WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Tuesday embraced a new approach to education that would reward good teachers, remove limits on charter schools and lengthen both the school day and the school year.
These proposals, which constitute the heart of Obama's vision of 21st century education reform, were sure to generate loud criticism, particularly from teachers' union.
Of course the union doesn't want it. The union is nothing more than a socialist organization that rewards laziness and stupidity and punishes those who put in extra effort. What a disaster it would be indeed if good teachers were recognized and shitty ones thrown out on their asses. Nobody should give two shits what the union wants because they're a big part in the destruction of our country. Look at the auto industry.
Educators oppose charter schools because they divert tax dollars away from traditional public schools. Merit-based systems for teachers have been anathema to the teachers' unions, a powerful force in Obama's Democratic Party, for many years. Obama acknowledged that some of his proposals would be unpopular with both parties. "Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom," he said, delivering the first major education speech of his presidency before a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"Too many in the Republican Party have opposed new investments in early education, despite compelling evidence of its importance." But he argued that a far-reaching overhaul of the nation's education system is an economic imperative that can't wait despite the urgency of the financial crisis and other matters. "Despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we have let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us," he said.
"The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, unsustainable for our democracy, and unacceptable for our children. We cannot afford to let it continue. What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream." The ideas Obama promoted were nearly all elements of his presidential campaign platform last year. He only barely mentioned the reauthorization of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, which introduced sweeping reforms that schools are struggling to meet without the funding to match. Obama said his administration would "later this year" ensure that schools get the funding they need and that the money is conditioned on results.
I do disagree with anybody who wants a "no child left behind" rule in place because it's simply ridiculous. Some children are simply idiots and need left behind. When teachers are crippled by a small minority of moronic students who can't keep up the rest of the students suffer as well. Imagine what they might learn in a year (compared to what they do now) if Dimwitted Jimmy simply failed a grade as he should (as he would have in my day).
Every child is not cut out to make it to college and every child does not get to be whatever he or she wants when they grow up, it's a simple fact of life and everybody needs to learn it. A longer school day and year would help greatly catching up with the times. Summer breaks are an obsolete remnant of a bygone era when children were actually needed to work. Now children spend all summer sitting around playing XBox and getting into trouble. They might as well be doing something useful.
My question is this: Are they also going to put the authority back in the hands of the teachers that is needed to do their jobs? My brother quit teaching because too many students were unruly and wouldn't listen and he had no power to do anything. If he attempted to punish them (detention, etc.) the parents complained, the administrators crumbled and nothing got done. My principal was also my Taekwondo instructor and I know for a fact that in his day you would have gotten thrown through a wall. Sometimes it's necessary.
Parents need to step up and control your children. Administrators and lawmakers need to step up and realize that there are certain places where children should not have "rights". Granted they shouldn't be beaten with a paddle but they certainly should be kicked the fuck out if they can't act properly. A couple years working drive through at McDonald's would certainly set them straight and if it doesn't it was meant to be. It's a good start, but there's still a lot to be done and this proposal alone will not fix the problem.