Author Topic: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!  (Read 12845 times)

galliver

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http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/oklahoma-legislative-committee-questions-legality-of-advanced-placement-courses-in/article_2b257556-b62c-5a92-862e-8e9821a29bbc.html

I thought about putting this in Off-Topic, but no, it's absurd, and it's anti-mustachian because:
  • it's a move to suppress critical thinking and promote indoctrination
  • it would take away cheap(est?) option for college credit (possibly for multiple subjects
  • it keeps taxpayer dollars intended to educate the populace...from educating the populace
  • it's simply preposterous!!!

So. Much. Rage.

If you live in Oklahoma, please let your legislators know this is not ok. Apparently similar initiatives are alive and well in Georgia, N. Carolina, and S. Carolina. And one was recently shot down in Colorado.

SaintM

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 08:54:48 PM »
Public schools are shit.

austin

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 07:57:20 AM »
Public schools are shit.

Actions like what Okalahoma is doing certainly don't help.

KD

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 08:02:59 AM »
Get in line lil' drone.  So much for assisting the high achievers!  You are not to excel.  How dare you be smarter, faster, more advanced in any way.  BAHHHHH!!! 

Line up sheeple.  Heaven forbid we promote or help those who are willing to apply themselves.

infogoon

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 08:06:27 AM »
Get in line lil' drone.  So much for assisting the high achievers!  You are not to excel.  How dare you be smarter, faster, more advanced in any way.  BAHHHHH!!! 

Line up sheeple.  Heaven forbid we promote or help those who are willing to apply themselves.

Logically speaking, "No Child Left Behind" is identical to "No Child Goes Ahead".

Uniform mediocrity is our stated goal.

KD

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 08:11:44 AM »
Way back in the day I was an Oklahoma student.  I would ask for and get the year's assignments at the start of the year and finish them w/i the first week to month.  Read in class the entire rest of the year or assisted teacher in grading papers and tutoring others along.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freaking boring being locked into a 'lock-step' program.  So still resent it.

MayDay

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 08:59:12 AM »
Way back in the day I was an Oklahoma student.  I would ask for and get the year's assignments at the start of the year and finish them w/i the first week to month.  Read in class the entire rest of the year or assisted teacher in grading papers and tutoring others along.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freaking boring being locked into a 'lock-step' program.  So still resent it.

I lived in Norman grades k-8 and I don't think it was like that there, although it certainly wasn't excellent. But I did get advanced math curriculum.  I do remember my mom brought us to the state capital to protest some kind of educationfunding nonsense. That was super cool, we made signs and everything.

Maybe Norman is the only non-crazy part of the state. I wouldnt want to move back, even to Norman.

*Any spelling and grammar errors should be blamed on Oklahoma schools.

Eric

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 10:37:23 AM »
The anti-intellectualism trend right now is unfathomable to me.  Luckily it's mostly contained to the Bible Belt, but I worry that it could spread.  It started with pretending that teaching Intelligent Design is somehow science and has only gotten worse from there.

So now they want to cancel all AP classes because an AP US History class doesn't teach "American Exceptionalism".  Oh, the irony.

GetItRight

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 10:59:07 AM »
  • it's a move to suppress critical thinking and promote indoctrination

Public schools are essentially a combination of government indoctrination camp and babysitter. From what I recall back in public school (in a highly regarded district no less) critical thinking was punished, good little drones were rewarded. There was very little in way of offerings to advance oneself, learn, or prepare for a career. Public high school held me back quite a bit, though I did manage to educate myself and develop critical thinking on evenings and weekends.

  • it would take away cheap(est?) option for college credit (possibly for multiple subjects

OK public school cost per student annually is $7,743. I'm actually surprised it not higher, many government schools have costs twice that or more. https://sdeweb01.sde.ok.gov/ocas_reporting/
OK community college cost annually is $3,220. ($108 per credit hour * 30 credit hours) http://www.occc.edu/bursar/tuition-fees.html

At a glance it appears that AP courses at OK high schools cost 240% more than equivalent credits cost at college. College appears to be the cheaper option by a large margin. Note I could not find any numbers on OCCC government funding other than they take donations and seem to be tax exempt. If anyone can find how much, if any, of tuition is paid with state and local taxes that would be useful for this calculation.

  • it keeps taxpayer dollars intended to educate the populace...from educating the populace

Replace "educate" and "populace" with just about anything else government claims to do. The money is not to educate children, it's welfare for those working for or connected with the government. Government is a model of inefficiency at best, and more typically an oppressive monster.

