High school student at Lincoln?

Slush

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"bigbadwolf" said:
Inner city schools in Britain are suffering the same problems as their counterparts in the US, i.e. too many non-whites, and the student population itself drawn from the most economically deprived and unruly elements of society. A teacher works as an animal tamer in such places, hence the low morale and high turnover.
Ah, now I get it. I stupidly thought that inner city schools were so horrific because the amount of money spent per pupil in the inner city is usually about
half that spent on a child educated in a public school in, for example,
Great Neck, NY--resulting in buildings that are fallling apart, teachers being paid significantly less than those who teach in affluent suburbs, students having to "hold it" all day because they don't have functioning toilets, and a system in which students cannot even take their school books home because they must be shared.
But according to Big Bad Wolf, it's because inner city schools contain "too many non-whites" who are "unruly" "animals". Funny conclusion given that almost all of the Columbine-type incidents in U.S. schools have occurred in predominantly white school districts, perpetrated almost exclusively by white kids.
I don't know. Maybe the reason inner-city schools are so abysmal is because those students--who are, let's try not to forget, also human beings--are viewed as animals by the vast majority of people with the money or power to do something about it.
 

bigbadwolf

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"Slush" said:
Ah, now I get it. I stupidly thought that inner city schools were so horrific because the amount of money spent per pupil in the inner city is usually about
half that spent on a child educated in a public school in, for example,
Great Neck, NY--resulting in buildings that are fallling apart, teachers being paid significantly less than those who teach in affluent suburbs, students having to "hold it" all day because they don't have functioning toilets, and a system in which students cannot even take their school books home because they must be shared.

But according to Big Bad Wolf, it's because inner city schools contain "too many non-whites" who are "unruly" "animals". Funny conclusion given that almost all of the Columbine-type incidents in U.S. schools have occurred in predominantly white school districts, perpetrated almost exclusively by white kids.

I don't know. Maybe the reason inner-city schools are so abysmal is because those students--who are, let's try not to forget, also human beings--are viewed as animals by the vast majority of people with the money or power to do something about it.
Opinions vary. You are right, of course, in that spending in suburban districts is often significantly higher than in inner-city districts. Paradoxically, though, teacher salaries are often lower in the suburbs, perhaps because they're such desirable places to work.
US teachers often start out as starry-eyed liberals. Time spent in urban schools usually changes their attitudes, often traumatically. It did for me. In the corridor immediately outside my classroom, there were fights three days out of five. It wasn't whites, nor Mexicans, nor usually Vietnamese doing the fighting. Ah, but now I'm being racist. I'm in correspondence with a colleague in the NYC system. She claims that everyone in her acquaintance has been physically assaulted. But of course, they're racist as well. In fact, come to think of it, the teaching profession has been thoroughly subverted by redneck racists.
Incidents like Columbine attract a lot of media attention, but they're exceptions that prove the rule: suburban schools are idyllic places to work.
In the stifling atmosphere of political correctness now prevailing in the USA, one has to be careful of every word one utters: the thought police are ubiquitous. So teachers are circumspect, employ euphemisms (e.g., "the challenges of poverty and urban education"), and are "racist" surreptitiously.
To give you your due, there are writers such as Jonathon Kozol who argue along your lines, namely that it's disparate levels of funding between urban and suburban schools that's the culprit in differing educational outcomes. I am just somewhat sceptical of this line of reasoning. As I've stated above, it's not out borne out by personal experience. Additionally, it appears that the Europeans and East Asians (and Argentinians, for that matter!) spend only a fraction of what the United States spends on each student. Why do they have such superior educational systems? Clearly funding can only be one constituent of a more complex equation.
I apologise to all and sundry for moving ever further from the original question that started this thread.
 

horacew2006

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A friend of mine in the UK did her Master's thesis based on a comparison of "public" (private) schools vs. state schools. This was some years ago and the laws may have changed but at that time she concluded that the elite private schools did not conform to the standards of state schools. i.e. there was often no or inadequate heating, facilities were often substandard, etc. The irony was that the students in the private schools graduated with a far superior education. How could this be ? She concluded that it had everything to do with parents and cultural background. I don't think that Argentina has a superior educational system to the US. It is actually far inferior. Teacher training is generally very poor here and getting much worse. Salaries are at poverty levels. State universities often turn out qualified graduates but they also turn out incompetents. That is far less liklely to happen in the US or the UK, A graduate of the Harvard Medical School for example, is much more likely to be competent than a graduate of UBA. Here one can never depend on the school a doctor graduated from as a measure of competence or even minimal competence.

