Saturday, January 14, 2006

Education in America

Posted by Teresa at 9:28 AM
Last night on "20/20" aired a great piece done by John Stossel about our education system.
That was great journalism!!!!
They need to re-air it several times.
It highlights enormous problems.
It is embarrassing that such a super power like America has such a horrible education system.
In the show Belgium students were ridiculing our students.
One even flat out called us stupid.
Stossel suggests that parents should have more choices when sending their children to school.
I went to a pretty bad public high school so this show really enticed me.
I would come home from school many times and just felt I wasted my time.
I think America needs to put a much more higher value on our education.
Education and poverty are topics that are ignored by many and
needs to be a priority.


Chris on 1:32 PM, January 14, 2006 said...

There are those who will mischaracterize Stossel and those as being “anti-education.” This label is inaccurately conveyed, as it should be labeled “pro-education reform”. So to use “anti-education.” and denominate those is misinforming.

The “War on Public Education” is a straw man. There has never been such a war. Any time spent defending against it is time that diverts much-needed time and energy away from the real issues. If there’s no war, then what’s the fuss? Who are these imaginary soldiers? They are simply observers, who pointedly remind us of the many facets of public education which can use serious reform. They however, are very interested in the views and observations of intelligent peers who can contribute to the debate in a constructive way. Part of the debate is calling a spade a spade, shining a light on egregious examples of the misdeeds of public educators, their union, administrators, and aspects of the system itself.

Yes, there are many public schools where excellence is part of the daily culture, where students are given the best chances to lead productive lives after graduation. There are countless public educators who nobly fight the good fight against ignorance and poverty, and who, despite terrible obstacles, defeat these foes daily.

It should not be offensive to truly dedicated teachers and administration to point out the ugly truth where it may lie. These blemishes aren’t just isolated in a system that is by far mostly good; they are endemic. Some examples of serious issues, in need of reform: teacher unions, political activism, teacher certification, mediocrity, opposition to competition, home schooling opposition, zero tolerance, and lack of accountability.

There are four kinds of teachers and administrators staffing public schools. First, there are dedicated teachers and administrators who are effective. Second, there are dedicated folks who aren’t. Third, there are people for whom “it’s just a job,” lastly, and most seriously, there are incompetent teachers and administrators.

Members of the first group should take no offense at any criticisms of the other three groups; they should be leading the charge for reform. The second group, (due to curriculum or techniques), can be retrained, the third group needs to be weeded out, and last group need to be fired, period.

These reforms along with tax credits and free market choice will provide the best environment. True competition can cure most of these ills.

Don’t fall for the ‘Our Schools are Great!’ mantra.

More at

Teresa on 1:59 PM, January 14, 2006 said...

Thank for your insight Chris.
I agree with the points you made.

Brown Eyed Girl on 3:50 AM, January 21, 2006 said...

i found this article very interesting and watched the videos, thanks for the link. I look forward to your blogs every day or in this case every day, have a great week, Love ya, Marina

Kyle on 1:58 PM, January 27, 2006 said...

Whilte tax credits and free market choice can play a role in healthy reform, the level of parental involvement needs its own reformation. Over the years, parental involvement has decreased considerably.

I am not talking about parents complaining about what is not right; rather, parents need to be informed about, active with, and repsonsible for their children as a healthy part of "educational" reform.

I like John Stossel's reporting. He makes a point. Whether we do anything about it or not is up to us, the citizens, the parents, and the educators.


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