Public Schools

  • We'll have to amend the Constitution to include something about high heels.

    Jayne... how about Chief Justice of Supreme Shopping? We need someone to preside over cases concerning crimes of fashion.
      March 1, 2003 12:19 AM GMT
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  • If somebody had to run the world who better than a tranny.I just want to make sure everybody has cute shoes on.
                                   kelly  :D
      February 28, 2003 6:11 PM GMT
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  • It's always a good idea to have the people in control. Otherwise, I'd have to run the world, and I simply don't have time, what with all the shaving I have to do.

    Run the world? Why on earth would you want to do that? ???

    I'd rather let somebody else muck it up; not only the shaving but there is shopping to do, restaurants to eat at, and too many good dance clubs I want to hit. And I couldn't if I had to run the planet...So I guess it's better you than me. Need a Secretary of Shopping and Nightlife? ;)

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)  
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      February 28, 2003 3:13 PM GMT
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  • Yes, I could certainly use a Secretary of Shoes for the Shoe Department. Of course, the dress code requies heels no shorter than 3" and a well-kept pedicure at all times. Oh, and no ankle-length skirts. We don't want to hide the footware!
      February 28, 2003 12:41 PM GMT
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  • Stevie, I would want to be part of your staff I could be secratary of shoes or maybe makeup.

                                 kelly :-/
      February 28, 2003 1:51 AM GMT
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  • It's always a good idea to have the people in control. Otherwise, I'd have to run the world, and I simply don't have time, what with all the shaving I have to do.

      February 28, 2003 12:13 AM GMT
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  • Stevie--

    Not an intentional misquote--just using the argument that you get, have gotten and posted. Besides--you said at that point you didn't completely disagree with the logic. By default, that denotes some sort of agreement....

    As for placing control of certain items in the hands of John Q. Public...think about some of your co-workers. You sure that's a good idea?  ??? ;D

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)  
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      February 27, 2003 3:05 PM GMT
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  • Well, that quote of mine was taken out of context. Here's what I said:

    A common response I get to that is: "But Stevie, ensuring that our children are educated is in our nation's best interest, and all citizens benefit from an educated population, just as we all benefit from road systems, police forces, the military, court houses, government offices, etc. Ensuring the education of children is a necessary role of government, not a social program."

    Not that you intended to misquote me, Jayne, but without that first part, it makes it seem like I said something I didn't say. I still don't think public schools represent our best answer to ensuring education.

    You mentioned a few things with which I agree, especially the bit about "undue taxation." If we weren't taxed at such ridiculous levels, we could afford to pay for our own lives, including the education of any children we have. The cost of health care/insurance is a big factor too, but once again, we can solve that problem to a large extent by placing more control in the hands of the individual citizens.
      February 27, 2003 12:43 AM GMT
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  • ...what is it about parents that makes them unable to pay for education?  They somehow manage to buy their kids food, clothing, and shelter without my help. Why do they suddenly become charity cases when it's time to pay tuition?


    Stevie--

    I have enough friends who have inflicted their kids on the wolrd. I have a partial answer here. It is precisely because the parents are paying for food, clothing, and shelter without any help. I remember how much I put away daily in groceries when I was in High School... ;D

    Children are not cheap. Even shopping at Wal-Mart, you still pay quite a bit for them. Add to that all the undue taxation, school fees, added insurance, doctor and dental costs, and anything else I failed to mention...and it doesn't take a warp core tech to see why.

    Plus, your own words come back to haunt you... Ensuring the education of children is a necessary role of government, not a social program." I have to admit that I don't completely disagree with that logic. Yes, I do agree that government has a role to play in ensuring that children are educated, but does that mean government is supposed to run schools? Even if there were no government run schools, parents would still have to pay for that education. I don't like how my tax dollars are getting wasted spent, either. But I do see the logic in helping to "pay the freight" to educate them. If we don't, then we relapse into an elitist society, where well to do folks can get their kids an education, and poor people end up sending their kids to work in the fields. By helping to pay for education--like it or not--I have a right (in theory) to give input into the curriculum that is allegedly being taught.

    I like the concept, actually, even it it isn't always true and always workable.

