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India's Schooling Experiment Tests Rich and Poor

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the caste-aside dept.

Education 174

theodp writes "Passed in 2009, India's Right to Education Act mandates that private schools set aside 25% of admissions for low-income, underprivileged and disabled students. Many of the world's top private schools offer scholarships to smart poor kids, but India's plan is more sweeping in that the rules prohibit admission-testing of students. 'Over the years schooling offered by these two systems [public and private] has become increasingly disparate and unequal,' explained Anshu Vaish of the Dept. of Human Resource Development. But the most notable results of the experiment thus far, reports the WSJ, are frustration and disappointment as separations that define Indian society are upended, leading even some supporters to conclude that the chasm between the top and bottom of Indian society is too great to overcome. Hey, at least we don't have these kinds of problems in the US, right? BTW, about 30% of this year's Intel Science Talent Search 2011 Finalists hailed from private schools, where annual tuition ranges from $15,750 at Ursuline Academy (the alma mater of Melinda Gates) to $37,020 at Groton School (the alma mater of FDR). Some 10% of all elementary and secondary school students were in private schools in 2009-2010, according to the US Dept. of Education."

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What it comes down to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342108)

What it comes down to is that the govt sees that pvt schools are doing a better job than the govt schools.

Instead of making the govt schools better, make the pvt schools share the load.

Re:What it comes down to (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342328)

Problem is far more complex then your gross oversimplification. A good example is that one of the main requirements of getting proper schooling is environment. As public schools lose more and more of good, calm, studious students to private schools, the problem of concentration of lack of talent intensifies. This in turn feeds the "white flight" element even further by pressing more good students out.

End result is bad for both - on one hand poor get worse schooling. On the other hand, rich become so disconnected from reality, you end up with tiered society and all its problems.

If you want to see the most historically infamous case on where tiered society leads, look up French Revolution. That said, historic examples of this stretch from India mentioned here, to more modern examples such as Arab Spring phenomenon. And to get there, you usually have a gross collapse of socioeconomic environment, including but not limited to massively raised crime rates, gradual economic decline, social and political instability, and shrinking middle class, majority of which drop down to the poor tier of society with small minority joining the rich.

Rich win in short term, which is why it appears to be a natural state of human society to slowly edge towards tiered society in known history, which ends reset when it's not longer supportable and social imbalance causes a revolution and re-distribution of wealth.

Re:What it comes down to (4, Insightful)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342456)

The best part, I might add, is that there is nothing "better" about private schools except the mental image society collectively has. The only reason private school students do better is because they are selected for nice things more frequently because of their prestigious background. In fact, I would argue that private school teaching is probably inferior to public schools (at least in Canada); private school teachers are paid significantly less than public schools, and so public schools get their pick first.

The only reason private school students do better on standardized tests is because private schools pick all of the best students with supportive parents. If you have a class who can practically teach themselves, it doesn't matter if a monkey is teaching them, they're going to do better than the class of low income and disenfranchised students.

Re:What it comes down to (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342568)

The private school teachers (partially as a result of the lower pay) are also the ones who want to teach -- not the ones who got an English degree and then realized that they couldn't get any other job. Private schools also aren't run by the teachers' unions, so they have far more flexibility in firing inferior teachers, etc. Lastly (and possibly most importantly), they're held directly responsible by the parents. A private school loses customers and funds when parents get disgruntled; public schools can change nothing and have no negative consequences. Of course, schooling in this antiquated model is soon going to be defunct once internet/distance learning gains acceptance as parents will be able to choose from a plethora of options, which aren't based on geography, for almost zero cost compared to a brick and mortar school since lectures, materials, etc. can be replicated at no additional cost. When you can send your kid to online school for $300 a year versus sending them to the free, government prison-schools we have now who wouldn't? Eventually, quality online schools may even be completely free to all and run on a charity basis, so even poor kids without computers can access them from their local public libraries.

Re:What it comes down to (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343922)

The private school teachers (partially as a result of the lower pay) are also the ones who want to teach -- not the ones who got an English degree and then realized that they couldn't get any other job.

Huh? I see no evidence for that.

In general, I think most teachers go into teaching because they want to teach, public and private. Some of them just burn out faster.

The one advantage that private schools do have is that it's much easier for them to eject students out for being disruptive.

Re:What it comes down to (2)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342700)

The best part, I might add, is that there is nothing "better" about private schools except the mental image society collectively has. The only reason private school students do better is because they are selected for nice things more frequently because of their prestigious background. In fact, I would argue that private school teaching is probably inferior to public schools (at least in Canada); private school teachers are paid significantly less than public schools, and so public schools get their pick first.

The only reason private school students do better on standardized tests is because private schools pick all of the best students with supportive parents. If you have a class who can practically teach themselves, it doesn't matter if a monkey is teaching them, they're going to do better than the class of low income and disenfranchised students.

Can you cite any studies or well known facts to support these statements? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd just like to see something other than some anonymous person's assertions on a tech chatboard.

Private schools can and do kick out trouble-causing students, and there is a direct correlation [nber.org] between the presence of such children and the overall performance of a class. This is probably a larger factor than merely selecting the academic elite, who themselves may come from abusive or otherwise troubled homes and who may bring such problems into the classroom.

However, the academic elite by and large tend to follow their economic class's trends. In other words, affluent parents spend more on their children's education, give them better tools and more opportunities to do well, and effectively can buy a smoother pathway to the top with fewer obstacles. SAT scores are correlated with wealth [nytimes.com] .

To argue that private school teaching "is probably inferior to public schools" is a broad and unsubstantiated claim. Leaving aside the fact that some kids attend private school for non-academic reasons (their parent went there, it's smaller, it's more prestigious), we can ask--do private schools really help kids perform better? It's controversial [time.com] , according to this Time blog, but a separate study shows that Catholic schools do a better job overall.

There are many excellent public schools in the U.S. and Canada; Montgomery County in MD for example, and Middlesex County in Massachusetts are superb--well funded, high academic standards, good support for the arts, and involved parents. The high performing schools in these districts, though, are in the affluent areas like Belmont and Newton and Lexington in Massachusetts. The lower income Middlesex schools in Waltham and Watertown are down a rung or two.

As for the quality of teachers, it's disputable that private schools hire inferior teachers at lower pay, at least in the U.S. This was more true decades ago, but in recent years private schools have had to compete for a shrinking pool of good teachers [about.com] and they have raised salaries and benefits nearly to union scale. Nonetheless, private schools have remained a desirable destination because the students tend to be better behaved, the troublemakers are removed, and there tends to be more parental buy-in. This only makes sense; when you're paying $16,000 a year for your child, you tend to have more and stronger opinions about how the school is run.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342832)

Well Northern Ireland and some counties in England have Grammar Schools, which are state schools which select the students who get the best marks in the 11+ exam. They generally get better results than private and public[1] schools.

[1] In British English, a public school is type of fee paying private school, not a state funded school. It can lead to confusion when having these types of debates.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343118)

In British English, a public school is type of fee paying private school,

No it isn't. Private and public schools are both forms of independent schools, neither is a subcategory of the other. Private schools are businesses run to make money and typically accept pupils based on their parents' ability to pay. Public schools are non-profit entities (typically registered charities), which exist to provide education. They typically do charge fees, but also provide financial assistance to a significant number (often over 20%) of students who are academically able, but not from families that are able to pay.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343404)

In British English, a public school is type of fee paying private school,

No it isn't. Private and public schools are both forms of independent schools, neither is a subcategory of the other. Private schools are businesses run to make money and typically accept pupils based on their parents' ability to pay. Public schools are non-profit entities (typically registered charities), which exist to provide education. They typically do charge fees, but also provide financial assistance to a significant number (often over 20%) of students who are academically able, but not from families that are able to pay.

Which, more or less, makes a British 'public' school what Americans think of when they say 'private school'. Well, excepting that most american private schools are in some fashion religious, but our notable secular private schools are things pretty much directly modeled on British public schools. In some cases explicitly so.

Re:What it comes down to (2)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343714)

That's not quite true. The vast majority of private schools are charities. It would be very difficult for a non-charitable private school to compete with the tax breaks that charities get. "Public schools" originally referred to those schools regulated under the Public Schools Acts of 1868 and 1873. They were "public" in the sense that anyone who could afford the fees and pass the entrance exam could get a place, and were not restricted to members of a particular religion or to royalty or members of the aristocracy.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343098)

Private schools do better because the class clown that disrupts the learning environment is not required to remain in the classroom. Search online for student videos of my science class or other cell phone videos of public classroom teaching. Most of them show the learning environment is a zoo and can be hardly listed as a learning environment.

