Nearly 9 of 10 Oregonians Would Opt out of Regular Public Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Buckstein, Founder
Cascade Policy Institute
Tel.: 503-242-0900
Fax: 503-242-3822
E-mail: [email protected]

PORTLAND, OR (January 5, 2009) — Nearly nine out of ten Oregon residents would send their children to private, charter, or virtual schools, or educate their children in a home school setting if they had the decision-making authority, according to the results of a public opinion survey released today by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Cascade Public Policy Institute, and several other state and national organizations. Eighty-seven percent of residents polled would opt for schools other than regular public schools, according to the survey.

“As we have found in several other states, parents in Oregon clearly want to have more options in the education of their children,” said Robert Enlow, executive director of the Indianapolis-based Friedman Foundation, which undertook the study on behalf of the sponsoring organizations. “In short, they want school choice.”

“Cascade Policy Institute was founded in part on Milton Friedman’s idea that all families should be able to choose where their children go to school,” said Cascade founder Steve Buckstein. “Now we have even more evidence that most Oregonians agree.”

When asked “if it were your decision and you could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child,” here’s how Oregonians responded:

“¢ 44 percent selected private schools

“¢ 24 percent selected charter schools

“¢ 14 percent selected home schooling

“¢ 13 percent selected regular public schools

“¢ 5 percent selected virtual schools

The survey demonstrates a wide disconnect between schooling preferences and actual school enrollments. While forty-four percent of Oregon parents said they would like to send their child to a private school, only 7 percent of Oregon’s students attend private schools. Twenty-four percent of Oregon parents said they would like to send their child to a charter school, yet charter schools enroll only about 2 percent of the state’s students. While only thirteen percent of Oregon parents said they would choose a regular public school for their child, more than nine of ten — 91 percent — attend regular public schools. The implication of these results, is that Oregon, like many other states, does not have sufficient school choice systems in place to match parents’ schooling preferences.

Other results of the survey:

“¢ School choice is not a partisan issue among Oregon residents. The survey results indicate general agreement among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. There is potential in Oregon to put aside party differences and work together on systemic reforms, as there are shared common views on school choice policies. High levels of support exist for school vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, charter schools, and personal-use tax credits and deductions for education expenses.

“¢ Fifty-eight percent of the survey respondents rated Oregon public schools as poor or fair, while 31 percent rated the schools as good or excellent. More than one in three (36%) said that lack of accountability was the biggest challenge confronting the public schools, followed by poor student discipline and self-control (19%). [the figure “31 percent” was corrected from “41 percent” 1/12/09]

“¢ Fifty-six percent say Oregon’s level of public school funding is “about right” or “too high,” though when asked how much they thought was spent on each student, more than two of three (67%) underestimated the per pupil expenditure. In 2006, the per pupil student funding in Oregon was $9,666; sixty-seven percent believed that amount to be $8,000 or less.

“¢ Oregonians show potentially high demand for new school models such as charter schools, virtual schools, and vouchers. Survey results show 70 percent of voters are favorable to charter schools, 51 percent are favorable to virtual schools, and 63 percent are favorable to vouchers. Twenty-four percent strongly favor charter schools, 13 percent strongly favor virtual schools, and 19 percent strongly favor vouchers. These findings remain consistently high across family income groups.

The scientifically representative poll of 1,200 likely Oregon voters was conducted in September by Strategic Vision, an Atlanta-based public affairs agency whose polls have been used by Newsweek, Time Magazine, BBC, ABC News, and USA Today, among others. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Oregon findings are the latest in a series of surveys commissioned under the Friedman Foundation’s Survey in the State project. Previous surveys include Montana, released in October 2008; Maryland, in August 2008; Oklahoma, released in June 2008; Idaho and Tennessee, both in March of 2008; Nevada, January 2008; Illinois, December 2007; Georgia, April 2007; Florida, January 2006; and Arizona, January 2005.

Other sponsors of the survey include Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland, Northwest Professional Educators, Oregon Education Tax Credit Coalition, American Legislative Exchange Council, Black Alliance for Educational Options, and Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options.

The Indianapolis-based Friedman Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1996. The origins of the foundation lie in Milton and Rose Friedman’s long-standing concern about the serious deficiencies in America’s elementary and secondary public schools. The best way to improve the quality of education, they believe, is to enable all parents to have a truly free choice of the schools that their children attend. The Friedman Foundation works to build upon this vision, clarify its meaning to the general public, and amplify the national call for true education reform through school choice.

The Cascade Policy Institute, founded in 1991, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity.

###

The full Oregon survey results can be found at www.friedmanfoundation.org and at www.cascadepolicy.org.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 10:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 84 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Oh I am one too

    If 90% of the public are not satisfied, how is it a public school anymore?

  • Provo

    I can see why paresnt would choose private schools, they have it easier over public schools, and advantage the public schools can’t do.

  • cc

    “I can see why paresnt would choose private schools, they have it easier over public schools, and advantage the public schools can’t do.”

    That’s easy for you to say…

    …whatever it was.

  • John Fairplay

    What’s amazing about this poll is how many government employees had to answer something other than “public schools” to get these numbers. We’ve known for years that many public school employees send their own children to private school, but this looks like a pretty general abandonment by the government class. Surprising.

    • Steve Buckstein

      John, based on the 2000 Census, 20 percent of public school teachers who live in Portland send their own kids to private schools, compared to just 12.7 percent of their neighbors. So, it appears that those who know public schools best (teachers) exercise school choice the most.
      (Source: http://www.fordhamfoundation.org/doc/Fwd-1.1.pdf)

  • Rupert in Springfield

    In NYC something like 90% of public school teachers sent their kids to private or parochial schools.

    We also have the real nice example of BO sending his kids to Sidwell Friends. Sure, its a great school ( I went to Friends in New York ) but it would be nice if a Democrat president would actually be consistent and send his kids to public school. I mean they do tend to be in bed with the NEA. Perhaps that was one area where Carter actually was good, sending Amy to public school. Well, that and deregulating home brewing.

    BTW, heard you on Lars Steve, good interview.

    • Steve Buckstein

      Thanks Rupert, glad you enjoyed the interview.

      According to 2000 Census data on page 4 of the Fordham Foundation study referenced above, 32.5 percent of public school teachers in New York City and Northeastern New Jersey send their own kids to private schools, compared to 20% of Portland teachers. I would not be surprised if these percentages understate the actual numbers, since public school teachers might be reluctant to admit that the schools they teach in aren’t good enough for their own children.

  • Katrina

    I wouldn’t send our daughter to public school if I was paid to!
    Between home school, honor society, and several extracurricular activities to round out her education, she is like so many other young people we know—mature, helpful, selfless, academically gifted, and quite sociable. She’s also a volunteer to a couple of organizations.

    I feel for parents who are forced to use public school because they don’t have the funds for private school, or the time for home school.
    Options must be pursued for their families, and much more needs to be explored with a voucher program.

    Lastly, the K-12 home school option for kids enrolled as public school students is nothing but a tentacle of the public school system—the public schools still get the funding for each child and they still have the final say on your kid’s education. Think nanny state!! Your kids are “theirs”.

  • Bob Clark

    It was kind of funny when my step daughter got to highschool age, both her parents who were public school teachers chose with little reservation to send their daughter to a private school instead of a public school in Portland. I have no doubt they made the right decision as behavior in the public school system seems to be a lot more unruly thanks to all the political correct restrictions placed on public school teachers and the stodgy union rules governing the operation of public schools. But at least Oregon isn’t as messed up as California, where they threaten parents over home schooling. But Oregon seems to be on the same course, just lagging behind.

