Letter: Department of Education should be eliminated
February 24, 2012
To the editor:
The question has again been raised, "Will more money put into schools improve the results of education?" Consider several constants that have been imbedded in our education system for a long time and until these are eliminated there will never be enough money to fix the problem of poor results.
The Department of Education: eliminate it. The one size fits all out of Washington, D.C., has never worked and will not work. The only thing it provides is a conduit for social engineering by whichever party is in power at the time.
Teacher unions: eliminate them. They are simply counterproductive to the job of educating students. Regardless of what's claimed, their concern is for the teacher, not the student. The current structure also places too many constraints on taxpayers and administrators.
Teacher tenure: eliminate it. As with any vocation, longevity does not guarantee success. Any and all job retention or pay raises should be based on merit. It's unfair for the taxpayer to foot the bill and a disservice to the student who goes to school. An honest look by parents, students and even teachers will show the majority can think of at least one or two teachers who are not cut out for the job. These will affect the overall outcome. Remove unqualified or unproductive teachers, and hire those who can produce results and pay them accordingly.
The budget for the Department of Education is around $68.1 billion. Take that and whatever proceeds can be raised by selling off assets of this worthless bureaucracy, then divide it among the states.
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That would be a minimum of $1.36 billion per state. Maintain this amount with a reasonable increase on an annual basis and in the long run taxpayers will win out with a lower cost for education and students with a better education.
Give control to the states. In turn, this will allow taxpayers to have more control of what goes on and someone closer to home to vote out of office if they stray from the agenda. It's easier to watch what goes on at the state level than the federal level.
States that fail to address the problem will, by their own lack of effort, lose out until they get with the program. Each state knows what is best suited for their needs far better than the federal government. Fifty states will provide 50 laboratories and the odds are much better of coming up with a working plan, as the current system is a failure. Each state would be free to copy all or part of another state's system to come up with the best possible plan for their own use.
Charter schools, private schools and home schooling have addressed the
aforementioned issues with success and are nothing more than a treatment for the disease caused by the current system. If the system were not broken, there would not be the constant effort to repair it.