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Uncas
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175 posted 10-23-2011 12:00 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Finnish schoolkids placed sixth in math, third in reading, and second in science, while suffering under the burden of a per-student budget half that of York City. By comparison, America placed 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math.


So are you saying that the state funded education system in Finland, where no tuition fees are charged, is better than the education system in the US.?

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Local Rebel
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176 posted 10-23-2011 12:43 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

We apparently need Finnishing school.
Huan Yi
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177 posted 10-23-2011 04:21 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


US public high schools charge tuition?


“Delineated High School
While there is little grading and in essence no tracking in Finland, ninth grade does become a divider for Finnish students. Students are separated for the last three years of high school based on grades. Under the current structure, 53% will go to academic high school and the rest enter vocational school.

Using that format, Finland has an overall high-school dropout rate of about 4%. Even at the vocational schools the rate of 10% pummels America’s 25% high school drop out rate.

There is no silly “college for all” mantra and there certainly isn’t a push to have all students sit through a trigonometry class if that is not relevant to the student. More importantly, there is also no negative connotation to the concept of vocational school.

We noted previously the writings of Charles Murray in an earlier post, Too Many Americans Are Going to College, that far too many people see such training as second class while college is thought of as first class. Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians, notes the obvious student responsibility results at this juncture.

While “the U.S. holds teachers accountable for teaching” in Finland “they hold the students accountable for learning.”

Perhaps more importantly, there is a realization of the realistic academic potential of the entire student population. As Murray notes in another article, “Half of all children are below average, and teachers can do only so much for them.”

http://www.openeducation.net/2008/03/10/several-lessons-to-be-learned-fro m-the-finnish-school-system/


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[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (10-23-2011 05:37 PM).]

Bob K
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178 posted 10-23-2011 05:46 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Our public schools are not as good as those in many other countries.  Our colleges, on the other hand, tend to be much better.  Our public schools don't have a national curriculum, and the curriculum that we do have is to some extend determined by the text books we chose.  Those text books are determined by the largest market for text-books, which is Texas.  The text books in Texas tend to reflect the viewpoint of Texans.  If you want to know why our high school educations and grade school educations don't compete with many of the European  educations on the same level, you might want to try to fact check some of the, say, science and history viewpoints that are taught from those textbooks, which may have only a marginal relationship with reality.  

     College text books are somewhat a different matter.

     The reason that a lot of college teaching is remedial is that a lot of the stuff taught in grade school and high school is convenient fiction, and that the more honest material about the same events taught in college is a revelation to a lot of students.  A lot of the best US education has to take place in Graduate School.  You oughtta talk to some text book editors someday.  It's an eye opener.

     Not all problems have to do with banks and wall street, but this one certainly has a healthy dose of economics salted into it.  It also has a solid dose of religion leading educational policy for the public schools, and I believe that has had uncomfortable consequences for the country.

     Should those folks who want to support parochial schools with idiosyncratic views of reality wish to do so, they should have that freedom,  They should not have the freedom to indoctrinate the rest of the children in the country into that set of beliefs, in my firm opinion.
Huan Yi
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179 posted 10-23-2011 07:10 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


2+2=4

pretty much everywhere


.
Bob K
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180 posted 10-23-2011 07:21 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     And after first grade?
Balladeer
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181 posted 10-23-2011 07:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

While the U.S. holds teachers accountable for teaching, in Finland ,they hold the students accountable for learning.

Nor THERE'S a novel idea. Perhaps we should try that?
Local Rebel
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182 posted 10-23-2011 07:49 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Perhaps you should present that idea to your Republican brethern in Wisconsin Mike, where theyjust passed a bill to fire teachers based on NCLB test scores.
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183 posted 10-23-2011 07:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yep, never pass up a chance to sneak in a political jab. Do I know who I'm talking to? Oh, yes...


You seem to be under the delusion that I am all republican, all the time. Sorry to disappoint you..
Huan Yi
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184 posted 10-23-2011 08:06 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"While there is little grading and in essence no tracking in Finland, ninth grade does become a divider for Finnish students. Students are separated for the last three years of high school based on grades. Under the current structure, 53% will go to academic high school and the rest enter vocational school."


