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TinotopiaLog → Achievement, Schools, and Culture (26 Aug 2002)
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Monday 26 August 2002

Achievement, Schools, and Culture

An article in the Miami Herald not long ago points out the obvious: kids in schools run by the U.S. military outperform kids in ordinary public schools.

The Department of Defense spends a bit more per pupil on education than the average public school system, but achieves better results than even the highest-spending public systems — despite the fact that a lot of the students are ethnic minorities (gasp!), that their family income isn’t that great, and that families in the military tend to move around a lot.

A Vanderbilt University study last fall concluded that if all Department of Defense schools were lumped together as a state, the system would rank first or second nationally. As in many large urban districts, 40 percent of the students are minorities, and half are poor enough to qualify for the federal lunch program.

The article concludes with

Some factors responsible for the success cannot be readily duplicated elsewhere. Every student has at least one parent with a high school degree or more and a job.

But most parents and school officials say the biggest reason is the involvement expected, even demanded, of parents.

In other words, this culture doesn’t want or tolerate you if you’re a complete fuckup. It sets some fairly simple and achievable responsibilities, and simply does not tolerate failure to meet those responsibilities.

And kids growing up in that environment do better than kids growing up in the “inner city”. Hmm. Maybe it’s not all just down to “racism” after all?

Posted by tino at 15:53 26.08.02
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