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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:59 pm 
 

I've taught in public and private colleges (no experience in K-12), and there are the same problems with private colleges as with private high schools.  It's about student retention and grade inflation to keep the students and the paying parents happy.  Students at private colleges are required to have their hand held when making their course cards for the next semester because no chance can be taken that they may forget to register for next semester or register for the wrong class(es) which leads to angry calls from paying parents.  At a public college, students learn to be independent by making their own schedule based on what they need to graduate and consulting the college guidebooks.  That's just one example... which system do you think produces students that will be able to hold a job with responsibilities making decisions for themselves?  At elite private colleges, students rarely get less than a B.  There's a professor at Princeton who begins the semester telling his students that they'll all get at least a B because it's a lost cause trying to give real grades (fear of being bogged down by academic appeals and harassment irate parents/students)... but if students want to find out what they really deserve he'll tell them privately after the semester is over.  
The US has traditionally had one of the best university systems in the world due to objective learning outcomes and accountability but these are being undermined by market pressures (and the rest of the world is catching up by the way, and in almost every other country in the world the best universities are public).  When students, and parents, have the power of the purse then they demand, and get, good grades in exchange for little work.  If you want the truth about your work then you're more likely to get it at a public college that is more greatly insulated from market pressures than a private one that is dependent on market pressures.
 

My wife got a far better education at her junior college taking her first two years of courses than her last two years at a public university.  Why?  Class size.  Large, 300+ student cattle call classes do little to actually teach the students anything...they are used to weed out kids.  In the larger universities, you get very little, if any, face time with your actual professors.  I was lucky enough to attend a private university and I can say in my chosen field (English) I got a far superior education (in breadth, depth, and personal involvement) than any of my friends who took the same classes in public universities.  Then again, that was liberal arts at a liberal arts university, (TCU) so I don't know what the results would have been in say, engineering (which my wife majoried in) at the same school.  I know the engineering school at the public college my wife attended was rated superior to any of the local colleges, most of them private.  Maybe it's just a liberal arts vs science thing.

I made plenty of "C's" at my private college...they must not have believed in grade inflation! (Not to mention the D I made in Economics one semester!).  I also never had my hand held during making out a course schedule, although I did have an advisor.  In contrast I knew plenty of friends (including my wife) who either took the wrong classes, or forgot to take classes, due to disinterested or unintelligent advice at public schools.  I don't see schedule making as any sort of indicator of independent thinking, I for one was very happy not to have been given bad (or no) advice when choosing a schedule.  

I heartily disagree that a public school education is any better than a private school education....or vice versa. Too many variables, one can only speak to their own experience, and mine was enormously positive in the private school area.

Because it doesn't work.  It commodifies an institution that is not akin to selling lattes or blue jeans.  Private schools oftentimes make teachers into salespeople and self-esteem coaches to keep retention rates high and the money flowing in.  It's not about educating and telling the student the truth of his/her learning, it's about the money each student brings to the institution.
 

Never had any indication of this in my many years at a private university.  Ironically I found many of the teachers assigning MORE DIFFICULT and more extensive work than my colleagues going to public universities.

Actually not quite, there are myriad factors that parents and students consider when choosing a school, and how they define what a "world class" education is will vary greatly.  


I went to my chosen college because some girl I liked got a a scholarship there....how's that for checking all the variables????  :D

But it helped it (at the time) was one of the cheaper private institutions in the area, and one of the top ten in the country in my chosen major.

Why not fix the school they're in?  Shuffling the same students between different physical buildings is not going to solve the problem. Having almost every student in a given urban area trying to get into the "better" school where there are not enough seats is not going to solve the problem but will lead to massive overcrowding.  Plus who gets to decide who gets in and who doesn't in this one must-get-into school?  In addition, there is no incentive for the free market to serve poor or sparsely populated rural neighborhoods (i.e. no money) so they'll continue to be shafted.  The free market is great for blue jeans, lattes, Ferragamo shoes and D&D collecting, but it doesn't work well for education (or health care).


