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Kelly Christopherson

Yes, I can imagine it. It is a great mistake to limit the change to the amount of money in a budget. Change of attitude, mindset, value and understanding are not items that can be identified in a budget. We can throw all the money at "something" but unless there is the corresponding openness to change, it may do nothing and have little effect. In order for our schools to change, leaders need to have a vision that fosters changes regardless of the budgetary amounts. To believe our schools, teachers and children can change is the first step. To see change and believe it can happen will inspire others. That synergy will foster a change that providing money can never do. We have all the necessary parts available to create incredible change but it is the fear of change itself that inhibits most not the lack of funds.

Elizabeth

I have a question -- how do we know our educational system is not adequately funded? How will we know until ineffective teachers and administrators our dismissed, the money spent on silly programs such as certification is ended, fads are stopped being followed, schools and educators stop being more than they are suppose to be and all this saved money goes into the classroom?

I am not willing to put more money into education until public education cleans up its act. One of the biggest problems with public education today is lack of accountability (don't talk to me about NCLB as it is a joke and states are lowering cut scores). Education needs new blood in it -- not people who have been in the system since kindergarten themselves and know nothing else. The system needs to be revamped and then we can talk about adequate funding.

As I see it know, as a very involved and informed parent, education is broken, people in it are too close to the subject and it is past time for a major overhaul. At the end of the day I do a better job educating my children than most of their teachers!

pete reilly

Elizabeth;
Thanks for the comment. I think your comments are an illustration of a fairly widespread perception of education held by the public.

Until that perception changes, many public schools will continue to face scarcity issues.

I'm not sure where you live, or what your local schools are like; but we have an uneven system of funding.

In some city/urban schools it's easy to answer your question, "how do we know our educational system is not adequately funded?"... just look at the buildings. Broken windows, not enought desks or kids, buildings with peeling walls and leaking roofs...to say nothing of a shortage of teachers.

In other regions it is not as obvious...nice physical facilities; but cutbacks in staff, elimination of the arts and music; reductions in clubs and sports...anything not considered reading-writing-science-arithmetic.

Education is like any large industry or institution...it has its stars and heroes who do amazing things every day, in very difficult circumstances...and it has a small group who aren't up to the job and should be doing something else.

In my life, I've had both; however, the great teachers I have had, have changed my life. It is because of them (and my family) that I am who I am. I am so grateful for their work.

My hope is that all kids can have teachers (as I did) that see and develop their unique gifts and at the same time help them acquire the skills and knowledge they'll need to live successful and fulfilling lives.

Elizabeth, we need the passion you have for change.

pete

pete reilly

Kelly,
I agree, money has little to do with change.

I was speaking of the "mindset of scarcity" and how it affects so many aspects of education.

My references to change, were focused on changing our "scarcity mindsets". We can create abundance in all aspects of our lives, and our professions, not just the financial parts; but we need to believe it is possible first.

pete

Rob Jacobs

Aren't we all to blame for this mindset. People in general are always looking at the negative. Rarely do people look at what they have. Most people spend their time thinking about what they don't have. This mindset extends to education. Business, government, and education all have a role in promoting the positive and the possible. Business should be promoting the absolute crucial part education will play in developing the skills to compete in the global market. They should, rightfully point out what needs to be fixed, but they should also point out the strengths of our educational system and come along aside to build upon those strengths. Government has the same responsibility. We have a lot going for us. Lets take some time to remember that.

pete reilly

Rob;
Amen to that. Scarcity can also be an excuse for inaction.

pete

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