Because, we live in a society that spoils the child. If you give the kid a toy that will make him sugar coded. What we need to do is take all the fun stuff out of a child's life. And if he goes into martyrdom then he will need to be reminded that that there are people who are tougher and stronger than him because they are deprived of basic needs and fun stuff.
And we need to do something about our drinking fountains.
I would like to make the devil's advocate on certain points. Although I can't encompass the whole text by two factors. The first, being from another country (namely Mexico) I can't vouch or really put a new perspective for certain things I don't know in detail in the american system, therefore they don't really affect me. Number two being that there are so many points here and rhetorical questions that I can't really open a discussion to all of them.
However the points I would like to dialogue about are:
"Is one human being worth more than another? Why? Is this a moral viewpoint? What kind of society does this build?"
"Considering that rich people would all send their kids to the best schools, leaving poor people to send their kids to shitty schools, how do you expect poor families, teen moms, those who work 2 - 3 jobs just to survive to have enough money to pay for a child's education? Do you really think those private schools would be able to afford books AND make a profit when public schools in America can't even do one of these things?"
Even when I don't want to accept the premise, it's difficult to concieve that a human is worth exactly like everyone else. And that doesn't really only account for moral viewpoint, also for a physical viewpoint too. To give just a little taste about that, think about the people who have Down syndrome (or autism, Asperger, Harlequin incthyosis ... etc etc etc ) and so on. Now try to NOT compare it to a healthy human. Our minds are designed to discriminate, as a anthropological mechanism to preserve the species. It's only natural to divide humans in groups. Now, for the moral point of view (such as values, economical class, attitudes...) is the same think. We try to discriminate groups just to see where we fit and where we think our ideas can merge and expand with those ones who think similarly to us. As what kind of society does that build, I can say it opens a wide range of possibilities in a pluricultural society.
Note that discrimination I'm not using to cast away people who I don't like. But rather, a process in which we can value abstract things and evaluate if such thing is proper fit for an individual.
For the second parragraph. Even from the start I see a problem. Not necessarily poor families will send their kids to shitty schools. Specially in Mexico, where ALL the best universities are public. That doesn't mean there are not private schools. And yet, those aren't as good as (just to name a example) the UNAM (the best mexican university... and it's public). As for everything else in that parragraph, I can't say much. I've seen teen moms with only a normal 9 to 5 job who send his kids to one of the best private schools... so
Then again, I'm just playing the devils advocate and just to remind this is a pretty much worthless opinion.
Even when I don't want to accept the premise, it's difficult to concieve that a human is worth exactly like everyone else
No, it isn't. Think about it this way: what scale are you using to measure a human's value? How did you come up with that scale? What makes that scale better than a different one?
The answer to all of these questions will always be opinions. There is no objective way to tell whether a person is worth more than another. You can put people up against each other to see who is smarter, funnier, more beautiful, taller, stronger, etc.. but to make some of these things more valuable then others is always a matter of opinion.
If you take it outside of any context, one human is not worth more than another. It's only when you add a context (like intelligence, beauty, strength, etc..) that you can begin to assign this type of value to another person.
A teen mom working a normal 9 - 5? That to me alone just seems very odd. How much to private schools cost in Mexico? How do teen moms get jobs that aren't so low paying that they need to work more than 1 job just to afford living??
I agree to the point that there is no 'objective' scale, nor that it can be measured without context. However subjective the value is, the measure of it is also subjective. Instinct based if you like to call it. The point is that there is such a scale to measure those values. But it will always depend on the criteria and the context. It's not white nor black, but something in between. And it certainly can't be measured with objective numbers or scales, but intuitive ones. You can say certainly there are people smarter than others, but you can't tell how much smarter, and you have to tell in what they are smarter, for example, math, intercommunication, sports... And yes, that's the real value of opinions. Opinions are only worth what you think it is worth. Or rather they value is 0 for a person, and can be 1 to another.
