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I'm in agreement with your 'simple' solution, but... people are ridiculously resistant.  

Part of the problem here is that the schools have been such a political pawn for so long.  My whole life I've been reading and hearing the right wail about how the schools in poor areas are 'wasting' money.  

I admit that here in California in the '70s, there was a small nugget of truth in the complaints -- a lot of 'liberal' programs had been instituted which were clearly ridiculous.  

There were various new ways of teaching reading and math that were dismal failures, but, worse, many 'alternative' programs that... well, let's just say a goodly amount of the people I knew in the LA punk scene had been subjected to Scientology and EST in high school.

However, most of that was short-lived.  The real problems started with the dismantling of the safety net.  Schools suddenly had to provide food, medical care, and policing.  Of course the budgets ballooned.  For the past 25 years or so, almost everything I've read about schools, usually in the interest of pushing vouchers or charter schools, has been a load of crap.

I was on a committee for an inner-city school for awhile, deciding how to allocate a federal grant they'd gotten.  Almost all the money was going to social services.  Teachers have long known that hungry kids don't learn well.  When this school got its grant, we fully funded the lunches and added in breakfasts.  

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 04:10:53 PM EST
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