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vinemp

Education in Tennessee

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As a member of the Nashville MSA, I can appreciate the job Purcell has done. I'm a conservative, so no I don't agree with everything, but being Mayor of Nashville isn't easy.

I will say that I think his legacy will be like that of many other Mayors: Higher property taxes because "we have to think of the children." We keep spending more and more per child, and getting worse results. I don't have the stats, but I'd be willing to say Davidson county spends the most money per child in the Nashville MSA, but has the worst results (see recent national survey about kids not being able to find Louisiana and Iraq). One day people will wake up and realize sucking more money from the taxpayers and saying it will improve education is a failed policy. I do hope the next Mayor learns that.

rocky top buzz,

I don't think it would be out of place to bring to your attention the potential ramifications of your statements:

Funding education should not be one of our highest priorities?

Do you advocate that we make certain our children grow to become less effectual contributors to the positive advancement of society by neglecting to support public education?

Does "conservative" mean that you recognize the fundamental necessity of an educated and informed populace in order to conserve our culture's progressive development?

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rocky top buzz,

I don't think it would be out of place to bring to your attention the potential ramifications of your statements:

Funding education should not be one of our highest priorities?

Do you advocate that we make certain our children grow to become less effectual contributors to the positive advancement of society by neglecting to support public education?

Does "conservative" mean that you recognize the fundamental necessity of an educated and informed populace in order to conserve our culture's progressive development?

I stand ready to address your questions should rocky demur. ;)

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rocky top buzz,

I don't think it would be out of place to bring to your attention the potential ramifications of your statements:

Funding education should not be one of our highest priorities?

Do you advocate that we make certain our children grow to become less effectual contributors to the positive advancement of society by neglecting to support public education?

Does "conservative" mean that you recognize the fundamental necessity of an educated and informed populace in order to conserve our culture's progressive development?

Now, now, you're not seriously suggesting public education is a SUCCESSFUL model, are you ?

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Now, now, you're not seriously suggesting public education is a SUCCESSFUL model, are you ?

I think my public education was by and large successful. I would be willing to bet many of my peers would agree that they're public education was as well.

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I think my public education was by and large successful. I would be willing to bet many of my peers would agree that they're public education was as well.

I call myself a public school "survivor." You'd better believe I hope to see that abomination dismantled within my lifetime.

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Before we get COMPLETELY back on topic, let me state that yes, I am willing to defend the fact that the government should not have a monopoly on education, with funding forced at gunpoint. Rural, should we move this to the coffee house? Well, I'll reply here and let you decide?

Do you advocate that we make certain our children grow to become less effectual contributors to the positive advancement of society by neglecting to support public education?
No, I advocate that the parents of our children be allowed to make responsible decisions about their childrens education. Why does my child have to go to the closest school? Why can't my child go to the BEST school? The current public school system essentially dictates that the more money you make, the better education. Why are Williamson County chools better than Davidson county? If I had $$$ to live in Williamson, wouldn't my child get a better education? How is that fair in agovernment monopoly?

Does "conservative" mean that you recognize the fundamental necessity of an educated and informed populace in order to conserve our culture's progressive development?

Yes, an educated soceity is neccesary to compete in a global market; however, how educated are we really? Again, I point to the recent geography survey, and the fact that we regularly rank behind other industrialized nations as far as education. When will people realize that raising taxes doesn't improve grades?

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^Agreed. How much is it up to now per student? I know its quite high. More money is not the answer.

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I went ahead and spun this topic off. The discussion needs to be kept Tennessee specific, otherwise I will have to move it to the regular Coffee House.

Let me add my two cents though, for schools in Tennessee and elsewhere, its not the failure of educators, schools, or lack of funding IMO. Its a symptom of societal trends where large segments of the society put little value on education due to a myriad of social factors ranging from poverty, poor household environments, declining ethical and moral standards, etc. You can't fund or teach your way out of those issues, unless the underlying root causes are addressed, and no that does not mean government programs, that means communities and individuals taking responsibility for their actions first and formost.

The reason charter schools, private schools, etc do better is largely due to their student base. They get the students from backgrounds that largely put value on education, and have fewer segments that would weigh down their testing scores. Public schools get weighed down because they get everyone, so that means they get a much larger percentage of folks who have backgrounds and attitudes that place little value of getting an education.

Tennessee though on the whole ranks very well in the quality of education its public schools produce compared to funding. That is TN public school students get higher scores for our funding dollars than students from many states that spend more than we do.

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I will agree that Tennesse does get a better bang for the buck compared to many northern states that spend way more per student.

I also won't disagree with the socio-demographics of education, but then that begs the question, why do we continue to increase spending for the case of education?

I will take my own example here. Shortly after I moved to Rutherford County, the County Commission voted to raise property taxes. Prior to the vote, I emailed my representative and encouraged him to vote against the increase. He replied and said he would be voting for the tax increase because the increased tax money from growth didn't cover the increasing cost of education. I decided at that point that I would not be voting for him in the next election, but have since moved to another part of La Vergne and out of his district.

I think the issue is less about money being spent on students, and more about money being spent on buildings. No one wants their kids to go to a run down school building. That's why La Vergne is building a new elementary school (that, and due to increased size). The problem with building schools is that school districts never build them too big. New schools almost always seem to be full the year they open. It's a lot cheaper to build one huge school than to build two small schools. And why can't schools be 2+ stories anymore? What is the advantage of having one level?

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I will agree that Tennesse does get a better bang for the buck compared to many northern states that spend way more per student.

I also won't disagree with the socio-demographics of education, but then that begs the question, why do we continue to increase spending for the case of education?

