For those who missed it: on Friday, Gov. Fife Symington proposed a hefty restructuring of the state public school system, in which he apparently believes that eliminating most regulations would improve the quality of education in Arizona.
Arizona's schools are not in great shape, to be sure. But Symington's ideas have no link to reality Ÿ he wants to get rid of everything and start anew at a local level. The problems with Arizona's school systems are complex and deep-rooted; by not proposing solutions of a similar complexity, Symington shows he does not have a grasp on the true concerns.
To eliminate bureaucracy, Symington wants to return decisions to the local level. This may be the right idea, but he is noticeably vague on any specifics of exactly how it would be accomplished or how to make it work. His grand goals don't offer any ideas on how to reach them.
More troubling is his desire to eliminate teacher certification, making a college degree and a background check the sole requirements for the job. To put it into perspective, the only requirement for teaching assistants at the UA is a college degree, and the complaints in that area are never-ending. Educators play an important part in shaping the growth of the children of Arizona, and should be specifically trained for the job. Anything less is a disservice.
Symington's ideas raise some troubling questions, "Is our governor taking orders from Martians?" being one of them.
The main reasoning behind the governor's brainstorm is that his plans would improve school economics.
Really, now Ÿ should we be taking any advice from him on financial matters these days?
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