Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Defining Education Reform For 21st Century

Kentucky's education establishment went ballistic yesterday over the mere suggestion they might have to take less money in the next budget to deliver their mediocre results.

The need to change the way we discuss education reform is not unrelated to the many problems in overcrowded county jails throughout the state.

Bureaucrats may be satisfied with papering over Kentucky's dropout problem, but yesterday's high school graduates -- in large numbers -- are today sleeping on the floor in county jails.

With the current push among the education crowd to shift more resources toward early childhood education, we have what amounts to a crass diversion from real problems in favor of spending on a new program several years removed from accountability.

New laws to force students to stay in school against their will are just the opposite side of the same coin.

We can't afford these games any longer.

Middle school is where we are losing our kids. When they give up in middle school, they too often start using drugs and drop out of high school. These are the people filling up our jails.

We don't need more tax money for teachers unions and bureaucrats nearly as much as we need to concentrate our efforts where they benefit kids more than the bureaucrats.