To The Daily Sun,
This is the 32nd of my reports on what is happening in the State House in Concord. I am going to focus on education this time, somewhat on Senate Bill 193 (SB-193) but I’m going to venture into some opinions on education as a whole.
SB-193 is fairly straightforward and says that a student should be able to use the state paid portion of his education costs to educate himself where he or his parents think is the best for him (or her). The bill recognizes the fact that the student is the focus of education and not the school. He is more than a $ sign providing money to a government school. If he/she wants to go to a parochial, private, government or home school, that is his CHOICE.
Now a lot of people are still under the illusion that this somehow might violate the Constitution and the Blaine amendment that says you can’t use state money for a religious school. This is not true as of June, when the Supreme Court overturned this amendment that targets Catholics specifically. Regardless, even if the Blaine amendment was in effect, the method for funding the SB-193 passed Supreme Court muster for other reasons. It’s time for government schools to have come competition.
But what is the real problem. It’s that our schools for 80+ years have not given the students what they need to succeed. Over 50 percent are functionally illiterate and cannot compute enough to balance a checkbook. Why is this? It’s not because there are not enough AP or foreign language classes in high school. It is because the children do not learn to read or use arithmetic in the first three years of school and from at point forward they do not have the tools to unlock their world and an AP class will not help them.
Why? Our schools are fundamentally broken because they rely on John Dewey as their mentor. He was a socialist prophet for our schools at the turn of the 20th century and thought that we emphasized reading too much and that we could get along with sight reading rather than phonics and solid arithmetic. Today’s schools will tell you that they use phonics but they only use it to help the student guess at the word as if it was a Chinese character. This is why, among other reasons, private, parochial and home schooling outperform government schools. We have to focus on the elementary schools and that means curriculum and teachers. Systematic phonics must be taught and the teachers need degrees in solid subjects, not education.
When I graduated in engineering from college in 1966, I remember a company that was recruiting on campus gave us a test that I though was simple math and reading. I asked the recruiter why the company gave such a simple test and this answer was that I would be surprised how many failed. It hasn’t change much. This is unacceptable!
Representative for Hill and Franklin
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 516