Grandstanding in Education: Continued by JC Bowman.....
The Boston Globes Jeff Jacoby takes an even harder position than I do. Jacoby writes: "Parents should have the same freedom in educating their kids that they have in clothing, housing, and feeding them. You wouldn't let the government decide what time your kids should go to bed, or which doctor should treat their chicken pox, or how they should spend their summer vacation, or which religion they should be instructed in. On matters serious and not so serious, parents are entrusted with their children's well-being. Why should schooling be an exception? Get government out of the business of running schools, and a range of alternatives will emerge. Freedom, innovation, and competition will do for education what they do for so much else in American life: increase choices, lower costs, improve performance--and eliminate conflict. So long as education is controlled by the state, the battles and bad blood will continue. With more liberty will come more tolerance--and more resources spent on learning than on litigation."
Elected officials do not need to be afraid of the hard questions in education, they need to ask them. We are beginning to see local leaders discussing ideas such as consolidation, the need to mutual partner together across elected bodies and the status quo of only a handful of school board members dictating to the community the direction of our schools. Our local schools, teachers and students have attained a proud record of academic achievement, and we should recognize this past excellence. We did not get there by pointing fingers and grandstanding, we got there because we have the capacity to create innovative solutions, implement cost-savings measures, and build upon the historic academic success of schools and students.
Our shared commitment is to provide challenging and fulfilling education and career opportunities for our students. Working together we have the potential to create a model of cooperation that creates economic value and benefit the entire community, as well as the state. Working apart in isolation only further alienates the community and allows us to lose focus on what really matters the most: the education of our children.