Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Many of You Have Asked, So Here It Is In Advance, Just In Case...

Are you a Republican?

No, I am registered Independent.  I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.  I was a Republican long ago, then I was a Libertarian.  I registered Independent because I do not agree with all the ideas of any party--I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.  I am pro increasing the funding to education, but I am also pro spending the money we already have to fund the schools to actually fund the schools, not keep administrators financially healthy.

Does money matter?  Yes, there has to be enough.  Is it the only thing that matters?  No.  The U.S. spends more on education than many other countries that perform far better than we do.  Money is just a tool.  It is not a magical bullet.  So throwing money at the problem, as we are wont to do in the United States, is not a solution.  There has to be a purposeful and carefully considered strategy behind the money.  TUSD is a great example.  Over $300 million is spent each year on TUSD; there are fewer librarians, custodians, and counselors every year, but there are more and more administrators.  The administrators get rich and complement themselves for it; some schools thrive, many fail, and the administration answers by crediting itself for the success, but threatening and blaming educators for the failing schools.  So money matters, but money is not the biggest problem in TUSD (or many, many other inner city or urban districts).  The biggest problem in TUSD is the administration (the school board problem should get solved soon, November 8).

Third, our public schools should prepare young people to participate in life.  That is, we want critical thinkers, hard workers, and people with good (can-do) attitudes.  So, my biggest focus in education in general is making sure that we are producing critical, independent thinkers.  In TUSD, my first priority would be accountability, which requires transparency at the district level, but it also requires that schools are safe.  Right now, I hear that some TUSD schools are not safe, and teachers and children and parents are suffering.  Many have told me that Sanchez has to go.  I suspect that he will leave if he is held accountable for the things he is supposed to be doing, which requires transparency.  But all in all, my biggest focus is on the students and what they are learning.  The administration just takes away from that.

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