At What Cost?

In the midst of reading yet another article on how a return good education would be fairly easy (simply return to what we used to do), which is fodder for another meditation, I ran across this chart:

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And rather than seeing what the author wanted me to see (which I see, but am not meditating on here), I saw further proof for my thesis that modern public education is not about learning, but about job growth.  It is profitable for educators to avoid improvement.  If there is always a crisis in education, there is always more money with which to try and solve it.  If the simple solutions were to be implemented, and work, then all the current spending on education would be silly.

Even as we decry how poorly we pay our teachers, we watch as the educational industry skyrockets in cost.  If we are paying teachers poorly, where is all that money going?  The text book industry is doing well, especially now that it can charge the same or more for electronic books while saving all the costs of printed texts.  The testing industry is booming.  The satellite industries that produce practice tests, test prep, consulting, and the like are doing well.  And there are more offices in the admin wing than ever, but teachers are still underpaid.  Hmmmm.  There seems to be a large rabbit hole somewhere…

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Reposting an Argument Worth Having

I try not to repost too much on this blog.  Most of it should be my thoughts, in my way of looking at blogs.  But, occasionally I find something I think fits with what I am trying to do here:  breed discussion and thought on the nature of teaching.

A modern concern has been the issue of authority in education.  Who should be “in charge” of it.  The modern liberation of the parent has resulted in the State taking over this parental responsibility.  So now we have those who believe the federal Department of Education is the all knowing, all important Nanny of education.  Others believe the whole DoE should be abolished, so much so that many voted for a candidate who promised just such a move.

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Below are two links, one is a call for such abolishment, the other a response to the first article.  You have the ability to read, to discern, to think it through.  Determine where you think the wisdom lies.

Albright Article

Gorman Response

How Big Can the Grade Balloon Inflate?

Assessment is perhaps the toughest thing in education, and reporting one’s assessment may be right behind it in difficulty.  Grade inflation has been hitting the headlines off and one for some time.  Keeping abreast of the trend is both discouraging and yet leads toward wisdom.

Here is a commentary on grade inflation.

That comment is based on this website.  http://www.gradeinflation.com/

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Corrosion from Within: Higher Ed’s Toxic Lead Problem

If you wish to meditate on the relationship between education and the State (once you’ve read The Republic) go no further than looking at the issues killing the modern university.  I have been thinking a lot about what the future of college and university looks like and most of my thoughts have been disturbing and depressing.  But in reading up on the recent event with lead poisoning in Flint, MI (during which I did not expect to think about college at all), I ran across the following interview with the research scientist at the forefront of that controversy and what he had to say about academia.  Perhaps it is easier to hear doom and gloom from those within (like him) than those from without (like me).  Read and judge for yourself.

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Water-Next-Time-Professor/235136

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Headed Toward Localization

Perhaps we are seeing a recovery of what it takes to rightly govern, even in our attempts at education.  I have long held that all decisions regarding our children’s education should be made as close to the classroom as possible.  The corporate structure of American education, whether Public, Charter, or Private, has been to move decisions farther out, rather closer to the classroom.  Until now.  I saw the following chart and had hope.  Unions are just one way that collectivism has hurt good education, and allegiance to such is waning.  May it continue.

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The Golden Calf, err, CDC

We worship doctors and medicine today.  The only explanation I can find for willingly allowing our health care to be nationalized.  And once you offer obeisance to an idol, it begins to ask for your children as well.  The CDC has an opinion for everything.  This week it offered up the idea that we start school too early for teens.

http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0806-school-sleep.html

It would seem there are several possible solutions to teens not getting enough sleep:

A. Examine the prevailing ideals about what constitutes “enough” sleep.  Maybe kids are just wimps.

B. Require earlier bed times.  If we can mandate start times, surely this can be done as well.

C. Require less of our students, so that by starting later, we can still end “on time” rather than go later and find them all asleep at 4pm in their classrooms.

D. Let a sleeping dog lie – stop seeking to find a medical reason for poor education, which is what I perceive to be the agenda behind this study – which was conducted by the supposedly scientific folks at the CDC (who get things wrong a lot, if the record is examined [just ask them if a chicken egg is good or bad for the human diet]) and, oh yeah, the Federal Ed. Dept. which has a long track record of its own to try and hide.

The more collective our society becomes, the less we know…

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