Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wise Investments?

More and more the talk in education is about making wise investments in education and getting a postive return on that investment. Margaret Spellings started us out last year in her speech announcing the need for reforms in higher education. And the rehetoric continues to trickle down to the state and local governments.

Here's a few places where this investment "wisdom"is showing up in the news this week.

Florida's Wise Investment.
Florida lawmakers made a smart investment in the state's future by approving near-record spending for schools and by passing the last round of Gov. Jeb Bush's school reforms. Those reforms will bring rewarding new challenges to middle- and high-school students.

Part of their "wisdom" includes requiring middle and high school students to select a career major and minor in the same way that university students do.

Early education a wise investment

One of the best investments state and local governments can make with their public dollars is in high-quality, parent-involved early childhood development programs, an early education and economics expert told a local conference of educators Thursday.
The "expert" is Arthur J. Rolnick, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. So now we have the Federal Reserve telling us what's best for our children? Not at all. He's telling us what's best for the economic development of the nation.

Career tracking and universal preschool and are two mechanisms that are being used to further that economic development. Never mind that children are better off at home with their parents. (That's why babies cry when they leave their mothers. And why mothers cry after they leave their babies.) Never mind that most high schoolers can't decide what to wear to the prom, let alone what they want to do with the rest of their life.

Wise investments means only what is best for the state. They have invested nothing but gain the most. So is it any surprise that we have a banker advising educators on what's best in education? However, parents, who have invested the most have the least amount of input and the worst return on their investment. I don't call that a wise investment. I call that a scam.

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