The same reason every single teacher I know who teaches in the Dallas school system sends their kids to private school...why should their kid be the poster child for experimentation in a failed social experiment?    Most inner city schools are 98-99 percent minority, and there is a reason. Due to racist policies these students (and parents) aren't given a choice, and have to languish in schools where crime, grade inflation, corruption and sheer neglect are the norm.  Oddly enough most minority parents having no choice but to send their child to an underperforming public school isn't seen as a problem to teacher's unions who rely on these institutions to keep the money rolling in for underqualified and uncaring teachers.  

In Dallas, the schools are ranked every year, and you have the option if you are in a school of the lowest level of performance your child can transfer to a better school in the same district.  Thus, this time every year parents actually camp out for weeks at a time in front of the good schools to make sure their child can register there when "open enrollment" registration begins.  These are parents, all minority, who care about their kids and are intelligent enough to realize that trying to "change" their own school is going to do a fart  in a hurricaine's worth of good, and instead realize that their kid deserves the right to be treated like a human being.  I guess everyone of these parents are either delusional or fooled by the media into thinking their students get a better eduction at a quality institution than a public school; I do know they sacrifice themselves (some camp out for WEEKS at a time) and I don't think they do that based on merely anecdotal information.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:18 pm 
 

mandalaymoon wrote:Mark (FormCritic) has been spot-on with his critique that echoes what most people who have actually stepped into a K-12 classroom to teach have told me over the years.  I remember transferring to a Catholic junior high school after being in a NYC public elementary school for K-6, and immediately being recognized as the smartest kid in the class.  These Catholic school 7th graders still had to learn things that I had already learned in 5th and 6th grade.  It was pathetic that my parents had to pay money for this "wonderful" private school education that was obviously sub par.  The supposed upside would be that I would easily get into one of the best Catholic high schools in NYC, which I did... and subsequently I was intellectually unchallenged with mostly sub par teachers.  Thankfully I transferred back to my local NYC public high school for senior year and recharged my intellectual batteries before I went to college.  Everyone who has had a similar experience to mine with public and private Catholic schools has said the public school system was better in more ways than the private Catholic school.  Maybe that's anomalous to NYC but there it is.


It is. I have two friends who had EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE experience here in Texas...moving from a Catholic private school to a public school and being at least two grades ahead of the public school class in all areas (particularly in the math and science departments).  One of my best friends had Calculus two full years before they finally started covering it in public schools. BTW, both my friends ended up being Valedictorian and Salutatorian at the schools they attended, and these weren't small schools either (700-800 graduating students).  They actually got cheated as a result of having to transfer to public schools, as their final two years were just regurgitation of what they had already covered in private school.

The private Catholic schools in the area have long been realized to be light years ahead of public schools.  Any parent I know that has the money, and has their kid on a track to a Ivy league type school, immediately pulls their kid from public school


As for financial incentives for teachers, how could that be arranged?  Test scores?  For many obvious reasons untenable (for example, no teacher would want to teach a class or in a district with poor students).  You can't quantify a good teacher with any statistical analysis.  


Texas has these incentives...which is probably why grade inflation and graduation of illiterate students from public school is a statewide scandal.... 8O

Do you really want the state to cede control of the school system to churches and clergy?  You might want to think that one over for a bit...


Church or the Teacher's unions, not even a choice for me....and I'm not even religious.  :D

Market-driven education is a disaster as its emphasis will be on student retention and ability to pay in order to pad profit and the bottom line.  Students and parents will be flattered and feared to keep the money rolling in.  It will be a shift from a teacher-student relationship to a consumer-provider one, and that will be the end of any objective learning outcomes.  Public schools are by no means perfect, but they're preferable to the systemic pitfalls of the structure of private schools.


