Author Topic: Are You a Dream Hoarder?  (Read 6692 times)

fruitfly

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2017, 10:10:02 AM »
vivian, this is a huge problem in [American public] schools. I actually saw this in action - I assisted with a PTO auction for a very upper class area public school, and it raised $150K. Auction items were things like a weekend at a NY apartment and a year's worth of wine. They used that money (in a school where the class size is already low) to pay for a Mandarin teacher and a music teacher. So now those kids (already significantly advantaged) are even more advantaged.

I also assisted in my own kids' school PTO auction. We all busted our asses to make $10k. The parents just don't have the kind of money here to donate. So we pay for each class to have one field trip a year. So these kids (many of them already disadvantaged) are only raised slightly.

It's insane. I agree to that the money should be more evenly distributed but of course the parents would freak.out.

BlueHouse

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2017, 12:53:31 PM »
Students who don't turn books in on time should have to pay for them. 

This seems easy to resolve, any student who does not return or pay for books cannot receive new textbooks the next year.
Sounds like common sense, but it is not allowed.  The kid is entitled to a free public education, which includes textbooks.  If he never returns the books at all, we still have to give him his diploma -- all we're allowed to do is forbid him from attending the graduation ceremony. 

Oh, and if the kid doesn't make it to graduation, we never get the books back at all.  It's poor management of the public coffers, but the legislators in the state capital have tied our hands. 

And, in all honesty, we're talking about a small-but-persistent group of students.  This is not widespread behavior.
Why don't you knock on the kid's front door at dinner time.  No kid wants a teacher to show up at his home.  Do it enough times and it will shame them into following the rules.  I know you shouldn't have to.  But sometimes you have to do things that aren't really a part of your job to make a lasting influence.
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goatmom

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2017, 05:31:37 AM »
I grew up in a very poor home - by first world standards.  What made the difference?  I had a mother and father that loved me and put my needs above their own needs.  I felt secure and loved.  I work with disadvantaged children.  It really sucks that some kids have parents that just don't care enough.  Very few people would be motivated to deny their own children so another child can get ahead.  We need to do things to level the playing field - such as redesign funding to "public" schools.  I put public in quotes because the  schools in the best neighborhoods are not accessible to the poor.  It is really wrong that those who need it the most get the least.  I remember having a neighbor who was a grandmother who was claiming her grandchildren lived with her so that they could go to the local school.  The officials from the school went door to door with photos of the children to ask neighbors if the children lived there. 

MrsPete

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2017, 07:56:47 AM »
Students who don't turn books in on time should have to pay for them. 

This seems easy to resolve, any student who does not return or pay for books cannot receive new textbooks the next year.
Sounds like common sense, but it is not allowed.  The kid is entitled to a free public education, which includes textbooks.  If he never returns the books at all, we still have to give him his diploma -- all we're allowed to do is forbid him from attending the graduation ceremony. 

Oh, and if the kid doesn't make it to graduation, we never get the books back at all.  It's poor management of the public coffers, but the legislators in the state capital have tied our hands. 

And, in all honesty, we're talking about a small-but-persistent group of students.  This is not widespread behavior.
Why don't you knock on the kid's front door at dinner time.  No kid wants a teacher to show up at his home.  Do it enough times and it will shame them into following the rules.  I know you shouldn't have to.  But sometimes you have to do things that aren't really a part of your job to make a lasting influence.
That doesn't sound even remotely possible:
- You're assuming that we have correct addresses /phone numbers for all our students -- and we do have them for our middle class kids, but people in the class we're discussing move frequently, and they don't always want the school to have up-to-date information.  Yes, you'd think parents would want the school to have the ability to find them, but -- no, not always.  Similarly, some of these kids won't have a picture made for the yearbook because they don't want the police to have easy access to their photograph.  I know, I know, I don't think this way either -- but experience tells me that a small segment of our society does.
- You're assuming that the parents would be ashamed or motivated.  In my experience, the kids who do this keep-the-book-thing are the ones who think the world owes them something.  Yeah, I would be mortified to find that my kid had kept a book for three years; this group doesn't think that way.
- It wouldn't be safe. 

No, I see more effective ways to get those books back: 
- Withhold the end-of-the-year report card.  Parents do want to see that their kid has passed a grade; instead of mailing the report card, mail a notice that the report card is being held at school and the parent can pick it up by bringing in the books.  Of course, now that parents can see their kids' grades online 24/7, this isn't what it was a few years ago.
- If freshman books aren't turned in (or if they owe a lab fee or whatever), don't allow them to begin sophomore classes.  Let them sit in the office until they've "settled accounts" for freshman year. 
- Don't sell them parking passes, dance tickets, all-sports passes if they owe any books or money to the school. 




