As Congress continues conferencing on its bill overhauling No Child Left Behind, news just keeps on popping up that shows why you just can’t trust Democratic machine-run states and localities to handle education appropriately. This is an ongoing problem that I’ve written about before here and here.
This time, the bad news comes from Baltimore, home of struggling Democratic presidential contender and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (PDF link):
Participants in a months-long series of ‘kitchen table conversations’ told us that schools’ standards and expectations for students were too low. They feared that students were not graduating fully prepared for success in college or a first job that would earn them a living wage.
.. the Baltimore Education Research Consortium released a report detailing – among other important measures – remediation rates for City Schools graduates who go on to college. A startling 72% of our 2011 graduates who entered college the fall after high school graduation required remedial math classes. Thirty-eight percent (38%) needed remedial writing, and 35% needed remedial reading. Undergraduates who require remediation end up paying for developmental classes that are not credit-bearing, adding significant and unanticipated costs and time to their ability to earn a degree. The majority do not manage to earn one at all. Just over a quarter of the City Schools graduates who enroll in college the fall after graduation complete a degree within six years. (This includes students in two-year programs who initially started part-time.)
This is really bad news on a lot of counts, but that last bit in bold is especially noteworthy. Remember that piece of info as we are treated to endless rounds of Democratic presidential candidate demagoguery about what must be done to bring down the cost of college, and how students are piling on too much debt, and those lending to students are Satan incarnate. Because here we have Democrats increasing the cost that students will face by not preparing them adequately for college, forcing them to pay to catch up.
There is little question that college costs too much, people are taking on too much debt for degrees that mean too little, and higher education is a mess. It’s a total wreck. The question is not whether students and families face hardship for small reward, but rather why do they face it.
The truth is, a lot of is is because of the failings of those responsible for education in blue areas, which Democrats control, and which inherently put students at a financial disadvantage the minute they graduate (or are deemed graduated) and attempt to move on to what’s next. Places like California. Places like Baltimore.
Education matters. To the individual and to the nation’s future. When Democrats run their lip service campaigns to improve education, families would do well to remember what those same Democrats do once they are in office: bow and scrape before unions and outside interests, prioritize liberal indoctrination over actual learning, and generally put the proper education of students at the bottom of their “to do” list.