Future of Public Education”
I would like to discuss
some ideas and recommendations I have concerning the future of education
in the United States. For years there has been a public outcry to “fix”
the PUBLIC educational system of the United States. First of all, this
will be impossible, because “fix” cannot be defined. Some say that “fix”
means to have better and more modern buildings. Some say to “fix” mean to
pay teachers more. Some say to “fix” means to have our students pass
progress tests. Some say to “fix” means to be able to have our students
more effectively compete in the world arena of science and business. Some
say to “fix’ means give our students a better education in the basics of
reading, writing, and math. Some say to “fix” means to give our students a
more progressive, liberal education so they can live fuller and more
complete lives. Some say we need to “fix” the educational system so
students can choose what “they” want to do in life sooner and enter
college with direction and focus. And the reasons for “fixing” the
“broken” PUBLIC educational system go on and on.
Now here is my thinking.
The PUBLIC educational system is broken and cannot be fixed. The system is
so bogged down in political bureaucracy, red tape, special interests,
union politics, under funding, misuse of funds, misdirection, non-focus,
status quo thinking, social rhetoric, unfunded programs, broken political
promises, and under staffed, under qualified, and under paid
administrators and teachers that the PUBLIC educational system can never
be fixed. It is an impossible task. It is no wonder that PRIVATE schools,
alternative learning programs, home schooling, and online curriculums are
becoming more and more popular with the “affluent” of our population. If
you can afford a good education for your student, parents are pulling
their students out of PUBLIC schools and enrolling them more and more in
private programs of education.
It is my
opinion and the opinion of many concerned citizens that from elementary
school to college, our educational system, at its best, often drives the
natural love of learning out of our kids and replaces it with such
“skills” as following rules, keeping still and quiet, doing what is
expected, cheating or procrastinating. And that’s why, in most schools,
being on time and sitting quietly are more important than critical
thinking and innovative production. To prosper in this economy, students
need to develop and master different skills – lifeskills such as
resourcefulness, curiosity, innovation, as well as logical and verbal
progressive educational professionals would agree with Bill Gates who told
our nation's governors last year that the traditional urban high school is
of education is that the system for the most part is outdated, too
expensive, and ineffective. Many educationally progressive countries offer
PUBLIC funding for education from Kindergarten through University, where
as in the United States most states don’t offer Kindergarten classes, and
all Public Education stops at the end of High School.
primary reason we send our children to school is to enable them to choose
the career of their choice, earn a good living and enjoy all that life has
to offer. We all want to give our children the opportunity to prosper and
provide well for their families.
Here is what
has to be done if we are to give our citizens a better education which in
turn gives our country more productivity in the world economy.
We need to PRIVATIZE all education in our
Education will be “funded” but not controlled by
Each family will be given a certain amount of
money (voucher) for each student of each age.
Parents can use this voucher to educate their
students as they choose at any school or institution of their choice.
The government has NO say in the choices parents
and students make. Our tax dollars only go to “fund” PUBLIC education in
the PRIVATE sector.
When schools and institutions are made to
“compete” for tuitions based on the performance of the teachers and
educators, the quality of education will increase. If schools don’t offer
parents and students a quality education, parents and students will go
some place else, and the school is out of business.
We need to also include a government funded
college education or trade school education for all who want it. Most
parents can’t afford to send their students to college. Only about one in
17 (5.8%) young people from the nation's poorest families, those earning
less than $35,377 a year, can expect to earn a bachelor's degree by age
24. For those from the nation's wealthiest families, those who earn about
$85,000 or higher, it's better than one in two (50%.) This University
funding would also be on a voucher basis also. There would still be
private colleges who might not need the money (vouchers), but for the most
part most colleges would welcome the money as a way to increase enrollment
and increase the quality of the education they offer.
The obvious results of PRIVATIZING education is
that not only schools would have to compete to get the student, by
offering a quality educational program, but teachers could now offer their
services in a FREE market. The fact is, the good teachers would be paid
more. Schools would have to offer the good teachers more to keep them. If
a good teacher could make twice as much at another school, because they
are better qualified and had a “parent following,” schools would have to
get serious about offering teachers more money. More people would want to
become teachers if they could get paid more. And just like in every
business, in order to get the best, you have to pay them more.
Online schools would become more and more popular
and accepted also. This is especially great for the “inter-city” areas and
“rural” areas, where education has been hard to fund, and quality teachers
hard to find.
On the “one student, one voucher” system, all
communities are now able to compete equally for the best teachers and
educators. Because of population (demand) in large cities and communities,
some schools would have to hire more teachers. In the small cities they
would need fewer teachers, but the “money” is the same per student.
By PRIVATIZING education, funded by the
government with our tax dollars (as we currently do) we would be able to
save money. The United States could keep the PUBLIC education budgets at a
manageable level. Schools would have to compete for the funding and just
like the “price wars” of car dealers, furniture stores, and all
businesses, schools would have to continually strive to give parents and
students “MORE education” for their money. This is Capitalism at its best.
The less government “control” of our PUBLIC
education, the better. Government would have NO say or control whatsoever
on the type of education parents chose for their students. Government
would only FUND educational choices based on the government’s education
budget. The PRIVATE sector would have to compete just like any other
private business for the money by offering a better, quality education to
its customers (the parents and students.) The PUBLIC education system for
the most part now is a MONOPOLY and doesn’t have to “try harder.” Just
like the deregulation of the airlines, the telephone companies, etc.,
prices would go down (or in this case stay down) based on the economic
rule of supply and demand. PRIVATIZING our PUBLIC education answers ALL
the problems we currently face in our current PUBLIC education system.