The big power that school boards do have (even though it's at the behest of the state) is over contracts. If you've got a school board of 200,000 students, contracts for anything to do with that district are BIG money contracts. If you can get a handful of representatives on that board to make sure that the right people get those contracts, it's a big money making venture for those people.
On the idea of some sort of world education standard, I don't think that exists. If you're talking about state and federal curriculum mandates, that's one thing. I've got no problem with standardized testing. Keep that if the state wants to be able to measure the production of school districts.
However, leave it up to the small districts and the residents in them to determine whether they think the test results are adequate or not.
If you really think you can approach kids from vastly different backgrounds with a standardized education approach, you haven't been involved much with kids. Kids from poorer backgrounds are often going to have different needs and different base education when they enter a school system. If you try to teach everyone exactly the same way with the exact same things, you under-serve almost everyone.
Again, be careful, because you're starting to sound slightly Communist in some of your thoughts. Yes, we are all created equal, but it's foolish to think that means that we all start with equal circumstances and will therefore have the same needs when it comes to education.
OakTree, I am ok with the Barefooted and naked part.
Make sure and wash really good after you get out of Nashville. You don't wanna have that Nash Trash stink on your clothes when you get back to a real city.
I might also add that school boards wield very little political power, primarily because they are not legislative bodies. They are policy making bodies only, and even then, their ability to make policy is severely restricted by the state in the form of the Legislature and the State Department of Education.
In fact, school boards legally only exist as agents of the state. The state, at its pleasure, could come in, dissolve the local board of education, seize its schools, and give policy making power to anyone the state chooses.
Of course, that has never happened, and probably never would, either. But that power exists.
Don't confuse real political power with noise. School boards have the ability to make plenty of noise.
Is there someplace I can go to review the educational world standards whereof you speak?
In two posts yesterday, at 8:48 and again at 11:55, you speak of them as existent. I have some degree of familiarity with public education but have never seen or heard of any world standards.
Could you help me out and point me to them?
"Michael Rallings has urged Memphians to prevent motor theft with one suggestion; try not to leave your vehicle running when you are not occupying it"
It appears Darwins Theory also applies to automobiles.
No lock, no car
I think the best way to deal with the Donald is to let him screw himself. The Donald did a good job deflecting back attacks by both repubs in the primary, and a over the hill Hill in the general election.
Ms. Mary Mancini, I will again urge you and the democrats to find out why you have pissed off working and middle class white males, and what you all can do to bring them back into the democrat party.
There is way to much crime in this area. Our thugs are also effing up the neighboring counties.
There is a good point in the story about leaving cars idling. Jeez folks, it will not kill you to drive for about 5 minutes before the car gets warm. Most of the cars made in the past 20 years or so can not be hot wired through the steering columns which has also led to the increase of car-jacking.
Also, it appears the young thugz cannot drive stick shifts which has led to a humorous You Tube video or two.
@ern - Goring this ox, goring that ox...
I doubt our beloved 'moverhill' person has even READ the juguy, by Kuoan Shyun, or ever even SEEN the watercolors of Tensho Shubun representing the journey.
"Barefooted and naked of breast,
I mingle with the people of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees
If we should hope to understand the Ox, we clearly cannot trust 'moverhill' to be our guide.
As much as I want to believe communities would be better served with smaller educational boards that would have more capacity to act specifically to help individual schools and students, I can't help but think such an outlook lends itself to a "divide and conquer" strategy that will ultimately work against education quality.
For example, a school well below national standards would attract many students if all the surrounding districts were of terrible quality. This would make that school appear to be excellent by comparison, even though it lagged well behind world standards. Put a bad enough school system next to anything, and you find parent satisfaction will increase without education quality increasing at all, in fact, it could fall quite a bit.
In order to hold education to world standards, it must be regulated by a world class body with world spanning authority. I worry that also having many small bodies reporting to that world class regulating authority would ultimately result in too many middlemen between the funding and the students.
