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Choose better education

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Ours is a world geared to the future … a world of change and innovation. This presents a challenge to our schools: change, innovate, or fail. Joel Klein, reformer and eight-year chancellor of New York City’s school system, put it this way: “We need a full-scale transition from a government-run monopoly to a competitive marketplace.” By this, Klein meant, (1) “analyzing student progress to individual teacher performance;” (2) replacing lifetime tenure with a merit system based on excellence; (3) placing skilled math and science teachers in high poverty schools; (4) charter schools, such as the Harlem Success Academy which achieved 88 percent proficiency in reading, 95 percent in math, and outperformed 700 schools statewide; (5) adopting “demanding core standards” which 42 states have done; (6) rebuilding the entire K-12 system on “a platform of accountability;” (7) “consumer preference” – choice of schools citywide; (8) “funding equity” – money for the child, not the school; (9) merit pay for effective teachers; (10) use of on-line courses for college credit. So what will it be; an outmoded, subpar school system run by politicians and teachers’ unions, or, a new way of educating our kids for the future? Which would you choose? BILL HARDER SR., Auburn