Author Topic: Overheard at Work 2  (Read 328228 times)

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1300 on: August 18, 2019, 08:46:39 PM »
A lot of the food you get in Indian restaurants is nowhere near an ordinary Indian meal. It's festival and wedding food, or some bastardised version of that. Dhal makhani and roti, or some vegetable dishes are Indian staples. Moderately spiced, simple and quite often vegan.
This sent me down a very pleasant rabbit hole reading about Dhal Makhani! Thank you.  Now to convince my wife to eat a meal where most of the mass is beans and lentils.

Western people eat far too much meat. In most of the world, a meat dish is padded out with vegetables, grains and pulses. Meat is expensive to raise and hard to catch. Now that we're entirely divorced from the effort of raising meat, we treat it like the meal and not an ingredient. If you want to do something for the planet, something actually tangible, something that will lower greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, reduce waste, contribute to animal welfare, open up land for growing and settlement and reforestation, eat less meat. If you are going to eat meat, eat the small species - small fish, not predators like tuna. Small animals like chickens that take less space and less time to grow. Go for goat instead of sheep or cow. And make sure they're free range. Have small amounts of very good quality meat, cooked with love.

Unfortunately modern farming practices for grains and legumes (I am familiar with soy) are just as damaging as CAFO is.

I was thinking more of rice and lentils. Everyone already knows soy is costly to produce in terms of resources. It always has been. That's why there are so many asian recipes for preserving it and utilising it as a meat substitute.

Rice and lentils are grains and legumes

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1301 on: August 18, 2019, 08:54:02 PM »
A lot of the food you get in Indian restaurants is nowhere near an ordinary Indian meal. It's festival and wedding food, or some bastardised version of that. Dhal makhani and roti, or some vegetable dishes are Indian staples. Moderately spiced, simple and quite often vegan.
This sent me down a very pleasant rabbit hole reading about Dhal Makhani! Thank you.  Now to convince my wife to eat a meal where most of the mass is beans and lentils.

Western people eat far too much meat. In most of the world, a meat dish is padded out with vegetables, grains and pulses. Meat is expensive to raise and hard to catch. Now that we're entirely divorced from the effort of raising meat, we treat it like the meal and not an ingredient. If you want to do something for the planet, something actually tangible, something that will lower greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, reduce waste, contribute to animal welfare, open up land for growing and settlement and reforestation, eat less meat. If you are going to eat meat, eat the small species - small fish, not predators like tuna. Small animals like chickens that take less space and less time to grow. Go for goat instead of sheep or cow. And make sure they're free range. Have small amounts of very good quality meat, cooked with love.

Unfortunately modern farming practices for grains and legumes (I am familiar with soy) are just as damaging as CAFO is.

I was thinking more of rice and lentils. Everyone already knows soy is costly to produce in terms of resources. It always has been. That's why there are so many asian recipes for preserving it and utilising it as a meat substitute.

Rice and lentils are grains and legumes

Yes, I realise that, thanks for pointing that out. They're also grains and legumes that have traditionally been grown in large quantities to feed people in large quantities as a staple main food ingredient. I can't give you the numbers, but I believe they're easier and faster to grow than soy, which is predominantly used for oil and animal feed. It uses a huge amount of resources to grow and it doesn't even feed folk!

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1302 on: August 19, 2019, 04:49:29 AM »
Rice is not as good as you think, sadly, due to modern farming practices.  Also incredibly water intensive.

https://www.earth.com/news/rice-farming-environmental-impact/

Quote
However, cultivation of rice requires a large amount of land and water and has the highest climate impact of any crop per unit calorie, according to an analysis released by the EDF.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1303 on: August 19, 2019, 05:03:02 AM »
Rice is not as good as you think, sadly, due to modern farming practices.  Also incredibly water intensive.

https://www.earth.com/news/rice-farming-environmental-impact/

Quote
However, cultivation of rice requires a large amount of land and water and has the highest climate impact of any crop per unit calorie, according to an analysis released by the EDF.

That's the thing. Rice doesn't need to grow in water. The water is used to prevent weeds growing. Now recalculate.....

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1304 on: August 19, 2019, 06:52:17 AM »
Rice is not as good as you think, sadly, due to modern farming practices.  Also incredibly water intensive.

https://www.earth.com/news/rice-farming-environmental-impact/

Quote
However, cultivation of rice requires a large amount of land and water and has the highest climate impact of any crop per unit calorie, according to an analysis released by the EDF.

That's the thing. Rice doesn't need to grow in water. The water is used to prevent weeds growing. Now recalculate.....

But they do grow it in water.  You'll note that Retiredat63 mentioned that modern farming practices can be as damaging as CAFO...

Dicey

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1305 on: August 19, 2019, 08:47:15 AM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1306 on: August 19, 2019, 10:07:52 AM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.
Because you end up crispy and nice tasting with ketchup?

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1307 on: August 19, 2019, 10:21:15 AM »
At my office, I heard this:

"Everyone should go to law school."

Pretty sure everyone already is. It's part of the problem.

Dicey

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1308 on: August 19, 2019, 10:23:24 AM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.
Because you end up crispy and nice tasting with ketchup?
Even without ketchup would be my guess.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1309 on: August 19, 2019, 10:49:59 AM »
I have to say I have never regretted getting a degree in law, it's really useful in daily life as well as in my line of work and in my country it's not as expensive as it is in the US. But there are far too many mediocre lawyers already, we certainly don't need more.

One of my coworkers is currently pushing their kid to go and get a college degree while they already know this will be really difficult for the kid. There is absolutely no shame in learning a trade or getting a vocational degree if you're more talented for practical work rather than theoretical work. It's certainly much better than struggling through college and then having difficulty performing in the workplace while they could maybe be a very good electrician or plumber (and those people make ÄÄÄ nowadays!).

insufFIcientfunds

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1310 on: August 19, 2019, 11:58:47 AM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.

was not meant to call anyone out. sorry if it came off that way, wont happen again.

