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Old 03-16-04   #1
Dyshade
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Federal Role In Education

As can be seen our Federal Government places Education last in its budgetary quotas..... they would rather we be a stupid mass of people who have not the faintest idea of what is actually going on.... it makes it easier to get the masses to comply to thier wishes...... compliance through ignorance.... the dumbing down of the masses.....

from here---LINK---

http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html

""That means the Federal contribution to national education expenditures is about 10 percent. This 10 percent includes educational expenditures not only from the Department of Education (ED) but also from other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services' Head Start program and the Department of Agriculture's School Lunch program. Subtract these other dollars, and ED is left with only about 6 percent of total education spending. ED's $63.3 billion appropriation, by the way, is about 2.7 percent of the Federal Government's nearly $2.3 trillion budget in fiscal year 2004.""

In other words education is only 2.7% on the importance listing of federal Money.....

Schools are going to pot in every state due to budget shortfalls...... some are falling down around students.... and what is being taught in our schools is also becoming questioned...

http://ourcivilisation.com/dumb/dumb1.htm

http://ourcivilisation.com/dumb/dumb4.htm

http://ourcivilisation.com/educate/graduate.htm

And a little reading for those who hate links...

""""Education
Primary, Secondary, and Higher Education

I. Education--Introduction
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
— Chinese Proverb

Only the educated are free.
— Epictetus

Teaching is the only profession where if you do well, nothing good happens to you and if you do poorly, nothing bad happens to you. David T. Kearns, Chairman of Xerox Corporation.

We are truly indebted to David Kearns and Denis Doyle for their Winning the Brain Race (1991) and their well thought out treatise on the education crisis, thoughts to which we too subscribe and agree with. We also would recommend Reinventing Education by Louis Gerstner, Roger Semerad, Denis Doyle, and William Johnston for their ideas on reforming education. Education has become too important to be left to the educators. Education is far too big a cost to be accepted without questioning. Education has become too powerful to go unchallenged as education increasingly controls access to careers, opportunities, and advancement. Education does not begin with kindergarten and end with college, it begins before conception with maternal health and ends only with death.
The Department of Education’s 1993 report on adult literacy and numeracy was not positive: more than 90 million adult Americans lacked simple literacy; fewer than 20 percent of those surveyed could compare metaphors in a poem; not 4 percent could calculate the cost of carpeting at a given price for a room of a given size, even using a calculator. Over 130,000 children bring guns along with their pencils and books to school each morning; juvenile arrests for murder nearly doubled form 1987 to 1991; more than 3000 youngsters will drop out today and every day for the rest of the school year, in some schools half the enrollment; one in four young black males will pass through the correctional system, a higher proportion than end up in college; 2.5 million adolescents annually contract a sexually transmitted disease. Our kids spend 900 hours a year in school, most spend 1200 to 1800 hours a year in front of the television. Yet more time and money than ever before has gone into education. The share of non-instructional educational expenditures has grown from one-fifth in 1890 to over one half in 1990. Decline in pupil-staff ratio is evident: 35 in 1890 to 15.4 in 1990.Real current expenditures per student quintuples every 50 years. Productivity in the educational sector has plummeted. While expenditures are at a all time high, outputs as regards educational performance is at all time lows. Education curriculums have been heavily influenced by liberal agendas that strays from academics and focuses more on values such as high self-esteem and cooperative behavior. Students learn that slavery was bad and the United States was a major slave nation but that are unable to indicate when and where slavery occurred or even in what century the Civil War was in. No doubt exists that we have a crisis in our education system. The question is how to fix it.
II. Education--Past

Non schola sed vita discimus (we don’t learn for school but for life).

In the beginning of this country’s history, schools were private and attendance strictly voluntary. Schools were mostly privately financed by fees paid by the parents. Although neither compulsory nor free, it was practically universal. In the 1840s, a campaign developed to replace the private system by public systems, schools in which parents and others paid the cost indirectly by taxes rather than directly by fees; this campaign was led not by parents but predominantly by teachers and government officials. Then, as now, self-interest was the motivation, the teaches expected to enjoy greater certainty of employment, greater assurance that their salaries would be paid, and a greater degree of control if government rather than parents were their paymaster; the benefits to the children of the changes, if any, were secondary ( history does repeat itself with the same motives existing). One immediate result of government takeover was to reduce the quality and diversity of schooling. Our common schools in the nineteenth century, even in backwoods environments, were capable of producing not only Lincolns but a well-educated, literate population fully capable of following the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Now schools turn out millions of functionally illiterate graduates deprived of any cultural heritage. An cursory review of a typical high school examination given at the typical public high school at the turn of the century would provide a considerable challenge to any college graduate, let alone today’s high school students.
The first compulsory attendance law was enacted by Massachusetts in 1852 and it was only in 1918 that all states had adopted it. Government control was primarily on the local level well into the twentieth century; neighborhood schools controlled by a local school board was the rule. Close monitoring of the school administrators by parents was a partial substitute for competition and direct control, assuring that any widely shared desires of parents were implemented. After the depression, the public began to have unbridled faith in the virtues of government, especially of central government, due to what appeared to be the successes of government in overpowering the depression. Thereafter, power shifted rapidly from the local community to larger entities as consolidation occurred.
The fundamental reason for deterioration of schooling is increasing bureaucratization and centralization of public schools. In the five years from 1971 to 1976, total professional staff increased 8 percent, cost per pupil 58 percent (adjusted for inflation 11 percent), thus inputs were clearly up. The number of students, though, were down 4 percent, number of schools down 4 percent, quality of students down even more drastically. In that period of time the number of school districts decreased by 17 percent, leading to greater centralization. The number of school districts have decreased from 130,000 before World War II when the population was less than 150 million to less than 16,000 with a population of over 250 million. The number of high schools have remained nearly static even with the tripling of high school students. While enrollment was essentially flat, the number of professional staff went up 15 percent, teachers 14 percent but administration by 44 percent. Economies of scale which should have resulted from such consolidations and centralizations have not. In fact, the situation has worsened. Such larger school districts mean more administration and more exotic programs. (And less local control) Administration has become top heavy. The Board of Education of New York employs thousands of administrators to run their school system. In the public school system, forty-seven percent of the personnel are non-teaching staff. In Chicago where a half million attend public school, there are 3500 public school administrators; with half as many students, the Catholic school system have only 35 administrators, one-fiftieth proportionally. Of the approximately 21,000 private schools, few have more than 1,000 students. In education, small is beautiful, more personalized, exactly the reverse of the centralization trend seen in public schools. The focus of private schools is to optimize not maximize. They recognize that in education little economies of scale exist. The optimal school size is smaller not larger. These schools tend to be small and autonomous, not part of a chain. Victor Fuchs and Diane Reklis in their recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that success was influenced mainly by the home environment. But astoundingly, whenever the school got a high proportion of its money from the state, scores fell!
Before the 1930s, the federal government played little role in schooling. Parents monitored schools closely and greatly influenced the school administration’s decisions. In 1920, local communities provided 83 percent of all revenues; by 1980 local communities provided only 43 percent with the states and fed the rest. Principals and non-teaching staff multiplied fivefold from 1960 to 1980. In 1930, classroom teachers accounted for 96 percent of the total staff; by 1980 teachers accounted for only 86 percent with a fifteen times multiplier effect for other staff brought on board during that same timeframe. Extra spending has not been used to educate our children but used in favor of social adaptability, social awareness, and social responsibility. Schools have slowly assumed a greater social service burden; they have become social service institutions first and schools second. This needs to be reversed. Schools have expanded their function beyond the tradition one of schooling into one of helping to mend the social problems of society, an admirable goal but one which should not be pursued at the expense of lowering the quality education of our youth, educating being, of course, the primary mission of schools.
Both control and financing of schooling have been transferred from local communities to larger districts and to state and federal governments. Professional educators increasingly decide what should be taught, how, by whom, and to whom. Monopoly and uniformity have replaced competition and diversity. Control by producers has replaced control by consumers. As in any economic decision, those who spend other people’s money on items for others will not have as vested an interest in outcomes as those that spend their own money for themselves. This is what has occurred as a result of the centralization and consolidations of the last thirty years.
The right to attend private school is enshrined in law via the Pierce vs. Society of Sisters case, an Oregon case from the 1920s, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state could not force children to satisfy the compulsory attendance law in public school only. Title 1 from LBJ’s 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act allowed funding for the poor to the schools of their choice and was very successful for the short duration it existed. This was struck down in Aguilar v. Felton (1985) which said poor youngsters could not receive Title I services from parochial schools. A revised Chapter (or Title) I voucher scheme from Congress would be a good start, a start everyone agrees upon but which Congress has failed to act upon. Federal government should provide funding for Head Start and Chapter I for every eligible child throughout the country. A real choice system can only be effective if it leads to significant diversity among schools and backed by the capacity of parents, students, and teachers to make real decisions.
Ronald Reagan’s advocated during his 1980 presidential campaign four changes for education. These included:
•reduction of federal controls over education. Elimination of requirements for bilingual education. Block grants with control to be vested in the state or local communities.
•Tuition tax credits or vouches to help parents gain some control over their children’s education
•Elimination of busing for racial desegregation purposes
•Abolition of the Department of Education.
To many students and parents, these imminently logical planks should be pursued actively and immediately.

