Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More money is definitely the answer

Since pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into urban public school systems has been so successful in the past, clearly that’s the way to go.

Part of a Gates Foundation grant to Chicago public schools (see below) will go to educate state-certified teachers so that they can teach English, math, and science in an “engaging” way. In a system where half its high school students never graduate and those that do and who enter college require remedial classes to “catch up,” the appeal of the curriculum is not the problem.

The parents are indisposed, the teachers, while degreed, are incompetent (because they remain uneducated) and the students are indolent; all three go through the motions until the student is old enough to opt out of the charade. This is a societal rather than a budgetary problem.

How do you attack the problem? Make it shameful again to be an unwed mother, deride ignorant lazy fools, and take away the union cudgel being used to beat an undeserved paycheck out of the taxpayers.

Gates Foundation gives $21 mil. to schools

Freshmen at 14 Chicago public high schools will have a more challenging and engaging curriculum in English, math and science -- and better-trained teachers -- thanks to a $21 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It's the largest single grant the Gates Foundation has awarded to a local school district. It will start small this fall then pave the way for curriculum changes at 50 high schools over the next three years.

If high school really is "boring," as Mayor Daley complained it was three years ago, it won't be for much longer. "The impact of this grant will be long-lasting. We will take what we learn and apply it across the entire system over the next few years so that all of our children will benefit," Daley told a news conference at Crane Technical Preparatory Commons, 2245 W. Jackson Blvd.

Schools CEO Arne Duncan said he could have implemented the curriculum changes at 60 schools in one fell swoop, but that would only have "perpetuated mediocrity."...

Gates foundation gives $21 million to Chicago Public Schools

…Only 54 percent of freshmen in the district eventually receive a high school diploma, and many who make it to college require remedial classes to catch up, a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago found.

Often, too little attention is given to providing students with a rigorous curriculum, leading to poor preparedness for college and high dropout rates, said Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education for the Gates foundation.

"I could kick myself that five years ago we should have paid more attention to curriculum," Vander Ark told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board Monday…

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