Thursday, December 8, 2016

DeVos and School Choice

Good timing for this MP Article

 "What do we have to loose?  Inner city schools have failed our inner city families. The racial disparities have been alarming for decades. School choice for inner city youth has worked yet the unions and elites fight school choice all the time. 
What do we have to do to stop the elites from further harming the inner city youth?!" Mike 
"The Mpls and St Paul school districts are poster children for this.
  • High Administration costs
  • Highest paid Teachers in easiest classrooms
  • Lowest paid Teachers in hardest classrooms
  • Compensation / Job Security not based on results
  • Many Children Left Behind
I especially like the Ed Mn reps comment. “It’s my understanding that President-elect Trump wants to take $20 billion ... from public schools and funnel it to for-profit enterprises. That will hurt a lot of students in the public system,” she said."
Hearing this from the same person who supports all the dysfunctions noted above is amazing. The reality is that the Union exists to ensure their employees make more, have more control and don't get fired. It is exists for the betterment of the adults, not the children.
By the way, please remember that I think the Public School are 30% of the problem. And irresponsible, incapable and/or neglectful Parents and our societal tolerance / support of them are 70% of the problem. Unfortunately the current systems care for all the adults and sacrifice the unlucky kids." G2A


Sean said...

"It is exists for the betterment of the adults, not the children."

Yes, and if such a system in fact exists to better the adults, then the adults who should get the betterment out of it are heiresses like Betsy DeVos instead of the people who actually, you know, do the work.

John said...

I really don't have any idea what your point is?

I am pretty sure Betsy isn't going to earn much from this job... At least not compared to her investment income...

John said...

Do you really think the social services and public education systems are as functional, efficient, effective and successful as we tax payers should expect and the unlucky kids deserve?

Do you think the adult(s) who made the unlucky kids are being held accountable by society for being responsible and capable Parents?

John said...

While disagreeing with Jerry, I decided to stop referring to all adults who make babies as Parents. Here is an interesting link regarding what it means to be a Real Actual Parent.

Not someone who just happened to have irresponsible sex and kept the resulting child.

And yes I do think society should ensure that kids are raised by Parents, not just people who had sex and kept the resulting child.

Sean said...

My point is that Betsy DeVos has advocated in favor of for-profit K-12 education. Which means, based on the experience we've seen with for-profit colleges (ahem, Trump University among many others), that producing returns for shareholders is going to be more important that producing well-educated children.

So, no, that doesn't mean that our public schools are perfect. But I sure as heck guarantee that what we've got today is a lot better than the cluster that will result if we move toward for-profit K-!2.

John said...

So let me understand, the VAST MAJORITY of the service and product providers in the USA are for profit. I mean the pre-school in my house is for profit. And even many of our "Not for Profits" are only a technicality.

So in your view "for profit and not for profit" non-governmental businesses are most successful when they fail to deliver for their customers? And maximize their returns to their shareholders?

Where do you get this belief system? Were you moved here from socialistic country at some point? :-)

Sean said...

There are some things that should not be designed to make a profit.

Laurie said...

To me it seems ridiculous that some corporate school could educate the student population at my school for less money than we are currently spending and return the savings to the investors as some sort of profit or dividend .

Does your wife pay dividends to investors in her for profit preschool or is it more like that she gives herself a good salary as teacher / manager of her program.

At a meeting after school today there was discussion of finding a new leader for the district and one of the main concerns voiced by teachers was finding a good financial manager that could try to raise our salary structure so that we could attract and keep high quality teachers. We have another opening this fall for a kindergarten teacher at my school with zero applicants.

John said...

Blasphemy... Without goals, constraints, priorities, financial incentives, customer satisfaction, word of mouth, budgets, pay for performance, etc... We get a bloated near monopoly public education system that fails to deliver for millions of children across the country.

You would be the first to try and tear it apart if it was a for profit monopoly that left this many unlucky kids doomed to poverty. And yet since it "government", it is okay?

Her business is in the area of early childhood education... And there is no government largess to subsidize things. I don't think "good salary" comes into play... But she and her clients seem happy and satisfied. And remember "Happy Wife Happy Life !!!"

