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Mi_chief_fan
04-06-2001, 05:54 PM
http://portal.compuserve.com/gatewaynet/news/adpstory.asp?fr=&fno=&f=&t=&q=vouchers&id=57952078&dt=20010406131800&w+APO&coview=

Looks like a pretty good compromise. It gives students in failing districts a chance to leave, and doesn't just blindly give money to private schools. It also has a clause that can shut down a school system, then open up as a charter school with all new staff & administration.

Looks like there's hope for KC schools.

Luzap
04-06-2001, 06:01 PM
I will be anxious to see the results of this. This needs to happen in hundreds of school districts around the country.

Some programs won't work, but others will. Let's learn from the ones that do.

Luz
when i say let's learn, i mean fellow Entrepreneurs ~ not government officials...

Mi_chief_fan
04-06-2001, 06:23 PM
While I don't agree that 'Hundreds of districts' around the country are in need of this, there are some, like KC, from what Russ has told me, that seem to have no other alternative.

I thought the story this week about the school from Naperville, IL scoring very high on an international science & math test proves that the school systems can work, for they not only had the highest scores in their state, & country, but the entire world, and that many American school districts posted extraordinarily high math & science scores was very encouraging.

KCWolfman
04-07-2001, 12:10 AM
Mich and Luz - This is the perfect meeting. No longer can schools merely skirt by and not expect repercussions for less than satisfactory work. Yet those districts that do excel (as Joe pointed out) will not lose the govt funding.

Maybe George W. can make the two evils meet in the middle./

Speaking of which, did anyone watch "That's My Bush". Totally disrespectful of both parties - it was perfect as well.

Herzig
04-07-2001, 01:48 AM
While I agree that something needs to be done about schools that are failing, I don't think the voucher bill will solve much. Schools have to consistently fail 3 years in a row to provide vouchers to parents. As a teacher, I see many flaws with this policy....For instance..

1) A test score does not really provide a clear picture of a school's performance. It is merely a "snapshot" of a school and its student performance ONE WEEK out of the year. Kids who are going through family problems such as divorce, abuse, neglect, hunger, etc. are not going to score well on these tests. What about non-english speaking students or special-ed students? Should their test scores reflect a school's performance?

2) Once you establish this standard, what methods will be taken to prevent teachers and administrators around the country from cheating or giving answers to students?

3) What about intelligent students who do not take tests well?

4) What about PARENT accountability??? should students who are rarely present reflect my performance as a teacher?? Or the student who has no incentive from home to complete homework or study?

I am all for accountability, but do not access my performance by merely one test score.

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 05:12 AM
I also don't think that voucher's are THE answer, but this gives students other options, such as other public schools & charter schools. I'm not a proponent at all for vouchers, but in some scenarios, they just might be an effective alternative.

47mack
04-07-2001, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by Greg Herzig
What about non-english speaking students or special-ed students? Should their schools reflect a school's performance?



Non-english speaking students shouldn't be taking english tests.

oleman47
04-07-2001, 07:02 AM
Many districts already have basically the same system in place. But there is a need in the poor districts for help and it is good to see those who wished to junk the Dept of Education reverse and try to help.

47mack
04-07-2001, 07:08 AM
Any help is better than no help. I think a big factor in the demise of our education system is the fact that teachers have their hands tied. There is no such thing as discipline in our schools anymore. This creates a bad learning environment for the students that want to learn.

Herzig
04-07-2001, 08:15 AM
I agree Mack..Our hands are tied. I can tell all of you by experience that about 85% of students who fail come from a bad home environment. They receive little or no attention or help at home, have poor attendence, they are not held accountable, and are sadly almost destined to become just like their parents. It's a very frustrating situation. There are a lot of people out there that have NO buisness having kids. It's really sad because they perpetuate this situation.