  • Jason Isaac

    >if they had the decision-making authority

    Guess what. They DO have the decision making authority. Nobody took it away in spite of the best efforts of the legislators and teachers unions. Nobody but the parents are stopping themselves from making the necessary sacrifices to use one of the options. We choose to home school our children. We choose to have my wife stay home to do so. We choose to live in an OK instead of a nice house. We choose to drive cars that are 8 and 10 years old. We choose to not eat out as often as we’d like. We choose to spend reasonable amounts of money at Christmas. We choose.

    Yes, I have a decent paying job. Not incredible, but good enough. I have sympathy for those who are truly in need and unable to take advantage of some of these options. But I do not have any sympathy for those to are living at or above their means and refuse to sacrifice their comforts. Guess what; big screen televisions and game consoles are luxuries, not necessities.

  • hud

    not a surprise. besides the left wing , liberal wingnuts in portland and eugene, who the hell wants their kid exposed to a never ending, ignorant, continuous bombardment of democrat liberal propaganda? public schools (esp teachers) are nothing more than a branch of the dem party and their drone teachers do their best to brainwash the kiddies. I have personally known numerous public school teachers over the last twenty years. Believe me, the majority are not the brightest bulbs in the room. They just digest the lefty crap the nea and oea dishes out, and then spwe it out to the kiddies.

  • Jim

    I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach in the public schools in NY for quite a while. Kids are kids everywhere–sometimes a test of your patience, but most of the time just learning, growing, and being kids.
    Why have I sent my own kids to private school? Because I’m a Christian, and God was booted out of public education long ago. This hasn’t stopped my joy in teaching English–my favorite subject as a kid and now as a teacher–but I have chosen to send my own kids to a school where God has not been totally removed. When something is removed, invariably, something else–other priorities/values–will fill the void.

  • eagle eye

    Ridiculous poll results! How do they get these numbers? Oh, yeah, it’s the Friedman Foundation. Some push-polling going on, I am quite sure.

    When Oregonians had a chance to REALLY vote their minds, on the voucher initiative back in 1990, it got creamed 2-1. As it did twice in California, and in Utah (maybe not 2-1 there). And nobody is pushing for another vote in Oregon, because they know what the outcome would be.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Well, that’s assuming that on an issue where unions can really motivate their membership that the voting polls are an accurate reflection.

      The teachers unions know quite well what a threat a voucher program would be and thus they are very able to motivate their members. Sure vouchers got voted down here and on that basis its reasonable to say Oregonians don’t support the concept. However that did not seem to be the case with measure 37. It was voted on twice, passed twice with huge majorities and yet still we heard Oregonians didnt want it. Eventually it was defeated, so does voting really represent the people feelings on an issue when it is a grass roots interest versus a big union ( vouchers ) or big government ( measure 37 ) interest? I’m not so sure.

      To my mind, a better gauge is what people do within their own sphere. In this since we are all conservative, since no one is a liberal within the field of their own endevour. If we look there we see that public school teachers do tend to have a disproportionate preference for private schools. If we look to voucher programs that do get enacted we tend to see people waiting in long lines to take advantage of them. If we look to home schooling we see it on the rise. None of that speaks to satisfaction with the public school system in Oregon or elsewhere.

      This is rightly so, our education system, that used to be the envy of the world, is now a laughing stock. We spend more on education than just about anyone and have the lowest results. Few are unaware of this yet the teachers unions tend to win on every issue. Why is this? How can a job be done so abysmally and yet always withstand a challenge by the people?

      The answer could be that it is very hard to fight teachers unions. They have large memberships, are very well funded, and tend to be able to pull at heart strings.

      In this instance I would say that the defeat of voucher programs speaks less to acceptance of the public schools we have, and more to either not seeing vouchers as the remedy or to the undeniable power of the teachers and public employee unions. It could also be people see their local teachers as ok, but the system itself as faulty. This is akin to congress where most tend to like their congressman, but tend to dislike congress as a whole. This is how term limits began as a concept.

      At any rate, the point is moot for the time being. Given the Democratic control in Oregon right now, the one thing that is a safe bet is that Oregon’s education system will continue as is. We can expect little in the way of change from the Democratic legislature, and as for the initiative process, our new secretary of state has pretty much promised to crush it. The unions are safe from vouchers for the foreseeable future.

      • eagle eye

        Measure 37? That was land use, right? I don’t see that it has much to do with vouchers, which as far as I know were voted on only once in Oregon and as I recall got clobbered about 2-1.

        I don’t believe the unions can deliver that kind of result. For sure, they want these initiatives to get clobbered anywhere and everywhere they come up, as badly as possible. But they can’t produce 2-1 by themselves, or even a victory unless very narrow when it is very close.

        I don’t see Oregon teachers voting “with their feet” against public schools with their own kids, certainly not 9-1 (as in this “poll”).

        I think you are right about people seeing their own schools as OK and the system being deficient. (Kind of like seeing our own kids as good and the neighbor kids as the rotten, bad influence?)

        Anyhow, I don’t think there is real dissatisfaction with Oregon public schools, not enough for the system to be changed in the foreseeable future.

        And I don’t think the Oregon schools are that bad (or that good), they are kind of in the middle.

        I voted for the vouchers in 1990. I’m not sure what I would do today. La Raza schools? Islamic or Jiihadi schools? I’m not sure I want to go there. It may be that it’s too late for vouchers to be such a hot idea.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Measure 37? That was land use, right? I don’t see that it has much to do with vouchers,

          It doesn’t have anything to do with vouchers. Who ever said it did?

          It has to do with measuring public sentiment though election victories. It was an example how that could be argued a fallacy.

          > But they can’t produce 2-1 by themselves, or even a victory unless very narrow when it is very close.

          You really want to go with that? Unions dump a hell of a lot of money into advertising and have free collection systems for gathering up the money, thank you union contracts. If you want to argue money has no effect on politics be my guest. I certainly wouldn’t take that position myself.

          >I don’t see Oregon teachers voting “with their feet” against public schools with their own kids,

          They send their kids to private school at a far greater rate than the general public ( 20% for teachers, 12.7% gen public ), at least in Portland. That’s voting with their feet.

          >Anyhow, I don’t think there is real dissatisfaction with Oregon public schools, not enough for the system to be changed in the foreseeable future.

          Id agree with you on the change, I frankly think there is dissatisfaction, however I think few have any real idea what to do about it. Vouchers seem all well and good, but frankly I think most people have no idea of what private schools if any are available and thus not huge enthusiasm.

          I think most people have this sort of quiet resignation. I know I do. The schools simply will not change and who knows if they even could if they wanted to. Frankly I don’t think change will come from within. I think change will come from without as parent give up on schools and home schooling becomes more popular.

          >I voted for the vouchers in 1990. I’m not sure what I would do today. La Raza schools? Islamic or Jiihadi schools?

          I think I have consistently voted against vouchers, the reason being that the second private schools start taking public money they will be beholden to the whims of the legislature. I am scared of losing whatever last cells of teaching we have left. True, Oregon schools are not all that bad, they are mediocre. However, considering things nationwide, whether our schools are good or bad compared to each other one thing is undeniable, they are very expensive and the lowest ranked among our international peers. That is unacceptable.

    • Mark Andreas

      Suprise! Almost 20 years has gone by my friend. A 1990 poll is not what I would call an updated opinion of the people of Oregon. Considering the fact that over 20% of Public School teachers i Oregon send their children to Private schools, and considering that fact that the demographics have dramatically changed in the last 19 years, it is no suprise that people want change. In the last 50 years the testing levels have been dumbed down by at least 4 grades. I had the privilage of 12 years of Catholic education. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Students who flunked out of Central Catholic in Portland could go to Grant High School and get a C for just showing up. If they did homework they could raise their grade one more level. Now that is what I call pathetic. I know because I have friends who wnet there. We have ranked in the bottom 10 % in the nation for scores in the public school system in Oregon over 20 years. I think given those basic facts alone would be motive for any caring parent to pull their child out of a failed system. Teachers don’t teach any more, they pass on the doctrinal ideology of secular humanism, which was defined by the Supreme Court in the last century as a religion. So along with completely violating the often misquoted doctrine of the seperation of church and state, they push the ideology of a political party; that of the Democratic Party. Even Obama is not dumb enough to send his girls to a public school. He wants them to have a real education. Nuf said

      • eagle eye

        So you think the outcome would be different today? Be my guest and run an initiative campaign for vouchers then. But I think you’ll be crushed.