As for your schools money situation... As I keep telling you... Complain to Ed MN and the DFL politicians...

jerrye92002 said...

"some things should not be run like a business."

I don't believe it, unless you are talking about a charitable organization whose purpose is using donated time and money to help those in need, and even they need some measure of "efficiency," like % of donations actually reaching the needy.

I often ask, if I had a business like an inner city school, where I charged twice what my competitors did but turned out 50% rejects, how long would I stay in business? Only a monopoly gets away with that. Competition needs to be introduced and price and quality WILL improve.

Anonymous said...

a charitable organization whose purpose is using donated time and money to help those in need, and even they need some measure of "efficiency," like % of donations actually reaching the needy.

Is government a form of charitable organization that helps those in need?


John said...

I don't think cost will decrease since the public schools already cost the same or less than the good privates, but I think the quality certainly can improve.

Just the idea that currently compensation and job security is based mostly on time served and degrees instead of job challenge, performance and quality assures this.

I can not think of any other service organization that refuses to collect and use participant satisfaction data in the management of their business and staff.

jerrye92002 said...

"I don't think cost will decrease since the public schools already cost the same or less than the good privates, ..."

I think you mean to say "less than the 'elite' private schools, and then just barely." Certainly there are parochial schools, home schools, some private schools and even public charters that do as well or better than the publics. Even the DC scholarship program turns out better results at half the cost.

And I am OK with paying schools double the MN State average if they produce better than average results with a "challenging" student population. But paying double for an inferior product doesn't make sense, and certainly not year after year after year. Public schools must change, and even if vouchers are not the best answer, at least it represents change.

jerrye92002 said...

"Is government a form of charitable organization that helps those in need?"

No, for two reasons. It is able to coerce "contributions" from the taxpayers, and it doesn't give a rip about those it "serves." It cannot.

And even if it were a charity, a completely improper function of government, it would be a terrible one because [far?] less than 50% of its "INCOME" goes to the needy.

John said...

Where is your source regarding the DC Scholarship program claim?

IES DC Study Update

IES DC Parents

I have found nothing saying that results are better.

Sean said...

Look at the results in Michigan, where DeVos has gotten much of her agenda implemented and the results have been not-so-awesome.

POLITICO: DeVos' MI School Experiment Gets Poor Grades

Despite two decades of charter-school growth, the state’s overall academic progress has failed to keep pace with other states: Michigan ranks near the bottom for fourth- and eighth-grade math and fourth-grade reading on a nationally representative test, nicknamed the “Nation’s Report Card.” Notably, the state’s charter schools scored worse on that test than their traditional public-school counterparts, according to an analysis of federal data.

Critics say Michigan’s laissez-faire attitude about charter-school regulation has led to marginal and, in some cases, terrible schools in the state’s poorest communities as part of a system dominated by for-profit operators. Charter-school growth has also weakened the finances and enrollment of traditional public-school districts like Detroit’s, at a time when many communities are still recovering from the economic downturn that hit Michigan’s auto industry particularly hard.

The results in Michigan are so disappointing that even some supporters of school choice are critical of the state’s policies.

jerrye92002 said...

I haven't looked for it, but the studies I saw said that achievement and graduation rates were both improved for DC scholarship students. The reports John cites say that parents and teachers are happier in the voucher schools. So the question is, if the public schools are the same or better, how do these voucher schools survive? Since they are freely chosen, we must assume that the parents, at least, see them as better in some fashion. And finally, why do all these "pro-choice" Democrats so adamantly refuse to permit parents a choice in education?

John said...

People are often happier when they get to choose. That does not mean their children will get smarter faster. In fact it may mean their children will get smarter more slowly.

I mean the Parent may choose a school because of a charismatic administrator, a curriculum that they agree with, they love the arts, they love religion, the teachers are so sweet or other. And yet none of these ensure the child will effectively learn what is important.

jerrye92002 said...

