“It's problematic to reduce the many criticism of Bill Gates' philanthropic efforts down to mere "cynicism." He has done great harm to the American public school system (among other things), and he should be held accountable for those actions.”
“Education Next is a publication of the Hoover Institute, a right-wing think tank. The Manhattan Institute is also a right-wing think tank. The NCES study you provided clearly indicates that "the offer of a private school voucher had no impact on college enrollment rates within 3 years of expected graduation for the sample as a whole"
That last one is a legislative audit from the State of Wisconsin. If you read down to the conclusion (p. 17) you'll see where the study,"shows no significant difference in the performance of Choice and similar MPS pupils after four years of participation..."”
“Why, look at that! I made a one-letter mistake, yes. Even we English teachers are prone to error when we must filter our opinions through a website (there is no function on HuffPo for me to edit my comments).
Your deflective condescension is duly noted, Mr. Hoffman. But you still haven't answered my question.”
Ben Hoffman on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:59:14
“There is no "function" on HP for any of us to edit our comments. And an answer to your question would require a ten page essay. Assign it to your students. :)”
“And I'm willing to bet that you're skirting the research data because you much prefer your florid ideologies over real-world information. Belief systems are certainly lot more pleasant when they're not called into question by raw numbers, aren't they?”
MrMiz on Oct 25, 2013 at 13:13:08
“You keep saying that but I don’t see you producing any stats to back that up. I’ve seen otherwise and that those who benefit most are African-Americans.
“Exactly. And there are prime examples of this in South America and South Asia. We have models of "free market" water distribution to draw upon as evidence, and the overall picture ain't pretty. Very good analogy on your part. If we value education as a human right (in the same regard as water, air, food, etc.), then we should look to what happens when we privatize said public good.”
MrMiz on Oct 25, 2013 at 14:34:48
“Human rights are a BS concept. There are two overarching forms of rights; Natural and Legal. The Natural Rights are Life, Liberty and Property with several other rights, such as Association, Privacy, Defense etc. emanating from them. Education cannot be a Natural Right because neither educators nor schools and all of the infastructure that supports them exists by Nature. Rather, they're products of capital, resources and labor, ie manmade. At most, they can be legal rights. Not even some of things you mention that do exist by Nature, such as water, can be seen as Natural Rights. Screaming that you have a right to water if you're lost in the middle of the desert won't quench your thirst any more than saying you have a right to food will cause fruit to fall from the trees and roll to your feet; you have to either get it for yourself or have someone else provide it for you. And if you try and make something that isn't a Natural Right a legal right, with the threat or application of government force to back it, you inevitably violate somebody else's Natural Rights. Which do you prefer, to violate their right to Liberty by enslaving them for your benefit or their right to property by stealing the fruit of their labor?”
“The efforts to privatize the American education system has nearly 30 years of evidence behind it already. Have you not seen the research data on what happens to students, schools, and whole communities when we introduce vouchers and charter schools, etc? This is not a philosophical debate. We HAVE lots and lots of evidence now, and the evidence points to one thing: academic achievement is NOT enhanced by the "free market."
You can *believe* whatever you want, MrMiz, but you can't make up data.”
“Absolutely. I concur with palindrom's suggestion. But, let's be honest: the privatization acolytes don't really want to read the research-informed opinion of a highly-accredited and knowledgeable EXPERT like Ms. Ravitch. They'd much rather cuddle up with an Ayn Rand novel and slip gently off into another "free market" wet dream.”
palindrom on Oct 25, 2013 at 13:38:52
Re Ayn Rand: Look up "Georges Monbiot Manifesto fof Psychopaths". It's just a column, and it makes a GREAT read.”
“"Their performances are hyped up by selectivity, not allowing all equal access, which unfairly inflates their performance reports. I wouldn't mind these advocates at all if they were honest about this fact."
Agreed. Despite the fact that it is *illegal*, many charter schools require new students to take exams as a perquisite for entrance. Subsequently, as a percentage of the overall student body, their numbers of ELL, LD, and special needs kids is significantly lower than that of their local counterparts. It's entirely disingenuous for the advocates of privatization to look to these so-called "success stories" as a model for the entire school system.”