  • Kathleen

    I have met some wonderful Portland Public School teachers, but the overall ambient or philosophical perspective is Far Left especially in the high schools.

    • dean

      The poll result is ditzy and as Eagle points out, does not compute with election results. It has to reflect the way the question was phrased. The fact is we have a public school system that is not well funded, and it is asked to do the job of surrogate parenting for probably 30% or more of the students. If it is true that public school teachers send their kids to private schools in higher proportions than the public as a whole, it could be because they are in dual income professional families and have the resources to make that choice. Or it could be they know of private schools that do a better job, like Montessori. But if only 20% of them are choosing private schools, that means 80% are choosing public ones, so what does that tell us?

      The votes on M37, its percursor, and its modifier (M49) to me reflect the fact that Oregonians are conflicted on the issue of private property rights versus the public good. Most don’t come down strongly one way or the other, so how a measure is drafted and marketed can make a big difference. I imagine the same is true for vouchers. I know I am personally conflicted on the issue. I like the idea of parents being able to choose how they want their kids to be educated. I fear vouchers are a trojan horse intended to destroy public schools because of union hating. Very little in this debate ever has to do with what is best for the kids and for society. It’s more ideological than logical.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >The fact is we have a public school system that is not well funded,

        On what is this statement based?

        Please give what funding you would think would make it well funded?

        Please give a citation as to how your figure is appropriate and the current funding level is not.

        Absent that it sure sounds like another example of slappin on the old liberal boiler plate without much thinkin goin on.

        “There is no such thing aa a fully funded program, except in the defense department”

        >I fear vouchers are a trojan horse intended to destroy public schools because of union hating.

        Actually Id say it probably more of an attempt to destroy teachers unions because of union hating. And with good reason, unions have bankrupted the state through a sweetheart PERS deal that would make Bernie Made Off blush. No strangers to golden parachutes are they! They also behave in a way to engender hatred towards them, like with the move to make electing to unionize a public rather than secret ballot.

        But what the hell, you lefties just spent 8 years on an “I hate Bush” tear, so, you are hardly the ones to throw stones on the hating tip.

        • eagle eye

          “whether our schools are good or bad compared to each other one thing is undeniable, they are very expensive and the lowest ranked among our international peers.”

          First, that is not true. Second, to the extent they lag, it is mostly a matter of “demographics”.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Actually it is quite true.

            The US does in fact spend more per pupil with less to show for it than any industrialized country ( our peers ) and US students consistently perform lower than students of other industrialized countries ( our peers ).

            Example – The Program for International Student Assessment in 2003 ranked the US sixth from the bottom in a survey of math scores of 29 industrialized countries.

            Second it is quite true our schools are very expensive compared to our peers. We spend more per pupil than almost any other industrialized country. Last time I checked only Austria and Switzerland spent more per pupil than the US.

            Any number of organizations regularly report on this. Perhaps the biggest study of the issue is done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). they regularly report on spending and test scores and guess what, the US consistently ranks real high on the former and real low on the latter.

            None of our peers spends more per student and achieves worse results than the United States.

            There is a silver lining however, the one thing that is quite clear is that whatever reforms our education system needs, the one thing we can rule out is money. So, the good news is, whatever the solution to our education system, it wont cost us a dime more.

          • eagle eye

            Actually the PISA studies make my points very well. Do a google on “pisa results”, click on the first link, it is the pdf of the 2006 report.

            Go to Table 2, you’ll find the U.S. is about in the middle of the pack on science literacy.

            Go to Table 3, you’ll find the U.S. is closer to the bottom in math, as you say.

            But go to Fig. 7. It shows that U.S. white students are at 523 on the science score, which would put THEM in the upper echelon in Table 2.

            The reason the U.S. overall ranks only in the middle is because of other ethnic/racial groups i.e. what is euphemistically called “demographics”, and receiving growing recognition, i.e., it is much of what was behind NCLB, though few people talk about it openly.

            I’m not saying I know why the minorities perform so poorly. I also don’t know what can be done to bring their scores up. But I do know that it’s a big part of the picture, and it’s not going to go away.

            Interestingly, the countries that are above 523 in Table 2 (science) have overwhelmingly white population, with the exception of Japan.

            Give me the crumbiest school in Oregon, fill it with children of Chinese and Indian immigrants, and I almost guarantee the scores will be off the charts.

            As for expenditures: sure, the U.S. is near the top. What else would you expect in the richest country? Try running the schools with Indian wages. Or Czech wages. You won’t get very good results.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            While what you are saying may be true, it does not contradict my point, or make what I said untrue.

            I was talking about the US student population, not some selective sample of the US student population minus the low scorers.

            >As for expenditures: sure, the U.S. is near the top.

            Ok, I thought you were saying that also was not true. My mistake.

            >Try running the schools with Indian wages. Or Czech wages. You won’t get very good results.

            Based on what? The Czechs outscored us on the 2003 PISA math tests. So at least in math in 2003 we know this statement is untrue.

            Anyway no one is proposing running our schools on those wages. What is apparent though is that money spent on schools is not the answer. Whether the schools are run on French wages ( pretty damn high ) or Czech wages ( I assume we both would guess lower than the US ) both those countries outperform us.

            In addition per pupil spending in the US has increased in constant dollars over the years, with not a lot to show for it, so its not a case of us simply having higher wages.

            While one cannot draw a conclusion on what the solution is, the conclusion can be pretty firmly drawn that the one solution we don’t need to consider is more money. As I said, that is a potential bright spot, although not one the money flingers may want to hear.

          • ed guy

            I think what eagle eye is saying is that if you tried to run the U.S. schools on Czech wages for the staff, you wouldn’t have many takers. The U.S. is near the top in spending because the U.S. is at or near the top in income, wealth.

          • unPC UO student

            I believe, Rupert, what eagle is pointing out is that when you take comparable populations (white Americans vs. predominantly white Europeans), the U.S. does pretty darn well.

            That the problem for the U.S. in the international comparisons is the miserable performance of minority groups, meaning blacks and Hispanics. Throw in the white underclass, too. Meaning: illegal immigration, plus the propensity of the lower class to outbreed the rest of us.

            Until we come to grips with that, we’re just beating around the bush. Vouchers, charter schools, private schools are not going to fix the problem. And it’s just going to get worse as the underperforming groups, especially the underclass among those groups, fill a larger and larger proportion of the population.

            Blaming the situation on the public schools, or the unions, or all the usual conservative things, is not going to do much good. Neither is blaming it on poor funding, like the liberals do. Both sides are just skirting the real issues.

          • eagle eye

            Right, ed guy. And why shouldn’t school expenditures go up in constant dollars, like everything else in the economy?

            unPC UO student: Wow! You don’t pull punches, unlike me. How is it for you surviving at UO?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Right, ed guy. And why shouldn’t school expenditures go up in constant dollars, like everything else in the economy?

            Oh my God, is it really that unclear what the phrase “constant dollars” means? Good lord, constant dollars does not mean keeping education spending constant, it means measuring spending taking inflation into account.

            The point is spending more on schools has resulted in lower performance, thus we can pretty safely say school performance is not tied to increased expenditures on them.