Dicey

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1311 on: August 19, 2019, 12:03:27 PM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.

was not meant to call anyone out. sorry if it came off that way, wont happen again.
Apology appreciated. I just don't want you to be eaten by a dragon so early in your FIRE journey. That would be terrible. And probably quite painful, especially without ketchup.

DadJokes

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1312 on: August 19, 2019, 12:28:18 PM »
At the risk of sending insufFIcientfunds into another rage post by going off topic:
I noticed this too. They registered in March and have 48 posts at this moment. Seems a tiny bit presumptuous to be disciplining people here. Maybe they don't realize we have awesome mods and they don't really need to be a self-appointed one. Who cares if a thread meanders a bit? If a response fails to hit the target, it's faster and easier just to skip it, IMO.

Also, huge props to @dragoncar for handling it so gracefully when he was called out. Messing with a dragon is always tricky.

was not meant to call anyone out. sorry if it came off that way, wont happen again.
Apology appreciated. I just don't want you to be eaten by a dragon so early in your FIRE journey. That would be terrible. And probably quite painful, especially without ketchup.

Forget being eaten by the dragon. I can see what the dragon is doing to that car in the avatar.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1313 on: August 19, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »
At my office, I heard this:

"Everyone should go to law school."

Pretty sure everyone already is. It's part of the problem.

Like @Imma , I've never regretted my law degree.  In fact, I may have said something similar to your co-worker's comment in the past, Fella.  Not saying that everyone should be a lawyer, but that first year (first semester, especially) is so incredibly informative (and quite honestly not that difficult to learn) that I remember wishing that they had covered lots of it in middle or high school Civics classes. 

ysette9

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1314 on: August 19, 2019, 01:10:31 PM »
I imagine a lot comes down to tuition and opportunity cost. An acquaintance who went to law school in the US had a lot to say on the subject of how law school was a big scam here, costing a ton and promising big salaries when most just graduated with a ton of debt and had a hard time finding a mediocre job.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1315 on: August 19, 2019, 01:23:02 PM »
I imagine a lot comes down to tuition and opportunity cost. An acquaintance who went to law school in the US had a lot to say on the subject of how law school was a big scam here, costing a ton and promising big salaries when most just graduated with a ton of debt and had a hard time finding a mediocre job.

I imagine the point is that everyone should have a basic legal education.  If everyone took a constitutional law class weíd be better off as a society

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1316 on: August 19, 2019, 03:15:53 PM »
I love me a good Indian buffet. I can make most of those dishes, but at a buffet I can get a little bit of everything.  Plus itís really fast... no waiting.  Price is usually ok at lunch, even if itís 5 times the cost of making at home itís still fun to go out occasionally
I've heard that even folks of Indian decent go to Indian buffets, that alot of the foods on the menu are just too complicated or time consuming to make at home.

A lot of the food you get in Indian restaurants is nowhere near an ordinary Indian meal. It's festival and wedding food, or some bastardised version of that. Dhal makhani and roti, or some vegetable dishes are Indian staples. Moderately spiced, simple and quite often vegan.
Correcto!
Indian buffet is a misnomer. It's either Mughlai (North Indian) or South Indian. Very rarely you'll have a Gujarati buffet (more common in NYC/NJ or parts of London). Or you'll have Bengali cuisine (India/Bangladesh). In South Indian cuisine, it can vary from Goan to Madras.

Any Indian buffet/restaurant food is very rich. Even my Punjabi/North Indian friends don't eat that on a daily basis.
I'm of Gujarati descent; the thalis in restaurants consist of wedding/festival fare.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1317 on: August 19, 2019, 03:35:59 PM »
I love me a good Indian buffet. I can make most of those dishes, but at a buffet I can get a little bit of everything.  Plus itís really fast... no waiting.  Price is usually ok at lunch, even if itís 5 times the cost of making at home itís still fun to go out occasionally
I've heard that even folks of Indian decent go to Indian buffets, that alot of the foods on the menu are just too complicated or time consuming to make at home.

A lot of the food you get in Indian restaurants is nowhere near an ordinary Indian meal. It's festival and wedding food, or some bastardised version of that. Dhal makhani and roti, or some vegetable dishes are Indian staples. Moderately spiced, simple and quite often vegan.
Correcto!
Indian buffet is a misnomer. It's either Mughlai (North Indian) or South Indian. Very rarely you'll have a Gujarati buffet (more common in NYC/NJ or parts of London). Or you'll have Bengali cuisine (India/Bangladesh). In South Indian cuisine, it can vary from Goan to Madras.

Any Indian buffet/restaurant food is very rich. Even my Punjabi/North Indian friends don't eat that on a daily basis.
I'm of Gujarati descent; the thalis in restaurants consist of wedding/festival fare.

Actually I was talking about Ohlone cuisine... try the acorn bread!

Mellow Mallow

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1318 on: August 20, 2019, 03:04:42 AM »
A work friend of mine - who is lovely - sends her children to private schools, even though she really can't afford it. She earns a slightly above average income, but her husband's been unemployed for a long time and has only just got a job. They've taken out a second mortgage to afford it, even though they're in the catchment area for a really well respected, high performing and sought after public school. Then she says that she struggles to afford the private school and is annoyed that people think that private school kids are privileged.

It's just weird to me. If you have to struggle to do it, and there's no REASON to do it, why are you doing it? I also think that some people struggle to just get food on the table and a roof over their heads, so I will reserve most of my sympathy for them, as opposed to (lovely but misguided) people who are basically living above their means.

Can't really say that, though. But when she says things like "Should I keep them in private school?", I say "You don't have to, the other school's a really good option."

cloudsail

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1319 on: August 20, 2019, 11:01:05 AM »
A work friend of mine - who is lovely - sends her children to private schools, even though she really can't afford it. She earns a slightly above average income, but her husband's been unemployed for a long time and has only just got a job. They've taken out a second mortgage to afford it, even though they're in the catchment area for a really well respected, high performing and sought after public school. Then she says that she struggles to afford the private school and is annoyed that people think that private school kids are privileged.

