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 Post subject: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/14/08 07:22:36 PM 
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Another good video that I found, brought to you by the people that brought you the first (Individualism vs. Collectivism.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swl8frWSNEQ&feature=related

(I found these videos, and found that you might find them interesting....enjoy.)


"A government big enough to give you everything that you want, is a government big enough to take everything away everything you have."
-Gerald Ford.

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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/14/08 09:33:55 PM 
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I couldn't watch the video. I mean, if you're trying to make a serious point, lose the fake British accent. But that's me.

Anyway, I have a skewed view on this topic. Let me put that out front. Were it not for public education, I probably couldn't have gone to school. (No money!) And once I did get through high school, I attended community colleges and then a public university. In addition, I've worked in a few government backed after-school and recreation programs off and on for the better part of the last ten years. And folks have been trying to get me to go ahead and get my credential for a minute. (And I probably will). So there's that. Basically, I believe in public education.

As for what they wrote in the video's description: "The real reason our standards in education are falling isnt [sic] lack of money but a government monopoly." There's probably something to the notion that money or lack thereof is not the problem. Washington DC's public school system, for example, spends a lot more per pupil than a lot of other districts do and yet they still have a lot of issues. So throwing the public's money at the district won't necessarily be helpful if the way they do business is still inefficient. (On a side note, I've been hearing some interesting things about their chancellor, Michelle Rhee, and what she's trying to do out there). So I agree with them in that respect. But I don't necessarily think that the problem is a government monopoly on education. For one, there are private schools. But more to the point, government funding and competition are not mutually exclusive. I know that a lot of districts, especially urban districts, have been doing a lot of experimenting with charter schools and magnet schools. And there are success stories there. I remember reading about an all boy's school in a black neighborhood in either NYC or Philly that was doing particularly well. I've also heard good things about some of the charter schools in Houston.

I think that allowing different schools, with different ways of organizing to compete for public dollars is a good idea because, in my view, where government tends to fail in education is at the bureaucratic level. Different regions, cities and neighborhoods need different things. And schools themselves usually have their own cultures. But I think that our systems have a bias towards a kind of centralization that can be counterproductive. Allowing people a little bit of wiggle room with respect to the way they organize their school and write their curriculum can go a long way. But I don't want to go off on a tangent.

Anyway, long story short: yes, government involvement in education can be and often is problematic and inefficient. But the fact of government involvement itself is not necessarily the problem. (And it should be noted that there are a lot of school districts that are doing just fine).

But to get back to your principle question of whether or not we should have public schools in the first place. Let me just say this. I think it's fine that you've got your libertarian bent or whatever. But don't get so stuck in your ideology or the principle of a limited government that you can't see nuance. The failure of some public schools or public school systems doesn't necessarily mean that the whole concept of public education is to blame for those failures. I mean, if you're going to argue that our system is dysfunctional in the first place, who's functioning system are you going to compare ours to in order to illustrate our shortcomings? My guess is that you'll have to compare us to a country that merely has a different way of organizing public schools.

But that's just my view. I'm biased. I tend to think that every child, no matter their economic background, is entitled to quality education. I also tend to think that if this goal is to be achieved then collective action is required.


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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/15/08 01:37:03 AM 
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Big Doug wrote:

But to get back to your principle question of whether or not we should have public schools in the first place. Let me just say this. I think it's fine that you've got your libertarian bent or whatever. But don't get so stuck in your ideology or the principle of a limited government that you can't see nuance. The failure of some public schools or public school systems doesn't necessarily mean that the whole concept of public education is to blame for those failures. I mean, if you're going to argue that our system is dysfunctional in the first place, who's functioning system are you going to compare ours to in order to illustrate our shortcomings? My guess is that you'll have to compare us to a country that merely has a different way of organizing public schools.

But that's just my view. I'm biased. I tend to think that every child, no matter their economic background, is entitled to quality education. I also tend to think that if this goal is to be achieved then collective action is required.


Peace


because of this paragraph that you wrote... I cant help but say... Doug, Go back and watch the video. I dont care if you do not like the British accent, it has nothing to do with that. Screw what you read in the info'clip or whatever.... watch the video, and I think you will understand that in your response to a "libertarian bent" anything...you will completely change your mind. The most interesting parts of these clips, is they are not conspiratorial, and are actual real life outcomes of scenarios....no matter...what the outcome.

Alot of people recieved public education, and I hate to say it, you fell victim to it. I went to public school from 10th grade to graduation, private school in 9th, and from the earliest grade, to 8th grade, I was homeschooled. I can honestly say that I have a full on view of the school spectrum, that exists widely in America.

