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Thread: School Choice

  1. #41
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    Where are these poor students coming that are filling up all of the college money?



    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    I use 13 year olds as the example because High School is where the main problems come in to play. Thats the age for drugs and violence and gang banging. Of course I'm in favor of choice for all aged children but to me HS is the most important.

    At 13 I was able to convince my mother rent an apartment in Long Island 3 miles up the road from where I was living in Queens at the time. I was zoned for a crap school in Queens and was literally scared to go there.

    I have never attacked teachers here in this forum or anywhere else. That is something you just invented in your head. I think teachers are great, my problem is with public sector unions milking the middle class in this country but that has nothing to do with school choice.

    We have a problem in this country. There is a lack of upward mobility in the lower echelons of our society. The great equalizer is education. So how do we create a system where those that have the desire and potential can achieve upward mobility? School choice is the only area that is proven to work and positively effect outcomes. We already have great State University programs with free in state tuition and plenty of scholarships for the needy. Thats something I very much support. So the next step is getting kids in the most vulnerable neighborhoods in to those schools with the skill sets required to complete their degrees. Nothing else has ever worked.

  2. #42
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    Just leave as is, we can always raise taxes and spend millions more and get the same result. Someone will pay for it in the future. It's up to you!

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Arctor View Post


    One of our biggest issues with Education is the rising cost of College, and the fiscal burdens these costs place on their students, and the barrier to entry it creates to those who wish to be students.

    A 4 year college education now costs upwards of $110-160,000. This is a massive cost.

    As the chart above indicates, the cost of college has risen far more than other costs. One question we should be asking is why?

    What has cost of education, both pre-college and college, gone up so much more than other costs? What are the factors driving these cost increases? How can these costs be minimized, to allow a broader range of students to attend college, and not face a future starting off with a massive fiscal debt?
    There is a ton to cover to answer your questions. Regarding the College costs, most States have State subsidized universities with massive discounts for residents. You are right about the tuition costs and much of that is tied to easy access to student loans (similar to how health care costs rose when insurance plans became all encompasing), but those kids are making a choice to pay more. I just don't get why people choose private U over the State schools.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Where are these poor students coming that are filling up all of the college money?
    I don't understand this comment.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    There is a ton to cover to answer your questions. Regarding the College costs, most States have State subsidized universities with massive discounts for residents. You are right about the tuition costs and much of that is tied to easy access to student loans (similar to how health care costs rose when insurance plans became all encompasing), but those kids are making a choice to pay more. I just don't get why people choose private U over the State schools.




    Relative to the chart and expense: hey someone had to pay for my and my children's athletic scholarships. LOL.
    As for private versus state: let's be honest - Harvard, Duke or Vanderbilt are better than Clemson, Alabama or Florida State for academics.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    I don't understand this comment.
    You stated colleges have a lot of money for the kids who are poor financially, what school systems are the poor kids coming from?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    You stated colleges have a lot of money for the kids who are poor financially, what school systems are the poor kids coming from?
    As though there was only a handful of schools that send poor kids to colleges. There are probably kids in almost every town that could be classified as poor.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Relative to the chart and expense: hey someone had to pay for my and my children's athletic scholarships. LOL.
    As for private versus state: let's be honest - Harvard, Duke or Vanderbilt are better than Clemson, Alabama or Florida State for academics.
    Yes but how do you justify going to Hofstra for $35K over SUNY Albany for 10K? I get Harvard but not the middling private schools where the VAST majority of kids go.
    Last edited by chiefst2000; 05-03-2013 at 03:04 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    You stated colleges have a lot of money for the kids who are poor financially, what school systems are the poor kids coming from?
    I get the question now. So it was an attempt at a snarky retort as if to say that if some kids actually graduate from inner city schools and go on to higher ed then the system must be great. When we put the snark away however you will note that the idea here is to attempt to improve outcomes. Inner city schools have sub 40% graduation rates and sub 25% rates of higher education. So obviously some kids graduate and some even go on to higher learning. The goal is to increase those percentages.

