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Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education
February 27, 2005 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education The nation's governors offered an alarming account of the American high school Saturday, saying only drastic change will keep millions of students from falling short. "We can't keep explaining to our nation's parents or business leaders or college faculties why these kids can't do the work," said Virginia Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, as the state leaders convened for the first National Education Summit aimed at rallying governors around high school reform.
posted by Postroad (44 comments total)

 
The War in Iraq cost the United States $156,349,062,538

Instead, we could have hired 2,709,548 additional public school teachers for one year.

Instead, we could have provided 7,579,471 students four-year scholarships at public universities .

Instead, we could have insured 93,622,421 children for one year.

Instead, we could have paid for 20,708,538 children to attend a year of Head Start.

Instead, we could have ensured that every child in the world was given basic immunizations for 52 years.

Instead, we could have fully funded global anti-hunger efforts for 6 years.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 AM on February 27, 2005


Imagine how the USA could have retained its leadership in technology development had it funded 7 million post-secondary students.

Imagine how the world would have responded had the USA immunized the world, eliminating several of the most virulent, damaging diseases.

Imagine how much safer the USA would be in either case, having not pissed-off a majority of the world's population.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 AM on February 27, 2005


I would rather imagine the debt not exploded, which it still would have with all of those "insteads".
posted by thirteen at 9:17 AM on February 27, 2005


No amount of funding is going to make mainstream teenagers be willing to wear the social stigma of being smart. Our entire popular and political culture places a significant negative value on intelligence. There are surely institutional problems in US education, but you can't make 'em drink.
posted by ulotrichous at 9:19 AM on February 27, 2005


1. However I would have rather seen the debt exploded for education then a stupid war. I think what is going on shows that a majority in Government don't mind too much about the debt, just what it is for.
2. I would agree there is a social stigma to certain displays of intelligence, but what is the alternative here? If you take an absolutist stance then you can argue that no matter what we do it won't matter because kids don't want to learn. I think you can make 'em drink if the right approach is found.
3. I also think this administration doesn't really care about public education, and the whole thing with vouchers is a method to undercut it.
posted by edgeways at 9:34 AM on February 27, 2005


So American students do poorly in school, relative to other counrties, because of social stigma?
posted by Calvin at 9:38 AM on February 27, 2005


suggested solutions:

reject the commercialization of culture.
shut off (or destroy) the televisions.
refuse to patronize the movie theaters.
buy and listen to only independently produced music.
scorn the sexualization of everything.
or, shut the fuck up about it.

it's our choice.
posted by quonsar at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2005


Bill Gates also showed up and bashed American high schools in general. However, I would point out that more Americans (as a % of population) now have high school and college degrees than at any previous point.

The interesting question to me is how should high school curriculums be changed. Being a card-carrying member of the reality-based community, I would start with more rigorous math and sticker-free science programs for college track students and better availability of vocational programs (esp. technology) for students not going on to college. Since only 27% of Americans age 25 or older have college degrees I think more emphasis needs to be placed on programs for the 73% who don't get them.

FFF, please try to stay on topic, your alternatives are factually correct but politically irrelevant since that money would hardly have been spent otherwise; in the absence of a war Bush's track record shows he would have done nothing, introduced his Social Security "reform" proposals sooner, or tried to push through more tax cuts.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:51 AM on February 27, 2005


Our entire popular and political culture places a significant negative value on intelligence.

I don't know abou that. This is only my impression, but I think Americans like smart people just fine, we just distruss smartasses, which is a different thing entirely.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on February 27, 2005


Obviously we need to throw more money at the problem.

</sarcasm>
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2005


When my son moved in with me at age 16 we went to the high school to enroll him. I was so aghast at the attitudes and disrespect shown that I decided to home school. I quit my job,we bought motorcycles and went on a trip to Mexico City. The trip never ended.
They would have damaged him. He has turned out great these 20 years later. Parents are entirely responsible for the education of their children. We need to reexamine how the government can help.
posted by JohnR at 10:09 AM on February 27, 2005


Obviously we need to throw more money at the problem.

Steve_at_Linnwood, do you really think that our classrooms should consist of an adult who couldn't get a job paying more than $35,000 and 25-30 kids? Wouldn't it be better if it was hard to become a teacher because more people wanted to do it? Or if a teacher had to worry about "only" 10-15 kids and could devote more time to teaching than disciplining? Seriously.

