Re: Do you support educational vouchers in schools?

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vouchers are a really bad idea. i do NOT want my tax dollars used to fund any type of private school, especially not any flavor of parochial school. i have no issues with private schools, my kid attends one, but i want my taxes to fix the public schools for the kids who can't go to private school for whatever reason. vouchers may help the elite, but they'll hurt the kids who need better schools the most. lee
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On this question, I have no problems. The public schools, as they are run, are hopeless. The idea that children should be with their age groups, instead of being taught to the best of their abilities, whatever they may be, is antithetic to real learning. Even the idea of a child being in a "grade" needs to be scrapped.
Also, most of the teachers can no longer teach concepts. One does not learn to understand concepts by memorization and other rote material. The not too strong mathematics courses of most of a century ago have been scrapped in favor of teaching how to get answers where the questions are not even known, instead of incorporating the conceptual advances of the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. Attempts to teach the concepts to teachers have been largely unsuccessful; they know too much that ain't so.
At this time, we do not have a good idea how to teach well, so we will need to have lack of control. There are now very few academic private schools. Most will continue to use the public schools while we find out how to do even a fair job of teaching, and I suspect we will end up with mainly electronic schools, not computer programs.
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you might think that folks who knows so much about the state of education would also know how to set their computers up so as to not cross post their crap all over USENET...
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On 30 Mar 2005 11:21:57 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) wrote:

And what private schools exist where children are not also grouped with their peers, Herman? There are a few, but not very many. Skipping grades is not encouraged in most private schools any more than it is in public schools and aside from the higher grades (high school, mostly), there are no more independent study classes in those academic private schools than there are in the public schools my own children attended.

This is a generalization you continually make with *no* proof that it is true other than your assertion that you have had some few education majors in your classes whom *you* could not teach concepts.

We might, I suppose end up with at least some electronic schools and distance learning. For many kids this will *not* be a sufficient way of educating them, however. Humans need contact with real live adults,and with their peers in education as much as in other areas of their lives.
-- Dorothy
There is no sound, no cry in all the world that can be heard unless someone listens ..
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There are now few academic private schools. What is needed is not just independent study classes, although this is what I did outside of class, and what my son essentially did in mathematics below the strong college classes, which he audited when he was in elementary school. He was home taught, which was mostly self-study with some guidance.
I do not recall exactly when, but we have had one posting by a school which did not have students by grades, let alone by age. If this is expected, I doubt it will be that much of a problem.

There is much more than that. I am not exaggerating about the "new math" problems; they were well discussed in the mathematics meetings of the time. I was present, but not involved, in an attempt to teach better than average high school teachers of mathematics the basic abstract courses; these are what my son audited. One of my colleagues claimed that at most 10% of them could learn the material under any circumstances. My colleagues here have the same complaints about the prospective teachers; they were not at all surprised with what happened in my class.
BTW, at this time, FEW who get BA's in mathematics have an opportunity to take these basic abstract courses. It is hard to find out what they have, and they have great difficulty in overcoming this, if they can.
My late wife taught a lot of prospective teachers, and was often quite ill after the struggles to get them to understand. She was a popular teacher, as well as someone who worked in the foundations of mathematics.

If you interpret "peers" as intellectual peers, I can agree. My son definitely profited from the contact with college students in those abstract undergraduate courses, and subsequently with graduate students in mathematics. I do not know how effective electronic classes will be; by those I mean regular classes, with the class run electronically, not by physical presence. But they will be at least as good as keeping the students dumbed down.
Home schooled students do not seem to have that great a problem in later interactions.
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I would like to correct a misconception in my posting.
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This home teaching was in algebra and logic, and in science, after he was taught to read. He was not home taught in the other subjects.
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On 31 Mar 2005 14:28:15 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) wrote:

It depends on the particular home schooled students, but.... you misinterpret things if you believe that home schooled students have no contact with their peers.
Most homeschoolers I know belong to groups of homeschoolers and take the kids together on field trips. Aside from that home schooled kids often do sports or dance or art classes within the community and sometimes even at the public schools and thus have contact with their peers in those settings and I do mean age peers for those kinds of things.
-- Dorothy
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On 30 Mar 2005 11:21:57 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) wrote:

Nonsense, nonsense, and yet more nonsense.
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At this time, NO student who is capable of getting a good degree in mathematics or science or engineering or agriculture or economics is getting even a fair high school education corresponding to his abilities.
The ones who need the better schools need to be removed from the public schools and taught sound subject matter by those who understand this, and not warehoused with their "peers".
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the public schools and taught sound subject matter by those who understand this, and not warehoused with their "peers".
That's an issue that needs to be addressed to the local school board who has control over the students.
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Rumpty

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The local school board has much less control than most seem to think. Its members are "extra time", which means that they are full-time otherwise, and they have all their meetings taken up with the current administration of the schools. Matters such as parking, allocation of the budget, and others like that are all they can manage.
In addition, few of the school administrators in the country are at all sympathetic to teaching subject matter instead of their theories of socializing, and not too many of the teachers understand their subjects.
            ..................
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On 31 Mar 2005 13:44:32 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) wrote:

In general the school board hires the principals and administrators where I come from. Thus they have plenty of control if they want it.