And just how far would that get with Democrats?

Balladeer
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185 posted 10-23-2011 08:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

All teachers are prepared in academic universities. Teachers are highly respected and appreciated in Finland, partly because all teachers need a master’s degree to qualify for a permanent job. And the selection is tough: only 10% of the 5000 applicants each year are accepted to the faculties of education in Finnish universities. Finland improved its public education system not by privatizing its schools or constantly testing its students, but by strengthening the education profession and investing in teacher preparation and support. Their high level knowledge and skills makes that Finnish teachers

1.   can have considerable independence in the classroom to choose their preferred appropriate pedagogical methods;
2.   are very willing to continuously update their professional skills via post-graduate studies;
3.    are more willing to work on themselves, are open to new ideas and developed broader perspectives (I refer slightly to the article: MBAs Make Better CEOs… But Why?);
4.    are eager to be involved into the school development processes in their own schools as well as in national and international projects.


There are no mandatory tests or exams; except for the nationwide National Matriculation Examination, in mother tongue, foreign language, mathematics and social/natural sciences, at the end of the upper-secondary school (from 17-19-year-old). Teachers make their own assessment tests, not quoting numeric grades, but using descriptive feedback, no longer comparing students with one another. This helped teachers and students focusing on learning in a fear-free environment, in which creativity and risk-taking are encouraged. Teachers have more real freedom in time planning when they do not need have to focus on annual tests or exams.

http://bertmaes.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/why-is-education-in-finland-that-good-10-reform-principles-behind-the-success/
Bob K
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186 posted 10-24-2011 01:56 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Mike, I didn't know that you differed from the Republican philosophy in education.  I'd be interested in how.  I thought that John's description the the Finnish school system sounded very good to me.  I liked it.  I don't think that everybody has to follow an academic pathway, and I think that grades are frequently not helpful in assessment of actual school work and in assement of understanding of material.

     Why John believes that this sort of thing is a Democratic approach is something I'm unclear about.  I believe that assessment of programs and pedagogy are important.  On the other hand, I think it's important who's grading the silly test, and if they know enough about the material to see a right answer when they run across one; that's not always the case, is it?
Huan Yi
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187 posted 10-25-2011 07:36 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“British history has been punctuated by stories of turbulent priests more often than by stories of recalcitrant congregations. As Thomas à Becket discovered to his detriment, it is usually the clergy — and not their flock — who find themselves in danger of being ousted. As of October 16, London’s famous St. Paul’s cathedral sits squarely in this tradition, with its dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, now publicly regretting the leniency he initially showed the camped-out members of “Occupy London Stock Exchange” — the British franchise of the now-global “Occupy” brigade. If Dean Knowles had expected to be afforded the same respect by OLSX that he has become accustomed to from his parishioners, he was sorely mistaken. Since their free pass was issued, the people-in-tents have made it blindingly obvious that they are not merely differently dressed members of the City of London’s laity, but, literally, occupiers intent on holding the fort at all costs.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/281160/occupying-st-paul-s-charles-c-w-cooke


How far is St Paul’s from Piccadilly?

.
Uncas
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188 posted 10-25-2011 07:58 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas



quote:
How far is St Paul’s from Piccadilly?


A couple of miles.

But if you're visiting St Paul's it's worth a look at the London Stock Exchange which is only a short stroll away.

.
Bob K
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189 posted 10-25-2011 08:45 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     In answer to John’s question, my recollection is that you can walk it in half an hour along the Strand.  Maybe 45 Minutes.  My recollection may be faulty since the last time I was there was a year after 9/11, but my wife and I were there yearly for ten years beforehand.

     Why?  

A posting,from the Occupy Wall Street Thread above, by Mike —
quote:

While the US holds teachers accountable for teaching, in Finland ,they hold the students accountable for learning.

Nor THERE'S a novel idea. Perhaps we should try that?



     Here we have the beginnings of an excellent series of postings.  I am thrilled to see them, yet a bit surprised.