    This is just my personal observation, but in my school it was mostly poor suburban students that were on a free ride. One friend of mine was from Wyndanch on LI. That apparently is a very low income town. That friend was on a full free ride including room and board, books and spending money. Sadly many were not properly prepared and didn't make it through the 4 years anyway. My friend from Wyndanch made it to year three before they bounced him for bad grades.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    So, I'm curious... what's left to debate?

    http://www.cato.org/blog/school-choice-works

    The evidence is in: school choice works. Yesterday, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released their third edition of their report “A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice.” The report provides a literature review of dozens of high-quality studies of school choice programs around the country, including studies from scholars at Harvard University, Stanford University, Cornell University, the University of Arkansas, the Brookings Institution, and the Federal Reserve Bank. The studies examine the impact of school choice programs on the academic performance of participants and public school students, the fiscal impact on taxpayers, racial segregation, and civic values.

    The report’s key findings included the following:

    Twelve empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the “gold standard” of social science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves student outcomes—six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One study finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found a negative impact.
    Twenty-three empirical studies (including all methods) have examined school choice’s impact on academic outcomes in public schools. Of these, 22 find that choice improves public schools and one finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found that choice harms public schools.
    Six empirical studies have examined school choice’s fiscal impact on taxpayers. All six find that school choice saves money for taxpayers. No empirical study has found a negative fiscal impact.
    Eight empirical studies have examined school choice and racial segregation in schools. Of these, seven find that school choice moves students from more segregated schools into less segregated schools. One finds no net effect on segregation from school choice. No empirical study has found that choice increases racial segregation.
    Seven empirical studies have examined school choice’s impact on civic values and practices such as respect for the rights of others and civic knowledge. Of these, five find that school choice improves civic values and practices. Two find no visible impact from school choice. No empirical study has found that school choice has a negative impact on civic values and practices.
    On the same day, a new study from researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institution found that a school choice program boosted college enrollment among African-American participants by 24 percent.

    While many of the findings show only modest improvement, they consistently show that school choice programs produce the same or superior results across a gamut of measures. Moreover, not all the benefits of choice are easily measurable. Some families are looking for a school that better meets a student’s special needs, instills the parents’ values, inspires a lifelong love of learning, or where a student is safe from bullying. These outcomes are sometimes difficult if not impossible to measure in the aggregate, but parents are in the best position to tell the difference for their own children.
    I can only shake my head. How long will we allow megacorporations and billionaires to buy off researchers? That's the only possible explanation for these results.

    /TU Spokesman

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Relative to the chart and expense: hey someone had to pay for my and my children's athletic scholarships. LOL.
    As for private versus state: let's be honest - Harvard, Duke or Vanderbilt are better than Clemson, Alabama or Florida State for academics.
    But not necessarily than Cal or Michigan

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    You are right about the tuition costs and much of that is tied to easy access to student loans.
    Bingo.

    It has been proven that the government is willing to lend and students are willing borrow basically any amount for a college education. It's irrational behavior and sets the stage for schools to gouge their students with no end in sight.

    I've always felt that the model for higher education loans was flawed. Loans should not be granted strictly on a need basis, and loan amounts should be capped based on the degree the student is trying to obtain. An engineering or medical student should be able to obtain a loan for $30,000 per year to obtain their degree. A women's studies student attending a private, out of state liberal arts school should NOT be able to obtain a loan for $30,000 per year. It's common sense.

  13. #53
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    Go to college.

    Post on a message board during working hours.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    Bingo.

    It has been proven that the government is willing to lend and students are willing borrow basically any amount for a college education. It's irrational behavior and sets the stage for schools to gouge their students with no end in sight.

    I've always felt that the model for higher education loans was flawed. Loans should not be granted strictly on a need basis, and loan amounts should be capped based on the degree the student is trying to obtain. An engineering or medical student should be able to obtain a loan for $30,000 per year to obtain their degree. A women's studies student attending a private, out of state liberal arts school should NOT be able to obtain a loan for $30,000 per year. It's common sense.
    Agreed. It is, in my view, govt involvement creating a real bubble.

    I have a client in an office building where Phoenix University is in my town.


    you go in and the smell test tells you, these students are not college material in general and are paying 30 K for a degree from Phoenix.

    The new unemployed. except with government subsidized and encouraged debt.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    It is, in my view, govt involvement creating a real bubble.
    No doubt. The endless stream of government funds has played right into the hands of schools trying to make as much profit as possible. They can continue to raise their tuition rates ~5% every year because they know the government will provide the funds and the students will continue to enroll regardless.

