Education

Education is a broad topic, but here I want to talk first about public K-12 schools, and then about post-secondary education. Regarding our K-12 public schools, we need to set two major goals. First, we must repeal No Child Left Behind. Despite its very PC name, this program has stagnated our public schools across the nation.  By centralizing the decision-making about schools at the state and federal levels, the local communities become less engaged. Our second goal should be to get local community adults more engaged in the local public education system. Evidence shows “that the level of adult participation in communities correlates powerfully with high school graduation rates, SAT scores, and other indicators of educational success” and “that such engagement is a bigger correlate of educational outcomes than is spending on education, teachers’ salaries, class size, or demographics” (http://www.novemberfifth.org/policy.html).  This does not mean that we should not pursue some or all of these as secondary goals, but that we must make greater involvement of local adult communities our first priority.

Regarding post-secondary education, we must find the money to properly fund our public universities and community colleges. A great place to start would be our bloated military budget which could probably be cut in half without even impacting our standing as the world’s most powerful military. We probably would need far less than that amount to properly fund our public post-secondary schools adequately. Regardless, it is imperative that our youth have adequate opportunity to get the academic and/or vocational training necessary to succeed.

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