View Poll Results: who gets your vote in nov.?

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  • Bush

    23 21.50%
  • Kerry

    77 71.96%
  • Nader

    2 1.87%
  • other

    5 4.67%
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Thread: who will u vote for in Nov.?

  1. #16
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    My mother taught in an inner city setting in the Bronx. I don't know what the socio-economics are like in Kenai. but these kids had to deal with single parent households, drug addicted parents,and child abuse. And this was back during the time when these issues didn't make the front page of any newspaper. I don't know what life is like in Alaska for high school, but way too many teachers face the type of children my mother did, with even fewer resources. At least my mother didn't have to buy the paper for the school's mimeograph machine.

  2. #17
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    Toni, I'm sorry the teachers in your state are so unethical that they fudge scores so people can play sports. I am very fortunate that at my school, the principal backs us 100%. If the kid is failing, they don't play. End of story. There is no pressure put on the teachers to change the grade.

    I'm also sorry your tests are so "easy." They aren't in Nebraska. But it doesn't matter if they are easy or hard. My point is: you have got to trust the teachers. And if you don't, they shouldn't be teaching. If I feel a student hasn't met the minimum requirements for English I, he or she DOESN'T PASS. I am not leaving this child behind, I am keeping him/her back so that he or she CAN learn the material.

    Many of my students are low income or poverty level, some from 4th or 5th generation poverty homes. I have students who have been kicked out of other schools and are on their 15th foster home. I am fighting much more than just trying to get kids to write in complete sentences, I am trying to break the cycle of "I don't need an education" and I don't need 15 damn state mandated tests to tell me if this student is succeeding in that or not. *I* can tell. This is why I went to school to be a teacher.

    Talk to a teacher. Ask why one state has pulled out of No Child Left Behind and others are considering it.

    But I am glad you are voting, no matter who you vote for.

    Laura

  3. #18
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    To Toni
    I also am thrilled you are voting. My motto has always been, if you don't vote, don't b***ch!!

  4. #19
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Toni, Congratulations on voting! Be sure and check into the policies of the minor officials you will be voting on as well as the big senate, house, governor, and presidential races. The first time I voted I hadn't a clue about the candidates for state legislature, and in many ways those are the people who will most affect your own life, and particularly who will have the most to do with improving the quality of public education in your area. The next time I voted, I had done my homework better.

    As to schools, I thought it might be interesting to throw up for discussion the state rankings for this last year, done by morganquitno, who will sell you a whole book on the details.

    The items used for ranking are at the bottom of the page.
    Being rural does not keep states from doing a good job at education. Montana (4) and Vermont (2) are very rural.
    Being culturally diverse and having some dreadful poverty pockets does not keep a state from scoring well. New Jersey is 5th. Being poor is no guarantee of badness. Vermont (2) is 26th in income. Being rich is no guarantee of goodness. Texas is 34th and CA is 44.

    It should be note that John Kerry is from Massachussetts, the state currently ranking highest. He was a lt. governor of it, and I believe attorney general at one time, but it's a long time ago and has nothing to do with MA's education ranking. George Bush,however, is from the wealthiest state in the union, which can only muster 34th, and he was a governor of it and has a lot to do with how it is. I would not like education to keep looking more like Texas, which is what he seems to be doing.

    1 Massachusetts 16.59
    2 Vermont 16.43
    3 Connecticut 15.8
    4 Montana 9.48
    5 New Jersey 9.39
    6 Maine 7.67
    7 Pennsylvania 7.33
    8 Wisconsin/Iowa (tie) 6.55
    10 New York 6.16

