Education reform: It's gonna hurt

As readers of Bridge and supporters of the Center for Michigan know, the Center is spending the next year hosting conversations around the state about K-12 education and how citizens can improve it. Without doubt, it is vital to get more citizens involved in the policy process. I'm going to indulge my curmudgeonly side a bit, however, to note that education reform is not going to be a matter of smiling consensus. Some decisions will need to be made that are going to gore plenty of oxen in communities around the state.

For example ...

What happens if we wake up one morning and discover that it doesn't matter how much money we spend on public schools? At least one researcher is arguing that the data shows a school culture is far more important than a per-pupil spending figure. There's going to be plenty for all factions in the education policy world to wrestle with here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/12/everything-you-know-about-education-is-wrong/249722/

Michigan was not the first state to let the travel/hotel industry set the parameters of the school calendar. Michigan, meet Virginia. And just so we are all clear: I admire the hard work of everyone in Michigan's hospitality and entertainment industries, but come on! Using the political process to bend decisions about school calendars to the preferences of an industry is awful policy. The dirty little secret about education in Michigan is that most adults don't put children first. They put their child first, but their commitment to anyone else's children is, shall we say, fungible:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2011/12/why_do_virginia_theme_parks_determine_the_state_s_academic_calendar_.html

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.