Regarding the other point. It IS VERY odd, indeed, but it happens. I've seen it, said person is my friend. There is a wide range of prices regarding private schools. From 2,000 USD (I'm making a wild guess, because I'm counting in pesos, and conversion rate is about 1 USD = 12.5 pesos or something) to 20,000 USD a year the most expensive I know. Normally they wouldn't be able to pay such costs, but when the whole family (including uncle/aunt, grandparents and others involved) is united they can come up with good plans. For example, this girl I know works as an english teacher in another private school (and they pay decently well, wages range from 500 USD a month to 1,300 USD). Then, his kid was granted a scholarship in his private school. And other expenses (like food, clothing, luxuries) are covered in a big part by the family and friends. Worst case scenario there are social programmes, like community diners when you can buy a complete food for 1 USD. Worst worst case scenario you can make a life from begging or selling chewing gum at retail price in the streets. Again, it's weird, I know, but it actually happens. I've seen some beggars who have big mansions and make much more money than, for example, a PhD professor working on a university.
what i ponder every now & again is here in recent decades school is a must, if u dont go ur in trouble so its not looked as a privilege ne more just something u have to put up with until ur 18. if we wer to let parents & children choose this option to go or not to, i wonder within 3 generations would we c people treating it as a privilege again & actually wanting to go? i believe it might bring back trade families (metal smiths & what have you)that where taught at home not just the basics but things that where relevant to their families future & if they didnt want that path they could choose school. with student that actually want to be there i believe the teaching environment would b dramatically different.
The thing with Finland is that teaching in Finland is a very competitive field with both limited class slots at all of its major universities, but you absolutely have to pass through those classes to ever enter Finland's education system as a teacher.
The requirements, are thus, very tight, and their system is almost ruthlessly centralized with none of the administrative or support bloat that american schools have accumulated.
What America by and large doesn't understand is that improvements mean ripping down the structure that is in place and replacing it with something else. Standardized testing has failed and the sooner we all realize that, the quicker we can get this ball moving. It's not just any bad/don't care teachers in the system, it's not just the non-competitive field that keeps giving people that aren't suited to the field a degree in it, it's the whole gaddamn thing.
And until this nation as a whole comes to realize this, no reform effort is ever going to fix it.
I think Finland's education policies have to do with their socialist government. Everything is equal, so there's no competition for the best. Compared with capitalist America, where it's everyone for themselves. People begin to reflect the type of government they've been ruled over. So Finnish people become more, "everyone is just as good" and whatever else you have just said. In America, people have gotten used to working for themselves only to get what they want.
As someone from the US, No Child Left Behind is another problem. Schools are just focused on teaching students, many of whom could care less, to pass the test instead of actually teaching them. Then the students who do not conform to the idea of the "average" obedient student, usually either the most "gifted" or talented ones or the learning disabled ones (one person can be both even) are the ones getting left behind. People think they will do fine, but they suffer.
So the Finland school system sounds pretty good, but it needs to be able to mold to the different intellectual needs of different students. I don't know if it does or not, as I don't live in Finland or know anyone who does. Basically what I'm trying to say is that giving everyone the exact same education is not nessecarily equal if that education results in them failing to thrive.
Of course students can pursue different lines of education. "High school" is optional in Finland, "middle school" ends when you are 16. At that age you can choose to go to high school, a technical college, or a trade school, or enter the work force. Generally, if you want to get in to university, you have to go to high school first. Most people choose to go to high school before trade school or technical college or whatever. There are also two different types of university. One is called university, the other is called "open university" (weird translation).
I agree, No Child Left Behind act! My aunt is a special Ed teacher and goes through hell because of that law. Some kids at school think "They're too cool for school" and don't care about learning, they're just afraid of what their parents would say. The disabled are ignored in classrooms, no matter how many times the aid will say to be nice to them, the 'gifted' students are considered smart and geniuses so everyone is eager to become their friend/bash them. You have idiots in classrooms that think India's in Africa, in the same class with people who know much/don't know much but actually want to learn. Those kids who actually want to learn have their learning time delayed. Those kids are being left behind too.
Also, the curriculum is screwed up too. In the same district of elementary schools, one school has 4th graders learning about BEES and the other has 1st graders taking care of butterflies. One school has kindergartners learning about Japan, the other has kids playing with toys o-o the flip?
Eh.. I go to public school and attend all honors classes, but I feel like I've learned much more on the internet, reading books, talking to people, and studying on my own --- than actually going to school. So even if Finland has the best education systems in the world, that doesn't mean that the children are going to be any wiser there than here. In other words, they might be book-smart, but just because they received a high education doesn't necessarily mean that they are educated (there is also this popular thing called "propaganda" lol).