    11 Nebraska 5.24

    23 Alaska -0.08

    34 Texas -2.93

    44 California -9.45

    50 New Mexico -22.04

    POSITIVE (+ 1-13) AND NEGATIVE (- 15-21) FACTORS CONSIDERED:
    Public Elementary and Secondary School Revenue per $1,000 Personal Income (Table 55) +
    Per Pupil Public Elementary and Secondary School Current Expenditures (Table 109) +
    Percent of Public Elementary and Secondary School Current Expenditures used for Instruction (Table 133) +
    Percent of Population Graduated from High School (Table 172) +
    Public High School Graduation Rate (Table 175) +
    Percent of Public School Fourth Graders Proficient or Better in Reading (Table 193) +
    Percent of Public School Eighth Graders Proficient or Better in Reading (Table 201) +
    Percent of Public School Fourth Graders Proficient or Better in Writing (Table 209) +
    Percent of Public School Eighth Graders Proficient or Better in Writing (Table 217) +
    Percent of Public School Fourth Graders Proficient or Better in Mathematics (Table 225) +
    Percent of Public School Eighth Graders Proficient or Better in Mathematics (Table 233) +

    Percent of 4th Graders Whose Parents Have Strict Rules about Getting Homework Done (Table 282) -
    Average Teacher Salary as a Percent of Average Annual Pay of All Workers in State(Table 346) -
    Percent of School-Age Population in Public Schools (Table 416) -
    High School Drop Out Rate (Table 185) -
    Percent of Public School Teachers Who Reported Being Physically Attacked in the Past 12 Months (Table 261) -
    Special Education Pupil-Teacher Ratio (Table 325) -
    Percent of Public Elementary and Secondary School Staff Who are School District Administrators (Table 361) -
    Estimated Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (Table 371) -
    Average Class Size in Public Elementary Schools (Table 394) -
    Average Class Size in Public Secondary Schools (Table 395) -

  5. #20
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    Doris, thanks for posting that! I think it's great that Nebraska ranks 11th, when our teacher pay ranks 46th. I think this says a lot about the dedication and quality of the teachers here.

    But if there is ONE thing that could significantly improve students performance...if given money to only fund one thing...it would be smaller class sizes. You give me a class of 15, and I can probably turn around 95% of kids who are failing. (there will always be those who just flat out refuse to work...)

    Interesting that Bush is using Texas as a model for the rest of the US. I interviewed in Houston before accepting my job in Nebraska, and I didn't like the concept of "teaching to the test." My job is to teach my students how to think, not how to pass one specific test (or in Nebraska's case, 15 specific tests).

    Oh, yeah, and always read up on smaller candidates! Want to know who's pro-school? See who the NEA is endorsing. (you know, the "terrorist" organization? )

    Laura

  6. #21
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    I still havent decided who my vote will go to.. I feel like I'll be picking the lesser of 2 evils.

    I voted for Nadar last election, not because I actually wanted him to win... but voting for him in texas really didnt have any impact because duh our electoral votes go to bush... I thought it would be interesting if he got a large enough percentage to participate in the debates this time around. He got booed off ut campus this semester by the university democrats, wasnt pretty.

    I am bothered by Bush's agenda on abortion, I know this is a sensitive subject so I'm not going to even go into it. And I also wanted to vomit when he made such disgusting statements about homosexual marraige.... but then again kerry hasnt stood up for gay's either really.

  7. #22
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    What I don't like about Bush:
    • Arrogance of foreign policy. I actually don't have a problem with some unilateralism, as I feel that before we were often forced into an area by other countries. Originally, I was delighter that Bush campaigned on limiting US foreign engagement. One thing I disliked about Clinton's foreign policy is that he stuck his nose where it did not belong. I actually though Bush's administration would be an improvement.
    • Patriots act et al.. Yes, I know we've had 9/11. However, this country is built on principles of freedom and liberty. While it is not quite as bad yet as it was in other wars, I don't like where this is going. Administration is using fear to scare people into accepting limits on privacy and personal freedom.
    • Social Policies. This to me includes abortion rights (including cutting funding to international groups that include abortions in their services), anti-gay marriage ammendment, religious charities being eligible for federal funding, etc.
    • Partisanship. Bush campaigned on working on "both sides of the aisle". In fact, this is the most divisive administration ever. While I do believe that Bush is the fairly elected president (it's not his fault that winning popular vote doesn't mean anything), I think he should have been a little more mindful of the "other side". I have been particularly upset by his choice of federal judge nominees.
    • Environment Administration has pushed for act after act that lowers environmental standards on everything from forests to salmon population. Also, his policies increase funding for highways at the expense of public transport -- bad environmental policy.
    • Taxes. Bush's tax policiy makes life easier for the poor little rich people. While taxes on lower classes don't technically go up, services are cut due to lower budget; since lower classes are the primary recepients of various programs, they end up suffering. I mean come on, people, we have the biggest income gap since 1920's!
    • Truthfullness. I have a problem with this administration's lies. I'd rather the president lied about his sexual indisgressions than about, say, reasons to go to war. I admit that there could be reasons for this war I do not understand, but I'd like the administration to be honest with me about it.


