Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320419721' post='4880486']
The problem with these movies is lack of balance - you take a microcosm of the whole system that is failing and then brand the whole system as a failure. That's ridiculous and suspiciously self-serving. The stench of videos like this is as bad as Michael Moore's, because they clearly are promoting a political agenda. I agree that there is inequity for struggling poor districts, but our education system doesn't consist wholly of inner city schools.

Dismissing teachers is also state controlled - in my state (Pennsylvania) you could never get away with that kind of blatant negligence as a teacher.
[/quote]

Neither of them brand the whole system as failing. Both brand specifically inner city public education as failing, which I'd consider fairly accurate. Kids aren't cars also tries to highlight that teachers' unions do not have what's best for education at heart, which is totally true and spokesmen for the major teacher's unions have admitted to this.

Interesting factoid, but the leaders of the AFT and NEA make 4 times Warren Buffet's salary and there are 600 staffers in both organizations that make 6 figure incomes.

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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320419724' post='4880487']
So all those college graduates in sitting parks across the nation are unskilled?
[/quote]

the unemployment rate for college graduates is only at 4.3%.

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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320421678' post='4880494']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320419724' post='4880487']
So all those college graduates in sitting parks across the nation are unskilled?
[/quote]

the unemployment rate for college graduates is only at 4.3%.
[/quote]

Depends on the graduation year. It's about 5x that for recent graduates. Plus about the same percentage of graduates hold jobs that don't require a degree at all.

Besides, even if I accept your number that doesn't match well with your point above. If a college degree is the key to gainful employment, then our failing education system wouldn't be churning out record numbers of college graduates who are ready and able to participate successfully in the labor market, which a 4.3% unemployment rate among graduates would suggest under current conditions.

Plus, as maligned as teachers' unions are (and sometimes rightly), educating kids is difficult. Union-free charter schools haven't posted compelling results that unions are the key factors in holding kids back.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320413180' post='4880458']
The reason schools are "failing" now is because failure has been continually defined by a higher standard.[/quote]

That higher standard is [b]CRITICAL. [/b] To say that we're doing better than 15 years ago, while may be true, it's not good enough. Today's students are going to be competing in a global work force where the US is smoked year after year in academic achievement. Every time I'm trying to higher a new developer, I get dozens and dozens of Indian developers with masters degrees in computer science while the number of born and raised American applicants is shockingly small and of them.

[quote]Teachers unions have nothing to do with it - in fact, states with teachers unions outperform those who don't. This is likely because unions can negotiate for better wages, thus attracting a larger applicant pool for schools to select from. The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false - it doesn't take much more than a few negative evaluations to boot a teacher regardless of tenure.
[/quote]

This is quite simply wrong. Just looking at the termination stats for teachers should be proof enough of that, unless you really think that only one out of every thousand teachers deserves to be fired a year. I guarantee you, there are a lot more bad teachers out there then that. In a ten year timespan 1995 to 2005, only 112 teachers were fired in LA Unified. That's 0.2% over the course of [b]ten[/b] years in a school district with a graduation rate of just over 50%. If you can't see anything wrong with that, then I'm afraid discourse with you regarding the problems with our education system is going to be impossible.

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[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1320423033' post='4880502']
[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320421678' post='4880494']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320419724' post='4880487']
So all those college graduates in sitting parks across the nation are unskilled?
[/quote]

the unemployment rate for college graduates is only at 4.3%.
[/quote]

Depends on the graduation year. It's about 5x that for recent graduates. Plus about the same percentage of graduates hold jobs that don't require a degree at all.

Besides, even if I accept your number that doesn't match well with your point above. If a college degree is the key to gainful employment, then our failing education system wouldn't be churning out record numbers of college graduates who are ready and able to participate successfully in the labor market, which a 4.3% unemployment rate among graduates would suggest under current conditions.

Plus, as maligned as teachers' unions are (and sometimes rightly), educating kids is difficult. Union-free charter schools haven't posted compelling results that unions are the key factors in holding kids back.
[/quote]

I don't know about the unemployment rate for college grads, but in the technical sector the unemployment rate is [url="http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011-08-15-cnbc-it-jobs-unemployment_n.htm"]around 3.3%[/url]. This is the fastest growing job sector in the USA, and we do not have enough qualified Americans to fill these positions. Not all degrees are created equal. I don't think the figures exist showing the breakdown of the various degrees that OWS protesters have, but I'd be willing to bet there is a disproportionally low number of computer science or engineering degrees represented.

