Teachers Hate Poor Kids

Aug 31, 2014 by

In Florida, union goons line up to beat down poor minority families

Alberto Carvalho, the highly regarded Miami-Dade schools superintendent, jokes that he wants to be the most “underpaid” public servant in the country. Underpaid? Public-school types keep using that word; I do not think that it means what they think it means.

I don’t really want to beat up on Carvalho, who seems to be a pretty good guy doing some pretty good things. But bottom lines matter. Under the leadership of the district’s (“underpaid”) $320,000-a-year superintendent, who has a $4 billion budget at his disposal, a fifth of Miami’s tenth-graders still read so poorly that, in the bland words of the education bureaucracy: “Performance at this level indicates an inadequate level of success with the challenging content of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for reading.” Carvalho blames this on “diversity,” the fact that many Miami students are learning English. Reasonable enough. But 54 percent of Miami-Dade’s tenth-graders get Florida’s lowest rating for math, and multiplicación de fracciones is what it is in any language.

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For this, Carvalho has been celebrated, feted, and splendidly compensated. Even conservative education reformers have good things to say about him — as they probably should. He was Florida superintendent of the year for 2014, he was national superintendent of the year for 2014, his district won the prestigious Broad prize in 2012 as the most improved urban school district, and he is said to have recently turned down a job in the Obama administration. But good by comparison isn’t the same as good: His district includes a high school in which the dropout rate is 55.2 percent — a school with the words “stellar” and “leadership” in its name, two words that, like “underpaid,” apparently mean something else in Miami.

You know what Miami is by Florida standards?

Above average.

According to NPR, more than half of Florida’s college-bound graduates in 2011 “couldn’t read, write or solve math problems well enough” for college, and required remedial education. In that crowd, Carvalho stands tall, indeed: Best of the worst.

That being the case, some Florida families are looking for the exits, especially those in low-income areas where the schools tend to be even worse than average. For the moment, Florida accommodates them, offering a $5,272 tax credit to help parents send their children to schools of their own choosing, including private and religious schools. Yesterday, the teachers’ unions and the Florida School Board Association filed a lawsuit to stop the program, and to cruelly strip 70,000 low-income families of the ability to choose their children’s schools, on religious grounds.

via Teachers Hate Poor Kids | National Review Online.

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