How much education do we really need?

tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
Then you would be willing to tax yourself to support the appropriate prison infrastructure. Never mind the schools for educating the children who can be assumed to be drawn to a life of crime because their other opportunities are limited.
There's no need for me to tax myself; everything I buy carries a 9.75% sales tax, part of which goes to the Tennessee Department of Corrections and part of which goes to the Tennessee Department of Education. In addition, over $300 million from the Tennessee lottery goes toward "education" each year. I would be hard pressed to determine which is the bigger waste. Obviously, money isn't the answer to either problem.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,184
Throwing money at it has been the answer for many, many years. That's all they know how to do.

Heaven help you if you suggest tests to measure the effectiveness of your funding.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,880
There's no need for me to tax myself; everything I buy carries a 9.75% sales tax, part of which goes to the Tennessee Department of Corrections and part of which goes to the Tennessee Department of Education. In addition, over $300 million from the Tennessee lottery goes toward "education" each year. I would be hard pressed to determine which is the bigger waste. Obviously, money isn't the answer to either problem.
At least you don't have lead in your water, hog shit in your back yard, or crumbling roads. I suppose those problems are a result of too much tax money being collected.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,894
At least you don't have lead in your water, hog shit in your back yard, or crumbling roads. I suppose those problems are a result of too much tax money being collected.
Some of those problems resulted from too much tax money being wasted on cronyism, favors and backdoor deals instead of essential government services until the roof caved in when the tax base collapsed in cities like Flint.
 

gerty

Joined Aug 30, 2007
1,273
I am not challenging your opinion, but I wonder what are the options to jail.
I get a few students a year that have been guests of the state, usually they're not a problem. More often than not they've not completed high school, almost all "earned" their GED while incarcerated . Our school now has a program where we've set up a portable classroom at the county jail. They can take classes in computer repair
and/or MS Office.
One problem we have with having former offenders for students is placing them in a job that's related to what we teach. When the jail job was announced I expressed my opinion to the director , it got ugly.. I've been trying to get some new equipment for my class for quite a while, and now we're getting a classroom, computers, and 2 instructors that are off campus !!
Turns out all of it was covered by a grant that some woman 2 counties away had applied for. No rhyme or reason why it's in our county that we're aware of, speculation is she had someone in our county jail at some earlier time.

Don't know if the graduates of the jail class will have any luck finding jobs, but when I speak to prospective employers about hiring one of my graduates their concerns are drugs-criminal record-attendance-grades. Also they seem to subscribe to the theory that someone that goes to school after release form jail is more credible than someone that takes classes while in jail.
 

dannyf

Joined Sep 13, 2015
2,197
their concerns are drugs-criminal record-attendance-grades.
There is a big push by the administration to criminalize employers ability to screen potential employees by drug tests or background check, unless the employer in question is the secrete services recruiting agents protecting the president and his family.
 

tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
Turns out all of it was covered by a grant that some woman 2 counties away had applied for.
Apparently there's lots of "free" money available via grants if one knows the formula. If I were not so busy being retired, I would look into grant writing.
 

tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
Anyway....I wonder what the consensus is around here...do you think some of the years you spent in the classroom could have been better spent getting a business up and running...or some such?

Eric
I am proud of having been the first person in my family to attend college and proud that I worked my way through school to earn three degrees. However, I think I might have had a happier time and perhaps more financial success if I had apprenticed myself to a cabinet maker and eventually started my own business.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,184
Don't know if the graduates of the jail class will have any luck finding jobs, but when I speak to prospective employers about hiring one of my graduates their concerns are drugs-criminal record-attendance-grades. Also they seem to subscribe to the theory that someone that goes to school after release form jail is more credible than someone that takes classes while in jail.
Ask the employer if he uses assessment tests on all their prospective employees. I know, some will disagree about testing, but, it is one way to discriminate a person by their abilities.