    The question is how can this destructive cycle be stopped.

    Students are not going to stop going to college, and quite frankly, the majority of them don't understand the financial ramifications of their decisions. Many of them don't have the necessary life experience to distinguish between needs and wants. Many parents are not helping in this area either.

    The government has to become smarter about allocating and granting higher education funds. Unfortunately, I don't see the open checkbook closing any time soon, and the bubble will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

    "Everyone deserves to own their own home" turned into a disaster. How do people think "everyone deserves a college education" is going to end?

  16. #56
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    I'm not being snarky, just was wondering how colleges take care of the poor kids yet if you read this there can't be too many of those type of students being able to take advantage of it.

    Your anecdotal examples are entailing, see that's snarky.


    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    I get the question now. So it was an attempt at a snarky retort as if to say that if some kids actually graduate from inner city schools and go on to higher ed then the system must be great. When we put the snark away however you will note that the idea here is to attempt to improve outcomes. Inner city schools have sub 40% graduation rates and sub 25% rates of higher education. So obviously some kids graduate and some even go on to higher learning. The goal is to increase those percentages.

    This is just my personal observation, but in my school it was mostly poor suburban students that were on a free ride. One friend of mine was from Wyndanch on LI. That apparently is a very low income town. That friend was on a full free ride including room and board, books and spending money. Sadly many were not properly prepared and didn't make it through the 4 years anyway. My friend from Wyndanch made it to year three before they bounced him for bad grades.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Yes but how do you justify going to Hofstra for $35K over SUNY Albany for 10K? I get Harvard but not the middling private schools where the VAST majority of kids go.


    This is a good point. Hofstra is overpriced for what it is. Albany State is ridiculously subsidized by NY taxpayers. It's not a bad school BTW. THe price warrants applying/going there vs. Hofstra.
    It's the same situation all over. In SC, Wofford College runs $34k, Clemson runs about $13K, USC about $10K. Clemson is an infinitely better school than Wofford.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    But not necessarily than Cal or Michigan
    Sorry doggin. They are. Though Cal and Michigan aren't bad.
    You're trying to argue again. You went to Columbia for God's sake. And you stated once you did it because of the return long term.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    This is a good point. Hofstra is overpriced for what it is. Albany State is ridiculously subsidized by NY taxpayers. It's not a bad school BTW. THe price warrants applying/going there vs. Hofstra.
    It's the same situation all over. In SC, Wofford College runs $34k, Clemson runs about $13K, USC about $10K. Clemson is an infinitely better school than Wofford.
    I agree with your point 100 percent . My daughter wanted Wake Forest and got in.

    I told her..fine. It's 45K a year, UNC is 15k.


    if you want it, I'll pay all except 10K a year. I CAN pay it all. I then said, UNC, no debt, buy you a used good gar as a junior if you maintain a 3.0 AND I'll pay for a trip to Europe when you graduate. All the kids do that now.


    OR.... Go to WF, graduate with 40K of debt and a 450 a month payment for 10 years.

    She chose UNC and is a true die hard tar heel.


    Point???? When the attendee has REAL fiscal consequences, they choose differently.

    Wofford is a VERY good small school BTW.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    So, I'm curious... what's left to debate?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alfie-...?utm_hp_ref=tw

    Beliefs that are debatable or even patently false may be repeated so often that at some point they come to be accepted as fact. We seem to have crossed that threshold with the claim that U.S. schools are significantly worse than those in most other countries. Sometimes the person who parrots this line will even insert a number -- "We're only ____th in the world, you know!" -- although, not surprisingly, the number changes with each retelling.

    The assertion that our students compare unfavorably to those in other countries has long been heard from politicians and corporate executives whose goal is to justify various "get tough" reforms: high-stakes testing, a nationalized curriculum (see under: Common Core "State" Standards), more homework, a longer school day or year, and so on.

    But by now the premise is so widely accepted that it's casually repeated by just about everyone -- including educators, I'm sorry to say -- and in the service of a wide range of prescriptions and agendas, including some that could be classified as progressive. Recently I've seen it used in a documentary arguing for more thoughtful math instruction, a petition to promote teaching the "whole child," and an article in a popular online magazine that calls for the abolition of grades (following a reference to "America's long steady decline in education").

