We have a multitude of problems in our education establishment as reported daily in our various news sources. Some of these are most effectively handled by our state governments.
Among these issues, I would first urge our governments to foster more competition among educational institutions with more charter schools, with more private and church-affiliated schools and with more home schooling, accompanied and accomplished via vouchers as with the G.I. Bill after World War II and the Korean Conflict and via tax credits as in other states.
Competition has helped develop our nation and competition in education will improve quality, will help control costs and will reduce conflicts such as parental unrest or strikes in our educating systems. Competition will also soon eliminate unsatisfactory and poor schools as parents won’t use them if choice and competition exist.
I would next urge our governments to markedly increase the length of the school year. Our school year was established when a large portion of our population was involved in agriculture and older students were important in working the farm. Today, few of our population are actively engaged in farm work and our needs for increased time in education of our young are overriding.
I would also urge our governments to markedly increase the standards for people wishing to enter the education establishment. Finland requires that candidates entering teacher training should come from the top 20 percent of their secondary education experience.
I would encourage our governments to establish more simple tests to be completed and reported at the end of the elementary and secondary school year by every student whose education is funded by the taxpayer.
I would urge our governments to provide greater subsidation of education in “blue-collar” employment. In the higher education of “white-collar” occupations as in law or in medicine, etc., in state colleges and universities the tuition charged the student is considerably supplemented via other state tax-supported services.
“Blue-collar” occupations as auto repair and/or pipe fitters, etc., are now complex enough to justify similar state tax-supported services for their educations. We need to put more effort into the education of all our blue-collar workers, for our benefit.
James L. Keen