Thursday, August 25, 2005

Timken High School Trojans Update

Angry in the Great White North has done some outstanding research and, I think, commentary on the pregnancy "outbreak" at Timken High School, the school so promiscuous that they had to make the mascot a condom.

Using public census and Ohio school reports, Angry in T.O. notes a number of sadly predictable numbers and perhaps, to a liberal, surprising numbers.

School Overview: Timken High School
School Level: High school School
Type: Regular (non-vocational)

Timkin has "good" numbers in some supposedly important areas:

Teacher : Student Ratio: 1:8 (vs 1:17 as a state average)
Agency Revenue / Student: $8,066 (vs $6,375 for the state)
Agency Expenditure / Student: $7,336 (vs $6,112 for the state)

Not surprisingly, though, more teachers and money don't create good results. They create drop outs, pregnancy and a school failing to meet state standards.

Agency Graduation Rates: 51% (vs 86% for the state)

The socio-economic figures are equally discouraging. Timken students are much more likely than the average Ohio student to be on subsidized lunch, live in temporary housing, live on other public assistance, and live below the poverty level. The kids having these kids are no doubt living the same life their parents did. And at each level of the way, we are subsidizing this behavior.

I do not offer this is an excuse for these kids. In fact, I feel particular anger over it. As the child of a high school drop-out due to pregnancy (me of course, and no, I wasn't aborted), I know that these kids can go to mediocre public schools, study and pay attention, and make a better life for themselves. Any economist will tell you, however, that you get more behavior of that which you subsidize and less of that which you punish. Without moral criticism for their conduct from any source - home, school, society, even some churches - these kids will also breed kids who get and have fatherless children.

Check out Angry's analysis and discussion.

Then tell me how we punish these kids, without punishing their kids, and convince them to break this cycle of the poor keeping themselves poor.


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