Monday, February 06, 2017

As we get screwed... once again... by our allegedly GOP-controlled state senate on McCleary (Remember the gas tax?) here's a few words to ponder.

Look: the only viable course for the Legislature was to tell the Court to pound sand.

The short version is simple: The Court has zero authority over the Legislature.  The Legislature has zero authority over court rulings.

That's what the phrase "co-equal" means.

That said, there's nothing in the GOP-controlled Senate's plan that will do anything to improve education.  Merely throwing money at an issue... any issue... won't resolve it.  And here's an example from the great City of Baltimore... where the funding exceeds $18,000 per student... and the outcomes are miserable.  In fact, they are worse than miserable.  They are unbelievably horrific.

Which brings us to this question: after we waste additional billions on our rotten education plant without seeing the resultant improvements in our outcomes (the only thing that matters) who will the teachers blame then?

I must admit, I don't get teachers.  They sign up to get a credential, and then complain like cut cats over the pay and the continuing education requirements.

How is that?

They didn't know when they became teachers what the job paid?  And if they did know, then why are they complaining?

Is it any wonder that we have such a high drop out rate and that we graduate so many functionally illiterates?

Anyway, here's a cautionary tail about throwing money at the education problem.

Baltimore, for example, receives over $18,000 per student and few of those that actually stay in those hell hole schools are literate enough to run an elevator.

I wrote about it a while back.  And as the fake Republican-controlled senate of this state continues to screw us, ponder these words as they rape our wallets.\\
(dictated by Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5) 
These same kind of people are demanding more money... and more... and more... and more.
It never ends. 
Well, Baltimore has been in the news lately, a democrat-controlled cesspool of inculcated victimization and government-fostered dependency. 
Let's take a look at how the product of teachers is doing there, shall we? 
According to the Baltimore Sun, their version of the local democratian, we get this: 

