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Charts: A Long Slow Loss Of Confidence

Confidence in public ed is down to 29 pct but it's worth noting that it's been trending down pretty steadily since the 70s & has been below 40 pct since 1991:

image from sas-origin.onstreammedia.comIt also might be worth noting that the latest results aren't just a reflection of public feelings about traditional public schools but also the potential for charters and other reformy vehicles to generate real improvements.  Something for everyone to think about.  via @aisr

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Meanwhile, NAEP scores have continued their slow, steady rise...

The problem is not that our schools aren't improving; it's that they aren't improving fast enough, especially compared with the rapid rises we've had in school spending and our relative decline in international attainment and achievement as other countries improve their educational systems faster than we improve ours. Those who only see things from a national point of view do not understand the 21st century world, where international corporations can make investment decisions that move thousands of jobs at a time, with entire communities (not just individual children) left behind.

The self-satisfaction in our education establishment is badly out of touch with the public it serves, and serves our country badly.

There has always been a discussion of private vs. public education. Where private are going ahead very fast, public education are becoming down due to irresponsible behavior of the govt.

I know my mom was highly dissatisfied with the education we received. With her the concern started when they changed the entry age. I was ready for school, she had assessments from long-time educators for proof, but the school district opted to move the kindergarten start age from 5 to 6 saying kids were not emotionally ready to start school until then. Because I was so advanced, they ended up sending me for many classes to sit alone with one of the enrichment teachers to learn advanced materials. As a result, 90% of my schooling in elementary and middle school was done one on one in a room away from my peers. I never truly bonded with any classmates. She protested that time and time again, but the school said there was nothing else they could think of. And without the money to pay for private school, we were stuck.

We need more options, in every community where a second school is economically viable; students like Sarah shouldn't have to spend 90% of their childhood education in isolation. But expecting the education establishment to agree to the founding of new competitors for them is like having your local McDonald's approve the opening of a neighboring Burger King: not likely. And so we're stuck with slow, halting improvements, and all the problems that Alexander's website so thoroughly covers.

Oh, the best part was having to sit down with every new teacher and tell them my situation, which the school board never did entirely. I’m not sure, reflecting back on it, that my isolation was the product a true educational paradigm, or simply the product of a school having no idea how to teach advanced students in general. The problem, I’m sure, is and will always be funding. I lived in a reasonably small town, and was the only advanced student in math (the subject I happened to be gifted in). I guess, ultimately, feeling like a bit of an outsider, (especially at a very early age) hurt me in the sense that I was made to feel as though I were inconveniencing the school by being intelligent.

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