Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Is Title 1 failing American school children?

I emailed a Brookings (left think tank) author Mark Dynarski of an article on why Title 1 is failing--not enough money he wrote because administrators fritter it away on staff workshops, equipment, etc. rather than helping students. (Title I provides funding to states and districts to improve education for disadvantaged students.) Need. More. Money. Fifty years and $22 trillion on the War on Poverty, 123 wealth transfer programs, and the poverty rate is higher under Obama in 2016 than under Johnson in 1966. Democrats I know, especially teachers, scream, "it's mean old Republicans," but these programs have been bi-partisan with great eagerness for the pork returned to the states so they can be reelected. My note to the Brookings author won't make any difference because it's always about more money and the researchers get grants for writing this stuff.

It makes me think of the Reckless Bad Boys of Columbus, a study done before the War on Poverty, by famous criminologist Walter C. Reckless. Using two groups of "bad boys" from blue collar, working class and deprived neighborhoods and one group of boys who'd rarely been in trouble (from a total 1700), he showered one group of bad boys with every advantage of extra attention, the best teachers and special classes to lift their self-esteem. The other two groups just continued in school as usual, with no special attention. At the end of four years (10th grade), the two groups of bad boys still had the same number of contacts with police for delinquency, behavior problems, drop out rate, etc. and the good boys still weren't in trouble.

I wrote about this study at my blog in 2008:
"If I'd spent 15 years of my life invested in this self-worth concept to reduce crime, I think I would have been distraught. But as far as I know, the researchers just decided their model program wasn't tweaked right, and I think Dr. Reckless is still being cited in the literature for his self constraint theories of criminal behavior.

What I found most interesting was that when the researchers interviewed both the students and the teachers after 4 years, they thought the program was a success! The teachers rated the bad boys in the experimental group as much improved in behavior, even though there was no evidence, and the boys themselves were enthusiastic and recommended it for their friends! But it didn't translate into better grades or less contact with the police and courts."

No comments: