Wednesday, July 23, 2008


OH MY GOODNESS! As I said yesterday, Mike sent out a request for supporters to submit ideas on key issues of the day. Not only was my entree selected but I am the very first to be published!! My ideas follow:

It is clear as day to me that our education system is in desperate need of reform. Our children are our nation's future. They deserve much better than the mess we have now. Ever since the Soviets launched Sputnik, more and more taxpayer funds have been dumped into Education from the Federal level. As the funding has increased the quality of education has gone down. Our children are continuing to lag behind the rest of the world. How long are we going to accept this? It should be clear as crystal that what we are doing isn't working but we haven't seemed to get that message. Now is the time to not only realize there is a problem but to demand positive change and reform to the current failing system. I may not be an expert or have a degree in the field of education (for I am a simple man), however I have a few ideas to improve our current plight in this area.

1. I was not old enough to vote in 1994 during the Conservative Revolution. Despite that fact I remember one of the broken promises of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. The promise I am referring to the disbanding of the Department of Education. The DoE is a big convoluted mess that is failing us and increasing our amount of debt. It is about time to finally fulfill that promise for America.

2. With the Department of Education shuttered, I think we should focus on transferring more responsibility in educating our children to the states. Doing so would result in some good old-fashioned competition. The citizens in any given state will demand higher standards in education for their students, especially in those states that lag behind the rest. I believe that the competition will result in an increased quality of education across the board, even in the states that happen to lag behind.

3. Speaking of competition, Public schools should not be treated as the only game in town as an option for parents to have their children educated. Charter schools, private schools, and even homeschooling should have equal footing as options. Does that mean I support school vouchers? Not exactly, at least in their current state. For example, I volunteer a lot of time with the Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett, a local private school for children with special needs. The State of Georgia passed a bill last year that allowed parents of special needs children to get vouchers for their education.

While the intentions were great the system has been nothing short of a travesty. The staff is now burdened with increased red tape and paperwork for people who don't seem to care about these students at all. The state now has the ability to have their say in what is and isn't taught to the children (which will no doubt decrease the quality of education these wonderful children receive), and there is no help for parents who send their children to escape the public schools because to qualify for the voucher those students must be put back into the public school system for a certain amount of time. The vouchers have made a mess, a mess that makes you wonder why liberals aren't pushing for vouchers to increase the amount of red tape parents must go through and force Government involvement in schools that they had no access to before!

That is not to say that I am against vouchers. For a voucher system to work, reform is needed from its current form. There is do doubt that parents raise better children than Government can.Therefore every parent in America deserves the ability to choose how and where their children should be educated whether that choice is at a Public, Charter, Private, or a homeschool environment. If the parents of a child decides that the public school setting is not appropriate they should be provided with a voucher to provide for their child's education where they see fit. The voucher should have no strings attached. If a private school is selected the state should have no right to impose their will on said school.

4. Lastly I am in total and complete agreement with Governor Huckabee on the fact that there should be an increase of funds for arts and music education. If it wasn't for classes like Band, Drama and others My mind would not have been stimulated and school would have completely bored me. The more stimulation in the arts and music the better my grades were in areas like math and science because I didn't become as bored during the day. I don't have and can't give you any hard stats but I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true nationwide.

In conclusion, I feel we have a responsibility to give our children the opportunity to have the best education that we can give them. these children are our future leaders. While it is true that we are failing them right now I feel that in four steps that we can greatly improve our education system: Disbanding the Department of Education, encouraging competition between the individual states, reforming the voucher system to give parents more freedom of choice, and making sure arts and music play more of an integral part in education. I could go on forever on this and other subjects but I will hand the floor back to Governor Huckabee, our fine HuckPAC candidates, and other citizens like myself. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in Vertical Day!

God Bless,

Brian Donegan

-Lawrenceville, GA


ecwoodrow said...

Great Job Brian! I agree with you on education 100%.

The only thing I would add is that in addition to giving states more responsibility, I think we should give more to local governments as well. said...

Good points - I'd like to add that music educators need to step up and be 'visionary' in their approach (this goes for academia as well). If music education is all that it says it is, then we should be trying every possible avenue to make it available to everyone. I am not talking about 6th - 12th graders or even the entire El-Hi group.

I'm talking about our communities in general. There needs to be more emphasis on teaching future educators to work in the private sector. This is a community that has long been neglected by music educators!


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