            You can play around with your statistical samples all you want. The fact is that bottom group is in the school system and our performance is being dragged down because of it. The fact is the teachers unions have figured out how to churn the system for money and that’s why we have kids in ESL programs for five years who cant speak English ( believe me, I know, my ex used to be in charge of certification for ESL at UO for public school teacher, the stories were pretty frightening. )

            Don’t like that? Fine.

            Want to solve it? Here’s how

            Take a visit to a major city. Go check out the parochial school systems there. They are populated almost exclusively by poor and minority children. They consistently out perform public schools in their area and educate the kids for less than half what public schools cost. In NY the archdiocese even offered to educate kids that NYC selected as a pilot voucher program. Obviously the teachers union killed that one.

            Don’t like that?

            Fine, visit a private school in the area. I went to one in NYC. Most private school teachers made half to 75% of what public school teachers made. I don’t think I had a single high school teacher who did not have a PhD in their field and I never knew there was such a thing as an education degree until I was 30. So much for the Czech wages theory.

            So lets get off this idea that somehow all of a sudden the poor and minorities are dragging down our schools. We have had them for decades, why did our schools perform better then? We have them now. Why do parochial schools do better with these children? Education spending per pupil is through the roof, result haven’t improved. Private and Parochial school teachers seem to get much better results, get paid less and in the latter case educate what should be the worst of the worst according to you. Yet they consistently get better results than public schools. Why?

            Still want to go with statistical gerrymandering or money flinging?

            Not me, Id rather find a solution, and the first thing to rule out is more money.

          • ed guy

            “measuring spending taking inflation into account.”

            You really do not comprehend. Constant dollars is not enough. Don’t believe me? Try running the schools on what you would have if expenditures had kept pace with inflation, but no more, since 1965, say. You’d be running the schools on less than half what they actually get. Reason? Costs go up faster than the rate of inflation for things like teachers. You think you can hire new teachers for $15,000/yr in Oregon? Good luck.

            As for the minorities: in the past, they were a much smaller part of the population, when the U.S. was a white country.

            Now the black and especially Hispanic populations are becoming a much bigger piece of the student pie. Like it or not, they perform miserably. Nobody knows how to change this for the great mass of students. There is no evidence sending everyone (as opposed to the motivated 10%) to Catholic or private schools would make much difference.

            You libertarian types can bellow all you want about the unions, but you are just ducking the REAL main issue.

          • eagle eye

            Ed guy is right about the money.

            And, I saw the stuff below about where YOU went to school — places like Manhattan Friends School and Sidwell Friends (in Washington DC).

            I looked up on the Sidwell website what they charge — $29K per year. And you’re telling us how money doesn’t matter, the public schools could by on half as much, etc etc (when they spend a third or less of what your fancy private schools spend).

            People who live in the castle should be careful about spitting on the people below, it’s fun, but it’s not very nice!

      • Steve Buckstein

        Dean says “The poll result is ditzy and as Eagle points out, does not compute with election results. It has to reflect the way the question was phrased.”

        No, it doesn’t, Dean. Read all the poll questions and check out the methodology yourself at http://www.cascadepolicy.org/pdf/misc/2009_01.pdf.

        The key question reads “If it were your decision and you could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?” 87 percent answered something other than a regular public school. That doesn’t mean that all those people would vote for a voucher or tax credit school choice measure, but it does provide a clear indication that much more choice is wanted than is financially available in Oregon.

        And yes, it doesn’t compute with election results because it’s pretty easy to scare people away from good ideas when you dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign to protect your virtual monopoly status.

        • dean

          Steve…that illustrates my point. Parents ALREADY HAVE the right to decide what school their child attends. So the poll asked them a meaningless question, and got an 87% response that does not correlate with the choices the parents actually made. The question was not about vouchers. it was not about defunding public schools, it was not about how a parent would transport their children to some non-neighborhood school that might have a great program but a high private tuition. So the out of context answer is not very helpful. it allows the respondent to idealize some perfect school that would like to send their kid to.

          Does your response mean you think the cigarette tax would have passed had a well funded campaign not scared voters away from a good idea?

          Eagle…its not “demographics” as in race. Poor white kids probably do as badly as poor black or Hispanic kids, and wealthy black or Hispanic kids probably score about as well as wealthy white kids. It’s economics. Europeans and Japan have far fewer poor kids than we do, which is probably why their scores are higher for less money. We are trying to use our schools to make up for social inequities and that ends up increasing their costs and decreasing their results. Poverty is expensive.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Dean, other questions in the poll asked specifically about support for voucher or tax credit programs to help families make other choices. A majority supported those ideas also. Are you saying that paying taxes for public schools and having to pay tuition for private schools doesn’t deter some from choosing private schools? Clearly it does.

          • dean

            Steve…of course it does. No question that if we had vouchers more parents would opt for alternative schools for all sorts of reasons. I’m not even saying that I personally am against vouchers. I have mixed feelings on the subject. I’m just offering that the poll results…specifically the 87% number, is useless out of context. And I’m saying the question itself is flawed because parents already have the right to decide. The question was; “if it were your decision and you could select any type of school…”

            Clearly the answers don’t match the actual choices people are making. And Home schooling does not require any voucher since it has no direct costs, so how do you explain that nowhere near 14% of people choose home schooling for their kids, even though they have that choice available now?

          • Steve Buckstein

            Dean, with due respect, the question is far from meaningless. You’re right that parents currently have the right to make the choice of schools, but most don’t have the financial ability to pay taxes for public schools and tuition for private schools at the same time.

            Homeschooling is far from costless. Curricula costs money, and the time it takes for a parent to stay home and teach children is an indirect, often considerable cost.

            Do you really think that if the question had asked “if you could afford it, where would you send your kids to school” that the results would have been materially different? I don’t.

          • Kathryn Hickok

            Homeschooling certainly does have direct costs. As the director of a private scholarship program which includes both private and home school families, I can attest that a school choice mechanism such as a tax credit, voucher, or scholarship would be very helpful to homeschooling families.

            First, there is the opportunity cost born by the parent teacher, who usually forgoes a paid salary outside the home while teaching multiple subjects and several grades simultaneously—more than a full-time job. Homeschooling requires the same—or more—instructional materials as traditional classroom learning. Textbooks, purchased curricula and fees, lab materials, and group classes and activities are all direct costs.

            Homeschooling parents are incredibly resourceful, and homeschooling can be done very economically, but concrete costs are always associated.

            Homeschooling is not inexpensive, either in the family time and dedication involved or in the financial and economic costs. Homeschooling is truly a labor of love for homeschooling families. The rewards in terms of close family and intergenerational relationships, happy and successful young adults, and new young families seeking to give to their own children what their parents gave to them are incalculable.

        • dean

          Steve, I don;t know if the answer would have been different, but that should have been the question. “If you had sufficient funds to educate your child in any way you saw fit, would you educate your child at a, b c, etc.”? Of course…what are sufficient funds? Rich people send their children to very expensive, very well funded private schools with a handful of students per teacher and state of the art facilities. Most people would choose a Rolls Royce over a Fiat if the costs were the same.

          Like I said, I’m not necesarily against vouchers. I’m against vouchers at the expense of public schools and poor kids. In the real world individual choices can have large unintended social impacts.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Rich people send their children to very expensive, very well funded private schools with a handful of students per teacher and state of the art facilities.

            Um…. sort of…… but not really. You are half right.

            I grew up in NYC. My parents sent me to Manhattan Friends for high school, I went to private school up until that point as well. Its the same school Chelsea Clinton went to in DC, and the same one Obama is sending his kids to. Sidwell had the presidents kids, Manhattan had the UN kids.

