Keeping Our Eye on the Ball
A recent report card from the state of Iowa tells of the same story. Iowa's Department of Education has rated its schools based on the following criteria:
|Above copied from Scott McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant|
Zero of the 34 Priority schools have less than 33% free lunch eligibility and 30 of the 34 (88%) have more than half of their students who are eligible. In contrast, 27 of the 35 Exceptional schools (77%) have less than 33% free lunch eligibility and only 3 of the 35 (9%) have more than half of their students who are eligible.A family of three in Iowa living on one hundred dollars a day is eligible for free lunch. This bar is certainly much higher than the one used in the Philippines to be considered poor, a hundred times higher! From the graph above, it is clear that as soon as a school in Iowa reaches 75% school free lunch, the best rating it could get is only "Needs Improvement".
Poverty is indeed the big elephant in the room when it comes to addressing problems in basic education. It is one major reason why DepEd's K to 12 is deeply flawed. The Philippines Department of Education and the Aquino administration have only made it more difficult for poor children to learn in schools. It is exasperating and infuriating.
Perhaps, 2016 would bring a better national leadership that actually understands better the plight of poor children in the country. We could only hope.