Education is a hot topic in South Carolina. The alleged failure of South Carolina’s public schools sparks interest on the right, via tuition tax credits, and the left, via outright increased public education spending, to grow government and do something about the education of our children.
No one wants to argue against making life better for our children by providing them with a better education. The problem is the Howard Rich crowd that controls the “choice” movement and the liberals in the education establishment both seem to contend for a bigger government role without promising real results. Both factions seem eager to spend our money on their pet ideas, without any proof that those ideas will actually work.
Thus, VUI proposes the unpopular and the politically unthinkable. Why not take a look at the states, such as New Hampshire, Vermont, North Dakota and Virginia that excel at the test measures for education and see how we can get it right? Sports coaches and businessmen look to those who innovate and find a way to succeed. Why can’t educators do the same?
Unfortunately, VUI can answer its own question. In the states that have the most education success, the so called “choice” crowd and the liberal education establishment do not get their way. Education is not an issue to be kicked around every election year. Those who succeed take it seriously and move to remove the bull manure from the process. They actually have the notion that creating smarter kids is good for their state, and politics is left out of it.
That is not South Carolina. The so called “choice” crowd will take the money from the wealthy New Yorker to fight to make sure every wealthy parent gets a subsidy to send his child to private school. The establishment’s educrats will ask for more public money and tell us innovation is just too hard. The two sides work in tandem to make sure South Carolina’s children are robbed of the chance to be their best.
We ought to be outraged. But, chances are we will not be. Instead most of us will pick one side or another, and feed into the failure. We pause at facing the hard truth that we can be better if only we look beyond the politics of the day, and act as a business person, or even a football coach would. Let’s look beyond the dominant political figures and financiers of the day and find a way to find out what works and go with it.
Think about it. Education is as important to your children as their financial future. Would you choose between two bankrupt ideas for their financial future, or would you seek out to learn how those who made some money got it done? Let’s be clear. The bankrupt ideas of the so called school choice movement will not work for most South Carolina children, nor will the status quo embraced by the educrats. We have to look beyond those political forces to find a better way. Such takes the courage to think. I hope we have it. For if we do not, no amount of political money spent will ever make a real difference.