Sunday, August 29, 2010

Education Reform that Works

In my hometown education is a huge issue. Low graduation rates amongst our public school students are a huge concern along with the increased needs of mainstreaming and immigration of non english speaking students. We are a no left behind state with strict yearly state testing of all students, smaller class size initiatives, strict school voucher programs, quality subsidized school lunch programs, large home school and church school programs as well as state support home school support initiatives, neighboorhood schools, charter schools,fundamental schools and public school choice programs. And yet, in the public school area we still have schools that receive an F and we are constantly told the school budgets are cut to the max and they need more teachers and that some schools will be closed.
The recent reports on homeschools has begged the question why are public schools having so much trouble? Homeschoolers out perform their peers by 40 percent and rank in the 86th percentile in every subject. The public school student performs on average in the 50th percentile. And yet, the average cost per home schooled student was $546 every year, as opposed to the average $5,325 spent annually on each child in the public school system.

Race made no difference in the the achievement of homeschoolers. All did equally well. However race did make a huge difference in the public schools persons of color ranking lower than their white counterparts.

Government oversight or no oversight made no difference in the success of the homeschooler. College educated or no college education parent teachers produced students with the same high success rates.

And most significant of all, more homeschoolers go on to higher education and achieving productive positions in their communities than public school students.

Obviously homeschoolers must be doing something right.

We know that the teacher's unions are chiefly about saving their jobs. That is their primary goal as it should be as a union. This has spawned the triple thick administrator rosters,higher teacher salaries that exceed the average state income levels,smaller class sizes,mainstreaming,tenure,lower teaching standards,fights against school testing and evaluation of academic achievement. This is not about the students but jobs.

Job number one should be our students. Job number one should be about how do we most effectively teach our children. Home schoolers seem to be the most successful. If you have a good working model duplicate it. That is how we do it in the business world. Copy their model, their curriculum, etc. In our area people want more fundamental public schools. The old guard is coming up with excuses why they can't do it even those these schools are rated A every time. Some folks running for office are for fundamental schools. Who do you think will be elected? The backers of fundamentals or those that back the teacher's unions?

I think real education reform is on the way. Our children will not be enslaved on the government dole. Our children won't be as dumb as we have been. They will not be lambs led to the slaughter anymore. Make November be the thunder to remember.

1 comment:

  1. I recently spoke to a father of two who's children are now in college. He explained the secret to their success in education, even though he wasn't rich and wasn't particularly smart. Brace yourself. Spend time with your kids. Yup, that was it. Spend time with your kids, take an interest in their lives, ask them about their homework and their schooling, and be there for them. They even invited one girl into their home while her parents were in rehab. One year living with them, and she also got her life on track. He told me about far richer families who threw money at their kids (but never spent time with them) and how they were failing in school and partying it up. I can't help but wonder if the dual income family is contributing to the decline of education in America; because it trades a parent's time for money.