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