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Wally Williams

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Dec 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/24/99
to
With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
or parochial school education is better than that of a public
school? It's common knowledge, I know, but is there any actual
data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?


M. Kilgore

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Dec 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/24/99
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I think it's when they point out that the public school system wasn't so hot
for Einstien. Frankly, though, most of it isn't intuitive at all anymore. It
it was then the voucher supporters, who have been in my part of the world
for over 2 decades, would have made some real progress instead of spinning
their wheels so.

mark

Wally Williams <will...@ainet.com> wrote in message
news:3864085F...@ainet.com...

Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D.

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Dec 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/24/99
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Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
performance of the students in college math courses. The results were
lopsided in favor of private schools. No public school had more than 65%
of their students passing the Algebra and Trig course. There were some
poor private schools too, mostly run by religious groups. There were
some good religious and secular private schools with 90% or more of the
students passing the course in question.

C. Smith

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Dec 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/24/99
to
In article <38643D2B...@caribe.net>, Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D.
<rabe...@caribe.net> wrote:

But this is not evidence that a private school education is better than
a public school education. The study does not control for the
differences in the two samples. Private school students are, by
defintion, a self selected group. Public school students are, by their
nature, effectively not. Public schools in affluent areas (where
property prices act as a gatekeeper) perform as well as any private
school (who's admissions policy acts as a gatekeeper).

I have yet to see any evidence that a private school provided a better
education merely because it was private.

C. Smith

panther

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Dec 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/25/99
to
In article <241219992022095427%csmith...@pacbell.net>,
"C. Smith" <csmith...@pacbell.net> wrote:
> Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D. wrote:
>
MK. Discussion deleted (State school versus independent schools; any
evidence for superiority of independent schools?)...

>
> > Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> > performance of the students in college math courses. The results
were
> > lopsided in favor of private schools. No public school had more
than 65%
> > of their students passing the Algebra and Trig course. There were
some
> > poor private schools too, mostly run by religious groups. There were
> > some good religious and secular private schools with 90% or more of
the
> > students passing the course in question.
>
MK. Discussion deleted...

>
> But this is not evidence that a private school education is better
than
> a public school education. The study does not control for the
> differences in the two samples. Private school students are, by
> defintion, a self selected group. Public school students are, by
their
> nature, effectively not. Public schools in affluent areas (where
> property prices act as a gatekeeper) perform as well as any private
> school (who's admissions policy acts as a gatekeeper).
>
> I have yet to see any evidence that a private school provided a better
> education merely because it was private.
>
MK. I make less of the public/private distinction than most
participants to this thread, and less of the for profit/not for profit
distinction. a) NCES published a chart of school success by type of
school and parents' race. Graduates of independent schools were more
likely to have entered college, to have graduated college, and to have
achieved advanced degrees. The difference in performance is greater for
minorities than for whites. b) NCES publishes NAEP 8th grade math
results for State schools and for independent schools. Independent
schools outperform State schools. c) University of Chicago sociologist
James Coleman studied relative school performance and found a
significant difference between State and parochial schools. d) Chubb
and Moe, in an institutional/statistical study supported by the
Brookings Institution, found that the largest contribution to school
success, after average parent SES, was a composite variable they called
the degree of institutional autonomy. That is, the more people above
the level of principal telling the principal how to do her job, the
worse the school performed. They argue that State operation of schools
invites the bureaucratization of school administration, reducing the
principal's independence, and so, school performance. e) The World
Bank, in a study comparing State schools with independent schools in
several nations, found that independent schools outperformed State
schools, when parent SES was held constant. f) Herman Brustaert, in a
study of student performance in State and independent schools in
Belgium (Belgium subsidizes attendance at independent schools), found
higher performance in independent schools, and a smaller gap between
scores of poor and rich kids in independent schools than in State
schools.
>
MK. Csmith is correct that the problem of self-selection contaminates
conclusions drawn from comparisons of independent and State schools in
the US. This objection is not as large as it first appears, and there
is an obvious way around it. One way around the problem is to compare
performance of entire polties: those which support parents' choices,
and those which do not. Singapore, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Denmark,
Czech Republic, Sweden, and Belgium support a parent's choice of
school, outside State schools. Alaska subsidizes homeschooling, and
counts homeschoolers as enrolled in the State system. Homeschoolers
outperform conventionally schooled children, and Alaska's 90th
percentile score (1996 NAEP 8th grade Numbers and Operations, Algebra
and Functions subtests) is the highest in the US. Too bad we don't have
NAEP baseline data for Alaska from before they instituted the
homeschool subsidy.
>
MK. To suppose that family influences (income, "involvement", etc)
account for the difference between independent schools and State
schools is to suppose that parents who pay $X,000 for independent
schools are systematically deluded. To assert that independent school
students would have done just as well in state schools is to assert
that these successfully concerned parents just threw $x,000 down the
toilet. That tuition could have otherwise been spent on food, travel,
or a Nikon microscope with camera for junior.
>
MK. Lastly, school choice (as in school vouchers) would reduce
systematic abuse. From Hyman and Penroe, Journal of School Psychology:
"Several studies of maltreatment by teachers suggest that school
children report traumatic symptoms that are similar whether the
traumatic event was physical or verbal abuse (Hyman, et.al.,1988;
Krugman & Krugman, 1984; Lambert, 1990). Extrapolation from these
studies suggests that psychological maltreatment of school children,
especially those who are poor, is fairly widespread in the United
States...."
"...A good percentage of these students develop angry and aggressive
responses as a result. Yet, emotional abuse and its relation to
misbehavior in schools receives little pedagogical, psychological, or
legal attention and is rarely mentioned in textbooks on school
discipline (Pokalo & Hyman, 1993, Sarno, 1992)."
"As with corporal punishment, the frequency of emotional
maltreatment in schools is too often a function of the socioeconomic
status (SES) of the student population (Hyman, 1990)."
>
MK. From Roland Meighan, "Home-based Education Effectiveness Research
and Some of its Implications", Educational Review, Vol. 47, No.3, 1995.
"The issue of social skills. One edition of Home School Researcher,
Volume 8, Number 3, contains two research reports on the issue of
social skills. The first finding of the study by Larry Shyers (1992)
was that home-schooled students received significantly lower problem
behavior scores than schooled children. His next finding was that home-
schooled children are socially well adjusted, but schooled children are
not so well adjusted. Shyers concludes that we are asking the wrong
question when we ask about the social adjustment of home-schooled
children. The real question is why is the social; adjustment of
schooled children of such poor quality?"
>
"The second study, by Thomas Smedley (1992), used different test
instruments but comes to the same conclusion, that home-educated
children are more mature and better socialized than those attending
school." ...p. 277
>
"12. So-called 'school phobia' is actually more likely to be a sign
of mental health, whereas school dependancy is a largely unrecognized
mental health problem"..., p.281
>
"I'm sorry I have so much rage, but you put it in me." --Dylan Klebold
>
Take care. Homeschool if you can.
>
www.schoolchoices.org (Massive site. Useful links).
>
www.hslda.org (Very useful links, for prospective homeschoolers)
>
www.rru.com/~meo/hs.minski.html (One page. Marvin Minsky comment on
school. Please read this.)
>
The model:
>
http://x46.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=537273125&search=thread&CONTEXT=9432206
36.1544683525&HIT_CONTEXT=943220636.1544683525&hitnum=271
>
The proposal:
>
http://x46.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=537272956&search=thread&CONTEXT=9432206
36.1544683525&HIT_CONTEXT=943220636.1544683525&hitnum=270
>


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

tho...@my-deja.com

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Dec 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/25/99
to
In article <3864085F...@ainet.com>,

will...@ainet.com wrote:
> With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> or parochial school education is better than that of a public
> school? It's common knowledge, I know, but is there any actual
> data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?
>
>

I do not know if these are helpful, but you might start here:

How Different, How Similar? Comparing Key Organizational Qualities of
American Public and Private Secondary Schools: October 1996
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/96322.html

Private Schools in the United States: A Statistical Profile, 1993-94
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/ps/index.html

The Regulation of Private Schools in America: A State-by-State Analysis
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/RegPrivSchl/index.html

Statistics About Non-Public Education in the United States
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OIIA/NonPublic/statistics.html

James Powell

Mark H. Shapiro

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Dec 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/25/99
to
Just a few comments from the Irascible Professor. I don't think that
this is a question that has a definitive answer. The quality of the
education that a student receives depends on many variables including
the quality of the individual teachers, the involvement of the parents,
etc.

