Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » HMMMM

    Filed at 5:24 am under by dcobranchi

    Some interesting ideas from the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce:

    Under the new group’s proposal, students would finish 10th grade and then take exams. Depending on how well the students perform, they could go on to community college or stay in school and study for more advanced tests that could earn them a place at a four-year college. Somewhat similar systems are in place in other countries.

    The report says that by not spending today’s resources on 11th- and 12th-graders and through other changes, the government could eventually save an estimated $60 billion.

    The money could pay, for example, for new pre-kindergarten programs and higher teacher salaries, which the report said would help recruit top graduates into the profession.

    The commission recommends paying beginning teachers about $45,000 per year, currently the median amount paid to teachers — meaning half earn more than that and half earn less.

    To help cover the cost, the commission recommends moving away from traditional, defined benefit pensions to less generous retirement plans commonly found in the private sector.

    I’ve never understood the rationale behind teachers retirement plans. A 403(b) would certainly save the schools money over the long haul, as it would get the states out from under their long-term commitments. And it doesn’t necessarily follow that teachers, on average, will see less money. There’s just risk where there wasn’t before. That risk is offset by the potential capital gains.

    Defined benefit plans are dead. Teachers ought not reject this out-of-hand.

    4 Responses to “HMMMM”

    Comment by
    December 16th, 2006
    at 7:09 am

    It concerns me that they want to simply move the money around to create more pre-Kprograms. Before you know it, compuslory education laws will say that children must be enrolled in a state-approved school by the time they’re 3 or 4.

    Comment by
    December 16th, 2006
    at 8:40 am

    //I’ve never understood the rationale//


    Comment by
    December 16th, 2006
    at 11:47 am

    Hmmm… now compare this concept to the concept that the NC Board of Education is currently mulling over, a “universal core curriculum” which would force all high schoolers in NC to do the “college prep” track which would impose 2 years of foreign language and more advanced math on all high school graduates.

    More and more states are jumping on the ‘Universal Core Curriculum’ bandwagon.

    Comment by
    December 16th, 2006
    at 8:28 pm

    Read the first paragraph carefully. That is the paragraph that will make homeschooling a difficult choice in the coming years. (10 to 15) Testing will become a requirement to move into college. Homeschoolers will be forced into the testing to move forward. We should all be watching this closely in our own states. They have to win over the legislatures. I have already contacted both my State Senator, Representative and my US Representative. Alll were clueless about this. All were alarmed when I told them about the report and the call to abolish local school boards in favor corpoorate boards. The funding is just one aspect to enable the reforms to take place.

    Also consider, why do we need government approval to move on to college classes? Right now homeschoolers can advance into the community college when they and the college feel their ready at any age. I have friends whose children have gone as early as 14. I have two ready to take classes in the next year. Requiring a government mandated test to prove that your ready is not a postive step for homeschoolers and our freedom. And keep in mind, this test will be initially be a state exam, but we’ll move toward a national exam. That’s what the report’s architect Marc Tucker wants. And then it’s on to the IB Diploma which is already becoming the standard in education in the UK and is making signifcant strides in the US.

    This is not something to take lightly. The Chicago Tribune called this a move toward “European style” education here in the US. And we all know how the government there just loves homeschoolers.