            Cost then ( I graduated in 1979 ) for high school over $10,000 per year

            Cost for college back then? An expensive college was around $10,000 ( Bennington was the most expensive, something like $12k, MIT was $10k ) per year. When I went to college my parents were quite happy, it cost less than high school.

            Anyway, what did you get for that? Smaller class size, that’s for sure. You are right on that. The entire school, k – 12 was something like 450 students.

            Well, funded? Actually no, because once you have low class size, even the high tuition does not provide for much.

            State of the art facilities? Hardly, most public schools had far better facilities than any private school I ever saw. you go to any private school in NY, Friends, Collegiate Franklin, I defy you to find markedly better facilities than public schools. Its simply not the case.

            Teacher pay? Forget about it. To teach high school at Friends you had to have at least one PhD and you got paid far less than public school teachers.

            Obviously all of that is a great education environment that simply cant be repeated in the general world. The reason why is a large part of the schools success is with that kind of tuition money on the line, parents make sure their kids perform.

            There is a down side however, the competitive pressure in these schools is quite intense, and keep in mind Friends is a Quaker school. Not going to college? You suck. Your grades dropped? You just lost all your friends. It is a very different experience than public school to be sure.

            As an example, it was rare to make it through a school year without at least one student committing suicide. That might not sound like a big deal to you, but keep in mind the size of the school. Each high school class had something like 30 – 40 kids in it, you knew everyone.

            No, I am not trying to make out that private school is horrible, I am just trying to make clear it is hardly a breeze and it is not at all a case of spend more get better results. Its more a case of have parents more invested get better results. That is the fatal flaw of vouchers. They change the facility the child attends, but not the vested interest of the parent. That was my point.

            Well that and I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to note one area where you were sort of right.

          • dean

            Rupert…I am a public school product from start to finish, so I’ll defer to your insider experience on private schools. I don’t understand your conclusion that your Friends school was not “well-funded” given the tuition. At $10K per student I would think the per student funding would have been 2 or 3 times higher than public schools in New York at that time, no? A choice appears to have been made to spend that high tuition on small class sizes rather than facilities or salaries, but the funding seems to have been well up there.

            Your larger point that it depends on the parents is the point I was trying to make. My opinion, and it’s only an opinion, is that our public school problems are rooted in the high proportion of students who are from poor, not well educated, and often not very functional or motivated families. The U.S. has the highest child poverty rate in the developed world by far, thus our results are not good compared with Europeans. Blaming the unions, the administrators, the very fact of it being a public system, misses the boat, since Europeans are even more unionized and bureaucratic than we are. If we sent all those poor kids off to other alternatives the aggregate results are likely to be the same. Some schools, run by outstanding individuals and stacked with dedicated teachers, would perform miracles. Most would be run and staffed by the middle of the bell curve and would have high failure rates.

            Poverty is expensive in the cost of schooling, the cost of social services, and the cost of prisons. Someday we will figure out that it is far cheaper and better to “share the wealth” enough to have fewer poor people.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >I don’t understand your conclusion that your Friends school was not “well-funded” given the tuition. At $10K per student I would think the per student funding would have been 2 or 3 times higher than public schools in New York at that time, no?

            Sure, your per student funding was more (not at all close to 2-3 times though, even at Friends), but the overall funding for the school could be the same, more or less.

            Example – You charge $5k per student with a class size of 50. Your funding is $250,000 per class. You then change class size to 25 and increase tuition to $10k. Your funding is unchanged on a per class basis thus there is no more additional funding for the school.

            However you also have to consider that parochial schools per student funding in NYC is vastly lower than public school funding per student, and they do a way better job as well.

            >A choice appears to have been made to spend that high tuition on small class sizes rather than facilities or salaries, but the funding seems to have been well up there.

            Bingo. But that’s funding per student, not for the school as a whole. An important distinction to understand.

            Anyway, true in the case of private schools. Not so true in the case of parochial schools.

            The point is whatever the funding, decreased class size and highly skilled (not education degree holders) teachers are where the money goes, not to state of the art facilities.

            >Poverty is expensive in the cost of schooling, the cost of social services, and the cost of prisons. Someday we will figure out that it is far cheaper and better to “share the wealth” enough to have fewer poor people.

            Well, unfortunately you are leaving out a large part of the equation there. First of all we have expanded poverty programs, and the rate has not gone down. therefore sharing the wealth is a non starter as a solution. Second there are costs to socialism which is what sharing the wealth is. They tend to be dramatic, in the case of death camps and gulags, or less dramatic, in the case of European countries who have ceded defense responsibilities to the US. Besides which, our poor people do pretty damn well in this country!

            We can learn from history or not, but sharing the wealth ( which I do tend to note very few liberals do on an individual basis, the day I see one voluntarily overpay their taxes I will rescind that comment ) clearly has not worked well in this country and there is no reason to think it will work in the future. Absent results to the contrary advocacy for more is lunacy.

          • Steve Buckstein

            “My opinion…is that our public school problems are rooted in the high proportion of students who are from poor, not well educated, and often not very functional or motivated families.”

            I tend to agree with you on this point, Dean, but I take it a step further and wonder why there are so many not well educated parents in the first place. Could it be that they were educated (or mis-educated) in the public schools themselves?

            I haven’t seen research on this, but it’s hard to believe that most poor and not well educated parents attended private schools. Perhaps, to break the cycle of poverty, we should make a special effort to let kids from such families have the school choice that more affluent families have always had.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Perhaps, to break the cycle of poverty, we should make a special effort to let kids from such families have the school choice that more affluent families have always had.

            It might help, but I can also tell you this is my big problem with vouchers.

            Private schools are not a magic bullet, neither is school choice, nor fancy facilities or small class sizes.

            This is the amazing problem with a really simple answer. You know why? Because its not reinventing the wheel. We used to be able to do this, and we used to be able to do it better than anyone. What was different between then and now? Parental involvement.

            Without the parent sacrificing, I can assure you there will be no more interest in the child succeeding than were they in public school.

            This is not conjecture, it is certainty.

            How do I know this? Experience.

            A little known facet of evil rich people is they tend to put their money where their mouth is on this sort of thing a little more than your average run of the mill rich hating liberal. One aspect of this is school scholarships. Most private schools in NYC have such scholarships and Friends was no exception. In most classes there would be two or three kids on scholarship. This might not sound like much but percentage wise its huge and keep in mind this was at a school that cost substantially more than the average university.

            So what happened?

            The majority of them flunked out. Why? Their parents had nothing invested in the children’s education and thus neither understood the amount of work required to succeed nor the pressure involved. The kids were invariably out of place socially so they were also under that pressure as well. With parents not invested financially there was no impetus at home for the kids to succeed. Therefore they tended to come to class unprepared. Since this was private school they were given failing grades forthwith and were generally out the door within a year or two. This is not to say a few didn’t make it, some did. Most did not.

            You can give hand outs all you want, but it wont change a thing unless a parent is physically writing a check to the school. That check does not have to be the full amount, there could be vouchers subsidizing tuition, but it has to be enough to hurt. People might not like facing that fact, but its the reality of the situation.

          • David from Eugene

            One of striking differences between the present and the United States of the 1940s, 50s and 60s is the number of middle class families who believe they need the income from both parents working full time to meet the family’s financial obligations. In addition the there is a marked increase in the number of single parent house holds. The resulting reduction in time for parental involvement in their children’s lives and education could be a factor in explaining why we did better job educating children in the past.

            That assumes we really did have greater parental involvement in the past across the board then we do now and that we are not remembering an appearance of greater parental involvement. It is important to remember that student bodies were not as demographically diverse, in terms of race, social status, income, religion and nationality, in the past as they are now making it more likely that people from segments of our society which place an importance on education and being involved in their children’s education were grouped together.