Not sure how to think of this one, but it seems this would eliminate a small part of the local government so maybe a good thing. Interesting that at the end of the article they mention vouchers for private school. Not sure what property taxes are in OK but if all the local public schools were eliminated property taxes and rent would likely be significantly less, freeing up money for those folks to choose to send their kinds to whatever school they prefer. Private schools already exist in OK that cost less per student than public schools in OK. They must be doing something right if people will pay the tuition in addition to paying for public schools they are not using. The biggest difference is in private schools the parents and students are the customers, and in public schools the government is the customer.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 11:17:50 AM »
I think this is a huge reach and pretty off topic. I don't really get the point of the post- the article references removing AP classes from public schools which I agree is a terrible idea but not really something to get that fired up over.

Since the entire post is off topic, I'll continue with an unrequested oanecdote

Even with AP courses, the public school system still failed me pretty miserably. I still don't understand the logistics of it at all. 35 hours of 'in the office time' + 2-3 hours of homework a night = 45-50 hour work week BEFORE extra curriculars/jobs, which means highschool kids are working 60-80 hour weeks. I hated this system- it rewards drones, not anyone with any actual potential. Loved seeing so many of the valedictorians at my school wash out of their elite programs when doing repetitive grunt work no longer guaranteed success (and often mommy/daddy weren't breathing over them any more).

In short, the entire system is a joke. I don't understand the 'rage' from them quibbling around the edges.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 11:35:28 AM »
I think this is a huge reach and pretty off topic. I don't really get the point of the post- the article references removing AP classes from public schools which I agree is a terrible idea but not really something to get that fired up over.

If removing AP classes from public schools isn't something to be pissed about, then nothing is. I'm pissed that the topic is even being broached in my home state of Georgia.

Even with AP courses, the public school system still failed me pretty miserably. I still don't understand the logistics of it at all. 35 hours of 'in the office time' + 2-3 hours of homework a night = 45-50 hour work week BEFORE extra curriculars/jobs, which means highschool kids are working 60-80 hour weeks. I hated this system- it rewards drones, not anyone with any actual potential. Loved seeing so many of the valedictorians at my school wash out of their elite programs when doing repetitive grunt work no longer guaranteed success (and often mommy/daddy weren't breathing over them any more).

Extracurriculars were the only part of high school I enjoyed. It's not work (at least, it wasn't for me).  And I didn't study or do homework. And I was also the valedictorian. I wonder how many of my high school classmates are upset that I didn't "wash out of" any elite programs and am perfectly successful by most standards. It sounds like you need to deal with some personal issues if you truly gain pleasure from watching other people fail.

lisahi

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 12:11:01 PM »
OK public school cost per student annually is $7,743. I'm actually surprised it not higher, many government schools have costs twice that or more. https://sdeweb01.sde.ok.gov/ocas_reporting/
OK community college cost annually is $3,220. ($108 per credit hour * 30 credit hours) http://www.occc.edu/bursar/tuition-fees.html

At a glance it appears that AP courses at OK high schools cost 240% more than equivalent credits cost at college. College appears to be the cheaper option by a large margin. Note I could not find any numbers on OCCC government funding other than they take donations and seem to be tax exempt. If anyone can find how much, if any, of tuition is paid with state and local taxes that would be useful for this calculation.

Except that you're assuming that the student in high school wouldn't be taking a different course in place of taking the AP course. You're going to spend about $7,743 per student regardless of what courses they take. Most high schools require the student to be in school the entire day, so if Jane wasn't taking AP History, she would be taking regular History, which likely costs the same amount to teach.

The cost savings comes when Jane gets to college and already has X number of hours packed away that she doesn't have to take to graduate.  So Jane may spend less time in school and ultimately save the state some money.

skunkfunk

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 12:55:45 PM »
I did pretty well coming from an Oklahoma public school system, but the lawmakers here definitely like to neuter this kind of thing. They seem to think that private industry can do it better (or more likely they think it's not worth it because the important people can afford better schooling anyway.)

Low teacher pay, ridiculous programs (great expectations, /vomit), funding shortfalls, etc. I don't know why all the craziest people seem to win the elections around here. Check out the outgoing state superintendent. Not even an educator, a freaking dentist.

Kris

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2015, 12:57:06 PM »
Public schools are shit.

Actions like what Okalahoma is doing certainly don't help.

Exactly.  Public schools are only as good as the communities and governments that do or don't value them.

