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Proviso Probe

Saturday, February 17, 2007

ED, what should a quality education include?

WJBD 1350 AM has has a story that references Sen. Kimberly Lightford's (D-Maywood) ideas about education, jobs and poverty.

People without diplomas have inferior jobs and their children tend to live in poverty. There's a committee working to lower the drop-out rate. Lightford then jumps to schools need more money and Illinois needs a tax swap.

Why don't people who have diplomas get good jobs?
  • Is it because they know certain facts? Or can't process the information?
  • Do employers not offer jobs to people without diplomas?
  • Or is it that people who don't show up to class turn into employees that don't show up to work?

The follow-up questions are important. If people without diplomas basically can do the jobs but employers are discriminating then it would make sense to make it easy to get some piece of paper equivalent of a high school diploma.

If the issue is absenteeism, it doesn't seem like investing in teachers is an appropriate strategy. What's the point of having great teachers if the students aren't coming to class?

Here's a concern: what if the schools, teachers unions, administrators, et al are starting with the premise schools need more money and are fitting their arguments around the assumption that more money is the end and not the means to educating students?

Have we, as a society, defined what a good education is? Is it time to step back from the education issue and ask, what constitutes a quality education in this era?

Once we define a quality education then we can design a system to deliver a quality education to all.

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1 Comments:

  • I think you hit the nail on the head Carl. What are we talking about here and how does it relate to throwing more money at schools? Is money the issue in the school districts in Proviso? Are dropouts the issue? Is poverty the issue? While I understand the "tax swap" plan that has been brewing since Dawn Clark Netch; I am not so sure that more money is the answer in Proviso. How much money does 209 get? How is it spent? Who guides/leads the spending?
    It is a matter of priority and how you spend that money and I for one believe that we have not been good stewards over the money we have gotten. I do not want to pay higher taxes for the continued missappropriation of funds and endless missteps of this current board. I have no confidence in them nor will I vote for any of them in the next election. They have had their chance.

    I am still miffed about the 40 million bond issue in which was used to renovate a building for a new school. But, what bites my ass (sorry about the profanity) is that not one dime was used to helped the other two schools!

    I have also heard from parents that they believe that there is some favoritism in the selection process to those who are politically connected. That is plain wrong.

    A quality education should include the likely hood that a student will be equipped with basic skills and could expect good life chances after graduation and beyond.

    By Anonymous ab of Bellwood, at 9:24 PM, February 18, 2007  

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