Public Schools are a Hot Mess. And YES that’s a Feminist Issue.
The success of men, women and children are closely tied to our education system, and make no mistake about it, our public schools are a hot mess. Poorly designed from curriculum, facilities, teacher pay and to the asinine schedule that lets the kids out of school 2 hours before most parents are off work.
Betsy DeVos, crusader of all that is detrimental to public schools leads us federally. We are only beginning to understand the harm she is doing to our already fragile system.
College debt is ruining our youth.
WTF America. These are our children.
Several blue candidates are noticing.
Senator Kamala Harris has just introduced a new bill that hopes to begin the process of fixing the mess. It’s going to take, a lot to turn this ship around. It’s but one more of those big time structural changes (nod to Elizabeth Warren) our country is screaming for.
But first, to get you in the mood, here are some stats I garnered from the education page of Wikipedia. (Hey Mrs. Reagan, Language Arts 1983, I hope that counts as a proper citation!) I encourage you to do your own research about the state of our American education system.
- 75% of school age children have working parents.
- In 2013 87% of K-12 school children attended state funded public schools, 10% attended private schools, and 3% were home-schooled.
- The United States spends more per student on education than any other country and yet our 15 year olds rank 31st in the world for reading, math, and science.
- There are 3.6 million teachers in the U.S. 77% of school teachers are women, 80% are white, 9% are hispanic, and 7% are black. (numbers from the 2015-2016 school year)
- There are approximately 55.2 million K-12 students in the US.
- There are over 132,000 schools in America.
- New York City has the largest public school system in the United States. More than 1 million students attend 1,200 public schools there.
- 35% of Americans over the age of 25 have a college degree and 40 million of them have college debt that has now reached over $1.6 trillion. These debts are crushing our youth.
- The practice of paddling is still alive and well in our schools in America. Over 167,000 students were actually paddled in the 2011-2012 school year. It’s mainly a southern thing with 70% of those paddled attending school in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. WOW.
Gender in the classroom?
Over the past 20 years, girls have begun to outperform boys on grades and graduation rates. Boys still score better at standardized tests. There’s more meat on those bones to be explored.
In the 25-29 age group today, 39% of females have college degrees vs only 33% of men. Women began outpacing men in higher education in 1995 and the gap has only widened since then.
OK, so there’s just the quickest of quick roundup of the depth, width, and breadth of our education system.
SO let me ask you a simple question.
Why does school let out at 3pm?
Most working parents don’t get off work until 5pm. This leaves a full 2 hours for parents to have to find safe and alternative care, and then spend (on average) $6,600 a year to pay for it. This is almost 10% of our salaries, and this is just for one child. Wonder why we aren’t having as many kids as we used to? Now there’s a damn good glaring reason.
Thankfully Senator Harris has recognized this, and has introduced a bill to the Senate to combat it. You can read more about it here.
Throw in holidays, and the summer, and teacher work days and you have a society whose school system is not anywhere close to being in sync with today’s family.
Considering the responsibility for children more times than not, falls to the woman that’s a heck of a lot of time she has to take off work or make other arrangements.
Education is an issue all Americans, and feminists particularly should be paying close attention to. Right now, are public schools are a hot mess. The Feminist Handbook will keep talking about it, because I haven’t even gotten started on teacher pay. We’re going to save that for another day.
Right now, just let it seep in that our systems must be overcome and cause hardship. That just ain’t right.
Teachers are overworked and underpaid. Our curriculum is outdated. The hours schools choose to be in business don’t work for 75% of their customers, and yet nothing changes.
If this makes you mad vote blue and elect more women. I do believe we can change the world if we put our backs into it.
Click here for a story about the decline of marriage and birth rates. Surprise surprise!