A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about health care, which, for me, is the biggest concern in Election 2008. Next on my list, though, is education.
Why education matters to me
To me, there are very few things more important than seeing that future generations are well-educated. A well-educated society -- one in which everyone has access to some form of basic education and options to continue education beyond that -- is a society that is better off overall. America is so great because she offers educational opportunities.
Unfortunately, we are starting to fail our children in terms of education. Additionally, our higher education is becoming prohibitively expensive. This means that we are starting to lose an edge that we once had on the world stage. And I don't mean just teaching kids to perform well on tests. Standardized tests don't truly measure critical thinking and other skills. They merely measure your ability to regurgitate information.
Personally, I think that teachers should be paid more, and that they should be routinely evaluated and awarded bonuses for excellence. This would attract more quality teachers, and help retain them in the future. Tenure is also something that I am wary of, since it encourages teachers to fall off at some point. But some kind of modified tenure might be in order.
I am not a fan of school vouchers, even though I send my son to private kindergarten in the afternoons (public kindergarten here just isn't cutting it). I also have no problem with *gasp* a national school curriculum. I compare the education my husband got in New York to the education I got in Idaho -- and what it looks like my son is getting in Utah -- and think that it might be nice to have a more consistent and uniform educational system in this country.
Personally, while neither candidate places as much emphasis on education as I would like, I think Barack Obama's plan for education more closely mirrors my thoughts on the subject than does John McCain's plan for education. I also like Obama's emphasis on early childhood education.
What do you think of education in America? Who do you think will help American education?
Tags: education, Barack Obama, John McCain, Election 2008,
economy, health care