Their View: Education spending up, pe...

Their View: Education spending up, performance stagnant

There are 43 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from Feb 22, 2011, titled Their View: Education spending up, performance stagnant. In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

During her campaign, Gov. Susana Martinez said that she would not cut education.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Las Cruces Sun-News.

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Left in Las Cruces

Rio Rancho, NM

#1 Feb 22, 2011
Is there anyone out there who really believes that the Rio Grande Foundation is non-partisan? How about the claim that they are an "educational organization" instead of a propaganda arm of the Tea Party?

A quick google search for the "study" Gessing cites reveals that Gessing is himself the author of the work, something Gessing conveniently fails to mention. So, Gessing essentially argues that we should believe his assertions in his article because we should believe his assertions in his "study."

And what about that study? Basically, Gessing has provided what would barely qualify for an seven grade book report. Random quotes, raw data with no analysis, and far reaching, but totally unsubstantiated conclusions. Held to the standard that Gessing wants for schools - that is, subject to a letter grade - Gessing has earned a big, fat F.

Of course, we shouldn't expect more from a guy who claims to be an expert on how to save the education system but whose only qualification is that he dislikes paying taxes. But, should we give his opinions credence? Only if we are as stupid as he assumes we are.

Gessing's "study" can be found at www.riograndefoundation.org/ .
bbad

Las Cruces, NM

#2 Feb 22, 2011
Paul
You are a total idiot to think that only you have the answers to the education mess by just looking at two factors- money and performance.
You have never been involved in your kids education because then you would understand all factors involved in educating our students.
Left in Las Cruces

Rio Rancho, NM

#4 Feb 22, 2011
Al Reine wrote:
So you two geniuses think everything would be better with public schools if we just throw more money at the problem. Well in case you missed it...that concept was ENDED back in the November elections. You can attack the messenger all you want, but the message remains the same. The schools are crap and not educating ANYONE. And throwing money at school teachers who aren't doing the job or unions that are only interested in staying in power is NOT the solution.
Schools, just like anything else run by the government, are a catastrophe. Let them privatize the schools and watch how quickly the dead wood teachers and useless unions are removed, and kids actually start learning things.
I don't believe I said that we should throw money at the problem.(I wonder - can you see the irony of your derisively calling me a genius while completely missing the point of what I said? Probably not.)

The question I addressed had mostly to do with the credibility of a guy who supports his argument with a bogus report that he himself authored, a fact he fails to reveal, and which he doesn't bother providing a link to, for obvious reasons. Whether you recognize it or not, it is perfectly sensible to question the reliability of the messenger, especially when it is one delivering so faulty a message.

With regard to funding, the real question should be whether current funding levels are adequate. Here I will offer just a few observations. First, changes in funding levels have been accompanied by huge interference in the educational system by self-proclaimed experts like yourself and Gessing. My guess is that most performance problems are the result of non-educators dictating to teachers that they prepare students for a test, rather than get them read for life.

It should also be noted that no parent ever chooses to send their child to a school that has less funding than other alternatives. Rich people never say, "I'm looking for a private school that spends less on my kid than public schools." Nor do most parents fail to respond to fund raising efforts their local schools almost constantly resort to. Talk about cutting school budgets is all fine and good if you are childless or it is some other school's budgets, but the reality is no parent who cares about their kids wants less money for their school.

P.S. The November elections did not end any political question. In a democracy, we continually debate and refine. This is something you should have learned in civics class in high school, provided they had enough money to offer such a course.

P.S.S. Capitalizing for emphasis doesn't really work well on the internet. It really just says, "I'm a moron who thinks typing in all caps makes me right."
Left in Las Cruces

