Manpower: Can better training/education for the

Manpower: Can better training/education for the poor fill the need?

Funding education with property taxes means that poor communities often cannot afford good schools due to declining property values.

If schools were upgraded to meet the need, would the poor be better served? Would outcomes be improved?

That experiment was done full scale in New Jersey where the state Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that the state is required to underwrite local education under the state constitution which required the state to provide a “thorough and efficient” education. The schools that received this special support are known as the Abbott Schools.

It took a while to put the details together. Especially replacing old schools with modern, well designed buildings. The results are reported in a Wikipedia article.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbott_district

“The achievement gap in math test scores for fourth graders narrowed from 31 points in 1999 to 19 points in 2007, and on reading tests from 22 points in 2001 to 15 points in 2007. The gap in eighth grade math narrowed less, from 30 points in 2000 to 26 points in 2008, and did not change in reading. The gap did not narrow in high school.[5] In addition, a 2012 study by the New Jersey Department of Education determined that score gains in the Abbotts were no higher than score gains in high-poverty districts that did not participate in the Abbott lawsuit and therefore received much less state money.[6]”

Looks like better schools can be part of the answer, but not the magic solution to poverty.

Discussion invited.

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I hate to sound preachy but education is all about the attitude and the value system.

Respect for education. Respect for the teaching authority. Respect for the learning environment. Do the work. Do the homework. Education starts in the home at age: As soon as mommy and daddy come down from The Big Event. Nobody needs a fancy building and neat stuff to learn. Teach the stuff. i.e convey the information. It’s up to the student (with an assist from the parents) to learn. They learn so many new things all the time with a lot less effort. A reasonably comfortable desk would be nice too.

There might be some other issues depending on location but I’ll just stop here with the budget assessment.

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Education starts in the home at age: As soon as mommy and daddy come down from The Big Event. Nobody needs a fancy building and neat stuff to learn.

We were at our daughter’s home this evening visiting with one grandkid and her friends before they drove back to TCU to get this semester rolling. A recent visit to the casino just across the Oklahoma line came up with one friend talking about his losing at blackjack.

Daughter and I laughed about me teaching her to play blackjack when she was 3 years old. She loved playing with Dad and never realized I was also teaching her math.

A few years later she showed up with her Christmas wish list. That was after the days of VisiCalc but before Excel. So I set up a Lotus 123 spreadsheet with her wishes in one column and their prices in another which she helped look up. We set a total budget, but she could spend it in any mix of presents she wished. She spent hours deciding among fewer more expensive stuff, more cheap stuff, and vice versa. Learned to make choices.

Worked so well she later used the same process with her two daughters.

Lots of ways to teach that the kids can also enjoy. Just give them attention and the opportunity.

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Lots of ways to teach that the kids can also enjoy. Just give them attention and the opportunity.

We can almost close the thread on that note. 1) There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
2) Attention and opportunity. And that can be repeated… and repeated… The rest is entirely up to the values/mores/world view of the people involved. What did Rocky say in the first movie: You hang out with smart people, you get smart friends. You hang out with yo-yo people, you get yo-yo friends! Y’see, it’s simple mathematics Translation: What’s important to you?

And I submit you don’t have to do anything intensive or test them on anything. Just expose them to things. They’re young. Just the exposure will have it’s effect and be of utility years later. There is a danger is making learning too much work. It can kill the desire to learn.

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Education starts in the home at age: As soon as mommy and daddy come down from The Big Event.


While the wealthy can afford a good education, there is a long history of immigrants, where the parents are uneducated and may not speak English well, pushing their kids to excel in school. The major challenge to education seems to be the children of American-born parents in the poor and middle classes. It is not just the availability of schools and teachers which makes a difference, but the attitude (apparently more important than aptitude) of parents as well.

Those who are lucky enough to be educated parents have the added ability to teach their kids long before they are school age. My mother read me her homework assignments instead of nursery rhymes as bedtime stories when I was a small child (and did a good enough job that I could have passed the final exam on the first day of the anthropology and art history courses I took). When we were raising our son, from the time he could speak, I would walk with him (with him in his carriage at the beginning) and discuss (more lecture than discussion at the beginning) about whatever topic came to mind - sometimes current events, or math or electrical theory or economics - whatever and my wife would read with him. By the time he was ready for kindergarten he could read from the New York Times. He aced his way through school.

