Democrats are slow learners

Democratic presidential candidates met in Washington to complain that education is underfunded, but ignored the “facts on the ground,” writes Richard Cohen in the Washington Post.

. . . they all got into cars and drove through a city where teachers are relatively well paid, per-pupil spending is through the roof and — pay attention here — the schools are among the very worst in the nation. When it comes to education, Democrats are ineducable.

One candidate after another lambasted George W. Bush, the Republican Party and, of course, the evil justices of the Supreme Court. But not a one of them even whispered a word of outrage about a public school system that spends $13,000 per child — third-highest among big-city school systems — and produces pupils who score among the lowest in just about any category you can name. The only area in which the Washington school system is No. 1 is in money spent on administration.

Via Joe Williams’ Democrats for Education Reform blog, which also says Dems’ support for charter schools is easy and insufficient.

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  1. Ragnarok says:

    Can this be the same Richard Cohen who used to be a stalwart liberal? Interesting to hear him say things that many people of this blog have been saying for quite some time.

  2. Oh there’s quite a little tussle brewing on the left over public education.

    There’s the status quo supporters who grow faint in the presence of a charter school. Their solution to every problem is a budget increase which is really necessary to fix the problems caused by all the previous budget increases.

    Then there are the white lefties typified by Cohen who are done with endless promises and endless complaining and no results. For a certainty he was a stalwart supporter of public education and still is but having looked at the wreckage caused by dysfunctional, inefficient, ineffective school districts something caught in his throat when he was required to swallow the same, old excuses yet again.

    There’s a small but growing coterie of lefties with similar views. How much they’ll matter isn’t clear yet but Cohen isn’t the only leftie with impeccable credentials who’s gone over to the dark side of the force. It should be interesting to see how they react when hit with the venomousness previously reserved for Repubs and conservatives.

    If Joe Williams is right, and I suspect he is, the Democratic contenders are going to have to make some hard choices between the NEA and black voters. The former is a force to be reckoned with but the latter is the bedrock of the Democratic party and where the black electorate goes Democratic candidates hesitate at their peril.

  3. Catch Thirty-Thr33 says:

    If money solves everything in education, then why aren’t NY, NJ, and DC churning out vast armies of Salks, Shakespeares, Mozarts and Einsteins every single spring?
    I shall continue to ask that question as long as I hear whining that education is underfunded, and everytime my school district starts crying for another bond issue.

  4. Ragnarok says:

    I think public schools are overfunded, and their raison d’etre is to keep the administration and the teachers employed.

    Teaching kids is certainly not a priority. It may in fact be easier to beg for more money if the kids aren’t doing well.