Oddly enough, all the reasons you give above are why Texas public schools blow.  Grade inflation scandals are common (got to keep all those football players passing grades, you know), and the Dallas district is about to be blown wide open as there has been systematic and approved cheating on the TAKS tests for years now (the test that tells you how students are performing and whether they should be promoted). Cheating was so bad in one district (Wilmer Hutchins) it was actually shut down and dissolved...hundreds if not thousands of students that were cheated out of learning anything due to corrupt public school administrators that churned out illiterate kids then lied about it.  There are plenty of financial incentives to keep public schools from actually teaching kids, as many or more than private schools.  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:37 pm 
 

My brother lives in the US (Alabama right now) and both his kids were in the public system.  They were doing very well academically and were actually recruited out of the public system and put in a boarding school in Birmingham (all at the expense of the state I might add).  The recruiter told my brother that they did not want to ruin his kids by leaving them in the regular public school system.  This sounds a bit off the wall but it really happened.

Up here in Canada I had to pull my boy out of the public system and put him into a private school; his kindergarten teacher told us he was "Challenged".  After leaving public school he is on the honor roll and just got an astounding 100% on his provincial wide achievement test.

Never the less I have no faith in public school after living these two experiences.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:14 pm 
 

Of course you always have to be careful about how private schools go about providing tuition and better grades...

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?secti ... id=6085999

EDIT: Not trying to imply that the same thing could not happen in a public school


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:42 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Of course you always have to be careful about how private schools go about providing tuition and better grades...

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?secti ... id=6085999

EDIT: Not trying to imply that the same thing could not happen in a public school


Why would that guy go with her I mean ugghh!!


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:26 pm 
 

Blackmoor wrote:
Why would that guy go with her I mean ugghh!!


Uhhh....the words "sicko pervert" come to mind.  :wink:


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:34 pm 
 

In addition, there is no incentive for the free market to serve poor or sparsely populated rural neighborhoods (i.e. no money) so they'll continue to be shafted.  The free market is great for blue jeans, lattes, Ferragamo shoes and D&D collecting, but it doesn't work well for education (or health care).


Actually one simply has to look to other countries where there are private schools for very poor children. This also happened in the US before the rise of state public schools in the 1800's. In any case, if this is your concern, just subsidize private education. How hard is that? It's a hell of a lot cheaper, gives parents choice, and provides accountability.

One remarked "how to give teachers financial incentives"? Maybe have it possible to fire them?? It is virtually impossible to fire any teacher in the public system short of outright scandal. If the public system provided the same incentives as the private system, there wouldn't be as much of an issue, nor as large a difference in performance.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:03 pm 
 

Speaking of other countries, this proved to be semi-humorous:

http://phocks.org/stumble/lethality.php

:wink:


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:51 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Speaking of other countries, this proved to be semi-humorous:

http://phocks.org/stumble/lethality.php

:wink:


Dang And I cant even speak english very well. Much less any other language...........
I am in big trouble.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:57 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Speaking of other countries, this proved to be semi-humorous:

http://phocks.org/stumble/lethality.php

:wink:


Maybe its the amount of salt and sugar we add to foods. :?


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:27 pm 
 

Like anything that is simplified, there is insufficient information to positively identify leading causes.

Other factors to take into consideration:

- Obesity rates
- Environmental factors such as air quality and urban noise that prevents proper sleep
- Stress issues such as crime rates, natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc.)
- Time spent walking to a small local market rather than getting in your car and driving to the mall
- Availability of health care

I am sure there are others, but those are the ones that come immediately to mind.


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:52 pm 
 

Anyone taking advantage of Noble Knight's moving sale?  10% off on everything.  But be prepared for some serious slowness problems.  I thought getting a hotel for Gen Con took a long time....sheesh!  8O


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:03 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:Anyone taking advantage of Noble Knight's moving sale?  10% off on everything.  But be prepared for some serious slowness problems.  I thought getting a hotel for Gen Con took a long time....sheesh!  8O


Unfortunately I am quite spoiled, as I usually shop at HPB (50% off) or when Irecently  took advantage of Chaosium's 25% off sale.  10% doesn't do anything for me.

