Education News – Raymond Scott
“In 2011, The Week, a nonprofit, nonpolitical public awareness effort, created an event to be held in January that celebrated diverse educational options — National School Choice Week (NSCW). The annual event attempts to raise public awareness about the range of educational possibilities for students, including traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, private schools, and homeschooling. Over the last five years, National School Choice Week has become the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education, with more than 16,000 events being held across all 50 states this year. The festivities officially began on Sunday, January 24th and will run through Saturday, January 30th. A useful fact sheet about the history of the holiday and events being held near you can be found on the organization’s website, and all events are independently planned by schools and participating organizations…The goal of National School Choice Week is to inform students about what kind of educational opportunities exist in their regions to assure that they are receiving the kind of education that they want and deserve.”(more)
Education News – Kristin Decarr
“Thousands of parents and children came together in Florida’s capital in an effort to persuade the largest teacher’s union in the state to drop a lawsuit against an education voucher program that benefits low-income families. Martin Luther King III led the rally, along with religious and community leaders, arguing that the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship offers opportunities to families who may not otherwise be able to have them, and urging the Florida Education Association to cease the lawsuit they have brought against the program, reports Jim Rosica for Florida Politics. The FEA, along with other critics of the program, believe the scholarships are taking money away from the public school system in Florida.”(more)
BBC News – Staff Writer
“Around one in 10 UK children in Reception and a fifth of UK children leaving primary school are obese. A Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) report said healthy eating vouchers and after-school activities could be the answer…There is some evidence to suggest current measures are working, as the number of overweight under-10s has remained at around 30% in the last decade and could be ‘levelling off’. But they only work if people sign themselves up and motivate themselves to follow the advice and make changes.”(more)
The Washington Post – Lyndsey Layton
“House Republicans approved a bill Wednesday to extend the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the only federally funded, private school voucher program for K-12 students, through 2021. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) authored the bill, which for the first time would require that some students with vouchers take the same standardized tests in math and reading administered to public school students in the District. The change would allow the federal government to compare their academic performance with that of other students…it also would add another new requirement: Participating private schools would have to be accredited within six years.”(more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Is the U.S. education system following a socialistic model?
SOCIALISM: controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
RESULTS OF SOCIALISM: poor quality, high cost, and little innovation
U.S. K-12 EDUCATION SYSTEM: controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
U.S. K-12 EDUCATION SYSTEM RESULTS: poor academic performance relative to other countries (poor quality), second highest per student spending in the world (high cost), still using 20th Century education model in the 21st Century (little innovation)
Based on the definition and performance, the U.S. K-12 education system is following a socialistic model.
Many kids hate school. Teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork and unruly students. School districts always need more money and frequently want to lower standards.
The problem is curriculum, credentialing, and labor organizations are making a lot of money off the current system. As would be expected, they want to maintain the status quo. They actively support political candidates, hire lobbyists, and flood the media with studies that support their position.
Sadly, these organizations help ensure our kids are trapped in underperforming schools and face uncertain futures.
This means we need to take proactive steps to make sure our children can obtain high quality K-12 education.
Remove entry restrictions. Many smart people have the ability to teach. Teachers should not be required to attend accredited training programs if they already have the subject area expertise to teach the material and the skills to manage and motivate students. Schools should have the freedom to train teachers as they see fit.
Encourage vouchers. Parents have the right to pick the best school for their child. The competition for students will force schools to hire and keep high quality teachers and to run cost competitive programs.
Eliminate accreditation for schools. Most accrediting bodies use peer review to evaluate schools. This ensures everyone will remain at the same level of mediocrity.
Allow schools freedom. Schools need to be able to come up with innovative ways of handling advanced learners and students with learning disabilities. They also need the freedom to come up with effective, cost effective ways of delivering material, and monitoring student performance.
Transparency. If K-12 education is less regulated, schools will have an incentive to monitor and report student performance to attract and retain students.
The socialized K-12 education system in the U.S. is not working. We need to move to a freer, more student centered model.
Rome News-Tribune – AP
“A bill letting parents use state dollars toward private school tuition or other education expenses could receive a House floor vote as soon as Wednesday after a last-minute jumpstart from a key tax policy committee. The proposal from Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, would allow parents to set up an “education savings account” and sweep the state’s share of money for that student into it — about $4,400 using this year’s figures. Federal and local dollars would stay with the public school district. Hamilton said the bill lets parents choose the best strategy for their child, whether that’s a private school, additional tutoring programs or home schooling…Arizona and Florida have instituted similar programs, and lawmakers in a dozen states including Georgia are debating legislation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”(more)