III. Education--International, a comparison

American children are in school only 180 days a year, against 240 for those of Europe or Japan. The Japanese place great stress upon learning as a group activity rather than encouraging individual excellence. Japanese seek to ensure that all members of the class attain the required standard levels of literacy and numeracy. Rather than concentrate on what they know and like, students are encouraged to spend enormous amounts of time to overcome their weaknesses: Students with all As or all Cs are considered acceptable while those with 4 As and 1 C or 4 Cs and 1A need to devote more time to weaker subjects. Teachers are highly valued in Japan, deference and respect for them is strong by the students. More highly qualified applicants exist than places available in Japanese schools. Japanese graduates possessing high competency and conformance to fit in to the company which recruits them, become members of a disciplined and skilled work force dedicated to improving the firm’s productivity. The entire Japanese school structure, of 1.3 million teachers educating 27 million pupils in some 66,000 schools is tightly controlled and regulated by a powerful ministry of Education (not something we encourage, just the opposite). Course offerings, textbooks, salaries and even a school’s physical plant are under its supervision. This causes, naturally, rigidity and conformity. It is so structured that it is said, quite truthfully, that in Japan, at any Japanese school, be it elementary or secondary, at any hour of any day, one can with high probability guess the very topic being taught at any grade level. That kind of structure would not work well in America. Nonetheless, though, it provides standards everyone strives to achieve. Over 92 percent attend kindergarten, 90 percent graduate from high school. Japan claims an illiteracy rate of 0.7 percent, lowest in the world.
German and Japanese companies invest heavily in training young employees. Workplace training in Germany occurs primarily in the context of an extensive and long established apprenticeship program (70 percent of young people age sixteen through eighteen enter paid employment through the apprenticeship system). After completing compulsory full time schooling at age sixteen, most German youth enter apprenticeships that typically last two or three years. For each occupation in which apprenticeships are offered, training curriculum is developed through negotiations between representatives of the government, unions, and employers associations. Training is constantly modified and kept up to date to reflect technological progress and recent developments in industrial practices. Apprentices spend one or two days each week in school studying vocational and academic subjects and the remainder of the week receiving on-the-job training from their employers. Their education is well rounded, extensive beyond the particulars they are being trained for. This extensive training not only gives them a deeper understanding of their chosen occupation but provides a basis for later promotion to more demanding jobs within the occupation. Upon completing their apprenticeships, trainees take comprehensive examinations to certify their mastery of occupational skills. This is a program that bears emulation due to the success in Germany and the lack of an adequate technical program in the United States.
In the Japanese system, the employer bears more of the responsibility for developing the occupational skills of the employee. Company based training is usually on-the-job training. Heavy investment is usually justified since traditionally the employee stays with the same company his entire work life. Specialized centers are also available. Each year, for example, Sanyo Corporation provides at least three days of training at its corporate educational center to one-third of its work force. Germany’s advanced dual system of apprenticeship combined with vocational training in specialized schools explains in part the great strength of small to medium sized firms in Germany called Mittelstand . . . 15,000 small to medium sized firms bringing in revenues of $6 to 900 million per year are the backbone of Germany economic system. They take full advantage of the technical workers provided by the vocational school system. Their workers are widely skilled for their chosen occupation, not narrowed focused on only one firm, as a result of the broad program of studies in the vocational school combined with specific training with a firm. This training emphasizes in-depth knowledge of the technology. At the same time, general skills in math and language are not neglected. This would suggest the need to increase the number of separate and truly efficient vocational high schools. We agree on the need for more intensive cooperation between employers and schools.



IV. Education--Present, The Problem

If an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have regarded it as an act of war, Nation at Risk 1983.

