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Posted: 1/10/2006 2:46:20 PM EDT
Friday at 10:00PM on ABC. Stossel usually does good work.

abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=1491217

Jan. 9, 2006 — American students fizzle in international comparisons, placing 18th in reading, 22nd in science and 28th in math - behind countries like Poland, Australia and Korea. But why? Are American kids less intelligent? John Stossel looks at the ways the U.S. public education system cheats students out of a quality education in "Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids," airing this Friday at 10 p.m.

"We're not stupid. But we could do better," one high school student tells Stossel. Another says, "I think it has to be something with the school, 'cause I don't think we're stupider."

There are many factors that contribute to failure in school. A major factor, Stossel finds, is the government's monopoly over the school system. Parents don't get to choose where to send their children. In other countries, choice brings competition, and competition improves performance.

Stossel questions government officials, union leaders, parents and students and learns some surprising things about what's happening in U.S. schools. He also examines how the educational system can be improved upon and reports on innovative programs across the country.

"Stupid In America: How We Cheat Our Kids" with John Stossel airs Jan. 13, at 10 p.m.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:53:23 PM EDT
The part about no choice is incorrect. Parents have always had a choice...its called private school. Before the peanut gallery fires up w/ the 'only rich folks can afford that' those private schools are inhabited primarily by kids from the middle class. Its all a matter of priorities.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:55:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
The part about no choice is incorrect. Parents have always had a choice...its called private school. Before the peanut gallery fires up w/ the 'only rich folks can afford that' those private schools are inhabited primarily by kids from the middle class. Its all a matter of priorities.



His point is that there is no real competition within the system of education. And the quality of the "product" has sufferred accordingly.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:02:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 3:07:06 PM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
The part about no choice is incorrect. Parents have always had a choice...its called private school. Before the peanut gallery fires up w/ the 'only rich folks can afford that' those private schools are inhabited primarily by kids from the middle class. Its all a matter of priorities.



The peanut gallery would be right and you wrong, there is NO choice for a large part of the population.

Most working class people cannot afford private schools especially if they have more than one kid... considering they are FORCED to pay taxes to support schools they DO NOT WANT TO USE they should have the option to go elsewhere with that money.

And what about the poor who are held captive in second/third/forth rate public school… we pay for those of those kids to get virtually NO education is schools you would not send your dog in to.


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:05:30 PM EDT
I hated school myself, I don't know what school was like in decades gone by but in the 90's (when I was in school), it seemed like most of our time was eaten up with either pointless homework that usually taught nothing or the thing I hated the most; constant projects, especially in English.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:12:28 PM EDT
Nope, I still dont agree. Private schools were formed simply b/c some enterprising folks saw that there was a market. The only reason there arent more of them is b/c most parents opt for public. Perhaps they feel that paying once (taxes) is enough. For those who are motivated there are plenty of alternatives.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:14:17 PM EDT
Max_Mike pay close attention now...most private and home schools are filled up w/ middle class kids. I consider middle and working class to be roughly the same. Look into it before pitching in w/ the peanut guys.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:15:29 PM EDT
Reason #487 why we home school.

We always hear the same old story, "That's nice but we just can't afford it..." the only people who can't afford it are single parents. We do without the fancy house that we could afford with 2 incomes, we don't eat out every night, we have one new(er) car and one with over 100k miles on it and we just generally make-do with what we have. My kid's education and well being come first.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:15:38 PM EDT
I'm hard pressed to find a single issue on which John Stossel and I disagree. I look forward to each and every one of his reports.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:16:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Miracle_Pants:
I hated school myself, I don't know what school was like in decades gone by but in the 90's (when I was in school), it seemed like most of our time was eaten up with either pointless homework that usually taught nothing or the thing I hated the most; constant projects, especially in English.



It used to be called "busy work." It was to keep you busy and out of the teacher's hair. Ditto on a lot of the homework - production without point or learning.


As far as the entire show mentioned in the first post, I may watch it if I have time. I no longer really care: I don't have children; this is all forced by the government, justified by the "courts". It began in the 1960s, and was part of the overall destruction of America which began with the inauguration of John F Kennedy, and perpetuated by Lyndon Johnson. They formed their coalitions by making a lot of promises they could not deliver. The simple way to make "everybody equal" was simply to draw everyone down to the lowest common denominator: it does not work any other way. We are paying the cost of it today, and shall more so in the future. Teachers are not from the best, as in Europe and probably Asia, but those who can't or do not want to do anything else productive.

