Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fresh Start Conservatism

David Brooks with some great ideas for both parties -- and an awesome plug for KIPP:

Third, the next president has to loosen the grip of the teachers’ unions. Certification rules have to be radically reformed to attract qualified college graduates. Merit pay has to become the norm. Reforming superintendents need the freedom to copy the models like KIPP Academies that actually work.

Fourth, Democrats like to talk about college affordability, but that’s the least important explanation for why so many students don’t complete college. The real reasons are that students are academically unprepared and emotionally disengaged.

February 15, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Fresh Start Conservatism


In the 19th century, industrialization swept the world. Many European nations expanded their welfare states but kept their education systems exclusive. The U.S. tried the opposite approach. American leaders expanded education and created the highest quality work force on the planet.

That quality work force was the single biggest reason the U.S. emerged as the economic superpower of the 20th century. Generation after generation, American workers were better educated, more industrious and more innovative than the ones that came before.

That progress stopped about 30 years ago.

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