GetItRight

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 01:06:45 PM »
Being as an AP class that is equivalent to one college class cost as much as 2.4 actual college classes. It would seem to me the most cost effective thing to do, assuming government schools continue be run with stolen money rather than the recipient paying for the service voluntarily, would be to allow student to skip a grade, or two, or three, or more and just take actual college classes which cost significantly less. Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

The only grace at the end of the tunnel of my time at government indoctrination camp was they allowed me to skip the final year, graduating early. One example of critical thinking they discouraged or outright punished was my persistent requests to be let free years before the 12 year sentence so I could work and go to college. They were not teaching anything relevant to my desired career path, they eliminated the few courses that had any value (taught by actual professionals who worked in the productive class for most of their lives). Nobody in the faculty or administration could articulate the relevance or significance of what they were forcing me to sit through (mostly either sleeping or reading material that interested me). I was punished with detentions (that I never went to) when I pointed those things out or asked questions in front of other students. Sometimes after enough detentions I didn't go to they would suspend me, which was a joy as it was an opportunity to spend the day reading and learning rather than in school.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 01:08:40 PM by GetItRight »

lisahi

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 01:28:42 PM »
Being as an AP class that is equivalent to one college class cost as much as 2.4 actual college classes. It would seem to me the most cost effective thing to do, assuming government schools continue be run with stolen money rather than the recipient paying for the service voluntarily, would be to allow student to skip a grade, or two, or three, or more and just take actual college classes which cost significantly less. Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

The only grace at the end of the tunnel of my time at government indoctrination camp was they allowed me to skip the final year, graduating early. One example of critical thinking they discouraged or outright punished was my persistent requests to be let free years before the 12 year sentence so I could work and go to college. They were not teaching anything relevant to my desired career path, they eliminated the few courses that had any value (taught by actual professionals who worked in the productive class for most of their lives). Nobody in the faculty or administration could articulate the relevance or significance of what they were forcing me to sit through (mostly either sleeping or reading material that interested me). I was punished with detentions (that I never went to) when I pointed those things out or asked questions in front of other students. Sometimes after enough detentions I didn't go to they would suspend me, which was a joy as it was an opportunity to spend the day reading and learning rather than in school.

Private schools are not going to educate the entire populace for free and a lot of families cannot afford to send their kids to private school. Somebody has to pay the bill, so unless you're advocating private schools getting public funding (essentially making them public schools, defeating the purpose of them being called "private") this won't work. Moreover, using the numbers cited above, all high school classes are more expensive than college classes, not just AP high school classes. Get rid of AP classes and these kids still have to take regular courses to graduate. Those courses will cost just as much. You can't have the would-be AP kids just skip grades without actually taking required math, science, history or literature courses (unless you think all kids can (and will) self-teach which, sadly, they cannot (or will not)). Most of these kids won't have the skills to take on college courses if you put them directly into college without the basic courses. AP courses are provided instead of regular courses, not in addition to regular courses.

It's sad that your public education experience was so horrible. I suspect that you were probably too advanced for the material they were teaching you (or simply didn't care to learn the subjects they were teaching). I do think that it's a shame that more logical, reasonable, creative and education-minded people don't run for (and win) school board, city council, or state legislative positions. The sad fact is that most logical, reasonable, creative and education-minded people aren't apt to run for such offices because the pay is poor, the frustration is high, and they're not enticed by a false sense of power that being a "city leader" affords. The few decent people who do manage to get into these offices are generally outnumbered by those who are attracted to that sense of power rather than any legitimate desire to do good work for the people of their community.

That said, not all public schools are bad. And not all experiences are like yours. Public education provides an invaluable resource for the majority of kids in the United States--the bad apple school boards and state legislatures that pass bills like this one get so much attention because they're abnormal, not because they are normal.

Eric

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2015, 01:32:19 PM »
Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

austin

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2015, 02:01:05 PM »
Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

This debate was settled about two centuries ago.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2015, 02:05:27 PM »

If removing AP classes from public schools isn't something to be pissed about, then nothing is. I'm pissed that the topic is even being broached in my home state of Georgia.

Extracurriculars were the only part of high school I enjoyed. It's not work (at least, it wasn't for me).  And I didn't study or do homework. And I was also the valedictorian. I wonder how many of my high school classmates are upset that I didn't "wash out of" any elite programs and am perfectly successful by most standards. It sounds like you need to deal with some personal issues if you truly gain pleasure from watching other people fail.


