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January 20, 2010

Comments

Good to see a 100-comment domestic-oriented thread here. Thank you, publius.

I resent that ;)

But hey, they hired me to cover the FoPo beat. Who knew most the domestic minded folks would up and retire all at once.

Yeah, sorry about that, Eric. I appreciate that you are good-natured.

I guess these Dems-in-crisis threads get a big response because all of this -- jobs, health care, foreclosures -- hits so close to home (that and I think the FoPo threads seemed more immediate when Bush and Cheney were blanking everything up on a daily basis).

And what were the odds of the domestic-minded folks retiring all at once? Kind of like the Jets making the AFC title game with a rookie quarterback.

;)

@Marty:
There are lots of storys of successful people from the worst of our schools. We should keep focusing on making that less hard and focus less on the myth that our society or "right wingers" want it to stay that way. In the end that is just the hammer liberals use when anyone stands up and says we spend plenty on education. Let's figure out how to spend it smarter.

With all due respect, Marty, the above is a bit of a red herring. Yes, some people have succeeded in spite of their circumstances. This does not change the fact that they are a pitiful minority compared to the numbers who did no better than their circumstances would lead one to expect, and that "succeeding" with a great deal of effort may be doing no better than others born into more affluent school districts (or families given to private schooling) would do with next to no effort. It's also selection bias, in that we hear nothing of the people who make an enormous effort and still fail. That such people do not exist is as certainly a myth as what you cite.

The problem with our educational spending is less (as you say) one of inadequate overall school spending, and more (as you elide) one of inequitable individual school spending. "Spending smarter" taken to its logical conclusion would probably need to mean fully federal funding of public schools, with funds collected and disbursed evenly (with possible adjustments for standards of living, etc.; a teacher living in CA needs a higher wage to get by than one in MO, obviously) across the nation.

Alas, that shall never come to pass w/o nigh unimaginable sea change in attitudes in re: the US's educational structure.

Yeah, sorry about that, Eric. I appreciate that you are good-natured.

Honestly, it bothers me that there aren't more domestic-minded posters. We're in the long hard slog of a process of trying to remedy that. In the meantime, since I'm the only one posting with any regularity, the content is out of balance to the fopo stuff when - as you said - the domestic scene is heating up.

Marty: we do have a government funded education system where every child has the opportunity to receive reasonable education K-12

Couple of miles north of me in East Oakland: Lockwood Elementary (95% Hispanic and black)

CST Results - 5th Grade
English Language Arts
Lockwood Elementary 2009 - 8.0
California 2009 - 54.0
Math
Lockwood Elementary 2009 - 8.0
California 2009 - 57.0
Science
Lockwood Elementary 2009 - 5.0
California 2009 - 49.0

Couple of miles west of me in Castro Valley: Chabot Elementary (80% white and Asian)

English Language Arts
Chabot E.S. 2009 - 72.0
California 2009 - 54.0
Math
Chabot E.S. 2009 - 76.0
California 2009 - 57.0
Science
Chabot E.S. 2009 - 82.0
California 2009 - 49.0

While Lockwood is particularly bad even for Oakland, probably because the student body is almost entirely Hispanic (though I didn't see any qualifications about "a reasonable education so long your parents speak English"), here's results from some West Oakland schools that are mostly black: Prescott Elementary (95% Hispanic and black)

English Language Arts
Prescott E.S. 2009 - 34.0
Martin Luther King, Jr. E.S. 2009 19.0
Lafayette E.S. 2009 - 18.0
California 2009 - 54.0

Math
Prescott E.S. 2009 - 30.0
Martin Luther King, Jr. E.S. 2009 - 19.0
Lafayette E.S. 2009 - 46.0
California 2009 - 57.0

Science
Prescott E.S. 2009 - 34.0
Martin Luther King, Jr. E.S. 2009 - 18.0
Lafayette E.S. 2009 - 15.0
California 2009 - 49.0

The idea that a "reasonable education" is available to every child in this country is flatly untrue, and it is hard not to come to negative assumptions about those that repeat it in the face of statistics showing it to be untrue.

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