There are teachers out there that need to kicked out of the profession. There are administrators and school board members that need to be removed as well. But, how are you going to replace those teachers? There are some estimates that our nation will have a 2.5 million teacher shortage in the next few years. We do not get the most qualified people coming out of college because teachers are not viewed as important(reflection of pay). Who wants to go through college to be overworked, underpaid, and constantly scrutinized? That is why most teachers burn out after 5 years and leave for more money doing something else.

I would like the voucher system a lot more.. if it accessed many areas besides just a test. Access the policies and happenings of administration. Test teachers and observe their instruction. Offer more staff development to improve the quality of instruction. Hold parents more accountable for poor attendence.

Just my 2 cents...

KCWolfman
04-07-2001, 09:56 AM
Greg - <b>Once you establish this standard, what methods will be taken to prevent teachers and administrators around the country from cheating or giving answers to students? </b>

Too many issues to do that. If they just give answers in the classroom, then the children involved with their parents and curriculum (some of us are accountable parents), then the parents will complain. If they just give the answers, then have them do it for ACTs and SATs as well, which they haven't done in over 20 years.

This isn't something that happens overnight. The teachers have 2 years to correct the problem after initially finding out.

With the current standard, a teacher and the school have no accountability at all. For example, the KC school district has lost accredidation. The KC School district has been failing for 20 years. Yet, anyone living in the KC School district must still pay taxes for the schools. Where is the reasoning in that?

Your assumption is that the schools are doing everything they can and that many mitigating circumstances are involved (which is in direct contradiction when you state that teachers will cheat if the district starts losing tax dollars). Not all school districts are doing all they can - why do they deserve the same amount of funds that the school districts are accomplishing goals deserve?

47mack
04-07-2001, 10:02 AM
Greg

I agree with your $02. There is too much emphasis on the bad students. IMO, there needs to be more time put into the good students and less on the bad. Stop begging losers to go to class and behave. Start allowing them to not come so that they don't distract the good students. If they don't want to come and learn, then don't let them come at all.

I never understood why kids would show up to school if they didn't want to be there. They either skip class or disrupt class. Why wake up early to plan your escape?

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by KCWolfman
Greg - <b>Once you establish this standard, what methods will be taken to prevent teachers and administrators around the country from cheating or giving answers to students? </b>

Too many issues to do that. If they just give answers in the classroom, then the children involved with their parents and curriculum (some of us are accountable parents), then the parents will complain. If they just give the answers, then have them do it for ACTs and SATs as well, which they haven't done in over 20 years.

This isn't something that happens overnight. The teachers have 2 years to correct the problem after initially finding out.

With the current standard, a teacher and the school have no accountability at all. For example, the KC school district has lost accredidation. The KC School district has been failing for 20 years. Yet, anyone living in the KC School district must still pay taxes for the schools. Where is the reasoning in that?

Your assumption is that the schools are doing everything they can and that many mitigating circumstances are involved (which is in direct contradiction when you state that teachers will cheat if the district starts losing tax dollars). Not all school districts are doing all they can - why do they deserve the same amount of funds that the school districts are accomplishing goals deserve?

Russ,
You're assumption is that schools everywhere (and especially teachers)are doing everything they can to cheat and make themselves look like they are better than they are. Sorry, this just doesn't hold water, IMO, for if it did, wouldn't they do a better job of cheating? And what's in it for teachers to cheat anyway, when it's the administrators who benefit from making test scores appear higher, not teachers.

Like i've said before, not all districts are KC, so it's unfair of you to generalize like you are, especially given the testimonial of Greg Herzig, a teacher.

Secondly, schools could not, even if they wanted to, five out the SAT/ACT answers, because it's an independently administered test, of which districts have no input, so you cannot make the claim that it has ever been given in schools.

Logical
04-07-2001, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Mi_chief_fan
While I don't agree that 'Hundreds of districts' around the country are in need of this, there are some, like KC, from what Russ has told me, that seem to have no other alternative.

[i]Quote from Greg Herzig - Once you establish this standard, what methods will be taken to prevent teachers and administrators around the country from cheating or giving answers to students?[/B]

Michael,

You might be surprised I would say almost every major City in the US has a school district in as bad or worse shape than KC. I guess the 100s might imply over 200 in which case I agree with you but having more than 100 districts in the US would not surprise me whatsoever.


