Sunday, June 19, 2005

Another Serious Issue That Is Over Liberals' Heads

David Hawpe is at it again, turning what should be a very important debate into a full-scale partisan attack.

The Louisville C-J columnist took all of his allotted space in Sunday's paper to rip Rep. Anne Northup for her role in funding cuts for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Let me say that I appreciate KET's programming for kids. My little boys love several of their shows and they seem to have a somewhat positive impact. But the marketplace is changing and CPB needs to change as well.

The educational industrial complex that we have built up (of which CPB is a part) badly needs reform. Technology has become much more efficient, yet much of our government's approach to education has struggled to adequately integrate these efficiencies into the system of helping our kids learn. Try a google search for home schooling resources sometime. It will blow your mind to see what is available. While we have made a big deal out of $1500 from every GM car purchase going to employee health costs, we don't give so much thought to how many of our tax dollars are going to fund bloated education bureaucracies without benefit to our children. We are spending more on computers in schools -- and all their related expenses -- while showing little gain for the increase in expenditures.

Four years ago, we got my then-four year old son a reading program for $400 that made him cry every time we pulled it out. We now have another four year old who is learning to read with two $9 DVD's that he loves to watch. That's what technology is supposed to do: provide better production from fewer resources. That process works; it just needs to be more widely applied in how our government's educational processes function.

Our discussion needs to start here, but we can't really expect more than Hawpe's fanciful demolition of Republicans when attempting to discuss this or any other type of reform with opponents on the left. Better then, perhaps, to ram changes down their throats and dismiss their complaints of indigestion as simple eructation.

Look it up. And then thank a teacher -- and a system of free enterprise that will be allowed to work its magic through the creative destruction process coming to CPB. May it be applied to other areas of public education as well.