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Michelle Rhee and the DC Schools

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Good article this week in TIME about Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of the DC school system. She's been an incredibly polarizing figure, firing lots of people and getting rid of loads of crappy teachers. Her philosophy is pretty simple: keep good teachers; fire the shitty ones. The result, of course, is that she's at odds with the teachers' union and the old guard, who are protected by the tenure system.

A few salient bits:

Quote:
In the year and a half she's been on the job, Rhee has made more changes than most school leaders--even reform-minded ones--make in five years. She has shut 21 schools--15% of the city's total--and fired more than 100 workers from the district's famously bloated 900-person central bureaucracy. She has dismissed 270 teachers. And last spring she removed 36 principals, including the head of the elementary school her two daughters attend in an affluent northwest-D.C. neighborhood.

and

Quote:
Rhee is convinced that the answer to the U.S.'s education catastrophe is talent, in the form of outstanding teachers and principals. She wants to make Washington teachers the highest paid in the country, and in exchange she wants to get rid of the weakest teachers. Where she and the teachers' union disagree most is on her ability to measure the quality of teachers. Like about half the states, Washington is now tracking whether students' test scores improve over time under a given teacher. Rhee wants to use that data to decide who gets paid more--and, in combination with classroom evaluation, who keeps the job. But many teachers do not trust her to do this fairly, and the union bristles at the idea of giving up tenure, the exceptional job security that teachers enjoy.

And this this one, which is my favorite:

Quote:
She says things most superintendents would not. "The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely," she tells me one afternoon in her office. Then she raises her chin and does what I come to recognize as her standard imitation of people she doesn't respect. Sometimes she uses this voice to imitate teachers; other times, politicians or parents. Never students. "People say, 'Well, you know, test scores don't take into account creativity and the love of learning,'" she says with a drippy, grating voice, lowering her eyelids halfway. Then she snaps back to herself. "I'm like, 'You know what? I don't give a crap.' Don't get me wrong. Creativity is good and whatever. But if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job."

This last bit is pretty crucial, I think, and suggests that the problems Rhee will find in terms of getting a universally talented faculty in those schools is that the system that produces them is hopelessly mired in this hippified, expressivist stuff that sacrifices rigor for the sake of feel-good-ness.

What do you guys think? Will the Rhee approach work? Should public school pay be based on merit? seniority? Should tenure in the public schools be done away with? What kinds of changes need to happen to "education" as a college discipline?
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post #2 of 52
I am a big proponent of Waldorf education, which de-emphasizes reading and emphasizes creativity, so I think I would be one of the parents against her if my children were in the DC school system. My daughters didn't learn to read until the 5th, 4th, and (probably, tbd) 2nd grades. Waldorf graduates end up in ivy league schools in way higher percentages than public students do.

The real way forward for this is to implement school vouchers. Parents are the best judges of teacher quality, not standardized tests (or tests at all, really, which just measure the ability to memorize). Written reports are much better evaluators of student progress.

If parents have the ability to vote with their feet, the quality issue will sort itself out. Now, you would have to have a voucher system that really worked for everybody, so that a welfare mother could send her kids to a private school with no out of pocket money spent, though.
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post #3 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I am a big proponent of Waldorf education, which de-emphasizes reading and emphasizes creativity, so I think I would be one of the parents against her if my children were in the DC school system. My daughters didn't learn to read until the 5th, 4th, and (probably, tbd) 2nd grades. Waldorf graduates end up in ivy league schools in way higher percentages than public students do.

The real way forward for this is to implement school vouchers. Parents are the best judges of teacher quality, not standardized tests (or tests at all, really, which just measure the ability to memorize). Written reports are much better evaluators of student progress.

If parents have the ability to vote with their feet, the quality issue will sort itself out. Now, you would have to have a voucher system that really worked for everybody, so that a welfare mother could send her kids to a private school with no out of pocket money spent, though.

I'm no authority in these matters, but I question the idea that "parents are the best judge of teacher quality."

