Culture, Science & Faith

Village Academic Curriculum: Failing Schools

While Philadelphia schools crumble, Virginia seventh graders suffer "zero tolerance."

Sep. 25, 2013

“Philadelphia’s schools,” notes The Wall Street Journal, “are a textbook case of chronic, systemic failure.” Why? Well, just 40% of Philadelphia’s students tested proficient or better in reading. Paradoxically, 99.5% of teachers have a satisfactory rating. On top of that, the average teacher at a traditional school in Philadelphia earns $110,000 in salary and benefits. Last year, the district borrowed $300 million to cover a budget deficit and this year closed more than 20 schools and laid off 3,000 employees to cover another $300 million hole, all while union benefits remain lavish. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, is working to get some concessions from the union, but, as usual, they’re putting the kids, er, their bottom line first.

While Philadelphia’s schools crumble, a New York teacher fired earlier this year for possessing a stash of heroin could get his job back after a judge found his firing to be “unduly harsh.”

And then there’s the story of the Virginia seventh graders who were suspended and could be expelled for firing airsoft guns on private property. They allegedly violated their school’s “zero tolerance” policy while waiting for the bus. We’d say it’s time the U.S. education system displayed “zero tolerance” for mindless leftists.

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