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 Problems with Schools 
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Post Problems with Schools
It was posited in the "Christian Faith Requires Accepting Evolution" thread that other countries have better schools than the U.S. and that these countries are "more atheistic" than the U.S.

There are indeed a number of issues in American education on every level, from primary school to the universities. I posit that the problems are complex and, in many cases (especially public K-12), have been exacerbated by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

I'm interested in 1) Can anyone support with evidence the notion that "more atheistic" countries tend to have better schools? Or, perhaps simpler to demonstrate: are the countries that are performing better generally "more atheistic"? If not "atheistic," can any correlation be made between the success of schools and those schools' link to education?

On a more open-ended note, what are the problems facing schools based on your observations, experiences, and evidence?

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June 27th, 2011, 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
"no kid left behind" is a joke....and it's gone nothing but south since then...IMO


June 27th, 2011, 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Man, my wife being a teacher and all.. could have a field day with this. Perhaps I'll ask her for opinion on this.

I will say, that she believes 'teaching to test' is not the best way to go about things.

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June 27th, 2011, 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
First, studies clearly prove that Atheist have higher IQ levels than Believers. From a country standpoint, in 2008 intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg found in a major study only 23 countries (17% of 137 total) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all higher IQ countries.”

So there is a correlation between belief, non-belief and intelligence. That demonstrates that factors other than pure education are at play. However, studies all show that those lacking beliefs also pursue more eduction on average as well.

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June 27th, 2011, 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Pablo wrote:
First, studies clearly prove that Atheist have higher IQ levels than Believers. From a country standpoint, in 2008 intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg found in a major study only 23 countries (17% of 137 total) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all higher IQ countries.”

So there is a correlation between belief, non-belief and intelligence. That demonstrates that factors other than pure education are at play. However, studies all show that those lacking beliefs also pursue more eduction on average as well.


Perhaps they pursue more education as they are looking for an answer?

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June 27th, 2011, 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
I can't answer the first question, but I have some thoughts on k-12 education.

While well-rounded, many of the classes children are forced to take don't have much of a bearing on their life outside of high school. It does expose them to things they may be interested in, when the time comes that they'll need to make some decisions about their future, they may base those decisions on some of that exposure, but I think children would be better off with curriculum designed to train their brains to process data more effectively (math, logic, memory), which they can use through out life, unlike random information about the countries history, information about foreign countries, etc - it also applies to sports and music programs, which should be privatized and have no association with public education. (include English in that curriculum, as evident by that massive run-on sentence)

Concentrated curriculums, I believe, could reduce student apathy towards the entire process, as would shortening the school day and cutting out things like recess for k-7 - children need to be more aware that school isn't suppose to be fun - it's a stepping stone that everyone needs to go through, and by not buying into the process they're only hurting themselves.

Outlawing collective bargaining.

No more no kid left behind.. If someone deserves to be left behind, leave them behind - the message children are sent from being pushed through the system when they don't deserve to be is not a good one.

Further cuts to public education - which would be spun as a detriment to the children, is actually intended to trim the fat.. Super intendents for schools with 200 kids making 300k/year - google Ron kraft.

Standardized national textbooks via digital delivery - subsidize iPads for students - I work out in my high schools gym - I was walking down the hall and noticed a physics book sitting on a bench named "modern physics" - it was from 1983. What's the point of teaching kids stuff from the 80s? Things change (evolve), and digital delivery is the only way to ensure that kids are getting up to date information - while reducing the financial burden on schools, and parents (as it would create a shift in the consumer computer market).

That's all that comes to mind right now.. These are just based off of my personal experiences with public education.


Last edited by anon749244 on June 27th, 2011, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.



June 27th, 2011, 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Continuing conversation from hijacked thread:

m2karateman wrote:
mwill2 wrote:
In general, way too many facets of public school education have been politicized. Everything from prayer to standardized testing has been handled very badly by both state and federal legislators. BOTH parties are responsible for these irresponsible acts--chalking it up to "the liberals" or "the conservatives" is a profoundly biased position. I know this is off-topic but as a former public school teacher I couldn't let this go unsaid.


Well, I can say that while I agree both parties have a hand in it, the type of thinking typically associated to Liberals (parents can't spank, political correctness, teachers can't touch students, teachers must pass students even with failing grades, etc.) is more of the root cause of the problem with today's youth. Not just in school, but in general as well.