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:40 pm 
 

Hey, all.

Tonight my group meets to challenge the Inferno again.

Should I put my narrative of this redone classic on the Judges Guild forums, the Non-TSR forums or right here, in the main forums?


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:58 pm 
 

Call me biased but I would love to see it in the JG forums...  :D


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:31 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Hey, all.

Tonight my group meets to challenge the Inferno again.

Should I put my narrative of this redone classic on the Judges Guild forums, the Non-TSR forums or right here, in the main forums?


JG forums. i would be very interested!

when youve ran it, could you PM me, as there are some questions about it i would like to ask you.

cheers

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:54 am 
 

Hey, Duke, any damage to the domicle?  I bet most people don't think of Nevada as an earthquake center, but apparantly it's the 3rd most seismically active state.

Mike B.

Quakes Take Toll on Residents of Reno
By MARTIN GRIFFITH,AP
Posted: 2008-04-27 20:18:22
Filed Under: Nation News, Natural Disaster, Science News
RENO, Nev. (April 26) - Dozens of minor earthquakes shook Reno on Sunday as a series of temblors entered its third month and prompted some frazzled residents to leave their homes.

Marilyn Newton, Gazette-Journal / AP Recent Earthquakes Rattle U.S.1 of 8     Keith Phillips checks the damage to his house in Mogul, Nev., Saturday morning. He said an earthquake that hit late Friday night literally lifted his house and slammed it back down, leaving cracks in his walls and ceiling. More than 150 aftershocks over the weekend have experts worried that a larger quake may be brewing.

More than 150 aftershocks have been recorded on the western edge of northern Nevada's largest city after a magnitude-4.7 quake hit Friday night, the strongest quake in a sequence that began Feb. 28. There were no reports of injuries or widespread damage.

Scientists have urged residents to prepare for worse, saying the recent activity is unusual because the quakes started out small and continue to build in strength.

After being awakened as many as four times a night by quakes, retiree Sandra Petty decided to spend nights 10 miles away at the Sparks home of her daughter, Stefanie McCaffrey.

"The quakes have sent her emotions and nerves into a tailspin," McCaffrey said Sunday. "She was exhausted, and she couldn't relax or unwind. She just needed to get away so she could have a good night's sleep."

Keith Phillips said he's going to live somewhere else, possibly with his children, until the activity settles down. He lives about a block from the epicenter of Friday night's quake, which cracked walls in his house and pushed one of his garages off its foundation.

"I grew up in the Bay Area and went through some major quakes down there," Phillips told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Since we're right on top of the epicenter, I've never felt anything like this."

The strongest aftershock Sunday measured 3 and was recorded shortly before 11 a.m.

Three other quakes larger than magnitude 3 have struck areas scattered hundreds of miles apart across northern Nevada since Friday night's 4.7 quake in Reno.

The quakes around Reno began a week after a magnitude 6 one in the northern Nevada town of Wells, near the Utah border. The Feb. 21 quake has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

Scientists said they're unsure whether the seismic activity across the state, unusual for its basin-and-range topography, is related.

"Not enough is known about the faults and their history and what their role is," said Ken Smith of the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The Reno temblors have prompted a flood of calls from homeowners to insurers about quake insurance.

MetLife placed a 30-day moratorium on new coverage after a 4.2 quake jolted Reno on Thursday. Until then, the strongest quake in the sequence had been 3.6 on April 16.

Other insurers were expected to follow suit.

"It probably will be extended, unfortunately, because of the one (Friday) night," MetLife agent Charlotte Eckmeyer said, adding that quake coverage just about doubles premiums.

Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the nation behind California and Alaska. Reno's last major quake measured 6.1 on April 24, 1914.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:01 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Hey, Duke, any damage to the domicle?  I bet most people don't think of Nevada as an earthquake center, but apparantly it's the 3rd most seismically active state.

Mike B.



It's that way because of all of the underground nuclear testing still going on out there.  Lying government bastards.  :wink:


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