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The Failure of American High Schools and Your Solutions!

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posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 02:05 PM
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You see, there once was a bear who was born and lived in a case, where he could walk 10 steps back and forth. This was his world and he thought he knew everything about it. Then, one day, the zoo was closed and the bear was set free. Beautiful meadows, dark woods and waterfalls now surrounded him. But he kept walking 10 steps back and forth, back and forth.

I believe that we, by hammering "respect authority", "doing this is right, that is wrong", etc. are building a cage around our children. They will no longer be able to look at the problem from aside, like "this so-called authority is saying bull#!", rather they will buy whatever told and slowly, year by year, their own thought are replaced by programs and instructions.

And mostly this are instructions of a "poor man", such as "I'm an empty place. I can not create, invent anything new. Life is hard, life sux. You have to work hard for money... " and so on. The top instruction that is hammered by poor parents into their children to explain their ( parent's ) poor position is "you can NOT make money with honest work!"

Naturally, the kid want to make money and, instead of looking for a legal way, he - being sure there's no such - starts walking the illegal way. All thanks to his parents and teachers.


If you'll look at an average grown-up, you will see a robot, a zombie, whos all thoughts and actions are controlled by what he was "programmed" to do, to think and how to respond.

Like "see kid + act bad ( what he was programmed as "bad" ) = spank" ( put the same mental cage on him ).

Yet those "pioneers", who were able to free themselfs, to remove all installed "programs" from their head, to see the world with a clear view and millions of opportunities in it... they see that they can not give their freedom to people who are not ready for it.

As people, hopefully, get a bit smarter from generation to generation, the world is slowly going from total zombie-thinking of the dark ages, to a model where everybody is a free personality. Look at the Indigo kids.

And, in my opinion, all this "beat kids to make them respect us! [fart] " are just fading screams of the past.




posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by bratok
I believe that we, by hammering "respect authority", "doing this is right, that is wrong", etc. are building a cage around our children.


I agree, but probably not in the way you want. In childhood, that cage is a neccesary evil, because, as previously mentioned children don't think the same way as adults. You don't give a toddler a choice in what they're going to wear, you tell them what to wear, and help them if they need it. Why? Because they will make a game out of it just to see what reaction they'll get. If you tell them they don't need to respect authority, then what the hell are police, firemen, doctors, and judges for? They will never be able to change the system because they will never have bothered to understand it. Children need to have authority. In fact, most adults need to have authority as well, but I'll get into that later.

Perhaps it's because I'm old enough now to watch friends and family with new children, and see what works, and what doesn't. I agree the theory is nice. Teach your kids to be strong and independant. But the fact of the matter is that human civilization is a gregarious society that requires multiple interlocking systems in our present state. And if you refuse to teach a child respect for authority, and to deny those systems, all you do is burden them with ignorance, and an unfair disadvantage against their peers, who will get better paying jobs, will manage to actually own property instead of renting, will stay out of jail, and become educated enough to continually advance in their life...

On the flip side, I don't know a single devout Smash-The-System child or adult who has achieved any measure of success (outside of music or film).



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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Originally posted by thelibra
It's not that I think physical violence is the answer, it's that I don't think allowing bad students at a younger age to be paddled is wrong. I don't know if that counts or not.


Sure.....straddle the fence and to see how over prepared and anal I am...



Originally posted by thelibra
However,in Elementary school, it was a fact that if you were bad enough, you got paddled. It was accepted as the consequence of our actions, not as an act of submission.


Sure, but now we're in a grey area where we have to define what is a physically punishable offense in the school environment. Disruption of the classroom environment? This grates on every teacher's nerves and all it takes is one bad day to create a 'he said, she said' situation where the focus is on whether the punishment fits the crime. What about a situation where a child is not interested in the subject, as per some of your earlier thoughts? Non-interest in a subject could be interpreted by a teacher as refusal to cooperate, and punishment may be decided upon as a likely course of action. The child isn't necassarily going to learn anything other than punishment can occur arbritrarily and thus, interest can wane further and subsequent introversion may be the result.