Parents should have the option of spanking when they feel it is necessary. The idea that as a parent my child can do whatever, and that I risk being jailed, fined or otherwise punished for choosing to punish him/her in the manner which I feel is necessary is a complete societal abomination. Yet, despite basically stripping this option away under the threat of arrest, the court systems will hold a parent accountable for the actions of an unruly child, and child who no longer is under control of the parent because they have been handcuffed by the courts and judicial system. That's a bunch of crap. And basically the same thing has been done to teachers. And I'm sorry mwill, you can feel however you want, but this has been brought about by Liberals, not Conservatives. I take my kids to a private religious school, and most every parent I speak to believes in physical punishment of their child when the situation calls for it. And most of those parents are Conservative, not Liberal, in their political views. And, oddly enough, the parents that ARE Liberal minded, have the children who are the least well behaved.

This is not to say that all Liberal parents will have bad kids, or that all Conservatives have great kids. But parents should have the option of doing what they feel is right, without threat of arrest and prosecution for doing so. It is NOT mentally damaging, it is NOT abuse, it is NOT wrong. And guess where kids are told that if they get spanked they should report it?

Sorry, mwill, but the deterioraton of our education system has more to do with the ever increasing Liberal mindset taking hold amongst the educators in this country, as well as those in charge of the systems.


I don't need to be assured of anything. Evidence is what I'm interested in. You can prove your stance and we can have an interesting discussion. Simply find some evidence to support the notion that spanking directly correlates to EITHER of the following:

1. Better schools (measured by what?)
2. Better behaved children (measured by what?)

If you are willing to explore beneath the surface of the issue to really examine what is happening in schools, we can have a really interesting conversation. But there must be some quantifiable evidence to support your premise before proceeding.

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June 27th, 2011, 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
I dont know if you can make that a factual based comparison.. HOw to you make an accurate comparison between now and the late 70's early 80's.

The only thing I CAN say is that children with definable bounderies and reliable and consistant punishment for bad behavior DO act better than those who have parents who are their "best friend".


June 27th, 2011, 2:51 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Pablo wrote:
First, studies clearly prove that Atheist have higher IQ levels than Believers. From a country standpoint, in 2008 intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg found in a major study only 23 countries (17% of 137 total) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all higher IQ countries.”

So there is a correlation between belief, non-belief and intelligence. That demonstrates that factors other than pure education are at play. However, studies all show that those lacking beliefs also pursue more eduction on average as well.


There are two problems with this, at least in the context of the school-quality discussion. One is that because the worldwide atheist population is so small that atheists don't have a lot of decision-making authority to form school policies (or policies in any field). In this regard, how does one identify an "atheistic" school system? Maybe "secular" is the better word for this discussion?

The second problem is just a matter of logic. Are atheists smarter because they have personal, cultural, and professional interests that lead them toward higher levels of education? Or, are individuals who receive high levels of education simply more likely to endorse atheism? In other words, does atheism breed intelligence or vice versa?

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June 27th, 2011, 2:51 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Children don't know who is in charge and have no interest in learning compared to all the other things they could be doing. I blame parents and scoiety for not holding education with high regard. There is more access to almost any level of learning one wants to achieve yet no one is taking advantage of it...

No one is giving vision to these kids...

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June 27th, 2011, 2:53 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
Mwill - discipline plays a large role in how serious children take information. Actions and consequences. Take Dodgeball. How many of the "fat" kids, grew up determined to never be the last one picked again? If you couldn't fail a test, or knew the class was graded on a curve, would you strive to be the best? Or do just enough to pass? Discipline at its basic level is taught in the home. When discipline is never instilled there, its not taken seriously at other levels, hence the breakdown.

Pablo, thats the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard lol. There's been few studies that stated that, but its not a proven fact or even generally accepted idea. Japan has the highest average IQ, yet they have a high rate of buddism and honor. China and the US - direct opposites of the spectrum both average 100. Islam is the only supported part of the statement and I believe that's where they skewed the numbers because all muslim countries score in the 80's on average. You could make a bigger comparison on poverty and IQ then you could on religion. Which study were you thinking about? Nyborg & Lynn? And do you think 6k people is a big enough sample to make that broad comparison?

And I think we'd all agree that No child left behind is garbage. It was good in theory, but the implementation of teaching to test well doesn't work. Another example of giving an objective and the liberal mind going to the easiest path.

Aug, the lack of knowledge of history dooms you to repeat it. If you have no knowledge of the world around you, you're completely lost without any perspective. You think the higher education systems around the world teach less? No, they teach more, and for longer. The apathy comes from believing that none of that other information matters.