BigDoug, do me a favor, and devote a measly 6 minutes of your life to watching the video..and maybe me and you can come to terms on agreeing that the system we live in, is believed to be the only system, through a controlled learning strategy.....that isnt even necessarily implied. Even if we dont initially agree, you will present me with a better argument. This is out of no disrespect, but come on now... at least give me a response that is on the tip for me even posting this. I cant disagree with you on where you are coming from, as its completely feesable, but watch this video and see the point of where I am coming from.....as your argument did not add up.

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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/15/08 10:44:19 AM 
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Fuck it. I went ahead and just watched it and I have to say its author demonstrates a very shallow understanding of how public education actually works in this country. Instead of making a compelling case against public education, he just spouts off the same old lines about conformity generally favored by libertarian minded comedians like George Carlin or Doug Standholpe. (Of course, without being funny or thoughtful). I mean, he talks about a lack of accountability as if every school district isn't run by elected officials; as if parents can't put their children in different districts or use the courts to sue over the quality of education provided in theirs. And it's not as if students who want a deeper understanding of a certain subject, like Hitler, can't go to a public library and read up on the subject. He does have a point about the teacher's union. (The aforementioned Michelle Rhee's been pissing a lot of folks off by talking about getting rid of tenure.) But that's a problem with the way our particular system is organized and not a problem with the concept of public education.

And again, the conformity he complains about isn't the necessary result of public dollars. First of all, some degree of conformity is required for any school to function--public or private. (If you disagree with that then you've probably never ran a classroom.) But like I just tried to tell you, you can have variety in public education. I just mentioned magnet schools and charter schools where educators experiment with different ways of organizing schools. Another solution might be to use public money to allow low income students to attend private schools (vouchers). (The problem with that, of course, is that most private schools also offer religious instruction.) In any case, you can use public dollars to provide a variety of educational programs. So let me say it one more time, public money and a variety are not mutually exclusive.

And finally, he never really offers a solution to the fundamental problem that public school addresses. Kids who grew up in households like mine probably would have never got an education were it not for public money flowing into public schools. And while competition can and does lower costs, it's not reasonable to assume that they would lower costs to such an extent that private schools could provide free or practically free education, as public schools do. Nor is it reasonable to assume that the tax burden public education imposes on low income families is equal to the cost of private education. After all, a good amount of folks pay no federal or state income taxes and still can't afford private education. I know that was true with my family for the better part of my childhood. And while I think it's great that your parents could afford to have one of them stay home and educate you, most can't do that. And a lot of parents aren't equipped to do it in the first place. (Most of the people I went to school with had parents that didn't speak English.)

Again, in order for low income families to have access to education, public money and collective action is required. You can't get around that.

Anyway, I really want to know why you think my argument doesn't add up. My basic point is that failures in our public education system don't discredit the whole concept of public education. I didn't see anything in that clip that really countered that point. Again, it offers a really shallow understanding of government. Hell, it sounds like something I might have written in high school. (And I'm not a victim, fam.)

And finally, I think you need better sources than some stupid videos on youtube. Why don't you try:

http://www.reason.com/
http://www.culture11.com/home
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

All the cats that run these sites are pretty libertarian minded and small c conservative. But unlike whoever did that video, they're some thoughtful folks.


Peace

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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/15/08 05:05:54 PM 
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bullshit, I just wrote a pretty hefty response to you... and get the "log in" screen, and lose all this info that I have typed. I dont feel like writing it again right now.. ill get back to you when im less pissed off at not saving this long ass waste of words.

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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/15/08 05:52:24 PM 
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Yeah, that can happen when you're writing a long post. Sometimes you can get what you wrote back by just clicking back--I know that's how it is on my browser. But next time, what I'd do is just click preview every now and then when you're writing so the system doesn't think you're inactive.


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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 11/19/08 07:52:00 PM 
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Just wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten about this, after I lost the post I didnt feel like writing it again... but its brewing..

and yeah, it sucks when it happens, and it usually does go back to the text when you click back, but this time it only went back to the first initial quote i took from you...

give me another day, been working on assignments all day

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 Post subject: Re: Dismantle Public Education
PostPosted: 12/09/08 07:27:12 AM 
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maybe im not ment to leave a reply on this. since 830 am to 923 am I began typing a very heartfelt, sincere reply.... very very long too..

I thoughtlessly clicked submit.. and I saw that horrible "login" screen.... lost it all again.

Purposefully pulled up the notepad to copy and paste just incase too...

I need to go to sleep, im too tired to even be pissed. Im glad im done typing, and winded all at once.

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