Earlier today I posted on how education had to change and I wasn’t happy with the current system and options for my kids. My grandmother replied within minutes with basic premise: we should talk about this but no one wants to pay more taxes.
I agree, no one does. Especially into a failing system.
But let’s talk money. I’m using here and here as sources. The data is from 2010 – 2011 but I can’t imagine it changed much from year to year.
The Chicago basics:
- Average classroom size: 25 kids
- Money spent per student: $13,000
That’s $325,000 per classroom. This is pretty damned good. This is more than pretty damned good. $325,000 / class room should be a world class education!
The solution cannot be that we need more money. The solution has to be that we need to spend the money better. If a CEO had such bad results with $325,000 / classroom the CEO would be on the street. Where is this money going? It certainly isn’t going towards quality education.
The brilliant, yet fictional, Sam Seaborn once said:
education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That’s my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.
He isn’t kind or right or on the right track; he is exactly right. Whichever of West Wing’s writers penned those lines (was it you Aaron Sorkin?), I solute you.
With a nearly-4-year-old, school selection is weighing heavily on my mind and the options — public, private, or parochial — aren’t looking all that great. The issue isn’t necessarily the schools themselves, it’s this whole horrible system we’ve created.
And then last night I heard Sal Khan on the Commonwealth Club podcast, speaking about Khan Academy. I urge you to listen to it. Not only is the story of its start entertaining and interesting, but some of the ideas he puts forth make me want the whole system rethought.
My daughter goes to pre-school that is year round and deftly mixes creative activities with learning, similar to what Khan speaks about. I ask her what she did at school and she says “we played and we played and we played” and then tells me what she learned. This is what school should be! So why does it seem to only exist in a private pre-school?
Carlos’ facial hair is getting better and better with each passing game. I’m wondering how long it lasts once summer comes. The chin strap might have to go in June/July but man am I hoping he keeps that waxed ‘stache.
Remember when thousands of fans would wear fake Matt Clement beards to games he started? We should do the same for Carlos.
Below are the names of 54 senators who are OK with your child being shot in the face.
Think about that for one minute. They sold their vote to a vocal minority in the hopes of keeping their job and in doing so they failed to do everything they could to protect children from getting shot.
Two days ago bombs went off and civil servants ran towards the danger to save strangers. These 54 senators had to vote yes. That’s it. Not risk their lives. Probably not even risk their livelihood. They just had to say “yea” and instead they ran away.
These senators are not civil servants. They are the opposite of civil servants. They are out for themselves.
They will trade your child being shot in the face for their own status quo.
It’s amazing how a well made tool gets me excited for all sorts of projects I wasn’t even planning on doing until I got my hands on the tool.
I just spent 15 minutes with iPython Notebook and it makes me want to start all sorts of statistical analysis projects just for the fun of using it.
Now if only it wasn’t 11:30pm and I wasn’t dead tired.
“At different points in his life Mr. Mailer was a prodigious drinker and drug taker, a womanizer, a devoted family man, a would-be politician who ran for mayor of New York, a hipster existentialist, an antiwar protester, an opponent of women’s liberation and an all-purpose feuder and short-fused brawler, who with the slightest provocation would happily engage in head-butting, arm-wrestling and random punch-throwing. Boxing obsessed him and inspired some of his best writing. Any time he met a critic or a reviewer, even a friendly one, he would put up his fists and drop into a crouch.”
Marmol blew the game, the Cubs fell below .500, Risso hit his second homer, but the real story was the most masculine mustache with a live arm that I’ve ever seen.