I was outraged and disgusted to read the results of an assessment of Detroit school pupils.
In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading.
That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.
Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.
. . .
The Department of Education has published fiscal information on the Detroit public schools for the 2011-2012 school year. That year, the Detroit Public Schools had total expenditures of $1,231,375,000, equaling $18,361 per student. That included $13,330 per student for current expenditures, $3,182 for capital outlays, and $1,737 for interest on the school system’s debt.
$271,358,000 of the school district’s funding for the 2011-2012 school year came from the federal government.
There’s more at the link.
If you’re not outraged and disgusted by those numbers, you should be! Every taxpayer in America is on the hook for this failing school system, because the Federal government is paying just over 22% of its budget. The results prove that the children in that system would actually be no worse off, educationally speaking, if it didn’t exist. The entire department seems dedicated to doing nothing more than provide sinecure jobs for the teachers and administrators, without a single thought for the children it’s supposed to be educating.
If I were in charge up there, I’d can the entire department and fire every single person working for it; then I’d issue a school voucher for $10,000 for every child currently in school, and invite private school companies across the USA to take over the existing school buildings in the city, hire suitably qualified and competent staff, and educate them. They’d have to meet strict standards of performance, including a minimum percentage of kids that pass this sort of assessment, rising every year from the present abysmal levels to something more acceptable. I reckon I’d save almost half the current outlay and still end up with better-educated kids!
Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind.
Providing any further funding to Detroit’s Department of Education in its present form would seem to qualify under that definition . . .