Education Letter to the Editor

Spend Now on Students, or Later on Prisoners?

January 30, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

Juliet Luther’s Jan. 10, 2007, letter to the editor about poverty’s effects on student achievement makes a powerful point about schooling under the influence of misplaced government priorities.

We do not need more tests to prove that hungry, homeless kids fare poorly in school. Nor do we need more tests to prove that schools serving large groups of impoverished children will fare poorly in national competitions. Already, there is ample statistical evidence to show that the undereducated youths of today are destined to become the incarcerated of tomorrow.

In lieu of foot-stomping and flag-waving over the very predictable results of neglect, what would happen if our national priorities took a turn for serious improvement?

What if there were a real effort to educate every American child as though she or he were the most valued human on earth? What would happen if there were a federal mandate to spend at least as much on each student as is spent on each prisoner in America?

La Vergne Rosow

Huntington Beach, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the January 31, 2007 edition of Education Week as Spend Now on Students, Or Later on Prisoners?