Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago Teachers On Strike

But will anyone notice?  
( - Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.
I'm not blaming the teachers for this.  Most of what makes some students proficient at reading is what value the parents (okay, in most homes now, the "parent," singular) put on reading.  Math is a bit more complicated.  Still, when you have a place that is something of anti-Lake Wobegon, where most kids are below average, where random acts of murder take place with distressing frequency in spite of restrictive gun control laws, I'm guessing that the teachers really aren't the core problem.

Still, there comes a certain point where you have to wonder what is going to fix this problem, short of some sort of ferocious cultural imperialism, along the lines of the original Operation Head Start, where for practical purposes, middle class specialists took over parenting of ghetto kids for the first few years.  (And yes, there are some white subcultures in America that probably need an equivalent cultural imperialism to give their kids any chance of not ending up poor or in prison.)


  1. I keep thinking, what ever happened to reform school ? The kids who want to learn are constantly barraged with violence and bullying, from girls as much as boys. And then you have Jesse Jackson demonstrating downstate because the Peoria schools suspend more black students than white. What does he want ? Except payoffs, of course.

  2. anti-Lake Wobegon ...

    Heerbewoe Island? Wobehear Island?

  3. My mother was in the PTA when my brothers and I were in school. She found that membership helped to avoid bad teachers or teachers who were a bad fit with us.
    One of the other mothers was a social worker who would go to homes in sections of Los Angeles that were both poor and predominantly black neighborhoods to get signups for Head Start. She said that it was almost impossible to get anyone's interest and attention and very hard to get them to sign up. The image she gave my mother was of a bunch of women playing cards who didn't want to interrupt the game.

  4. I just find it amusing that Obama's right hand man "Mr. Democrat" doesn't get along with the teacher unions! HILARIOUS!