CaptDMO on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:29:46
“"Agreed. Despite the fact that it is *illegal*, many charter schools require new students to take exams as a perquisite for entrance."
And so, there we have the model for the future of "higher" education, complete with
the all important growing "subsidies". ALL without considering, or acting on "what, exactly is driving value received down?"
“"If we really wanted to improve the quality of education, we should introduce competition into the education system and the best way to do that is via vouchers."
I take it, then, that you are *not* familiar with the oodles of research studies out there showing in great detail how voucher systems have been a colossal failure. Allow me to provide you with a recap of those findings: vouchers do NOT improve scores, vouchers do NOT reduce dropout rates, vouchers do NOT lessen achievement gaps between races, vouchers do NOT lessen financial gaps between schools. We've had 20+ years of vouchers and several examples of school districts utilizing the "competition" strategy you advocate here, and now we can draw some informed conclusions. The results are in, my friend: vouchers do NOT work. The only folks who don't want to admit this, generally speaking, are those who seek to profit off the destruction of our public schools: textbook publishers, tutoring companies, stock brokers, and the greedy, corporate know-nothings underwriting the so-called "school choice movement." They don't care about DATA, they only care about making money, and they're willing to destroy communities all across this nation to meet that goal. That's what your "free market" ideology has wrought.”
MrMiz on Oct 25, 2013 at 12:31:02
“I'm willing to bet that a poor parent living in one of the myriad welfare plantations "served" by one of the myriad failing public schools concentrated there would beg to differ.”
Oct 25, 2013 at 11:01:10
“"Why Not? This argument is about diversity in any environment." The article was not; it was about diversity in American politics.
"Minorities feel everything, from school admissions to jobs to politics, must be diversified." You've spoken to all "minorities," have you? Wow! You must be exhausted.
"Why is professional sports the exception to that?" Because it's NOT "American politics," the subject of the article.
"The NBA and NFL is predominantly black employees. MLB is largely Hispanic." So? The NBA, NFL, and MLB (alone with *all* other sports) is a business. It's also pretty close to a perfect meritocracy. No one votes for players, they earn a spot of the team. For that matter, no one votes for coaches, league policies, or even the dang color of the team jerseys. It's NOT a democracy, and professional sports is not subject to the arbitrary boundaries of nations, states, cities, or gerrymandered districts. Again, it's NOT in any way analogous to "American politics." It's an absurd comparison.
"How come whites or Asians don't have the same arguments?" I'm sure some whites and Asians *do* have the same arguments. Take heart. I'm certain you're not alone in your poor critical thinking, son.”
Oct 24, 2013 at 23:53:56
“You can't possibly think this is a legitimate analogy, can you?”
Leto II on Oct 25, 2013 at 10:43:07
“Why not? This argument is about diversity in any environment. Minorities feel everything, from school admissions to jobs to politics, must be diversified. Why is professional sports the exception to that? The NBA and NFL is predominantly black employees. MLB is largely Hispanic. How come whites or Asians don't have the same arguments?”
“That isn't his problem. He gave them 7 years and they did virtually nothing to put good players around him. In fact he wasted too many years there since we now know he could go anywhere else and win Championships.”
Sep 25, 2013 at 10:17:59
“Absolutely correct. Also, I find it ludicrous that the author would include Bill Gates on this list. The man was born into wealth. What "obstacle" is a failed first business if you've got a huge safety net to catch you when you fall?!”
“Oh, I beg to differ. There are literally hundreds of examples I could draw upon to illustrate my point. That's how political campaigns work in this country. It's a battle for who's the best manipulator of information; ie, the best liar.”
“It's not about the how "important" a job is; it's about the expectation society has of that job. Any journalism program in the country will tell future reporters not to misquote people, and when one they are usually fired and publicly condemned. But a politician rarely faces that wrath. Again, I'm not saying Grayson is justified, I'm saying an advertisement is different than news.”
guvna2 on Sep 3, 2013 at 11:44:39
“It isn't just the ad in itself. It's a man who is willing to lie - who is a known liar - in Congress right now.”