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If we want things to get better, then we as consumers need to start putting our money into smaller businesses. What happened to locally owned gas stations, locally owned grocery stores, locally owned video rentals, or even locally owned coffee shops. Instead, we shop at huge chains such as walmart or blockbuster or Starbucks. The more big businesses you feed into, the more money gets funneled to the top. Big businesses are the ones who are outsourcing to foreign countries. They are the ones who pay their CEO's ungodly amounts of money. They are the one's who can do a lot more with less labor causing a decrease in jobs. Big businesses are definitely useful for things like manufacturing and research and I am not against big businesses, but we need a balance and lately all of our money has been shifting to big businesses.

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[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1320386074' post='4880384']
[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320382872' post='4880379']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320347790' post='4880244']
I just really wish people would stop attributing the wealth redistribution complaint to OWS. That's not what they are asking for. They are asking for jobs. They are asking for corporations to be corporations not the 4th branch of the government. They are asking "why are you sitting on trillions of dollars, but are not hiring?". [/quote]

This is the biggest problems I have about the OWS complaints. These people need to realize that corporations do not owe them jobs. It's not their right to be employed at a large company just because the company is successful. The large companies did not force them to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt getting a useless degree. Lets be perfectly clear, corporations exist to make money and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that as long as those corporations cannot simply buy monopolies via the government. I expect corporations to be greedy to an extent, but it's a problem when politicians who are supposed to be representing [b]us [/b]are that greedy.
[/quote]

I guess that's not really my take on what the OWS protests are about (though there are so many disparate voices, you can probably pick about anything you want and find a decent segment of protesters supporting it). I agree that no corporation owes anyone a job. However, there are a couple of issues with the current economy that produce complaints that sound a lot like that.

A major factor affecting the poor economy is slack demand, which is fostered by low employment and poor wages. Even though many (but certainly not all) large corporations have returned to record profits, [url="http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/the-wageless-profitable-recovery/"]something like ~88% of that money has been captured by those corporations[/url], even though what workers are more productive than ever. There are definitely reasons why that money might defensibly go elsewhere, like to prop up share prices, but there are others that are less so, like record executive compensation. Those corporations may not owe jobs to people, but nor do they owe an extra million to a CEO's salary. And yet they still manage to do the second.

There is little reason why the company's income needs to be directed so overwhelmingly to the top rather than being spread more evenly, either with more jobs or fewer but better paying jobs. And yet that's [url="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/inequality-trends-in-one-picture/"]exactly what's happened[/url] ([url="http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12485"]here's a broader graph[/url]), including in firms where those executives were either incompetent or did well for their companies by tanking the world economy. It's not that they can't do so, or even that the richest don't deserve a greater share of the national income than they had previously. But to happen to that degree while worker productivity has risen with only a modest increase in real wages for the vast majority of workers over the same period definitely sucks (unless you're one of the rich, of course). People really don't have any other recourse, so why not protest?

Additionally, corporations didn't just conjure the cash they're sitting on out of nowhere. It came out of the pockets of everyone, consumers and investors alike. Even if they have the best reasons in the world for not disbursing it as wages or new jobs or anything else, and there are valid reasons why they won't, it still sucks to have ~1/15 of the GDP tied up and not doing anything.

Another thing is that college degrees which might be called worthless now weren't worthless the farther back in time you go. For a long time a college degree was a sure way to get to a good job. A degree is still a huge help in landing a good job-- but there are way, way fewer of them to go around. Not to mention the hyper-specialization of certifications that exists in a lot of fields now making broader degree less valuable, and limiting the flexibility a job seeker has based on training. And one of my favorite quotes from the Simpsons demonstrates a reality that college graduates are facing now, "Joblessness: it's not just for philosophy majors anymore." It's not just English majors that are having trouble getting work. And it's not just college graduates that are unable to find work either; the job market is awful for a huge segment of the population including those who determined that college was too expensive.

I too expect corporations to be greedy, but that doesn't stop that greed from impeding the economy or hollowing out economic opportunity for vast numbers of people. Bad politicians are also a problem, as well as the corporate subversion of democracy. So is an increasingly bad payoff for college degrees, since there isn't a replacement for the opportunity they used to provide. And there are still other serious problems as well. But to say that the protesters are wrong for wanting jobs when there is at most one available for every three unemployed people, and when an extremely tiny portion of the country has sucked up a hugely disproportionate share of economic gains and still seeking to push the burden onto those who have barely progressed, suggests to me that you aren't perceiving the motivations behind the protests accurately. Even if one of their most popular talking points is somewhat inapt.
[/quote]

Just to be clear, I know that the OWS movement has multiple motivations and that the jobs portion is just one of them. I even agree with most of them, but this one in particular irks me.

