Eliminate counterproductive to subvert education
Poor test results have awoken parents who realize their children haven't been prepared to fend for themselves. The people gathered to discuss problems in education, hear the same topics.
The issues are poverty, need for bigger budgets at all levels, more self-esteem, professional teacher corps, charter schools, vouchers, tutoring, remediation, new literacies, better assessment/blame the test, year-round schools, pre-K, schools that are more permissive or more strict, the effects of drugs, impact of violent sports, the perpetual need for money.
The participants will seem pleased that they are having an in-depth discussion of the options. You could mandate all these items and nothing would change. The main effect of these discussions is that the education establishment distracts the public from the solutions.
Everyone feels he is engaged in a serious discussion. Eager reformers are divided and distracted. The real problems in education are not even on the standard list. Public schools are full from basement to roof with dysfunctional, costly gimmicks that never worked.
Get rid of the counterproductive ideas, i.e., methods that seem to be designed, from conception to implementation, to subvert education. Why do so-called experts endlessly recommend self-defeating practices? Instead of reformulating these failed approaches year after year, eliminate them. These gimmicks have the effect of making education seem mysterious. The public asks, can we ever reform it? The education establishment seems to want people to feel overwhelmed. We must demand a downsize in this costly, failed education delivery bureaucracy and a return to an affordable and responsible alternative that delivers knowledgeable citizens possessing a capacity and capability to contribute in society.
William F. Horan, Middletown