If you have any question what’s wrong with the American education system, “here’s your sign.”
Detroit School Lacks Toilet Paper, Light Bulbs
Donations Accepted Beginning Jan. 12
DETROIT — A Detroit elementary school is asking for donations of toilet paper and light bulbs to continue functioning. The principal of the Academy of Americas sent a letter to staff, parents and partners asking for donations of items “that are of the utmost importance for proper school functioning and most importantly for student health and safety.
“In the letter, Principal Naomi Khalil cited budget constraints within the district as the reason that the school could no longer stock the items.The district is grappling with a more than $400 million budget deficit and is on the verge of being assigned an emergency financial manager by the state. The letter asks for toilet paper, paper towel rolls, trash bags and 60-, 100- or 150-watt light bulbs.
Parents said a letter went out asking for supplies at the start of the school year. “They sent out a letter for pencils, pens, they put Kleenex on there,” said parent Danny Huddleston.
Chicago Public Schools’ cappuccino bill: $67,000
‘A WASTE OF MONEY’ | Report says staffers skirted rules to buy 30 coffeemakers, changed athletes’ grades, falsified addresses
Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.
That was just one example of questionable CPS actions detailed in the inspector general’s 2008 annual report. Others included high school staffers changing grades to pump up transcripts of student athletes and workers at a restricted-enrollment grade school falsifying addresses to get relatives admitted.
In the case of the cappuccino machines, central office administrators split the order among 21 vocational schools to avoid competitive bidding required for purchases over $10,000. As a result CPS paid about $12,000 too much, according to Inspector General James Sullivan. “We were able to find the same machines cheaper online,” he said.
“We also look at it as a waste of money because the schools didn’t even know they were getting the equipment, schools didn’t know how to use the machines and weren’t prepared to implement them into the curriculum,” Sullivan said.
CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said CPS plans to change its purchasing policy so that competitive bidding kicks in when a vendor accumulates $10,000 worth of orders, no matter how many schools are involved. One person was fired and disciplinary action is pending against three others, he said.
The grade-changing took place at an unidentified high school, where student athletes grades were boosted, then, after transcripts were issued for college admission offices, the grades were changed back. The culprits could not be identified because passwords allowing entry to the grading system were shared by a number of people, Sullivan said. A new record system has tighter security, he said.
At Carson Elementary, an overcrowded school in Gage Park where even neighborhood kids were restricted from enrolling, five lower- level employees got six relatives into the school by falsifying addresses. Sixty-nine students from outside the attendance area got in, but they didn’t even bother to lie about their addresses. CPS had to spend as much as $252,000 to bus kids who live in the neighborhood to other schools, Sullivan said.
Vaughn said the employees involved have resigned, been fired or will be fired.
This is really sad. The Chicago Public Schools System used to have a kick-ass Administrator who was the envy of every other school system in the nation. His name was Paul Valas, and he raised shool grades, cut waste, and raised teacher salaries. However, a bout 7-8 years ago he abruptly resigned to take a job in the Philadelphia (I think – maybe Pittsburg) schools.
Seven or eight years ago. Right about the time Barack Obama and William Ayers were starting to screw around with the Chicago Public Schools Systems on behalf of the Annenberg Challenge.
Lovely. You see what they have now — freaking cappuccino machines.