The test could be as little as 25 questions from what I've read about CAT, Computer Assisted Testing. You start with a question about mid difficulty. If they answer correctly, the questions get harder, if they answer incorrectly they get easier till they get it correct. In the end, you have a test that measures their competency.

Most certification tests use CAT. As an employer, you are certifying someone as capable of taking care of your customers, even if the client is someone within your own company.

Here are the results for scholarly articles on CAT
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,235
Just about every measure of success - the good stuff - in life correlates positively with tested IQ. The only known exception is, sadly, fertility rate.

The problem all societies face is how to manage the folks that, through no failing of their own, are one standard deviation or more below average. There will always be that lower end of the bell curve, no matter how much we are able to increase the mean with better healthcare, nutrition, taking lead out of our gasoline, and so on.

They fill our prisons (the average IQ in the U.S. prison system used to be ~80), they challenge our one-size-fits-all public education system, and they occupy the state-run housing developments that blight our cities.

In the U.S. right now, we handle this population very poorly, in my opinion, in large part because we refuse to acknowledge this is a problem and to call it by its name. We have this nonsensical notion that everyone is equal, even as we watch professional sports that make it so abundantly clear that we are not. It does not serve the affected individuals nor society at large to wallow in some politically correct pretense that we're all equal and will have the same life experiences. Not every kid should plan for a college degree or a life of wealth and leisure. We need all sorts of folks in this country and there's plenty of work to be done, plenty of opportunities for honest work and the satisfaction that comes from it.

My parents, perhaps yours' as well, grew up poorer than the poorest in our country today. My mother grew up in the depression as an only child, somewhat neglected by my grandmother. She didn't learn to speak until age 5, when my grandmother (possibly a sociopath) was embarrassed when neighbors noticed her daughter's deficiency and only then began to work with my mother. My mother worked in a sweatshop factory during WWII and put herself through college, where she met my dad. When she passed last fall, her estate exceeded a $1M, far beyond the wildest dreams of that ragamuffin child of the Depression.

My point is that poverty and obstacles are not the end of the world. They do not require you to abandon self esteem and hope, and to throw yourself onto the public dole.
 
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dannyf

Joined Sep 13, 2015
2,197
My point is that poverty and obstacles are not the end of the world.
There is a larger movement in society that refuses to acknowledge that. For those people, it is not fair until the outcome is evenly distributed.
 

Sinus23

Joined Sep 7, 2013
245
Just about every measure of success - the good stuff - in life correlates positively with tested IQ. The only known exception is, sadly, fertility rate.
Having worked on farm for many summers as a teenager. It's mad pimping. Where the farmer chooses who gets to procreate and bases his reasoning on the bloodline.

Trust me you do not want to go there.

The farmer I was working for had homemade genealogy books which contained data from his father and him... Year after year his farm had the biggest lambs in the country.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,190
There are lot of reasons people end up in the prison. Low IQ isn't one of them.
I disagree.
People with power and/or wealth often avoid any form of, "justice" because they have the intellect required to obtain power and/or wealth.
You might say I've been a criminal since I stole a candy bar at 8 years old, but I have the intellect to figure out I shouldn't do that again.
I would dare to say every person here has broken a law at one time or another, but the smart ones have the sense to either do it discretely or not do it twice.
When you know that the 2nd District Court ruled that it is not only common practice, but protected by the courts, to refuse to hire police persons with high I.Q.s, you have to realize they catch the low IQ people more easily than the high IQ people. Simple things like, smart people know when to shut up. Smart people exercise impulse control; they choose not to bust a chair over the guy next to them, even when they feel it's the right thing to do.

If you think IQ has little to do with who is in prison, you haven't been around really stupid people very much.
 

ronv

Joined Nov 12, 2008
3,770
Since a good part of my adult life has been dedicated to imparting my boundless wisdom to people.....("I taught them everything I know, and they're STILL stupid!"), I've recently pondered the question: How much education do we really need to be productive members of society?

