Three Strikes and You’re Out: Replacing top-down education control with school choice

January 22-28 is National School Choice Week

In his recent State of the State address, Governor John Kitzhaber argued that legislators must “lock in” his education system changes so they then can move on to other important issues such as tax reform and public safety.

Notice that he did not mention the last two big educational changes he helped “lock in.” Both the 1991 Education Act for the Twenty-First Century (CIM and CAM) and the 1999 Quality Education Model arguably failed to deliver on their grand promises. Now we have the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB), headed by the Governor, which promises to centralize education policy more than either of the two big past reform efforts. This is the perfect time to consider applying the “three strikes and you’re out” concept to public policy.

The fatal flaw in all these reform efforts is that they rely on really “smart” people centralizing control over educational policy and decision making. The first two efforts concentrated on Kindergarten through high school. Apparently, their failure led the Governor to conclude that they simply didn’t control a broad enough swath of the education spectrum to work. So now, his latest effort seeks to control everything from pre-Kindergarten through graduate school.

As I discussed in Forced Participation: Public Education’s Fatal Flaw (June 2010) and The Oregon Education Investment Board: Top Down on Steroids (December 2011), centralizing control over education policy and forcing students to attend schools chosen for them by others are destined to fail because they fly in the face of one of America’s most cherished values: choice. Parents don’t appreciate politicians, bureaucrats, or experts making decisions for them about what is best for their children. Advise? Sure. Command? No way.

Rather than wait years to judge the latest big reform a failure, it is time to try another path: the school choice path. The Governor should be amenable to such a path since he signed the initial charter school law in 1999 and three limited school choice bills in 2011. What he needs to realize, however, is that such a path is in conflict with his command-and-control efforts. He needs to make a choice – and allow parents and students many more educational choices.

To see the flaw in the command-and-control approach, consider an example I have used before. Consider what our world would be like if the government owned our grocery stores:

We can only shop at the store nearest our house, unless we can afford to move into another neighborhood. We elect food boards to oversee our grocery stores. We pay through taxes, not directly, so few notice that the government spends eight dollars for a gallon of milk and six dollars for a loaf of bread. We do notice that the bread is sometimes stale, and the milk is sometimes sour. But we get no guarantees, and we certainly get no refunds. Each food district has a central office staff working hard to design store shelves, checkout lanes, and the nutritional content of each food item.

Now, imagine voters approving less money for the public food system than its employees demand. Suddenly, stores can’t keep all the clerks employed. Food Superintendents are faced with the difficult task of eliminating some items from the shelves.
Customers are angry when stores stop offering extras like cookies and candy. Until taxpayers give food stores more money, only nutritious staples will be available, and checkout lines will be longer. How could we feed ourselves without government taxing us, building big brick food buildings, and telling us where to shop?

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re way ahead of me. It’s the world of our public school system. It’s the world most of us grew up in. Future generations deserve to grow up in a better world, where we no longer dump money into a system that celebrates the status quo and operates more for the adults that make their living in it than for the students.

Why not worry about a tax revolt decimating our grocery stores? Because they are privately owned, yet serve the public. They’re subject to intense competition, and each of us has virtually unlimited shopping choices. For those who can’t afford food, we don’t build government food stores. We give them food stamps, and they shop in the same stores and for the same products as the rest of us.

Our public schools are the equivalent of the former Soviet Union’s collective farms. Communism said government should own and run the food stores – and the farms. The result was a nation that couldn’t feed itself. To avoid becoming a nation that cannot educate itself, we need to let education dollars be spent where consumers think they should go. We need to find ways to put the children first, the system second.
School choice opponents want us to wait to see if the Governor’s latest centralized approach will eventually improve public schools. But we’ve seen what centralized control does to education already. Waiting longer won’t help struggling students today.

When public schools fail students, they often demand more money to make improvements. Imagine if grocery stores acted that way; you return a stale loaf of bread and the store charges you more so it can try better next time. That’s unacceptable for grocery stores, and it should be unacceptable for schools.

In a school choice world, if the school fails students it doesn’t get more money, it gets less as students leave and take their allocated money with them to other schools. This is the world that finally will put students first. Before the Governor’s third strike takes a further toll on students, let’s encourage him and the legislature to take another path – the school choice path.


