Recently Secretary Duncan lambasted Oklahoma after the state repealed Common Core Standards. Without coming right out and saying that they will cut off federal funds for No Child Left Behind, which would have put him in a proverbial corner and you know how politicians are, never paint yourself into a corner. More states are choosing to dump Common Core than ever before and they are challenged to come up with comparable programs that will be acceptable to the feds so that they won’t lose federal funds.
The problem with our education system is Federal Funds. There is little or no choice for most citizens as to where and who will educate their children. What we need is a system that will privatize education as we have done with charter schools. We pay enormous sums of money in taxes and want our children to get a good education so they will be ready to enter society prepared to deal with their futures. There should be a method of reimbursing parents for children who want to attend private schools. We know that the private sector produces much more efficient and successful methods of educating people, but how do we get our government officials to implement the proper reimbursements to allow parents to have a real choice in who and where their children are educated.
The government has taken religion and God out of our schools over the past 50 years and what little that remains will soon be history. Even our state boards of education are hand-picked by politicians like governors. Why aren’t the members of our state board elected as our local school boards are? If they were elected, they might fight harder for the people who elect them to office. Maybe they would look more kindly on reimbursements for private school tuition and alternative curriculum in the vocational and technical fields.
We try to fit all of our children into the same mold under a government mandated school system which has little flexibility now with the introduction of Common Core. Not every child wants to go to college, nor do we need every child to go to college. There are plenty of careers that do not require a college education. Sports and Art used to be offered to all students, and now we find that parents have to pay extra for anything outside of normal curriculum.
It’s time for us to rethink the way are schools are run, and how we select our State Boards of Education if we are to move forward with an education system that gives everyone their choice to make decisions about what they would like to do and what they would like to learn. Many years ago a wise man told me that if you find a job that you love, you will never work a day in your life. I believe that the same is true of education that if children are given a choice and nurtured in the right direction, they will make the proper decisions so that education will be fun for them. It will also lead them to find careers that will be compatible with their interests.
Maybe our legislators can take some time between now and the 2016 session and think about how we could implement ESA’s (Education Savings Accounts) in our state to give parents at least the opportunity for a choice of how and where their children are schooled. It would be about time that they gave the citizens of our state a break after giving us the state insurance exchange with rates going up 25 to 30%, not including exchange fees and another 7 cents per gallon gasoline going into effect in July. Come on guys it’s our turn to get a break instead of the lobbyists and the cronies sucking on the government teat.