As someone else said in another post on another topic, you won't change things from within the system. Get used to being the shlumps of the world. Sure, we have some good people, but they are not even developed to the point they could be. And, bringing others in actually is counterproductive. They'll make a living and then take their expertise back to their own countries, often to our detriment. And, the day is coming when they won't even want to come here.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:20:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
The part about no choice is incorrect. Parents have always had a choice...its called private school. Before the peanut gallery fires up w/ the 'only rich folks can afford that' those private schools are inhabited primarily by kids from the middle class. Its all a matter of priorities.



His point is that there is no real competition within the system of education. And the quality of the "product" has sufferred accordingly.



This is true, but the claim that other countries have MORE choice is very misleading, IMO (and not necessarily the reason that some countries have really good schools).

In fact, I know of no other country that has as many private schools available as the United States.



While there might be a lot of bad public schools in the U.S. there are also a LOT of public schools that kick ass, and can easilt give expensive private schools a run for their money. It's not like ALL public schools in the U.S. suck, or even have a problem.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:21:25 PM EDT
I just ask that when you all watch this, you remain somewhat skeptical and take it with a grain of salt...the good AND the bad.

Schools are a reflection of trends occurring in society. If schools are performing worse, what does that really say about our country?

I'd be most interested in seeing a detailed discussion of the criteria used to determine "poor-performing." Are they testing the students in the vocational track in Germany? Are Japanese kids destined to become fishermen exempted? Are we testing American "honors" students or are we throwing Meathead, the backup left tackle into the fray?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:27:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pale_pony:
Reason #487 why we home school.

We always hear the same old story, "That's nice but we just can't afford it..." the only people who can't afford it are single parents. We do without the fancy house that we could afford with 2 incomes, we don't eat out every night, we have one new(er) car and one with over 100k miles on it and we just generally make-do with what we have. My kid's education and well being come first.



Thanx for that comment!! This is a true portrait of someone that cares enough to make sure their gang is properly educated. I think most of you all would call it being responsible....something we hear alot about from time to time here.

Does it stink to pay twice? You bet.... The problem is that most are willing to maintain the status quo while griping about it (aka lip service). The only force necssary for change has always been w/ us (the parents). Its our choice to exercise it or not and so far its been primarily not. I want my kids to be better than I am and one of the ways to that end is to make sure they have a good education.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:30:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rjroberts:
It used to be called "busy work." It was to keep you busy and out of the teacher's hair. Ditto on a lot of the homework - production without point or learning.



Indeed, It was annoying and worthless. I learned far more on my own out of school than I ever did in.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:34:48 PM EDT
Back in my old country students are competing to go to better schools from the time they finish primary education. Their standardized exam scores will determine which school they will be able to attend. Kids spend 8 hours in school then spend another couple hours to attend private after school study class and then go home and spend couple more hours doing homework. Kids spend 12-14 hours or more studying every day if they want to go to good school. They attend school 6 days per week and there is no 12 week summer break… 3 weeks in summer and 3 weeks in winter. It was common for high school students to spend 3 years studying 14 hours a day or more everyday including during summer and winter vacation to get good grades on their college entrance exam. The importance of the college exam is so high that some kids commit suicide when they don’t do well.

I attended school in the old country and we had 50 – 60 students in class and the teacher expected and got total attention from each student. Teacher never had disciplinary problems with any student. We were expected to spend as much time studying out side of the school as while in school to catch up on study and doing homework. In my 6th grade history class we were expected to memorize the name of every president of US in the order they were elected, their date of birth and death and know the years they served and in the geography class we were expected to know the name of the capital, location on a map/globe, size of land mass and population of over 100 countries… in one week. Everything had to be memorized as there were no such things as open book exam.

I bet a 7th grade student from my country has about same or higher level of education in terms of knowledge in science, geography, history, math, and statistics as a typical high school graduate in this country… but then that’s not saying much these days.

