Sunday, August 21, 2011
Bob Bowdon: What's Next for School Choice: The Freedom of Choice what a concept
Anyone who believes we as a country can fix a system that we've spent 20-30 years screwing up, is screwed up themselves and perhaps a victim of our declining Education System right now. We are probably ten years away and thats from the time that we actually put the Education Reforms in place to reform our Public Education System. And thats the part of the Education System that needs to be reformed because thats where most of our students go to school and graduate from High School. Which is why we need to reform our Public Education System right away and get started as soon as possible. Not because we can fix it right away, of course we can't but so that it will be fixed as soon as possible. And serious Comprehensive Education Reform is not about "No Child Left Behind" a Bi Partisan piece of legislation with good intentions written by good people in both parties. But as the late Sen. Paul Wellstone said was full of Unfunded Mandates that he new the Federal Government would never fully fund, leaving States and Local School Districts with the costs of the Federal Government's mistakes. Which is why Sen. Wellstone didn't vote for NCLB back in 2002. The Obama Administration led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, I believe has gotten off to a good start in Education Reform. Advocating for things like Public School Choice and Merit Pay for educators and actually taking on the Education Unions on these issues which is a major step in achieving Education Reform. But other then Race To The Top which was part of the 2009 Recovery Act and really didn't have to go through Congressional Hearings. They haven't put anything on the table yet on Education Reform. And thats what needs to be done, real legislation that reforms our Public Education System in a positive way that builds off of Secretary Duncan's approach.
This post is about Freedom of Choice as it relates to education for parents and students, so they aren't forced to go to a school, good or bad and in a lot of cases bad. Just because of where they live and this gets to School Choice. I'm not a fan of Private Vouchers for Private Schools, because I believe that Tax Revenue for education should be used on Public Education. If Private Schools want to set up their own Scholarship Programs, then of course they can do that. If States and School Districts want to set up their own Scholarship Programs, then of course they can do that. But this is not something especially the Federal Government shouldn't be doing and running. Again education is mostly a State and Local Responsibility, they pay for most of it and run most of it. What the Federal Government can do is to encourage States and School Districts to reform their own schools and provide the resources to do so instead of passing down more mandates. Things like Public School Choice, allowing parents to send their kids to the best available Public School possible. As well as Charter Schools Independent Public Schools with less Red Tape. This is the future of Education Reform in America.
Education is one of the top five most important professions that we have because it effects our country and our entire economy in every way. Which is why we need to make it work as best as possible and Freedom of Choice and accountability something the Education Profession has lacked in the past. Are a couple of ways to fix it.