Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Check This Out! And See What You Think!

Read Derrick  Z. Jackson's 
Column in The Boston Globe This Morning

from "The death of public education:Lack of money is killing our schools"

"Our investment in public school teachers is paltry for the wealthiest country in the world. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the United States ranks in some measures behind England, Italy, Japan, Scotland and way behind Germany in starting teacher pay. The average expenditure on college students in the United States amounts to $24,400 per college student, two and a half times more than the $9,800 per-pupil spending in the public schools.

Beneath the numbers is the resegregation of children on the basis of class, race and immigration status. Prison spending soared so much, that by 2007, five states spent as much or more on corrections than on higher education, according to the Pew Center on the States."

And. . . .

"She [Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University professor] noted how Singapore, where 80 percent of families live in public housing, was tops in the world in fourth-grade and eighth-grade math assessments in 2003. 'When children leave the tiny, spare apartments they occupy in high-rises throughout the city,' she wrote of Singapore, 'they arrive at colorful, airy school buildings where student artwork, papers, projects, and awards are displayed throughout, libraries and classrooms are well-stocked, instructional technology is plentiful, and teachers are well trained.'

It is enough to make one consider whether America needs to start from scratch. Whatever we are doing, it is not working. For instance, Darling-Hammond said Obama has an education platform that could rival the last serious education president, whom she considers to be Lyndon Johnson, but 'to date has not squarely embraced the idea of equity. He did a great job coming out of the box on higher education, but inequity in elementary and secondary education is continuing to widen.'

Johnson once said you cannot “take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others.’ ’’ Today millions of American children once again need our help to get to the starting line."

Read more at: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/04/06/the_death_of_public_education/