Speaking of taxpayer and education accountability

A little more about the Gidwitz campaign from the Quad City Times

Gidwitz: Illinois schools are mediocre, but he can fix them. 

And when you were chairing the ISBE board, what were you doing, sir?  Let me guess.  Your Hands Were Tied is the usual mantra from schoolie folks.

All of this education reform will spin your head. The guv phases out ISBE for a dept of ed while education reform is a huge and controversial topic (and oftentimes charade ).  And Mr Gitwitz glommed onto ‘reform’ with unfortunate suggestions and the usual ‘not a politician’ stuff.

“What we don’t need is another politician in the governor’s mansion,” said Gidwitz, the former chairman of the state board of education. “We need a proven educational leader.”

What’s that you say about politicians?  Plus teacher unions are all about pre-school and more job securities.  So this would cut it with them, for sure.

The plan also would include incentives for teachers, who he said aren’t always qualified to teach subjects they need to.Gidwitz said the proposal — called P-16 for its emphasis on creating more pre-school opportunities, making kindergarten mandatory….

Most families already send their kids to kindergarten and are likely oblivious to the fact that it isn’t already mandatory.   But it’s a sound bite that I’m ever watchful for in the ILGA site.  And here’s why from my taxpayer/community education concerns :

The generic version from last year

Dear Editor,

There will be an important bill presented next Wednesday morning in the Illinois House’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.  SB 409 lowers compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 years of age.  It has only been 4 months since the compulsory attendance age rose to 17 from 16 years of age.  Ironically, on April 27th when discussion of SB 409 was to be heard, an organized rally was held at the capitol promoting more funding for adult education programs.

Adult education programs are important in many adults’ lives, particularly with young adults who were not successful during their compulsory attendance period.  I strongly support the adult education classes and I know the dedication of their instructors.  However, if the public schools were serving these very children well from 5 to 17 years of age, there would not be this tremendous need for adult education classes.

In a federally sponsored analysis of 8,000 early childhood studies, the Moore Foundation states “top learning and development authorities warn that early formal school is burning out our children”.

Earlier this month, Senate sponsor Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) told the Senate Education Committee that he had received many calls opposing his legislation. His response: “I wish this bill lowered the compulsory attendance age down to 3,” the freshman senator said.

Senator Raoul’s words should sound an alarm for those who wish to protect their parental rights. Illinois is leading the way with Big Brother programs since the passage of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Act and the establishment of Social/Emotional Learning Standards for the children of compulsory attendance age.  Let us stop this invasive manipulation of our parental rights and children’s lives.  Please call Representative Flider (217) 428-2708 or (217) 782-8398 and the other representatives on this committee to protest SB 409.

Sincerely,

Susan Ryan

Again from the Quad City article:

However, he didn’t say how much that would be, other than to estimate the kindergarten requirement could cost another $20 million to $25 million.

Sure.

Doug Scofield, a spokesman for Blagojevich, called Gidwitz’s criticisms of school performance “disingenuous” given that he headed a state board “in need of significant reform.” Scofield said the governor has spent more money on education than past GOP leaders, including for pre-kindergarten classes.

Whatever.  From Mr. Clemons :

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.


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