I'm going to have to assume that America is full to the brim with parents that could no more discern quality teaching than they could fly. I also pretty sure that there are a goodly number of parents that are actually hostile to quality teaching, in that it results in their children being exposed to ideas and methodologies that conflict with whatever benighted world view is prevalent in the household.

Now, if you by "judge of quality" you mean "should be able to dictate the the particulars and pedagogical strategies of their children's education", that's another argument entirely.
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post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm no authority in these matters, but I question the idea that "parents are the best judge of teacher quality."

By best I mean better than a remote bureaucrat looking at a set of test scores, and firing people based on statistics. Most people are intelligent enough (and care about their kids enough) to do a better job than that - it wouldn't take much to do better than that.
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post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
I think that it would be nice if those things were true, but I don't think they are.
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post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I think that it would be nice if those things were true, but I don't think they are.

Well - in the current private school population, it is true (at least in the Waldorf schools it is, which is where most of my private school parent experience lies). But I suppose that is just because they are rich and well educated. Are you saying that the poor need to be protected from themselves?
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Well - in the current private school population, it is true (at least in the Waldorf schools it is, which is where most of my private school parent experience lies). But I suppose that is just because they are rich and well educated. Are you saying that the poor need to be protected from themselves?

I don't think "American parents with school age children" are well characterized by "wealthy patrons of private schools and poor people."
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post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I don't think "American parents with school age children" are well characterized by "wealthy patrons of private schools and poor people."

Quite a few middle class people patronize private schools. I'll admit that my world view is probably not very universal - everyone I know either sends their kids to Waldorf school or wishes that they could, hence the two groups.
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post #9 of 52
As much as we love the touchy-feely stuff it is numbers that eventually help us move to where we need to go. It can be budgeting with money, it can be dieting with personal fitness. Almost everyone needs more than their gut and perceptions to make a result happen.

The real issue isn't can we achieve excellence because we know we can. The deeper issues are are we willing to engage in a little cultural imperialism to make it happen and when we start engaging in that, from what moral high ground do we claim the right to undertake that conquest.

Malcolm Gladwell has a nice extract from his latest book in the Guardian and in it he talks about the 10,000 hour rule of mastery.

Quote:
This idea - that excellence at a complex task requires a critical, minimum level of practice - surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is a magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours.

"In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals," writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin, "this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years... No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."

This is the most interesting section to me....

Quote:
Everyone, from all three groups, started playing at roughly the same time - around the age of five. In those first few years, everyone practised roughly the same amount - about two or three hours a week. But around the age of eight real differences started to emerge. The students who would end up as the best in their class began to practise more than everyone else: six hours a week by age nine, eight by age 12, 16 a week by age 14, and up and up, until by the age of 20 they were practising well over 30 hours a week. By the age of 20, the elite performers had all totalled 10,000 hours of practice over the course of their lives. The merely good students had totalled, by contrast, 8,000 hours, and the future music teachers just over 4,000 hours.

The curious thing about Ericsson's study is that he and his colleagues couldn't find any "naturals" - musicians who could float effortlessly to the top while practising a fraction of the time that their peers did. Nor could they find "grinds", people who worked harder than everyone else and yet just didn't have what it takes to break into the top ranks. Their research suggested that once you have enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. What's more, the people at the very top don't just work much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.

Our students are currently in school for enough hours to master whatever curriculum it is that we desire for them learn. However the issues are deeper. These folks that achieve mastery, they don't just put in the time, they put the time in very specific ways. When they have studied folks in sports or music as examples, they are ridiculously meticulous by the standards of a layperson.

So the variables are effective methods, effective people and will the student put in the time. I suspect one of the reasons her reform won't work is because even when she puts in effective people and effective methods, the students themselves cannot be forced to put in the time and the real problem as Gladwell suggests is that there is no shortcut, you have to put in the time.

