(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Virginia Governor Bob McDonald is holding a great education reform summit in Richmond Virginia. Last night featured a discussion between two current Republican governors (McDonnell and Bobby Jindal) and two former Democrat governors (Bob Wise of West Virginia and Doug Wilder of Virginia) with a great deal of consensus on a number of big issues.
My favorite part is that the Richmond Times Dispatch has upgraded me to a “former Florida official” from the reality of “former paper-boy and burger flipper in Nederland Texas.” I will happily take the promotion-I hope to get an induction ceremony involving warpaint and a flaming spear!
Looking down through that list of bullet points I’m struck by the fact that the first point subsumes all the remaining points.
The “people” that matter, the people who are most urgently interested in seeing to each child’s education, are the parents. So parental choice inevitably results in asking people what they want and putting the highest priority on the answers coming from the people most interested in educating the child.
Technology’s a tool. Sometimes the best tool’s a simple one, sometimes a complex tool. When the atmosphere’s conducive to getting the job done right the right tool will be chosen.
Plan well? Uh, yeah. Good idea. Also, wash behind your ears and chew your food thirty-two times. If you don’t plan well parents won’t choose your little school and only those who do plan well will remain.
Start early, never stop? See above and oh, a bit presumptuous for anyone but the person/people most urgently interested in the child’s welfare.
Hands-on learning? Yeah, but none of that constructivist nonsense in which facts become “mere”. Skills and understanding are crucial but they’re built on a foundation of knowledge and that knowledge doesn’t have to be acquired by kids the way it was acquired originally.
Make teaching a prized profession? Only way to do that is with parental choice. To a most school administrators a teacher’s an interchangeable cog in the machine. To a parent a teacher’s someone who may help their child succeed in life. Who’s more likely to seek out the best teacher and who couldn’t care less about teaching skill?
In any case, congratulations on your elevation from burger-flipper to former official. Vinegar gets the smell of burger grease out of clothes, Matt.
Why should anyone take you seriously when you can’t even get the adjective right? Bob Wise and Doug Wilder were Democratic governors. “Democrat” is a noun, “Democratic” is an adjective.
Here you go James: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-adjective.htm
A member of the Republican party could be a democratic governor – if they favored the principles of democracy. But they wouldn’t be a Democrat governor.
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