29Jun

    Education is the Next Political Battle

    The political atmosphere in our country is growing more tense and divided with each passing day. Every topic ranging from gay marriage to taxes to infrastructure funding is sent through the partisan grinder with cooperation and compromise becoming harder and harder to find as the Right and Left simply dig in their heels and refuse to make nice, even at the expense of the government (as in shutting it down for a failed cause) and the American people who expect our law-makers to actually get along and work together. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of nation-wide gay marriage, it seems as though education is the next great political battle that is going to tear our nation apart (other than taxes, foreign policy, the climate, and literally everything else).

    Starting in July, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are going to begin looking at the No Child Left Behind law and whether it should be rewritten or not. The law was actually meant to be reviews months ago but it was pulled amid conservative objections a few months ago. Now, in an attempt to calm conservatives and other outside groups that have targeted the bill, the House leaders will allow voting on the bill as well as a number of amendments that were previously dismissed. One such amendment would allow schools to keep federal money while rejecting the regulations that come along with it.

    All of this is gearing up to be another massive battle between Democrats and Republicans in congress. While it’s very likely that it won’t end up getting as divisive as the Affordable Care Act or gay marriage, there’s no denying that both sides are looking to get what they want out of this agreement. The measure is already looking at sparse democratic support (due to an overwhelming dislike of the law and the belief that it is crippling our educational system) and many republicans aren’t all that happy about it either, due to the belief that it would increase federal influence in the education system. Either way, it seems as though there is going to be some intense arguing about the law and whether it should continue; and this isn’t even taking the Common Core into account.

    If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

    07Jan

    Fixing Education Starts in the States, Not Washington

    There is no denying that the education system of the United States of America has been failing more and more as we continue to slide in basically every educational ranking on a global level. As our children continue to suffer and not reach their true potentials, politicians have been arguing and trying to figure out ways to fix the issue. One of the attempts to combat our slow decline in educational standards was the No Child Left Behind policy that has failed in almost every aspect and which both sides of the political spectrum are looking forward to revise in 2015. However the issue with our system isn’t a federal one, it begins at a state level and repairs should start there.

    While the once-proposed solution to our educational woes was focusing on increasing budgets and reducing the average class size, the numbers show that this approach is clearly flawed and that we’re missing something important. The US has 7,000 students drop out of high school every day and of those in prison, 65% dropped out of high school. The reason that we haven’t been able to change the path that we’re going down comes down a matter of attitude and the people who work at the schools that are currently failing. While there are obviously teachers and administrators who care and do fantastic jobs, there is clearly something toxic about the current attitudes of the educational establishment.

    There are some simple and cost effective steps that can be taken to help turn the tide that is threatening to overwhelm us. The first is to simply improve the quality of our teachers by making it more difficult to become a teacher. Colleges with the lowest SAT scores are teaching schools and that’s completely unacceptable. Certification laws mean that education schools are able to certify who they want, regardless of skill or desire. This means that those best poised to become teachers don’t want to because of the low quality in peer and education. Improving leadership is also necessary, especially seeing as how the basics to become a school principal are about as low as those for becoming a teacher. If we are able to fix our system at the top and populate it with professional and caring teachers and officials, we will see a drastic change in dropout rates and the quality of student who graduates.

    If you’d like to read more, the link is here.