By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
The surest way out of poverty is with a solid education but unfortunately American education is in free fall despite spending more than $800 billion annually on public K-12 education, but what do we have to show for all this spending except half of all children in America can’t do math or read to grade level.
Far too many times I have written, or spoke about America’s dismal educational outcomes, but it just goes into a black hole. Those individuals who voice continual rhetoric on how they care about America’s children only benefit off the educational misery these children face, and do nothing to fix America’s educational disparity.
Too many of the educational and political establishments are firmly imbedded into the educational industrial complex believing we just need to spend more on education, but is that really the answer. The U.S. spends on average $19,380 per pupil which is more than all industrial countries except Luxembourg. Now if you adjust this for inflation education spending in America grew by 244% between 1970 and 2019. That’s 6% of our GDP, also more than many other North American and European nations, which average 4.85% of GDP.
Numerous educational achievement results have shown that three-quarters of eighth graders are not proficient in math, while 69% are not meeting reading proficiency. Just think about this for a minute only 1-in-4 American kids are proficient at grade level in math, with few obtaining any kind of proficiency in advance mathematics. Does anyone wonder why few high school graduates are prepared for introductory college classes?
How is America supposed to compete with the rest of the world especially our number one competitor China?
Just examine America’s failing public schools across the country by beginning with Baltimore, where a state report which was released in September showed that forty percent of Baltimore’s schools lack a single student who has achieved grade-level proficiency in math.
The Maryland State Department of Education’s 2022 state test results reported Baltimore City’s math scores were the lowest in Maryland. Just 7 percent of third through eighth graders tested proficient in math, meaning 93 percent could not do math at grade level.
Project Baltimore combed through the scores at all 150 City Schools where the state math test was given. Their investigation found, in 23 Baltimore City schools, there were zero students who tested proficient in math. Not a single student!
If this wasn’t bad enough at the five “elite” high schools, only 11.4 percent of students were math proficient.
Rather than address this disastrous educational achievement, the schools just waive the graduation requirements and graduate the students, what kind of economic opportunities await them when they are only doing math and reading at a middle school level?
When this report was released we heard nothing from all the leaders who claim to care about children of color, considering 80% of Baltimore Public School children who are black! So my question where is Black Lives Matter, all the civil rights leaders, the professional athletes, where are all the Democratic elected representatives, and President’s Biden, Clinton, and Obama.
Where is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who incidentally is headquartered in Baltimore, do the leaders get out and see the misery for children of color in the city schools and for that matter what is transpiring across the country for black and Hispanic children?
Where is President Obama on this subject especially as it impacts black children? One only has to remember when he was an obscure State Senator from Illinois he gave the Keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, “If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.”
I guess he doesn’t care, because he is part of the educational industrial complex, except his children were able to opt out of the public school system all together by attending a private school.
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.
Look at the state of Minnesota which reported a zero percent math proficiency rate in 75 of its schools during the 2022-23 school year.
Again, this isn’t just confined to just Baltimore, just examine New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois and other states often state Black Lives Matter but all have over 80% of children of color deficient at grade level in math and English, so why the silence?
California touts itself as a progressive bastion where all lives matter, especially children of color, then why in the latest state educational achievement around 80% of black and Hispanic children are deficient at grade level in math and reading.
Just examine Oregon which eliminated any testing requirements to graduate high school because it disproportionally impacts children of color, so instead of addressing this educational disparity, the answer is to remove the testing standards all together.
This was only supposed to be just temporary, but it was extended another five years. Instead of giving these students a level of educational proficiency where they will be able to excel in a modern economy, they are now sent out into to the world where many will be dependent on the government or end up in prison because of a lack of core educational competence.
I could write about this for days, but no one seems to cares because the elite’s children attend private schools and reap the benefits of billions of dollars which flow through the educational industrial complex. If America is to compete with the rest of the world it needs its children to have a solid education, right now they are not, and nobody cares!!