Which in some cases, is fine. Balancing social experience can offset this, but the whole point of this thread is to decide what would constitute an improvement. I'm not the first one to claim the social experience is an important factor of the learning process. Also, social eperience can mean all kinds of different things.......defined on the sliding scale of positive and negative. It is known that fear reactions not only inhibit a cognitive perception of an experience, but that subsequent experience can be influenced by the fear reaction. This means that subsequent experiences similar to the 'first experience'(for purpose of arguement) will also have a cognitive inhibition.

en.wikipedia.org...
www.brainexplorer.org...
Biologically, this means that emotion(chemical/hormonal associations with experience) can affect the higher functioning of the brain. The amygdala, connected with the endocrine and limbic systems(hormones and emotions) can have a higher ratio in the attenuation of the individual than any of the 'meaning' applied to a situation. If one holds that survival is the default motivation of the evolving/growing individual, you'll finds that this concept holds consistent.......the individual will be more concerned with the consequence of the action than the application.......interestingly enough, this would have a relevant impact on the developing mind as the frontal lobes, which are highly implicated in the use of long-term planning and forethought(which is a process required for the breaking down of experience into logic and emotional aspects) are said to develop at 25 or even later, according to current research.


"The frontal lobes are sort of the executive center of the brain — the part of the brain that's responsible for planning, organizing, anticipating the consequences of one's actions," said Elizabeth Sowell, a UCLA neurophysiologist.
www.abcnews.go.com...


Regardless, the logic for using very specific phenomenological diagnoses related to fear and anxiety is to (a) enumerate and identify the particular behavioral manifestation that needs to be altered or assessed, and (b) to identify areas where specific behavioral intervention can be useful.
www.vin.com...

The above states how fear and anxiety are viewed in the definition of a consciousness, i.e. as a basis for behaviour that potentially needs to be changed, of course dependent on the type of behaviour and its impact on the overall ability to function. Corporeal punishment can have this impact on an individual, indeed, in some cases the anticipation of corporeal punishment can have this affect.



Corticosteroids play extremely important roles in fear and anxiety. The mechanisms by which corticosteroids exert their effects on behavior are often indirect, because, although corticosteroids do not regulate behavior, they induce chemical changes in particular sets of neurons making certain behavioral outcomes more likely in certain contexts as a result of the strengthening or weakening of particular neural pathways.

www.neurotransmitter.net...


Pretty much, what I am trying to illustrate(probably not as effectively as I would like) is the amount of attenuation an individual will give any given experience based on the provoked chemical reactions......a higher concentration of corticosteroids will change the target of focus away from cognitive reasonings, which are the targeted processes in an educational environment........


Originally posted by thelibra
It was a very effective method of controlling unruly children.


The topic is not "unruly children", rather on effecting a better schooling system, in which case I would have to side with many of your statements......but an optimal school system does not include corporeal punishment, imo.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
To educate through respect and collaboration is to raise for critical thought and socially minded interaction.



Originally posted by thelibra
That's all well and good, but how? Children do not inherently know to respect their elders, that has to be instilled. They also do not contain the same sort of basis that adults do on which to base their opinions.


The key word is collaboration. There are many ways, I'm sure, to incorporate this concept, and probably already has in some cases.......I'm at a current loss for suggesting how this would be accomplished.


Originally posted by thelibra
Nice use buzz words, but what do they really mean? It's sort of like saying "We need to be proactive in adhering to a more synergetic environment."


What it meant is that any given social situation is going to have its more prominent individuals and those who incur a lesser amount of attention/interaction with the group. Such is the problem with the ideological scenario, where everyone wins and is mentally/physically healthy......not everyone can encounter a set of experiences that will result in the optimal situation/personality. And I wasn't suggesting anything near "proactive" or even a course of action in that statement.......just stating the reality of a non-static environment.

Without the buzz words.........some are gonna win, and some are gonna lose.


Originally posted by thelibra
It sounds like what you're suggesting is to eliminate individuality among the students. I can think of no more effective method at eliminating a student's interest at excelling.


That is not what I'm suggesting.....and I'm puzzled as to how you arrived at that conclusion.


Originally posted by thelibra
It's not that I think physical violence is the answer, it's that I don't think allowing bad students at a younger age to be paddled is wrong. I don't know if that counts or not.