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
— Theodore Roosevelt

If ever an institution were enamored with its past, it must be education. American Public Schools have still many of the same goals they had when they were established in the nineteenth century. They operate on a calendar that was originally developed to release children to tend the crops; schools still teach with same tools and techniques; they often ignore new subjects indispensable in modern industry such as statistics, computers, or business English. It is impossible to get a good education from a system that is established by politicians, managed by bureaucrats and staffed by unionized strike-prone graduates of our worthless educational academies who belong to the National Extortion Association (as Forbes magazine so adeptly calls the NEA, a power-hungry, anti-child and antiparent behemoth) with no concern beyond their own payroll, employment and social agenda. NEA reforms favors are higher pay for school teachers but no competence testing. The NEA wants fewer students in each classroom but only in public classrooms, it adamantly opposes school vouchers. The NEA believes what is good for it is good for America and education.
An estimated 27 million adult Americans are illiterate, another fifty million can read and write at only a minimum level. Twenty percent of all those hired by American industry are both illiterate and innumerate. Sixty-five percent of prisoners and eighty percent of juvenile delinquents are functionally illiterate. Forty-four percent of the job applicants at Prudential Insurance in Newark, New Jersey can’t read at a ninth-grade level. Security Pacific interviews thousands of applicants each year for tellers who are unable to add and subtract well enough to balance their own checkbooks. Only one applicant in 10 meets the minimum literacy standard for mail clerk jobs for a Chicago Advertising agency. About 80% of all applicants screened nationally by Motorola fail an entry-level exam that requires seventh grade English and fifth grade math. New York Telephone reports that it had to test 57,000 applicants to find 2100 people qualified to fill entry level jobs. The modern firm cannot train if the school has not educated.
Since the 60s, SAT scores have fallen considerably. One-fifth of all high school pupils drop out of school each year. One quarter of adults find themselves unable to understand a warning label on a medicine bottle or unable to address a letter correctly. American business spends $25 billion a year in remedial training programs for new employees, correcting the mistakes of our educational system. This in itself is alarming. What is more critical and worrisome is that the labor department estimates that by the year 2000, most U.S. jobs will require at least one year of college education. Estimates are that three-quarters of new workers through the year 2000 will be qualified to fill just 40 percent of all available jobs.
One solution often bandied about is to throw more money at it; saying that teachers are not being paid well enough. On a per capita basis, the United States outspends all major industrialized nations on education except for Switzerland and Sweden. Between 1970 and 1990 real US education expenditures increased 80 percent to $5,400 per pupil from $3,000 (in 1992 dollars). Performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress has been essentially flat since 1970. In essence, the more we spend, the less we get for our money. Schools are basically inefficient, continuing to spend money in ways that do not consistently lead to higher achievement. During the same twenty years, American schools reduced the average pupil-teacher ratio from 22 to 17; yet extensive evidence indicates no relationship exists between class size and student performance. While the percentage of teachers with master’s degrees nearly doubled to fifty percent in the same timeframe; yet no evidence exists to indicate advanced degrees yield better teaching. It is true that American teachers are paid less than their counterparts overseas. However, the problem with teacher salaries is not that they are too low on the average but they are too uniform and rigid. Poor teachers are grossly overpaid and good teachers grossly underpaid. Salary schedules tend to be uniform and determined far more by seniority, degrees received, and teaching certificates acquired than by merit. This problem becomes larger as the unit over which governmental control is exercised becomes larger. Productivity increases or cost savings are unlikely to lead to higher compensation or career advances.
Increasing numbers of teachers are fearful of their own physical safety, let alone those of their students, even in the classroom. The atmosphere often is not conducive to learning. Teachers unions also become more rigid. No reform is acceptable that diminishes in any way the teachers’ control over certification, job security, remuneration, work rules. The teacher unions’ idea of reform is more teachers working fewer hours, receiving better pay and having ironclad security of tenure. For the last twenty years, this type of reform has been tried again and again and has not succeeded; any non-educator professional would view this as failure and not try it again.
Throwing more money at education has led not to higher quality but to poorer quality. In New York, for example, Governor Mario Cuomo over the past ten years has raised education spending 91%, to the point where New York spends nearly $10,000 per pupil per year, 40 percent more than the national average and the third largest amount for any state in the union. Yet New York’s “investment” in schools fails to yield test scores at par with the national average. Scores have actually fallen during this timeframe. New York is 45th in the country in high-school graduation rates and tied with Mississippi and Alabama for the highest level of adult illiteracy. More money does not necessarily translate into better outcomes; the average private school can produce a higher quality student for half the cost born by public school system.
From 1960 to the present, per-student cost of elementary and secondary school have increased by about 180 percent in real terms. In inflation adjusted terms, teachers’ salaries have barely risen at all. Enrollments have fluctuated over the past three decades, up and down. The big reason for the cost rise is the rise in the teacher-pupil ratio and the non-classroom staff-pupil ration, both of which have almost doubled since 1960. The major reason for the latter increase, and the far more serious problem, is that the schools have taken over far too many functions that were once handled by parents.
The United States has a failing educational system. One-quarter of those that enter high school do not graduate; another quarter are so poorly prepared academically that they are not ready for work or post-secondary education. One out of every five high school students carries a firearm, knife or club. Over sixty percent of residents grade their school system as ‘poor.’ Average SAT scores have fallen each year over the last 25, from 463 to 422 (Verbal) and 493 to 474 (Math). Total spending more than doubled since 1980 while the number of students remained about the same. The United States spends more per child than most of the countries whose students consistently outperform ours on the same tests. This failed condition is a threat to the democratic process itself; citizens are increasingly unable to understand issues sufficiently to make intelligence choices.
Public schools are a failed public monopoly. Monopolies are not driven by necessity, they remain until they are forced by circumstances to change, usually market forces, unless government protects them. Schools may not be a true monopoly but each school district enjoys a monopoly position with its users, those citizens who live within its boundaries. Most districts do not permit interdistrict transfers . . . in business this would be called conspiracy in restraint of trade. Another indictment in the failure of public schools is that public school teachers are twice as likely as the public at large to enroll their children in private schools (Fifty percent of public school teachers in central Milwaukee send their children to private school; what do they know the rest of us don’t or are they merely acknowledging the realistic truth?) Goods and services that have no customers go begging; they are not foisted upon unwilling members of the public, as public sector services are. The differences between American public and secondary schools and its widely envied system of higher education is that the former is a protected monopoly enjoying captive clienteles while the latter must compete for students. Accountability and responsiveness in public education cannot be legislated, regulated or achieved by fiat or good intentions alone. They require both incentives and disincentives; the system that best meets these objectives fairly, efficiently and rapidly is the market system, choice.
American schools have failed to adjust to the changing times. They are still geared to give most students just enough rudimentary knowledge to handle the equivalent of routine factory work. The basic organizational model also resembles the factory itself: pupils were products, teachers were the production workers who turned them out and a large and often inflexible bureaucracy told the teachers what and how to teach. When State and federal bureaucrats do not spend their own local tax money on schools, they are consequently less demanding evaluators of the schools than local taxpayers who must pay for them out of their own pockets or parents whose children’s success depends upon the quality of those schools. The poor and dispossessed, those most in need of education reform, are least able to pursue it. Those best able to pursue it don’t because they do not see the problem’s severity.
