Editor's Note (The View From Here)
An Interesting Year Ahead
- By Deborah P. Moore
- January 1st, 2017
Many are wondering what
is in store for education as our new
President takes office. While the
debate may be about how to improve education,
the real focus will be on who gets the funding.
At Risk: Early Childhood Educational
Support — In December, state legislators
participating in the National Conference of State
Legislatures’ (NCSL) Capitol Forum in Washington D.C. discussed the
question, “Are early childcare and development programs an expense
or an investment?”
While there is a national concern about educational outcomes,
many still question the cost and value of these programs. Brain science
research shows that early experiences affect the development of brain
architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning,
behavior and health.
But the question posed by Representative Cathy Connolly of Wyoming
(D) is how to keep early childhood educational programs in the
forefront when they aren’t legislative priorities and aren’t constituent
priorities except for a narrow group.
Careful What You Wish For: School Choice, Vouchers and Tax
Credits — There is little question that our new President supports
privately run, publically funded charter schools. School choice can
help students trapped in a bad school.
New competition can be healthy and help improve all of our
schools — public and charter alike. The concern is discerning and
funding “good” charter schools. From a personal perspective, I have
had the opportunity to visit some great charter schools, along with
some that are really frightening.
Key to any good school, public or charter, are expectations
(academic and conduct) that are clearly defined and measurable; a
commitment by students, faculty and parents; environments and
curriculum that prepare students for life in the real world.
Unfortunately, I have seen some of the privately run charters that
were much better at marketing and profit margins than they were at
educating students. Overcrowded classrooms, non-existent technology
and teaching to the test were the norm. While the test scores may
have looked good, the students were not being prepared for what
There is no question that this is the start of an interesting year!
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of School Planning & Management.