A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

View previous topic View next topic Go down

A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:25 am

Hey all,

In this post I am addressing the increasing failures of the American public school system. First, let me tell you about my background.
I live and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Like most large cities, there are poor areas and wealthy areas. It just so happens most of the wealthier areas are in the north and the suburbs north of the main Columbus area. I myself would have had to attend a high school that boasts a 72% rating in reading and a 56% rating in math (rating in test scores ranked average among students). http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/ohio/districts/columbus-city-schools/marion-franklin-high-school-15182

Luckily, my family was worried about me and though they did not have money, they pulled together and sent me to private school. Now, some people may not be in America or just do not understand how the school system works. What determines where a child goes to school? Well, that is simple, proximity to a school within your county. Keeping in mind what I said earlier, if you live in a poorer area of the city, you will go to school near that area, vice-versa for wealthier families in wealthier areas. That seems pretty straightforward. Here is where problem exists though. Your tax bracket, where you live and income of the area, determines how much money goes to your public school. Now of course you can vote down a school levy, which if you're in a struggling community, why wouldn't you? However, stop and think. If you do not pay money towards a school, then who will? The government gives some funding, but they are in debt enough as it is. Eventually, you see school's having to cut things such as AP classes, art and more. This is a terrible thing-- denying children broad knowledge. Sure, some people in these poorer areas could pay towards the schools, but not nearly as much as their wealthier counterparts.

So, let's recap a bit. If a school has more funding because it is in a wealthier area, then the school should have greater aptitude to teach children efficiently and prepare them for college, right? Exactly. These schools have AP courses, art, better technology, better teachers and just a better overall academic program. The poorer schools end up getting teachers with lower educational degrees because let's face it, they cannot pay for a fancy teacher who graduated from Yale or Harvard. Some people may not see an issue with this. After all, their parents worked hard and became educated which led them to the success they are in currently, why shouldn't their kids enjoy the benefits? Well, maybe they should... at home... in the community. Now, the effects of community and parenting do affect the children, but first lets address the schooling system.  (Seriously, education- GOOD education- should be available to ALL people, regardless of their parents income or district of dwelling) This article explains the very topic at hand pretty well in the Carolina's public school system. -> http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102253/The-Price-of-Hope-Investigating-Disparities-Among-Rich-and-Poor-Schools.aspx
Furthermore, it is blatantly obvious that the American school system is failing. A study found this to be true recently, US ranks #19 http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-with-the-highest-lowest-average-iq/. This is mostly due to the lack of interest/teaching ability in disciplines such as science and mathematics.

If you are a moral person and a person who believes in the advancement of humanity as a whole and, perhaps most importantly, the fair, equal opportunity of knowledge being obtainable to ALL children, then you should listen to my next words. I am suggesting a COMPLETE reform from the traditional school systems we have spoke about thus far. Now, I realize this is a RADICAL idea. I also realize most people will probably feel an emotional reason for not approving of my notion, but I plead with you to please listen to your minds and logic; try to view this proposal from a different perspective, one with the greater good of knowledge in mind.

To be blunt, I propose a completely new system. We should strip away the old public schooling system and combine the system to a school that is much greater. How? Combine the schools. What I mean by this is, no longer should the rich go to school with the rich and receive a better quality of education, but instead go to the same school as their poorer peers and learn together. A school system for the WHOLE country. Now, this could mean a school for each state where ALL students would attend, however, I feel this would create animosity between states and resentment. For this sake, I believe ONE single school presence should be for ALL of the country. Where would it be? I am unsure as to the location. It would have to be done after geographically areas large enough to hold such a massive campus could be identified. Perhaps an island of some sorts.

As I said, this would be a campus, much like our university campuses of today. I believe there should be a community, an environment involved. There would be many things near/on including dorms, stores, restaurants, athletic centers, technology centers, etc. etc. etc.
The school would be funded by taxes still, but a flat tax for the whole nation out of fairness. This would take LOTS AND LOTS of income, yes I realize this. This IMMENSE school would have to pay ALL the faculty and living expenses and books and more for the students. However, if the flat tax worked (maybe small government funding) plus donations from our wagon pullers of society, it could possibly work. The classroom environments would be similar to colleges as well. There would be many classes offered by more than one teacher to compensate all the young minds.