In the STEM high school he attended, he was part of the small minority of US-born students who were able to pass the entrance exam (the largest ethnic group attending the school were first generation Asians).

Jeff

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Some believe as I do that higher education is about credentialism rather than education.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonbusteed/2020/10/17/we-do…
It’s time for our country to reckon with itself on the deeply held value of education. Is it education that we value? Or is it the credential that results from certain types of education?

Colleges and universities do indeed suggest they value education; for example, ‘lifelong learning’ is one of the most common phrases in college mission statements. But they don’t reward lifelong learning in any way. They only reward the learning that comes in the form of degrees – 2-year, 4-year and post-graduate.

Vocational education has been devalued in this nation. It is no longer offered in public Schools I don’t believe. Though I am sure a few exceptions could be found.

H L Mencken on public education.;
"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

H. L. Mencken
The American Mercury (ed. 1924)

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But they don’t reward lifelong learning in any way. They only reward the learning that comes in the form of degrees


You can take nearly every MIT course for free on-line. Spending four years doing that and taking every course in an engineering field may give you a lot of learning, but won’t be worth a plugged nickel when you apply for a job.

When I was taking my engineering degree, there was an Israeli student in some of my classes. He had been an electronics technetium in the Israeli military and then spent a number of years working as an electronics technician in the US. He couldn’t advance without an electrical engineering degree, despite knowing the entire curriculum. He made a deal with his professors that, if he aced all of his exams and the final, he could miss their instructional sessions. They laughingly gave permission knowing that he had little chance of success. Now that he didn’t have to show up to class, he double booked the time and was taking 40 credits per term and finished an engineering degree in about two and a half years which took most full-time students five and a half years to finish. His biggest challenge was that he actually had to sit through the liberal arts courses (which had no relevancy to what he did for a living).

Jeff

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Higher seems to be the preserve of the higher income professional class. And it appears that they are pulling up the ladder to keep others from obtaining their level of success.
Richard Reeves “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It”
https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Hoarders-American-Leaving-Every…
The separation of the upper middle class from everyone else is both economic and social, and the practice of “opportunity hoarding”—gaining exclusive access to scarce resources—is especially prevalent among parents who want to perpetuate privilege to the benefit of their children. While many families believe this is just good parenting, it is actually hurting others by reducing their chances of securing these opportunities. There is a glass floor created for each affluent child helped by his or her wealthy, stable family. That glass floor is a glass ceiling for another child

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/the-hoa…
In Dream Hoarders, released this week, Reeves agrees that the 20 percent are not the one percent: The higher you go up the income or wealth distribution, the bigger the gains made in the past three or four decades.

“I am not suggesting that the top one percent should be left alone. They need to pay more tax, perhaps much more,” Reeves writes. “But if we are serious about narrowing the gap between ‘the rich’ and everybody else, we need a broader conception of what it means to be rich.”

The book traces the way that the upper-middle class has pulled away from the middle class and the poor on five dimensions: income and wealth, educational attainment, family structure, geography, and health and longevity. The top 20 percent of earners might not have seen the kinds of income gains made by the top one percent and America’s billionaires. Still, their wage and investment increases have proven sizable. They dominate the country’s top colleges, sequester themselves in wealthy neighborhoods with excellent public schools and public services, and enjoy healthy bodies and long lives.

All the while, they support policies and practices that protect their economic position and prevent poorer kids from climbing the income ladder: legacy admissions, the preferential tax treatment of investment income, 529 college savings plans, exclusionary zoning, occupational licensing, and restrictions on the immigration of white-collar professionals.

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Some believe as I do that higher education is about credentialism rather than education.

“Higher education” gained mass traction when corporations set a university degree as a sine qua non requirement for employment.

The university certification gave assurance that the candidate was not a total dumbo, a certification that lost its meaning once just attending became sufficient to get the parchment.

As always, FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The Captain
is glad he dropped out of school before this nonsense policy was adopted and got a job at IBM

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Vocational education has been devalued in this nation. It is no longer offered in public Schools I don’t believe. Though I am sure a few exceptions could be found.