A better-educated populace would pay for itself many times over.
posted by callmejay at 10:34 AM on February 27, 2005


I shiver when these sorts of discussions get started, because inevitably everyone jockeys to act "tougher" on the issue. Make the classes tougher, make teachers be tougher on the students. Get really, really tough -- kick some ass, that'll solve the problem.

A guy I know told me that schools are suffering because kids "get away with murder -- (whiny voice) oh, my dog ate my homework -- we need to get tougher on them."

Doesn't anyone notice the tiny problem that high school is boring, degrading, confused in its purpose and, for most students, entirely pointless? In this atmosphere, what the hell can toughness accomplish?

Students in high school are right on the edge of being adults, yet they're confined to rooms and told when they are allowed to go to the bathroom. They're stuck in the same format as kindergarten. Instead of being out in the world, practicing their skills and developing real competence, they're being bossed and bullied around and made to do hundreds of pointless, confusing tasks that never add to a coherent whole.

High school has no context -- no real-world, socially rich setting in which what kids learn can have real meaning. The whole thing is driven by abstract threats of abstract assesments and the promise of college or lack thereof.

If students were doing things, making things, planning their lives, experiencing real consequences (and not verbal reprimands from bureaucrats), exercising self-discipline and evaluating themselves, we'd be turning out adults, in every sense of the world. High school graduates would be real members of the world and not the spindly numbskulls we usually guess them to be.

And really, the world's brightest minds think that toughness is the answer? Fucking hell.
posted by argybarg at 10:48 AM on February 27, 2005


Doesn't anyone notice the tiny problem that high school is boring, degrading, confused in its purpose and, for most students, entirely pointless?

In other words, perfect preparation for the working life awaiting us?

I'm just saying.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on February 27, 2005


I don't think the problem starts with high school and whoever said parents are responsible is right. Parents are but that does not excuse a bad public school system. I am not sure this is the right place for this, an apologize if you all consider this off topic, but in my experience our country is one of the most inward looking nations on earth. We care very little about the rest of the world. I have heard this excused by our size and youth but that doesn't cut it to me. Do any of you remember geography getting a whole lot of time in school? The public schools where I grew up (Long Island, NY) are pretty good and I don't. What's my point? That, like others have said, our education lacks any real context or connection with other things. Why students should care about math or language or history. When I lived in Europe, for only a year, I went out at night and interacted with other people. Here we sta home and watch TV, a very isolating activity, to me anyway.

So here's another vote for throwing away televisions.
posted by Calvin at 11:13 AM on February 27, 2005


Obviously we need to throw more money at the problem.

Given that one of the major problems with our education system is that it is woefully underfunded, then it seems that a solution would be to throw some more money at it. That's what money is for.
posted by the_bone at 11:17 AM on February 27, 2005


jonmc:

Work in education and you hear that same point made all the time. That is: they'll have to do a lot of sitting still and doing as you're told when they grow up.

To which I say: bollocks. For a number of reasons, not least of which is that learning to sit still and do as you're told doesn't take a lot of practice. Certainly not 12 years and 10,000+ hours.
posted by argybarg at 11:20 AM on February 27, 2005


My high school was a large, block-like building. Most of the classrooms didn't have windows, and we weren't allowed to go outside or even walk around the building except to get directly to our next class. I had no sense of time at all. I spent most of those four years just staring at a clock and wondering what was going on outside. I'm now working on becoming a high school teacher myself and I'm a little scared of going back to that kind of confinement. It's a condition most adults wouldn't want to subject themselves to, so why should kids take to it any better?
posted by Marit at 11:21 AM on February 27, 2005


I hope Arnold was there to deliver some of his tough, pithy pronouncements about the state of public education.

I went to high school in Alberta, which is supposed to have the best public high school system in North America. The system attracts onlookers from all sorts of other provinces and states. It really was stellar. Part of the reason it works so well, I think, is that the province demands standardized, provincial-wide diploma exams. With all the furor over standardized tests, it's neat to find a place where they seem to be doing an incredible amount of good.
posted by painquale at 11:59 AM on February 27, 2005


> No amount of funding is going to make mainstream teenagers be
> willing to wear the social stigma of being smart.

