View Full Version : "Americas Greatest Scandal,How It Doesn't Educate Its Children !

07-28-2008, 10:59 AM
The Greatest Scandal

"The NEA Unions Are All About More For The Unions And Teachers,Screw The Children !"

The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation's greatest scandal. The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark. John McCain is calling for alternatives to the system; Barack Obama wants the kids to stay within that system. We think the facts support Senator McCain.

"Parents ask only for schools that are safe, teachers who are competent and diplomas that open doors of opportunity," said Mr. McCain in remarks recently to the NAACP. "When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children." Some parents may opt for a better public school or a charter school; others for a private school. The point, said the Senator, is that "no entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity."

Mr. McCain cited the Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program, a federally financed school-choice program for disadvantaged kids signed into law by President Bush in 2004. Qualifying families in the District of Columbia receive up to $7,500 a year to attend private K-12 schools. To qualify, a child must live in a family with a household income below 185% of the poverty level. Some 1,900 children participate; 99% are black or Hispanic. Average annual income is just over $22,000 for a family of four.

A recent Department of Education report found nearly 90% of participants in the D.C. program have higher reading scores than peers who didn't receive a scholarship. There are five applicants for every opening.

Mr. McCain could have mentioned Edison Learning, a private company that took over 20 of Philadelphia's 45 lowest performing district schools in 2002 to create a new management model for public schools. The most recent state test-score data show that student performance at Philadelphia public schools managed by Edison and other outside providers has improved by nearly twice the amount as the schools run by the district.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121720068489088381.html?mod=opinion_main_review_ and_outlooks"

07-28-2008, 11:36 AM
I've been observing the Detroit Public Schools for 21 years. They have a 40% graduation rate, and that is a generous statistic. There are worse stats out there.

The schools were bad 21 years ago. Some have improved, some have closed and some have gotten worse. The magnet schools, for kids who are advanced, remain excellent (Cass Tech, Renaissance High and MLK High). One or two of the regular schools have made great improvements (Southeastern High, in particular).

Kettering High is the worst, in my opinion, at this time. When I've been in it, I've observed that the kids are out of control, the attendance is poor, the teachers call in sick all the time, and the building itself is in bad shape. They hired a new vice principal to clean it up, and he seems like a good guy, but he is one man (he offered me a teaching job, because it was obvious to him I showed up every day, but my degree is in the wrong field).

20 years ago, Detroit had an army of truancy officers. Now, I'm not sure if they have any left, or if they've all been laid off. Their job was to enlist parents into ensuring that the kids attended school. It helped with working parents who cared, and didn't for parents who didn't care what happened to their kids.

The suburban Grand Rapids public school system I attended (Kentwood) is still one of the best in the state, even though it's about doubled in size since I graduated. The buildings are all in good shape, some have been improved beyond my ability to recognize them. A lot of the suburban Detroit districts are still providing excellent educations-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clinton Valley, and numerous others.

I do think that the failures in Detroit and other large cities are more than just teacher failures, though. It's part of the problem, but not the whole problem. The larger problem is parents who don't care enough to ensure their kids attend and complete their work.