How many new teachers could we hire with $17,400,000? How many schools around the state could be physically renovated or repaired with $17,400,000? How many new text books could be purchased with $17,400,000? How much extra tutoring could be obtained for disadvantaged students with $17,400,000?
Worthy items that might actually assist in real classroom teaching and learning will miss what $17,400,000 could do because federal and Colorado public school educrats and bureaucrats want to spend that money on "data collection."
That's the news today in the Denver Post: Colorado gets $17.4 million grant for data system to track student progress. It's another prime example of how the education theory currently in vogue with the "we know what's best for you" crowd is obsessed with administrative process to the exclusion of what might actually teach and educate real live, breathing students in the classroom.
Millions and millions of taxpayer-levied and borrowed dollars are to be funneled down a black hole of endless "evaluations" of teachers and students to tell us what we already know: the socio-economic status of student populations is predictive of performance.
So, instead of using dollars to enact some real educational plans that might concretely help students and mitigate the effects of negative economic influences, the national and Colorado governments are going to spend millions of more dollars so that administrators and clerks and consultants and specialists and computer geeks and data-heads can build a "statewide longitudinal data system" to track "test scores and attendance and enrollment data."
I wonder how many fourth graders will be helped to read better once the PDFs containing that vital information are sent around to ... to whom? Why the very people who produced it. (And politicians and bureaucrats and educrats wonder why the citizenry has such a low opinion of them.)
Of course, we also know in advance what the politicians and educrats will do with the 'new' information generated by this $17,400,000 system --- which will inevitably show that public schools are still stagnating or falling behind: demand and plead for yet more money from the taxpayers to spend on more evaluations, testing and tracking of students and teachers.
Regular folks in Colorado and the nation should be outraged at this waste of millions and millions of dollars being used to perpetuate a failed educational theory.