Twilight Zone Zombie Education Apocalypse: Detroit Government Schools Fail 95% of the Time…

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Sometimes in life there are things that are so obvious that when others don’t see it you’re left scratching your head wondering if you are living in a Twilight Zone episode. Such was the case when I read a headline last week: Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math.

Somehow the Detroit government schools, despite spending $1.2 billion a year – equating to $18,000 per year per student – were able to succeed in teaching reading only 7% of the time and math only 4% of the time. That is a failure rate of 93% and 96%. That reminded me of something I read a few years ago stating that 47% of Detroit’s population was illiterate. Now that statistic makes perfect sense.

How is it remotely possible that so much failure could continue year after year, decade after decade? (Could it be zombies?) Frankly, it forces one to ask a fundamental question… Most certainly a society needs an educated workforce in order to prosper, particularly in a world of rapidly increasing technology, but must government be the one in charge of the education?  And for black and Hispanic parents, the children of whom are largely the ones being steamrolled by the failing government schools, it makes you wonder why they keep pulling the lever for the Democrats who have been destroying education for 50 years.  And that doesn’t even include the damage being done by Common Core!

Given that the Detroit government schools succeed less than 5% of the time, what might happen if… rather than spending $18,000 per student to support an administration heavy bureaucracy (15,000 staff vs. 3,300 teachers) the city simply gave parents a check of $18,000 per student? Then let the parents spend the money however they want and let Darwin’s law decide the rest. It would be virtually impossible for even the most incompetent  parents left to their own devices to fail as badly as the Detroit government schools have.

Or perhaps the city could simply sell the entire school system, much like cities across the country have sold contracts to provide other public services, everything from parking meters to trash collection to water to the issuance of business licenses. Even the most inept businessman would likely succeed more often than 5% of the time. And there are for profit and non profit school operators across the country, from Kipp Academy to Harlem Academy to a plethora of online operators. Whether private or charter or Catholic, virtually every alternative to traditional public schools outperforms those government schools operating in their same communities.

And it’s not like wholesale change hasn’t ever happened. After Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans a decade ago the city handed over management of 80% of the schools to charters, and not so surprisingly student test scores doubled.


But of course none of that will likely ever happen, because there are too many union jobs to protect and too many government regulators seeking to keep their power. Any parent, any businessman, any non government organization would be loathe to continue to fund a program that fails 95% of the time, but unions and government apparatchiks don’t actually care about educating children. In the Twilight Zone Zombie Education Apocalypse the machine must keep churning, regardless of the cost or consequence.  There are simply too many union jobs and too much government power at stake to risk losing them just so kids can learn to read and write and have a chance to go on to achieve success in life.  Pffffttt.

Keep that in mind the next time you hear union brownshirts clamoring for more government money “For the children”.

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

21 Responses to “Twilight Zone Zombie Education Apocalypse: Detroit Government Schools Fail 95% of the Time…”

  1. 2

    kitt

    @Rasputin: Regan wanted to kill Carters dept but the dems would have none of it.
    Perhaps with a new prez we can revisit the wonderful idea of elimination of that and several hundred more useless departments.
    (I know unicorns and wish granting fairies)

  2. 3

    Nanny G

    Some gov’t jobs (at the bottom of the org. pyramid) are simply glorified welfare programs.
    “Teachers” (those really are scare quotes) who cannot teach also cannot be fired.
    We see this also at the TSA which cannot stop 95% of all test bombs in briefcases.
    We also see it at the VA where bureaucrats are supposed to be able to find files but never look and simply report them missing.
    (A doctor at the VA needed to treat a sick patient and, faced with this brick wall, went into the stacks and found the man’s file himself, thus being able to successfully treat the patient. The unionized paper-pushers insisted he be written up for his act. And he was!)

    All unionized gov’t work has to be ended.
    Only then can we weed out the deadwood and get this country working again.

  3. 4

    Artfldgr

    blame it on the four caucasians, the three jews, and the seven asians from china, and pakistan… its all their fault… if they would just party, not study, wear their pants half down, blame others, and refuse to fail to make the world equal…
    (sarcastic toungue planted firmly in cheek)

    i suggest reading Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, and john taylor gatto if you want to know SOME of the games. then look to the history of the modern school system after the national guard forced parents to take their kids to the new state system (not the national guard during he democrats games in the south, but before that), which at that time they designed and based it on soviet system…

    the more they dumb down the competition, the more dumb the people that were supposed to look smarter became…

    hey, keep singing homage to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin and not know that, and who he was and who the followers were… to the people who dont know who that cop killer is, his old name was H “RAP” brown, and the music is his brand of poetry from his book which i cant even speak the title of in public..

    sign me inner city slum child (as tht is where i grew up so now they call me priveleged for busting my ass, losing my childhood doing so, and getting to bronx science).

  4. 5

    kitt

    @Nanny G: Agreed!
    Governor Scott took the teeth out of the school unions, for saving the taxpayers millions and millions they organized a recall, the taxpayers not only held him in office but to add insult to injury we re-elected him. Teachers didn’t lose the union but now have to pay in part for the health insurance and retirement benefits, like the rest of us. Collective Bargaining gone thats one victory. I am sort of ashamed to say I was not sad to see him drop out of the presidential race, need him here, greedy me. Oh my real estate taxes were lowered so much my bank lowered my mortgage 50 bucks a month. Conservatism working in Wisconsin!

  5. 7

    Petercat

    The biggest problem that we have is that, unlike private industry, government employment has no effective penalties for failure.
    If a private individual fails badly enough, they will find themselves unemployed, possibly unemployable, or taking a government job.
    If a government employee fails badly enough, they will find themselves working in a different agency, possibly with a larger paycheck.