Greg
As far as teachers cheating, if caught even once they should immediately be fired, no recourse. IMO

Logical
04-07-2001, 01:22 PM
Does anyone know how to properly put two quotes in a single post.

My effort failed miserably and instead it appears that Michael Michigan said both quotes?

I found a way obviously but it is not simple, any help would be appreciated.

Herzig
04-07-2001, 01:32 PM
Wolfman,

I never stated that districts failing deserve the same funding as successful districts. Whether you believe it or not, cheating occurs right now with standardized testing all over this country. When and if the sole emphasis of a school "making the grade" or being successful on these tests happens, I really believe cheating will happen even more than it does now. There are just more varibles here to be evaluated. I don't really care for attaching a number for one day or week in a school year to access a kid's abilities or whether a school is being successful or failing. There is a bigger picture here. Yes, we all as parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members need to be accountable for education.

I really believe that one the biggest differences between American schools and most of the rest of the world is that we attempt to educate EVERYONE(ESL, SP ED, ADHD, Illegal aliens, Learning disabled, Mentally handicapped). Other countries simply do not do this. Some districts have bigger populations of these demographic groups which definately would affect the results of their tests.

What other measures could be taken to evaluate a school's performance? I just don't see how ONE test a year over three years could be the be-all-end-all for assessment of performance of a school or district. Again, we need to look at the entire picture in order to fair, accurate, and successful for school improvement.

Logical
04-07-2001, 01:48 PM
If cheating is occuring, then they should ask for volunteers to monitor the testing, along with video taping the room. The volunteers could be Senior Citizens and others who have a civic minded nature and the time to be available. The test should not be provided to teachers in advance, just a sample as is available for the SATs. Maybe only one group of students in an auditorium per day until all students in a school are tested to decrease the cost of implementing the video equipment and the burden for finding volunteers.

If the volunteers detect cheating then that teacher is fired immediately with no recourse, and their certification is pulled.

Raiderhader
04-07-2001, 04:16 PM
Vouchers? No vouchers? Neither one is the answer. Now, vouchers are going to help some, and are a step in the right direction, but they are not the key to bring the U.S. back to the top of the world in academics. The solution is to get the government the HE!! out. America led the world in academics until when? When the government decided to get involved. The government was never meant to have such a large role in our lives. The government screws up just about everything that it touches. It is time to get them out and take responsibility (a word that many don't like in this day and age [and that is really the key isn't?]) for our own children and tell the government that we are much better at raising our kids than it is.



It's the government stupid.

BIG_DADDY
04-07-2001, 05:46 PM
Raderhader,

I am not opposed to vouchers as you have stated here. I agree with everything else that you have said though. The Charter schools across the country are eating the public schools lunch for them and of course they are all mad about it. Ravenswood out here in California went from dead last to first in academic scores in just one year. The funny thing is that public schools are complaining that they are taking there money away from the poorer schools but that school was one of the poorest areas around here. Meanwhile back on the farm the public schools lost a half a million in funding because they didn't file the forms necessary to receive the funds from the state. I guess they were too busy yanking the kids out of school to rally for affirmative action. My godson comes home with all kinds of screwed up left-wing socialist values from going to public schools. From Clinton is for education to narc on your parents if you think they have done something wrong. ( report to your teacher if there are any guns in your house.) Frankly I've had it with the governments intrusion on our lives. This is a war and must be one at all costs before a bunch of puke liberals through out all of our freedoms for a little security that is a complete illusion.

Raiderhader
04-07-2001, 06:09 PM
BD,
I am not opposed to vouchers. I simply said that they are not the key. I do belive that they are a step in the right direction, just not the answer.

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 06:50 PM
First off, Logical, i'm not Michael Michigan. Heck, he doesn't even live in Michigan. He lives in Arizona.

