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  • "Saving Our Schools" or Maintaining the Status Quo?

    If you happened to be in Washington, D.C., last weekend, you may have run into the “Save Our Schools Rally”—perhaps more accurately titled “Maintain the Status Quo in Education Rally.”

    The folks over at Reason TV were on hand to talk with participants of the rally and created this short video (language warning) that highlights the left’s misunderstanding of the problems in America’s education system today.

    For example, Matt Damon, who spoke at the rally, scoffs at the idea of providing incentives to high-performing teachers or firing poorly performing teachers. Yet great teachers should be rewarded and encouraged in their efforts. Likewise, schools should not be required to keep teachers who fail to live up to expectations. However, the types of policies so often supported by those on the left protect underperforming teachers, and that does nothing to help children or to professionalize the teaching field.

    According to another participant at the rally, the answer to improved schools is “billions” more in education spending. Perhaps what she doesn’t realize is that for decades, the United States has been pouring billions into education, with little to no improvement in student achievement. However, this fact seems to elude politicians who, like this demonstrator, act on the belief that throwing endless amounts of money into a failing school system will somehow fix it.

    Instead of maintaining the same failed policies of previous decades, policymakers must look to reforms that empower parents and students, such as school choice. Not only does choice allow families to make the decisions about a child’s education, but it incentivizes schools to improve.

    Thankfully, unlike those who marched on Washington last weekend, states across the nation are marching forward to implement choice in education, so much so that 2011 has been dubbed the “Year of School Choice.” Rather than maintain a failed status quo, these new policies give students greater opportunity for the best education possible.

    To learn more about the exciting school choice advances across the country in 2011, visit Heritage’s Choices in Education page.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to "Saving Our Schools" or Maintaining the Status Quo?

    1. Bobbie says:

      My Lord, who's been teaching these people? Government? I would rather have sincerity of the teacher. where the teacher would take a cut if they had to because of their love to teach! Where money and benefits are without options. Exploiting children as priceless yet hands hers over to government? What these people consider priceless is the damage caused to their children's minds in the name of social indoctrination which is CHEAP! And because a parent can make a better teacher at no cost it most certainly isn't priceless put into the hands of strangers without accountability. I believe the more sincere the teacher or educator, the less monetary cost of the student. Look at private schools and how well educated those without government involvement are! If you ask me, anyone from the public sector suggesting priceless today, is a product of government greed. If people actually thought their children priceless, they'd keep them away from anything government…

    2. Bill Nye says:

      It is incorrect to write that there have been no appreciable gains in education for decades. Inclusive education laws have meant that teachers are required to provide for all students equally regardless of race, ethnicity, language barriers, or disability. This wasn't always the case. People my age clearly remember troubled or slow students quietly being shuffled off to mysterious placements or special homes for the 'uneducable.'

      The fact that test scores (take your pick) have not decreased dramatically even though more and more wide ranging students are taking them is clear evidence of this. When I was a kid in high school, only the upper crust white kids took the SAT. Now, everyone takes them, and every sub-group scores statistically better than in the past. Perhaps a look at Simpson's Paradox or take a basic statistics course. Try to look a little deeper than basic bumper sticker slogans about education.

      • Bobbie says:

        what's your point? the government took over more and more of the responsibility and they can't handle it!! Costs go up for tax payers based on platitudes? It's ridiculous! If teachers don't want to teach unless they make union pay and unearned benefits paid by people who can't determine the worth, even though publically known failures in educating, tells me teaching is not their goal. And more money hasn't fixed any problems in 10+ years. I'm a parent turned away when I had concerns. I wish I could home school!!! Public education is more trouble then it's worth!!!!!!! The public sector attitude is selfish and greed and below satisfaction for any children.

    3. kspatriot says:

      OMG! How far out of touch can Matt be? "You think a teacher is going to get lazy because they have tenure?" HELL YES! I've muddled through so many classes with idiot teachers who were just putting their time in. They lost their motiviation to teach long before I became their student. Frankly I'd like to see the NEA die a timely death…..and that could not be soon enough.

    4. ted says:

      i never thought a good actor can be a pinhead

    5. None lib says:

      Matt Damon and all of the "Hollylibs" are IDIOTS that have no clue about real life. I will be boycotting his movies now as well, welcome to the list lib pig!!

