December 17, 2006

Money solves all problems

That's the refrain you usually hear from do-gooder ed-reformers. All our education woes can be solved if we throw more money at the schools. Tell that to the Washington, D.C. school system.

Washington, D.C.'s schools spent over $15,000 a student, the highest level in the nation, in the academic year 2004-05, according to the National Education Association, and well above the New York level of almost $13,000. But District of Columbia students lag behind in testing, and schools are poorly maintained. Most parents who can afford to opt out, do so, either by moving to the suburbs or by sending their children to a private school.

If you can't teach children to read and do basic math with $15k, you won't be able to do it with $30k.


Anonymous said...

Where the heck is all the money going? It obviously isn't going towards teaching kids, and it obviously isn't going into facilities maintenance. There is obviously something wrong with this picture. If I were a parent, I'd want a forensic accountant crawling up their butts. I was going to say "school board member" but clearly if they wanted it investigated, it would have already been done!

Unknown said...

Naturally, I didn't bookmark it but I caught some employment figures for teachers and administrative personnel over the past (something something) years.

While the number of teachers had increased significantly over the time period the number of administrative personnel had positively exploded. Wish I could find the darned article but it's disappeared into the bottomless Internet.

Unknown said...

Arpad has it right, the problem is not teachers who aren't paid combat pay when some should, nor is the money going to facilities, which are absolutely crumbling. But I read on estimate that said that there was either 3 or 4 non-instructional (read non-teaching) personnel for every teacher in the DC schools. Like ARPAD, I can't find the article now. But that is just deplorable.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if you can teach a child to read and write, you're probably also good enough and smart enough to *NOT* work for peanuts and to go find a better job. The problem is not more or less money (though I'd debate that the solution is MORE going to the RIGHT people), but the joke that is the public school system and its sickeningly bureaucratic morass (the emphasis being on ass - of which the bloated payrolls at most locally-mismanaged schools are primarily comprised). As long as thieves and paper-pushers appropriate the budgets, write the employee reviews and otherwise taint every aspect of teaching, you'll never fix the system.

harriska2 said...

arpad - what kind of a moniker is that? That was my father's middle name.

What kind of a person would take a 27-56% paycut to work in the field of education? I would but I doubt I could even get the basic assistant job as a certified teacher because I don't fit into their mold of constructivism (although I believe in doing some projects and inquiry learning, I don't believe in STARTING learning there.)

Unfortunately, I cannot move.