As a teacher one of the most frustrating things for me is that I cannot change a student's effort level. Some will choose to change them but most of the time, it really doesn't matter how many assignments I grade because the effort level and grades they earn are terrifyingly consistent. I could grade 60 or 120 assignments and that 75% - C student only ever seems to stay at 75%. Within the variables I can control I have confronted this two-fold, one I make them put in more time via recess and lunch and two, I simply cover more material since 75% of more material is still a better result. In the areas I can't control, I would love to require mastery of something or teaching how to do something with focus and precision and the student must demonstrate the ability to do that.

So take someone like Rhee, she can change the culture of a school, but cannot change the culture of a neighborhood. Say the teacher does as I do, and assigns homework where the student is to read a self selected, high interest book at a appropriate reading level for 30+ minutes a night. Some kids just won't do it. Their parents will lie about it for them. They'll sign whatever log or lie in whatever fashion is necessary. This is especially true of sports or fun activities are on the line.

So what do we do? Send people into their homes to force a book into their hands while standing over them? How do we know they are really engaged in the book as opposed to merely holding it up and looking over it, etc.?

We can take this in all the other areas again, finance, fitness, you name it.

However as Newt used to say, great countries do not give out, they give in. We're a debtor country that is either obese or becoming more so and we require more and more resources to get something done due to unproductive attitudes and habits and this is especially true in education.

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post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Nick, have you heard about this? This American Life did a wonderful bit on it a while back.
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post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I am a big proponent of Waldorf education, which de-emphasizes reading and emphasizes creativity, so I think I would be one of the parents against her if my children were in the DC school system. ....

If your kids were in the DC school system a Waldorf style education would be the least of your worries.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Nick, have you heard about this? This American Life did a wonderful bit on it a while back.

I have seen several projects like it. I hope for the best with regard to it.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I am a big proponent of Waldorf education

Waldorf is strongly biased toward liberal arts and humanities. As noted in an earlier thread, a waldorf kid is significantly more likely to be accepted to a liberal arts school like oberlin or hampshire than MIT (1995-2004 - oberlin: 82, Hampshire: 55, MIT: 2). It is only really suitable for a subset of students.
post #14 of 52
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Waldorf is strongly biased toward liberal arts and humanities. As noted in an earlier thread, a waldorf kid is significantly more likely to be accepted to a liberal arts school like oberlin or hampshire than MIT (1995-2004 - oberlin: 82, Hampshire: 55, MIT: 2). It is only really suitable for a subset of students.

I should point out that there are several fallacy's here (and this is not to suggest that I am a proponent of the Waldorf schools -- I don't believe that creativity can best technical training (it would require someone of immense intellect to recreate all of human knowledge to get to calculus, let alone the three centuries of math after Newton and Leibniz):

Those are self-selecting raw numbers, statistics on this size of a sample are meaningless even if they were percentages accepted.

Liberal arts schools may not engender the hard nosed respect like MIT, but schools that attract the same quality of students broach technical subjects at the same level of knowledge. To use MIT versus Liberal Arts as a reporter in this context is to implicitly state that one is more technically difficult than the other. That is false. So stop doing it.


--

Waldorf makes the mistake, as does Montesori and traditional education systems, that it is the system that matters. It isn't. Regardless of the student, the parents, the teachers, the school, the quality of the building, the availability of resources, if you can get that student's attention and excite them to learn they will learn. Considering the barriers to getting at the student fails your approach from the get go. The student is a living breathing entity, you can no more force the student to learn than you can to breathe. So engage them about their education early -- kindergarteners shouldn't be rote memorizing the periodic table (in fact, no one should, but that is another discussion) -- they should be being taught that it is ok to ask questions and pursue resources they want to learn about the world...

[/end hippy liberal hardeeharhar rant]
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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

several fallacy's

Sorry, but I fail to see the "several fallacy's" you claim are contained in my three sentence post. What I do see in your post, however, is a series of arguments against strawmen.
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Sorry, but I fail to see the "several fallacy's" you claim are contained in my three sentence post. What I do see in your post, however, is a series of arguments against strawmen.

