Sunday, January 15, 2006

Collected Thoughts

Educational process is failing
I haven't blogged lately because I have been at odds with my local high school board of education. It seems that our regional communities passed a 42 million dollar bond issue to upgrade our regional high school. This fall the board made the startling announcement that we would have to pony up 3.2 million dollars more because of mismanagement and overruns. This was after spending 8 million on consultants who apparently were only concerned with the color of the paint and floor tiles. They did not look into the fact that a 50 year old section had asbestos, didn't contact the local building inspector about construction issues, succeeded in blowing up the power transformer( worth 0.5 million dollars) and fired the school superintendent for something unknown to the public. They won't own up to their mismanagement or explain what caused or comprises the over-run. They have, however, turned on the full propaganda machine to push for the additional funding. Their claim is that the children will be forced into overcrowded classrooms, schools student-teacher ratio is 14:1, will have to walk outside and won't be able to study movie making, dance class or attend exercise classes.
The problem here, as I see it, is that we have a group of amateurs trying to direct a collection of "professional educators" who have their own agenda and personal drummers.
Unfortunately, we have abrogated our right to educational direction to the band of professionals who populate the schools. Frankly, education is too important to be left in the hands of school teacher unions and administrators who aren't responsive to anything but their self-interests. The final arbiter of the quality of any education is the marketplace, not the awards issued or the "honors" courses passed. Having been in a position to hire many of the products of our educational systems, I haven't been very impressed. Individuals shine through; most that I have interviewed are smart but just deficit in what they have been given to learn.
It is time for the American public to stop acting like sheep in the face of the professional educational machine. After all, we pay the bills and as I recall "He who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune".