Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
– Signe Wilkinson
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DC has had one of the highest per-pupil spending levels for ages – but much of it gets sucked up by the bloated bureaucracy long before it gets to the kids. It’s not about money.
It has to do with values such as marriage, hardwork and delayed gratification.
It’s much easier to drag the rest down into the crab bucket and accuse them of “acting white”.
You are so racist it hurts. Stop pushing your white privledge on the rest of us!
So teachers are immaterial?
Good to know.
Teachers are only part of the question. The best teacher in the world cannot teach the unmotivated. it is time to hold students and parents accountable.
Having your five old show up to kindergaten unable to count to ten, or identify the colors and shapes is child abuse.
Yes, but how big a part?
A vanishingly small part meaning teachers are essentially immaterial and aren’t worth what they’re being paid? An overwhelmingly important part meaning teachers are pivotal and aren’t paid nearly enough?
Your immediate resort to the excuse du an, that it’s the kid’s fault, or rather the fault of their parent(s) income, suggests you see no problem in having it both ways – that teachers have very little to no responsibility for kids learning and teachers are cruelly underpaid.
So, Gahrie, let’s test that hypothesis. Do you believe, “that teachers have very little to no responsibility for kids learning and teachers are cruelly underpaid” or is allen hearing things you aren’t saying?
My position is this:
1) When you compare today to the past, our graduation rate is near historical highs.
2) When you account for variables like ease of language and demographics, the U.S. does not underperform on international tests.
3) Much, if not most, of the problems in our schools today have been caused by misguided reforms made over the last 40 years, largely by the Left.
4) The rest of the problems are caused by a culture of failure and dependency that is defended and sometimes even celebrated. The fact that the phrase “acting white” exists, and has force, is all the evidence you need.
5) Attacking teachers is easy. Teachers are, and should be, held accountable for the performance of our students. My problem is that students rarely, and parents even more rarely, are held accountable for that performance.
6) I have never complained about teacher pay. I myself made a concious decision that I valued the extra time off over the increased income in a job in which I worked more.
OK so, in order:
1) The public education system is just fine.
2) Whatever’s wrong is due to factors outside and outside the control of the public education system. The public education system is just fine.
3) Whatever else is wrong with the public education system is due to attempts to fix the system.
4) Whatever’s left after that is due to something else beyond the control of the public education system.
5) Lousy results from teachers is due to the low quality of the students and the parents.
6) I’m just one person but I’m going to imply, if I can get away with it, that the personal decision I made is representative of the profession.
All of which equates to dodging the issue.
Look, don’t try so hard. The answer is that teachers have no responsibility to teach kids anything. Doing your job well or poorly is largely irrelevant and that’s due to the way public education’s structured.
The various accountability schemes thus are destined for failure since they don’t change the fundamental nature of public education. They remind me of nothing so much as the wood gas generators that were added to cars during World War II when gasoline was unobtainable.
They were ugly, inefficient and troublesome but they were better then having no transportation at all. The various teacher accountability schemes are also ugly, inefficient and troublesome but they’re better then assuming all teachers are equally competent.
So, is it fair to sum up this exchange?
1. Gahrie does not think that teachers are underpaid.
2. Gahrie thinks that teachers do about as well as can be reasonably expected, given that a) students come from a “culture of failure and dependency” and b) there are a lot of “misguided reforms made over the last 40 years, largely by the Left.” He justifies this by the fact that the US “graduation rate is near historic highs” and that “When you account for variables like ease of language and demographics, the U.S. does not underperform on international tests.”
Here’s a slightly different view point from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, comparing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to two suburban K-12 districts, 15 and 211. These districts serve a number of middle class communities and are located north and west of O’Hare International. Lest you think I am cherry picking, you can do the research yourself at the Illinois Interactive Report Card site: http://iirc.niu.edu/Default.aspx the source of the data below.
Number of Students: CPS 400,931 15/211 25,250
Instructional $’s/Student: CPS $8,235 15/211 $8,475
Total $’s/Student: CPS $13,616 15/211 $14,087
ACT College Readiness Benchmark (CRB) Results School Year 2012
(B=Black W=White H=Hispanic A=Asian)
CPS: W-54% B-15% H-21% A-45%
15/211: W-57% B-24% H-26% A-59%
The community chooses — that’s local control.
I live in a diverse area; this battle plays out at school budget time. Should we offer AP Physics, like every district around us, or should we put that money into Remedial courses for truants?? SHould we get rid of the band teachers and have more Remedial courses for truants? Or should we fund the SRO. Or hey, how about alternative school, where the price tag is 4X reg. ed., and we’ll send the minivan w/escort out to pick them up so they won’t have to be inconvenienced.
Notice the details of the cartoon. High parent involvement for the white children and not a parent in sight for the black child.
Notice also the number of students coming in to each school. That little fella on the left, that wants to learn, really should be getting a scholarship to a place where academics are offered.
My kids went to one of those affluent suburban schools, but art/music were minimal in ES and
My kids went to one of those affluent suburban schools, where the academics were very solid (less so in ES-MS now – poor curriculum, no honors etc), but the art/music were minimal until MS-HS (where it was assumed that you’d had private lessons), there was no school nurse in ES-MS (don’t know about HS) and the HS didn’t offer any SAT prep. One reason for the push for school nurses, other than lawyers and the unions, is the fact that far more kids with significant medical problems are in regular schools. Efficiency would group them and place the nurses there; thus reducing the need in every school.
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