Stated like that, I can't find a problem with that......but I think allowing the school to punish children physically opens up the possibilities for dramatics that would undoubtedly detract from the educational process. And that's how I'm viewing this discussion, topic being the improvement of said process, not the relevancy of physical punishment.

My mind keeps referring to soficrow's post......I think she put very succintly.......within that paradigm(buzzword), you have room for error as social outlets prominent in society will go along way to assuaging any concerns displayed by an imperfect world......



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 05:32 PM
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Personally I think that by the time a child gets to school age corporal punishment becomes unnecessary. Spanking I believe is necessary in pre-schoolers, what's better for them? Letting them stick something in a wall socket or a smack on the butt? It also instills in them the action/reaction factor. Once they mature though, it becomes unnecessary. I can achieve much more with "take-aways". TV, internet, clubs, sports.

Bet MY parents had the take-aways that are around today.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Ok, class. Settle down, people. I MEAN it. We have a lot to cover.

I won't get into the "school-voucher" debate; I'll just say that I think choice and competition, while brutal, ensure quality product at affordable prices. But I'm smart enough not to waste time arguing with the 'ginners.

So, assuming that there will always be some form of public school in the USA, and, assuming I am made "People's Commisar for High School," here's what I see:

What I would do

1. Most suburban high schools are WAY too big. Shootings correlate positively with a school "community" that exceeds 500 students, and especially those over 2000. Additionally, in campuses with more than a 10 minute break between classes, so much time is spent going to and from class that little learning takes place. So, we must start aiming for smaller schools. an absolute limit of 20 students per class, and 25 classes per campus at any one time.

2. Sports programs compete for attention with academics. So, I would end all field sports with other institutions. Sure the kids can play football. Against themselves. But we are not paying 2 $ a gallon for diesel in a schoolbus to ship you, and the cheerleaders, and the marching band, to the state championships. And we are not going to spend a quarter of a million dollars on stadium lighting (!)

3. Increase the degree of inter-school academic and intellectual competition. I'd have statewide chess and debate competitions, with scholarships and entry into the college of one's choice as prizes. You want to fund a cheap sport? how about fencing.

4. Teach the classics Usually, people ask a millionaire like Gates or Soros what to teach. Most of those guys never went to college anyway. Capitalists often poo on classics and liberal arts. But the classics teach how to think. I could teach ethics using Plutarch's "Lives of Illustrious Men," or Bocaccio's "Decameron." I learned physics by reading Kepler and Newton, and still have a good grasp of the theory 20 years later. One reason kids today suck at debate is because they have never even heard of Cicero. A writer that Lincoln, Webster and Clay memorized, in the original Latin!

5. Cameras in every space Yeah, I know, a police state. But I tell you what, I was in law enforcement when Texas put a camera in every trooper's car, and microphone in his tie-clip that he couldn't turn off. And graft and corruption dropped dramatically.

6. Schools can expell students, and districts no longer have a responsibility for that student. Which means that if you threaten a teacher, you don't get detention. you don't get sent to a "magnet" school. You get sent home, which means you get sent to socio-economic purgatory. period. Next!!!

7. A "Civil Service Corps" where they send you if you drop out of school. Yes, you get paid full wages. And yes, you get to work outdoors. Filling potholes. Cleaning the public restrooms at the park. And picking up the outdoor arena after that "sytem of a down" concert. And if you "fail out" of CSC, you also opt out of welfare. Do I sound like a fascist? Surpise!--I'm pulling a page from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal playbook. Sieg Heil!

8. End "group work." Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty. I used to substitute teach, and I can tell you that teachers talk openly amongst themselves about what a great tool "group work" is. Because you don't have to fail anyone, and a group of 5 kids will take 6 weeks to do the work one of them could have done over three days. When I asked what to do while Mrs. Crabapple had her baby, the other teachers told me to "pan out the course plan by turning everything into group work." If you let the kids grade themselves, you can't even be sued. It's a learning experience! Ha.