In general, however, private schools have the luxury of choosing their
students. Thus, on average their students probably learn more and
perform better on standardized tests. Based on my thirty plus years of
college teaching, I do know that students from private schools (in this
case mostly parochial schools) seem to be better prepared in math and
English than their counterparts from public schools. (This would square
with Dr. Beldin's observations.) But at the same time I have to warn
that my sample is skewed. I teach in a public, comprehensive university,
and we draw our students mostly from lower middle-class families. So, I
am comparing students from a relatively small number of Catholic schools
with students from a much larger number of public schools. Students
from the best public schools in the area tend to go to more prestigious
colleges and universities.

Dr. Mark H. Shapiro
The Irascible Professor
http://www.IrascibleProfessor.com

"C. Smith" wrote:
>
> In article <38643D2B...@caribe.net>, Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D.
> <rabe...@caribe.net> wrote:
>

> > Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> > performance of the students in college math courses. The results were
> > lopsided in favor of private schools. No public school had more than 65%
> > of their students passing the Algebra and Trig course. There were some
> > poor private schools too, mostly run by religious groups. There were
> > some good religious and secular private schools with 90% or more of the
> > students passing the course in question.
> >

> > Wally Williams wrote:
> >
> > > With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> > > someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> > > or parochial school education is better than that of a public
> > > school? It's common knowledge, I know, but is there any actual
> > > data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?
>

> But this is not evidence that a private school education is better than


> a public school education. The study does not control for the
> differences in the two samples. Private school students are, by
> defintion, a self selected group. Public school students are, by their
> nature, effectively not. Public schools in affluent areas (where
> property prices act as a gatekeeper) perform as well as any private
> school (who's admissions policy acts as a gatekeeper).
>
> I have yet to see any evidence that a private school provided a better
> education merely because it was private.
>

> C. Smith

Wally Williams

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Dec 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/25/99
to
Do you consider that you're making a fair comparison, considering that
public schools accept all applicants, and private schools turn away 2 out of
3? Would your figures be the same if you excluded the bottom two-thirds of
the public school graduates?

"Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D." wrote:

> Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> performance of the students in college math courses. The results were
> lopsided in favor of private schools. No public school had more than 65%
> of their students passing the Algebra and Trig course. There were some
> poor private schools too, mostly run by religious groups. There were
> some good religious and secular private schools with 90% or more of the
> students passing the course in question.
>
> Wally Williams wrote:
>
> > With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> > someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> > or parochial school education is better than that of a public
> > school? It's common knowledge, I know, but is there any actual
> > data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?

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Ron McDermott

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
On Fri, 24 Dec 1999 23:57:19, Wally Williams <will...@ainet.com>
wrote:

> With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> or parochial school education is better than that of a public
> school?

The belief is based on a misapplication or misunderstanding of
statistics with regard to comparing dissimilar populations as if they
WERE similar. The populations of private and public schools are not
comparable statistically.

> It's common knowledge,

It's legend and clearly incorrect in many cases (for example, locally
to me it is incorrect).

> I know, but is there any actual
> data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?

There is no data which would support the universal statement above
(the best you could get would be a general trend), and there is NO
data, based upon comparisons of statistically similar samples in both
systems, which bears out this belief.

Ron McDermott

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
On Sat, 25 Dec 1999 03:42:35, "Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D."
<rabe...@caribe.net> wrote:

> Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> performance of the students in college math courses.

Did your study compensate at all for the dissimilarity in the
population samples? It certainly doesn't appear that there was any
attempt to do so? Or did you assume that the populations WERE
similar? If you made that assumption, on what did you base it?

In virtually every category of identifiable indicators of academic
success (income level, two-parent families, parental education level,
racial makeup, and on and on), private school students, on average,
possess positive indicators to a much greater extent than do public
school students. Thus any comparison made involves multiple ALREADY
IDENTIFIED factors which ensure success INDEPENDENT of the school
being attended. If these factors were not considered in your study,
your results cannot indicate ANYTHING with respect to any perceived
advantage of private vs. public schooling.

C. Smith

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
In article <842gc5$qkl$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, panther
<igon...@my-deja.com> wrote:

(snip)

> MK. Csmith is correct that the problem of self-selection contaminates
> conclusions drawn from comparisons of independent and State schools in
> the US.

Yes.

> This objection is not as large as it first appears,

Yes, it is.

> and there is an obvious way around it.

No, there isn't.

> One way around the problem is to compare
> performance of entire polties:

No, no and no. The same self selection problems exist, indeed they are
worse in some sense. You now have a both a micro and amacro level
problem so to speak.

> those which support parents' choices,
> and those which do not. Singapore, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Denmark,
> Czech Republic, Sweden, and Belgium support a parent's choice of
> school, outside State schools. Alaska subsidizes homeschooling, and
> counts homeschoolers as enrolled in the State system. Homeschoolers
> outperform conventionally schooled children, and Alaska's 90th
> percentile score (1996 NAEP 8th grade Numbers and Operations, Algebra
> and Functions subtests) is the highest in the US. Too bad we don't have
> NAEP baseline data for Alaska from before they instituted the
> homeschool subsidy.

So all of this is essentially worthless to the point being argued here.

> MK. To suppose that family influences (income, "involvement", etc)
> account for the difference between independent schools and State
> schools is to suppose that parents who pay $X,000 for independent
> schools are systematically deluded.

No, the delusion is apparently all at your end. Your supposition is
false since it fails to acknowledge that parents can both achieve the
desired result by other means and have other goals in choosing a
private school.

> To assert that independent school
> students would have done just as well in state schools is to assert
> that these successfully concerned parents just threw $x,000 down the
> toilet. That tuition could have otherwise been spent on food, travel,
> or a Nikon microscope with camera for junior.

This assertion only holds if you convienently ignore other factors.
Try again.

C. Smith

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D. wrote:
>
> Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> performance of the students in college math courses. The results were
> lopsided in favor of private schools. No public school had more than 65%
> of their students passing the Algebra and Trig course. There were some
> poor private schools too, mostly run by religious groups. There were
> some good religious and secular private schools with 90% or more of the
> students passing the course in question.

The basic flaw in your study is the assumption that the only variable
affecting student achievement is the quality of instruction in the
school. That, of course, is an assumption which is not in evidence.
Student motivation, dedication to task, parental involvement are all
variables which contribute to student achievement, to say nothing of
individual inherited intelligence.

Your study did not control those variables, hence, its conclusions are
not reliable, and they infer conclusions which cannot be made on the
basis of the failure to control those variables.

alan

panther

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
In article <261219990215047546%csmith...@pacbell.net>,
"C. Smith" <csmith...@pacbell.net> wrote:

> panther wrote:
>
MK. Discussion deleted (State school versus independent schools; any
evidence for superiority of independent schools?)...
>
> > > I have yet to see any evidence that a private school provided a
better
> > > education merely because it was private.
>
MK. References to evidence snipped by Csmith. I recommend that you
start with Chubb and Moe. Read the excerpt from Zembrano (that may be
Zambrano, sorry), below.