There is no case where a school system should be locally sovereign. The standards can't be locally sovereign, because the competition certainly isn't locally sovereign. I don't know about you guys, but I'm tired of Americans losing their shirts (literally) to China. Even other major American cities are eating SCS's lunch right now, let alone Beijing and Mumbai.
School boards will always wield lots of political power. Teachers are inherently leaders, and so by definition are difficult to boss around. This lends itself to a good bit of political obstreperousness, but then again so does every other aspect of child rearing. King Willie is a perfect example of the kind of toughness that comes from this: many people thought poorly of Herenton, but nobody thought he was weak willed.
I certainly agree with Oak and Grove in that respect: education is worth fighting over.
CL is right. If that speech incites a riot that leads to violence, then the speech isn't protected.
If the KKK, for example, started lynching people based on the suggestions of a leader, then I'm pretty certain that the leader could be charged for his speech.
Just going outside and saying you wish all X type of people would die is perfectly free and protected speech, and it should be.
My point was to say that yes it does depend on whose ox is being gored, and I don't think you're thinking about how your own ox would or could be gored if you were to open that Pandora's box. You may have certain things that you would classify as hate speech that you think are perfectly reasonable. Someone else may find some of your speech to be hate speech though, and when they come to power, your ox could be the one getting gored, and all of a sudden, the idea isn't so good anymore.
A lot of good north/south routes proposed here. Specifically the Highland street bikelane will be super useful. Why they just couldn't leave the awesome bike lane on Riverside up is beyond me, but I'm glad to see it coming back. Perkins and Airways will also seriously expand the overall utility of our current bike transit system.
What time will this meeting take place? I might even take off work just to be able to attend.
Bravo, in your face OakTree and Mullins!
Oak: yeah, I know what you mean: I said the word "rabid" and then you appeared. Oh, and CL: keep smoking that fatty you're holding in your avatar---it's obviously not just for medicinal purposes. BTW: "hate crime" isn't either new or Orwellian, but I wouldn't expect an Alex Jones acolyte to accept that. Sad!
@Grove - I should also add, that I think that teacher unions (specifically the NEA) have so long been Democratic partisans, that they have in fact turned into a medieval guild, which ossifies educational inequity, rather than working to resolve it, because it furthers the strength of their guild to continue the status quo. They no longer even represent teachers' real issues, but are more a fund-raising arm of the Democratic Party than anything else. This also needs to be addressed.
@Grove - Yep. The bigger a school system, the more the people running it act like feudal overlords, and less like teachers. My real problem with this whole 'voucher' issue though, is that it displaces the real discussion we need to be having, about the fact that in much of this country, the only real purpose of the educational system, is to keep the kids occupied for a few years, until they either graduate to prison, or to the unemployment lines. The whole concept of how we educate our population needs to be broken up and redesigned, to include more technical and post-secondary schooling. All at public expense. The idea that people could afford to pay for investing in their own human capital is on shaky ground, based upon the stagnation and sometimes actual decrease in real wages in America. As we have discussed before, using speculative public spending in capital projects is really no cost to the Feds. This is a better place than even roads, bridges, and dams, where we could invest, and get a larger return on that investment via subsequent tax growth. And no one is even thinking in these terms within our current administration. We need to talk about this. Hell, we need to SCREAM about this.
Absolutely wrong. Free speech defends all those things. All of 'em. Bad thoughts are not a crime. If one can be found to incite violence. there are various laws in place and no need for Orwellian new ones like "hate crimes".
Neither should you confuse the 1st amendment with a private business' responsibility to publish hateful and stupid comments.
@Mia - You said the world 'troll', and then 'moverhill' appeared. Which of course brings to mind the old Swedish aphorism, "Nar man talar om trollen sa star de i farstun" or roughly in translation to English, "When you talk of trolls, they show up at your doorway."
Yum!!! Can't wait to try this place!
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