I don't know where you went, but it sounds absolutely nothing like 99% of public school AP courses which are primarily repetition based with 1-2 hours of reading and homework per class, per night recommended. The fact that you had no homework and were valedictorian belies the reality that most public schools enforce conformity and consistent mediocrity above any critical thinking or excelling. It also means you did not go to a similar school as mine or most public schools which you would have failed with no homework.

It's great that you enjoyed extra curriculars. I did too. I also enjoy work sometimes. It still meant that I did not have 60-80 hour work weeks while in highschool, something I accept very sparingly in my working life.

Additionally, in response to your ad hominem attack, I used "Loved" as a colloquialism, I just meant it was not a surprising outcome. I did find satisfaction that actual learning and critical thinking tended towards more positive outcomes than the best arbitrary hoop jumpers though.

MicroRN

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2015, 02:12:23 PM »
My county even paid for our AP exams, so that students who were inclined could get a lot of college gen eds out of the way.  I went in with 26 credits - 6 history, 6 english, 3 calculus, 8 biology, 3 psych.  It was a huge help to the bright, motivated, but lower income students.

JetBlast

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2015, 02:36:38 PM »
My parents sent me to a private school that absolutely refused to teach AP courses. The school saw them as handcuffing teachers, forcing them to teach to a test. That's part of what made it such a good school. Creative thinking and curiosity were encouraged, rote learning to pass a test was not.

gimp

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2015, 03:39:54 PM »
My parents sent me to a private school that absolutely refused to teach AP courses. The school saw them as handcuffing teachers, forcing them to teach to a test. That's part of what made it such a good school. Creative thinking and curiosity were encouraged, rote learning to pass a test was not.

Or here's a better idea: teach an AP course, but don't teach to the test. When I took calc BC junior year, we never once did a single AP problem, nor discussed the test in class. Something like 29/30 kids got a 5 on both portions of the test. We never did any questions like the AP test asked, either... but we all figured it out on test day, since it was a pretty trivial test.

Anyways, I am enjoying this political debate. Oklahoma, never change; we will always need someone upon whom we can look down.

Pooperman

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2015, 03:41:21 PM »
I took my English classes through a special program (not AP, but extra cost). Took AP US history and learned how to draw better (probably had the highest score of anyon taking it). I was not valedictorian. I barely did homework, and generally disliked public school. However, taking the AP classes helped allow me to graduate a semester early in college. I did do some classes at the local community college as well. Still, the point remains that being anti-intellectual is a detriment to our society as a whole. Schools are an indoctrination system to make you a good worker bee, but so is any system of learning. The biases of the teacher/system have an impact on the student.

The only exceptional thing about America is that we lucked into a diverse and enormous land mass of a country while being pro immigrant (at least compared to most countries). Facts trump philosophy. Teach what happened--the good and the bad--and let students decide how to interpret it. Omitting history purposefully is a terrible thing to do. Teaching dogma in school as fact is also terrible.

Many of my teachers in high school taught critical thinking. I am grateful for that.

SaintM

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 08:33:56 PM »
Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

This debate was settled about two centuries ago.

It's never too late to resist that decision.

JetBlast

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 11:03:19 PM »
My parents sent me to a private school that absolutely refused to teach AP courses. The school saw them as handcuffing teachers, forcing them to teach to a test. That's part of what made it such a good school. Creative thinking and curiosity were encouraged, rote learning to pass a test was not.

Or here's a better idea: teach an AP course, but don't teach to the test. When I took calc BC junior year, we never once did a single AP problem, nor discussed the test in class. Something like 29/30 kids got a 5 on both portions of the test. We never did any questions like the AP test asked, either... but we all figured it out on test day, since it was a pretty trivial test.

Anyways, I am enjoying this political debate. Oklahoma, never change; we will always need someone upon whom we can look down.
There were many that questioned the policy, but the school felt it would be a distraction from their goal of providing a well rounded education. Having not attended a school with AP, I have no basis for comparison.

austin

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2015, 11:33:14 PM »
Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

This debate was settled about two centuries ago.

It's never too late to resist that decision.

Ron Paul 2008 2012 2016

Beric01

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2015, 12:56:43 AM »
Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

You have another supporter here.

Public schooling is a system of indoctrination, turning the student into a mindless consumer who never questions societal norms. "Zero tolerance" ring a bell? Every child is expected to sit quietly and not question authority.

Education is something the market could do far better, for far cheaper. For those impoverished families who cannot afford schooling for their children, private charity will step in. As it is now, public schooling is more babysitting than education.

Or even better just eliminate government schools altogether and have private schools cater to the students as individuals rather than mindless drones.