City students improve in reading, lag in math on national test 

Baltimore in bottom third of cities that took part in TUDA assessments 
December 18, 2013|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun 
Baltimore's fourth- and eighth-graders posted significant gains in reading on a rigorous national exam, but math scores declined and student achievement still lags significantly, according to results released Wednesday.
OK... not altogether bad.  "Significant gains in reading" is a good start. 
Let's see what "significant gains" looks like, shall we? 
The percentage of eighth-graders reading at proficient levels was 16 percent, but the city noted a 6-point increase in their average reading scores — one of the most significant increases of all the cities. The number of eighth-graders scoring proficient in reading trailed the state by 26 percentage points.
So, the "significant gain" was from the unimaginably horrifically bad to the level of unspeakably awful.  And there's more: 
And while average fourth-grade reading scores rose by 4 points from 2011, only 14 percent of those students were considered proficient in reading. 
In math, 19 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient this year and 13 percent of eighth-graders did. The comparison to 2011 scores was deemed not statistically significant.
The local herd of unionist teachers, infesting our local education plant, will tell you that it's OBVIOUSLY a "funding problem." 
"Baltimore is obviously a poor, urban center of poverty, low tax revenues, and inadequate fiscal support of the school system."
That's utter nonsense of course.  Baltimore is altogether typical of Democrat-controlled urban centers… Such as, say, Detroit. 
The root of the problem, I believe, rests not with issues of revenue, but instead with issues of inculcated victimization. Residents of these cities, particularly of the minority persuasion, are taught from birth that their failures to thrive are entirely someone else's responsibility;  that they have no control over their destiny, and oh yeah by the way please sign up for this very expensive program which will spend a great deal of money, enriching others, but which will do absolutely nothing for you. 
Imagine where Baltimore would be if the residents, the parents, the children were taught that they alone bear responsibility for their outcomes. Imagine where Baltimore would be if they had a mayor who had demanded that the streets remain safe and that there would be no tolerance for the kind of activity that we've seen; and that those engaged in riotous behavior or destruction of local and neighborhood facilities that were designed to enrich their lives would be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. 
Imagine where Baltimore would be if the mayor had not made excuses for rioters… By providing them zones where they can destroy, while she held the police back from doing anything about it. 
As for the issue of funding? 
According to the US Department of Education, the total expenditure that the Baltimore city public schools made for each student in the 2010 to 2011 school year the latest for which the Department of Education has reported this data, $17,329 was expended on each student in the Baltimore school system. Utilizing the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calendar, that equals roughly $18,083 in 2015 dollars.
Well, then, the union's teachers would complain about a student to teacher ratio. 
"Even if they do have a great deal of money, there obviously thousands of overworked teachers." 
In the 2012-2013 school year, according to the Department of Education, the city's schools enrolled 84,747 students. But they also employed approximately 5,380 classroom teachers — meaning they had a student-to-teacher ratio of 15.75 students per teacher.
Gee, 15.75 students per teacher… $17,300 per student… How much money is 15.75 times $17,300? 
As a product of Seattle public schools, I can barely read. So let me ballpark this figure:
Can a classroom muddle along on over a quarter of a million dollars a year? 
Unionist teachers of course, will try to convince us that there's only two factors that affect the outcomes of the education plant: poor parenting, and a lack of funding. 
So in Baltimore, 84% of the eighth grade student's parents are bad parents. 
84%. 
I for one take a somewhat different view.  Our two children spent most of their last six years in school in the confines of the Hockinson school district.  I fell for the reputation (although clearly we should have moved to Camas, which actually apparently does have a solid school system) to move here and we were involved in every aspect of our children's education. 
We showed up.  We went to the parent-teacher conferences. We went to the school activities. We voted yes on the levies. We pay some of the highest property taxes in the state of Washington. 
Our oldest graduated from Hockinson high school with a 3.5+ GPA, our youngest graduated with a 3.1+ GPA. 
Both of them failed the math portion of the Clark College placement test. 
How much more money should we fork over to the Hockinson school district? How many more problems will be solved for the children by writing these people a bigger check? 
I've lived in the Hockinson school district since 2005. I have yet to see a levy fail. We have given the school district everything they wanted, everything they've asked for, when they've asked for it. How much is enough? 
I'm writing primarily about the Hockinson district because I live here, and it's the one I have the most knowledge about… And experience with. 
The most critical element of the teaching equation is the competence of the teacher. Talk to the union's teachers about holding them accountable for their outcomes, and they go insane. 
And we get stupidity like this idiotic "one day" strike, so most of the teachers can stay home and watch soap operas while a few of them go to Olympia and bitch about how bad off they've got it in their 183 day work year, their outrageously high wages and unbelievable benefits. 
This is the kind of thing that makes me care less for unionist teachers. If they don't like what we're paying them, if they don't like the conditions within which they have to teach, which I would venture to say are probably just a little bit better than Baltimore's, then they need to quit. 
I'm sick of it. 
Neither the legislature nor the governor will do anything about it of course, because our state is a macrocosm of the attitude infesting Baltimore. The abysmal outcomes of a 30% drop out rate in the state of Washington are never the teacher's fault. They are always the parent's fault, they are always the fault of a lack of funding, or they are always the students fault… Or some combination of the three. 
And that's why I will never vote to "support" schools again.
___________________ 
As the GOP bends us over again and we see our already horrifically high taxes go up... again... we will, again, have Sen. Ann "Gas Tax" Rivers to thank for screwing us sideways on this scam because she, once again, lacked the guts to do what must be done.... which was/is to tell the Supreme Court of this state to go pound sand.

1 comment:

Pete Masterson said...

The legislature has little backbone to avoid caving on this issue. So how about a compromise. Give the schools the money, but make the teaching profession "right to work" so that no teacher is required to join a union. Also, make it illegal for public service worker unions to make any donations (as a union) to any politician at any level in the state. That might help for the future.