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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Leigh Bortins announces new book

Check out: 1 Smart Mama for Leigh Bortins announcement of a new book in the works for 2011 on the second stage of Classical Education, the Dialectic stage.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Census Cost?

Well this is kind of funny, and sad.

An article on Fox News talks about census cost going from projected 13 Billion from 8 Billion (only the government could overspend by this much).

Well if you check out their website they have a bunch of Census ads on their site. Now Why would they take Census ads on their site and why is the Census still spending out money on advertising after going this much over budget?

I don't blame the census group as much, I don't really expect them to behave. It the equivalent of not being surprised the school bully beat someone up.

I do blame FoxNews and any organization that is not taking Census money. It is our money they are spending to tell us about how they are spending it. In order for us to get back to financial stability in the US our businesses and citizens need to rejects government money and demand freedom.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Welfare Reform and Education

As I talk to school teachers that I am friends with I hear that if parents are involved then the children do much better in school. They also say they have trouble getting parents to come to 30 min open house and parent-teacher meetings.
So parents who went through government education system, feel that they don’t need to be involved in the system. That means when they were in the system the first time, this wasn’t a priority.

These are just general statements and don’t apply to every situation, but when looking at the big picture of government schools this is clearly an issue. If parents don’t care, then their child will likely not care.

If you look at social and economic issues typically those who do not have a high education, are less likely to care about schooling. Children from a troubled house simply are not likely to do well in school. Thankfully this is not always the case. So if a child is from a troubled background, their family is less likely to care about schooling and therefore the child is less likely to succeed in education.
Currently unemployment in the United States sits around 9.7%, that number for the college educated is closer to 5.1% and thus the unemployment percent for those without degrees is much higher. If you are unemployed you are likely on some sort of welfare (unemployment checks, government benefits, prop 8 housing).

I am not for government intervention, the less the better, but clearly in the US our current policies do not line up with this thinking. Since programs will not be done away with, how can we modify them for the result we are looking for and what is that?
Current goals of education are stabilize social and economical conditions to keep society is as safe as possible condition. Create students that are capable of being employed, keep their positions, and move as new technologies are developed. If you search for Welfare reform and changes, you will find articles about tying Welfare to school attendance. I say tie to school performance.

Currently if you have a child and are on welfare, you get additional handouts (benefits) for the government to make sure those children receive a living standard. Why not tie this amount into the child effectiveness in school. If you average a 2.5 you get that standard amount, say you average a 3.0 you get 5% more and if you average a 3.5 you get 10% and a 4.0 you get 15%. On the same token, if you get a 2.0 you get 5% less, 1.5 10% less, 1.0 15% less and 20% less if you drop out (since you will now have time to find a job).

Those with special needs or situations could be exempt. I’m not going to get into those details here.

This plan will promote education as a benefit to those from troubled backgrounds, and provides them with a means to better themselves financially, while doing so educationally. This way teens wouldn’t be encouraged to drop out of school to help pay bills. The adults will be more interested in ensuring that their child does well in school, because it will give them more money to provide food and shelter.

The more educated people we have the more we can get in taxes, the less we have to pay out for services and the more fruitful our society becomes. Education is seen as a way to get out of poverty, but current welfare system promotes people staying in poverty because of how it is administered and does not promote educational growth.

I would like to see some other sides of this plan, I obviously posted the positives, but I am sure there are negatives to this plan and I would like to hear those. I'm just trying to get the discussion going.

Monday, December 13, 2010

PISA scores show Memorization is important

PISA scores came in last week while I was on vacation, read more about it here. No surprise to those in the USA who follow education, we have failed our students. Not only have we financially burden future generations with deficit spending – the next generation is not receiving the education needed to be able to right this ship and pay off this bill. The snowball is still small, but be warned it is getting bigger fast. We are on an educational course which will doom our future if not fixed quickly.

If you look at China, who leads in virtually every category, you will see that they have emphasis on memorization of facts. They place a high level of focus on the first and foundation of the Trivium. Clearly China has other issues to correct that will hold them back in the future, but education will not be one of them.
The great thing about a classical education is it doesn’t require as much funding as current programs. So it is a great way to have a better education, for less money.