Second, I simply disagree that the number of districts nationwide that are 'failing' are in the hundreds, as there are only 3 in the State of Michigan. KC(as well as Missouri in general) has a terrible reputation in the educational community nationwide, according to one of my professors, so like I said in an earlier post, it's unfair to generalize all schools like Russ does.

Third, BIG DADDY, charter schools have absolutely nothing to do with vouchers. Since they get public funds, they are public schools, only they are ran by individuals that start the school with their own state accredited curriculum. If you look at the proposal, charter schools are a big part of it, because they will be allowed in these districts, and will certainly make a bigger difference than just sending a small % of the existing student body to private schools.

Raiderhader
04-07-2001, 06:58 PM
it's unfair to generalize all schools like Russ does.


MCF,
could it be that the generalization comes from the fact that we have slipped so far from the top in the world of education? I mean if most of the schools are on track we should be much higher in the standings. The fact that we are not, leads one to belive that it is most schools are not on track, not the other way around.

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 07:13 PM
Actually, if you read the entire thread, you would have seen that American schools recently placed in the top 5 in the world in the International Science Acadamy's Math & Science tests. In fact one school, from Naperville, IL, a PUBLIC SCHOOL, none the less, placed first........IN THE WORLD. That tells me that we're not as far behind as the extreme right will lead you to believe.

No, our schools aren't perfect, but we can't send everyone to private schools, because then they would just be public schools, wouldn't they? We have to fix what we have, and it can be done.

KCWolfman
04-07-2001, 07:21 PM
Joe - You misunderstood my post.

I know all schools are different. We have discussed this at length and readily agree.

What I was stating was Greg said teachers would cheat to have the children pass their classes. I meant that if teachers cheat to have their children memorize answers, then they should cheat and have them memorize the SAT and ACT answers as well.

It was a facetitious comment. I guess I didn't project it well.

BIG_DADDY
04-07-2001, 07:24 PM
MI,

Since when did they idea of freedom of choice become a EXTREME RIGHT one? Oh yea, ever since no freedom of choice became the ideal of the MODERATE left. Nice play on words MI

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 07:24 PM
OK. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

So, overall, you seem pleased with the legislature's plan, right?

I mean, at least it's a start.

Mi_chief_fan
04-07-2001, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by BIG_DADDY
MI,

Since when did they idea of freedom of choice become a EXTREME RIGHT one? Oh yea, ever since no freedom of choice became the ideal of the MODERATE left. Nice play on words MI

OK, not quite sure what you're accusing me of. Show me where I said we shouldn't have freedom of choice, anywhere. I said the charter school idea was a good one, as you yourself have been drooling all over this post about them.

If you'd like an intelligent debate, fine, but don't try to put words in my mouth. I'll at least have the common courtesy not to do that to you.

BIG_DADDY
04-07-2001, 07:39 PM
MI,

Sorry, just read your last post and was running at the mouth without taking a look at everything that you were saying. When I think of public schools I am not thinking of Chartered Schools probably because they regular public schools are b*tching so much about these chartered schools robbing their funds. If they impliment the voucher system that would also be public schools based upon your assessment of the $$$ coming from the government. I need to learn more about these chartered schools, to be honest. What are the main differences between that system and the voucher system?

Logical
04-07-2001, 09:22 PM
Mi

Sorry I got you and Michael Michigan confused.

Michigan may be an exception but think of it this way if every state had just two then that would be 100. States like California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania probably have 10 to 20 each where flight to the suburbs have left City School districts floundering. States like Arkansas Mississipi, Alabama and Louisiana are known to have several troubled districts due to funding problems and a historic lack of emphasis on education.

It should not be hard to imagine that there are over a 100 school districts nationwide.

Heck San Diego and Los Angeles have 5 districts in real trouble alone.

KCWolfman
04-07-2001, 09:47 PM
Joe - Start??? It is exactly what I have been asking for.

I am pleased with both sides, dem and rep, on this issue.

My hat is off to all involved who voted positively to give the control of education back in the peoples' hands paying for it.

