October 9, 2010

President Obama's Weekly Address: Strengthening Education, Not Cutting It

The President explains that even as we focus on creating jobs immediately, we must also ensure the economy is better for our children by investing in education – not cutting it by 20% as Congressional Republicans propose.

I share this weekly video with my network because you may not have had a chance to see it on the White House website. I would love to hear your thoughts on what you see. Personally, I think that President Obama has provided remarkable strength when it comes to education. He sees it as an economic imperative. What say u?


Chris M said...

Lack of money isn't why our public educational institutions suck. As I understand it, most of the European Union spend far less per pupil than we do. Take a look: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/c/c0/Expenditure_on_educational_institutions_%281%29%2C_2001-2006.PNG

There are several things we can do that would improve our educational systems, and most incidentally also save money:

1. Strip the Teacher's Unions of power, so principals can fire crummy & arrogant teachers. Teachers work for parents, not the other way around. This proposal will save vast sums of money.

2. Fire crummy teachers. One good (and well paid) teacher with 50 11th grade students in her class is better than two poorly paid crummy teachers with 25 students, each, in their classes. Look at how the world's top universities do it: 200 students, 1 professor, 2 hours of lecture. This proposal will save vast sums of money.

3. Voucher programs and Charter schools. Mommy and Daddy know best, let them pick the school for their child, public or private. This proposal will save money in the long run, as a correct matching of student to school will result in more productive citizens.

Furthermore, most educational funding comes from State governments and not the Federal government. A 20% loss in *federal* funding is not the same as our local schools having 20% less money to spend - more like 5%.

A 20% cut in federal education spending would be just the start if I where running things. 40% (at least) cut in military spending would be step 2.

Chris M said...

"I think that President Obama has provided remarkable strength when it comes to education."

In short, and in response to this comment:

I'd prefer it if President Obama stopped serving the interests of teachers and, instead, served the interests of parents & students.

Villager said...

Chris - I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I like the fact that President Obama had education amongst his top priorities when he came into office. I think that he and his folks are doing some great things ... and I don't see that they are afraid to encourage firing teachers and closing down non-producing schools. I like the fact that they are giving big rewards to states that are being innovative and successful in educating young people.

All I hear from Republicans is "Cut the Department of Education". Seems like that has been the mantra since President Reagan was in office.

What's up with that?

Chris M said...

"What's up with that?"

One-size-fits-all solutions suck when it comes to education. Federal funding often comes with additional requirements that States must abide bye - generally, a one-size-fits-all type solution.

So, the school of thought as I understand it, states that Federal taxes & corresponding education funding ought to be cut while Local and State taxes ought to be raised (if needed) with a corresponding increase in school funding (if needed).

Let California solve her respective problems in her own way, while New Hampshire solves her problems her way.

Barring human rights abuses taking place in educational institutions, there is no reason for Representatives from Chicago or Alabama to decide what your local school district ought to do or not do.

In the opinions of some.