I don't disagree with you, but I find it laughable that you would use raw counts of people going to various colleges from the Waldorf as a defense of any argument whatsoever about its efficacy. It is simply funny.
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post #18 of 52
What's lost in the Waldorf vs everything else debate is that if only every parent were vested enough in their child's education to even know what a Waldorf style education is then we'd have a lot better education for kids than we do now.

It's interesting that no one has mentioned that Obama opted out (using his vast wealth) of the DC school system. He's against vouchers for DC schools because he's concerned about the kids "left behind" but not concerned enough to put his family where his mouth is. School choice for me but not for thee.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I am a big proponent of Waldorf education, which de-emphasizes reading and emphasizes creativity, so I think I would be one of the parents against her if my children were in the DC school system. My daughters didn't learn to read until the 5th, 4th, and (probably, tbd) 2nd grades. Waldorf graduates end up in ivy league schools in way higher percentages than public students do.

The real way forward for this is to implement school vouchers. Parents are the best judges of teacher quality, not standardized tests (or tests at all, really, which just measure the ability to memorize). Written reports are much better evaluators of student progress.

If parents have the ability to vote with their feet, the quality issue will sort itself out. Now, you would have to have a voucher system that really worked for everybody, so that a welfare mother could send her kids to a private school with no out of pocket money spent, though.

Ack Waldorf...anthroposophy peudo-science. Your kids didn't learn to read until the 4/5th grades? What did they do? Spend all their time looking for gnomes?

Waldorf kids ends up in ivy league schools in higher precentages than public school kids? I would guess that most private schools, even Waldorf ones, have higher percentages college bound grads given that they are self-selecting from families that can afford private education and value education enough to pay for it. But I dunno that the Waldorf oddities are the reason for success.
post #20 of 52
never mind....
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post #21 of 52
Very interesting.

My take is this: Good for her. We'll have to see if it works. Certainly the D.C. school system needs radical change. I suppose the issues I have are these...

1. Is it really possible to judge teacher performance by his/her class test scores? Perhaps if we look at year-to-year over say, a 10 year period...yes. But a few years is simply not enough. The biggest variable is the makeup of the students in the class. I see this even in my suburban (and wealthy) district. Some classes are just "low." There is no way around that fact.

2. How far does this "anti-creativity" vein go? Does this extend to the fine arts? If so, I obviously see a serious problem.

3. Why is it necessary for her to be impersonable? You can make tough decisions (canning teachers and principals) without being like she is described in the article.

4. I don't like this comment:

Quote:
In the hallway, she muttered about teachers who spend too much time cutting out elaborate bulletin-board decorations or chitchatting at "morning meetings" with their third-graders before the real work begins.

--What about making the classroom inviting to learners? Decoration can also be educational.
--Morning meetings or what not can build rapport. A lot of activities in my room are done for that reason.
--Why assume the above are done in place of "real work?"

I'm not opposed to merit pay...but it depends on how the teacher is evaluated. I don't think it should just be test scores or even primarily test scores. It should be a total evaluation like in many other fields. Scores can be taken into consideration, but so should other factors.
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post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

What's lost in the Waldorf vs everything else debate is that if only every parent were vested enough in their child's education to even know what a Waldorf style education is then we'd have a lot better education for kids than we do now.

It's interesting that no one has mentioned that Obama opted out (using his vast wealth) of the DC school system. He's against vouchers for DC schools because he's concerned about the kids "left behind" but not concerned enough to put his family where his mouth is. School choice for me but not for thee.

This is about the lamest and weakest argument I think I've ever seen put forward in my entire life.

Anyone with enough wealth has options for many different types of educational opportunities. Most would inherently choose a private school of some type. D'oh!

Also, we're talking about children of the POTUS are we not? Where has Obama sent his children to school in the past? The inner city public schools of Chicago?

Why don't you list all the children of past POTUS that have gone to the DC public schools.

I'm waiting, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...
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post #23 of 52
Carter's kid.
post #24 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

4. I don't like this comment:


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post #25 of 52
Also the pubic high school where Obama's kids went aint all that bad. I know people that sent their kids there.

