The MPS dilema

Click here to view original web page at veryangrybird.blogspot.com

"True change can be found in simple formulas. Don't believe it? Take a tour of Cristo Rey some time. They would love to show you their formula. The formula which works just fine for very little money and offers tremendous results."

Every now and again, someone pens an article in the op/ed section of the paper which really hits it out of the park. Today, that person was Peter Hutchinson, a former Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. Now, one would think that Mr. Hutchinson would be a cheerleader for the status quo at that failing government school system. Nope. His article was called "Go big or go home". Some may disagree with the solution he spells out at the end of the article, but it was the facts he presented are an affirmation of what many of us have suspected.
According to Mr. Hutchinson, each student in the MPS costs the taxpayers $24,000/year to "educate". For that money, this is what the taxpayers receive in return:

  • One out of five is ready for college or a career right out of high school.
  • Two out of five don't even graduate.
  • Two out of five go on to college, and half need to take remedial courses from the get-go.
  • One out of five go no further after graduation in high school. No training, no college, nothing.

The "solution" the current school administration has recommended to fix this budget shortfall is to ask the voters for even more money this fall. Almost another $1,000/student/year. That would take the amount to "educate" a student this failed school system up to $25,000/year. Now these are my words, and not Hutchinson's - WAKE UP MINNESOTA! A bit over 1/3 of every dollar we stick into this bloated state government goes into out failing government schools! Is this the kind of ROI we deserve???

Anyhow, the solution that Hutchinson gives at the end of his "Go big or go home" article is his "go big" solution. And it is a whopper. Spend about a half a billion dollars over the next five years. What??? Where is that money coming from? Good question. I have a better idea sir. Follow the successes of schools like Cristo Rey which can truly educate kids for a fraction of what MPS spends per student.

Peter Hutchinson is looking for a true change agent fix to fix the unfixable schools in MPS. They are indeed "unfixable" if money is the only panacea offered. Or - true change can be found in simple formulas. Don't believe it? Take a tour of Cristo Rey some time. They would love to show you their formula. The formula which works just fine for very little money and offers tremendous results.