Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Lessenberry nails it Previous Next
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1655
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fund education or die

Our only hope is to attract new high-tech, new economy jobs to Michigan

by Jack Lessenberry
5/16/2007


Michigan is in trouble, for reasons that have little to do with the current state budget crisis, though things are worse than at any time since the 1950s.

We're mainly in trouble because the mainstay of our economy for a century the domestic auto industry is not what it used to be, and never will be again. Worse, we have a poorly educated work force, and nitwit or cowardly politicians who don't realize our only hope is to pour more money into education, now.

We now have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We are below the national average in both education and income, and the percentage of people with college degrees is one of the nation's lowest.

Naturally, that's partly because so many people with degrees are leaving the state.

How did we get in this mess?

We stuck with the past too long...

http://www.metrotimes.com/edit orial/story.asp?id=10503
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Malcovemagnesia
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Username: Malcovemagnesia

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Horray! I'm so enthusiastic about the possibility of my home state raising taxes beyond what I already pay in California (the place I settled at after giving up on hunting for work in Detroit).
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2170
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

same old shit - been hearing it for years

but even college education is not the cure all - anything technological can be offshored

Thank Bill Gates for putting so many out of work
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Spartacus
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Username: Spartacus

Post Number: 184
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Please explain how throwing money at eduction will help? I don't disagree with reinstating funding for our universities, but I fail to see how paying K-12 teachers and administrators more will somehow result in more college graduates. Its the mindset of the residents that needs to change. I don't know that you can fix that by throwing money at it. This editorial does not cite any evidence to suggest that our schools are underfunded compared to other states schools. On the contrary, if you look at the numbers our schools are funded much better than most.
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El_jimbo
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Username: El_jimbo

Post Number: 157
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Spartanacus,

We need more money to get more technology in schools. We need funding to go towards increased math, science and technology education for our K-12 students. Our problem is that we need investments in the right types of education. The current system doesn't work. It does no good to graduate 7,000 teachers every year when only 1500 teaching jobs are available in the state in any given year.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2171
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So we can graduate engineers that can't get jobs because the jobs are being filled by lower cost visa holders, who were given their visas on the premise that there aren't enough engineers in the States?
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 375
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Companies locate where there are people with the skills they need. Back when companies needed bucketloads of unskilled laborers, they located in Detroit. Now that companies mostly need educated people, they locate where they believe they can find educated people.

Those of you arguing we shouldn't improve education: what do you suggest we do?
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 976
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

3 of my college friends were engineers, all who found jobs before graduation, including one who is a hydraulic engineer for Boeing. There are jobs.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2172
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

False Prof. - Detroit automakers went out and got the workers they needed, bringing them up primarily from southern states. Such recruiting occurred during the pre-Depression auto boom years then again during the manpower shortages of WWII.

(Message edited by lilpup on May 16, 2007)
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2471
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Okay, good. That was 60 years ago. Lessenberry's point, exactly.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2173
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Then explain why Saturn put their start up in Tennessee - all the education out in the fields?

The real fallacy is that high tech jobs will ever be able to take up the slack from the more labor intensive manufacturing industry - the numbers just aren't there. Even in manufacturing, plants that used to require 10,000 employees can be run with 2,000. Combine increased efficiencies, illegal immigration, and offshoring to lower cost nations and the US is just screwed, jobwise.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 376
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would have been massively expensive to move capital-intensive auto plants to where the workers were, so at a couple of distinct points in history they recruited out of state, given.

Most years they did not go to that extent. And many modern high-tech businesses, not all but many, can be moved more easily than an auto plant. And a start-up company can locate anywhere its owners want.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 898
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup knows his stuff. I give his info two paws up.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1656
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit's future does not lie in manufacturing, at least not for the bulk of the local workforce. The US will never be the manufacturing leader again.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 786
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

>Thank Bill Gates for putting so many out of work

Actually, you should be thanking him for sounding the alarms.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2472
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The real fallacy is that high tech jobs will ever be able to take up the slack from the more labor intensive manufacturing industry - the numbers just aren't there. Even in manufacturing, plants that used to require 10,000 employees can be run with 2,000. Combine increased efficiencies, illegal immigration, and offshoring to lower cost nations and the US is just screwed, jobwise.



