Sunday, January 24, 2016

The high price of a lousy education

"It remains a mess after all these years. Not forever however - when I was a youth the Minneapolis school district was respected for its results."

This has not been a "red letter" year for the City of Minneapolis. In particular, it is how they educate the young. They really do seem to stumble all over themselves in doing so. And badly. And it is money not well spent. Actually money (our tax money) wasted. How much does it cost to educate a youth in the City of Minneapolis every year? It is somewhere between $14,000 and $21,000. All depends on who you ask.

Well, the fact we spend more educating youth in Minneapolis than any other city in the state (other than maybe St. Paul), is only part of the problem. The graduation rates in some of the high schools is abysmal. In fact there was an article in the hometown newspaper (October 2015) which stated less than 50% of all students in Minneapolis graduate from high school. Couple that with the fact that Minneapolis has one of the worst achievement gaps in the country, and you have an education system similar to ObamaCare. Remember? Pay more, get less.

It is so bad, even the school board is hosed up. It recently decided to expand from 9 members to 12. All that has done is made governance go from hard to almost impossible. To top matters off, the Superintendent position remains open. The Board had a flawed candidate in who some thought was going to be a shoe in. After some things from his past were discovered, he was tossed aside. When they tried to vote the Interim Superintendent in, a protest broke out at the board meeting. All this dysfunction proved to be too much for the Interim Superintendent. He withdrew from the race. That leaves this messy school board (and district) with nothing. 

So let's get back to the bottom line. Who are the real losers here? The kids in that district. They have become "throw away kids". Discards. And nobody really seems to care. The only thing the district can do to "fix" the problem is to continue to "dumb down" standards. Net result - the 50% of the kids who do graduate from high school are not ready for college nor the work place. The high school diploma becomes no more than fire starter or fish wrap. 

By the way. These results in Minneapolis in no way denotes these kids are stupid. They are not. They are just as bright as kids from any other district. Some private or charter schools in the district have shown extraordinary results. From kids that come from all levels of income. From kids from different cultures. From different races. There is nothing wrong with the ability to learn in these kids. There is a lot wrong with how they are taught.

Going forward we will no doubt hear the familiar cry going up the Minneapolis School District. "MORE MONEY!" Yes, they will want the taxpayers to pour good money on top of bad. Rather than fix the meat of the problem, they will continue to try and mask it with more funding. And the kids will continue to fail. And this underclass of under educated people will continue to grow in Minneapolis.

When you hear that elections have consequences, remember this. Not just on a national level, not just on a state level, but down to the local level. And that includes the school board. If you elect unqualified statists rather that fixers, this is result you get. And it is a problem which Minneapolis does not need nor deserve.  

No comments:

Post a Comment