For the last two or three generations, the local government school system funded by federal, state and local mandated taxes has filled the media with the message that they are there to serve “the children”. While that has been emblazoned in the minds of all Americans, it has become increasingly clear that this message is simply a lie. The national and state employee unions continue to demand more and more money from over burdened taxpayers while demonstrating a pitiful record of failure.
America’s education system student scores have fallen from number one in the world to the abyss. According to a recent Business Insider Report, the US now ranks 38th in Math scores and 24th in Science. These results are in spite of the fact that the US spends over 60% MORE in education funding than the average nation and 25% more than the next highest country.
While it is important to look at national trends – especially after the unconstitutional formation of the Department of Education – we must focus on where the rubber meets the road at the local school district. PUSD, unfortunately does not fare well on any achievement scale. The student scores have trundled off the cliff at the same time that their per student funding has soared. It is obvious that the district is well aware of the low student achievement scores to the point that they refused to administer the AZMerit test last year. Their trouble is you can obfuscate, but you cannot hide the truth.
According to a June 4 article in the Payson Roundup, “most students aren’t “proficient,” … The results look especially alarming when it comes to math in high school and middle school. Moreover, the district’s special education and English Language Learner students have such low scores that the district’s in danger of having the state intervene.” This record comes after the district used our taxes to provide new Chromebooks for EVERY student in the district AND having a record haul in revenues.
While these facts are nearly moribund, the coup d’grace was the fact that according to the AZ Auditor General’s latest Dollars to the Classroom Report that showed 32% of PUSD students failed to graduate last year . Remember, this result occurred while the total revenues to PUSD dearly doubled from just a few years ago. This continual slide has been a major factor in a drop in enrollment in PUSD of over 25% in the last decade. When the Roundup reports the status of PUSD accomplishments as “not good, but not terrible”, it raises the question of how much worse must it be to become “terrible?” !