To The Reader's Forum:
May I respond to two articles written for the PJ Readers Forum by Hall Elliott Feb. 3 and D. Nelson Feb. 24 regarding American Education and their solutions on how to fix our failing public educations systems. My argument is based on two publications from the Heritage Foundations #2413 May 21 2010 and Volt 12 August 17, 2010.
In the past our educational systems have been controlled by the states. Unfortunately in the 1950s the federal government became increasingly more involved significantly interfering with the states role and bypassing parent's rights. Special interest groups pushing their own agendas interfered with parental guidance of their children and states responsibilities to protect children.
With each passing decade federal control resulted in a push to implement national standards removing parental rights and controlling states role in designing curricula. According to Heritage "National standards threaten to standardize mediocrity by undercutting those states that demand more from their students"
Increased federal control equates to increased spending and today combined federal, state and local education spending exceeds $580 billion annually. Even with increased spending education has stagnated and graduation rates remain flat.
Heritage points out that teachers unions staunch opposition to meaningful education reform are responsible for many problems plaguing American education through the dumping of $71 million in '07 and '08 political campaigns supporting and election left leaning can dates.
School choice has been a target of the Obama administration in DC with the closing of the highly popular Opportunity Scholarship Programs that provided scholarships for poor children in Washington, D.C. Parents who are looking to escape the public school decline through home schooling or charter schools will only find that eventually both will be compelled by law to follow public education into the dark pit of Race to the Top created by Demarcates for Education Reform.
Until we accept that; "it's not about the children, it's about power and control", NEA's past president". Until parents reclaim their right to guide and direct their own children and until we see the poor and learning disabled as just as much a part of our individual responsibility as our own than public education will continue to decline as will our country.
Look if you will to Europe or consolidate districts neither will solve anything. Public education has had a complete and dangerous reform and our children, our country are the losers.