Schools cut down on special ed and tried to integrate special needs kids back into the classroom. This was followed with no child left behind. This coupled with regulations against effective discipline to maintain classroom order and the aggressive kids without the same rules then can make the rules. This went unchecked for a while which is now followed by anti bully reactions.

It is time to stop applying patch on top of patch and wishing it will work. It's broken and not working. Public school is not a place to advance your learning, feel good about doing well, and becoming well prepared to face the future.

Those who can use private school. Those who can't afford private school home school and use co-op schooling. ( a huge part of my community does co-op )

The main difference in this is the privileged are taught by the successful to succeed in business. The under privileged are taught how to use social services, run a hidden grow operation, or other business to be successful with their peers. They are not afforded the same educational opportunities as they are taught early on that they will not be able to succeed. They are taught instead how to work the system.

I was raised in public school. It was NOTHING like public school today. I too have had to use an alternative to educate my kids. Unfortunately I didn't start early enough so bad habits learned in public schools from their peers is still negatively impacting them. Due to this some are ill prepared to take on secondary education at this time and will not be wasting money on student loans only to fail.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39911910 [cnbc.com]
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/business/Cramer_Tackles_the_Student_Loans_Crisis_Philadelphia-115674714.html [nbcphiladelphia.com]
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/01/11-2 [commondreams.org]

College if it happens will be pay as you go instead of being part of the next sub prime bubble.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343338)

What it comes down to is that the govt sees that pvt schools are doing a better job than the govt schools.

Instead of making the govt schools better, make the pvt schools share the load.

Spend 35 grand per pupil in the "govt" schools and they will magically get better.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344004)

No, they won't. Or at least they won't become the equals of the students that attend the 35k schools at the moment. The reason is simple: to get into a 35k school you have to have 35k to spare and think a good education is worth 35k. Parents who value education are more likely to have kids who value education, and kids who value education learn better then those who think it's a waste of time... no matter how much you spend on them.

Re:What it comes down to (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344120)

actually no, im from utah, the state w/ the lowest money per pupil ratio by far, and we are doing ok ( think we are higher then the median on every meaning less test the force students to take), what matters is more how stable the students lives are, how happy the teachers are, and how educated the parents are, etc.
while all of these are correlated w/ wealth it isnt caused by it directly

An excellent illustration (4, Insightful)

s13g3 (110658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342126)

This is an excellent illustration at a much larger scale of exactly the education problems we face in the U.S., where we spend more on prisoners than students [alltop.com] .

Speaking for myself, I have... let's call it an "above average" character in terms of education and intellect, and yet public schools couldn't be bothered with me. Had it not been for the fact that my parents had worked hard enough to be able to afford very expensive private schooling, I would never have graduated from High School.

The answer is NOT for those who can afford such things to be taxed into giving up those funds to educate everyone else's children. The "answer" is not even something I can feasibly address with any sanity or brevity in a forum like this one (ok, I can in three words: "One room schoolhouse"), but it should be rather clearer now what a failure our current model is, where students are graduating from High School less educated than their parents - on average - for the first time in our nations history over the last several years, and that we need to completely re-address our schools, teaching methods, and sociocultural emphasis (or lack thereof) on education.

Re:An excellent illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342150)

Wait - you're in the US and claim that you couldn't go to a public high school because public high schools didn't want you?

That... that doesn't happen. That can't happen, as far as I'm aware, unless you have a criminal history or some other extenuating circumstance.

Care to elaborate?

Re:An excellent illustration (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342176)

There's a difference between 'not want' and 'refuse to take'. A lot of schools simply have no idea what to do with gifted children. They are forced to accept people with all kinds of ability, and pitch the class to the average. The weaker pupils are left struggling, while the stronger ones are so bored that they become disruptive. No one ends up with an education particularly well suited to their abilities, but the people on the extreme ends of the bell curve do the least well.

Only idiotic American educators have no idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342208)

In the "old days" (the 1960s and 1970s, so not really that long ago...) they would just bump such "gifted" students up a grade so they could learn more advanced material, and be with students who were slightly more mature. It's a fast, easy and cheap solution to the problem.

It's pretty sad if American educators today can't figure that out for themselves, or aren't even bright enough to ask the previous generation of educators how they dealt with such students. It's a pretty basic concept.

Re:Only idiotic American educators have no idea. (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342406)

Bumping them up a grade is a silly solution, because they're then taught more advanced material (that they may not have the relevant prerequisites for) at the same speed, rather than being taught the material for their level at a faster speed.

Re:Only idiotic American educators have no idea. (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342426)

Unfortunately, in my country that's not even an option. The law mandates 10 years in school (our system is different from the American one with different names etc.), no exceptions.

Second to last year of school I finally got to a school that didn't mind bumping me up a class. I completed what I thought would be the final year, finished my exams with an average of B+ if my conversion isn't entirely off ... and was told by the Department of Education that my exam papers were invalid and I had to take the last year again.

There is no room for being different, for being better than others. If nothing else, laws that can't be bent will see to that.

Re:Only idiotic American educators have no idea. (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342458)

THIS was a superb solution. Sadly the same thing is happening in America and in Canada. It is often thought that "Well for the child's social development we shouldn't take him out of his age group" or "If we bump little Johnny it might make little Eric and Matthew feel stupid".

#1 is stupid because by the time I as 8 my peers were all 11 or 12 year olds anyways. I didn't hang out with anyone from my own age group regardless. This continued all through school and I went to several different schools.

#2 is retarded because no persons concerns should affect any other person as long as its not outright harmful to them. Little Eric and Matthew and

I was so bored that I missed something like 70% of my grade 12(graduating) year and still had a 82 average. This taught me extremely poor work ethic and caused other issues. If it wasn't for me learning some good work ethic outside of school I would have been completely screwed for life.

Skipping grades should be the go to method when no advanced programs exist. The child should definitely be involved in the decision, and have the final say, but trying to make it happen nowadays is ridiculous. Especially when you get a kid in grade 6 who is only getting high 80s and low 90s because he/she is so bored they're reading something else to pass time and ignoring lessons altogether.

Re:Only idiotic American educators have no idea. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343478)

One technique that my high school used (it's a little more difficult for public schools, I was sent to a private school due to behavioral handicaps, paid for by my local school district) was, if they had advanced students, send them to college, starting their freshman year of high school if applicable.

The local technical college even had a program where college classes counted for both college and high school credit. So, they basically outsourced their advanced classes, and students got free college credit.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342218)

A lot of schools simply have no idea what to do with gifted children.

Which is why a lot of systems are creating Magnet and IB schools that draw from their entire district and concentrate those gifted children into one place. Thanks to my Magnet program, I graduated high school as almost a sophomore, with 21 college credit hours before I ever set foot in a college classroom. And the school wasn't just a Magnet school. The Magnet program was in fact just a small portion of the school's population. The non-Magnet students could take many of the AP classes I took as well, if they wanted and their grades were good enough. The problem is that most of them didn't WANT to learn. That is not something that can be fixed by throwing money at schools or lowering standards. It can only be fixed at home. And, while I believe No Child Left Behind is broken and flawed (the only way to keep straggler's even with faster students is to slow down the faster ones, you aren't going to speed up the slower ones), our basic, fundamental school system works fine.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

s13g3 (110658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342332)

I never said didn't want, I said "couldn't be bothered with". As in, no time to slow down for a student who struggles at math: just fail them. Student too smart for other classes, too bored to be bothered spending hours doing homework for material they mastered years before? Fail them! (I should note though the opposite idea of eliminating competition or grades so students don't get their little feelings hurt is too extreme a polar reaction for my liking and fails with similar substance, if in different ways.)

No, my point was public schools have become cookie cutter diploma factories reminiscent of the industrial revolution-era Britain from whence the current model came, and are not capable of working outside very specific - if coarse - molds. The assembly line technique has proven itself, in this instance, insufficient to the task, as that methodology relies implicitly on all source materials being more or less identical and to a certain standard, and deviation isn't acceptable. Like it or not, humans cannot be generalized in any useful way in large numbers without the presence of statistical outliers, and systems that rely specifically on order and precision will always fail a notable percentage. In manufacturing, we can just reject parts that don't fit and recycle them, but that's a naive and inhuman way to treat children.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

ikarous (1230832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343142)

I had an extremely difficult time in public school, for many reasons. I was identified as a gifted student early on, but my school was a small-town school and didn't offer much in the way of an interesting curriculum. I came perilously close to failing and dropping out. Ironically, although my grades were borderline, my examination average was at or near 100% in all of my classes. The reason for this was that my school counted "daily work," i.e., veritable mountains of tedious, mind-numbing knowledge regurgitation worksheets, as 75% of a student's grade. I just didn't do them; I thought that they were wastes of time and I didn't really believe, when I looked inside myself, that I would ever get to go to college, anyway. What was the point?

