Education Issues

Who knows best how to educate your child?  Who knows best what values and beliefs should be instilled in America’s youth?  If I say that I do, you are immediately offended.  Who am I that I would know what the children of your community require?  Yet we have allowed exactly that same result by allowing Washington to take over our educational system.  The Department of Education spent roughly $110 billion dollars in 2010.  What have we received in return? 

Jared Blankenship

Political rhetoric from the State of the Union Address says that we need more educational opportunities in America.  Read between the lines, we need to spend more on education.  Let me be perfectly clear on this matter, we do not have a shortage of educational opportunities in America.  Every child in America is offered a free public education regardless of position, disability, or even citizenship.  Whether that education is accepted is another matter entirely and beyond both the scope and control of the Federal government.  I spent 3 years in the classroom trying to force students to learn biology or chemistry.  It cannot be done.  Education must be desired.

Teachers are not the problem.  The vast majority of teachers are dedicated professionals who seek the best for their students.  Are there a few bad teachers?  Yes.  That presents less of a problem than the bureaucracy which will not allow their removal from the classroom.  Discipline, paperwork, lack of parental involvement, and student apathy are our teacher’s greatest complaints.  Show me how spending another dime affects any of these issues.

The real solution is found in my original question.  Who knows best how to educate your child?  The answer is you.  Your local community knows what is needed to be successful, employable, and productive.  Parents and community know what values and beliefs best serve their society.  How can Washington possibly presume to know what is best for the students of Hereford, Texas or Detroit, Michigan and develop a single policy for all?  They have spent billions doing so.  How well has it worked out?

The practice of education belongs to the local school district.  Here the social needs, values and beliefs of a local community are implemented.  The accountability of education falls to the individual state.  Here standards and assessment are developed by leadership which must respond to the citizens of that state.  Washington has no Constitutional role in education.  Every education dollar we send to Washington is partially consumed by bureaucracy and returns with strings attached.  Those strings mean that we spend more for things we may not desire or require.

Education begins at home not in Washington.  Education is an opportunity not a guaranteed result.   Education is nothing more than politics unless we are personally involved.  In Washington, the simplest concepts are the most difficult to accept.