    6. Lynn says:

      WE should give Matt an" underperforming "doctor under Obamacare. Matt knows a great deal about education, after all didn't he portray a high school student who cheated on a history test in one of his early movies?

    7. Greg says:

      Matt Damon is simply an average talent actor with no practical experience or knowledge about social issues. After his "bad Disney movie" comments about Sarah Palin, I stopped watching his movies or supporting (no matter how good) his charities. Every good patriot should do the same. You must send a message to socialist Hollywood that we will not support their anti American agenda.

    8. Powdermonkey says:

      It is such a shame that the national liberal news media gives so much attention to comments made by actors, no matter how illogical and baseless those comments are. But—hey—he's Matt Damon. I would suspect that Mr. Damon must have some political ambitions that would explain why he continues to be in the news. Frankly, unless there is any other explanation (other than his merely exercising his right to speech, such as would any ordinary citizen), the attention paid to this mediocre actor baffles me. I supposed that I should have learned by now that the news media's questions are usually so lame and non-investigative that blather by people such as Damon is taken at face value by news interviewers and given undeserved credence, no matter how empty it is.

      I would like to have this boob to my home for drinks, at which time I would reduce him to a quavering pile of rubble by asking him questions that he could not answer. I have a long list.

    9. Matt probably is not speaking for the 55% of low-income or minority males who do not pass their 3rd garde reading tests, are not caught up by the ed system, and eventually drop out of school as non-readers with no HS diploma. http://bit.ly/oRq8EP

    10. I may get slammed for posting this but this article should be read.

    11. Right Wing Gal says:

      Parents have plenty of power – what they no longer have is RESPONSIBILITY. I assign homework, beg the underperforming student to do it, express my faith in his ability to do it, call his mother and BEG her to get him to my tutorials (which are EVERY morning – 5X the time the school requires me to put in!). I write exciting lesson plans, attend 6 weeks of training during the summer (most at my own expense), draw on my real-world experience as an engineer to make the lessons relevant, pray for my students (at home obviously), work 60 hours per week, and the student will STILL fail the state test if his parents don't take an interest in his success!!!

    12. jeromeennis says:

      To save our nation, we have to first save our children from the Dumbing Down and Brainwashing that is taking place in the majority of the public schools as they take their mandates from the Federal Government and especially from the United States Department of Education. It is time to Abolish the U.S. Department of Education and rid ourselves of all the Public Laws and Directives that have come this worthless federal bureaucracy which has engineered the Destruction of the Public Education System. The Public Education system was operated by Local and State governments for over 200 years and we became one of the top 3 most literate countries in the world and the most prosperous. Today, after only 40 plus years of Federal Internventions and Take Over by the Feds, we are at Number 28 in the world for literacy and academic outcomes from public education, while spending more per student than every other nation except for the tiny Socialist Nation of Belgium. It is time to Abolish the U.S. Department of Education which is continually creating more destruction in our literacy while at the same time brainwashing our children.

    13. jeromeennis says:

      . The Public Education system was operated by Local and State governments for over 200 years and we became one of the top 3 most literate countries in the world and the most prosperous. Today, after only 40 plus years of Federal Internventions and Take Over by the Feds, we are at Number 28 in the world for literacy and academic outcomes from public education, while spending more per student than every other nation except for the tiny Socialist Nation of Belgium. It is time to Abolish the U.S. Department of Education which is continually creating more destruction in our literacy while at the same time brainwashing our children. Abolishing the U.S. Department of Edyucation would put an immediate 100 billion back in the treasury. That is the budget for the USDOEducation this year alone. And, only 9 percent of this money trickles down to fund public education. The other 91 billion is squandered on the bureaucracy itself. This correlation is across the board in every U.S. government bureaucracy which needs to be abolished in it's entirety, but starting with the abolishment of the Education Department is a great place to start.

    14. jeromeennis says:

      This idito woman they interviewed is a product of this dumbed down system of public education. She has no conception of what a billion dollars is as she says government should spend one billion dollars per child to teach them. Hell, why teach them, just give each of them a billion dollars and they won't have to worry about working ever. Idiots among us are reproducing and this is scary as hell. Could be made into a Moster Movie.

    15. jeromeennis says:

      I have just watched my last Matt Damon movie.

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