More support urged for early education (N&R)

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:JLoJZcBdRwWrhM:http://www.guilfordeducationalliance.org/images/subpage_template_01.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Yesterday’s Guilford Education Alliance summit at Grandover brought in about 250 folks regionwide, including State Ed. Supt. June Atkinson, according to today’s News & Record.

Common themes: more money for early childhood education, along with a minor discussion of the funding formula…from Guilford Co. Commissioner John Parks…see what he says in the article:

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:8qCoLE5nw_XWHM:http://www.guilforddems.org/images/parks.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. John Parks, Guilford County commissioner, said county and school officials need to discuss how to balance the need for funds against regional economic challenges. Taxes that are too high can hurt economic growth, he said.

“That’s the big pinch that we have,” Parks said. “We have the growth but not the expansion of the tax base.”.

Okay, Commissioner Parks, you’re talking some sense, you’ve recognized the problem. Now, what do we do about it?

Another notable quotable from the article:

Richard Moore, board chairman for the alliance, said the community needs to become more innovative, such as extending the current 180-day academic calendar.

“Can we look at the sacred cows and do the things we need to do to make sure these gaps are closed?” Moore said.

With all due respect, I guess Mr. Moore didn’t see the recent report from the John Locke Foundation either…you know, the one that disputes that more class time does not necessarily equate to better classroom performance (see more coverage on this here and here).

But here’s the most shocking statistic of them all…again, from the article:

* 17 percent of principals left the district in 2006-07, higher than the five other counties and the state average of 12 percent.

GCS has turned over an alarming amount of principals as of late…what does that say? What message is that sending?

E.C. 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Mr. Huey, I don’t often blog on education matters as I left the field many years ago. I left in tears by the way because I was witnessing the destruction of the education of America’s children. It was as if an Evil moved in and took over and did everything possible to see that America’s young became the Neanderthals of the world. It is indeed working too. Just look around and the evidence is so blatantly clear.

    I don’t know what can be done really since the disease is so entrenched. I do know that throwing more money at the problem is not going to help it. We spend more money per capita on our students than any other country with the very poorest results. Beside, being the cynic I must be giving Terry Top NC Superintendent Grier more money will merely allow him to hire another expert for the administrative staff and enhance his resume.

    As for longer and more days of schooling, well check the world our students are competing against and you will find the 180 days are a thing of the past set up for a rural country to fit the need of the children as farm hands. No other country in the world gives their students a mere 180 days of schooling. The argument of course is that we can’t afford this and to expand the school year will of course bring down the wrath of every teacher who moonlights with a second job in the summer and every administrator and the educators unions and the parents and most certainly the students themselves, but if we want to yank our students into the present which by the way, they are not at all in, then we had better do this.

    I am getting too involved for a mere comment so should probably take this home. BB

  2. Brenda: thank you for your sincere comments…and thank you for your service to our children. Probably the best answer in the interim is to get organized, vote, and speak out.

    Next year’s elections are vital. The filing period is a little more than 60 days away and no one else has expressed an interest in running…complacency abounds in Guilford Co.

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