Now, if you liked what you see, drop by my web-page and e-sign my petition to president Cheney to be made "people's commisar for schools . . ." or have a look at our long running "Evil Genius" thread on BTS.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 07:04 PM
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Best way to help schools is to get 1/2 of the students home schooled.

Smaller classes,etc.

Roper



posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock

Originally posted by thelibra
However,in Elementary school, it was a fact that if you were bad enough, you got paddled. It was accepted as the consequence of our actions, not as an act of submission.


Sure, but now we're in a grey area where we have to define what is a physically punishable offense in the school environment. Disruption of the classroom environment?


Works for me. Children need to be taught early on not to disrupt the classroom. What else can one use? Putting them out in the hall is hardly a punishment; the child will more than likely just wander off. Giving them detention? Some kids live in detention, and it seperates the immediacy so there's less association between the crime and the punishment, and thus, little, if any, lessons learned. Call the police and have them arrested? This was done as recently as this year. I saw the video and the child was doing nothing I would even remotely arrest someone for, but considering that schools get sued for even giving a student so much as a failing grade, what's the alternative?

So the next question would be what severity of disruption? How many warnings? This used to be objective. The teacher's disposition decided that. We knew in class that in Mrs. Robinson's class we could get away with near-murder before we got sent to the principle's office for paddling. But in Mrs. Ojeski's class, we knew that so much as looking at her funny was grounds for "Old Spanky".

Is it fair? No. But it does teach the child a valuable lesson early on in that not all people deal with all situations the same way. Later on, when they have multiple bosses looking over their shoulder, they more quickly learn whom they can be casual with and whom they need to be a stickler for procedure. Life is like that. In essence it teaches them the weak points and the strong points in the system, to better exploit it later on.

The need is: You must instill a sense of discipline in the student.

The problem is: Currently, teacher's hands are not only tied, but chopped off, because they can be sued for even so much as failing a student (ie. doing their job).

The solution is: Either give the schools the ability to enforce discipline as they see fit, or start penalizing the parents for not taking responsibility for their child's actions.

The problem with the former solution is that in certain situations, this freedom can be abused (and has) in the past, just as it can be (and has) with any other institution. This is an acceptable risk. Freedom always carries the risk of abuse, and that is why other institutions, such as the PTA and CPS are set up to monitor this.

The problem with the latter solution is that some parents won't care about the penalty, won't pay the penalty, or in some cases, really shouldn't be held responsible, but have to be due to the law. Perhaps the greatest risk is that it teaches them that someone else will be held accountable instead of them, and they will not learn responsibility for their actions.

So, going with those options, I'd rather the school have the freedom to enforce discipline as they see fit. Don't like the way they enforce it? Vote with your feet, and choose a different school, or (God forbid!) get involved in your child's life, join the PTA and try to change things.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
What about a situation where a child is not interested in the subject, as per some of your earlier thoughts? Non-interest in a subject could be interpreted by a teacher as refusal to cooperate, and punishment may be decided upon as a likely course of action.


Well, that will always be the case. Some kids don't give a crap about learning how to read, but it is a neccessity in order to survive in modern society. So in this case, I say "tough s--t, the kid has to learn it, whether they want to or not". If it takes the stick, rather than the carrot, to get them to pay attention, so be it.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
The child isn't necassarily going to learn anything other than punishment can occur arbritrarily and thus, interest can wane further and subsequent introversion may be the result.


I disagree. Just because one gets punished, or could be punished, doesn't mean the only lesson they learn is about the punishment. Perhaps for the instance itself, they only learn that lesson, but if they learn it well enought to "Shut up, Sit Down, and Pay attention" then they will be more likely to learn what is being taught.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
Balancing social experience can offset this, but the whole point of this thread is to decide what would constitute an improvement. I'm not the first one to claim the social experience is an important factor of the learning process. Also, social eperience can mean all kinds of different things.......


The social experience is not the duty of the schools, though. It is a process of trial and error by which the child learns what works, and what doesn't. You will not be able to banish cliques, they pop up regardless of every attempt to homogenize the student body. If you don't have school uniforms, then clothing will be the first factor in determining one's clique. If you use school uniforms, then the way that they are worn will determine the clique. If you strictly enforce the wearing of it, then hairstyles, trapper-keepers, and other accessories become the determining factor. If you make all haircuts and school supplies standardized, skin color becomes the factor.

