Education

Read This if You Still Think Teachers Unions, Educrats Care About Kids

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On Sunday, The Washington Post ran a house editorial that should shame not just all the education bureaucrats and rank-and-file teachers in the District of Columbia but all across the country.

The basic points of the editorial are not at issue:

1. D.C.'s publicly funded charter schools outperform conventional public schools. That's one of the reasons why 40 percent of the District's kids voluntarily enroll in them and why thousands are on waiting lists.

2. D.C.'s charter schools get about $16,000 in funding per pupil, compared to $29,000 per pupil for traditional schools.

3. The District's education establishment has made it next to impossible for charters to rent closed school buildings in a vindictive move to screw over competitors offering a cheaper, better alternative.

Read the whole thing.

The Post calls for enforcing existing law, which "mandates equity between" charters and traditional (or legacy) schools, including in per-pupil funding. If charters are already outperforming traditional schools despite receiving $13,000 less in per-pupil spending, that strikes me as an argument for cutting funds to legacy schools—by about $13,000.

But when you read stuff like this, there can't be any misunderstanding that the education establishment—which includes school management teams, elected officials, union big shots, teachers, and other politically connected power-brokers—has next to no interest is fulfilling its major duty, which is to educate kids. The D.C. situation should be denounced by all people of good faith involved in public education.

Watch Reason Foundation's education analyst Lisa Snell explain "3 Reasons School Choice is Growing":

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  1. Given the headline I can’t rtfa but I’m guessing this is related. There is hope yet for America’s Yutes.

    http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickP….._pageNum_1

      1. Shorter Logan County Schools: “We use the trendiest buzzwords that money can buy.”

      2. Educrat word salads are even less tastier than school cafeteria salads.

  2. Well I’m not gonna read it then.

    1. I’m excluded.

  3. …should shame not just all the education bureaucrats and rank-and-file teachers in the District of Columbia but all across the country.

    Explaining that to them would be like talking to just another brick in the wall. There are good teachers, I’ve talked to them. They would do just as well if not better in a privatized environment and some of them know it. But it’s a job to the majority of them, not a calling, and they’re going to fight to keep it as comfortable as possible. Their little charges aren’t generally even on the radar of concern.

    1. “…brick in the wall.”

      +1 Pink Floyd

    2. There are good teachers, I’ve talked to them.

      They are the exception in my experience. During my time in public school I can only think of two teachers outside of the gifted programs who seemed to actually give a damn. Now, as an adult, I know about a dozen public school teachers. Most of them may be dedicated, but none of them could honestly be described as intelligent.

      1. In my 13 years in public school, I came across 3 teachers that actually gave a damn about education. I had a geometry teacher that reminded me of Carl Sagan. I had a chemistry teacher that cared more about teaching us stuff than the rules (he got yelled at for making the floor explode, on purpose). And a history teacher that actually taught the importance of knowing history. All the rest were pretty much babysitters. I got kicked out of more than one class for arguing against something that was flagrantly false. Even the principal said I was right, but I still got detention for disagreeing with an “educator”

        1. Come to think of it, I had three good teachers as well. I originally wasn’t including a metal shop teacher, but I think he should count. It might not be a core class, but most of the kids I went to school with were never going to college. Learning to weld or work a bending brake could have been the most important things they gained from their public school education.

  4. If you do not care to take personal responsibility for the education of your children you deserve whatever you get.

    “Charter schools” are simply polish on a turd. They do not teach more, or better, they are simply more able to remove disruptive students.

    I have two nieces and a nephew who attended a Dallas suburb charter school. Their education seems about as poor as most socialist school children but they “think” they received a “good education”. Ask them how they know they got a good education and they will give you a blank stare.

    1. Ask them how they know they got a good education and they will give you a blank stare.

      To be honest, I’d probably do the same thing. What kind of question is that? What kind of answer would you be expecting?

      1. If they were actually educated they should be able to describe the important knowledge they obtained. They are so unable to think they couldn’t even list the math or science classes which had probably taught them something. I cringe when I ask them about history or which great books of literature they have read.

        My point is that while actual test scores continue to plummet, students opinions of their education increases. The only thing being taught is false self-esteem.

        1. If they were actually educated they should be able to describe the important knowledge they obtained.

          Maybe if you asked them what they learned you might get a different answer.

          How do you know you got a good education?

          1. Yeah, this seems to be a knowledge boundary question, which is inherently unanswerable in a Rumsfeldian “known unknowns and unknown unknowns” kind of way.

      2. If children were qualified to make mature judgments they wouldn’t be children. My kids’ answer would be something to the effect “because I can function successfully in a civil society, or if necessary, without it.”

        1. Since they have all graduated from High School I don’t consider them “children” anymore.

        2. My kids’ answer would be something to the effect “because I can function successfully in a civil society, or if necessary, without it.”

          How old are your kids?

  5. Yes but how does one know if he got a good education unless he is educated on the matter? The matrix is everywhere. It is all around you.

  6. D.C.’s charter schools get about $16,000 in funding per pupil

    Man, I’d sure like a $16K voucher per kid that I could spend as I saw fit.

    1. I could send three kids to the local Montessori for that.

      1. As a reasonable, common sense compromise, I’d settle for $16K per year, rather than per kid.

  7. …”next to no interest is fulfilling its major duty, which is to educate kids. The D.C. situation should be denounced by all people of good faith involved in public education.”…

    Somebody last week snarked re the union officials; ‘when the kids pay dues, I’ll start worrying about them’.
    I’ll add re bureaucrats; ‘when the kids start voting, I’ll start worrying about them’.

