Category

System Change

protesters-at-brooklyn-bridge-stockpack-pexels.jpg
Protesters at brooklyn bridge
Photo by Life Matters on Pexels

The Source of the Problem

Racism and police brutality are one source of the problems we are facing today, but those problems have been exacerbated by government’s failure to demand excellence in the performance of their employees and their leadership.  If the Minneapolis Police had been properly managed, Derek Chauvin would never have been on duty that day.   He’d have been fired years ago.   Chauvin had been written up numerous times with little to no repercussions.  This situation is not unique to the Minneapolis Police Department.   It happens in every major city.  Police employment contracts virtually prevent officers from being fired.  It is as hard to fire a cop as it is a teacher and it is impossible to fire a teacher.  Other government workers Read More ›

schoolboy-stands-in-front-of-the-school-door-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Schoolboy stands in front of the school door
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Children Need Education—Re-Open Now

Debra J. Saunders is right to say, “there’s an antidote to this problem. Schools.” The specific problem she is referring to in the Public school closures may be a big Mistake is that caused by school closures. Namely, some children lack supervision and others are simply not participating in online alternatives.  Just last month the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that 21 percent of students enrolled in Clark County schools had no contact with the district after schools were shutdown.  We cannot expect students to come back with the knowledge required to be successfully in today’s world. Even before the coronavirus mayhem arrived at our front door, the U.S. ranked 27th of all developed nations in overall education proficiency of our Read More ›

Tacks On Calendar

Consider Year Round School

The Coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of our lives—forcing thousands of businesses to close (many permanently), shuttered most schools until next fall, and skyrocketed unemployment. Add to this the social and emotional cost. I can only wonder how the children and families who were already experiencing hard times are now handling this. While this crisis presents a near-term national challenge unlike any other, we need to also think about the future beyond the virus. This leads to an educational concept we should consider: year-round school. While current educational schedules may meet the needs of some, it’s clear that some children need to more hours per day and more days per year in class in order to achieve even today’s Read More ›

drawing-tools-lying-over-blueprint-paper-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Drawing tools lying over blueprint paper
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Preparing to Reopen Schools

The American Enterprise Institute just released its Blueprint for Back to School report, recommending that state and federal leaders be prepared for another atypical school year by offering regulatory flexibility regarding seat time, graduation requirements, and procurement rules to permit schools to remain operational in unprecedented circumstances. Read More ›
Red School House
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Schools Fundamentally Unchanged Since 1918

“All parents should be able to know what their children are learning, and for those paying attention in the coming weeks, the virus offers a chance for them to do just that.” So concludes Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst in the Center for Education Policy’s Institute at The Heritage Foundation in his recent essay on social distancing and parents witnessing their children’s education. Butcher’s points about parents’ need to understand what their children are learning and the opportunity afforded by this period of Coronavirus response are well taken. Tough times can spur educational innovation. Now is the time for a complete reassessment regarding how we educate—and the students have to come first. Someone once said, “If Rip Van Winkle had Read More ›

Path way
Path way of Hope and Success The light is on the destination.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Mississippi Misfortunes and Where to Rebuild

The Magnolia state has had its fair share of woes. Coming in near the bottom of the barrel in education standings, the highest poverty rate in the United States, the lowest labor participation rate (56% to be exact), and one of the lowest median incomes, coming in at $23,121. This is just to name a few. Yet there is hope. My visit to the capitol of Mississippi this past week leads me to believe that in education, we may be on the cusp of a new era of meaningful reform. For example, we have seen a recent uptick in fourth grade reading scores, where Mississippi improved its position from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019 based on National Assessment Read More ›

Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way. Business concept for new ideas creativity and innovative solution.
Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way. Business concept for new ideas creativity and innovative solution.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Is Reform Achievable?

Dale Chu, senior visiting fellow of the Fordham Institute (an education reform think tank) writes, “the dour forecast [on big education reform ideas] is good reason for reformers to fight even harder in the 2020s and to search for a new path forward.” Given Chu’s conclusion, new transformative measures are required to propel our educational system to new heights. Simply put, what we are doing is not working. That is not to say that some pieces of reform haven’t been successful, such as the charter school movement and the accessibility of more choice in education. However, continuing down the path we are on will provide us another dreary decade. What America needs is one state to step up and lead Read More ›

Woman walking over the edge of the cliff on seaside without looking
Woman walking off of a cliff with the eyes covered
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Progressivism Fails to Clear the Gap

A recent report, The Secret Shame, shows the deleterious effects of progressive policies on education outcomes of minorities. The report concludes that the top 12 progressive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have larger educational achievement gaps between whites and minorities than the top 12 conservative cities, such as Fort Worth, Anaheim, Virginia Beach, and Oklahoma City. Specifically, “progressive cities, on average, have achievement gaps in math and reading that are 15 and 13 percentage points higher than in conservative cities.” To determine the progressive and conservative cities, the report relied on independent political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw who “pooled data from seven large surveys of U.S. public opinion to rank the nation’s biggest Read More ›

Do something different advice on napkin
Do something different advice - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee
Licensed from Adobe Stock

We are Failing Our Children

In 1983, the famous report, “A Nation at Risk” concluded that our country was failing to effectively educate our children. The authors were so critical of our schools that the preamble of the report summarized their findings by saying that; “if an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have considered it an act of war.” That was 1983. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush held an education summit, called “Goals 2000.” Bill Clinton was the chair of that summit. After days of deliberation, another report was issued stating that, “by 2000, all children will enter school ready to learn and 90% of our children will graduate from high school.” Many other goals were listed, none Read More ›