Nor does it guarantee they will not. And I suggest to you that the parents may be a better judge of what is important for their child than you or some educrat may be. I used to believe that all schools-- public, private, home-- should have to pass the same test to prove that kids were learning the "essentials," but this "common core" nonsense has convinced me otherwise. Yes, there are things everybody should know, but common core tests seem to require that things be taught in a certain way, specifying process rather than the end-point knowledge.

John said...

Well considering the evaluation tests are multiple choice, it does not matter what method was used to teach it.

What matters is if the child was able to determine the correct answer? By whatever method they choose.

Now please remember that the only qualification that many of the people that you call "Parents" have is that they are fertile, had sex, got pregnant and kept the kid.

It is likely that they have little academic capability, low maturity/independence, few analytical skills, no child education experience, parenting knowledge, etc. Please remember that the kids who are failing do not have highly educated and successful Parents. Would you really hire that person to select a school for someone's child?

And yet you have great faith that this 25 year old single mom who barely passed High School has the knowledge and experience to pick "the best" school. Really?

Now I agree that the Public schools have problems and need to improve, but give me a break.

jerrye92002 said...

Do you KNOW the tests are multiple choice, and isn't it possible to have a multiple choice question that asks about the PROCESS of finding the answer? Even in physics, such questions are possible, I know.

And you keep waltzing around the idea that the almighty State is the right person to decide who has children, how they are raised and what education they can get. Until you are ready to give people the freedom to make choices in all these things, even bad choices, you have no grounds on which to call them irresponsible. Besides, you still have not said how government will control these "irresponsible parents," while you seem unwilling to take even minimum steps to improve the public schools that government already controls. If you are correct, which I doubt, we could almost immediately solve 30% of the problem, and then try to figure out the other 70%. Myself, I think if you got the schools where they need to be, the other 70% would start to decline over time. That's the very promise of public schools, was it not?

John said...

All the aptitude tests my children take are multiple choice. No one has resources to give long hand tests or check their process.

Now common core does recommend certain topics be taught in certain ways because the best and brightest have determined through research that it is most effective for most kids. Memorization and math fact time tests seem to have fallen out of favor because they failed to help kids understand math. Well that and everyone has a calculator on their phone...

jerrye92002 said...

Bull twaddle. This common core math makes math MORE difficult to understand, and makes it near impossible for parents to help the kid with homework. Imagine a math test that presents a simple problem, and then asks you (multiple choice) how many "boxes" you need to draw? Common Core was mostly OK when it tried to define WHAT kids should know by when, but when they crossed over into how that knowledge should be acquired, they went seriously off the rails. So, if we get rid of the federal imposition of common core and insist that all the poor kids get a voucher for their federal money (and expect states to follow suite), will education get better, or not?

My Dad insisted us kids learn our mental math, and I still find it quicker than a calculator for many things. It's also good for checking what comes off the calculator. I am happy to see that our local district, at least, tries to give the kids an understanding of basic math and then allows them to use computers to get into the advanced stuff, like trigonometry, that I for one cannot do in my head.

jerrye92002 said...

Another thing. My son was pretty good in math. One day he came home with a math test and one of the problems was marked incorrect. If I recall, it was addition of two two-digit numbers, or maybe even a long division problem. I looked at it and knew almost immediately he had the right answer. The teacher took off points because he "didn't show his work." "How did you get that answer?" she said. The lad simply looked at her dumbfounded and said, "Because that's the answer." He didn't say "mental math" and should have, but it was just instinctive with him. You really think math facts are obsolete? Or is it just our "experts" trying to make something difficult that should be easy?

John said...

You may want to study up

jerrye92002 said...

Let's see now. I have this whiz-bang idea for radically improving academic achievement across the board. It's good because I had six Ph.D educators help me put it together. But I've heard a lot of complaints about it and I'm here to tell you they just aren't true. It's so good that the government will give you money to try it. :-^

support drops!

John said...

How about some different more centered reporting.
US News Support

"The standards are not “a federal program or a federal mandate. It was created at the state level. Curriculum remains within the control of districts, school boards, school leaders and teachers,” Donohue wrote. “Mr. Will and others should direct their outrage at school systems that tolerate low standards and churn out kids ill-prepared for college or a career.”