By now some of you must be asking, what age would this be for? Well, first let us explore brain development and learning capacity. Many studies have shown that human brains learn/show greater aptitude at younger ages. Think about it... the best musicians, the best golfers, the best generally in anything started at a young age working towards their skills in a certain subject, most of the time anyways.  In fact, it has been said that once a child enters high school, if they are lacking in education, they usually tend to struggle in their studies and this of course diminishes the chance of a successful future in college (mostly the poorer school districts have this problem.)

Continuing the discussion about what age we should send the children to this campus, let us talk about home life environment and community. Generally, a poorer area has higher rates of crime, higher levels of poverty and lacking motivation is caused by these factors. Sometimes parents are too mixed up in their own affairs to even stimulate the children to learn. Sometimes kids raise themselves on television. Sometimes the parents have to work all day long just to provide food. In any case, many kids end up in the streets hanging out with "bad influences". These bad influences cause your once promising child to start questioning their choices. Do they want to waste time doing homework or play with their friends? As they grow up, it may turn into, do they want to study for this exam or do they want to go out drinking at a party? The circumstances can be different, but ultimately there are many distractions from school and the lack of parenting and/or supervision can lead to terrible choices.

How do I ensure that kids will be raised in a fair, intelligent and caring environment? Well, that is a tough question for me as I am not a psychologist, but I do have some thoughts. First, I believe a child should be sent to this school NO later than age 12. This should allow the school to teach young minds who have not yet fallen into a slump. Now, there is the moral issue here (or as I mentioned earlier, emotional). Some parents will NOT want to see their children go away to a far away school. I understand the worried emotions they would feel. However, I think psychologists and motherly/fatherly figures and roles could be found and places within the school.  Maybe a teacher, maybe a coach , perhaps even a teacher who teaches moral/civil classes. Whichever the case, input in this area would be vital for the progression of this idea. I can tell you this, all parents would have visiting rights to their children (though it would have to be limited) and they can always have a Skype call or what have you with them when they are out of their classes. Furthermore, parents need not worry about their kid being isolated or bullied as there will be strict codes against such things and clubs, activities, etc. will ensure that all students have people to identify with. With the correct system in place, I believe that the students could still have emotions, freedom, and individuality. (Note: Outside of academics, students would be expected to try to pursue at least one hobby. I.E. Music, a business plan, designing technology, etc.)

This is the premise of my idea in a nutshell. It would take A LOT of work and I am no fool to think it would be an easy feat. However, if the government and the citizens unified together to make this reality, it and anything else should be possible for our country. There may be those against this idea who wish to put down the lower classes because they feel more entitled to have their children better educated simply because they have more money, but that is foolish. The children should not suffer; they did not do anything that could place them in a poor family.

Before I end my post, I will make a list of pros for my idea.

Pros:

- A unified, central school system where all kids are offered equal opportunity to gain knowledge and pursue dreams.
- The USA should and would gain higher educated students and should then be able to compete with other countries in all fields of life and intellectual fields.
- Families would no longer need to support their kids fully as all kids will be taken care of by taxes. (A family can fund their child directly for the child to buy clothes, extra food, or etc.)
- Because children will be better educated, all quality of human life should increase and this should give rise to a new generation that far surpass the current generations. (Hopefully this will better the whole world.)

Thank you for your time!

If you have any suggestions or questions, feedback is wanted!

Stay thirsty for knowledge my friends Wink

-Brock


Last edited by Admin on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Pbhead on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:07 pm

Let me get this straight, you are proposing one giant school, (an educational arcology perhaps one could call it) for the entire nation.

I love arcologies.

But let us start by looking at this stuff.

You suggest that schools in wealthier areas are better, and schools in poorer areas do worse. This is probably a reasonable assumption. We do at least know that richer students do better than poorer students, and asians and whites do better than blacks and hispanics, and various other statistical stuff. (even when controlling for wealth). (no, that isnt racist, its statistics, its on the front page of the washington post at least once a year.)

At the very minimum. Some schools are better than others, and some are worse than others. Some schools get more money than others, some get less. (Intresting to note, that private schools often operate with... about half ... the money of public schools)

You say that where people go to (public) school is dependent upon geography (and politics). This is true, and sometimes in the stupidest ways. There is a sub-division near me where people on one side of the street all go on a bus to one school, and people on the other go to a different one much father away. (ok, that is a slight tad bit of a exaggeration, but you get the idea.)

