Contracting Out Schools?

The Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce is yet another group that has come out with a plan for K-12 education. The group, with a national scope, has issued a new report, “Tough Choices or Tough Times.”

It suggests, among other things, that high school be ended at 10th grade.

“Depending on how well the students perform, they could go on to community college or stay in school and study for more advanced tests that could earn them a place at a four-year college. Somewhat similar systems are in place in other countries.” Nationally, they say, this could save $60 billion.

It also calls that teacher pensions should be shifted to 401k-like plans, and that beginning teachers be paid more.

There’s also this recommendation, sure to be controversial: “One other major shift would put independent contractors in charge of operating schools, though the schools would remain public. States would oversee the funding.”

One individual who sits on a local school board gives as good a reason as any for why the suggestions won’t go far: “we have done it the same way for so long.”

Source: Commission Seeks School System Overhaul, Kansas City Star, December 14.

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