Sunday, November 01, 2015
Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math
In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading.
That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.
Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.
According to data published by the Detroit Public Schools, the school district’s operating expenses in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 amounted to approximately $14,743 per student.
Nationwide, only 33 percent of public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading in 2015 and only 32 percent scored proficient or better in mathematics.
In 2015, 21 large urban school districts participated in the NAEP tests in reading and mathematics as part of what the Department of Education calls its Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Among these 21 districts, the Detroit Public Schools had the smallest percentages of eighth graders scoring proficient or better in reading and math.
In reading, the Cleveland public schools were next to last among the large urban school districts with only 11 percent scoring proficient or better. Baltimore and Fresno were tied for third worst with only 13 percent scoring proficient or better; and Philadelphia ranked fifth worst with only 16 percent scoring proficient or better.
The Cleveland public schools also ranked next to last in math, with only 9 percent of eight graders scoring proficient or better. Baltimore and Fresno were also tied for third worst in math, with only 12 percent scoring proficient or better; and Los Angeles ranked fifth worst with 15 percent scoring proficient or better in math.
The Department of Education has published fiscal information on the Detroit public schools for the 2011-2012 school year. That year, the Detroit Public Schools had total expenditures of $1,231,375,000, equaling $18,361 per student. That included $13,330 per student for current expenditures, $3,182 for capital outlays, and $1,737 for interest on the school system’s debt.
$271,358,000 of the school district's funding for the 2011-2012 school year came from the federal government.
The $13,330 for “current expenditures” included $515,473,000 for “instructional expenditures,” $133,282,000 for “student and staff support,” $97,800,000 for “administration,” and $147,411,000 for “operations, food service” and other expenses.
The Detroit Public Schools’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 says the school district served “an estimated 48,905 students” during that fiscal year. “Of the District’s total operating expenditures of approximately $721 million, 48 percent or approximately $346 million, was spent on instruction for the year ended on June 30, 2014,” said the report.
The approximately $721 million in total operating expenditures the school district reported for fiscal 2014 equaled approximately $14,743 for each of the district’s 48,905 students.
Is Planned Parenthood Targeting Schoolchildren?
Why is Planned Parenthood interested in a local school board election in the battleground state of Colorado?
That is what parents and voters are asking themselves in Jefferson County, Colo., this week after Planned Parenthood waded into a local recall election aimed at ousting three Republican school board officials in the middle of their terms.
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, a non-profit 501(c)4 organization, has sent letters to voters asking them to become involved in the school board recalls by first signing the petition to recall their elected officials, then volunteering for the effort to oust their local school board members.
The Planned Parenthood affiliated organization has also endorsed some of the candidates who are running to replace the current school board members in an announcement titled, “Vote in the Election on November 3rd for Real Sex Ed!”
The message is contrary to the one being pushed by recall proponents—which is that the recall campaign is about educating kids.
However, the Planned Parenthood group boasts of advancing “Colorado youths’ rights to real sex education and reproductive health care.” The group still opposes the state’s Parental Notification Act passed by the legislature in 2003 that requires parents of school-aged children under the age of 18 must be notified within 48 hours prior to abortion.
So what exactly does Planned Parenthood stand to gain from involvement in a local school board race?
Access, for one thing.
It turns out that Planned Parenthood is selling sex kits to local schools—including schools in the county in question—which Planned Parenthood’s own national website calls “Birth Control Training Kits.”
According to Planned Parenthood’s website, each of the kits contains 10 male condoms, two “female condoms,” one intrauterine contraceptive, one package of oral contraceptives, one “dental dam,” two samples of “water-based lubricants,” “cycle beads” for natural family planning purposes, one “Today” contraceptive sponge, one “syringe” containing a Depo Provera shot, and two vaginal contraceptive spermicidal films.
At least one local official in Jefferson County familiar with the kit reports that it includes a faux “Plan B” pill to familiarize school-aged students with “the morning after” pill.
In a statement given to The Daily Signal, Cathy Alderman, vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said:
"Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado generally takes interest in school board races especially when extreme politicians attempt to block or restrict access to accurate, sound curricula including curricula related to the provision of complete, age-appropriate, medically-accurate, and culturally-sensitive sexual health education."
At $125 per kit per student, it stands to reason that Planned Parenthood may view access to schools not simply as an opportunity to educate, but rather as a lucrative business opportunity.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the population of children enrolled in school is expected to increase 6 percent through the school year 2024-2025—from 49.8 million to nearly 53 million.
In border states and near-border states, the increase is even higher at upwards of 10 percent and 15 percent growth. In Nevada, the increase in population growth of school-aged children is even higher, at 26 percent.
Not a bad business model, if you can get it.
