Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I read the paper today and found an article tucked at the bottom of the page. Apparently, the chairperson of the Senate Education Committee has drafted a bill that will cut the required credits needed to graduate in the state of Kentucky (from 22 to 16). This plays into a large plan to give kids the opportunity to go to college early. That's great, but those credits that are cut are all of the electives.
Is this punishment designed to ensure that US public education does fail? I have always been under the impression throughout the Bush administration that everything from vouchers to cut funding for failing schools were only designed to set up public education for failure, thus leading a revolution back to the educational system of the Industrial Revolution--educate the elite, and let the others fill in the unskilled areas that need to be filled. I don't know about you, but I don't want a tiered system in this country.
Granted, there are problems within the structure of public schools and it may mean that that structure must be completely thrown out and replaced with another. However good the intentions, I believe this senator's approach must be done with caution. There should be much more dialogue over this proposal. High-achieving students and those with great motivation should be able to attend college early; in fact, I am a product of such a program in Ohio. But the Ohio program had a very different selection process and many criteria that did not involve cutting the minimum credits. Is our assembly too prideful to borrow or adapt ideas that work from our sister states? I guess the question is already answered since we do not require proficiency on CATS as a graduation requirement (as Ohio's OGT does).
In any case, you may read this article in its entirety here. Let me know what you think.