Steve Buckstein was an organizer of Oregonians for School Choice, which placed a school choice measure on Oregon’s 1990 General Election ballot. He went on to help found Cascade Policy Institute in January 1991, serving as its first President. He is currently its Senior Policy Analyst.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Gov. Kitzhaber, Government Regulation, Individual Responsiblity, Initiative & Referendum, Leadership, Local Taxes, Oregon Government, Portland Politics, Portland Schools, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , | 518 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • DrPhil

    Lib crazies will fight school choice forever as they are in bed with the union thugs who only want to work less for more money, which they have done quite well in Oregon, with the average school year only being 175 days of actual student contact and most teachers with only 5-6 hours of actual teaching. Good work if you can get it. Not so good for the kids, though, as test scores show each and every time.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    One thing that would be helpfull is to get the public more aware. I am continually suprised by the number of people who believe the old defense department holding a bake sale to buy an air craft carrier bumper sticker.

    People are often astonished to learn that education spending is not some small fraction of military spending but is, in fact, comperable to it.

    Some still think the problem with schools is a lack of funds. Public education is our most expensive way of delivering education. It is also our least effective. Private and charter schools are less expensive and achieve better results. Home schooling is obviously far cheaper, and does better as well.

    Since the late 70’s public education spending has doubled on a per student basis. Anyone want to argue we are getting twice as good results?

    We spend more than any industrialized nation, on a per student basis, other than Switzerland and get worse reults. Somehow those who want more spending on education often use European cost comparisons to justify lower spending and government control of health care in the US. If you want the fastest deer in the headlights look you ever got from a liberal, ask why the same doesnt attend for their thoughts on education funding. You will get stammering and hand waving like you wouldnt believe.

    It’s going to take time. Once people become aware of the facts, how education money is being totaly wasted they become very much less enthused about throwing more money at schools. I think thats the first step to real education reform.

    • Ardbeg

      Private school, Jesuit for example, is over $13,000 per student per year.  Cost of home school depends on what your giving up.  If I give up a 50k a year job to stay home and teach my two kids that is a cost of 25k per kid.  Oregon public schools are at about 7k per student.  The charter school in my district pay their teachers on the same salary schedule as the regular teachers.  So I don’t see that as a cheaper option but it does give garents another option.  I agree parents should be able to send their kid where they think they will get the best education but some of your assumption don’t make sense.  Also, of the two sites I checked, the US ranked 37th in spending in one and 43rd in the other (as a percent of GDP).  Your statement about the US spending more on Ed than Defense is true though.  I don’t know why that is a surprise considering the number of K-12 students in all 50 states.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Private school, Jesuit for example, is over $13,000 per student per year.

        Sure, you can always find private schools that are more expensive but on average, private school spending per pupil is less than public school spending. Private school teachers for example earn about 60% of public school teacher compensation.

        >If I give up a 50k a year job to stay home and teach my two kids that is a cost of 25k per kid.

        Ok, so then if you did not give up a $50k job because you were a stay at home parent, does that mean staying at home to educate them represents an income of $26k for the two kids, the cost of Jesuit times 2?

        >Oregon public schools are at about 7k per student.

        Actually its a little over $10k per student.

        >So I don’t see that as a cheaper option but it does give garents another option.

        I do. Charter schools recieve 80% of the state funding that public schools do. The other 20% is retained by public schools essentially as a pay off. Combined with district funding, charter schools operate at about 95% of the funding of public schools so its a little bit cheaper. Better results too!

        >Also, of the two sites I checked, the US ranked 37th in spending in one and 43rd in the other (as a percent of GDP).

        Compairing everything as a portion of GDP is all the latest rage but esentially a meaningless figure in this case.

        It presupposes that as a countries economy grows, then for some reason it costs more and more to educate a student. Obviously this is a ridiculous assumption. There simply is no logical basis to assume that a country with an economy twice the size of another, should spend twice as much per pupil on education to acheive the same result.

        If New York Cities economy is ten times that of Portland, I do not view spending ten times the amount per student to acheive the same result as a reasonable proposition.  

        In rankings of per pupil spending among industrialized nations, only Switzerland spends more per student.

