By Kyle Olson
The Camden, New Jersey school district has been a mess for years, despite a 14-to-1 student to teacher ratio and spending over $26,000 per student every year.
The district’s graduation rate is under 50%. ABC News recently reported only three Camden students who took the S.A.T. test last year scored as “college ready.”
Twenty-five percent of 3rd graders were proficient in Language Arts Literacy – which is the fancy bureaucratic way of saying reading and writing.
This all shows something is not working in Camden.
EAGnews recently analyzed the district’s 2012-13 spending. One of many things that stuck out: nearly $24,000 was spent at bowling alleys and skating rinks.
One might assume the district is paying for field trips and that could be justified in many people’s minds.
When we asked why the district spent money this way, in particular at a bowling alley, the district’s response? “Improve hand eye coordination.”
And why take students ice skating? They said to “expand muscle coordination, balance and rhythm.”
Really? Have they never heard of a good ole fashioned game of kick ball on the playground? Or playing catch with a football? Do they have gym classes?
It seems that muscle coordination will be improved naturally by, oh I don’t know – walking! – and the district would be better off focusing on student achievement. Or are they content with a 50% graduation rate and 75% of 3rd graders being behind in reading and writing?
Camden’s not the only New Jersey district with silly excuses for wasteful spending.
Trenton’s reasons for taking students to a Build a Bear workshop?
“Observe similarities and differences in the needs of living things” to “naming the body parts of a bear.”
Trenton has a 48.4% graduation rate.
These are the sorts of inexcusable expenditures that must stop, particularly in light of poor academic performance.