Focus on Obama's argument for not supporting vouchers. It's because he's worried that the kids left behind will be worse off. Well why not make them better off by having his kids there too?

While his kids get the golden parachute the other kids in the DC schools get the shaft. What a great man he is standing by his convictions.
post #26 of 52
My ex taught in a baltimore school. OMG. The freaking elementary schools have metal detectors and guards.

"The data back up Rhee's obsession with teaching. If two average 8-year-olds are assigned to different teachers, one who is strong and one who is weak, the children's lives can diverge in just a few years, according to research pioneered by Eric Hanushek at Stanford. The child with the effective teacher, the kind who ranks among the top 15% of all teachers, will be scoring well above grade level on standardized tests by the time she is 11. The other child will be a year and a half below grade level--and by then it will take a teacher who works with the child after school and on weekends to undo the compounded damage. In other words, the child will probably never catch up."

If Obama put his kids in a DC public school he'd be a fucking idiot because it would be a publicity stunt that hurt his children.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Carter's kid.

Carter was a fucking idiot. 'nuff said.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Very interesting.

My take is this: Good for her. We'll have to see if it works. Certainly the D.C. school system needs radical change. I suppose the issues I have are these...

1. Is it really possible to judge teacher performance by his/her class test scores? Perhaps if we look at year-to-year over say, a 10 year period...yes. But a few years is simply not enough. The biggest variable is the makeup of the students in the class. I see this even in my suburban (and wealthy) district. Some classes are just "low." There is no way around that fact.

"Rhee says she does not expect all kids to move up the charts at the same rate; the important thing is to demand that most do move up."

Quote:
2. How far does this "anti-creativity" vein go? Does this extend to the fine arts? If so, I obviously see a serious problem.

If the engine doesn't turn over, does it really matter if seats still recline? How does one have a fine arts program if the kids can't read or do basic math?

Quote:
3. Why is it necessary for her to be impersonable? You can make tough decisions (canning teachers and principals) without being like she is described in the article.

/shrug

She would probably be more effective to be more personable. On the other hand, no one else is doing what she's doing. Which is breaking the teacher's union.

Teacher unions are the most useless things in america as far as I'm concerned because they don't protect good teachers (the Anne Arundel teachers union gave up the right to strike for a piddling raise and continued to work without a freaking contract for YEARS) and protect bad ones from being fired.

Leeches and incompetent.

Quote:
I'm not opposed to merit pay...but it depends on how the teacher is evaluated. I don't think it should just be test scores or even primarily test scores. It should be a total evaluation like in many other fields. Scores can be taken into consideration, but so should other factors.

Tests scores are an objective measure of performance. For $130,000 a year you fucking better turn out kids that can pass the basic assessments tests with flying colors. And if your school is underperforming like many DC schools you don't deserve the $65K a year for being a glorified baby sitter.

What other factors matter more than test scores anyway? Granted the desire to learn is more important than test scores but there's no objective way to measure that. So you can only measure the average improvement of a student from where they entered your class and when they left.

The DC union is being the complete useless leech all teacher unions are. Standing in the way of change and the opportunity for it's best members to excel and finally earn the money they deserve.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Carter's kid.

Quote:
The school choice will be the most important decision the Obamas make on the girls' behalf, historians say. Amy Carter attended a public school to bolster her father's everyman image, but she struggled making friends and was not allowed to play outside during recess because the playground was too close to the street.

The Clintons avoided such problems by enrolling their daughter, Chelsea, at Sidwell Friends, a private Quaker-run school where she was a National Merit Scholarship finalist in 1997. The Obamas are expected to consider the same K-12, coeducational school for their daughters.

OK, you've named all of one child of a POTUS, please continue with additional POTUS children.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...
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post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Also the pubic high school where Obama's kids went aint all that bad. I know people that sent their kids there.

Focus on Obama's argument for not supporting vouchers. It's because he's worried that the kids left behind will be worse off. Well why not make them better off by having his kids there too?

