Discussion 4 Notes

Discussion starter:

Were there any points in the reading that you felt strongly about? Why?
– The class did not have any response to this question.

Discussion Questions:

1. “Proponents of family choice in education argue that public schools, especially those that serve poor children, no longer enable their students to learn and excel academically to a level that will prepare them for college and the labor force” (p. 61). Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

-The class agreed that the success of the individual is up to that individual, it all comes down to their drive and determination.
-The class also agreed that there should be more emphasis on making all schools desirable, rather than giving parents a choice.
-Finally, the class agreed that the government needs to change their priorities. Rather than spend money on a large military, they need to invest more in the education system.

2. “Research on the largest voucher programs…have demonstrated that attending a private school does not in and of itself guarantee higher academic achievement” (p. 62). With that being said, would you say that many parents enroll their children in private schools in order to segregate them? Or perhaps in order to have them socialize with other children of their socioeconomic status? What is your opinion?

-The class came to the conclusion that parents choose private schools because colleges will look at the title of the school before they look at GPA and test scores. There is also the stigma attached to students that attend private schools, if parents are willing to shell out serious amounts of money for private elementary and high schools, they will be willing to shell out tons of money for the university.
-The class also decided that public schools offer a chance for students to be exposed to more diversity, and that public schools better prepares children for the real world. However, there were some in the class who pointed out that they did attend a public school, and did not experience such diversity and felt deprived of that experience.

3. According to the reading, charter schools actually receive less money per student than traditional public schools and studies have demonstrated that there is no evidence suggesting that students who attend charter schools are more successful than students who do not. Since additional funding and increased likeliness for success are clearly not advantages of charter schools, what do you think potential benefits are, if any? Why do you think charter schools are so appealing to some parents?

-It was decided that the appeal of charter schools all boils down to the individual student. Parents may be more attracted to schools who have larger or smaller class sizes based on the student’s preferences and personality.
-The class also concluded that success can be defined in many different ways. Whether it is for individual success or success for the common good, when choosing a school the parents need to know how they define success in order to protect the best interests of the child.

Discussion Ender:
“When Americans began to use public funds to pay for schooling, they called those schools ‘common’ because they served the common good. It is time to return to that concept” (p. 64).

(Note: This summary was a joint collaboration between Nikole and myself.)

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Equity Block, Discussion 4

Team 2: The Futures

Discussion Leader: Dylan

Time Keeper/Summarizer: Nikole

Twitter Monitor: Sonja

Note Taker(s): Michelle & Sarah

Devil’s Advocate Tweeter: Janinn

Summary of last discussion

Discussion starter:

Were there any points from the reading that you felt strongly about? Why?

Discussion Questions:

1. “Proponents of family choice in education argue that public schools, especially those that serve poor children, no longer enable their students to learn and excel academically to a level that will prepare them for college and the labor force” (p. 61). Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

2. “Research on the largest voucher programs…have demonstrated that attending a private school does not in and of itself guarantee higher academic achievement” (p. 62). With that being said, would you say that many parents enroll their children in private schools in order to segregate them? Or perhaps in order to have them socialize with other children of their socioeconomic status? What is your opinion?

3. According to the reading, charter schools actually receive less money per student than traditional public schools and studies have demonstrated that there is no evidence suggestion that students who attend charter schools are more successful than students who do not. Since additional funding and increased likeliness for success are clearly not advantages of charter schools, what do you think potential benefits are, if any? Why do you think charter schools are so appealing to some parents?

Discussion Ender:

“When Americans began to use public funds to pay for schooling, they called those schools ‘common’ because they served the common good. It is time to return to that concept” (p. 64).

Discussion 3 Notes: The Futures

Discussion 3
The Futures

Warm-Up: Were there any points in the reading you found interesting or took an issue with?
The reading focused on schools being similar to free market business, and if public schools are adequately teaching our students.

Discussion Questions
1)Should schools be operated under the same ideas as a free market business?
– The class agreed that if schools were solely ran like free markets then maybe schools would strive towards being the most appealing, which would improve many schools, but there would always be the “winners” and “losers”; the schools that are not appealing to many would lose and it would effect the students that attend that school.
– If public schools were ran like free markets then parents would obviously choose the better schools, the ones that seem more appealing, therefore hurting the less appealing schools.

2) Do you agree with the statement that “because public schools faced no meaningful competition from private schools, they were inefficient and inadequate” (p. 59)? Why or why not? Which school would you prefer for your children?
– The class agreed that public schools do have competition among other public schools, therefore they are adequate schools. They are competing for better test scores then other schools, also they are striving to get their scores up so that they can meet the standards.
3) On page 58 it says “they [the students] would learn tolerance and respect for the diverse people and different points of view in the country.” Do you believe that children learn respect for the diverse people and different points of view in American schools? Why or why not?
– With this question some students agreed that public schools are diverse and they teach different points of view, they also said that they are much more diverse than private schools which are predominantly rich White Americans. However, some disagreed and said that their public school had little to no diversity, and that their school did not teach much diversity either.

Discussion Ender:
“The education marketplace acts pretty much the way most free markets do- people with money; information; the “right” social class, ethnicity, or gender; and powerful personal connections have access to “better” goods.”
– The class agreed with this ender, if you have money you can give your children the best education. The education marketplace favors the rich.