There is a truly alarming report out of Paterson, New Jersey that captures how far our educational system has declined. Only 19 kids in this large school district have SAT score that are considered appropriate for college. That means that less than a dozen score at least 1500 out of 2400 on the standardized test. This year, the average score was just 1,200. While meetings are held at the White House and across the country on Ferguson, I continue to believe that the greatest reform to benefit all races would be a greater commitment to our public schools. Too many families are trapped in a cycle of poverty with no real opportunities while our workforce becomes less and less competitive in the new economy.
The Patterson School District has 29,400 students in preschool to grade 12. On the high school level, only 19 of the 600 students reviewed were “college ready” – just three percent.”. That represents a decrease from last year when average score obtained by a student in the area was just 1,200. It is a decrease from the 26 (4.2 per cent) last year.
For kids in Patterson, the future seems quite bleak as they enter a workforce that is demanding more skilled laborers and greater levels of education. When you add an equally alarming wealth gap that is expanding in our society (here and here), it is not a good combination for a country seeking to maintain a high standard of living. As people lament over the death of the American Dream, we should look at our bizarre priorities in sending hundreds of billions in places like Afghanistan and Iraq while our educational system continues to decline. We appear to be working hard to create a low-tech workforce at a time of high-tech enterprises. One only has to look at the graduating class of Paterson, New Jersey to understand the implications of our lack of national focus on education. It is a curious result in a district that boasts as its motto that it is “Preparing All Children For College and Careers.”
57 thoughts on “New Jersey School District Produces Just 19 Students With College-Ready SAT Scores”
A NJ resident, I am very familiar with the problem. Paterson is close by. Back in the day it was thought that funding was the problem. Poor school districts had poor funding and rich districts, rich funding. That went to court and in a NJ Supreme Court decision, Abbot v Burke, that reliance on the local property tax was stricken as unconstitutional. Fast forward two decades and the funding gap is gone, but the ‘Abbot districts’ as they are known still lag behind. Imagine that, monopolies don’t work. The answer is vouchers. I acknowledge the vouchers have an Establishment Clause hurdle, but at the very minimum make them redeemable at ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL in NJ. In essence, at the moment there actually IS a voucher, its just that its only good at the local public school and since that is the case they don’t go through the trouble of issuing them. The smart parents who are lucky enough to have aunts/uncles in the suburbs get their kids out! They vote with their feet whenever they can.
your only as good as the material you have to work with
I’m sure the rest of the students will grow to be loyal patriots, good, willing soldiers and Creation believing Republicans …
So it is those overpaid union teachers that are causing a district like this one to have failures, if the numbers are to be believed? Most of our competing countries value their teachers much more than we do, and they do it with public schools. The family life as some have mentioned and the poverty of many of these students is the real cause for students not achieving or not staying in school. If we do not value the teachers, these kids have even less of a chance to succeed.
#1. There will continue to be problems with our educational system until we American’s realize that is takes (for the most part) two dedicated parents to raise a child who teach the child discipline, respect, and a love for learning.
#2. We need to return to a disciplined system in the classroom and the home.
>When I was growing up, the teacher was held in high esteem. Our parents taught us to respect teachers. In my home, my parents always gave credit to the teacher and didn’t stand for my complaints. Today, some parents join in with their children and ridicule, accuse, threaten, and work to have teachers fired.
One reason is that the media treats teachers as undeserving and low professionals and often places blame on educators for the problems in education.
>Too many limits have been put on disciplining children in the classroom, e.g. be careful where you put your hands, no hugs, everyone’s a winner, don’t send a disruptive student to the office, try the 547 pages of suggested behavior modification before sending the child out of class.
#3. Teachers put out fires rather then spend time teaching. They have to wear many hats i.e.referee, disciplinarian, psychologist, behavior modifiers, nurse, counselor, surrogate parent, teach to many special needs, etc.
These are the very first things that need to be corrected before real teaching can proceed.
I ditto what Isaac said about how to proceed after the above.
I want to see our presidents, clergy, coaches, and teachers putting emphasis on a two parent family and the value of staying in a committed marriage and being involved in the teaching process when raising their children.
Well Eleazer wins the ribbon as far as I am concerned. Unionized public schools ( with rubber rooms full of teachers that can’t be fired) reject competition from charter schools in too many cases. We would see results from pouring money into education only if we set up a competitive alternative to public schools so that they had to shape up or change.
Victor – they were going to change the SAT to make it competitive with the ACT which is a broader test of knowledge. If this is the new test then that could affect the test scores.
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