Romney on How To Fix Edumication

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First, dismantle public school funding. That was pandering to the charter school people he was sitting with. Second, more “no child left behind” type policies. Third, increase classroom size. Because classroom size doesn’t matter. Fourth, cancel teacher improvement programs.

From the Washington Post:

During the roundtable session, Romney said there was no correlation between classroom size and student performance, citing a report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company. That sparked a debate with some educators and other leaders around the table.
“I can’t think of any teacher in the whole time I’ve been teaching, for 10 years, 13 years, who would say that more students [in the classroom] would benefit,” said Steven Morris, a music teacher at the school. “And I can’t think of a parent that would say I would like my teacher to be in a room with a lot of kids and only one teacher.”

Yes, some studies showed that but as far as I can tell, they were comparing class sizes that were too big with class sizes that were way too big. Turns out there is not much difference between totally broken and way totally broken.

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10 thoughts on “Romney on How To Fix Edumication

  1. Since some in a number of threads within the X-blog series – HAVE taken me to task for spelling errors – I LOVE the title of this thread !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I used to teach, and I know that the more kids I had in that classroom, the more difficult it was to meet all of their needs. The policy of having all skill levels in one class does not help, either. I think that the old system of “tracking” would help a lot.
    Since I taught Latin, I did have fewer students than the Spanish teachers, but that didn’t mean that I had only the best students. The counselors would randomly place students in the “other languages” – Latin, French and German – when the Spanish classes became outlandishly huge. Also, if the IEP of an emotionally disturbed kid said that he needed a smaller classroom, they would send him to me. So, I might have the future valedictorian sitting next to an avowed gang member, sitting next to an emotionally disturbed child, and I was expected to meet all of their needs, as well as those of the other 20 kids in the class.
    I begged for tracking in level I. I wouldn’t have minded teaching an extra class if I could divide them into separate groups. Then, I could challenge the class of capable students and slow down and have some fun with the lower level group. I was told that this idea was “too elitist”.
    We did offer an Honors class for level II. One year, I found two football players in my Honors class who had barely passed level I (mostly because I was required to “make sure” that they did). It turned out that my regular class met at the same time as football, so I was told to “tailor the program” for them in the Honors class. Those two did not do Honors level work, barely passed again, and yet were given credit for an Honors class. Since they were star football players, I was not allowed to flunk them or even to complain.
    In Texas, administrators care only about “the numbers”. They want to make it look like they have a high graduation rate, a low drop-out rate, a high rate of passing state tests and oh yes, the champion football team. The quality of the education that the students actually receive is not important.

  3. McKinsey has a long history of doing very shallow analysis to support their reports. Unfortunately, business’ love them.

  4. So, essentially Romney is putting a hit on public education. I’m not surprised, this is a Republican standard for the last several years. Break the public system, and then you can prove that public systems don’t work. And people believe it…

  5. Well, classroom size really doesn’t matter when the entire goal is to teach kids what to think instead of how to think. When the desired product is a bunch of mindless zombies capable of regurgitating the bull shit you’ve force fed them, pack ’em in like cattle (or more accurately, sheep) It’s not like you actually need to interact with them. That’s just crazy talk.

  6. Many of the political activists who mobilize against school levy increase votes specifically state that their goal is to dismantle the public system, as if Horace Mann was as much of a socialist as Karl Marx. Paul Dorr was the consultant behind the fight against the Robbinsdale levy increase a few years ago. (I need to find a bbcode extension for Chrome or go back to Firefox. I suddenly couldn’t remember how to use the “a href” tag.)

    This was the first time Robbinsdale voters have turned down a school levy request – the last was in 2001 – and pro-levy campaigners put the blame squarely on Dorr.

    “Dorr’s tactics won,” said RASVoteYes co-chair Robin Smothers. “Playing on the fear of crime and gang violence and minority students in our district resonated with our residents. We tried to prepare for Dorr every way we could, but we never thought he would stoop to racism.”

    Dorr, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, has vowed to end public education. As a consultant, he has assisted more than 40 anti-levy campaigns in five states, defeating 80 percent of them.

    What I don’t get is that charter schools are publicly funded; why would they want to move to charter schools and not try to move everyone to Christian “madrassas?”

  7. I don’t know just how representative Conservapedia is of wingnuttia at large, but Andy Schlafly seems to think that large class sizes foster competition (exactly how?) and that small class sizes are just a plot to expand the power of teacher’s unions. “It’s Always Projection” indeed.

  8. Some here in Michigan are out to steal his thunder. Under the “Emergency Manager Law” (a rule devised to allow the state to take over cities that are in financial trouble and avoid all those pesky things like local government), the manager currently assigned to Muskegon wants all of the district’s schools converted to charter schools. If enacted all current employees would be fired and would need to reapply, if there are sufficient positions. It would, of course, eliminate all debt from the system and avoid all of those pesky problems like paying into retirement accounts for teachers.

    Don’t be swayed by comments about our new governor being moderate: he’s just as much a scumbag as Wisconsin’s Walker, but he’s more dangerous simply because he’s smoother.

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