By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
If America is going to compete in the global arena it must address its greatest national security threat, one that doesn’t come from China or Russia, but has to do with its chronic failing public schools.
This is America’s greatest national security threat and one that Washington has failed to address. Currently the U.S. has a recruiting shortage for the military and one of the key elements is many eligible recruits can’t pass the entrance exam to join the armed forces.
America’s failing schools are impeding America’s ability to compete on the international stage, and this failure will stifle any economic growth and impact the nation’s technological innovation.
Far too long when the topic of education does come up it’s always centered on the need to spend more revenue as this has always been the solution to America’s education deficit. Spending additional revenue on America’s public schools does not necessarily obtain greater results; maybe one area where Washington should focus on is how it currently spends its educational dollars.
One only has to examine the report issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) which was the first post-Covid educational assessment and the results were horrendous. The nation’s children regressed to a thirty year low in both reading and math, with the greatest impact on low achieving students and children of color.
This should have been a huge Sputnik moment, but unfortunately this barely made any mention, despite coming weeks before the midterm election. Considering the amount of resources allocated for public education the U.S. should have achieved better results.
According to the Education Data Initiative America allocates educational resources from the federal, state and local entities with responsibility over education to be around $800 billion, which is the highest in the industrial world, but still America lags at the bottom half of its international competitors in Europe and Asia.
We also can’t forget the close to $200 billion in additional funding which was sent to American public schools to mitigate the impact of coronavirus school closures without any measurable oversite how this additional revenue would be spent.
At the state level the situation is even more dire, with the Maryland Department of Education releasing a report that should outrage anyone who cares about public education! The report showed that 23 schools in the city of Baltimore had zero students who tested proficient in math. The schools in question included 10 high schools, eight elementary schools, three Middle/High schools and two Elementary/Middle schools. In the report Maryland found that 2,000 students who took the state test could not do math at grade level.
What was not added in the report was an additional 20 schools had only one student who could pass the math proficiency at grade level.
Additional data shows that 41 percent of students in the Baltimore system have a 1.0 (D) GPA or less, this is coming from a Baltimore city school district where 75% of the students are black.
My question, where is Black Lives Matter, all the civil rights leaders, the professional athletes, where are Democratic elected representatives, and President’s Biden, Clinton, Obama. They always claim Black Lives Matter and routinely state America is systemically racist but have been eerily silent on the dismal academic achievement of children of color.
These elected leaders will always point that what the nation needs to do is allocate more resources to public schools, but many of the top spending public school districts in the country have the worst performing school districts. New York topped the per capita spending at $24,040 per child, with the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. at close to $23,000. The city of Baltimore placed in the top three for per pupil spending at close to $22,000 and this is the results they get.
If this wasn’t bad enough, Baltimore Superintendent of Public Education Dr. Sonja Santelises, last year received a raise with a total compensation package of over $444,000, what was the metric for this considering the deplorable educational results standards for the city’s children; with the vast amount impacting children of color?
What metric was used in Santelises for receiving a raise? Where was the state of Maryland in educational oversight, as this couldn’t have been a singular aberration, but something that was years in the making.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg consistently utters remarks on diversity and equity, with his latest claim that construction sites are not employing more minorities instead of outsourcing to White people.
During the National Association of Counties Conference, Buttigieg strongly urged those in attendance to work with their contractors and community colleges to build a workforce that reflects the community.
“We have heard way too many stories from generations past of infrastructure where you got a neighborhood, often a neighborhood of color, that finally sees the project come to them, but everyone in the hard hats on that project, doing the good paying jobs, don’t look like they came from anywhere near the neighborhood.”
Buttigieg failed to understand that these construction jobs are filled by skilled craftsmen who have a solid education in their field. Unfortunately, far too many minorities are stuck in failing schools with no hope of obtaining a better education.
Maybe if these minority children were able to attend a private school like he had the opportunity to attend they would have a chance for a better education and be able to obtain one of these positions.
Unfortunately, Buttigieg and the Democratic Party are against any semblance of choice; instead keep children, especially children of color, in failing schools.
Presidents Biden, Obama, Clinton, and many Democrats either send their children to private schools or attended ones themselves but then deny choice to parents, but especially preventing parents of black and Hispanic children from sending their children to better performing school’s; why?
Even California Governor Gavin Newsom who shut his state schools down because of the coronavirus, forcing six million children to learn at home, but his kids were able to attend a private school with in-person learning. I guess one standard for his children but a far different standard for yours!
Could it be they want to keep the money following from the national teacher unions which oppose any school choice for parents who according to OpenSecrets gave about 99% of all donations during the 2021-22 election cycle to Democrats.
Now the continued failure of the nation’s public school system is not only confined to just Baltimore, but is a crisis found across the nation.
