hard times

America's Education Problems Way Deeper Than 'Good' or 'Bad' Teachers | Investigations | AlterNet  Many families are now caught: their kids are being bullied at school or some or all of the family have health issues greatly expanded by the lack of healthcare or their children have been hard to manage after a layoff or family crisis. Some of these families are coming to homeschooling because the schools will not work for them. They are completely frustrated by the schools and increasingly, are unable to afford them.
Learning to Get By
In 2011, those are troubling findings for neighborhoods like Jose’s. While the national unemployment rate has edged down to 8 percent, 11.3 percent of Latinos and 15.5 percent of African-Americans report that they’re out of work and still looking. In 2009, more than a quarter of Latino and black families lived in poverty. If economic pain radiates into educational challenges, then inequities may be worsening by the day.
Those inequities will become increasingly consequential for the entire country, because students of color are also the future of schools. In 1980, white students were 74 percent of the nation’s schoolkids. Twenty years later they made up just 56 percent. Today, black and Latino students alone comprise 35 percent of the nation’s students.
The recession has meant many kids are showing up to school hungry, too. In 2010, more than half—55.9 percent—of California public school students qualified for free or reduced lunch, according to kidsdata.org, a project of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. In Los Angeles County, more than 65.5 percent of students qualified last year, up from just under 60 percent in 2008.
And jobs and money have disappeared. Even public schools now ask for more fees.  From The Week:
$4,446.50   Cost of one year of public education for the Dombi family's four children in Medina, Ohio. The cost includes fees for basic courses like Spanish I and Earth science, extracurricular activities like cross-country and track, and the cost of graded electives, like band.
$2,716.08  Amount on top of that the Dombis paid in property taxes earmarked for schools that year
3  Number of years in a row that Medina residents have voted against raising property taxes to stave off cutting arts and athletic programs in schools
The imminent stroke of the American public education system ,  has an insightful analogy that fits with the current situation:

There is a loss of balance in understanding the value and merit of public schools as indicated by the recent closings of public schools across the country, and the unfair advantage given to private and charter schools through tax-credit scholarships.

There is trouble speaking or a lack of voice for teachers and students about what they need to improve teaching and learning. There is a numbness and apathy amongst many everyday citizens about the plight of those who teach their children and are responsible for their learning, and there is a general lack of vision by politicians and state legislators who believe that cuts to education and those who teach are the way to close their budget deficits.

Across the country, evidence of the symptoms of the impending stroke of our educational system are ever present. One need only look to the proposed recent proposed cuts and protests in New York, California, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida as evidence.

The laws that govern the human body are quite similar to the basic laws of  any other system that functions with a goal of being effective. In order to ensure the smooth functioning of a system, the anchors of the system must receive all they need to function. Whether we are talking about oxygen or nutrients for the brain, or respect and financial stability for educators, the underlying theory is the same. Otherwise, we are headed for a stroke of our educational system, and the paralysis of the educational attainment of our youth.

 And it is true at all levels:  Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education | The Nation
At Yale, we were overjoyed if half our graduating students found positions. That’s right—half. Imagine running a medical school on that basis. As Christopher Newfield points out in Unmaking the Public University (2008), that’s the kind of unemployment rate you’d expect to find among inner-city high school dropouts. And this was before the financial collapse. In the past three years, the market has been a bloodbath: often only a handful of jobs in a given field, sometimes fewer, and as always, hundreds of people competing for each one. 
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When I started graduate school in 1989, we were told that the disastrous job market of the previous two decades would be coming to an end because the large cohort of people who had started their careers in the 1960s, when the postwar boom and the baby boom combined to more than double college enrollments, was going to start retiring. Well, it did, but things kept getting worse. Instead of replacing retirees with new tenure-eligible hires, departments gradually shifted the teaching load to part-timers: adjuncts, postdocs, graduate students. From 1991 to 2003, the number of full-time faculty members increased by 18 percent. The number of part-timers increased by 87 percent—to almost half the entire faculty.
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