Thus, as the population of schoolchildren grows in America and as Planned Parenthood seeks to educate schoolchildren about sex at increasingly younger ages, the opportunity exists for a long-term profit center for the organization, as well as a “cradle-to-grave” institutionalized dependence upon Planned Parenthood.
And that’s where the really big money comes in.
Each year, American taxpayers send an estimated $540 million in annual federal funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates.
While Planned Parenthood claims that those taxpayer funds are not used for abortions, the organization is demonstrably utilizing those funds to market their goods and services to schoolchildren.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that eventually, services provided to schoolchildren could include referrals for on-demand abortion services should the above-mentioned “Birth Control Training Kits” fail.
Think it couldn’t happen?
In politics, one needs only to “follow the money” to see why a national pro-abortion organization is so interested in a local school board recall election.
Does Planned Parenthood presume that if conservatives on a local school board were to fulfill the terms to which they were elected, they might eventually call into question Planned Parenthood’s active presence in local schools? Perhaps require that taxpayer funds no longer go toward sex education pushed by the group?
It certainly appears that way.
It appears that in addition to sex education, recall proponents are concerned about a number of other liberal issues. On their official website, proponents list upcoming battles like a laundry list of progressive fights such as “charter school accountability, religious school vouchers, AP U.S. history curriculum, discrimination and bullying [as it relates to transgender individuals, per Colorado law], sex education, confidential health services, collective bargaining agreements, vaccinations, STEM funding, and local control and national education standards.”
While the debate over Planned Parenthood funding continues around the country and on Capitol Hill, one thing is certain: the state’s local school board elections to be held in this swing state next Tuesday raise sincere questions about the involvement of Planned Parenthood and their liberal agenda inside our public schools.
Perhaps the most important question of all is, if Planned Parenthood succeeds in the battleground state of Colorado, which state’s schoolchildren will they attempt to influence next?
Will Obama’s New Guidelines Actually Reduce Testing in Schools? Probably Not Much
The Obama administration responded to stacked complaints about excessive testing in schools, announcing new guidelines over the weekend that would scale back ballooned emphasis on standardized tests.
Though President Barack Obama said Saturday that the Department of Education would work “aggressively” with states and school districts to curb testing, his plan is expected to affect students only slightly.
Lindsey Burke, an expert in education at The Heritage Foundation, said that until the administration releases full guidance in January, the impact of its plan on schools cannot be entirely assessed, but she predicted that the guidelines will do “very little” to reduce excessive testing.
She pointed to “rigid” federal testing mandates along with the constraints of No Child Left Behind, which she said extended Washington’s role in setting testing schedules leading to the avalanche of standardized tests students are required to take.
“Much of the over-testing parents dislike will not be corrected, it seems, by this latest action on the part of the administration,” Burke said. “Unless Congress eliminates the annual testing mandate in No Child Left Behind, students will still be tested annually in grades three through eight and again in high school in the core subjects. And many states remain in Common Core, adding to the testing burden.”
Obama announced the plan in a video message posted to Facebook, vowing to work with school districts to ensure that students are taking only tests that supplement quality teaching and learning.
“Our kids should only take tests that are worth taking—tests that are high-quality, aimed at good instruction, and make sure everybody’s on track,” Obama said.
“Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble.”
The Department of Education conceded that the administration is partly to blame for “unnecessary” testing, recommending in its “Testing Action Plan” that schools cap the amount of time students spend on taking exams to no more than 2 percent of classroom time.
The department also called on Congress to “reduce over-testing” after lawmakers voted last summer to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, the nation’s Bush-era education standards that poured a wave of federal programs and testing standards onto U.S. public schools.
Burke said the “most impactful” piece of the plan is that it limits “double-testing” for students in eighth grade who, for example, passed an advanced placement math test but then have to additionally take the ninth-grade state math test.
While the plan offers suggestions for school districts to follow, the guidelines are nonbinding.
The administration said it would issue detailed guidance in January advising states and districts on how to use federal money to assess the quality of their testing procedures. It will also provide advice on how schools can best use testing as an effective learning tool.
The administration’s announcement came the same day as a Council of the Great City Schools report that evaluated testing in the U.S.’s largest urban school districts.
The study found that the average student will take roughly 112 standardized tests before high school graduation—about eight per year. Those numbers exclude “optional tests, diagnostic tests for students with disabilities or English learners, school-developed or required tests, or teacher designed or developed tests.”
Notably, the study discovered “no correlation between time spent testing and improved math and reading scores.”
Union groups that have fought against mounting testing requirements and the use of test scores to assess teachers backed the administration’s plan.
“It’s a big deal that the president and the secretaries of education—both current and future—are saying that they get it and are pledging to address the fixation on testing in tangible ways,” Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement.
Weingarten called the plan “common sense” but stipulated that “the devil is in the details.”
Posted by jonjayray at 1:59 AM