H L Mencken on public education.;
"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

H. L. Mencken
The American Mercury (ed. 1924)

Yes, it’s mostly about the credentials. The “expanded mind” and “be all you can be”, not so much. "Yes, but what can you do with it? / How much money can you make with it? is really what it’s all about. But the thread is not about higher education. It’s about 1 through 12 as I read it. As far as education’s more insidious purpose, commentators as disparate as Rush Limbaugh and Noam Chomsky are on record as saying society only sends kids to school to get the proper brain washing. I think that’s called “a society”. Yes. A general commonality of world views, social protocols, and behavioral traits based on and supported by their knowledge base and how they apply that knowledge. When does it go from education and “This is us” which is good and necessary, to brainwashing?

Vocational education has been devalued in this nation. It is no longer offered in public Schools I don’t believe. Though I am sure a few exceptions could be found.

Classes like auto shop, wood shop, metal shop, have been dropped by many school systems in Michigan. Maybe it’s because of the liability. (one day when I was in high school, a guy started cutting up an old car body with a torch, in the auto shop. The interior was still in the car, and it caught fire).

I’m thinking it is entirely a matter of cost. As the state defunds education, things that are not tested for are dropped. I have relayed the story before, about the coworker who was asking for recommendations for driving classes for her spawn. Apparently, Livonia, a middle class metro Detroit suburb, doesn’t even offer driver’s ed as an elective in it’s public schools. When I was in high school, driver’s ed was a core class that everyone took.

January 23, 2019

Michigan cut school funding and school performance plummeted. Coincidence?

School funding has dropped 18 percent since 1995 when spending is adjusted for inflation, according to the report. Only one other state, West Virginia, had a decrease in inflation-adjusted spending in that time.

Michigan ranked 48th in per-pupil spending growth over the same period.

From 2003 to 2015, Michigan also ranked 50th in growth in school performance on the National Assessment of Educational Performance,

Michigan’s white fourth-graders ranked 14th in the nation in reading in 2003 compared to their demographic peers; by 2017, they were 46th.

“Michigan ranks among the bottom five states for funding equity between districts serving the highest percentages of low-income students and districts serving the fewest,” Arellano said. “In fact, Michigan is one of only sixteen states that provides less funding to its highest poverty districts than to its lowest poverty districts, according to a recent national report.

https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/michigan-cut-schoo…

The watershed in public education in Michigan was when voters approved a ballot proposal to shift school funding from local authorities into the hands of the (L&Ses) in Lansing, in 1994. Lansing has proceeded to starve education, like many other public services, to pay for tax cuts for the “JCs”.

"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

There was a lot of information transfer in school, particularly in math, chemistry and physics. There was also a lot of indoctrination. Amuses me that Shinyland is supposed to be all about “freedom” and “rugged individualism”, when what is really valued is conformity.

Steve

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Yes, it’s mostly about the credentials. The “expanded mind” and “be all you can be”, not so much.

Perhaps, but whose fault is that? Colleges used to require educational breadth with the goal of producing a more learned person. This was in the form of significant breadth requirements designed to expose all students to basic knowledge in the humanities and science. This became very unpopular, with students voting with their applications. So colleges dropped most of these requirements, with what remains pretty modest. Yet engineering majors can still take courses in literature and philosophy, and art majors can learn basic biology and genetics. Whose fault is it that most choose not to and only stick to courses that they believe are directly “relevant” to their careers? Students choose to be narrowly educated. Students choose to prioritize the credential over educational breadth.

We see it everywhere with how people choose their social media and news sources. Many, if not most, don’t want to be educated (which by definition means learning something new). Instead, they want what little they know to be reinforced.

Princeton University still retains a significant breadth requirement. For example, for engineering majors:

In addition to the School of Engineering and Applied Science requirements of four terms of mathematics including multivariable calculus and linear algebra, two terms of physics, and one term each of chemistry and computer science, candidates for the B.S.E. degree must fulfill the writing requirement **by taking a writing seminar in the first year and take a minimum of seven courses in the humanities and social sciences.**

Just out of curiosity I wonder how many here would find such a requirement attractive?

As far as education’s more insidious purpose, commentators as disparate as Rush Limbaugh and Noam Chomsky are on record as saying society only sends kids to school to get the proper brain washing.

Which is nonsense. Empirically demonstrated nonsense. Lots of evidence that the less educated are far more likely to believe stuff for which there is no evidentiary support. The less educated tend to be more superstitious, choose folk cures over scientific medicine, and believe in conspiracies ranging from faked moon landings to fake elections. All this indicates that for all its faults, education does improve critical reasoning skills, the essential skill required to make good decisions.

