San Diego Unified School Search Rescue

The Week in School: Militarized Schools & Poverty

I make it a personal policy to work very hard not to swear like a sailor on my blog. At times this self-imposed policy is profoundly hard for me. The first part of this post, especially, is one such moment: Militarization of public schools.

San Diego Unified School Search Rescue
Click to read the NRP Article

San Diego School District Purchases 18-Ton Military Surplussed Armored Vehicle

This falls in the “What the absolute hell are they thinking?!”

And obviously they know this is going to be a public relations nightmare; so, they paint “Search and Rescue” and a big red cross on the side of it. It came to them in a really sweet military tan color!

Search for what?

Rescue from what—a wartime invasion by all of the enemy forces lurking off the shores of California, or, worse yet, just off your local elementary school campus?

This isn’t just insane, this is a horrendous lack of good judgement on how to best spend painfully limited financial resources in public education. I wouldn’t care if the military gave them this piece of wartime equipment. It has no business in anyplace but a war zone, even though a school district spokesperson said it will have teddy bears in it1.  It’s so absurd, it calls for people to be fired—everyone who authorized this acquisition from the US Military!

Student behavior isn’t this out of control; is it, San Diego?

Dear god! First we militarize our police, and now we are going to do it with the public schools as well? What will it cost to fill this wartime vehicle with fuel, let alone maintain it?!

Lunacy! Absolute lunacy!

I am stupefied!

Common Core Not Addressing the REAL Problem in Schools—Poverty

This letter. A thousand times, this letter2:

A central argument is that there is no need for a radical change in curriculum or testing. Substantial improvement will come only when we deal with the real problem: Poverty. When researchers control for the effect of poverty, American test scores are near the top of the world. Our unspectacular overall scores are because the US has the second highest level of child poverty among all 34 economically advanced countries (now over 23%, compared to high-scoring Finland’s 5.4%).

Poverty means poor nutrition, inadequate health care, and lack of access to books, among other things. All of these negatively impact school performance. Instead of protecting children from the effect of poverty, the common core is investing billions in an untested curriculum and massive testing, despite research showing that increasing testing does not increase achievement.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Source: This article in The Christian Science Monitor, by Stephen Krashen

Oh, I get it: put the poor kids in the 18-ton armored vehicle with the teddy bears so they feel rescued!

  1. Yes. They really said that! Who could make this insanity up?! 

  2. partial quotation