This is not to say that their education program was perfect but it was better than what we give our kids in public school here.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:38:07 PM EDT
Favorite hypocitical things from Teachers and their unions:

They put forth the image that they teach because it's a noble profession and they want to build a better future, not for the money, then they whine about their pay even though they get pretty good benefits.

They act as if they are gods of ethics and above reproach, then say that thatndardized testing is bad because teachers will simply teach kids how to pass the test and nothing else.

Instead of negotiating for a better contract during the summer, a local teachers union waited for school to start, then went on strike. The strike was almost long enough to prevent the senior class from graduating. Using kids as bargaining leverage. Real noble. These same teachers probably would tell you that violence in any form is unacceptable, but told the district that they had better not hire substitutes because there could be violent confrontations. They even publicly stated that "scabs" deserve to be lynched. Once again, real noble.

Most teachers I have met continually whine about pay and funding. Whenever one of these stories comes out about US students being below standards, they simply whine for yet more funding.

I would like to see some stats about performance and funding per student of private schools vs public schools. I'm willing to bet it costs twice as much per student at public schools as it does in private schools with no correlation in performance.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:38:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yobo:
Back in my old country students are competing to go to better schools from the time they finish primary education. Their standardized exam scores will determine which school they will be able to attend. Kids spend 8 hours in school then spend another couple hours to attend private after school study class and then go home and spend couple more hours doing homework. Kids spend 12-14 hours or more studying every day if they want to go to good school. They attend school 6 days per week and there is no 12 week summer break… 3 weeks in summer and 3 weeks in winter. It was common for high school students to spend 3 years studying 14 hours a day or more everyday including during summer and winter vacation to get good grades on their college entrance exam. The importance of the college exam is so high that some kids commit suicide when they don’t do well.

I attended school in the old country and we had 50 – 60 students in class and the teacher expected and got total attention from each student. Teacher never had disciplinary problems with any student. We were expected to spend as much time studying out side of the school as while in school to catch up on study and doing homework. In my 6th grade history class we were expected to memorize the name of every president of US in the order they were elected, their date of birth and death and know the years they served and in the geography class we were expected to know the name of the capital, location on a map/globe, size of land mass and population of over 100 countries… in one week. Everything had to be memorized as there were no such things as open book exam.

I bet a 7th grade student from my country has about same or higher level of education in terms of knowledge in science, geography, history, math, and statistics as a typical high school graduate in this country… but then that’s not saying much these days.

This is not to say that their education program was perfect but it was better than what we give our kids in public school here.



Your second sentence is where the big problem began in this country: the standard exams. If a student, particularly one of a "favored" group, defined as a group politicians wanted to please in order to get their votes, couldn't pass or get the required score level on a test, then the test was bad or discriminatory. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:42:05 PM EDT
dk-prof -- Yes, there are many public schools that are excellent. Most though are failing I think. All too often its only the govt approved view and nothing else. In my view thats not education. A true ed is one where you look at all of the knowledge base and explore each. As it is public has approved subjects and no others need apply. I think its more of an indoctrination than education.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:42:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
The part about no choice is incorrect. Parents have always had a choice...its called private school. Before the peanut gallery fires up w/ the 'only rich folks can afford that' those private schools are inhabited primarily by kids from the middle class. Its all a matter of priorities.



His point is that there is no real competition within the system of education. And the quality of the "product" has sufferred accordingly.



This is true, but the claim that other countries have MORE choice is very misleading, IMO (and not necessarily the reason that some countries have really good schools).

In fact, I know of no other country that has as many private schools available as the United States.

While there might be a lot of bad public schools in the U.S. there are also a LOT of public schools that kick ass, and can easilt give expensive private schools a run for their money. It's not like ALL public schools in the U.S. suck, or even have a problem.



That, of course, begs for the question WHY?
Why is it that we have so many THRIVING private schools? Other countries have more successful public schools and less private schools....
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:44:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yobo:
Back in my old country students are competing to go to better schools from the time they finish primary education. Their standardized exam scores will determine which school they will be able to attend. Kids spend 8 hours in school then spend another couple hours to attend private after school study class and then go home and spend couple more hours doing homework. Kids spend 12-14 hours or more studying every day if they want to go to good school. They attend school 6 days per week and there is no 12 week summer break… 3 weeks in summer and 3 weeks in winter. It was common for high school students to spend 3 years studying 14 hours a day or more everyday including during summer and winter vacation to get good grades on their college entrance exam. The importance of the college exam is so high that some kids commit suicide when they don’t do well.