>
> > MK. Csmith is correct that the problem of self-selection
contaminates
> > conclusions drawn from comparisons of independent and State schools
in
> > the US.
>
> Yes.
>
> > This objection is not as large as it first appears,...
>
> Yes, it is.
>
MK. Unless we are to get into a fruitless exchange of "Yes it is/No it
isn't", Csmith must explain why he disputes this. This is why I do not
consider the objection significant: Csmith says that sample self-
selection produces the result we observe. One function of vouchers is
precisely to allow sample self selection, a better match between
students and schools. Locate parents on a two-dimensional
continuum:<means, inclination>. Current private school parents have the
means to purchase schooling at independent schools, and the inclination
to do so. Indifferent wealthy parents have the means but not the
inclination. Poor indifferent parents lack means and inclination (There
are fewer of these than teachers would have you believe). School
vouchers would assist poor parents who care for their children's
prospects, parents without means but with the inclination. If -overall,
aggregate- performance improves due to the change in results for one
group, still, overall performabnce has improved. We discuss another
reason why self selection is not a major criticism below.

>
> > and there is an obvious way around it.
>
> No, there isn't.

>
> > One way around the problem is to compare
> > performance of entire polties:
>
> No, no and no. The same self selection problems exist, indeed they
> are worse in some sense. You now have a both a micro and amacro level
> problem so to speak.
>
> > those which support parents' choices,
> > and those which do not. Singapore, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Denmark,
> > Czech Republic, Sweden, and Belgium support a parent's choice of
> > school, outside State schools. Alaska subsidizes homeschooling, and
> > counts homeschoolers as enrolled in the State system. Homeschoolers
> > outperform conventionally schooled children, and Alaska's 90th
> > percentile score (1996 NAEP 8th grade Numbers and Operations,
Algebra
> > and Functions subtests) is the highest in the US. Too bad we don't
have
> > NAEP baseline data for Alaska from before they instituted the
> > homeschool subsidy.
>
> So all of this is essentially worthless to the point being argued
here.
>
MK. Why "essentially worthless"? a) The World Bank study, and the TIMSS
results apply across a range of countries. This looks like evidence to
me. b) Even without baseline data for Alaska, if Alaska's institutional
profile (aside from subsidized homeschool) would lead you to predict a
lower 90th percentile, the institutional difference, homeschool, is a
likely explanation for the difference. Again, go back to that <means,
inclination> continuum, and imagine what enhacned parent control could
accomplish.

>
> > MK. To suppose that family influences (income, "involvement", etc)
> > account for the difference between independent schools and State
> > schools is to suppose that parents who pay $X,000 for independent
> > schools are systematically deluded.
>
> No, the delusion is apparently all at your end...
>
MK. You say the sweetest things. Give us a kiss.
>
> ...Your supposition...
>
MK. What supposition? -I- don't suppose that parents of children in
independent schools are deluded.
>
> ...is false since it fails to acknowledge that parents can both

achieve the desired result by other means and have other goals in
choosing a private school.
>
MK. So? How does that relate to my argument? a) Successfully concerned
parents chose independent schools often enough that those schools have
greater success, in aggregate (NAEP, SAT) and in detail (rates of
minority graduation, college admission, college graduation). Their
success validates their choice. The fact that parents have a range of
options and select (successful) independent schools lends weight to the
argument that independent schools' success is no accident. b) If
parents are concerned with other things (and there is a lot to this: if
you pay more than $4,000/year tuition, you're probably buying social
exclusion or prestige, not education), and get better education as an
unintended consequence, then the argument for superiority of
independent schools is stronger than we thought. Even with children
whose parents aren't concerned with -education-, independent schools do
a better job. Here, Csmith has weakened his self-selection argument,
seems to me.

>
> > To assert that independent school
> > students would have done just as well in state schools is to assert
> > that these successfully concerned parents just threw $x,000 down the
> > toilet. That tuition could have otherwise been spent on food,
travel,
> > or a Nikon microscope with camera for junior.
>
> This assertion only holds if you convienently ignore other factors.
> Try again.
>
MK. OK. What other factors make a difference to my argument, here? How
do they weaken my arguments?
>
MK. "Aside from the important issue of how it is that a ruler may
economize on communication, contracting and coercion costs, this leads
to an interpretation of the state that cannot be contractarian in
nature: citizens would not empower a ruler to solve collective action
problems in any of the models discussed, for the ruler would always be
redundant -and- [ital. in the original, MK] costly. The results support
a view of the state that is eminently predatory, (the ? MK.)case in
which whether the collective actions problems are solved by the state
or not depends on upon whether this is consistent with the objectives
and opportunities of those with the (natural) monopoly of violence in
society. This conclusion is also reached in a model of a predatory
state by Moselle and Polak (1997). How the theory of economic policy
changes in light of this interpretation is an important question left
for further work. [Eduardo Zembrano, "Formal Models of Authority",
Rationality and Society, V.11, #2. May, 1999].
>
MK. From: Hyman and Penroe, Journal of School Psychology.

"Several studies of maltreatment by teachers suggest that school
children report traumatic symptoms that are similar whether the
traumatic event was physical or verbal abuse (Hyman, et.al.,1988;
Krugman & Krugman, 1984; Lambert, 1990). Extrapolation from these
studies suggests that psychological maltreatment of school children,
especially those who are poor, is fairly widespread in the United
States...."
"In the early 1980s, while the senior author was involved in a
school violence project, an informal survey of a random group of inner
city high school students was conducted. When asked why they
misbehaved in school, the most common response was that they wanted to
get back at teachers who put them down, did not care about them, or
showed disrespect for them, their families, or their culture...."
"...schools do not encourage research regarding possible emotional
maltreatment of students by staff or investigatiion into how this
behavior might affect student misbehavior...."
"...Since these studies focused on teacher-induced PTSD and explored
all types of teacher maltreatment, some of the aggressive feelings were
also caused by physical or sexual abuse. There was no attempt to
separate actual aggression from feelings of aggression. The results
indicated that at least 1% to 2% of the respondents' symptoms were
sufficient for a diagnosis of PTSD. It is known that when this
disorder develops as a result of interpersonal violence, externalizing
symptoms are often the result (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)."
"While 1% to 2% might not seem to be a large percentage of a school-
aged population, in a system like New York City, this would be about
10,000 children so traumatized by educators that they may suffer
serious, and sometimes lifelong emotional problems (Hyman, 1990; Hyman,
Zelikoff & Clarke, 1988). A good percentage of these students develop

angry and aggressive responses as a result. Yet, emotional abuse and
its relation to misbehavior in schools receives little pedagogical,
psychological, or legal attention and is rarely mentioned in textbooks
on school discipline (Pokalo & Hyman, 1993, Sarno, 1992)."
"As with corporal punishment, the frequency of emotional
maltreatment in schools is too often a function of the socioeconomic
status (SES) of the student population (Hyman, 1990)."
>
........................................................................

>"The issue of social skills. One edition of Home School Researcher,
Volume 8, Number 3, contains two research reports on the issue of
social skills. The first finding of the study by Larry Shyers (1992)
was that home-schooled students received significantly lower problem
behavior scores than schooled children. His next finding was that home-
schooled children are socially well adjusted, but schooled children are
not so well adjusted. Shyers concludes that we are asking the wrong
question when we ask about the social adjustment of home-schooled
children. The real question is why is the social; adjustment of
schooled children of such poor quality?"
>
"The second study, by Thomas Smedley (1992), used different test
instruments but comes to the same conclusion, that home-educated
children are more mature and better socialized than those attending
school." ...p. 277
>
"12. So-called 'school phobia' is actually more likely to be a sign
of mental health, whereas school dependancy is a largely unrecognized

mental health problem"...[Roland Meighan, "Home-based Education
Effectiveness Research and Some of its Implications", p.281,


Educational Review, Vol. 47, No.3, 1995.
>

"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it
is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe
level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and
originality.
School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human
existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and
unpleasant ordinances, and brutal violations of common sense and common
decency."
--H.L. Mencken


>
"I'm sorry I have so much rage, but you put it in me." --Dylan Klebold
>

MK. Background reading, for those trained in economics or evolutionary
biology:
>
Axelrod, R., "The Evolution of Cooperation".
>
Chubb and Moe, "Politics, Markets, and America's Schools".
>
West, E., "Education and the State".
>
Hirschliefer, J. "Anarchy and its Breakdown" [Journal of Political
Economy].
>
Olsen, M., "The End of the Middle Way", [American Economic Review].
>
Young and Marcoulier, "The Black Hole of Graft; The Predatory State and
the Informal Economy", [American Economic Review].

