View Full Version : We don't need school uniforms, we need uniform schools
09-14-1999, 06:44 PM
What's wrong with a little federal guidance and some national standards?
What direction should education be going anyway? I hope not school vouchers. It's not too communist an idea to keep the bare minimal standards we've managed so far. Or are we going to privatize schools and pay the vendors for efficient service?($/SAT score measurements, so drop those foreign languages).
09-14-1999, 08:29 PM
The problem as I see it with federal "guidance" is that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we have a right to public education. I think that education should be left up to the local and state governments. Now having said that, I don't agree with the Kansas school board, nor do I think the federal government should turn a deaf ear to education. They can give money for educational purposes, but that should be the extent. There should be no mandatory state-sponsered curriculum, because the central government is too inefficeint. Hell, Texas curriculum (especially history) is often full or errors and omissions and they don't do anything to change it. Imagine what the federal government would be like in that situation. Now national standards I like. It would give the federal government (and state governments, for that matter) the best determination of where to put grants. If some school in the suburbs is doing especially well, then it does not deserve the same amount of money as an inner-city school with a poor educational system. The problem with the federal government getting involved in curriculum guidance is that I think of Animal Farm and the rules that all animals are to live by. It digresses to the point that the villain in the book replaces most of the laws with creations of his own, and is able to convince the other animals that it had always been that way. I think that it may start off well-intentioned, but federal guidance could very well turn around and bite us on the butt.
"There are many sweeping generalizations that are always true" -Space Ghost
09-14-1999, 10:40 PM
The school standards are so uneven even in one state that it would be dificult to monitor. But we do have testing, and those schools doing poorly should get a lot of attention. In low income areas, motivation seems to be a big hurdle to overcome. The kids see no point in doing anyting that takes a big effort.Like lifting a pencil.
So they go and build magnet schools in inner cities...
09-15-1999, 12:20 AM
yeah; let's drop those foreign language courses! Why should our folks be the ones doing the translating!
That's sarcasm from me, graduate of the Defense Language Institute (studied Vietnamese back in 1983 & 1984).
Now if you're talking about dropping the bilingual education itself in schools, I'm with you there. But that's only because I think the current incarnation of bilingual education in the United States is a dismal failure.
09-15-1999, 02:28 PM
I personally think lowering the bar so all our kids are taught like the lowest common denominator isn't the answer.
The reason curriculums differ is because different peopl ehave different needs. How many of us were bored to death in school taking classes that were beneath our level?
I for one would have loved to be able to take higher level classes, but none were offered.
In the area of Washington I live in, students can enroll in any school of their choosing so long as they find their own way of getting there.
This causes the schools to hire better teachers, to draw the tax dollars. Some of these schools have started specializing in certain areas, and excel at math, or science or what not.
Why is it, that many americans feel that everything is to be handed to everyone and in equal amounts? What has lead us to believe that because someone gets one level of education everyone needs that level?
Don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey.
09-15-1999, 03:06 PM
Well, there should be at least an agreed upon minimum level. You have to admit the conditions at some schools and the quality of the students produced is pretty depressing. Now, I would be the first in line to stand with saying that a lot of this responsibility lies with the student, and that too many kids are willing to flush their futures down the toilet in order to party-hardy during the schoolin' years (that is another issue which must be addressed as well i.e. how to get kids to realize just how important the now is and how much of a bright future they could have). But I belief there are schools where even if a person wanted to learn, they probably couldn't. That is truly tragic and needs to be addressed.
It's bernard, just under new management
09-15-1999, 03:10 PM
Sunbear began this thread by asking:What's wrong with a little federal guidance and some national standards?Look at it this way: How do we know the folks who brought us the Kansas school standards (not to mention Georgia, Tennessee, and to a lesser extent Illinois, among others) won't manage to get themselves put in charge of setting national standards? After all, Repubs do control both houses of Congress right now...
09-15-1999, 08:05 PM
Hmm, could happen. Yes, sometimes I'm happy there are states and some variation in culture.I wouldn't live in the South for many reasons. But basically, the first 8 grades should give you the same foundation everywhere. Then high school is the time to specialize. I don't actually believe in performing arts schools for grades under 6th.
09-16-1999, 06:33 PM
The problem as I see it with federal "guidance" is that nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we have a right to public education.
Not only that -- nowhere in the Constitution is the Federal government given the power to regulate education at all. (And the 10th Amendment says any power not explicitly given to Congress by the constitution is reserved for the States.)
I'm not flying fast, just orbiting low.
09-16-1999, 09:59 PM
The states all have their own tests, but the kids still have to take SAT's in the end. Would help to know that you school has done at least average on SATs in the past. Otherwise, you are stuck in your state for college.
09-17-1999, 12:33 AM
Hey, there's nothing wrong state universities! I happen to belong to the largest university in the country, and I am very proud of it!! :)
"There are many sweeping generalizations that are always true" -Space Ghost
09-17-1999, 07:00 AM
If some school in the suburbs is doing especially well, then it does not deserve the same amount of money as an inner-city school with a poor educational system.
I think a large part of the problem with school funding is the notion that throwing more money at the problem will solve it. Socioeconomic factors are a bigger determination of success than how much money we spend on each child. We can have schools built like the taj mahal, with new books, new computers and great teachers, but it will make little difference if we can't get Junior to attend classes, do his homework, and get a good night's rest.
09-17-1999, 06:04 PM
One important point: average SAT scores of your school do not necessarily imply the score an individual student will achieve.
My high school's average score could be described as on the highly mediocre, but last year (my senior year, I am now a freshman in college) we had four National Merit Semifinalists (this means the student recieves high PSAT scores and backs them up with their SATs), three of whom went on to become finalists (a separate application, including an essay and recomendations), myself included. This is the most Semifinalists in the history of my high school.
The school administration made sure to get into all the pictures with us, but in reality the scores evidently had very little to do with the empirical facts of our education, as we recieved the same level of attention, funding, etc. as our classmates, as well as those from years past. My school did have a good honors program, but other students also went through that program and received lower scores. I think a very large amount of responsibility rests on the student for his or her education.
Granted, the average scores (and ranking acheived thereby) of the school has something to do with the college admissions process, but not as much as raw scores and grades (the colleges need to uphold their rankings as well). But I believe that the majority of the responsibility lies with the student.
If the underlying problem is home support or parenting, why not institute parenting classes in high school? The closest thing we have now are health classes designed to scare us away from teen pregnancy, and those deal with nothing significant.
09-18-1999, 07:34 AM
LongHrn: suppose you were stuck in North Dakota or Utah. Would you want to be stuck in the state schools that have to take you? Sometimes you can go to a neighboring state at in state prices, but then the SATs would be looked at as the main criterion for admission.
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