I attended school in the old country and we had 50 – 60 students in class and the teacher expected and got total attention from each student. Teacher never had disciplinary problems with any student. We were expected to spend as much time studying out side of the school as while in school to catch up on study and doing homework. In my 6th grade history class we were expected to memorize the name of every president of US in the order they were elected, their date of birth and death and know the years they served and in the geography class we were expected to know the name of the capital, location on a map/globe, size of land mass and population of over 100 countries… in one week. Everything had to be memorized as there were no such things as open book exam.

I bet a 7th grade student from my country has about same or higher level of education in terms of knowledge in science, geography, history, math, and statistics as a typical high school graduate in this country… but then that’s not saying much these days.

This is not to say that their education program was perfect but it was better than what we give our kids in public school here.



Damn. A couple months ago in my community college history class, the teacher passed out an outline map of the US and gave us two minutes to fill in the state names. I was the only one who didn't leave any blank. I also got them all right. Pretty sad.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:44:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rjroberts:

Originally Posted By yobo:
Back in my old country students are competing to go to better schools from the time they finish primary education. Their standardized exam scores will determine which school they will be able to attend. Kids spend 8 hours in school then spend another couple hours to attend private after school study class and then go home and spend couple more hours doing homework. Kids spend 12-14 hours or more studying every day if they want to go to good school. They attend school 6 days per week and there is no 12 week summer break… 3 weeks in summer and 3 weeks in winter. It was common for high school students to spend 3 years studying 14 hours a day or more everyday including during summer and winter vacation to get good grades on their college entrance exam. The importance of the college exam is so high that some kids commit suicide when they don’t do well.

I attended school in the old country and we had 50 – 60 students in class and the teacher expected and got total attention from each student. Teacher never had disciplinary problems with any student. We were expected to spend as much time studying out side of the school as while in school to catch up on study and doing homework. In my 6th grade history class we were expected to memorize the name of every president of US in the order they were elected, their date of birth and death and know the years they served and in the geography class we were expected to know the name of the capital, location on a map/globe, size of land mass and population of over 100 countries… in one week. Everything had to be memorized as there were no such things as open book exam.

I bet a 7th grade student from my country has about same or higher level of education in terms of knowledge in science, geography, history, math, and statistics as a typical high school graduate in this country… but then that’s not saying much these days.

This is not to say that their education program was perfect but it was better than what we give our kids in public school here.



Your second sentence is where the big problem began in this country: the standard exams. If a student, particularly one of a "favored" group, defined as a group politicians wanted to please in order to get their votes, couldn't pass or get the required score level on a test, then the test was bad or discriminatory. Sic transit gloria mundi.




You know that there are standardized exams that are used world wide to test knowledge in math, science, world history, geography, and couple other subjects. These exams are nutural in terms of race, religion, economic level, etc. I guess that here inthe US suich exams are not used because they would expose certain groups for their lack of education.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:45:02 PM EDT
I think a lot of the problem is bad kids and we just like to blame the schools. If a kid wants to learn he probably can get a pretty good education in most places in the US. But there are a lot of kids who don't want to work at their own education and they make the rest look bad.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:46:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 3:48:54 PM EDT by Lakemoor]
I graduated from high school in Philadelphia. I was a product of inner city schooling yet I scored super high in the SAT's had almost all A's in the advanced classes. I got scholarships and loans to go to college. I think I've done well for myself and the reason why is because of my parents. Too many people place the blame on the schools instead of themselves.

Is it the school's fault that your kids are running around on the street corner at midnight? Is it the school's fault that your drinking a 6 pack of beer at night and don't know what the hell your kids are studying? It's called parenting. I have two kids myself and I know it's tough getting time for yourself to relax a little vs parenting commitments. In my case I lose my free time for the kids and I wouldn't have it any other way. Last time I was at the range was 6 months ago.

edit: my wife grew up in rural WI and their schooling was lacking compared to suburban schools. Her parents were just as involved and she turned out great. Having involved parents helps increase the odds in your favor.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:48:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 3:49:46 PM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
Max_Mike pay close attention now...most private and home schools are filled up w/ middle class kids. I consider middle and working class to be roughly the same. Look into it before pitching in w/ the peanut guys.