I don't think Lessenberry is suggesting that manufacturing is done and over with in the U.S. In fact, one might note that Germany has a higher proportion of its GDP in manufacturing than the U.S., despite having higher manufacturing costs (you know, like those damn socialistic taxes that Michiganders love to bemoan).

Rather, Lessenberry seems to be railing against the outdated notion that low taxes are everything, when in fact, lowering taxes in Michigan has done nothing but hurt major quality of life functions, including, but not limited to, education. It is the disappearance of these quality of life items that drives people with talent out of Michigan.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 899
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What're you talkin' about, Dan? Who needs schools when you're haulin' down Hall in your H3? All we needs is just enough taxes to lay the pavement. Prosperity always follows it.
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Mod
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Post Number: 106
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

U.S. is not screwed. The flawed belief around here is that every thing and every job has been created, and there are no more jobs to go around because they moved to (plug 3rd world country here). Globalization is opening up new markets ripe for tapping. If that weren't the case, don't you think the unemployment rate around the country would be greater than 4%!! We're (Michigan) too caught up in the past to effectively adapt. Education builds innovation, innovation builds new industries and jobs. That's the simplest formula for job and wealth creation.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2473
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Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not to mention that education teaches people how to think and solve problems, rather than wait for someone else to solve it for them.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2174
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mod, the unemployment rate is not the problem (yet). The declining real wages and job quality are.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 900
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember when "wealth creation" used to be called what it is: exploitation. Unless you're talking about "alchemy" or somethin'.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2646
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are two major fallacies contained within his article.

First, that having more people with a college education will improve the job climate.

This would be true if it weren't for the fact that I know of several friends with college degrees who have left Michigan (likely, for good) because of the lack of jobs for those with degrees already. Why saddle people with outrageous student debt for jobs that don't exist?

And why is it that those with educational ties, like Mr. Lessenberry for example, are always pushing for more people to go to college. I detect a little bit of job security concerns here.

Second. K-12 education in Michigan was done in not by Prop A, which has saved a lot of Michigan residents from losing their homes (a fact that most people like to overlook for some strange reason), but from themselves.

But it won't look good to claim that you created your own problem. It's just a lot easier to kvetch and moan that more money is (still) needed, and that if you don't cough it up, you just don't care about kids.
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Mod
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Post Number: 107
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Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From a manufacturing mind-set, that's very true. These are the types of jobs (including some knowledge jobs) that can't be anchored here and are susceptible to outsourcing. Again, NEW JOBS are created ALL the time. Those who can apply a skillset that cannot be digitized or sent to China will survive, if only temporarily. PEOPLE's SKILLS BECOME OUTDATED EVERY DAY, but they adapt and move on. Otherwise we would have tens of thousands of the following people still begging and looking for work: 35mm film developers, Detroit trolley mechanics, typewriter designers, whatever. The point is that innovation never stops. But too many people are stuck forever lamenting about the good 'ole days. Since 2000, because of globalization, 1 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indians entered the workforce. How will YOU compete? But also remember, what have you got that they want?
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 901
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As long as we continue to obsess about "being competitive" we never have to talk about being cooperative.
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 358
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 5:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Automotive jobs are not and have not been moving out of Michigan just because of the decline in the industry.

BMW, Honda, Toyota have all opened plants in the U.S. and will continue to.

Why haven't they moved to Michigan?

The elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. The U.A.W.

Union employees have killed the auto industry in Michigan.

That's why Saturn is in Tennessee and B.M.W. is in South Carolina.

Get rid of the unions and manufacturing jobs will come back to Michigan.

The jobs may not pay as much as they used to, but I bet there will be a line outside of the plant like at MGM when they announce they are hiring.

