Washington D.C. public schools spend $29,349 per student, but 83% are not proficient in reading

I’m curious to hear anyone’s ideas about what could be done to solve this problem.

My proposal: shut down the D.C. public school system, give vouchers to the parents equal to 49% of what the public schools are currently spending, and use the other 51% to cut taxes.

What ideas do others here have on how to fix this problem? Please offer your ideas in the comment section.

CNS News reports:

DC Schools: $29,349 Per Pupil, 83% Not Proficient in Reading

The public schools in Washington, D.C., spent $29,349 per pupil in the 2010-2011 school year, according to the latest data from National Center for Education Statistics, but in 2013 fully 83 percent of the eighth graders in these schools were not “proficient” in reading and 81 percent were not “proficient” in math.

These are the government schools in our nation’s capital city — where for decades politicians of both parties have obstreperously pushed for more federal involvement in education and more federal spending on education.

May 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Government waste, Politics.


  1. BGills replied:

    Double blind studies indicate merit pay based, independently verified performance testing, yields best results per dollar. That’s why it’s opposed unanimously, by the lowest performing teachers in the spectrum. Accountability based education is simply to demanding for those unwilling to do the hard work of quality teaching. Those that can teach, do, and would gladly accept the additional pay associated with results based teaching. Those who can’t, are predictably opposed.

  2. hmichaelh replied:

    This is a tough question with no easy answer. Given the changed demographics of the DC Public Schools, you immediately run into the accusation of racism for any solution offered. My father taught in the DC Public Schools when they are among the very top educational systems in the Nation. At that time, the majority of students were Caucasian, and stories abound of families moving into the District to take advantage of its educational assets. What has changed?

    Clearly the schools are essentially 100% Negro. Any family, Caucasian, Negro, Hispanic, or Asian, who can afford to do so, sends their children to Private Schools. A current, famous family who does just that is the Ohbongos. They would no more send their daughters to a DC Public School than they would miss a fund raising opportunity. They know the schools are populated with violent, criminal, ignorant, disinterested, children from mostly dysfunctional homes.

    And therein lies the biggest problem. You cannot fix the schools as long as you have children who have no structure, support, and discipline at home. So instead of asking how to fix the DC Public Schools, someone is going to have to figure out how to fix the family which feeds children into this horrible system.

    The DC Public Schools have become a system of welfare for the Administrative Staff, and without question, for the teaching staff. As long as the Teachers’ Union perpetuates this system, the DC Public Schools are screwed. You can see from your headline that the Union, teachers and administrators are primarily interested in increasing their pay, which is documented by the huge amount of money spent per child on “edgeumacatiing” them.

    So we now have identified two problems. 1) the family, and 2) the Unions. Two huge subset of the “Union Problem” is (a) the disproportionate number of “administrators” to teachers, and (b) the absolute ignorance of the teachers in the classroom. Many of these teachers are unable to speak the English Language correctly, and some are even illiterate.

    It is impossible to “fix” the “Family” problem. So how do you work around that? Perhaps a start would be to disenfranchise the Union. This is not an easy task, but I think over time, and with the right leadership it could be done. What is the realistic probability of that happening? I’m afraid it’s not very good.

    So are the DC Public Schools beyond fixing? Unfortunately, I think they are. And the problems are going to just keep growing and getting worse. Perhaps that, in and of itself, is the most realistic solution. Let the problem get so bad that the whole system collapses, and maybe something better can be put in its place. (Although I have to admit, this hasn’t worked in Detroit, Chicago, Newark and other inner city school systems.) A good start would be to reduce the funding, as much as possible, with each passing year. Cut off the supply of enabling nourishment to the schools, and push the system to implode so a better educational system can be put in its place.

    I’m not optimistic!

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