Repeal the mandatory-attendance laws. The single change that would yield the greatest improvement in US high schools is to get a better class of student.

This country has entire social classes that are virulently anti-intellectual. No amount of money will have the slightest improving effect until teachers -- not administrators, not school boards, not appeals committees but front-line, in-the-classroom teachers -- have the power to throw out of school, permanently, the individuals who talk loud, talk trash, talk all the time, and can't be made to shut up and respect their classmates who are trying to work. Even if this "differentially impacts students of certain identifiable racial or ethnic backgrounds." Nothing will improve until we can say to such persons, "You don't want to be here? Fine, don't be here."

That single change will have the effect of changing high schools into colleges. I point to the astonishing difference in atmosphere between my county's large and disgraceful mandatory-attendance high schools and the quiet, dedicated, studious atmosphere of the county's junior/technical college, filled with students only a year or two older who desperately do want to be there.

It's simply a case of devoting our resources to the cream and eliminating the crud, only in this case we have a population that's 90% cream. Don't eliminate the crud and they have the power to bring the rest down to their own level, on the same principal that it's much, much easier to break a mechanism than to make it work correctly.


> My high school was a large, block-like building. Most of the classrooms didn't
> have windows, and we weren't allowed to go outside or even walk around
> the building except to get directly to our next class.

My son's and daughter's is exactly the same. That's because the primary, but unspoken, mission of public schools is daycare cum lout control, with education in distant second place (if that.) Of course they look like institutions for the criminally deranged, that's their primary purpose. In this you see the power of the loutish 10% over the rest.

Dump the 10%. Leave 'em behind. Then open the classrooms, landscape the grounds and expand the library.
posted by jfuller at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2005


I point to the astonishing difference in atmosphere between my county's large and disgraceful mandatory-attendance high schools and the quiet, dedicated, studious atmosphere of the county's junior/technical college, filled with students only a year or two older who desperately do want to be there.

Hardly any high school students want to be there day-in-day-out. They wanna be hanging out at the mall or surfing the web or feeling each other up in their basements. I don't mind a little bit of paternalism cast upon 15-year olds, because they honestly have no clue what's best for them. 20-year olds at a technical college are a different matter all together. Yes, there's a thin line between high school seniors and college freshmen, but we've gotta draw the line somewhere, and I don't think it's in such a bad place as it is. Lots of kids don't develop their intellectual sides until the final years of high school; it would be a crime to kick them out before they figure that out.
posted by painquale at 12:20 PM on February 27, 2005


i'm deliberately mispronouncing painquale's name.
posted by quonsar at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2005


jfuller you are right on!
posted by halekon at 12:28 PM on February 27, 2005


I don't agree at all that making school voluntary will help anyone. The first day of my ninth grade, our social studies teached asked us all, Why are you here? The answer was that the law required it. I cut every chance I could and my high school had lots of windows, was an 'open campus' (we could come and go and as long as we weren't missing class, it was ok) and was a fairly pretty building. Having said all that, I learned most of what I know about the US goverment, which was my college minor (was three credits and a few other things short of doing a double major), was learned working in WDC.

Yes, we do need to throw money at education. I can think of few things more deserving of our tax dollars.
posted by Calvin at 12:35 PM on February 27, 2005


> Lots of kids don't develop their intellectual sides until the final years of
> high school; it would be a crime to kick them out before they figure that out.

Oh, I'm not for three-strike-and-you're-out-forever. But I'm certainly for three-strikes-and-you're-out-for-THIS-school-year, you can apply again later when you've got more maturity and more desire.

And though I agree there are late bloomers, there are also early bloomers and (the large majority) kids who bloom right on time. These, the ones we need most, should not have their education wrecked or even slightly impeded just to avoid giving pain to the tardy end of the Poisson distribution.
posted by jfuller at 12:45 PM on February 27, 2005


Calvin: I think you're right that making school voluntary in a "show up if you feel like it" scheme would be bad. Too many kids don't necessarily know what's good for them in the long term. I'm pretty sure that's not what jfuller has in mind either. I think his idea of voluntary is more like "behave if you want an education."

