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Readers: Schools Should Be Forced To Take Students From Unaccredited Districts

October 16, 2013 Education, Politics/Policy 17 Comments

School district boundaries are arbitrary, but many act like they’re etched in stone. Thankfully slightly more than half the readers who voted in the unscientific poll last week are ok with forcing districts to take students from unaccredited districts:

Q: Should schools be forced to take students from unaccredited districts?

  • Yes, education is that important 38 [54.29%]
  • No, it isn’t fair to taxpayers and students 32 [45.71%]

This is the opposite of the results from the original poll on the St. Louis Business Journal where only 37% voted yes.

That said, the process this year was anything but ideal. Hopefully state & local leaders can find ways to ensure every child gets a good public education.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "17 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Why should it be left up to our leaders to “find ways to ensure (sic) that every child gets a good public education”? What role do/should the parents and the students, themselves, play? And why should it just be limited to a public education? How about making sure that students who are home schooled or attend private schools receive a “good” education, as well?

    • First, ensure seems better than assure. See http://data.grammarbook.com/blog/definitions/assure-vs-ensure-vs-insure/
      Leaders set policy, so it’s important they play a role. Bad policy can make it difficult for kids to get a decent education even with the most involved parents.

      • JZ71 says:

        I stand corrected – I thought you were using ensure to replace insure, not assure. Agree, leaders set policy, but the biggest problems with our schools seem to be coming from outside the classroom – a lack of discipline, a lack of early childhood education and an attitude by too many parents that their kids can do no wrong, undermining the ability of any teacher to teach.

        • Your opinion or do you have something to back up your claim? Education is a complex topic with many villains and too few heroes. I won’t pretend to know the problems or solutions, I can only observe when it doesn’t appear to be working.

          • JZ71 says:

            My opinion. Much like you, I did not / do not have any kids using the current public school system(s). What I do know, from direct experience, predates busing for racial integration, magnet schools, charter schools, mainstreaming students with special needs or the widespread use of home schooling. Schools were local / neighborhood schools, and high school had two tracks, college or non-college. In addition, vocational education was a real option. What I read now is teaching to the test, no child left behind, chaos in the classroom and an inability by teachers to maintain discipline in the classroom. So yes, I can cite multiple, likely biased, articles to “support” my claims, but as with much in contemporary education, everyone seems to “know” what’s best, yet the results have changed little over the past 50 years!

        • moe says:

          Everyone seems to keep thinking that what works in Clayton or Wildwood will work in Hazelwood or East St. Louis. There are just as many problems inside the school as there are outside. What we don’t need are more ‘experts’ telling schools what to do….that includes pundits and school boards (LoL) determining curriculum based on what they think should be taught or what will protect them lawsuits, i.e. creationism, no sex education, no physical education…the list is too long to list here. What we don’t need are administrators and support staff making $100K salaries when teachers get food stamps. What we don’t need are $100M buildings and iPads for kids when we can’t even get the basics down. What we don’t need are parents that send kids to school so they don’t have to deal with them for the day (happens in rich and poor districts). What we don’t need are parents that forgot what it was like when they were kids and seem to think theirs will make no mistakes. What we don’t need is a funding formula that is as screwed up as …..well I could keep going, but readers get the drift.
          What we do know is that head starts works. What we do know is that feeding children is a best practice. What we do know is that children have the innate ability to learn. What we do know is that even the worse district has children that succeed and the best district has children that fail. Let’s start there and move from that. But with too many hands in the pot, too many fiefdoms, too many ‘experts’, the odds of that happening are zilch.

          • RyleyinSTL says:

            The data shows that the USA doesn’t know what works, not even bloody close. American kids spend less time in the classroom and are expected to achieve less. Therefor math/science scores are poor compared to other western nations. More money needs to be spent and that money needs to be more evenly distributed. This nation, and the results of it’s eroding public education system, are an interesting juxtaposition to more “social” models elsewhere in the world.

          • moe says:

            I disagree. I think there is plenty of money being channeled into education. The problem is that it is not allocated nor used wisely. How many times must we re-invent the wheel? If science class methods work well in, say, Japan, than let’s copy them.

          • RyleyinSTL says:

            “If science class methods work well in, say, Japan, than let’s copy them.”

            Which will require an increased monetary commitment.

          • moe says:

            No. It means re-examining the budgets and figure out what is needed and what is not.

          • RyleyinSTL says:

            US kids don’t spend enough time in school and teachers are vastly underpaid…2 items which will require more funding. Educational budgets are already as tight as they can get.

          • JZ71 says:

            Where’s your data that “teachers are vastly underpaid”? In parochial and charter schools, they may be, but AFTA seems to have done a pretty good job for public school teachers.

          • moe says:

            I call bull crap. Frist off, kids spending time in school and teachers underpaid….I agree with and Some teachers are underpaid. They do require more funding. What does NOT require more funding are 100M school buildings, electronic gizmos for ‘school work’, 500 levels of administration (with appropriate support staff) over paid Principals and Administrators. THAT is where the money will come from. When was the last time you heard any school board cutting back on admin staff and pay cuts for them? No, what you get are teacher layoffs and program cuts.

          • Keeping textbooks in good condition and current is a burden for many districts. Electronics in the classrooms allows books to stay current and more more engaging to students: “In a partnership with Apple, textbook publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt performed a pilot study using an iPad text for Algebra 1 courses, and found that 20 percent more students (78 percent compared to 59 percent) scored ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced’ in subject comprehension when using tablets rather than paper textbook counterparts.” http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/01/ipad-educational-aid-study/

          • moe says:

            Well that’s a surprise…not. Apple sponsored the study, need more be added?

          • New area that’s still being researched, though laptops have been used in classrooms for years. I agree tit’s wise to be skeptical, but being dismissive of technology isn’t helpful to the dialogue.

          • moe says:

            I’m not dismissive of technology. I’m dismissive of the same old “let’s throw more money at the problem”. As for technology per se, there are plenty of districts, including some right here, that thought they would jump on the bandwagon and all that technology sits in closets, never opened, and now outdated. Dollars that could have gone into the classroom. And Yes, I am always very skeptical of any study that supports the view of the people that paid for that study as I can find studies to counter that.

            “Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals.”

            “Simply providing access does not ensure that technology will effectively enhance teaching and learning and result in improved achievement. Nor does providing access imply that all teachers and students will make optimal use of the technology.”
            I ran for school board on the platform of being wise stewards of the resources we have, not asking for more and more, and to use best practices. BEST practices that deliver impact IN the classroom.


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