kitchen table math, the sequel: Democrats for Education Reform on the stimulus

Friday, February 6, 2009

Democrats for Education Reform on the stimulus

But we are very worried that Congress and the Obama administration haven't learned from the recent banking bailouts (bonuses for failing corporate executives?) that massive infusions of cash must be accompanied by significant reform if this is going to be anything along the lines of change we can believe in.

Nowhere is this issue more important than in the bailout which is poised to play out for public education (a bailout that we strongly support, so long as significant changes are made in the ways this money is spent to improve student learning and ensure equity.)

February 3, 2009

talking points:
DFER is encouraged that the House bill specifically includes funds for:
  • Teacher Incentive Program ($200 million) – to boost teacher pay, change pay schedules, and improve the quality of teaching in high-poverty, high-minority schools
  • Improving State Data Systems ($250 million)
  • Charter Schools Facilities ($30 million)
The amounts for each of these functions are relatively (and in some cases, ridiculously) small. They approach rounding error in the context of the $145 billion education package.

We urge the Senate to fund each of these three functions at a level above that which can be found in the House bill.

DFER strongly prefers the more specific language in the House bill on the use of state funds to:
  • revamp state assessments; and,
  • getting qualified, experienced teachers to high-poverty, high-minority schools.
We urge the Senate to adopt the House language on incentives and innovation.

Talking Points on American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan February 3, 2009


The talking points don't seem to jibe with the post introducing the talking points.

Or am I missing something?

In any event, I personally am against pouring more money into the education sector, which now consumes 1/2 trillion dollars a year every year, year in and year out.

Absent profound and sweeping changes in institutional structure and culture, money won't fix what ails our schools. The curriculum and teaching practices in wealthy suburban schools are evidence enough of that.

No comments: