Redefining middle class

So we redefine “middle class” schools as those where 25-75 percent of the students are poor enough to receive reduced lunch subsidies from the federal government. Then we say how badly they’re going, even though if you read the Appendix of this report, when you “isolate the achievement of middle-class students” on tests of international achievement in math and science for 4th graders and 8th graders, “the U.S. ranking jumps.”

So you kind of have to wonder if they’re not just looking for some way to rationalize privatizing more schools, because the for-profit companies are burning through the poorest schools they’ve already fucked up:

Middle-class public schools educate the majority of U.S. students but pay lower teacher salaries, have larger class sizes and spend less per pupil than low-income and wealthy schools, according to a report to be issued Monday.

The report, “Incomplete: How Middle-Class Schools Aren’t Making the Grade,” also found middle-class schools are underachieving. It pointed to their national and international test scores and noted that 28% of their graduates earn a college degree by age 26, compared to 17% for lower-income students and 47% for upper-income students.

Third Way, a neoliberal Democratic think tank that claims to “advocate for private sector economic growth,” based its report on data from the Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Education, and national and international testing programs. The report doesn’t include parochial or private-school students.

Over the next decade, nearly two-thirds of job openings will require some post-secondary education, the report says, arguing that middle-class schools need to help better prepare their students to graduate from college.

“Middle-class schools produce students who are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and they are not performing as well as parents, policy makers and taxpayers think they are,” said Tess Stovall, deputy director of Third Way’s economic program and co-author of the report. “We need a second phase of education reform to ensure these schools get the attention they deserve.”

God should punish these people out of everything they have, but that still won’t begin to make up for the harm they’ve done, and the evil they’ve propogated.

6 thoughts on “Redefining middle class

  1. Unfortunately our schools produce graduates who haven’t a clue about what goes on in the real world. The bottom third of college graduates become teachers. Ergo our schools are set up to fail. Which is why the oligarchy can fool the people into waging illegal wars, be made to believe that cutting the payroll tax is a good idea that won’t hurt social security and add to the national debt, and think that free trade agreements aren’t responsible for shipping millions of American jobs oversees. Of course Mr. Plutocrat, Obama, finds it finanCIAlly rewarding personally to keep the public in the dark about the truth.

  2. From now on, every time I read about teachers coming from the bottom third, I’m asking for a link to the research. Even if undergraduate education majors come from the bottom third, not every education major becomes a teacher; a good number of teachers have other undergraduate majors and get their teaching credentials as graduate students. Until someone can show me otherwise, I calling this bottom-third stuff a probable right-wing trope we’ve been tricked into repeating.

  3. Yes, let us all keep on doing the bullshit that we are all bound to do.

    Talk about it. Let’s keep talking about what is going on. Fascism? No fascism? We meet every criteria and then some?


  4. That’s what I mean, I’ve never seen where this idea comes from, or if it means the bottom third of students admitted to college (as defined by SAT scores or what?) v. if it’s the bottom third grade point averages earned in college (are they all C students? I find that hard to believe). When was this data collected? By who? Any trends?

    Even if some variation of this is true, maybe we should we step back and say, well even the bottom fraction of a college class probably has more on the ball on average than say, a comparable group of high school dropouts. It’s still a relatively small percentage of high school students who go on to and finish college, so even the bottom of the class is relatively elite.

    When I was an art major, many, many years ago, I took a number of classes that art ed majors also took, and there was a noticeable cohort of football players majoring in art ed. They didn’t do too well in any of the classes and I find it hard to believe any of them became teachers.

    In contrast, my kid’s best special ed teacher graduated with a bachelor’s in engineering and worked in a Fortune 500 company for a dozen years before going back to graduate school in education.

    I repeat, just because you major in something, does not mean you necessarily enter that field upon graduation, or stay in it. Does this mythical research include follow-up on the numbers of ed students that became professional educators?

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