Home | About | Donate

Here’s an Idea: Guarantee Every Child an Excellent Education


#1

Here’s an Idea: Guarantee Every Child an Excellent Education

Steven Singer

Let’s get one thing straight: there are plenty of things wrong with America’s school system. But they almost all stem from one major error.

We don’t guarantee every child an excellent education.


#2

Great idea.....quality not for profit education for all - also guarantee every American universal not for profit health care via insurance that eliminates the for-profit insurance "industry" parasites! Restore fair taxation of the uber wealthy.....want to go on?


#3

We need an education system that first teaches us how to care for our bodies and how to manage our minds. Then we will reduce health care costs and violence. Making money or "saving" money by not being proactive, would be secondary to anyone educated in the methods of maximizing our humanity instead of profit.


#4

Emphyrio, please go on.


#5

"Finally, it is better if a school teaches material that is academically appropriate, generally accepted as mainstream core concepts of the subject"
" Schools funded with tax money should not teach religious concepts like Creationism. They should not teach history and science from a Biblical point of view"

Umm, a little contradiction there Mr. Singer? Looking at the latest Gallup poll only 19% of Americans believe "man developed but God had nothing to do with it" The rest 80% are evenly split between "Man developed with God guiding" and "God created man in present form".

I'm of the 19% but it looks like Mr.Singer's view is more like : "Schools should be teaching what I, Steven Singer, think is mainstream".


#6

Great idea, except for one thing: it is easier to say or write "excellent education" than to define and implement it. As a teacher with a highly varied background at the secondary and college level for about 45 years, I have witnessed a substantial decline in the curriculum and the quality of teachers. I sympathize with the concerns for diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism, but these concerns are not the basis of an "excellent education"; indeed, one could argue that the use of schools to prioritize social amelioration gives all involved--students, parents, teachers, administrators, officials--a pass on thinking seriously about educational matters. Can one have an "excellent education" and not get taught grammar and the principles of composition, the rote knowledge of arithmetical operations, and basic facts of history and science? An "excellent education" cannot be devoid of substance, especially of the basic to build on, and filled with methods and projects. One example: students who do not know their way around numbers, will find factoring in algebra a puzzle. They will not see that x squared plus fifteen x plus fifty-six factors into x plus 7 times x plus 8. Learning the math tables may be rote, but not learning them is ruinous. The same can be said of grammar--the use of which is more than error-avoidance, to include precision in, and concision of, expression. As for teachers: elementary school teachers are generally not trained to introduce the subjects which are critical to later learning and to follow the stated demands of state curriculums. Just an education for all will do; we can work on excellence when we get education defined and implemented.


#7

He lost it in the 8th paragraph:

"It is a distinctly privatized system". Wrong. 91% of children attend public school.

He is, however, correct in one point - It does not put the child first. It puts the education provider first. That provider is the teachers' unions and the school district administrators.

Rich people have school choice - they can either choose to live in rich school districts or send their children to private school. Poor people don't have school choice - they're the ones who are locked in poor neighborhoods and can't afford to either move or send their children other than to the failing urban public school system. Give them the same choice the rich folk have.


#8

This is the standard liberal left rant. More money is not the answer under the current system in America. The system needs to change. In addition, it is "nice" to guarantee an excellent education, but the devil is in the details.

What is the definition of an excellent education?
How do we measure an excellent education, especially if we discard standardized testing?
What is an excellent teacher?
What is NOT an excellent teacher?
What do we do with the not so excellent teacher?
How do we measure/determine what an excellent teacher is?

  1. The current system where students are automatically (socially) promoted to the next grade MUST be eliminated.
  2. Students must be held accountable academically. Students must put much more effort into their studies. Right now under the current system, this is not the case.
    Students must be held accountable for disrupting the class. Behavior problems have become the norm. Most teachers need to learn classroom management skills to just survive. An excellent education will never happen until something positive changes here.

  3. I propose that a mastery-based learning method (aka: proficiency based learning or competency-based learning) be implimented.

  4. I propose that a value-added system of evaluation be put into place, based on the current standardized tests.

More money will not make the system excellent. The system has to change radically in order for our system of education to become excellent.


#9

Wow! Two new trolls back-to-back. (And that Patron badge is not fooling anyone.)

As a retired teacher, I could refute you point by point, but it's too nice outside to waste my day. However, since many readers here skip articles on education, I will point out the "dog whistles" that you both used.

WWSmith: The right wing commentators across the web always target "the teachers' unions." As in: "I don't have anything against teachers. It's the teachers' unions that are the problem." This intended verbal sleight ignores the fact that teachers ARE the teachers' unions.

Top to bottom, we make up the rank and file as well as the hierarchy. We are not some kind of 1920's gangster mugs with baseball bats and sacks full of cash, we are teachers. We organize in our off time and we work in the trenches too.

Scare_Crow: The right wing rant is usually: "You can't solve education's problems by throwing more money at them. You simply changed the wording to: " More money is not the answer under the current system in America." Whichever phrase is used, the implication is that schools, teachers, administrators, the whole system is already over-funded.

Please! Don't confuse us with the military.

I'll answer the whole testing mess if this topic heats up, and if I feel like it later.


#10

Oh, come on, Iamonte7. You know very well what the author means, and apparently you agree. You're just being pedantic picking his words apart. Is that really so productive?


#11

I completely agree with you, skeezyks. Scare_Crow criticizes what he calls a "standard liberal rant" by giving a typical conservative one. YAWN! So you think money is not the answer? Would you allow your child to go to a school that is underfunded? Would you send your child to the school in America that gets the lowest funding? Heck no! And you know it. I am so sick of people who are privileged enough to think money doesn't matter. What a disingenuous point of view! And the you attack teachers and teachers unions as if we somehow caused these problems. NO! We deal with them every day because of sociopaths who think money doesn't matter. You should be ashamed of yourself. To be so insensitive to the needs of little children! And why? Because you don't want to pay more in taxes. Well maybe you would have to pay more and maybe not. We could certainly keep tax levels at the same rate and fully fund schools with savings from our bloated military budget. But if you're wealthy, yes, you should pay more. You should pay your fair share. But given who exactly is sitting in the Oval Office, it's not at all surprising the kind of garbage we see being dumped on opinion pages here.


#12

No, there's a difference between the profession of being a teacher and the purpose of a teacher's union. The purpose of a teacher's union (like any union) is to advocate for its members and get them compensation, benefits and working conditions. The purpose of being a teacher is to educate students. Those are not necessarily complementary goals.

There are many great public schools and school teachers. I'm fortunate to live in such a school district. However, there are many failing ones as well. Parents in those districts should be provided with the means to vote with their feet, just as wealthy parents do.


#13

Then comes the familiar, "It all depends on what your definition of the word excellent is"!


#14

Oh, i agree with the 19% abt the God thing. I also know exactly what Mr.Singer means, and i do not agree with him.

While my views might differ from those of 80% of the US population i do not advocate imposing my view on them. or restricting them from teaching theirs. As long as they don't interfere with my "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" thing everyone can do whatever they want.