Monday, March 05, 2007

Education Lags

The following editorial appeared in the Northwest Herald
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Education lags

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Most high school students still are not achieving proficiency in math and reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Only 35 percent of high school seniors scored at or above the proficient level on the 2005 national reading test.

In math, the story is even more troubling: Just 23 percent reached proficiency, which indicates solid but not exceptional academic performance.

Since 1983, billions of dollars have been spent on state and federal school reform programs. Despite this massive investment, national tests show few signs of academic progress.

Clearly, it’s time to take reform in a different direction. It no longer makes sense to pour billions of dollars into an outdated bureaucratic model of public education. Top-down reforms that funnel money through the bureaucracy will never raise the schools above mediocrity.

In the next wave of education reform, money should flow from parents to the schools. Let the decisions of parents push schools toward excellence.

Lawmakers and business leaders need to stop wringing their hands and start pushing for reforms that will make a real difference.

Press-Register, Mobile, Ala.

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