            Another factor that should be considered is the student’s interest in getting an education. One important reality is that the student who does not want to learn won’t learn. As a long term practical matter you cannot make some one learn. You can require his attendance in class but if he is not interested in succeeding he will not. He can sometimes be motivated through the imposition of academic requirements for participation in school activities such as sports, music, theater, the school paper, science clubs school radio station and similar activities, but to be an incentive those activities need to exist. Unfortunately, with the possible exception of major sports those programs are often the first things cut to balance a budget.

            And then there is the need for the student to see a path for his personal success that includes getting an education. When the only successful people (i.e. rich, powerful with lots of flash and bling) stereotypical ghetto child sees is a ganger or drug dealer who never finished school how can we expect him to place any importance on education.

            As to the need for a parent to get skin in the game by writing a check to directly pay for his child’s education, it only works if the parent is willing to write the check in the first place.

          • eagle eye

            Steve Buckstein — to blame the existence of poor, dysfunctional families on the public schools seems like a ridiculous stretch to me. My father’s parents were dirt poor, a lot poorer than most of today’s poor parents. But he and his siblings managed to take advantage of the opportunities the public schools offered. So have countless millions of others. To think that “school choice” is going to solve our social problems or even just our educational problems seems naive to me, increasingly naive — I used to buy this argument, but more and more it rings hollow to me.

          • dean

            I grew up in a heavily Catholic neighborhood in Chicago with lots of friends who attended private, parochial schools. My experience was that their education was no great shakes. Mind you these were working class kids, many in the same street gang I was in.

            No, I don’t think the root problem is or was public schools. I think education at more than rudimentary levels is very difficult and expensive. Like Rupert points out, to succeed academically at a high level takes a lot of effort all around…teachers, parents and students. We have moved past an era where a rudimentary education was sufficient to make a decent living, and the kids that once could folow their fathers into the steel mills and auto plants now end up with low paying dead end work.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Dean, my experience in school was different than yours. I went to all public schools in Portland, and was envious of my friends who went to private schools because they were exposed to more rigorous curricula and seems to be well ahead of where my classes were in similar subjects.

          • eagle eye

            I attended both public and Catholic elementary schools, went to a somewhat elite Catholic High School (but nothing like Rupert’s gold-plated Manhattan and DC Friends schools), attended both public and private universities at the undergraduate and graduate level, and taught at both public and private universities, so I think I have some experience of both.

            They both have their advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. Overall, I would say that public K-12 schools are less cost-effective than private schools, whereas public higher education is much more cost effective than private, on the whole. Interesting reasons for the crossover.

            Neither model of schooling is capable of working miracles where the other is a failure. I don’t think a system of all-private K-12 schools would magically fix the educational problems of the country, or even make a big difference. I think there would be minor advantages, which is why I have supported charter schools, vouchers too (though I am less enthusiastic about the latter than I used to be).

            I think the problems go way beyond the specifics of the school system, including private vs public, unions, and all that — there are huge issues of demographics and also of the the total culture.

            It’s interesting to me that the systems in Europe that supposedly do so well are generally in northern European countries. Does anyone suppose that they do not have public school systems, or that they do not have to deal with unions of some kind?

          • Anonymous

            “Someday we will figure out that it is far cheaper and better to “share the wealth” enough to have fewer poor people.”

            Someday we will figure out that “shar(ing) the wealth” will make us all poor people – it’s worked well in Cuba, for instance…

            ,,,or didn’t you learn about Cuba in public school?

          • David from Eugene

            Evaluating the success of Cuba depends a lot on where the observer is standing and what his interests are. From the point of view of the American homeless person sleeping in a doorway or the working individual who cannot afford needed health care Cuba may look very successful. If you are rich or like to speak out about politics it definitely is not.

            As to the merits of “sharing the wealth”, pure laissez-faire capitalism resulting in a few very rich owners and a lot of very poor workers is just as bad as pure communism. Our goal should be an economic system that falls somewhere in the middle. And by the way “sharing the wealth” does not necessarily mean you giving money to the government to give to someone else. It can also be you paying a bit more for a product so the worker making it can afford to raise a family on his wages.

          • eagle eye

            I looked up on the Sidwell Friends website, what they charge — $29K per year. And you’re telling us how money doesn’t matter, the public schools could by on half as much, etc etc (when they spend a third or less of what your fancy private schools spend).

            And the Ph.D. teachers there make half what public school teachers make, right? So what did they have, 4 students to a class?

            And a starting public school teacher in Oregon makes a little over $30K. So you think you can hire Ph.D.’s to teach school for $15K? Good luck, buddy.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >I looked up on the Sidwell Friends website, what they charge — $29K per year. And you’re telling us how money doesn’t matter, the public schools could by on half as much, etc etc (when they spend a third or less of what your fancy private schools spend).

            So what? I already told you that when I went it cost more than a fairly expensive college.

            This doesn’t obviate anything I said so I have no idea what your point is here other than the fact that for some weird reason you didn’t bother to look up what parochial schools charge. That’s strange because that was the other part of the argument I was making.

            I guess you don’t like the fact that parochial schools spend less than public schools per student, private schools more, and both get far better results.

            Therefore money is clearly not the issue, much as you seem to want to fling it at the problem anyway.

            >And the Ph.D. teachers there make half what public school teachers make, right? So what did they have, 4 students to a class?

            Depends on the class. English, maybe 20 – 30. Greek or Latin, maybe 10. History, Geometry, Trig, probably 20 – 25 a pop. Calculus? about a dozen.

            What’s your point?

            >And a starting public school teacher in Oregon makes a little over $30K. So you think you can hire Ph.D.’s to teach school for $15K? Good luck, buddy.

            I already told you those were the facts of the matter and that in fact PhD teachers in NYC private schools made less than public school teachers so this statement is a little absurd.

            You might not like that but that doesn’t alter the basic fact that what you claim is impossible ( I assume that’s what “good luck buddy” means ) was in fact the case at least in NYC, the most expensive area of the country to live in. Oregon would be different? Who knows, but obviously the facts go directly contrary to what you seem to be saying, at least in NYC.

            You seem to have issues with the fact that private and parochial school teachers make less than public school teachers and tend to get far better results. Why this is I have no idea. However throwing ” good luck buddy” on the end of a statement proves your argument no more than your seeming insistence that throwing money at the problem will solve it.

          • eagle eye

            What’s my point?

            That I don’t believe a school that charges triple what a public school education costs is paying Ph.D. teachers near-minimum wage salaries. That unless they have class sizes of 3 or 4, they couldn’t possibly spend all that money.

            You say private schools get much better results. But the fact is, they don’t, not with comparable student populations. At best, in real studies, they have gotten marginally better results.

            My real point, though, is that people who go to rich-kid private schools should be careful about spitting on the public schools, or throwing the poorly-funded Catholic schools around as an example of the way to do things.

            It’s bad form. In a way, sort of like the auto execs flying their private jets to plead for money.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >That I don’t believe a school that charges triple what a public school education costs is paying Ph.D. teachers near-minimum wage salaries. That unless they have class sizes of 3 or 4, they couldn’t possibly spend all that money.

            Well, I guess you would know best. I only went to the school, had two friends whose parents were teachers in the public school system and was born and raised in the city so of course you would know more about the situation than me.

            Could you please give the reasoning for your assertion? I’m very curious how you know more about the budgeting and class size of a school I attended than I do.

            >You say private schools get much better results. But the fact is, they don’t, not with comparable student populations. At best, in real studies, they have gotten marginally better results.

            Would you care to cite some of these studies or is this just more assertion without evidence?

            Frankly I think what you are saying is a crock.

            I think that because first of all I know how my own education compared with that of my public school friends at the time. I also think what you are saying is a crock because it is logically ludicrous. You simply do not get people paying for private or parochial schools to achieve the same results they could get at public schools. People tend not to spend their money on things they can get for free if both are comparable.

