Below are some quotes from a ten year old white paper highlighting some of the ways Title 1 money has been squandered and misused over the years. Things haven't improved.
In a statement released on April 1, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson used the following words to argue for passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965:
This bill has a simple purpose: To improve the education of young Americans.... How many young lives have been wasted; how many families now live in misery; how much talent has the Nation lost; because we have failed to give all our people a chance to learn.... This bill represents a national determination that this shall no longer be true. Poverty will no longer be a bar to learning, and learning shall offer an escape from poverty.... For this truly is the key which can unlock the door to a great society.
More than thirty years and $118 billion later, two national evaluation studies have concluded that these goals have not been met. 1 The skill gap in reading, writing, and mathematics has not been closed between, on the one hand, children from low-income households--often African American or Hispanic and attending central city or rural school systems--and, on the other hand, middle-class children--often Anglo and attending suburban school systems.
This comes as no surprise. The federal government's more than thirty-year attempt to solve the problems of poverty--in particular, the diminished life chances of children from low-income households--has been largely unsuccessful. Title I of the ESEA is, and has been, the most heavily funded program in this area. At $8.3 billion for 1999 alone, this program is funded at approximately twice the level of the better-known Head Start program. The failure to win the War on Poverty is largely attributable to the failure of these two programs to achieve their goals: the school success of low-income children.
In particular, we found these miscellaneous quotes regarding Control by School District Administrative Elites relevant:
....Terry M. Moe agreed that the schools are too little concerned with the control and coordination of instructional activities..... The structure of education ... has to do with who has power, with what their interests are, and with what kinds of structures they demand, design, and impose to see those interests pursued. As presented in a longer work by John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe, this rational choice and interest group politics view sees individual school actors pursuing power, self-interest, and rents via all the available techniques of interest group politics......Practices and structures often endure through the active efforts of those who benefit from them.... It is clear that elite intervention may play a critical role in institutional formation. And once established and in place, practices and programs are supported and promulgated by those organizations that benefit from prevailing conventions. In this way, elites may be both the architects and products of the rules and expectations they have helped devise.......This emphasis upon school district and education school elites and their use of power in the pursuit of self-interest via all means available, including "preservation of patterns of values"... the selection of new recruits, the socialization of successors, and control over the conditions of incumbency," provides a necessary background for understanding the implementation of Title I in the nation's school districts. 21 The districts we have observed display intensely networked management structures, supporting almost constant strategic behavior by individuals and groups. Classroom teacher is the lowest status among professional staff. Advancement out of this status typically requires the support of the school's principal and assistant principal, but professional specialty groups (for example, the group of reading curriculum specialists, Title I teachers, special education teachers, bilingual education teachers, and so on) and ethnic or other affiliation groups (for example, the Hispanic Teachers Association, the African-American Teachers Association, and their community affiliates) are also a resource. 22 The higher one seeks to rise, the [End Page 68] more important are network connections. Every principal was once some other's assistant principal. And the real jump in power, prestige, and compensation is out of the schools and into the central administration, a step requiring patronage by individuals already there....""
This paper will enlighten you as to the damage done since 1994 and the ESEA reauthorization. We hope that you will read it in it's entirety and work to reverse the trends and end the corruption.
Click here to read the full article in Brookings Papers on Education Policy 2000 by George Farkas and L. Shane Hall.