As an example of trends, examine the concept of full inclusion. Full Inclusion is when all students are placed in regular classes full time, regardless of their mental, physical, or emotional characteristics. More and more severely disabled children are being taught in regular classrooms on the theory that they benefit more there than in segregated, special-education classes and that their non-disabled classmates will learn tolerance from their presence. Under the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, disabled children have the right to learn with their non-disabled peers “to the maximum extent appropriate.” Advocates see access to regular education as a basic civil right. On the contrary, teachers often view this ‘right’ correctly as a three-ring circus, creating a complex if not impossible learning environment in attempting to teach kids with an unusually broad range of abilities at the same time in the same place at the same level. Civil rights or not, the effect of inclusion on the education of regular students can only be negative, a further dumbing down of the curriculum, a slowing down to the least common denominator, to the detriment of regular and advanced kids of all ages. The kids may learn tolerance but they also may only learn about half of what they were suppose to learn for that year in school. Is this progress? Is this what we want out of our education system?
A Virginia student brought a homemade dynamite bomb to school and was, not surprisingly, expelled. However, because the student had a mild learning disability, the federal government interpreting the same 1975 law which forbids schools from ever cutting off education to children with disabilities, the Department of Education said the school must provide some form of free continuing education for the boy. Virginia is challenging the government, saying the rule would jeopardize school safety and that children with disabilities would learn that they could disobey rules without serious consequences. Individual rights are important but not at the price of jeopardizing an entire group. Discipline must be maintained. Disability or not, the act need be punished with sufficient punishment to act to deter possible future similar acts. Educators can not educate in an environment of risk such as is advocated.
What about all the discussion about outcomes? Outcome based education uses the rhetoric of standards to mask a program of dumbing down and slowing down the curriculum, emphasizing ‘self-esteem’ and consensus building at the expense of rigorous academic work. The three decades of education reform have seen many fads come through America’s public school. Student achievement levels have not risen but in fact fallen as a result of this experimentation. Cooperative learning, outcome base education, open classrooms, values clarification, etc., all were busts. All of these fads were meant to smoke screen parents into believing that professionals know more and are more capable of making decisions for their children on what is right, what should be taught, and how, than are the parents themselves. The latest affront is the thought that requiring students to study after school is inherently unfair. A surprising number of educators favor ending homework with the logic that “some students are simply in a better environment to succeed than others and it is unfair to grade students on their home life.” America’s education system, the doormat of the world, is on its way to become the laughingstock of the world as well.
The trend is to get away from mere ‘schooling.’ Schooling was when students required to sit in class while learning to read, write, and do arithmetic, memorize; that is what provided generations before us with more than adequate educations. ‘Education’ is to develop “the creative potential of the whole person.” This creative potential must not be discouraged by grading, tracking, strict discipline, dress code, or intellectual discrimination of any kind. Intellectual excellence may be acknowledged but not rewarded. According to current educational fads, social cooperation, warm and friendly attitude towards one’s fellows, and capacity for enthusiasm are all signs of equal worth and prepared to be a good citizen in our democracy. Whether they will be able to read or write obviously does not play into this equation. Politicians dump an intractable social problem on schools to deal with, to express their concern for the well being of the youth. The educational establishment is happy to take over the problem if it is accompanied by a larger budget and an agreement to allow educators to keep control of the schools.
Even in inner cities, parochial schools and some private secular schools provide excellent fertile grounds for learning. The youngsters are at those schools because their parents chose it; they are paying all or part of the fees. The children are well behaved, eager to learn. Teachers are dedicated. Atmosphere is quiet, serene, and attentive. The children know that if they misbehave, unlike public schools who have no choice, they will be out, a decision not desired by most of the children and their parents (knowing full well the only other option is public schools where life and limb are endangered and education lacking). Discipline in such schools is self imposed not externally imposed as in the public school system. Cost per pupil is far less than in public schools. On average, the children are grades ahead of their peers in public school. Teachers and parents are free to choose how the children shall be taught; control is back to where it should be.
Choice does exist--for the lucky few. Upper income families can choose. By sending their children to private schools and in effect paying twice for their schooling, once in taxes to support the public school system, once in school fees. Or they can choose to live on the basis of the quality of the public school systems, excellent public schools tend to be concentrated in the wealthier suburbs of the larger cities, where parental control remains very real. The problem is this choice does not usually exist in inner cities. Few affordable private schools exist, parochial schools offer choice, but the income levels do not allow such choice. Often, expenditures on schooling per pupil are often as high as the suburbs but quality provided in return is vastly lower.
Another current problem is the lack of training that is available for or given to younger employees by the companies who eventually hire them; it is especially abominable for blue collar employees. Few companies invest very much partly due to traditional reliance on public schools and their natural expectation to get a qualified product before hand, and partly because few young workers remain on the payroll long enough for an investment in training to pay off, that is, training becomes a high risk proposition that will often only help the next employer my employee works for and not myself (since turnover is immense and many workers do not expect to stay on their job for more than a year, the businessperson’s rationale is justified, for the short term anyway). Young Americans receive little formal training in their first jobs. Only 2 percent report receiving any at all in the first year and only one-sixth of this training occurs in a formal company training program. Only forty percent of U.S. workers say they have ever taken company training to improve their skills in their current job. Higher educated workers are much more likely than less educated workers to receive company training.
The Clinton Administration through its former labor secretary Reich, once proposed a mandated 2 percent spending for every company for training each year. We do believe the need exists. But we do not believe in its being mandated. The more progressive companies understand the value of training their employees, understand the need for continuous education of their workforce and will spend considerably more than 2 percent (One problem with the two percent level is by mandating that number it is very likely to become a ceiling for expenditures, the opposite effect than is desired.) Those companies who do not pursue training will continue to fall further behind and eventually will not survive. In essence, the market will reward those that do and punish (by failure) those that don’t. This is as it should be. We should allow the market to function as much as possible and not continue to mandate governmental programs or initiatives upon our private sector. The training idea, although a good one (and one most excellent companies are already doing), should be encouraged, not mandated. Programs should be offered by the community which companies could send their employees to. By encouraging training and making educational offerings easily available and affordable, the same result could be obtained without resorting to costly inefficient economic stifling mandates.
The final product from our educational establishment is severely lacking in not only salable skills but in basic survival skills all too often. Reform is desperately needed. Businesses can not wait the decades it will take to reform the education system adequately. They must cope on their own.