You wish to solve the problem of "well-off people go to well-off schools, and do well, poor people go to poor schools and do poorly" by creating one giant boarding school for everyone.

Do I understand everything correctly?

Now, before i continue, let me talk a bit about my education.

I started my education in Hawaii. Sweet, right? well, not for schools, at the time their school system was the worst or second worst in the nation. the public school I went to was little more than, what felt like a trailer park. there were some permanent buildings, but no indoor hallways whatsoever.

After getting sent to the principle's office for insisting that the golden gate bridge was a suspension bridge, and that the earth's axis wobbles, (bill nye said so!), saying the 5's times tables far too quickly than the rest of the class, and such. I was in that school for only a year. My First semester was in kindergarten, my second semester was in first grade, my third semester, I was homeschooled.

Eventually we left hawaii, and moved to Northern Virginia, which has some of the best public schools in the nation. I never attended them. I finished up 3rd grade in homeschool, 4th grade, my mom wanted to try something different, and I went to a private school, that didnt work out so well for similar reasons 1st grade didnt. 5th grade I went to a different private school, and they even worked it out so i could take some 6th grade classes, which, looking back on it, probably pissed off my peers. same same. 7th grade was back to homeschool, and there were various homeschooling groups around that allowed parents to teach what they were best at. This worked well for 8th grade as well, but I was starting to reach the limits of my mothers abilities, and so I began to take a few college level classes at the local community college, first math, then the sciences, by 12th grade, I was taking classes full time at three different community college campuses. (My mother was VERY thankful that I could drive)

I had over 50 college credits when I started at Virginia Tech, got a bachelors in Material Science and Engineering in three years, and am currently shooting for a PhD.

So, I have been in quite the variety of schooling situations.

So when you ask, "what is the solution to this problem?" I do agree completely that there is a problem, but I am very skeptical of "one school for everyone" because "one school" for me, never worked out.

but let us examine it.

One giant school would certainly solve the problems of "some schools are better, and some schools are worse." You would have one school, no school could be better, no school could be worse. However there are two issues here, firstly the obvious, some teachers would still be better than other teachers, and some teachers would still be worse than other teachers. (and then there is the psychology of students, who do THEY consider "better", the teacher that gives little homework, and curves grades, or the stricter teacher?) Secondly, if there is only one school, there is nothing to compare that school too. (except, perhaps, outside the country). Here, perhaps you have made a problem worse. If a student, or the parents want to go to a "better" school, they now have only one choice: move to a different country. (MUCH harder than moving to a different school district, or county, or even a different state.)

The above paragraph could be summed up sort of if we substitute some words in an old quote, "The socialist looks at the rich man's house and says 'no man should live in such a mansion'. The capitalist looks at the rich man's house and says 'every man should have the chance to live in such a mansion'."

So how do we allow everyone the chance to go to a good school? One giant school, which, by definition can only be "average". No, I don't think so.

Because right now, the government is indeed trying to make "one giant school". Not, one building, but one giant set of standards which all (public schools) must follow. (or be penelized in some way) It is called "common core." to which there are MANY arguments on why it is bad and countless examples of really dumb shitso much dumb shit,and even a bit of brainwashing and borderline porn which i wont link an example of.

Because when it comes right down it it, the government has statistics of graduation rates, and the easiest way to increase graduation rates, is to lower the bar so that more people can graduate, with the side effect of smart people not being challenged, and not reaching their potential. They used to start teaching calculus in middle school, now it is not taught until college. hell, In first grade, I was told I was being silly when I tried to subtract a larger number from a smaller one, and end up with a 'negative number'.


So, what would I suggust?

Have you heard of "school vouchers"?

School vouchers are a proposed program which would allow students to go to different schools than the one which their geography demans, even private schools. Thus matching up students to the school that fits them best. This would allow "every man the chance to... go to a good school", and would force bad schools to "shape up" least they lose all their students to the good schools.

but this is a 1980's idea. We can do even better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-jL6p9HQU4




There are a few more nightmares which I have about one giant school, though.

