Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: Don’t cut already underfunded programs

Letter by Boyd O. Brathwaite, Tacoma on March 10, 2011 at 11:39 am with 15 Comments »
March 10, 2011 11:39 am

Dropout rates are soaring, test scores are falling at college level, and more young people are dismissing their education goals without the tools necessary to become vital contributing citizens or the ability to participate in the global economy.

The reason: cuts to our educational programs.

Education funding is essential to our students, and our country. Education is important to the future of our country and to our future generations. Our pre-eminence on the world stage is at stake.

Yes, billions of dollars were spent on improving education with little appreciable return on that endowment, but insufficient funding will enact any changes. Reductions in school funding will only guarantee further declines in our education in America.

Our programs are already underfunded; we need to preserve the funding we have now, not cut it. Shall we rob Peter and give to Paul?

Most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes for something as important as our children’s educations. The citizens of this country valve their future, and they value their children future as well.

Cuts to education may solve a short-term budget crisis, but that will not save our nation’s prosperity. Education is our American Dream. Let’s not occlude our next generation, but let democracy flourish.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Boyd Sez: “Yes, billions of dollars were spent on improving education with little appreciable return on that endowment…….”

    A basic cause and effect rule: Money by itself does not make a difference.

  2. commoncents says:

    Actually Blaine – if you look at the state spending per pupil combined with the average SAT scores by state you will see that after accounting for participation rates that the average scores do increase 9.28 points with each $1,000 increase in spending per pupil. In addition, the results of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests administered to 4th and 8th graders do show a mathematical correlation between spending per pupil and test results. Clearly money does make a difference.

  3. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    We suffer from a system that has been ruined by the teachers union. More money is not the solution. A new system is the solution.

    The 50 year experiment for socialized education has only dummied down our kids.

    Yes, don’t cut programs, cancel them. Give parents the money and let them invest in their kids education. I am afraid we will need to see the present system fail completly before it gets any better.

  4. commoncents — $1000 to get 9.28 points on the SAT????? Give me a break! That is the worst investment on the planet.

  5. slasmith says:

    Ronnie, That is $1,000 per student per year, so the real number is $13,000 per student for 9.28points 0r $1,400.86 per point.

  6. slasmith says:

    Also the SAT is designed to have a mean of 500 with a standard deviation of 100, which means that 9.28 points doesn’t even move a student 1 percentile in national standings.

  7. slasmith — Do you know what the difference between 500 and 510 is? Nothing. They both suck!

    We could DECREASE student funding by $1000 per student per year and there would be virtually no difference!

  8. crappyemailname says:

    Boyd, you’re forgetting something, we can’t fund the schools right now because the military needs those $25 washers, $250 hammers, $80 toilets seats and a 50inch plasma screen for every private contractor.

    We have to spend $663.8 billion on defense annually because there are a few pissed off muslim extremists who live in the mountains of a few backwater countries that would otherwise topple our otherwise vulnerable nation. How else do you expect us to maintain our way of life…through an educated public…nonsense!

    *sarcasm off*

  9. crappyemailname says:

    By the way, has ANYONE considered educational reform as a way to improve our schools? I’m not talking about more or less funding for schools, I’m talking about literally changing the way we educate our youth. It’s the year 2011 and we’re still using methods developed in 1911 as our standard operating procedure for education.

    In the last 100 years there has been a wealth of information gathered in terms of human psychology, physiology and the way in which people process and retain information. Maybe it’s time to take a 21st century look at how schools should be run, how classes should be taught and how kids should be tested.

    Just a thought.

  10. crappyemailname,
    Sometimes older methods work better in some areas, but with technology evolving the lives of kids, their brains have developed much differently due to the computer, cell phone and other advanced technology. Not much is known how this changes the learning, but it is my guess it has, to a degree, but I don’t think it changes learning that much.

    However, that said, I feel kids need to learn how to write (penmanship), use proper grammar, punctuation, and the English language, read, compute math, know basic history, civics, and other academic subjects. Teaching these subjects is similar to the old method because what is required of students is not changed.

    What does need to change is what students need to master before they move onto higher levels. Currently, kids are pushed through the system with no evidence that they have mastered the concepts of that grade. Students should be expected to prove their knowledge in all subjects before they move forward.

    Secondly, I feel that teachers should be held to a standard that holds them accountable to what happens in the instruction they are presenting. Not only, can the teacher teach, but can that teacher notice problems students have, but can fix that issue before it becomes a problem. I think some competition is in order here among teachers. Teachers who teach well should be competing for students because they can do the job well.

    Thirdly, I feel teachers should run the classroom environment as they were the boss. They should be strict where behavior is concerned, and should have the ability to forbid any behavior that stops the learning of others. They should be able to hold students accountable and require conditions for attending their classroom. Parents and students should have no choice but to abide by the teachers, and school rules. If they don’t, a reform school is their only option for an education, where kids are made to act a certain way. If teachers don’t want baggy, low hung clothes, (i.e. pants) on students, the teacher should be able to require students to dress appropriately, and wear clothing in the way they want.

  11. The GOP and Tea Party view all state and federal education funding as entitlements that must be cut

  12. If our schools produce more intelligent individuals, then we as a whole become more conscientious. If people are actually paying attention, they get upset about what is happening. They want us to be too busy watching snookie.

  13. Is anyone shocked that the people who don’t like education and can’t understand how complex it is are the UNEDUCATED gopcult members? The GOP has made it clear ever since Governor Reagan destroyed the California’s education system that education is bad for the GOPCULT. We know why they hate education.. the republican contributors to this forum brilliantly show us. An educated population won’t believe absurd lies like: “Obama is a muslim” or “Obama is a Kenyan” or ” Liberals Hate America” America is polarized today like never before, however, it isnt between republicans and democrats. The true division is between the educated and the non educated.

  14. OH yeah.. and for all you gopmembers:


  15. PumainTacoma says:

    Cut out bussing students. Germany doesn’t do it. Make all parents buy their books Germany does it. Stop buying $5,000 swivel chairs and giving hundred of thousand of dollars of our taxes to the urban league and safe streets!

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