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Will You Answer What Congress Won't? The Top 20 Questions pt 17

Back in late 2004 and early 2005, I sent emails, faxes, and letters to every member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. In it, I asked them for their answer to a set of twenty questions which the readers of Polipundit wanted asked. The text of the letter was posted here.

52 Readers in 38 states joined the effort, asking their district Representatives and Senators to answer the questions. Response from our elected Representatives and Senators was poor, predictably so. Most Congressmen and Senators simply ignored the letters, emails and faxes. In the end, only seventeen answered with any degree of substance, and not one answered more than two questions.

I was looking at the set of questions this week, and you know, they still look like good questions to me, so I am going to ask you for your opinion on them. This will take a while, since I am putting up one question for each post, but please give this your serious consideration. And folks, this is not about politics or smacking down the other side; this is an opportunity to explore the issues of substance for our country. Sad that Congress was not up to it, but maybe we can get the conversation going. Thanks in advance.

17. What actions do you support for education reform?


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Comments (11)

Federal government should n... (Below threshold)

Federal government should not have a say in public education except in matters where civil rights are violated, which would then fall on the justice department. Close the Department of Education and save the tax payers some money. ww

I agree with WildWillie, bu... (Below threshold)

I agree with WildWillie, but IMO some sort of standards should be listed, so when parents of children relocate, the education would be close to what they were receiving.

And keep religion out of public schools. Private schools is a different matter.

True that this should be a ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

True that this should be a local issue not a federal one so a presidential candidate should feel it's not the federal goverments business, but on a local level, two things that will fix most, if not all, problems with our school systems are (1) school voucher programs and (2) right to work legislation.

Of course both of those involve free choice & liberty so the democrats are going to automatically oppose them. Every republican however should not only support those measures, they should demand them!

Education reform, cut out a... (Below threshold)

Education reform, cut out all the fancy crap and go back to the 3 Rs. Class sizes of 30 or more *DO* work, as long as the parents are FOR education. You want fancy education material sin your school, then by golly, you the parents buy it, do tax the rest of us for *YOUR* pipe dreams.

Immediate abolition of the ... (Below threshold)

Immediate abolition of the Department of Education.

As I like to ask, if we shut down the Department of Education today, would there be ANY schools that could not open tomorrow?

I think that this is a grea... (Below threshold)

I think that this is a great question. I think that the teachers should be tested. I am sick and tired of the same old excuses.

I think that there should be an accountability. Big time. As to religion, yep let's keep that out too.

And textbooks, let's get the agenda's out of the books. No more homosexual/trans-gender/ bisexual/ Islam/ anti Christian/anti American agendas.

Oh and I think that the voucher system would resolve most of this. By giving the voice to the parents, the quality schools would be filled and those that were below par would cease to have students.

Just my thoughts

Close the Department of ... (Below threshold)

Close the Department of Education.

Not the first person in this thread to say it. But it's worth repeating.

Twenty questions, DJ, and n... (Below threshold)

Twenty questions, DJ, and not one (NOT ONE!) dealing with global warming or reducing poverty. Twenty relatively trivial questions, no wonder they've been ignored.

"Close the Department of Education." -- Arthur

Ain't going to happen, as long as there's the slightest chance either that a President of the United States would ask a question like "Is our children learning?" or that anyone would be dumb enough to vote for such a guy. Nope, we definitely need a Department of Education. But you can keep on dreaming, conservative.

Education reform trivial. W... (Below threshold)

Education reform trivial. We've got college grads who can't read and education reform is trivial. Herman, you're just an idiot.

How about this:


Oh yeah, can't do that.

Okay then: Pass a federal law that says (1)no state that impedes charter schools will get any federal money, and (2)every student who graduates from a public high school with straight A's and scores over 2000 on his SATs gets a full ride to the college of his/her choice courtesy of Uncle Sam, and (3) make the school year 12 months.

End all federal monetary co... (Below threshold)

End all federal monetary contributions to public education. Then end all other federal subsidies to education at any level, most especially federal research grants to professors on university staffs and loan assistance for college students.

If the state governments want to run sinkholes for young minds on their own dime, there's little Washington can do to stop them, but at the least it ought to disinvolve itself from the calamity.

The education levels in thi... (Below threshold)

The education levels in this country began to decline at precisely the time that teachers in our schools starting graduating from college with a degree in the mechanics of teaching, instead of in the subject matter that they were hired to teach. It should be a requirement that if you are going to teach English, you have an advanced degree in English. Same for Math, History, Chemistry, etc.

Also, the following:
a) Ban teachers unions.
b) Merit-based increases for teachers based on measurable performance by students.
c) All performance testing standards for students are made uniform. No "dumbing down" the test for language, cultural or any other non-factor reasons. If you can't meet the standard, you should adapt yourself to the standard, not the other way around. You want to be a part of this society, you adapt to it, not it to you.
d) Return to truancy enforcement for parents. Your kids don't want to go to school, fine, your going to jail.
e) Spanish is an elective only, and Spanish (or any other language) should not be a primary language allowed in school.

If someone falls behind in school, we should have means of supporting parents to get the student the assistance they need in order to be successful. We need to eliminate from our society all vestiges of culture that devalue education.






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