• 41°

Playing politics in education

Some points that have been missing in the discussion about public education need to be considered. We need to talk about what are real problems vs. problems made up so certain parties may break up the system instead of fixing it.
There are persons with money who back groups like Civitas that are called “think tanks” to sell their agendas. Under the guise of offering more opportunities to students outside of the public schools, they want to use public money for private schools. While this gives the private schools more money so the wealthy have to spend less, it caters to a small number of students so they may have small classes. Public schools end up with larger classes, a shortage of teachers and assistants, fewer resources and lower possibilities of improvement.

Civitas is an organization mainly sponsored by the Pope Foundation, named for the father of Art Pope. Art Pope has been a financial adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory. To add insult to injury, that think tank came up with “research” that says the new, young teachers should get the raises because they will improve the most and be most productive.
Of course, that idea doesn’t take into account that the laws of diminishing returns are a large part of education, new workers and learners. If you start at zero, it is not difficult to get to 50 percent. To get from there to 75 percent is more difficult, and each step above that is even more difficult. If you have been teaching for 10 years, your administrator most likely will not notice that you have made progress at all. Add to that the propensity for politicians to change the game plans more often than they appear at work. No wonder the morale of teachers is difficult to maintain.

The Common Core is a great example of playing politics with the educational system. One of the most important things missing in curriculum has been teaching students to think. One thing that scared politicians in Common Core was that it was to teach students that skill. Yes, it is dangerous to have them think, but thinking is the difference between an educated person and a trained monkey. What is most frightening to politicians is that educated people ask questions that put them in the middle and not at the extremes of left and right. They question the fright techniques that separate our parties today. It would be rather elitist to educate a few and relegate the rest to being sheep.
We need a discussion examining the many “think tanks” cropping up like weeds. Some may be legitimate and others nothing but propaganda machines. We need discussion on the role of government in education. Is it even qualified to run something our elected officials think is nothing but a business? Should we be electing leaders who are not willing to take serious responsibility for providing the necessary funds to operate an educational system for all students?
Question: If our education system is so poor, why are students from all over the world trying to come here to go to our schools?
Donald C. Tracy lives in Salisbury.

“My Turn” submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to ecook@salisburypost.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Include name, address, phone number and a digital photo of yourself if possible.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds