Kirwan money won't pay for compassion for students
Jan 24, 2019 | 4:40 PM
William E. "Brit" Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, explains the Kirwan Commissions recommendations for Maryland's public schools. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
Consider the condition of the public schools in Baltimore and other urban areas throughout Maryland. Is there any real evidence that all the dollars spent in these schools for the last 20 years have yielded newsworthy positive results? I venture to say these schools have been noteworthy, but for the wrong reasons. Look at the reading test scores in the inner city schools. Look at the drop out rate of the students. Look at the expulsion rate. Look at the disciplinary problems. The sweeping statewide changes which the Kirwan panel is proposing sound impressive. However, with all their recommendations, they have omitted an essential factor — something that money will not buy, but is critical if the goal is to put and keep students on a path of success. It’s a human element — it is genuine care and concern about the student.
And that is not going to come from exorbitant amounts of money being poured into the public school system. I have spent 40 years as an educator in the public and private sector. I believe if the so-called powers that be in education would take off their blinders and adapt the program I have been advocating for almost two years, they would see far more positive outcomes than what is being accomplished from the pseudo experts in public education today.
My tutor-mentor-team program calls for students, starting at the kindergarten level, to connect with a tutor-mentor-team that would stay with the student — be it boy or girl, black, brown, white or yellow — until the student graduates high school and/or college and is gainfully employed. What the tutor-mentor-team will do is give the student the attention and demonstrate the care, concern and interest that so many students are famished for. What’s more, except for the cost of fingerprinting the tutor-mentor team members, no other taxpayer money is required.This is the real answer to the educational woes plaguing the public school system today.