I think "toss out the troublemakers" is an oversimplification of what needs to be done. Stratifying the system based on ability and desire might be a better option. When I was in high school, administrators and school boards were frantically stripping all such stratification from the system, apparently afraid that students whose performance placed them in the A or B classes and not the Honors classes would feel bad about themselves. Instead we get everybody in the same room learning at the pace of the slowest common denominator.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:02 PM on February 27, 2005


quonsar: i'm deliberately mispronouncing painquale's name.

I know that you're reading it so that it's got some sort of swear in there, but I can't figure out what it is.

jfuller: I'm certainly for three-strikes-and-you're-out-for-THIS-school-year, you can apply again later when you've got more maturity and more desire.

I guess I can understand that. But I've always thought of the primary purpose of high school as being to inculcate the desire into you. School's not so much about force-feeding you facts as it's about making you want to feed yourself those facts. But I can understand if people think I'm being hopelessly idealistic.
posted by painquale at 1:06 PM on February 27, 2005


The statistics I've seen comparing public to private school expenditures say that per student, private schools spend 60-70% what public schools do, but student academic performance is better. I'd like to see some solid evidence from the "schools are woefully underfunded" contingent. Could it be that schools are woefully inefficient instead?
posted by techgnollogic at 1:28 PM on February 27, 2005


techgnollogic: Private schools can take only the ones they want. Public schools have to take everyone. Makes a big difference.
posted by absalom at 1:42 PM on February 27, 2005


The statistics I've seen comparing public to private school expenditures say that per student, private schools spend 60-70% what public schools do, but student academic performance is better.


Public schools are required to take developmentally and emotionally disabled students, which many private schools won't accept. Those students cost significantly more to educate, and now they're required to be tested like regular students. Private schools sometimes pay teachers far less (when I was in grade school- about 15 years ago) the private school I went to paid between $12,000-$15,000. Most of the teachers I had were counting the days until they could teach in public schools. Also, many religious public schools are subsidized by parishes or church members.
posted by drezdn at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2005


The statistics I've seen comparing public to private school expenditures say that per student, private schools spend 60-70% what public schools do, but student academic performance is better.


Public schools are required to take developmentally and emotionally disabled students, which many private schools won't accept. Those students cost significantly more to educate, and now they're required to be tested like regular students. Private schools sometimes pay teachers far less (when I was in grade school- about 15 years ago) the private school I went to paid between $12,000-$15,000. Most of the teachers I had were counting the days until they could teach in public schools. Also, many religious public schools are subsidized by parishes or church members.

Also, in my state, the public school system is required to provide busing for private school students. Since private school students are often crossing the city to go to a private school, the costs are enormous (several million dollars in the district I'm most familiar with).
posted by drezdn at 1:51 PM on February 27, 2005


Also, if you're curious as to where money goes in public schools, they make their budgets available to the public, and are open to public comments. With private schools, not so much.
posted by drezdn at 1:59 PM on February 27, 2005


The statistics I've seen comparing public to private school expenditures say that per student, private schools spend 60-70% what public schools do, but student academic performance is better.

(1) There's selection bias. Public schools must take essentially all comers, including special-needs students and behavior-problem students. Private schools don't have to take these students, and even when they do take them, they're often subsidized by the state so that money shows up on the public school district's expense sheet, not the private schools.

(2) There's selection bias. Private schools, oddly enough, cost money, which means their students are drawn disproportionately from higher-SES families (which students tend to do better in school).

(3) There's selection bias. By making a choice such as sending a kid to private school, a family is often-but-not-always sending a signal that they care about and are involved in their children's education. Such children do better in school than those whose parents assume that teaching the kids is the school's job.

(4) Spending isn't everything. You need to compare not spending levels, but market-value of what's being done. A Catholic school might have nuns working at very low or zero salaries, which brings their spending down in an artificial way that school systems not relying on religious ascetics working for ~free can't match.

(5) Private schools aren't fully private. Almost all are eligible for different kinds of state aid.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2005


Can you guys link me up? I can see the selection bias in picking high-potential students. I find it harder to believe that all the analyses I've seen just totally ignore state subsidies and nun-pay.

It's also non-intuitive to me that a 30-40% discrepancy is largely due to educating special-needs kids. Could be a "death of a thousand cuts" thing, with all these factors adding up like you say they are, but I'd like to see some numbers or references, if you've got them handy.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:31 PM on February 27, 2005


Can you guys link me up?

