Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by DarthTom, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    HSLDA link:

    and from Huffpo:

    and another link says:

    A few more numbers at statisticsBrain

    The average SAT score home schooled students is 1083. Bill Clinton scored a 1032.
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I do kind of wish the college entrance exams were standardized across the board. I never took the SATs because most colleges in Illinois don't accept them. We take the ACTs, where the highest score is a 36, so I never know what SAT scores even mean.
     
  3. Stoo

    Stoo Captain Premium Member

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    I'm happy to believe that homeschooling can work out, and I know it's not all religious crazies. I can see the attraction of a system that removes bullies and disruptive pupils, in particular.

    But you need a reliable grasp of the socioecomic factors before making a useful comparison. I get the impression it's a rather white middle class pursuit, and if so can't be compared to the entire spectrum of public education. While I could be wrong, regarding those surveys gturner posted, I stumbled across an interesting post. There are some question marks over how reliable the numbers are.

    (this is from someone homeschooled herself).

     
  4. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like this way of viewing things. What's the big deal if someone believes in a god if it doesn't interfere with scientific research?
     
  5. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    gturner I think it's intuitive to believe that children who are home school outperform those who attend public schools.

    If you have a parent invested enough in their child's education as to spend 5-6 hours / day in their education it's also likely that the child lives in a very overall stable environment.

    Ask any public school teacher primarily what are the problems with large an often inner city schools. Many parents are either too busy trying to earn a living and/or disinterested in their child's education which translates into poor performance in school.

    Ergo -- it's not a failure of the public schools that performances lag but rather often parents who simply don't give a shit about their child's education.
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    It's intuitive to believe it. That doesn't mean it's true.

    That can generally be taken to be true, however just because a parent wants to homeschool their children, it does not mean they are qualified to do so or that the curriculum they provide is adequate.

    Inner city schools have their problems, to be sure, but it's worth noting that poor high school graduation rates (as good a barometer as anything, I suppose) are predominantly a rural Southern problem.

    Teachers do blame parents and economic circumstances, however one of the unspoken facts of our education system is that wealthier districts attract the best teachers. Those remaining in poorer areas aren't going to be the best and brightest--they may not even be adequate. In other words, those who need the most help are being taught by people not qualified (perhaps not even able) to provide it.

    As an example, my son has some issues that led to him getting an IEP when he lived in Indiana. The school there was rural and it was a working class area. They simply didn't have the resources to help him, though they tried.

    Now, he lives in New Jersey, where there's a whole host of services available, and he's made much better progress. He's lucky that he was able to relocate. Many are not so fortunate.

    What this really is about is a failure of money. When people talk about how much we spend on public education, there's often an assumption that the dollars per student are spread around equally. This is not at all the case. Wealthy districts spend a lot more per student than poorer ones, and that affects everything from the qualifications of the teachers to the available equipment to the maintenance level of the building to the quality of the lunch food, to say nothing of what special services might be available for those children most in need. So long as schools are funded primarily with local property tax income, this will remain the case. No one is willing to do much about that since it amounts to wealth redistribution. Instead, it's easier to blame teachers' unions and uninvolved parents.

    It's also not necessarily a given that public schools in the US are a walking disaster. In fact, it may be the single most destructive falsehood plaguing our education system.
     
  7. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^ The notable exception to districts that are poorer is D.C. Where average per pupil spending is over $30K/student yet academic performance and graduation rates still lag school districts with much less/student
     
  8. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    DC is pretty much a notable exception to everything so I don't know what you're trying to prove there.
     
  9. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Money not necessarily equal to student performance. In speaking with several teachers over the years - I've heard anecdotally parental involvement is as much if not more important than how many $$ they pour into a school system.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Of course, parental involvement is itself generally a factor of money, so once again your point makes no sense.
     
  11. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is there a direct correlation statistically with income and school performance? To lazy to look it up now.
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    In a word: Yes.