It's just weird to me. If you have to struggle to do it, and there's no REASON to do it, why are you doing it? I also think that some people struggle to just get food on the table and a roof over their heads, so I will reserve most of my sympathy for them, as opposed to (lovely but misguided) people who are basically living above their means.

Can't really say that, though. But when she says things like "Should I keep them in private school?", I say "You don't have to, the other school's a really good option."

People get very emotional about their kid's education. I've looked at private schools myself, and even though we can well afford it, I just don't want to go down that rabbit hole. What has helped me avoid that expense is a) my older one would not be accepted into most regular private schools because of his special needs and b) I've heard some not so nice things about extreme snobbiness from parents whose kids have attended private schools near us.

I can totally understand the draw though, especially since I work part time as an educational consultant. Especially when it's a place where your child is spending most of their waking hours five days a week. I haven't yet found a totally convincing argument against private education for friends who have this emotional want for it for their kids.

ysette9

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1320 on: August 20, 2019, 12:27:19 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1321 on: August 20, 2019, 02:47:26 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I don't understand why parents would, on the one hand, not want their children to go to school with bilingual kids ("English language learners") and then on the other hand send their kids to an immersion school where those same kids will be be bilingual and going to school in a language that they themselves are weak in ie they will be "Mandarin language learners" or whatever.

Although my kids were born here in Italy I guess you could say that they are Italian language learners as we speak 90% English at home and most media, reading etc is in English. My kids go to a heavily immigrant school and the majority of kids in both of their classes are "Italian language learners" just like my kids.  I see no negative side to this.  IMO bilingualism is a strength not a weakness.  I'm glad my kids are bilingual and I'm glad that they go to school with kids who speak a zillion different languages at home.  The kids who get the best grades in the class in Italian are both bilingual BTW.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 02:50:40 PM by Hula Hoop »

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1322 on: August 20, 2019, 03:19:24 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I don't understand why parents would, on the one hand, not want their children to go to school with bilingual kids ("English language learners") and then on the other hand send their kids to an immersion school where those same kids will be be bilingual and going to school in a language that they themselves are weak in ie they will be "Mandarin language learners" or whatever.

Although my kids were born here in Italy I guess you could say that they are Italian language learners as we speak 90% English at home and most media, reading etc is in English. My kids go to a heavily immigrant school and the majority of kids in both of their classes are "Italian language learners" just like my kids.  I see no negative side to this.  IMO bilingualism is a strength not a weakness.  I'm glad my kids are bilingual and I'm glad that they go to school with kids who speak a zillion different languages at home.  The kids who get the best grades in the class in Italian are both bilingual BTW.

I don't agree with the argument, but I believe it goes something like: At a majority ESL school, the teachers will be spending more time and attention on the students who are having trouble with English, therefore the English speakers will get less focus and less help from the teachers.  When the teacher has to help other students understand the words in a math word problem, they will have less time to help those who understand the words, but need help with the math.  Whereas in an immersion program, all the students are at the same level and learning together, so your child will receive an equal portion of help.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1323 on: August 20, 2019, 03:49:09 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I don't understand why parents would, on the one hand, not want their children to go to school with bilingual kids ("English language learners") and then on the other hand send their kids to an immersion school where those same kids will be be bilingual and going to school in a language that they themselves are weak in ie they will be "Mandarin language learners" or whatever.

Although my kids were born here in Italy I guess you could say that they are Italian language learners as we speak 90% English at home and most media, reading etc is in English. My kids go to a heavily immigrant school and the majority of kids in both of their classes are "Italian language learners" just like my kids.  I see no negative side to this.  IMO bilingualism is a strength not a weakness.  I'm glad my kids are bilingual and I'm glad that they go to school with kids who speak a zillion different languages at home.  The kids who get the best grades in the class in Italian are both bilingual BTW.

I don't agree with the argument, but I believe it goes something like: At a majority ESL school, the teachers will be spending more time and attention on the students who are having trouble with English, therefore the English speakers will get less focus and less help from the teachers.  When the teacher has to help other students understand the words in a math word problem, they will have less time to help those who understand the words, but need help with the math.  Whereas in an immersion program, all the students are at the same level and learning together, so your child will receive an equal portion of help.

I know you don't agree with it but as a parent to two bilingual kids, I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of bilingualism - and probably covers for a lot of racism/classism as well. 

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1324 on: August 20, 2019, 03:55:52 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I don't understand why parents would, on the one hand, not want their children to go to school with bilingual kids ("English language learners") and then on the other hand send their kids to an immersion school where those same kids will be be bilingual and going to school in a language that they themselves are weak in ie they will be "Mandarin language learners" or whatever.

Although my kids were born here in Italy I guess you could say that they are Italian language learners as we speak 90% English at home and most media, reading etc is in English. My kids go to a heavily immigrant school and the majority of kids in both of their classes are "Italian language learners" just like my kids.  I see no negative side to this.  IMO bilingualism is a strength not a weakness.  I'm glad my kids are bilingual and I'm glad that they go to school with kids who speak a zillion different languages at home.  The kids who get the best grades in the class in Italian are both bilingual BTW.

I don't agree with the argument, but I believe it goes something like: At a majority ESL school, the teachers will be spending more time and attention on the students who are having trouble with English, therefore the English speakers will get less focus and less help from the teachers.  When the teacher has to help other students understand the words in a math word problem, they will have less time to help those who understand the words, but need help with the math.  Whereas in an immersion program, all the students are at the same level and learning together, so your child will receive an equal portion of help.

I know you don't agree with it but as a parent to two bilingual kids, I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of bilingualism - and probably covers for a lot of racism/classism as well.

