Wichita Schoolchildren Face a Dangerous Future


A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal by Terry M. Moe illustrates the danger that Wichita schoolchildren face. Here’s an excerpt from the article Change Our Public Schools Need:

Democrats favor educational “change” — as long as it doesn’t affect anyone’s job, reallocate resources, or otherwise threaten the occupational interests of the adults running the system. Most changes of real consequence are therefore off the table. The party specializes instead in proposals that involve spending more money and hiring more teachers — such as reductions in class size, across-the-board raises and huge new programs like universal preschool. These efforts probably have some benefits for kids. But they come at an exorbitant price, both in dollars and opportunities foregone, and purposely ignore the fundamentals that need to be addressed. (emphasis added)

Moe’s analysis is spot-on in describing the situation in Wichita. Now that USD 259 (the Wichita school district) has passed a large bond issue, the future of Wichita’s schoolchildren is assured, district officials say. There’s no need to worry. Everything will be well.

The reality, however, is that the changes the bond issue spending will bring to the Wichita public schools will likely have very little effect on student achievement. But because the school administration tells us it will, and because they’ll be so busy managing the planning and construction of facilities for the next five years, desperately-needed reform measures will not be considered. A veneer of change and reform will appear. Fundamental reform is off the table, it appears.

Opportunities foregone. This is the danger.


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