    Unsurprisingly, this misconception has filtered out to the general public. According to a brand-new poll, a plurality of Americans -- and a majority of college graduates! -- believe (incorrectly) that American 15-year-olds are at the bottom when their scores on tests of science knowledge are compared to those of students in other developed countries.

    A dedicated group of education experts has been challenging this canard for years, but their writings rarely appear in popular publications, and each of their efforts at debunking typically focuses on just one of the many problems with the claim. Here, then, is the big picture: a concise overview of the multiple responses you might offer the next time someone declares that American kids come up short. (First, though, I'd suggest politely inquiring as to the evidence for his or her statement. The wholly unsatisfactory reply you're likely to receive may constitute a rebuttal in its own right.)

    1. Even taking the numbers at face value, the U.S. fares reasonably well. Results will vary depending on the age of the students being tested, the subject matter, which test is involved, and which round of results is being reported. It's possible to cherry-pick scores to make just about any country look especially good or bad. U.S. performance is more impressive when the focus is on younger students, for example -- so, predictably, it's the high school numbers that are most often cited. When someone reduces our schools to a single number, you can bet it's the one that casts them in the worst possible light.

    But even with older students, there may be less to the bad news than meets the eye. As an article in Scientific American noted a few years back, most countries' science scores were actually pretty similar.[1] That's worth keeping in mind whenever a new batch of numbers is released. If there's little (or even no) statistically significant difference among, say, the nations placing third through 10th, it would be irresponsible to cite those rankings as if they were meaningful.

    Overall, when a pair of researchers carefully reviewed half a dozen different international achievement surveys conducted from 1991 to 2001, they found that "U.S. students have generally performed above average in comparisons with students in other industrialized nations."[2] And that still seems to be the case based on the most recent data, which include math and science scores for grade 4, grade 8, and age 15, as well as reading scores for grade 4 and age 15. Of those eight results, the U.S. scored above average in five, average in two, and below average in one. Not exactly the dire picture that's typically painted.

    2. What do we really learn from standardized tests? While there are differences in quality between the most commonly used exams (e.g., PISA, TIMSS), the fact is that any one-shot, pencil-and-paper standardized test -- particularly one whose questions are multiple-choice -- offers a deeply flawed indicator of learning as compared with authentic classroom-based assessments.[3] The former taps students' skill at taking standardized tests, which is a skill unto itself; the latter taps what students have learned, what sense they make of it, and what they can do with it. A standardized test produces a summary statistic labeled "student achievement," which is very different from a narrative account of students' achievements. Anyone who cites the results of a test is obliged to defend the construction of the test itself, to show that the results are not only statistically valid but meaningful. Needless to say, very few people who say something like "the U.S. is below average in math" have any idea how math proficiency has been measured.

    3. Are we comparing apples to watermelons? Even if the tests were good measures of important intellectual proficiencies, the students being tested in different countries aren't always comparable. As scholars Iris Rotberg and the late Gerald Bracey have pointed out for years, some countries test groups of students who are unrepresentative with respect to age, family income, or number of years spent studying science and math. The older, richer, and more academically selective a cohort of students in a given country, the better that country is going to look in international comparisons.[4]

    4. Rich American kids do fine; poor American kids don't. It's ridiculous to offer a summary statistic for all children at a given grade level in light of the enormous variation in scores within this country. To do so is roughly analogous to proposing an average pollution statistic for the United States that tells us the cleanliness of "American air." Test scores are largely a function of socioeconomic status. Our wealthier students perform very well when compared to other countries; our poorer students do not. And we have a lot more poor children than do other industrialized nations. One example, supplied by Linda Darling-Hammond: "In 2009 U.S. schools with fewer than 10 percent of students in poverty ranked first among all nations on PISA tests in reading, while those serving more than 75 percent of students in poverty scored alongside nations like Serbia, ranking about fiftieth."[5]

    5. Why treat learning as if it were a competitive sport? All of these results emphasize rankings more than ratings, which means the question of educational success has been framed in terms of who's beating whom. This is troubling for several reasons.

    a) Education ≠ economy. If our reason for emphasizing students' relative standing (rather than their absolute achievement) has to do with "competitiveness in the 21st-century global economy" -- a phrase that issues from politicians, businesspeople, and journalists with all the thoughtfulness of a sneeze, then we would do well to ask two questions. The first, based on values, is whether we regard educating children as something that's primarily justified in terms of corporate profits.

