Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thompson's Education Plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson announced an education plan today. She wants:

  • Free books, including a new one for every child, every month until they're five years old.
  • Give high school students five years to graduate.
  • Send more students to college by expanding the 21st Century Scholars program.

The Department of Education says it will cost taxpayers an additional $10,000 for each student who spends 5 years rather than the traditional 4-year period to complete high school. Last week, the National Education Association contributed $100,000 to Thompson's campaign. Does anyone think there is anything in Thompson's proposal that is not supported by the teacher's union?


Bart Lies said...

How? With a property tax hike? Mmmmm?

"Free" books. Insert picture of scientist saying 'and then a miracle happens' here.

artfuggins said...

Most education experts agree with most of these proposals. Either we want a better educated citizenry or we dont.....which is it?

Sean Shepard said...

She is perfectly within her rights to go set up a private organization, seek donations and hold fund raising events to provide "free" books to anyone she wants to.

I am a strong believer in the power and importance of books but disagree that it is the role of government to stock the library for you. I wonder, does this mean the government would get to decide which books?

The problem I have with so many politicians is not that they have bad ideas, just that they think the guns of government should be used to force everyone else to pay for it. Heaven forbid they have to actually get people to willingly hand over the money.

We have a whole country of people and corporations trying to leverage the government so that each may live at the expense of everyone else.

Shofar said...

As the father of a high school science teacher, I have the opportunity to discuss the current state of education in Indiana all the time.

One of the chief complaints I hear is that the schools do not DEMAND excellence from the students. There is too much fear on upsetting the status quo in the educational system; in making other, less qualified, teachers look bad; demanding students push themselves will cause hardships for them and their families, the list goes on.

I don't give a rats rear end what the NEA or ISTA or any other self-serving professional, "expert" organization says. As the old saying goes, "The proof is in the pudding." And, unfortunately, the pudding as become sour and needs to be tossed.

The only solution to the educational problem in Indiana and the U.S. is COMPETITION! Fully implement a voucher system, allow students and parents more choices and get rid of the teacher's unions.

Bring spending under control, reward teachers for success, and fire the ones that are not doing their jobs.

I can speak from experience on the waste that IPS has engaged in this year alone. I have a copy of their new dress code booklet that every student and family received. It is twelve pages done on slick paper, with multi color printing and fonts. This is NOT CHEAP! On the back of the booklet there is a thank you to Wal-Mart "for providing the financial support to make this brochure possible." Of course Wal-Mart helped to produce it, they sell the lions share of the uniforms that IPS is requiring.

Don't get me wrong, I like Wal-Mart, I shop at Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart does do a lot for the community. However, couldn't IPS have gone with something a lot less flashy than a twelve page color brochure? How about just providing one copy to the families, instead of two or three? Yes, the family I got this from got three copies of the dress code guidelines. One handed to the parents at the beginning of school, one given to the student, and one mailed.

This is OUR money going down the drain all in the name of educational inferiority. In his second Inaugural Address, on January 20, 1997 Bill Clinton made his famous "Bridge to the 21st Century" speech, saying, "Yes, let us build our bridge. A bridge wide enough and strong enough for every American to cross over to a blessed land of new promise." With the state of education in Indianapolis the way it is, we would be lucky to build a bridge across Poe's Run.

Mark said...

Free books given to families who won't read them to their children anyways. Brilliant!

Don't we have libraries, already supported by our tax dollars, where you can get free books? No wonder she's down by 20 points.

Many other countries manage to do high school equivalent in 3 years. How about expecting more out of the kids in the first place, not to mention the teachers? I guess that's what Shofar is saying, I won't repeat him.