Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama pushes reform of Bush education law

Obama pushes reform of Bush education law
Sources: ‘College or career’ goal will replace academic proficiency deadline

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

I applaud President Obama for addressing the abysmal state of America's educational system; I think he has it wrong.

A recent article from MSNBC (quoted above) seems to hint that Obama's plan is to push for vocational readiness as an alternative to traditional education. This emphasis would seem to indicate that the administration believes that there are those who are incapable of being educated.

It may be true that there are students who are incorrigible, incapable of being taught in the traditional setting; those who suffer from learning disabilities for example. It is more likely however that these students suffer from a failing educational system that is mired in bureaucracy and hindered by unions that refuse to take responsibility for the failure.

The crux of the problem is not an alternative path to success; I can agree with that path as long as it is voluntary; the problem lies with the process.

As a parent of four I am concerned that should the teachers fail to do their job my children will be forced to pay the price. Who will determine that my child is incapable of continuing along the traditional educational path to college? Who will say that my children must choose vocational education; what criteria will be used to evaluate the teachers who make that decision?

It seems that the option is a way to escape responsibility, a way to account for a failing system. When a school is faced with a block of failures they can hide those failures by transferring the children to a vocational program. Nothing to see here; everyone just move along.

The article also went on to say that:

The secretary of education, Arne Duncan, foreshadowed the elimination of the 2014 deadline in a September speech, referring to it as a “utopian goal,” and administration officials have since made clear that they want the deadline eliminated. In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Why would the administration push to remove accountability from the system? The administration has never had a problem with "Utopian goals" before. All we have to do is look to the health care plan that seeks to insure the entire U.S. population or perhaps its stance on Cap and Trade. What then is the impetus behind such a move?

It could be nothing more insidious than a change in philosophy. Given the propensity of this administration to favor Marxist dogma it is more likely an attempt to remake the country in some fundamental fashion.

The New Proletariat

If the transforming of our educational system marks the move towards a socialist ideology then we have cause to worry.

Socialist/communist/Marxist systems have need to keep the work force stocked and  a need to limit the "educated". A population that is well educated understands the proper function of government and rails against its abuses. On the other hand a population of "worker bees" forsake individuality and live to serve the hive. Given this administrations attempts to minimize American exceptionalism and make us part of the "Global Community" it is not a stretch to believe that this is just another incrementialist move to the left.

Granted the educational system in this country needs to be reformed. The question is are we to remove accountability from the system and force students to pay for the failing system; or should we force the system to rise to meet the challenge?

Our best defense against governmental abuses lies in the education of our young. We cannot cede the loss; we must not accept "good enough" where our future is involved; we must not give up on our children. 

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1 comment:

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