Letters to the editor, May 14
May 13, 2013 12:52PM
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Updated: June 15, 2013 6:02AM
Politicians, corporations blame public education
Public education: the whipping boy for failed policies of politicians and corporations. Skeptical? A half century ago Sputnik supposedly denoted Soviet superiority. The culprit? Our failing schools. We absolutely must emulate the great USSR schools. After landing a man on the moon did schools receive any credit?
Deming went to Detroit advocating better products, automobiles, and was turned away. Japan listened to him. Detroit went bankrupt, or nearly so. Again, we must emulate Japanese schools. Our economy demanded it. American schools? Horrific.
Japan’s economy now? Stagnant, even smaller than in 1992. Atlantic magazine, May 2013, quotes startling statistics. Twenty percent of Japanese children now live with their parents. Reports: 60% of mental health claims come from these aging children. Suicide rates rose 70% from 1991 to 2003 and the proportion of victims in their 30s has risen in each of the last 15 years.
Had we emulated USSR and/or Japanese schools where would we be now? However, politicians, owned by the same corporate America which hurled us into this last “recession” demand that public schools be replaced by charter schools which somehow, despite statistical evidence to the contrary will somehow “educate“ children, preparing them for the coming centuries.
Diane Ravitch, our country’s foremost educational historian, has called this latest “fad” the most dangerous in our history because the potential exists for destroying the great public school system, instrumental in building the United States to its present world domination.
Improving education? Highland in its glory years trained administrators as facilitators. Utilizing efficacious democratic principles each teacher individually chose an area for possible professional development building on his/her individual strengths. “Facilitators,” as mentors, helped each teacher work toward those individual objectives. An educational library was established enabling professional development. In contrast, presently political dictatorial top down “standards” are being imposed.
Republicans’ methods show them to be obstructionists
The Republican-dominated House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act more than 30 different times, even though they know they are wasting taxpayer time and money. The Gun Purchase Background Check bill deserves an equal amount of times to pass to become a law. Each time the bill is voted down is another opportunity to expose the Republicans as the obstructionists to the democratic process that they are. We need to hold the Republican party up high and let them glory in their own shame as much as possible until everyone can see them for what they really are.
Michael J. McGregor