So, things went downhill until finally I just read library books during class. I read about a book per day. The teachers didn't stop me; they didn't really know what to do with me. The kids ostracized me to greater or lesser degrees, depending on their own levels of social acceptance, but almost universally they recruited me to help them with their homework.

Many well meaning adults through those years told me that my youth, particularly high school, would be the greatest time in my life—that I would look back on the era with nostalgia. I told them that they were wrong, but they dismissed it, I suppose, because they perceived me as a rebellious youth who knew no better. I'm now a successful young software developer. Looking back with whatever objectivity a person can muster when reviewing his own subjective experiences, I can safely conclude that high school was the worst period in my life. Things have only gotten better since then.

Privately, I've decided that I won't put anyone through what I went through in public school. If I can't afford to send my child or children to a good, private school or tutor them myself, then I simply will remain childless.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343532)

I was fortunately enough to go to a good high school in an affluent community where a lot of the parents worked in technology related fields. The parents of most of my friends had advanced degrees in STEM fields so the school was set up to deal with high performers because they had a LOT of them. The real problems occur when you are unique in a school.

My wife (from Chile) had a rather different experience. She was home schooled until age 10 when she won a scholarship to an elite private school in Chile by competitive exam. By age 14 she had graduated from high school, and by age 17 she had graduated university. She then went on to win a Fulbright which allowed her to come to the US where I met her. Her success was mostly due to her parents who really were dedicated to the education of their children.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343950)

I had pretty much the same experience, but it started a bit younger. Somewhere in 3rd or 4th grade I was labeled a "problem student" and generally disruptive, I was given an IQ test, and some other random tests. My IQ tested out to be rather high, and I did wonderful on the other tests (my reading level was 11th grade, for instance). But being that I was disruptive, they stuck me in the special education classes, and coerced my parents into doctor shopping to get me label as bona fide ADHD (under threat of expulsion, and CPS), completely ignoring the fact that I had the typical "nerdlike" focus, being able to dissect machines, do rudimentary coding (BASIC), or read for hours straight. Also ignoring the fact that I got high marks in the generally troublesome classes, such as math and science. These days I'd be erroneously slapped with the "aspergers" label.

I was stuck in special ed classes until my sophomore year of high school, when a teacher finally noticed that nothing was really wrong with me, and when given a semester's worth of work, I'd finish it in a week or two, and move on to personal projects quietly in the corner.

My best freind and neighbor at the time was 2 years ahead of me, and had the same problems. He didn't get disruptive though (just sullen and moody) so he got stuck into accelerated programs and gifted classes.

In high school I did terribly at everything but science courses. My math skills decayed terribly, since I spent most of my school life redoing 4th-5th grade math (special ed students couldn't really handle much more, it seems, higher math was replaced with idiotic "study skills" and "self-esteem" classes). Most of the other classes were just imbecilic, especially since I read copious amounts of books on topics I was interested in. I stopped caring. I discovered drugs, and the joys of being a small time dealer of hallucinogenic substances, and basically stuck around school to hang out in the computer lab and associate with our abnormally large "nerd" population (there was no real stigma to being a nerd at my high school, we weren't popular, but we weren't really picked on either). My attendance was terrible since my Dad worked odd hours and no one could ever complain to him. I either dropped out or was expelled my senior year, I'm still not entirely sure which, with a whopping 0.28 GPA. (though I do see it as almost the best time of my life, right after my first years in university)

I immediately got my GED (all scores in the 95th+ percentile but math), went to community college, raised my GPA to a 3.80, and went to university for philosophy and psychology, maintaining a solid GPA the whole time.

I tell every kid I know, whose smart but struggling with high school, to just drop out, get a GED, and work up your GPA at a cheap (but generally quality) community college. It erases pretty much all the nastiness you might accrue in high school. There is no point to high school. If you have any modicum of intellect you learn nothing, the vaunted socialization aspects are a joke and completely synthetic. None of it matters. You might as well just enjoy that period of your life (no real consequences, the feelings of immortality, the girls, the drugs, the rock and roll), and work out your future when you want to.

Nice strawman (5, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342158)

This is an excellent illustration at a much larger scale of exactly the education problems we face in the U.S., where we spend more on prisoners than students [alltop.com] .

Of course we spend more on prisoners than students. Prisoners live in prisons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students are in school for 7 hours a day, for only 8 months out of the year.

Re:Nice strawman (4, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342174)

The solution is obvious then.

Lock those pesky kids in school 24/7.

Re:Nice strawman (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342196)

If you ran a prison for profit and cared for your shareholders - at some point your going to get a lobbyist to ensure that your "24 hours a day, 365 days" payment per prisoner is big, and updated often.

Re:Nice strawman (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344016)

Not only that, but a lot of prisons are beginning to force prisoners to work at menial jobs while they are in prison; in principle this is something I approve of, but when you realize that the prisoners don't need to be paid real wages, it gets bad.

What happens is this:
1. The state contracts out prison management to some private company, paying them per prisoner.
2. The private company turns around and signs contracts to have its prisoners do menial labor at some unbeatable price since not only is their workforce's housing subsidized by the state, but also legally exempt from normal minimum wage laws and subject to significantly stricter disciplinary action than normal laborers.

This is exceptionally problematic; it is, essentially, a return to slave labor (except a slave was worth 3/5ths of a vote, and some criminals are worth 0 votes).

Re:Nice strawman (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342244)

The whole submission is an attempt to say "WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM HERE." The fact is that we don't. Our public schools have problems, but not anything like India, where the average class size is fifty and *TEACHER* absenteeism is a huge problem. You go to school, there's fifty kids in your class, and your teacher doesn't show up. That is not uncommon in India's public schools. Which is why the middle/upper class send their kids to private schools.

Re:Nice strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342294)

Of course we spend more on prisoners than students. Prisoners live in prisons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students are in school for 7 hours a day, for only 8 months out of the year.

Agreed, but isn't there a strong correlation between a person's education and their likelihood of ending up in prison? Perhaps if our education systems was better, less people would end up in jail?

These are large-scale, long-term cultural issues as well as one-year budget issues.

Re:Nice strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342340)

Of course we spend more on prisoners than students. Prisoners live in prisons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students are in school for 7 hours a day, for only 8 months out of the year.

On the other hand, aren't there many, MANY more students than there are prisoners? Even with the excessive growth of the US prison population in the past few decades.

However, you're right insofar as that the numbers simply aren't comparable: it's apples and oranges, and it's not as if we should "spend less on prisoners", either (in practice, cutting prison budgets in favor of school budgets would just mean that programmes to educate/resocialize inmates etc. would be cancelled). But schools sure are underfunded.

Of course, that's kind of a non-statement when you think about it.

Re:Nice strawman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342478)

Its not about the money, Washington D.C. public schools spends $24,600/student. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/01/common-sense-added-to-endangered-species-list/#more-40920

Re:Nice strawman (0)

s13g3 (110658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342544)

This is an excellent illustration at a much larger scale of exactly the education problems we face in the U.S., where we spend more on prisoners than students [alltop.com] .

Of course we spend more on prisoners than students. Prisoners live in prisons 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students are in school for 7 hours a day, for only 8 months out of the year.

Who is using the strawman here? A breakdown by hours? You can really assert sociocultural and economic importance on the number of hours a person occupies a given space? Is it not more likely better education would reduce crime, thus reducing the overall societal burden? Even forgoing that possibility, you're going to tell me we shouldn't put more care and effort into raising our children than we do caring for our criminals? There are a great number of children who aren't criminals that could seriously use $7k per year towards their health, education and general care, outside schooling, and they still exist 24 hours a day, regardless of whether they're on school property; are you really suggesting we should use a persons willingness to break the law and the minimum cost of their daily care as a yardstick to decide how much money should be devoted to educating and caring for our children?

Re:Nice strawman (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342604)

Is it not more likely better education would reduce crime, thus reducing the overall societal burden?