I suppose the question is, are the other kids actually fully bilingual, or are they just learning English for the first time?  I suspect the perception is the latter, while reality is the former.

economista

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1325 on: August 20, 2019, 03:58:05 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I see these kinds of sentiments a lot and I'm only speaking up about it because this was the topic of my dissertation so it is one that I am very well educated about. The ESL issue may be one thing, but the % of low income students should not be a deterrent. The fact that middle and high income students flock to private schools are why the public school systems seem so bad. First, when all of the parents who really care strongly about education put their kids in private schools, there is no one to advocate for the students and hold the schools accountable at the public level, which ends up hurting all of the kids. Second, there have been extensive studies that have shown a child with dedicated, committed parents will do well in school regardless of whether they are in a private school, a top public school, or the worst public school in the county. So individually, if you are a committed parent you shouldn't be worried about school rankings and average test scores. If more higher income committed parents were spread among the school system instead of being clumped in the highest performing public and private schools, all students would benefit and the average scores for all of the schools would rise as a result.

Not saying this to you personally - I've just been seeing too many posts on here and on social media about this lately - but unfortunately in the US we have this idea of "I've got mine, screw you" instead of an idea of community where my child going to a low income school would help benefit all of the students in that community. Also - I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity. I understand that in a school with a high % of ESL learners the teachers will be spending a lot more attention on the ESL students, but going back to the idea that having committed parents will help the children succeed regardless, being exposed to ESL students is an overall win in my book.

I went to a public school that didn't have a lot of resources so there was only one foreign language option, no AP classes, etc. The higher income families in our area who cared about those kinds of things sent their kids to the private school so there was no one to advocate for those kinds of classes in the public school (the only option for a public school in our rural area) and there weren't any higher income families to help with fundraising to try and give more resources to the school.

Interestingly, countries that have outright banned private schools and made them illegal have much higher rates of literacy and educational attainment and enrichment across the board, regardless of family income levels.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1326 on: August 20, 2019, 06:09:36 PM »

I see these kinds of sentiments a lot and I'm only speaking up about it because this was the topic of my dissertation so it is one that I am very well educated about. The ESL issue may be one thing, but the % of low income students should not be a deterrent. The fact that middle and high income students flock to private schools are why the public school systems seem so bad. First, when all of the parents who really care strongly about education put their kids in private schools, there is no one to advocate for the students and hold the schools accountable at the public level, which ends up hurting all of the kids. Second, there have been extensive studies that have shown a child with dedicated, committed parents will do well in school regardless of whether they are in a private school, a top public school, or the worst public school in the county. So individually, if you are a committed parent you shouldn't be worried about school rankings and average test scores. If more higher income committed parents were spread among the school system instead of being clumped in the highest performing public and private schools, all students would benefit and the average scores for all of the schools would rise as a result.

Not saying this to you personally - I've just been seeing too many posts on here and on social media about this lately - but unfortunately in the US we have this idea of "I've got mine, screw you" instead of an idea of community where my child going to a low income school would help benefit all of the students in that community. Also - I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity. I understand that in a school with a high % of ESL learners the teachers will be spending a lot more attention on the ESL students, but going back to the idea that having committed parents will help the children succeed regardless, being exposed to ESL students is an overall win in my book.

I went to a public school that didn't have a lot of resources so there was only one foreign language option, no AP classes, etc. The higher income families in our area who cared about those kinds of things sent their kids to the private school so there was no one to advocate for those kinds of classes in the public school (the only option for a public school in our rural area) and there weren't any higher income families to help with fundraising to try and give more resources to the school.

Interestingly, countries that have outright banned private schools and made them illegal have much higher rates of literacy and educational attainment and enrichment across the board, regardless of family income levels.

That's great and all, and in theory I would agree with you. If I had my way, we'd have no private schools or charter schools. 

In my reality, however, when my son was faced with the choice between our local middle school and charter school (akin to private in the demographics), I gave it serious thought but in the end we opted for the charter school.  There were two things I could not get past about the local public middle school: 1) the percentage of kids who passed the standardized tests was 30% and 2) the number of fights that were reported to the police during the last school year on record was 57.  Fifty-seven fights bad enough to call the cops in 180 days.  That's more than once per week.  You know how google gives suggestions when you start to type a search term?  The first suggestion for this school's name was "this particular public middle school fights."  Sorry, not sorry.

Just Joe

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1327 on: August 20, 2019, 07:11:20 PM »
Not overheard but seen.

I make the same as another guy. I'm pretty certain he leases cars. He leased an expensive German luxury car and a few weeks ago came to work in a different luxury car. I don't know his home situation and how much his wife makes, but if it was just him I don't see how he affords the car. Since we both work for the government he has mandatory pension contributions, so at least that's good... but still, I just don't see how he can afford it. The lease payments have got to be like $500/month if not slightly more... it is a very nice car.

Russian spy payroll? (I'm being silly)

There are more than a few stories of people who think conspicuous spending above and beyond what is normal for their government  income level will never be noticed. Some time later they are revealed to be working for the "other side".

Just Joe

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1328 on: August 20, 2019, 07:15:35 PM »
Hey! Some good news. Heard one of the youngins say that once their pickup truck was repaired they were selling it and buying a little used four cylinder gas sipper. Tired of buying lots of gasoline and the payments. Something makes me believe that they are serious and that the idea will be followed by action.

Visited with that youngin the other day. Did indeed sell the thirsty truck for the gas sipper car. All smiles!

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1329 on: August 20, 2019, 08:21:16 PM »
There was a conversation with coworkers involving cars today.

One of them has a stick shift car, and the intern was commenting on it, saying things like, "That's so cool! I want to learn to drive stick shift. I want a get a stick shift because then no one could steal it. I've been trying to find a car, it's sooo hard!" I really wanted to tell her not to get a car and save her money, but she seemed pretty set on the idea that she 'needed' a car. She has been carpooling to work with another intern.

Owner of said car continued enthusing over it, saying how it took forever for him to find this model and when he found the dealership that had it, drove several hours to retrieve it. I can tell it's a bit nicer than what he can probably afford, bigger-picture-wise, with leather seats and all. He always comes in with a sugary Starbucks beverage and pastry, every single morning, today included. Then complains he still has student loan debt and that he is putting on weight. I know he doesn't get paid very much. So the financial choices are... interesting.