After all it's easier than going to school.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5867
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Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 5:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I have went to Seattle, WA. The aircraft and Microsoft industry save the city from its blight. Folks here in Michigan need to find another industry booming staple in order to survive in the competitive capitalist society.

Detroit went a long way from its fur game and fishing trade, making cast iron stoves and into CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGS. Now those manufacturing fields are almost gone in the changing world and its time for the people of Detroit and rest of Michigan to wake up and small 21st century science reality. Bring in the computer makers, and aircraft engineers and all things media to our state and we have everlasting jobs.
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Danny
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Post Number: 5868
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Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 5:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Thank Bill Gates for putting so many out of work"

I say thank the geeks who changed our global village through any mass medium. If you don't like their inventions. BE AN ANARCHIST!


Willy Wonka said this, " WE ARE THE MUSIC MAKERS, AND WE ARE THE DREAMERS OF THE DREAM."

Our world is not going back to the stone age anymore until someone push the atomic button.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 267
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 6:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Think about the labor market in Michigan and UAWlandia this way. You can have 50% of something or 100% of nothing. Take your choice.

I doubt that anything anyone says will convince anyone at the UAW of this fact. The last auto worker in Michigan is nearing.

Mr L. is correct, education and a really educated populace will attract jobs in the face of high taxes, but our state has gone so far down the road of destruction at the hands of our incompetent politicians it will get worse and worse. Take heart! Nothing gets worse forever.

When the bottom is reached (probably when all the political entities are bankrupt), and things look their worst; the free market will once again generate jobs and wealth. Just as the current free market has taken it away from Michigan manufacturing, the free market will return when materials can be rendered and assembled at a reasonable labor rate and an acceptable tax rate.

Michigan has had the "perfect storm" for economic ruin. Ineffective and incompetent political 'leaders', unrealistic labor unions, and corporate lack of vision. This is all simply stated but very rational.

Take heart, things will start to look better in 15-20 years.
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Parkguy
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Username: Parkguy

Post Number: 25
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 6:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A couple of things...

"but I fail to see how paying K-12 teachers and administrators more will somehow result in more college graduates."

First of all, I will let you know that I am a high school teacher.

For the most part, teacher salaries around the Detroit area are not an issue, beyond the normal contract negotiation process, inflation, etc. That is NOT the case in most of the rest of the state. Attracting and retaining teachers in rural areas is a major problem. Nationally, half of all teachers leave the profession within their first five years. Starting salaries for teachers are low when compared to other degreed professions, and the graduate work that is required by law is on your own dime. The academic year schedule is a trade-off on that-- but contrary to what many people believe, teachers do not have a summer vacation-- they are paid for 10 months work, although many will spread their paychecks out over 52 weeks (which benefits the school district). It is difficult to attract people to a profession that will pay them less by 25% out of the gate, and then will spread out increases over anywhere from 12 to 25 years, depending on the local district.

But even given those difficulties, the real benefit of increased spending on education comes with hiring more teachers to reduce class size. This is especially true in elementary and middle school, when students really benefit from more individualized attention. There are districts in Michigan-- and several around Detroit-- where you can find over 25 kindergartners in a class, and 35 or more in middle school and high school classes.

Even considering that, we have some of the best schools in the world here in Michigan. That is not an exaggeration. If you want to compare only standardized test scores, our wealthier suburban districts produce students who can compete with anyone on the planet. The same goes for the premier public schools in the Detroit Public Schools system. After students leave the K-12 system, we have some of the most highly-regarded colleges and universities in the world. At least four of our state-supported universities appear on lists of the top universities worldwide. It makes sense that students from world-class institutions would be recruited world-wide. In order to keep more of our graduates here, we are going to have to offer them everything that they seek in their lives. Better pay, better opportunities to do business and research, a smooth path to creating businesses, and encouragement for creative thinking.

Why do Michiganians scoff at these ideas? Because they've never experienced anything like that. That's what is meant by "changing our mindset." It's not all about the changes in the auto industry, it is about people who think that life on the line is all that can ever exist, and the kind of education that got them that job on the line is all anyone could ever need.
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Bussey
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Username: Bussey

Post Number: 514
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where is LivernoisYard preaching about the Tier system...?
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 360
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 9:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Boo hoo for the the teachers!!