People have a natural desire to feel supererior to others, and thus, break off into smaller groups that they can define as belonging to, in order to make themselves feel superior to the other groups. Rich kids hang together, feeling better than the poor. Jocks hang together, feeling better than the weak. Nerds hang together, feeling better than the stupid. Misfits hang together feeling better than the social cast.

There's really nothing wrong with this. Each group has its own advantages and disadvantages, and some students change groups dozens of times throughout their life. This teaches them a lot about social interaction. The rich are usually quite powerful, get what they want, but the downside is that no one else likes them but other rich. The jocks are usually intimidating physically, but quite stupid. The nerds are usually intellectually bright but have few social graces. The misfits are generally more philosophical, but misguided in their aims.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
...the individual will be more concerned with the consequence of the action than the application...


Again, there's nothing wrong with this. People should be concerned with the consequences first, and then the application.

Posit: I have fire in front of me.
Consequence: Things that touch fire get burned.
Result: I avoid touching the fire directly, and try poking other stuff into it.
Application: I can cook meat over the fire.

I can provide other examples, but the point is that the consequences must be discovered before an application can be derived. This is known as The Empirical Process, by which the majority of respected science is tested.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
The above states how fear and anxiety are viewed in the definition of a consciousness, i.e. as a basis for behaviour that potentially needs to be changed, of course dependent on the type of behaviour and its impact on the overall ability to function. Corporeal punishment can have this impact on an individual, indeed, in some cases the anticipation of corporeal punishment can have this affect.


Posit: Corporeal Punishment causes pain and fear.
Consequence: People want to avoid Corporeal Punishment.
Result: People balance their desire against its value in pain and fear.
Application: Corporeal Punishments are useful so long as the pain and fear outweigh the desire of the perpetrator.

So, let's take the previous example of paddling or spanking. Once this punishment has become learned to the child, and the follow-through is absolute every time the threat is made, the mere threat of a spanking is going to be enough to deterr a child from actions you do not want them to take up until they develop a solid foundation of abstract thought (for most children, this seems to be between ages 5-8). After that point, they begin to weigh their actions against the consequences, and it becomes less effective as a disciplinary tool.

"Let's see... I really really want to impress my friends with this practical joke, but I know that if I'm caught, I'll get paddled. So I need to be really sneaky about it."

or, alternately...

"Hmmm... a whole school year's worth of respect from my friends, vs. a day of pain from having my butt whooped... maybe it's worth it..."

Thus we arrive at a new series after about age 8...

Posit: The older one gets, the less effective paddling becomes.
Consequence: Students begin to misbehave more and more.
Result: New methods of enforcing discipline become neccessary.
Application: Either stronger corporeal punishment (like lashings with a whip) must be instituted, or more abstract punishments must result (such as detention, humiliation, the idea of burning in hell when one dies, etc...)

When one fully develops the ability for cognative and abstract thought, they have reached the "age of accountability". The law says this is 18, but in reality, I believe it's more like 12 or 13. Still, part of the development of abstract thought involves punishment, because it is at its core, the most basic level of understanding. The other is pleasure.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
The topic is not "unruly children", rather on effecting a better schooling system, in which case I would have to side with many of your statements......but an optimal school system does not include corporeal punishment, imo.


I disagree slightly. Rather, I would word it as "an optimal school system does not need to use corporeal punishment," but, it would still be an option, especially at the earlier stages. However, this is the "Optimal" school system, as in, everything is as perfect and efficient as is possible at the time, with no overcrowding, and no mentally defective children in the classroom.


Originally posted by MemoryShock

Originally posted by MemoryShock
To educate through respect and collaboration is to raise for critical thought and socially minded interaction.



Originally posted by thelibra
That's all well and good, but how? Children do not inherently know to respect their elders, that has to be instilled. They also do not contain the same sort of basis that adults do on which to base their opinions.



Originally posted by MemoryShock
The key word is collaboration. There are many ways, I'm sure, to incorporate this concept, and probably already has in some cases.......I'm at a current loss for suggesting how this would be accomplished.


