Why Public Education Has Failed

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Hobbit, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    It's hard to deny. Public education has failed, and it hasn't just failed the students. It's failed the teachers, parents, and taxpayers. As the son of a teacher and a veteran of a very poor (poor quality, not lacking in money) public school, I feel qualified to give this, but feel free to add.

    1. Self Esteem: This was blow number one, when schools decided that keeping their students from feeling inferior was more important than educating them. This has led to the broken grade structure in place now which seperates children by age rather than ability. In this case, students with astounding IQs and more intelligence than some adults are forced into the same class as those who could lose Trivial Pursuit to a house plant. The teacher is also not allowed to go too fast, as failing the slow students would hurt their self-esteem, so teachers are required to go only as fast as their slowest students can keep up with, further dragging down the true prodigies. A lack of a competitive grading structure has also dragged down bright students by giving them no incentive to excel, as slacking off will give them more free time with the same grade. In some extreme cases, bright students have even been graded poorly and held back because they're so bored that they can't pay attention enough to get what they need to regurgitate to pass a test.

    2. Indoctrination: This is one of the biggest crocks in education today. The values of some teachers seem to come before academia. I remember spending two perfectly good weeks of science class being told that global warming would kill us all by five years ago and a month of history learning about how the Soviets could never be defeated (ironically, the Berlin Wall started coming down two weeks after that unit ended). This not only takes parents out of some of the values teaching, but most of these things are later disproven and waste class time that could be used teaching something real.

    3. A Culture of Failure: High school glorifies what later amounts to failure. Idiotic jocks who will most likely make cars for a living are treated like gods by the students, which can't be helped that much. However, things are made worse by special incentives given by the schools, including free rides on some subjects so their GPA stays high enough to play. As soon as high school is over, the pecking order is turned on its head, and some graduates can't handle it.

    4. Flying Under the Radar: Most schools have clearly shown that they would rather avoid attention than fix a problem. In Columbus, Ohio, a mentally handicapped girl was RAPED in the school auditorium DURING class, and it was all on tape. The boys were not punished and the girl's dad was asked not to call the police. They're also afraid to expel people, meaning that once they've recieved a great deal of disciplinary action, the school just won't do anything else in order to avoid an expulsion. This creates schoolyard thugs who can get away with anything. When kids get beaten up, the school will typically look the other way until the parents begin throwing around words like "lawyer" and "evening news."

    5. False Measurements of Success: Standards schools try to live up to are things like class size and high test scores. What is hardly ever checked is how well students improve or basically anything at all to offset the presence of poor students. The motivational speakers always say that a jelly maker doesn't get paid for crappy jelly. The response is that a teacher isn't allowed to return shipments of sour fruit.

    Basically, what we end up with is a system in which success is punished and failure is rewarded, leading to a generation of underwhelming kids. Studies have shown that the average elementary student could know single-variable Calculus and be fluent in three or more languages if they were just pressed to succeed. The horrible beauracracy of public schools is cheating our kids out of an education and when I have kids, I, for one, won't stand for it.

    Now, my mom actually has a good idea. First off, after their first year of school, all the kids should be given an achievement test and then placed with students close to their intelligence level. This teaches a wider range of social interaction and allows students to learn as fast as they can rather than as fast as the retard in the corner can. Once the student scores high enough on the test, they enter high school. They can also opt out of high school and instead go to vocational school. This would, first and foremost, give students a real chance to excel. Secondly, it would eliminate the horrible blight on our education that is known as middle school (I f-ing hated middle school and it killed my sister's motivation. She's smarter than I am, but made much poorer grades in high school. She went into middle school a genius and came out brain dead. Only admissions officers who cared got her into a college that will suit her high academic abilites, George Mason).
     
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  2. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    all right on except add overpowerful teachers unions to that list as well. It doesnt happen in every area but it happens enough to be a problem. You get teachers that dont teach for the kids. They teach for the money. Its all about the money and the benefits. the kids be damned. They either dont understand that local taxpayers pay their salaries or they just dont care. IMO, a teacher should NOT be making more than the average income for the surrounding area. Yet these unions set up the school board to "Must have" at least a minimum number of former teachers on the board so that the union can pass any contract it wants.

    Like i said, not all teachers unions are like this. Just all the ones in PA and in other surrounding states.

    Privatize education. Its a long hard transition, but it beats the current system anyday.
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    This almost destroyed my daughter as well, we tolerated one year of middle school then put her in private where she excelled, best move we could have ever made.
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I dodged the majority of a bullet. I was in private school until 7th grade, but the system I was in didn't adopt a middle school until I was in 8th grade, meaning I only had one, miserable year.
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Elementary school was great for us, 95% parent involvement and a good staff/ administration and middle school was looking the same. Then the local school board decided to re-zone (forced bussing, over the majority of the parents’ objecting) for, get this, “Social Economic diversity”, things went to shit fast.

    We gave it the one year of middle school 6th grade, but knew immediately we had to do something else. My daughter would constantly complaint the teacher (in Math class) wasn’t teaching because her time was taken up trying to control the unruly kids.. It was a wasted year IMO.
     
  6. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Having gone to 12 years of catholic school, i can say that ive never experienced the middle school fiasco. Thinking about it now, i can't understand the advantages of having 1 school with 3 times the population of an elementary school that has ALL 11-14 year olds. Thats like a hormone time bomb waiting to happen. With catholic school there were still hormones but when you were in 6th, 7th and 8th grade (roughly 10-13) you still felt like kids because you saw little kids around the school. You just felt like the big responsible kids. You goto high school where there are 16, 17 and 18 year olds (and some 19 and 20 unfortunately) you felt humbled because you were a little fish in a big pond trying to feel your way out.

    Looking back, i can say that catholic school wasnt that much greater than public school but the structure was worlds better. 1 jump to a higher level instead of 2 and such a diverse age range that you felt alittle humility at either end.
     
  7. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Did anyone listen to the Rush Limbaugh show on Friday? Walter E. Williams was on, and IMO, did his usual fantastic job.

    He made this comment, which I thought was a great solution much of the consternation over what is taught in schools....

    1) Government gets completely out of the business of education...
    2) Once "a" is done, and all schools are private, then if a parent doesn't want their kids to pray in school, they merely have to switch to a school that doesn't have prayer.
    3) If the parents don't want their kids exposed to sex education, they switch their kids to a "non-sex-ed" school...

    That way, the parents decide what's best for their kid instead of a judge.
     

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