Wolf is correct in a lot that he says about education in the US and the UK though he understates the quality of education in many suburban communities. The better suburban schools, at least on the East Coast, turn out quite a few highly qualified students and many of these attend the `Ivy League and other prestige schools respected world wide. As for inner city schools, the US federal govt. contributes to these schools to augment what the less wealthy cities can not pay. Teacher salaries in the suburbs are invariably higher (in some East Coast instances salaries reach a maxiumum of aprox. $100,000 dollars) however salaries in the cities are also good. Starting salaries for a new graduate are close to $40,000 in many cases. As for the rest of Wolf's comments, I can only say that the Truth is being suppressed in the US and the UK. Sad but true.
 

bigbadwolf

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"horacew2006" said:
A friend of mine in the UK did her Master's thesis based on a comparison of "public" (private) schools vs. state schools. This was some years ago and the laws may have changed but at that time she concluded that the elite private schools did not conform to the standards of state schools. i.e. there was often no or inadequate heating, facilities were often substandard, etc. The irony was that the students in the private schools graduated with a far superior education. How could this be ? She concluded that it had everything to do with parents and cultural background. I don't think that Argentina has a superior educational system to the US. It is actually far inferior. Teacher training is generally very poor here and getting much worse. Salaries are at poverty levels. State universities often turn out qualified graduates but they also turn out incompetents. That is far less liklely to happen in the US or the UK, A graduate of the Harvard Medical School for example, is much more likely to be competent than a graduate of UBA. Here one can never depend on the school a doctor graduated from as a measure of competence or even minimal competence.
Your friend might also have put in a word about the quality of teaching. It's the faculty that make a school or university strong or weak, not the architecture or the tennis courts, or the central air-conditioning. I'm a graduate of King's College London. The King's medical school is in a decrepit, crowded building. My younger brother went to Dundee, which has a spanking new medical school. Yet King's has the reputation: it's the faculty members.
I've heard about the starvation wages paid to Argentinian teachers and university lecturers, but I didn't want to make any disparaging remarks as it seems to ruffle Argentine feathers.
I made the assumption that Argentina's educational system just had to be better than that of the United States, but it appears I was mistaken.

Wolf is correct in a lot that he says about education in the US and the UK though he understates the quality of education in many suburban communities. The better suburban schools, at least on the East Coast, turn out quite a few highly qualified students and many of these attend the `Ivy League and other prestige schools respected world wide. As for inner city schools, the US federal govt. contributes to these schools to augment what the less wealthy cities can not pay. Teacher salaries in the suburbs are invariably higher (in some East Coast instances salaries reach a maxiumum of aprox. $100,000 dollars) however salaries in the cities are also good. Starting salaries for a new graduate are close to $40,000 in many cases. As for the rest of Wolf's comments, I can only say that the Truth is being suppressed in the US and the UK. Sad but true.
I'm not competent to judge East Coast schools. I know for a fact that some Connecticut and New York schools begin at $40,000, and some of the more experienced teachers earn over $100,000. You do have to remember, though, that obtaining such plum jobs is quite competitive.
Incidentally, private schools often pay substantially lower salaries (in Minnesota, the average private school teacher salary is $29,000); I presume that this is so at least partly because they're not unionised.
 

horacew2006

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It's quite true that US private schools pay less than public schools. That is because private schools depend on fees and contributions to keep going whereas public schools pay teachers from tax revenues. Unions have definitely helped to get salaries up. The best public school jobs are in good suburban school districts and, yes, they are competitive. It is quite easy, however, to get a job in the East Coast cities. These districts have a severe teacher shortage and are even advertising internationally for teachers and liberalising their licensing requirements. Starting salaries with only BA and no experience are around $40,000. Not bad for a 9 month a year job. The private school fees you quoted must be for places like Andover, Choate etc. - i.e. the most elite American schools modeled after the best British public schools. I know of excellent private schools in the US that charge a good deal less. Incidentally, here in Argentina there has been a tremendous growth in private schools due to the steadily deteriorating state school system.
 