The whole time, it was all I can do not to blurt out something along the lines of, "Who the hell cares if it's stick-shift or not as long as the car works? They're both money pits anyway!" (I'm not into cars even remotely.)

Thankfully, one other coworker commented that she never had to buy a car and enjoys not having to deal with car-related expenses. There are some smart cookies, after all.

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1330 on: August 20, 2019, 10:12:05 PM »
Not overheard but seen.

I make the same as another guy. I'm pretty certain he leases cars. He leased an expensive German luxury car and a few weeks ago came to work in a different luxury car. I don't know his home situation and how much his wife makes, but if it was just him I don't see how he affords the car. Since we both work for the government he has mandatory pension contributions, so at least that's good... but still, I just don't see how he can afford it. The lease payments have got to be like $500/month if not slightly more... it is a very nice car.

Or embezzling. But probably not the case if this person is in fact leasing the car.

Russian spy payroll? (I'm being silly)

There are more than a few stories of people who think conspicuous spending above and beyond what is normal for their government  income level will never be noticed. Some time later they are revealed to be working for the "other side".

Monerexia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1331 on: August 21, 2019, 12:59:11 AM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I don't understand why parents would, on the one hand, not want their children to go to school with bilingual kids ("English language learners") and then on the other hand send their kids to an immersion school where those same kids will be be bilingual and going to school in a language that they themselves are weak in ie they will be "Mandarin language learners" or whatever.

Although my kids were born here in Italy I guess you could say that they are Italian language learners as we speak 90% English at home and most media, reading etc is in English. My kids go to a heavily immigrant school and the majority of kids in both of their classes are "Italian language learners" just like my kids.  I see no negative side to this.  IMO bilingualism is a strength not a weakness.  I'm glad my kids are bilingual and I'm glad that they go to school with kids who speak a zillion different languages at home.  The kids who get the best grades in the class in Italian are both bilingual BTW.

It's the culture and poverty that comes with 80% sub lunches and english language learners. Bad personal habits of the parents, gangs, drug use, property crime, violence. Bilingualism for the win, but cultural issues make it a net loss all the way around.

insufFIcientfunds

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1332 on: August 21, 2019, 05:10:20 AM »
Not overheard but seen.

I make the same as another guy. I'm pretty certain he leases cars. He leased an expensive German luxury car and a few weeks ago came to work in a different luxury car. I don't know his home situation and how much his wife makes, but if it was just him I don't see how he affords the car. Since we both work for the government he has mandatory pension contributions, so at least that's good... but still, I just don't see how he can afford it. The lease payments have got to be like $500/month if not slightly more... it is a very nice car.

Russian spy payroll? (I'm being silly)

There are more than a few stories of people who think conspicuous spending above and beyond what is normal for their government  income level will never be noticed. Some time later they are revealed to be working for the "other side".

I also work for the gment, and I always find it interesting when people drive cars to work that are very pricey. Salaries here are no secret. "I am a Grade X; Step Y." I see a lot of Tesla Model 3s. I wonder if they think it's a statement to have a Tesla, they really care about the environment, or just like to drive really really fast? I don't know, but I see way more nice cars around the area than nefarious countries would be willing to fund. A used Model 3 in my area is 60k. That is SO much money when the car accounts for 75% of oneís pre-tax salary. Agree with the pension fund, but the way some people spend, they seem in real trouble in retirement.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1333 on: August 21, 2019, 06:32:03 AM »
Overheard in the lunch break at work today:

Me: For our next car, I am interested in a reasonably priced Mitsubishi Outlander plugin hybrid (used, but I didn't mention that). I wouldn't want to pay 800K$ for my next car (which is what some of the fancy high end plugin hybrids cost).

Co-worker: Everyone should buy expensive cars and take up loans for that. Think about the last financial crisis. It is important that we buy lots of stuff and keep the economy going. We can't go on saving up. Think about every one else.

Then he did as if he was telling a joke. Let's hope that it indeed was.

___

Elderly co-worker to me when we were telling the plan to stop the development of the system he is very involved in: I feel like taking the next couple of years off!

Me in the lunch break: How many years to you have left before you can retire.

He: I could retire now, but it does have serious financial consequences.

He means implicitly that he would therefore work in a tiresome job until he reached 67. He is now 62-ish. I understand very well that it has financial consequences, but I don't understand why some people find it more important to make money than to go live their life.

Freedomin5

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1334 on: August 21, 2019, 06:43:04 AM »
Had a new hire meeting earlier this week. We are all expats. We typically are paid at the end of the month. For the past month, the company advanced a part of our salary to cover our living expenses (part of our relocation allowance). Company wanted to hold a meeting so that we could ask any questions we had after living here for a month. One of the questions that came up was, ďWe are running out of money. Is there anyway to get another advance on our salary?Ē Given that benefits are clearly stated on the company website, Iím guessing this employee had a relocation allowance of at least USD$10K. Also, rent is covered and they donít have a car. And the company-provided apartment is a 5 minute walk from work. So how do you blow through USD $10K in three weeks?

The sad thing was when they posed this question, a few other people also piped up about needing an advance. The good thing is that several people looked blankly at them and shook their head when asked if anyone else had the same problem.

economista

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1335 on: August 21, 2019, 08:12:39 AM »
Three of my coworkers were just chatting in the kitchenette near where I am sitting and I just heard one of them say his parents pay for most of his rent. They were talking about buying houses and he said he and his girlfriend absolutely love their apartment and can't imagine moving out of it to buy something. Ok, that isn't bad on it's own. Then he said he had been paying over half of his salary toward rent so now his parents pay $1700 per month and he pays $1000. Denver is becoming a higher cost of living place, but he obviously lives in an EXTREMELY high-end apartment, likely right in downtown. I just built a brand-new townhouse and my mortgage payment is less than $2700 per month.

