Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who Will Work in Low-Performing Districts?

It's not enough to slash school budgets statewide with a $470 per student cut in school aid.

Now Rick Snyder wants to really stick it to poor districts, taking away more of their students, draining their budgets, and discouraging good teachers from wanting to work there.


Snyder's plan will set up more charter schools to take more students and school aid dollars away from poorly performing districts. With less money, these districts will somehow magically get better.

Then, he will tell teachers in poor districts that 40 percent of their performance evaluation will be based on test scores. So you have a district where the students with the most financial means will be able to drive to another district which has to take them (if you can't afford to get to a neighboring district, you won't be able to transfer, let's face it), draining off the best students. Other students will leave for charter schools, whose test scores have proven no better than traditional public schools. The district will have fewer resources to educate the really poor students who are left behind. And the teachers will be faced with losing their jobs if they somehow don't create a miracle.

And oh, yeah, the students are going to be even poorer as a result of Snyder's proposal to shift more taxes to poor people by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit and giving parents $25 instead.

Who will take a job in a district like that? Won't the best teachers avoid those districts?

Snyder's speech was supposed to be about education. Was there one idea in it about teaching? One technique that would help children learn more?

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