            You point is further defeated by the fact that the archdiocese in NYC rather famously issued the challenge to the city of NY to educate at less cost. They even said the city could pick the students involved. Obviously the teachers union killed that plan rather quickly.

            Anyway, lets see your study.

            >My real point, though, is that people who go to rich-kid private schools should be careful about spitting on the public schools, or throwing the poorly-funded Catholic schools around as an example of the way to do things.

            Why should I be careful?

            Based on what? You haven’t proven your point, all you have done is assert it. Your only counter to my argument here is some statistically gerrymandered study that you don’t cite.

            That’s supposed to make me be careful about criticizing schools that I pay taxes for? On what basis?

            Look, your resentment over what school I attended ( and that resentment is quite clear from your tone here, rich kids, private jets give me a break! ) does not mean I somehow lose the right to criticize public schools.

            I pay for them and Ill criticize them all I want, you might not like that, but the ridiculous notion that you know more about the school I attended than I do doesn’t counter that criticism in any way.

            >It’s bad form. In a way, sort of like the auto execs flying their private jets to plead for money.

            No its not. What’s bad form is some guy acting like simple assertion and phantom studies is a slap down for a reasoned argument with examples.

            What is bad form is some guy who didn’t go to NY Friends and probably didn’t live in NYC with friends whose parents actually were public school teachers somehow thinking he knows more about the school or pay rates than someone who actually was there.

            What’s bad form is someone who cant admit that parochial schools educate better with less money per student, and private schools educate better with more money per student not being able to counter that with any argument other than statistically gerrymandering some study he doesn’t cite and then saying anyone who disagrees with him is in bad form for doing so.

            You got an argument? Fine, lets hear it.

            You only have assertion, phantom studys and rich kid envy? Then live with people criticizing public schools, its richly deserved.

          • dean

            Could be you are both a least partly right:

            “Do private schools really give kids an academic advantage? According to the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D. C., the answer is no.

            “The findings are pretty clear: there is no significant difference between how kids do — given their socio-economic background, their family background — in private schools and in public schools,” says Dr. Martin Carnoy, Stanford University Department of Education.

            The study reports that success in school and in life isn’t a matter of public school versus private school. It’s a matter of how involved parents are with their children. Research continues to show that when parents get involved in their child’s education, that’s what helps kids the most. ”

            http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/faculty/displayFacultyNews.php?tablename=notify1&id=747

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Oh no Dean!!!!!!!!

            Not again, God God man, please STOP THE INSANITY!!!!!!.

            Gee, who is The Center on Education Policy and their famous study quoted by the good doctor from Stanford in the link you provide??

            Well, I wondered that myself, so I went to their website ( cep-dc.org ). The first sentence on that website reads as follows:

            “The Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools.”

            How astonishing, a group that advocates for public schools does a study and finds out public schools are just as good.

            But wait, there is more, I just loved some of these comments from Dr. Carnoy’s site:

            >>

            Some kids like public school better than private school.

            “At public schools, there are not as many rules and there’s a lot more people to hang out with and a lot more groups,” says Kenny, 13.

            Other kids say private school is more of a challenge.

            “When you go to a public school, everything is easier. When I went to a private school there was harder stuff,” says Chris, 17.

            << Real scientific stuff there.

          • dean

            Rupert…I agree with you that the study I cited is from a biased group with an agenda in favor of public schools. But why did you react the way you did and not say the same thing about the survey results in the initial post here? I mean…the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Because I was not contesting the survey one way or the other, my argument was about vouchers. It was in my reply to you, obviously you didnt read it before responding.

          • dean

            That’s an artful dodge. I know you did not “contest” teh survey. That was my point. Your original post seconded the findings of a survey from an obviously biased group. Why didn’t you choose to contest that survey, yet then later chose to contest a research finding from a group with bias in the other dirercion? Why let one go and not the other?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Um, because my first post neither supported nor denied the validity of the survey. I gave my impression of BO’s actions, Clintons actions and Jimmy Carters actions vis a vie their own children and how hypocritical the seem to me in the first two instances.

            You on the other hand directly quoted a survey and got caught with you pants down citing a source that directly says they are partial.

            So what’s your point here? You cited a poor source because they are clearly biased just like you did when you used American Wind Association numbers for the cost of wind power.

            Its an obvious mistake, admit it and move on.

          • dean

            My point? You still miss my point? How slow can I type? T-h-e o-r-i-g-i-n-a-l p-o-s-t c-i-t-e-d a b-i-a-s-e-d s-t-u-d-y. Y-o-u e -n-d-o-r-s-e-d i-t-s c-o-n-c-l-u-s-i-o-n-s b-a-s-e-d o-n y-o-u-r e-x-p-e-r-e-i-e-n-c-e-s.

            Then you jumped on me for citing a biased study.

            D-i-g y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f i-s m-y p-o-i-n-t.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Sorry, my citing observations of three presidents is hardly an endorsement of the survey.

            >Then you jumped on me for citing a biased study.

            Right, because citing a survey is fundamentally different than giving observations of past presidents.

            Giving an example related to a survey does not endorse the survey.

            Providing a citation of a survey has to endorse it, otherwise the citation is meaningless.

            Is this really all that complicated to understand?

            Look, its the second time you have gotten caught attempting to pawn off a bogus citation, the first being the American Wind Power cite. Trying to render my acts comparable to yours in this instance is both ineffective and does not excuse your tendency towards this sort of thing.

            If its any consolation, I will say inserting all the hyphens in your typing is pretty interesting.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Oh, and by the way, I didn’t “second the findings” of anything. I related my observations of teachers in NY and past presidents. Where you come up with the idea that somehow is the equivalent to you citing a biased group in a web link to support your contention is beyond me.

          • dean

            Yes…w-e-l-l i-t i-s a-l-s-o a l-o-t o-f w-o-r-k.

          • eagle eye

            “Would you care to cite some of these studies or is this just more assertion without evidence?

            Frankly I think what you are saying is a crock.”

            Look, you’re the guy who is claiming the private schools do it so much better. Come up with the studies yourself, the burden of proof is on you, I’m not going to do your work for you.

            Criticize the public schools all you want, it’s a free country. And I’m free to say what I think, that you and your ilk are destructive, mean-spirited, usually envious of anything involving the government. You don’t like public schools, OK. What do you like? You don’t like vouchers either. So what are you left with, private schools? Fine, you can believe the absurd “study” which was the subject of the blog here.

            Frankly, I think what you are saying is a crock!

          • dept. of redundancy dept.

            Well-reasoned comment there, eye, but let me get this straight – is that one or two crocks?

          • eagle eye

            The first crock was quoting our friend, the second was just an echo. i.e. no redundancy — except perhaps at the dept. of redundancy dept.!

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Two crocks

            The first crock is pretty obvious – not being able to cite the study you are using as the centerpiece of your argument.

            The second crock was trying to obfuscate the glaring fact of the first crock by asking for a study citation from me, who never cited a study in the first place!

            Crock Crock

            Crock Crock

            Bottom line – If it looks like a crock, walks like a crock, then its a crock, and that study sure looks like it was all a crock right now.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            OK – I didn’t think you had such a study, but I thought I would give you the benefit of the doubt and ask for it anyway.

            >Look, you’re the guy who is claiming the private schools do it so much better. Come up with the studies yourself,

            I didn’t cite a study. You did.

            I based my opinion on my own experience and the fact that most who have a choice seem to pay a lot for private schools and it is reasonable to assume they do so for a reason, better quality.

            In short. my opinion was based on logical conclusions based upon peoples actions (why would people pay so much if results were not obtained) combined with comparison of my own education with that of my peers in public school.

            You are the one based his opinions on studies, not I.