 

Giro

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2017, 08:51:12 AM »
Students who don't turn books in on time should have to pay for them. 

This seems easy to resolve, any student who does not return or pay for books cannot receive new textbooks the next year.
Sounds like common sense, but it is not allowed.  The kid is entitled to a free public education, which includes textbooks.  If he never returns the books at all, we still have to give him his diploma -- all we're allowed to do is forbid him from attending the graduation ceremony. 

Oh, and if the kid doesn't make it to graduation, we never get the books back at all.  It's poor management of the public coffers, but the legislators in the state capital have tied our hands. 

And, in all honesty, we're talking about a small-but-persistent group of students.  This is not widespread behavior.
Why don't you knock on the kid's front door at dinner time.  No kid wants a teacher to show up at his home.  Do it enough times and it will shame them into following the rules.  I know you shouldn't have to.  But sometimes you have to do things that aren't really a part of your job to make a lasting influence.
That doesn't sound even remotely possible:
- You're assuming that we have correct addresses /phone numbers for all our students -- and we do have them for our middle class kids, but people in the class we're discussing move frequently, and they don't always want the school to have up-to-date information.  Yes, you'd think parents would want the school to have the ability to find them, but -- no, not always.  Similarly, some of these kids won't have a picture made for the yearbook because they don't want the police to have easy access to their photograph.  I know, I know, I don't think this way either -- but experience tells me that a small segment of our society does.
- You're assuming that the parents would be ashamed or motivated.  In my experience, the kids who do this keep-the-book-thing are the ones who think the world owes them something.  Yeah, I would be mortified to find that my kid had kept a book for three years; this group doesn't think that way.
- It wouldn't be safe. 

No, I see more effective ways to get those books back: 
- Withhold the end-of-the-year report card.  Parents do want to see that their kid has passed a grade; instead of mailing the report card, mail a notice that the report card is being held at school and the parent can pick it up by bringing in the books.  Of course, now that parents can see their kids' grades online 24/7, this isn't what it was a few years ago.
- If freshman books aren't turned in (or if they owe a lab fee or whatever), don't allow them to begin sophomore classes.  Let them sit in the office until they've "settled accounts" for freshman year. 
- Don't sell them parking passes, dance tickets, all-sports passes if they owe any books or money to the school. 




 

Still doesn't seem like good incentive for the kid who is already a menace to bring a book back.  How about we offer them money?  They get their "deposit" back by returning the books. 

maizeman

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2017, 08:10:32 PM »
The game is simplistic and overstated, but the point is a good. Many people who say they want equality of opportunity, actually live their lives in ways that perpetuate the inequality.

The problem is that individual choices doesn't have the same effect as changing the rules for everyone. Providing broad access to education to make sure as many kids as possible have a chance to succeed (if they have the native intelligence and drive to do so) is a public good. We're all better off if we having the smartest most motivated scientists and engineers and statisticians possible running our country, and you get that by drawing from the widest pool of talent possible. However, the problem with public goods is that you cannot get public goods through individual choice.

The cliche example of a public good is a road. Everyone benefits if everyone pays a small amount of extra tax to build the road. But if the government doesn't impose a tax, if an individual person decides there needs to be a road, they can spend everything they own, they probably won't even build a complete road, and even if they did, they'd get only a small benefit from it relative to the cost of building a road, while everyone else, who didn't sacrifice to pay for the road, gets the same benefit.

If I have the capacity to pay for mandarin classes and a college essay writing consultant and an SAT tutor for my kid, and I chose not to, my kid's slot doesn't go to a more intelligent, more driven poor kid. In all probability it goes to a kid whose parents could only pay for french classes, helped them with their college essay a lot themselves, and sent them to SAT prep classes instead of hiring a private tutor. Even if that's not the case and one extra poor, motivated, brilliant student gets in to college because I'd decided to hold back my own kid, the benefit of only one extra smarter more motivated doctor (or city planner, or architect, or heck poet) in our society for me personally probably doesn't outweigh what I've and my kid have had to sacrifice to make it happen.

TL;DR The same action taken collectively as a society or individual don't produce the same outcomes (even putting aside the issues of scale). So it makes sense that lots of people support societal change to make it more likely the brightest most motivated kids have the best chance to get ahead in life, but don't specifically disadvantage their own kids.

