Friday, December 15, 2006

Education Reform

The Commission on the Skills of the American People has just published a new report: Tough Choices or Tough Times describing how they propose to reform our primary and secondary education systems. The executive summery of the report lists 10 problems with our current education system as well as a ten point plan for reform. Highlights of the report are that the commission would fund education systems at the state rather than the local level by essentially creating a statewide voucher program, establish state exit exams and allow students who passed those exams to leave the school system bound for either community college or advanced studies, and reform teacher compensation to attract more talented teachers and motivate teachers to excel instead of just remain employees.

All of these points seem like good things to do, but good luck getting them implemented. Such drastic overhauls would be terrible news for the existing teacher's unions, which have prevented reform for decades. Education vouchers are just a toe in the water compared with the recommendations in this report. We need real reform, but are only likely to get tweaks at the margins.

I will try to include more details as I have a chance to do further analysis.

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