Debate and Discussion

Inclusiveness in schools?
Black_Kitty at 12:04PM, Nov. 22, 2006
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I'm just going to jump right into this…

Sometimes you may have students who for one reason or another, money becomes an issue. They may not eat lunch, go on field trips, or buy certain supplies because they don't have the money for it. Some of them will tell you this but others will say nothing and just pretend they're not hungry or that they're not interested.

Education should be inclusive but there are instances when it's not. The reality is that not everyone can afford certain things and because of that, they are unable to experience the same kind of education as other students. I wish that all my students can eat lunch everyday but the reality is that not all of them can afford it.

I found that educational institutions aren't helping the situation. The museum had an area for schoolchildren to go to and the only resturant avaliable in the cafeteria was selling small sandwiches for $5. The students who could come are the ones that could afford the $8 enterance fee. I had wanted to take my grade 9s to the Science Centre but the admission fee was $17 minimum. It was questionable how affordable that was.

What do you guys think? Do you think there's something that can be done? Is it fair? Does it matter that it's fair or not? Do you think students are receiving different kinds of education because of these factors? And if so, do you think there's a serious signifiance and/or unfair advantage? What would you do if you were a teacher?
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Obsidian at 12:26PM, Nov. 22, 2006
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I think there is deffinately an unfair advantage when it comes to education. For starters the fact that expensive Ivy league schools exist. Children who were able to participate in Montesory schools and home schools are more likely to be accepted into Harvard, yet in order to go to these schools you have to have money, or at least have enough money to take the time off to educate your kids. In Public school, especially if the school is one that caters to college prep, there is a difference between kids who have tutors and kids who do notl; kids whose parents are professionals and kids whose parents only graduated high school or just middle school. Extra items like paying for field trips and lunch (although it sure is hard to learn when you are hngry … I can relate to that), etc … are just icing on the cake.

I think of schools who put a lot of money towards their successful sport program but not enough towards educating. High school sports is only 4 years for most, an education is a lifetime, and a good one can open so many doors.

After I moved from a good State-side school to another country, I got a scholarship to go to a private school for the last year and a half of my schooling. You realize that money REALLY helps, but it also boils down to the students as well. I know there were students who only tried enough to graduate and then they were content to live a life mooching off their parents. I think to myself that if someone who were not so fortnate could get the level of education they were having, they would take it so far. Yea they might start off doing poorly, not scoring high enough to get a scholarship, but in time they would improve with nurturance and a good environment.

My first high school was very good for a public school, but the poor students, usually the Black students whose families have been poor since slavery, and the newly immigrated hispanic students, did poorly (dropping out, and even murders at the school), while the rich students were getting 1600's on thier SAT's. There is a discrepancy with many place to point the finger.

The best anyone can do is inspire individual students to demand a better education, and I truly mean demand (fight for it). That is the only hope I have for any future children I bring into this world.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Glarg at 5:08PM, Nov. 22, 2006
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No more NCAT,
No more dress codes
And God f***ing d*mmit DONT MAKE US PAY FOR LUNCH!
im sick of paying 4$ for school cafeteria food

1.75 for pizza
0.50 for milk
0.50 for juice
0.25 for napkins
1.00 for trays
and god d*mmed tax -_-
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
Black_Kitty at 5:44PM, Nov. 22, 2006
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Obsidian
Extra items like paying for field trips and lunch (although it sure is hard to learn when you are hngry … I can relate to that), etc … are just icing on the cake.

I can kind of see the reasoning behind that with field trips but lunch I would have to disagree. Lunch shouldn't be icing on a cake. It's not an extra. It really is hard to learn when you are hungry and when your basic needs aren't met, how are you suppose to learn? And if you can't afford lunch, then it's likely you may not have had a fulfilling breakfast.

This sort of ties in to what Glarg is saying… I was observing a staff meeting during my practicum and one of the items on the agenda was the breakfast program. The breakfast program is basically food that's made available to the students for free every morning so that they don't go hungry during the day. It cost 80 cents per students to run and each student gets two pieces of toast and a healthy drink (chocolate milk or juice.) The problem was that there are roughly 720 students and the funding they were given only covers 35 cents of the 80.

The staff member estimated that at the rate they're going, if they don't get some additional funding soon, they'll be 20,000 dollars in the hole.

