Lots going on in education news these days, it seems. First, we are crucifying this poor woman for trying to sneak her kid into a better school. It’s a familiar story — we did something similar to a woman here in Providence recently, as was covered in the long-ago early days of Kmareka. Apparently, this is one of those things we do in our society when we are feeling really conflicted about who “deserves” a good education and who doesn’t.
The conflicts in how we feel about education reform also extend to us liberals. Right now I see we have some liberals in Rhode Island who are hot-and-heavy for education reform that will get us our share of the Race to the Top dollars from the federal government. I took some time to research about the subject and came up with this fascinating expose of how billionaire corporate foundations are driving these reforms and the accompanying conflicts in communities all over our nation. Ours here in Rhode Island is currently focused on whether to make the NECAPS a requirement of high school graduation.
While I know our schools need work work including massive investment in infrastructure, technology, and more teachers to reduce class size, I agree with David Sirota that the real problem we face as a society is dwindling jobs, not an uneducated workforce. Perhaps rather than changing the requirements for diplomas, what we really need to do is change the requirements for companies who outsource their jobs, as is currently proposed in legislation sponsored by our own Sheldon Whitehouse. The real issue is now and will continue to be employment. Many corporations in Rhode Island are moving their white-collar jobs overseas. This has to stop if we are going to have jobs here that pay a decent wage. If there are no jobs here, it’s going to be irrelevant whether you passed the NECAPS or not.