I saw a few items this past week in the national media related to education. No sources, since I only heard them in passing.
1. Someone was having trouble with a charter school and state legislators were saying that charter schools needed more oversight. Funny. I can’t ever remember anyone saying a failing public school needed more oversight.
2. Young black teenagers were wearing khaki pants and uniform golf shirts. They were standing on their school chairs in the classroom, rythmically chanting and stomping and smiling big smiles. This was being used as an example of what works. It leads to higher graduation rates and less truancy. Kids like it. Talking head with long legs comments, “other schools should emulate this”. Talking male head on the same couch, “I wish my school were like that.” Both of them were white and went to college. None of those black children are going to college. THEY AREN”T LEARNING ANYTHING. They are coming to school to be entertained. This is “success” because the schools get paid based on number of warm asses planted in seats, not on actually learning anything. But they are black children. They aren’t expected to learn anything anyway. At least they are happy.
3. With spring time here, finally, the school districts are discussing how to make up snow days. Once again, it is all about warm butts in seats to get federal funding. Teacher’s salaries, bonuses, and paid boondogle conference fees all depend on those few extra days. Not on test scores of student achievement. If there were an actual academic standard, the smart kids could study in the summer and test out of the whole next year on the first day. Then the teachers would be stuck baby sitting all the stupid and special needs kids for the rest of the year.
The solution: Education is NOT a public good. It is a private good that benefits the student and the student’s family. End public funding of education at all levels and let the students pay their own way. Let parents decide how much education and what kind is best for their children and let them pay for it themselves.