I don't get excited about politics.
I have opinions. I'm just not that thrilled about them. Politics, to me, is a messy world. It's filled with lies, manipulation, special interests, uncertainty... I just can't seem to navigate to the truth sometimes. And when I don't see a really awesome solution, it's hard for me to get excited.
I am surrounded by people who are practically pundits. They can talk for hours about politics, candidates and bills. They get passionate. Red-faced. Loud.
That is how I get. About education. It is my soapbox issue. Don't bring it up at parties. I can't stop talking about it. I will probably talk home school. About how I think a parent's greatest responsibility is the education of her children. About how a caring, well-informed, middle-income parent can provide an academically challenging education for her children that will prepare them for college and a successful career.
I will talk about charter schools. I will talk about my state's drop out rates. I will talk about teen pregnancy, and the importance of the family valuing education.
And I will bring up this man. He is my education hero. The man is making miracles.
I first met him here. I have since read and heard about him in magazines, NPR, and most recently on the documentary .
If you have not yet seen this film, you should. Public education is a huge problem. It is getting worse. But. Unlike most of the big problems in our country--health care costs, welfare, debt, illegal immigration--there is a solution that we know works. Schools like Harlem Success Academy and Kipp Schools across the nation are churning university-ready kids out of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in America. It. Works.
And. Yet. We are still using our same old system.
This film made me wonder if home schooling my children wasn't enough. If maybe I have a responsibility to my community. Maybe starting a charter is the way to go. Maybe if charter schools outnumber public schools, the government will finally get the message.
In order to change public school results, the documentary explored a wide variety of options. Some of these include:
Incentive-based pay for teachers
Elimination of or reduced power for teacher unions
Discontinuing the practice of tenure.
Lengthening the school day
What do you think of these suggested measures? What are your thoughts on education? What do my teacher friends have to add to these issues on their perspective? And while we're on the subject, any strong thoughts about homeschooling? Education reform ideas?