Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What is the answer to the problems with public schools?

I only recently found the Buehler Education blog.  I really enjoy the posts.  Antonio Buehler does a great job. 

In The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time he reviews the call for more spending in government schools and explains why it won't fix the fundamental problems.  The post starts:

Yesterday, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a rally was held on the steps of the state capitol building to protest proposed budget cuts to public education. The protesters demanded that Governor Tom Corbett abandon his proposal to reduce funding for K-12 education, as the state deals with the same fiscal shortfalls that are plaguing states across the nation. And across the nation, these rallies have become a common sight, with roving bands of teachers and their truant children, their union leaders, and bussed in protesters excoriating and vilifying those who think education spending should be curtailed. Often times the teachers pull public school students into the rallies, as they apparently did in Harrisburg with marching bands from two public high schools. And always quick to join the fray are a smattering of social advocacy groups and politicians, the former trying to be relevant and the latter trying to score points for the next election.

What was remarkable about the Harrisburg rally was that it was planned and directed by the NAACP, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and not a teachers union, although it seems that the NAACP is becoming a front group for teachers unions. Admittedly, they had a good reason to protest, at least in spirit. While the state is planning to cut funding for education, they plan to increase funding for prisons. They cited a recently released NAACP report that showed a trend of high incarceration rates in areas surrounding poor-performing schools. Assuming (or implying) causality between the two, they suggest that money should be diverted from the penitentiary-industrial complex in order to better fund the education-industrial complex.* However, even if poor-performing schools are the driver of the high incarceration rates, the argument that robust education funding is the answer to the problem is misguided at best.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Henry Cate said...

You are welcome.