Are you seriously advocating the elimination of public school?  Wow.  Troll on my good man, troll on.

This debate was settled about two centuries ago.

It's never too late to resist that decision.

That's why homeschooling exists, and does a better job in a fraction of the time spent. Thankfully it's still legal in the US.

MayDay

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2015, 05:42:41 AM »
When talking about cost, I think you have to consider the various things a public school provides.  They have a speech therapist on staff, making much more $$$ than a classroom teacher.  Same with a occupational therapist, and a physical therapist, and for every 3-4 regular classrooms, they have an intervention specialist (special ed teacher who helps kids who are in mainstream classes but have disabilities) and an educational aid or two for the more seriously effected kids.  Then they have whole separate special ed rooms with one:one ratios because the children are profoundly disabled. 

Those services, which as a society we've deemed valuable to provide, cost a whole heck of a lot more to provide than the standard slate of classes for your average kid. 

The teachers are also all paid a living wage with access to affordable healthcare and retirement contributions.

Where you are comparing it to community college, where special services are provided either minimally or not at all, and where a good chunk of the staff is adjunct, being paid peanuts with no benefits. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2015, 07:39:57 AM »
Just another reason to GTFO of this state before I have kids. :(

Also, I seriously can't tell if some of you guys are trolling or not. Just because public school did not work for YOU and/or your school was terrible does not in anyway mean that public education is an across-the-board failure. Nor does it "only" work for stupid consumer drone children or whatever other weird shit you guys are saying. My K-12 public education was not perfect, but I enjoyed many parts of it and I definitely got something out of it. It seems to have prepared me well to succeed in postsecondary education and in the working world, and I don't consider myself a consumer drone (I mean, I'm here on this forum...). It's just kind of obnoxious to imply that anyone who enjoyed/succeeded in public school was too stupid to know better or something.

It's sad that your public education experience was so horrible. I suspect that you were probably too advanced for the material they were teaching you (or simply didn't care to learn the subjects they were teaching). I do think that it's a shame that more logical, reasonable, creative and education-minded people don't run for (and win) school board, city council, or state legislative positions. The sad fact is that most logical, reasonable, creative and education-minded people aren't apt to run for such offices because the pay is poor, the frustration is high, and they're not enticed by a false sense of power that being a "city leader" affords. The few decent people who do manage to get into these offices are generally outnumbered by those who are attracted to that sense of power rather than any legitimate desire to do good work for the people of their community.

When talking about cost, I think you have to consider the various things a public school provides.  They have a speech therapist on staff, making much more $$$ than a classroom teacher.  Same with a occupational therapist, and a physical therapist, and for every 3-4 regular classrooms, they have an intervention specialist (special ed teacher who helps kids who are in mainstream classes but have disabilities) and an educational aid or two for the more seriously effected kids.  Then they have whole separate special ed rooms with one:one ratios because the children are profoundly disabled. 

Those services, which as a society we've deemed valuable to provide, cost a whole heck of a lot more to provide than the standard slate of classes for your average kid. 

The teachers are also all paid a living wage with access to affordable healthcare and retirement contributions.

Where you are comparing it to community college, where special services are provided either minimally or not at all, and where a good chunk of the staff is adjunct, being paid peanuts with no benefits. 

+1 to Mayday and lisahi.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 07:48:56 AM by rocksinmyhead »

RexualChocolate

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2015, 08:29:16 AM »
You guys are conflating a few issues.

Public schools are bad for overachievers because they enforce mediocrity. Critical thinking and advanced study is not encouraged or even allowed, obedience and routine is. Once you get bored you start getting in trouble for acting out.

They're bad for everyone because the model is broken. They want to drug every kid to make them be okay with being bored for 7 hours a day. No 7-16 year old should be sitting in a classroom for more than 2 hours at a time. I'm glad that it works for some people, but its complete torture for most. Way worse than any business meeting I've ever been in.

Public schools are bad for under achievers/people without parental support because they all go to school together, so the kids with a chance to surpass their statute are held back by their social groups.

The problem conservatives have with the system is they're constantly told money is the solution, and its demonstrably not. Paying teachers more isn't it, more money on specialists isn't it, basically any money into the current machine is NOT it(check out Zuckerburg's money in NJ).

We need a paradigm shift for all 3 of the above types of kids. The system works in spite of itself now, I just think we can do better.

skyrefuge

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2015, 08:54:08 AM »
For anyone curious about the background, here's a good story explaining where this whole "Stop the new AP US History!" movement came from.