I'm in the honors program as well. As a middle schooler, there is an advantage over normal classes. To your point, there are a bunch of people in my science and english honors classes who simply do not want to learn. I have a bad slate about finishing my homework, and I've gotten chewed out more times than one, but what really gets to me is that the other kids in class are like "Hmm, I didn't do my homework... Ah, fuck it, he didn't either, so it's okay!" NO. I am a low bar to jump over, and what I think goes through other kid's minds is that it's perfectly okay to not do homework if enough people don't. It's infuriating when people don't make enough effort so everyone forgets answers on the test that were practically given to them in their notes (me encluded).
I agree with a lot of what you're saying. Although, I do have a lot of peers who put way TOO MUCH effort into school, and have GPAs of 3.8 to 4.
Where I live, the honors students are all posh, rich, and pretty (lol and I don't fit in with any of them at all). Some of them are cocky, obnoxious, and I just can not stand them. Some of them are absolutely perfect with perfect families and perfect grades. And some of them don't even know how they got into Honor's classes in the first place. About half of all of my peers skip homework and seem to hate learning. However, the ones who do put effort into school... Yeah they're very book-smart, but I still find them dumb as rocks because, well... They just have no motives. I feel like most of my class mates are thoughtless robots.
The fact that, before the internet, you pretty much had to go to college (or equivalent) to get any real useful education for an adult life, was pretty depressing to know. I get the feeling that with the corporate takeover of the internet, it will end up that way again. Information is already harder to find in uncensored form, and eventually social media will be used as an instrument for further 'net reform. Thank goodness I know how to look for obscure sites...
This wouldn't completely help solve the problem, but some reform needs to be done on the grade school level. Offering AP, college-credit courses was a decent start, but even those are only there for select students. The material taught in those courses should be taught in all classes. You'll see many students probably doing worst,...or maybe doing better. Having taken both AP and non-AP classes in high school, I can tell you that, for me, the non-AP courses were the worst simply b/c the material was not as engaging. Institutions would be surprised at how many students are actually more interested in 'tougher' material...we may like the challenge.
So a good first step would be to bring college-level subject matter into the k-12 range. Students wouldn't have to pay for education they need to be able-bodied in society. That'd take a load off the college system, and probably kill the privatized university market. But for that to occur, the entire education system needs to be weened off its capitalism model. People shouldn't be making money off a person's need to learn the essentials for living a decent life; wait until they acquire the skills first, at least. Of course that calls into question how to compensate the teachers, something that'd have to be retooled if such an approach was accomplished. However, in honesty, this will probably never happen unless the entire capitalist state comes crashing down, which may actually occur in maybe five decades,...not that such'll do us any good today.
But then, there comes a point in discerning what's 'teachable' and what isn't. Someone else on this thread was running an argument along these lines...I'm sure you know who it was. I can see where they're coming from on the front of what's considered 'teachable' and what isn't. Or, being more specific, different methods to solving problems. Education's really linear these days: even in areas such as math, where there are multiple ways (usually) to arrive at the same answer, most curriculum generally focus on the "optimal" path. The problem there is that what one person considers "optimal" can be "sub-optimal" by another,...but if they both arrive at the same answer (and as long as just "getting to the answer" is the goal), aren't both ways correct? I think educators should stress the multitude of ways of arriving to similar conclusions; it'd help people who are usually told they're "wrong" that in fact they're correct, they just took a different path to getting there. If society itself only stresses the "one way", it's really just creating a linear, monolithic architecture of education that is unsustainable into the future, by cutting out otherwise qualified people because " their way " isn't the desirable approach towards a solution.
Last point on the "teachable" thing: the public school system could use some diversification. As a society we stress that math is important, that science is important, etc. Personally I agree, but a question should be "just how important for the individual, vs. what they want to pursue in life"? Not every skill or talent requires a deep knowledge of cellular transcription or computing complex polynomials in vector-matrices, but most of the stuff not falling into those lines are treated as "extra-curricular pursuits" in the k-12 school system. Maybe opening up the system to do real educating in other areas, while putting everything on a system of parity so the student can decide what they want and not be penalized for choosing a "lesser" curriculum, would be a solid idea to implement. Again, that'd do a number on the capitalist structure (if you can get the equivalent of a blackbelt training in kyokushinkaiken at school, why spend money at a dojo to do the same?), but that's moreso a question of balancing.
