TWIN CRISES: IMMIGRATION AND EDUCATION IN AMERICA
By Frosty Wooldridge
March 26, 2009
Since I started teaching school in 1973, educational excellence and academic standards dropped like a brick falling from an airplane!
I taught two years in the inner city where I discovered that children learn self-loathing, violence, drug use, tattoos and incest as well as verbal and emotional abuse beyond most Middle-Americans’ comprehension. Within two years, my idealism turned to acid. In order to save myself from a form of emotional insanity, I fled the inner city. I taught at a reasonable, middle class school with great success.
However, the principal urged teachers to advance all students whether they passed their tests or not. At the time, I called it ‘affirmative action grading’. Soon, those kids discovered they could get something for nothing. Later, they enjoyed ‘affirmative action’ high school diplomas. That led to ‘affirmative action jobs’ whereby they spent eight hours ‘working’ doing pretty much nothing. The government hired millions of marginally educated graduates. Those jobs included security guards, answering the phone jobs, cab drivers and fast food cashiers.
Later, many attended colleges where they majored in ‘African-American Studies’ and a dozen other non-descript majors that failed to prepare students for a viable job within the American workforce.
From the 70s to the 90s, the US added 100 million people, mostly by immigration. They arrived with little to no education. Today, they arrive in such overwhelming numbers, educational systems falter across the United States. Brian Williams reported in June 2008 that 76 percent of students failed to graduate in Detroit, Michigan high schools. Over 60 percent, mostly immigrants, failed to graduate in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and other major school systems. In my own city of Denver, Colorado, we suffered a 67 percent flunk out/drop out rate two years ago. We tolerate 85 languages and students from over 50 countries.
While we drop our educational standards, our own American children must suffer degraded academics, so much so, over one-third of students that attend college, must take remedial course work to upgrade their minds to college level performance.
Meanwhile, a whole new, functionally illiterate sub-class expands across America. That sub-class cannot read, write or work simple math. They lack critical thinking. They live at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. For example, 31.1 million Americans live on food stamps as of March 2009.
In a sweeping report, Edwin S. Rubenstein, economist, wrote a sobering expose’ of America’s accelerating infrastructure crisis brought on by unending population growth.
“The Twin Crises: Immigration and Infrastructure” by www.thesocialcontract.com, Volume XIX, No.2, pages 53-57, Winter 2009, by Edwin S. Rubenstein—addresses public school systems.
“More than 49 million elementary and secondary students are educated in 97,000 public schools,” Rubenstein said. “Enrollments are growing, but neither quantity and quality of the school infrastructure has kept pace. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 18 percent of all schools are overcrowded and 37 percent are forced to make do with trailers and other portable classrooms structures. The average age of our country’s school buildings is now more than 40 years; they were built to accommodate teaching practices and the community needs of earlier generations.”
By adding 3.1 million people to this country annually, school systems cannot keep up with added student populations.
“In fiscal years 1990 to 2002, inflation adjusted spending to acquire or construct public school facilities increased from $19.5 billion to $43 billion, a 121 percent increase,” Rubenstein said. “Unfortunately, even after adjusting for inflation, more money does not mean more infrastructure.”
What drives our educational crisis?
“Children of immigrants account for such a large share of the school-age population because a higher proportion of immigrant women are in their child-bearing years,” Rubenstein said. “There are 10.8 million children of immigrants in the school-age population. The fertility rate of foreign-born women is 37 percent higher than the fertility rate of native women. The future offers no demographic relief, as evidenced by the even larger share of immigrants in the preschool populations of most states.”
States with higher legal and illegal migrant populations illustrate this national educational crisis. “Nevada’s school enrollment grew a whopping 54 percent between 1995 and 2004—more than that of any other state and over five times the U.S. average,” Rubenstein said. “Clark county schools are so crowded that students complain that they cannot find available restrooms between classes. Some student-to-teacher ratios stand at 40 to 1.”
California leads the nation in educational chaos. “California schools are the most crowded in the nation, classes often exceed 35 students per teacher, (18 is considered ideal),” Rubenstein said. “The state adds 100,000 new students annually.”
According to www.capsweb.org in California, that state adds 1,700 legal and illegal migrants daily, net gain. That equals over 600,000 added population annually.
Florida: “In Miami-Dade Country, 41 percent of schools are at least 150 percent over capacity,” Rubenstein said. “In Manatee County, lunch lines are sometimes so long that students do not have time to eat unless they miss class. Pasco County has opened six new schools in the last three years, has three more scheduled to open in the upcoming months. No affordable land is available for further school construction.”
Miami-Dade school superintendent roger Cuevas said, “Our anticipated gains in the number of foreign students alone will require us to build one elementary school a month to keep up.”
New York: “In 2008, a report by the city Comptroller’s office stated that there are too many neighborhoods with overcrowded schools, elementary schools in particular, and no relief for years to come,” Rubenstein said.
What action could the U.S. Congress and President Obama institute to alleviate our horrendous educational crisis?
The simplest, most sane and reasonable action must be engaged immediately:
A TEN YEAR MORATORIUM ON ALL IMMIGRATION: This would allow our country to regain its collective breath. It would allow us to regain our schools, language, medical facilities, financial balance, ecological viability and order, which is necessary for a first world country to operate for all its citizens.
We must employ a linkage strategy. In other words, we must create a paradigm shift that employs all the following actions to reap a plausible future for humans in America. A former congressman said, “The challenge is enormous and you have to talk about a moratorium. You can’t talk about anything short of a moratorium because, frankly, anything less will never get you one step closer to population stabilization.”
After the 10 year immigration moratorium, a maximum of 100,000 immigrants—with needed skills to our benefit—that speak the English language before they arrive—will be considered for the United States.
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We could entertain a farm guest worker program only if it stipulates that male workers enjoy an entry date for three months to a maximum of six months and an exit date. No female or family members allowed. Additionally, no ‘anchor babies’ or ‘instant citizenship’ allowed for foreign nationals’ babies born on U.S. soil.
Yes, we must work with Americans marrying foreign spouses and a few other visa considerations, but we must hold to our limited carrying capacity.
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
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