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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320423384' post='4880505']
[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320413180' post='4880458']
The reason schools are "failing" now is because failure has been continually defined by a higher standard.[/quote]

That higher standard is [b]CRITICAL. [/b] To say that we're doing better than 15 years ago, while may be true, it's not good enough. Today's students are going to be competing in a global work force where the US is smoked year after year in academic achievement. Every time I'm trying to higher a new developer, I get dozens and dozens of Indian developers with masters degrees in computer science while the number of born and raised American applicants is shockingly small and of them.

[quote]Teachers unions have nothing to do with it - in fact, states with teachers unions outperform those who don't. This is likely because unions can negotiate for better wages, thus attracting a larger applicant pool for schools to select from. The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false - it doesn't take much more than a few negative evaluations to boot a teacher regardless of tenure.
[/quote]

This is quite simply wrong. Just looking at the termination stats for teachers should be proof enough of that, unless you really think that only one out of every thousand teachers deserves to be fired a year. I guarantee you, there are a lot more bad teachers out there then that. In a ten year timespan 1995 to 2005, only 112 teachers were fired in LA Unified. That's 0.2% over the course of [b]ten[/b] years in a school district with a graduation rate of just over 50%. If you can't see anything wrong with that, then I'm afraid discourse with you regarding the problems with our education system is going to be impossible.
[/quote]

That higher standard we're shooting for has been overshot by top 20% students nigh on forever and met by most of that next 40%. Termination of teachers depends on the state, but any district willing to go through the process can fire a teacher. Also, graduation rate could certainly be much higher if teachers lowered the bar and allowed students to graduate.

Second, what does graduation rate have to do with anything?

If I put you in a room in front of a kid who has absolutely no desire to learn anything from you.. who has no interest in mathematics.. and thinks that it's more fun to do zig-zag lines on standardized tests because they don't count for anything or draw cartoons on every other test, I'd love to see you held accountable for that kid. I'd love to see everyone outside that room mock you for being a failure of a teacher or for refusing to allow this student to graduate because you can't reach that one kid. With every city school there are kids who are absolute boat anchors.. they have a firmly entrenched mentality that they don't have to do anything. The truth is that parents have a more profound impact on student success than teachers, and it starts when the students are young. Our "failing" school system doesn't acknowledge whatsoever the large percentage of students who ARE succeeding.

It would be interesting to see how someone would grade your own performance on educating me as to why you are right - because what I walk away with is entirely beyond your control. If you were a teacher, you'd have to be considered a failure by "modern" standards because I'm like that bottom 10% kid who isn't going to gain anything from you regardless of what you say.. even if 90% of the rest of the population does in fact learn something valuable from your contributions.

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I just saw this [url="http://212.77.9.18/search?q=cache:1iQEm4UrQSMJ:www.radiovaticana.org/en1/articolo.asp%3Fc%3D531752+531752&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=utf-8&client=en1&proxystylesheet=en1&site=en1&access=p&oe=ISO-8859-1"]link[/url] about the Vatican calling for a central world bank for tracking financial matters.
[quote="Vatican"]It is obvious that to some extent this is equivalent to putting the existing exchange systems up for discussion in order to find effective means of coordination and supervision. This process must also involve the emerging and developing countries in defining the stages of a gradual adaptation of the existing instruments.
In fact, one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of “central world bank” that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks. The underlying logic of peace, coordination and common vision which led to the Bretton Woods Agreements needs to be dusted off in order to provide adequate answers to the current questions. On the regional level, this process could begin by strengthening the existing institutions, such as the European Central Bank.[/quote]
Always wanted such a central world bank for dealing with currencies and managing transactions in a completely open way. It's interesting that the Vatican, which has run it's own city like a clockwork with only a few problems (corruption), would suggest such a sensible idea.