Just examine Illinois, where 53 high schools not one student are proficient at grade level in math, and in 30 school’s not one student is proficient in reading at grade level. Many of these students are children of color.
In the fall of last year the Los Angeles Times obtained a report from the Los Angeles Unified School District that was marked “not for public viewing,” which showed that “About 81% of 11th-graders did not meet grade-level standards in math. About 83% of Black students, 78% of Latino students and 77% of economically disadvantaged students did not meet the math standards,” the Times reported.
The major question is why the secrecy of this report, why not release it to the public to see for themselves how their tax dollars are being spent in educating their children? Was the major factor the school district knew the data was extremely bad as it relates to Black and Latino children?
So far the State of California has refused to release its own state wide educational results, which should have been released before the midterm elections. Is California purposely withholding the data because they know the results are horrendous for people of color, a group the Democrats consistently states it cares about?
If you go north, Oregon is another state where the student achievement gap in reading, writing and math skills have plummeted from the government induced pandemic lockdown that caused extreme disruptions to k-12 education; this was on top of the dismal achievement before the lockdowns, as reported by the Oregon Department of Education.
The Oregonian reported that across grades three through eight, just 39% of students scored as proficient at reading and writing last spring, down from the previous low of 51%, and just 28% scored proficient in math, far below the previous low point of 40%. Even before the forced shut-down of the nation’s schools, the educational achievement gap for American children was disastrous with over 70% of black and Hispanic students suffering the most with the inability to do math or English to grade level.
This same state, recently passed a legislation that removes a requirement to be proficient in math, reading and writing to be eligible to graduate high school, the reason it was deemed racist and detrimental to blacks and Hispanics.
How about reforming Oregon’s K-12 system with tougher and more rigorous standards?
The dismal drop in math and English also is compounded by a report that shows that High school students’ ACT college admission test scores fell to a three-decade low in 2022, which continues for a fifth straight year as educators struggle with ongoing learning loss made worse by remote classes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just examine the state of California Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to eliminate using standardized tests like the SAT and ACT for admission to its 23 state university campuses because it discriminates against people of color.
This coming from a state that has 70% of black and Hispanic children unable to do math or English to grade level, the policies they push are having a detrimental impact on children of color.
Where is the accountability from the U.S. Department of Education with an annual budget of $260 billion and is slated to receive additional revenue in President Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget, but how will this be spent and what will be the measure of success?
During the pandemic schools across America received close to $200 billion which was allocated for K-12, but little accountability on how that revenue would ever be spent.
Despite the dismal achievement numbers of the nation’s children, especially low income and minority students, Democrats and their allies in the nation’s teachers union complain more revenue is needed, and blame the coronavirus for the dismal numbers.
Former North Carolina Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue, who chairs the board responsible for the NAEP, warned, “We can’t keep blaming COVID.” Unfortunately many still do, and these same individuals are never held to account for the dismal educational achievement gaps.
The other area which needs to be explored is what is transpiring in classrooms across America, and that is the increasing ideological indoctrination and away from core subject knowledge which is leading to weaker standards and lower expectations.
Just examine what The National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in the country, who advocates by pushing the critical race theory-inspired position that systemic racism permeates all American institutions and must be taught in our schools so that kids challenge “the systems of oppression that have harmed people of color.” In 2021, the NEA adopted a resolution that would mandate race-based ideological instruction in public schools across the country.
The resolution put forth by the teachers union wants to pushout its own study which “critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society.” The NEA specifically wants and is pushing that critical race theory is one of the methods that should be used to teach these topics in school districts around the country.
A dismal the as the results were the head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Randi Weingarten made out really well, by pulling in over a half a million dollars per year, as she was simultaneously pushing for continued lockdown of the nation’s schools.
The teachers union is also pushing for and undermining teacher quality all in the guise of racial equity, as the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers has an reached an agreement with Minneapolis Public Schools to lay off white teachers regardless of seniority or merit before laying off minority teachers in the name of “anti-bias, anti-racism.”
As one analyst noted, the Minneapolis agreement seeks “to achieve ‘equity’ by reducing standards and replacing white teachers,” while the “sensible (and legal) goal is to expand the pool and retention rate of all qualified teachers.”
Examine the state of Oregon which recently passed a law that suspends a requirement for a basic-skills test in math, reading and writing to graduate high school because they feel it’s detrimental to blacks and Hispanics.
How about reforming the K-12 system with tougher and more rigorous standards?
The pandemic opened an educational wound from which parents finally saw what many had speculated for years was a progressive ideology aimed at children supported by Democrats and the nation’s teachers unions.
If America’s public educational system is continued to decay, the national security of country will suffer irrefutable harm, which the U.S. may not recover from.
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