WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration is sending $70 million to Pakistan to educate girls and “empower” them to improve their country, despite massive, chronic budget problems and abysmal student performance at home.
First lady Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative is focused on educating “62 million girls around the world” to help them “build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future,” according to the White House website.
As part of that effort, the Obama administration vowed to send $70 million to Pakistan to educate about 200,000 female students between ages 10 and 19 during a special event at the White House last month with the wife and daughter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Judicial Watch reports.
“Let Girls Learn will seek opportunities to foster public-private partnerships and collaborate with other development partners to advance girls’ education and empowerment. The Let Girls Learn/Pakistan program will serve as a platform and catalyst for broader political and social commitment to strengthen adolescent girls’ education and empowerment in Pakistan,” according to a USAID media release.
Acting USAID administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt said “By increasing access to education opportunities during the critical time of adolescence, this important initiative will be transformative for Pakistan, empowering young women to overcome barriers and lift themselves out of poverty.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Pakistan and our partners around the world to ensure girls everywhere get the education they deserve,” he said.
Apparently, that same commitment doesn’t apply to students in America’s public schools.
In the Obamas’ hometown of Chicago, the school district is teetering on the brink of financial disaster, the city’s teachers union is threatening to strike, and student performance – for boys and girls – is downright embarrassing.
Only about 30 percent of the city’s fourth graders were proficient in math, according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress. That figure was only 25 percent for eighth graders. For fourth grade reading, only 27 percent of Chicago students scored proficient, and that number dropped to 24 percent for eighth graders, according to Catalyst Chicago.
Most of the nation’s inner city public schools are turning out similar results, if not worse.
In Detroit, a mere 4 percent of fourth graders and 3 percent of eighth graders scored proficient in math, and those numbers were 7 and 9 percent, respectively, for reading.
NAEP results for students in the nation’s capitol showed only 33 percent of fourth graders are proficient in math, and 17 percent of eighth graders. In Baltimore, the percentages were 12 and 12. About 13 percent of Cleveland fourth graders scored proficient, and that figured dropped to 9 percent for eighth graders.
Math proficiency rates for eighth graders in Fresno schools came in at 12 percent, while 15 percent of Los Angeles students in the same grade met the benchmark. Reading scores for eighth graders were just as bad last year, with only 13 percent proficient in Fresno, 11 percent in Cleveland, 13 percent in Baltimore, 16 percent in Philadelphia and 13 percent in Washington, D.C., according to the NAEP data.
In a majority of inner city school districts that participated in the NAEP, also known as “the nation’s report card,” students generally performed worse in 2015 than in prior years.
“The question remains; should American tax dollars go to this foreign education cause when public schools in this country have been hurting for years? Besides financial troubles, there’s an epidemic of low-performing schools and dismal graduation rates around the country, especially in the nation’s inner cities,” Judicial Watch opined.
“They could probably use a few million to create programs that might help improve academic performance or perhaps empower needy students like the multi-million-dollar allocation is predicted to help empower girls in Pakistan.”