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SOCIAL: Education, The All Encompassing Issue

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posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 02:04 PM
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EDUCATION- Of all the issues that we are facing in the upcoming election, none may be as important as education. Is giving tax breaks to the wealthy so they will invest more important than giving the taxpayer access to better education? A better educated taxpayer will earn more thus creating more revenue. A person with a better education is more apt to shun crime. A better educated person is more likely to be content with his lot in life. Education touches every aspect of the topics at hand, from Terrorism to the Environment.
 


There are many ways to boost education, tax breaks, voucher system but this is aimed at higher learning. The education system needs an overhaul so that No Child gets Left Behind becomes a reality rather than a slogan. That means putting money in the right places. Qualified teachers, access to up to date teaching tools, ie: computers, better monitoring of progress, accountability, smaller class loads, an environment that is conducive to learning.

Out sourcing of American jobs is a concern. Would it not be beneficial to upgrade the potential of the American worker, through education to combat this? How do the parties grade this issue? Where would they put the funds to best suit the student, from kindergarten to post secondary institutes?


[edit on 3-8-2004 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 02:11 PM
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I am 100% pro-voucher, it makes the schools have to shape up or their students ship out. I think it is a good step towards forcing facility upkeep, updating, and the hiring of competent teachers.

As far as money goes, the school system gets plenty of money, unfortunately the states see to it that very little gets to the school. If you look at the numbers which I unfortunately dont have, states prevent the vast majority of federal funding from reaching the school district. The best question to ask is, where oes that money go? To pay lawn service? Electricity? Teachers? TEACHERS UNIONS? I am uncertain but it doesnt make it to the classroom. So maybe instead of asking for more money for education we should ask for more money to MAKE IT TO the school, instead of going to the state.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 02:33 PM
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Do you mean a federal agency that deals directly with the schools, bypassing the state gov't? If so, doesn't this violate federal/state guidelines?



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 02:56 PM
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An interesting article presenting the case against vouchers can be found here. The authors examine the arguments FOR vouchers and then critique them one by one. They also give a very good HISTORY of the voucher system, and state that:


The fundamental controversy surrounding vouchers is whether or not public money should be used to pay for private schools.


The article goes further to state: "The non-partisan federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded recently that research on the academic benefits of public voucher programs is inconclusive. "None of the findings" made so far by academic researchers, the GAO concluded, "can be considered definitive.""

Problems with the voucher system include:


  1. Subsidizing Private Schools
  2. Creaming
  3. Separation of Church and State
  4. Insufficient Funds and Class Favoritism
  5. Selection Factors and Availability
  6. Accountability Issues
  7. Diverting Attention and Money from Core School Funding and Desegregation Issues



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
...doesn't this violate federal/state guidelines?


I dont know intrepid but the money isnt getting to the schools, as much as I am for states rights, something needs to be done. K-12 and higher education shouldnt have to battle each other over funding.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 03:41 PM
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I am appalled by No Child Left Behind, it seems to me as if its an excuse for the Federal government to take over the school system. It is nearly impossible for every school to meet all of the subgroup requirements.

The way it is set up, if your school has 20 different subgroups and 19 perform acceptably and one fails, even if that one subgroup has as little as two people in it, then the school can be taken over by the government. That seems wrong to me.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 09:01 PM
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We should increase the amount of competition between schools. Allow students and their families to have a choice between multiple schools. Those that are most effective will thrive, those that aren't will have to hire new teachers, administration, etc. I advocate that the increased competition come from private schools. Allow private institutions and parents belonging to the school to fund the students.

I don't think parents and private institutions should pay the schools' bills, but provide donations to keep the schools running.

I believe the community has not be engaged enough to aid in the education of their children. We all wish to rely on the government to solve our problems, but they can only do so much.

Another problem I see is garuanteeing a proper education for the poor communities. Such communities would have to rely more on donations to their school from private institutions and from the government. But, I don't think it could be any worse than it is now with some poor communities by encouraging private donations.

The incentives for private donations I'm thinking of could be grants for starting such an institution and allowing these institutions to run like a business. They don't require payment by customers, but they do provide a national service for the donations.

As well, to ultimately benefit from Free Trade, as intrepid stated we will need to increase our education on a national level.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 02:33 PM
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The simplest way to increase the quality of education is to eliminate the strong Federal control (No child left behind) of local schools in favor of local control. When money comes from the Federal government to fund schools, so does policy, and this policy is formulated and uniformly applied by officials who have no stake in the performance of your local school. Nobody will take better care of a local school then the parents and community whos children attend that school. Schools should be free to ahead to local community standards (within the framework of the constitution). When the money comes out of your pocket directly to the school down the road you will have more influence then when your money goes to Washington and then is sent to a school across the country.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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In looking at the Democrats platform for education I see they are planning to tackle several of these issues through various new initiatives as well as fully funding the "no child left behind" act.

