Monday, April 24, 2006

Governor Bush's C- Plan

Well Governor Bush is at it again with his new "A++" plan. While the l plan has a few bits of intelligence sprinkled in it it still remains slightly out of tune to the real world. Some of the reforms it calls for are wonderful, such as having children take seven years of mathematics throughout middle and high school, making all schools have at least one High School course taught in middle school, and giving money to schools to improve reading scores. There are some things however that are a little bit...childish.

Ø Offering students the opportunity to graduate with a major or minor area of study - just as college students do - in the arts, advanced studies or career preparation, after completing a rigorous core curriculum.

Ø Revising Florida's high school diploma to recognize student performance through "Differentiated Levels of Proficiency" in specific content areas. Students meeting higher standards in honors courses, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, deserve special recognition. The high school diploma should reflect these accomplishments.

Ø $12 million for middle school and high school reform, incentivizing the development of special learning communities and career academies, assisting in the revision and upgrade in sunshine standards and providing training to school districts on new technology.

While having a student pick a major might sound good, it probably isn't going to work very well. More than 60% of college students change their major sometime before they graduate. I've already done it twice. Having a High School student do something similar is just going to cause problems, and it isn't going to make them seem any more appealing to a college recruiter.

...And while rewarding students is nice its just a waste of good legislation paper and possibly a waste of money as faculty decide which special diploma goes where. Students who are apart of an IB program get their reward in the form of an Associates degree when they graduate or even in their High School transcripts which have a list of all the classes they took with their grades.

The worst part of it however is the funding. $12 million dollars isn't going to be nearly enough money to fund these progams. It calls for new teaching jobs, creation of career academies, and training programs for the school board. We have to be willing to spend a little bit more money on our schools than that. After all better schools means better jobs in the long run.

These programs are going to sink in areas with high poverty levels. Then again, maybe the governor doesen't care about those places...


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