Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bowing to the Sacred Cow . . .

Election 2008: Candidates share views on education

Maybe the headline should read "Candidates share the same view on education" because there isn't too much that they are saying differently from each other . . . Basically, let's keep the status quo: spend, spend, and spend some more.

It would really be refreshing to hear a candidate say that we need to spend LESS on education . . .

There is this mentality that the education budget is untouchable . . . No one wants to be labeled as being against "the kids," now, do they?

The most anyone can seem to bring themselves to say is that the money should be spent "more wisely."

Gee, now that's a controversial proposal!

But take a look at how your money is being spent . . . Yoga in class, "pinwheels for peace," DARE, assemblies to meet community leaders or bicyclists for missing children, school based health clinics, field trips to college dorms. . . (I could go on an on but I've blogged about most of this stuff already). School time and money seems to be wasted on anything but education. . . .

And the MASSIVE building projects . . . like almost $200 million for Utica alone . . . just for what is currently proposed, let alone what has already been built in the recent past. . . .

And teachers won't like this, but they are overpaid when they are compared with other public employees . . . Compare the salaries of teachers with the salaries of attorneys and engineers in public service (professions requiring much more rigorous study) and, when adjusted for time on the job, teachers are often paid more. Compare how teachers salaries have increased over the last 30 years with salaries of other public employees (excluding police officers) and you will see a much steeper rise, with no justification for same. There has been no commensurate increase in responsibility -- and arguably, there has been a decrease because of smaller class sizes and the seemingly ubiquitous teacher aides. (You can thank the teachers' union for this aspect.)

With all this spending, the kids still come out of school with too many unable to do basic math or write a grammatically correct paragraph.

I think that drastically cutting education spending could improve results by forcing people to focus on the task of providing a basic education . . . and leaving the rest to the families to take care of.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Public sector employment with its's bulid in annual pay and benefits increses is, by far, the biggest reason why annual tax increases are also built-in. School tax increases are normally higher than others as you cite. Combine that with the fact that their jobs have vitually nothing to do with performance.

onjeesun said...

Baste awn ononomusses commence eyed sey techers wur ovur payd . Mabee there celery shud bee bassed awn resultz.

Anonymous said...

While I agree in principle with some of what you say. Your closing comment is just not realistic. I was once a teacher, 5 yrs ago, (in a local urban, and rural SD) and I can tell you that there are a staggering amount of parents who do not feel that they need to contribute in any way to their child's education or behavior in school.

Usually you can see a connection between student performance and involved and active parents. The more involved the parent (usually) the better the student, the better the performance.

It seems cliche, but teachers now deal with way more than they ever had to, or should be expected to. In a perfect world, where kids come from homes with a parent, and not just an adult who is the biggest person in the house, your points are spot on.

But in today's society somehow schools have been transformed into a place that should provide not only an education in general studies, but also character ed, sex ed, morals and ethics. And lets face it, teachers are not prepared to teach those issues, nor should they be expected. I want to be the one to teach my child respect, right from wrong, etc...

I think it would be best if teachers could just focus on teaching and not have to be edutainers in order for Johnny to sit in his seat and learn. Take all the community health clinics and extras that weren't in schools 20 yrs ago and get back to what schools do best. Yeah great, but then you have to convince the whiners to go somewhere else for there freebies and handouts and feel good self esteem boosting.