Herman Rubin

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
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In article <87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-VflljjF2eVRY@localhost>,

Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote:
>On Sat, 25 Dec 1999 03:42:35, "Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D."
><rabe...@caribe.net> wrote:

>> Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
>> performance of the students in college math courses.

>Did your study compensate at all for the dissimilarity in the

>population samples? It certainly doesn't appear that there was any
>attempt to do so? Or did you assume that the populations WERE
>similar? If you made that assumption, on what did you base it?

>In virtually every category of identifiable indicators of academic
>success (income level, two-parent families, parental education level,
>racial makeup, and on and on), private school students, on average,
>possess positive indicators to a much greater extent than do public
>school students. Thus any comparison made involves multiple ALREADY
>IDENTIFIED factors which ensure success INDEPENDENT of the school
>being attended. If these factors were not considered in your study,
>your results cannot indicate ANYTHING with respect to any perceived
>advantage of private vs. public schooling.

Could it be that there is nothing causal in the variables
you list? There are causal effects which are correlated
with them, but the hyperegalitarians cannot accept that
there are, firstly, individual differences, and secondly,
cultural differences, which affect the results.

The present school system does not allow the individual
differences to affect education much, and very little in
the early grades. For cultural differences, it tends to
emphasize the resistance to education, by placing the age
peer group first. It is unfortunately true that the
level of what a student can get is determined more by
what the other students and the parents can get them to
learn than by the quality of the teachers.

The child who is willing and able to break out of the
rut should not only be allowed to, but encouraged. It
is time to get those who retard them, either by intent
or by inability to do otherwise, out of the way.

Those who come from disadvantaged groups and have the
ability can succeed in the true academic sense, not the
pap which the schools are giving, only if they have a
way of getting out, and the earlier the better.
--
This address is for information only. I do not claim that these views
are those of the Statistics Department or of Purdue University.
Herman Rubin, Dept. of Statistics, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette IN47907-1399
hru...@stat.purdue.edu Phone: (765)494-6054 FAX: (765)494-0558

David Gossman

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
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Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote in message
news:87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-dKM3zUGiw0Ym@localhost...

On the flip side there are studies performed by the Ill Math and Science
Academy showing that their students outperform students who do not attend
IMSA yet have all the other same demographic and intelligence background.
That would suggest that at least the better students in our schools can
perform significantly better than they do now. Institutions like IMSA exist
in only a handful of states and are available to only a limited number of
students. Beyond the process of selecting the best students within certain
demographic criteria the cause of this improved performance is worth some
attention. I suspect it includes but is certainly not limited to:

1. A residential environment where students have the opportunity to live and
socialize with their true peers.

2. Committed teachers who are not members of a union and half of whom are
not even certified teachers (many have been college professors).

3. An always changing and experimental program of accelerated learning not
only in math and science but the other disciplines as well.

4. A mentorship and self directed learning program for students to do
original research.

5. An environment where better students are not put down by others, where
academic achievement is praised and rewarded, and where students show an
astounding level of tolerance for one another and their different cultural
backgrounds. Even the clicks (which still form) are highly tolerant of one
another.

At least some of these characteristics would seem to be possible in a
private school environment and produce the same improvement in performance.
Not being familiar with more than a small handful of private schools I
cannot further expound on this idea but would find it of interest to see
what the private school advocates in the group think of this.
--
--------------------------------------------
|David Gossman | Gossman Consulting, Inc. |
|President | http://gcisolutions.com |
| The Business of Problem Solving |
--------------------------------------------
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science;
it is opinion." - Lazarus Long aka Robert Heinlein

Bill Mechlenburg

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Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
The argument as to whether parents should have a choice as to where their
children go to school should not hinge on whether private schools are better
than public schools. There are both excellent public schools and poor
private schools.

There is a wealth of data and years of experience proving that free market
competition improves both the cost and quality of products and services.

Freedom of choice is one of the tenets of the American way.

Providing parental freedom of choice via vouchers or other means cannot help
but improve the quality of education - both public and private.

The objective should be to improve the quality of education - not to favor
private schools or put public schools out of business.

--
Bill
wm...@att.net
For info on politics, taxes, education etc., go to
http://home.att.net/~wmech

Wally Williams <will...@ainet.com> wrote in message
news:3864085F...@ainet.com...

> With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> or parochial school education is better than that of a public

> school? It's common knowledge, I know, but is there any actual

Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D.

unread,
Dec 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/26/99
to
The point of the study was not to determine causal factors, but to inform the
schools of their students' performance as a group. It is my contention that
"understanding the causal factors" is of less immediate importance than
providing reliable feedback to the teachers of how well their students are
doing later on. I leave the theorizing to others. Let's close the loop and let
teachers draw their own conclusions about what to do.

Alan Lichtenstein wrote:

> Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D. wrote:
> >
> > Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent

Alan Lichtenstein

unread,
Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
Bill Mechlenburg wrote:
>
> The argument as to whether parents should have a choice as to where their
> children go to school should not hinge on whether private schools are better
> than public schools. There are both excellent public schools and poor
> private schools.
>
> There is a wealth of data and years of experience proving that free market
> competition improves both the cost and quality of products and services.

Such as the situation in health care as evidenced by the HMO's. A
shining example of how the private sector programs are superior.



> Freedom of choice is one of the tenets of the American way.

As is the freedom to foot the bill for those choices.


>
> Providing parental freedom of choice via vouchers or other means cannot help
> but improve the quality of education - both public and private.

Assertion by opinion which is not substantiated by any documentation.
In point of fact, if one examines the decentralization aspects of the
NYC schools, one sees that even in a public institution, the
accountability and resultant services have severely declined when there
is lacking a strong centralized force. It is quite likely that the
quality of education will be greatly diminished under such as system
where individual schools set their own standards.

And we have not even touched the constitutional issues that likely make
vouchers unimplementable.



> The objective should be to improve the quality of education - not to favor
> private schools or put public schools out of business.

If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
testing. Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
what has been taught. Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that
not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
student achievement is never going to be attained.

Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
education and its limitations.

Alan

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D. wrote:
>
> The point of the study was not to determine causal factors, but to inform the
> schools of their students' performance as a group.

Your study is then, unnecessary. Teachers already have the results of
standardized tests of content and various statewide achievement tests
which give them that information.

And besides, if that was your objective, then honesty would have
motivated you to include that disclaimer in your published results.
Stating such after the fact, and only when your results( and motivation
in publishing those results ) was published leads an informed reader to
suspect your intentions.

It is my contention that
> "understanding the causal factors" is of less immediate importance than
> providing reliable feedback to the teachers of how well their students are
> doing later on.

If you don't understand the nature of the problem, you can't solve it.
Doctors don't treat the symptoms of a disease; they treat the cause.
Because it was not convenient for your study to include those results
does in no way reveal that those variables are in point of fact not
contributary to the results. To ignore them and then say they are
irrelevant( as you apparently have done ) is poor scholarship.

And as I stated previously, teachers already have other standardized
results that reveal poor student achievement, so you study adds nothing
that was not already known.

I leave the theorizing to others. Let's close the loop and let
> teachers draw their own conclusions about what to do.
>

That, is a cop out when your motivation for publishing your study is
questioned.

Alan

David Gossman

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to


Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:386759...@erols.com...


>
> If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
> programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
> testing. Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
> what has been taught. Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that
> not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
> student achievement is never going to be attained.
>
> Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
> education and its limitations.
>

You want to hold parents accountable for their child's learning but give
them no choice of the teacher or teaching method. Sounds like an excuse to
shift the blame. Have you no shame?

Bill Mechlenburg

unread,
Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
Pure sophistic obfuscation being engaged in by someone desperate to maintain
the status quo free from the pressures of competition.

