"The Republicans control the House and the Senate. Now is the time for real change. Talk time is over. Change time is here."
Last night at the State of the State Address, before the Governor had a health issue, the topic of education came up. Specifically, what he would like to see happen in this current session. It came as no surprise to anyone that he wants more money for education. This is page one from the DFL playbook. We have seen this movie so many times that he had NOT asked for more money, that would have been the headlines for the evening.
It has often been said the great divide in education is the Democrats always ask for more money (there never seems to be enough), and the Republicans always ask for better results. It is like a salesman at a company going in to see his boss. "Boss, I need a raise. I need more money." The boss looks up at him and says, "But your sales are slipping, I need you to do better." The salesman responds, "If you gave me more money, I could do better." And finally the boss responds, "You told me that last year, so I gave you a raise. Your sales did not do any better."
Actually, the entire universe of education is starting to change. Like from life before kindergarten to after high school. Some colleges are starting to rid themselves of worthless degrees (finally!). And the entire value of having everyone go to college is being questioned. That does not mean we need to "dumb down" our youth - not a bit. Some of the brightest people I know do not have a college degree. They are self taught. And these days, in the era of Google, if you cannot learn, you simply don't want to.
I have always liked the idea of every youth performing some kind of national service once high school is done. It would be for a period of three years. I remember what I was like at 17 or 18. I was a butt-head. I did not have any direction. I went to college for a while and played. Then at 19 when I went in the Navy, I grew up. I found direction. When I got out, I was ready for college.
National service would only pay a stipend. Not much at all. However, part of the service would be learning how the world works. How an organization works. The value of work. And the prize would be having a chunk of trade school or college paid for once the three years was up. Kind of like the former G.I. bill. That worked very well in helping kids go to college. It sure worked for me.
Back to the state. We take in way too much money for education. We need school choice. We need a better formula. We need to untangle Education Minnesota from the Department of Ed. Bottom line - we need much better results all over the state, especially in the inner cities.
If we keep up our current trajectory, we will continue to create an underclass of people in this state. With graduation rates at less than 40% in some city high schools, what future do these kids have? None.
The Republicans control the House and the Senate. Now is the time for real change. Talk time is over. Change time is here. Look what President Trump is doing in Washington. No more talk. No more money. Change the system. Save our kids.