Monday, February 21, 2011

Can $100 million fix education?

What would you do with $100 million?

There are very few people in the world who ever have to answer that question, and it usually revolves around winning the lottery.

I’m really not that greedy. I don’t have to win the super, mega, massive lottery. I’d be happy with the kind of super, pretty-big lottery. A million would do me just fine, thank you.

But what if I asked the same question and put a little twist on it?

This might not be as much fun as fantasizing about buying mansions and yachts, but it could be a little more productive.

So I’ll ask again.

What would you do with $100 million ... to fix education?

I’m going on the assumption that no one is going to argue when I say that it’s broken, but I’m sure there are some who will make the case for us having one of the best educational systems in the world. While that statement is true — because of the use of “one of” in the preceding sentence — it is still a sad state of affairs when the most powerful nation in the world ranks behind that of Cuba, Canada and all of the “‘stans” in literacy. That’s right, Kazakhstan has a higher literacy rate than the U.S.



Fast Company asked the same question, and came up with some answers.
http://bit.ly/e8xfVf

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

If $100 million could fix our education problems, then why do we not have the very wealth putting some of their wealth into the system? Google has, let's see how that works out. I believe recognition is not there and the people that are complaining so loud and clear, really don't have the fogies idea how to proceed. Baby Steps from birth is the answer. Well, really not the whole answer, because Parents are uneducated or could care less how well their children are doing in school enters into it. So, first things first - regular medical checkups, all children should have a balanced diet, seasonal clothing, a place to sleep and all parents must assist their children or accompany them to their school so the parents and student are on the same page in the learning process and know when to admit a child does not have the ability to do all things and stop judging them. There is a place for all people in our society - The AAA Rating does not always fit into Education unless you are talking about all students preparing to work on Wall Street - I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

OK, so Cuba and Canada are ahead of USA when it comes to areas of education. What has never been told to we common people is how are they financed and what type of school system is used? In the long run our children have choices, do the other countries give this type of education? Now, this is a starting point after you have checked into students that have medical problems, on the rolls and uneducated parents to begin with that could care less as one blogger mentioned. Motivation is not there and playtime is all some students think of, why not?

Anonymous said...

you rant about education and how important a local paper is, but you won't even send a reporter to a Methacton School Board Meeting as they axe the high school's athletic trainer.

Anonymous said...

Was there a request made to the Herald for coverage? The Trainer was let go because??? This is news, but just a regular meeting is not. I'm sorry I missed this meeting. Our family will catch up to the news here in the TH or our neighbors that have children in the school.

Anonymous said...

If they want to cut cost at Methacton eliminate teachers that are doubling up in the classroom. I have been told by more than one student two teachers are maning each class room. Why?? At salary's of 60 to 70 Thousand these teachers should be professionals. Please someone answer me , why do they need to double up? Why is this question not asked at a Board meeting? How many athletes are getting scholarships from the sports program? The School Board did not believe they needed a trainer? How manny sports are played at Methacton? One trainer
at 70+ Thousand, she had to be spread pretty thin.

Anonymous said...

Two Teachers manning how many classrooms? Trainer at $70,000.00 - a little too much. This type of support for athletic departments are usually on the college level. Send a registered letter to the Methacton School Board President and ask for answers and have a cc to the TH so that all LP & Worcester will know the answers. I know some HS are doubling up, but the backup is a Student from a local college trying to complete their requirements to graduate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.. I thought one teaching in a Pennsylvania School had to be a State certified teacher. If the backup is a student from a local college trying to graduate, why are we paying the certified teachers so much money for doing nothing? If the classrooms have two certified teachers in each room, something is wrong in Denmark. With another tax increase delivered by our outstanding school board, we should look very hard at the upcoming election, and voice OUR vote at the poles. The GREEN in my wallet cannot catch up to Methacton's school colors. When will it end?

Anonymous said...

Really unless we all use zero base budgeting no way will we be able to reach a compromise in school districts here and in almost all states. In RI, one school district fired all the teachers and is now starting from Zero and will rehire those needed. RI is broke, just like NJ, Ohio and PA. Try a new approach - not including Unions - and tell all tax payers how much do we actually have to work with. Be truthful and from here on our schools will need to adapt.

Anonymous said...

$100 million won't fix anything. Too much money is already being spent on the school systems. School spending increases *every* year and yet results do not. Ergo, more money is not the solution.

And: Kazakhstan does not have a higher literacy rate than the United States. That's just idiocy on display (and, no, don't go find your list of countries' literacy rates, it doesn't show the results of a measurement with useful data but is just guesswork based on who-knows-what.

I mean: Kazakhstan. Really? I'd have been embarrassed to actually written that line.

Anonymous said...

First on my list of fixing the financials in all school districts would be to sell all school district properties. School boards should not be in the real estate business. Elementary Schools should be rented from private owners whose buildings meet criteria for that particular school's needs. Schools should be within walking distance of the majority of students who attend that school and transportation provided only for students who cannot safely walk to their school. Unfortunately over the past 30 years our school districts have been governed by people with visions of grandeur instead of people who understand the real requirements of community education. We handed them money, they gave us educational casinos.

Anonymous said...

The have vs have not with the assist of the Unions now are in charge of our school system. We can not educate children when they have no home life and food to just get them through the day, which is happening in Montgomery County and surrounding counties. Our Teachers know the problem, but the pressure is not on how to teach, but what's in it for me first. The check list that the Unions are using should include include the children's needs first and then the teacher's salary - an increase or as is.

Anonymous said...

How much are we giving to Private Schools which have quite high tuitions? The teaching staff at Parochial Schools are now coming under discussion. Charter Schools are always under discussion and we here in our family consider them the best way to go to fix education. We taxpayers know why so many buses are on the road, because all private schools are a part of the school system. So, where to go to spend less and get a better education? One thing that has come up is to do away with Summer School, which many feel is a sitters job, and accomplished nothing but makes the students lazy during the year and the parents do not do their part in helping THEIR children be the best that they can be, A or B Student. Many local colleges have students that would give their right arm to do student teaching during the school year. Why are we not using more of them? We have senior citizens, that are retire and would be a great help for all school districts during the day hours when most senior prefer to drive and would welcome a chance to help students that just don't get it at the time the class is discussing certain subjects. The time is now, we need to use our resources and resources do not mean more money, it means people helping students to be proud of their accomplishments.

Janis said...

No amount of money can solve problems when the basic problem is the misuse of it. People just do not want to believe that parochial schools do more with less.

The public school system has run rampant with taxpayers money and we have let them.

Anonymous said...

Funny,

I got a mailer from a committee the other day about a school principal in Methacton running for a local supervisor position.

I want no parts of THAT!

They tax and spend and tax and tax.

If that mentality is applied to my township tax dollars too, my family is going to suffer.

Anonymous said...

If you have the mentality of Township tax dollars and school taxes being the same you should do your homework.(see at least I'm not sending you to the back of the room). The principle resides in L.P. he pays L.P. taxes.He also pays Methacton School taxes. Please tell me why should he not run? He has am interest in the Township he lives in, plus a big interest in your children in school. He not only should have your vote, we should give him a medal.

Anonymous said...

Do away with the 3 "Rs" and make it football,track, hockey and whatever field sport you like. Most students will agree that they would prefer to be outside - so why not spoil them - no more lessons, no more books, just outside where most studens look for???- education is taking a backseat.