13 September 2003

Depends on what your goals are

[source, (source & source) ]
ST. LOUIS - The school district was broke - and failing. Half of all high school freshmen quit before graduation. Fewer than 7% of juniors scored "proficient" on a state reading and writing test. In desperation, the school board took a radical route: They handed control of public education here to a corporate turnaround firm from New York. […] The result has been dramatic change and fierce public anger. […] Districts across the nation have let teachers go and class sizes swell, but here, Roberti [the corporate guy] has cut $60 million from the budget without laying off a single classroom teacher. He has made sure that kindergarten, first- and second-grade teachers have no more than 23 students - down from 25 last year. He's also hired 94 "literacy coaches" to work full time on reading. […] But many in St. Louis have made it clear they don't want their schools run like a corporation. They want their schools to be community anchors. […] "It's no good for kids and it's *not fair to taxpayers* [emphasis added]," said Eric Thomas, 41, a machine operator. He will keep his son, Shawn, home in protest on Monday - and if need be, for weeks to come, until the district is in new hands. "As long as it takes," he said.
Yeah, dude, that's an elightened, concerned about the child attitude - "change the school management or I'll turn my son into a uneducated failure". I note that no one seems to be complaining about the educational aspects of the changes. Speaking as a taxpayer, I think it's mroe than fair that money for education is spent on _education_ and not have
the district spend nearly $450,000, the equivalent of a dozen teacher salaries, to cater banquets for meetings often attended by just a handful of staff
But unlike _you_, the new head guy has a keen grasp of the situation:
Roberti said, "People in St. Louis have to decide: Do we want to have a great system to educate our kids, or do we want a bloated system that gives a lot of people jobs?"
I guess it depends on whether the populace wants to sacrifice to benefit themselves or their children.
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