouchers - - - which she specifically wants to use for Christian schools.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 06:08 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6

originally posted by: Xcalibur254
a reply to: FamCore

I've asked why people think she's qualified. Nobody has actually been able to point to anything tangible. Instead people say that we should trust Trump to make a good pick or that we need an outsider in charge of education.


...because picking insiders has worked so wonderfully for us so far, right? At this point we're in "what have we got to lose" territory and I wish this woman all the success in the world. Her ideas helped Detroit schools, so I figure they just might help American schools in general. Furthermore, anyone the teachers union fights this virulently against is 100% A-OK in my book!
That union is out of control and only exists to save its members from the responsibility of failure after failure.

What have we got to lose?

A generation of children.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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originally posted by: Annee
You still have to learn your math facts. We still do flash cards.


Study and parental involvement is still necessary, perhaps even more necessary. You still need to know math basics too, but it does minimize errors and makes most of the calculations much easier, even if there's a couple more steps involved.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 08:22 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
It is about culture, and if you want positive culture you need positive leadership and that's ultimatly what is lacking in most inner city communities.

The difference between the successful and the ones stuck can be as simple as a positive role model.


I disagree. A lot of times they do have good leadership... what they lack is funding. They lack funds for expanding the school so there's a lower teacher-to-pupil ratio, lack of funds for afterschool programs, they might lack funds for breakfast programs (feeding kids from poor areas), funds for science lab equipment, funds for video equipment, and on and on and on.

Leadership in these schools produces a lot of good kids from homes that are financially struggling. They have good skills but go exactly nowhere for lack of opportunity and lack of transportation. That's not culture; it's environment and it impacts kids no matter what their racial background is.

You talked about "inner city kids" but I'm going to point out that the SAME thing happens to kids from small farming communities - places like Eden, Texas which has a tiny school system and can't afford much. They play in the six-man football league and the main activity is sports (not much if you're not an athlete.) They don't have the same computer labs as schools in Highland Park (part of Dallas, Texas) ... in fact, it'd be fair to say that they have as few advantages (except perhaps for air conditioning) as any inner city school. Appalachian towns have the same problems.

Charter school? Not possible in most small communities. Measures that promote charter schools are not going to help the tiny farming community school districts that cover the map.

As for "home schooling", I do agree that for some cases it's the best solution.

But... not if you have a kid like me. My mom was very intelligent as was my dad, but neither one could have gotten up to speed to teach me as quickly as I could learn. Some topics they didn't have any experience with (chemistry, for example) or the equipment to teach it.

And my dad had anger issues.

Now, I'm not the only one with a parent who had anger issues and who was better at some subjects than either parent. I would bet that a lot of you here know how this goes.

We need to care for our public schools; increase teacher pay and increasing school size so that the teacher is dealing with 15-20 kids (as they do in charter school) instead of groups of 25-35 where the teacher spends most of their time trying to keep order instead of teaching. We need a better metric of how good the schools are rather than standardized testing - because while you might focus on the inner city schools, the REAL victims of this policy are the schools in farm communities and mining communities and other small towns in America.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

I agree with everything you said, I wasn't saying it's only about culture or having a role model, but it's one of the most important aspects.

Having been born and raised in several inner city communities in Toronto (which is the most diverse city in the world), I see and experience first hand the problems. The reason I say culture and leadership is so important is because life continues after the school bell is rung. You can fix all of the problems in the school but the kids still have to deal with life outside of school and culture outside of school will translate into school.

I didn't have any positive role models in my life at all, struggled most of my life but I was lucky enough to persevere through it and make a life for myself. One thing that always stuck with me as I grew older and wiser was what a difference it would've made in my life if I had a positive role model.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 09:24 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: Byrd

I agree with everything you said, I wasn't saying it's only about culture or having a role model, but it's one of the most important aspects.