    Oh, by the way...think kids are expensive? Get a pet. ;D

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      February 26, 2003 3:05 PM GMT
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  • Well, I still haven't heard any good reasons for not making parents pay for their own kids' educations. Not only is there the responsibility issue I mentioned earlier, but parents should also be made to pay for inflicting their brats upon the world. Seriously though, what is it about parents that makes them unable to pay for education?  They somehow manage to buy their kids food, clothing, and shelter without my help. Why do they suddenly become charity cases when it's time to pay tuition? I'm really struggling to avoid the word lazy here.
      February 26, 2003 4:29 AM GMT
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  • Heather:

    Point by point seems to be the way to go here...

    1. Since the US Dept. of Education does not accredit schools, they either should--and thus, have univerasally held requirements to be passed prior from graduation from that grade--or they should get out of the school thing altogether, and let them be run as private, for-profit institutions.  Vouchers, as much as I like the concept, won't work--the mass exodus from one school or school system to another would be overwhelming.

    As you amended it, I agree with point two. There needs to be some sort of morality training. I personally feel that any true morality has, as part of its basis, a religious component. Notice I did not say Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, etc. but religious. Tolerance for all religions--including those we don't like--must be taught.

    I would add to point 3 music, or expand art to include all the fine arts. When it is budget cut time, the first thing to go is the music program, and frankly, it pisses me off. (I'm a former music major. ;D)

    Point 4: No arguments. How one does this, however, has to be determined. This is why I like the Flat Tax concept--schools would have (in theory) enough money to be equally funded, as the state--not the local city--has to disburse funds for all schools that way.

    Point 5 is long overdue.

    Stevie--your quote:My point is that I believe parents, not society at large, have to be responsible for their own children. Food, clothing, shelter, security, and education are things that all parents owe their children. They assume that responsibility to provide when they decide to reproduce, because children simply can't provide for themselves. Parents should think carefully about the obligations they're accepting before starting families. If you can't afford to provide those things, don't have kids, and don't expect me to pay for your decisions with my tax dollars. I need my money, too.

    How can I argue with this logic? Unless I buy into the concept of "It takes a village to raise a child", I can't.

    On the other hand...the only reasonable way to pay for an education comes from some sort of tax base. Which means we all have to have some sort of input. I have no children...but as I have said elsewhere: I am a survivor product of the California public school system, when it was considered of the better ones--if not the best--in the country.

    They spent time trying to not warp my cute little personality. 8)  

    They spent time trying to make me feel good about myself. ;D  

    They spent time trying to make me a good citizen. ;)  

    Get this, please:

    WHAT THEY DIDN'T SPEND TIME ON WAS TEACHING ME BASIC STUFF, LIKE ENGLISH, MATH, SCIENCES, AND HISTORY. I was basically self-taught from high school on, because my teachers, by and large, were interested mostly in living one more day, and possibly seeing retirement. With schools like that, we cannot hope to better this country..much less the world. And if we don't find a fix for this mess and soon, we will continue to slide, and other nations will be losing their best and brightest to us, becuase we can't fill the highly educated jobs with our own.

    Luv 'n hugs,

    Jayne Sakura :)
    "Almost-Angel, T-Girl Genius, and Ultra Flirt"
    Living as the woman I am!
      February 25, 2003 4:16 PM GMT
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  • I do not believe that things are fine the way they are, but the present system should be fixed rather than abandoned.  A more equitable distribution of funding and a return to the basics would help.

    I have an addition to my first post in this thread:

    5.  DISCIPLINE.  The schools must be free to discipline disruptive children.  In the interest of "political correctness", schools are afraid to do anything when children misbehave.  There should be no tolerance for disruptive behavior, with penalties including suspension, expulsion, and even corporal punishment in some cases applied with consistency.  Children who are bullied by others must be protected - the school should be a safe place for all.  If that means removing the bullies and putting them into a prison-like reform school, then so be it.