    The second question, based on facts, is whether the state of a nation's economy is meaningfully affected by the test scores of students in that nation. Various strands of evidence have converged to suggest that the answer is no. For individual students, school achievement is only weakly related to subsequent workplace performance. And for nations, there's little correlation between average test scores and economic vigor, even if you try to connect scores during one period with the economy some years later (when that cohort of students has grown up).[6] Moreover, Yong Zhao has shown that "PISA scores in reading, math, and sciences are negatively correlated with entrepreneurship indicators in almost every category at statistically significant levels."[7]

    b) Why is the relative relevant? Once we've refuted the myth that test scores drive economic success, what reason would we have to fret about our country's standing as measured by those scores? What sense does it make to focus on relative performance? After all, to say that our students are first or 10th on a list doesn't tell us whether they're doing well or poorly; it gives us no useful information about how much they know or how good our schools are. If all the countries did reasonably well in absolute terms, there would be no shame in being at the bottom. (Nor would "average" be synonymous with "mediocre.") If all the countries did poorly, there would be no glory in being at the top. Exclamatory headlines about how "our" schools are doing compared to "theirs" suggest that we're less concerned with the quality of education than with whether we can chant, "We're Number One!"

    c) Hoping foreign kids won't learn? To focus on rankings is not only irrational but morally offensive. If our goal is for American kids to triumph over those who live elsewhere, then the implication is that we want children who live in other countries to fail, at least in relative terms. We want them not to learn successfully just because they're not Americans. That's built into the notion of "competitiveness" (as opposed to excellence or success), which by definition means that one individual or group can succeed only if others don't. This is a troubling way to look at any endeavor, but where children are concerned, it's indefensible. And it's worth pointing out these implications to anyone who cites the results of an international ranking.

    Moreover, rather than defending policies designed to help our graduates "compete," I'd argue that we should make decisions on the basis of what will help them learn to collaborate effectively. Educators, too, ought to think in terms of working with -- and learning from -- their counterparts in other countries so that children everywhere will become more proficient and enthusiastic learners. But every time we rank "our" kids against "theirs," that outcome becomes a little less likely.

    NOTES

    1. W. Wayt Gibbs and Douglas Fox, "The False Crisis in Science Education," Scientific American, October 1999: 87-92.

    2. Erling E. Boe and Sujie Shin, "Is the United States Really Losing the International Horse Race in Academic Achievement?" Phi Delta Kappan, May 2005: 688-695.

    3. See, for example, Alfie Kohn, The Case Against Standardized Testing (Heinemann, 2000); or Phillip Harris et al., The Myths of Standardized Tests (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).

    4. For example, see Iris C. Rotberg, "Interpretation of International Test Score Comparisons," Science, May 15, 1998: 1030-31.

    5. Linda Darling-Hammond, "Redlining Our Schools," The Nation, January 30, 2012: 12. Also see Mel Riddile, "PISA: It's Poverty Not Stupid," The Principal Difference [NASSP blog], December 15, 2010 (http://bit.ly/hiobMC); and Martin Carnoy and Richard Rothstein, "What Do International Tests Really Show About U.S. Student Performance?", Economic Policy Institute report, January 28, 2013 (http://www.epi.org/publication/us-st...mance-testing/).

    6. Keith Baker, "High Test Scores: The Wrong Road to National Economic Success," Kappa Delta Pi Record, Spring 2011: 116-20; Zalman Usiskin, "Do We Need National Standards with Teeth?" Educational Leadership, November 2007: 40; and Gerald W. Bracey, "Test Scores and Economic Growth," Phi Delta Kappan, March 2007: 554-56. "The reason is clear," says Iris Rotberg. "Other variables, such as outsourcing to gain access to lower-wage employees, the climate and incentives for innovation, tax rates, health-care and retirement costs, the extent of government subsidies or partnerships, protectionism, intellectual-property enforcement, natural resources, and exchange rates overwhelm mathematics and science scores in predicting economic competitiveness" ("International Test Scores, Irrelevant Policies," Education Week, September 14, 2001: 32).

    7. Yong Zhao, "Flunking Innovation and Creativity," Phi Delta Kappan, September 2012: 58. Emphasis added.

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