Archive for January, 2010

Selling Education

January 29, 2010

In class we talked about after Ronald Regan the increase in support for voucher programs.  At first I immediately opposed the idea of vouchers, because I feared it would simply give rich kids an unneeded discount.  However, it seems sort of like financial aid for college except for earlier grades.

Now, I still do not support vouchers, instead i think college should become cheaper, so there is less of a need for financial aid.  Even community college prices are now very high.  I do not understand how college tuition continues to rise so much.  Personally, I would expect technological advances to make college cheaper.  How can online classes be so expensive?

Two weeks ago there was an international petition against rising college prices.  The Globally United for Free and Emancipatory Education 2010 hosted this protest at Humbolt University in Berlin.  More than 500 universities across the globe  had some formal protest activities sponsored by the GUFEE (http://www.emancipating-education-for-all.org/content/international-education-strike#comments).

Basically, my distaste towards voucher reminded me how much I hate high college tuition fees.  The GUFEE have created a facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=163329887062), which is an international protest against the raising fees of a college education, which seems to be necessary in today’s world.

Globally United for Free and Emancipatory Education 2010

“Countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, and I refuse to let that happen on my watch.”

January 22, 2010

President Obama asked Congress to raise the educational budget by $1.35 billion.  He said, “Countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, and I refuse to let that happen on my watch”  (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705359506/Obama-to-seek-135-billion-more-for-education.html).  Obama is setting up grant programs that provide increased funding to well performing schools districts.  he is judging schools based off of standardized test scores and encouraging more charter schools.

Personally, I almost never disagree with raises to educational funding.  In addition, as my previous posts show I think cities should become more reliant on charter schools.  Nevertheless, I still disagree with the way Obama is judging students’ progress, because he is evaluating teachers purely based on the students’ scores in standardized tests.  Since, it is difficult to judge so many schools he has become over reliant on test scores.  I would recommend generating other formulas for evaluating schools for this grant.  For example, maybe make an equation about college readiness.  This could incorporate the % of students who go to college and then their GPA their first year at college.

Anyways, I just found it interesting that we were talking about the educational budget increases of the late 1950s, so Americans could out do the Soviets.  Now, Americans are losing numerous jobs to other countries.  What better way to combat these job losses than more educational budget increases.  However, this time the raised budget will apply to all fields, instead of one specifically designed to help destroy commies.

Patrick to sign education bill on Monday

January 16, 2010

Deval Patrick the governor of Massachusetts will sign a bill this Monday, on Martin Luther King Day that will give funding to charter schools in Boston.  The raised budgets will double the amount of students attending charter schools.

Charter schools are sort of like free private schools.  They vary in style across the nation.  In Boston there is an overload of students for the school system.  In fact, only a small percentage of Boston residents attend regular public schools in Boston.  A substantial amount of Boston residents are bussed to suburban schools in the metropolitan area.  However, these schools are often over an hour away from Boston.  In addition, these schools often have a 95% white majority of local residents with a small minority of “metro kids”.  In Boston, charter schools are the third option (more commonly known locally as pilot schools).  These are specialized free public schools with admissions processes.

Manny Delcarmen alumni of West Roxbury High School

There are many different types of charter schools in Boston (http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/node/20).  For example, Gardener Pilot Academy is an elementary school designed for students, whoms’ first language is Spanish.   While Boston Arts Academy is a high school, where students learn their core subjects in the mornings and visual/performing arts in the afternoons.  These schools are very different types of charter schools, but similar to most pilot schools (especially in Boston) they both have long waiting lists.

In Boston most of the charter school students come from low class income families.  In fact, the city’s charter school system was initially created in order to “close a persistent achievement gap among students of different socioeconomic backgrounds” (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/16/patrick_to_sign_education_bill_on_monday/).