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-   -   In general, do you have a favorable view of public education? (https://www.bikeforums.net/foo/398323-general-do-you-have-favorable-view-public-education.html)

phantomcow2 03-16-08 10:20 PM

In general, do you have a favorable view of public education?
 
On the K-12 level?

v1k1ng1001 03-16-08 10:37 PM

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cal_gundert05 03-16-08 10:37 PM

I said "Yes," but I'm from a fairly well-to-do town, and my schools were probably better than most. Still, I can only speak from experience.

cnickgo 03-16-08 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by cal_gundert05 (Post 6355730)
I said "Yes," but I'm from a fairly well-to-do town, and my schools were probably better than most. Still, I can only speak from experience.

That fact is important because when you experience a sub-par school, you will really know the difference.

Allen 03-16-08 10:44 PM

I believe Georgia's education system is a travesty.
It has more to do with teaching children how to behave in an institutionalized system and very little to do with education.

KrisPistofferson 03-16-08 10:44 PM

I put "other," because I do not have a favorable view of public education, but not for the standard Right Wing nutbar reason in that every thing funded by tax dollars is demonized as "socialism." I simply think it's not well-funded enough and a lot of politicians do everything they can to cripple it.

It'll come back to bite us, though.

jschen 03-16-08 10:46 PM

Yes. Public education has served me well. Far better than the local private high school could have hoped to.

phantomcow2 03-16-08 10:53 PM

I voted no. While I think my public high school did a reasonable job (there was certainly room for improvement), I don't think I can say the same about many parts of the country. It has been suggested to me that public school does not do much of anything to show the interconnectedness between subjects.

dauphin 03-16-08 10:58 PM

schools in California and in many other states are at the mercy of the teacher's union. In California, teacher's achieve tenure after two years and are pretty much set for life...so they pretty much have to murder someone to get fired...great incentive to provide quality instruction...

Akugluk 03-16-08 11:36 PM

I'm a bit disappointed in the entire school system, and this country's general philosophy of education. Besides reading and basic math, is there a single subject in school that is relevant to the outside world? and why do we spend 10 years of our lives learning these irrelevant subjects? Not irrelevant to everyone, but not relevant to many. I wish my school had offered applied marine biology, agriculture and gardening, financial planning, tax systems, politics and culture, foreign languages, first aid, nutrition, and computer programming. Maybe some business classes, mechanics, urban structures (electricity, sewer and water), and anything else that would help me in real life.
when I think about it, there were very few things that I did (or was told to do) in school that were worth the life I gave for them. Why do we not learn about the most fundamental human systems in our culture until we're well beyond secondary education?

gbcb 03-16-08 11:40 PM

I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of public education — in fact, I think it's a fantastic idea — just that it hasn't always done so well in practice. My own schooling was mostly private, partly because of my family moving around all over the place, and partly because of not-so-great experiences in public schools when we were in Canada. My sister stuck it out longer in the public system at a bilingual public school, but after a wasted year with a useless teacher, she moved to a private school, too.

JMT114 03-16-08 11:43 PM

I voted for other. As a student in Elementary education I have seen a wide range of schools just in my local area. I have done observations in one of the wealthy local high schools that has a planetarium. Now I am at the other end of the spectrum practicum teaching at a school with a poverty rate of over 80%.

I had to vote for other because there are very good public schools and there are very bad public schools.

It really just all comes down to the support the students are getting at home and the support the local schools are getting from the community.

Wordbiker 03-16-08 11:44 PM

I was going to vote Yes...but then I realized: Look what's telling me to do that!

I won't even start on what I think about John Dewey or his religious beliefs.

Maelstrom 03-17-08 08:30 AM

No I don't. I think it is an old out dated system based on old out dated administrative ideas.

aikigreg 03-17-08 09:20 AM

As a teacher, I can say that the answer depends on the district. I have taught at one of the worst schools in the state and one of the best, and both were public. No way would I let my kid go to most public schools though.

USAZorro 03-17-08 09:32 AM

Depends on where you are. The more urban or rural the district, the greater chance you won't think highly of the public schools. That said, a lot of what is gotten out of school is determined by the student.

ilikebikes 03-17-08 09:43 AM

95% of schools in "bad" areas suck and 95% of schools in "great" areas are fantastic but some of the young people in the "great" areas make them suck by trying to act "ghetto" they should just be who they are and stop trying to act like what they see on TV, Id love to see one of those "ghetto wannabes" last 1 hour in North Philly :rolleyes: I see them all the time in NP sitting in there parents car ****ting themselves looking as if they are about to get killed all while waiting for the area drug dealer to deliver thier drugs.

