Thursday, September 15, 2011

Failing Our Children

Here’s another story buried on page A-6 of the local papers.
The Associated Press reports that we are failing to educate our children.  According to the College Board, SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and the combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995.
According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, which ranks student proficiency for 70 participating countries, the US ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math?  The US received an overall ranking of “average”, far behind the education leaders of South Korea, Finland and Canada.
Republicans believe that the way to fix this problem is to abolish the Department of Education and pass the role of educating our children to the states. They say that this will reduce taxes and reduce the intrusion of government in people’s lives.
Here is what they won’t tell you.
Many of the states are already running huge deficits.  They rely on an infusion of federal dollars to maintain basic services and fund core projects.  Many rely on government funding just to stay afloat.  How will they cope if we add the monumental cost of educating our children to their financial burden?  Answer, the states will raise property taxes and sales taxes and any other revenue generating avenue they can find.  The idea that moving the responsibility for education to the states will save tax payers money is pure fiction.  And that doesn’t even touch the nightmare of 50 different standards of education across the country.
Our children are our future.  Investing in the education of our children is an investment in our way of life.  We need to increase that investment.  We need to find ways to make our education system more effective.  Passing the buck is not the answer.  “Average” is just not good enough.   

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