Recommended reading: Marc Levinson's "An Extraordinary Time - The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy" or my title: Why leaders try variations of the same thing and wonder why it fails every time. Link to Barnes and Nobel book store.

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Education

Making Quality Education Affordable

Too many discussions supposedly improving education are about getting more public money from various government levels, or foundation money, rather than making education affordable to the citizens of the school district.
Affordability is directly connected to the cost of employees. Using political means the employees have increased their cost without any increase in productivity.At the same time the people paying the school taxes may not have increased, or most likely have decreased, incomes.
The school administrators know that political peace in the dpistrict means ignoring the lack of teacher productivity and spending their time looking for more government income rather than looking to what will make education better with the same or lowered income.
In other words, why should education salaries increase when we have so many remedial courses at the college level? Or why shop classes and band are being discontinued? The answer is the use of political power to funnel wealth towards employees and away from education.
Where does this political power emanate? From the schools becoming baby-sitters for two income families: when the teachers go on strike the parents are put into a quandary: what to do with their children when the schools are not babysitting.
No longer is the learning important, just keeping the children out of the way of earning money.
Should this situation be allowed to run our education system? Should teachers be forced to be more proficient to earn increased costs? Should students be forced to be responsible for their own educations and stop blaming teachers? Should we replace teachers after initial 5 year contracts? Older teachers are not necessarily better teachers than enthusiastic young teachers? Should teacher colleges be responsible for turning out competent teachers?
And should education be designed for the capabilities of the student so they have the best tools for which they are capable after they graduate?
Too much wealth is being directed to the K-12 education without good results. It's time to look at the bigger societal picture for education. It's time to look at hiring different people for administrators specializing in getting more money and teachers who want to be upper-middle class.

Students Have One Job: Learning

Teachers have a job to teach; whether teachers do a good job or not, the student responsibility is to learn. The students and their families are responsible for the students' achieving sucessful educations, not the teachers.

Complaining about teachers failing students is not acceptable for alleviating the students job to learn.

Honor Classes for Shop Floor Personnel

Channeling students into different levels of learning is very common in the intellectual classes such as English, math, and science. I would like to see the same honors classes for people with talented hands and eagle-eyes.

Additional higher education should be feed by these honors programs for factory floor managers and the technicians working with engineers.

Wasting the high school years wastes both money and time.

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Standardized Testing and Common Core

  1. Standard tests mean you can count on someone to know the minimums. If it takes all year to learn the minimums than that's what is needed. What is important to the country is not a decision every teacher or school district should be making.
  2. Having a common core means better communications. Too many allusions are falling out of style therefore limiting the manner people communicate person-to-person. It puts too many between a rock and a hard place.