DanT
04-07-2001, 10:56 PM
TEST POST OF 2 QUOTES.
Test condition: No text separating quotes:

Originally posted by Logical
Does anyone know how to properly put two quotes in a single post.

My effort failed miserably and instead it appears that Michael Michigan said both quotes?

I found a way obviously but it is not simple, any help would be appreciated.

Originally posted by KCWolfman
Joe - Start??? It is exactly what I have been asking for.

I am pleased with both sides, dem and rep, on this issue.

My hat is off to all involved who voted positively to give the control of education back in the peoples' hands paying for it.

DanT
04-07-2001, 11:07 PM
Hey Jim,

I used the quote button on the first quote, then opened a NEW window and used the quote button for the second quote, then I used the clipboard to move the resulting text of the second quote button from the NEW reply window into the original reply window (the one with the first quote).

I was a little surprised that it worked, given that you had trouble with it. I had supposed that I would need to put some kind of unquoted text in between the two quotes to keep them from blending into each other, but that supposition was wrong. Anyway, I used "Internet Explorer 5, Macintosh Edition" under Mac OS 9.0.4 for this test. (This isn't the platform I usually use. I recall that you once endorsed Microsoft's software, so I suppose you're probably on a Windows machine of some sort; that's what I usually use, too.)

Logical
04-08-2001, 01:21 AM
Thanks Dan that better than what I had to do. I will use that method in the future. I did not think about being able to have two windows open in Explorer.

As usual you are on your toes.

Herzig
04-08-2001, 08:28 AM
If vouchers do pass, I hope that we do not put the improvement of education on the back burner. We cannot afford to become complacent with the improvement of education. I am not sure that vouchers would have much of impact on the current system anyway.

Does anyone have any solid ideas besides the voucher system for the improvement of education?

Mi_chief_fan
04-08-2001, 09:17 AM
Greg,

Glad you asked, for this seems to be the point all of the 'experts' on this board seem to disappear.

Here's a good place to start: http://www.science.edu/

American schools that used this curriculum placed amongst the highest scores in the world, including the class at Naperville, IL.

Logical
04-08-2001, 12:37 PM
The answer minus vouchers is selectivity or private schools along with parental attention and support of their children.

You can move into an area where the schools have a great reputation for educational achievement or you can pony up and send your kids to private school. Along with this you as a parent must be guide, disciplinarian, and support structure for your children (in other words take your responsibility as a parent seriously).

So you see there is a way to solve the problem without vouchers, but guess what? There are people out there who cannot afford even my public school solution, as they cannot afford to move out of those school districts that will never be any good.

To say the government throwing money at the problem, bussing, or other typically liberal solutions are the answer is a joke. For over 30 years these solutions have been tried and in the vast number of cases they have been almost complete failures. In small pockets ideas such as magnet schools have had temporary success but in the end even these become marginalized.

So the problem will likely continue to grow worse, as more and more good parents choose flight at whatever cost from the bad school districts, whether it be to the good public school districts or to private schools.

You might want to think commitment to fix the bad districts is the answer but it is too slow and your children will not benefit. Logic says that your personal choice to leave the problem if affordable is the answer for your children.

I believe this is why you are getting little response on this topic, not that the board members have no ideas.

Raiderhader
04-08-2001, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Mi_chief_fan
Actually, if you read the entire thread, you would have seen that American schools recently placed in the top 5 in the world in the International Science Acadamy's Math & Science tests. In fact one school, from Naperville, IL, a PUBLIC SCHOOL, none the less, placed first........IN THE WORLD. That tells me that we're not as far behind as the extreme right will lead you to believe.

No, our schools aren't perfect, but we can't send everyone to private schools, because then they would just be public schools, wouldn't they? We have to fix what we have, and it can be done.



MCF,
actually I did read the entire thread. The point remains that in the past I don't know how many years our schools have not been at the top of the world. So the generalization made by some are based on that. This year doesn't make a difference unless it is repeated in the following years.

