All seems too quiet at the education front
After one decade of legislative squabbling most of the urgent issues regarding public education problems remain.
Some of the big issues are:
- Lack of new resources for financing
- Over-crowded schools and classrooms
- Unfair and illegal nature of financing education via property taxes
- Still basing success rates on state determined tests rather than a more complete and overall evaluation of student development
- "Double-cost" to parents who send children to private schools --- they still pay for public education
- A questionable overall lack of budget dollars
- Under state oversight schools are managed and operated as a business rather than a system to provide the best education possible for children
- High and questionable administrative costs
- Misuse of funds
- Not providing the appropriate salaries and benefits to hire experienced professional staff
- Creation of an incentive system that mimics industrial piece-work rewards
- Complicated and ineffective system of hiring good teachers, especially those with experience outside of the state.
The above are some issues that have been reviewed year after year by various public education committees during the last decade yet there has been little headway in resolving them.
Some believe that part of the problem is that schools are being managed like a business rather than focusing on the needs of children. In fact, many members of state appointed public education committees have been from the corporate sector and have been unable to resolve many of the issues.
Another issue is the possible misuse and/or waste of funds, which underlies misdirected priorities in determining and reaching educational outcomes.
In addition, the source of tax dollars from property taxes to finance public education have overburdened homeowners and have added significantly to the highest number of home foreclosures in years and taxpayers are in need of relief. (.pdf file)
The bottom-line is that public education today is unsuccessful in providing a quality education for our children. In truth we are spending more to educate less.
Consequently, for many years public education is failing our children. Our education system does not rival those of other nations and our children are not competitive as leaders in business and world affairs.
Fixing public education is not easy. The same urgent issues remain unresolved year after year. However, each year we continue to push aside making the hard decisions to repair an ailing system that is failing our children.
We need to "bite the bullet" and recognize that public education must be overhauled in the best interests of providing a quality education for our children. We must ensure fair across-the-board financing and hire the right teachers at professional salaries. In addition, we must provide parents with options to send their children to the schools of their choice without overburdening taxpayers with high costs to do so. Maybe privatizing education is another option.
Lastly, we need to streamline and determine realistic educational curriculum and reality-based learning outcomes so our children can succeed in the real world. After all, our children are our nation's most valuable resource.