Our third installment of the recommended articles we have found from the week prior.
A very interesting opinion article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. It was written by Fran Tarkenton, the formal NFL player. We only had one small problem with it, Tarkenton seems to think Bill Gates has a clue when it comes education, but that’s another discussion for another time. Other than that small problem, Tarkenton nails it in this piece.
Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.
The school district in Fremont, Nebraska has ignited controversy after officials banned students from wearing a necklace that looks like a rosary. The ban was implemented after police told school officials that the necklace is also being worn by gang members.
Great article looking at the coming Common Core State Standards.
At the Republican state convention a few months ago I had the chance to speak with Utah Governor Gary Herbert for a few minutes and so I brought up the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The governor assured me they weren’t a prelude to a national takeover of education (which by some measures we could conclude that already happened years ago). The governor said the CCSS was the product of states getting together and collaborating to improve the standards. That is true in part. The states got together. However, some states had better standards than what was produced in the CCSS documents. Rather than 50 experiments in education, we will now have 1. Success and failure is now 100% for our country in either direction, rather than 2% per state. Will the CCSS work? Nobody knows. They’ve never been used. They weren’t even complete when they started being adopted by states. Assessments weren’t ready to look at, but “don’t worry, everything necessary for this system to work 100% is in process…”
When the evidence is examined as a whole, it is difficult to not see the CCSS as the prelude to a national melding of education into a giant pot. It’s not like everything is isolated and we certainly can’t say that the standards are independent objects for the states to manipulate. If a state signs on, they can’t modify the standards except to add a little to them. So lets look at what else we know is happening that is pushing forward to compliment the CCSS.
Americans believe that bold action to restrict spending is necessary to stabilize the finances of state government.
Last month, in a wide-ranging national survey of 1,000 randomly selected, registered voters, and in 10 polls in individual states each with 400 respondents, my polling company found that voters strongly favor measures to pare the compensation of current and future public employees. They strongly oppose higher taxes.
Specifically, over three-quarters (78%) say their state faced a budget crisis this year, and 68% say that the crisis was resolved with spending cuts. Overwhelmingly they blame politicians for creating and exacerbating the problems: 48% say “elected state officials made careless and self-serving decisions,” while only 6% say “state governments did not tax enough.”