Oh, this makes sense.

Pretty much everyone in the omniverse (or in the US. Whichever.) has already written about No Child Left Behind. I've also gotten to the point where I have a really hard time discussing the state of my current home. But let me lay some amazing local news on y'all:

High school graduation rates in Syracuse aren't what we might hope. Because of No Child Left Behind and the cult of accountability, there are arbitrary goals for this (and any number of other things that can be quantified), and punishments enhanced reformation measures that the district has to take when it fails to meet them.

Last year one Syracuse's four main public high schools was on New York's list of “persistently lowest achieving” schools. This year, the other three joined it.


The Syracuse City School District will likely fire the principals of these schools. The district also has to, um, remove a large number of the teachers at each school. They won't necessarily lose their jobs, the district just needs to find them positions at schools that aren't on the State Department of Education's list.

Four of Syracuse's four public high schools are on the list.


So there's the economy.

And the closure of pretty much every manufacturing facility in the region.

And massive numbers of foreclosed properties.

And a property tax base that contains a massive number of churches and abandoned buildings.

And we use property taxes to fund schools.

And the extent to which federal and state governments have funded are schools has declined.

And so the Syracuse City Schools are facing a $50 million budget deficit for next year alone.

And teachers are getting paid a lot less than they should, when they're not being laid off.

And new teachers aren't exactly flocking to the district, what with the lack of openings and the high probability of getting blamed for students' failure to graduate.

And the Rockefeller drug laws.

And the prison-industrial complex.

And violent crime, oh is there violent crime.

Only one of which is being temporarily and insufficiently addressed by No Child Left Behind (the district gets $2 million for each “failing” school that it “reforms”).

So yeah, perfect sense.

I can only assume that more and more parents can afford to send their children to private schools or move to the suburbs will do so, which will undoubtedly do wonders for the district's budget and graduation rates. Death spiral huzzah.

Which is not to say that there won't be corporate interests around to collect the grant money that will suddenly appear to teach children who couldn't be taught without it. Or that everyone who matters will leave the district so to hell with it. Or both. And there'll be hugs but not drugs and enough bootstraps for everyone. So there's that, I suppose.

At least I hear the military's still recruiting.

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