The Future of U.S. Education - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-30-2003, 10:54 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 12:30 PM
The Future of U.S. Education

Buried somewhere in one of the numerous Bush threads was a mention from Dreadsox about the education bill proposed by GW last year. I hope he doesn't mind if I quote him here.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox When the president passed his education plan last year with the help of Senator Kennedy, new money was promised. The money was promised as part of his "No Child Left Behind Bill".

His office FROZE the money from being released. In my eight years of teaching I am looking at larger classes, teacher layoffs, not enough money for replacement text books, and I am buying more supplies for my class out of my own pocket than ever.
I'm very intersted in learning more about this and the effects it is having right now. In my grad class last night a teacher from Worcester MA stood up and told us he's having a music benifit to try and save the music department in Worcester (a large city in MA) which is about to be abolished. I've heard other concerns similar to this (cut budgets, entire schools being closed) recently, from other teachers.

Anyone offer any advice where to look to learn more about what is going on? Or anyone have any opinions or first-hand experience? I know there are a lot of teachers on this board.

Call me crazy, but this issue is important to me. Education isn't the place to start making budget cuts, and it really busts my gut when that happens.

As it is at my old high schools, fees have been iniatated on every sport & club (I tink it's $50 PER SPORT & CLUB). The school just passed accreditation and due to HUGE debt the town decided to take as much as it possibly can from the school system, so it's only a matter of time before the entire system folds and the schools lose their accreditation. This is beyond belief to me.
__________________

__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:09 AM   #2
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 11:30 AM
That's why I went to Catholic schools, rather than deal with the bullshit in our public school systems.

Let's face it. With each recession that comes up, we have the cry for "tax cuts." Well, guess what? They add up with each recession, and now we have this sheltered elite that thinks that they can get all the services without actually paying for it. But what has changed?

In the 1950s, 90% of taxes were paid by businesses and 10% by individuals. In the 1970s, 70% of taxes were paid by businesses and 30% by individuals. In the 1980s, 30% of taxes were paid by businesses and 70% by individuals. See a pattern? The entities with actual money--businesses--aren't paying nearly the taxes they used to, and now the burden is on individuals. However, right now, it is politically convenient to tout "tax cuts." Well, guess what? If the federal government cuts funding, the burden goes on states. States either have to make up that money through deficit spending, service cuts, or tax hikes. But it is also politically convenient for them to just do service cuts--thus putting the burden on local communities. Local communities just don't have the resources or the options, and, thus, things just don't get done.

But we won't re-tax businesses. Republicans have effectively demonized that as "liberal," so guess what? Expect it to get much worse people. You get what you pay for.

Melon
__________________

__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:15 AM   #3
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 11:30 AM
I am sorry for not getting back to you. Let's start here. I will be back later with more. Can't get into too much now.

Here is the legislation page:

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/esea/

http://www.nclb.gov/
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:40 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 12:30 PM
No problem! I saw someone else was interested too so I thought I'd start a new thread.

Thanks for the links, I'm going to check them out.
__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:06 PM   #5
New Yorker
 
Scarletwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Outside it's Amerika
Posts: 2,746
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
If the federal government cuts funding, the burden goes on states. States either have to make up that money through deficit spending, service cuts, or tax hikes. But it is also politically convenient for them to just do service cuts--thus putting the burden on local communities. Local communities just don't have the resources or the options, and, thus, things just don't get done.

Melon
Almost three years ago the Ohio State Supreme Court ruled Ohio's education funding unConstitutional. It is almost wholly based on our levies(taxes) on property taxes. This creates a huge inequality in school district funding. Mainly based on industry within the district perimeters. The districts are also drawn without rhyme or reason. For instance in my county there are four district, four administrations, ect. It is also against Ohio law for the state to redraw the districts creating more equality.

Rather than pass some real legislation to create more equality the current admininstration (Republican by the way) has been tring to get by the Court's decision my making small suggestions and then saying we are fixing the problem. Taft also ran on an Education Platform.

My school district didn't buy books for several years, the students had to share in class, and only when they outlawed sports (this is Ohio - never) and threatened to do away with any busing did a new levy, additional property taxes, pass. We are a rural school district and almost all parents would have to take and pickup their children.

As Federal funding decreases it definitley passes off to the states and ultimately the tax payers.
__________________
Scarletwine is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:12 PM   #6
ONE<br>love, blood, life
 
hippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Lookin' for the face I had before the world was made
Posts: 12,144
Local Time: 12:30 PM
This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I attended public school in South Florida (some of the worst public schools in the country) until I was in eighth grade, then I transferred to a private school where I feel that I got the best education I could. But I always wondered what happened to all those people who couldn't go to private school...