V. Higher Education Problem

In higher education, in 1928, fewer students were enrolled in government institutions of higher education than in private institutions; by 1978, four times as many were. By 1978, direct government grants accounted for more than half of the total expenditures on higher education by all institutions. Higher education has increased its funding from $7 billion in the early 60s to nearly $200 billion today. The average professor is in class only 6 to 9 hours a week; growing number of classes are taught by teaching assistants. Many universities promote condom weeks. Students are often not allowed to request transfers out of rooms in which roommates behave sexually in ways that offend, that is considered discrimination. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has defined pedophiles as a protected minority. At Cornell, resident adviser job applicants must watch moves of men engaged in sex in order to be evaluated for homophobic tendencies. This is not the proper pursuit and usage of public moneys that most of us would deem acceptable.The aim of education on many of our campuses is no longer truth but political transformation of students and society. between social engineering and psychotherapy, there is little time for academics anymore in our schools. During Stalin’s reign in the former Soviet Union, the standard punishment for telling or even listening to a political anecdote was 25 years in the Gulap; this was because ‘socialism is too important to joke about.’ Too many colleges have taken a similar attitude on politically correctness with any humor or objection treated with total seriousness and lack of flexibility.
The decline of the City University System of New York City (CUNY) from the seventies until now is an example of the future of higher education if unchanged. In the beginning it offered sold, free education to all who qualified. However, caught up in racial politics, system has constantly lowered its standards. Thirty years ago. CUNY instituted the nation’s first affirmative action program which was quickly expanded to as to enroll minority students by their percentage of the city’s population. CUNY then abandoned its entrance requirements, accepting large numbers of poorly prepared students. Regular courses soon were replaced by remedial courses. Yet minority enrollments were still too low that CUNY began to recruit any warm body. The entire system gradually gravitated towards the lowest common denominator. Student body now is so poorly prepared that remedial teaching has almost swallowed up the curriculum. The new CUNY pedagogy stresses non-hierarchical collaborative and non-judgmental classroom paired with multiculturalism, self-esteem, stressing feelings and adjustment instead of learning. That anything taught is worthless in the real world doesn’t enter into the equation. Perhaps CUNY is the perfect example why a large majority of those admitted to college in America would not be admitted to higher education institutes in other countries.
The problems of higher education are quality and equity. Absence of compulsory attendance alters the problem. Students have a wide range of choice if they choose to continue their education. At government institutions, at which tuition fees are low, students are often objects of charity partly supported at the expense of the taxpayer. This also means they attract many young men and women who do not have the right attitudes towards education and hence a high dropout rate. UCLA had at one time only half of those who enrolled complete the undergraduate course. The rewards at public institutions are towards research and budgets with teaching a necessary evil, taking time and attention away from their beloved research. The best known schools are not known for their teaching but for their research. At private institutions, higher fees must be paid, students are the primary customers, and teaching is what they want, they want their moneys worth. At private institutes ninety plus percent of the students complete the undergraduate course of study. At public institutes, the administrative budgets of universities grew 26 percent more than instructional budgets during the 1980s. In many public universities, faculties are shrinking while administration grows. The cost of administration approaches $2000 per full-time student.
Federal subsidies and grants (almost $40 billion at federal level alone in 1994) have robbed higher education of their autonomy, compromised their standards and in many case almost brought them to the edge of bankruptcy; three out of every 4 dollars of student financial aid comes from the government. The piper gets to pick the tune. Assessment of academic outcomes may be next. Its effect has been to insulate academic institutions from market forces and cause financial overreach, distorting priorities, slighting the classroom in the pursuit of research. The end results are: Political correctness, Curricular decay, diversity standards that amount to quotas based on racial and ethnic headcounts, legal enforcement of gender equity in athletics, threat to withhold federal funds to force educators to keep tuition prices down, increased government control through accreditation.
At the higher education level, subsidized education by state schools provides unfair price competition to private institutes. Instead of subsidizing the schools directly, subsidies should be given to all students eligible to be spent at whatever school they desire, a choice in higher education principle. This entails what we call the voucher plan for higher education. All government schools will not receive any government subsidies but must charge fees covering the full cost of the educational services they provide and so compete on equal terms with non-government schools. Divide the total amount of taxes to be spent annually on higher education by the number of students wishing to grant each year. Permit the vouchers to be used at any educational institution of the student’s choice, provided that schooling is that desired to be subsidized. GI bill again would be our role model. No state subsidies would be given to state schools directly. Prices would have to be those covering the full price of the service offered and thus would compete at an equal level with private schools. This would follow in its broad outlines the arrangements for financing the education of veterans which resulted after WWII with the GI Bill, except subsidies would come from the state and not the federal government. The big state schools, the highly regarded research universities would be encouraged to separate their institutions into two parts, the teaching university and the research institute. The teaching university would be priced without subsidy and for teaching only; the research institute would be separately funded (with state moneys if the state believes it worthwhile), from private and public grants.
We also need to create many more incentives for America’s best to become scientists and engineers, perhaps through a federal loan program with loan forgiveness (one-half year forgiven for each year in the work force for the desired speciality) or by providing more scholarships for scientists and engineers and fewer for lawyers. Loans towards encouraging talented people to fill shortage positions could have low, sub-market interest rates as an incentive. The aim should be to double the technically educated workforce by the end of the decade. A national program endowed by the federal government and the states would be one answer. Although currently, layoffs for scientists and engineers are commonplace, especially in the defense industry, as the economy rebounds and the commercial sector absorbs the defense sector personnel surplus, shortages will appear by the end of the decade unless corrected.
Another possible idea is not to have repayment of student loans by students coming out of paychecks just as taxes and FICA are withheld. Grants should only be given if we want to encourage (provide incentive) for special types of instruction. Education related to the special needs of the country, doctors for rural America, engineers, etc. Certainly not for lawyers or non essentials. Loans . . . opportunity to get higher education provided he or she is willing to pay for it either currently or out of the higher income the schooling will enable him or her to earn. Milton Friedman proposed forty years ago that would give students government money (or private sector cash) that would be repaid from an extra tax on the students’ future earnings above a specific amount. This plan has been endorsed many times. The repayment schedule based on a fixed percentage of salary frees the graduate to pursue the career of his or her choice, doing away with the burden of a fixed monthly payment that makes no attempt to discriminate between a Wall street income and an Appalachian school teacher. he result is to repay a specified fraction of future earnings.

VIII. Education--Future, Recommendations

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives them. --------James Madison

Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness---George Washington

Human History becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe----H.G .Wells.