Maelstrom 03-17-08 10:50 AM

See I don't think good area vs bad area applies. I think the whole teaching structure needs to be re-evaluated. I was taught in a decent school. The school system and design itself failed me, not the teachers or school itself. I am not an educator however I was a student, school was by far and away the worst place for me to learn. The curriculum was too slow (no, not easy, slow, there is a difference) and too simply (simple as in duhhhh) structured. The

monday tuesday teach basics
wednesday pop quiz introduce more advanced topic
thursday friday evaluate advanced topic and then actual test

is about the dumbest structure ever. At least in the advanced classes I took. In our system, advanced meant you were being prepped for university. I think that aspect of it needs to be taken more seriously. I don't know how to fix it, but I do know this, generic studies should go the way of the do do. I knew what I wanted to do, forcing me to do generic studies hindered my education, it didn't help. There should be more applicable options instead of the "other" forced structure of credits. You need so many math, so much english, computer science etc. Thats bullcrap. Half the time I sat in school wondering what the point of the topic was.

Maybe the answer is earlier exposure to career instruction, so kids can get the feel for what and where the jobs are, what they are good at etc. Then they can apply more focus to the instruction in highschool as it applies to what they want?

Lastly, dump the freaking counselors. They are useless, aptitude testing is about the useful as,...sorry I can't think of anything that useless. Parents need to step in and do this work, counselors in my experience did nothing but ruin my line of thought. The aptitude test says one thing, I said another, the counselors forced my curriculum to go one way.

Like I said I don't know the answer, but the system did very little for me or any of my friends. Then again, I was best at independent study and hands on trial and error. Schools didn't like or endorse independent thinking.

Whether or not private is better, I don't know. I never had the chance to go. But I will sure consider it an option if and when I ever have kids.

ilikebikes 03-17-08 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by Maelstrom (Post 6358001)
See I don't think good area vs bad area applies. I think the whole teaching structure needs to be re-evaluated. I was taught in a decent school. The school system and design itself failed me, not the teachers or school itself. I am not an educator however I was a student, school was by far and away the worst place for me to learn. The curriculum was too slow (no, not easy, slow, there is a difference) and too simply (simple as in duhhhh) structured. The

monday tuesday teach basics
wednesday pop quiz introduce more advanced topic
thursday friday evaluate advanced topic and then actual test

is about the dumbest structure ever. At least in the advanced classes I took. In our system, advanced meant you were being prepped for university. I think that aspect of it needs to be taken more seriously. I don't know how to fix it, but I do know this, generic studies should go the way of the do do. I knew what I wanted to do, forcing me to do generic studies hindered my education, it didn't help. There should be more applicable options instead of the "other" forced structure of credits. You need so many math, so much english, computer science etc. Thats bullcrap. Half the time I sat in school wondering what the point of the topic was.

Maybe the answer is earlier exposure to career instruction, so kids can get the feel for what and where the jobs are, what they are good at etc. Then they can apply more focus to the instruction in highschool as it applies to what they want?

Lastly, dump the freaking counselors. They are useless, aptitude testing is about the useful as,...sorry I can't think of anything that useless. Parents need to step in and do this work, counselors in my experience did nothing but ruin my line of thought. The aptitude test says one thing, I said another, the counselors forced my curriculum to go one way.

Like I said I don't know the answer, but the system did very little for me or any of my friends. Then again, I was best at independent study and hands on trial and error. Schools didn't like or endorse independent thinking.

Whether or not private is better, I don't know. I never had the chance to go. But I will sure consider it an option if and when I ever have kids.

I dont know, It seems funny that the better an area gets the more funding the area schools recieve and vice versa, due to a high score in the Mentally Gifted Program my kid went to one of the better schools (at the time) in the North East section of Philly, but as time went by and a certain race of people began to move into the area not only did the school go down the drain but most of the residents sold and moved away too? coincidence? No, that race of "undesirable people" were no worse than the people already living there, it was pure unadulterated racism that went to work full throttle.

Maelstrom 03-17-08 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by ilikebikes (Post 6358281)
I dont know, It seems funny that the better an area gets the more funding the area schools recieve and vice versa, due to a high score in the Mentally Gifted Program my kid went to one of the better schools (at the time) in the North East section of Philly, but as time went by and a certain race of people began to move into the area not only did the school go down the drain but most of the residents sold and moved away too? coincidence? No, that race of "undesirable people" were no worse than the people already living there, it was pure unadulterated racism that went to work full throttle.

No doubt, I lived in a poor neighbourhood and the schools were average. Maybe I would have had a different opinion if I had been from the other side of the tracks, I will never know.

