OOPS! Math mistake forces teacher layoffs

You can only sit back and smile at the irony of this story.

U.S. high school students are getting their lunches eaten when it comes to math and science scores.  While that news is both tragic and disgusting, it’s old news.  What is new is this story that just crossed by desk:

The Dallas (TX) school district  announced yesterday they had to lay of hundreds of teachers to avoid projected $84 million deficit due to a math miscalculation. 


At a time when we should be pouring money into re-inventing our education system, the collapse of our financial system and "massive miscalculations" on a local level (apparently unrelated events) are forcing cut-backs of massive proportions.  Are we setting ourselves up for the next massive U.S. bailout?

In a recent report titled, Are They Really Ready to Work? a Workforce Readiness Report Card found that over forty percent of high school graduates failed the grade and less than half barely received a passing grade.  The report card for new entrants with a high school diploma does not have a single item in the Excellence List.

In another report, The Silent Epidemic, the study found that there are nearly 2,000 high schools in the U.S. where 40 percent of the typical freshman class leaves school by its senior year. Nationally, research puts the graduation rate between 68 and 71 percent, which means that almost one-third of all public high school students in America fail to graduate. 

Breaking that down even further, every 29 seconds another student gives up on school, resulting in more than one million American high school students who drop out every year. 

The average science score of U.S. students lagged behind those in 16 of 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  The U.S. students were further behind in math, trailing counterparts in 23 countries. And compared to the most advanced economies of Europe and Asia (Source: Nation at Risk), 39 percent of U.S. white eighth graders were proficient in reading vs. just 15 percent of Hispanics and 12 percent of blacks.

To me, it seems like we’ve had a lot of "sub-prime" educating going on and now miscalculations in the board room of another industry will topple another U.S. system, once the standard bearer of quality and innovation.


Ira S Wolfe


  1. hall monitor October 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm -

    This story made http://detentionslip.org ! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.