In short, the College Board updated their framework for the class a couple years ago. This one retired teacher, Krieger, didn't see the names of the founding fathers mentioned in the framework document. He misinterpreted this to mean that the College Board hated the founding fathers. In reality, the College Board was just increasing the flexibility of individual teachers to focus on things they would like to focus on (ironically, this is exactly what Krieger wants), and increasing the emphasis on critical thinking over rote memorization.

So, the Oklahoma legislation, despite the headline, is not really trying to get rid of AP US History. What it's trying to do is return the course framework back to its previous state. And rather than "cutting funding", it's actually doing the opposite. Since it doesn't seem to believe (smartly!) that the College Board is about to say "oh, sorry, yeah, we'll revert back to the old framework!", Oklahoma is going to develop their own, parallel pseudo-AP History course and test(?!), at the cost of $3.8M!! I'm not sure what the point of that is, since I doubt any colleges will say "sure, Oklahoma, we'll give college credit for your pseudo-AP test!"

So dumb.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 03:53:52 PM by skyrefuge »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2015, 08:58:23 AM »
Public schools are bad for overachievers because they enforce mediocrity. Critical thinking and advanced study is not encouraged or even allowed, obedience and routine is. Once you get bored you start getting in trouble for acting out.

I disagree. I had a few great teachers in high school, who, when I finished my classwork faster than everyone else, would challenge me with independent projects. They allowed time during class for discussion of all kinds of topics involving politics, world events, religion and philosophy, etc. I was raised by staunch conservatives (really, my dad more so than my mom. Mom wasn't too political) who believed that evolution was stupid and Fox News was unbiased. If it weren't for public school, and the teachers who challenged us, it would have, at the very least, taken me much longer to be able to see the bullshit I was spoonfed at home for what it was. (Just want to add here that I love my parents and appreciate all they did for me, but thinking critically about politics, religion, philosophy, etc. was honestly not something I learned at home). I'm truly grateful for my high school teachers, and honestly, I should probably take the time to write a thank-you letter to four of them that stick out in particular as some of the best influences in my adolescent life.

But of course, our opinions are shaped by our experiences, and mine were mostly good and valuable. I can definitely understand how people who didn't have such a good experience could feel differently.

skyrefuge

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2015, 09:09:20 AM »
Public schools are bad for overachievers because they enforce mediocrity. Critical thinking and advanced study is not encouraged or even allowed, obedience and routine is.

This particular story is about the College Board's changes to the AP US History framework that increase the emphasis on critical thinking.

And even though they were 20 years ago, the critical-thinking skills that I was taught in my AP classes are the things I remember most from those classes, and the things that are most valuable to me.

I guess you just went to a shitty public school. My public school AP teachers were the best teachers I ever had at any level of schooling, and the courses were the most challenging. Apparently your teachers were so bad that they didn't even teach you any critical thinking skills, otherwise you would realize "maybe my personal experience is not reflected across the entire country".

Due to my AP classes, I entered college with one-and-half years of credit under my belt, which allowed me to graduate in 3 years (including a change in major that slowed me a smidge). That means I both saved a year of college expenses, and started making professional income a year earlier in my life, both enormous benefits to an early retirement goal.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2015, 09:48:03 AM »

This particular story is about the College Board's changes to the AP US History framework that increase the emphasis on critical thinking.

And even though they were 20 years ago, the critical-thinking skills that I was taught in my AP classes are the things I remember most from those classes, and the things that are most valuable to me.

I guess you just went to a shitty public school. My public school AP teachers were the best teachers I ever had at any level of schooling, and the courses were the most challenging. Apparently your teachers were so bad that they didn't even teach you any critical thinking skills, otherwise you would realize "maybe my personal experience is not reflected across the entire country".

Must have struck quite the chord for you guys. If you think excellent public schooling is the rule and not the rare exception, you're willfully ignorant. I went to one of the highest rated public schools in the country.

skyrefuge

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2015, 10:21:08 AM »
If you think excellent public schooling is the rule and not the rare exception, you're willfully ignorant.

Phew, luckily no one here is then willfully ignorant, since no one indicated that they think that. Something "excellent" is almost by definition also "rare".

You're the only one painting with a broad brush ("Public schools are bad"). The rest of us are just pointing out personal examples that narrow your brush.

I went to one of the highest rated public schools in the country.

Huh. So perhaps then your exhibited personality traits that tend towards victimization, feelings of oppression, and pleasure at the misfortune of others are a more likely explanation for why that school did not serve you well?

