I have learned that when a politician uses terms such as “our kids” the appeal is to emotion, not to the sense of reason. It is usually linguistic seduction for intellectual robots to roll with him, picking up and distributing outrage, anger, and bootleg conviction to make a fallacious argument. It is a kind of pimping or rabble rousing political noise saying nothing.
Dr. Walker invoked video lottery parlors, jealousy for Mississippi’s gambling tourists, the National Center for Public Education and terror knifings to education budgets to convince us that Georgia public education is going to be extinct without gobs more state money. It was a pantomime in words.
However, he never made one cogent support for his position. There was no discussion of educational return on investment (ROI) or return on assets (ROA), as in SAT scores, AYP performance, drop-out rates – nothing!
What are we getting for the $6,052 the US Census Bureau said that Georgia taxpayers spent on every elementary-secondary public school pupil in the 2008-09 school year?
Georgia does not have an education funding problem. It has a “black student problem.” If we use SAT scores, the end of the line production of a college-ready young person; AYP – the federal SAT for public schools and their districts; and dropout rates, which tells us how many $6,052/student/year we are rescuing from waste, black students, majority-black schools and majority-black school districts are unmitigated disasters in the Georgia public education calculus.
Dr. Walker and the seduced have a snowball’s chance in hell’s microwave of convincing the Georgia legislature to add new money to elementary and secondary public education. In fact, it makes sense to cut what there is. The system is working beautifully for the people who are using it. It does not need one new dime.
Only black students are not using the system.
- African American students are 150 points behind Asians in average overall SAT scores;
- 150 behind them in math;
- 100 behind them in writing;
- and 90 behind them in verbal.
To put this in perspective, contrary to popular belief, whites and Asians are close, though Asians tend to be a few points ahead. Hispanics and Native Americans are moving up quickly. However, since 2008-09 school year, African American students’ SAT scores have lagged behind Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and whites by double and triple digits in the composite SAT score, in every category and in every year.
The predominantly black public schools and public school districts are the same disasters. They are tremendously more likely not to meet AYP. Some black public school administrators are so sensitive to this fact that they refuse to adhere to the standard professional websites practice of putting pictures of the leadership and the customers in action on the schools’ web sites.
The DeKalb School District and a whopping 52 percent of DeKalb public schools did not make AYP last year. I will not discuss dropout rates, since horrific dropout rates forAfrican American students date back to the early 1970’s. This has not changed.
Not reason; only consciences of pity and sympathy could get new education funding through the Georgia legislature, and we know how “well” those two perform in government considerations.
Elrado Ramsey lives in Decatur.