It is not a coincidence that, generally speaking, the better educated a society, the higher the standard of living and quality of life.

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The watershed in public education in Michigan was when voters approved a ballot proposal to shift school funding from local authorities into the hands of the (L&Ses) in Lansing, in 1994

Don’t want to slow things down here but what is "L&S’es?
(I am inferring JC=Job Creators…? and "Shineyland is USA…?)

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Don’t want to slow things down here but what is "L&S’es?
(I am inferring JC=Job Creators…? and "Shineyland is USA…?)

“L&Ses” are the “Leaders and Statesmen” in the Michigan capital, Lansing. The same worthies that decreed water bottling companies could suck over a million gallons per day of water out of the state’s aquifer with no more “burden” than a $200/year permit. The same worthies who increased fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees to “improve the roads”, then took an equal amount of general revenue money out of road maintenance to pay for a tax cut for the “JCs”, so there was no net improvement in road maintenance funding.

The common denominator in my shorthand, L&Ses, JCs, Shinyland, is a whacking big dose of sarcasm.

Steve

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Yes, it’s mostly about the credentials. The “expanded mind” and “be all you can be”, not so much.

Perhaps, but whose fault is that? Colleges used to require educational breadth with the goal of producing a more learned person. This was in the form of significant breadth requirements designed to expose all students to basic knowledge in the humanities and science. This became very unpopular, with students voting with their applications. So colleges dropped most of these requirements, with what remains pretty modest. Yet engineering majors can still take courses in literature and philosophy, and art majors can learn basic biology and genetics. Whose fault is it that most choose not to and only stick to courses that they believe are directly “relevant” to their careers? Students choose to be narrowly educated. Students choose to prioritize the credential over educational breadth.

Might not be a person or group dreaming it up then cleverly and surreptitiously foisting it upon us. Could be organic. Just the way the trend is going. But, since everything is tending towards “The money.” Degree=-money. Anything impeding that would be seen as troublesome and wasteful and ergo, dropped. So, I’d ask where from and why did this money uber alles mindset creep in and replace the concept higher education?

We see it everywhere with how people choose their social media and news sources. Many, if not most, don’t want to be educated (which by definition means learning something new). Instead, they want what little they know to be reinforced.

SIDE NOTE: I have a theory but its’ entirely off topic for this thread. It has to do with community and relationships are actually not natural or preferable to humans at all, but were simply chosen as a work-around for larger problems we had for 10’s of thousands of years. Now, with modern technology, we have the ability to live either singly or in small like-groups to the extent of our choosing. We are choosing what comes naturally and dumping all that community and larger identification/inclusion thinking because our problems no longer require them to survive. Just people following, like nature, the path of least resistance. It’s what we really are. Note: Two of my degrees are in History and Sociology. These kinds of things get my attention. An anthropologist might also have an interest.)

As far as education’s more insidious purpose, commentators as disparate as Rush Limbaugh and Noam Chomsky are on record as saying society only sends kids to school to get the proper brain washing.
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Which is nonsense. Empirically demonstrated nonsense. Lots of evidence that the less educated are far more likely to believe stuff for which there is no evidentiary support. The less educated tend to be more superstitious, choose folk cures over scientific medicine, and believe in conspiracies ranging from faked moon landings to fake elections. All this indicates that for all its faults, education does improve critical reasoning skills, the essential skill required to make good decisions.

I didn’t say I believed it. I just showed that, that kind of thinking was very comfortable across a wide spectrum of social viewpoints. In fact I believe I immediately undermined their assertions.

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Many, if not most, don’t want to be educated (which by definition means learning something new). Instead, they want what little they know to be reinforced.

The crux part of education is not learning something new, but rather is enshrined and forgotten in the word itself “e duc are”. It is latin for “to be led out of”, a vision of education put forward in Plato’s magnificent image of humans stuck in a cave being beguiled and misled by mere shadows on the wall, humans who can be liberated by being led out of their own trapped minds into the realms where the sun shines on reality.

Once humans escape the dark “cave” of ignorance and habit, seeing reality under the sun of visionary reason, they cannot be kept from “learning new stuff”.

That type of education is priceless. It is essential to intelligent communities, which are essential to humans surviving together without needless want and fear on the planet.

david fb

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