--
Bill
wm...@att.net
For info on politics, taxes, education etc., go to
http://home.att.net/~wmech

Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:386759...@erols.com...

> If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
> programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
> testing. Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
> what has been taught. Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that
> not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
> student achievement is never going to be attained.
>
> Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
> education and its limitations.
>

> Alan

Herman Rubin

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to
In article <386759...@erols.com>,
Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote:
>Bill Mechlenburg wrote:

..................

>> The objective should be to improve the quality of education - not to favor
>> private schools or put public schools out of business.

>If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
>programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
>testing.

The first thing which must be done is to make schools available
where students who are willing and able to learn to do so, not
hindered by the inability of other students or of the teachers.

We need schools where subject matter learning will dominate;
the present schools MAY be fine for the jocks and learning
disabled, but those who can do better need the opportunity.

Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
>what has been taught.

What if the children are unable to do so? What if the teacher
fails to recognize that the child needs a different explanation?

Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that
>not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
>student achievement is never going to be attained.

This is one thing we agree upon. But you do not seem willing
to push it far enough. As children are different, they should
proceed at different rates, and even in different manners.
Also, if the child has learned something outside the school,
pass that child on. This can be accomplished by many means,
including just getting out of the way, but not by the present
heterogeneous classes or by age grouping, even with tracking.

>Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
>education and its limitations.

To do these, you will need schools manned by people who have
not been through the present schools of education.

David Gossman

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Dec 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/27/99
to


Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote in message

news:87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-oqTrPVxdmGGu@localhost...


> On Sun, 26 Dec 1999 20:07:58, "David Gossman"
> <dgos...@gcisolutions.com> wrote:
>
> > Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote in message
> > news:87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-dKM3zUGiw0Ym@localhost...
> > > On Fri, 24 Dec 1999 23:57:19, Wally Williams <will...@ainet.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >

> > > > With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
> > > > someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
> > > > or parochial school education is better than that of a public
> > > > school?
> > >

> > > The belief is based on a misapplication or misunderstanding of
> > > statistics with regard to comparing dissimilar populations as if they
> > > WERE similar. The populations of private and public schools are not
> > > comparable statistically.
> > >
> > > > It's common knowledge,
> > >
> > > It's legend and clearly incorrect in many cases (for example, locally
> > > to me it is incorrect).
> > >

> > > > I know, but is there any actual
> > > > data to support this "fact," or is it just intuitive?
> > >

> > > There is no data which would support the universal statement above
> > > (the best you could get would be a general trend), and there is NO
> > > data, based upon comparisons of statistically similar samples in both
> > > systems, which bears out this belief.
> >
> > On the flip side there are studies performed by the Ill Math and Science
> > Academy showing that their students outperform students who do not
attend
> > IMSA yet have all the other same demographic and intelligence
background.
> > That would suggest that at least the better students in our schools can
> > perform significantly better than they do now.
>

> And in THIS I would agree. I agree wholeheartedly that we are
> shortchanging our best students, and wish that this would change.

How, given the current philosophy of public education?


>
> > Institutions like IMSA exist
> > in only a handful of states and are available to only a limited number
of
> > students. Beyond the process of selecting the best students within
certain
> > demographic criteria the cause of this improved performance is worth
some
> > attention. I suspect it includes but is certainly not limited to:
> >
> > 1. A residential environment where students have the opportunity to live
and
> > socialize with their true peers.
> >
> > 2. Committed teachers who are not members of a union and half of whom
are
> > not even certified teachers (many have been college professors).
>

> This is your philosophical take on things, but unionizing is, imo,
> immaterial (especially given that "many college professors" are
> unionized). Further, uncertified teachers aren't, by definition,
> "good"; nor are former college professors necessarily "good" either.

But the point is that certifications and unions are clearly not necessary.
Then one must ask if they are a benefit or a hinderance to improving schools
that need improving. My first hand experience provides a clear answer - not
a "philosophical take".


>
> > 3. An always changing and experimental program of accelerated learning
not
> > only in math and science but the other disciplines as well.
> >
> > 4. A mentorship and self directed learning program for students to do
> > original research.
> >
> > 5. An environment where better students are not put down by others,
where
> > academic achievement is praised and rewarded, and where students show an
> > astounding level of tolerance for one another and their different
cultural
> > backgrounds. Even the clicks
>

> Cliques?

Yes. (So much for a spell checker.)


>
> > (which still form) are highly tolerant of one another.
>
> > At least some of these characteristics would seem to be possible in a
> > private school environment and produce the same improvement in
performance.
>

> No more so than in a public school with the proper community backing.
> You're speaking of a PARTICULAR private school setting, not a general
> one. In my area, the public schools outperform the private schools
> given the same student demographics... AND... Provide a far more
> extensive education as well.

You missed the point. See the "seem possible"? Certainly the current
circumstances of funding and institutional development would only produce
this sort of environment at about the same percentage level that it is found
in the public schools, ie almost zero.


>
> > Not being familiar with more than a small handful of private schools I
> > cannot further expound on this idea but would find it of interest to see
> > what the private school advocates in the group think of this.
>

> I've taught in both. The difference is in discipline and in the
> student body itself. The instructors in a public school in NY are
> generally superior to those in private schools. The course offerrings
> also tend to be superior. Discipline is better in private schools.
> Students are more serious and more motivated in private schools.
> There is virtually no difference in curriculum, teaching methods, etc,
> between the two. I suspect that things are similar elsewhere.

Sounds like the clear difference that pushes against private schools in your
experience is the quality of the teachers. Care to reflect on how vouchers
would impact that? How could "course offerings also tend to be superior" if
there is "no difference in curriculum"?

Ron McDermott

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to
On Sun, 26 Dec 1999 19:04:08, hru...@odds.stat.purdue.edu (Herman
Rubin) wrote:

> In article <87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-VflljjF2eVRY@localhost>,
> Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote:
> >On Sat, 25 Dec 1999 03:42:35, "Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D."

> ><rabe...@caribe.net> wrote:
>
> >> Yes, I did a study in 1998 that rated high schools on the subsequent
> >> performance of the students in college math courses.
>

> >Did your study compensate at all for the dissimilarity in the
> >population samples? It certainly doesn't appear that there was any
> >attempt to do so? Or did you assume that the populations WERE
> >similar? If you made that assumption, on what did you base it?
>
> >In virtually every category of identifiable indicators of academic
> >success (income level, two-parent families, parental education level,
> >racial makeup, and on and on), private school students, on average,
> >possess positive indicators to a much greater extent than do public
> >school students. Thus any comparison made involves multiple ALREADY
> >IDENTIFIED factors which ensure success INDEPENDENT of the school
> >being attended. If these factors were not considered in your study,
> >your results cannot indicate ANYTHING with respect to any perceived
> >advantage of private vs. public schooling.
>
> Could it be that there is nothing causal in the variables
> you list?

"Could it be"? Sure. Is it likely that these are not causal? I
don't think so.


Ron McDermott

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to

> Institutions like IMSA exist


> in only a handful of states and are available to only a limited number of
> students. Beyond the process of selecting the best students within certain
> demographic criteria the cause of this improved performance is worth some
> attention. I suspect it includes but is certainly not limited to:
>
> 1. A residential environment where students have the opportunity to live and
> socialize with their true peers.
>
> 2. Committed teachers who are not members of a union and half of whom are
> not even certified teachers (many have been college professors).

This is your philosophical take on things, but unionizing is, imo,
immaterial (especially given that "many college professors" are
unionized). Further, uncertified teachers aren't, by definition,
"good"; nor are former college professors necessarily "good" either.

> 3. An always changing and experimental program of accelerated learning not


> only in math and science but the other disciplines as well.
>
> 4. A mentorship and self directed learning program for students to do
> original research.
>
> 5. An environment where better students are not put down by others, where
> academic achievement is praised and rewarded, and where students show an
> astounding level of tolerance for one another and their different cultural
> backgrounds. Even the clicks

Cliques?