Having been born and raised in several inner city communities in Toronto (which is the most diverse city in the world), I see and experience first hand the problems. The reason I say culture and leadership is so important is because life continues after the school bell is rung. You can fix all of the problems in the school but the kids still have to deal with life outside of school and culture outside of school will translate into school.

I didn't have any positive role models in my life at all, struggled most of my life but I was lucky enough to persevere through it and make a life for myself. One thing that always stuck with me as I grew older and wiser was what a difference it would've made in my life if I had a positive role model.


I agree with you.

You can keep throwing good at bad and it will almost always stay bad.

UNLESS, the core is addressed. And that core is the CULTURE.

"That which is not earned has no value" I KNOW.

I was raised in poverty. The principle of our grade school arranged care packages and bought us shoes out of her own pocket.

When I was 13 my mom married a millionaire. She, of course, tried to overcompensate for the years we had nothing.

She paid bills for me. She bought me cars. She took me shopping. At first I felt appreciative, but after a while you begin to expect. It's not Thank You, it's "where is my stuff" - - and "you owe me" - - etc, etc. That is what hand outs do.

Bill Gates does a "meet me in the middle" philosophy. If you want it bad enough, then you're gonna do your part. You pay half, we'll pay the other half.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: Annee

One quote that comes to mind.

"It's not the place that makes the people, but the people that makes the place"

Hey we are agreeing with each other too much, does that mean we're friends now?



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: Annee

One quote that comes to mind.

"It's not the place that makes the people, but the people that makes the place"

Hey we are agreeing with each other too much, does that mean we're friends now?


EXCELLENT!!!

Many think I'm Liberal Left, but I'm not. I was a Republican for 40 years until the insane Neo Cons took over the party.

I AM - - a major supporter of all people treated equally and separation of church and state.



posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: Annee

I never doubted your intentions or your heart. That goes for all you liberal women.

But it's unfortunate you guys are being deceived and I truly mean and believe that. I know you'll disagree with that sentiment and that's fine but I will continue to do my part and call you out when I see fit.

Just know my intentions are not to be mean or condensending but I'm only trying to enlighten people the only way I know how. Please forgive me



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 01:39 AM
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a reply to: knowledgehunter0986

The problem with "culture and leadership" is that actually you WERE seeing culture and leadership... but your geography wouldn't allow you to move in the same paths that were "successful." If your situation had been economically different; if you lived in a different area where opportunities were more available, you would have had an easier time in spite of your family's culture and your overall culture.

I think you probably had movies and tv and books - I had those, too. I grew up in better situations but like you I had no heroes and no leaders. There was nobody like me in any of the books or novels or movies I encountered (and I got a LOT of flak for being what I am.) I had to break my own path and I had no mentors. I would have been a thousand times more than what I am now if I'd had people to ease my path and alliances. People in my same culture (heck, my own family) became amazingly empowered and wealthy because of the culture and because there were leaders..

...but not for someone like me.

I think that you had leaders in the community and in your culture. But even with the best leadership, if you had no way of taking advantage of what they taught, you wouldn't be much better off.

...at least, that's a guess. I could be quite wrong. I don't know you and don't know your situation and I'm just speaking from having lived and talked to other people. Everyone's story is different.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 07:25 AM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: Annee

One quote that comes to mind.

"It's not the place that makes the people, but the people that makes the place"

Hey we are agreeing with each other too much, does that mean we're friends now?



I AM - - a major supporter of all people treated equally and separation of church and state.





Are you really, though? Or does equal to you mean preference for certain groups? I ask because I have never seen you call out the discriminatory immigration policy of the last 40+ years that has significantly skewed the influx of immigrants to Asia, South America and Africa, but I have seen you call out the recent ban on 7 countries unable to track terrorists adequately. Sounds selective rather than equal.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 10:46 AM
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My friend recently enrolled his daughter in school. There became a problem when he was informed his daughter was learning Chinese, which is fine, but she needed to learn Spanish or she could not graduate, and it's federal regulation that forces Spanish.