John asks, in post 184
quote:



"While there is little grading and in essence no tracking in Finland, ninth grade does become a divider for Finnish students. Students are separated for the last three years of high school based on grades. Under the current structure, 53% will go to academic high school and the rest enter vocational school."


And just how far would that get with Democrats?



     I imagine the question of education came up in a couple of different ways.  I can’t be sure.  One might be a comment made by LR about the hash that the Republicans appear to be making of the educational system in Wisconsin.  Another might be a comment about college education not being a human right in this same thread quite a while before.

     Since humanity predates colleges, I suspect that it’d be a hard case to make that College education is a human right.

     I also suspect that it’d be a poor move to make college difficult for deserving students to afford in any country that has hopes for industrial and technological authority in the 21st century.  Making college a difficult burden for future students and making them pay a penalty for stepping up and doing themselves and the country an economic and a social favor by getting a degree in science, math, education or any of a half-dozen or more fields would be a fool move on the part of the government and their fellow citizens, who would reap a lifetime worth of benefits in terms of taxes that would more than repay the costs.

     In our case, today, we have decided to screw the potential future taxpayers, limit the amount of future taxes they will be able to pay, and decided to turn over the difference to banks.  Banks, seeing to potential to make some money off this potential bonanza, inserted themselves between the government and the students and cut themselves in for a fat interest fee which makes the deal far from the outright encouragement it should have been.  Money that could have gone for more loans for more students has been eaten by the banks.

     If  Congress, in its wisdom, wanted to limit the number of students, that money could have gone to paying down the debt or to paying money to people who don’t have a roof over their heads or food to put in their own mouths or the mouths of their children.  It could have gone into the social security fund.  Congress is always borrowing against the social security fund and claiming that there isn’t enough money in it; why not sock a little extra away?  Gold-plating the toilet paper at The Bank of America seems to be a bit wasteful.  The people at Bank of America should be taking some reasonable risks lending money to buy houses at reasonable rates, or re-financing the loans of people who might save enough money to actually be able to afford the mortgage payments at the new, lower rate.

     How would Democrats feel about separating kids at 9th grade depending on grades?  

     I really don’t know.  I’d have to know what the rest of the program was like as well.  In some systems, I’d be against it, in other systems I’d be willing to experiment and see how it went.  On the whole, I’m for experiment in the educational system as long as the experiments can be evaluated in a decent way, and as long as the experiments are set up more or less in advance as much as possible.  I saw one wonderful experimental school near Boston called The Sudbury Valley Day School which was set up along the lines of Summerhill in England.  No grades, but the students evaluated each other’s work and they had to produce a significant project at the end of their time there to graduate.  They also knew what the Massachusetts was, and each kid was responsible for mastering it using whatever resources the school could offer him.

     It was a brilliant success.

     When other area schools had snow days, the kids at this school were pushing their parents to get them there.  Amazing.  This Democrat was all for it.

     I was very impressed by the four points raised by Mike in his posting # 185.  I was so impressed that I checked out the article he quoted.  I found the remaining six points even more impressive than the four he quoted, and I would urge those interested in real education reform to have a look at them as well.  I feel that they offer an important addition to the four points that Mike raised.
      
Bob K
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190 posted 10-26-2011 03:37 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     In the middle of an article that was somewhat more neutral that this excerpt would indicate, I found this passage.  I'm offering it because It raises a point that I've reached for several times but have never been able to articulate on my own about the support of the Democrats and the support of the Republicans in today's political framework.

     I think think some of the things the article as a whole has to says about OWS  in comparison with the Tea Party Movement are illuminating as well.  To get those, of course, you'd have to have a look at the article itself.  


quote:


The poll also asked which class voters thought the Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress favored. While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor.
That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.
A quick caveat before we get more into this: The OWS movement is still very amorphous, and it hasn’t shown much of a political bent. While it is often compared to the tea party on the right, it hasn’t yet shown the ability or desire to morph into an electoral movement of any kind. While the tea party fueled GOP enthusiasm in the 2010 elections, there is so far no proof that the Occupy Wall Street protesters will do the same for Democrats.
http://view.ed4.net/v/JDFA9Q/LD0JG/A7LJCMQ/IS09XZ/MAILACTION=1&FORMAT=H?wpisrc=nl_fix





     I'm hoping that this Washington Post article might bring us back on track for what might be an interesting discussion yet to come.
Huan Yi
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191 posted 10-26-2011 11:34 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44997227/ns/us_news-life/


Oakland?