I suspect that students are also getting food at a lower price due to the cooking program they have. I've been told that they're served food that the cooking class makes (and it's damn tasty! <3)

The bottomline though is that those things cost money. It's all well and good to fight for a better education or demand free lunches…but where will the money for that come from?
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Mazoo at 8:12PM, Nov. 22, 2006
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I can understand this problem, as there is a Music Festival field trip that is coming up that I cannot afford. The nice thing about my school, is that they are very responsive if you voice concerns. I live in a suburban, smaller, tighter-knit community where we will get anonymous donors and fundraisring that is created specifically for those in need of a few extra dollars. At least for field trips.

My school has a certain program for lunch and breakfast. You are given a “student account” and a code, and you place money into the account. During lunch (or “breakfast” ) you just punch in the code in the system and off you go. It was created mostly for the fact that with cash, the lunch lines were very long and slow-moving. Our 30 minute lunch periods weren't long enough to people at the back of the line to even get lunch. However, whenever you run out of money in the account and “go into the negative,” my school is unforgiving about letting you get lunch. I know they don't want people to milk the system (consequences of negative accounts is that you are not allowed to walk when you graduate, go on field trips and be in extra-curricular activities) but I see this as a problem. My school is one of the richest public schools in the region (in the richest county of Wisconsin) and yet if someone cannot afford lunch they will plan out not sell it to you.

Most of the money my school has or gets goes towards sports. If you cannot afford something, it is more of a concern to the specific teacher that it applies to rather than the administration. And with this whole new “no bad foods!” rule my school has employed, I find it very ironic that they can't take a few dollars from the Pom Pons to give to the kids who can't afford lunch.

Now, most of the kids that go to my school are not really ones that need to worry about having money issues. They aren't insanely rich, but they are safely nested in a certain status in the community. Some of the richer parents keep pushing to get new, flat-screen computer screens and all the newest and most improved gadgets so their “kids get the best!” but they get offended if it's mentioned that some people simply cannot afford the unneeded upgrades.

Whether the school supports these kids in need is mostly up to the community that it is in. If it's mostly rich kids, the problem probably goes unnoticed, but probably can be cared for if addressed. However, if the community is poorer and it is a noticeable problem, there is most likely a reason why it's not addressed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:30AM, Nov. 23, 2006
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I am not sure if the same holds for schools abroad, but children here in Greece get their school books for free (they are issued them by the state). There's a lot of good and bad in that- at least nobody has to spend something like 200 euro to have the textbooks needed (which is the case with college) and those in private schools have to pay something like 45 euro for about 20 books. Bad thing is, they are horribly written and not really condusive to the educational process, which then comes down to the educator to make worthwhile or not. In the end, it comes down to who has a tutor and who does not.

I have to say though, that food is not an issue. Kids bring homemade snacks in lunchboxes or pay something like a euro or two to eat ready-made food and their choice of drink. Schools don't serve food per se, (just chips and crisps and the like) so everyone is expected to cater for themselves. In general, one is not expected to eat a full meal at school- that is done in the afternoon, at home.

I do think though, that there is only partial inclusiveness in schools on many levels. Especially the academic one- kids enter first grade (5 and a half to 6 years old) with different levels of preparation, ranging from zero to proficient reading and writing and grasp of addition and subtraction. Given that there are 26-36 kids in a classroom with a bellshaped curve of background knowledge, it's an absolute chaos where the ones least prepared are tagged ‘developmentally challenged’ or ‘dyslexic’ or ‘with learning difficulties’… and that tagging is done by the teacher who is not even qualified to make such an evaluation.

ah well. I think I am in danger of entering into a rant here.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
ozoneocean at 2:51AM, Nov. 23, 2006
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Glarg
O_o woah woah woah, 80 cents? I gotta pay $2.00 for Breakfast!
Black_Kitty
Are you paying 2 dollars for two pieces of triangular buttered toast and a small carton of chocolate milk?
Glarg
For a carboard-like Breakfast Pizza, Milk, And juice.
Grrr, I said I was going to enforce the rule abut debate postings, and I shouldn't be selective about it because that wouldn't be fair to the rest. I'm very sorry for that. So these posts are gone.
For a better explanation please consult my addition to the debating rules.

I'm surprised you guys haven't seen some mention of this in my deletions so far…
—————————————————————-

As for the debate; Tantz makes a good point about making lunches at home to bring. I still do that now sometimes! But generally food for children should be subsidised or discounted, especially at Museum cafes! Even the price of admission should be subsidised (for educational purposes), or at least heavily discounted for school groups. I KNOW that they are here.