I will take my own example here. Shortly after I moved to Rutherford County, the County Commission voted to raise property taxes. Prior to the vote, I emailed my representative and encouraged him to vote against the increase. He replied and said he would be voting for the tax increase because the increased tax money from growth didn't cover the increasing cost of education. I decided at that point that I would not be voting for him in the next election, but have since moved to another part of La Vergne and out of his district.

I think the issue is less about money being spent on students, and more about money being spent on buildings. No one wants their kids to go to a run down school building. That's why La Vergne is building a new elementary school (that, and due to increased size). The problem with building schools is that school districts never build them too big. New schools almost always seem to be full the year they open. It's a lot cheaper to build one huge school than to build two small schools. And why can't schools be 2+ stories anymore? What is the advantage of having one level?

I don't disagree with any of your points. As for why schools aren't two stories, I think it has to do with it being cheaper to build schools up to the standards required under the "Americans with Disabilities Act".

One reason I think schools are often not built big enough is that folks never like property tax increases so local officials only push to raise taxes enough to build a schools to fit the needs of their school disticts in the short term rather than the long-term. I could hear folks in many counties being upset and irriate about property taxes being raised too high for a school that has too much capacity and thus being a waste of tax payers dollars, even if in 10 years that capacity will be used up. So it may just be an easier political sell to push multiple tax increases overtime for multiple projects than big tax increases less frequently . I would also assume that some high growth counties probably have a hard time projecting student population growth rates to far out into the future, which also may be a factor. Just some thoughts on possible reasons why schools seem to be constantly built in some higher growth areas like those found in some Nashville Metro Counties.

Florida is a statewide example of where schools seem to never meet needs, no matter how fast they are built. Growth just seems to outpace their planning it seems.

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I will agree that Tennesse does get a better bang for the buck compared to many northern states that spend way more per student.

Really?

us_county_hsgrad.jpg

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^When I read that map, it shows every county in New York except one has 80%+ graduation rates. Over a quarter of Tennessee has less than 50% graduation rates. Half of Colorado has above 90%. Virtually all of greater San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose has above 90%.

Between Colorado and New York, I think its obvious conservative and liberal has nothing to do with this argument.

And the solution to this nation's education problems is to dismantle the education system entirely?

Hmm. Welcome to the Tennessee room. I certainly feel like I'm at home. LOL

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Damn, look at Kentucky. I can't think of a lame pun referencing the blue grass state.

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^When I read that map, it shows every county in New York except one has 80%+ graduation rates. Over a quarter of Tennessee has less than 50% graduation rates. Half of Colorado has above 90%. Virtually all of greater San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose has above 90%.

Between Colorado and New York, I think its obvious conservative and liberal has nothing to do with this argument.

And the solution to this nation's education problems is to dismantle the education system entirely?

Hmm. Welcome to the Tennessee room. I certainly feel like I'm at home. LOL

Its true. That map shows individuals 25 an older, which reflects Tennessee's rather lackluster education in years past (esp. in the rural areas), which was true of many southern states compared to their northern counterparts. Currently TN ranks near the bottom of funding, but usually ranks in the lower mid range among states when comparing how TN students do on testing compared to states that spend more. Should we strive to rank higher than the lower mid-range? Sure we do! But that wasn't the point, the point was that TN school funding does not reflect the education the state provides, otherwise we would be near the bottom in education scores as well.

I'm 100% for public education, but I don't know if throwing considerable more money at the school systems without it being targeted will magically raise our test scores. Aside from raising public school teacher pay to attract better candidates, I feel improving school disipline , improving the overall curriculum to reflect teaching better and more applicable skill sets, and focusing more attention and funding on improving vocational programs to provide better technical skills are more key to improving the quality of life and education in Tennessee than just raising funding formulas.

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Well the argument that Rutherford county shouldn't spend more on education is rediculous. Rutherford is one of the better education systems for Tennessee - with over 80% graduation rates. Even Davidson is a good school system for this area.

I don't think the solution for places like Murfreesboro and LaVergne is to elect budget cutting people when they have the better systems in the area to begin with.

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there's a difference from budget-cutting and budget busting.

While I think that everyone should graduate high school, I do think we should realize that there are still jobs here in the south that don't require a high school diploma. If you live in Hardeman county, your daddy's a farmer, and you're going to be a farmer, I can see why you might want to blow of Algebra II. Again, I'm not saying it's right, but that's still the culture we have here.

I would also be interested to see what Nebraska and Wyoming spend compared to New York and California for similar results.

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Now, now, you're not seriously suggesting public education is a SUCCESSFUL model, are you ?

Depends where you are.

90% of American students go to public schools.

Most of your top-notch high schools in the country are public. Suburban areas of large cities generally have excellent systems.

Example, I teach at a small college in North Iowa-as well as one in southern MN. The public high school is considered far better academically than the local Catholic high school.

And most large cities also have excellent public schools.

I would also be interested to see what Nebraska and Wyoming spend compared to New York and California for similar results.

They will never get similar results because they get entirely different students

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They will never get similar results because they get entirely different students

According to the above graph, Wyoming and Nebraska have graduation rates in the 80%-90% range, similar to CA and NY. So they do get similar results if all we are looking at is graduation rates. I personally think graduation rates mean nothing. It's not about the piece of paper, it's about what you know at the end of the day.

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According to the above graph, Wyoming and Nebraska have graduation rates in the 80%-90% range, similar to CA and NY. So they do get similar results if all we are looking at is graduation rates. I personally think graduation rates mean nothing. It's not about the piece of paper, it's about what you know at the end of the day.

Oh, I didn't look at any graph. But I was really referring to the fact that Nebraska and Wyoming dollar for dollar are able to get better results due to the large immigrant populations and the tough, urban school districts in NY and CA.

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