Of course those more educated are less likely to commit crimes. No one is arguing that. But tell me this: how do we educate those that don't want to be educated? We already have compulsory education, look how well that works. We make the students sit there and listen to the teachers, but they still fall asleep, or skip class. These days, there is a significant amount of people that glorify ignorance, laud and emulate those that shun education. A lot of these people don't want to put in the effort to become educated, they would rather willingly turn to crime because it is easier, they see people they want to emulate doing it and making thousands of dollars, and they don't care about the consequences. They'd rather make quick, easy money and then die or get sent to prison by the time they are 30, than live to be 80 and be a productive member of society.

Basically, I'm saying that throwing money at the problem will not fix anything. What we need is a society and culture shift, which can't be bought. What it will take is a shift in those these people look up to. Their parents need to care. Their role models need to care. Their community leaders need to care. Until this happens, nothing will change the state of education or crime in this country.

Re:Nice strawman (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343248)

To see the real issue is to simply look at the videos students submit of the fine examples of classroom order and the learning environment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhi2mAPu3lU [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYqfzsxA0ps [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-LPwegNXB8 [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5To2G6yEh00 [youtube.com]
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdeui_crazy-student_fun [dailymotion.com]
http://www.twitvid.com/FNWJB [twitvid.com]

How long will it take you to decide to move your kids from the zoo to a school?

Re:Nice strawman (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343420)

I'll just get my kids to commit a serious crime, then get their GED while in prison!

Re:Nice strawman (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343900)

But the school aged population [nsf.gov] of over 50 million in the United States is about 7 times larger than the prisoner population [wikipedia.org] of about 7 million. And it seems reasonable to assume that educating a person is more resource demanding than detaining a person. The fact that the amount spend on prisons is even on the same order of magnitude as the amount spent on schools is more than a little disconcerting to me.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342182)

Speaking for myself, I have... let's call it an "above average" character in terms of education and intellect

So does everyone else on the planet, when asked the same thing.

Re:An excellent illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342190)

If you needed private schooling to graduate high school, why exactly do you think you are above average ? (Http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority)

Re:An excellent illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342306)

It sounds like his mommy told him he was special, and this daddy told him he was special, and they bought him a high school diploma so he could feel special.

Re:An excellent illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342252)

Spending more on kids is not the answer [stanfordalumni.org] . If you think about it, an education doesn't require more then a teacher(Most important), some books(Important), papers, pencils and a students. Science, Art, Engineering, and Computers are served by extra materials along with empiric knowledge. Still one can learn about these with only the above required materials. Obviously, one of the reasons for the increase in spending in schools is that it is very labor intensive. But it still very cheap to give group a good education. Part of problem is that starting in about the 60s and going full out by the 80s is a bunch of experimental psychologists turning education on it's head while never having taught children. Look at older 10th grade text books and tests for examples of how little we expect of children in American today. Don't let the school boards waste more tax payer money; instead stop them from building multimillion dollar school instead of a couple of million dollar schools. Fire people who can get the kids educated. Remove nonessential requirements for teachers. Having been taught to file helicopters by someone who started at the same school only about a 4 months ahead of me. I think it would be great to get collage students and recent grades in teaching because they still remember what it was like to seat in that chair as a student. A few people with real world experience teacheing is a big helps.(I had a few lessons from pilots with 10+ years of helicopter, too) Get rid of computers outside of studying them. The best thing for my programming skills was living without a computer in Norway but having access to one for a hour every couple of nights. Taught me how to write code and debug it without actually running it. I learned most of my programming skills (Not the greatest) for around $120 in books.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342570)

How (and why) do you file a helicopter?

Re:An excellent illustration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342624)

You must not really be "above average" and make bullshit claims like this. We spend more money per student than any other time in our history and we haven't gotten a lower return in the past century. This is a fact.
 
not every problem can be solved with more money. That's the way the slackjaw on the street thinks.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342650)

> Had it not been for the fact that my parents had worked hard enough to be able to afford very expensive private schooling

Two problems with that. Firstly it is not simply a matter of "working hard". All the evidence suggests that it is much harder for poor people to get on in life. Social mobility has actually gone down in the last decade. If you don't have the money to live in a good neighbourhood, both parents have to work so can't spend as much time reading to you at an early age, can't afford to travel or go globe educational trips, can't afford lots of books or to indulge and nurture your interests... Well, your life chances are poorer than they would be if you had money.

Secondly it is in your interest to subsidise poorer children. You want the best and brightest children to power the economy or become your doctor. No one is independently wealthy, we all rely on each other.

Just stop and think for a moment how you would feel if you were denied a proper education despite your ability, relegated to flipping burgers. It is far, far worse than that in India.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343384)

The US has a competitive culture, yet we know economic development depends on a well educated populous. Therefore the public school system has been set up, for at least the past 40 years, IMHO, to provide both full opportunities for those who want to the educated and compulsory minimums for those who don't.

Because of the free market nature of the US gaining the maximum benefit of public education is also competitive. Parents of means have always had the opportunity to enroll in private school or move to less competitive districts. lately charter schools have provided some of these benefits for well behaved compliant students.

The education the excels in US provides is in skills and problem solving, not filling in bubbles on a test or making high marks for contrived vi al answers. Other less economically diverse countries dan worry about who has the best student sit on a maths or humanities test. What I want to know is who can be given a job and figure out how to do it without supervision. Out of high school. Who can make an accurate measurement. Who can write a complete sentence. Who cares if they can read an essay and write a witty response in an hour. Filling in bubbles and writing witty essays does not pay the bills odor most people.

on exiting public urban I could code, create databases, build stuff in metal and wood, solder circuits, and had very respectable scores on my SAT before they rewrote so that everyone could score well. Even with that I see many public schools providing even superior education to this with much greater access to elective courses that focus on problem solving as well as formal courses in advance math and science. Anyone who asserts that Education today teaches less than before still lives in the Americas of the 80s where we thought of America not as a technological leader, but as a place where minimally educated peasant would be happy to put junk together for high pay, never being educated enough to comprehend the economic or physical realities of which they were living. They were therefore surprised when they got fired be because they were not pulling their fiscally responsible weight.

Re:An excellent illustration (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343548)

So privatize the schools then. NJ already spends the same $15,000 - $30,000+ per pupil pear year on public schools, so it's not the price, it's the monopoly that's destroying the quality.

You got a cumshot in the face (-1, Flamebait)

asshole1234 (2233984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342156)

And if you mod me down, thet means you eat crap from the toilet. And you are gay too

Don't have these kinds of problems in the US... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342166)

Enjoy the 28 Most Expensive Private High Schools In America
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-expensive-private-schools-2011-4 [businessinsider.com]
The US just has to ensure testing is fully funded in every state and that its best and brightest get scholarships to the top endowment funded U.S. universities.
Testing 100% of every states students vs educating the bottom ~90% every year? Best to put limited state tax funding into the top few %.
The real question is how to keep the bottom 90% distracted every year?

How to keep the bottom 90% distracted? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342222)

I believe that you are looking for this video. [comedycentral.com]

The Real Lowdown (5, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342202)

When India adopted the Constitution it imposed a quota system and "reserved" 20% of the seats in educational institutions, government employment etc for disadvantaged people, (12.5% for people mentioned in the castes in a schedule of the constitution and 7.5% for the tribes in another schedule). These people commonly referred to as Schedule Castes and Tribes got a special Affirmative Action like treatment. It was supposed to be for just 10 years. But politics being politics, that policy was extended again and again and it is still going strong. More more castes pressed to be included in the schedule, which could be amended more easily than the Constitution, created new categories like Backward Castes and Most Backward Castes.

By the time I was finishing high school the situation was so bad that in my State 70% of the seats were reserved for these castes. The remaining 30% was considered to be "open competition", which means any disadvantaged student who scores high will not be counted towards the quota. The closing score for engineering/medical admission for my caste was some 98.5%, that is anyone scoring less would not get admission. The closing score for the ST category was some 45% and SC was 55% and BC was around 75%. The central government did not have the BC category so for IITs 80% of the seats were in play. Some 1350 seats for the entire population of India. If you have been wondering why the IIT alumni of that age (45 to 55 presently) are so strong in academics and engineering, it is because they were the students score above mean+3 sigma.

Over the years a creamy layer has developed and the people who benefited by the reservation policy in 1950s, their children and their great grand children enjoy all the benefits. The benefits do not reach the really stuggling, poor deserving people of these castes. Among the so-called forward castes so many poor rural people have much higher disadvantages. The situation is so bad there, even the corrupt Indian politicians and the corrupt journalists pandering to the semi-literate allegedly suppressed communities are coming out periodically with such band aids to sooth the raging public anger. The really poor disadvantaged people of all castes are pissed off. Only the creamy layer of people belonging to the SC/ST/BC castes likes the present situation.

