MILWAUKEE, WI [ JG ] That thump-thump-thump you hear is me banging my head on the wall of my cubicle. I should stop before MPS starts making sense to me.
Proponents of the Mawaukee Publik Skoolz, from the highest ranking school board members all the way down to the lowly mayor’s office are blaming the “funding formula” for the district’s financial woes.
In the 1970s, I was a victim of the “new math”. Somebody decided that we should add right to left, which is not just antithetical to western-hemisphere thinking, but nearly impossible to do in your head.
My mom’s generation (she was born about four years before me if you ask her about her age) learned to calculate intuitively from left to right, and even though math obviously isn’t her strong suit, she showed me how in a matter of minutes. It was, for me, a Euclidean epiphany, and I’ve been doing it that way ever since.
Today’s “new-er math” in the public schools insists that, if you spend more money than people give you, the problem is that people aren’t giving you enough of their money. Thump! Thump! Thump!
(Seriously, I have to stop that. I just had a vision of myself pulling the “Obama” lever. Yeeesh.)
Note to everybody in the MPS food chain: put away your tin cups and call your Moms. Ask them how schools used to be able to educate kids at a fraction of today’s cost, and why, when a kid dropped out, nobody blamed it on a “formula”…
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