[quote name='landagen' timestamp='1320423767' post='4880507']
If we want things to get better, then we as consumers need to start putting our money into smaller businesses. What happened to locally owned gas stations, locally owned grocery stores, locally owned video rentals, or even locally owned coffee shops. Instead, we shop at huge chains such as walmart or blockbuster or Starbucks.
[/quote]
Vertical integration. The reason big grocery stores and franchises work so well is they offer convenience and do it cheaply. There are documentaries about how things used to be. You'd go to a single place to buy a few things. It was a lot more work. Now you stop at one place and get everything you need. For a locally owned place to compete would cost millions in investments to construct and then you'd need recognition through advertisement. It's a tough market where people already have habits. Also it's impossible to support local gas stations. They were all bought out by franchises. I for one haven't seen one ever. I go to a speedway since they offer a rewards program to get free gas.

Pretty sure blockbuster died. Netflix and Red Box took over. Family Video is still going strong. Again convenience.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320425149' post='4880515']
If I put you in a room in front of a kid who has absolutely no desire to learn anything from you.. who has no interest in mathematics.. and thinks that it's more fun to do zig-zag lines on standardized tests because they don't count for anything or draw cartoons on every other test, I'd love to see you held accountable for that kid. I'd love to see everyone outside that room mock you for being a failure of a teacher or for refusing to allow this student to graduate because you can't reach that one kid. With every city school there are kids who are absolute boat anchors.. they have a firmly entrenched mentality that they don't have to do anything. The truth is that parents have a more profound impact on student success than teachers, and it starts when the students are young. Our "failing" school system doesn't acknowledge whatsoever the large percentage of students who ARE succeeding.[/quote]

Of course there are some students succeeding, but not enough. We are well below other industrialized nations in national scores, and it's having a significant impact on our economy and employment rate.

[quote]It would be interesting to see how someone would grade your own performance on educating me as to why you are right - because what I walk away with is entirely beyond your control. If you were a teacher, you'd have to be considered a failure by "modern" standards because I'm like that bottom 10% kid who isn't going to gain anything from you regardless of what you say.. even if 90% of the rest of the population does in fact learn something valuable from your contributions.
[/quote]

It is NOT beyond your control. If that were true, you would not have teachers with consistently better results in the same school system. Like it or not, a large part of the teachers job is motivating students to want to learn. That's what separates the great teachers from those who are just handing out assignments from the lesson plan. It is those teachers we should be paying higher salaries and encouraging, but teachers unions make this impossible. To throw up your hands and give up because some students aren't interested in learning is ridiculous. Of course there are students you're not going to be able to reach, but a 50% graduation rate is unacceptable.

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[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1320423033' post='4880502']
Plus, as maligned as teachers' unions are (and sometimes rightly), educating kids is difficult. Union-free charter schools haven't posted compelling results that unions are the key factors in holding kids back.
[/quote]

There is the option, dare I say, of Union-free non-charter public schools, or at least the option of schools where superintendents and principles are allowed to fire their employees the same as any other employer can.

edit: there should also be a more realistic option to opt out of being in a teachers union. Right now if teachers opt out it pretty much dooms your career until you decide to join the union.

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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320426412' post='4880523']
[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1320423033' post='4880502']
Plus, as maligned as teachers' unions are (and sometimes rightly), educating kids is difficult. Union-free charter schools haven't posted compelling results that unions are the key factors in holding kids back.
[/quote]

There is the option, dare I say, of Union-free non-charter public schools, or at least the option of schools where superintendents and principles are allowed to fire their employees the same as any other employer can.
[/quote]

Also, while some charter schools are worse than public schools, some are better... A [b]lot[/b] better. The benefit of charter schools is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't. Failing charter schools should either get better or close because parents are not sending their children there. They are a lot more flexible than their public counterparts.

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[quote] The benefit of charter schools is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't[/quote]

The benefit of unlicensed doctors is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't.

[quote]There is the option, dare I say, of Union-free non-charter public schools[/quote]

How about instead of clinging on populisms, one were to first look at successful examples, such as Finnish education systems, one of best ranked in the world by any metric.

One of most important aspects there is that teachers and experts in the fields have a say on what, how and why to teach. Not MBAs, politicians, helicopter parents or anyone else. The other is that schools have not been privatized and do involve unions, so greed and short term profit maximization doesn't affect it.

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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320428358' post='4880538']
The benefit of unlicensed doctors is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't.
[/quote]

Hardly the same comparison. There is more flexibility in medicine than there is in our education system. There is constant research going into the best way to advance medicine, and treatments for advanced illnesses are getting better all the time. Teachers unions actively stifle advancement of education in this country. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status-quo. It would be like a doctors union who didn't allow any medical treatment other than antibiotics. Sure, antibiotics can help quite a few problems, but it's hardly the right way to go every time.

