Thursday, November 05, 2015

Despite Liberals' Belief, "State-of-the-Art" Schools Do Not "Fix" Public Education

Much has been made of the poor state of many rural school buildings. Google "Corridor of Shame" if you don't believe me. Now Joe Nocera's latest New York Times opinion piece suggests that, instead of funding the charter school movement, philanthropists should look to creating state-of-the-art educational infrastructure.

Actually, Nocera credits his future daughter-in-law with this brainstorm. She's the "program director for the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin--Madison." What she's recommending means that she believes the governance of a public school matters less than the building in promoting student learning. 

Or, to put it simply, "It's the building, stupid."

Of course, a ceiling that leaks and cockroaches on the floor do not promote learning; however, no study exists that shows that students learn more in a state-of-the-art building. Just a well-kept building will do. Students do not reason, "Gee, they've spent all this money on us, so let's pay attention and learn!" We wish!

Look at the schools around you. Achievement has little to do with the buildings and much to do with the affluence of students who attend.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here. Some of those schools in the Dillon area are shameful and disgraceful while there is no shortage of funding for inflated football salaries. Some of those school buildings along the I-95 corridor should be condemned. While I do not believe that nice buildings are be-all end-all quick fixes, kids (or teachers) should not be subjected to such deplorable conditions. This is not the 1800's and there are no "Abraham Lincoln" schoolhouses standing to accommodate the technology needed today. Furthermore, these children are born into poverty; they haven't chosen it. This has nothing to do with "liberalism." I am a conservative who has voted Republican in every presidential election since I voted for Richard Nixon in 1972. Your comments are hardly "fair and balanced."