> (which still form) are highly tolerant of one another.

> At least some of these characteristics would seem to be possible in a
> private school environment and produce the same improvement in performance.

No more so than in a public school with the proper community backing.
You're speaking of a PARTICULAR private school setting, not a general
one. In my area, the public schools outperform the private schools
given the same student demographics... AND... Provide a far more
extensive education as well.

> Not being familiar with more than a small handful of private schools I

Alan Lichtenstein

unread,
Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to
Bill Mechlenburg wrote:
>
> Pure sophistic obfuscation being engaged in by someone desperate to maintain
> the status quo free from the pressures of competition.

Obfuscation that apparently was so good that you were unable to reply to
its substance.

Alan

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to
David Gossman wrote:
>
> Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message
> news:386759...@erols.com...
> >
> > If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
> > programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
> > testing. Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
> > what has been taught. Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that

> > not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
> > student achievement is never going to be attained.
> >
> > Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
> > education and its limitations.
> >
> You want to hold parents accountable for their child's learning but give
> them no choice of the teacher or teaching method. Sounds like an excuse to
> shift the blame. Have you no shame?

Teaching is not some magical thing that is mysterious. It's quite easy
to be a decent teacher and teach a given curriculum in a manner in which
the kids can learn it. The problem, and the major problem, is that
parents do not want to face the reality that their kids don't do as well
as they would like because either their kids don't put in enough time,
or their inherited intellectual abilities limit that achievement. The
issues or "choice" and "teaching method" are smokescreens for failure to
take a good hard look at themselves and come to grips with the real
reason for differences in student achievement. Those methods you tout
are only methods which foster the belief that something else, other than
personal attributes is the cause for failure.

Until you can document that the teaching in a school is unsatisfactory,
that the curriculum is not being taught and taught according to the
stated level of difficulty, then you have no arguement. And you also
have no shame for blaming others what in reality are deficiencies
inherent in yourself. Hardly demonstrative of integrity.

Alan

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
to
Herman Rubin wrote:
>
> In article <386759...@erols.com>,
> Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote:
> >Bill Mechlenburg wrote:
>
> ..................
>
> >> The objective should be to improve the quality of education - not to favor
> >> private schools or put public schools out of business.
>
> >If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
> >programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized
> >testing.
>
> The first thing which must be done is to make schools available
> where students who are willing and able to learn to do so, not
> hindered by the inability of other students or of the teachers.

Herman, if public schools were allowed to use that criteria now, we'd
have far fewer students andmuch better results. Regrettably, excluding
all those who do not wish to learn is not a viable option.



> We need schools where subject matter learning will dominate;
> the present schools MAY be fine for the jocks and learning
> disabled, but those who can do better need the opportunity.

Herman, I seem to recall a recent exchange we had on just that topic
with regard to the policies at YOUR institution. I seem to recall that
you presented a most weak arguement, as your school appears to engage in
policies which are opposite to the ones you propose.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.



> Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to learn
> >what has been taught.
>

> What if the children are unable to do so? What if the teacher
> fails to recognize that the child needs a different explanation?

If the child has a tangible, identifiable condition that affects such
learning, then there is special education. If not, then get on his case
to study harder.



> Recognize that intelligence is inherited and that
> >not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
> >student achievement is never going to be attained.
>

> This is one thing we agree upon. But you do not seem willing
> to push it far enough. As children are different, they should
> proceed at different rates, and even in different manners.
> Also, if the child has learned something outside the school,
> pass that child on. This can be accomplished by many means,
> including just getting out of the way, but not by the present
> heterogeneous classes or by age grouping, even with tracking.

Herman, I have always been in favor of homogeneous grouping. Where you
and I differ is that you want the standard for the elite to be the
standard for all. You have been taken to task on that elitism many,
many times, by myself and a host of others.



> >Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
> >education and its limitations.
>

> To do these, you will need schools manned by people who have
> not been through the present schools of education.

Perhaps.

Alan

David Gossman

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Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message

news:3868A9...@erols.com...


> David Gossman wrote:
> >
> > Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message
> > news:386759...@erols.com...
> > >

> > > If that is your objective, then support increased funding for those
> > > programs that exist; demand higherstandards through standardized

> > > testing. Hold parents accountable for their children's failure to
learn
> > > what has been taught. Recognize that intelligence is inherited and


that
> > > not every child can achieve at the same level and that equality in
> > > student achievement is never going to be attained.
> > >

> > > Only after you accept those can you have a more realistic view of
> > > education and its limitations.
> > >

> > You want to hold parents accountable for their child's learning but give
> > them no choice of the teacher or teaching method. Sounds like an excuse
to
> > shift the blame. Have you no shame?
>
> Teaching is not some magical thing that is mysterious. It's quite easy
> to be a decent teacher and teach a given curriculum in a manner in which
> the kids can learn it. The problem, and the major problem, is that
> parents do not want to face the reality that their kids don't do as well
> as they would like because either their kids don't put in enough time,
> or their inherited intellectual abilities limit that achievement. The
> issues or "choice" and "teaching method" are smokescreens for failure to
> take a good hard look at themselves and come to grips with the real
> reason for differences in student achievement. Those methods you tout
> are only methods which foster the belief that something else, other than
> personal attributes is the cause for failure.
>
> Until you can document that the teaching in a school is unsatisfactory,
> that the curriculum is not being taught and taught according to the
> stated level of difficulty, then you have no arguement. And you also
> have no shame for blaming others what in reality are deficiencies
> inherent in yourself. Hardly demonstrative of integrity.
>

You were the one that tried to shift responsibility without the needed level
of authority. This is a standard technique, give someone the responsibility
but not the authority to get the job done. You want to put parents with kids
in the ps system in that position in order to avoid any responsibility on
the part of the teacher. As for my personal situation I home school so you
can hardly accuse me of "deficiencies inherent in myself". Add to that an 18
year old daughter who is 3 hours from being a senior in college and has a
4.0. (Boy did you step in that one. I love it when replies to my posts
become this humorous. Keep it up.)

shel...@my-deja.com

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In article <87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-oqTrPVxdmGGu@localhost>,

rmc...@nospam.banet.net (Ron McDermott) wrote:
> I've taught in both. The difference is in discipline and in the
> student body itself. The instructors in a public school in NY are
> generally superior to those in private schools. The course offerrings
> also tend to be superior. Discipline is better in private schools.
> Students are more serious and more motivated in private schools.
> There is virtually no difference in curriculum, teaching methods, etc,
> between the two. I suspect that things are similar elsewhere.

Excluding New York City's specialized high schools (Bronx Science,
Stuyvesant, etc.), your statement -- assuming you're including high
schools -- is way off from the mainstream. This could be because your
experience is limited to a few specific schools. I live in NJ
(educated in NYC public schools); after our experiences with the public
schools in our district over the past 15 years, my younger daughter,
with our full support and encouragement, left the system and entered a
private HS (9th grade). I agree or disagree on your following specific
points:

1. Superiority of instructors - this is very subjective, but
"superiority" -- no matter how you define it -- varies greatly from
teacher to teacher, school to school, etc. The only difference is in
cases of "inferior" instructors -- private schools can dismiss them
easier than public schools.

2. Discipline - Generally, I agree with you. However, there are also
disciplinary motivators in private schools such as encampusment and
even expulsion for infractions often ignored or treated lightly in
public schools. Again, discipline incidents and policies vary greatly
from school to school.

3. Course offerings - Your statement couldn't be further from reality
and I'll back that up with the following news article from yesterday's
Trenton Times: http://www.nj.com/mercer/times/stories/12-27-
VURBEYVB.html
The district in this article has many more course offerings than mine
(adjoining) -- and our district is much larger, with 3 high schools to
their one. Public schools in my district shortchange anyone above
average -- unless you're above average in everything, where you're
classified as "gifted and talented" and get some recognition (but not a
challenging education). In my daughter's private school, she was
placed in honors English, a mix of 9th and 10th graders -- and it does
provide that extra help in verbal skills needed for the SATs.
Regarding enrichment, our local schools provide primarily high
competition team sports. My daughter is active in the equestrian
program, and is in several school clubs, including the astrology club
which meets at 9:30 PM.