But therein lies the problem. There probably are ways, but to date, the old methods still work best for the least cost in terms of time and money.

I can think of a few ways to try and steer the trend towards a better understanding, but it would take an incorporation by all aspects of the culture surrounding the child. Older siblings paying respect to the adults (instead of acting like ungrateful snots). Television shows that teach respecting adults (instead of making them look like buffoons). Money management classes at an early age. Regular time taken by the parents, each day, to sit down with the child and explaining ethical and moral values. A media that glorifies good behavior and merit, rather than glitz and glam. An entire shift in the paradigm of society to encourage working for the greater good, rather than the individual. A network of friends and neighbors to monitor and guide the children in the right direction. A removal of parasitic elements from the adult element...

All of these things can come into effect, and even then you will have children who will still rebel, and refuse to respect elders, because they are children, and that's what children do.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
And I wasn't suggesting anything near "proactive" or even a course of action in that statement.......just stating the reality of a non-static environment.


Which a static environment really isn't possible (see above) until we achieve a Hive Mind state of being. While these problems should be considered in devising solutions to other aspects of education, it is unfortunately not a changable one.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
Without the buzz words.........some are gonna win, and some are gonna lose.


Agreed, which is why we hope to maximize the number of those who win, through means which we can control or at least heavily influence.


Originally posted by MemoryShock

Originally posted by thelibra
It sounds like what you're suggesting is to eliminate individuality among the students. I can think of no more effective method at eliminating a student's interest at excelling.


That is not what I'm suggesting.....and I'm puzzled as to how you arrived at that conclusion.


I think it was the....eh....not important. If it's not what you meant, then no real point in figuring it out, cause we're both on the same page then.



Originally posted by MemoryShock

Originally posted by thelibra
It's not that I think physical violence is the answer, it's that I don't think allowing bad students at a younger age to be paddled is wrong. I don't know if that counts or not.


Stated like that, I can't find a problem with that......but I think allowing the school to punish children physically opens up the possibilities for dramatics that would undoubtedly detract from the educational process.


Ah, okay, I can agree with that. Though I feel it is still, at this stage in society, a neccesary evil until something better comes along.



And that's how I'm viewing this discussion, topic being the improvement of said process, not the relevancy of physical punishment.

My mind keeps referring to soficrow's post......I think she put very succintly.......within that paradigm(buzzword), you have room for error as social outlets prominent in society will go along way to assuaging any concerns displayed by an imperfect world......



Originally posted by intrepid
Personally I think that by the time a child gets to school age corporal punishment becomes unnecessary. Spanking I believe is necessary in pre-schoolers, what's better for them?


Agreed, though I'd say the age is more dependant on the disposition of the child, though obviously it'd have to be standardized for scholastic purposes, and then the occasional exception made. (see earlier)


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
So, we must start aiming for smaller schools. an absolute limit of 20 students per class, and 25 classes per campus at any one time.


Indeed!


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
2. Sports programs compete for attention with academics. So, I would end all field sports with other institutions.


Three problems I see with this. One, in Texas, if you so much as even hinted that the football team be taken away, the suggester would find his or herself hanging from a tree within the week, or alternately, retracting their suggestion with a very pale sweating face, while a few men in the shadows with their arms crossed nod slowly.

Next problem. It becomes a slippery slope at that point. After all, if the school isn't going to pay for sports, why should it pay for photography clubs? Why should it pay for a gymnasium? Why should it pay for after-school program. And don't even get me started on the expense of a school band. You can bet there'd be a heck of a lot of "revenge politics" whereby if sports got its funding cut, everyone else would feel it just as hard.

Last problem. It removes the solid benefits that school sports brings, namely school spirit, encouraging good health, and income from ticket sales and fund raisers. While most schools are not going to be running a positive balance in -all- of those three things, they are quite likely to benefit from two, and certainly to benefit from one.

Oh, and additionally, schools provide a much safer playing environment than the streets or the YMCA for those in less than affluent areas.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
3. Increase the degree of inter-school academic and intellectual competition. I'd have statewide chess and debate competitions, with scholarships and entry into the college of one's choice as prizes.


