I have finally had enough.
Every citizen of the state of Georgia - in fact, every citizen in the United States - should be OUTRAGED at the rapid deterioration of our public education system. I will lump it into the same category as AMTRAK and the US Postal Service.
You might say I'm not telling you what you don't already know. Well, at a briefing last week of the GA Public Policy Foundation, attendees were given a very detailed spreadsheet. It contained ALL expenditures, by category and graduation rates for every school system in the state of Georgia. And I was totally mortified at what I saw. A few tidbits:
- Atlanta Public Schools: $15,239 per pupil, with a 52% graduation rate! And they spend nearly $3K per pupil for central admin costs!
- Gwinnett County (received a Broad Foundation grant - 162K+ students): 1 in 3 students NOT graduating!
- One small district has a 40% graduation rate!
Educators, parents and policy-makers - you should be ashamed of yourselves. How and why did we allow public education to stay stagnant while the entire world has changed around it? And how many of these graduates are truly ready for college, when professors complain about the significant amount of remedial work they need to teach their students?
When will our electorate realize that public education is NOT a democrat or republican issue? It's about our children, and we are failing them. It's not about the money. Heck, for $15K a year, you could almost send your child to private school! As you can see, this is what happens when you allow local monopoly power in education. Redundancy, wasteful spending, and lack of innovation.
And yet, our teachers unions and other factions are afraid of any kind of change. Charter schools are not the magic bullet, but they offer a chance at innovative approaches to education. Digital learning needs to be given a chance to flourish. Recently, the Fordham Institute released a free white paper entitled, "Education Reform for the Digital Era." While I am still reading the content, it is very interesting and an invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to reform our education system. Having looked at the data, I am now more convinced than ever that money is not the problem. We need to rebuild our education system from the ground up, for the sake of our children!
The status quo is unacceptable, so those of you who are complacent and passing the buck to others, it's time you spoke up! Let's reinvent education in America, before it's too late!