Mi_chief_fan
04-08-2001, 05:38 PM
Raiderhader,

I don't know that American schools have ever been the top in the world, but they're certainly not at the bottom either. I don't know if it's even possible to rank a worst to first, or which is best, or what country is better than the others. Tests only cover a certain segment of the population, and we're so much bigger than most countries that participate in these tests, that our rank, from what i've heard at least, fluctuates alot year to year. Many think that although students here are chosen randomly, they're not as 'randomly' selected in other countries. If you look at our current situation with China, it seems pretty believable.

Bottom line: I don't think THAT many districts are failing. I also think that, and i'm sure Greg will back me up, alot of American students :
1)Lack discipline, and
2) Don't take school seriously. I know I didn't, and it took 4 years of Military service to make me realize the error of my ways.

ExtremeChief
04-08-2001, 06:04 PM
I can't speak for schools in other states, but in Missouri there are two glaring problems that I can see...


1. Teacher shortage: In the state of Missouri there is such a teacher shortage that they are allowing hiring teachers without state certification.

2. Funding guidelines: This one hits home with me. I live in a school district where we have just failed on our 3rd attempt to pass a bond issue. I live in a rural area, and much of the population is either large landowners or senior citizens. We currently have 6 trailers behind our school we are using for classrooms. They have no bathrooms, and children have to walk to the main bldg. unsheltered from the elements to eat lunch or use the facilities.

If the state of Mo would allow local districts to raise funds through sales tax IMO they would have better luck passing bond issues. This way the 10% of the district population wouldn't pay for 90% of the funds. Currently it is illegal to raise money for schools through sales tax.

Until schools can afford to pay teachers better wages we will always have a teacher shortage. I have the utmost respect for those who have the thankless job of teaching our future leaders and workers.

Mi_chief_fan
04-08-2001, 06:14 PM
Amen, Extreme.

My uncle retired as Superintendant of a small district near Joplin, and he echoed your sentiments about the teacher shortage. His district, along with most, actively recruited teachers from out of state, which says alot.

Logical
04-08-2001, 07:02 PM
Mi,

You seemed to have challenged the board to respond and I did. Yet you have since chosen to ignore my response.

Why is that are you the one ill equipped to handle a thought out response to your own challenge?

Herzig
04-08-2001, 10:02 PM
Mi_
I agree that there are many who dont take school that seriously. I was one of those students at one time too. The teacher shortage is going to get worse. I think hiring people without college degrees will hurt schools. I know a lot of teachers that work their tails off and some that are there just to collect a paycheck. Should we be paid the same amount of money based on years of experience? How do you evaluate and reward successful teachers and keep them? Just trying to help outsiders understand some of the issues..

I dont think privatization is the only answer, though it might be a good alternative for some people. The best teachers will go where the salaries are better which would eventually jack up the cost of private schools. I dont really think this is the outcome that most voucher supporters seek.

Mi_chief_fan
04-09-2001, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by Logical
Mi,

You seemed to have challenged the board to respond and I did. Yet you have since chosen to ignore my response.

Why is that are you the one ill equipped to handle a thought out response to your own challenge?

Actually Logical, Greg was the one that 'challenged' the board to come up with real ideas, not me. I happen to agree with a good portion of you're statement, but it seems you want to go out of you're way to take a shot at me, for something I didn't even say.

Therefore, i'm not sure you're even worth the trouble..........

Logical
04-09-2001, 10:16 AM
Mi,

Here is the quote were I feel you challenged the BB members. Since you seem to have forgotten that you wrote it. I do not mean to get you upset, just wanted you to know that I did not disappear.

Originally posted by Mi_chief_fan
Greg,

Glad you asked, for this seems to be the point all of the 'experts' on this board seem to disappear.

I really love the ability to edit, quote, and create polls on this BB. It is such a pleasure to be back.

Mi_chief_fan
04-09-2001, 01:29 PM
OK, I see what you mean. However, the post before that was where Greg actually asked us to come up with ideas. I thought that's what you were referring to.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.