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Thread: Our society exposed

  1. -11
    GoFins!'s Avatar
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    Education is not fine. If all students and parents valued education and put forth an honest effort then it might be. There's far too much money in administration without any visible improvement in results.

    Schools have become social programs. After feeding, clothing and caring for children there isn't enough time and money left over to educate them. It is important that children in need receive these services, but the more roles the schools try to fill the less they can focus on education.

    Funding is a huge issue. Schools seem to want/need more and more money while continually lowering their standards. Schools focus on getting all kids to meet minimum standards of achievement but don't do much to challenge all students to reach their potential.

    When it comes to kids with special needs, or kids from less than optimum backgrounds, our schools are probably among the elite government schools in the world. However, when it comes to challenging the average kid and pushing him to his potential, our schools don't do so well. Well meaning programs such as "Leave No Child Behind" end up holding back the more capable kids while the others, for whatever reason, are coaxed into learning.

    With hard work and motivation anything is possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    Is the football program a net loser $$ wise at your school?
    That's a really good question Walrus. It's not uncommon for football and basketball revenue to fund the entire sports program for a University.

    The reasoning behind high school sports is that they motivate kids to stay in school. Students that might otherwise drop out are motivated to get good grades and stay eligible.
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  3. -13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    Is the football program a net loser $$ wise at your school?
    Yeah, to put it mildly. I go to the University of New Mexico. No Mountain West school is really a powerhouse, even the better teams like Utah and TCU. But when you're perpetually bad like we are, it just doesn't make sense to pump money into it. The administration here wants so bad to have a program like the SEC and ACC teams do, but it's never going to happen. Ever. They need to get that delusion out of their heads...

    If I could take your pain and frame it, and hang it on my wall,
    maybe you would never have to hurt again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoFins! View Post
    That's a really good question Walrus. It's not uncommon for football and basketball revenue to fund the entire sports program for a University.
    I agree. It's natural to look at the breaks they're given and preferential treatment they receive with jealousy and annoyance, but the do bring in the $$. I went to a big SEC school and saw this first hand.

    The reasoning behind high school sports is that they motivate kids to stay in school. Students that might otherwise drop out are motivated to get good grades and stay eligible.
    It's worthy enough servicing it's own end, in my view. But I agree that it can have that effect also. For a lot of these kids, unless they're abnormally driven or intelligent, sports is the only way out. I wish more could be done with the revenue that, say, the Muck Bowl generates to improve schools and give kids without the talent another path out of poverty (most don't have realistic expectations and don't have anything to fall back on when they fail), but it's better than nothing, and the kids who do get out often come back and help in some way, though of course it's not enough to really change things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locke View Post
    Yeah, to put it mildly. I go to the University of New Mexico. No Mountain West school is really a powerhouse, even the better teams like Utah and TCU. But when you're perpetually bad like we are, it just doesn't make sense to pump money into it. The administration here wants so bad to have a program like the SEC and ACC teams do, but it's never going to happen. Ever. They need to get that delusion out of their heads...
    Being bad doesn't necessarily make them a money loser, though.
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  6. -16
    Locke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    Being bad doesn't necessarily make them a money loser, though.
    My bad, I wasn't clear. It is definitely a net loser, although not by much I don't think. The games usually sell pretty consistently, even when the team isn't doing well. And you see UNM merch being worn by people around town ad nauseum. If they reduced spending on the program even just a little, the program would probably break even, or even make money. The President who thought this was a brilliant idea was forced to resign last year, though. Maybe this new administration saw the stupidity in that and pulled out some of the money.

    If we were talking about basketball, it would be a different story, though. UNM is a basketball school for sure. The Pit is full every game, and goddamn does that place rock. It's why UNM always hosts a round of the NCAA tournament...
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  7. -17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locke View Post
    My bad, I wasn't clear. It is definitely a net loser, although not by much I don't think. The games usually sell pretty consistently, even when the team isn't doing well. And you see UNM merch being worn by people around town ad nauseum. If they reduced spending on the program even just a little, the program would probably break even, or even make money. The President who thought this was a brilliant idea was forced to resign last year, though. Maybe this new administration saw the stupidity in that and pulled out some of the money.

