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Fixing Our Public Education System
The public education debate has been going on for many years. We have tried various experiments and yet, the people in charge does not seem to want to solve the problem. We know what works and what doesn't and yet the politicians and teacher's union and the school administrators refuse to do what is right. Meanwhile, the students suffer and our society is robbed of a new generation of productive workers.
Fixing public education is not rocket science. We know how to fix it and it is not just lack of funds. We as a country spend one of the highest per capital funds on public education and yet we rank near the bottom of countries in science and math scores. How is that possible? We have tried charter schools and have demonstrated successes in some local cities. Yet, our administrators and union officials rejects any attempt to bring charter schools or vouchers into the mix. Their standard answer and fix is to ask for more money.
A prime example of failure in recent times is the City of Newark NJ. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame, has donated $100 Million to the city of Newark to fix their school system in 2010. Now, 5 years latter, the money is spent and there are little results or improvements to show. Is that proof enough that more money is not the answer?
The $100 Million Failure
Some Common Sense Solutions
- Offer Charter schools as choice
- Institute Voucher system to parents (competition among local schools)
- End the practice of tenure for teachers
- Pay teachers based on performance
- Standardized test by local school boards (not Common Core)
- Instill discipline back in schools
- Get Parents and guardians involved
- Extend the school calendar (match that of other countries)
- Limit the use of smart devices (cell phones, iPads, computer games...)
I am a conservative but I am also a pragmatist. When it comes to public education, I am open to any and all means to improve it. If more money can solve our education crisis, I would gladly pay it. Unfortunately, money will not solve the underlying problem. My hope is that more people will begin to see what I see. Our country's well being depends on a well educated populace.
Post Script (October 2015)
After thinking about this for a few months, I've come up with a proposal to help move forward.
Here is my new common ground proposal.
Some Related Information
- Mark Zuckerberg's Newark Grant - Business Insider
One hundred million dollars was given to the city of Newark to help reform its education system. What happened?
- The City of San Jose has a 10 point plan for public education.
Education has become an issue that every mayor must make a top priority.
- Campbell Brown | The 74; A new group to help education reform.
Campbell Brown is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Seventy Four.