Rio Rancho, NM

#6 Feb 22, 2011
Al Reine wrote:
Well it looks like your education is lacking, or more coreectly, you received an INDOCTRINATION...which is what schools throughtout the country are receiving. Your first comment was so obtuse that it was easily misconstrued. And no, I DIDN'T learn those big fancy words in a New MExico indoctrination center. Why is it you leftys all think that throwing mnore money after bad is a soultiuon to ANy problem. It isn't. Whether the person who worte this article meets YOUR standrads means nothing. It's not the MESSENGER that is the problem. It's what he is talking about. Spendfing money we don't have on peopoe who AREN'T doing the job. it doesn't take a sheepskin from a leftist university to figure this out. Common sense is all you need.
So you would eliminate testing completely and just give "life survival" courses. It's that kind of progressive stupidity that has us in the mess we are in, with the rest of the world passing us by in educational standards.
And out comes the class warfare example. Got that rich people hatred going full force don't we? Define "rich people". And they send their kids to the best schools they can afford, not necessarily the most EXPENSIVE schools. The reality is the left thinks the answer to ANY question/problem is to throw MORE money at it. That's WHY the country is BROKE...or didn't you realize that? And throwign moenty at a school system that ranks 49th in the country is NOT a good idea.
And finally, a little education for you, genius...the United States is NOT a Democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. Here's a quote from John Adams. I will ASSUME that you know who he is:
"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
John Adams
Constitutional republics are generally considered to be a form of democracy, except to hair-splitting morons (should I have put the word "moron" in caps?) who pretend that changing the label we use for our government somehow changes what our government is. Spare me the pedantic nonsense, please. Especially when it is wrong.
My original comment was not obtuse for those who can read. Or, at least understand what they read. You apparently lack that ability.
Listen, instead of dashing off a bit of vitriol, which judging from your typing is what you have indulged in, why don't you calm down and try to understand what I have written. Then, if you're up to it, you can try arguing on point.

P.S. As I mentioned above, republics are a form of democracy. And, your Adams quote certainly seems to apply. Now, ask yourself this, and try to be truthful: who do you think is murdering democracy? For a hint, reread your past couple posts.

P.S.S. Before you dash off something complaining about how mean I'm being to you, how I called you a moron, etc, realize that there is no other appropriate response to someone who can't understand what the argument is about. If you jump in spouting off about "leftys" (sic) and such, while continuing to miss the point, don't be surprised that you get all the respect you deserve.

“I Put the "B" in ITCH!!”

Since: Jun 08

Wood-Ridge, NJ

#7 Feb 22, 2011
School Vouchers! Please! Give me my child's $9k and I'll use it wisely, I would probably be able to give the state a refund too!!
HusseinBarrack Obama LIED

Manhattan Beach, CA

#8 Feb 22, 2011
When you hire idiots to teach you end up with idiots...you can spend all the money you want on education you can't force a student to open a book if he she doesn't want to .. you hire liberals and the schools are run by ppl who are well educated but never held a real job they don't understand business and yes running a school district is a business and unproductive teachers and admins' should be fired but we can't because of unions..we deserve what we are getting a generation of students falling behind their counterparts in other nations..who spend far less on education but students are motivated to succeed..we need discipline and no nonsense teachers..
Michael L Hays

Las Cruces, NM

#9 Feb 23, 2011
I like most of these comments as sensible ones.

The issue is not the amount of money but the wisdom in spending it. America spends more per capita than any other country with an advanced economy and gets relatively little for it. Obviously, reforms to make expenditures more effective and thereby improve education are required.(I have offered a long list of such reforms to Senators Smith and Fischmann. I expect to make those reforms the basis of one or more column in the near future.)

A flaw in Gessing's argument is arguing from numbers without context, He does not explain the greater-than-inflation increase in state expenditures for education. One real possibility is that New Mexicans wanted the state to improve education, committed more money to it, but did not spend it smartly. Such is the story in many places.

A bigger flaw in Gessing argument is to think that a "problem" (here based on numbers cooked out of context) has an ideological solution based on budget devices and different buildings. No impartial evidence proves that, say, school vouchers or charter schools actually improve the quality of education. Ironically, as more and ore data become available, charters schools on average do not perform as well as non-charter public schools.

For the most part, school vouchers reduce the cost of private education for the already rich, transfer some special needs students out of public schools and thereby reduce their numbers so that they are not counted in testing anywhere (manipulated data to show higher test scores, thus "improvement," in education), and cherry-picking students, with no improvement in the non-charter public schools.

The biggest flaw in Gessing's argument is that it says nothing about improving non-charter public schools. That silence highlights the fact that his proposed reforms are not means to improve education anywhere; his proposed reforms are just a reshuffle of money and facilities. The truth is that rearranging deck chairs, reducing their size, and labeling cabin levels will not change the direction of the ship, make for a pleasant cruise, or even avert disaster.

