Having grown up in a large city I know full well how the public education system works. I grew up in the 70’s in New York City on the west side. My neighborhood bordered Hell’s Kitchen ( an Irish Mafia enclave), the housing projects where the lower class lived, and Spanish Harlem to the north. My child hood was not safe by any means and I was mugged, robbed and beaten up by a collection of these packs during my formative years. Given the quality of degenerates that bordered my dwelling, my parents sent me to a Catholic school in order for me to get a decent education.
The public schools in my neighborhood were really bad and every one knew it. These schools were merely warehouses to hold the delinquents until they moved on. The teachers were out manned, the schools run down and the level of instruction was minimal. As always there were heroic students who actually went there to learn, but given the circumstances it was really hard for them to get ahead.
Between 2000-2010 I lived in Jersey City and in many ways the area was the same as NYC in the 70’s including the schools. I actually got to know many of the students from some of these schools and although they were all great kids for the most part, the majority were illiterate. In one particular case I helped write a high school’s senior report and I was amazed that this kid could barely read or write. His writing skills were probably no better than a 3rd grader and although he was proud of the work he did, it slowly dawned on him during our meetings he had been woefully unprepared to tackle life. In no way could I tell you the sorrow that I felt for this kid as I was truly heartbroken on what the school system had done to him. They had robbed him of a future, he had wanted to learn but none of the teachers had helped him or maybe they were not capable of helping him.
There is a running joke in Baltimore that the public school system is otherwise known as pre-prison. In most cases the public education system in most major U.S cities has evolved into a public works project for teachers, administrators, suppliers and the related parties. The kids and their education is more of an afterthought. The public sector unions in education has found a way to get job security, pensions,and cushy jobs and if somehow these kids learn anything, it is a perk. John Stossel has done some great work on the public education system and I recommend taking a look at his work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw For whatever reason the teachers are either incapable or incompetent to teach this generation of kids. Charter schools have come about as a way to get some of these kids into new schools outside the public education system and many of these parents are desperate for help, but the main opposition has been the same teachers unions. If you want a better understanding of this take a look at the great documentary “Waiting on Superman”.
After these kids are sent out in the real world and realizes they can’t compete, many of these same kids turn to crime as a way to survive. If these kids do end up in prison they again become a cash cow to the prison system as these felons need to be fed, housed, administered, and counseled…there is a lot of money in keeping people stupid and in prison. The angst and anger that this underclass has is well deserved and at some point it will explode once more as history repeats itself (Watts, Detroit, etc). The U.S political class has been able to tame this mass of people through food stamps and welfare but with 90 million people in the U.S no longer working due to this economic downturn the next up-rising really will be something to behold.
Given that public education is funded by taxpayers currently there is simply less dollars to go around given the economic landscape. The mobs of administrators and teachers something will want to be satiated but the cities will have to curtail spending in order to pay down the debts. The ending will be horrific and comical in nature; an underclass rioting to survive with the unions by their side asking for more