TL;DR #2 How many people who agree we need to do something about fixing the crumbing infrastructure in this country are paying to have a bridge repaired out of their own pocket? If they aren't, can we really argue that makes them hypocrites?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 08:15:03 PM by maizeman »
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Undecided

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2017, 09:15:56 PM »
I thought the inclusion of the question about a donation to the alma mater reflects some delusion. The people who can make donations that actually influence admissions decisions aren't "the top 20%," they're not even a meaningful portion of the top 1%. I have noticed other odd attempts to blame the moderately successful segment of the population for oppressing the poor.

frugledoc

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #57 on: July 15, 2017, 02:01:51 AM »
I think the "dream" for your kids is a similar ethos to antimustachian consumerism.

Why do the "rich" want their non academic kid to struggle through university, do an internship they didn't really deserve or want, then spend a life of drudgery being a lawyer just for the money for example.

I have a 3 year old and my wife is having our second next week. We are both 39.  At this point, I want to teach our kids to live a mustachian existance, and live below their means.

To be rich you either have to earn a lot or want a little.    Obviously, if they end up doing both that is the optimum but I think true happiness is more likely with the "want a little" approach.

Check back with me in 5, 10 and 15 years as I'm sure there will be a lot of external pressures during that time which might subliminally affect me.

I do worry I am being selfish as my parents put me into private school as a kid and I don't think I would have got into medical school otherwise.  I was always pretty lazy as a kid. 
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 02:03:24 AM by frugledoc »

HipGnosis

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #58 on: July 15, 2017, 10:27:32 AM »
Can someone please explain this concept of 'dream hoarding' in plain english for me?

mm1970

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #59 on: July 15, 2017, 01:31:20 PM »
vivian, this is a huge problem in [American public] schools. I actually saw this in action - I assisted with a PTO auction for a very upper class area public school, and it raised $150K. Auction items were things like a weekend at a NY apartment and a year's worth of wine. They used that money (in a school where the class size is already low) to pay for a Mandarin teacher and a music teacher. So now those kids (already significantly advantaged) are even more advantaged.

I also assisted in my own kids' school PTO auction. We all busted our asses to make $10k. The parents just don't have the kind of money here to donate. So we pay for each class to have one field trip a year. So these kids (many of them already disadvantaged) are only raised slightly.

It's insane. I agree to that the money should be more evenly distributed but of course the parents would freak.out.

Oh yes.  In my district, we have such a wide variety of schools from poverty to wealthy.
The top school in my district raises $600,000 a year.  $125,000 in only one month.  You can imagine that these kids, who already have almost everything, get to have even more things - more teachers, more field trips, etc.

The bottom schools sell popcorn and have rummage sales, and *maybe* make $600-6000 a year.  They don't even have a PTA or PTO, only a handful of parents and teachers doing their best.  But at least these schools get a LOT more state funding, due to the % of children who are poor.

The middling schools, like the one we chose to attend (there are 2 of them in our district) are the best and worst of both worlds.  We have a mix of children.  We don't have NEAR the capacity to raise money - we raised $60,000 last year, and it was mainly the effort of about 5 people (one of whom was me, and I wasn't even on the board this year).  About 1/4 of that money was a direct result of efforts from me from the 2 fundraisers I almost single-handedly organized, and the big fat check I wrote.

As far as combining funds - the #1 school dismantled their PTA decades ago for a PTO, precisely for that reason.  They did not want the district to be able to "take their money".

We are so fortunate this year, that our school has been adopted by a foundation. Some of the field trips (sleepover) that we could never afford are being partially funded.  Note I said partially.  Still, to send the entire 6th grade will cost about $125 per student.  That's $6000.  We do not have that in our budget, so I really am not sure how it is going to work.

MrsPete

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Re: Are You a Dream Hoarder?
« Reply #60 on: July 15, 2017, 04:45:58 PM »
Why do the "rich" want their non academic kid to struggle through university, do an internship they didn't really deserve or want, then spend a life of drudgery being a lawyer just for the money for example.
I don't think that's what really happens to rich, non-academic kids.  (I'm thinking specifically of a kid in my class last semester ... definitely looked rich, dressed nicely, drove a Mustang, went on a cruise for spring break and to Disney for graduation -- was allowed to take his girlfriend on both trips ... dumb as dirt, big-time cheater, laid out of school frequently, low motivation for all things academic.)  I've known his ilk in the past, and they don't tend to make it through college.  I see them a year later selling hot dogs at the mall. 

In all honesty, I don't see a whole lot of these kids.  Most "rich kids" are motivated to work and tend to be at least average in terms of academics.  They seem to grasp that if they want to live a comfortable lifestyle, they must prepare themselves for the world of work.