It's becoming clearer and clearer everyday. Barack Obama is a BIG believer in BIG government. He thinks the federal behemoth should be in charge of pretty much everything, including our children's schools. And now Obama has come up with a plan to get America's kids ready for the challenges of the 21st century. Are you ready for it? The Great One wants to lenghten the school day/year. That's right. He wants our kids to be in school all day AND virtually all year. Brilliant, huh?
And why does Obama think a longer school day/year is a great idea? For the same reason he thinks universal health care is a great idea: all the other industrialized nations do it. You can't find a better reason than that.
Actually, on the surface, the idea that longer time in school will improve grades and test scores doesn't seem so farfetched. The only problem is that, according to Yahoo! News, American kids already spend more hours in school than the Japanese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong kids who consistently outscore them in math and science. So what are we to make of Obama's grand plan? It's just another big government liberal scheme.
If Obama really cared about the education of America's children he would, as I've said in another post, encourage parents to homeschool or send their kids to private school, as he himself does. If it's more and better learning he wants, homeschools and private schools almost always outperform public schools. So why not give vouchers to parents, especially poorer ones, to send their children to the private school of their choice? If Obama wants to spend federal money on education, that seems to be the best way to do it. The only possible drawback is that many private schools, especially parochial ones, might not accept the vouchers if they come with too many strings attached.
Also, if Obama really cared about reforming education he should worry less about the length of time kids spend in school and worry more about what they're doing while they're there. The Department of Education, established by Jimmy Carter, is over thirty years old. The US spends more on education than any other industrialized country, yet all that federal involvement and money hasn't resulted in better educated children. Maybe it's because the kids are spending too much time learning how to put condoms on cucumbers rather than learning math, science, and history. Turning public schools into centers of leftist social engineering is, I suggest, the real reason for the poor performance of too many American kids. And it's probably the real reason why Obama wants American children to spend more time in school.
It's time to rein in Obama and his ilk. Controlling education is not one of the powers the Constitution gives to the federal government. We've had over thirty years of increasing federal interference in education and the results are dismal. Obama is out of his place trying to dictate to local schools how many hours or days they must require kids to attend. He should leave the children alone and stick to what the Constitution says his job is. Novel idea, huh?