Members of a Maryland education commission have painted a bleak picture of the state’s education system, reports the Washington Post. Students are failing, and teachers are fleeing. Without drastic reforms, the commission warns, Maryland’s economy will face dire consequences.
“The current system is not working,” says Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, D-Baltimore County. “Maryland students are struggling to compete among their peers internationally. Achievement gaps based on income race and disability aren’t closing. We’re losing good teachers to better-paying industries. And the majority of our high school graduates aren’t college- and career-ready.”
The proposed solution? The same as it is everywhere: Mo’ Money! Lawmakers’ proposed legislation would cost Marylanders nearly $4 billion a year in state and local revenue.
Why should Virginians care about Maryland’s travails? Because Virginia is heading where Maryland is now.
As in the Old Line State, the answer to every educational malady here in Virginia is Mo’ Money. Governor Ralph Northam proposes increasing K-12 spending by $1.2 billion in the next two-year budget in a package that includes steering tens of millions yearly to poor schools. That won’t get us to Maryland’s level of spending, but it will point us in that direction.
According to Education Week’s Quality Counts 2019 Grading the States, per pupil spending in Virginia averages $10,530. But Maryland spending averages $13,146 per student!
Got that? Maryland spends roughly 25% more per student than Virginia, yet “its students are failing and its teachers are fleeing.” The only answer that Maryland’s intellectually bankrupt educational establishment can come up with is to spend more money doing more of the same thing that’s not working. And that’s exactly what Virginia’s intellectually bankrupt educational establishment is proposes as well. What makes us even more stupid is that we want a Maryland-style spending level even though we can see it’s not working there!
In Maryland, teachers are miserable and fleeing the profession. In the 2016-17 school year according to National Education Association data, Maryland teachers were paid on average $68,357, 8th highest in the country. By comparison, Virginia teachers averaged $52,340, 28th highest.
Maybe the reason Maryland teachers are fleeing the profession is not because they are paid insufficiently but because the working conditions suck! Discipline is a disaster. Students are apathetic. Administrators won’t back them up. I would submit that paying Virginia teachers more like Maryland teachers will not solve the problem of Virginia teacher shortages either. Teachers here, as in Maryland, usually quit because the job sucks, and if the educational establishment can’t un-suck the schools, teachers will continue leaving no matter how much we pay them.
The problem with public schools isn’t the lack of money. It’s the relentless intrusion of progressive ideology. Progressive doctrines and practices are ruining the schools. Virginia schools are becoming more like Maryland schools in that regard, and that’s what we need to focus on. You can double K-12 spending per student, but if you’re doubling down on progressive ideology at the same time, public schools will get worse, not better.There are currently no comments highlighted.