        Our spending per pupil has doubled in constant dollars since the late 70’s and yet student performance has not doubled in that time.

        >Your statement about the US spending more on Ed than Defense is true though. I don’t know why that is a surprise considering the number of K-12 students in all 50 states.

        I dont know why it is a suprise either. However if you bounce that little statistic off of someone with the bake sale sticker on their car youd better stand back and get ready for some very serious suprisn’ from that individual.

        You wold be astonished how many people think we spend orders of magnitude more on defense than we do education.

        Try it some time. I guarantee you, if you tell someone who is arguing to throw more money at schools that defense is less than education, they will whip out their iPhone and go into a Google fury of button tapping. I have had it happen to me on more than one occasion.

        • Ardbeg

          Rupert-you originally made a blanket statement that Private, Charter, and home school is cheaper.  I didn’t check every private school in the state but the one I did is more $$ than Public.  I doubt the others are far off.  Per cost student spending can be looked at in a lot of ways but the fact is the state gives a set amount per student to districts.  I don’t know the exact amount but it is in the 7k range not 10k.     Charter Schools are public schools and are funded the same way so the cost is exactly the same.  I know the principal at the Redmond school.  It is run under the umbrella of the RSD and they receive almost 100% of the per-student dollars from the state, a percent or two is held back for basically paper work required by the state and fed.  They employ no janitors, kids and teachers do the cleaning, no secretaries, no counselors.  They also run a longer school year and pay teachers significantly more.  I don’t know the exact % held back by my local district for administrative costs but your 20% sounds way off.  The one school I have first-hand knowledge of you are way-way off.  My point Rupert is you state things as fact like “private schools are cheaper than public” that are not correct.  Another example” Private school teachers for example earn about 60% of public”. A public school teacher starting salary is around 35k plus GOOD benefits.  Your telling me a Jesuit teachers starting salary is 21K with no benefits? I do know Jesuit pays no benefits, I don’t know if that is true of all private schools in Oregon.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Ardbeg, I don’t know about private school costs in your particular community, but in Portland and across America most private schools do indeed cost less than public schools. The reason you may have found higher costs for the private schools you checked is that the most expensive private schools are often the most well known. In the Portland area, for example, people are often familiar with the handful of expensive schools such as Oregon Episcopal and Jesuit, but they know nothing about the many small private schools that often cost a third of public schools.

            The state only funds a portion of costs in the average public school in Oregon; around $6,000 currently. But the total costs are higher and they get additional income from local property taxes and federal funds.
            In Portland, for example, the total cost per student in PPS exceeds $12,000.

          • None

            An education at Jesuit costs more per student than at a public high school. At Central Catholic, it is very similar to the cost at a public high school.

            Yet they pay teachers less than public schools do, which means that they have other costs that are higher. 

            It’s fair to ask what are they doing that is MORE expensive than public schools, and are they spending the money on things that help students?

            I don’t know the answer to that one way or the other, but perhaps you have sources that can shed light on that.

          • Steve Buckstein

            I don’t know what some private schools spend money on that perhaps public schools do not. Part of the beauty of a competitive system is that customers (in this case parents and students) can draw their own conclusions as to the value of the services they are purchasing. If they don’t find value for their money they are free to take their business elsewhere. In the public school system that is much harder since most people can’t afford to pay taxes and tuition for the same service.

          • None

            So, you’re telling me that, although you’re paid to know about the issues you write about, you haven’t really done much research on this issue?

          • Steve Buckstein

            No, I’m telling you that I choose not to spend my limited time studying things that I don’t believe will make a significant difference in the outcomes I seek.

            Perhaps you have unlimited time, but most of us don’t and we have to make choices about where we focus. If I believed that there was some magic bullet inside private schools that leads to good educational outcomes compared to public schools that would be different. But I don’t.

          • None

            Oh, and Steve, I wish you would talk to the powers-that-be at Oregon Catalyst about the errors on Larry Huss’s last post. 

            A couple of us pointed out the errors, but the post was not corrected. This turns it from an error to a lie, as it appears that Oregon Catalyst is happy to have incorrect information on their site as long as it promotes their political viewpoint.

            And this makes ALL posts on Oregon Catalyst suspect. If Oregon Catalyst is happy to lie once for political ends, they’re likely to be happy to lie repeatedly. 