Finally, what Gessing's argument demonstrates is the absurdity of expecting non-educators like nominee Skandera and him to make a positive contribution to public education, Worse, given their proposed solutions, we can see that their purpose is not to improve public education but to advance an ideological agenda to diminish or dismantle it.
Chico

United States

#10 Feb 23, 2011
Left in Las Cruces wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't believe I said that we should throw money at the problem.(I wonder - can you see the irony of your derisively calling me a genius while completely missing the point of what I said? Probably not.)
The question I addressed had mostly to do with the credibility of a guy who supports his argument with a bogus report that he himself authored, a fact he fails to reveal, and which he doesn't bother providing a link to, for obvious reasons. Whether you recognize it or not, it is perfectly sensible to question the reliability of the messenger, especially when it is one delivering so faulty a message.
With regard to funding, the real question should be whether current funding levels are adequate. Here I will offer just a few observations. First, changes in funding levels have been accompanied by huge interference in the educational system by self-proclaimed experts like yourself and Gessing. My guess is that most performance problems are the result of non-educators dictating to teachers that they prepare students for a test, rather than get them read for life.
It should also be noted that no parent ever chooses to send their child to a school that has less funding than other alternatives. Rich people never say, "I'm looking for a private school that spends less on my kid than public schools." Nor do most parents fail to respond to fund raising efforts their local schools almost constantly resort to. Talk about cutting school budgets is all fine and good if you are childless or it is some other school's budgets, but the reality is no parent who cares about their kids wants less money for their school.
P.S. The November elections did not end any political question. In a democracy, we continually debate and refine. This is something you should have learned in civics class in high school, provided they had enough money to offer such a course.
P.S.S. Capitalizing for emphasis doesn't really work well on the internet. It really just says, "I'm a moron who thinks typing in all caps makes me right."
Just a couple of points. Many choose to send their children to Parochial Schools or church schools which spend less per pupil than public schools or to home school their own children or to support home schooling at a cost less than the per pupil cost of public schools and the results are more often than not superior. it is not just non-educators that are having teachers teach to the test, it is educators who are or once were teachers.
Nacho Libre

Las Cruces, NM

#11 Feb 23, 2011
Chico:

You have actually identified one of the most important factors in childhood education, parental involvement and support. Home schooling does this in a very focused manner. I would agree that the parochial / private schools do a better job because they are not hampered by faulty business model thinking based on the "graduation-rate-per-doll ars- spent-to-pass-the-test" thinking and actually focus on student leaning.

It is interesting how we as a society choose to spend an average of $27,000 -$57,000 per inmate per year to incarcerate, yet spend much, much less to educate during a child's formative years. Education and work opportunities reduce incarceration rates, that is a proven fact.

I agree that a better focus is needed toward student learning (versus for example - forced bi-lingual programs;AKA: another school funding source) Throwing money at the education issue and making the system focused on learning is better any day of the week than wasting money on incarceration and building new prisons.

PS: Companies like MTC and Wackenhut bet against education and lobby for longer sentences and harsher punishments not to deter crime, but to improve their income streams. This is especially poignant with the privatization of prisons. Maybe this is why we hear about business models being used to evaluate how schools are operated by some and ironically other business models are being used to draw essential funds away from education to fund private prisons just to make a profit. How twisted is that. Just something for everybody to think about.

Peace
Martinez is a pig

Las Cruces, NM

#12 Feb 23, 2011
The only advantage that private schools have is the ability to select those they will educate. My guess is that there are a large number of public education students that no private school would accept. What happens to the vast number of children with 9K vouchers who can't find a private school to take them. Likely inferior private schools with no standards will emerge to meet the demand and collect the 9K, and will do a job far worse than the public schools ever did.

I am just curious if any of you have seen the high end curriculum offered in the high schools. Maybe they read "Dick and Jane at the Seashore" in a remedial class or two, but the same high school likely offers a class in Calculus as well. I will bet that each of the three public high schools has at least one student headed to an Ivy League or equivalent school.

By the way, the Martinez plan to only cut administrative operations will never work because those in the classroom are downstream in the money flow.
APDdungcollectio n

Santa Fe, NM

#13 Feb 23, 2011
The single most important factor in education is the parent(s) of the child. Second most important is the income of the parent(s). The other factors follow those. Getting rid of teacher tenure, thus making it easy to get rid of poor performers, would go a long way in changing things for the better.

Look at asian student performance in American schools. Doesn't matter what school they attend, they tend to excel (especially true of those from Confucian driven countries of China, Japan, Korea) which push educational excellence.

Those with sufficient income (or a willingness to spend an extraordinary amount on school education) have choices. Without choice the student is pretty much stuck with their local school unless viable low cost alternatives are available.

For those who haven't seen the movie, Waiting for Superman, I highly recommend you view it. Great documentary on American education.
Anonymous

Fullerton, CA

#14 Feb 23, 2011
lol
LBsambo

Santa Fe, NM

#15 Feb 23, 2011
Get the unions out.
Peralta de Peralta

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#18 Feb 23, 2011
NJBRED wrote:
School Vouchers! Please! Give me my child's $9k and I'll use it wisely, I would probably be able to give the state a refund too!!
Hear, here! Our kids private school is run on LESS than $9K per student per year, graduates 100% of it's senior class [except for mid-year transfers], scores consistently high for both SATs and ACTs, sends OVER 80% of graduates to 4-year colleges, AND over 50% of graduates receive some sort of scholarship or grant money. There isn't a public school in the entire state that can top that!

