DON’T OUTSOURCE EDUCATION

Outsourcing, in general, is not a good thing, at least not to me. You might recall a prior Post in which I reported a South Florida Lifeguard who was fired for leaving his assigned zone to assist in saving a swimmer in trouble. The City had outsourced the lifeguard duties to a private company. As it turned-out, the city had lost control of the situation. In fact, of the many beaches in Florida, Hallandale Beach was the only one that had outsourced its beach lifeguard duties. It has since brought them in-house.

Outsourcing, or “Vouchers”, is a favorite solution of the Republican Party. They are emphasizing it for Public Schools, Social Security (“Private Accounts”) and Medicare. Additionally, during the 2008 Presidential Election, Senator John McCain suggested that Veterans’ Administration Medical Care be Voucherized, as well.

In this Post, I would like to focus on Vouchers as the suggested “Magic Bullet” for the Public School System. I have linked an article, by Prof. Ralph E. Shaeffer, Professor Emeritus of History at Cal Poly, Pomona, Calif, from the September 1 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News. Titled: Our public schools still launch Earth’s best, brightest thinkers, is linked as follows: http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_21451916/ralph-e-shaffer-our-public-schools-still-launch.

Prof. Shaeffer provides some interesting statistics about the JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) Team that recently launched the Curiosity Mission to Mars. The Mission Team built, launched and successfully landed a Rover on Mars. Shaeffer notes that, of the Men and Women Engineers working on the project at JPL, 114 of the 141 had graduated from Public High Schools.

In fact, you can check the individual Bios on the linked NASA web site, http://zipcodemars.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm. You can check the individuals by clicking on a State, or by Name–if you wish, you can research any Team Members that you may have read about, by Name. Also, if you click on “Home” (blue box on the left), there is more information about Mars and Exploration. You will find “Martian Diaries”, by the Mission “Poet Laureate”, and Games to play, on the link, http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/blogs/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowBlogs&BlogsID=259.

Education requires a bond–between teachers and their students. Surely, most adults remember that one teacher who really caused that light to go–that switch enabled them to focus beyond today, homework and Saturday Night. You rarely find such bonds in For-Profit organizations, which are what Voucher Schools are. Keep in mind also that, in some cases, the voucher doesn’t cover the total cost of education.

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