You are just as bad with your unions as the autoworkers.

The only people who whine more are the kids in your classes.

You get great benefits, are paid fairly (for 40 or 52 weeks) and the extra time you work during the school year is more than made up for by the time you get off in the summer. You get tenure after 5 years and become virtually impossible to fire. 15 years after that you can retire if you have bought time towards retirement.

If teaching is so bad like most teachers claim it is then get out.

A boss of mine once asked us all "who asked you to work here". His point was that we came to him for work not the other way around and if we didn't like it we were welcome to seek other
opportunities.

I hate hearing about how education is underfunded. I don't have and kids and I am tired of paying for all of your kids educations with my taxes.

If you want anymore money get it from the parents of the kids in your school. If they want smaller class sizes they can pay for it out of their pockets not mine.
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Hagglerock
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Username: Hagglerock

Post Number: 426
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 10:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

321brian,

Who do you think paid for your K-12 education? I would rather have some decent educated/mildly intelligent kids around the area I live then be a few bucks richer from not paying educational taxes.
Living in Flor-bama for nearly two years taught me that lesson.

I quote from a 8 year old in my wife's class. When she worked at a day care in Pensacola.

"I reckon it's a monkey living cause there is a nanner in that there cage yonder"

-When he was asked what kind of animal was living in a cage that had a banana in the food dish.-

Our kids need everything they can get. Or we'll have a bunch of single teenage mothers and fathers thinking an associates degree is all you need in higher education.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2175
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 11:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

A boss of mine once asked us all "who asked you to work here". His point was that we came to him for work not the other way around and if we didn't like it we were welcome to seek other opportunities.

And with an attitude like that what kind of quality work did he get from his employees? Bet he had a pretty high turnover, too.
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321brian
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Username: 321brian

Post Number: 361
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 5:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:
"Our kids need everything they can get. Or we'll have a bunch of single teenage mothers and fathers thinking an associates degree is all you need in higher education."

Wouldn't that be an improvement? Now we have a bunch of single mothers and absent fathers who think an 8th grade education is all they need.


Lilpup,

That boss did get some pretty good work from us. I didn't like him but I respected him.

My point is that teachers spend too much time bitching about things class sizes.

Did you ever notice how many kids were in your classes? Did you ever think that there were too many kids in here and couldn't learn because of it?

Some college classes have 100s of kids in them. Students can adjust and learn in such environments.
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 1082
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 6:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Depends on the class.

If its a lecture for a 100 level class, no problem having 500 kids.

If its a critical thinking class with discussion, then more than 15 is useless.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 593
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 7:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where is all the lotto money for the schools going?
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 1361
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 8:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"saved a lot of Michigan residents from losing their homes"

Yeah, hows that workin out for ya now ? Not so good I see. Try quoting anybody other than DetNews for your point, btw.

It is not simply more college educated individuals that are needed, its the ability to educate.

It is not simply quality K-12 that improves things, its the fact that quality K-12 is the FIRST thing relocating companies and individuals look at for an indicator of past and future property values.

Why do Michiganders insist on being stubborn cavemen all the time ?

Was everybody here shocked by the massive amount they paid in State income taxes this year ? We dont pay shit.

And we are getting exactly what we paid for.

"Say goodnight Gracie"
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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 62
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 9:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Some college classes have 100s of kids in them. Students can adjust and learn in such environments."

321brian:

We are talking college here -- there is a huge difference. Class size makes a difference because children and adolescents need more personal attention to learn, and they are also much more difficult to discipline. stop accepting every anti-union worker comment without giving it any critical thought. Unions have their problems, but the "American way of life" would never have happened for the vast majority of us without the unions. They created safer workplaces, ended child labor, etc. Yes, they are dinosaurs and need to adjust to new realities, but they are responsible for laborers entering the middle class.

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