sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, February 07, 2005

In Sunday's N&R, Guilford College professor Adam Golub writes "the nation lacks honest debate on education."

I've got some views on the subject. Help me out if I don't get it.

Professor Golub writes:

"In the national media, for example, stripping advice for minors clearly trumped reporting on less 'sexy' subjects, such as guidance counselor shortages, overcrowded classrooms and budget crises."

Why is this? Because education is, and should be, a local concern. "The honest debate" Professor Golub claims is lacking nationwide takes place, quite vibrantly, within the individual school systems. If he reads the N&R regularly, he would know there's been quite a bit of honest debate about education in Guilford County over the past year, whether it was the High Point school choice plan, transportation problems or location of magnet programs, not to mention the issues listed above. This past school board election was one of the most hotly-contested in recent memory, during which a number of forums were held where candidates were asked to explain their views.

Of course, the No Child Left Behind legislation has created a bit of a national debate, but the individual school systems have to deal with that in the manner that best benefits their students. When the school board was plannming its budget last year, I heard complaints from board members and staff about NCLB. But by far the biggest pain in the butt, from a financial and educational standpoint, was Governor Easley's third-grade class-size reduction. I'm not sure what kind of buzz that would create in the national media. Based on what I've read so far in the N&R, there will be quite a bit of debate about this year's school budget.

Granted, the debate here in Guilford County (and elsewhere) gets a bit heated, and both the school board and the superintendent could be more straightforward when explaining their policies and procedures. But to say there's a lack of honest debate in this country about education is selling quite a few people short.


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