I never scored high enough for mentally gifted but was always bored silly in advanced classes, I didn't quite fit in with how the system was designed.

3MTA3 03-17-08 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by Akugluk (Post 6355942)
I'm a bit disappointed in the entire school system, and this country's general philosophy of education. Besides reading and basic math, is there a single subject in school that is relevant to the outside world? and why do we spend 10 years of our lives learning these irrelevant subjects? Not irrelevant to everyone, but not relevant to many. I wish my school had offered applied marine biology, agriculture and gardening, financial planning, tax systems, politics and culture, foreign languages, first aid, nutrition, and computer programming. Maybe some business classes, mechanics, urban structures (electricity, sewer and water), and anything else that would help me in real life.
when I think about it, there were very few things that I did (or was told to do) in school that were worth the life I gave for them. Why do we not learn about the most fundamental human systems in our culture until we're well beyond secondary education?

those classes are offered at many schools. i personally took botany (agriculture & gardening), a financial planning & tax systems class, many politics & culture classes, 2 years of foreign language, health (became first-aid certified in it & it taught nutrition), & computer courses (not programming, but application in careers). among the courses i did not take (but still offered) were architecture/drafting, auto shop (how to build & design cars, not just fix-em-up), child development (we had a day care at our school in which students worked at in 2-hour blocks), construction & many others. my school & many schools in the area are similar & offer a variety of career & life skills oriented courses. granted they are not offered everywhere, but they are around & quite prevelant. a high school near by even lets students take college courses at the local community college as part of their curriculum, thus giving them college credits they can take with them after graduation. when my friend was in that program the school paid for all or almost all of the tuition costs. i'm not sure when the last time you were involved with the school system was (or where), but i don't think your assessment is on par for today's educational system.

MTBLover 03-17-08 12:40 PM

I voted no. I agree with some of the others who feel that public schooling is an outmoded concept- it was invented in a largely agrarian society that bears little resemblance to where are now. And, like others have said too- the systems are so completely overburdened, underfunded, and poorly designed that in general (not everywhere, but definitely in most urban and rural districts), they are bound to fail, or at least perform only marginally.

All that said, I do believe that the state has a vested interest in the education of its citizens. As far as I'm concerned (I'm a faculty member of an Ivy League university, FWIW), this interest should be second only to health. Not nearly enough is done to ensure that education is equitably distributed (yes, it's basically a commodity) and freely available to all. I live in a major city, where the cost per student is in the $5K range. Less than three miles from where I'm typing this right now, the cost is nearly $8K/student, where taxes are higher, the demographic is overwhelmingly white, upper middle class, college-educated, and kids tend to matriculate to top-tier colleges and universities. In this town, the demographic, especially of public school families, is quite the opposite, and they're lucky if they graduate HS. Hardly equitable, and it shows in such horrors as our high school kids not having textbooks. An awful lot of that has to do with tax base, for sure, which means we need to re-think how education is paid for in this country. Property taxes are not the right way to fund education. If we can re-think that model, and come up with a model that funds education equitably, things could change, and only for the better.

timmhaan 03-17-08 12:40 PM

they're terrible! and i went to a somewhat "decent" public school as well.

all of our history, social studies, and humanities classes completely protrayed America in only the best light. whole sections of world history were glossed over in a few paragraphs. the only culture we were ever really exposed to was.... well, i can't think of any.

i had a few wonderful teachers that did the best they could (and i thank them for their service), but the whole system is just not up to par.

the world is a completely different place from what i learned in school.

catatonic 03-17-08 12:50 PM

No....currently the system is not to learn, but to merely be another cog in the machine. If I was offered something challenging through my high school, I may have actually tried...but instead I was literally told I was going to die in the gutter by my teachers. It turned out they were just pissed off that my test scores were throwing the curves off and failing their own children.

It's not my fault my teachers have low IQs and their kids inhereted it. What's sad is I was aceing tests in my sleep, yet I was never once challenged. Why the hell should I do homework when I have the content down? Teach me and I might be a student....teach me nothing and I will give you nothing....that's how I saw it...we should NOT be reviewing 4th grade math in 6th grade, we should not be reviewing anything from 6th grade in middle school, etc. You either know it, or you don't.

Education is so watered down that I feel like every class is for 5 year olds....even in college. Honestly, I'd rather learn on my own than get a degree for that reason...college itself is being watered down for he current generation of idiots...and that's sad.

timmhaan 03-17-08 01:04 PM

it would have been cool to grow up in a place like finland, and come out of school knowing like 4 different languages.

skinnyone 03-17-08 01:07 PM

As some one who did not go to School in the US, I tend to compare the US school system to India and to some extent, Asia.

