Perspectives in Education- Part 21: The Basics of Merit Pay

    Merit, or performance pay, is a relatively new phenomena in educational reform. Originally, when the United States was a more rural and agricultural Nation, teachers were hired to teach a variety of ages in a single classroom where the school paid their room and board and they received a small stipend. As the country became more industrialized and with the growth of urban centers, teachers | Read More »

    Perspectives in Education- Part 18: A Primer on Teacher Pay

    Nowhere is there greater disagreement between conservatives and liberals than on the subject of teacher pay. To the liberal, teachers are not paid enough while to the conservative, teachers are paid too highly given the output. There is a certain grain of truth to both arguments, but the bulk of evidence leans towards the conservative arguments. To begin with, according to the United States Census | Read More »

    Perspectives in Education- Part 16: Transparency and What To Do With It

    There are a few things both sides of the educational reform debate agree upon and one of them is accountability in the educational process. However, accountability means little without transparency. This includes not only funding, but also student outcomes and performance, how schools compare to others in the area or throughout the state or nationally and a host of other metrics. Most of the differences | Read More »

    Perspectives in Education- Part 15: Schools Days and Years

    Generally speaking, the school year lasts 180 days spread over 10 months and the average length of a school day is 6.5 hours. Some states vary in both and some states even leave it up to the individual school districts to determine the length of the school year although they usually end up around 180 days regardless. The spread over months is also variable as | Read More »

    Perspectives in Education- Part 14: Does Classroom Size Matter?

    Shifting the subject matter somewhat from vouchers and funding, one important aspect of educational reform is the subject of classroom size. Specifically, what is the ideal class size for optimal learning? Unfortunately, the results of numerous studies when implicated at the policy level results in a one-size-fits-all attitude that often flagrantly ignores other equally important factors. Such is the mindset of the NEA and other | Read More »

    Governor Christie, Obama & Education

    A lot has been written lately about the Federal government granting states waivers from the ill-designed mandates of NCLB. On many conservative websites, the main argument has been the abrogation of state authority over educational standards to federal standards in return for federal education dollars. I have written extensively in the past that for the better part of the history of this country, public education- | Read More »

    A Winning Message to Defeat Obama: Part 3

    Educational reform in this country can be summarized as follows: (1) Reform, not eliminate, the federal Department of Education by getting them out of K-12 education; (2) All K-12 educational funding, reforms and innovation would occur at the state or local level; (3) Eliminate Head Start and convert the program to block grants to states to establish and expand pre-K programs within existing school districts; | Read More »

    A Winning Message to Defeat Obama: Part 1

    Obviously, the economy and jobs and whose vision for the future of a secure and prosperous United States will decide the race for President this year. This is an argument if the Republicans unite behind a common, over-reaching policy and philosophy that guides their solutions. With all the talk of the 1% and the 99%, income inequality will be a major topic. Instead of engaging | Read More »