I’ve ranted a time or two (OK, well, more than that) about the state of education in this country; first up this morning is an interesting piece of commentary on how the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ affects not only students but faculty in big-city school systems. Read Why The Shock Over Atlanta Teacher Cheating? Excerpt:
Atlanta’s citizens are in a state of paralytic shock this week. A year-long investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) into systematic teacher cheating in Atlanta’s public schools has just been released.
Dr. Beverly Hall, that oh-so-highly-acclaimed superintendent with all the national education awards, has gone into early retirement. All those rising test scores from the past decade have been revealed as a disgraceful sham, the result not of actual improved education, but of teachers having “cheating parties” where answer sheets were used to change the answers of failing students so that required benchmarks could have the appearance of being met.
Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, released the GBI report to shocked journalists, shocked city leaders, shocked school-business partners, shocked parents, shocked clergy, and shocked taxpayers. The public shock is so thick and anguished in Atlanta right now that it’s pure wonder all the animals aren’t howling at the moon in aggrieved concert.
It’s highly likely that Atlanta’s recent high school graduates had already faced the shock, which now grips the whole city. Just imagine a young person, who was recently hired or accepted to college on the strength of one of those faked diplomas, receiving the rude awakening of a firing or college flunk-out all because he couldn’t actually read or write.
Thinking of all those lied-to kids and their disillusionment made me cry. It’s hard to imagine adults in responsible positions – teachers, for crying out loud! – so callously hurting the children they were employed to help.
I reiterate my support for a voucher system, which, incidentally, is strongly favored by parents of kids in our major cities – many of which have school systems that, like Atlanta’s, range from bad to disastrous. Will a voucher system allow some parents to send their kids to private schools run by religious Froot-Loops? Yes, and there is no Constitutional issue therein as long as all religions are equally free to run schools. Will it also allow other parents to send their children to superior schools run on a program of rigorous academics? Also yes. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
And let’s face it, parents in our big cities have nothing to lose and everything to gain by such a system.
In other good news (sarcasm intentional) the Dow is plunging after another dismal jobs report. Excerpt:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid almost 1 percent, led by Caterpillar [CAT 109.23 -2.40 (-2.15%) ] and GE [GE 18.9518 -0.3482 (-1.8%) ] after finishing almost 100 points higher in the previous session.
Nonfarm payrolls rose only 18,000, the weakest reading since September, according to the Labor Department, well below economists’ expectations for a 90,000 rise from a Reuters survey. The unemployment rate climbed to 9.2 percent, the highest since December, from 9.1 percent in May.
Given that our government’s policy in the last few years seems deliberately focused on driving businesses out of the country or out of operation, it’s amazing things aren’t worse than they are.
Well, look on the bright side, True Believers – it’s Friday!