    As an answer to Stevie's comment about whether schools have suffered from the removal of religion, I would argue, as I did in Item #2 of my first post, that universally held values of integrity and respect can be taught without endorsing particular religions.  This morality needs to return to the schools, but religious observance does not - it is impermissible for the government to enforce something like that.  Prayer has nothing to do with morality; in the schools, it only serves to divide people, and if reintroduced, it would make things worse.  Instead of bringing Christian observance to the schools, tolerance and appreciation for the diversity of religions and value systems should be taught.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      February 15, 2003 9:25 PM GMT
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  • Heather, I agree with you on the basic subjects being taught (or not being taught) in the schools.
      February 15, 2003 3:56 PM GMT
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  • (Excerpts from my posts on Religion and Politics - please excuse the copy and paste, but the comments belong here.)


    Have our government schools suffered as a result of the removal of religious influences from the classroom? Yes, I think so. I think political correctness has also had a major negative influence on the way we deal with children. We can't tell them they're wrong, we can't punish them, we no longer say the Pledge of allegiance, football teams don't say pre-game prayers anymore, etc. Our children aren't taught respect anymore, and they don't fear getting in trouble.

    What bothers me about public schools is that whatever political fads our government gets caught up in from time to time are reflected in our schools. That's one of the reasons I think all schools should be private. Parents who prefer religious upbringing for their kids can  send them to schools that incorporate religion in the daily routine, and parents who prefer a more secular environment can send their kids elsewhere. Sure, we can do that now, but without government schools, we avoid the whole problem of mixing government with religion in the area of education. I'm not a parent, but my tax dollars are currently being used in ways that don't impress me. The more government gets involved in our lives, the more we'll see individual citizens get upset about government policies.

    If all schools were private, we'd have plenty of non-religious schools. There are too many parents who would want them, and the market would meet that demand. Some areas would have more religious schools than others, but this is a free country, after all, and all places aren't the same. The local communities vary.

    Obviously, I'm a purist when it comes to capitalism, but government schools is one issue which I do think straddles the fence that divides social programs from necessary functions of government. Therefore, if someone can show me a way to make them work, I'll consider supporting them. Perhaps a feasible compromise (in the absence of government schools) would be to offer partial (or, in some cases, full) vouchers for those families who can't afford private schools, but there would be a lot of details to work out. However, I'm still inclined to believe that we'd be better off without government schools.

    As I mentioned earlier, one reason I'm against government schools (often called public schools in the USA, but the fact is that they are government-run, government-funded schools, so I call them what they are) is that there will always be disagreements over school policies, and we can't please everyone, even though our government schools are under local (state, county, & city) control. Just imagine how bad things would be if they were all under direct federal control. Ugh! Another reason I'm against them is that I see government schools as another social program creating more dependency on the government. Also, I have to pay taxes to support those schools and I don't have any children. I don't like having to support someone else's family when I have bills of my own to pay. If you're going to have kids, you send them to school yourself. Why should you expect others to pay for your children's tuition?

    Now, here's the "straddle the fence" part. A common response I get to that is: "But Stevie, ensuring that our children are educated is in our nation's best interest, and all citizens benefit from an educated population, just as we all benefit from road systems, police forces, the military, court houses, government offices, etc. Ensuring the education of children is a necessary role of government, not a social program." I have to admit that I don't completely disagree with that logic. Yes, I do agree that government has a role to play in ensuring that children are educated, but does that mean government is supposed to run schools?

    Heather suggested that education and heath care are similar, in that education is "...too important to be turned over entirely to the private sector," and that "only those who have the financial means would be able to get a good education." Ricka went even further, saying "Universal, free, public education is at the very cornerstone of democracy.  Losing it, or weakening it in any way would be a tragedy beyond measure." Well, I think education and health care are important, but aren't there more important things in life? Aren't food and water more important? After all, if you starve to death, your quality of education doesn't really matter. If we're paying to educate children, why aren't we paying to feed them year-round? If we want guaranteed health care for everyone, why not guaranteed food for everyone?

    My point is that I believe parents, not society at large, have to be responsible for their own children. Food, clothing, shelter, security, and education are things that all parents owe their children. They assume that responsibility to provide when they decide to reproduce, because children simply can't provide for themselves. Parents should think carefully about the obligations they're accepting before starting families. If you can't afford to provide those things, don't have kids, and don't expect me to pay for your decisions with my tax dollars. I need my money, too.

