Discussion in 'Education' started by Annie, Jun 14, 2006.
A deceptive article by an extremely biased writer. I particularly like the line, "Few question that vouchers help the students who use them to leave failing public schools for a private school." Really? "Few"?
The writer's compartmentalization of each problem is a major flaw with his assertions. To assume that each of the supposed myths he addresses exists in a vaccuum is not only intellectually dishonest, but further proof of his bias on the subject. The writer has the air of a flat-Earth scientist where he points out little tidbits of semi-truth and cherry picks studies to find what he wants to find and then claims some kind of false victory.
His assumption that national averages somehow address issues faced by individual communities is not only nonsensical, but not even valid. To say the national average for XYZ proves that Smith Elementary in Walawala doesn't have a certain challenge is the epitomy of oversimplification. Unfortunately, neocons will read this article and automatically assume that their school district doesn't face any of the issues he addresses simply because of some "national average."
Do voucher schools have better scoring students? They damned sure better! The basis of a voucher school education starts with a parent who cares about their student's education and is willing to act to make it happen. In turn, this means that voucher students are, by definition, the children of parents who will take action to help their child advance academically. With that kind of advantage, voucher schools should count themselves lucky.
Are your reading disabled? The results of the studies were given.
Biased? I don't think so:
Now, I don't know where your expertise lies, though I'll infer that you are saying since some parents, who couldn't afford private schools, care enough to tackle the red tape of getting their children the vouchers, are probably involved with their children's homework, doing the etc. that good parents do, they should be denied the opportunity because there are other parents that don't give a shi*...
And, I believe I addressed his analysis of those studies when I said, "The writer has the air of a flat-Earth scientist where he points out little tidbits of semi-truth and cherry picks studies to find what he wants to find and then claims some kind of false victory." Who's reading-disabled here? Do I need to use smaller words for you?
Yeah, no bias from a "senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research"... let's take a quick jaunt over to their site and see what he's senior fellowing about...
After a quote from Rudy Giuliani... we see their goal:
"For over 25 years, the Manhattan Institute has been an important force in shaping American political culture. We have supported and publicized research on our eras most challenging public policy issues: taxes, welfare, crime, the legal system, urban life, race, education, and many other topics. We have won new respect for market-oriented policies and helped make reform a reality.
We have cultivated a staff of senior fellows and writers who blend intellectual rigor, sound principles, and strong writing ability. Their provocative books, reviews, interviews, speeches, articles, and op-ed pieces have been the main vehicle for communicating our message."
But, just because he's a pimp for "market-oriented policies" doesn't mean he's biased towards vouchers...
I'm the son, husband and son-in-law of teachers. So, I have no expertise other than 35 years of watching my mother and wife toil late into the night and fret over how every single one of their students is doing... most times fretting the most over the ones who care the least. My mom set up a presentation for parents of sophomores so they could know what to expect for the state-wide exams and how they could help their child succeed. 300 sophomores' parents got a letter about the presentation. Guess how many showed up? 15 maybe? 30 maybe? Try ZERO. So, you'll have to excuse me when I don't buy Dr. Greene's self-designed "Teachability Index" study where he determined what he wanted to show and used his flawed methods to compare Texas kids to Louisiana kids. (I wonder if he factored into his "Teachability Index" the average worth attriubted to education by Latino parents vs. Cajun parents...).
As for my position on vouchers... it's simple. I'm all for vouchers if they actually will do what they promise... but, they don't. If we want to properly evaluate for-profit schools, they must have similar rules as public schools to make a valid comparison. This is all I ask:
1) Vouchers will be equal to the average cost of educating a similarly aged student in the same public school district.
2) Voucher/charter schools must accept any student who fits the voucher school's age demographic and is within a similar distance as a nearby public school. If there are more applications than slots available, they must hold a lottery of applicants.
3) They must keep all of the students they accept and not simply dump the ones they don't want back onto the public school system.
4) They must participate in the same NCLB-mandated testing as their public school counterparts as dictated by the individual states in which they are located.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see a voucher system which has these safeguards for valid comparison in place. As it stands right now, the public schools have been and continue to be unfairly vilified by "open-market" profiteers who use the self-fulfilling prophecy of voucher systems' "reforms" to skim tax payers' money into their pockets.
Dorf: For the 503rd time, 2 + 2 = 4. I promise.
Ok, so you don't wish to look at the studies. Fine.
Biased is not the correct word, IMO. I would suggest 'convinced' that vouchers are an alternative, that IMO, should be restricted to use only for those that pass a 'means test' and qualify for the alternative school's criteria.
That's not expertise, but what the heck. Where are the flaws in the study, in your opinion? When it comes to 'education studies' if you've read my posts, you will find I'm probably the harshest critic of the US education system in universities around here.
To the best of my knowledge, they are always lower than the cost per child in home school building.
So it's just another public school, that's NOT the idea or what desperate parents are looking for.
Some want to improve opportunities, some want everyone to sink 'together.'
so you believe the myths are indisputable facts and there is no shred of truth in the study....
good for you for sticking to your belief system
He's not going to believe it unless you show him a link from a non-con source.
Hunt down a bunch of studies hand-picked to buoy this guy's position? Figures lie and liars figure. I've got a pair of eyes thanks.
OK, so he's already convinced and doing studies designed to prove what he's already convinced of, uh... but you wouldn't call it bias. Alrighty... call it whatever you like. I say that his POV and "research" is tinged by his already decided outsome. Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Perhaps you missed the point where I said, "I have no expertise..."? Still want to talk about my reading comprehension?
My problem is that he approached his study from the point of attempting to prove what he already believed instead of attempting to discover what the truth is. You yourself have said have called him "convinced." Anyone already pre-convinced of something makes a very poor researcher on the subject. How am I to know that he didn't find one thing and then change his methods or numbers just enough to make them show what he wanted them to show?
But it would be necessary to up that amount to accomodate the rest of my suggestion for making the competition competitive.
So, let me get this straight... your article goes on and on and on and on comparing voucher students to public school students... states that vouchers get "better performances, happier parents, for about half the cost"... well of course they do it for "half the cost"... when you can turn away those students which incur the greatest bulk of the "average cost" you can obviously educate a subgroup which enters with no special needs for less. But, even though Dr. Greene's article goes on for paragraph after paragraph comparing the two... you're now saying they're apples and oranges? Why'd you post the article?
Now you've gone off the deep end. Who are these people who want all children to "sink together"? Name names if you're going to make that accusation.
Did I use words that are too big for you? I think his bias makes his "studies" suspect. There, no word over two syllables... get it now?
Separate names with a comma.