More money, same results

To settle a lawsuit, California will put more money into its most run-down and low-scoring schools. It won’t make much difference, I predict in the San Francisco Chronicle. These schools have far more severe problems than a lack of money for new textbooks. And the new money won’t buy much more than a few new textbooks.

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  1. Norman Berger says:

    Thanks for a great article. Why poorly performing schools do not adopt the methods of those that work is beyond me. Does anyone have an answer for this?
    There is one thing we all know: the more the kids spend time reading, writing (and getting graded) and doing math the better they will be at these subjects. So why isn’t there data on how much the kids are actually doing in each school? Surely, the teachers can produce something as basic as the number of pages/words that the kids have read and written during a semester or something else like this.

  2. Changes only come when individuals decide to make them. No suprises here, when parents were treated honestly they responded the way any parents responds.

    “Zavala began using the district’s gifted-and-talented reading and math curriculum for all students, which required teachers to adopt new teaching strategies. ”

    I’ll bet that took a bite out of the next item, maybe interesting classes help everyone.

    “All special-needs children were put in the smaller mainstream classes, saving money for other needs.”

    As long as they weren’t thrown out, I think that’s the best approach.

    “Offering health care at the school helped raise attendance.”

    I wonder what health care they offered?

    “Finally, the school pushed to get parents involved, including asking parents to sit on hiring and budget committees. ”

    Sounds a lot more genuine than making the parents take off time for busy work, and crafts.

  3. “In a 1996 Education Week article, researchers Richard J. Murnane and Frank Levy concluded money matters only if it’s spent intelligently.”

    Quick, someone alert the Nobel Prize committee!

    “At Zavala Elementary that program began in an evening PTA meeting when Alejandro Melton, the newly appointed principal, asked a parent to read aloud the scores of Zavala’s students on the statewide tests.

    Quick, someone alert the local NEA affiliate!

    Before this recitation, Zavala’s teachers and parents had been locked in mutual misunderstanding. The parents had seen report cards with A’s and B’s and assumed their children were doing well.

    Now let’s put on our thinking caps and see if we can think of some reasons why report cards and statewide tests are sooooo different!

    Could it be because for years, perhaps decades, parents were told and hoped that their children were learning something when they weren’t?

    Could it be because parents have no objective means of determining if their children are learning anything so have no means of determining when they’re being lied to?

    Or could it be that it’s all a big, silly misunderstanding and we’ll all have a good laugh when it’s sorted out?