It recently occurred to me that everything I need to know to run Timbreland North Audio (my current enterprise) I knew by the time I graduated 8th grade. Oh sure, there are some nuances of the art that benefited from some more advanced training, but for the most part, I could have started out at the ripe age of 13 and done quite well....maybe even better, from a financial aspect.

Now, I have to admit that, growing up in Silly Cone Valley, (back when it was still Vacuum Tube Valley), I went to the finest grammar schools on the planet, and taking a field trip to the Stanford Linear Accelerator in the 5th grade gave me an early kick start into science nerd-dom. But honestly, by the time I was 8, I knew I wanted to twiddle electrons for a living,and was already avidly learning how to be the next Thomas Edison. I don't think I was THAT weird in this regard.

The reason I even ask the question is that Alaska is going through a major budgetary convulsion right now, and I learned that the public education system is by FAR the largest state budget consumer. Most of this is, as one might suspect, plain bureaucratic overhead....I don't think our teachers are overpaid in the least....though our administrators certainly are.

Anyway....I wonder what the consensus is around here...do you think some of the years you spent in the classroom could have been better spent getting a business up and running...or some such?

Eric
Let me just say "me too". I knew I wanted electronics probably at 5 or 6 years old. Just talking out loud, I think a fair amount of school didn't do me a lot of good. It seems to me if school could be tailored to student interests most people know what they would like to do. So the challenge is to expose them to different things at a young age so they can decide on a path. There will be people that are very happy digging ditches all the way up to scientists. If we could somehow mold the education system to the student instead of the other way around things would be better. I keep thinking there is a break-thru in computer aided education that would allow a much wider range of subjects than is possible with hands on teachers. The trick to this, in my mind, is the family - how to expose the kids to enough for them to make a natural decision.
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
If done properly, I think the K12 system is a good one. I have problems with thinks like sports overriding other classes in importance, but the physical does need taught also.
In the U.S., there's way too much focus on sports and athletic programs.

They also cost the schools a lot of $$$ for liability insurance. I used to be a member of a private (not a school run) swim/water polo team and the yearly dues were over a $1000 per year. The lion's share was for organized athletic event (OAE) insurance.

Here in San Francisco, members of the tech community have set up a chain of private K-12 schools highly focused on preparing students for the job market. They operate out of office or remodeled commercial buildings and they have no campus or athletic facilities.

When someone asked one of the founders if the school's lack of an athletic program was depriving students of social and team skills, he replied "Employers don't give a damn about how big your high school gym was or how well you played basketball".

On that note, see my previous post about how humans are rapidly becoming obsolete.

http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/humans-are-rapidly-becoming-obsolete.121285/
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,235
When someone asked one of the founders if the school's lack of an athletic program was depriving students of social and team skills, he replied "Employers don't give a damn about how big your high school gym was or how well you played basketball".
Unfortunately the donating alumni DO seem to care. Universities make money on their athletic programs.

I agree that schools should be about academics, but I also think grade school and high school should do a better job of physical education, to teach kids how daily exercise is a healthy and enjoyable part of life. You will be a more effective and productive academic if you take care of your body. I was a pretty active, free-range kid but I learned to hate exercise when forced to endure PE in school.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,190
I was a pretty active, free-range kid but I learned to hate exercise when forced to endure PE in school.
That was one of the lesser parts of my college experience. I chose volleyball and bowling for my required PE courses. For bowling, I rode a bicycle ten miles to get to the bowling alley and ten miles to get back home. It cost me ten times as much energy to get to the class compared to the energy I spent in the class. The volleyball thing happened outdoors at 7:15 A.M. We were only allowed to wear a t-shirt, pink shorts, and tennies. When the day came that I felt ill, I had to choose between wearing pants to keep warm or missing the class. I wore pants. The teacher objected. And, of course, I had spent more energy getting to the class than I spent playing volleyball for an hour.

The things we do to get that diploma!

Grade school wasn't much better. We would play, "kill the man with the ball" during recess. That amounted to almost an hour of flat out running. Then we would go to PE where we sat and waited for our turn to spend 30 seconds using the equipment.
 
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