Let us take a look at those "Pros" you listed.

If you have one giant, unified school, you really have a lot of power concentrated in one place, you could 'teach' /every/ young person in America the same thing. Something that has indeed been tried in history... "By December 1936, HJ membership stood at just over five million. That same month, HJ membership became mandatory...a general call-up of boys as young as 10 years old meant that virtually every young male in Germany was, in some way, connected to the HJ. Only about 10 to 20% were able to avoid joining" -- The wikipedia article for the Hitler youth.

The second pro is a 'maybe'. but I doubt it, for reasons I listed earlier. I think things would become worse off over time the less individualized things become.

The third 'pro', you list is that parents dont have to take care of their kids. This, is actually, a huge, huge, huge negative. It has been known for, forever, that the nuclear family unit is by far the best way to raise kids. Kids raised by their biological parents in a health marriage statistically out perform kids of divorced parents, adopted kids, kids in orphanages, kids raised by gays, and so forth. What you are saying is, "let us take all the kids from their fathers and mothers, and indoctrinate them with whatever we feel like indoctrinating them with." Very, very dangerous.

And the 4th pro would apply to my solutions of more diversity in education opportunities as well, assuming for either option it works out that way.



And then there is your website itself. I cant think of a better way to "subjugate" and "oppress" than to put them all in one spot.

You are well-intentioned. most everyone wants better education for their kids. but we must tread carefully. Centralization is not the way foward. Just look at the statistics, or school systems have become more and more centralized over the past 100 years, and school performance has dropped or remained the same While costs have skyrocketed.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don't do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."

—Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:31 pm

Ah. Yes, I know your disdain towards Socialism, yes.

But that's where the problem is: leadership. Under a GOOD leader (monarchies WORKED when a smart, caring and loyal king was on the throne for instance.)
I believe the school system should be private, not in the same manner, but like a private business. The government can make sure things are working correctly and have people investigate fraud and the like, but in the end, I think a panel of some sort with credited people running the show is far better (similar to how the President works with his Cabinet for instance.) I am not talking about just taking people's money and using it in wrong ways that do not benefit anything.

This would be larger than I perhaps made clear. There would be MANY programs offered and not all students would be forced to take the same things. Sure, the basics, but after that they do get some choices. And as to your video, yes, I think it would be interesting to let students outside of the classroom to learn. I am not a teacher either, but I do understand what this is saying. Furthermore, there could be academic advisers just like in college that will help promote the students, their classes, their goals, and help them find what they need to do with their life. I understand some people just do not have the same aptitude for learning as other for various biological reasons, but they still could have a useful role in society. The teachers are obviously going to be of above average performance as they would need to educate efficiently AND spark the children's interest in subjects.

I do know parents are useful, but after a certain age the child matures to the point where the parents influence is not as great (obviously much more influential when they are younger.) To be fair, ideally if you want a generation of intellects, you'd need to probably get rid of "family", but that won't happen. It would be like raising an army of robots... which would be interesting to see their capabilities though (from a science stand point.) I guess ideally, some sort of 'Vulcan' schooling is what I think is optimal. Many people will be displeased with my lack of enthusiasm towards emotions (love, relationships with parents, and etc.) but I assure you I enjoy these things, I am just theorizing how alluring of a topic it is to think about from that scientific stand point. (Also perhaps similar to Ender's Game type of academy I suppose, just with more broad teaching.)

I understand your doubts, change is always scary anyways since we honestly DO NOT know what could actually happen. I suggest trying my way for a small population, let's say, 5k children. See how they fair after my school. If it is a success, try it more broad scale, maybe 50k? Etc. Etc. That seems a decent way of testing this without just shutting down an idea because of (Conflicting) studies or norms. ((vouchers are hard to get, I heard of people who were trying to get them and there's a HUGE list and small amount of vouchers btw.)

Pbhead, I assure you I am not about Communism or anything, I just believe that if good leadership is in place IN HAND with good education opportunities for all, then the future could be limitless. In our current state of the USA, I do NOT think the general population is ready YET to be left to their own devices (no fault of their own.)

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:54 pm

I would like to add, that above all emotions, I think the emotions (or even perhaps emotion idea of itself) that humor causes is perhaps one of the most important.