          • Steve Buckstein

            I’m not aware of the situation you speak of. Cascade’s posts here represent the views of the authors, not Oregon Catalyst, and I assume Larry’s are posted on the same terms. We have no control over the blog’s editorial policies. To cast aspersions on all Catalyst posts because you find fault with one doesn’t seem justified.

          • None

            Steve:

            https://oregoncatalyst.com/14313-world-president-obama.html

            Larry Huss cited employment statistics using January 2008 as a starting point in order to attack President Obama.

            The problem, of course, is that Barack Obama wasn’t President until January, 2009.

            The problem was pointed out last week, but the error still stands, uncorrected.

            And yes, it reflects poorly on Oregon Catalyst, as it says that they are willing to allow posts with demonstrably false information.

            Perhaps lying is okay in your world. In my world, a site that allows it’s regular commentators to use false information without repercussion is untrustworthy. 

            Would you allow someone to work for the Cascade Policy Institute if they presented false information to you, and continued to insist that it’s true, even after it’s been shown to be false?

          • Ardbeg

            Steve, I think you have to compare apples to apples. My children are out of school now but they had their choices of Drama, Choir, Athletics, Marching band, FFA plus tons of other options with the standard core classes.  Small private schools often do not offer the same options for students.  I think you have to compare public schools to the larger private school to get a real comparison.  I checked ‘Open Book Project’ and got a per student funding amount for my district of $7900, higher than your 6k but still less than 10k. I’m still not convinced that a private school large enough to offer the same opportunities is any cheaper than public school’s.  Part of the problem is there are not many private schools in Oregon.  More competition may drive the price down.

          • Steve Buckstein

            My main point in this post was not to compare public to private schools by expenditures or any other measure.

            But, since you are interested, I double checked a source that hopefully even my critics will agree is probably as good as any for unbiased expenditure numbers – The National Education Association (the biggest national teachers union).

            The NEA reports that in the 2010-2011 school year Oregon spent on average $12,386 per student on an Average Daily Attendance basis and $10,959 on a Fall Enrollment basis.  And those numbers are for Current Expenditures only, not counting capital outlays and interest on school debt. I don’t know what school district you refer to, but it is either well below the state average or the Open Books Project is not reporting all current expenditures.

            Source: https://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/NEA_Rankings_and_Estimates010711.pdf   page 96, Table K

          • Ardbeg

            Steve-looking at the oregon department of ed gives the same amount as the Open Door sight.  So to settle the matter I called my district office.  They gave me the exact amount that they get from the state per student and that was just under $6000.  There is no current federal money so the 6k is it.  OC somehow inflates that to 10k-12k all the time and that is just plan wrong.  That number is what the state pays per child, it does not include any bonds for any capital improvements which are local tax dollars that would raise the per student amount depending on your district.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Are you saying that your district receives no federal funds, and no local property tax revenue?

          • Ardbeg

            I asked about federal funds and they said no.  They also said that was one of the reasons school budgets were so tight now.  Local taxes only go to capital improvement like a new school built because enrollment has grown.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Rupert-you originally made a blanket statement that Private, Charter, and home school is cheaper.

            On average they are. What is your point here?

            >I don’t know the exact amount but it is in the 7k range not 10k.

            Actually it is about a $10k average state wide. You are only counting state funding, not total funding per student. Common mistake.

            >Charter Schools are public schools and are funded the same way so the cost is exactly the same.

            Funding in the same way does not lead to the conclusion they are funded at the same rate. My property tax bill is funded in the same way as my postage stamp bill, from may pay. They are in no way funded the same. You are drawing a false conclusion here.

            You can check it. The state does hold back 20% of funding for charter schools.

            >My point Rupert is you state things as fact like “private schools are cheaper than public” that are not correct.

            On average they are. You are seriously debating this?

            >Another example” Private school teachers for example earn about 60% of public”

            The federal Dept. of Labour releases these stats fairly regularly. You can check it, private school teachers on average are compensated at 60% of what public school teachers are. I’ve posted the link in previous posts so many times I am bored of it.

            You need to check your facts here. I know you did on the defense/school funding comparison I did.

