Under George W. Bush, federal funding for education increased 59.8 percent from 2000 to 2003. I don't know if American schools performed better than they had before during those years, but a “Global Report Card” from the Dallas-based George W. Bush Institute suggests richer school districts do better than poorer ones.
The study's case in point: Irvine schools vs. Anaheim's.
A zoned statement from the institute is titled, “Some Orange County Students Are Failing Compared to International Competitors,” and under that headline you'll find this:
Parents and educators may be surprised about how different school
districts in Orange County fared: According to the Global Report Card,
the highest ranked district in Orange County is Irvine which scored in
the 64th percentile among global competitors in math. The lowest ranked
district is Anaheim City, which ranks below most global competitors
scoring only 18%. It's a broad range for one area.
The Global Report Card, which aims to educate Americans about how their schoolchildren stack up academically against others around the world, does not bring up the reason for the broad range in this one area.
It is common knowledge that in addition to wealthier Irvine parents having more time and resources to devote to helping their children after school than their working-class counterparts in Anaheim, Irvine public schools' state funding is supplemented with money from City Hall and a private foundation, which often work in concert to help keep test scores soaring.
Anaheim city leaders would be hard-pressed to kick in similar funds–not when they have another goddamn hotel builder near Disneyland with a hand out. On the bright side, there are increasingly fewer students needing help in Anaheim thanks to gang members picking off teens. (Yeah, yeah, “bright side” weren't the right words to use.)
The answer is simple: Anaheim families have to move to Irvine. Thousands of new homes are in the pipeline there, you just won't be in the shadow of the Mouse but a Great Park. Of course moving will require following Steve Martin's strategy on “How to Make a Million Dollars.”
First, get a million dollars . . .
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.