AMEN! Granted, it will only appeal to those interested in such pursuits, but at least they'd have an avenue with which to excel.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
You want to fund a cheap sport? how about fencing.


As a veteran fencer with foil, and some other sports, I have to say this isn't exactly true. Fencing is quite expensive, costing hundreds of dollars just for the weapon, and even more for the vests. Plus the other equipment is pretty costly as well. Additionally, it's extremely boring to watch, even to other fencers. The action is simply too fast for the eyes to catch most of the time, and good fencing involves a very small area of attack, vs. movie fencing which is wild and all over the place.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
4. Teach the classics


Yes, I agree. Though the definition of classics does change over time. It is my opinion that Robert Heinlein should be added to the classics.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
5. Cameras in every space


I reluctantly agree. I hate the thought that it's come to this, but considering kids are able to be stabbed, in the hallways between classes, in broad daylight, and the perp isn't caught, really irks the hell out of me.

And this...


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
6. Schools can expell students, and districts no longer have a responsibility for that student.


combined with this...


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
7. A "Civil Service Corps" where they send you if you drop out of school.
(snip)
And if you "fail out" of CSC, you also opt out of welfare.


Is an excellent idea. Though I would allow the students the opportunity to re-enter the classroom after a period of work.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
8. End "group work."


Well... group work has its place, but the way it's currently used is inefficient for educating the student. It would be better used in a situation where it was more applicable to the real world. Such as tackling a problem that cannot be solved by one person alone (like lifting a heavy load from area A to area B). This would teach teamwork and problem solving skills at the same time.

Great suggestions all around people, keep it coming.



posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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Thinking some more about school sports . . .

Yes, you are right about the Texas "football syndicate." Which is why I was speaking solely as the people's commisar for High School. From my position of presumed authority, I know that I will have your full support in leading the vanguard of the revolution. Right, comrade? ( in other words, I'm talking about my wishes, not reality.)


Yes, fencing is pretty expensive. But football is INCREDIBLY costly. Re-turfing every three years. Stadium lights. Pads, sound system, scoreboards, locker rooms, tackle dummies, sprinkler systems, et al. And there is no way it makes a profit. It may on paper, but only after local school boards have cooked the books by putting the light bill in the "facilities mgt." budget, and putting the liability insurance in with the school buses'.

Maybe the question should be what Sorts of sports to support. At least soccer wears down the grass fairly evenly (unlike football).

I am not against physical education. I AM against a "sport" that only perpetuates the popularity politics that cause already stressed-out teenagers to become even more hurtful to each other and themselves. It also sets up an elite, a small group of a few dozen boys, upon which the school lavishes thousands of dollars, and all of its attention. (I played high school football in TX).

And the class schedule is hostage to the football program. Classes are cancelled so that students can go to pep rallies. Yet I never saw a football game shortened so that we could concentrate on an algebra exam.

Anyway.

My Civil Service Corps would only be a part of my larger vision. Upon graduation, all students would need to serve as auxilaries in the military, emergency response, or police. Or they could go directly into the military.

I would replace the "national guard" with an auxiliary/reserve that would patrol the borders. Yes, it would be a lot like a draft, but the chance of actual combat would be remote, and most young people would willingly serve against the (remote) possibility of being invaded.

You'd have to volunteer for outright military service. If you couldn't pass the entrance requirements (which would be severe), you could serve with emergency response. Police auxiliary would not carry guns, but would write traffic tickets, neighborhood patrol, crowd control at public events, etc. Countries that use a system like this usually manifest a lot more respect for police, since most citizens have served with them at one time or another. Plus, people obey the laws since there are a lot more police around.

The general mood I would try to set is one where education is seen as both a right and a valuable gift that should be spent wisely.

My number one goal would be to see to it that the ones who don't care about knowledge don't subvert the educational system for the ones who do want to learn. In public schools now, even if you want to learn, they are not teaching--they are too busy doing crowd control.

I think the biggest problem is that the teachers' union doesn't believe in operant conditioning. Basically, you have to punish people for being bad, and reward them for being good. The present system does neither.




[edit on 23-6-2005 by dr_strangecraft]



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