Ridiculous. You can know 20 languages, but if you don't know Spanish you are out of luck.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 10:25 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
I'm not really sure where I side on the debate. I don't approve of the DoE as is, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily opposed to a competent centralized authority. The DoE is neither competent nor an authority right now though. I see two sides to this:

...

I could go either way really, there's benefits and drawbacks to each.

True enough, but I consider the biggest drawback being that the federal government fails nearly every time when it comes to implementing one-size-fits-all, big-government programs that try to govern one aspect of America's life. It generally costs too much, becomes corrupt and politicized, and forces people to do things that they would really rather not want or need to do.

Leaving curriculum and funding and oversight up to the states makes much more sense to me--why does someone in rural Mississippi need to get the same education as someone in urban New York when the likelihood of their prospective careers in the future will be dramatically different?

Maybe meeting somewhere in the middle is the best idea--maybe have a DoE that governs primary education only, and junior high (or middle school) and high school are under the direction of the state, and then once in college, these students can choose wherever they want to go. That gives them a standardized-ish primary education, but then also allows a more locally focused education as they grow older, and that gives the state education boards a standard recipe for education that they can either choose to continue, or alter as they deem fit.

But I still side on abolishing the DoE and giving the power to the states--we will never have a perfect solution, but trying to implement a one-size-fits-all program over a nation with 350-million people in it never works out well.




Tests aren't trying to measure intelligence though. Intelligence is once of those weird concepts that everyone talks about but we can't actually identify and we've never made a test that can measure it either. When I think of intelligence, what I personally think of isn't a measurement of what you already know or even how fast you learn, but rather the ability to draw analogies between different tasks and reuse what you already know rather than needing to commit something new to memory.

I agree with your definition of intelligence--it equates to ones ability to apply what they have learned.

Our current way of testing doesn't even test if someone has learned anything, but if they have crammed and committed information to short-term memory in order to get a good grade on a test. Yes, some people, like me, are "lucky" enough to have a brain that retains memory into adulthood--I'm going to be 38 this month and still remember tons of physics and math and history that I was taught in school, and I can still use that information to solve life problems. What that equates to is a decently high Intelligence Quotient, which is the best standard measurement that we have that indicates someone's intelligence level, but it still has its flaws, for sure.

Our student's tests should be more like mini IQ tests, or at least have elements of that in the tests--but they don't. As long as someone has short-term memorized the order of operations to find the correct number to an elementary math equation, that's good enough to move on to the next grade level? Hell, you see it on Facebook right now--people debating the answer to simple questions because the vast number of adults do not know how to use order of operations. It's sad.


The best time to learn languages though is when you're young. So I think grade school is an excellent time to teach it.

Excellent time to teach it, sure. Necessary for one's future, no--it's a misplaced priority IMO.


Sadly, developing brains often can't comprehend the concepts so proper history discussions aren't appropriate for children. I think we could tone back on pre college history, but I think having a general overview of the subject is still healthy. Children should know the major points of the Civil War for example.

Agreed to a point--I think that we underestimate what younger people are capable of understanding. And I'm not saying test them at a young age, but still teach it at younger ages--let them absorb it via repetition.



If I had to rank things, my private school experience was by far the best, followed by public school, and home schooling comes in last. It wasn't bad, but looking back on it I just don't think I got as much out of it as I did the other two.

Sounds like your homeschooling was subpar, no offense to your parents or your tutor. We have my son in a one-per-week homeschooling co-op, where parents all come together and teach different subjects in a loose classroom setting. My son gets to dissect animals, and go on field trips, and do science experiments, and all of that fun stuff, even if not to the extent of a public school. But his experience is different than yours, plus he has Asperger's which really, REALLY decreases the appropriateness of the learning environment of a public school for him.

I'm glad that you did get to experience three different types of schools, though--that's pretty rare for most children.

Thanks for the discussion.



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