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sunandsand

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Never been to a school in Baltimore, but I can guess at their problems . . .

Declining tax base, so not enough money available. What money they can get is often misallocated or simply wasted, school buildings deteriorating, teacher salaries too low so they can't attract good teachers, morale is zero or less, students sense this and lose interest, lack of opportunity in the community (decaying city, contracting economy) so students don't see the point in learning skills that won't do anything for them "later", layers and layers of bureaucracy, administrators, you name it, "too many chiefs, no warriors" syndrome, encrusted and obsolete systems and procedures, no vision for the future, no handle on the present, nothing learned from the past. Inefficient purchasing systems (possibly corrupt, kickbacks and all), obsolete textbooks, too few or no computers available, old software, slow or even no internet available to students, local school boards divided on what to teach and how to teach it, they're too busy with turf wars and empire building to even consider that the ONLY reason for their existence is to provide a quality education for the students. No college prep courses, no vocational training either - "shop" class has no status and somebody could get hurt, so the insurance is high and since there isn't enough money, no shop classes any more. Generalization warning - since this is a northern school, it probably has a teacher's union, the primary function of which is to protect the teachers from anything and make sure they get regular raises. (I'm not anti-union, but I do get upset when the union becomes more important than the primary task, which is educating the students.) No or limited crisis intervention resources for kids who get into or make trouble, the list goes on and on . . .

I need to think about this for a while and possibly come up with some fixes for a few of these things - which will be ignored because I am not a "professional educator".

We first need to define what a "quality, comprehensive" education is, and then we can start to figure out how to get there. We might want to think about copying successful schools both here and abroad.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

MoKelly

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Look at the Baltimore public school system and tell me how much we value education

Baltimore spent $1.4 billion in public schools educating 78,000 students the last year reported for an average cost of $18,000 per kid.

Baltimore ranks 1,480 in the US in education results.

Seems to me the system values spending money but does not care about results.

MoKelly
 

sunandsand

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All 3 of my boys were home schooled through the 12 grade. 2 of them graduated College with a high GPA. 1 of them decided College was not for him and is now a finance manager for a large car dealership making over $100,000 a year. All of them are active in the community and have great work ethics. They have never messed with drugs or been in any trouble. They all are very thankful for their upbringing. I would say home schooling does work well.
You did well, very well. Care to share some tips? (Maybe do a book "How to successfully home school your children" - there could be a market there ;-)
 

MoKelly

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You can pour as much money as you want into a public school system and they will want more. Insatiable.

History says you are absolutely correct. Seems we are spending more and more on public education but falling further behind the world in STEM results.

MoKelly
 

K5lwq

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You did well, very well. Care to share some tips? (Maybe do a book "How to successfully home school your children" - there could be a market there ;-)

All it takes is dedication and research. There are home school groups that you can join. Ours had about 100 students in it. The kids and parents meet together once a week and help each other. Each parent will teach a class for all the kids in each age group. This way if a parent is weak in math another parent helps them. They also can participate in sports and other activities.

They have graduation every year for the seniors. It is very structured and a lot of work.
 

Frankenkubota

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I think we DO value education. There are problems with schools (at all levels), attitudes (Read "The Sheepskin Psychosis"), the horrendous student loan mess, and more.

However . . . County had an elementary school, built about 1958, they decided they didn't need it any more. Sent some guys to remove "anything of value", which included the ballasts from the exit signs, snipping off the RJ-45 connectors on the data cables, and leaving a bunch of empty beer cans and cigarette butts everywhere. County then offered it for sale as surplus property. (The remaining students got bussed to a larger, more central school, which was and is the poster child for everything that was and still is wrong with public education in the USA today, but that's another tale of woe.)

Anyway, a group of people got together, formed a "school board" and bought it from the county. The ENTIRE town pitched in to clean up and refurbish the buildings, all donated labor and materials. Then we hired a management company out of California, and installed our own principal and staff.

It re-opened as a STEM school grades K through 6 (and is now K through 9). It has been in operation six years, is A rated, and has 800 students with 800 more on the waiting list! We get students from as far as 35 miles away, parents deliver them in the AM and come get them in the PM. We have teachers who commute 50 miles each way, every day.

The kids are amazing - I have NEVER seen a more motivated group of students! Kids who languished in public schools absolutely BLOOM here. The school has support from NASA, the local colleges, a marine discovery center and more. They do. not. have. a discipline problem. Just asking the question "Do you want to go back to (public) school?" closes the issue and guarantees continued exemplary good behavior.

The kids know they have a great deal, that they are important to the school and will be supported by the school as well - and they respond accordingly. The parents are ecstatic because they know their kids will be learning and staying out of trouble. And it is free . . . parents can choose the STEM school or the public school, same price, and that's why the STEM school has 800 students on the waiting list and the public school has armed guards on campus.

Education CAN be done right.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
That's the solution. A motivated group of citizens and....a management group out of cali.

I assume the mgmt group is from the private sector.

Similar stories all over the country, check out East Lake in Atlanta.
 

jjp8182

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History says you are absolutely correct. Seems we are spending more and more on public education but falling further behind the world in STEM results.

MoKelly
My wife shared a cartoon with me a few months ago that made a rather amusing comparison to education and the old phrase about leading a horse to water.

Main point was basically that a person can lead a horse to water, but can't make them drink -- and students can go to class, but if they don't want to learn.....

Of course, in my own line of work I've seen quite a few who've been highly educated (and checked all the boxes), but who really failed to understand and apply what it is they should have learned during all of that education.

o_O

Really comes down to what a person values and what the culture they're part of pushes as being "valuable" (through action not just words).... 🤷‍♂️
 
 
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