Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Education, Capitalism, Competition, Schools, Learning, Public Schools, Monopolies

A Sylvan Learning Center

Stupid, Capitalism and Education

part 2

Those who administer the international tests to students at about the age of 15, say that the freedom to choose a school and the act of schools governing themselves, matters more than the people who run those schools. It is increasingly obvious that the freedom for parents to choose and the freedom for schools to create the type of school they want is more important than the ability to create a uniformed, “lock step” type society within schools which produce more and more inferior educational results. Since 1989 Belgium and France have shown marked differences with divergent types of schools on each side of the country. The kids on the Flemish side of the country do remarkably better in the international tests  than the French side, and they have a greater autonomy. 

Better for the Disadvantaged?

The Public School officials will tell the public that the school system levels the playing field.  According to them, the poor and minorities are given better opportunities to succeed. It’s a load of hogwash. Public schools are regularly more segregated than private schools. Studies have shown that 54% of public school students were in classrooms that were 90% white or more than 90% minority. Only around 40% of private school students had the same experience.*

*Education Myths, Jay Green

These statistics are the result of the wealthy being able to move near good schools, and the poor being stuck with what they can get. Washington DC has a school called, Ballou High; a place where teachers often don’t even show up. And why should they since they can’t be fired? The kids have no where to go, hanging in the hallways, they know they are stuck and it seems no one cares. Of course, she and her parents could try to pretend that they live in another school district, but then the school zone border patrol might exercise their right to control trespassers. 

Where Liberals Run Wild and Free

Even in California, “the left coast”, school detectives go around making sure kids in schools of the Freemont district actually live where they say they do. Freemont schools are markedly better than the surrounding schools in the area, and kids and parents who want better have to become clandestine to do so. One grandmother who created a room and address for her grandson was “caught” as she tried to give her grand kid a better education. Big Brother saw to it that a better education was denied as they “corrected” the situation. Can you say, “Papers please!” 

I can remember my own high school experience of being forced into a remedial reading class my freshman year, all of us were, even the kids who were in the “A” class. So pervasive is the poor education that is being produced, that even the “brains” have to be screened. One might think that all is the fault of the kids themselves, their parents, or maybe the media influence upon them. You would be right, of course, to claim that parents who read to their kids create better readers. Parents who take an interest in the school work of their kids, make better students for teachers, and the teacher’s job is much less insurmountable. Many parents however, have no option but to send their kids to these horrific schools created by the government system.

Ah, well... someone has to work for the Government

The U. S Department of Education says that  25% of American high school students can’t read at a basic level. They tell the kids to just go home and read on their own, the kid plays video games instead, and the system passes them to the next level anyway. Some of these kids were taken by a private investigative party to the Sylvan Learning Center and in 72 hours of instruction the reading comprehension jumped two grade levels. The government system loves to have meetings with parents and throw around all sorts of high sounding words and existentialist philosophy, then deny the reality of kids who graduate from their schools that still cannot read, but the final statistics show that private institutions succeed in teaching kids even the basics of reading at an alarmingly more efficient rate over the long term.

Is there an answer?

Sylvan learning centers are an example of accountability. They have to do what they say they will do, if not: no business, no income. A Sylvan program may cost upwards of about $3,000 dollars, the government spends about $10,000 on a child’s education. Why not just fund the parents for going to private instruction? Perhaps the bloated costs are not all they have to be. 

Supposedly, the public schools have no money. Just study the abject failure of “No Child Left Behind”, an exercise in government excess at the planning stage with no execution afterward, due to “lack of funding”. When one asks school officials if more money would be the answer, they always reply in the affirmative. More money would indeed fix the problem. How much you ask? Millions. They tell you millions would fix the school system.

Right now they spend about 10,000 per student. In a class of 25 that’s $250,000, and that’s per classroom. That’s all operating money, not capital expense. The surrounding infrastructure are all paid for. With $250,000  a lot can be done to make the student experience radically different than it is at this point.

The stats don’t lie though, America spends more on education that it does on the military, and we still score lower than most countries that spend less. It makes one wonder if the education system isn’t just a store front for another kind of organization in the shadows.  Spending billions on “country clubbing” up the schools has only made the education system results worse. 

Spending from 1971 to 2001 went from $4,479 per student to $8,996 per student. High school graduation rates from ‘71 to ‘01 went from 75.6% to 72.2% during the same duration. The facts are irrefutable, one can give the American school system all the money it wants, and things just don’t get better. 

And yet, all that money goes ..... somewhere....

All over the country there are schools that outperform the government public schools. In South Carolina, there is a school where kids jump from their chairs to answer math questions in a “math game” exercise. They play relay math. They play bingo. They play “phonics around the world”. 

This school, called “Middleton” charges about $3,000 per student, less than half of the money the government gives to the public schools in the surrounding area. Students there do better there with less money spent. Parents pay for the extra, despite the fact that they already are taxed and paying for the surrounding public schools; because their kids are fundamentally superior students.

more on this next time

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