And now I'm going into the teaching profession and I've started to really pay attention to these things. I've seen the Federal Government cut money and it worries me incredibly. I'm not too knowledgeable yet about the situation in the entire country... but I do know that Florida (one of the worst public school systems in the country when I was in eighth grade 7 years ago) has gotten even WORSE since then. I didn't vote for Jeb Bush this last election specifically because he promised more money for education even though his history has shown him making drastic cuts in education funding.

I'm incredibly concerned about the state of education. I was planning on enrolling in the "Teach for America" program where you go into underpriviledged schools and teach, but I'm not sure if I'm up to such a daunting task. I saw a special on one of those news programs (Dateline? 48 Hours? something) about the program. I saw these teachers struggling to teach their students the basic skills that they should have already been taught. There were students in their junior year of high school who didn't know how to construct sentences and had never written an essay. I was shocked. I have the desire to be a literature teacher, but why should I have to spend my time teaching students the basics of grammar when my job is to teach them how to think critically about the books, plays, and poetry we're reading? It makes me only want to teach in private schools, but what's the good in that?

In my opinion, all other discussions about the state of our country should be based on where our education system is. It's a travesty... if I remember correctly, the United States has some of the worst education scores in the entire world. It's discouraging to me, to say the least.

Thanks for the links Dreadsox, I'll definitely be doing some reading about this issue.
__________________
Write for Interference!
Email or PM me (kim@interference.com) if you're interested.
hippy is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:01 PM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Want a solution? Here's my idea:

--Abolish property taxes. I think this is a flat-out ridiculous form of taxation that pretty much implies that we really don't own our property; we're just renting it from the government. At least communism was honest. But, at its core, a property tax system is flawed, because mobile home users are not subject to property taxation. However, they have children too, and they are a drain on the school systems.

--Restructure the income tax. When the flat tax debate came in, it posed an interesting question: what's the point of such tax rates when you can do everything to get around it? I'm for a modified, graduated flat tax--i.e., different rates for different income levels. No income taxes for those in legal poverty levels (they're getting all their taxes back anyway). Have levels like 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. for different income levels. This should also apply to businesses, and with sufficient income, we may be able to get away with lower income tax rates if we can get both businesses and individuals to pay. This is, whether you like it or not, the fairest form of taxation.

--Restructure the sales tax, etc. In the U.K. (and, likely other nations), there is an 18.5% VAT on all purchases. However, this tax is included in all listed prices, meaning you know exactly what you're paying when you look at a list price. However, in the U.S., obviously, all sales taxes are added on afterwards, and, hence, you don't know exactly what you're paying and will be more likely to gripe about the tax. However, look at gasoline taxes, which are included in all prices. Take away the 30-40 cent taxes, and do you think that gas will remain cheap for long? Not really....businesses will merely raise prices and take a larger profit, because we're used to paying those prices. In Michigan and Ohio, for instance, gas has consistently been cheaper in Ohio, despite the fact that it has a 40 cent gas tax versus a 33 cent tax in Michigan. What does that really tell you?

--Finance schools at the state level, not the district level. What is the difference? Right now, we have "rich" schools and "poor" schools, but isn't everyone, regardless of their parents' income, entitled to the same education? In an income tax paradigm, taxes could be collected and distributed equally at a per-student level to all school districts. People shouldn't have to worry about whether their school district is good or not when they move into an area.

--Different levels for different performances. Let's face it. Not everyone is equally intelligent, and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. Since students have different talents and different educational needs, there should be differing curriculum for each. Honors classes for smart kids. Basic classes for those who need more help. Regular classes for everyone else. There should also be less tolerance for disruptive students, who should be placed in separate educational programs themselves temporarily, where their instructors are more strict and can instill the discipline they will need to succeed. If they need a "Maury Povich" style boot camp, then so be it. In all instances, the dignity of each student needs to be maintained.

--Educational standards. Rather than putting pressure on standardized tests, which are not indicative of actual performance, there should be strict guidelines on what students should be learning, on the basis their performance level (honors, basic, regular, etc.).

--An end to social promotion. If the kids can't handle the work, then they should be forced to repeat it until they get it right.

--Restructuring of school boards. I've seen school board elections. Anyone can run for office and get elected to them, no matter how unqualified or uneducated they may be. We wouldn't necessarily tolerate such incompetance at the university level, so why should we at the elementary / high school level? Qualified educators and administrators should run schools, not the general public. The fact that creationism has been seeping into public schools lately is evidence enough.

I probably could find more ideas, but that's good for now. Thoughts?

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:15 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Another good link.