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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320428358' post='4880538']
The benefit of unlicensed doctors is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't.[/quote]
This is a bad metaphor. The unlicensed doctor : licensed Doctor :: Charter school : public school analogy has so much wrong with it I'm surprised you would even make it.

[quote]
One of most important aspects there is that teachers and experts in the fields have a say on what, how and why to teach. Not MBAs, politicians, helicopter parents or anyone else. The other is that schools have not been privatized and do involve unions, so greed and short term profit maximization doesn't affect it.
[/quote]
It should be noted that Unions in Finland have a distinctly different goal than Unions in the US.

[quote] governments, trade unions and employers’ organizations form a tripartite in Finland, closely coordinating, communicating and [b]heading to a common goal[/b]. In many countries the opposing-parties usually polarize debates and public opinion. Since the beginning of the 1970s until 1987 the ministry of education had two ministers from the main parties, requiring close political cooperation, resulting in workable solutions as both parties could endorse them. This proved to be the key factor behind the continuity of Finnish education policy. The parties detached from their populist political objectives and strategic maneuvers and began focusing on the subject-matter, on [b]cooperating and acting together[/b].
-
Via the close partnership between the labor organizations and the governments, between the employees and the employers, in both planning and implementation stages, the [b]teacher union changed from external political pressure group into[/b] [b]a stakeholder in government decision-making[/b], i.e. into one [b][i]encompassing[/i][/b] labor organization, that looks at the interest of the COMPLETE SOCIETY, just like the government. This key element in good quality of governance and public institutions turned out to be the driving force of education performance and economic competitiveness in Finland.[/quote]
[url="http://bertmaes.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/why-is-education-in-finland-that-good-10-reform-principles-behind-the-success/"]http://bertmaes.word...nd-the-success/[/url]

In the US education system teachers unions have no interest in the quality of education, but rather and often solely the health of their organization and the quality of life for the teachers they represent. There are direct quotes from union representatives saying that their goals are not to better educate

edit: there is also a huge size disparity in the two regions. I'm not sure we can enforce the quality of teachers that Finland does and still have enough teachers to teach all our students (every teacher in Finland is required to have a Master's degree for which only 1 in 10 applicants is accepted).

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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320428358' post='4880538']
How about instead of clinging on populisms, one were to first look at successful examples, such as Finnish education systems, one of best ranked in the world by any metric.

One of most important aspects there is that teachers and experts in the fields have a say on what, how and why to teach. Not MBAs, politicians, helicopter parents or anyone else. The other is that schools have not been privatized and do involve unions, so greed and short term profit maximization doesn't affect it.
[/quote]

One thing we should clear up is that one union does not necessarily equal another. To begin with, it sounds like they strive to higher only the best teachers in Finland, while education degrees are some of the easiest to acquire in the US. In Finland teachers choose their own teaching methods and materials. In Finland, teachers unions work with to government to improve education, and are not mindless obstacles only interested in self preservation.

[url="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-snider/keys-to-finnish-education_b_836802.html"]http://www.huffingto...n_b_836802.html[/url]

Based on that, it sounds like their education system has a functional union, and [b]less[/b] regulation than our system.

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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320428900' post='4880543']
[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320428358' post='4880538']
The benefit of unlicensed doctors is that they can adapt to what works and abandon what doesn't.
[/quote]

Hardly the same comparison. There is more flexibility in medicine than there is in our education system. There is constant research going into the best way to advance medicine, and treatments for advanced illnesses are getting better all the time. Teachers unions actively stifle advancement of education in this country. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status-quo. It would be like a doctors union who didn't allow any medical treatment other than antibiotics. Sure, antibiotics can help quite a few problems, but it's hardly the right way to go every time.
[/quote]

You really think that teachers have control of the education system? Politicians like to stand on their soapboxes and proudly proclaim how broken the system is and then proceed to shape the next "broken" way the system will work using their vast lack of expertise in education. Teachers are the saving grace of the education system.. they succeed, for the most part, despite the system put in place.