    I think parents could afford to pay for their children's education if they weren't taxed into the ground. The same amount of money used by the average school system to educate their children could be better spent when the parents have to write the checks themselves. They'd shop for the best value, getting the best education at the best price, and they'd have extra incentive to get involved with their children and their teachers. Yes, the wealthier parents will be able to afford the best schools at any price, but that's the case now. Just because some schools are more expensive doesn't mean they are necessarily better, and just because some schools are better doesn't mean the others are bad. Bad private schools will go out of business. Harvard and Yale are two of the best universities in the USA, but does that fact make other universities worthless? I think not.

    As for government's role, parents should be required to care for their own children, including educating them. When parents abuse or neglect their children, then, yes, we should step in and do something, and we can only do so with governmental authority. That's nothing new, though. You might think I'm being harsh in saying that parents who can't afford to send their kids to school are abusive/neglectful and should have their children taken away, but don't we already do that if parents can't afford to feed their children? I think it's a matter of personal responsibility, and how much we want to hold citizens accountable for their own actions.

    I don't consider the current situation acceptable, but maybe you think things are just fine the way they are. If you can show me a better way, though, I'm listening. By "better," I mean better than what we have now and an alternative to what I've suggested.

      February 15, 2003 3:54 PM GMT
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  • Our local school system is a mess, one more example of mis-use of public funds by our elected officials.
      February 15, 2003 8:05 AM GMT
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  • When or if you come up with something about which I disagree,I will let you know.

                        10/10

    Sue.X
    Sue. X Psychiatrists are like the eunuch in the harem. They know what transvestism is, they can describe it, they can demonstrate it, but they cant actually explain it!
      February 15, 2003 12:51 AM GMT
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  • The subject of public schools has come up in other threads.  It is a big issue and probably deserves a thread of its own.  I do not have or want children, but I care about this anyway.  The future of our society depends on the education of the children.  I will put a list of my opinions here, and I am sure there will be plenty of disagreement to follow!

    1.  THE GENERAL ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT.  I do not believe that a totally private system would provide a good education to all children.  It would do very well for those who could afford to pay, and those who could not would have to beg for donations or go without.  The government must guarantee a good education for all children regardless of economic circumstances, and the best way to accomplish this is for the government to run a school system.  This is obviously imperfect, but I cannot think of a better way.  Perhaps a publically funded private system would work, but there would have to be considerable government oversight.

    2.  RELIGION AND MORALITY IN THE SCHOOLS.  Public or publically funded schools must not endorse a particular religion or require any kind of religious observance.  In a pluralistic society composed of many religions, such an endorsement is unacceptable.  Morality, on the other hand, can be separated from particular religious traditions.  Prohibitions against lying, stealing, and needless violence are, or should be, universally held.  Basic values such as these, which are required for a society to function, should be taught in schools.  Religion should be taught as an academic subject, exploring various worldwide and locally important religions without endorsing or denigrating any.  People should not graduate from high school without having this basic understanding.  It would promote tolerance.  Rather than teaching narrow views of right and wrong, tolerance should be taught as a virtue.  Tolerance, of course, does not extend to those who cheat or steal, but it does extend to those who are somehow "different" from the majority, such as the people who post messages here!

    3.  BASIC SUBJECTS.  The emphasis should be on the basic academic subjects - math, reading, science, health, history, politics, and morality and religion as I outlined above.  Art is also important and should not be neglected.  Every culture has a strong artistic tradition and to ignore this would reduce the quality of education.  Other subjects, such as vocational training, have an important place at the secondary school level.  Physical education is a bit of a sore point with me.  It was a terrible experience which adversely affected my academic performance.  While physical fitness is important, it must not be allowed to compromise academic performance.  Any student whose performance is being degraded by terrible experiences in gym class should be allowed to opt out of it or find some sort of alternative.  Perhaps if the methods of teaching physical education were totally overhauled, it would not be so bad.

    4.  FUNDING.  Inequitable property tax-based funding must be changed.  Schools must receive equal funding whether they are in poor or rich neighborhoods.

    These are just a few of my opinions on this subject.  I will add more as I think of them.

    Heather H.
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
      February 14, 2003 11:36 PM GMT
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