by: Jim Taylor | Topics: Education Reform, Barack Obama
As the Commander-in-Chief works to gain momentum leading up to the pivotal 2012 Elections, an election where many have already predicted Obama’s defeat, Barack is doing his best to hit home on one of the nation’s most controversial topics, Education Reform.
However, Obama’s solution for the plan is deeply misaligned with the actual problems that are contributing to our decaying educational system. Instead of focusing on the underlying issues that have much more detriment on our school systems, like the deepening poverty gap and ridiculously ineffective standardized testing as a means to measure the success of our teachers, Obama is instead attempting to put the squeeze on educators who are already pressured to provide results for children in environments where violence, crime and so many out-of-school influences are already severely affecting their ability to receive a fulfilling education.
As the Huffington Post reported Friday evening, Obama’s modified version of his predecessor’s “No Child Left Behind” Act looks to put “between $2 billion and $2.7 billion” into California’s educational system alone, with not a single penny being invested into urban revitalization. While it is extremely important that children receive the books and materials, proper learning standards and adequately trained teachers, the true issue at root is not these problems. The true problem is the growing country-wide poverty index. As far back as history can date itself, poverty has been the cause of crime, violence and a general deterioration in the ‘status quo’ of society. As we look to improve our educational systems, maybe we should also work to improve the general living conditions of those children that have to attend these schools as well.
Beyond this crippling issue, is also the severely detrimental effect that the Obama Administration’s plan will have on the systematization of teacher evaluation. International Business Times reported that the Administration is “focused on accountability by using test-based measures of student progress”. Some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in our lives have been the decision-making skills, reasoning and understanding skills and interpersonal abilities given to us by some of our most beloved educators. This is not something that is measurable by a test and accountable by numbers. In truth, what justice are we doing for our next generation of children?
Someone needs to wake up the Obama Administration. While I am typically a huge supporter of many of their policies, this is one where they are completely missing the mark. The reforms that have been proposed will not only fail to improve our quality of education, but will further prove that America is becoming nothing more than a “conveyor belt society”, which can only hurt our position as a global society.