Now that the professional cheerleaders (mayor, Chamber president, economic development} have told us how great it will be to have a mega-packing plant in the backyard, let’s take a look at just one of many side effects.
These are meatpacking plant jobs, not IBM computer programmers relocating. If you won’t admit packing plants have social problems connected to them you are lying to yourself and more importantly to us.
A quick look at the school proficiency standard rankings reveals a fact based narrative, so don’t bother calling the messenger a racist bigot. I’m using the 65 percent standard most states use and not the phony 41 percent used in Iowa because students are in a national job market, not state.
It’s easy to look good when you set the bar lower than other states. First column is reading, second is math. The third column is the percentage of limited English proficient students of total enrollment. Column four is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches
Mason City 47.06-44.52- 0.9%-55.0%
Clear Lake 57.36-52.45- 0.1%-22.9%
W Hancock 53.37-59.82- 7.4%-41.5%
Algona 53.55-49.32- 0.2%-33.9%
Forest City 53.97-53.81- 0.2%-38.1%
Osage 49.81-60.38- 0.3%-29.5%
Now the scores of schools home to current mega plants
Columbus 28.39-21.61- 28.0%-73.9%
Denison 39.75-42.11- 53.2%-71.9%
Ottumwa 36.19-42.47- 10.5%-54.3%
Perry 39.37-38.32- 20.4%-76.0%
Postville 24.92-38.32- 32.9%-99.7%
Storm Lake 35.00-32.70- 39.5%-74.0%
Waterloo 35.32-31.94- 8.6%-69.5%
So tell me, professional cheerleaders, what’s your plan on keeping Mason City schools from the failing list? If you have the answer, share it with the above districts who rank as some of the worst in Iowa. Once you put a school district somewhere between Columbus and Waterloo, forget about those IBM programmers. IBMers won’t put their children in a distressed school.
It’s easy to be politically correct when using other people’s money and not your kids in a lousy school.