  6. 10

    Bill

    @John: Are you INSANE? Why would anyone in their right mind willfully move into an area wrecked by liberalism? Better to burn it down and start over, the left wing deterioration is so bad.

    How about this; how about liberals admit the utter failure of their ideology and stop destroying lives and cities? Are YOU willing to participate in that, or would you rather sit back and whine about how mean everyone is?

  7. 11

    kitt

    @Bill: John doesn’t want to hear it, Progressive democrats voted in, backed by public union funds. They give the unions exactly what they want on the taxpayer dime. 1.2 billion to education alone, collective bargaining is a tool of the left. The stats about charter schools, after Katrina all schools were charter and test scores doubled. You are right burn it down and start from scratch.

  8. 14

    Nanny G

    @John:
    I bought an entire block in Detroit about a year ago.
    Paid less than $10,000 for all of it.
    Had every utility disconnected and all the structures (homes, mostly plus two small business buildings) torn down so they could not be squatted in.
    Hired a landscaper to put in a park-like area with a walk through plus a few trees, shrubs and even bulbs.
    Hired a person from a business across the street to water it as needed.
    It looks OK.
    Taxes are low.
    There may come a day it will be worth more than I paid for it.
    But will that e in my lifetime?
    I wonder.
    Packs of dogs run all around the locale.
    I would never live there.
    (I hate that type of climate.)
    Give me a dry snow, like Utah’s any day.

  9. 16

    Nanny G

    @Rich Wheeler:
    Who said anything about visiting it or living on it?
    I intend to either sell it if the market there makes an upturn OR develop it then sell it.
    I’d like to see it owner-occupied instead of the renters/leasers who were on it before it fell to garbage.

  10. 17

    kitt

    The average salary for charter school teachers was $42,864,[1] while the average for just conventional school teachers was $63,094.

    But Utica district the salary was 85,725 good thing the taxpayers can’t do the math, but no amt of money would compel me to teach in any large urban area run by liberals.

  11. 18

    Bill

    Detroit is the victim of leftist attack from two directions. First, unions made greater and greater demands of the highly successful auto industry which simply caved to them, since they were guaranteed to ALWAYS make money. Ooops.

    Then competition happened. Detroit began downsizing and the Democrat government perpetually in charge lost it’s golden goose of unlimited taxable incomes. But, did they downsize their spending? Nope. Just kept on taxing and whoever remained and HAD a job kept leaving. Eventually all that was left was the takers… no more hosts. As long as you get whatever you need without any expectations of contribution, why bother trying?

    More support is required which drives more supports out which demands more of those remaining which drives more out which requires MORE support.

    Look around and see where this winning formula is also in place. Who is guiding those runaway trains to the obvious destination?

  12. 19

    Nanny G

    @Bill: Detroit began downsizing and the Democrat government perpetually in charge lost it’s golden goose of unlimited taxable incomes. But, did they downsize their spending? Nope. Just kept on taxing and whoever remained and HAD a job kept leaving. Eventually all that was left was the takers……..Look around and see where this winning formula is also in place.

    The City of Long Beach didn’t have an auto industry, but it had a lucrative Port.
    That port gave the city gov’t tons of cash every year….. up until 9-11-01.
    After the attacks US port security was beefed up.
    Ports had plenty of cash to cover this new expense.
    BUT, that meant the city became suddenly cash poor.
    The perpetually liberal gov’t kept spending at the same rate without the income.
    We stayed until hubby retired only because of Prop 13 keeping property taxes so low.
    New owners in our old condo property were paying an arm and a leg in taxes.
    And for what?
    LB made keeping chickens, roosters and goats legal as long as there was at least ten FEET between them and any neighbor’s door!

  13. 20

    kitt

    It is happening in every large urban area, When the liberals have set up camp, and the voters have no say in setting wages and benefits, they need to employ even more liberals in “programs and agencies” The tax hikes begin oh ever so slow 2% here, .5% there. Finally you get white flight, those that can run for greener pastures.
    We hope they have learned a lesson and don’t allow the liberal infection to spread.

  14. 21

    Smorgasbord

    Whether a school is failing or succeeding depends on what the school’s intention is. Today’s public schools are propaganda machines to dumb down our kids so that they will obey the government, and they will be dependent on the government to survive. The schools are a success in this area.

    They are also recruiting tools for the muslim brotherhood. Kids are being forced to learn the muslim religion, and some teachers are even taking their class to mosques without asking the parents for permission. Some kids are even being forced to participate in muslim ceremonies, and to pledge allegiance to the muslim flag.

    We are being invaded from within, and we are even allowing the terrorists to train IN OUR OWN BORDERS. When they decide to strike, they won’t have to INVADE us. THEY ARE ALREADY HERE!

    I already knew that the democratic party had been infiltrated, but the republicans in congress not doing anything to stop our illegal president, or to stop the invasion of muslims into the USA, tells me that they to have been invaded. I guess it is up to WE THE PEOPLE to take care of the problem. At times like these, I am REALLY glad that I live in Idaho, because we can defend ourselves better than most states can when the fighting starts. Idaho does not send info to the feds on gun purchases, so the feds don’t know which Idahoan has guns, and which ones don’t. There are probably more guns than people. We can own any type of gun, ammo, silencers, etc., that the feds don’t ban, and we can own as much of it as we want.

    One young man told me that what he does when he has some extra cash, it buy more ammo, then sell it later on after the price goes up. obama is helping him make extra money.

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