Over the past several years education always makes the news when elections are on the horizon. I have now seen seen 12 presidential elections and the politics are always the same when it comes to education and how government can improve its fate. Without question outcomes with our schools has brought about some concern where there used to be state responsibilities for education but now has become more and more tied to the purse strings of the federal government. When President Carter made the statement with commencement of the Department of Education Act with his definition of what it would mean to the American citizens. I have included a link to his direct position on signing the Department of Education Act.
Please read the proposed purpose of creating a Department of Education and you be the judge to decide if it has worked out as planned? In my days in the 1970’s it was looked upon as necessary to have have a representation for supporting our schools. Throughout the past 37 years has it become more of a watchdog approach to our communities and states? Has our teachers been given directions that could reduce the ability to be creative with students and allow students to be creative? Are we measuring our schools with standardized testing so they can be praised or punished? How much help has been addressed to schools who are struggling rather than punishing them? My opportunities has allowed me to visit schools all over America and the diversity from one state to another is related to the communities our students grow up and live. As educators we know there is no one approach that fits all.
Our approach of governance has allowed decisions being made for our communities by people we will never meet. Funding for schools becomes a matter of bureaucracy where all schools abide by cookie cutter approaches. The decision making has been taken away from local boards, school leadership and teachers with extreme government oversight. Our USDOE has the opportunity to interpret government legislation and implement their guidance to schools across America. This is true for all schools receiving any type of federal funding. The danger of accepting federal dollars are the strings attached. I have grave concerns when I see schools closing, teacher layoffs, programs being discontinued and sanctions being place on schools who have already been struggling. Through the past seven years we have been more than gracious to bail/out a number of industries but have done nothing but criticize our school performances. Our education system need change. The governmental system and structure has not kept up with the times for our students.
Performance and outcomes for our schools are important. Let’s begin to implement a process where schools can measure the performance and provide the development strategy to improve. Your voice with your candidates and elected officials has never been needed more than now. If you have an interest in our education system in America please let your elected officials know what you are thinking.
Thank you for supporting America’s education improvement.