Monday, March 29, 2010

No Administrator Left Behind

Quoted by Mish:

A further point which I did not see mentioned, the non-teaching costs in government schools are extremely high. Check out the size of the buildings devoted to educational administration in your city, you will probably be shocked.

Japanese educators touring the Chicago Department of Education thought they were looking at the National Department of Education, it was so large.

A New York reporter had to make half a dozen phone calls to find someone who knew how many administrative staff were in the New York City Department of Education; it was about 5000.

The reporter called the Diocese of NYC, which has about 1/5 as many students, and asked the secretary "How many people administer the Diocese schools?" She replied "Hold a moment," and he thought he'd have to make several calls ... then he heard her counting. "1,2, 3, ... 22. We have 22 people."

I once had a son in Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, and a daughter in North Catholic High School. I asked for my children's attendance records. At Schenley, I spoke with five people before finally speaking to an attendance clerk, who finally released the information; this took about 30 minutes. At North Catholic, the secretary greeted me by name, I explained what I wanted, she reached behind for the attendance book, and had it in front of me in 60 seconds.

Government schools are extremely top-heavy. In addition, the entire idea that it takes 12 years times 180 days times 6 hours to teach children is absurdly inefficient.

My grandchildren are home schooled; they spend about an hour or two per day "in class", and their level of achievement is way beyond that of their peers. At the age of 7, the eldest tested at the 6th grade level in math.

Public schools cost far too much in both time and money, and deliver far too little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has been the dirty secret of education. While private and parochial schools have an administrative load between 5 & 10% (1 administrator for every 10 to 20 teachers), our public schools average about 3 "administrators" for every two teachers. Worse yet, as school budgets are tightened, the administrators lay off teachers rather than reduce their number, cut their pay or reduce their benefits.

Then there is the issue of corruption. For instance, last year, Detroit Public Schools suspended direct deposit and required employees to pick up their checks. As I recall, something like 2 million dollars worth of paychecks were never picked up.