Re: HELP needed with Property Tax Question

Jean Paul wrote:
"George Z. Bush" <georgezbush@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Rita wrote:
On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 09:20:14 -0800 (PST), California Poppy
<GoldenStatePoppy@xxxxxxx> wrote:

It has ben interesting to read this thread about property taxes and
education. I have taught in both public education (wasteful) and
private education (varies from excellent to dreadful). Here in CA,
any parent can do homeschooling and be considered a private school.
AFter substituting for a public school district for three months, I
worked for a private school which was begun by two high school
teachers because they didn't want their children going to public
school. We even had one child who was kidnapped by his non-custodial
parent and enrolled in this private school to prevent detection. (he
was such a brat that I am betting his parent was regretting the
kidnapping). Teaching in a private school attracts some of the best
teachers, because they can actually teach instead of just being a
cop. I had well educated, caring teachers when I was the principal.

My daughter who is an elementary school teacher was so stressed out at
the holidays that she is considering quitting. She said that
bureaucracy and increased class size and testing reuirements have
stressed her to the point of no return. She has an AA degree in
ornamental horticulture, so she can get a job and work with plants
which would be less stressful for her, I think. She worked one summer
for a plant farm where she hand pollinated plants for the summer. My
point in discussing this is that good teachers are quitting public
education because it has become so bad. High school teachers have
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from never knowing where the
next attack will come from.

I have a granddaughter who is and award winning English teacher. She
has classes at all academic levels. She adores her work and her
students adore her. Stress? She considers teaching a challenge.
She was a rather reclusive girl as a child and yet teaching
ignited a spark and she blossomed. Kids do not act up in her
classes -- she seems to have the ability to engage them all and
keep them focused. I looked over her lesson plans and she spends
a great deal of free time on them. She considers students less
academically talented the greatest challenge.

I listen to the garden variety criticisms of the public school education
systems and can't help wondering when it went so far wrong. My parents
came to this country not speaking a word of English. They had three
children, I being the middle one and the dumbest of the three. All I
to brag about educationally is a college degree, earned (incidentally) at
a public institution of higher learning and having subsequently become a
retired military officer who survived three of our nation's major wars.
My older brother got a degree in chemical engineering and worked on the
Manhattan Project and its aftermath for almost a half century, and my
younger sister not only earned her BA but got a Masters degree as well
has been a successful independent book copy editor for decades (I'm not
allowed to divulge how many lest I inadvertently give away her age......a
woman thing).

Why all the personal history? Because we all started out working our way
through publicly funded and operated elementary schools, high schools and
(in two of the three cases) colleges. If we were able to achieve
we achieved as a result of our exposure to education at the public trough
(I was tempted to say "teat" but I thought it might offend you), whatever
happened to it that made it so bad that we are being urged to consider
turning it over to those warm and cuddly profit-seeking corporations to
run instead of the government?

George Z.

George, I am not saying and have never before said that the public school
system has always been bad. I too went through the public school system
well as my older brother. I, like you, am the dumb one in my family. But
having put two kids through the contemporary system as well as my
wife being a teacher in the system has taught me that today's school
is a lot different than it was in yours and my day.

I won't even begin to list all the problems but will only say that our
ranking , not only in the world, but even among the states in the US,
Texas...and I will only talk about pitiful. That doesn't mean
that the public system has failed most kids. I really don't even think
major fault lies with the school system but rather with the parents and
kids themselves. But the school system is what is going to have to change
because I don't see parents or the kids changing for the better.

I can see I am not going to convince you to my way of thinking and
maybe...just maybe I am wrong on this. I wish I was. But what I see
on here in Texas is a whole lot of money being spent on sports stadiums
a whole lot of kids graduating from high school that have to have remedial
education before they can begin regular classes at college. Now, THAT is
fact and if you demand verification I can certainly get it for you with a
little effort and time.

I'm not at all sure that we're not getting into the process of stereotyping
based upon a Texas model that may be far from representative of the country
as a whole. I find it hard to believe that instances of illiterate athletes
who graduate from high school and go on into college eminently unqualified
apart from their physical skills are as common in other parts of the country
(as in New England or the Pacific Northwest, for example) as they are in
Texas and in some other parts of the South.

I readily concede that a youngster doesn't even have to be an athlete to
need remedial work in order to enter college. My late wife ran a nursing
program for several different community colleges in N. C. and it was fairly
common for her to require successful completion of some remedial courses as
a prerequisite for entry into her program. That kind of thing hardly ever
happened in my youth, and I can't help but wonder when it was that the
system started failing us as well as why.

Perhaps it was a matter of changing times and changing moires and changing
values in our society as a whole, and maybe it all just kind of crept up on
us while we weren't looking. In any event, my inclination would be to first
try to fix the system where it has failed us rather than to abandon it in
favor of an untested replacement.

George Z.

George Z.