Sunday, June 29, 2014

How Much Is Enough?

Conform – Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education – Glenn Beck (Threshold Editions/Mercury Radio Arts)

For years when it comes to public education, I have been asking the question; how much is enough? That simple question has now taken on a much greater meaning; while I was asking it about from the straight forward financial perspective, with the advent of Common Core, that question has now expand to include government control of our and our students lives.

Media mogul Glenn Beck offers up the second installment in his Control series; Conform – Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education, which offers up a basic primer not only on the roots and breadth of Common Core, but also spells out a broad based break down of systemic problems with the U.S. public education system.

Naturally, because Beck is who he is, this will no doubt engender howls of protest and name-calling, but the fact of the matter is he does arm folks with the basic understanding they need to fight back against Common Core before it becomes deeply engrained in the education system. While the career path training may sound good and has certainly proven the strange bedfellows analogy by drawing interest and support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business organizations across the U.S., the longitudinal computer tracking of students through out there educational career and on into their career path is downright scary.

Clearly, anyone with even a modicum of common sense will recognize that Common Core’s twisted approach to education will do nothing to improve outcomes and sets up the perpetual argument that the only reason why it failed is of course, because we didn’t spend enough money! Not that it was doomed to fail from the start.

The U.S. education system is beyond repair until we address the systemic issues that have become deeply seated and are protected by education fiefdoms and teachers unions. Taxpayers are saddled with too many school districts that duplicate too many administrative functions at too great a cost. The city that I grew up in upstate New York is divided into four separate school districts in a relatively small geographic area. There are 500(!) school districts spread across the 67 counties that make up Pennsylvania; that means 500 school superintendents, 500 district administrative staffs and the high costs inherent to these systems.

Unions are designed to do two things; perpetuate unions and protect the worst teachers, keeping them in the classroom and subjecting students to their mediocre skills. Until we create a system that properly measures and rewards highly skilled teachers and frees those less than stellar teachers to pursue their true career path, we will continue to lag behind the rest of the world in educational outcomes.

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