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Louisiana's Bold Bid To Privatize Schools - This Sounds Great


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Guest Deisel

By Stephanie Simon

June 1 | Fri Jun 1, 2012 6:04pm EDT

June 1 (Reuters) - Louisiana is embarking on the nation's boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

The following year, students of any income will be eligible for mini-vouchers that they can use to pay a range of private-sector vendors for classes and apprenticeships not offered in traditional public schools. The money can go to industry trade groups, businesses, online schools and tutors, among others.

Every time a student receives a voucher of either type, his local public school will lose a chunk of state funding.

"We are changing the way we deliver education," said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. "We are letting parents decide what's best for their children, not government."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-education-vouchers-idUSL1E8H10AG20120601

Its time kids got an education and its apparant that the public education system and all the money its been given is NOT getting it done. Louisanna will be the test ground and unions and Libs will fight this hand to hand if need be.

I love it.

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I like that fact that vocational training and trade schools are included in the mix here. Some kids are just not cut out for college and can out earn college graduates in many cases if they are directed to a field that suits their talents. It`s time to admit that the way our educational system is structured today is not getting the most out of our kids. Time to reinvent ourselves.

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I like that fact that vocational training and trade schools are included in the mix here. Some kids are just not cut out for college and can out earn college graduates in many cases if they are directed to a field that suits their talents. It`s time to admit that the way our educational system is structured today is not getting the most out of our kids. Time to reinvent ourselves.

Right on Rambler. I've got a Junior in private school. She's a B, C student and doesn't really want college. She's choosing to go to Australia after high school and work for a bit, as we have alot of family there. I'm all for it.

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Right on Rambler. I've got a Junior in private school. She's a B, C student and doesn't really want college. She's choosing to go to Australia after high school and work for a bit, as we have alot of family there. I'm all for it.

A nice bi-product of directing kids towards their talents early is that you are setting them up for success early. Your daughter may be an example of someone who may not be ready for secondary education now, but with work experience and a better idea of where her talents lie she may decide to revisit that possibility later. Its hard enough under perfect conditions to find the field that maximizes a persons talents, but for us as a society to continue to flounder around and hope for things to improve is idiocy. What La. wants to do is a good start and I`m sure some of the parts of the plan will have to tweaked over time, but baby steps will eventually get us there.

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Would like to read up more on this but the main thing Im thinking is, " what can it hurt?"

Louisiana Is ranked, I believe, 48th in the nation in education, which is disgraceful. I agree with The RoadRambler about trade and vocational schools being included. I know in high school, shop class was by far the best choice for many students and I say that with no insult intended.

As is the case with Louisiana, when you hit bottom, just quit digging and try something else. Anything else.

However, were this a state like Massachusetts, Minnesota or New Jersey, I would be completely against it as their public schools are working quite well.

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Would like to read up more on this but the main thing Im thinking is, " what can it hurt?"

Louisiana Is ranked, I believe, 48th in the nation in education, which is disgraceful. I agree with The RoadRambler about trade and vocational schools being included. I know in high school, shop class was by far the best choice for many students and I say that with no insult intended.

As is the case with Louisiana, when you hit bottom, just quit digging and try something else. Anything else.

However, were this a state like Massachusetts, Minnesota or New Jersey, I would be completely against it as their public schools are working quite well.

Then wouldn't the answer be if it works so well in Mass, Minny and NJ, why not see how they're doing it and mirror it ?

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Then wouldn't the answer be if it works so well in Mass, Minny and NJ, why not see how they're doing it and mirror it ?

Yes that would make sense but thats not on the table right now so I felt no need to discuss it.

without turning this into a political discussion I find the stance that " liberalism is ruining education" particularly amusing because Massachusetts , New Jersey, Connecticut and Minnesota are usually high on the lists of the best and are also historically states which are blue in hue on political maps.

Somewhat of an obstacle to that argument I would say.

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putting trade schools into it is a disaster. there already exists vocational trade schools to attend after high school

for example, some Louisiana high schools already offer Cosmetology and it has been my experience that the students aren't prepared for anything. you can't teach cosmetology solely from a text book and mannequin head. Furthermore, there will be some serious lawsuits as a result of this as it is state law for high school teachers to have a college degree but they are hiring and allowing license cosmetology instructors without degrees to teach in high schools.

