- Editor’s note: The following is a brief description of the Freedom Center’s newest pamphlet, “The Shame of Our Schools,” which sheds light on the culture of waste and corruption plaguing America’s Democrat-run inner city school districts. To order the pamphlet, click here.
You’ve heard it so often you probably tune it out–leftwing Democrats claiming that the failure of our inner city schools is the responsibility of mean spirited, tight fisted, and outright racist Republicans who have no qualms about consigning minority children to the social ash heap.
- This is the Big Lie of American education. Inner city education over the last half century is indeed a tale not only of failure but of gross corruption, fraud, theft and racist exploitation of mainly poor black and Hispanic kids for political and monetary gain. But it has taken place with Democrats in control of the mayors’ offices, city councils, and education departments and the buck stops with them.
While Democrats were consolidating their control of the inner cities over the last generation, the kids trapped there have fallen further and further behind, victims of political cynicism and the soft bigotry of low expectations. In the inner city educational reality that Democrats have created, hundreds of thousands of children go through twelve years of public education—if they don’t simply drop out and melt away long before—without ever learning how to read, write, or perform mathematical tasks with even a basic level of competence.
Individual lives are wasted while leftwing political machines thrive. The deplorable condition of inner city schools is one of the gravest educational and human tragedies of our time, and it is told with no holds barred by John Perazzo in his new expose, The Shame Of Our Schools. We must challenge Democrat lawmakers to read this disturbing booklet and not feel ashamed and disgusted by what has taken place on their watch.
Among the facts John Perazzo has uncovered:
- In Detroit, a city where no Republican has served as mayor since 1961, and where only one Republican in the past 48 years has even held a seat on the City Council, the math and reading proficiency rates of public elementary and middle-school students are consistently below 10%, sometimes as low as 3%.
- The same is true in Baltimore, also a Democratic Party fiefdom for over a generation, where in one recent year, 13 of the city’s 39 high schools had exactly zero students who tested as proficient in math.
- Democrats always claim that the schools they control are underfinanced and that the schools of privileged white communities receive more taxpayer money. The opposite is true. In city after city under Democrats’ control, school budgets are among the highest in the nation, higher annually per student in some cases than the cost of tuition at local colleges. New Jersey’s Camden Central School District, for example, spends an astronomical $25,000 annually per pupil, yet by any objective measure it is the scholastic equivalent of a train wreck with 90% of the district’s public schools ranked in the bottom 5% statewide.
- The teachers’ unions, a key element of the Democrats’ hegemony in many of these cities, feather the nest of their dues payers by demanding pay hikes, better benefits, additional paid sick days, less-stringent attendance requirements, and smaller class sizes, even as the children in their districts remain unable to read or write at levels that are anywhere near the norms for their respective age groups. In an 18-year period during which public school teachers in Chicago had been repeatedly appeased after going on strike no fewer than nine times, an astounding 33 of the city’s 64 public high schools ranked in the bottom 1% of all high schools across the United States.
The Shame Of Our Schools profiles ten of our largest inner city school systems and shows that what they all have in common, in addition to being dominated politically by Democrats, is a record of fiscal profligacy, bureaucratic bloat, and academic catastrophe.
After surveying what can only be called “an educational holocaust,” John Perazzo concludes that the only hope for the kids in our inner cities is an educational Marshall Plan in the form of robust vouchers equivalent to the money spent annually on the public schools that currently imprison them. He writes: “If Camden and Cleveland families received a voucher respectively for $25,000 and $20,000 a year—what is currently spent on the compulsory miseducation of their children—they could find schools that would provide the possibility of achievement and success.”
He notes also that “this goal will not be easily achieved because of the opposition of the Democrat political machines and their union allies that have driven these children into failure over the last generation.” And that’s where we begin our fight.
The Shame Of Our Schools has the potential to change the conversation about our inner city schools and the kids they abuse. If President Trump is serious about A New Deal for Black America, the inner city schools are where he must begin. The reprehensible failure of public education in America’s Democrat-controlled inner cities is the most significant civil rights issue of our day, dooming generations of poor minority children to a lifetime of ignorance and poverty. The Shame of Our Schools is a call to action and it comes not a moment too soon.