As to books... most books from the 80's are actually better than they are now. Math doesn't change, except for minor things here and there. The fundamentals remain the same. The constant changing of books actually drives up the cost of educations dramatically. Why do we need new volumes every year just to change 2-3 things.


June 27th, 2011, 2:58 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
regularjoe12 wrote:
I dont know if you can make that a factual based comparison.. HOw to you make an accurate comparison between now and the late 70's early 80's.

The only thing I CAN say is that children with definable bounderies and reliable and consistant punishment for bad behavior DO act better than those who have parents who are their "best friend".


As a cultural observation in this country, I can agree with the statement in bold. However, that's different from what m2k is suggesting--the claim is specifically that spanking--both at home and in school--will make children smarter and better-behaved.

It is important to note that 20 U.S. states do indeed allow corporal punishment in schools--spanking is NOT a relic of the past. It still happens in U.S. public schools every day.

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June 27th, 2011, 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
njroar wrote:
Mwill - discipline plays a large role in how serious children take information. Actions and consequences. Take Dodgeball. How many of the "fat" kids, grew up determined to never be the last one picked again? If you couldn't fail a test, or knew the class was graded on a curve, would you strive to be the best? Or do just enough to pass? Discipline at its basic level is taught in the home. When discipline is never instilled there, its not taken seriously at other levels, hence the breakdown.

Pablo, thats the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard lol. There's been few studies that stated that, but its not a proven fact or even generally accepted idea. Japan has the highest average IQ, yet they have a high rate of buddism and honor. China and the US - direct opposites of the spectrum both average 100. Islam is the only supported part of the statement and I believe that's where they skewed the numbers because all muslim countries score in the 80's on average. You could make a bigger comparison on poverty and IQ then you could on religion. Which study were you thinking about? Nyborg & Lynn? And do you think 6k people is a big enough sample to make that broad comparison?

And I think we'd all agree that No child left behind is garbage. It was good in theory, but the implementation of teaching to test well doesn't work. Another example of giving an objective and the liberal mind going to the easiest path.

Aug, the lack of knowledge of history dooms you to repeat it. If you have no knowledge of the world around you, you're completely lost without any perspective. You think the higher education systems around the world teach less? No, they teach more, and for longer. The apathy comes from believing that none of that other information matters.

As to books... most books from the 80's are actually better than they are now. Math doesn't change, except for minor things here and there. The fundamentals remain the same. The constant changing of books actually drives up the cost of educations dramatically. Why do we need new volumes every year just to change 2-3 things.


90% of people don't have to worry about repeating history - for the other 10%, there's secondary education. That's just based on my experience/observations, though. I have a curiosity for history, so I've looked into it on my own(as I think everyone should do), but a lot of my primary education could have been spent teaching me things that would benefit me later in life.


Last edited by anon749244 on June 27th, 2011, 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



June 27th, 2011, 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
mwill2 wrote:
I don't need to be assured of anything. Evidence is what I'm interested in. You can prove your stance and we can have an interesting discussion. Simply find some evidence to support the notion that spanking directly correlates to EITHER of the following:

1. Better schools (measured by what?)
2. Better behaved children (measured by what?)

If you are willing to explore beneath the surface of the issue to really examine what is happening in schools, we can have a really interesting conversation. But there must be some quantifiable evidence to support your premise before proceeding.


I said parents should have the option, not that it should be mandated. Each child is different. Each situation is different. There is no way of obtaining evidence, because few parents who do spank will admit it publicly.

The only evidence I can offer is that when spanking was a widely accepted practice, you saw fewer problems with kids than you typically do now. My only other evidence is my children, whom my wife and I constantly get compliments on for their behavior, and believe me they weren't born that way.

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June 27th, 2011, 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Problems with Schools
mwill2 wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
I dont know if you can make that a factual based comparison.. HOw to you make an accurate comparison between now and the late 70's early 80's.

The only thing I CAN say is that children with definable bounderies and reliable and consistant punishment for bad behavior DO act better than those who have parents who are their "best friend".


As a cultural observation in this country, I can agree with the statement in bold. However, that's different from what m2k is suggesting--the claim is specifically that spanking--both at home and in school--will make children smarter and better-behaved.

It is important to note that 20 U.S. states do indeed allow corporal punishment in schools--spanking is NOT a relic of the past. It still happens in U.S. public schools every day.



I never said what you are claiming I said. Please don't put words in my mouth. If you continue to misrepresent my statements, our conversation is done with.

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June 27th, 2011, 3:10 pm
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