I will link you to their information page on this but wanted to highlight a few key points.

Creation of National Education Trust
-This is the funding aspect of our public school system. It takes away from congress the ability to cut school programs and instead guarantees full funding of programs needed. It will also address our sorry state of education for those children with disabilities.

Testing
-Kerry/Edwards are planning to help states eliminate the decades old testing systems used to determine education retention and today funding. There are much more effective adaptive testing methods available today and they are promising to get these tests readily available to all students and school systems.

Improving Teachers
-Kerry/Edwards plan to change the overall pay scales of teachers across America. This includes offering raises to teachers who choose to work in more difficult areas or in schools that are at the lower end of the testing scales. This program will also help states fund more teachers, attempting to reduce the overall class sizes our students see today.

Graduation Rates
-In the Kerry/Edwards plan schools will be held accountable for the graduation rate of their own school. They will also be given tools with which to improve that rate such as mentoring and tutoring programs.

Invest in School Construction and Modernization
-Under Kerry/Edwards 24.8 Billion in bonds will be released to build and update schools across the country. This will include the additional funding of charter schools and "schools of choice" to help to enhance the benefits seen from those types of learning models.

Pre-school
-Kerry/Edwards will continue to invest in programs such as Head Start.

School's Open 'Til Six
-3.5 million children will benefit from structured after school activities running until 6pm including reliable transportation for the students. This will give our kids a structured program to follow, enhancing their education and social skills while helping to reduce some of the ever increasing burden on families due to rising daycare cost. Imagine a family today of 4 with all children as latch-key kids due to the family not having the funds for supervised daycare. This program alone could save lower income families hundreds a month.

You can read details of the Kerry Edwards education plan at the following link: Education plan

For more information on the Child Care plan, including schools till 6, you can review this link: ChildCare



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by lockheed
The way it is set up, if your school has 20 different subgroups and 19 perform acceptably and one fails, even if that one subgroup has as little as two people in it, then the school can be taken over by the government.


This is a major concern I have reagarding No Child Left Behind. Another aspect of this is that when a school "fails" they are put on probation. They lose funding and students then have the right to open-enroll at another school. At first glance this seems like a good thing for students, but in reality can have dire consequences:

Students may open-enroll, but they have to have their own transportation to their new school. Poorer families will not be able to afford this.

Quality teachers will leave the school in search of higher paying, higher profile schools.

Public support will diminish as certain schools are seen as "bad" or for the "dumb" kids.

Smarter students will leave the school in search of a better education causing the next year's test scores to fall even lower.


In the end we are left with an under-funded school comprised of minorities and poor students caught in a cycle that keeps getting worse. While it's true that if the test scores improve the school will be taken off probation, how can the happen with all the strikes it now has against it?

As an education major in college I witnessed these consequences first hand. At least one school in my area was shut down completely after being put on probation. As lockheed states, all this can happen if just one subgroup fails standardized testing.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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I think the answer for better education is more money from the goverment and more teachers.

Its easy, more teachers to teach the same amount of kids equals less kids per teacher. Kids are getting more time with the teacher.

Its hard to say "no kids left behind" when there are so many kids in one class.
Parents need to put the responsabilty on them selves to raise thier children, to teach them right and wrong...

Teachers are depended on more than to teach children. If that is going to be the case, there needs to be more of them.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by SpittinCobra
I think the answer for better education is more money from the goverment and more teachers.

Its easy, more teachers to teach the same amount of kids equals less kids per teacher. Kids are getting more time with the teacher.

Parents need to put the responsabilty on them selves to raise thier children, to teach them right and wrong...

Teachers are depended on more than to teach children. If that is going to be the case, there needs to be more of them.


This is part of the answer. After supper we spend 2-3 hours every night with the 3 kids doing their homework. They learn as much at home as they do in school. Sounds like I'm griping, I'm not, I enjoy teaching. The thing is, what about single parent families, or families that parents have to work extended hours to provide? What happens to these kids? They're left out to dry. More learning has to go on in the classroom.

So who is pushing for more qualified teachers?



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid

So who is pushing for more qualified teachers?




I think teachers today are very qualified, I think if we double the number we have now per school, it would solve most of the problem... You have to keep the same level of teaching ability for all...

