Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Let's Pump Some Money Into Highly Promising Programs -

This is a guest column from the L.A. times by Richard Rothstein, a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute and a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has important things to say about spending money. (If you do not want to register you can view this article at Ohanian's site.) I agree with what he says. It has been shown that minority students make gains during the school year that equal or surpass their non-minority peers. But, they come to school with less, and lose more over the summer. His major point is this, in addition to early childhood programs he recommends,

"After-school and summer programs that provide academic support as well as cultural, athletic and organizational experiences for disadvantaged children would be a good use for added dollars. They would probably add 20% to education spending (including what is already spent by organizations such as the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Children's Aid Society and other top-rated after-school providers). Only about one in five low-income children participate in after-school programs.

Throwing money at problems is not the way to solve them, but smart spending can pay. We spend too little on programs likely to succeed not because we lack consensus on their value..."

There are other ways to throw money around, we can throw it at the corporate education hounds and watch them fight over it. As is shown in this article from the New York Times.

"Propelled by the No Child Left Behind law, the federally financed tutoring industry has doubled in size in each of the last two years, with the potential to become a $2 billion-a-year enterprise, market analysts say."

The article talks about the aggressive marketing techniques used by for profit companies that stand to earn up to $1900 per student. I guess the thought is, if you are going to throw money around it might as well end up in someone's pockets.

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