As the upcoming election increasingly becomes the talk of the town, I wanted to blog about how we (as future educators) will be affected by each candidate. The Republican plan and the Democratic plan propose different plans for America’s education system. I hope to present this information as completely unbiastly to you guys as possible, because I know everyone has their own formed and different opinion. I found an article from the Huffington Post outlining the Republican plan here and an article containing the president’s radio address here.
Lets start with Obama. Purely because his name comes before Romney in the alphabet. He observes that since 2009 more than 300,000 educators have left the field, “in part because of budget cuts at the state and local level”. Obama believes that Congress should help send more money to educators in these tough times, because teachers matter to all of us! Investing in teachers would be to invest in all of our futures (yay for us!). Obama has also launched a national competition to improve performance in schools, where states voluntarily raise their standards, with little to no money spent. For the most part, Obama is starting to focus his education efforts on higher education; which would be great for us college students – if we could pay less in federal loans.
But is this all that it takes to reform education? Of course I support Obama’s willingness to pay teachers more, but will throwing money at teachers really help enhance a student’s education in any way? I guess that if teachers have a fatter salary then they would be more enthusiastic and hard working in the classroom, and maybe that would be enough to enrich education. Time will tell.
And here what the Huffington Post says about Romney’s plan (he comes next in the alphabet, barely). The Republican plan would give parents/students more flexibility and freedom with choice of school, and options like homeschooling, single-sex classes, full-day school hours, and year-round schools. Romney would ask for periodic rigorous assessments from students and he would count on the accountability of administrators, parents, and teachers to convey teacher performance. Technology integration in the classroom is another big point of Romney’s, as well as emphasis on STEM subjects (nontraditional thinking) and merit pay for teachers. Also included in the GOP is “renewed focus on the Constitution and the writings of the Founding Fathers, and an accurate account of American history that celebrates the birth of this great nation” . . . But isn’t that already a part of an American education?
Romney’s plan seems more constructive than Obama’s, based on these points from what these articles report to us. However, some iffy suggestions include a renewed focus on the Constitution etc (aren’t we trying to move towards diversity in the classroom??) as well as freedom of schooling options. Is it fair to ask teachers to work full-days or year-round? Also, if a schooling district is anything like mine, there is definitely a varying in the curriculum as far as AP (advanced placement) and IB (international baccalaureate) classes. Most families in my town would choose to sent their children to one particular school over another, but are restricted by their address. I feel like this could escalate into a huge problem that teachers and administers would be forced to deal with.
Political affiliations aside, we teachers need to be concerned with who’s education plan works best for us and our students. I encourage everyone, during this upcoming election, to take a moment from time spent on schoolwork or that bottle of jager to look into the nominee’s plans for our future.