We spend more and more money on public school education and each year, the results are dismal. Our educational system is flawed if not broken. Why?
I am concerned that teachers unions impede the education process by focusing on teachers — not education. There is blind protection of the lowest common denominator (the worst teachers), opposition to charter schools, objection to longer hours and more school days and rejection of merit pay for great teachers who achieve great results. And unfunded (and unfair to taxpayer) pensions drain state and local budgets. And tenure? Where did that come from? No other business has such foolishness.
A big negative in educational outcome is parental void. We want parents to be involved in the education of their children. But when parents are out of the mix, teachers must step up to a higher calling.
The notion of federal control over education is not working. Requiring states to send massive amounts of taxpayer money to Washington to be massaged and nitpicked by (and paid in salaries to) bureaucrats is draining and counterproductive. The U.S. Department of Education (begun in 1979) has 5,000 employees and a budget of $94 billion(!). I have a feeling that states can use that money more productively.
School districts? According to a 2002 census, there were nearly 14,000 in the U.S. (each a bureaucratic fiefdom unto itself). And Illinois (a state that is nearly bankrupt) has nearly a thousand of them. Can we consolidate?
We need to educate. Those with good jobs and higher pay are normally better educated. Those without solid education* are the un and under-employed. Want to build the economy? Education. Want to reduce crime? Education. Want to reduce unemployment? Education. It’s the Rx for lots of things. . . .
*”Education” does not mean a child must be college-bound. It can mean the trades, military, associate degrees, agriculture and a host of other job and skill set training. (See posts of 11/23 and 12/5)