I don't know about you, but if I am a teacher who spent 4-5 years having to get a college degree for my career, I am going to resent someone who literally only had to spend 600 clock hours to get a cosmetology instructor license getting the same pay and benefits

edit: those that take it in high school aren't passing the licensing testing so it was a waste of their time as well as taxpayer dollars

Edited by Dago 3.0
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Then wouldn't the answer be if it works so well in Mass, Minny and NJ, why not see how they're doing it and mirror it ?

because in southern states spending on money on "social" programs, like educating children, is considered evil. Take Mass and NJ for example. They consistently invest more money into their children's education and it shows in the results they get.

But hey, i'm all about states rights. If LA wants their children taught by the lowest bidder then sure, have at. Just don't be mad when the gap continues to grow.

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because in southern states spending on money on "social" programs, like educating children, is considered evil. Take Mass and NJ for example. They consistently invest more money into their children's education and it shows in the results they get.

But hey, i'm all about states rights. If LA wants their children taught by the lowest bidder then sure, have at. Just don't be mad when the gap continues to grow.

Thats a good point. What this might actually accomplish in La. is "education centers" popping up like payday loaners and in fact put the state further in the hole than it already is.

I did find it odd that Bobby jindal's plan is to throw money at the problem instead of looking at what the successful states do.

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Private businesses do all kinds of things to lower costs and boost profits. They use cheaper products, they increase prices, and they cut things from the product that aren't profitable.

Now that LA is viewing education as a product to be sold by private businesses, what things in the classroom are going to get cut and what things will be replaced with cheaper "parts"?

See, that's the problem with viewing education as a product to be sold to consumers. Learning get replaced by test scores and diplomas. Education and learning are no longer the goals, which hurts students.

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But don't you know.

Government =bad

Private free market =Good.

yep, the polarization of politics is the problem. there are good things about both government and private free market, they each have their roles in a successful society, but we can't have that b/c of the all or nothing way politics are now.

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yep, the polarization of politics is the problem. there are good things about both government and private free market, they each have their roles in a successful society, but we can't have that b/c of the all or nothing way politics are now.

Spot on.

The idea that government is always wrong and the free market is always right is a fallacy to where too many people buy into

As is the Government needs to do very thing.

The sooner we can find people to have a right amount of balance with that the better.

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Spot on.

The idea that government is always wrong and the free market is always right is a fallacy to where too many people buy into

As is the Government needs to do very thing.

The sooner we can find people to have a right amount of balance with that the better.

but that statement means nothing

everyone has a different idea of what the right balance is....it is completely subjective (not to mention ignores the waste and corruption on both sides of the argument)

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Spot on.

The idea that government is always wrong and the free market is always right is a fallacy to where too many people buy into

As is the Government needs to do very thing.

The sooner we can find people to have a right amount of balance with that the better.

the great irony of the whole thing is those perpetuating the bolded fallacy are using it to get government power.

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putting trade schools into it is a disaster. there already exists vocational trade schools to attend after high school

for example, some Louisiana high schools already offer Cosmetology and it has been my experience that the students aren't prepared for anything. you can't teach cosmetology solely from a text book and mannequin head. Furthermore, there will be some serious lawsuits as a result of this as it is state law for high school teachers to have a college degree but they are hiring and allowing license cosmetology instructors without degrees to teach in high schools.

I don't know about you, but if I am a teacher who spent 4-5 years having to get a college degree for my career, I am going to resent someone who literally only had to spend 600 clock hours to get a cosmetology instructor license getting the same pay and benefits

edit: those that take it in high school aren't passing the licensing testing so it was a waste of their time as well as taxpayer dollars

You used one example and framed your entire argument around it. Vocation training can involve dozens of fields and many of the instructors in those fields not only have the same amount of time in the classroom as you, but 1000`s of hours of practical experience that can be passed on to the next generation. You seem to think that someone who does not have the same education as you cannot possibly have as much to offer as you and therefore is less deserving of the money you make, but if a cosmetology teacher in the end turns out more productive members of society than you do, who deserves the most money?