What then, can be done? How are we to get out of the quagmire of existence that we find ourselves in now?
The modern school should look less like a factory and more like a high tech company with lean structures, flat organizations, and decision making pushed to the lowest possible level. This modern structure would have fewer middle managers (administrators) and no controllers but collaborators. Schools would be free to implement new teaching strategies and learning methods. Schools would be encouraged to specialize, to become centers of competence. Principals and teachers together with the community would run the schools with complete academic and administrative autonomy. Schools would determine their own specialties, set their own curriculums. By giving parents control over their children’s schooling. Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their needs and capacities than anyone else. The social reformers,. those paternalistic gooddoers, often take for granted that parents, all too often wrongly, especially those poor with little education, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them.
Government could require a minimum level of school financed by giving parents vouchers redeemable for a specified maximum sum per child per year if spent on approved educational services. Parents would then be free to spend this sum and any additional sum they themselves provided on purchasing educational services from an approved institution of their choice. The role of the government would be limited to insuring that the schools meet certain minimum academic standards, minimum common content in their programs. An example of the success of this type of choice program is the GI bill conducted after the Second World War. Each veteran was given a maximum sum per year that could be spent at any institution of his choice, provided it met certain minimum standards. The voucher plan has the same principles as the GI bills that provided for educational benefits to military veterans. The veteran got a voucher good only for educational expense and was completely free to choose the school at which he uses it, provided that it satisfies certain standards. Parents could be permitted to use the vouchers not only a private schools but at any other public schools anywhere, in any other district, at any school that is willing to accept their child. This would give every parent a greater opportunity to choose and at the same time require public schools to finance themselves by charging tuition. The public schools would then have to compete not only with the private schools but with each other. The amount of the voucher would be less than the current cost per public school.
In a true choice system, the state would fund individual children rather than individual schools or districts. Money would reach the particular school only when the student elects to enroll there. If the child goes elsewhere, the school would lose its income and would be force to change its offerings to meet the needs and interests of the community it proposes to serve. Individual schools would compete with each other for faculty and students. States would fund children with comparable needs equally, without regard to tax base or neighborhood. Transportation expenses, though, would be limited to that of the nearest school. Children with special learning needs would get more funding to accommodate the special needs. Choice is predicated on two pillars of the American system: equal opportunity and open-market competition. Complacency will be killed off and improvements and change will occur. Choice in public education will help parents play a stronger role in our schools, spring innovative programs, bring about community involvement in their children’s learning.
This voucher system offers the fundamental principles of choice to the education system: it allow parents at least one alternative to their immediate neighborhood school and reward schools that attract the most students. Schools would be forced to compete for students and forced to improve their service offerings or they would fail. Parents and students who must choose would then become educational consumer activists, more demanding and motivated. Bad schools would either close down (to be sold to another entity who would take over the building to create their own version of a school) or dismiss their staffs and reorganize. Choice is the best lever that exists for transforming schools and enhancing educational opportunity. For bad schools, the first year a school fails to attract enough students, a school would have to devise its own self improvement plan. The second year the zone superintendent would intervene. By the third year of poor enrollment, the zone superintendent or citizens council could fire the principal and staff, reduce school size, or close the school down. This becomes a ‘continuous public referendum on public schooling.” If the public school is doing its job, it needs not fear competition. If it is not doing its job, then why should anyone object to its destruction.
One such voucher concept being tested is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin school system. The plan provides $2,500 vouchers to 1,000 low income inner city primary grade school children. Despite Wisconsin spending nearly $6,000 per year per child, a 90 percent failure rate exists in the public schools (only 10 percent enter high school able to read or write). This plan allows these vouchers to be spent for private schools. The plan is oversubscribed and working well. Vouchers are not uncommon for public schools; Arizona educators use taxpayer money to send special-ed students to more than 50 private schools in the state but do not allow parents of other students to do the same. Private funds are being used to provide vouchers in many parts of the country. Minnesota recently passed (over the NEA’s objection), a major voucher program. Indianapolis also has such a program. Slowly but surely the concept is spreading across the country.
The United States is the only major developed country in which there is no competition within the school system. The French and the Italians have dual school systems: a public one and a Catholic one, both paid for by the state. Germany has the Gymnasium, the college preparatory school for the elite. In Japan, schools are graded by the performance of their students on the university entrance exams. The teachers of high-ranking schools are recognized, promoted and paid accordingly. America, by contrast, offers no performance standards, and little competition either within the system or from outside. Competition breeds accountability. Monopoly breeds complacency and arrogance. Schools should be held accountable for their student’s performance. Schools providing a high quality education would flourish, as would a similarly run business, while schools failing to meet the needs of their students would not be able to compete and in effect would go out of business. The greatest influence on a student’s performance is his aptitude; however, the next major factors were parental control, clarity of school’s mission, strong leadership, degree of freedom and respect offered the teachers, autonomy from external control. Public policy, though, must continually monitor the type of competition taking place. Family background matters far more in student achievement than the school itself. Where residents place a high value on education and impart that value to their children at home, they are more likely to succeed. Higher teacher pay does not automatically translate into higher pupil achievement. Smaller classes, likewise, are not strongly associated with higher achievement.
Those who oppose public school choice fear that low income students, whose parents may be less able to make informed choices or less committed to quality education, will be left behind in failing, shrinking, inner-city schools as better students flee. This is precisely what happens under the old system. Those with financial resources flee to the suburbs or to private schools or move residence to another district. Choice does exist now-for those able to afford it. Competition can revive the system; failing schools have no choice but to improve; failing management is replaced, students in inferior schools are rescued. Choice will be extended to all, regardless of income level. Choice is being offered, and successfully, in many schools through the magnet school concept.
Opponents indicate that diversity would suffer as a result of vouchers due to white flight. On the contrary, it would prosper. Violence in schools would decrease because children would flee from schools unable to keep order. Discipline is not a problem in private schools since it is internally imposed rather than externally as in the public system. Busing would be ended. Schools would tend to specialize and attract a more wide audience. A vast market of new schools would open up. Many would be established for nonprofit and some for profit entities. Schools which satisfy their customers would survive. The voucher plan would not resegregate but it would moderate racial conflict and promote a society in which blacks and white cooperate in joint objectives--the education of their children.
The perceived self-interest of the educational bureaucracy is the key obstacle to the introduction of market competition in schooling, adamantly opposing every attempt to study, explore, or experiment with voucher plans. This must be done without rigid standards for approval which would sabotage the entire voucher affair. This must also be done in such fashion so government can not dictate interests to non public schools as a condition of receiving public moneys (in fact it is not public moneys it is the individual’s moneys which is rightfully his and the only difference is that instead of being directly given to the school, a middleman called government collects and distributes the funds according to the government’s wishes, not the desires of the payee). Vouchers would go to parents, not to schools. Under the GI bill, veterans went to many different types of colleges, Catholic, Christian, secular, without causing any religion-state controversies. So shall these vouchers. One educator after the war thought the GI bill would spell doom for society and the system of higher education; on the contrary, it was one of the most spectacular successes ever in American society, resulting in an entire generation of well-educated workers through whose efforts America prospered and led the world for the next fifty years. If a voucher system were implemented for elementary and secondary schools, the results will more than likely be similar in their effects and impacts on society--overall largely positive, with major payback and a likely result of catapulting America back into the forefront of the world as regards education.
The U.S. Department of Education has recently proposed a set of goals for American education for the year 2000:
1) All children in America will start school ready to learn
2) The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
American students will leave grades four, eight, and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matters.
4) U.S. students will be first in the world in science and mathematics achievement.
5) Every adult American will be literate and will possess knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
6) Every school in America will be free of drugs and violence and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
While these goals are laudable and indicate direction, they cannot be achieved in the timetable desired by the same system we currently have. We need change and competition to have any chance of reaching our goals.
The government is attempting to require national testing. We oppose this concept for several reasons. Arguments against national standardized testing include: It will dictate a national curriculum which will prevent bottom up goal setting needed to improve schools at the local level; It tends to measure rote knowledge and ignore other competencies, encouraging unimaginative boring approaches to learning; It is unconnected with subjects being taught, provides little guidance to teachers as to what they should do to improve the performance of their students; and It is culturally biased. create self fulfilling prophecies that reinforce failure. Japan has a national testing system. In particular, one test is used for college entrance. Passing this test so dominates the student psyche that most of one’s high school existence is spent on studying for the test, readying oneself for the test--’exam hell’ it is called, rightfully. Success on the test is so important, suicide is often the result if one fails, or worse yet does not meet the expectations of his/her peers and/or family. This is not what we want for the United States.