They are filled up with UPPER middle class kids.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:48:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leakycow:
I just ask that when you all watch this, you remain somewhat skeptical and take it with a grain of salt...the good AND the bad.

Schools are a reflection of trends occurring in society. If schools are performing worse, what does that really say about our country?

I'd be most interested in seeing a detailed discussion of the criteria used to determine "poor-performing." Are they testing the students in the vocational track in Germany? Are Japanese kids destined to become fishermen exempted? Are we testing American "honors" students or are we throwing Meathead, the backup left tackle into the fray?



Interesting pt about schools reflecting society. If this is the case (which I think is true) then we're in a heap of trouble when parents are willing to give a pass for nothing more than time spent in the system. In my view this makes folks ready only for servitude rather than ownership.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:50:52 PM EDT
It's Reagan's fault.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:51:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 3:54:06 PM EDT by deej86]
I am a product of the Chicago Public School system and after 7th grade a suburban school district and then a suburban high school district. I currently attend a public junior college. I was a good student. In 5th grade I tested at a 12th grade reading level. In the sixth grade I dramatically raised my math score on the ITBS(IowaTestOfBasicSkills) from a 2nd grade level to a 7th grade level.)

I think that times have definitely changed since 1992-when I started schooling at age 6, and now.

I think from what I have read-not only here but at other places that the public school system leaves much to be desired.

I don't have kids but when I do I will homeschool them or send them to private schools.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:53:20 PM EDT
We also rearranged our lives to reflect our priorities-our kids.We are involved as parents can be in our children's education.We homeschool.Sure,it creates some hardships,but its rewards and benefits FAR outway them.Plus,I get to teach Reloading 101
Thinking of ARFcom Tshirts as uniforms..........
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:54:13 PM EDT
yobo -- I visited an eastern euro country a few years back and was surprised at how seriously the kids (even in elementrary school) took their studies. Many very young kids would study for hours at night. I found them to be very bright, interesting to talk w/ and resourceful. I should add too that the majority of these kids were self motivated b/c the parents had 2nd jobs at night.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:55:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 4:01:53 PM EDT by dmaas]
I don't think taking an average over all schools in the US gives an accurate picture of the situation. What's more likely is that there are a lot of medium-to-good schools where students do OK by international standards, but a group of very poor-performing ones at the bottom bring down the average.

Sort of like how the US murder rate seems high relative to other modern countries, but goes way down if you exclude inner-city gang violence. A small group of bad apples brings down the average.

I bet if you compare the top 10% of US students they are at least as good as the top 10% from any other country. Otherwise why would so many people come here for an education?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:58:31 PM EDT
No Mike...not always. In my experience its more from the middle and lower part of that economic class. Theyve prioritized and sacrificed so their kids will have more opportunites than themsleves.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:58:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 4:00:07 PM EDT by MrsDrFrige]

Originally Posted By deej86:
I am a product of the Chicago Public School system and after 7th grade a suburban school district and then a suburban high school district. I currently attend a public junior college.

I think that times have definitely changed since 1992-when I started schooling at age 6, and now.

I think from what I have read-not only here but at other places that the public school system leaves much to be desired.

I don't have kids but when I do I will homeschool them or send them to private schools.




I read a book called "The Well Trained Mind" ....it is written by a mom and her daughter both of who homeschooled their own kids. The mom was a public school teacher. (and for those interested believe in the trivium thoughts of homeschooling...)
That book made it painfully obvious to me, the difference between my education and the one my child was receiving.
I can still to this day say the preamble to the constitution. Learned in 5th grade. As well as a Robert Frost poem or two.
My daughter was , at the time I read the book, the same age and grade I was when I learned those things. She didnt know who Robert Frost was or what the preamble was (and only really knew of the constitution from home ) let alone memorized or read any of it.
I graduated High school in 1989 for a perspective on what years I am talking about.....
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:00:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lakemoor:
Is it the school's fault that your kids are running around on the street corner at midnight? Is it the school's fault that your drinking a 6 pack of beer at night and don't know what the hell your kids are studying? It's called parenting.