    As to "No Child Left Behind"... I actually think it's the right direction; unfortunately, it hasn't been thouroughly through through. I don't know what kind of test Alaska or Nebraska uses; the one used by Massachusetts is actually very reasonable, targeting "understanding" of subjects rather than rote memorisation. I think this test information should be used to determine which schools need extra funding, and perhaps even an overhaul (A few years ago we've had a complete state overhaul in the state's poorest city, Lowell). Certainly, the idea that low-performing schools should lose their funding is absurd. Also, I favor national standards of what kids should learn. Until recently, the only math standard for graduation in Massachusetts was 2 years of High School math. In other words, one could get a diploma with barely knowing fractions! That, IMO, is unacceptable; so I favor the federal governement setting some very loose standards for education.
    Doris, as to your statistics... I think a lot of it has to do with culture. In New England, there were laws forcing towns to have public schools back in colonial times; consequently, most people were literate. In the South, OTOH, in the colonial days laws were passed actually forbidding public schools. I am not sure waht exactly is the history of public education in Texas, but I would guess it's not quite what it is in New England.

    Sorry for the extra-long post, guys

  8. #23
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ptichka, I live in CT, my grandson goes to school in MA, and I lived in VT for 22 years and raised my children there. I also lived 14 years in NY, which was radically different as to how schools are treated vs. New England. The value that New Englanders put on education is certainly of very, very long standing. In VT, UVM was founded in 1784, long before it joined the US, for example. I am sure that N.E. and schools definitely has a cultural component.

    However, how this cultural component works is not entirely obvious.

    1. MA, CT and VT all have state constitutions that make it crystal clear that all residents are guaranteed equal services. This means that the courts, in the case of VT, have mandated that poor towns get money from rich towns so that all students have equal opportunity. It works somewhat differently, but similarly, in CT. This is not the case in many states.

    2. In TX if the schools are bad, concerned parents homeschool or send their kids to one of the millions of religious based schools. Then they generate 16000 reasons why they think the schools are bad.

    In NY, they send the kids, throw money at the problem, and nothing gets better (at least for the 14 years I was there). And they complain endlessly.

    In VT, if the schools are bad, or even if the school has hired a bad teacher, the parents hold a meeting. Heads roll. Volunteers spring up everywhere. The principal writes a series of grant requests, and gets some of them. If the town is short of money for the school, you are gently told by your neighbors when it is your turn to work the school library, help cook school lunch, teach a section of Senior Seminar, babysit for the cross country skiing at recess, coach hockey, or work as a math or reading aide. If the approp for the new school doesn't pass, the town just keeps running votes every couple months until it does pass. Having bad schools is just not acceptable. CT is a lower key version of VT.

    So I assume that NY and TX are not the only states where people are not expected, as a civic duty, to be part of and be concerned with their schools. States like VT where the whole town is part of the school are just bound to have better schools than the town budget would imply, just because of the level of interest.

