The best way to fix a problem is to direct resources and good leadership at the problem. A brief reminder of our history.
Direct both American and French militaries towards Yorktown peninsula.
Direct General Grant to pursue Robert Lee incessantly across Virginia.
Create and utilize the CCC to do public good
Launch an invasion across the English Channel
Drop two atomic bombs upon Japan.
Suck up the cost and rebuild Europe, japan and South Korea
Well, you get the idea. To achieve greatness one does not hold back. All resources, all manpower are devoted towards achieving a single goal. During WWII the top marginal tax rate was almost 100%! It was for a reason.
Our attempt to close the achievement gap between whites and blacks, rich and poor, English speaking and non English speaking, by making impoverished people take harder tests, is not getting us there…. In fact it is a cop out from the real course of action. Which is: devote resources to those areas in greatest need.
It is really not a hard concept to grasp… If you have your house on fire and a hose in hand, you squirt water on the fire itself; not sprinkle a little in every room.
If a child enters your school system with a total vocabulary of 5000 words, and another enters with a vocabulary of 25,000… will teaching both the same thing each day, improve both’s learning abilities the same?
(yes. it was a rhetorical question; we all know the answer.) Which is… to make a dent in that kid with 5000 word vocabulary, we will need to a) give him more attention; b) take care of many of his other needs; and c) use a lot more additional materials than we might for that 25,000 word child… Him, we can just let him read out of his book…
If we are serious in tackling this problem, we need resources.
When you want gold, you find where it is and mine it. Today, 95% of investment money is in the hands of the 1%. That is our gold mine. Those with very high incomes need to pay more in taxes. And we can, because we have the ability, to earmark all that revenue gain, to go to schools where the free lunch program is over 50%… That would include schools both upstate and downstate.
It is past time for Delaware to raise it’s top marginal tax rate from 6.75 up to 7.75… And that is to all go solely to the schools where over half the student population is on free lunch….
The recommendations are as follows.
Student teacher ratios of 11:1
Nice technology in impoverished schools
Sufficient support staff; counseling, off duty state police,
If you build it right… they will come. If school is fun, they will come. You actually make getting kicked out of school, a bad thing in children’s eyes… And until that happens the achievement gap will never narrow….
In synopsis… raise the top tax rate, apply those revenues to schools with 50% of students on free lunch. This will be extra on top of district money collected from property taxes.