Back in the old country, it is common for mothers to devote their lives to help their kids get good education. Mothers would pamper their kids so they don't have to do anything except study and get good grades... so the kid can go to good university... so the kid can get good job... so the kid can get good salary... so the kid can take care of parents when they get old.

I'll give you an example. One of my aunt spent 10 years of her life doing nothing but take care of my cousin. My aunt got up at 5:00 in the morning to wake up my cousin and get him washed and dress so he could study for 2 hours before school started. She would even come to school during lunch time with warm food so my cousin wouldn't have to eat cold lunch. When school ended she would be waiting to carry some of his books to after school tutor. Then she would go home and make dinner and prepare his practice exam that she would have someone (usually a teacher) prepare. After dinner she would help him with his homework.

My cousin did get good grade in his college entrance exam and attended the best medical school. Today he is a successful doctor but his social skill sucks. He spent all his life studying so he never spent time making friends or playing and he never deloped any social skills.


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:04:43 PM EDT
Our schools main focus isn't to educate our kids it is to promote the social change/ reform agenda of the government.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:05:25 PM EDT
Man, serious kudos to those of you who have pointed out the following:
1. the apples-to-oranges nature of comparing American schools with foreign ones
2. the emphasis on each individual having some responsibility to his/her personal education
3. the importance of parenting in all of this. It is the NUMBER ONE factor, and it is where so many students are let down miserably without them even realizing what is happening to them.

I LOVE getting emails from concerned parents asking how their child is doing, and what the heck happened to cause his grade to fall from an 82 to a 70. It restores a little faith in the world.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:06:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dmaas:
I don't think taking an average over all schools in the US gives an accurate picture of the situation. What's more likely is that there are a lot of medium-to-good schools where students excel by international standards, but a group of very poor-performing ones at the bottom bring down the average.

Sort of like how the US murder rate seems high relative to other modern countries, but goes way down if you exclude inner-city gang violence. A small group of bad apples brings down the average.

I bet if you compare the top 10% of US students they are at least as good as the top 10% from any other country. Otherwise why would so many people come here for an education?



Reason why so many people come here to study in college and advanced degree is it is so competitive to get into their universities and because US has some of the best higher education institutions. US also takes away the top minds from foreign countries like India and China. These countries have a brain drain because some of their best minds leave their countries to live in America.

My roommate from college was 1 of 2 Americans in a Math PhD program at John Hopkins. The other 9 were from other countries mainly India and China.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:09:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave15:
We also rearranged our lives to reflect our priorities-our kids.We are involved as parents can be in our children's education.We homeschool.Sure,it creates some hardships,but its rewards and benefits FAR outway them.Plus,I get to teach Reloading 101
Thinking of ARFcom Tshirts as uniforms..........



Yes!!! We did marksmanship for a portion of PE, some simple gunsmithing and field work for science. In fact much of the hunting season we spent extended hours in the field observing animals, habitat. etc. My son has some great pics, notes and memories from sitting in the woods seeing 'nature' up close and learning what it takes to be a good steward of it all. He also learned how to use a compass and land nav. Most importantly he learned some about how to be a man and take responsibility for himself and his studies. I think those lessons are some of the most important...those that dont have a particular title but have everything to do w/ how you function in society and conduct yourself.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:09:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 4:11:40 PM EDT by yobo]

Originally Posted By dmaas:

I bet if you compare the top 10% of US students they are at least as good as the top 10% from any other country. Otherwise why would so many people come here for an education?



I don't think so. Top 10% of kids here are a joke compared to top 10% of kids in most other countries. If you were to change that to the top 0.5% then I would agree with you. One of my cousin came here when he was 13 yrs old and finished 7th grade back home. When they tested him for math and English he scores in math were in 12th grade level and his English was in10 grade level and English was his third language after French. He had excellent comprehension and writing skills but when he spoke nobody could under stand him because of his accent.

A lot of people come here to get advanced education (masters and PhD programs) because these are programs that require a lot of resources (money) that their country doesn't have and there are very limited opening at the university.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:15:40 PM EDT
How many classic novels do you think kids in this country read by the time thery graduate from high school? I had to ready one every month by the time I started 6th grade... and English was our second or third language.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:18:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Miracle_Pants:
I hated school myself, I don't know what school was like in decades gone by but in the 90's (when I was in school), it seemed like most of our time was eaten up with either pointless homework that usually taught nothing or the thing I hated the most; constant projects, especially in English.



