Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Education Reform and a Major Digress into Politics

For today's post I'm going to swerve out of spiritual and into political for a moment. Normally I don't do this and will unlikely do so again. But, JB (see my Personal Challenge post) posted the following on his Facebook page concerning Mitt Romney's plan for Education Reform, which is near and dear to my heart as a future Oregon teacher. I wrote a response which according to is over a page long which is far too long for Facebook's limits, so I am posting it here. His dissertation is called White Paper: A Chance For Every Child . Bon Appetite!

I think it has merit. I like that he plans to give more power and recognition to the teachers, because those teachers really work their backsides off. I was getting classroom experience as part of my degree program in Secondary Ed. and I was staying in the classroom with my mentoring teacher until late at night discussing problems and solution as well as grading the work that came in, often after the due dates. Thankfully, things started improving until 80% of our students passed with a D or higher.

I also agree that funds need to go back to the classrooms. It's amazing to see the administrators turn down requests from teachers that would help all the students, especially the minority students. It was usually turned down because it's "economically prohibitive". And if that's just happening in places other than my district, it's no wonder American education is going down the pot. If the teachers are not able to reach to every student, that teacher will fail.

I had to smile at Bro. Romney's words on page 9 when he said "In defense of the failed system, unions spend hundreds of millions of dollars to curry the favor of political leaders." That sounds about right. I understand the need for unions, but they're becoming more of a hindrance than a help anymore. Maybe it's time to get rid of them, reform them...I don't know. But they're definitely more interested in the interests of the leaders of the unions and where they stand in the country than taking care of the teachers.

I especially liked his proposal of keeping every school open to cater to any student that wishes to study there, instead of trapping the students in schools that do nothing about their failures because of where they live and how many students are suppose to be in each institution. By giving the parents and child(ren) a choice and to be more proactive in their education with prepare them in the long run for college and every other factor in their lives.

And then there are colleges. Most of my classmates have taken out thousands in college loans and by graduation, they're sweating bullets because now they have to start paying the loans back...and with today's job economy, that's a problem. And tuition just gets higher and higher. If Mitt Romney is able to  to tackle this problem and make college achievable, not to mention finish able, he'll have my vote without question in the next election.

As I looked through his reform proposals, I really cannot help but be impressed with his vision. He plans to give power back to parents and their students, by keeping everyone involved, and able to make a more informed decision in order to give these students the best education that they so richly deserve. And not just the average students, but the student that have what we like to call “special needs”, they're even going to have a stake in education improvement. I applaud this part of the plan because it puts the ball in the parent's court, which is where it belongs in the first place!

The bottom line is this: less spending on the stuff that doesn't matter, keeping the parents involved, making education much more affordable, and maintaining a high standard that will reproduce success.

Because let's face it, we're a first world country, but we have a third world education. Our students are behind most European countries due to the lack of proper education and eventually it will kill our country's foundation when the younger generations don't have the tools to succeed in life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm a Mormon

Most of my LDS readers know of the 'I'm A Mormon' campaign. I heard of it last summer and watched some of the videos and I found it rather touching to read and see the testimonies of fellow believers. In my YSA branch we were all encouraged to make our own Ad. Here's mine: I Am A Mormon

For my Non-LDS readers who haven't heard of this campaign, I would strongly encourage you to check these out. Even if you don't agree with our beliefs, I think you'll learn many things and feel inspired to look at your beliefs. It is an amazing opportunity to share your beliefs with others and it makes you grow as a disciple of Christ, no matter what religion you belong to. So, go ahead, give it a look. Feel free to post questions, comments and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

God be with you. Christ be with you.