It's definitely not a matter of “fee lunches” or where the money comes from, it's a matter of very greedy businesses taking advantage of monopolies and making extra profits because of that.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Obsidian at 8:33AM, Nov. 23, 2006
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Black_Kitty
Obsidian
Extra items like paying for field trips and lunch (although it sure is hard to learn when you are hngry … I can relate to that), etc … are just icing on the cake.

I can kind of see the reasoning behind that with field trips but lunch I would have to disagree. Lunch shouldn't be icing on a cake. It's not an extra. It really is hard to learn when you are hungry and when your basic needs aren't met, how are you suppose to learn? And if you can't afford lunch, then it's likely you may not have had a fulfilling breakfast.

This sort of ties in to what Glarg is saying… I was observing a staff meeting during my practicum and one of the items on the agenda was the breakfast program. The breakfast program is basically food that's made available to the students for free every morning so that they don't go hungry during the day. It cost 80 cents per students to run and each student gets two pieces of toast and a healthy drink (chocolate milk or juice.) The problem was that there are roughly 720 students and the funding they were given only covers 35 cents of the 80.

The staff member estimated that at the rate they're going, if they don't get some additional funding soon, they'll be 20,000 dollars in the hole.

I suspect that students are also getting food at a lower price due to the cooking program they have. I've been told that they're served food that the cooking class makes (and it's damn tasty! <3)

The bottomline though is that those things cost money. It's all well and good to fight for a better education or demand free lunches…but where will the money for that come from?

Oh dear, I didn't mean to make it as though lunch is not important at all. When I was in the States, I remember lunches being very affordable - 1.10 for a good bit of food; reduced priced lunch for those who could not afford. Cheaper for breakfast. I suppose I underestimated how bad some kids have it. :(
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 11:28AM, Nov. 23, 2006
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I live in a town where about half of the houses are middle class, and the other half are not as middle class. So in my school, half of us aren't able to pay for lunch. So, my school has a system that if your parents didn't earn at least $24,000 last year, you don't have to pay for lunch. (Which is a great system.) And the money for school lunch isn't cheap, either. Some people may think 1.90 is not much, but if you have to pay that amount for 180 days, that's $342 spent in one year, and $4104 for all 12 grades (if you weren't absent for one day, of course). This stuff can really add up.

My school can't afford anything else, either. It took a whole marking period just to get enough geography books for everyone. We try to open new clubs, but we don't have the money to support it. My brother tried to form a fencing club (which is a wicked idea), but the school didn't have the money to provide the equipment and teacher.

I'm glad I'm only a sophmore… Only 2.75 more years left… (ugh)

But I really think something should be done about the money… Aren't schools supposed to be more important than anything else at this point? People keep saying that children are the future of america… Why don't people try to help?!

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Obsidian at 1:25PM, Nov. 23, 2006
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I am starting to get a clearer picture of the lunch issue. It is not a matter of how cheap it is, more a matter of kids getting to eat it. I was sitting here pondering over the words spoken here not able to understand how a 1.10 for lunch mixed up with bringing your own lunch is too much. Now it is clear to me that there are kids out there whose parents neglect them, or not really neglect but are unable to properly provide for them; that there are kids who put the money given to them for other necessities due to their desperate sitations or even lose money to bullies and other shady characters.

… I wonder if proper nutrition comes into play - healthy food are so much pricier than reglar foods (pricy organic and health foods, expensive upper echelon grocery stores) … Just a thought. Don't want to add a level that may or may not be relavant.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Mazoo at 3:08PM, Nov. 24, 2006
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Obsidian
… I wonder if proper nutrition comes into play - healthy food are so much pricier than reglar foods (pricy organic and health foods, expensive upper echelon grocery stores) … Just a thought. Don't want to add a level that may or may not be relavant.

Healthier food is much more expensive than other, less-healthy food. Since the food in my school has changed from “bad food” to “good food,” the price has been upped over a dollar.

Not only that, but there are two types of lunches that my school provides. One is the smaller, typical cafeteria-style lunch, with a small “main course” and a piece of fruit and milk. That costs $1.90. This one usually does not fufill many people's appetite, and kids usually buy two of these lunches in a day.

The other type is a larger, more fufilling lunch with foods like cooked vegetables and paninis and wraps, that also come with more sides and more food. This lunch costs $3.10. However, these foods are typically not that healthy. It's usually very greasy or high in fat.

I usually solve this problem by packing my own lunch. I know for a fact that not everyone has access to that solution, and those are the real kids schools should be worrying about.

What gets me is how so many people complain about how expensive the food is, but when they buy it they don't even eat it all and throw most of it away. I don't get that logic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM

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