  8. 2. D.C.’s charter schools get about $16,000 in funding per pupil, compared to $29,000 per pupil for traditional schools.

    Fun fact: keeping a prisoner at a maximum security prison costs about $26,000 / year.

    1. How shameful that we care more about taking care of VIOLENT criminals than the education of our PRECIOUS children!!11!111

      They actually think this.

  9. Wow I thought it was a lot more. Meanwhile that 16k/student is still a HUGE number for the charter schools. That’s like yearly rent for a decent 2 bedroom apartment in most places.

    1. Mater Dei and Junipo Serra charged just a little less than this when I checked a couple years ago.

  10. $29,000 per fucking kid?!? What the fucking fuck?!?

    1. When you have five administrators per teacher, costs can add up real quick.

    2. I got something like 34,000 last time I did the DC public schools per pupil numbers.

      Just for the record, the elite K-12 prep school that is absolutely excellent in all phases of school costs 40,000 dollars a year. That 40 grand gets you a top notch education, immaculate and beautiful grounds, state of the art facilities for academics, athletics, and extra curriculars.

      Anyone who isn’t in favor of school choice does not have the best interest of children in mind.

      1. I was flying into DCA a couple months ago on the famous runway 19 approach, which goes over Georgetown Prep. Some dudes in front of me said “I wonder what university that is?”.

        1. Isn’t that school in Bathesda?

      2. That 40 grand gets you a top notch education, immaculate and beautiful grounds, state of the art facilities for academics, athletics, and extra curriculars a kid with a rolodex full of rich nepots.

        You can do all the rest of the list for $10k/yr. If you’re paying $40, you’re paying for limo crowd cred.

  11. I never once criticized Bill Clinton for sending his daughter to Sidwell. I went to college right near one of DC’s “better” public high schools, and from what I saw when the kids were coming and going, it looked like a fricken nightmare compared to my suburban CT public school.

    1. Eh. Just imagine for a moment what Obama’s precious little flowers are going to end up like, between having never spent a single day of their life in public school and all the taxpayer-funded vacations to Bermuda. They’re going to make their mother look like the most grounded person on earth.

  12. Somebody last week snarked re the union officials; ‘when the kids pay dues, I’ll start worrying about them’.

    I think that’s a real quote from Albert Shanker.

    1. Maybe:

      The quote,

      “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”[16]

      is often attributed to Shanker.
      The Albert Shanker Institute attempted to find the source of this quote, and concluded that “we cannot demonstrate conclusively that Albert Shanker never made this particular statement… but, we believe the quote is fiction.” The first appearance, which those at the Institute could find, was in the Meridian (Mississippi) Star newspaper, August 13, 1985, but no source is included in the article.[17]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Shanker

  13. Since when is education about the children? Schools are there to keep the little blighters out of the way. Most won’t amount to anything, but until we’re allowed to discriminate based on ability, we won’t be able to screen out those who will. Parents either don’t give a crap about their whelps, or can’t accept that their special snowflake might just be a flake.

    1. My experience with Texas public schools suggested that schools were also there to keep adult blighters out of the way without having to institutionalizing them.

      1. Win-win, two categories of blighters, one institution to distract them all.

  14. I don’t know if other states have anything like this, but I love pulling this up whenever people start to bitch about how little teachers make.

    http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/teacher-salary

    I know several public school teachers in Ohio. Not a single one of them makes less than $60k. One of them was giving me the standard BS arguments about working extra hours and taking work home with him. I pulled up his name on the site, he makes around $90k and only worked 182 days last year.

    1. Awesome. I wish we had this for every single public employee in every state and the federal government along with a description of what they actually do (or claim to do).

      Just looked up one of my cousins. I like that they put in a calculation for how much they would be making if their salary was actually FTE.

    2. Excellent.

    3. This. I didn’t have a single HS teacher that didn’t make 80k+, even my dumbass Art teacher.

      Yet Kasich wants to cut Charter School funds even more to pay for his medicaid expansion. Fucking asshat.

      1. He really has become a tool of the OEA since he was elected.

        FYI, Current charter schools survive on 5,700 a year in Ohio. Kasich’s plan cuts that to 5,000 a year while at the same time increasing Ohio DoE funding by a millions.

        1. Yeah, the public school teachers in my family (we have several) absolutely love the fucker. Sometimes it makes me sick that I’m related to these statists.

    4. Simply plugging in 2011 and $100,000+ returned this:

      Your search returned 2,037 results

      1. Salary Range $90,000 to $100,000

        Your search returned 3,577 results

        1. Yup. If you pull up all teachers sorted by pay, there are about 600 pages of teachers for ohio. You have to go almost to page 400 just to find any that make less than 50k and all those that do are very new or part time. My mother is one of those high paid teachers, she’s a first grade teacher with less than 10 years experience. She makes almost $70k.

          She and I argue about this a lot. It really infuriates me.

  15. The comments at the WaPo… so much derp. A million fucking excuses for why spending $30k per child produces such poor results. They argue that Charter schools take away good kids and resources, except for that $30k figure still staring them in their dumb, blank faces.

  16. “D.C.’s publicly funded charter schools outperform conventional public schools. That’s one of the reasons why 40 percent of the District’s kids voluntarily enroll in them and why thousands are on waiting lists”

    Arrow of causation FAIL.

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