This one has information for parents and teachers. It seems to be pretty good. I am trying to find things not put out by the NEA, because I do not like to tout their side of the issue either, but it might be important to do so, since a lot of what is out there is from the Govt.


http://www.teachervision.com/index.html
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:21 PM   #9
Blue Crack Addict
 
meegannie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 15,798
Local Time: 04:30 PM
Thanks for the links, Dreadsox. It was perfect timing. I was just doing work on a related issue!
__________________
meegannie is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:32 PM   #10
ONE<br>love, blood, life
 
hippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Lookin' for the face I had before the world was made
Posts: 12,144
Local Time: 12:30 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon

--Educational standards. Rather than putting pressure on standardized tests, which are not indicative of actual performance, there should be strict guidelines on what students should be learning, on the basis their performance level (honors, basic, regular, etc.).

--An end to social promotion. If the kids can't handle the work, then they should be forced to repeat it until they get it right.
__________________
Write for Interference!
Email or PM me (kim@interference.com) if you're interested.
hippy is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:38 PM   #11
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Want a solution? Here's my idea:

--Different levels for different performances. Let's face it. Not everyone is equally intelligent, and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. Since students have different talents and different educational needs, there should be differing curriculum for each. Honors classes for smart kids. Basic classes for those who need more help. Regular classes for everyone else. There should also be less tolerance for disruptive students, who should be placed in separate educational programs themselves temporarily, where their instructors are more strict and can instill the discipline they will need to succeed. If they need a "Maury Povich" style boot camp, then so be it. In all instances, the dignity of each student needs to be maintained.
*Melon, the statement that you make above goes against everything that the educational reserchers and college professors have been touting in my area for the past 10 years or so. I speak only about the elementary school level. All students are to be in the regular classroom. All students are to be educated in the least restrictive environment. If a student has learning issues, modifications are to be made to keep that child in the regular classroom. The days of "pull out" are gone. Unless the child is on a specific plan for pull out servicing my a remedial, or special needs teacher, it is not happening.

Currently I have 4th graders who are reading on the 10-12th grade level doing algebra with their eyes closed. I also have 4th graders still not able to do their multiplication facts and are reading at the 2nd grade level.

It is my job as the teacher to learn to teach to all ability levels and make modifications to keep them all learning. Leveling math classes is also illegal. You cannot take the "bluebirds" and send them to room to learn addition while the "redbirds" are learning algebra.


Quote:
Originally posted by melon

--Educational standards. Rather than putting pressure on standardized tests, which are not indicative of actual performance, there should be strict guidelines on what students should be learning, on the basis their performance level (honors, basic, regular, etc.).
Well, this is what the "No Child Left Behind" is about. Accountability and assessment. Every state is responsibile for coming up with an accountability system, and standards that are expeced to be met. The Massachusetts Frameworks are the Standards we are to meet in our state. THey cover all subject areas, however, the Social Studies/History Framework, has changed 3 times, so we are teaching to a moving target.

If you want a glipse at the MCAS test I can set you up with a link. It is not a typical standardized test. It has a very large writing component.

The problem is that with "No Child Left Behind" many states have put their expectations so high, that they are putting themselves in trouble with the Federal Government. I would give anything to administer the Texas test to my class. It is 1,000 times easier than the MCAS.



Quote:
Originally posted by melon

--An end to social promotion. If the kids can't handle the work, then they should be forced to repeat it until they get it right.
Interesting thought. I believe MOST teachers would agree with you. The problem is, that these students also tend to drop out when they are of age. Which is worse? Social Promotion or dropping out? I do not know. There are great arguments on both sides. I can honestly say I have not EVER socailly promoted anyone. However, I do know it happens.


Quote:
Originally posted by melon

--Restructuring of school boards. I've seen school board elections. Anyone can run for office and get elected to them, no matter how unqualified or uneducated they may be. We wouldn't necessarily tolerate such incompetance at the university level, so why should we at the elementary / high school level? Qualified educators and administrators should run schools, not the general public. The fact that creationism has been seeping into public schools lately is evidence enough.
That change you are looking for would be incredibly difficult to pass. All I can say is, my administrator is in chanrge of my building however, she gives us all the rope in the world to get our jobs done. If we want to try something she supports us as long as we can prove it is a valid thing to be doing and our lesson is tied into the State Frameworks.


Peace
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:45 PM   #12
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 11:30 AM
I'm fully aware that much of what I have written is not legal at this point. I wrote it as a potential legal framework, rather than what schools should do on their own. Any real change is going to have to come from the government.

