The "brutal fact" about Louisville's public education system is that for the last 35 years (or two whole generations of public school children) our political leaders have encouraged an experiment in "racial diversity" at the expense of the "neighborhood school." While the diversity goal was originally laudable, over the years the result, academically, has proven to be an abysmal failure. The statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education prove the magnitude of this local failure. They can be found at the Web site schooldiggers.com . Kentucky's K-through-12 public education system ranks somewhere between 40th to 45th in the nation. Of the 154 Kentucky school districts, Jefferson County's ranks 118th. So, after spending billions of dollars for 35 years to buy the buses and gasoline to transport children from hither to yon, the academic result is that Jefferson County ranks in the bottom 25 percent of Kentucky school districts — a state which ranks in the bottom 20 percent of states in the quality of its public education.Ouch. He also points out, in Sunday's Louisville Courier-Journal editorial, what it has done (along with all of the things it has done to itself--also in the name of "Diversity") to the University of Louisville, which continues to languish as a third-tier university:
For 35 years, we've been graduating students from a bottom-feeding public school system and sending them, by droves, to the local university whose academic programs offer bottom-feeding students little, if any, challenge.I have long maintained that one of the worst things ever to happen to public schools--or, should I say, one of worst things the public schools did to themselves--was the school consolidation movement, which acted like a crowbar to separate public schools from the communities which they purported to serve. Miller's point is that the Diversity worship-based social engineering program known as "busing" did the same thing: it destroyed neighborhood schools. Miller, operating on the common sense principle that it might be good to do the things we did when schools worked, advocates bringing back neighborhood schools:
When are we going to cease the noble experiment of a diversity-based public education system, because it's an obvious failure, and replace it with the time-proven success known as the neighborhood school, which would engender neighborhood pride, the active participation of parents and the discipline that's required to learn, because "learning is a discipline?"This, of course, would involve wresting power and control from the public education bureaucracy that it enjoys by virtue of the control it has been given over things that have little to do with good education. And Miller admits as much.
But we can dream, can't we?