What does your ideal education system look like?

jdzappa wrote:
Spending mass amounts of money alone does not guarantee a good outcome - unless you're convinced all our homeland defense/military spending actually makes us safer, or the fact that Americans pay more for healthcare than most other countries means we live way longer and are much healthier.

One of the leading education technology sites put out a recent study showing that America spends more per student than a lot of countries that are getting way better results. The vaunted Japanese, Canadian, Australian, South Korean and Finnish systems that are kicking every other countries butts in math and science spend a fraction per student than America does. This is not to say that the individual district Hypatian is talking about doesn't have funding problems, only that at the national level we're not getting our money's worth.

http://www.edudemic.com/2013/07/how-...

Also, I'm not one of those people who say we shouldn't support schools. I'm in full agreement with Jayhawker for rightfully calling out his neighbors. But the school system can't overcome the fact that way too many American parents are not really involved in their children's education. The home is really where we need to start.

Agreed. We should also spend that money on homes. And the people of lower and middle class within them.

jdzappa:

I don't think it's an either-or situation. I'm willing to make the assumption that American public schools should at least have classrooms and textbooks as baseline requirements to, er, be a school.

LarryC wrote:
jdzappa:

I don't think it's an either-or situation. I'm willing to make the assumption that American public schools should at least have classrooms and textbooks as baseline requirements to, er, be a school.

Often, inner city schools don't have enough classrooms. Kids are trying to learn in moldy trailers, or they're sitting on the floor in the hallway, they're so crowded.

sometimesdee:

That's super weird. None of the inner city families see that as an issue? Does the city council care? Here, the lack of education is seen as a fast road to a miserable existence among the urban poor. I mean, having a proper education doesn't ensure success, but it's perceived (with excellent reasons) to be a good leg up in the job market. Parents (like me) pay through the nose for schools with good reputations and good teachers.

Bad public schools betray your country's core value of equal opportunity for all. How can any American say that with a straight face if some of your students don't even have classrooms?

Official Texas Review: "Creation Science" Should Be Incorporated into Every Biology Textbook

Few of the textbook reviewers who were critical of the teaching of evolution and climate change possessed any scientific credentials, according to NCSE. Among those who did, several were active in anti-evolution organizations such as the Discovery Institute.

According to the groups, the Texas Education Agency has declined to release documents showing what changes, if any, the publishers have agreed to make in response to these reviews. A public hearing on the books will take place next week in Austin, followed by a final vote to approve or reject them in November.

IMAGE(http://24.media.tumblr.com/2cbe75f1114e676d75cbb843f692cace/tumblr_msyxpq64sA1qat9xfo1_500.gif)

Here in Iowa (where people pride themselves on the high priority placed on education) we have new fees for textbooks every year or so in public schools ($25 for elementary school students). This is in addition to the fees we already pay ($90/student) and a box full of school supplies such as facial tissue, crayons, etc. We already pay high property taxes relative to the state average, and much of that goes to funding schools.

I wish I knew exactly what the problems are in K-12. The biggest problems I see from first-year students at the university where I teach is lack of study skills (how to read critically, organize knowledge, and absorb both detail and broader themes), weak writing skills, and generally not having the wherewithal to figure out how to structure their days so that they study consistently. It is a big transition from the structure and more forgiving nature of high school to a big university where students don't have adults checking up on them regularly. Higher ed is not free of blame either - it does nobody any good to have few opportunities for assessment before a midterm exam worth 20-30% of the total grade.

I agree that a big part of the problem exists at home. Sports and non-academic activities get too much attention. Why is the Univ. of Iowa football coach the highest paid state employee? Teachers enable lack of diligence by taking late assignments without penalties or giving extra credit. Maybe this is in response to parent complaints - who knows?

In general in the USA, the collective attention span gets shorter and shorter as electronic devices become more commonly used everywhere, and the money and media attention given to entertainment takes precedence over more serious pursuits. Very broad generalizations, I realize, but still valid and genuinely troubling.

Spending mass amounts of money alone does not guarantee a good outcome

Of course not, but not having enough money for textbooks is insanity.