One good that has happened over the last two decades is the mushrooming growth of private colleges that finally gave all people to get an engineering degree if they wanted it. Now the private colleges are outshining State funded colleges. Now the creamy layer has its eyes on the private colleges. They want in, into that sector too. So this is their way of forcing the private colleges also to impose a reservation system.

Re:The Real Lowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342230)

You sure do like your creamy layers...

Re:The Real Lowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342298)

The sad thing here is that instead of trying to fix the mediocre system to improve the quality of education, the politicians are lowering the bar of the best systems by not allowing any sort of performance based screening.

Re:The Real Lowdown (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343638)

Performance based testing in Kindergarten and First Grade??!??

That is the sort of absurdity that happens in India because 1000 people are chasing 100 spots and some sort of "objectivity" is desired to make the decision. (despite it being common knowledge that a solid 1 million rupee donation will magically make your kid "objectively" worth admitting)

The reality is that education is a human-intensive task. To do it well you need people, of which India has no shortage. Or to be more precise, educated people which India can rapidly bootstrap as long as it dedicates a fraction of the best people in this generation to educate the next one. The real shortage here is the political will to do this in a culture that is dominated by elites who have disdain for the majority of the population and deep-seated classism. It seems to me that the proposal treks to tackle political will by giving everyone a direct stake in the education of the poor --- they are your child's classmates.

Re:The Real Lowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342506)

Come to the USA--we'll take you. Don't listen to the Slashdot trolls with hyperbolic anecdotal stories of US immigration with no citations.

Re:The Real Lowdown (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343846)

I did. I am a proud citizen of the U S of A since 2003 Sep 23.

Re:The Real Lowdown (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342654)

This comment is ignorant of the reality in India and is representative of only one part of the population he belongs to. The reservation by the Indian Government was an initiative to bring the un-educated and down trodden the means to higher education and higher jobs and thus higher standards of life. Even though lately the competition in the open category is cut throat, it has not stopped the author of the comment from seeking alternative avenues, he and his caste had the information and the means to seek alternative avenues.

And Indian Caste Politics comes to Slasdot (1)

enupten (2036924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343046)

But seriously, there are lots of poor people in India. Consider this: the HDI of India as a whole is less than that of West Bank by about 0.1. The general consensus is that Public schools are terrible in India; probably because of corrupt mid-level bureaucrats.

Re:The Real Lowdown (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343954)

Buddy, when I was in IIT I was part of the National Service Scheme, the student organization, I was the gen sec for a year and joint sec for two years. I taught in a slum all the five years, four days a week, 5 to 7 pm. I had a graduation rate of 70% for my kids. If any of my kids in those classes scored 70% and was preferred over my brother scoring 95%, I would call it fair. I know how poor they were and how difficult it is for those kids to succeed academically. But the ground reality is, those slum kids will stay for ever in the slums. A small section of well connected people that used to belong to those downtrodden classes back in 1940s and 1950s, got on the gravy train of reservation system, their kids, their grand kids and their families are milking the system. The sons and daughters of high level civil servants and rich politicians goof off all through their high schools and manage to barely score 60% in the examns and get preferred over me, and now over my nephews and nieces.

I have a hunch you belong to that creamy layer and you don't really want your kids to compete on a level playing field with my nephews and nieces back in the Desh. I escaped, but only because I perform at mean + 3 sigma in the examns. (Make no mistake. I don't consider my self 3 sigma intellectually. I just have the 3 sigma level test taking skills). My brothers who only perform at mean + 2 sigma level are struggling there, never seeking second amendment remedies, making me a role model for their kids, doing their damndest to make at least their kids reach that level of performance. Many won't make it. Some will. And you and your ilk will just envy the few that succeed despite all this, and rationalize it away.

Re:The Real Lowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344042)

When I was in school, there used to be a few students who studied day and night for the IIT entrance exams. Total brainiacks (sp?). None of them got through the exams though. Only one guy from my class got through. A guy who scraped through the school exams. So how did he manage this ? Turns out his dad was in the army and apparently there is a quota reserved for that.

in Asia it's all about the test and mass cheating (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342210)

in Asia it's all about the test and mass cheating goes on there. The us needs to drop the teach the test idea and go back to the old days. College is odd that some of the high cost schools are carp and all about makeing money and other are better price wise but range from poor to good.

Socialism on a march (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342214)

Different children have different educational abilities. Will admitting 25% of random poor children in an elite private school make the education worse? Definitely, yes. Will it make public schools better? I doubt it. The US already had something similar to this, albeit on a smaller scale - forced busing. It left everyone pissed off and had to be stopped.

Act of Evil (-1, Flamebait)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342228)

That education act was an act of pure evil.

If I take my money, which belongs to me, and I open *my* school, it's *my* business - and no one elses.

No one else has *any* right to come along and order me around - let alone ordering me who my students will be.

There's this thing, it's called Freedom. It means no one can force you to do things, or deceive into doing them - unless they're acting in self-defence, and this isn't self-defence.

India is poor for a reason - it's Government. The State is profoundly corrupt and protectionist. This act is just another example of the State forcing others to do its bidding.

Re:Act of Evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342342)

India is poor for a reason - it's Government. The State is profoundly corrupt and protectionist.

I agree with that, although, many of their problems also has to do with the structure of their society and having over a billion people.

The thing is, when you have an under-class that's perpetually impoverished, there is no way for them to get out of poverty on their own: they're trapped. Giving them the opportunity to better themselves via education not only provides them with more opportunity but it also benefits the society as a whole - including the owner ship classes. For example, here in the States, the owner class is constantly bemoaning how they can't get enough educated workers. The owner class isn't willing to provide their own training nor are they willing to pay for it via higher taxes and as society, we're losing out big time. Couple in the fact that labor is so much cheaper elsewhere, we're seeing a decline in our standard of living and as a result our society is declining.

If India wants to better they're society and eventually solve their problems, they must provide more opportunities for education and for economic advancement. The education will also help to solve the issues that you mentioned.

Speaking as an ex-Libertarian, the "I worked for it and it's all mine" attitude is short sited and doesn't work - society collapses when wealth becomes too concentrated - which we'll see.

Re:Act of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342668)

Speaking as an ex-Libertarian, the "I worked for it and it's all mine" attitude is short sited and doesn't work - society collapses when wealth becomes too concentrated - which we'll see.

That statement paints all libertarians with a broad and negative brush. Of course that attitude doesn't work, but most of the libertarians I have encountered (in real life, not on television) have a sense of morality and are willing, even compelled to share the fruits of their labor with those who need them.

How many charities are founded by rich people? By their very nature, almost all of them. And because charities are designed usually with a single specific goal in mind, and because they are often set up with a benefactor's own money to fulfill his charitable wishes, they are much more efficient than a government institution. In addition, they are taking nobody's money by force. If taxes were lower because they weren't going to support social programs that are already too heavy to fund (not to mention an extremely bloated defense budget and adventurism abroad), everyone with an income would have more money to work with. I would hope everyone who thinks these social programs are necessary to donate a shitload to charities out of a concern for the needy, and those of us who freely give now to those in need would have increased means to do so.

I believe that the main reason many wealthy people are assholes in this country right now is because they often got that way through government corruption, usually manifesting as regulatory capture--having their friends in government write regulations that give their business advantages instead of regulations that benefit the public (see Meredith Baker's jump from the FCC to Comcast after helping to get the NBC merger approved for a recent example of how to make a friend). Regulatory capture is one of the main reasons I started looking into libertarianism, and I am convinced it plays the largest part in enabling corporations to become megacorps. If someone is willing to exploit the weaknesses of a political system for personal gain, it doesn't strike me as odd that he would continue to seek personal gain at everyone else's expense.

Of course there are also trust fund kids and just disagreeable people in general, but in my experience most people who started out poor or middle-class and got rich through honest means is more than willing to use their wealth to help others.

Re:Act of Evil (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343072)

"How many charities are founded by rich people? By their very nature, almost all of them."

Nonsense. There are millions of charities in the world. The number set up by some rich guy with an endowment is miniscule compared to all the grass roots efforts.

Actually... no. Several of them. (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342540)

If I take my money, which belongs to me, and I open *my* school, it's *my* business - and no one elses.
No one else has *any* right to come along and order me around - let alone ordering me who my students will be.

