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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Great discussion today on Meet the Press about education reform.

Any time you see Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich on the same side as Barack Obama, it's probably time to pay close attention.


Michael Sanborn said...
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Michael Sanborn said...

I am stunned that there are no comments here. We can talk about health care all we want and in the end not much is likely to happen.

If President Obama can drive home the importance of achievement arrived at through educational innovation; if he can instill in parents and students and teachers the importance of bringing our education system up to the levels of our world economy competitors; if he can help drive this country's parents, grandparents and politicians to recognize that investment in educational innovation is good risk, then he will earn my respect and that of many other conservative Americans.

I had the good fortune, through crazy circumstance, to attend two of the most progressive high schools of my time – Cherry Creek in Englewood, Colo., and Salina High School South in Salina, Kan. (which was patterned after Cherry Creek.)

Academic achievement was expected. The majority of my graduating class went on to college. I don't know the graduation rate. At Salina, I don't believe a single person dropped out during the two and a half years I attended. Racism, if it existed, was in the closet. At that time, if you graduated from a Kansas public high school, you were automatically admitted to a state supported college or university. ACT and SAT scores were used to help determine the best way to get you through college, rather than as a scale by which some were kept out. Tuition was less than $600 a semester and you could take as many classes as you could handle for the same money. Books were additional, usually around $150 a semester.

National Direct Student Loans (NDSL) were 3 percent and due to begin payment upon graduation. Financial aid was available in the form of grants, work-study, and a many other outlets. It was easy to go to college.

Now it's hard. What is different now, however, is that in those 1970s days, people with masters degrees in anything weren't flipping burgers or greeting shoppers.

Much in our country must be repaired. Education is the best place to start. And to see Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich working together with Obama to affect meaningful change is the most encouraging thing I've seen in the Obama Administration.