Thursday, March 4, 2010

Education as a civil right

America should be the place where no matter what, every generation has as equal a chance as possible for success regardless of their family background or whatever circumstance they were born into. That is the case now more so than most other nations, but we need to make it plain and simple that a quality education is a civil right of all Americans.

While I support vouchers and any other method of delivering education that use parental satisfication as the measuring stick, we need to do whatever is possible and necessary so that we feel secure in holding every person morally accountable for all of their actions. That means they had a fair chance from the beginning just like everyone else.

It is immoral to send children to schools like in Long Island New York where less than 10% of students were passing the standardized math test. Even if your child was the most brilliant person ever, it would take a miracle to shine in that circumstance.

Yet, I think it is wrong to judge schools based on large statistics that obscure basic realities. For example, a school that actually has 90% passing the NCLB AYP measurements would be considered a great school. Yet, that would mean that 10% were failing and not getting extra help. What about those children?

What about the children who aren't reaching their potential on the high end? They are proficient but under the right circumstances could be a genius? They could cure diseases. They could invent great art. They could revolutionize our economy.

That's why we need to find ways to measure what an individual needs. What can they do versus what are they doing?

Democrats should demand the monetary investment that currently goes to the military be redirected towards education.

I don't say this as a dove. I think we can forcefully protect ourselves for much less money, especially if we get rid of the special interests in the military industrial complex.

This is an issue that can unite all Americans around the idea that we should should dedicate ourselves to maximizing all children's talent.

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