First of all, running an education establishment like a business will inevitably lead to intellectual bankruptcy - education is a public service.
As such, it is A-OK for public service to lose money as long as it provides acceptable service - which is education, which in turn is there to provide progress and higher standard of living and happiness for both citizens AND their society in general.
That is why it is A-OK for the education sector to be subsidized by the government. Which leads us to the next point - certification.

All that shiny education your hypothetical school would provide is useless if it is not certified i.e. if the diplomas you give out are not accepted by your students' future employers AND by the government(s) that issues work and other permits to those businesses.
After all, your school may only consist of your website and your kitchen table where you print your diplomas.
Or, you may be teaching crazy shit like dianetics and whatnot.
I for one would like to know that some government body has checked your school and made sure it is not an organ harvesting operation.
Or simply that you provide an adequate education along with that piece of paper that claims that I've actually "studied shit" while at your school.

So, there ARE rules which you MUST obey if you want your school to be allowed to exist.
To quote the eminent philosopher Keanu Reeves: "You need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish.".
Ergo, fuckin' A you're gonna be told what you can and what you can't do when opening a school.

There's this thing, it's called Freedom. It means no one can force you to do things, or deceive into doing them - unless they're acting in self-defence, and this isn't self-defence.

Actually... generally speaking, self-defense has nothing to do with that which you call Freedom and is generally defined as negative liberty, [wikipedia.org] as opposed to positive kind. [wikipedia.org]
And then there is "the real freedom", but I'm guessing from you nickname that you already know about that.
Why would anyone have to act in self-defense against you if you are only practicing your liberties, which are just like his/her liberties - unless you are not entitled to those liberties in the first place (due to previous actions on your part) or you are misusing them.
In which case, you should not have the right to those liberties.
But that's usually left for the courts to decide.

Re:Actually... no. Several of them. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343092)

Actually in the UK no school gives out diplomas, the students of private schools just pay a fee to sit the same exams from the same exam boards as everyone else does.
(I'm not sure why they should have to pay a fee when everyone else gets to sit the exams at the expense of the taxpayer)

Anyway, in the US do high schools seriously get to adjudicate and hand out their own diplomas? Isn't that system just perfectly set up for abuse, variability, cheating and anything else you can think of?

Re:Actually... no. Several of them. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343192)

The UK system isn't perfect. Now that we have multiple exam boards, each handing out certificates that are nominally of the same value, there's an incentive for teachers to shop around for the easiest exam for their pupils. In the USA, the high school diploma typically isn't worth much - it's like having 5 GCSE, something that's just expected of anyone who is mostly literate and numerate. Individual schools with a good reputation may give out diplomas that are more valuable, but universities are more likely to look at SAT [wikimedia.org] scores, or exams that they set.

In both countries, universities award their own degrees based on their own criteria. This is why degrees from some universities are not worth the paper that they're printed on, while others are in high demand.

Slashdot disappoints (0)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344146)

Slashdot disappoints the hell out of me.

You'd think - you'd hope - this would be a liberal forum. Would have a care and an interest in freedom.

But every time I talk about *freedom* - about NOT forcing other people to do things - I get modded flamebait or troll.

Whenever someone posits forcing others to do things you LIKE, you're all for it. Shit yeah, tax the hell of people for research-this or free-eduction-that or travel-to-mars-by-2020 the other.

Whenever someone describes people being forced to do things you don't like, you're up in arms!

The idea that people *shouldn't be forcing others* is alien to Slashdot - this forum is no different to any other; neo-conservative, red-neck religious, left-wing liberal - you all have the things you like and the things you don't like, you all completely disagree on what those things are, but you DO all believe in forcing others to do what you want.

From my POV, it's all one and the same.

This post too will, if it's read - the thread is old now - will be modded flamebait. Slashdot - like all those other forums - does not comprehend existential criticism. Anything which invalidates Slashdot is flamebait/troll. It's a way of not thinking.

You got another cumshot in the face (-1, Troll)

asshole1235 (2234022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342232)

And if you mod me down, then you liked the cum, and I give you more. And that means you are gay

You got another cumshot in the face (-1, Offtopic)

asshole1236 (2234052) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342326)

Mod me down if you want more.
And if you do, you are fucking motherfucking fucker.
Or gay.

another government failure (-1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342362)

here is another government failure to understand, that it must not be involved in the market.

Nothing good will come out of this limited Indian version of 'no child left behind', as those children, who can actually benefit and can attend the private schools are now suffering the reduced pace of education, due to the unfortunate kids, who don't even know what 'purple' color is (read TFA), and the richer kids will not get as far ahead as they otherwise could, which would slow down Indian economy, not letting the future economy to increase the wealth of the country enough, that it would pull the poorest up with it as well (as it worked for USA in 19 century, when the overall increase of wealth caused everybody's standard of living to climb higher).

There is no shortcut. You cannot just have a country so poor on education, that is still burning witches, all getting advanced education all of a sudden, it's not going to happen. All you end up doing is dragging those, who can achieve more down, to a lower level, and it's bad for your overall economy of the future, and will slow down the eventual exit from the 'witch' burning society.

As usual, a government tries to do something, and causes more of the exact thing, it's trying to get away from.

Re:another government failure (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342760)

You put in awful lot of faith in the free market working in education. Can you point to a single situation where it has worked? Looking at any list of the world's top economies or eduction systems shows a list filled with countries with a strong government investment in education.

Re:another government failure (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342780)

USA before 1965. That was not difficult, was it?

Re:another government failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342996)

Your example is a system that struggled, then failed, then struggled again, then only when we went to war and the Government was the customer to the booming industries in the US and factories were full of relatively cheap labor (women mostly) did it start to thrive again? The US economy has been falling apart not because there's regulation, but because of the nature of the regulation. We do a lot of catering to big business owners, while throwing the rest of the people under the bus. However with no regulation, the big business owners will simply drive the bus over everyone else themselves...

Re:another government failure (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343398)

Your example is a system that struggled, then failed, then struggled again, then only when we went to war and the Government was the customer to the booming industries in the US and factories were full of relatively cheap labor (women mostly) did it start to thrive again?

- this sentence by (probably) a US 'educated' AC, is the example of the magnitude of sheer ignorance on the role that the government of US played in creation of the Great Depression via money printing in late twenties, to pump up the valuation of UK pound, which then lead to an asset bubble, resulting in the market collapse, which then prompted the US government to do all sorts of spending, bail outs and stimulus, that I have outlined here in some detail [slashdot.org]

The Great Depression ended only once the WWII ended, and all the government 'stimulus' (money to build and drop bombs) ended, and allowed the USA to restructure its productive capacity towards products and services required by the world. Of-course at the time US had a monopoly on production, so it thrived, but that kind of monopoly couldn't last forever, so as other countries rebuilt their manufacturing base, USA lost its monopoly on labor prices, but the government got used to very high levels of spending, so it couldn't stop and eventually defaulted by getting off the gold standard and printing unbacked fiat.

The US economy has been falling apart not because there's regulation, but because of the nature of the regulation.

- it is falling apart because there is government in business and economy in the first place. ALL government regulations end up distorting the markets and lead to unintended consequences, all of which are bad for the economy, because they rely on forces other than willingness of market participants.

We do a lot of catering to big business owners, while throwing the rest of the people under the bus.

- this is just not true. The business owners are a minority, and politicians learned to be populous by catering to the majority - employees, thus the business owners got screwed plenty. Some of them got out of business, some learned to cope by moving business out of the country, some bought politicians to maintain and even to increase their business, especially because so much competition was destroyed by the government in the first place, so a number of businesses became monopolies only due to government in the first place, and now it bails them out, stimulates them, buys them out, prints cash and hands it over, etc.etc.

Re:another government failure (1)

bye (87770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343220)


You put in awful lot of faith in the free market working in education. Can you point to a single situation where it has worked? Looking at any list of the world's top economies or eduction systems shows a list filled with countries with a strong government investment in education.

USA before 1965. That was not difficult, was it?

To understand how the US got where it is today you need to understand one important detail: up to around 1950 the US was a strongly immigration driven economy - unlike any of the other major economies.

If you look at key "US inventions" before 1965 resulting in a Nobel prize then virtually all of them were invented by people who were born and taught elsewhere (mostly in Europe) and then emigrated to the US . If you look at the list of Nobel laureates there's barely anyone born and educated in the US in that time frame - only immigrants.

If you were right then that list would be full of US-born Nobel prize holders ... but it isn't.

