Sunday, December 9, 2018

Throw Money at It?

Recently the Richmond Times-Dispatch carried a story about Richmond Public Schools and how poorly they are doing, thus how poorly the students are doing. The remedy? According to the subsequent attention-raising march and the many speeches made - SPEND MORE MONEY!

Of course, that is the default position of all liberals who worship the state. Two things are needed; More government, thus more money. The truly disturbing aspect of all this is that Richmond already spends more money per student per year than the majority of school districts in the state, districts with better grade and graduation records. How can this be? I mean if MORE MONEY is the answer then certainly Richmond should already be at the top of the leader-board, should it not?

Here are some inconvenient facts that rational people will consider, but liberals will ignore; Richmond already spends over $13,000 per student per year. Even with that expenditure the grade levels and graduation rate is still the lowest in the state. So, Mr. & Mrs. Liberal, how much is enough? Hmmm? What is the magic number? How much does the city need to spend per student per year to improve grades and graduation rates? Surely you have some figure in mind or else you wouldn't be touting this as the "fix."

I saw another article today about Baltimore, MD public schools and the fact that NO STUDENTS are proficient in state tests. I then remembered similar stories out of other U.S. cities, like Detroit, MI, lamenting the continued poor graduation rates and grade levels. Baltimore spends over $15,000 per student per year, while Detroit spends over $14,000 per student per year. So how does one explain school districts that spend less money having better grade levels and better graduation rates? Well, HOW?!

Oh, by the way, can anyone guess which political party runs each of these cities? In fact, if you do a nationwide survey of school districts that do poorly, which political party do you think runs those districts? I know this won't sit well with you liberals reading this, but facts is facts, and as much as you may wish to ignore those facts they are not going to go away.

And in all of this the real problem, the real cause, the thing that most needs to be fixed is never addressed. No school board wants to deal with it, no school administrator dares mention it, no politician will ever go there, yet it is there and it is not going to go away until they address it. It is "attitude" or one may wish to call it the "culture" of the students and the PARENTS. Oh I can just feel the shock waves from all those jerking knees right now.

Yes, I said it, the culture and the parents. A culture where discipline is not only frowned upon, but is actually discouraged, as it might be seen as racist or mean or unfair. A culture where being "educated" or "smart" gets you called names or even beat up for "forgetting where you come from" or "for trying be something you ain't." I know, I know, it sounds crazy to you and me, but you ask any teacher who has had to deal with it and they will tell you that it is real. And the parents, yes the adults in the child's life. There was a time when they participated in school activities, when they knew what their child was learning and what he/she had to do for their lessons. The parents knew the names of their child's teachers and demanded that their child be polite and respectful in school. Now-a-days the parents in the affected districts see the school simply as daycare. Someone to watch their kids during the day, so they, the parent, don't have to be bothered with them.

Think I'm wrong? Think I'm a hate-filled meany who just doesn't like kids? Well, I would expect that sort of response from a non-thinking liberal, but you would be wrong. I teach, because I care about what kids learn. I have been alive long enough to have seen the sea-change in the relationships between students and schools, students and teachers, and parents and teachers. I have also seen the lack of courage exhibited by school boards and administrators, who prefer to kick the can down the road or throw a teacher or three under the bus, rather than address the real issue(s). It is frustrating, it angers me, and it does NOTHING to help the children or improve their education.

But hey, it's all good, just throw more money at the problem, that'll fix it, right?