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The arguments over schools remain the same

• Sep 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM

In a front page story, the Detroit Free Press reported that “Detroit schools are grinding out another ‘lost generation.’” The article says that up to 40 percent of the district’s students leave or graduate without mastering “simple arithmetic,” their handwriting is “atrocious” and their spelling is “deplorable.”

Teachers “lay the blame on overcrowded classes,” noted Jarrett Skorup in a recent post on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy blog. “They say it is impossible to teach with any measure of success when there are more than 40 in a class,” the Freep reported, and administrators are demanding more money for more counselors, saying the current low number is “ludicrous.”

“But that story is not from today,” Skorup explains in the twist. “It was written in 1949.”

The scenario should sound familiar, the blogger notes.

“The arguments from many schools, administrators, teachers and association groups representing them have not changed. Across the state, again and again, the education establishment complains about overcrowded classrooms, a lack of money, low teacher pay, teacher shortages and more.”

However, Skorup says most of the claims are misleading, “or just plain false,” especially over the long term.

“Education spending is at an all-time high,” he wrote. “Some schools have trouble getting teachers in some areas, but 100,000 qualified educators in Michigan are not currently teaching. Pupil-teacher ratios have steadily declined. Even though most districts are constrained by the rising costs of health and pension benefits, they still provide teachers with regular pay raises.”

Read the complete post: “Same Old Story About the Problems in Public Schools.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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