Next, you think teacher unions actively stifle advancement of education in this country? Teacher unions actively try to counteract the vitriolic attitude that the public holds about teachers - teachers are some of the easiest scapegoats. Are there bad teachers? Sure.. just like any company has bad employees. But there are management systems in place to deal with failing teachers, and in this day and age schools have no room to tolerate failing teachers with the pressures of NCLB. There are also plenty of great teachers as well. Yet even great teachers aren't going to get through to everyone.. to think that they just magically can by somehow being more enthusiastic or passionate is incredibly insular. There will ALWAYS be students who underperform at certain tasks.. that will never change.. because we are all DIFFERENT.

Charter schools perform no better than public schools when you disaggregate student populations and compare similar demographics (apples to apples). They are a magic pill designed to shift education of students to private enterprise. The truth is, they are no better.. and in some cases can be [url="http://miami.cbslocal.com/2011/07/05/fcat-results-show-charter-schools-failure-rate-much-worse-than-public-schools/"]worse[/url].

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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320429630' post='4880548']
One thing we should clear up is that one union does not necessarily equal another. To begin with, it sounds like they strive to higher only the best teachers in Finland, while education degrees are some of the easiest to acquire in the US. In Finland teachers choose their own teaching methods and materials. In Finland, teachers unions work with to government to improve education, and are not mindless obstacles only interested in self preservation.

[url="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-snider/keys-to-finnish-education_b_836802.html"]http://www.huffingto...n_b_836802.html[/url]

Based on that, it sounds like their education system has a functional union, and [b]less[/b] regulation than our system.
[/quote]

Why do you keep saying "higher" when you mean "hire"?

But yeah, no surprises that when a union doesn't have to do battle to actually make sensible education policy that they can be successful. By the way, educators are CONSTANTLY researching education best practices.

Oh, and Finland has a 4.4% poverty rate.. one of the lowest internationally. Poverty has a profound impact on education. You see, the higher up the Pyramid you are on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.. the more you can devote time to activities like education.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320430303' post='4880553']
You really think that teachers have control of the education system? Politicians like to stand on their soapboxes and proudly proclaim how broken the system is and then proceed to shape the next "broken" way the system will work using their vast lack of expertise in education. Teachers are the saving grace of the education system.. they succeed, for the most part, despite the system put in place.[/quote]

No, teachers unions have control of the education system. They participate quite heavily in the buy the politician game.

[quote]But there are management systems in place to deal with failing teachers, and in this day and age schools have no room to tolerate failing teachers with the pressures of NCLB.[/quote]

Bullshit. The system for managing failing teachers is to send them to another school or to put them in a "rubber room" where they collect their full salary while not teaching. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to attempt to fire a failing teacher.

[url="http://www.laweekly.com/2010-02-11/news/lausd-s-dance-of-the-lemons/"]http://www.laweekly.com/2010-02-11/news/lausd-s-dance-of-the-lemons/[/url]
[quote][font=Georgia,]But the[/font][font=Georgia,] [/font][i]Weekly[/i][font=Georgia,] [/font][font=Georgia,]has found, in a five-month investigation, that principals and school district leaders have all but given up dismissing such teachers. In the past decade, LAUSD officials spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district's 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance — and only four were fired, during legal struggles that wore on, on average, for five years each. Two of the three others were paid large settlements, and one was reinstated. The average cost of each battle is$500,000.[/font]
[/quote]

In some cases they settle and agree to pay a bad teacher tens of thousands of dollars to find another job.

[quote]Charter schools perform no better than public schools when you disaggregate student populations and compare similar demographics (apples to apples). They are a magic pill designed to shift education of students to private enterprise. The truth is, they are no better.. and in some cases can be [url="http://miami.cbslocal.com/2011/07/05/fcat-results-show-charter-schools-failure-rate-much-worse-than-public-schools/"]worse[/url].
[/quote]

Similar demographics?! [url="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/urban-prep-100-percent-of_n_824286.html"]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/urban-prep-100-percent-of_n_824286.html[/url]
[quote][font=Arial,]For the second year in a row, an all-male charter school with students from the city's worst neighborhoods is sending its entire senior class to college.[/font][font=Arial,][size=2]Urban Prep Charter Academy was founded in 2006, and its goal from the start was for every one of its graduates to be attending college when they left. It was an unlikely mission, given that only [url="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/28/urban-prep-100-percent-of_n_627429.html"]four percent of the school's first freshman class[/url] was reading at grade level when they entered.[/size][/font]