So, without realizing it, you actually support the grandparent's point: countries with historically strong public education lead in innovation. And yes, countries can also brain-drain capable people from other countries and can thus bridge their lack of good public education - but I'm sure that's not the point you wanted to make?

Re:another government failure (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343318)

Well, since you are a government shill, I am not really surprised to see you in yet another thread of mine, but you are wrong here just as well.

I am not talking about Nobel prize winners or anything of the sort. I am clearly talking about public schools, which are overpriced in USA today, which is on the brink of economic disaster of unimaginable magnitude, all due to its government driven economic policies that destroy the free market competition.

1979 was when they introduced the DOE, but 1965 was when the passed the SS act as well as Medicare, and that was an implicit way to collect more general taxes for the government programs, whatever they are, (not for the benefit of SS or Medicare funds, which never existed and are ponzi schemes.)

US students did not have to go into tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt and they were getting an actual education, which was quite worth while, and this has nothing to do with any immigrants, who incidentally came to the USA not because of any government programs, but DESPITE those very programs.

Immigrants came to the USA for the FREEDOMS FROM the government, not looking for government handouts, so while in your warped twisted mind of a shill, you assign the success of USA to the government, the reality is that all the government is killing USA by killing its economy, and people are leaving the country today for the same reason so many came into USA in the first place - there is no economic freedom in USA anymore.

The fact that USA has no economic freedom due to all of the business regulations, has ridiculously high taxes, ridiculous barriers to entry, which are impossible to overcome to become a competitor to government sponsored monopolies, that and printing and borrowing and more printing of money - inflationary fiscal policy, which leads to the increases in prices for all commodities and eventually products around the world, (until the world stops using USD completely and stops buying US bonds), that policy leads to destruction of US market, destruction of US school system as well, as it is no longer necessary.

Who needs schools in USA? Why bother? US worker is the last worker in the world in terms of attractiveness to a potential employer.

Here are some numbers, which show how impossible it is to have capital savings in fiat currencies (in this case USD) given the government destruction of it

sugar [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 20.40 cents/pound, Apr 2011: 36.97 cents/pound, price up by over 81%
Beef [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 105.40 cents/pound, Apr 2011: 193.00 cents/pound, price up by over 83%
Barley [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 100.77 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 208.70 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 107%
Rice [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 197.00 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 500.57 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 154%
Cocoa Beans [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 1,646.58 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 3,113.52 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 89%
Tea [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 205.22 cents/KG, Apr 2011: 325.33 cents/KG, price up by over 58%
Rubber [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 57.31cents/pound, Apr 2011: 265.49cents/pound, price up by over 363%
Corn [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 111.98 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 318.45 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 184%
Bananas [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 371.43 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 1,013.47 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 172%
Propane [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 0.63 USD/Gallon, Apr 2011: 1.45 USD/Gallon, price up by over 130%
Wheat [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 165.57 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 336.30 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 103%
Oranges [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 583.00 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 881.00 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 51%
Salmon [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 3.12 USD/Kg, Apr 2011: 7.86 USD/Kg, price up by over 151%
Chicken [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 68.98 cents/pound, Apr 2011: 86.42 cents/pound, price up by over 25%
Pork [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 48.68 cents/pound, Apr 2011: 92.06 cents/pound, price up by over 89%
Silver [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 565.33 cents/Troy ounce, Apr 2011: 4,279.79 cents/Troy ounce, price up by over 657%
Alluminum [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 1,557.78 USD/Metric Ton, Apr 2011: 2,667.44 USD/Metric Ton, price up by over 71%
Uranium [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 13.35 USD/pound, Apr 2011: 57.84 USD/pound, price up by over 333%
Iron Ore [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 13.82 cents/dry Metric Ton, Apr 2011L: 179.26 cents/dry Metric Ton, price up by over 1197% (yeah, almost 1200%)
Gasoline [indexmundi.com] Dec 2003: 0.89 USD/Gallon, Apr 2011: 3.18 USD/Gallon, price up by over 257%

Read the articles! (1)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342430)

I urge everyone to read to the end which relates impoverished Vipil's successes, showing why good education for everyone is a great boon for society.

Though I like the outcomes of India's law, I think it is impinging on the freedom of the schools too much. Consider the borderline families, where the effective 25% price premium means the difference between sending their children to a good school or not. We barely afford to send our own kids to private school, and an extra charge of that size might well kick us out.

The real solution is to make the public schools so good that almost no one feels tempted to go private. Both India and America have problems getting there, but I think it's possible.

In the meantime, I'll spend the money to make sure my kids learn about evolution, partake in music, gym and recess, avoid bullies and silly zero-tolerance policies, and meet friends who think books are cool. And I'm giving up vacations, cars, and retirement savings to do that, so please don't confiscate my money specifically to improve general education. Good education is important enough that everyone should benefit and everyone should pay.

Re:Read the articles! (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342512)

The real solution is to make the public schools so good that almost no one feels tempted to go private. Both India and America have problems getting there, but I think it's possible.

- cannot be done by government. Look, in US they spend between 7K and 20K a year per student at a secondary school, and the results are .... not cataclysmic, but shall I say - not very encouraging. The government can spend pretty much every single last dollar you throw at it and then turn around and ask for more, because just a little more will do the job, can we agree on that?

So given that - what's the mechanism, by which a public school system can ever become as efficient and 'good', as a bunch of competing private schools, each trying to outdo the other just to make more profit?

Making profit is the key incentive, it always was and always will be. What I am saying is that without making profit, people have very little incentive to go on to bother to do anything extra, to go and risk trying new ideas, trying to improve efficiency to get more business, by somehow figuring out a way to provide more product, while incurring less cost to the business.

No, the problem in India is that it is still a country where economy is in abysmal state, and the way to fix it is to have those rich parents send their rich kids to those rich schools, so that those rich kids can get out of those rich schools and improve the economy by running their hopefully rich businesses, by increasing the productive output of the country, so that the overall wealth (products/services) is increased, the means of distributing the wealth (price to end users) is decreased, the choices are increased, there is more reason for others to invest into the economy, which would require more educated people to enter the work force, and this would really provide an opportunity to the poor to have more wealth and possibilities.

Until the society produces enough wealth, there will be no use of the poor kids in those rich schools, on average they will only drag down the education of the rich kids and will decrease overall efficiency of the system.

It's bad for those there, who are poor today, but unfortunately it's not magic, it will be bad before it becomes better, and government involvement only makes it worse.

Re:Read the articles! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343094)

Holy crap, where are they spending 20k per student for public education? I'll move there, because my kids deserve better and I just can't afford it. Unless that was the cake?

Re:Read the articles! (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344070)

examples [yankeeinstitute.org]

Re:Read the articles! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343708)

The problem in India is "evaporation" as the rich/talented disproportionately invest and apply their talents in the service of the West (broadly understood) rather than the local needs. The most straightforward example of this is straight-up emigration where vast percentages of top students end up settling in the USA and other rich countries. As a citizen of the USA, I like this, but I can totally understand that this sucks for the people left behind in India. Even the kinds of businesses booming in India are absurdly West-focused: answering tech-support questions coming from America and Europe, writing software intended for the use of Western consumers or Western businesses, consulting and body-shopping for Western businesses, etc. Where is the boom in stuff aimed at the Indian market? Cellphones? That would be China and Europe providing those. The Indian boom is in "content" which sounds respectable enough until you realize that it consists of such productivity-enhancing products as movies of gyrating women and fashionable men and Television programs focusing on singing competitions or soap operas. Indian students run after MBAs which in the Indian context do not require any work-experience and so are largely about socializing oneself into the vocabulary and culture needed to serve Western companies directly or indirectly.

The elites in India are aiming to disconnect themselves from the Indian population, not raise the country as a whole.

Re:Read the articles! (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344084)

It really is irrelevant how India gets where it's going, and it's going towards more productive economy, regardless of how it is done.

Even if all that Indian's wealthy were doing today is catering to the US market, eventually they will be able to save enough of their own capital to start their own production, and that's what I am talking about, and given that USA is destroying its currency and economy quickly, Indians will not have much choice soon enough, but to start catering to their own markets.

Re:Read the articles! (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342872)

I urge everyone to read to the end which relates impoverished Vipil's successes, showing why good education for everyone is a great boon for society.

It only takes a few Sumit's to screw it up for not only Vipil, but all the 75% set-asides there.

Re:Read the articles! (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342906)

And I'm giving up vacations, cars, and retirement savings to do that,

Here in Australia, I did the maths and find it better to spend the extra money buying (or renting) a house in the area of a good public school, than to pay fees for private schools. Hopefully I still can still get it all back for retirement by selling the house, if the market doesn't crash.
Does that approach work in the US?