Our recommendations for education are as follows:
1) America must resolve its education system problems. A recent report indicates that the upper quartile of American students are the equal or superior to any other students in the world; it is the lower half that is not being provided a quality education. Additional efforts should be taken to improve the value of an education to the urban and rural poor which make up most of that bottom half of American students.Choice should be provided to any parent of the school the student should attend. The government should give vouchers worth 50 percent of its average per student rate to any student attending K-12. Every child should be able to attend any school anywhere in the state he or she wishes to attend, is qualified to attend, and is accepted in. Transportation responsibilities should be limited to the nearest school, the rest is the responsibility of the family. A voucher should be provided enabling students to enroll free of charge in public schools or provide for half the per capita for use in private schools.
2) A return to the basics should be the guiding factor. Education must teach students basic values, moral principles and personal responsibility; students must understand their actions have consequences. Discipline. No-nonsense. Cincinnati’s school district several years back instituted a tough school discipline code. They realized that there is no point in talking about meeting world-class education standards or even improving student achievement unless there is order in the classroom. Students can’t concentrate on their work if they are worried about their physical safety. Disruption or violence, both are routinely destructive to learning. Cincinnati’s discipline code provides stiff penalties for students who disrupt classes as well as for those who endanger other people. In-school or regular suspension ,mandatory suspension, or expulsion are available punishments, the punishment fits the crime and it is well disseminated what the punishment is for any break of the rules. If a kid is dangerous in class, the teacher can automatically be removed from the class so other kids who want to learn can.
Use the schools as an education experience not as social facilitators for whatever items are currently socially fashionable or politically correct. The classroom has become, for far too many schools, a place for social justice and causes and not for education. Concentration on the 3 R’s should be the primary focus. Introduction of foreign languages, world geography, and other cultures should take place at the elementary level. Algebra, geometry, and the sciences should be mandatory at the secondary level. Homework every night should be encouraged. Bring in foreign languages at an early age--kindergarten and nursery school are not too early. It is admirable to be multicultural but the dominant culture must be American and Western Civilization principles.
Implement more comprehensive, useful, and national Apprenticeship programs. This would be similar to the European apprenticeship program of apprentice to journeyman to master. At the end of the tenth grade, students would choose between work oriented apprenticeships and academic track. Students would have option of traveling back and forth between tracks, although may take them longer to graduate. All sixteen year old students, regardless of track, would have to meet a world-class performance standard of basic skills, including reading, math, English, science, history, economics, government, geography. The apprenticeship program would be two or three year program which would combine school courses and on-the-job training with a formally contracted employer. At the end of the first two years, tests would insure proficiency.
4) Do away with compulsory attendance. Schools should be viewed as an opportunity, a place one wants to go, not where one should go. The state should guarantee educational access to all students, the right to a free education up to age 18, 13 years of education (including kindergarten). If a student drops out and has 2 years remaining, then he may later apply to return for the 2 years of education he has coming. But cannot collect welfare or public assistance, receive a driver’s license or gain citizen rights (voting) until he has completed public education or is currently enrolled in GED programs having good attendance and progressing well towards his degree. What we would espouse is increasing, not the mandatory age of school attendance from 16 to 18, but the number of years of education that can be provided at taxpayers expense from 10 to 12, and guarantee funding for all citizens until such time as their high school diploma has been earned. The only exceptions would be full time enrollment in approved vocational education programs, apprentice programs, or national service exemptions.
5) Flexible terms would let students complete their education at their own pace, finishing the work required at one level before moving on to the next. They would advance quickly in subjects they are good at and more slowly in subjects that are harder for them. Students would be tested annually to insure performance. School by school ratings and comparative studies would be available to parents. Students would be held accountable to the standards--no promotions without performance. Students should be held in the grade until they can demonstrate competence at that level; competency can be accomplished anytime during the year; learning should not be age dependent, one should advance as fast as one can successfully show competence. Only those students who have successfully passed these tests of competency should be advanced.
6) Year around schools are necessary. Letting the physical plant and the highly trained employees of a $220 billion a year industry sit idle for three out of the twelve months every year makes little business sense. The school year should be extended to 3 semesters of 15 weeks each with 2 week breaks between semesters. Discounting holidays, this would result in 220 days a year of education. No need exists for summers off to help on the farm when only 3% of the population are farmers since their contribution to the family farm would be minimal at any rate. School hours should be extended from 8 to 4. Employ all teachers on 12 month contracts. Vacations should be during break times. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork by allowing them to spend more time on teaching and preparation for the classroom. Provide funding for professional development programs (teacher training) scheduled during break times so as not to interrupt schooling.
7) Current packages are to pay teachers for seniority and for additional hours of study after their initial degree. This should be changed with pay for performance and pay for scarcity. Those that work harder and teach more classes, should get paid more. Those who are better should get merit pay. Pay and performance must be linked. Teaches with specialities in short supply should be paid more.
8) The first step in increasing professionalism in the classroom is to provide more professional opportunity for teachers, let them get out from the rules and regulations that so constraint them today. Autonomy, mastery, and independence are the hallmarks of the professional. Teachers can be expected to pass an examination in the subject they propose to teach, just as lawyers must pass a bar exam or CPAs pass their exam. Eliminate the general education degree. Teachers should earn a bachelor’s degree in their proposed subject; Academic knowledge would be emphasized over methodology. Many of the nonessential teaching requirements should be removed or made much easier to get; in many of our school systems Einstein would not be able to teach mathematics because he did not possess the correct educational requirements. The emphasis on a teaching certificate should be on knowledge to be imparted first then teaching skills later. Knowledge of the subject for a teacher should be sine qua non of competence. More use of part-time professionals, businesspersons, and technicians on loan from local corporations should be allowed and encouraged by the local school systems.
Scholarships or other financial incentives (waive one year of school loans for each two years taught) should be provided for teachers where shortages exist, i.e. disciplines like math and science. They then take a year internship in a school building under the supervision of a master teacher. Must elevate teaching to true professional status. Only when teachers get not only the pay but the autonomy and discretion of other professionals will the brightest graduates return to the field. Teachers must also accept accountability for student outcomes. Standards of performance must be developed. Student knowledge has to be measured more sensitively and accurately. Current school systems measures inputs, dollars per pupil, number of students, but not output . . . performance. New career ladder at Rochester New York is an example where lead teachers advises several first year recruits, help them or discourage those who don’t measure up. Every teacher should take responsibility for guiding a set of students through their four years to graduation. They meet almost daily, visit their homes, work intimately with the kids. This is called homebase guidance and should be examined more, though it should not replace teaching the basic education.