        • valley person

          Rupert writes: “It presupposes that as a countries economy grows, then for some reason
          it costs more and more to educate a student. Obviously this is a
          ridiculous assumption.”

          Uh….no, its a quite valid assumption. A wealthier economy has higher wages that translate to higher costs for everything from teachers to bus drivers to cafeteria workers. It’s a ridiculous, uneconomic assumption to think that higher wealth does not normally mean higher wages, hence higher costs (since education is labor intensive.)

          You then go on: “There simply is no logical basis to assume that a country with an
          economy twice the size of another, should spend twice as much per pupil
          on education to acheive the same result.”

          But since no one claimed there was a 100% proportionality between GDP and wages and education costs, you have created a straw man argument.

          “If New York Cities economy is ten times that of Portland, I do not view
          spending ten times the amount per student to acheive the same result as a
          reasonable proposition.  ”

          Here you go completely off the economic rails and confuse total GDP with per capita GDP. Yikes. Are you really this ignorant about economics? If you are, it explains a lot about your posts on the subject.

          “Our spending per pupil has doubled in constant dollars since the late
          70’s and yet student performance has not doubled in that time.”

          Here, you make a very weird argument. Who has ever claimed that $1 of spending = X education outcome, therefore $2 = 2X? Stop and think for a moment. We can probably teach the ABC’s for $x per pupil, adjusted for location costs. If we want students to also know basic calculus, we might have to increase $X by some measure, but we aren’t “doubling” any test scores, which would only be possible in any case if all the initial test scores were below 50%, and even then we could only double once.

          But, you have revealed the root cause of your anger over the outputs of public schools. You failed math.

          • Ardbeg

            VP-Priceless, but he still won’t get it.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Not much to get really. The point is our public schools are very expensive, and have had money thrown at them for years with no better results to show for it. You can face that basic fact or not but you haven’t refuted it.

          • Ardbeg

            Lets narrow this to one topic for a moment.  I finally called my school district’s financial office.  They told me they get just under 6k from the state (per student)  and no federal money. You and others insist it is the 10k-12k range.  Is my district lying to me or are your numbers wrong?  I live in Sherwood.  Fair sized district, not as big as portland but not a small insignificant one either. 

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Uh….no, its a quite valid assumption.

            Actually no. There is no reason to make this assumption. If a town of 100 farmers has a GDP of $1B there is no reason in the world to assume that if a major corporation moves there and boosts wages, doubling the GDP to $2B that for some reason it all of a sudden costs twice as much to educate a child to achieve the same result. It’s simply a logical fallacy.

            >But since no one claimed there was a 100% proportionality between GDP
            and wages and education costs, you have created a straw man argument.

            Ardberg brought it up, I did not. It was given as a refutation of the fact that the US spends more per pupil than any other industrialized country other than Switzerland.

            Please, if you are going to jump into a discussion, read the relevant posts.

            Again, I was not the one to bring this up, so I can hardly be said to have created a straw man argument.

            Will you admit you are wrong to say I created this argument when Ardberg was clearly the one who brought it up?

            Nope, because you can never admit you are wrong.

            Do I know progressives? Yep, like the back of my hand.

            Thanks.

          • valley person

            “If a town of 100 farmers has a GDP of $1B…”

            My word Rupert. You really do want to dig in deeper. Lets try this again. NO ONE even suggested that DOUBLING GDP would result in DOUBLING education cost. No one. Not Ardberg, not me, not anyone.

            Your original claim was that HIGHER GDP in one NATION should not mean HIGHER education cost in another NATION. You are simply, utterly, completely, wrong on this based on economics 101. Higher GDP normally means higher labor costs, and education is labor intensive, ergo higher GDP DOES likely result in higher education cost dollar for dollar. Its perfectly logical to conclude this and illogical to conclude otherwise.

            Even in your ridiculous analogy, the town of 100 farmers would probably have to pay way more for teachers there than in a neighboring town of 100 farmers with 1/2 the GDP because it would cost more to live in such a place, just as it costs more to live in Lake O than in Lakeview.  And by the way, which community would you think has higher paid teachers, Lake Oswego or Lakeview?

