Monday, November 24, 2008

Malanga on Public Schools

The City, Autumn 2008 edition, has an article on poverty--"We Don't Need Another War on Poverty," by Steven Malanga. Mr. Malanga points out that all the money we've been throwing at schools hasn't resulted in better performance. This lack of improvement is what is spurring Congress to demand accountability from schools in some format:

[T]he U.S. has made vast investments in its public schools. According to a study by Manhattan Institute scholar Jay Greene, per-student spending on K-12 public education in the U.S. rocketed from $2,345 in the mid-1950's to $8,745 in 2002 (both figures in 2002 dollars)...Washington D.C. now spends more than $22,000 a year per student...

An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Study found that most European countries spend between 55 percent and 70 percent of what the U.S. does per student, yet produce better educational outcomes. If urban school systems are failing children, money has nothing to do with it. (from page 37,
The City, Autumn 2008)

In the same issue, there is another interesting article by Michael J. Totten on "The (Really) Moderate Muslims of Kosovo."

Also, on page 121, Theodore Dalrymple recalls the British stiff upper lip and laments its decline:

I found his self-effacement deeply moving. It was not the product of a lack of self-esteem, that psychological notion used to justify rampant egotism; nor was it the result of having been downtrodden by a tyrannical government that accorded no worth to its citizens. It was instead an existential, almost religious, modesty, an awareness that he was far from being all-important.

Looks like the West needs more of that old time British culture.

1 comment:

Slovebunny said...

Part of the problem is "no child left behind" policy.

My gf is a teacher she's been one for over 10 years and now she can't teach to the level she use to.
If the lower performing students don't want to learn or don't care to learn it affects the "good" students who do. What they could teach vs what they should teach has totally least in CA high schools. Now students don't even read as many novels & write as many papers as they did just 10-15 years ago.

Also the money that was once spent per student here in CA use to be a lot higher...we did have better schools before prop 13 came into play.
So more students stuffed in trying to learn is a huge distraction. School supplies not at their best.
Also a lot of teachers who would be excellent at their jobs leave the public school system sometimes because the starting wage is kind of an unlivable wage.
So in most cases the children sent to private schools can out test most of the public schools.

Their are also the parents...
How well a child performs in school also depends on the attitude the parent or parents at home have.