bigbadwolf

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"horacew2006" said:
It is quite easy, however, to get a job in the East Coast cities. These districts have a severe teacher shortage and are even advertising internationally for teachers and liberalising their licensing requirements. Starting salaries with only BA and no experience are around $40,000. Not bad for a 9 month a year job. The private school fees you quoted must be for places like Andover, Choate etc. - i.e. the most elite American schools modeled after the best British public schools. I know of excellent private schools in the US that charge a good deal less. Incidentally, here in Argentina there has been a tremendous growth in private schools due to the steadily deteriorating state school system.
I'm not sure I spoke about fees; the 40,000 figure I gave was for starting teacher salaries and perhaps it was a trifle ambiguous. I think $15,000-22,000 should be enough for most decent private schools. The fees at the schools you mention -- Andover, Choate, Groton -- are only one obstacle; another major obstacle is the long waiting list and the connections required to get in (I think). These are the schools where the Kennedys and Bushes of America go to: a preserve for the ruling class.
As for teachers working only 9 months, that's a sould-destroying, nerve-racking, mind-numbing 9 months in urban schools (how I love these euphemisms!). A teacher is a husk, a mere shell, by June. Incidentally, licencing requirements may often force a new teacher to spend the summer months taking some courses. This will hold particularly if the teacher entered with only a provisional licence, but also holds for fully licenced teachers. The courses are of course futile and redundant, but public school teaching is one vast racket, with state licencing boards, colleges of education, and teacher's unions cosily in bed together. A degree in education has long been recognised as the most bogus US qualification around, surpassed in recent years only by the degree in communications.
 

horacew2006

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You are right in what you say about the teacher certification racket and the poor miserable quality of education courses. It´s ironic that an individual graduating with a degree from a leading school who may be a gifted teacher is not considered qualified by public schools. You are right that someone with a provisional license would have to spend time during the summer fulfilling the meaningless requirements. And yes, inner city schools are indeed tough however the salaries that those with longevity earn can be very impressive. As for the elite private schools, I believe you are wrong that you need connections to get in. That may have been true in the past but these schools are now very diverse, go out of their way to recruit minority students and are very interested in the best prepared students. You mention Kennedy. Keep in mind that he really did not come from an Establishment family. His father, eager to get him into the establishment, chose an old WASP school rather than one of the elite Catholic schools. Bush, on the other hand, does represent the Old Guard who really no longer run the US.
 

bigbadwolf

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"horacew2006" said:
As for the elite private schools, I believe you are wrong that you need connections to get in. That may have been true in the past but these schools are now very diverse, go out of their way to recruit minority students and are very interested in the best prepared students. You mention Kennedy. Keep in mind that he really did not come from an Establishment family. His father, eager to get him into the establishment, chose an old WASP school rather than one of the elite Catholic schools. Bush, on the other hand, does represent the Old Guard who really no longer run the US.
It's a pleasure to read your posts; they're so very informative. I'm but a prole, and not apprised of how elite schools' admissions policies have changed. Yes of course, Joe Kennedy was an upstart Irish bootlegger, and certainly not "establishment." And when you say, "old guard," I presume you mean the old New England families. Of course, George Bush, Sr. reinvented himself as a Texan oilman.
 

horacew2006

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I suspect you are both serious and tongue-in-cheek in your last comment. It's quite true that the elite schools have become a lot more egalitarian. Their constituency has changed radically. For example, they used to be very anti-semetic. Now they have a large Jewish representation. By "Old Guard" I was not just referring to New England but mainly to the East Coast in general, especially from Viriginia up to Maine. The Bushes come from Connecticut which is marginally New England. I would say that Bush Jr. has fashioned himself into a Texan, not really the father. Daddy Bush has never been taken very seriously by Texans. He's always retained his East Coast elitism and Texans seem to sense that. His Episcopalianism did not really fit into the Texas scene and he refused to curry favor with the evangelicals. The current President, of course, has abandoned liberal Anglicanism in favor of fundamentalism. he truly seems comfortable with conservative Texas culture. With his father it was just acting
 

bigbadwolf

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"horacew2006" said:
I suspect you are both serious and tongue-in-cheek in your last comment. It's quite true that the elite schools have become a lot more egalitarian. Their constituency has changed radically. For example, they used to be very anti-semitic. Now they have a large Jewish representation.
Indeed. There was a time when Harvard, Yale, and Princeton had Jewish quotas. Yale only abolished its quotas -- never admitted publicly -- in 1962. Of course, Jews are represented disproportionately in top US universities, but this is only to be expected as Jewish IQ is at least one standard deviation higher than White IQ (estimates go as high as 1.5 standard deviations). I don't know about now, but there have been times when 50% of Columbia's student population has been Jewish. The meek shall inherit the earth.
By "Old Guard" I was not just referring to New England but mainly to the East Coast in general, especially from Viriginia up to Maine. The Bushes come from Connecticut which is marginally New England. I would say that Bush Jr. has fashioned himself into a Texan, not really the father. Daddy Bush has never been taken very seriously by Texans. He's always retained his East Coast elitism and Texans seem to sense that. His Episcopalianism did not really fit into the Texas scene and he refused to curry favor with the evangelicals. The current President, of course, has abandoned liberal Anglicanism in favor of fundamentalism. he truly seems comfortable with conservative Texas culture. With his father it was just acting
Quite so, quite so. A coarse philistine in every sense of the word, it's natural he would feel at home in Texas. The evangelicals terrify me.
 
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