And the costs for our kids education comes straight out of take-home pay, not property taxes.
CornDogz

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Feb 23, 2011
Al Reine wrote:
<quoted text>
And your guess would be exactly right. The problem is the misguided notion that EVERY student deserves an equal effort from the teacher. That is WHY other countries are passing us by. They KNOW that not every student is a little genius ready to solve the world's problems. People need to face facts that some kids are smarter than others. Why waste the effort on a kid who's main priority is finding the most effective switchblade or strongest pot plant to smoke?
That's a pretty poor approach to education. Every kids DOES deserve the same effort from their teachers, however not every child will respond positively to that. Regardless, they still deserve the opportunity. The very LAST thing NM needs is a shitpot of throw-away children. We have enough already and ignoring those that someone deems as losers(even if they are) does not adequately address the issue.
Peralta de Peralta

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#20 Feb 23, 2011
APDdungcollection wrote:
The single most important factor in education is the parent(s) of the child. Second most important is the income of the parent(s).
I agree with your first statement and completely disagree with your second. If the parents don't make education a high priority, it doesn't matter how much $ they make. But the parents can be dirt poor without a pot to pee in and if they make education and hard work a priority AND practice what they preach, the kids will do well in school.

“Eat me. I'm a Danish.”

Since: Dec 10

Las Cruces, New Mexico

#21 Feb 23, 2011
CornDogz wrote:
<quoted text>
That's a pretty poor approach to education. Every kids DOES deserve the same effort from their teachers, however not every child will respond positively to that. Regardless, they still deserve the opportunity. The very LAST thing NM needs is a shitpot of throw-away children. We have enough already and ignoring those that someone deems as losers(even if they are) does not adequately address the issue.
Darn well put! Thank you!
APDdungcollectio n

Santa Fe, NM

#22 Feb 23, 2011
Al Reine wrote:
<quoted text>
And your guess would be exactly right. The problem is the misguided notion that EVERY student deserves an equal effort from the teacher. That is WHY other countries are passing us by. They KNOW that not every student is a little genius ready to solve the world's problems. People need to face facts that some kids are smarter than others. Why waste the effort on a kid who's main priority is finding the most effective switchblade or strongest pot plant to smoke? Private schools don't have to deal with the idiotic liberal idea that every kid deserves the best education possible. The bright ones get nourished and flourish and the idiots get booted out to go to public indoctrination schools and fight in gangs. We don't need to spend a fortune on public schools. Unless you want to spend some money on teaching teachers how to defend themselves when some dirtbag kid pulls a weapon on them. No amountn of spending is going to bring a public school up to the level of a private school.
Something right out of the Nazi handbook. Heil Hitler!

So elementary school children don't deserve a good education huh. Every child who enters school does deserve the best, regardless of income. Its not hard to achieve either, simply get rid of the teachers union and extend the school year. Better teacher beget better results.

I would agree that problem kids do need to be removed from the normal school system but not discarded.

But the idea of simply catering to a few who excel is simply and morally wrong.

I suggest you google IDEAL or KIPP schools to see models that work effectively at a reasonable cost.
APDdungcollectio n

Santa Fe, NM

#24 Feb 23, 2011
I would have no problem putting a bullet in Al. The world would be a better place without him. I have no conscious either so wouldn't even lose any sleep. But my conscious does extend to children who deserve every chance to succeed.

“I Put the "B" in ITCH!!”

Since: Jun 08

Wood-Ridge, NJ

#25 Feb 23, 2011
Peralta de Peralta wrote:
<quoted text>
Hear, here! Our kids private school is run on LESS than $9K per student per year, graduates 100% of it's senior class [except for mid-year transfers], scores consistently high for both SATs and ACTs, sends OVER 80% of graduates to 4-year colleges, AND over 50% of graduates receive some sort of scholarship or grant money. There isn't a public school in the entire state that can top that!
And the costs for our kids education comes straight out of take-home pay, not property taxes.
All three of my children were sent to private schools, the two older ones up until 6th grade. The younger one came out in the 3rd grade due to a divorce and finances. The foundation was laid for them all but what I find revealing is that in private schools when there is a school function, almost every parent shows up. That's not evident in the public school. It's a real shame that more parent's don't insist on making their children's education a priority.

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