I can't.

I can see the selection bias in picking high-potential students. I find it harder to believe that all the analyses I've seen just totally ignore state subsidies and nun-pay.

Why would that be hard to believe? Look at who's paying for and disseminating the study. Do they have an axe to grind? Do they have any incentive at all to reveal information that doesn't further their goals, or not to shade the truth the maximum extent possible? This is true of studies run by the NEA or AFT too, of course. Most of the people / groups talking about this aren't trying to educate you or to promote interesting discourse, they're trying to help their side win.

It's also non-intuitive to me that a 30-40% discrepancy is largely due to educating special-needs kids.

It wouldn't be. It would be primarily due to selection effects. The kids in private schools are disproportionately kids who would do well in any educational system. The achievement part, anyway. The lower cost is simple: they pay teachers less, and they have smaller administrative staffs.

Which isn't to say that if you controlled for all that, you'd find no difference. Odds are you'd still find a smaller but still clearer difference, with private schools somewhat more efficient.

Even here, though, it's not obvious that it's the "fault" of the public schools. A private school can buy a new building from whoever it wants to for whatever reason it wants to; public schools have to use the lowest bidder through an open bidding process and control subcontractors. Ensuring the lowest price costs money, and preventing nepotism costs money. Private schools can, for the most part, hire and fire at will for good reasons or bad; public schools are under a variety of fair-labor and civil rights laws whose enforcement and protections cost money, directly and indirectly. Private schools are only responsible to one group (and their accrediting body, I suppose), who we would expect to place fewer restrictions on their day-to-day practices; public schools are subject to endless second-guessing from the entire population and forced to go through large amounts of paperwork to satisfy the public that they're not wasting money, and proving that you're not wasting money costs a lot of money. Public schools in general are subject to lots of requirements and controls that private schools aren't, and those requirements and controls all cost money. School systems don't have large adminsitrative staffs (just) because they're stupid; they have them because we make them have them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:57 PM on February 27, 2005


I have spent the last 5 months getting a real education by being a substitute teacher at all grade levels from K-12. (You haven't lived until you have spent 8 hours alone with 7th graders acting like sugar-crazed brush apes).

Several things are wrong (in no particular order):

* Respect for others is not being taught at home.

* Parents want to be their kids buddy rather than their parents.

* Over-emphasis on self esteem has created kids that confuse "self-esteem" with self absorption.

* There are no consequences that matter for bad behavior.

* Focus on testing has led to teaching the test rather than educating students.

* The "10% louts" is wishful thinking... in many classes it is more like 50%. It only takes two or three in a class to take up 60%-80% of your time and rob the other kids who are trying.

I tell my students that the definition of injustice is treating the same things differently and different things the same. Treating all kids the same is an injustice that does a disservice to those who realize that learning how to learn is why they are really there.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 3:16 PM on February 27, 2005


from the Link: "America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or undefended, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools _ even when they're working as designed _ cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."

The school system that we currently have is a product of a by-gone century. It is structured, for example, to allow kids to take time off during the summer to work on farms. The pay is structured to support 19th century single women who will later get married and quit working. The grading - don't even get me started on the grading!

A cookie cutter approach of forcing students to conform to certain standards is out of synch with reality. Sure, it is easier, but does it actually teach the kids anything useful?

I have been teaching in a private school for nine years - and, in fact, get paid significantly less than public school teachers who have been teaching just as long. On the other hand, I am not hampered by as many top-down rules imposed by a bunch of politicians and school boards with no practical teaching experience. I am a fricken awesome teacher - as are most of my colleagues here at this school - and I don't think there is any amount of money you could pay us to work at a public school. There is just too much tampering from above.

Rambling... but to a focus point.

A high school system that approaches and respects each student as an individual would be, IMO, a much better solution educationally than a cookie cutter system that requires students to exclusively meet specific esoteric math and English standards. For example, faced with NCLB, many schools are considering dropping other programs - including science, social studies, phys ed and arts - so that kids meet the math and English standards. By doing this, children who would excel in these other areas are being denied the opportunity to discover what they are good at.

Furthermore, standardized testing is frequently destroying kids ability to understand words in context - or even enjoy reading. Kids are getting to college without the basic skills they need at least in part because they are learning how to score 760 on their verbal SAT as opposed to learning how to actually write a sentence on their own.