RFAAOATB

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2015, 10:55:10 AM »
I'm annoyed by the disdain for public schools.  I want public schools to instill a sense of citizenship and American values to the majority of the young population along with an education.  A lot of people on this forum are good with money, ok with being slightly outside mainstream, and are above average intelligence, which leads them to see public schools as a bad thing.  That being said, it pains me that critics don't see the value in conformity, comfort, and security for the majority of the population.  That is what public schools offer us.  Critics may be smart enough to see through it, but that doesn't take the value away.

darkadams00

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2015, 11:03:05 AM »
The anti-intellectualism trend right now is unfathomable to me.  Luckily it's mostly contained to the Bible Belt, but I worry that it could spread.  It started with pretending that teaching Intelligent Design is somehow science and has only gotten worse from there.

I would counter with the opinion that "anti-intellectualism" is driven more by the curriculum framework and school/administration culture than any one or handful of single curriculum topics. Include a Bible or not. The students still have to take math. Pray or not. The students still have to pass history. Teach one brand of history or another. The students still have to know how to write a cohesive paper.

More importantly--How does your school reward student success? How does your school reward teacher success? How does your school handle disruptive students? How does your school work with low-performing students? How does your school engage the community? How does your school balance curricular and extra-curricular activities? How does your school engage kids to learn?

We seem to forget that many of our past representatives, senators, Presidents, justices, college presidents, generals, thinkers, and business icons of the 20th century were homeschooled, tutored, private schooled, and public schooled. Different views of religion, philosophy, politics, ethics, etc are represented by a cross section of this group. Some were born into opportunity. Some overcame poverty and claimed their own opportunity. To put off any systemic failures on the back of a curriculum topic is highly suspicious of personal bias rather than critical examination.

Our local public schools have won recognition and praise over the last couple decades for a questionable practice. How? Take kids from lower-economic neighborhoods, bus them 45+ minutes to a primarily middle class school, and send them to class. System-wide result? Few schools dominated by underachieving students. A wide distribution ensures that the higher-performing schools only see a small downtick in overall school performance, towards the middle. The moderate-achieving schools don't get these transports, so they stay moderate achieving. Individual results? These students' outcomes haven't improved statistically over time so essentially they have become "lost kids." The system looks good overall. The individuals don't do better on average. This is a policy issue, not a curriculum issue. The results--"anti-intellectualism." There are numerous other examples. This is the most prominent one in my neighborhood.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2015, 11:10:48 AM »
Must have struck quite the chord for you guys. If you think excellent public schooling is the rule and not the rare exception, you're willfully ignorant. I went to one of the highest rated public schools in the country.

And I went to a public school with mediocre ratings where I was a minority because I am white and my parents were not low-income. Your school was probably one of the "highest rated" in the country due to the socioeconomic status of the population, not the quality of the teachers or its students (however you measure quality - I don't think standardized testing is an acceptable criteria). I don't think public schools are uniformly excellent, but I do think that they provide tremendous value to our society and to the vast majority of students.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 01:22:38 PM by Mississippi Mudstache »

Kris

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2015, 11:54:19 AM »
I'm annoyed by the disdain for public schools.  I want public schools to instill a sense of citizenship and American values to the majority of the young population along with an education.  A lot of people on this forum are good with money, ok with being slightly outside mainstream, and are above average intelligence, which leads them to see public schools as a bad thing.  That being said, it pains me that critics don't see the value in conformity, comfort, and security for the majority of the population.  That is what public schools offer us.  Critics may be smart enough to see through it, but that doesn't take the value away.

I agree.  Come on, people.  No, public schools aren't perfect.  Yes, they often don't challenge intelligent students enough.  I know.  But try to take a step back and recognize the public good that free, compulsory schooling was when it started.  If not for public school, we, and our ancestors, would largely be a bunch of illiterate, impoverished people with no standard base-line of education or sense of civic responsibility. 

For all of you "f*ck public school" people, here.  Apparently you and Fox News have a lot in common.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kennedy-no-public-schools-fox-news


RexualChocolate

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2015, 03:03:42 PM »
If you think excellent public schooling is the rule and not the rare exception, you're willfully ignorant.

Phew, luckily no one here is then willfully ignorant, since no one indicated that they think that. Something "excellent" is almost by definition also "rare".

You're the only one painting with a broad brush ("Public schools are bad"). The rest of us are just pointing out personal examples that narrow your brush.

I went to one of the highest rated public schools in the country.