This man is in his early thirties and he is a GS-12 and his parents are paying the majority of his rent each month, when there are plenty of apartments within his means. That is just insane.

I've got an update on this one. First, he recently got promoted to a GS-13 position. Second, this morning he was in front of the building showing off his brand new Tesla. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that none of his increased salary is being used to pay a higher % of his own rent...

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1336 on: August 21, 2019, 09:23:45 AM »
Also - I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity.

You have, you just don't need where to find it ;)

Quote
Interestingly, countries that have outright banned private schools and made them illegal have much higher rates of literacy and educational attainment and enrichment across the board, regardless of family income levels.

BUT THAT IS SOCIALISM!!!

Sorry, I could again not resist it. It has become a really bad habit by now.

Quote
It's the culture and poverty that comes with 80% sub lunches and english language learners. Bad personal habits of the parents, gangs, drug use, property crime, violence. Bilingualism for the win, but cultural issues make it a net loss all the way around.

You are aware that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy? A recursive algorythm?

Quote
Co-worker: Everyone should buy expensive cars and take up loans for that. Think about the last financial crisis. It is important that we buy lots of stuff and keep the economy going. We can't go on saving up. Think about every one else.

Then he did as if he was telling a joke. Let's hope that it indeed was.
I am confused. Why? He is right. If the cunsumerism fever stops, "the economy" would crash tremendously. Especially with all the debts - someone has to shoulder them for us ( and all the really rich guys) to have the savings!

Every dollar someone has saved is a dollar debt to someone else. And every dollar debt is one dollar saved for a different person. A financial crash happens when that theoretical status can no longer be transfered to reality.

DadJokes

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1337 on: August 21, 2019, 09:43:13 AM »
I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity.

This is only a data point, but I grew up in a somewhat diversified area (~50/50 white/hispanic), and I'm pretty much an asshole. My memories from growing up include witnessing a lot of fights in school, lots of drug use, a lot of teen pregnancies, and getting a lot of stuff stolen (probably related to the second point). I certainly wouldn't let my children go to that school.

I blame the income disparity a whole lot more than the race disparity though.

magnet18

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1338 on: August 21, 2019, 10:24:31 AM »

I see these kinds of sentiments a lot and I'm only speaking up about it because this was the topic of my dissertation so it is one that I am very well educated about. The ESL issue may be one thing, but the % of low income students should not be a deterrent. The fact that middle and high income students flock to private schools are why the public school systems seem so bad. First, when all of the parents who really care strongly about education put their kids in private schools, there is no one to advocate for the students and hold the schools accountable at the public level, which ends up hurting all of the kids. Second, there have been extensive studies that have shown a child with dedicated, committed parents will do well in school regardless of whether they are in a private school, a top public school, or the worst public school in the county. So individually, if you are a committed parent you shouldn't be worried about school rankings and average test scores. If more higher income committed parents were spread among the school system instead of being clumped in the highest performing public and private schools, all students would benefit and the average scores for all of the schools would rise as a result.

Not saying this to you personally - I've just been seeing too many posts on here and on social media about this lately - but unfortunately in the US we have this idea of "I've got mine, screw you" instead of an idea of community where my child going to a low income school would help benefit all of the students in that community. Also - I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity. I understand that in a school with a high % of ESL learners the teachers will be spending a lot more attention on the ESL students, but going back to the idea that having committed parents will help the children succeed regardless, being exposed to ESL students is an overall win in my book.

I went to a public school that didn't have a lot of resources so there was only one foreign language option, no AP classes, etc. The higher income families in our area who cared about those kinds of things sent their kids to the private school so there was no one to advocate for those kinds of classes in the public school (the only option for a public school in our rural area) and there weren't any higher income families to help with fundraising to try and give more resources to the school.

Interestingly, countries that have outright banned private schools and made them illegal have much higher rates of literacy and educational attainment and enrichment across the board, regardless of family income levels.

That's great and all, and in theory I would agree with you. If I had my way, we'd have no private schools or charter schools. 

In my reality, however, when my son was faced with the choice between our local middle school and charter school (akin to private in the demographics), I gave it serious thought but in the end we opted for the charter school.  There were two things I could not get past about the local public middle school: 1) the percentage of kids who passed the standardized tests was 30% and 2) the number of fights that were reported to the police during the last school year on record was 57.  Fifty-seven fights bad enough to call the cops in 180 days.  That's more than once per week.  You know how google gives suggestions when you start to type a search term?  The first suggestion for this school's name was "this particular public middle school fights."  Sorry, not sorry.

This

My parents moved to a good school area, where drugs and fights didn't happen at all (literally zero)

Meanwhile, the school on the south side of town with the "high percentage ESL/subsidized lunch"  had huge problems with... Gangs actively recruiting students and cars getting stolen

Correlation does not imply causation, but that doesn't mean there isn't any correlation.

When I have kids, if there is a low income/high ESL school that is safe, fantastic, they can go there. (All sorts of benefits about well roundedness and such)
But they will be going somewhere safe, and if that means I have a "I've got mine screw you" mentally that contributes to the problem, oh well

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1339 on: August 21, 2019, 11:13:44 AM »
I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity.

This is only a data point, but I grew up in a somewhat diversified area (~50/50 white/hispanic), and I'm pretty much an asshole. My memories from growing up include witnessing a lot of fights in school, lots of drug use, a lot of teen pregnancies, and getting a lot of stuff stolen (probably related to the second point). I certainly wouldn't let my children go to that school.

I blame the income disparity a whole lot more than the race disparity though.

