We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Here’s a conclusion that follows straight from common sense: Don’t make your incentive scheme the subject of a complex negotiation with a bunch of stakeholders. Keep it simple. Hold people accountable for things they actually have control over, and give them a chance to correct their course along the way. If you discover your rules are lousy—that you made things too easy, or too hard—it’s OK to change them. But never do it in the middle of a game.
Everybody knows that incentives work in real life, but teaching is not exactly real life. How many talented teachers does it take to teach a kid Algebra? One, but the kid has to want to learn.
and the parents have to be involved. Private schools (Catholic, Episcopal and Baptist) pay teachers 80% of public school salaries, yet test scores (ACT and SAT) are higher than public schools, so it isn't teacher pay. Left on their own, I don't believe private school students want to learn anymore than public school students. So the difference has to be parental involvement.
Everyone apparently has forgotten, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
An alternative would be to fine the parents if the child does not learn. After all, the child is taking up a seat in the school and wasting the teacher's valuable time. The parents should be required to supervise the child as he/she does homework. Slow learners simply should be given more homework that focuses on their special needs. We taxpayers pay for the schools and if some parents don't do their job, then we have the right to require them to do it.
One of the problems is that we judge on basis of high stakes testing that does not effect student's grades. If the students had to pass to advance I believe we'd see some rapid improvement.
Dave, many kids from solid homes that value education do have more innate desire to learn. It's not just parental involvement checking if home work is done, it's the emphasis on learning (distinct from education) that has been taught from an early age.
On the whole, I don't think this education business is that complicated. From the point of view of the schools, we were doing pretty well with it till the late '60s. Instead of what we're doing now, we should be doing something more like we were doing fifty years ago. This entails doing things that are considered boring - like learning times tables, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation. There also has to be support for learning from home.
But because of some well-meaning educrats and some lefties, we are constantly trying new methods and new material to teach. It's hard to see how much of that has been successful. Yet they continue to try.
I think the concept of education has changed. There is a lot more PC garbage and social engineering involved than there was when I was a kid.