Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Education Platform for Republicans

As part of my continuing series on a new Republican platform lets talk about Education.

The Republican platform for a national education policy should be......a policy that we not have a policy. I'm not kidding. Newt Gingrich was right 10 years ago. Abolish the Department of Education. Think about it. The DOE was formed in the 1970's under Carter. Since then has our Education system gotten better? It has not. Look at the recent foray into education policy, No Child Left Behind is a disaster of a policy. By any measure we are failing.

This is because education is a local issue. It is a local issue because what determines how a school system performs is more then anything else the culture of the community. Yes quality and dedication of teachers and facilities condition play a role but the overwhelming factor is culture. What value do the parents and the community as a whole but on education.

Our education system needs to be reformed radically but it can not come from the top down it must come at the local and state level. This is where federalism can shine and states can innovate and try solutions that meet the particular needs of their communities. Innovation is the key to revitalization of our educational system. Some great ideas are floating out their and will be the subject of future posts but for now the message to the federal government is back off.

The key is to present this the right way. Giving power back to the States and Communities to educate their children. We are going to let the states find the right course. Giving power back to the people. These are the things that need to be said about education by Republicans.


James Hogan said...

Great post.

Things that don't help:
1) teachers unions
2) superintendents making $$$,$$$s
3) putting locks on school fields
4) BOEs worried about the placement of a cell phone tower while there are cell phones being dragged around by every student, teacher, parent
5) Using teaching methods from the 1700s rather than adopting new techniques and using new technology.
6) Replacing "English" as a class with "Language Arts" - there is a "Spanish" class, why can't we have an "English" class. Call it what it is and teach English.
7) There was no air conditioning, or even a fan, "when I was your age!"...I did learned things good, sea...
8) More school (ie, longer hours) isn't necessarily better. Your mind is no different from your muscles, you don't build muscle in the gym. Bring back the "chemistry kit" the "build your own radio". If a child is experimenting with their chemistry, don't assume they are plotting to make explosives. Then again, if they succeed in making explosives, at least then they have learned something.

As you noted, there are some great ideas out there, mine not be among them, but then step one is recognizing that there is a problem. There is a problem.

Son of Liberty said...

Thanks James

I will be writing more about education in the future.

ambrosiajr said...

We need to get rid of Abbot districts in this state. I'm tired of subsidizing Tommy D.'s Asbury Park's schools. I like the voucher idea and think it should be made available to anyone. I also like the charter school experiment. I think they work well and with the lottery system, it at least gives everyone a chance at a different education model.

SOL said...

Great Ideas.
I think we should let the STATES try that.

Thanks for reinforcing my point!