Education is one of those issues that, I think, no party has any idea on how to fix. Increasing federal spending seems to not have much of a difference in some cases (Washington, D.C.), while school vouchers are unfair, aren't enough to make a difference, and make the system worse for everyone. So where does that leave us? I am fairly young, so eventually I will have children that need to become educated, and looking at how education reform has gone (No Child Left Behind), it won't be an easy process.
I think it is here that the point needs to be made. Education may not necessarily be just a funding issue - it is also a parenting issue, a teaching issue, a middle class economy issue, etc. Also, now that our economy has changed, the current way society teaches children is obsolete - it is this that makes us less competitive, not outsourcing, it seems.
With that being said, check out an Op-Ed in yesterdays New York Times by the Republican (I want to say strategist), David Brooks. He lays out an interesting set of policy ideas, that while not all of them are good in my opinion (health care savings accounts and assuming you need to reform unions to institute merit pay), many of them take a swipe at some of the deep rooted issues of education.
I bring all of this up because the Democrats want to take away No Child Left Behind - as do I - but what are they gong to do after that? Brooks brings up middle class tax cuts, so are the democrats going to focus their replacement of Bush's tax cuts with those? Can we cut taxes? Brooks talks about strengthening Kindergarten - a very liberal idea - but this will increase spending. Lastly, how do we reform education when each state has their own system of rules and regulations?
Something needs to give, but I don't think the Democrats have a solid plan and the Republicans tend not to have a clue, so where does that leave us?
Saturday, February 16, 2008