Enough ranting. I should write something about this is an ordered way instead of spewing rage all over Metafilter. Sorry folks!
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2005


rage spew. it's not just for metafilter anymore!
posted by quonsar at 4:08 PM on February 27, 2005


I guess Bill Gates must be worried that MS will start losing the education market to Apple and Linux, or he wouldn't be pandering so hard to the educrats.

We need school choice, because school choice is what, in the real world, works in its rough analogs.

Its first and most imporant dimension is the liberation of good parents from bad parents; which is what suburban public schools and urban private schools do very well indeed.

Its secondary function has its analog in college: the liberation of the good student from the bad student.

Its tertiary dimension is the liberation of the teacher from the bureaucrat, an objective Joey Michaels cites with great eloquence.
posted by MattD at 4:25 PM on February 27, 2005


Except for possibly limiting the teacher from the bureacrat, how does school choice accomplish any of those goals if it's available to everyone?

If school choice is implemented, it will probably require more bureaucracy on the part of private schools (how else will they account for their advantages over public schools and justify where their public money is spent), or else the private schools aren't being held nearly as accountable as public schools are and may be more likely to let poor performance slip by unnoticed.
posted by drezdn at 6:23 PM on February 27, 2005


You know techgnollogic, I think the point that the education received by the majority is negatively impacted by a few bad apples, it very valid. I disagree with the idea that sending them home (or wherever) until they grow up enough to be allowed in school. That was one thing that always confused me as a HS student, if you cut class they suspended you, which seemed to be what you wanted to begin with. They changed the policy to [em]in school[/em] suspension and that made people think twice.

To the people who think the lower costs associated with private schools proves we should spend less on education, I second everything everyone said about who is admitted to those schools vs. public ones. And public systems are required to pay for special services that kids with special needs (autistic kids need a totally different cirriculum and system from others, for example, and the cost is born by the public school system).

If you go to other countries where all school is paid for by thr government (my experience is with the French system so that's the only one to which I can make a comparison) the goal there is to weed out those who aren't up to par (this is more in college, I think) and your fate is sealed a lot earlier on through testing and whatnot. If you are going to be a doctor, you are put on that path a lot earlier.

Here, we have a much longer grace period in which we can decide what we want to be when we grow up. The price for that is that we pay more for our post-high school education and really strays from the scope of this topic (sorry).

In my opinion, we need to put more money into schools -- not just to pay teachers more, though that is needed, but have any of you spent any time in inner city high schools? There are a few in DC that are falling apart. Literally. Books are out of date and they find bullets on the field. Twice in the past three years several DC schools have been closed for weeks due to mercury contamination and several school buildings [em]don't hate heat.[/em]

And I am pro-standardized testing but just telling a school it must perform better doesn't make it happen. Our current President (and while I am a Democrat, Pappa Bush was better for education, the Goals 2000 program of standardized testing in schools was his idea) never funded his 'Leave No Child Behind' program. Back when I worked in the Senate when the Federal government forced policies onto states w/o proper funding it was an [em] unfunded mandate[/em] and was BAD. When the GOP does it, it's called returning power to the states and is good. Go figure.
posted by Calvin at 6:40 PM on February 27, 2005


Call me nuts, but...

If there was a "one wage earner per household" law...

...real estate prices would come down so there'd be no pressure to have 2 people working...

...one parent could focus on the kids...

...the kids would be smart before they got to school...

Right now there's too much of an economic penalty for staying home to raise children. You can't live in a good enough neighborhood if you do that.

(Note that I am not saying that mom should stay home. Just that someone should. And if everyone did it by choice, it would be economically feasible.)
posted by bugmuncher at 8:32 PM on February 27, 2005


Funny how Steve@Fundywood tends to disappear when actual facts and thoughts show up. I guess he's allergic.
posted by bardic at 11:58 PM on February 27, 2005


Well, from my perspective as a parent of two small children just starting into the public schools, I'll say this:

when budgets need cutting, the first things to go are the nurses, art teachers, and classes -- but football, baseball, basketball still get the money.

Why? What possible rationalization can be made for this?

I'll be surprised when school sports programs have to hold bake sales and candy drives to raise funds.
posted by mooncrow at 7:50 AM on February 28, 2005


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