Benjamin Harrison: According to the “Fact Check” Perspecitve article in the Tribune on Feb. 1, Matthew Ladner was correct in one part of his article; there is overspending in public education. I may even say that the district level is a bloated leech on the state spending. The rest of the article was rubbish. I can give the scoop in four simple facts.
According to the “Fact Check” Perspective article in the Tribune on Feb. 1, Matthew Ladner was correct in one part of his article: there is overspending in public education.
I may even say that the district level is a bloated leech on the state spending. The rest of the article was rubbish. I can give the scoop in four simple facts.
The first fact is schools are in this financial mess because many of them have hired “outside agencies” to develop a budget for working with children. This is the “nonteaching” staff that has congested the funds of our districts and created a system where administration, teachers, and students all are operating without margin for error.
These “nonteaching” personnel have caused chaos all over the state with funding issues. Queen Creek, Tucson, Scottsdale, and Thomas J. Pappas district have all been in the news in the past year for financial mismanagement of some kind.
But yet, Arizona ranks near the bottom of per-student spending and at the bottom of teacher pay.
Second, university spending has been an issue that has needed to be addressed for several years. How can a state institution raise tuition steadily for the past five years or more, have one of the top 10 highest enrollments in the nation, and plan for several new buildings across all campuses and still have funding issues?
The third fact is teachers are constantly evaluated and are forced to maintain training and education levels annually.
Those that do not want to teach gracefully bow out of the profession with time and experience. It is a poor statement to say that when a company makes cuts, only the insufficient are cut and the good are kept. That is a statement used by all bad management.
Finally, never listen to anyone talking about education unless they have been in the classroom as a teacher. Outside classroom education, or what we in teaching circles call “real world education,” is one of those tools that allow students to see the working world and develop dreams and aspirations.
Between the sixth and 12th grades, students average 50 minutes in each subject class daily. How much can get taught with each core subject teaching to more than 100 different standards in that time?
It is also possible that no matter how dynamic or stimulating the instruction, the learner may not be ready for it. Teachers do not choose the students or the curriculum. They are simply the “tools” used to deliver it from one place to another. And this is the same state the essentially wiped every teaching credential clean in the past two years so that even experienced teachers had to get “recertified” to teach in subject areas?
With the “business concept” taking over education, many people are forgetting that schools are for making communities better and not cramming as many kids in a class as you have room for. We as a state are in a difficult period. But, how much of our future are you willing to let get cut out? Who will change the tide before we get exactly what business has asked for, the bottom line?
Benjamin Harrison is a resident of Queen Creek.