Sunday, March 14, 2010

Education for a More Competitive America?

The president talks a good game, but toward the end of the clip he compares education reform to initiatives for "improving the economy, the health care system, and encouraging innovations in energy and other growth industries of the 21st century":

But we already have preview of how this administration views our children's hopes for the future. Recall my entry last May, "Don't Abandon Me, Mr. President!!" The administration dashed the hopes of inner city kids in the nation's capital when he abandoned the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. This was heart-wrenching slap in the face to families who really could use some "hope and change." Mary Katherine Ham reported on this at the time, "Obama Administration Picks New Way to Cop Out on Opportunity Scholarships."

So all of this is good to know when considering the administration's new education initiative out this week. See the Los Angeles Times, "
Obama Seeks to Overhaul No Child Left Behind":
President Obama said he would send to Congress on Monday a blueprint for overhauling the nation's education program and the No Child Left Behind project to improve schools, support teachers and set standards that would give high school graduates "the best chance to succeed in a changing world."

Worried that the U.S. is falling behind in education, Obama warned Saturday in his weekly address that "the nation that out-educates us today will out-compete us tomorrow."

He said America had "lost ground" over the last several decades, pointing to 15-year-olds who no longer are near the top in math and science compared with their peers around the world, high school graduation rates that have lagged behind most other wealthy countries, and a United States that no longer leads the world in producing college graduates.

"Unless we step up, unless we take action," Obama said, "there are countless children who will never realize their full talent and potential."

In the Republican response to the president's remarks, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts said Obama, in the first year of his administration, had spent too much time and energy on healthcare and other issues and not enough on trying to end the recession.

Brown said that "an entire year has gone to waste. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many more jobs are in danger. Even now, the president still hasn't gotten the message."
Thank goodness for Scott Brown!

I've said so much myself. Recall my essay last October, "
'The Providence Effect': Astonishing Educational Achievement, 'The Way It Should Be Done'."

I'll have more on education issues tonight, and will append an update here. The president means well, but until we deal with the deeper culture of anti-intellectualism we'll continue to wallow in mediocrity.