            And now after all the big talk, name calling and bluster you cant produce one.

            Surprise

            Surprise

            >And I’m free to say what I think, that you and your ilk are destructive, mean-spirited, usually envious of anything involving the government.

            Excuse me? You are the guy going on about minorities being the problem and how the countries that outperform us are all white. I’m the mean spirited one? I think not.

            Destructive? How so?

            I said vouchers wouldn’t work unless the parents are charged something, for without that they have no more vested interest than were their children to attend public school.

            Please illuminate me as to how that is destructive?

            Envious of anything involving government?

            Well that one is pretty obviously not well thought out on the face of it.

            Its pretty clear I take some amount of pride in the fact that I didn’t attend public ( government ) schools, obviously that does not bespeak a lot of envy for things involving government.

            That said, could you please illustrate how you reached the conclusion that I am envious?

            >Frankly, I think what you are saying is a crock!

            Fine, however that would carry a little more weight if you could take the same criticism you dole out to minorities.

            It would carry a little more weight if you could actually produce the studies you cite instead of ranting and calling others mean spirited when you cannot do so.

            I don’t think you have proven your case very well.

            Frankly I think given your tone towards minorities and obvious resentment over “rich kids” attending private school you need to really consider who is the mean spirited one here.

          • unPC UO student

            I think Eagle Eye was simply pointing out facts about minority performance, which he documented very well with the references to the figures and tables in the pisa report. This is not mean spirited. It seems to me he is just pointing out facts that need to be dealt with, whether it’s comfortable or not, or we are never going to get anywhere.

            He is much more circumspect than I am. If anything, isn’t Rupert the one who is being mean spirited? After all, isn’t he playing the race card here? I’m very wise to this trick from my time in Eugene and UO. It doesn’t work with me — I’m not intimidated by it.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Who played the race card?

            I pointed out that it was inconsistent to think its ok to be able to point out poor performance among minorities but yet consider it mean spirited to point out poor performance in public schools.

            Playing the race card? Not very likely.

          • Anonymous

            “Of course…what are sufficient funds? Rich people send their children to very expensive, very well funded private schools with a handful of students per teacher and state of the art facilities. Most people would choose a Rolls Royce over a Fiat if the costs were the same.

            I just love it when dean waxes theoretical.

            “Sufficient funds”, dean, will remain just a theoretical concept for those who always want more – like the NEA, the OEA, and their toadies.

            “Rich people” as you define them – Oh, wait, you don’t define them! – could be anyone whose income level suits your ever-shifting position on any given topic. The survey shows that the top income group was the least supportive of private schools of any income group – so much for that bit of wisdom. “Well-funded private schools” like you describe are a very few apples to the crates and crates of oranges that represent the vast majority of the (largely religious) schools in the US – red herring.

            I’ll just throw in, to demonstrate dean’s lack of contact with reality, that new Fiats have not been sold in the US for about 25 years. Maybe he should have used a “beanie helicopter” as a better example.

            “Like I said, I’m not necesarily against vouchers. I’m against vouchers at the expense of public schools and poor kids. In the real world individual choices can have large unintended social impacts.”

            Like he says, he’s “…not necesarily (sic) against vouchers.”, he’s only against vouchers that help poor kids at the expense of public employees and PE unions. In deansworld, “vouchers” refers to another theoretical concept – he’s not against them, it’s just that there’s no incarnation of them in the real world that he supports.

            Be honest dean – your priorities are blatantly evident.

            How typical to twist reality to fit your warped views – “poor kids” families are those most damaged by the status quo and those most helped by private schools. In the “real world” the “…large unintended social impacts…” of the “choices” of individuals like you fall on the poorest segment of our society. While the negative consquences of the public education system at large may be “unintended” in a narrow, technical sense, they are clear enough for anyone with eyes to see. It’s the lack of a conscience that provides the blinders for its supporters.

            We can thank public education for that, at least.

          • dean

            Really? No new Fix-it-Again-Tonys in 25 years? I feel like Rip van Winkle. Thanks.

            I am against vouchers until I am for them is what you meant.

        • David from Eugene

          Steve

          First, thank you for putting the full report on your web site, being able to read the actual results is much better then just reading a summary from a journalist who may have only skimmed it for the controversial tidbit.

          That polling question does not support the conclusion that you are drawing from it. Simply put it only asks the individual polled where he thinks his child would get a better education not where he would like to send his child. There are many factors that are part of the decision of what school is best, and while the quality of education received should be a major factor it is not the only one. For example there are a number of very fine and expensive boarding schools in Switzerland and along the mid-Atlantic coast that would provide a much better education then an Oregon public school but a parent might not want to send his child away, or relocate the rest of the family there.

          A much better question would have been to ask straight which type of school they would like to send their child to, and then in a follow up question ask why. It would have also been better if the sample polled had not been limited to likely voters but rather had included non-voters too. Granted that would have reduced its usefulness as a political planning tool but it would make the poll better for the use you are putting it to.

          • Steve Buckstein

            David, I agree with you that the poll questions could be better…any poll could stand improvement in hindsight. But, as I asked Dean earlier, do you really think that your wording would materially change the result that an overwhelming percentage of respondents would choose other than a regular public school, whatever their reasons might be?

            One reason the question was posed the way it was is that the Oregon poll is part of a series of state polls, and the polling firm wanted to keep the questions the same for comparative analysis. Again, as people like you give input, the questions might change the next time around.

          • David from Eugene

            Steve

            Yes I do, if only that it would have limited questions about what the response means. When you have a question which can be accurately answered the same way by people who would and would not want to send their children to other then a public school you have a question of limited to no real value as a research tool political or other wise.

            As to whether the level of response in favor of schools other then public would be significantly different were the question to ask them directly where they would like to send their children, I am not sure. Actual enrollment data seems to indicate it should, but the level of response to the question in the poll makes me think the results might be similar.

            What I do know is that had a question and follow-up like the one I proposed be used; we would have a lot more data to use and without having to read things into the question.

          • Steve Buckstein

            David, yes, including non-voters might have added some value, but as you note, it would have reduced the poll’s political value. Just having to make that choice says that perhaps education is too politicized already. Otherwise why would any of us care how voters versus non-voters view the education of their children?

          • David from Eugene

            Steve

            You are correct, like it or not, how we educate our nation’s children has become a political issue. And it will be settled politically. Which like most politically based outcomes will likely be suboptimum.

            But while the final outcome needs to be acceptable to a majority of the motivated voters, it would be much better outcome if the desires of the entire populous were incorporated as much as possible in that outcome.

            Besides, while not being nearly as eye catching or as politically powerful as the title used on this posting, wouldn’t a title that read “Nearly 9 of 10 Likely Voters in Oregon Would Opt out of Regular Public Schools” at least been intellectually honest? Particularly as 17% of the responders did not have children in school.

  • Ann Tran

    To whom it may concern,

    I agree with parents those who want to send their children to private school. The reasons are:
    a, public school teach children nothing about fair treatment to their friends in schools or be nice to one another.
    b, So they come home with this bad behevior, they also disrespect their parents, even more violent to the adults. You can see on the news yesterday, the 12 year old kill his mom!

    Sad to see kids go to school to learn immoral styles of life.

    Sad to see nowaday’s education in public school.

    Thank you for your time.

    Ann

  • Jerry

    These crazy polls! Who can trust them? Forget those “results”.

    I think 90% of Oregonians are proud as punch of the great job the public schools are doing for their childrens. Everyone I talk to says they love the schools. That should count more than some silly poll.

  • Paul DiPerna

    Hi, I’m the author of the K-12 survey report and will be happy to discuss any questions you may have at this point, or the project’s goals, technical information.

    Feel free to let me know.

    – Paul DiPerna

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)