We've tried dumping money and teachers into public schools, and it don't work:
I agreed largely with what you said until this point, Beardfist. It actually has been shown that money matters in student outcomes
. I think it's a huge problem that some states
spend more on prisons than they do on education. It doesn't make sense to me to be spending several times more on a prisoner than a student
. Doesn't it make more sense to spend a little more on students so they don't end up in prison in the first place? Unfortunately that's against the agenda of the for-profit prison industry. People scoff at terms like the "school-to-prison pipeline," but if you look at the evidence it does appear to be happening in our country.
As for climate change, assuming I hadn't read any of the literature, I'd still be more likely to believe an expert in the field than Sarah Palin.
Money spent wisely matters in student outcomes, and NCLB and Common Core after it, both half-baked and half-implemented policies, have ensured that money gets thrown into the mix in the stupidest of ways. Schools get their funding penalized if they do poorly on the standardized tests, which is so stupidly backwards, so you have a panic and hysteria about doing well at them. The problem is that you have middlemen and bureaucrats worrying, who buy into programs and plans and things that are just outrageously stupid--who on the side funnel away local taxes from those at-risk schools into the more... 'reliable' ones. The high school I went to, while I was there, spent thousands and thousands of dollars on these "smart board" things that I saw maybe one teacher use. After the district had bought them, they spent absolutely no time bothering to try to educate any of the teacher on how to use the boards, and released clunky at best and unusable at worst online resources for them. Spending per student as such was increased, but in the dumbest and most ineffective way possible. Meanwhile, you have stories of schools in NYC and DC on their last legs that gets an administrator who grabs the bureaucrats by the balls, hires quality teachers, and makes sure the money is spent on shit that's useful to the kids. After blowing its wad on those stupid boards as well as other 'innovations' while I was there, this year the regional district has said that it's considering closing all four of my hometown's high schools, because they blew through all their cash and bureaucrats reallocated funds to the bourgie schools after the money had no effect. I guess that's what I'm real mad about. You can't just throw money at a problem until it goes away, because money isn't infinite.
The school to prison thing is real tough to chew, though. Shit schools lose funding because of NCLB and CC and so forth, but honestly, even if they didn't, I'm not sure what the effect would be. Because of all the red tape, like I said, it's hard for teachers to get rid of disruptive, violent students. And those students absolutely ~destroy~ the value of the education for everyone else, and seeing them get away with so much shit galvanizes other kids to join in. The way gangs will recruit at high schools and get people into violence at a young age, well, it isn't always a fault of the school itself. Chicago, for example, has seen an absurd upswing in murders this year, before the blood summer has even begun (and now that it's the memorial day, shit is about to get way worse). The primary people getting nabbed for it? 14-17 year olds. Now, I think the notion of a private prison is absurd, and here in Pennsylvania we had a judge get arraigned for essentially allowing a child labor camp of a prison to get made (and he funneled innocent juvies into it for some quick smack), so I think the whole idea is stupid. I think the mandatory minimum laws around drugs are stupid, especially around marijuana and coke (even if coke is actually bad for you... like, really boss?). But I don't entirely get behind the school-to-prison thing per se. I think there's a correlation, but not a causation. Prison lobbyists do tend to wield a disproportionate amount of power in the system and make mad bank on it, so I wouldn't be surprised if they actively attempted to keep shit schools shit, but I think it's a little conspiratorical to suppose there is a direct link. Both schools and prisons need some serious overhauls, but we're too busy talking about one percent of the population to pay attention to layered shit. fuck the department of education, fuck it so hard
It makes me mad, because there's this private charter school about a twenty minute walk from my place, in a real rough neighborhood, that's been doing a lot of good for the community. It preps kids for careers in engineering or general IT-related fields, and it's serious about its curriculum and the kids that get in. It's had a lot of success stories, but it's also not bound by all of the stupid bureaucratic shit public schools are. They fire bad teachers, grab and retain good ones, boot troublemakers, care about security, and provide their kids with the resources they need to get an edge. not buying 30 $1500 classroom props to collect dust.