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:46 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 12:30 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon

[snip]

(they're getting all their taxes back anyway). Have levels like 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. for different income levels. This should also apply to businesses, and with sufficient income, we may be able to get away with lower income tax rates if we can get both businesses and individuals to pay. This is, whether you like it or not, the fairest form of taxation.

--Restructure the sales tax, etc. In the U.K. (and, likely other nations), there is an 18.5% VAT on all purchases. However, this tax is included in all listed prices, meaning you know exactly what you're paying when you look at a list price. However, in the U.S., obviously, all sales taxes are added on afterwards, and, hence, you don't know exactly what you're paying and will be more likely to gripe about the tax. However, look at gasoline taxes, which are included in all prices. Take away the 30-40 cent taxes, and do you think that gas will remain cheap for long? Not really....businesses will merely raise prices and take a larger profit, because we're used to paying those prices. In Michigan and Ohio, for instance, gas has consistently been cheaper in Ohio, despite the fact that it has a 40 cent gas tax versus a 33 cent tax in Michigan. What does that really tell you?
Some good ideas! Esp. the sales tax!! I was just thinking that when I was pumping gas the other day lol. How I never complain about the sales tax on gas b/c I never really notice it, but how it's always such a pain on purchases, etc.

Quote:
Originally posted by melon

--Educational standards. Rather than putting pressure on standardized tests, which are not indicative of actual performance, there should be strict guidelines on what students should be learning, on the basis their performance level (honors, basic, regular, etc.).
Both my parents are teachers, and I had to do a paper in college when the law was passed to require MCAS testing in schools. My mom said- when a big senator's kid can't go to high school or repeats a grade because they haven't been properly taught, or fail later in life because they were "taught-to-test," then this will change." Too bad for all the kids in the meantime!


Another thing that bugs me is the financial aid for college. Both my parents are teachers like I said, so they have stable jobs at an acceptable income, but there are four kids in my family so we aren't exactly rich. My parents work their entire lives and save up and get ZILCH in financial aid for us to go to college, b/c they're just above the "line." On the other hand, someone I knew was a foster kid and this person was in an agency that paid for her to go to school. She had absolutely no regards for money (accrued several thousand dollars worth of debt on credit cards before graduation) and never had to work for her education. My parents pay their "debt" to society, and hers drained the system, yet she gets a free ride & we get more debt. I definitely think she deserves an education and money for school for that matter, but she went to a private school that cost $20,000 more than the state school. Why not pay for the cost of a state college and have her be responsible & take out loans for the rest? We all had to do that.
__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:49 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Melon, the statement that you make above goes against everything that the educational reserchers and college professors have been touting in my area for the past 10 years or so. I speak only about the elementary school level. All students are to be in the regular classroom. All students are to be educated in the least restrictive environment. If a student has learning issues, modifications are to be made to keep that child in the regular classroom. The days of "pull out" are gone. Unless the child is on a specific plan for pull out servicing my a remedial, or special needs teacher, it is not happening.
These "educational researchers and college professors" simply have it wrong. If I had to take the same classes as everyone during high school (did do all the same work in grade school), I not only would not have been happy, but I'm sure I would not be a fraction of who I am today.

If I have to become a politician myself to implement change, then I shall start the process after I am finished with my education myself.

<--took honors courses in high school and college.

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:56 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 11:30 AM
Re: The Future of U.S. Education

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm


I'm very intersted in learning more about this and the effects it is having right now. In my grad class last night a teacher from Worcester MA stood up and told us he's having a music benifit to try and save the music department in Worcester (a large city in MA) which is about to be abolished. I've heard other concerns similar to this (cut budgets, entire schools being closed) recently, from other teachers.

OK....now to this issue.

Massachusetts is, according to the Governor (Republican) and the leaders of the House and Senate (Democrats) in its worse fiscal crisis since the depression.

This year in many school districts, parents are paying $100-150 a year to have their child ride the bus to school.

There are fees now associated with sports and music programs are being chopped from the budget.

In Massachusetts in 1981-82 proposition 2 1/2 was passed into law. Towns are not able to increase their tax base more than 2 1/2 percent.

Now, the State is in a dire fiscal crisis, and local aid is being cut and withheld from the towns. SO we have a problem. The town cannot increase property taxes enough to cover the shortfall of the state aid being withheld. To remain solvent, towns have to cut services. The biggest and largest part of any towns budget is usually the school department.

Proposition 2 1/2 can be overridden by a vote of the townspeople. In our state, most overrides fail, therefore, the cuts come.

Some towns are in danger of closing schools, losing 28 or more teachers, class sizes up close to 30 in a class at the elementary levels.

It is truly a ugly scene.
__________________

__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com