The last time I checked, the state of Utah just signed on to a National Common
Core Curriculum. So, rather than seeking answers from the grass roots (i.e.
parents and teachers), the state, and all of the so-called experts, has done the
very thing that has caused many of the problems in our educational system,
mandating more control! All the administrators will jump on board, showing even
less respect for the teachers and understanding less of what constitutes good
teaching, to show that they are in charge, while accruing another year of
enormous salary, all at the taxpayers expense. Many administrators have little
experience in the classroom. Legislators, probably less. Both, however, have
one thing in common, energy, time, and resources to 'fix' things without
understanding them! Teachers in many cases aren't even asked what would help
for improving scores and achievement. When suggestions are given, more often
than not it is ignored. Instead of simplicity, high expectations, concern for
the student, and empowering teachers, we get a shuffling of papers, more
mandates, greater scrutiny, and further erosion of principles and policies that
will actually help the classroom teacher do what he/she wants to do--teach!
Absolutely! A micro-managing, unsupportive legislature is exactly what we have
here in Utah.I gaped at the recent idea floated by a legislator
about having high schools pay colleges for undergrads who are unprepared for
college....after public education funding continues at the bottom of the nation
(per-pupil-spending). It would be absolutely hilarious if it weren't so
serious. Fortunately, it appears that such a measure is too much even for our
legislature (there is a limit to the insanity, thank goodness). The
reality is we get a lot of bang for our buck out of our public schools. But
recent budgets are cutting into the bone, and we will almost surely see data
about declines in student achievement. And then the legislature will blame
public education and bring out the ax (again).Shumway is right in
this article, legislators need to have oversight but NOT management. As an involved parent, I see what is happening in the schools, and I lay the
blame for most of the current struggles of our local schools squarely at the
feet of the legislature. Which is largely why, as a registered Republican, I
most often vote Democrat in local elections.
How can a body have oversight but not management? If they see something going
on wrong, don't they have an obligation to try to fix it? And isn't that
management? The whole problem is the wrong body has oversight. It should be
local school boards elected by and accountable to the parents, and the parents
themselves, with the oversight.
I'm fine with this approach, Mr. Shumway, provided that collective bargaining is
done away with and teachers' unions and other interest groups have less
influence. Reducing the legislature's involvement too much would only open the
door for these groups to do more of what they want.
Too much money for education. That's why an over abundance of legislatures to
control and micro-manage the system.Just think how simple and cost
effective schools should be. Teaching and learning without all the regulations,
testing, and mandates would be like water to a thirsty soul.
Worf, it sounds like you would have us go back to the days when young single
women taught school. They lived with people in the community and were paid
virtually nothing. It is ridiculous to think that we can have educated citizens
without spending money on it. You may be right about the regulations, etc., but
the problem is that approach usually ends with teachers getting paid less for
doing more. Teaching isn't community service. It is a job done by
professionals, with college degrees, and should be treated as such.