Despite backlashes in deep-red states like Georgia and Mississippi, which Obama lost by double digits in 2012, the National Governors Association (NGA) and most of its members continue to back the Common Core standards, albeit warily. Having developed the curriculum with contributions from Gates and input by influential public-school reformer David Coleman, the NGA is heavily invested in Common Core's success."

John said...

Here is the Ed Next detail that Daily Signal quoted. I really think you should read the whole thing.

It seems that the people who are against it are:
- Folks like yourself disapprove of national common high standards
- Teachers unions who fear being held to high stds.

It is interesting to see you aligned with the Teacher's Unions against common high standards... It seems you both want vague standards that vary from state to state, and make states like Mississippi look like they are doing okay when they are failing miserably. :-)

John said...

The big questions here are people against Common Core or against the concepts of:
- well defined measurable global based high expectations
- seeing their state's schools measured against it
- a fear of something being accepted across the country (ie fear of Feds)
- a fear that their kid's may learn real science, history, etc that differs from personal views
- Public education system employees fearing being held accountable

John said...

Maybe we should do some actual study at the Common Core Site. And yes there maybe a few things that people disagree with... Just like any curriculum / standards.

The question is it better than having Bubba and the 5 other Bubba's in Louisiana coming up with their own stds based on their personal likes and dislikes... With little perspective as to what is happening in the rest of the modern world today.

John said...

All this fuss over these? Amazing...
And they only apply to English and Math...

CC Math Stds

CC English Stds

jerrye92002 said...

Your US News item is almost 3 years old. And it IS, if not a federal mandate, something that is established at the federal level and "pushed" through federal funding onto the states. Things change, and states abandon or adapt it, and that should be expected because it can't work.

Sure, it would be great if every kid graduated high school with some standard, high level of knowledge, but right now our public schools cannot graduate a lot of kids to ANY standard. Common Core-- a federal one-size-fits-all curriculum, in essence-- is not going to work when even statewide or district-wide one-size-fits-all teaching is not working.

So why are we digressing? If the federal and state governments create a voucher system that lets each parent pick the "size" of their kid's education, we should be far better off.

John said...

Totally unrelated...

Attaining High Common Global / College Based Standards is the goal.

How we do that is a totally different question / issue.

As for "pushed on States", I don't think you read the articles.

"Who led the development of the Common Core State Standards?

The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country, together with state leaders, provided input into the development of the standards.

The actual implementation of the Common Core, including how the standards are taught, the curriculum developed, and the materials used to support teachers as they help students reach the standards, is led entirely at the state and local levels. "

John said...

Apparently there is some extra funding available through Race to the Top if states improve, and part of that can be adopting Common Core. But it definitely is not a mandate by any means.

I mean states are free to stand their ground and forego a little extra funding if they wish. That is if they have something better to offer their tax payers and children.

John said...

Wiki Race to the Top

"States were awarded points for satisfying certain educational policies, such as performance-based evaluations for teachers and principals based on multiple measures of educator effectiveness (and are tied to targeted professional development and feedback), adopting common standards (though adoption of the Common Core State Standards was not required), adoption of policies that do not prohibit (or effectively prohibit) the expansion of high-quality charter schools, turning around the lowest-performing schools, and building and using data systems."

And Standards and Assessments only got 70 of the 500 total points
Developing and adopting common standards (40 points)
Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments (20 points)
Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (10 points)

You want better schools for the kids, people are applying pressure to the States, Schools and Unions to do so, and all you do is complain that they teach math funny...

jerrye92002 said...

My complaint is that they don't teach math, funny or otherwise. You are the one who keeps saying that the "unlucky kids" can't learn. Raising the standards only puts them further behind. Time to give the job of educating them to somebody else with a free hand to decide how they will be taught, and what they will be taught, on a local or individual basis rather than "sweet restraint" from DC.

John said...

That is exactly what we have been doing for decades, and those local folks have proven themselves to be unqualified. That is why so many children were left behind, as NCLB proved.