4. Curriculum/teaching methods: Admittingly, a single-sex boarding
school is not for everybody. 18 months ago, my daughter thought such
places existed for punishment; subsequent research, visiting schools,
etc. changed everybody's opinions. The academic aspects of most
independent schools are unparalleled in public schools. Small class
sizes are just one aspect that enable instructors to teach more
efficiently. Academic support and study time is standardized, which
increases student accountability. If the class cooperates, the teacher
might take them out for pizza - just like that. There is no age
barrier; many middle school girls start HS level foreign language in
7th grade and my daughter's French 2 class has girls spanning 3 grades.

I'll end with this example -- in 8th grade, my daughter was in a
science class that used an outdated computer-dominated syllabus. She
challenged the teacher with more current information she read in the
newspapers and science magazines. But the computer said she was wrong,
so she was wrong. She lost interest, motivation, etc. When we met our
daughter's current teachers during parents' weekend, we questioned a
report card comment by her French teacher that she didn't participate
enough in class. We were surprised and asked our daughter why, and she
dsaid she always raised her hand, but wasn't called on. When we met
the teacher, we raised this issue, and was told there was an
expectation to just chime in. We had to remind the teacher that our
daughter just came out of an NJ public school, and would get
disciplined for talking out of turn if she did that.

David Gossman

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
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<shel...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:84b0fs$ajm$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

>My daughter is active in the equestrian
> program, and is in several school clubs, including the astrology club
> which meets at 9:30 PM.
>

I sure hope that is an astonomy club.:)

Bill Mechlenburg

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
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There was no substance to reply to.

--
Bill
wm...@att.net
For info on politics, taxes, education etc., go to
http://home.att.net/~wmech

Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:3868A8...@erols.com...

Bill Mechlenburg

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
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Pure nonsensical circular logic.

--
Bill
wm...@att.net
For info on politics, taxes, education etc., go to
http://home.att.net/~wmech

Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message

news:3868A9...@erols.com...


> David Gossman wrote:
> >
> > Alan Lichtenstein <alicht...@erols.com> wrote in message

> Alan

Wally Williams

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Dec 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/28/99
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David Gossman wrote:

> <shel...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:84b0fs$ajm$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...
>
> >My daughter is active in the equestrian
> > program, and is in several school clubs, including the astrology club
> > which meets at 9:30 PM.
> >
> I sure hope that is an astonomy club.:)

Astonomy...Isn't that a medical procedure?

DillyTaunt

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Dec 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/29/99
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Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> asked:

Richard A. Beldin, Ph.D.<rabe...@caribe.net>

(Re: his study on the superiority of private schools)

>Did your study compensate at all for the dissimilarity in
>the population samples? It certainly doesn't appear that
>there was any attempt to do so? Or did you assume that the
>populations WERE similar? If you made that assumption, on
>what did you base it?

I have no knowledge of Dr Beldin's study. But will that
stop me from jumping in? Hardly!

The assumption about like populations is fairly reasonable
in a number (not all) of studies. Often, the private (or charter, or
voucher) school is of limited size, and student slots are
opened by lottery. The randomly chosen students from
the general population pool are as likely to be of ethnic
minority background, single-parent homes, etc... as are
the general population in public schools. In the most
recent study I've looked at seriously (San Antonio, TX)
the private school had nearly identical demographics, but
improved academic results were only _marginally_
statistically significant. There's a study about a charter
school in the Princeton, NJ area similarly selecting
students by lot for a "rigorous curriculum" small (public)
charter school operating in parallel with the larger public
school.

Quite frankly, from a layman's dilettantish viewpoint, it
ain't whether the school is public or private as much as
whether the student-body-on-site is over or under 400.
LARGE schools seem, to me, to produce crappy results
regardless of funding.

>In virtually every category of identifiable indicators of
>academic success (income level, two-parent families,
>parental education level, racial makeup, and on and on),
>private school students, on average, possess positive
>indicators to a much greater extent than do public school
>students.

Well... yeah. Mostly. But mostly that data is about schools
supported by the sufficiently affluent. A few voucher
experiments (undertaken over great opposition) try to
control the variables you mention -- often using the
lottery-slotting techniques _I_ mention. Would you agree
that several such experiments in various states and
districts and venues are necessary before we can say, one
way or the other? OR do you have divine inspiration such
that no experiments are necessary?


I notice Ron didn't mention campus size. Would you agree,
sir, that campus size (students per facility) is an
"identifiable indicator of academic success"?

I note the TIMMS study has U.S. 4th Graders (typically
students attending a small neighborhood primary school)
doing nicely compared to their international peers. But
U.S. 9th-12th graders TIMMS results tend to point towards
the toilet... These are students who likewise tend to
attend consolidated large middle, Jr High, and High
Schools.

Texas has a wide range of High Schools sized from
graduating classes of less than a dozen to class-sizes of
many thousands. Many rural schools have significant
percentages of low-income, Native American and/or Hispanic
students. If you control for ethnicity, income, etc and
compare large (urban) public High Schools to small (rural)
public High Schools; to small (urban) PRIVATE High Schools,
you'd find that the small schools compare closely,
favorably. Brock, TX has an "Exemplary" High School on
per-pupil expenditures significantly less than any less
well regarded public High School in the Dallas or Ft Worth
Districts 60 miles to the east. Quite comparable to various
private schools and the ritzy-small-exclusive public High
Schools in the enclave "Park Cities" communities within the
Dallas city limits.

Size matters.

So my wife tells me, too.

Large schools and school systems tend to have another
problem so far unaddressed here. Cost-inefficiency.
Leaving aside for the moment whether (small) private
schools are "Better" in teaching reading, writing, and
'rithmetic... It is often (not always) true that privately
funded schools spend less-per-student to achieve their
results (whatever those are.) A recent sound-bite from
ABC-News' John Stossell compared NYC schools to NY Catholic
schools and found the church spending thousands per student
less. Now, the nuns -- or whoever -- had more like 40 kids
per classroom/teacher compared to the public schools' 20 or
so. But the populations were similar -- except that
(A) the school administrators had so few students to keep
track of they could track their troublemakers by name, on
one hand (B) a _known_ troublemaker could be roped in,
along with parents, for (literally) a come-to-Jesus meeting
putting the fear-o'-God (and fear-o'-expulsion) into their
nut-like brains. Leaving aside comparable schools test
results... this suggests that administration of a small
facility is significantly easier. Less expensive. To the
extent that "better" equals (to the taxpaying public)
"cheaper" there would seem to be compelling reasons to
shift to small schools, whether private or otherwise.

What keeps large public schools from breaking themselves
up into smaller organizations?


Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/29/99
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Bill Mechlenburg wrote:
>
> There was no substance to reply to.

A brief review of the original post in point of fact, reveals quite a
bit of substance. I shall summarize for you:

1) The assertion you made that there was a wealth of data indicating the
superiority of private sector services as compared to government run
ones. I posted a clear statement refuting that with the comparison of
private HMO's to government run Medicare. Obviously, you missed that.

2)You asserted that personal freedom through vouchers cannot but improve
education. I posted a clear example of how the decentralization on the
NYC schools refuted that. Obviously, you missed that item of substance
as well.

3)You posted an assertion that our objective should be to improve the
quality of education. I posted a challenge to you indicating several
ways in which you could do that. Again, you failed to respond.

In point of fact, when you are unable to respond, a good tactic is to
deny the validity of the opposition's arguements, as you do. However,
the facts require a response from you in that area. Simple denial is
insufficient.

Perhaps now that I have summarized the items of substance that require
your reply in a more concise manner, you will be able to respond.