Learning in the US is much more hands-on compared to your typical school in India.
-This is great for developing intuition and putting things together. For example I learnt calculus for the sake of learning calculus, not while applied to physics or maths.

Subject matter in US schools is watered down, quite a bit, in the US compared to India. The opinion I have got form a lot of colleagues (engineers mostly) is that they waltzed through high school.
-This also leaves some of the students ill-prepared for college (the first year at least) and the "jump" from HS to college can be sizable. For eg we learnt calculus in Junior year HS rather than AP/Freshman college. Kind of a leg up dont you think?

Emphasis on sports is much better in the US and the infrastructure and avenues are way better.
-I absolutely would have loved to have the facilities that your average US high school has. In addition once you get to HS, the cultural expectation is to study study study and then study some more and place well.

On a side note, the cultural perception of education is starkly different. In India, its your ticket to a good life and in some cases, because of affirmative action policies, your only way out is to be in the top 5%. The attitude here seems to be a lot more lax and the number of people who make a good living in the trades and other jobs that do not require an under-graduate degree is pretty high. The trades make lean money in India so professional education is how you keep yourself a cut above the rest. Competition, hence, is pretty high and that forces you to try to push your abilities constantly.

Long rant.

Edit:- Oh I voted other in that it can be improved.

jschen 03-17-08 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by skinnyone (Post 6358954)
Subject matter in US schools is watered down, quite a bit, in the US compared to India. The opinion I have got form a lot of colleagues (engineers mostly) is that they waltzed through high school.
-This also leaves some of the students ill-prepared for college (the first year at least) and the "jump" from HS to college can be sizable. For eg we learnt calculus in Junior year HS rather than AP/Freshman college. Kind of a leg up dont you think?

Depends on the school you go to and the ability of the student. The great thing about the US education system (in places where it works as it should, anyway) is that it's flexible. You're not committed to a career path early, so those with the ability have options. And you don't have a rigid learning schedule, so those with the ability and the desire can get way ahead. I took AP calculus as a sop****re. Multivariate calculus and linear algebra at Pomona College (two miles down the street) as a junior in high school. Physical chemistry and organic chemistry at Harvey Mudd College (even closer to the high school than Pomona College was) as a senior in high school. You can't expect all students to follow that trajectory, just as you can't expect me to have a good grasp of British literature. But that option wasn't taken away from me. In this regard, the local high school was far superior to the nearby private school, which on average had brighter students but did not have enough students to allow individually tailored courseloads.

My uncle in Taiwan visited us one time and happened to flip through our collection of textbooks sitting at my parents' place. He showed to his kids the basic algebra books that my sisters were using in junior high at the time. His kids were constantly told by their teachers that US math students suck, and that they're far superior at math. This may be true of our students collectively, but the reason he wanted his kids to see the books was to show them that while they may be ahead of the average US kid in math, they are far behind those that they should be expecting to someday compete against.

I think the US public education system does a good job of ensuring the best training of its brightest, but it could use some improvement in ensuring that as many students as possible meet its basic standards (and not by watering down those standards).

ModoVincere 03-17-08 02:25 PM

I had a reasonably favorable opinion before finding foo.
Then I met people like Jsharr and X, and well, its been downhill ever since.

trsidn 03-17-08 02:35 PM

I just think the education system just hasn't kept up with the times.

They are still using the old model, where the teacher was able to get by on relatively little income (because it was usually secondary income), people respected authority more, the teacher wasn't a babysitter, the teachers were generally given the benefit of the doubt in a dispute by the administration and the parents.

They just haven't kept up with the times. School administrations are their own fiefdoms, with jealously guarded income streams. It is still paid by property taxes, so wealthy districts are well funded, poor districts rot.

The system is so broken it's almost like you need to start over.

And you can't run them like a business either. Circumstances are so varied, that it is ridiculous to base them on "efficiency" models.

And all this doesn't even address the "dumbing down" of the curriculums.

phantomcow2 03-17-08 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by catatonic (Post 6358844)

Education is so watered down that I feel like every class is for 5 year olds....even in college. Honestly, I'd rather learn on my own than get a degree for that reason...college itself is being watered down for he current generation of idiots...and that's sad.

+1
Watered down, often taught with dumbed down text books. I actually am finding my current college classes no more difficult -- perhaps less difficult -- than high school. These are intro undergrad courses, so I don't expect great things. I find that things I learn myself are understood in more depth. And this is the reason I want to go to school where I do.


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