Yeah but thatís actually a pretty one-sides experience..  If your school had equal amounts of races AND incomes, you would probably witness far fewer fights. 

cloudsail

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1340 on: August 21, 2019, 11:14:09 AM »
The problem is that children learn from their peers. After a certain age, peer influence becomes much more important than parental influence. I have friends with kids through all ages from preschool to college, and this is very obvious. The kids in private school or very good schools are surrounded by friends who work hard and want to succeed. They're all trying to do well in school, and in their spare time actively seek out volunteer experiences or get together to do projects or even start their own companies. The kids in so-so public schools, it's all the parents can do to get them to do their homework on time. The kids tell them all their friends just play games after school, so why should they have to do work? Or even if they do their homework, won't put in any extra effort, because just getting the bare minimum done is already "extra effort" among their peers.

I don't know any parents willing to risk their child's future for the greater good.

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1341 on: August 21, 2019, 11:27:31 AM »
The problem is that children learn from their peers. After a certain age, peer influence becomes much more important than parental influence. I have friends with kids through all ages from preschool to college, and this is very obvious. The kids in private school or very good schools are surrounded by friends who work hard and want to succeed. They're all trying to do well in school, and in their spare time actively seek out volunteer experiences or get together to do projects or even start their own companies. The kids in so-so public schools, it's all the parents can do to get them to do their homework on time. The kids tell them all their friends just play games after school, so why should they have to do work? Or even if they do their homework, won't put in any extra effort, because just getting the bare minimum done is already "extra effort" among their peers.

I don't know any parents willing to risk their child's future for the greater good.

I don't think that's an accurate depiction of private schools, though.  I went to a private school for 5-9 grade, and was surrounded by kids who wanted to get home and float in the pool, or go shopping, confident that if they did the bare minimum to pass their classes, Daddy could still get them into college.  Grade 10-12, I went to the public school, where yes, the bottom tier of students knew that how well they did in school, or even if they graduated, probably wasn't going to make a big difference in their lives.  However, the upper tier of students knew that how they did was the difference between getting a scholarship and getting to go to college, or being stuck in low-pay dead-end jobs their whole life.  They were much more motivated than the private school kids.

All of that to say, it really depends on the school.  Some private schools are great, filled with students who are motivated and smart.  Some are not.  Same for public schools.  It's difficult to generalize such a complex question.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1342 on: August 21, 2019, 12:08:15 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.
My kids attend schools like these.  For elementary, we transferred from a school of 95% free lunch and 70% ELL to a school with 75% free lunch and 50% ELL.
Our junior high is 85-90% free lunch.

(Both schools provide free lunch to all students, as do many schools in our district.  Including some of the wealthier schools.)

Our teachers at the elementary level are quite good.  I would say that historically, the school we attend *used* to be maybe flipped.  Only 25% free lunch and 25% ELL.  So, many of the veteran teachers are very much able to challenge the higher performing children.  Both my kids have done/ are doing fantastically well.  Where we have historically failed is actually with the ELL students.  ELL students at our school don't do as well as ELL students at richer schools.  Not surprising - they have more (PTA) money to spend on teacher's aides.

This will vary quite a lot on the individual school, teachers, and even the grade level.  Both my boys have "grade levels" with a large % of high achieving students who STAYED (vs transferred to the GATE program at a different school).  The grades before and after my older son were not so lucky.  Fewer babies that year, far more opportunity to transfer.  So there may have been only 1-2 (grade above) or 3-5 (grade below) students who are high achievers.  So fewer people to work with, study with, and egg on, so to speak.  I cannot really blame parents for giving it a try for 2-4 years and then transferring.  The key was to give the school a try.

My 2nd grader had a classmate in 1st who had attended the school we are zoned for.  She was concerned that in Kindergarten, he was one of the top students.  In 1st at our school, he was far behind. That is a possible risk if you are in a school with 95% ELL - you may stand out as being awesome, but be behind students in other schools.

I think many of my friends think similarly of my kids - my jr high kid attends the "worst" (public opinion only) jr high school (the poorest one and with most % of Latinx).  But ya know, he still got a perfect score on the state tests, so he's good.  Would it be better or worse for him to be 100% surrounded by kids like him or better?  Who knows, really.  I don't feel the need to have him surrounded by only the best, smartest, rich white kids.  Some kids REALLY have different needs.  My kid is a GATE kid, but he's got pretty normal educational needs.  Some other kids have higher needs, different needs.

Raenia

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1343 on: August 21, 2019, 12:18:41 PM »
I'm really enjoying the discussion about public vs private, and the effect of income and ESL in schools, but perhaps we should pull it to its own thread?  We wouldn't want to busy the delightful stories people are overhearing at work :)  (Mea culpa, I should have suggested this in my first response.)

ysette9

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1344 on: August 21, 2019, 12:41:34 PM »
I can understand private school when it fills a clear need that public does not. The public closest to us is 80% English language learners/subsidized or free lunch, so most parents who are more affluent and educated choose something else for their kids. Whether there really is a need there or not, I have no personal experience. I could be convinced that if the majority of the school population has one set of needs and your kid has a different set of needs, the kid may be netter served elsewhere. Who knows?

The second biggest need in my area that sends kids to private school is language immersion. We have a pretty diverse set of neighbors who send their kids to school in Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin. We are lucky to have found a public Mandarin program but no French or German in public yet. With one kid it probably doesnít make a big difference but once you have two or three kids, it seems to me you would be better off selling and moving someplace that offers what you need in the public system, even if you have to pay a good bit more for housing there.

I see these kinds of sentiments a lot and I'm only speaking up about it because this was the topic of my dissertation so it is one that I am very well educated about. The ESL issue may be one thing, but the % of low income students should not be a deterrent. The fact that middle and high income students flock to private schools are why the public school systems seem so bad. First, when all of the parents who really care strongly about education put their kids in private schools, there is no one to advocate for the students and hold the schools accountable at the public level, which ends up hurting all of the kids. Second, there have been extensive studies that have shown a child with dedicated, committed parents will do well in school regardless of whether they are in a private school, a top public school, or the worst public school in the county. So individually, if you are a committed parent you shouldn't be worried about school rankings and average test scores. If more higher income committed parents were spread among the school system instead of being clumped in the highest performing public and private schools, all students would benefit and the average scores for all of the schools would rise as a result.