            “Ardberg brought it up…”

            So its his fault that you argued against an argument (doubling one thing = doubling another) that he or no one else made? You are blaming Ardberg for your own ridiculous argument against the ridiculous straw man you yourself created? You are seriously a piece of work dude.

            “Will you admit you are wrong to say I created this argument…”

            Rupert. Read this slowly and have a cup of mellow mint tea before you respond. What you CREATED was an argument no one else made so you could knock it down.  A Straw man.

            You can’t even admit the black & white reality of your own words on this very page.

            I never thought I would say this, but I’m feeling sorry for you right now. Truly. You need help.

          • valley person

            “If a town of 100 farmers has a GDP of $1B…”

            My word Rupert. You really do want to dig in deeper. Lets try this again. NO ONE even suggested that DOUBLING GDP would result in DOUBLING education cost. No one. Not Ardberg, not me, not anyone.

            Your original claim was that HIGHER GDP in one NATION should not mean HIGHER education cost in another NATION. You are simply, utterly, completely, wrong on this based on economics 101. Higher GDP normally means higher labor costs, and education is labor intensive, ergo higher GDP DOES likely result in higher education cost dollar for dollar. Its perfectly logical to conclude this and illogical to conclude otherwise.

            Even in your ridiculous analogy, the town of 100 farmers would probably have to pay way more for teachers there than in a neighboring town of 100 farmers with 1/2 the GDP because it would cost more to live in such a place, just as it costs more to live in Lake O than in Lakeview.  And by the way, which community would you think has higher paid teachers, Lake Oswego or Lakeview?

            “Ardberg brought it up…”

            So its his fault that you argued against an argument (doubling one thing = doubling another) that he or no one else made? You are blaming Ardberg for your own ridiculous argument against the ridiculous straw man you yourself created? You are seriously a piece of work dude.

            “Will you admit you are wrong to say I created this argument…”

            Rupert. Read this slowly and have a cup of mellow mint tea before you respond. What you CREATED was an argument no one else made so you could knock it down.  A Straw man.

            You can’t even admit the black & white reality of your own words on this very page.

            I never thought I would say this, but I’m feeling sorry for you right now. Truly. You need help.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Here, you make a very weird argument. Who has ever claimed that $1 of spending = X education outcome

            Are you kidding? The NEA and the OEA for one. You are seriously trying to claim that no one has ever argued that spending more on schools in the solution to the problem?

            You are actually claiming that?

            If you are saying no one has ever argued for more funding for schools as the solution to our poor education in this country does that mean you are going on record as saying more money will not fix the problem?

            >If we want students to also know basic calculus, we might have to
            increase $X by some measure, but we aren’t “doubling” any test scores

            Sure you are. If you start teaching calculus, when prior to that time you did not. You have certainly increased test scores on the AP calculus test.

            You are really moving into the ridiculous zone here.

            >But, you have revealed the root cause of your anger over the outputs of public schools.

            Pointing out how throwing money at schools has not helped the situation represents common sense, not anger.

          • valley person

            Try reading a whole sentence Rupert. What I wrote was: “Here, you make a very weird argument. Who has ever claimed that $1 of spending = X education outcome, therefore $2 = 2X?

            Note the $2 = 2x. Once again, I’m responding to your specific claim that no one else made but you argued about that doubling spending would double outputs.

            As for the rest, OF COURSE there is a relationship between resources expended and output. OF COURSE people argue for more spending in schools as a way to improve outcomes.

            As for the rest, I find it ever peculiar that free market fundamentalists like yourself insist on arguing that there is NO relationship between how much one spends on education and what the outcomes are. This argument basically says that money doesn’t matter. That a $20K salary would attract the same quality of person to teach as a $100K salary. You might as well become communists. 

  • Bob Clark

    The school choice bills we got in 2011 are hopefully only a start.  An alternative to Kitzhaber’s top-down-centralized public education model would have been to schedule a steady removal of the limits on school choice (like the 3% transfer limit) and a steady transition to providing much expanded portability of a family’s public educational (spending) dollars to even private schools.  I think the best place to start expanded choice is high school, as many children by the time they reach 16 years of age start developing a healthy apetite for other educational forums such as community college, vocational trade schools, and/or apprenticeships.