9) Values should be returned to the classroom. Democracy, American citizenship, ethical, moral, and religious underpinnings. American history.It is not that we have too much reference to God and religion in the classroom but too little.
10) Business-education partnerships should be encouraged, having companies adopt individual schools; donating funds and talent to schools. Eastman Kodak expects more than 3000 employees in Rochester, New York to be tutors or mentors in local schools in 1994.
11) Encourage the development of magnet schools (an open enrollment school organized around an academic or vocational specialty that attracts both youngsters and teachers because of its distinctive educational personality.) as a means to specializing and differentiating among schools.
12) Set a minimum millage throughout the state as dedicated to education and paid directly to the state. This would apply on all properties at true market prices with no exemptions. The state would then pay a sum for every eligible schoolchild (K-12). Additional monies could be provided by local districts if desired by whatever methods they desire.
1 Local school control at the neighborhood level should exist. An elected neighborhood school board will control local school policy, spending, teacher hiring and curriculum decisions. The state will provide guidelines but specific course content and conduct will be locally controlled. The state will still have audit powers with criminal penalties available for fraud or misdirection of state funds.
14) All teachers should undergo re-certification every 5 years, without regard to tenure granted. Re-certification will be contingent upon review of teacher’s teaching skills, area knowledge, interpersonal skills, school and community service, and professional development. Ratings will be conducted by peer review, student evaluation, parental evaluations, and board review. Pay increases for teachers should no longer be tied to length of service and degree level but to merit and position shortages.
15) Tracking should be re-implemented with advanced classes and remedial classes. The smarter students should be challenged into excelling, the slower students given special attention to catch up. Do not discriminate for the disadvantaged and against the competent. Nine-tenths of federal aid to schools went to the disadvantages, those with learning problems. Less than one-tenth of one percent when to gifted children. This must change. At least 10 to 20% of aid should go to the gifted, a hundred time increase. We have been dumbing down curriculum long enough. Let us aid those most competent. Challenge them, not bore them.
16) Outsource whenever possible. Contract out transportation services, janitorial services, etc. Limit one’s activities, involvement, and concentration to the primary activity of education.
17) Continuing education . . . which would allow use of physical facilities should be available for a wide variety of student and community and business functions.
18) Improve education at local elementary, secondary and collegiate levels. The United States is acknowledged to have the best university system in the world but it lacks satisfactory elementary and high school programs. Too much training on-the-job currently exists. Germany’s apprentice system should be emulated. Vocational training and apprentice programs for blue collar technical occupations (welders, machinists, etc.) should be put in place on a national basis. Lifetime employment in Japan means lifetime training. School should be mandatory until age 18. At age 16, one can leave regular high school only if a student transfers to a vocational school, an apprentice program, or other approved training programs.
19) Limit the importance of athletics; minimize funding for such programs. Encourage scholastic activities through publicity and showering of awards for those achieving in academics. We need to encourage role models of scientists, engineers, businesspersons, not athletics in our schools.
20) HeadStart programs for 3, 4, and 5 year olds should be expanded for every low and middle income child who desires entrance. This will help those most in need be better prepared for education and the education process. This is one of the very few government programs which has a successful track record with more benefits than costs.
21) Many of our children in high school look at school as a bore they must suffer through until they go to work in the afternoon. Whereas only 5 percent of the typical Japanese or European teenagers work after school, in many U.S. schools, over half of them do. Whereas the average homework per week is 4.5 hours, that is the average amount of homework per day in Europe and Japan. We are shortchanging our youth by this work habit. Many students come to school tired and regularly doze off in class. Children should not be permitted to work full time during the school year until age 16. Thereafter, work should be contingent upon acceptable grades and progress.
22) Drug Testing should be mandatory for all schools. Teachers, students, administrators and staff alike must undergo testing at random times during the school year. Those who fail will be put on probation, carefully monitored and assisted with drug free programs.
2 Put more time and money into the talented, the bright student. Some 70 percent of federal spending on elementary and secondary education goes to the disadvantaged and handicapped. The ‘Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program,’ the sole federal program focused on brighter children, only began in 1989, and its share of federal funding is less than one-tenth of one percent. The Department of Education’s 1993 National Excellent report estimated that only 2 cents out of every $100 goes towards gifted and talented students. These best and brightest need to be challenged, pushed, and driven to their potential. In today’s ‘dumbed down’ curriculum, the smart don’t have to think to do well.
24)National Standards: The Clinton Administration’s Goals 2000 program, which calls for setting high standards for student performance may run into roadblocks as controversy over new testing methods spreads. The testing is critical because states and school districts that move to raise standards will get federal grants. Parents and special interest groups are criticizing those new standards on grounds from irrelevance to irreverence. In California during the first half of 1994, new statewide tests measuring performance in math, reading, and writing were so controversial that six school districts refuse to give them and parents in other districts may excuse their children from taking them. The aim of “Performance-based” tests is to measure how well students actually think, analyze, and write. The tests stem from a new emphasis on evaluating students by samples of their work, instead of standardized multiple-choice tests. People are afraid they will be judged on the content of their thoughts,not their expression. Suits have been filed alleging that the tests violate the state’s education code by asking students about their personal beliefs and family lives (charges state courts have rejected).
We are ambivalent about national standards. On one hand, having a set of standards would be an attempt to provide uniformity for the nation as a whole. On the other hand, it is extremely tempting for politicians to enforce their beliefs (political correctness) through such standards. We do not want to be like Japan which rigidly controls the entire school system at all levels throughout the entire country. It is our preference that local control be granted and maintained. Any national standards should be vague and should not be viewed as requirements but as guidelines. We must be very careful about federal funding for schools. This becomes addicted and once consumed, it becomes all too tempting to use as a lever to enforce federal standards (Remember Grove City: they refused to sign papers acknowledging EEO, even though they were in compliance, it was a religious matter. The Feds threatened to cut off Federal funds. Grove City said fine. The Feds then said if you accept any student having a federal loan, you are accepting federal money and must comply. Grove City went to the ultimate and to this day accepts no federal money whatsoever. This type of compliance and mandate is not acceptable and should not be required for either national standards, vouchers, or public moneys used for education.) As the response in California shows, considerable anxiety exists about standards and testing, what is to be tested, what context the answers are to be, etc. We must be very careful in addressing this entire issue of national standards.
In summary:
•rigid curriculum
•uncompromising standards, no grade inflation
•grueling final exams before graduation
•return to basics, 3 R’s
•more discipline in the classroom
•more analysis, less feelings
•English, Western Civilization should be encouraged
•less multiculturalism, political correctness
•lots of homework
•emphasis on facts and formal logic
•right and wrong answers, not grayness."""
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