During the debate of No Child Left Behind as the Bush Administration call the Elementary Secondary Education Act. During that debate back in 2001-02, I like the goals that were being debated and what the Bush Administration and Congress were trying to accomplish. Reforming Public Education in America, but the main problem with No Child Left Behind. Is that we are still having the same debate ten years later. Which is an indication that No Child Left Behind hasn’t really accomplished much. Public Education in America is still a major problem, we are still not producing enough High Skilled workers for our economy. Which is one reason why we are still importing Foreign Workers. Because there are not enough American Workers to take these High Skilled jobs. NCLB was mostly about increasing standards in Public Education for students and educators, which is a good thing and one way to reform Public Education. But it tried to accomplish this with a top down approach from Uncle Sam and passing down even more Unfunded Mandates to States and School Districts.
The way to reform the ESEA is with Public School Choice. Meaning that parents could send their kids to whatever Public School that they feel is best for their kids. Instead of having to send their kids to a Public School based on where they live. Meaning that Public Schools would have to compete with each other along with Private Schools. For their students instead of being guaranteed students just because they are a Public School. This also means increasing Charter Schools, which are Public School but operate independently of the Public School System. That parents could send their kids to but they would have to be approved by the Charter School. Lets empower parents when it comes to the education of their kids. The Federal Government could help with the financing of Public School Choice but shouldn’t be operating it.
Another way to reform ESEA gets to educators, lets eliminate School Tenure. And reward educators for their Quality of Service not Time of Service, so educators will know for them to keep their job and advance in their career. They’ll have to do a good job. Teacher Unions hate this idea obviously and aren’t fans of Public School Choice as well. They are in business to get their members the best benefits possible. But what’s in their best interest isn’t always in the best interest of the students which is the most important thing in education. The other things we should do with educators is make sure that they are teaching the subjects that they are qualified to teach. For example History Majors should be teaching history, English Majors teaching english etc. And have better starting salary’s and salary’s all together for our educators. So well educated people would have more incentive to go into education.
The last thing that we should do with the ESEA is set up some type of system that better funds our Public Schools. We currently fund Public Schools with State and Local Property Taxes. Meaning that Upper and Middle Class School Districts get funded very well when it comes to their Public Schools. But Low Income School Districts are severely Under Funded which is one reason why their schools Under Perform. But not the only reason, the other reasons have to do with lack of School Choice and others. So what the Federal Government should do is set up a Financing System for Public Schools. That helps finance Public Schools in Low Income School Districts. So they can get the Adequate Funds to run their schools. And they would have a much better opportunity to have a good Public School System.
The way to reform the Elementary Secondary Education Act. To me is about more School Choice, Merit Pay more Qualified Educators and better financing. Teacher Unions are going to put up a hell of a fight against this. Especially lobbying Congressional Democrats because they are against School Choice, Merit Pay for educators and Educator Standards. But its a fight worth having because the future of our economy depends on it. Because to have a strong economy in the future, we are going to need more High Skilled workers. That they get these skills through education.