2013-04-17 / Opinion

EDITORIAL

New state mandate is testing the public’s ability to finance local schools

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Once again federal & or state

Once again federal & or state education department mandates put the cart before the horse. We have at least 35% of all NYS students not ready for college type curriculums. They can't read at grade levels; they cannot do simple math skills in their heads; they cannot perform critical thinking skills for basic problem solving & are uninformed how civics works in the real world. This is backed up also with even more distressing numbers by a Gallop poll survey of the AASA (The School Superintendents Association)that only 1 in every four students are engaged in learning between the 5th & 10th grades. The 11th & 12th grades there are more engagement because many disengaged students already have dropped out of school. Here is a short excerpt from Fortune Magazine on the state of newly graduated college & university grads to the work place. "Note to recent college grads and the Class of 2012: You may not be as ready for the working world as you think you are. At least, that's the opinion of about 500 senior managers and C-suite executives in a study by Global Strategy Group... In all, a 65% majority of business leaders say young people applying for jobs at their companies right out of college are only "somewhat" prepared for success in business, with 40% of C-suite executives saying they are "not prepared at all." Not only that, but even those who get hired anyway may not rise very far. Almost half (47%) of C-suite executives believe that fewer than one-quarter (21%) of new grads have the skills they'll need to advance past entry-level jobs. And what skills might those be? The most sought-after are problem-solving (49% ranked it No. 1), collaboration (43%), and critical thinking (36%). Also in demand is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing (31%). Technology and social media skills came in at rock bottom on the list, valued highly by only a tiny 5% minority of senior managers. The kicker: According to the poll, new grads fall far short of the mark in every one of these areas -- except tech savvy, the least desired." Since the federal government created the US Department of Education in 1974, which mandates certain guidelines & curriculums for the state education departments to follow, we as a nation have seen the US drop from a world leader of education to a mediocre nation of educated students. Instead of forcing students from the 5th grade on to use new technology, which most of the youth of today are proficient at, maybe we should think of going back to basics in reading, writing, arithmetic & history & civics lessons. Bring back vocational trade classes, so the disadvantaged students can learn to at least earn a good living. It is time to disband federal & state education departments who are so out of touch of the realities on proper education. Replace them with a consensus of educators, school administrators & parents, a Statewide School-board for lack of a better title, to determine curriculum & policies. Also there are no place for teacher's unions to be involved with education policies & curriculums. That should be left up to the parents & local school boards. There should be contracts between parents, students, teachers & school boards define the responsibilities of each party to complete a well rounded education & the opportunity when a student graduates high school that they are qualified for either college, which not everyone is at the end of high school, or a trade that will earn them a good to great living for the rest of their lives.

Poll

Was the the beheading of a woman in Moore, Oklahoma on Fri., Sept. 26 an act of terrorism on American soil, or an isolated incident involving a mentally deranged individual acting alone?