Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Education Plank

I am glad to be of the age where my children are grown and gone. I love my children and I'm proud of them, but I'm glad I don't have to be concerned about having teenagers around, or worrying about how they're doing in school. I've done all that, and I'm glad they turned out the way they did.

However, that does not mean I have no interest in education. The next generation will be paying my Social Security, assuming the Bush Administration does not succeed in destroying it. Furthermore, those of us who have investments in the stock and bond markets need healthy companies where we can place our investments. So even without Social Security, all of us have an interest in the coming generations.

Traditionally, our schools were set up to train future factory workers, training them to sit in straight rows and raise their hands before speaking. They were taught to regurgitate on tests what the teachers told them, rather than thinking for themselves, all the better to be obedient factory workers.

Unfortunately, that paradigm is no longer relevant the way our economy is developing. Industrial work is on the way out, and it is being joined in it exit by technical and knowledge work. The only thing left is service work, which can't be outsourced or conducted on-line.

Therefore, the next generation needs to learn entrepreneurship. They need to learn how to set up their own businesses, providing needed products and services that the major corporations cannot or will not deliver in the way the customers want.

Our schools need leadership to guide them into this new century's world. This will not be found in vouchers which take resources away from public schools, nor in charter schools which have not lived up to their promise.

Instead, we need to hire superintendents, principals, and teachers with new vision, and we as a society need to give them the resources they need, and the administrative support they need to bring about the changes needed.

The Whig Party we're proposing here comes out on the side of this new vision.


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