College in France is free because they feel it is the governments duty to provide you education for your well being or something. Then again they have the Bacaleaueaut (however its spelled O-o) which is like a intense SAT...
It is a government responsibility, up to an extent. Ultimately it's up to the person to determine how much they want to be educated and how they pursue doing that, but the gov't gotta at least enable them a fair and honest starting ground to do it. It can't be 100% absent from the person's life, being realistic.
Because we're America! We don't want to be like other people so we do things that sometimes aren't the best for everyone... >.> And we don't study other places and see what their doing an anything that isn't American is considered "bad". Like Obama Care, helping everyone that needs medical attention and not just those that can afford it is sooooo horrible! Who wants to help people? XD Same goes for the kids. But America is a bigger place and some parents might get mad if there are not Private Schools for their children to attend. Or, that's what I think.
What gets me is, if the companies and the government in the US had an ounce of intelligence, they'd be happily throwing all the money they can at education, to ensure they'll be getting a nation full the best and brightest citizens available to work for them. Intelligent people realize the benefit in investing money into improvements and growth for their business. Only a dumbass wants a country full of poorly educated employees that tank your competitiveness compared to the companies employing the loads of better educated folks in other countries.
On top of that, if the workers in the US had an ounce of intelligence, they'd be asking why the flying fuck they're being expected by the 1% to go thousands of dollars into debt they'll be paying off for most of their adult lives, just to get to go out into the workplace and make other people rich while getting paid shit themselves.
But according to the right-wingers on the forum, that's crazy liberal talk. Clearly we're better off in a country full of a shitty, poorly educated workforce, and being expected to pay out of our pockets for the "privilege" of being an educated wage slave. But somehow even though being expected to pay to make other people rich is super awesome, paying taxes to get stuff we actually benefit from ourselves is totes bad.
It actually isn't a monetary problem. It's a structural problem and a cultural problem bound together into one rich package of 'fuck you'.
The cultural side is the nonsensical derision that people hold for educated folk and the professions they enter, but even further, the derision held for those who desire to teach. The very fact that "those who can't, teach" is even an idiom speaks volumes of our culture.
The structural side is that teaching is a non-competitive field. In fact, its level of competitiveness is sinking due entirely to the fact that many areas have a shortage of teachers.
Then you have the standardized testing and the curriculum which necessarily grows up around it. Success at the test is vital to the school, so it becomes vital to the curriculum.
Can't fix this problem by throwing money at it, the money will just vanish into bottomless pits and ne'er return.
Thanks to the failure to offer commensurate pay, you end up with two types of teachers: The ones who love it so much they're willing to take shit pay, and the ones who aren't skilled enough to take a better paying job in other sectors. So the perception that those who can't do, teach, becomes a self-fulfilling cycle based on the fact that most of the people who can do are going to find it more lucrative to do elsewhere.
This also leads to the shortage of teachers, as well as the fact that even if we could attract more people we couldn't afford to hire them.
Which in turn leads to why standardized testing has become the norm; because we don't have the resources and budget to provide more individualized assessments.
So, honestly, I think throwing money at the problem by paying teachers better and proving them with better resources actually might go a long way towards helping the problem. As it'll make it a career that's actually financially desirable, which in turn will attract more skilled people, which in turn will help get rid of the stigma of teachers being washouts, and so on.
That's why the 2% millionaires will destroy the country. They are short - sighted and pull as many strings as possible to get more money. It's the textbook example of Instant Gratification, except it will damage everyone in the end, not just them.
I wish I knew what to do about it. I'm pretty tired of sitting here knowing I might be fucked over due to the dipshit Republicans openly saying they're willing to fuck the entire country just to get tax cuts for people who don't need it. Tired of being out of work because the Republicans keep blocking all measures to improve demand. Tired of knowing that if I do get work, it'll pay shit, because the Republicans keep blocking all measures to improve wages. Tired of knowing I might as well not even try for college despite being smart enough to go, because I know there's no way I can afford it. I'm just tired.
And it's not my fault. I voted for Warren, voted for Obama, there's nothing but Democrats (and not Blue Dogs, either) in MA's contribution to the House. I'm basically being potentially fucked over due to other people's shitty choices. Story of my life, really.
I wish I knew how we could get all the Republicans doing this blocking of everything that will help the country arrested for treason. I'm pretty sure that openly admitting you want to trash the country counts, right? Because I sure as fuck don't want to live through the results if they succeed.