By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
One of the greatest old adage is for someone to escape the perpetual clutches of poverty, is too have viable employment, but if one truly wants to escape the misery of poverty it starts with a solid education, unfortunately far too many American children are trapped in a dysfunctional governmental public educational system.
As of 2022, the United States spends just shy of $800 billion on K-12 for the fiscal year 2019-2020 according to data released by the federal government last month.
Education Week reported that roughly 93 percent of that money came from state and local sources, with the federal government contributing the rest through programs like Title I, Impact Aid for schools that serve students who live on federal land, and Indian Education, for Native American students. The percentage of state and local funds in that total increased relative to the previous year.
Many states spend more and other states spend less, but additional funding doesn’t always equate to greater educational achievement outcomes. Washington D.C. school system has one the highest per pupil spending but also has one of the worst academic achievements for its public school students.
Much of the data was before the ravages of the coronavirus impacted America’s educational system, often having far reaching impacts on those who were already falling behind. The coronavirus closure of the nation’s schools system fundamentally altered and exposed the country’s bankrupt government educational public school system, which truly illuminates the true civil rights issue of our time.
Once more updated educational statistics are released you will find the achievement gap has only widened.
Parents for the first time bore witness to what was being taught to their children via online learning and they didn’t like how their children were being educated. Far too often the curriculum was based on woke progressive ideology unfettered from what student need to succeed upon graduating from high school.
The unfortunate aspect and one that needs to be illuminated is the impact on the minority community, which is the nation’s civil rights crisis of our times and one that is being ignored by those who claim to help people of color.
This civil rights crisis impacts the African American and Hispanic communities more than any other demographic which have no other choice but to send their children to the dysfunctional government-run public educational school system.
The Democratic Party and the Biden administration preach religiously about how they are concerned for people of color but far too often many black and Hispanic children are trapped at the bottom of the socioeconomic realm devoid of any educational advancement. Education has always been and will be the surest way to escape poverty.
Before the pandemic America spent just about $800 billion annually on education from the federal, state and local level, but what does the nation get in return? With all the focus on people of color, 70% of black and Hispanic children across the U.S. are deficient in math and English at grade level.
In 2015, the average reading score for white students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 4th and 8th grade exam was 26 points higher than for black students. Similar gaps are apparent in math. The 12th grade assessment also showed alarming disparities as well, with only seven percent of black students performing at or above proficient on the math exam in 2015, compared to 32 percent white students. This dismal educational statistic hasn’t changed in the years since this report was released.
Before the coronavirus pandemic impacted the nation’s schools, school districts across America during the 2018-19 school years endured numerous educational workers’ strikes centering on increased pay and other benefits. What wasn’t mentioned in the media coverage was the dismal educational achievement gap, and once funding was allocated most was earmarked for the ever-growing unfunded health and pension obligations.
Look at the educational achievement gap in any of the major urban centers across America any you will not like what you see.
Of all the rhetoric of racial, economic, and educational justice many of the cities such as St. Louis, Louisville, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia are all governed by liberal Democrats. If one does any kind of basic research observation, many of these cities haven’t had a Republican mayor in well over sixty some years, with some dating back to the late 1800’s.
In each of these cities who will find a huge disparity in educational achievement, but why is there such a disparity? Considering all these cities have been controlled by Democrats who have attached themselves to the teachers union are totally against any kind of choice in education.
Even the esteemed African-American academic Walter Williams a Professor of Economics at George Mason University commented in an article that “Many of these cities, blacks are mayors, often they dominate city councils, and they are chiefs of police and superintendents of schools.” For example, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Atlanta fit this narrative.
Atlanta hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1879. With this singular domination of local governance by the Democratic Party, the Georgia Milestones test assessment of English Language Arts finds students’ proficiency rate under 40%. The stunning gap between black and white students is almost 60 percent. Eighty percent of white students in APS are proficient and above; the number is 25.3 percent for black students—and the district is majority black.
The city of Chicago which has been in the news lately hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931. According to Illinois Policy Think Tank in 2015 around 70% of all black and Hispanic children in the Chicago Unified School system are not proficient to grade level in math and English, and this hasn’t changed in the years since.
Why hasn’t Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot been asked about this by the media?
The Chicago Unified School District is a fiscal disaster facing an $8.6 billion debt, considering over 70% of the children who attend Chicago schools are black and Hispanic children thus impacting the dismal educational achievement gap.
Continuing with the deplorable educational system found in America’s major cities, Williams comments that “In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state’s math exam. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. Only 15% of Baltimore students passed the state’s English test. That same year in Philadelphia only 19% of eighth graders scored proficient in math, and 16% were proficient in reading. In Detroit, only 4% of its eighth graders scored proficient in math, and 7% were proficient in reading. It’s the same story of academic disaster in other cities run by Democrats.”
In California, the nation’s largest and most populous state, the educational achievement gap is dismal for black and Hispanic students is around 70% who cannot read nor do math to grade level despite spending billions over the past few years.
Even in Los Angles the nation’s second largest school district in the country, only 21% of African American students who graduated in 2018 were considered prepared for college or careers, compared to 52 percent of white students and 74 percent of Asian students.
The Reason Foundation in 2018 calculated that LA Unified School District is anywhere between $8-13 billion in debt and it’s even worse now since the impact of the coronavirus on districts fiancés.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that LAUSD expects to spend $1.7 billion annually toward pensions and health care during the 2020-21 school year, an increase of nearly $400 million from 2016-17. Nearly a quarter of the revenues from per-pupil funding would not reach students at all.
The Seattle city government routinely speaks about racial justice but for those seeking racial equality why have city leaders never been asked why only 28% of black children can read to grade level. This coming from a heavily Democratic city with the last Republican to hold the mayor’s office was 1969.
The State of Washington mirrors the educational achievement gap of Seattle with black and Hispanic children scoring around 30% who can do math or read to grade level, an extremely dismal distinction, considering all the coverage on the protests, nothing on this.
Why hasn’t the Democratic governor Jay Inslee been asked about this? Considering the last Republican governor was thirty-five years ago in 1985. Maybe we should be asking the mayor and governor these questions?
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis reported that only 30% of African-American and Hispanic students in the state of Minnesota were proficient at grade level in math and English.
In the financial capital of the world, New York City this also fits a similar pattern with only 30% of black and Hispanic children able to do math or English to grade level far below their white or Asian peers.
At the beginning of the first day of the 2019-20 school year, Jason Riley a Wall Street Journal columnist and Manhattan Institute Fellow wrote that with the majority of students returning, the majority of them can’t do basic reading or math, according to state standardized test results released last week. And the numbers get even more depressing when broken down by race and ethnicity. Black and Hispanic students make up 67% of the system, while whites and Asians are about 15% and 16%, respectively. Only 28% of black students passed the math exam, versus 33% of Hispanics, 67% of whites and 74% of Asians. On the English exam, the passage rates were 68% for Asians, 67% for whites, 37% for Hispanics and 35% for blacks.
Educational advocates often state the need for additional revenue but examples in California and Baltimore show otherwise as more spending didn’t equate to better educational results.
The greatest civil rights issue of our time is going unnoticed, and those who advocate the loudest about racial inequality are themselves perpetrating this injustice. One only has to remember the quote from Arthur Fletcher former head of the United Negro College fund, when he coined the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
Right now, it’s being wasted by those who advocate the loudest for racial justice!