      Bobee Reagan, Portland Public School Board member, said something interesting at the last Long Range Facility Planning Meeting:  ‘[paraphrasing] by the year 2019, half of high school instruction will come via online medium.’ I take this should to mean the internet is unleashing new means of learning and tailoring education to the individual student’s proclivities and interests, rather than the one-size fits all bricks-and-mortar scheme Kitzhaber seems to be seeking to reinforce.  It is simply impossible for government to be all things to all people, but it is possible to provide for a diversity of supply via the market place (i.e, school choice). 

    In yesterday’s Sunday’s Oregonian, it is reported Kitzhaber and crew are going to have a series of public forums to take input on their grand educational plan.  So, I hope to meld in Cascade Policy’s best talking points on the subject, such as the above, with my own points; and present public testimony at one of these forums.

    • Steve Buckstein

      Thanks Bob, it’s that kind of public participation that just might move the dial on these issues.

  • None

    Given the lies that have recently been given a pass on Oregon Catalyst, why should we trust anything posted here?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      A typo in an article does not a lie make. A guy on a rant trying to build it into a lie, does make for a troll however. Which is about all you are since you don’t actually have a logical argument about anything.

      Why don’t you actually make a point? Or are insults the limits of your abilities?

      Seems to me they are based on your performance here the past week.

      • 3H

        Assuming it was a typo.  There have been other instances of his, ummm… lack of attention to fact.  His assertion that public  employees didn’t have to really take unpaid days, but could use vacation or sick pay in lieu.  Which was either an outright lie, or  something he made up.

      • valley person

        If it was only a typo then why did Larry also use employment data from 2008 to make it look like 4 million jobs lost under Bush should be attributed to Obama?

        • 3H

          Ooops.  I guess for it to be a typo.. it would have had to be… hmmm…  2009 data?  But mislabeled as 2008?  Do I win??

          • valley person

            The claim made by None is that Larry had Obama as president since January 2008 AND used employment data from that date to make it look like much of the job loss that happened before Obama took office was attributed to Obama.

            What is interesting is that even if you bump it to 2009, the job loss from that year should be attributable to Bush, since Obama’s policies to deal with the mess were not in place until halfway through that year. Typically, presidents are given a pass on their first year effects since that budget is set by the previous administration.  The 2009 budget, with its $1.4 trillion deficit, was handed to Obama by Bush.

    • DocShock

      I say if you think it is all lies why do you waste your time reading it and then posting about it. You must not have much of a life.

      • None

        Because lies need to be pointed out and shown for what they are.

        I realize that having their lies exposed makes right-wingers uncomfortable. Boo-effing-hoo.

  • Oregon teacher

    As a former teacher, I hated the CIM/CAM mindless philosophy when it imposed a veneer of change, simply in labels.  In truth, education is education.  The biggest problems in high schools at least, are caused by principals who could, but do not, enforce good teaching.  Principals could observe teachers and insist on good teaching for all new teachers before they obtained tenure.  The other weakness is caused by the public who tolerate terrible teachers because they are good coaches.  It is difficult to have both skills, and even if they do have them, they are not able to have time to pursue both careers.  So education suffers extremely, but teams win.  So what is most important to the public?

    The idea that a new act, which is simply new verbal veneer to justify bureacracy, will help education is absurd.  The article is correct on this matter.  If the top managers didn’t change things occasionally, people would wonder what they needed them for. This article  raises good questions.

    • PrincipalBob

      No, the biggest problems are the teachers, who only have 5 hours a day of actual student contact, and only meet with students 175 days of the year. Anything worth doing is worth doing more than that.
      So complain all you want about phony problems. You were the problem.

      • Oregon teacher

        I don’t know what your agenda is, but you do not sound like any principal that I have been familiar with.  Teachers have much more contact with students than five hours a day.  They have classes, study halls, various assigned duties, sponsorships of student activities, after school dealings with students, meetings with parents.  Plus, they have planning meetings, teachers’ meeting, and then they have lesson plans which are pivotal to their success in the classroom.  Added to this they have students’ papers which need to be corrected in the teachers’ “spare” time.

        Further, I don’t know how you can consider the situations that I brought up, as phony problems. To simply resort to name-calling suggests that they are issues that you may not be able to address.   

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)