"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where are all the "bad" schools?

The PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools for 2012 are out. You can even get an app for your iPad/iPhone so you can look at the data on the run.

When I downloaded the files I looked where I always look first...how do parents feel about the schools their children attend. Like previous years, when asked, "Using the A, B, C, D, and Fail scale again, what grade would you give the school your oldest child attends?" parents overwhelmingly gave their children's schools a grade of A or B. 77% of parents (up 10% from last year) gave their children's home schools an A or a B. Read that again.

77% of parents with school aged children in America's public schools -- the people who are closest to the schools and know the most about what goes on within them -- assert that the public schools are doing an excellent (graded A and B) job of educating their children.

So why do only 19% of people give the nation's schools an A or a B? What happened to all those great schools...which 77% of parents scored so high?

Ask the politicians, the pundits and policy makers, and the news media. There is so much bad publicity, misrepresentation of facts, and outright lying about public schools that nationally people still believe that America's schools are failing.

They're not. America's public schools, as a whole, are NOT failing!

American students in schools with low poverty are among the highest achievers in the world. Are there schools which are failing or which need improvement? Of course. The schools most in need are in the same locations where government is failing...where politicians are failing...where our society is failing...in neighborhoods with high numbers of poor children and families.

Do you hear that Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Tony Bennett, Michael Bloomburg, Rahm Emanuel, the Gates, Walton and Broad Foundations, NBC, CNN, Fox News...and everyone else who blames teachers and their unions for the non-existent problem of the failure of America's schools!? The problem is poverty.

Can public schools be improved? Absolutely...by supporting them...by collaboration among teachers, parents and community leaders...not by closing them. You don't fix something by throwing it away.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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