    Americans tend to underestimate the rather tight linkage between issues of geography, family income, educational attainment, and your own future income and mobility. In essence, if you come from a poor family in a poor area and attend school in a poor district, the deck is stacked overwhelmingly against you. Your odds of high educational attainment are very low. Now, maybe you're lucky. Maybe you were born with an unusually high intelligence, and maybe one of your teachers in that poor school noticed it and fought to get you more resources so you could live up to your potential, and so maybe you'll get good grades because you have a supportive environment at home and at school and eventually win scholarships to a prestigious university which lead you down a path to a PhD and a lofty position making over $100K a year as a top researcher.

    But most people are not that lucky. Most kids in such a situation will just grind through the school system with parents too poor, too overworked, and too uneducated themselves to be much help. The average student--being average--will probably face indifferent teachers and limited prospects. Poor educational attainment and job and wage insecurity will be constant problems for many.

    Contrast this with being, say, a rather average child of a wealthier family. Though you may not be very smart, they can get you tutors, and you're already going to a better school, and if your family is wealthy they are probably connected, too. They can pull some strings and get you in where Mom or Dad went to college, and they're paying your way, too. So, this average person ends up achieving much more highly than they would have otherwise, due to the advantages of their birth.

    The answer is not, I think, to begrudge those advantages, but to recognize that they exist and do our best to offer similar advantages to those who weren't simply born into them. There are actually two big sides to that: first, have a social infrastructure in place where the parents can actually be more available and attentive, where they don't have to work multiple jobs just to scrape by; second, fund underperforming schools better and put more effort toward attracting better quality talent. Instead of focusing on either of those, we've denigrated them. People who take government handouts are leeches, and teachers are selfish miscreants who unionized to suck taxpayer coffers dry and give no shits about the children they (supposedly) fail over and over to educate. These memes are incredibly damaging and do no favors to improving any of this. They're really just a form of class warfare waged by the wealthy against the poor and working class.

    Essentially, Americans like to believe we live in a nearly-pure meritocracy, when the reality is that most of what you will be able to accomplish in life comes down to luck, particularly what sort of parents you happened to be born to, and what their circumstances were like during the course of your childhood.
     
  13. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DC doesn't actually spend $30k per student. A lot of that money is wasted or stolen through fraud. Also of note DC like most urban schools has more students with learning disabilities, single parent households, qualify for free lunch programs. What people don't understand is that poor kids are more expensive to educate because they have so many disadvantages.
     
  14. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One more thing, special education is hugely expensive. It can take up to half a school district's budget. In New York it's mandated so arts, sports, and gifted program often get cut.
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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  16. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  17. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I'm fine with private schools, it's their being funded with public money that ticks me off.
     
  18. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    You'll have to define what you mean by "God." A literal anthropomorphic male personality? Or is the anthropomorphic form not literal, but a symbol for a mystery which transcends all description? Do you mean a transcendence to which we can relate, or an imminence to which we identify in ourselves and each other? The personality of Yahweh, or the impersonal undifferentiated consciousness of Brahma? A father figure aloof somewhere in heaven, or a goddess mother figure symbolizing the creative aspect of earth itself?
     
  19. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've never understood who appointed Bill Nye as the Bob Vila of science. :confused:

    Then again, I've never understood who appointed Bob Vila as the Bill Nye of home repair, either. :lol:
     
  20. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    I love the barrage and confuse tactics of creationists in a live debate with scientists. They just keep hurling a string of absurdities at these poor eggheads, until they are so concerned with responding to those "points" that the creationist himself can't be taken-on, directly. Scientists just end up looking the fool, because the suckers are there to present facts but are instead made to debunk made-up bullshit, on the fly. These debates always cater to the lowest denominator, taking comments out of context and deliberately choosing creationists with a knack for coming up with off the wall speculation. It's hardly a debate at all, it's merely spectacle.
     

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