Apr 16, 2018
According to a study recently released by the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), the agency that grades students nationally every two years, Detroit schools are worst in the U.S., again, when it comes to testing children’s test scores in math and reading.
Detroit is not alone in its so-called bad report card. Students in cities like Baltimore and Cleveland have also ranked poorly.
Whether they are studies conducted on a state level or on a national level by so-called education experts, millions of dollars are spent every year that show the same results, generation after generation: poor kids tend to do poorly on these standardized tests.
We live in a class society, where children of class privilege have access to a whole range of things poor kids aren’t guaranteed: food, clothing, shelter, and culture. They have schools near where they live and transportation to get them there. They have laptops and go on field trips. They live in neighborhoods where much more money and many more resources go into their school systems. And in those schools, they have access to the ideas, the technology, the science, the reading, the math, that these standardized tests are based on. It’s why these are the kids who score highest on tests – on knowledge they have had access to!
All those politicians, State Boards of Education, and experts with agencies like the NAEP, say they want to address the problems in the schools, of which these low test scores are a symptom.
But just to begin to overcome some of the problems would have to mean that school funding in cities like Detroit and Baltimore not only be brought up to the higher levels of funding that exist in the wealthy areas. That funding would have to be tripled and quadrupled to allow kids coming from poor backgrounds to overcome all the deprivation they have faced over their young years – whether it is in the form of resources for laptops, for field trips, for food service, for transportation, for tutors, for counselors.
They need more. And until we have a society where there is no poverty, where people have meaningful work, and have what they need to live full, productive lives, this system needs to expend any amount it takes to fix the problems this system has created.