Most people will agree the US education system leaves a lot to be desired, but trying to fix it usually leads to a brawl with teachers unions who's heals are so deeply dug in, it might be best to just bury them and start over.
In Ontario, Canada, when Mike Harris a Conservative Premiere tried to make changes in the educational system, the teachers union worked hard to destroy him. They even put up posters in elementary schools making him into the devil.
There are few people who will take on the challenge of trying to improve the educational systems in the west. The Teachers Unions simply will not budge unless they have full control and increased benefits and wages, even if that change is obviously needed.
I was surprised to see Obama was picking up the gauntlet and trying to improve education. He called for longer school years and removing poor performing teachers. I would settle for poor performing teachers, but lets face it in some districts a lot of teachers don't have a chance with the amount of rotten eggs they are given.
I commend President Obama for taking up probably the most central problem that faces America. I truly hope he is committed to such a battle, but something tells me it's just rhetoric and the Teachers Unions are laughing, saying "wink, wink, nudge ,nudge".
Here is the story:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/7219686.htmlAssociated Press Sept. 27, 2010, 7:42AM
WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Monday called for a longer school year for students and the removal of the worst-performing teachers as he sought to give a prominent boost to his education agenda.
Asked in an interview if he supported a year-round school year, Obama said: "The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense." He did not specify how long that school year should be and said that U.S. students attend classes, on average, about a month less than children in most other advance countries.
The president also said money alone can't solve the problems in America's schools. He said more resources must be matched with reforms, including the removal of teachers who, once identified as underperforming and given the chance and the training to improve, are still not serving students well.
Obama says his administration's Race to the Top initiative has been one of the "most powerful tools for reform" in many years. Through the program, states compete for $4 billion in funding by highlighting their plans for reform.
The president said he wants to work with teachers unions, and he embraced the role in defending their members. But he said unions cannot and should not defend a status quo in which one-third of children are dropping out. He urged them not to be resistant to change.
Obama spoke Monday during a live half-hour interview on NBC's Today show.