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Keep in mind though that the schools only get money if students pass the AP test. In the average high school there is about a 33% pass rate on these exams. Each test costs $80, and if only a third of the students taking the exam pass it, really we are losing money. Why risk, that sum of money for a test in which a) students dont want to take. b) a test in which two thirds do not pass, and c) the school pays a lot of money for, just for a status.
As an educator it isn't that I don't care about this 10%, but time and time again I have witnessed parents deny their child of the setting that would best benefit the child's learning dynamics, all for the sake of their child not being seen as "different". The entire NCLB act is modeled to have the special needs and lower performing students at level no matter what the cost to everyone may be. Our high level students are left to fend for themselves and be bored to tears. We have made achieving mediocrity the goal. We no longer strive for greatness. When I went through the public education system we were tracked, some where in a college prep curriculum, some in general/busines studies, and others in vocational studies. Now everyone wants every kid to go to college. Who is going to fix our plumbing? But we don't think about things like that, Dept. of Ed's think all kids should go to college. The guy that fixes my plumbing makes 120.00 an hour. I can only dream of making money like that. Our focus is wrong; we are not honest with ourselves as a society. Our educational system is a mess. Oh, and my district can't afford to give teachers a raise or pay for field trips. We reuse our trash bags and paid a now bankrupt company 2 million dollars for useless staff development and the board just gave our super a 40,000 dollar a year pay raise. See why we are in this mess.
This may sound selfish coming from a Media person, but this is how I see it...Not all children are athletes. Not all children are A/P material. After School is good, but tends to be a cheap babysitter in some instances instead of what it is really meant to be.
On the other hand, any child can dream, can listen to, feel, or keep some type of rhythm, can draw (even if it is stick people) and can learn to read and take journeys beyond the four walls that confine them. The arts allow children to do this...to escape beyond their boundaries....even if for a few moments. This is important to their self esteem and their creativeness that often gets confined because no one allows them to express themselves.
I say save the arts.....They are beautiful, peaceful expressions of oneself.
I don't know how this works in your district, but AP students take tests, tests results generate income for the district, our district redistributes, not only to the AP students, but to ALL schools. So in our case it is shortsighted to cut AP classes because this is like shooting oneself in the foot.
Of course, maybe your district doesn't redistribute the funds the way ours does.. but AP classes challenge students and if this disappears there will be no consistent effort to challenge students to perform at their highest levels
Why must teachers and principals, let alone students, suffer from budget cuts. At $2/hr X 30 children X 6hrs/day X 20 days/mo X 10 months a teacher should make $72,000 per year. At $8/hr a teacher should make $288,000 per year. None make the latter and most don't even approach the first figure. Yet, many parents would gladly pay a baby sitter at least $2 and some $8 dollars per hour. Teachers do a lot more than "baby sit". Why then are we still cutting teachers, their salaries, support systems, supplies, etc.?
States have gotten too big for their own britches. They spend more than what comes in and don't save for a rainy day. I believe a one time tax of whatever amount necessary to cover current shortfalls in education should be implemented. That would promote continued interest in folks becoming teachers as well as enable current educators to continue teaching. During this one time tax, the state would tighten its belt in other areas and create reductions so as to not have to invade the education coffers again. While we are at it, those states that promised "supplementing" eduction with "gambling" dollars should keep their promises. Any replaced dollars should be restored to the education coffers.
What about the Career and Tech Programs which include electives for all students?
Why not get rid of the charter schools that are stealing resources from traditional public schools? Charters are just another way for Departments of Education to wash their hands of the business of running schools by privatizing it. Who ends up paying the price? Students. Read my blog for more about this: http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com
I absolutely agree about the amount of money that is being wasted on consultants and academic coaches. Our small district has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in just these two areas. Why does administration get paid at such a high rate when they just hire other people to do their jobs?
Let me see, last I knew there were BILLION$ for pet (pork) projects, Billion$ for ludicrous research topics and experiments, and Billion$ for OVERSEAS AID packages. Funny how things are called "earmarked" funds, since we do not hear of many of them until AFTER the money is WASTED (I mean spent.)
Funny how the money from Casinos was to SUPPLEMENT not REPLACE education funding! Gas prices are outrageous. However, and more importantly, why spend so much money on highways while asking taxpayers to cut-back on gasoline consumption?
The largest waste item, I see in surrounding school districts, is consultant fees, test fees, curriculum fees and fee fees. It is hard for teachers and principals to justify the cuts in their budgets when they do not see cuts in main office budgets!!!
Superintendents’ salaries...OUTRAGEOUS! Districts nationwide are the same Million$ in the hole as they were BEFORE all of the school closings, staff lay-offs, program cuts, position elimination through attrition, and cancellation of contracts. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???? Property taxes are going up with increased education funding, but districts never see the increased revenue. The people want better schools but, are unwilling to pass bond issues to help them improve!
Consolidation, liquidation and conglomeration are NOT going to improve student learning ability. We need new teachers, better equipment and REAL incentives. EDUCATION is VITAL to OUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE as a CIVILIZATION. Do not cut any programs, cut out the cancer of nepotism in the front offices of districts that are strapped for cash, then there will actually be money saved!!!
In a country where we are told that all students must be a grade level by 2014, why cut any programs. It has been proven that the arts increase academic achievement. So I think that the government needs to find the funds that allow students to reach beyond what they think they are capable of. Take the math and literacy coaches out of the schools. Don't give superintentents more than the necessary salaries-no fluff. Districts need to cut their budgets. The government needs to look in their own backyard for the unnecessaries expenses. Every year something is taken away from the students. They need the education to become successful, productive citizens of the future. They will be taking care of us in our future. I see every year more adoptions of new books because the government says we must change books- WHY? Then what do we do with the obsolete books! What a waste of money! STOP SPENDING AND USE WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE--ESPECIALLY IF IT'S WORKING!