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Ours has no say, and very little overall power in hiring beyond the superintendent. The individual school site-based committees pick their own principal and administrators, assuming they passed the screening interviews of the superintendent. The school board has no say at all (and they don't like it, I might add).
P. Tierney
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You are correct. But see the next paragraph to see the problems there.

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On 30 Mar 2005 11:33:58 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) wrote:

Utter nonsense, as usual.
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* * *> Is it better for the government to give out vouchers so *> parents can send their kids to private schools, or to use *> that money to fix up the public schools? * * vouchers are a really bad idea. i do NOT want my tax dollars *used to fund any type of private school, especially not any *flavor of parochial school. * i have no issues with private schools, my kid attends one, *but i want my taxes to fix the public schools for the kids who *can't go to private school for whatever reason.
As the parent of a private school kid (and ultimately, I expect, three private school kids) I completely agree. I don't want to take away my support of the public school system.
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Hillary Israeli, VMD
Lafayette Hill/PA/USA/Earth
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* snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net (Hillary Israeli) wrote in * * *> As the parent of a private school kid (and ultimately, I expect, *> three private school kids) I completely agree. I don't want to *> take away my support of the public school system. *> * *Don't forget that vouchers will kill the private schools by forcing too *many unqualified minority kids into their classrooms. Just like *"bussing" in the '70s.
Huh? First of all, I don't believe bussing killed public schools or private schools or anything at all (i'm not sure what you're trying to say bussing did, actually). Second, vouchers will not kill private schools by forcing anyone anywhere. Just because a voucher makes someone able to pay the tuition, that does not make the holder of the voucher otherwise eligible to attend the school. Most of the private schools I looked at have other types of requirements as well - the kid has to have a certain IQ and/or test score on some kind of screening test, and has to pass interviews or observations, or whatever.
--
Hillary Israeli, VMD
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We have to watch out for the hyperegalitarians trying to block this. I have read that there is a voucher program for handicapped children in Florida, but a student going to an academic school could not use this unless the school would take all children with that handicap, no matter how weak their mentalities were.
And don't downplay the minority quota problem. Indianapolis has a magnet school with academic requirements. A girl was turned down because this would have meant too small a proportion of minority students; if there was a minority student who qualified and wanted to attend, they could both have been admitted.
The educationists and hyperegalitarians cannot admit that there is a large range of mental abilities, and even if they changed now, the public schools could not do what is needed in a generation, alas.
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* *>Huh? First of all, I don't believe bussing killed public schools or *>private schools or anything at all (i'm not sure what you're trying to say *>bussing did, actually). Second, vouchers will not kill private schools by *>forcing anyone anywhere. Just because a voucher makes someone able to pay *>the tuition, that does not make the holder of the voucher otherwise *>eligible to attend the school. Most of the private schools I looked at *>have other types of requirements as well - the kid has to have a certain *>IQ and/or test score on some kind of screening test, and has to pass *>interviews or observations, or whatever. * *We have to watch out for the hyperegalitarians trying to
What is a "hyperegalitarian?"
*block this. I have read that there is a voucher program *for handicapped children in Florida, but a student going *to an academic school could not use this unless the school *would take all children with that handicap, no matter how *weak their mentalities were.
I'm not sure how this has anything to do with my comments.
*And don't downplay the minority quota problem. Indianapolis *has a magnet school with academic requirements. A girl was *turned down because this would have meant too small a *proportion of minority students; if there was a minority *student who qualified and wanted to attend, they could both *have been admitted.
I'm also not sure how minority quota rules (which I think, at this point in our society, don't work well, but that's another story) have anything to do with vouchers.
*The educationists and hyperegalitarians cannot admit that *there is a large range of mental abilities, and even if *they changed now, the public schools could not do what is *needed in a generation, alas.
OK, well - I think there is a huge range of ability, I think our public schools are failing, and I think vouchers would probably make them worse... but I have no idea what you're talking about.
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Hillary Israeli, VMD
Lafayette Hill/PA/USA/Earth
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My impression of Herman Rubin's basic schtick is that all educational purposes and goals should be subordinate to the goal of maximally academically (meaning, optimizing for rapidity and level of complexity) educating the most cognitally able students.
Banty
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