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.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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

Stupid, Capitalism 
and Education

part 3

All over America thousands of Catholic schools outperform government schools. They spend less than half as much money. Average teachers make more than the top they are paid at Catholic schools, but Catholic schools get the job done. Why? Because they want to be there. They are not as well qualified, they don’t have fancy degrees. But, they are successful in ways public schools can only dream about. 

There are those who will tell you that Catholic schools succeed the way that they do because they have a choice of students. Public schools must take everyone. Catholic schools are able to throw out the trouble makers, but they rarely do. The parents and the students both know that expulsion could happen at any time. Catholic schools involve the parents in ways that public schools simply don’t bother with. Problem kids get the education that is coming their way, they have no choice in the matter.

The Catholic school system has the freedom to fail students without interference and this is one of the main reasons they are as successful as they are. New York City’s CHS system serves the same disadvantaged population as the government does, but they graduate 99% of their students. Government schools hover around the 50% range for student graduation. A huge difference that continues despite the obvious results of the two systems. Whom does the public school system serve? Whom do they REALLY serve?

Of course, there are always the charter schools to go to if Catholic school is not your thing. But try to open one. For many who try to open charter schools, or perhaps, switch out a government run school into a charter school, the headaches are enormous. There are massive amounts of government regulations that attempt to limit and control the abilities of charter schools. There have been instances of the public schools fighting the development of charter schools all the way to the Supreme Court. The bottom line here, is of course, the money being lost to charter schools. It seems the development of future generations of educated kids comes at a price. 

A Governor of a southern state was once offered to place his kids in the best schools in his area by the school board. The local school was sub par, and if he had not been Governor, his kids would have been required to attend that school because of the location of his residence. But for the Governor, the rules didn’t apply. 

He then decided that he would institute a plan that would help all kids with their education and called the plan: Put Parents in Charge. Parents could choose any school they wanted and if they wanted to go to a private school, then they would receive a tax credit to assist them with the choice. 

Competition makes everything better. No one would settle for just one kind of product these days, not when production moves us all ahead in various ways in the relentless pursuit of the top profit spot. With kids falling through the cracks right now, how can we continue to ignore the process of competition? But the school boards are locked into their testament of fear, despite the obvious results in every other facet of life. 

The Governor’s plan of Putting Parents in Charge was voted down by the legislature as being a “victory” for education. The claims being that they system is too accountable to allow competition to ruin our education system, it’s just not a proven commodity, at least not where education is considered. But that commodity is proven in every other area of life. Never mind that, though. 

Accountability is the very reason Private and Catholic schools do better than public schools. Everyone there works to make sure the product, an educated human child, is what is produced. If they don’t produce them, the administrator is out of a job.   

The USSR was a government monopoly, and we all know what has happened there. The only thing worse is a unionized government monopoly. If teachers are all paid the same, and they can’t be fired, then they can fart around all day and the kids don’t matter anyhow. Just deliver the health benefits and let them have their coffee lounge.

New York City has something called the NTE, the National Teacher’s Examination. Many teachers refuse to take these tests, even though they are used to determine benefits and pay scales. Teachers in the system are mediocre because it is tolerated. They are all paid the same. 

(Just take a look at the Movie: Waiting on Superman, for an inside look at how these things happen.)

Teachers are ferried around from school to school in the dance of the lemons because excellence is barred by contract. In this contract there are 205 pages of rules to follow. Union monopolies create these kinds of things. The rules forbid paying excellent teachers more than others and they also prohibit firing of teachers who rarely show up for class or maybe have a thing for one of their students. Teachers who are violent, incompetent or sexually aggressive to students make big bucks, and the litigation to fire them is cost prohibitive... so they say.

Tax payers pay millions every year for unproductive teachers in the public school system. Many are put in holding, throwing their own lives away each day as they DO NOT teach, but might as well be watching TV for a living. The system keeps them even though they are afraid to let them near a student. The contract demands that. Avoiding getting in trouble with the union creates an atmosphere where the lazy people drag everyone else down. 

In contrast, it is competition that always stimulates innovation. At KIPP charter schools, kids may stay in class until 5pm every day. They have school on Saturday every other day of the week. Kids and parents have the cell phone numbers of teachers who are always on call to help students with class work. People are involved in these types of schools and the difference shows. Everyone has a jobs here, and the students are the ones who benefit. The student has the job of succeeding in school. The Teacher has the job of turning out high graduation rates for kids who have actually done the work and succeeded, and the parents are the supporters and nurtures of the process.

more on this next time

This is an interesting website, it has some great points to make about what is going on in the world of teaching.

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