Sunday, December 9, 2018

Charters vs Traditional Public Schools

We are arguing AGAIN over here about if Charter or Traditional Public Schools (TPS) are better. The above graphic come from a CREDO NY Study. (CREDO Site)  Now I agree with the factors they use to match and compare schools:
  • Grade level
  • Gender
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Free or Reduced Price Lunch Status
  • English Language Learner Status
  • Special Education Status
  • Prior test score on New York state achievement tests
Except.  How does one account for what the child'(s) parent(s) are like?  Please remember that I think student success is 70% due to their parent(s) and community, and ~30% due to the school /teachers.

Now a Charter and TPS may be in the same community with similar student demographics, and have TOTALLY DIFFERENT parental demographics.  Please remember that the TPS is the default
  • The TPS gets every unlucky child who's parent do not make the effort or know enough to do anything special academically for their child(ren).  
  • The Charter will only have families where the parent(s) are aware, motivated and cared enough about academics to get their lucky child enrolled.
Now Jerry loves Charters and Vouchers for this reason. They make it easier for concerned and capable parent(s) with Lucky children to run from their Unlucky neighbor children who have Deadbeat or incapable parent(s).

Just like when parent(s) who can afford it move to a more expensive neighborhood with "better schools"...  Which we all know means "neighborhood with more capable people"...

So to me Charters and Vouchers have an upside in that more Lucky kids (ie good capable parents & no significant special needs) can get into schools with more kids like themselves.  The downside of course is that leaves the TPS with an ever higher density of Unlucky kids.  At which time the Charter school advocates:

  • Blame the TPS for failing with the most challenging families...
  • Praise the Charter for helping out the simplest families...

It is kind of like when people say that Wayzata district is better than Robbinsdale... Which is so silly since you are comparing apples and oranges. So my questions as always...
  • Do some Charters do better than the local TPS because they have the neighborhood kids with capable responsible parent(s) and the TPS got the dregs?
  • Do some Charters do worse than the local TPS because they have a much higher population of parent(s) who have low English capability? (family chose "Somali Charter school" to avoid change / assimilation) 
  • How do we really know which schools are doing well because of their systems, employees, curriculum?
  • How do we know which schools are doing well because the have good capable family / parental / community support?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Do Teachers Want?

We have been arguing about many school related things... Then someone asked a simple question... "When was the last time anyone talked to a teacher?"

To which I replied. "Whenever I try to talk to teachers about any of these topics... They say that "I can not understand because I am not a Teacher..." Like teaching is somehow different from every other job, organization, management system, etc in the world. Apparently they and their situation is different from us normal humans..."

This however did get me thinking about:
  • What do teachers want?
  • How do they think we can eliminate the achievement gap?
From the conversations I have had with Teachers, they want some pretty normal logical things:
  • To be fairly compensated for their work
  • To have job security and benefits
  • To have capable Supervisors who support their efforts
  • To have reasonable class sizes
  • To have children enter their classroom adequately prepared for the content that is to be taught (ie pre-requisites, behaviors, etc)
  • Parent(s) who want to and are capable of partnering in the development of their children.
  • To have very disruptive students removed from their class (EBD, etc)
  • Respect
Then there are those ones I question:
  • To be able do things their own way (ie curriculum, content, etc)
  • To be paid based on degrees and years served , rather than based on performance and responsibility levels
  • To be able to resist the goals of the school board and administrators
What have I missed here and how do the above help to eliminate the academic achievement gaps?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Easier to Become a MN Teacher?

MinnPost Thinking about switching career paths to become a teacher? It’s daunting, but might be getting easier

Historically the Teachers Union has worked hard to keep non-traditional candidates out of the classroom in MN.  I mean they want to limit competition just like many other worker groups.