Huh. So perhaps then your exhibited personality traits that tend towards victimization, feelings of oppression, and pleasure at the misfortune of others are a more likely explanation for why that school did not serve you well?

Sarcasm is not an effective rhetoric tool for polite discourse. You or someone above mentioned they were the valedictorian with no homework, someone else mentioned they had the best teaching of their lives in AP classes. This is what I meant by 'excellent public schooling' and is the exception, not the rule.

I never said I was "victimized" or "oppressed." Being stuck in a classroom for 7 hours of route learning with another 1-2 a day at home is idiotic and a poor way to teach anyone, much less young students.

This trend towards inertia is understandable, but highly problematic if we want to actually benefit anyone. I'm glad you guys have a sense of pride about your high schools, but the current system does not work.

lisahi

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2015, 08:20:17 AM »

Sarcasm is not an effective rhetoric tool for polite discourse. You or someone above mentioned they were the valedictorian with no homework, someone else mentioned they had the best teaching of their lives in AP classes. This is what I meant by 'excellent public schooling' and is the exception, not the rule.

I never said I was "victimized" or "oppressed." Being stuck in a classroom for 7 hours of route learning with another 1-2 a day at home is idiotic and a poor way to teach anyone, much less young students.

This trend towards inertia is understandable, but highly problematic if we want to actually benefit anyone. I'm glad you guys have a sense of pride about your high schools, but the current system does not work.

You forgot to add "for me" at the end of your last sentence. I think that's what's bothering people--your absoluteness.

There are, of course, aspects to public schools that should be addressed. In a perfect world there would be more individualized learning structured to each child's specific needs, but that's a difficult task to get right with limited resources.  Private schools aren't necessarily better in this way. Sure, there is the rare private school that breaks down the rigid structure of classroom learning and allows kids to explore and navigate the world in a way in which they learn best. These schools also tend to have a smaller student body in order to achieve this unstructured learning setup and tuition costs are unreachable for most people.

Obviously, anti-intellectualism is a disconcerting development, and the OK legislature needs to sit down in the corner with a dunce cap on. But we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because a few idiots made some bad decisions related to curriculum doesn't mean the entire American public school system doesn't work.

SweetTPi

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2015, 07:08:37 PM »
Well, there has been enough of a backlash for them to "rework" their stance.  http://newsok.com/article/5394536

I just moved out of Oklahoma, so I'm still pretty connected with people there.  My friends were so angry they were part of the outcry.  The local Rep was on the subcommittee, and they posted his office number on Facebook, and encouraged others to call.  I'm glad they had at least some impact.  Democracy.

amyable

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2015, 06:32:37 AM »
Wow--you all must have gone to really, really horrid public schools!?

I work at the high school I went to, and I was an AP student, National Merit Scholar, etc. 

When I was going through school I didn't notice it, but as a school professional, at my campus, I think we do a better job of serving the bottom and the top than the middle.  If you're at the top, there are opportunities to take dual-credit classes off-campus for half the day, not to mention project-based learning classes like Robotics, Computer Science, etc.  We have a school within a school STEM program, which is really taking off.  Students in this program will graduate with 21 credit hours from a local 4-year university. 

At the bottom, students get additional help from teachers and after school programs.  These students also probably get more assistance from counselors, social workers, and admin than anyone else except for the absolute cream of the crop. 

I don't actually think the current model of public schooling is optimal, but I'm pretty floored that anyone would say public schools are only about indoctrination and babysitting.  I feel really, really sorry for you. 

mtnrider

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2015, 08:46:15 AM »
Public schools are shit.

Actions like what Okalahoma is doing certainly don't help.

Exactly.  Public schools are only as good as the communities and governments that do or don't value them.

I went to a private school.  It was among the worst place I've spent time.  Sure, some teachers were good, but it had two tracks.  You tested in at the beginning.  The teachers seemed to care little about motivating the students.  It was a great way to stay associated with the church though.  (It was a religious school.)  The public schools had multiple tracks, including one for computer science.  I missed out on that.

Almost everyone I know personally who's kids were home-schooled, or went to "alternative" schools have had problems hitting the ground running in college.  Not to say that they aren't smart kids, but that they were at a disadvantage, not having had the same education.

My kid's public school is very good.  I'm happy it's around.  (I don't live in OK, thank goodness!)



rosaz

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Re: Oklahoma residents, lookout! Legislators take away public schooling!
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2015, 01:11:29 PM »
A bit late to the topic, but just wanted to point out that you can't compare the cost of a year of high school with the tuition price of a subsidized (not as much as it should be, but still) year of community college.