Week 6: Financing Public Education

February 23, 2014

I remember in the State of Virginia when the Lottery became legal, it was supposed to help fund education and give more money to schools. What a fantastic idea, until local governing bodies got their hands on the extra money. What did they do with it? Well, they found that they could cut the same amount from education and allow the lottery allocations to replace the cut funding. So what exactly did education get from the lottery allocations, absolutely nothing!! Local districts were able to put the money they were spending on education to other uses such as developing industrial parks to promote growth in their regions. The thought process was that if they could bring more business to the region, then they would have more tax revenue to spend on education. This never happened, or if it did it was on a limited scale. What would we do without creative financing? Virginia is not the only state doing this:


Since “property tax is the main source of revenue for local school districts” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2014, p. 243) my idea for adding addition funding for schools is to raise the tax on alcoholic beverages by 5%. All of the money that is raised in a county or city would be spent in that district. I would also have it stated in the law that no funding could be cut from education and that this 5% increase in tax would be mandated for education funding without any locations being allowed to cut any funding that they are currently giving to education, without documentation of a loss in tax revenue (City of Danville, VA is a prime example of lost revenue). The only other way to distribute the revenue equally is to take all revenue and divide it by the number of students in the state and distribute the funds per student to local school districts. We all know that the ABC store is a busy place.



Lottery funds play small role in education funding. (2012, August 15). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knIzm9Nmcq4


Lottery Sales Up, Education Funding Down. (2012, February 09). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqzW1dnclUc


Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education. (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.




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EDCI 506 Blog Week 5: Governing and Administering

February 15, 2014

One would think in this day and age that school systems would be able to provide a free and appropriate education for each and every student that enters their doors without federal, state, and local mandates. But, alas they do not. I find this saddening and appalling for so many reasons. I think that once something is left to the government to determine and set guidelines for that it opens up school systems for many unnecessary and useless practices. The concept of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is good, but the implementation of it is poor at best. I think it should be every school districts goal to provide every student with an excellent education. The guiding rule for that is the community, if you provide students with an excellent education your community will succeed, the workplace will prosper, and so will the workforce. I do think that NCLB brought about so good things like having highly qualified teachers. I just don’t think that the goal of “having every child making the grade on state-defined education standards by the end of the 2013-14 school year” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek & Vocke, 2013, p. 19) is an obtainable goal on any level. Some students are not going to be able to function on that level, ever. What do we gain by having these students testing? I think compiling a portfolio of the students work and submitting them to the governing agency can obtain a true portrait of a student’s progress and abilities. I think one of the major problems NCLB is that we got so caught up in testing and the guidelines that teachers have to follow that we lose focus on teaching the students what they need to know to be successful.


As a teacher I look forward to having my special education class, which will probably be a collaborative class with the current trends in education. I hope to be able to have an effect on all of the students in the classroom. I think that by working with all of the students in this collaborative environment that the students who are identified as having special needs with not feel like they are being singled out and made to feel different than the other students. I think that for these students they need to feel like they are just as important and equal as other students. Also there are always some students who are not identified or their parents didn’t want them labeled who are in these classrooms that need and want extra help. The point is at the end of the day kids just want to feel like they are people and matter to someone. It is our job as teachers’ to create a learning environment in our classrooms and to remain professional at all times, no matter the amount of stress laws and mandates place upon us.

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Portfolio Assessment. (2011, June 22). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_F7N-_pSOk.

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How does idealism and realism fit into today’s education?

February 9, 2014

Where does idealism fit into education today? It provides every student with an education, even when they have different intellectual disabilities. According to our textbook “all should have the opportunity to cultivate their minds as far as possible” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, Vocke, p. 184). We as teachers’ should have great expectations for our students intellectually and standardization should not overshadow an individual’s desire or willingness to learn (p. 184). Idealism fosters the idea that schools should be at the center of education with teachers as the leaders and directors of knowledge. Students should be allowed to experiment and discover things in the safety of the classroom, Plato felt that “truth must be experienced rather than told because language fails to convey belief” (Unknown).


Does realism also fit into education? It has to! In order for students to get the most out of education, “separate subjects provide the most accurate and efficient way for students to learn about reality” (p. 186). Which is happening in schools today. Realist also believe that “curriculum should be scientifically approached, standardized, and distinct-discipline based” (Cohen). Which we also use in the form of evidence based practices. Cohen also goes on the state that “character is developed through training in the rules of conduct”. Which is something that I have been reading about lately in education magazines, the thought is that teaching character is a key component in educational success today.


So how do we apply this to our classrooms? I think in a way we are using a more holistic approach to education today or at least I feel that I am. I don’t think that one approach works better than the other for all students, but rather some elements of each come together to help create a positive, creative, well-founded and well established practice for education. I think they all had wonderful ideas and I honestly cannot say that I like one better than the other, but I do like elements of all of them and think that they have provided us with a solid foundation to build our classroom and schools around.

Cohen, L. M. (n.d.). PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES IN EDUCATION.PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES IN EDUCATION. Retrieved from http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP2.html


Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


What is the Allegory of the Cave? (n.d.). WiseGEEK. Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-allegory-of-the-cave.htm

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Recent Issues in Education

February 2, 2014

After reading this weeks chapters a thought kept coming to mind, the more things change the more they stay the same. I don’t know who said it, it is just something I have heard my entire life. I believe that as education evolves it tends to play catch up to a world that is growing and evolving at a rapid pace. While the foundation of education is deeply rooted in history it is based off of several valid models.


One of those models was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori developed her program after researching Itard and Seguin. Montessori felt that children “posses an inner need to work at what interests them” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, & Vocke, 2014, p. 122). The activities were based upon three types “practical, sensory, and formal skills and studies” (p.122). Montessori was a pioneer in early education and through her work it has been determined that “early childhood education has a highly formative power over a person’s adult development” (p. 123).

Another foundation of education today is based upon Jean Piaget findings. Both Piaget and Montessori based their findings upon observations and believed they had discovered how children process and develop their ideas and findings. Piaget found that there were four stages of cognitive development and growth. The stages are sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete-operational period and formal-operational period. Piaget felt that “early-childhood and elementary education should be based on how children develop and act on their own thinking and learning processes” (p. 125)


I think that the way education has developed with No Child Left Behind, we have forgotten the way children learn and have gotten away for the some of the most basic needs that children need in order to learn. According to Dewey, “departure from the old solves no problems” (Dewey,J., p.25). I feel that we need to do more to help students learn in a nurturing environment that does not inhibit their learning and encourages growth through education.  I think that by knowing and understanding the basic principles and applying some proven and innovative techniques that bring in new ideas and technologies is a good solid foundation to build a classroom around.

Dewey, J. (1997). Experience and education. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Introduction to Montessori and the Montessori Foundation. (2009, April 12). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7a3Br6kPbU

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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