Cause or pretext . . .


.
Bob K
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192 posted 10-27-2011 02:37 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     I don't know if you caught this, John, since the article you cited made no mention of it, but in the early hours of Wednesday morning a protester was injured while police were trying to evict the OWS folks from Oakland.  He was struck in the head by a police projectile, according to the radio report I heard, and fell to the ground.  He lost consciousness on the way to the hospital and is in serious but stable condition there.  Reports were that he suffered a fractured skull.  He is a marine veteran of two tours in (I believe) Iraq and is a member of veterans against the war.

     Oakland police say they are investigating and say that they are unsure that the Oakland Police are even involved.

     While that last clause may well be true, I'm afraid they did themselves little good by including it — if in fact they did — in their statement.
Local Rebel
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193 posted 10-27-2011 02:53 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

They may have said that Bob, because, according to reports I've heard, several police agencies were used.  But, they beleive he was struck by a teargas canister.

The mayor should resign, or have a list of heads she's going to let roll.
Huan Yi
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194 posted 10-27-2011 10:44 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Why were the cops throwing teargas?


.
Bob K
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195 posted 10-27-2011 01:27 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/occupy-oakland-did-police-use-flashbangs-and-rubber-bullets-on-protesters/2011/10/26/gIQAL4pOJM_blog.html


     See the above article for a bit more detail.  It indicated that the Oakland Protesters had been throwing M-80's and other stuff at them.  The Police were attempting — as I understand it — to evict the protesters.  There is some dispute as to what sort of measures were used by whom, what the order was and so on.  The violence is what's hit the news; we don't know what negotiations went on beforehand from this limited account, and I haven't tracked down further accounts thus far.  I think it's too early to form an informed opinion at this point, at least for me, but if anybody else feels they have one, I'd be interested in hearing what it is.  I can't imagine anybody is very happy with anybody else at this point, and clearly the Oakland police was predicting that the situation might easily be one that would be beyond their ability to deal with on their own, hence the presence of other police on the scene.  

     Just as clearly, there were command and control problems, since it was against policy for Oakland police to use rubber Bullets and CS gas and, I believe, flash-bang grenades, and all these things seem to have been used, as well as bird-shot filled bean-bag rounds.  If they were against Oakland Police policy and they were used in an Oakland Police operation, then there was not adequate training, or command control and supervision of the operation, and that coordination seems to have come back to bite them firmly on their rear ends.

     At least it seems that way to me at first blush.

     I hope that at least begins to answer your question, John.  

     Throwing firecrackers (M-80's used to be equivalent to a quarter stick of dynamite, we used to say; I don't know how true it was, but it never stopped us from saying it) and other things at police that, no matter how professional they are, have got to be edgy and spooked can't be good public relations, either.  I'd like to know more about why the police were called in, and what that was about.
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196 posted 10-27-2011 03:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Obviously, it's not a tea party rally.

I'd love to be the reporter asking Pelosi, that in light of the fact that she trembled and felt afraid that we were lapsing back into the turmoil of the 60's,  based on the tea partiers, how she feels now with the OWLS, whom she asks God to bless.

Actually, I won't be that reporter because that reporter doesn't exist.....not gonna happen.
Local Rebel
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197 posted 10-27-2011 03:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The movement is far too grounded in non-violence for there to have been an organic causation here, assuming there was cause at all.  History, including OWS history, is full of provacateurs.
Huan Yi
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198 posted 10-27-2011 03:19 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Were the cops throwing M-80s?

Were they doing anything to intentionally
injure anyone?

Should they have worn red coats?


.
Denise
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199 posted 10-27-2011 03:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

*sigh*

It makes you long for the peaceful protest days of the Tea Party, doesn't it?

 
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