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Response to Thespian2 (Original post)

Mon Oct 13, 2014, 01:34 PM

7. I have a slightly different experience and I'm approaching 40 years of teaching....

The public school my wife teaches in today is MUCH better than the public school I taught in during the 1970's. My school back then was not regulated, teachers had bachelors, there was little technology. Music, art, and languages, were options. Popular classes were shop and home economics. The only thing the community supported was the football team.

My wife's school today has mostly graduate trained and experienced teachers. All students get art, music, technology, and languages. The PTA meetings are standing room only. The kids are getting a public education as good as any private school. There are IB programs, AP classes, and even excellent vocational programs available (like managing hotels,airplane maintenance, and international real estate). K-12 schools that are doing a bad job are usually overcrowded, have trouble keeping good teachers, and the SES is low. Schools today can be excellent if the community supports them! Our district has passed three tax referendums in a row to support the public schools above the state contribution - including higher salaries and earmarks for the arts. This is not a "millionaire" county, but a mix of people who value education.

I attended and I've taught at a private university. My public university students on average are not as well prepared or motivated, but the BEST students at the public university are as good as you'll find anywhere. There are plenty of excellent, highly-motivated public college students.

My observation about the changes in public colleges lies with the administration/state government goals that have changed. Everything is bodies and bucks - class sizes are large, tuition is high, and individual attention is minimal. We have way too many adjunct and temporary faculty compared to 20 or 30 years ago. State governments don't feel the obligation to support higher education any more, because they want to turn universities into another way to make a profit.

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