Pawlenty’s “Education” Bill

With much ado, the Governor is pushing a new education bill.

Like most all such bills, it’s another take on rearranging the deck chairs on the Lusitania. It’s the same tired mix of money, “accountability” and perks to the teachers union, with no addressing of the real problem;

Matt from North Star Liberty writes:

Rather than throwing more money at the schools or meddling in curriculum and finance decisions at Minnesota’s 339 “independent” school districts, the governor should take a fresh look at his own early childhood education initiative. According to the governor’s office, “the Governor’s early childhood scholarship program will provide each at-risk student up to $4000 to attend a certified kindergarten readiness program of the family’s choice.”

Hello, vouchers!

By allowing the money to follow the child, rather than the school, the state of Minnesota would put the kids first, as opposed to putting schools first.

That, in the end – whether you call it “vouchers” or “money following the child” – is the only thing that will save the notion of “public education”.

Finally, as the chief protector of his state’s sovereignty, Governor Pawlenty should wield the Tenth Amendment to leave the federal No Child Left Behind Act behind.

Exactly. Intended to enforce “accountability” on the part of schools, NCLB has made things worse – taken a mediocre system and added bureaucracy and, worse, an imperative for the teachers and their unions to game a system to preserve their own system. Protestations aside, public schools “teach to the test” in every way that matters – meaning they’re “educating” a generation of kids to hit the lowest common denominator.

I don’t think this governor is the one that’s going to pee on the real third rail of Minnesota politics – the state’s greatest sacred cow, the myth of our “great school system”.

More’s the pity.

2 thoughts on “Pawlenty’s “Education” Bill

  1. I thing NCLB has had a very positive effect, once you get past grumbles about “local control,” and for two reasons: 1) If we can get all schools “teaching to the test,” many of them will at least be teaching /something/. 2) The federal government is the only entity big enough to stand against the teachers’ union. Somehow that dragon/dinosaur must be brought down before we can “solve the problem” by allowing “money to follow the child.”

  2. 1) Maybe, but the “something” they’re teaching is itself fairly worthless. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I have serious problems with the entire model that public (and most private) education uses.

    2) Using a dinosaur to slay a dinosaur just leaves the little people in between trampled. And the fed will never slay the dinosaur, because the education bureaucrats all come up through the system, and the union wields a disproportionate amount of power with Congress.

    The only way to kill the dinosaur, I’m afraid, is the way it’s dying in Minneapolis; as individual parents, informed of their choices, vote with their feet.

    While they can.

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