Maybe things will improve...  Though I kind of doubt with the DEMs obtaining more control in the State.  They do tend to support ED MN no matter how it harms the Unlucky kids. :-(

MN Welfare Per Capita Spend is #5

I know this should not have surprised me, but it did... Especially since many of the Blue "Ocean States" did not even make the Top 10. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dangers of Early School Enrollment

Continuing from G2A EITC regarding my view on How to Win the War on Poverty
"Unfortunately focusing on only this one. "5.The welfare payments and service should be set up to make recipients work, learn, mature and improve their self sufficiency."Leaves a lot of kids hungry, homeless and poor...That's why excellent sex education, free birth control and even early term abortions are so important. Unfortunately those are three things that are not allowed in the Bible Belt...Well that and that they prefer to spend little on their early childhood education, K-12, and Higher Ed." G2A
"You need to see this-- not all of your solutions pass the test:Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment"  Jerry
I agree with the Harvard results.  Sending children into an academic setting before their brain development is where it needs to be to accomplish that curriculum can be frustrating and detrimental to the child. So we agree:

Age and child appropriate curriculum, methods and expectations are critical.

However this in no way means that sending children to pre-school is a bad thing.  It just means that those programs need to focus on age and child appropriate activities.  Some academic focus, but  mostly they focus on physical, social, problem solving, emotional, behavioral and other things that will help them develop well and learn effectively when they do enter kindergarten.

RDale Early Childhood Education
MN DOE Early Childhood Indicators of Progress by Topic
MN DOE School Readiness

Please remember that I am more concerned about the millions of unlucky kids in America who enter kindergarten without these basic capabilities.  Which leads to them staying academically behind their luckier peers who were ready to start learning on day 1...

Now I have known Parents who want to push their children faster than their child's physical, social, cognitive, emotional, etc current capabilities...  That is a totally different issue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Bell Tolls for Trump?

From Sean
"If this holds up, I don't know how anyone can claim there was "no collusion". Now, Republicans will have to try to explain it away. Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy"
And then there is this.
CNN Alan Dershowitz says Mueller report will be 'devastating' to Trump

Monday, November 26, 2018

Trump is Bad for Business

VOX GM is closing plants and cutting jobs.
Here’s what it means for workers — and for Trump.
It’s not great.

FOX Trump Not Happy with GM after Job Cuts

Let's see...  Trump:
  • raises the cost of steel and aluminum with big tariffs
  • raises the cost of many components with big tariffs
  • does not place tariffs on completed products
  • destabilizes the US Healthcare system by picking away at ACA
  • and he is unhappy that manufacturers are suffering?
This is an interesting Letter... (ie Trump is BAD for Business)

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland

Sunday, November 25, 2018

4th National Climate Assessment

MN vs WI and IA

A Facebook friend linked to this exercise in selective comparisons with the comment. "Good information for those of you who think Minnesota is going in the wrong direction."

My thoughts are:
Personally I think comparing IA, MN and WI is silly since they are all excellent states to live in.  And according to this US News Comparison...  IA is #1, MN is #2, ND is #4, NE is #7, WI is #11 and SD is #14...  We all very fortunate!!!

And don't forget that our State has a terrible academic achievement, even though we have a very strong Education Union...  Could those 2 things be related?

Trump on Deficits

It must be hard to be a President when one apparently has ADHD...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Earned Income Tax Credit

From Laurie
"New Study Says EITC Expansion Would Be 87% Self-Financed  by Kevin Drum  So would you support more money to poor people if it cost very little? "

I think increasing the EITC may be a good idea if we can reduce the welfare budgets by the same amount. Or are you think we should increase EITC and keep the welfare / Medicaid the same?

I support most programs that require the recipient to learn, work, improve, etc...  I disagree with most programs that provide services or money with little or no expectations of the recipient... The goals need to be:
  • Promote fiscally responsible behavior
  • Promote escaping government dependency
  • Promote learning and improvement 
  • Promote raising children well
EPI EITC and CTC History
CBPP Reducing EITC Over Payments