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Must be that "New Math" at work...

The battle cry of the education industry is "we need more money!" I've noted before that there seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of money spent on education and actual results, and this morning I see a rather graphic example of just what sorts of things one can expect when you throw more and money at school systems.

The state of Massachusetts has just completed an audit of just how the city of Everett spends its money, and it's appalling. They uncovered over half a million dollars that was spent in -- to put it kindly -- "questionable" means and causes. They found bids submitted -- and won -- by companies long out of business. And rampant cronyism of the likes that would make even a Chicago politician blush.

A couple examples:
* $59,000 budgeted to help students prepare for state assessment tests went to lettering football helmets, a homecoming parade, and a slew of other pet causes.
* $180,000 in legal fees to a lawyer who can't seem to explain just what work he did for that money.
* $64,000 for two homecoming parades.
* $830,000 in grants to hire new teachers instead went into raises for existing staff.

But I'm sure it'll all be OK. After all, it was all done for the children.


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Comments (13)

Corruption? In the Massachu... (Below threshold)

Corruption? In the Massachusetts public school system? I'm SHOCKED!

The biggest problem with ed... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

The biggest problem with education is that it has been turned into some kind of social experiment with a top heavy beauracracy. More money is the solution to education only after you figure out what the real problems are, and the NEA doesn't want to do that.

I am actually old enough to... (Below threshold)

I am actually old enough to remember what "new math" was -- and that was before Tom Lehrer enshrined that term in a song!

Scary

Here we have a school syste... (Below threshold)

Here we have a school system which has been rated fairly highly. However, the last two levy increases have failed. The reason they failed is people are asking for accountability. Additional money seems to breed additional bureaucracy not more teachers. Problem for schools is same problem of all government organizations/agencies. With no profit motive they aren't as careful with their money as someone running a company.

In the late 70's when I was... (Below threshold)
Opinionated Vogon:

In the late 70's when I was in High School and the Dems were on the warpath for more funding for education, a local radio DJ, Irv Homer, made the point that education is not a problem that can be fixed by throwing money at. It had been proven 30 years ago that education takes a local grass roots effort and that no amount of money would fix it

Fast forward to the beginning of OIF and some online friends who were drifting left started spouting DU talking points and argued to me that the money spent on the war was wasted and could be better spent on education. Wanting to counter their arguments with some real data and not opinion, I did some research and discovered The Grandfather's Report on Education

Everyone who cares about education and our country owes it to themselves to read this website.

Here in Maryland, Baltimo... (Below threshold)

Here in Maryland, Baltimore City was in a boatload of trouble when the school system there had a deficit of roughly $50-some Million. Thing was, nobody knew why until they got deeper into the problem - the school board was, basically, wilfully ignorant of what was going on under their noses. One of them skimmed money to buy a car, and other money went to paying grossly-overinflated staff. One such example was the city paying for a cleaning staff of 800 when, by their own admission, they could "make do" with 200.

If you were to say that in any business, you'd be insane to expect to keep your job long. A staff that is 4 times larger than you need is absurd (how many people have to empty the same wastebaskets?).

So when the state legislature and the Governor got involved, they were ready to put the screws to Mayor Martin O'Malley and the idiots on the city council by establishing more state oversight into city education spending. The city then goes and risks its bond rating by going into the "rainy day" fund to bail the system out, and everyone got to keep their jobs with nary a single reform in place.

It was like watching a train wreck unfold in slow motion, only dollar bills instead of flames were shooting out the windows. Never trust a one-party system like the one here in Baltimore to know anything about anything.

"this must be freom the ... (Below threshold)

"this must be freom the tax and spend liberal demacrats and the NEA"

Unfortunately, this is occurring with the big spender Republicans we have in office now too.

And that money would have b... (Below threshold)
Just John:

And that money would have been better spent on Armstrong Wiiliams?

I'm sure the NEA is outrage... (Below threshold)

I'm sure the NEA is outraged. They're all for better schools and more efficiency, you know.

Yeh! Yeh! But its for the c... (Below threshold)
KenS:

Yeh! Yeh! But its for the children!

Yeah right. Like I'm suppos... (Below threshold)
Jordan Wehde:

Yeah right. Like I'm supposed to believe Chicago politicians blush? They would just laugh at how inept the Mass. school system is at hiding it's corruption

This sort of stuff is unfor... (Below threshold)

This sort of stuff is unfortunately par for the course in the UK, and advertised every week in The Guardian:


The non-jobs that you pay for.
.

This sort of stuff is unfor... (Below threshold)

This sort of stuff is unfortunately par for the course in the UK, and advertised every week in The Guardian:

The non-jobs that you pay for.




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