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You used one example and framed your entire argument around it. Vocation training can involve dozens of fields and many of the instructors in those fields not only have the same amount of time in the classroom as you, but 1000`s of hours of practical experience that can be passed on to the next generation. You seem to think that someone who does not have the same education as you cannot possibly have as much to offer as you and therefore is less deserving of the money you make, but if a cosmetology teacher in the end turns out more productive members of society than you do, who deserves the most money?

Louisiana law states that to teach in our public school system one must have a college degree....as a matter of fact they need at least a Master's Degree to be certified.

Second, I own a school. I am not an instructor.

and third, you got the whole premise of what I was saying wrong so please allow me to distill it for you

1) in my experience the vocational training in Louisiana public schools is doing a poor job in preparing students for the workforce and the fact that the students who have received that training cannot pass the testing at the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology and get a license backs that up.

2) the law states that a teacher in our public school system MUST have at least a Bachelor Degree....a Masters to be certified. Allowing exceptions for people who have only received 5 months of training on average and paying them the same as those that have been required to follow the law and jumped through 5-7 years of hoops in college is not fair.

all that other crap you added about my feelings of people's worth is in your imagination

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Ohio has plenty of private "charter schools" and as you can imagine, some are pretty good, but there have been plenty of them established just to get state money without being able to turn out students who were better educated than they would have been otherwise. I'm split on the original post:

1. If the media are to be believed, public education is waning (to some degree) in achieving the goal of producing effective, educated adults. So, with that being said, if you can't hit the ball with the bat that you're swinging, why not switch bats?

2. A large part of the failure (to some degree) of public education is the fact that many parents put little into preparing their kids to learn. That's not going to change regardless of public or private teaching. And if the private schools start getting these sleepy, malnourished, ADHD-challenged problem children, are they going to expel them so they can appear to turn out "good" graduates? Or will they wind up losing their charters for having so many failures and dropouts?

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but that statement means nothing

everyone has a different idea of what the right balance is....it is completely subjective (not to mention ignores the waste and corruption on both sides of the argument)

That is why we need to elect people at all levels who are open minded and who are willing to negotiate a fair and equally beneficial solution.

It is not feasible now because as Jore mentioned the politics of it are too polarized right now.

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Louisiana law states that to teach in our public school system one must have a college degree....as a matter of fact they need at least a Master's Degree to be certified.

Second, I own a school. I am not an instructor.

and third, you got the whole premise of what I was saying wrong so please allow me to distill it for you

1) in my experience the vocational training in Louisiana public schools is doing a poor job in preparing students for the workforce and the fact that the students who have received that training cannot pass the testing at the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology and get a license backs that up.

2) the law states that a teacher in our public school system MUST have at least a Bachelor Degree....a Masters to be certified. Allowing exceptions for people who have only received 5 months of training on average and paying them the same as those that have been required to follow the law and jumped through 5-7 years of hoops in college is not fair.

all that other crap you added about my feelings of people's worth is in your imagination

You did it again. You took the cosmetology example and made that the basis for scrapping any new ideas involving vocational training. Let me give you another example. Electrician. A typical UA electrician does a 5 year apprenticeship and has over 1000 hours of classroom instruction as well as over 9000 hours of practical. real world, on the job (not classroom theory) experience. If this apprentice works another 10 years in the trade and amasses another 20,000 hours of real world, on the job training then you are telling me that this guy cant possibly be as valuable as a 4 year college graduate first hitting the classroom?

OK man, I`m with you.

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You did it again. You took the cosmetology example and made that the basis for scrapping any new ideas involving vocational training. Let me give you another example. Electrician. A typical UA electrician does a 5 year apprenticeship and has over 1000 hours of classroom instruction as well as over 9000 hours of practical. real world, on the job (not classroom theory) experience. If this apprentice works another 10 years in the trade and amasses another 20,000 hours of real world, on the job training then you are telling me that this guy cant possibly be as valuable as a 4 year college graduate first hitting the classroom?

OK man, I`m with you.

nope....I used my field as an example of how it doesn't work on a broad scale.

second, I cited what the law requires and you are trying to make it my 'feelings' on the matter. Seems as though you are taking it personally and instead of having a beef with me you need to take it up with the Louisiana Legislature since they made the law.

third, there are plenty of vocational schools here that have financial aid and have far more oversight than the public school system on the quality of their education and the outcomes of their students.

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