While his kids get the golden parachute the other kids in the DC schools get the shaft. What a great man he is standing by his convictions.

WTF?

Obama's children were born in 1998 and 2001 so I don't see them attending any high schools yet.

Quote:
The girls currently attend The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, one of the city's top private schools.
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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

OK, you've named all of one child of a POTUS, please continue with additional POTUS children.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...

I named the one. Stop being silly.

Obama is a hypocrite that extends a privilege to his children that he denies to other children caught in DC schools because they can't afford to get out.

What's the real reason democrats oppose vouchers? U-N-I-O-N-S
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Ack Waldorf...anthroposophy peudo-science. Your kids didn't learn to read until the 4/5th grades? What did they do? Spend all their time looking for gnomes?

They learned quite a bit without being able to read, and yes - they spent a lot of time looking for gnomes. I really like the way that they teach math, for example, in the early grades of a Waldorf school - it is all about rhythm and patterns.

I don't see any advantage to learning to read early, I don't think it helps you in the long run. I think that early reading (and memorisation of written material) kills any love of learning that the student may have.

The high schools students I have seen at the various Waldorf schools have a charisma and love of learning that you don't see in public high school students. Science education in Waldorf schools is done in a much better way than in public schools - the students do the experiments first and come up with their own theories before being taught the "official" theory, which is a big difference from learning the theory first (because you then fit the experimental data to what you were supposed to get).

etc, etc
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

I named the one. Stop being silly.

Obama is a hypocrite that extends a privilege to his children that he denies to other children caught in DC schools because they can't afford to get out.

What's the real reason democrats oppose vouchers? U-N-I-O-N-S

I'd rather have a "hypocrite" with two brain cells to bang together than another Carter thanks.

But hey, I'm sure you'd call him on grandstanding AND being a hypocrite if he did send his kids to a DC public school in the ritzy white neighborhood like Carter did.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

I named the one. Stop being silly.

Obama is a hypocrite that extends a privilege to his children that he denies to other children caught in DC schools because they can't afford to get out.

What's the real reason democrats oppose vouchers? U-N-I-O-N-S

The one exception to the rule doesn't cut it. Period.

Obama isn't a hypocrite, it takes a really very warped mind to take the status quo and turn it on it's head.

Vouchers would never work on a wide scale covering all students for the simple reason that there will never be enough supply to meet the demand if everyone was given a voucher.

D'oh!

Do I really need to chase down recent total public school attendance versus total private school attendance numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau to prove my point?

You want to subsidize the private sector with public money?

Wow, how socialist of you.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #35 of 52
Boy you are totally in the tank. Obama is doing the right thing because it would take a "warped mind" to do something different from Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush

Wait I need a few more

For those kids that get vouchers and get out of the catastrophe known as DC schools it works out great. Rather than extend that to more kids ... Obama opposes it because of "special interests". Of course unions aren't "special interests" (with a big fat wallet) they are "grass roots" organizations.


I need a few more


Change!
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Boy you are totally in the tank. Obama is doing the right thing because it would take a "warped mind" to do something different from Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush

Wait I need a few more

For those kids that get vouchers and get out of the catastrophe known as DC schools it works out great. Rather than extend that to more kids ... Obama opposes it because of "special interests". Of course unions aren't "special interests" (with a big fat wallet) they are "grass roots" organizations.


I need a few more


Change!

Reagan and Bush 41 didn't have any school aged children.

Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
Reply
post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 
WTF is a "pubic high school"?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

WTF is a "pubic high school"?

Why don't you tell us, since you're the one who used that term, not I or anyone else in this thread for that matter.

BTW, Bush 43 also didn't have children attending local schools of any form, as they were already in college at the time of his inauguration.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

They learned quite a bit without being able to read, and yes - they spent a lot of time looking for gnomes. I really like the way that they teach math, for example, in the early grades of a Waldorf school - it is all about rhythm and patterns.