Alan

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/29/99
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Bill Mechlenburg wrote:
>
> Pure nonsensical circular logic.

well, then perhaps you can point out precisely HOW it is nonesensical
and illogical. The points were succinctly made, the variables
identified. If they strike a politically incorrect tone, that is
regrettable, but facts are facts and need no political correctness to be
brought out. If my assertions are indeed factual in nature, that will
qualify.

Your glib response hardly satisfies as an intellectual refutation of
opposing points. Perhaps you can do better.

Alan

Alan Lichtenstein

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Dec 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/29/99
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( previous post snipped-follow thread )

> > Teaching is not some magical thing that is mysterious. It's quite easy
> > to be a decent teacher and teach a given curriculum in a manner in which
> > the kids can learn it. The problem, and the major problem, is that
> > parents do not want to face the reality that their kids don't do as well
> > as they would like because either their kids don't put in enough time,
> > or their inherited intellectual abilities limit that achievement. The
> > issues or "choice" and "teaching method" are smokescreens for failure to
> > take a good hard look at themselves and come to grips with the real
> > reason for differences in student achievement. Those methods you tout
> > are only methods which foster the belief that something else, other than
> > personal attributes is the cause for failure.
> >
> > Until you can document that the teaching in a school is unsatisfactory,
> > that the curriculum is not being taught and taught according to the
> > stated level of difficulty, then you have no arguement. And you also
> > have no shame for blaming others what in reality are deficiencies
> > inherent in yourself. Hardly demonstrative of integrity.
> >

> You were the one that tried to shift responsibility without the needed level
> of authority.

Not true, it was you and others of your ilk that made the assertion that
schools were not doing their jobs, and touted alternatives to public
education. As such the burden of proof is on you and your ilk. I
clearly state that in my challenge above. I take the negative to your
assertions. My responsibility in debate given that position, is to
refute yours. I did that above. First, demonstrate that schools are
not doing their stated jobs. And remember; student achievement does not
necessarily indicate that.

This is a standard technique, give someone the responsibility
> but not the authority to get the job done. You want to put parents with kids
> in the ps system in that position in order to avoid any responsibility on
> the part of the teacher.

Nonesense. I clearly indicate that teaching should be done in a
satisfactory manner. Teachers have the responsibility to ply their
trade in such a manner.

But once they ply their trade in a satisfactory manner, the fault for
not learning must lie elsewhere.

As for my personal situation I home school so you
> can hardly accuse me of "deficiencies inherent in myself". Add to that an 18
> year old daughter who is 3 hours from being a senior in college and has a
> 4.0.

I applaud your daughter's success, and remind you that one example does
not permit you to generalize. There are considerably more students in
this country than your daughter, and the mass population will determine
what we can generalize; not the experiences of your daughter.

And for the record, the homeschool population generally falls into the
upper levels of inherited intelligence. Given what we know about
learning, it is quite likely that such a population will succeed in
whatever environment is provided. For your information, I am currently
involved in a study which seeks to determine whether a homeschooled
cohort or a schooled cohort performs in a superior manner when the
variables of curriculum and intelligence are common to both.
Perliminary results appear to indicate that for superior students, the
school experience produces better results. But the results are
preliminary and may not be statistically valid, due to sample size.

Just to let you know that when you control ALL the variables,
homeschooling does not do as well as you would think.

Alan

Herman Rubin

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Dec 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/29/99
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In article <87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-oqTrPVxdmGGu@localhost>,

Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote:
>On Sun, 26 Dec 1999 20:07:58, "David Gossman"
><dgos...@gcisolutions.com> wrote:

>> Ron McDermott <rmc...@nospam.banet.net> wrote in message
>> news:87XdtVqF0GQ7-pn2-dKM3zUGiw0Ym@localhost...
>> > On Fri, 24 Dec 1999 23:57:19, Wally Williams <will...@ainet.com>
>> > wrote:

>> > > With all the argument about school vouchers/choice, will
>> > > someone tell me what empirical evidence exists that a private
>> > > or parochial school education is better than that of a public
>> > > school?

................

>> > There is no data which would support the universal statement above
>> > (the best you could get would be a general trend), and there is NO
>> > data, based upon comparisons of statistically similar samples in both
>> > systems, which bears out this belief.

>> On the flip side there are studies performed by the Ill Math and Science
>> Academy showing that their students outperform students who do not attend
>> IMSA yet have all the other same demographic and intelligence background.
>> That would suggest that at least the better students in our schools can
>> perform significantly better than they do now.

>And in THIS I would agree. I agree wholeheartedly that we are
>shortchanging our best students, and wish that this would change.

We are shortchanging all students who are willing and able to
do more than the arbitrary "class" they are put in. This
will not change from the public schools; it cannot change as
long as those in control in the "educational" system believe
in age grouping.


>> Institutions like IMSA exist
>> in only a handful of states and are available to only a limited number of
>> students. Beyond the process of selecting the best students within certain
>> demographic criteria the cause of this improved performance is worth some
>> attention. I suspect it includes but is certainly not limited to:

>> 1. A residential environment where students have the opportunity to live and
>> socialize with their true peers.

It is not clear how necessary this is, although it is helpful.

>> 2. Committed teachers who are not members of a union and half of whom are
>> not even certified teachers (many have been college professors).

>This is your philosophical take on things, but unionizing is, imo,
>immaterial (especially given that "many college professors" are
>unionized). Further, uncertified teachers aren't, by definition,
>"good"; nor are former college professors necessarily "good" either.

No, but as someone who has some direct and indirect experience
with the process, the present certification procedure cannot
be made to do what it should. There are some who know their
subjects who do not do well in teaching those willing and able
to learn, but success in teaching the unwilling majority
should not be a criterion for selection to teach the willing
minority.

>> 3. An always changing and experimental program of accelerated learning not
>> only in math and science but the other disciplines as well.

Amen. Any ACADEMIC institution MUST try to teach the subject
without wasting the students' time. Those who claim that
children are not mentally capable should be eliminated from
the system. Unfortunately, we cannot do this from the present
staff of the public schools.

>> 4. A mentorship and self directed learning program for students to do
>> original research.

I am not convinced of this. One has to know enough to do
original research, or be quite lucky. On the other hand,
one can come up with untaught results and methods, even if
these are not only known but "standard". Good research,
not just development, consists in seeing the "obvious".

>> 5. An environment where better students are not put down by others, where
>> academic achievement is praised and rewarded, and where students show an
>> astounding level of tolerance for one another and their different cultural
>> backgrounds. Even the clicks

>Cliques?

>> (which still form) are highly tolerant of one another.

>> At least some of these characteristics would seem to be possible in a
>> private school environment and produce the same improvement in performance.

>No more so than in a public school with the proper community backing.

Community backing, of a type of community which is rare in
the US, and made even more rare by the hyperegalitarian
propaganda from the educationists. How is such an attitude
going to survive in a setup in which children are placed in
classes according to age? How is it going to thrive if they
are strongly urged, or even told, to play with the others
instead of studying?

>You're speaking of a PARTICULAR private school setting, not a general
>one. In my area, the public schools outperform the private schools
>given the same student demographics... AND... Provide a far more
>extensive education as well.

Can you imagine your school district putting in any of the
changes needed to provide a decent education?

>> Not being familiar with more than a small handful of private schools I
>> cannot further expound on this idea but would find it of interest to see
>> what the private school advocates in the group think of this.

>I've taught in both. The difference is in discipline and in the

>student body itself. The instructors in a public school in NY are
>generally superior to those in private schools. The course offerrings
>also tend to be superior. Discipline is better in private schools.
>Students are more serious and more motivated in private schools.
>There is virtually no difference in curriculum, teaching methods, etc,
>between the two. I suspect that things are similar elsewhere.

You have probably not taught in academic private schools;
these are very rare. The IMSA is actually too late to do
the job which should be done. I am not exaggerating when
I claim that those who are capable of a good college
education are capable of completing that in their teens.

I am not convinced of your ratings of the instructors or
the course offerings. If the course offerings in the
private schools are worse than those in the general run
of public schools, the results would be worse than they
seem to be.

Herman Rubin

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