Now we have measurable common high standards so that we will know exactly who is failing to educate the children adequately. This will enable us to turn up the heat on them.

I have perfect faith that "unlucky kids" can learn if they are surrounded by positive caring role models from an early age.

Unfortunately most unlucky kids don't get that opportunity because many like yourself are obsessed with letting baby makers have control, even though they are too irresponsible, immature or unwise to use a condom correctly... For some odd reason that makes you think they are responsible and wise enough to be "Parents".

John said...

Talking about soft bigotry of low expectations... Where did this come from?

"Raising the standards only puts them further behind."

jerrye92002 said...

" many children were left behind, as NCLB proved. This will enable us to turn up the heat on them."

That reminds me of that TV commercial, where the bank guard says he is only a "monitor." He will tell you when things go wrong, but doesn't do anything to actually PREVENT them from happening. Since the teeth were taken out of NCLB, there is no "heat" that we can apply to the public schools other than real (and innovative) competition. You can set the standards anywhere you like, but until the schools have an incentive other than their own desire to do well (most of it at the front line teachers, bless 'em), things aren't going to improve much.

And you keep forgetting human nature. Sure, people can be "irresponsible" and have a kid, even two or three, but the modern welfare state ENABLES it. Those who make a mistake often come back and want something better for their kid, only to discover their local school-- the only real choice they have-- is NOT "something better" and it doesn't matter what they do. They feel trapped and give up.

So let me suggest common ground. We can "fix" the schools in just a few years by offering full-value vouchers to every poor kid. That should catch all the "unlucky" ones (using your definitions, here) and some number of those "not so lucky." The public schools full of unlucky kids will then have two or three years during which they are the only choice, as alternatives ramp up capacity. IF, as I propose, they are allowed some latitude in instructional paradigms, they may be able to improve enough to "stay in business." And if not the kids of the irresponsible parents (who I claim are few, you claim are many) will continue to lose out because of each other, while any kid NOT that unlucky gets an education someplace "better." In other words, give out the vouchers, loosen the rules, offer some standardized test by which we inform the choices parents will have, and see what happens. If it turns out all the unlucky kids are really impossible, we haven't lost anything, but those who exercise a responsible choice can do better, regardless of how many-- the number on which we disagree.

John said...

Time will tell. I think we are at the same point we were years ago with regard to this topic.

jerrye92002 said...

I fervently hope you are correct that "time will tell." While we have been debating the topic, we have lost another generation of kids to a substandard education system. Hopefully something better gets going ASAP and to me that is vouchers, rather than expecting the "system" to reform itself.

John said...

You can keep throwing rocks at the Public Schools all you want, but the big change that caused the problem is the increase in Baby Makers..

Family Facts Marriage / Family
Sex / Child Bearing

So as usual we will need to agree to disagree.

jerrye92002 said...

I am not certain how your charts are intended to help me, since they lack X axis markers. But since the total birth rate in the nation keeps falling, I think your concern is really about the DISTRIBUTION of baby makers across economic class, race and particularly, marital status. Of those, I am not even certain we can claim there are more poor black kids total, but we can say with certainty that more of them are born of unwed mothers. So, with our facts straight, we can argue over the cause of that fact, whether it is a natural cultural shift or the product of government inducements.

Regardless of this root cause, though, there is no doubt there has been an effect on the education of these children (especially when they are concentrated in a particular school), and our debate here is whether these kids fail to learn because their demographics prevent it, or because the education system fails to provide it? This is the immediate cause question.

Finally, we have the question of a solution. If you believe that the immediate cause means demographics is destiny, then the solution is to somehow roll back 50 years of cultural change. If government inducements contributed to that cultural change, you can roll those back but still have to change the culture and that may take 50 more years that we simply cannot afford. If, however, we have evidence that the education system is failing simply because it has not properly adapted, then with sufficient political will, we can start to change educational outcomes almost immediately.

So to me it seems clear that we must change the schools and hope that this begins a cultural shift. We simply do not know how to do it the other way around, and have not the time to try. Feel free to disagree, but I see no logical reason why.