Commission to taxpayers - "Gird your loins."
About that blue ribbon report on education?
Governor RINO-Burger’s newly formed ’21st Century Education Commission’ has performed as expected. One theme seems to stand out. In the end, all will be well if we follow some not-so-surprising advice from the best socialist minds around. – Free college. Preschool for every child. No more grade levels.
A report released last week from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office offered lofty goals designed to overhaul Michigan’s public education system. The state needs to offer free community college, expand preschool access, and restructure K-12 public schools, the report suggested. District leaders in northwest Michigan agreed, but they’ll need more clarity on the details.
Sure. why not?
Government employees shilling for expansion of government? But wait! More clarity?
“My first question would be if it’s free, who’s paying for it?” asked Sander Scott, superintendent at Glen Lake Community Schools. “That’s what any taxpayer would say. There’ll be a cost to be able to offer these things. … The state is really struggling to fund its public schools so adding more is interesting.”
Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission on Friday also recommended merit-based scholarships for graduates who attend public universities and state aid to help fund schools in poverty stricken districts and those used by publicly funded charter schools. Another directive would give the governor more sway over education policy through direct oversight of the state Department of Education.
The panel noted a $2.5 billion price tag to fully implement the recommendations.
Oh, is that all?
It seems that all that our leadership must do in these situations is move more money away from one particular interest (our ‘poor roads’ have been well milked), claim inadequate funding for maintenance, and then recommend a tax we cannot do without. This is the SOP of the new Michigan Republican party, and that party is firmly in control, yes?
“There is no way with the current funding system that what they want to accomplish is possible,” said Suttons Bay Public Schools Superintendent Chris Nelson. “They would need to completely revamp their funding system — which I believe they need to do anyway.”
Why yes I’ll have an Espresso while you are at it!
Local educators offered support for several concepts, but “the devil is in the details,” some said.
Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Paul Soma said his district for years has advocated for universal preschool and routinely offers access to affordable child care. He recognizes the potential benefits — especially for low-income families — but implementation could be a problem.
“I don’t want to say I don’t support it, but I’m not getting too excited because of the practicality of implementing it with the costs,” Soma said, noting that he was pleased to see the report recognize the state’s public schools are (and have been) underfunded.
Paul Soma is good.
Real good. The district has a history of advocating for universal preschool. He certainly stops short of advocating for something he knows is a loser. Way to hedge there Paul, but at least “the details” reportedly have “the devil” in there somewhere.
Kingsley Superintendent Keith Smith said expanding preschool options would help eliminate a disparity between “the haves” and the “have-nots.” Some students enroll in elementary school with more foundational knowledge than others — the plan would help level that playing field, he said.
Social justice man!
I am starting to think that Smith, who manages one of the better ranked schools in the state, is simply in the right seat at the right time. Many around here think because of his school’s rating, that he is a master tactician insofar as superintendents are concerned. A relatively rural area, Kingsley people still have strong family values that result in ‘good kids.’ Generally, good kids do well in school, yes?
Todd Neibauer, vice president for student services and technologies at Northwestern Michigan College, said offering free community college could open doors for thousands of students statewide. And funding the plan might be more feasible than simple wishful thinking.
“Most of the cost increases in post-secondary education have been a result of the state withdrawing some of the support they used to give us,” Neibauer said, noting that tuition accounts for most of the college’s revenue — 68 percent, according to NMC’s most recent audit report.
Community college funding has been on the uptick not only recently, but tracking well with the $8 billion in budgetary increases since the nerd broke out the Taxpayer debit card. Current funding for ‘adult education’ is not being withdrawn. Add to this, our local representative is proud of filching $7million more to build this little college a new dorm for foreign students.
The commission’s recommendation also mentions that counties outside of NMC’s taxable district — like Antrim and Leelanau counties — could be required to join the nearest community college district. Neibauer suggested the state could forcibly levy a property tax to boost funding for the college.
Because that is so eminently popular.
Keep pushing those buttons Mr. Neibauer. Is it any wonder your last millage attempt failed? Is it any wonder that folks are starting to look at our ‘adult education’ funding for what it is? Welfare.
Our continued benevolence to the most liberal institutions we fund simply results in higher cost. We give money, they grow new and less important aspects of education, and then pass on the higher carrying cost to those who are actually interested in meritous reward!
It is clear that funding for higher education in Michigan needs to be reigned in. Per the Mi Constitution, we are obligated to ‘support’ higher education, but there is no dollar amount specified.
Buy a truck for the colleges and universities to meet the mandate, and save $2 billion a year.
Snyder leaned bleak realities in Michigan’s education system to justify the overhaul: Fourth-graders rank 41st nationally in reading, and the state is one of just three to see a decline in reading achievement since 2003. Eighth-graders rank 37th in math, and per-student funding rates continue to fall below par.
Abolishing grade levels would restructure public schooling to ensure students only advance once they master classroom content. And Nelson said that “paradigm shift” would allow students with similar skill sets to learn together rather than simply grouping them by age.
Wow. Just WOW!
Lest we forget, socialization skills are ALSO learned at these ages as well. A “paradigm shift” is definitely what is needed, but not in the way kids are corralled in our failing school districts. Is “failing” a student too much for you hard core educators now?
IMO, shame has a place. The fear of failure will get most kids to perform at whatever minimum is necessary to stay with their buds. Just keep lowering the bar with whatever politically correct mechanisms academia can produce, and then continue to be surprised that your next community college student with free tuition is unable to read.
“I think that abolishing the whole system is how we’re evolving as educators,” Nelson said. “There’ll still need to be some type of classification … But being able to truly teach to a skill set is ideal. In theory, that would translate to more kids learning and growth increasing.”
Abolishing is extinction, not evolution, is it not?
Snyder, with less than two years left in office, called the report a “blueprint” that can be used long into the future. Gains already have been made in some areas identified in the report — like expanded early childhood education — but there clearly is more work to be done in other areas, he told the Associated Press.
The report also recommends providing scholarships to attend a state university to high school graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Other recommendations include: improving teacher colleges by setting higher admission standards that include yearlong residencies with “master” teachers; ensuring every student has a career/college counselor and providing additional funding to educate disadvantaged students.
OK, lots more work to be done, yes.
IF there is to be continued funding for our adult population’s educational wish list, I am more on-board with meritorious achievement. How better to fix a failed policy of dumping money on the colleges and universities, than to make them compete for the high GPA candidates? Scholarships for Michigan high performers who want to attend Michigan colleges or universities, might not be a bad REPLACEMENT for general purpose higher-ed slushery.
If there is any value to this entire nonsense, it would be in redefining the way in which we we fund post secondary education. Let the ditch diggers be ditch diggers, and reward those who actually try. Pouring money down unaccountable university black holes because of a few ambiguous words in the Michigan constitution is ludicrous, and maybe a little insane.
But with do many in state government holding U of M poli-sci degrees, the insanity is probably contagious, and uncontrollable.