    3. Not only were schools banned in some circumstances in some Southern states. The Protestant religious school system was given a huge push by the desire of Southerners (and Texans) to send their kids to schools where there were no blacks and no Hispanics. This gets rationalized by saying, for example, the Angel Wings Day School has such better teachers, facilities, whatever. It is best for my kids and I want what's best for my kids. But one reason the town school has lousy facilities, teachers, etc. is that the people sending their kids to Angel Wings are completely uninvolved with the public schools and resent every dime spent on the public schools. This policy has become embedded in Republican platforms in TX.

    In Texas, one version of the Republican platform explicitly says that there is no reason that a child is entitled to a public education. They regard public education as a type of welfare. In New England, it is a Constitutionally protected right. Huge Difference.

    The non funding of NLDC and the statistical structure of the testing is such that in 5 years or so, all schools will be failing.
    Why? A. Special ed students have to meet grade level standards for normal students. B. Even schools doing well must show improvement. Since people are not getting smarter, obviously continuous improvement without end is not possible.
    C. As soon as a school is failing for enough years, there are vouchers for everybody to go use in their religious schools.

    The destruction of the public education system is a Republican goal in some states.

    Now Republicans in New England don't look like Republicans in TX. So you can't just vote by party, particularly in local elections. Olympia Snowe just is not Tom DeLay, for example. You have to know the people who are running.

    When I spent time in TX, I never saw a sign that said, "Xville Proud of Our Schools", a common welcome to town sign in New England.

  9. #24
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    And of course, there are the Florida public schools (my best friend lives in South Fl), and public schools there are by and large in bad shape, and Jeb hasn't made them any better at all!

  10. #25
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Now Republicans in New England don't look like Republicans in TX. So you can't just vote by party, particularly in local elections. Olympia Snowe just is not Tom DeLay, for example. You have to know the people who are running.
    I totally agree. In fact, I think Massachusetts is hurt by such strong Democratic party. No party should be 100% certain that it will always have the legislature; it makes politicians too arrogant. I don't necessarily think that a strong GOP is the answer for us; personally I would be more than happy with a strong Green party. The most liberal democrats would move there, while the remaining Democrats would make a small move to the right, evening out the scales.

    As for your point about schools... Vermont is a small state, it doesn't have many urban ghettoes. What does it mean that MA is #1 on the list? It means very decent public schools in all middle class communities, adequate schools in lower middle class communities, and superb schools in upper middle class towns. Once you look at Boston, Lowel, or Lawrence schools... I have volonteered for a few different programs over the years, and it is shocking. Sometimes, I think that the only way indeed to fix those schools is to start new; problems are just unsurmountable. Those problems are certainly part the larger socioeconomic picture, but we can't just wait for all problems to be solved before we tackle this.


    The recession did not help either (it hit us especially hard, since so much of our economy is high tech). All programs were cut. One example is METCO -- a program that busses inner-city kids to good suburban schools. While it is very hard on the students (they sometimes have to get up at 6 a.m. and don't get home until dark), it is very successful in terms of students who graduate and go on to college. It was decimated (with arguments about it being too condescending). In fact, they even tried (though failed) to cut the program to the point where kids actual IN the program would have had to be taken OUT of it, and go back to inner city school after spending years at, say, a Lexington school.

    C. As soon as a school is failing for enough years, there are vouchers for everybody to go use in their religious schools.
    I keep going back and forth on this. Sure, I don't like that this takes money from the already struggling public schools, or that religious schools are getting governement money (my personal pet peeve). However, do I, living in a nice middle class community, have the right to tell poor inner city parents that they cannot give their child a decent education because it violates some principle? For those parents, the argument that they have to work to make the school better is not much of a relief, since their kids would probably have long graguated before this work will bear fruits. I know when my family came to this country, we had no money; my parents rented a truly terrible appartment just so we could live in a good town with a good school to make sure I got a good education. Following the anti-voucher logic, would it have been more "correct" for them to live in a poorer community? As I've said before, I don't have an answer.

