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Friday, 27 November, 2020

The Public Education Failure

Date: 01 December, 2005

By: Chief

Images just that. An outright failure. A whole pot full of our tax dollars are spent annually in an attempt to educate our posterity and guess what? When we receive the 'report card' every other year or so the grade remains the same — 'F'.

Now when I say the report card I am talking about standardized testing such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), gee ain't that just a 'make you feel real good' title? There are other standards tests as well. And what do these wonderous test results have to report? These reports tell me that we, as taxpayers, citizens and parents are not getting our money's worth. Indeed far from it.

Here in my state of New Mexico the latest test results from the NAEP tests administered this spring to fourth and eighth graders places New Mexico second to last in reading and math. Only our nation's capitol, yeah you got it, Washington, DC (District of Criminals) did worse.

To be sure, according to KOB-TV online edition news:

"In all tests, New Mexico's score tied for the second worst score of all 52 jurisdictions — the 50 states, the District of Columbia and schools run by the Department of Defense. The District of Columbia earned the worst score in all four tests."

Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, New Mexico's Secretary of Education had this to say about our dismal report card (quoting KOB-TV online edition news):

" 'I question how these results are going to help us identify the schools and districts that need assistance,' she said. 'There is no real accountability with the NAEP test because it does not report district, school or individual student results. Therefore schools do not place as much emphasis or importance on NAEP as our New Mexico standards-based assessment test'."

What Doc Garcia is saying, it seems to me, is two things:

In other words all this money for new classrooms, schools, equipment, teachers, salaries, perks, etc., that we the taxpayers have spent over the last 30 or so years have been for nothing. Don't you just love it?

This story is not to say that our kids are stupid. No indeed. What I am saying is that We the People, not the:

need to take full control of our kids education.

We the People, We the Parents, We the Taxpayers must be in firm and complete control of our education system. Just us and the local school boards. The only part state government would play in education is salaries and retirements. Nothing, as in no-thing else. Federales — stay out of our business. Oh, and send us back our tax dollars as well.

Face it, most of us have known for some time that the current flavor of public education has been a failure for decades. Yet all governments, both state and federal, have done is:

What a bunch of maroons.

The quality of education has deteriorated over the last few decades. It is not so important to get the correct answer on a math problem as it is to 'feel good about yourself'. Geez, what a crock of crap. Parents and local school boards know what is best for their kids in the area they live. Politicians, on the other hand, have no clue. Politicians and the infamous 'special interests' use the one size fits all approach to everything, including education. But, as we all know, one size never fits all and never has.

What needs to be done, I believe, is to:

Education employee salaries and retirements? That can be easily handled by the various state treasurers and comptrollers. The hiring and firing shall be done at the local level. No big deal.

Doing those few things listed above will place the education ball back where it once was and still rightfully belongs — at the local level. We the People, along with our duly elected local school boards, can take the ball and run with it. It is our kids' future after all.

Yes, under this concept some school districts and schools will do better than others. However it is important to keep in mind that under this local control concept the key to it is local power. It is far easier to make changes locally than at the state or federal levels.

Under the current education fiasco, as reported by the latest NAEP test results, some schools and school districts are doing better than others and we citizens and parents can do next to nothing about it. Government and special interests have the education game locked up by their own special set of rules. Because of those rules our posterity shall end up suffering the consequences.

Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, the only way to change the current disastrous game of public education is to change the rules. And the easiest way to change the rules is to get rid of the rule makers — the politicians. That means we need to fire all politicians, good or bad (I don't think there is a good one to be found either), at each and every election.


Our kids' future depends upon our actions.

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