Politics in Education? Are You Surprised?

From a story on No Child Left Behind:

De Soto schools superintendent Sharon Zoellner said she believed in accountability but thought the program needed more flexibility.

“Children don’t learn lock-step,” Zoellner said. “They don’t learn by doing a paper and pencil test.”

Zoellner said a big program facing NCLB was combining schools and politics, which had potential ramifications.

Let’s see how schooling is conducted in this state and country:

1. Students are required by law to attend school between age X and age Y. (Numbers vary from state to state).

2. Owners of real estate (and indirectly, everyone) must pay taxes to pay for education.

3. State representatives and senators make up many of the rules governing schools, and establish a significant part of the total budget for schools.

4. By law, taxes are funneled not to students or families, but to local boards of education. The people on those boards get on the board by way of campaigning for office, and getting election.

5. In other words, the collection and spending of tax dollars on education is overseen by federal and state politicians, and at the most local level conducted by … politicians.

6. And we’re concerned that NCLB gets politics into education? Sorry. It’s already there!

The place to start getting politics OUT of education is to let the money follow the child, and let the systems adjust accordingly.

Source: Moore hosts No Child Left Behind forum, DeSoto Explorer, April 6.

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