    Finally, I'd like to mention that even in our school-friendly state it's not as simple as that. Recently, a co-worker of mine campaigned for raising property taxes in his town to pay for school building renovation because it was in such a condition that it did not pass inspections. It is a middle to middle-upper class community. You wouldn't believe what he went through! When he stood on the corner near the school with a sign urging people to vote for the tax hike, people would actually stop to give him the finger! At times, there would be rivaling demonstrations on both sides of the street! One of the arguments against the tax hike was why should childless people have to pay for the school; those people completely ignored the fact that their property values remained high in part due to the excellent schools in that town!
    Last edited by Ptichka; 05-10-2004 at 06:21 PM.

  11. #26
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ptichka, Exactly. And that's why I wrote at length about how to have good schools with no money, as they do in VT.

    VT does not have urban ghettoes. It has rural, Appalachian level poverty and squalor in some parts of the state. It has one room schools. It has Gores that have no schools at all and have to bus to neighboring towns. In our town we had some people living in old chicken coops and in shacks with no bathrooms. (It's not like that now. Burlington has crept out to Underhill, and it is now quite posh.) But what it does have is the town meeting.

    You get your town report. All the tax income is listed. All the last year's expenditures are listed. You also get your school report.
    On Town Meeting you go to the town meeting for half the day and the school meeting for half the day. You know that if you want good schools, you will be part of the solution. The budget items are listed. The moderator will make clear what your choices are. If you want to keep having lunches, we can pay the cook, but there will have to be 2 helpers per day. You sign up.

    The principal for the 4 room elementary school reports that there are too many kids in 2nd grade for the teacher to give enough reading time. One volunteer a week is needed. You gulp and sign up again.

    The high school principal asks for volunteers to teach 2 week segments in senior seminar so that the college bound seniors can be exposed to subject areas that we cannot afford to have separate teachers for. (You are thankful that you know nothing about zoology or anthropology.)

    If you don't feel you have ownership in your school, this does not happen. If you think someone else, some paid employee of the town for example, is going to do it, this does not happen. But even in a poor place, if the neighborhood school is kept, this can happen. Even in urban ghettoes. But it doesn't.

    And the more the ambitious children are removed, the lousier the schools get, because the parents who might have cared, don't.
    The state owes these poor areas good schools. The hands that make this happen though are the teachers, and the parents, and the students.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-10-2004 at 08:27 PM.

  12. #27
    Ice Angel
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    I have seen enough bloody war and nasty things Bush has done to Iraq people. He should step down.

  13. #28
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Kerry's has my vote.

    Dee

  14. #29
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jesslily
    I have seen enough bloody war and nasty things Bush has done to Iraq people. He should step down.
    LAst I checked BUSH wasn't the one slaughtering millions of his own people just because they didn't like him...




    on another note:

    KERRY NEEDS TO LEAVE MY HOUSE ALONE. We're getting his stupid newsletter and everything WE'VE NEVER BEEN DEMOCRATS. I'm wondering if he's bothering Republicans in general or Alaskans because of our current job problems--which his stupid party was the reason for!(That's one more reason not to vote for him IMHO, when he's not well liked by our former Governor who is also a democrat) I can only see our situation getting worse... not better.


    As for the No Child Left Behind... I was talking to some teachers about it and they said it *can work* if the bugs got worked out and we had more teachers wanting to teach... in Alaska it's hard because of the requirements brought forth on the teachers... bush villiages are not able to afford more than one teacher at a time... that could cause problems... but at the same time I understand the point of having teachers who actually know what they're talking about... last year our band director taught geometry... basically by reading hte book because she had no clue what she was talking about. One of the many "great" ideas a certain principal had.

  15. #30
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    I'm a nervous Democrat. I'd have to be convinced not to go with Kerry, but I don't feel I know enough about him. I can't see anything making me vote for Bush. I wish we had better choices. It's been rare for me to find a candidate that I truly wanted to vote FOR. Mainly, I've been voting AGAINST the one I feel is worse.

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