Not saying this to you personally - I've just been seeing too many posts on here and on social media about this lately - but unfortunately in the US we have this idea of "I've got mine, screw you" instead of an idea of community where my child going to a low income school would help benefit all of the students in that community. Also - I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity. I understand that in a school with a high % of ESL learners the teachers will be spending a lot more attention on the ESL students, but going back to the idea that having committed parents will help the children succeed regardless, being exposed to ESL students is an overall win in my book.

I went to a public school that didn't have a lot of resources so there was only one foreign language option, no AP classes, etc. The higher income families in our area who cared about those kinds of things sent their kids to the private school so there was no one to advocate for those kinds of classes in the public school (the only option for a public school in our rural area) and there weren't any higher income families to help with fundraising to try and give more resources to the school.

Interestingly, countries that have outright banned private schools and made them illegal have much higher rates of literacy and educational attainment and enrichment across the board, regardless of family income levels.
I appreciate your perspective, especially as you have researched this area. I have wondered the same thing. I know the studies show that kids of our demographic are likely to do well wherever because they already won the birth lottery of having educated, successful, involved parents. Iíve said before that if everyone in our position in our neighborhood banded together and sent all of our kids to the local school it would likely be a completely different school with different funding, scores, and participation. But short of unionizing the parents, each family makes their own individual decision of what they think is best in a vacuum, and the result is what we see today.

In our personal case we speak A and B to the kids at home and do want them to be educated in immersion A or B. The closest public school is majority students from language C with instruction in English. A public school further away has A immersion, so we went with that for personal and cultural reasons. Immersion B is also an option but only in private, and we arenít going to pay when it appears public is a good option. Iím still trying to figure out how to fill some gaps for B via what I can do at home, summer camps, play groups, and the like. I hope to have more time next year by dropping down to part-time work to be able to do a better job there.

economista

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1345 on: August 21, 2019, 01:12:42 PM »
I don't have empirical evidence on this but I strongly believe that children grow up to be kinder, more well rounded citizens if they are exposed to others from all kinds of backgrounds, instead of having them only interact with other kids who are of their same income level and race/ethnicity.

This is only a data point, but I grew up in a somewhat diversified area (~50/50 white/hispanic), and I'm pretty much an asshole. My memories from growing up include witnessing a lot of fights in school, lots of drug use, a lot of teen pregnancies, and getting a lot of stuff stolen (probably related to the second point). I certainly wouldn't let my children go to that school.

I blame the income disparity a whole lot more than the race disparity though.

Yeah but thatís actually a pretty one-sides experience..  If your school had equal amounts of races AND incomes, you would probably witness far fewer fights.

This is the point exactly - although I agree that it isn't a realistic expectation in our current society for this to happen. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't work toward putting in place policies and incentives to try and make it happen in the future.

DadJokes

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1346 on: August 21, 2019, 01:14:32 PM »
I created a thread to continue this engaging conversation: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/public-v-private-schools/

cloudsail

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1347 on: August 21, 2019, 01:25:00 PM »
The problem is that children learn from their peers. After a certain age, peer influence becomes much more important than parental influence. I have friends with kids through all ages from preschool to college, and this is very obvious. The kids in private school or very good schools are surrounded by friends who work hard and want to succeed. They're all trying to do well in school, and in their spare time actively seek out volunteer experiences or get together to do projects or even start their own companies. The kids in so-so public schools, it's all the parents can do to get them to do their homework on time. The kids tell them all their friends just play games after school, so why should they have to do work? Or even if they do their homework, won't put in any extra effort, because just getting the bare minimum done is already "extra effort" among their peers.

I don't know any parents willing to risk their child's future for the greater good.

I don't think that's an accurate depiction of private schools, though.  I went to a private school for 5-9 grade, and was surrounded by kids who wanted to get home and float in the pool, or go shopping, confident that if they did the bare minimum to pass their classes, Daddy could still get them into college.  Grade 10-12, I went to the public school, where yes, the bottom tier of students knew that how well they did in school, or even if they graduated, probably wasn't going to make a big difference in their lives.  However, the upper tier of students knew that how they did was the difference between getting a scholarship and getting to go to college, or being stuck in low-pay dead-end jobs their whole life.  They were much more motivated than the private school kids.

All of that to say, it really depends on the school.  Some private schools are great, filled with students who are motivated and smart.  Some are not.  Same for public schools.  It's difficult to generalize such a complex question.

Oh yes, there's just as much variance in the quality of private schools as there are public. I was replying not in the context of private vs. public, but more in the context of parents selecting schools for their children, as opposed to just putting in them any school regardless of the socioeconomic distribution or academic performance of their peers.

As an educational consultant, one of our jobs is to steer parents away from the bad private schools. They're as bad as the worst public schools, though in slightly different ways.

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1348 on: August 21, 2019, 01:31:17 PM »
Not overheard but seen.

I make the same as another guy. I'm pretty certain he leases cars. He leased an expensive German luxury car and a few weeks ago came to work in a different luxury car. I don't know his home situation and how much his wife makes, but if it was just him I don't see how he affords the car. Since we both work for the government he has mandatory pension contributions, so at least that's good... but still, I just don't see how he can afford it. The lease payments have got to be like $500/month if not slightly more... it is a very nice car.

Russian spy payroll? (I'm being silly)

There are more than a few stories of people who think conspicuous spending above and beyond what is normal for their government  income level will never be noticed. Some time later they are revealed to be working for the "other side".
The govt agency I work at (as a contractor) performs quarterly credit checks on it's civilians. Any red flags, the civvy is called in to explain. Because if the debt spirals out of control, the person is vulnerable to foreign adversaries. Better to nip the issue in the bud.

magnet18

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #1349 on: August 21, 2019, 01:32:25 PM »
To get back on topic:

"I'm investing big in McDonald's!"
-"why?"
"Because when the economy is down, everybody gets MacDonald's because it's cheap, and when the economy is up, everybody gets MacDonald's because they're too busy to cook!"