My kids went through that shit. I went through that shit. Projects are a way to help poorly performing students get a free ride to a good grade by lumping them with good students. It raises the class gpa and hides poor teaching.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:23:23 PM EDT
John does good work. I'll be tuning in for this.

The reasons are many, but I think public schools have degenerated into 6 hours of publicly funded babysitting each day.

- Too much paperwork for teachers
- Special ed students have been "mainstreamed" into regular classrooms causing problems
- Teachers unions (state and national) more worried about politics and their viability than the students educations
- Focus more on kids self-esteem instead of expectations, discipline and personal responsibility
- Apathy from parents
- Breakdown of social norms and discipline
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:24:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hmanjr:

Originally Posted By Miracle_Pants:
I hated school myself, I don't know what school was like in decades gone by but in the 90's (when I was in school), it seemed like most of our time was eaten up with either pointless homework that usually taught nothing or the thing I hated the most; constant projects, especially in English.



My kids went through that shit. I went through that shit. Projects are a way to help poorly performing students get a free ride to a good grade by lumping them with good students. It raises the class gpa and hides poor teaching.



Get used to it.
As a management staff in most companies, being part of or running a group projects are the norm.
As in the high school projects in every group project there are some that are free loaders, dumb asses, clueless, rising stars, falling stars, etc.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:29:01 PM EDT
the USA is a tangle of social promotion, PC agenda, egalinatarianism, and promotion of high self esteem regardless the cost.

I bat average...Ive known it for years.

People need to buck up, realize what they have and exploit thier talents. If you have no talent...well, starvation is a slow fucking death.

I might add....fuck Illegals...they fuck our system up royally....
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:07:43 PM EDT
btt for the night crew
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:02:19 AM EDT
^ for the morning crew
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:20:12 AM EDT
My wife and I decided our daughter will attend private school not matter the cost. As a Recruiter I witness first hand how horrible public education is, and this is in the affluent counties of NYC suburbs.

Most *recent* HS and College students cannot pass the Math on the military ASVAB. That makes up most of the test. HS teaches the "concept" of math, calculators are approved for math classes and exams. Teachers in my high schools affirm this by claiming this is policy of NYS education.

Most kids I witness cannot perorm long hand division or fractions. This is just the math standards, I do not want to know what English and History is like.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:24:00 AM EDT
What do you expect when the schools are run by a union.

Get government and unions out of the education business and you'll see an improvement.

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:24:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

The peanut gallery would be right and you wrong, there is NO choice for a large part of the population.

Most working class people cannot afford private schools especially if they have more than one kid... considering they are FORCED to pay taxes to support schools they DO NOT WANT TO USE they should have the option to go elsewhere with that money.

And what about the poor who are held captive in second/third/forth rate public school… we pay for those of those kids to get virtually NO education is schools you would not send your dog in to.





I think that statement needs some clarification.

The average family can't put their kids in a private school and maintain an on-the-edge standard of living, along with acquiring all the toys they want.

There was a time that I was the sole wage-earner in the household and I had two kids in private school.

It took sacrifice and discipline, but I saw it as a worthwhile investment in their futures.

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:29:26 AM EDT
tagged as a reminder to watch.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:31:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By AssaultPossum:
Max_Mike pay close attention now...most private and home schools are filled up w/ middle class kids. I consider middle and working class to be roughly the same. Look into it before pitching in w/ the peanut guys.



They are filled up with UPPER middle class kids.



Many private schools are run by churches.

I have seen churches that provided scholarships to the children of single parents on welfare so the kids could get a good education.

Also, most church-run schools I've seen try to keep the tuition as affordable as possible. They aren't running a for-profit business.

My experience does not agree with your statement about these schools being filled with "upper" middle class kids. Sure, they are there, but it's not as an exclusive club as you say.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:36:13 AM EDT
A year or two ago there was an article about an exchange student from Europe who attended a local high school.

In the follow-up, she was far behind her peers when she returned to her home country.

Here in the States the work wasn't as advanced/challenging, and she got into the habit of hanging out at the mall after school like American teenagers instead of studying.



The motto of the American government education system should be, "If you don't like what you see, lower your standards."
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