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Pbhead on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:13 pm

The teachers are obviously going to be of above average performance

This, is, indeed humerus. if the entire nation goes to one school, and that one school employs all teachers, then the average of the teachers there must be average, by definition.


I am going to sum up that third paragraph with this.



and. I had really hope I had subverted the "you are just afraid of change" strawman argument by providing hints on the solution.

What you need to understand is that you are /not/ proposing any change. none whatsoever. you are doing the exact same thing people in power have been doing for years and years and years.

They all, and always go. "hmm, we need to improve our school system, lets centralize testing. we will have standard tests across the land so that we know which schools and doing well, and which are doing poorly, and we can tell the poor schools to improve."

What happened? Teachers stopped teaching what they thought students should learn, and instead started teaching how to 'test well'.

They all, and always go. "hmm, we need to improve our school system, lets set standards for food. we will have standard food across the land so that everyone gets a healthy diet."

What happened? Prices for school lunches skyrocketed to conform the the standards, half the food ended up in the dumpster, and kids ended up bringing in stuff from home.

They all, and always go. "hmm, we need to improve our school system, lets set a common curriculum across all the land so that everyone learns the same things, which we (all high and mighty) consider important."

What happened? I shared a few links earlier.

Your suggestion is exactly the same. one more step along further centralization. lets regulate, lets control, lets make things all the same.

Understand. Our schools only have gotten worse and more expensive over time in lockstep with non-teachers (politicians) trying to meddle and write huge long laws to make things "better".

5k kids? (I see what you did there, "lets try it"... i know where that idea came from. tricky tricky.) well, that is called "a boarding school" or perhaps, "a military academy". An option indeed, if a family likes that idea, but you will no doupt still be using force and coercion to get any quantity of students to go to 'your school'.

In our current state of the USA, I do NOT think the general population is ready YET to be left to their own devices (no fault of their own.)


Well, now there you may have a point. and it is a most unfortunate and evil one, and one which was not unforeseen. Have some quotes:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams







Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:37 pm

Sorry, I was referring to teachers would be above the average of current teachers.

Honestly, standardized testing has nothing to do with my idea. Still, schools are not NEARLY as centralized as my idea. The fact that the standardized tests don't work is because you're giving them to multiple schools and people from different communities and different incomes. At my school, income literally doesn't matter or environmental factors are at least limited much more (besides as I said parents can give their kids money to spend on things....)

Yes, it would be similar to a boarding school at first. But it would not be militaristic... and incentive is research, science, and a better opportunity. For instance, give me 5k children from Detroit public schools and let's see if a new school can do better. I wasn't being tricky :PI was just saying, experimentation is the only true way to know. I don't want the government directly involved overseeing and making mandates. Just like a university, we would set forth our own goals. No bullshit bureaucrats with tenure and teaching unions either.

Yes, in the past they could not do it. But part of that has to do with what you said as well, the corruptness of the School Board and many others. I believe in the "philosopher kings" idea. If the RIGHT people made these schools and standards, it could be better. I understand all the concerns, but that isn't ME or people I would choose to run such a thing. Again, politics , schools, whatever... ran as an efficient business should show results. Google is a huge company and their chain of command works fine. Any large system can work if done correctly. Is it hard? Yes, extremely. Can it be done? Yes. Sure, decentralized has benefits. But at the same time SOME places will still suffer and be lower than others.

On another note, what about the idea that the system is centralized, by modeled in a way such as the magic academy in Harry Potter? With different sections of my campus and houses? Just curious.

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Pbhead on Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:58 pm

Well, you seen then. it comes all down to this:

Whoever you think the "right" person/people are, at least 50% of everyone else will say that is the wrong person. and whoever they consider as the "right" person/people, you will consider as the wrong person.


and that is just the way it is.


Pbhead

Posts : 9
Join date : 2014-06-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:00 am

True, but perhaps we need to find someone who is thirsty for justice and evolution, but not crazy.

Ultimately, perhaps technology will provide an answer.

I appreciate your feedback Pb, you're always a smart guy! Look forward to hearing more from you about topics.

Other members feel free to weigh in here !

Admin
Admin

Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-06-05

View user profile http://anamorphickoinonia.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: A Proposal to Fix the Failing Public School System in America

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum