Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Need an education reform plan? Steal this one

By Maggie Thurber | Franklin Center School Choice Fellow

The Wisconsin Federation for Children, the state-based affiliate of the American Federation for Children, wants you to steal their education plan.

In a press release they write:

“Recognizing it takes “hundreds of hours” to draft original plans, today the Wisconsin Federation for Children offered a “ready to plagiarize” education reform agenda. Any candidate is free to copy “limited passages” or adopt the entire plan word-for-word.”
You see, there’s been a lot of news coverage about Mary Burke, the Democratic candidate for governor in Wisconsin, copying large portions of her jobs plan from other candidates for governor.

This is certainly a clever way to take advantage of the news cycle, but it also gives candidates good ideas for education reform.

Calling it a public service, they present their four-point plan as a way to empower parents with quality educational options. They even provided a dotted line interspersed with scissors to make it easier to ‘cut out’ the points and carry them with you.

The copyright free, open source, public domain points are:

  • A child's ZIP code or family’s income should not determine their ability to have educational options. Today, tens of thousands of families are currently able to choose a school that meets their child’s needs but more needs to be done. That’s why I will put children and parents ahead of union bosses and I will lift the cap on the statewide parental choice program.
  • We need to break down the barriers that deny students with special needs access to quality schools. I vow to provide special needs students in choice and charter schools with equitable funding.
  • Because I am committed to education reform and believe that the powerful, entrenched special interests who support the status quo stand in the way of innovation, I pledge to expand the number of quality schools by allowing the University of Wisconsin and Technical College Systems to authorize new charter schools.
  • We have a responsibility to educate the public, but the brick and mortar of the building that education takes place is not the paramount concern. Because all of schools are a vital part of the educational landscape here, I will adopt a parent-friendly, comprehensive academic accountability plan for all publicly-funded students whether they are in traditional public schools, independent charter schools or choice schools.

There’s not much to dislike in the plan. Who could argue against equitable funding for special needs students, or expanding quality schools, or accountability for all students regardless of which school – or type of school – they attend?

Perhaps “union bosses” and “entrenched special interests” might object, since they are singled out as entities that aren’t working for the best interests of children, but their own. But education should be “for the children” and not for others who would hope to carve out more money or power for themselves.

So parents, educators, candidates, school board members, school choice advocates, feel free to use all or any part of this terrific plan. And be sure to thank the Wisconsin Federation of Children for doing all the work and sharing it with you.

No comments:

Google Analytics Alternative