Grumpy Educators keeps telling me, the Devil's always in the Details
One of the things Obama planned to fundamentally change when he he became President was our system of education. American have been told for years we have have a failed education system.. That's not as true as both educators, who use the argument to justify the need for more money, and their opponents who say we're not getting our monies worth as it is, why throw good money after bad.
My personal opinion is the whole concept has become flawed simply because some kids aren't cut out to be academics and we're trying to measure success based on the number of academics we get into college.. Believe me, a good plumber can earn as much or more than a teacher.... When your pipes are leaking and things are getting ruined, you don't care if the plumber went to Harvard or is a high school dropout. This blogs not about my opinion, at least not that one...
Parents want their kids to be doctors. (I started to say rocket scientists, but recently a lot of them went into plumbing). Educators want more academics and Obama wants scientists so everyone needs to go to college. Colleges want kids that can, on a college level, read, write, understand math and have parents with money. If the parents don't have money, they'll settle for government money. That takes a lot of Hope and Change, make that fundamental change,,
Obama's first step was to make Arme Duncan his Secretary of Education, Ducan came out of the Chicago School System, where he made some not to popular changes. Michelle Rhee was chosen as the poster child for the program... She'd been fired from the DC school system for some less than popular changes she'd made there as well as other things.
Next came Teacher Merit Pay, a part of Obama's race to the top initiative.. I all sounded good, and the states tripped over each other and themselves trying to get their paws on RTTT Money. Some like Florida, passed RTTT based Merit Pay without a clue how they were going to cover the billions of dollars in obligations they incurring by accepting RTTT Grants. As it turns out, RTTT is only the begining of Obama's fundamental change in America Education System and he had another reason for selecting Duncan as Education Secretary. Edward Hayes a Chicago Educator and blogger had this to say in a piece called; Arne Duncan's phony plan dooms real school reform. Why?
Just as George Bush the Irrelevant fed his friends and neighbors from the Department of Defense budget after going to war against whomever the hell it is we are at war with (since it isn’t Islam, Iraq, or Afghanistan), Barack Obama the Elusive will feed his from the Department of Education after declaring war on public schools
Before I start getting myself in trouble, Politically I'm very conservative. I'm not a fan of unions and never belonged to one. I am a fan of production based pay, most of my life I got paid for what I accomplished, time didn't matter, achievement did. In principle I'm a strong believer in Merit Pay, provided to goals are reasonable and the system his fair to the Enployee and Employer... I don't believe the plans rushed through the legislatures are fair to anyone..
Many teachers see the Merit Pay Plans, passed by the state legislatures as a war on them and their unions.. I've seen articles that refered to Ducan as a Union Buster, and a Coroporate Lap Dog and a proponet of both Nationalization and Privitation. Some very recent events lead me to believe Nationalization and Privitation are Obama's idea of fundamental change..
Ever Since Sandra Started writing about education reform three names keep coming up, Jeb Bush, Pearson Testing and Bill Gates. I was astounded to see Jeb Bush and Barack Obama together on stage acting like old friends. Jeb has become the public face of Education Reform. Being less obvious about it, and staying somewhat in the background is Bill Gates and his billions,,, and standing close to him is Pearson Testing.
Obama and Ducan have both said they're for more testing, and as Sandra pointed out, testing to National Standards. Both like the idea of Charter Schools. You can't have National Standards and Nationized tests without having a National Cirriculim. As Sandra points out, in Common Core Standards Spur the Marketplace Bill Gates and Pearson have that well under control.. Gates is a compuer genius,,
What do you think about a Retail chain of Virtual Charter Schools, using a national cirriculim approved by the US Department of Education?
If Florida is any example the road to privitation has already been paved, just a matter of painting the lines, putting up street signs and finishing the landscaping. There is already a bill before the legislature that would allow the schools, with no requirement the school has so much as an office in the state.
In the long run, what will it mean to your children and grandchildren?
I'll start with the sales pitch.. Nationally the per pupil cost for instruction runs 6,ooo to 11,ooo per kid..
Suppose a Virtual charter school could provide the couses at $400 per subject.. say an average of six subjects per child.. you got $2400 a year..
Home schooling, using the program would be encouraged.
A large percentage of older students would love the independence of being able to work from home and require no supervision.
The programs would have the ability to answer students questions..
There would be a percentage of student who would have to warehoused.. Simply beacause parents work and they're to young to be left alone... but at his point, in most cases, you're paying a babysitter, not a teacher to supervise 30 or 40 kids..
Districts could sell off schools and other valuable real estate. Generating cash, and eliminating maintence an utility costs
Support and teaching staffs could be reduced by a huge percentage..
The savings would be incredible...
Now of course there are some drawbacks...
There would be no local control over what is or isn't taught. That would all be determined in Washington DC.. with everyting that implies.. including whatever a given administration's decides is the correct version of history, subject matter, books/reading material and political correctness,
Everydetai of your childs life gets filed in a government computer.. right down to the smallest questions they ask the computer in kindergarten. Johney, what dd you do this summer? Does your mom smoke pot or cigarettes?
Here's a list, by the Missouri Education Watchdog of the parents personal information that Washington would have
•Base salary or wage
•Height and Weight
•Health Care History
•Health Care Plan
•Overall Health Status
•Residence Block Number
•Social Security Number
Orsen Wells was right, he just missed by a few years