Re:Read the articles! (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343340)

Yes.

However I also believe that the primary difference between good schools and inferior schools is in how serious the parents are about the whole process.

This is why private schools get better results.

Won't Work (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342612)

There are a lot of factors that influence kids as far as success in school is concerned. In an affluent family the child may not have much in the way of chores or work assigned to them. In a poor family a child may be up at 4 am throwing newspapers to help feed the family. The diet and medical care available to the poorer folk may also hold their children back. The ability to hire tutors or send kids to educational camps in the summer can have a huge effect. Even the emotional security of knowing that plenty of money is at hand to keep a home secure and running well can boost a child's abilities. In the US the trend is to bully the teachers and point a finger at them. This law in India seems to be an attempt to bully private schools and point a finger at them. The hard fact is that if the US closed down all private schools and forced the super rich to place their kids in the exact situations with the poor kids that the public school system would improve by leaps and bounds. No rich man could bear to see the conditions and dangers in many public schools let lose upon their child.

Right to Education Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342736)

/shudder

A "basic income" is a better solution to inequity (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342766)

http://www.pdfernhout.net/towards-a-post-scarcity-new-york-state-of-mind.html [pdfernhout.net]
"New York State current spends roughly 20,000 US dollars per schooled child per year to support the public school system. This essay suggests that the same amount of money be given directly to the family of each homeschooled child. Further, it suggests that eventually all parents would get this amount, as more and more families decide to homeschool because it is suddenly easier financially. It suggests why ultimately this will be a win/win situation for everyone involved (including parents, children, teachers, school staff, other people in the community, and even school administrators :-) because ultimately local schools will grow into larger vibrant community learning centers open to anyone in the community and looking more like college campuses. New York State could try this plan incrementally in a few different school districts across the state as pilot programs to see how it works out. This may seem like an unlikely idea to be adopted at first, but at least it is a starting point for building a positive vision of the future for all children in all our communities. Like straightforward ideas such as Medicare-for-all, this is an easy solution to state, likely with broad popular support, but it may be a hard thing to get done politically for all sorts of reasons. It might take an enormous struggle to make such a change, and most homeschoolers rightfully may say they are better off focusing on teaching their own and ignoring the school system as much as possible, and letting schooled families make their own choices. Still,homeschoolers might find it interesting to think about this idea and how the straightforward nature of it calls into question many assumptions related to how compulsory public schooling is justified. Also, ultimately, the more people who homeschool, the easier it becomes, because there are more families close by with which to meet during the daytime (especially in rural areas). And sometime just knowing an alternative is possible can give one extra hope. Who would have predicted ten years back that NYS would have a governor who was legally blind and whose parents had been forced to change school districts just to get him the education he needed? So, there is always "the optimism of uncertainty", as historian Howard Zinn says. We don't know for sure what is possible and what is not. "

See also:
    http://www.basicincome.org/bien/ [basicincome.org]
    http://basicincome.iovialis.org/e00.html [iovialis.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Income_Guarantee [wikipedia.org]
"A basic income guarantee (or basic income) is a proposed system[1] of social security, that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money. In contrast to income redistribution between nations themselves, the phrase basic income defines payments to individuals rather than households[2], groups, or nations, in order to provide for individual basic human needs. Except for citizenship, a basic income is entirely unconditional. Furthermore, there is no means test; the richest as well as the poorest citizens would receive it. The U.S. Basic Income Network[3] emphasizes this absence of means testing in its precise definition, "The Basic Income Guarantee is an unconditional, government-insured guarantee that all citizens will have enough income to meet their basic needs.""

What good is education as far as economic advancement when the robots and AIs and voluntary social networks are going to do most of the jobs inthe future?
    http://econfuture.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/robots-jobs-and-our-assumptions/ [wordpress.com]
    http://econfuture.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/could-fast-food-automation-replace-low-wage-workers/ [wordpress.com]

School (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342800)

The only way to make sure school is good for all is to make everyone go to public school.

I know you are to elite for that.

Now you know why I am right.

Indian and Chinese names dominate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343066)

http://apps.societyforscience.org/sts/70sts/finalists.asp

Indian and Chinese names dominate this list. Discuss.

Is this novel? (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343120)

There is similar happening in Scotland, albeit via a different approach - essentially private schools can have their charitable status revoked if they do not pass the "public benefit" test. This is applicable to all charities, though generally interpreted in private schools in relation to the level of fees charged and the proportions of bursaries granted: if high fees mean poor people are effectively excluded from the school, their "public benefit" is not so very "public".

There was quite a push specifically on private schools a few years ago, this [publicnet.co.uk] is a good, albeit old, article, but the government and charity regulator seem to be backing off quite a bit now, perhaps partly due to change in government and party because the schools have elevated their bursaries in response (some of which is due to receiving more donations for this very reason). Someone who gives politicians a lot of benefit over any doubt might wink and mutter "well played" at this point, but I think that's giving out a lot more credit than due.

In practice what charitable status means is relief from rates, a significant local tax based on property values (private schools here tend to have a lot of prized property). It does also mean relief from corporation tax, that donations qualify for a tax deduction and a few other things, but any decent accountant should be able to engineer a way around those, albeit perhaps with a few ongoing headaches. What I'm saying is compliance certainly is advantageous, but is not mandatory, neither in the legal nor practical sense.

I think this is a much more reasonable approach, though while our poverty gap is pretty bad it's nothing on India's, and we don't have their caste problems either. There's also far less relevance of race here than there seems to be from my media-led impression of the US (we do have it, but it's relatively endemic to certain cities), so tackling racial inequality often comes under the more general banner of anti-poverty.

For what it's worth I audited a private school and, while 1 school does not make for a statistically representative sample, I was a little stunned at how close their bursary system was to what I'd consider an ideal model. They offered everything from long-term loans at base interest rate to fully paying their fees, uniforms, sports equipment, school trips, anything needed for after-school activities and school meals. All of this is done in a manner that avoids the "poor kid with his free meals voucher" embarrassments. Few in the school itself would even know who had bursaries. The pupil acceptance committee certainly didn't.

Bursary award consideration was non-competitive, entirely based on the student (especially any reasons why state school would be unsuited) and the ability of the parents to pay. There was no special extra-hard test to sit or any such thing. Other than the standard entry exam for all students who did not have family at the school, academic, sporting, creative or other ability only mattered if there was some special fund set up due to restriction set by a donor (they could be rather eccentric). Race and so on was completely ignored, with the only exception being that *after* issuing the awards they did do a few numbers with their fingers-crossed.

The major contentious issues of the Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343212)

This Act in India is an attempt to dumb down education and these articles of the Act have not been mentioned. In addition to the 25% admission for "low income, underprivileged and disadvantaged students" -- something that is going to be purely vote-bank politics based (and open to abuse and corruption). The major contentious points, however, are:
1. Age-based placement. So consider the scenario, 25% of kids find themselves in an English medium educational institution (majority of these private schools are that). No matter what, the rest of the 75% in the class are going to suffer with the 25% not really gaining anything.
2. No more failing: everyone is automatically promoted to the next grade. Will this by itself remove the pressure to "learn for a test?"
This Act is a dumbing down of education pure and simple.

Every action has a reaction. If the Supreme Court of India does not invalidate the Act itself or most of these provisions, the private schools can easily transform themselves -- with the majority of educational activity transferred to "tuition classes."

As with all social programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343426)

throwing money at the problem fails to help. On average it costs more to attend public school than private school, it's just that most people don't see the cost, most of which is administrative. And you can't legislate success, since each person comes from a different background with many different skill sets. Having known people who went to Ursuline and Cistercian Academies, I assure you they are no brighter than most, just better prepared and that has a lot to do with their home life.

Freakonomics shows it works (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343448)

Read Freakonomics for a study on the importance of student desire.
The Chicago school system was ordered to integrate so they set up a lottery system for kids at disadvantaged schools to maybe win a ticket to a 'good' school. Subsequent 'analyses' showed the students who won the lottery did better than the losers but Levitt realized you had 3 populations, not two.
There were the people who didn't enter the lottery
people who entered and lost and
people who entered and won
All the other studies lumped the folks who didn't enter along with the lottery losers. Levitt's study discovered there was no significant different between the losers and winners of the lottery. The only significant difference was between those who entered the lottery (those who wanted an education) and those who didn't care (or their parents didn't care) and didn't enter the lottery.
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