American Education – Two Reports – Detroit And Chicago

By: Michael John McCrae

There is a Detroit public school in need of toilet paper. Chicago Public Schools have an excess of serviceable cappuccino/espresso machines.

According to the article: “Detroit School Lacks Toilet Paper, Light Bulbs” posted in at least one school is becoming proactive in addressing a major Detroit Public School System budget shortfall of more than $400 million dollars by asking parents and others local to the school for donations of basic items.

This is only one school district in the Democrat run State of Michigan. According to the article, the school district is: “on the verge of being assigned” a state financial manager because of their financial “emergency”.

Looking for the latest statistics on Detroit Public Schools drop-out rates I found this: “A 2006 newspaper report and a 2005 Princeton study spell costly problems for the students and residents of Detroit Schools. In 2006 USA Today reported on a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It said that several of the nation’s largest school districts had less than a 50% graduation rate. Detroit Schools, the 11th largest district in the country, was dead last with an appalling 21.7%.”

Forget the incredibly low 21.7% and concentrate on “dead last”. The DPS is $400 million in the hole and dead last in high school graduations. This news should be national news and a public disgrace to the State of Michigan’s teacher’s union and membership. We’ve seen the current governor Michigan (Jennifer Granholm) in Washington D.C. recently begging the salvation of the Big Three automakers. She should have been begging for the salvation of Michigan’s public schools!

And what of the collateral damage caused by this massive group of drop-outs? According to the report citing the Princeton study: “High School drop-outs cost Detroit Schools, and the city’s residents, money… A 2005 Princeton University study found that a high school drop-out, on average, costs the county $260,000. It estimated that Michigan drop-outs stand to lose over
$11 billion in total lifetime income by foregoing the diploma…”

Here is more collateral damage: “Over 50% of the inmates in Michigan jails are high school drop-outs. And it costs the state over $29,000 a year just to house them. 40% of parents on public assistance in the state are also drop-outs of Detroit Schools (or other schools).”

Just what is happening in Granholm’s state? Why aren’t these major deficiencies in Michigan’s public education system being addressed? The governor is more concerned with protecting the UAW’s multimillion dollar spa and resort with its highly paid amateur golfers than the next generation of Michigan taxpayers. The fact is Michigan’s rating as the state with the highest unemployment is directly attributed to the failures in public education. You can check this out at:

But let’s look at Chicago now. I believe Chicago can help Detroit. Chicago can sell off some of the 30 cappuccino/espresso machines it bought for its public schools. Several of these machines are still in new condition as some of the schools that received a machine had no use for one. Art Golab at the Chicago Sun Times website reported: “Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them…”

The full title of the report cited other discrepancies in Chicago’s schools reading: “A WASTE OF MONEY | Report says staffers skirted rules to buy 30 coffeemakers, changed athletes’ grades, falsified addresses”, but I just wanted to address the highbrow coffee machines because Chicago schools might be able to sell these off and use the proceeds to support Detroit’s toilet paper shortages. Perhaps Barack Hussein Obama can use his Chicago influence to pay back Governor Granholm for her political support.

This report drove me to check out drop-out rates for Chicago and the Chicago Tribune did not disappoint with its article: “The Real Drop Out Rate” from July 2006. From the report: “Chicago, the third largest school system, had a 52.2 percent graduation rate. That corresponded with a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, which reported this year [2006] that 54 percent of Chicago public school freshmen receive a diploma.”

So with the grade changing, the phony addresses and the over-priced coffee makers, Chicago’s public schools fail to graduate almost half of the students entering a 4-year high school program.

I wonder if Mr. Obama ever attempted to address that problem as a state senator or as the Junior Senator from Illinois. He probably didn’t have the time as a Federal Senator having only been in chamber 143 days before having to hit the campaign trail for his presidential election. Perhaps as president he will address the sorry state of education in America; the NEA’s complicity in retaining poor and underperforming teachers and the massive debts incurred at the expense of keeping toilet paper in public school bathrooms.

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