This is a crule world, things are not perfect. If it was a perfect world, "no kid would be left out", but no matter what you do there are going to be some that arent getting what then need.. You cant make a cookie cutter for children minds... Everyone is equal, but diffrent.

I agree for single parents things are very hard. Even more so if you have muitple kids. I think Jobs should have child care.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:45 PM
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What I would like to know is whoever thought government assistance would do the education system good?

It never used to be like this now we have government intruding on what these kids can learn and what they can't, how much money will be given to each school and how much they can spend on their budget?

It's such a great system that teacher's aren't having to buy their own supplies right? WRONG.

This is just another example of how screwed up the government is, how about taking the government out of the education system since they really aren't needed. I would like to know former president johnson's excuse is on this issue.

Seems to me in the johnson era the whole idea of programs was to stimulate the economy and make our lives better. I didn't see any of that happen, we have robust programs and a huge deficit. Those programs screwed everything up.
The only thing I can agree with are the breakfast club idea for those kids who don't get a good meal in the morning but that has nothing to do with government. What am I saying here?

Government programs are not good for children's education, lacking necessities is a bad thing, giving money to the top administrators is a bad idea, alot of times it never gets down the chain (to the children) because of corruption.
People within a school district (parents of the children who attend shcool) should be putting forth the bills, having a say in what they want for their children, and taking care of business that way, not relying on some government assistance to help stimulate the education system, it's ridiculous.
When was the last time I saw government help a child achieve in education?
I haven't. When was the last time I saw children succeed because their parents were there to help out along the way financially and verbally. Many times, parents know what the schools need, government doesn't. government wants to be in everybody's lives, they say they want to help and that certain things will never happen but it's all crap. Each year they talk about how they are going to make sure every child gets a proper education ect, what have they done? All I see is cut back after cut back, lack of finances, and lack of school supplies, books, and equipment. It's a joke, and people need to realise nothing has happened in years and nothing will, it's all talk, start relying on yourselves for your children, you are their best hope. Not some government director who speaks out both sides of his mouth.

There is a political party that believes the family budget is more important than the Federal budget. A political party that is working to restore the hopes and dreams of every hard-working American family. The Libertarian Party will stop the waste in government by decreasing its size and power. We will work to roll back the power of Washington bureaucrats and politicians -- and leave you and your neighbors in control of your own lives. source: lp.org



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 09:03 AM
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Intrepid,
Thank you for bringing up a topic that I hold dear. I agree that this may indeed be one of the most important issues discussed today. See my thread at:www.abovetopsecret.com...
Schools must be allowed total local oversight. As a very astute poster said earlier, "Nobody will take better care of a local school then the parents and community whos children attend that school." That is not to say that Federal support should be eliminated. Different communities have vastly different tax bases. I see nothing wrong with taking exess funds from the most wealthy districts to help support the poorest. As Intrepid said earlier, (paraphrased)The entire electorate benefits from an educated populous.

The un-constitutional drive to shift tax monies to the support of private and religious schools will spell disaster for our public education system and the fabric of our Nation.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 10:02 PM
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Desegregation killed inner city schools not to mention the neighborhoods. You can't talk about fixing the public school system without talking about how the systems are funded and what has gone wrong. Many of the resources for urban schools were shipped out of the neighborhoods during the bussing era. Suburban schools grew with the added resources while the urban schools began shutting down because of lack of funding. Bussing also killed community schooling as kids were shipped 30 minutes away from their homes the schools on their blocks were shutting down. Desegregation put parents and teachers out of touch with the community.

If we can get back to the time where kids attended schools in their neighborhoods, and when the funding came from the homes and businesses that surround the school then we'll be taking a huge step toward fixing the problem...this has already begun in Indy--reverse desegregration has started to bring the bussed kids and their resources/funding back to the inner city. No catchy slogan or cute lil phrase to get public support is needed.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
If we can get back to the time where kids attended schools in their neighborhoods, and when the funding came from the homes and businesses that surround the school then we'll be taking a huge step toward fixing the problem...this has already begun in Indy--reverse desegregration has started to bring the bussed kids and their resources/funding back to the inner city. No catchy slogan or cute lil phrase to get public support is needed.


I think that there is some merit here. Not so much about race but the difference between urban, suburban and rural. I don't think this has to do with race but with putting the family and community back in touch. Bussing was and is a bad idea. Parents are to damn busy now and to expect them to have to drive long to deal with the school is ridiculous. I understand the intent, to integrate the races, but this isn't the 60's, we've made huge strides in the past 30 years. Now might be a time to take a step back. Nice points Saph.



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