[font=Arial,][size=2]Last year, the school, founded by educator and[url="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2011/Chicagoans-of-the-Year-2010-Tim-King/"]nonprofit leader Tim King[/url], did just that -- all 107 graduating seniors [url="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/urban-prep-signing-day-ce_n_589368.html"]were accepted[/url] at the end of the year. And this year, Urban Prep has repeated its success[font=arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][/quote][/size][/font][/size][/font]

[left]This is an inner-city school who took students that were failing in the public education system and got 100% of them into college. How is that not apples to apples? Charter schools cannot pick and choose their students. If there are more students who want in than they can accommodate, they have a lottery system to admittance. Obviously not all charter schools can achieve this sort of success, but this should be the model that other schools adopt and failing charter schools have to get better or close. It is idiotic to dismiss charter schools just because some of them are not working.[/left]

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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320432100' post='4880560']

This is an inner-city school who took students that were failing in the public education system and got 100% of them into college. How is that not apples to apples? Charter schools cannot pick and choose their students. If there are more students who want in than they can accommodate, they have a lottery system to admittance. Obviously not all charter schools can achieve this sort of success, but this should be the model that other schools adopt and failing charter schools have to get better or close.

[/quote]

So a school with high expectations, small class sizes and a system in place where every student had a personal teacher mentor succeeded? Wow.

[quote]
It is idiotic to dismiss charter schools just because some of them are not working.
[/quote]

The irony of this statement is palpable.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320431259' post='4880557']
Why do you keep saying "higher" when you mean "hire"? [/quote]

Because I'm an idiot and not taking time to proof read my posts before submitting. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif[/img]

[quote]But yeah, no surprises that when a union doesn't have to do battle to actually make sensible education policy that they can be successful. By the way, educators are CONSTANTLY researching education best practices.[/quote]

The union doesn't care about sensible education policy. They care about maintaining their control over the education system. Their goal is not to better educate our students but to provide maximum protection for teacher, regardless of the quality of that teacher. Please, provide evidence that educators are CONSTANTLY researching education best practices. I'm sure that some educators do, but it's hardly a common practice. It's similar to the programming field, there are those who are constantly learning new things and staying on the cutting edge, but the majority of them work their 8 hours and that's it. What we need are more of those teachers who are willing to put in the extra effort, and the ability to get rid of those who don't! I'm all for higher teacher salaries, but only for deserving teachers, and the teachers unions make it impossible to do that.

[quote]Oh, and Finland has a 4.4% poverty rate.. one of the lowest internationally. Poverty has a profound impact on education. You see, the higher up the Pyramid you are on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.. the more you can devote time to activities like education.

[/quote]

Ok, so how is it the inner city charter school mentioned earlier is able to get 100% of them to college? Sure, poverty is one of the hurdles teachers have to be able to account for, but it's no an insurmountable problem.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320432796' post='4880562']
The irony of this statement is palpable.
[/quote]

There is nothing ironic about it. I have never said we should abandon the public education system. I just believe it is in serious need of reform, starting with teachers unions and massive bureaucratic mess surrounding it. I would love to have the Finnish system. Lets pay teachers a much higher salary, and ensure that we're hiring the best of them. Lets allow teachers to have more autonomy (less regulation) around what and how they teach. Lets stop wasting time and money supporting a system that fails to deliver results that compete on a global level despite spending more money per student that practically every other country in the world. I see [i]some[/i] charter schools as a way of showing that you can take the same kids that flounder in the public education system and put them into college. We need to learn from that, and adapt where we can to apply the same principles to our entire system.

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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320432856' post='4880564']
Ok, so how is it the inner city charter school mentioned earlier is able to get 100% of them to college? Sure, poverty is one of the hurdles teachers have to be able to account for, but it's no an insurmountable problem.
[/quote]

I think I'm going to end on this note since the thread is pretty derailed. That school did a great job getting students into college.. they are a good example of what a small school can do using best practices educators have known for decades.

If you need evidence that teachers are doing research: http://scholar.google.com/

Thanks for the discussion.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320432796' post='4880562']
So a school with high expectations, small class sizes and a system in place where every student had a personal teacher mentor succeeded? Wow.
[/quote]

I don't think having a personal mentor/adviser should be that taboo even with larger schools. Through high school and college I had advisers that would make sure I wasn't veering too far off in any particular piece of knowledge and helped me to plan my education. They'd be there to help if asked.

A bunch of students don't take full advantage of it, but that doesn't mean any school can't/shouldn't have this.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320433891' post='4880571']