Kids have no problems with imagination so looking for gnomes is an overrated activity. About the only thing that Waldorf offers that I would like in my kid's school is the introduction foreign languages and music at an early age. Something we supplement with music classes and some attempts to teach another language.

Of course, many schools now teach spanish and have music programs. My school has added Spanish but it's only one day a week. No knitting though. I guess my kids will just have to suffer that loss.

Quote:
I don't see any advantage to learning to read early, I don't think it helps you in the long run. I think that early reading (and memorisation of written material) kills any love of learning that the student may have.

Reading opens up a world of imagination and not "memorization of written material". Are you nuts? Reading is FUN and not a chore or rote memorization.

Quote:
The high schools students I have seen at the various Waldorf schools have a charisma and love of learning that you don't see in public high school students. Science education in Waldorf schools is done in a much better way than in public schools - the students do the experiments first and come up with their own theories before being taught the "official" theory, which is a big difference from learning the theory first (because you then fit the experimental data to what you were supposed to get).

Beating public schools are not what I would consider a high standard to shoot for.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

"Rhee says she does not expect all kids to move up the charts at the same rate; the important thing is to demand that most do move up."

If the engine doesn't turn over, does it really matter if seats still recline? How does one have a fine arts program if the kids can't read or do basic math?

/shrug

She would probably be more effective to be more personable. On the other hand, no one else is doing what she's doing. Which is breaking the teacher's union.

Teacher unions are the most useless things in america as far as I'm concerned because they don't protect good teachers (the Anne Arundel teachers union gave up the right to strike for a piddling raise and continued to work without a freaking contract for YEARS) and protect bad ones from being fired.

Leeches and incompetent.

Tests scores are an objective measure of performance. For $130,000 a year you fucking better turn out kids that can pass the basic assessments tests with flying colors. And if your school is underperforming like many DC schools you don't deserve the $65K a year for being a glorified baby sitter.

What other factors matter more than test scores anyway? Granted the desire to learn is more important than test scores but there's no objective way to measure that. So you can only measure the average improvement of a student from where they entered your class and when they left.

The DC union is being the complete useless leech all teacher unions are. Standing in the way of change and the opportunity for it's best members to excel and finally earn the money they deserve.

A few points here even though I generally agree with your sentiment. First a fine arts program has nothing to do with how well you read or write but actually could encourage much better reading, writing, etc. When teaaching these wonderful kids how to read, write and calculate, it helps if they have something with which they desire to read, write and calculate. There can also be huge benefits, specifically with music education. My boys had no problems learning to read for example but part of that is they had already been associating little scribbles of ink with sounds for years. It was called reading music. Tracking left to right, one to one, etc. all of that was something they already had mastered in one domain and thus it easily transferred to another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

OK, you've named all of one child of a POTUS, please continue with additional POTUS children.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...

Most don't have school age children and those that do have been Democrats. Carter, Clinton and Obama have kids while Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and 43 did not. We can go further back but in general all those old white men who were president were indeed old and most didn't have school age children at the time of being in office. Having kids is the exception and then he found the exception within that exception. What more do you want from the guy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I'd rather have a "hypocrite" with two brain cells to bang together than another Carter thanks.

But hey, I'm sure you'd call him on grandstanding AND being a hypocrite if he did send his kids to a DC public school in the ritzy white neighborhood like Carter did.

Now give Obama credit. He hasn't taken office yet and still has plenty of time to be worse than Carter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The one exception to the rule doesn't cut it. Period.

Obama isn't a hypocrite, it takes a really very warped mind to take the status quo and turn it on it's head.

Vouchers would never work on a wide scale covering all students for the simple reason that there will never be enough supply to meet the demand if everyone was given a voucher.

D'oh!

Do I really need to chase down recent total public school attendance versus total private school attendance numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau to prove my point?

You want to subsidize the private sector with public money?

Wow, how socialist of you.

See above

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Why don't you tell us, since you're the one who used that term, not I or anyone else in this thread for that matter.

BTW, Bush 43 also didn't have children attending local schools of any form, as they were already in college at the time of his inauguration.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ...

See above

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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