    If we were talking about basketball, it would be a different story, though. UNM is a basketball school for sure. The Pit is full every game, and goddamn does that place rock. It's why UNM always hosts a round of the NCAA tournament...
    The thing with a football program -- or any sports program, really -- is that you do have to invest in it up front. Talented kids make good teams, and that talent has to be recruited in part by competent facilities and investment. If you didn't know anything about their records and just went to the weight room, you'd know immediately that USC consistently kicks UCLA's ass, for example. You need to sell a commitment to winning to any kid with choices.

    Whether a school wants to make that investment up front is up to them. But if it's done well ultimately I think the record shows it makes money for the school. I don't know if it makes a ton of sense geographically for NM, though. I grew up near FAU (which is in Boca Raton) and about a decade back they hired Howard Schnellenberger (who turned UM into a powerhouse back in the day) to get their football program off the ground. Eventually they worked their way up to D1 and now the program is on an upward swing, with Rob Housler being a third round pick a few years back and Alfred Morris now a ROY candidate this year. The trick, though, is that SoFla is absolutely stocked with talent, meaning you don't have to travel or be an eagle eyed recruiter like Chris Petersen to make it work. Even 2A schools down here have multiple players in the NFL.

    I can't speak to FAU's financial situation but I would be shocked if the school hasn't benefited. Certainly the campus and facilities have improved. A cousin of mine attends there and that's his report, anyway.
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  8. -18
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    Speaking of education I want to get your all's thoughts on this.

    I'd like them to take a little money out of the defense budget & put some of that back into education; I think the investment would more than pay dividends. Personally, I think we should be paying teachers a bit more, & in accordance it should be a bit harder to qualify. As capitalism will show you, you get what you pay for. If you pay 35k to High School teachers, you're going to get 35k type quality. The best & brightest will move on to other jobs that pay better. The teachers that are excellent at their job & do it because they love it are too few & far between (like my 11th grade history teacher that was on Jeopardy last week).

    If you pay teachers a higher salary, you're going to attract better talent. If you attract better talent, it would stand to reason that students will be better educated, & if an entire generation of students is better educated, I think that bodes well for the future of the country as a whole.
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  9. -19
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    Teachers average a lot more than $35k in most places. Don't forget that they only work about 180 days compared to 250 for the rest of us. There are a lot more qualified teachers than available positions. Sure, better teachers, but that should be 4th on the list behind more motivated students, more motivated parents and better administrators who don't jump from job to job.

    The most talented and highest paid teachers in the world can't force students and parents to care. There are lots of very talented teachers out there who go above and beyond with their time and effort. They make the same salary as the few teachers who are coasting to retirement.

    More money in education should be outcome based. Schools or students that do exceptionally well should be rewarded. If you just throw more money at the problem and hope for improvement then you'll be disappointed.

    Don't underestimate the schools need for under-performing students. If every kid in a district scored extremely high on the SAT on went on to brilliant college careers then how could the district justify their claims of being underfunded? Our system seems to reward failure.

    Any money taken from any program should go to the debt first, but after that I agree with more funding to education, but it should be performance based.
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  10. -20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
    Speaking of education I want to get your all's thoughts on this.

    I'd like them to take a little money out of the defense budget & put some of that back into education; I think the investment would more than pay dividends. Personally, I think we should be paying teachers a bit more, & in accordance it should be a bit harder to qualify. As capitalism will show you, you get what you pay for. If you pay 35k to High School teachers, you're going to get 35k type quality. The best & brightest will move on to other jobs that pay better. The teachers that are excellent at their job & do it because they love it are too few & far between (like my 11th grade history teacher that was on Jeopardy last week).

    If you pay teachers a higher salary, you're going to attract better talent. If you attract better talent, it would stand to reason that students will be better educated, & if an entire generation of students is better educated, I think that bodes well for the future of the country as a whole.
    Before that, we need to do something about classroom size. There is a direct correlation between classroom size and standardized test scores. The best ratio seems to be around 20 students per teacher. At least that's the last I saw. Class sizes here in my state are somewhere around 24-25. That means it's impossible for a single teacher to give each student the attention they need. It's also no surprise that NM is among the poorest performing in the nation. They need enough teachers to bring that class size down. So yes, I agree with you that they need to take some of that defense money and spend it on education. Before they look at raises, though, they need to meet the minimum amount of teachers needed at all...
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