Social Justice and Public Schools, a Continuing Series

Social Justice and Public Schools, a Continuing Series July 8, 2011

Several months ago I wrote a Patheos article called “Wisconsin is the New France: Entitlement Derangement Syndrome” condemning the hysterical response to marginal teachers’ benefit cuts and promptly got lambasted by commenter after commenter, with some even questioning my Christianity.

Why bring it up?  Because Glenn Reynolds’ “Sunday Reflection” in the Washington Examiner contains some inconvenient facts:

Wisconsin spends a lot of money on education, and its teachers are well-paid. The average total compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee public schools is over $100,000 per year.

In fact, Wisconsin spends more money per pupil than any other state in the Midwest. Nonetheless, two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth-graders can’t read proficiently.

But it gets worse: “The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009, despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year. . . . from 1998 to 2008, Wisconsin public schools increased their per pupil spending by $4,245 in real terms yet did not add a single point to the reading scores of their eighth graders and still could lift only one-third of their eighth graders to at least a ‘proficient’ level in reading.”

More money spent, same (poor) results.  Where’s the social justice in that?


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