You know what the great part about being Governor Baker is? (No….not that he isn’t Dan Malloy).
It is that all he has to do is listen to me and he can solve some of the state’s biggest problems.
If you were at all near a TV or a Radio this week you heard about the issues in Easthampton about the Confederate Flag and racism in schools etc.
But if this is the big education story that everyone thinks about, then we are profoundly missing the point and the crisis.
Depending upon who you listen to, education is at a crossroads. For however many people tell you the system is good, you can find the same number of people to tell you its bad and needs change.
We have protests and despair and fights about the budget. Well in my world, education is the easiest thing to fix. So allow me to fix it. I can do it right here.
- Find the amount of money to reasonably fund a school system. Then everyone gets the same. Longmeadow, Auburn. Springfield. Whereever.
- All standardized tests are eliminated. We will no longer be teaching to the test. We will be teaching what is in the book.
- All schools wear uniforms. Boys. Grey pants. White Shirt. No tie. Hell I refrain from ties. Girls—Plaid skirt. White top. You want to accessorize, wear a nice scarf. (That will keep the nuns happy).
- All schools will operate 8 hours a day. Most people go to work for 8 hours. Why not kids.
- Physical Education will be the last class of the day. And you must shower afterwards.
- Protesting will be eliminated. If you don’t like something tough. Move on. You are in school to learn. Learn.
- Report Cards will be understandable. I don’t need PC to find out if little Johnny or Little Debbie is progressing.
- Teachers will be graded. Principals will be graded. If the kids are. Why not the teachers?
- Schools will not be cathedrals. Open spaces for sunlight and whatever else is the big thing of the day will be replaced by classroom space.
- All kids get a computer.
- We will learn to write a letter. Add a column of numbers. Learn to listen to each other. Debate issues. Calculators will not be allowed.
- By the end of your high school education you will be able to budget, balance a check book and be financially responsible. Some of you can then teach the legislature to do the same.
- By junior year of high school a student will determine if he or she wants to go to college. If not fine. Then we will find a trade for that person.
- College will not be free. You need to know that life doesn’t give you anything. You earn it. It will be affordable.
- Teachers will be the boss. Students will debate what is presented in class but not argue.
- There shall be no written final exams. All exams will be oral and before a three member panel. You don’t write a paper to get a job, why should you write one to get out of school
- Classrooms will be safe havens for real thought, in a real environment, free of the angst created by outside interests.
- Tomorrow I will solve other problems for the governor but I think that is good enough for a Friday.
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)