In Search of Affordable Public Education

Lee County Commissioner RIchard Hayes

This is a reprint of comments posted to the Sanford Herald online, in response to Lee County Commissioner Richard Hayes’ letter to the editor, subject: “Success of Schools Secures our Future.”

I know Mr. Hayes to be an honorable and decent man. He genuinely believes what he states in this letter, and he is sincere in expressing his desire to protect the current educational bureaucracy. He honestly thinks this is the best way to prepare our children for to be productive adults well into the future.

Just one problem with his point of view- he’s deluded.

No sane person in Lee County wants our children to languish in the 21st Century jobs market or in contributing measurably to the advancement of society. But we continue to chase the penultimate educational experience for our children by expanding the public school bureaucracy, spending ever more money on new programs, and by diversifying school curriculums; all the while losing ground to children from other modern nations as measured by scholastic testing.

Our public school system is failing the nation. Sure, a healthy number of gifted students are acquiring unique opportunities to learn and some at-risk students are getting help that most of us never knew when advancing through public schools. But in the end, the vast majority of public school students appear to be “dumbed down” from generations past.

Community College leaders and local employers lament the fact these post-high school students and workers are not fundamentally ready, many requiring remedial education to function adequately. Simply stated, our kids aren’t mastering the fundamentals of writing, reading comprehension and mathematics essential for advancing to higher education and becoming productive employees.

I think it imperative for us to completely re-examine our educational systems. We need to identify the features of home and private schooling that contribute to student success, then emulate them in our public schools. We need to open up competition in the public school arena, through expanded charter schools, so lower income families have choice of schools in educating their children.

So far, I see no support for these kinds of initiatives within the local BOE or the LCSS bureaucracy. Instead, we see resistance and protection of the status quo.

While we should commend Commissioner Hayes for his commitment to helping our children achieve their full potential in life, we also need to challenge the costly framework for that educational process and bureaucracy. In so doing, we will discover what many of us know to be available and accessible- a more cost effective educational system where students learn the essential social, communications, and technical skills to be responsible young adults, competitive in global markets.

Read more:–Success-of-schools-secures-our-future?instance=main_article

About Thomas Jefferson

3rd President and Founding Father of the U.S. I conceived and promoted the country's system of public education in the early 19th Century. I am often misunderstood about my the "wall of separation" term and letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, which unfortunately has come to be interpreted as my suggesting separation of God and the Holy Trinity from all matters of state. I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and I owe Him my salvation. I pray for this great country, that it remain strong, independent and Christian!
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5 Responses to In Search of Affordable Public Education

  1. Goose says:

    It was a good reply, Commom Cents, I mean Thomas, but I don’t come here to read what I have already read on the Hearld website…

  2. Thomas Jefferson says:

    Careful drawing conclusions, Goose. I did not claim that Common Cents and Thomas Jefferson are one and the same. I merely copied the Common Cents reponse to Hayes’ letter from the Herald on-line, made a couple of minor corrections, and posted the content here, with attribution.

    I apologize to those of you who read both this blog and the Herald on-line, as you would be receiving a repeat presentation of that content. I’m guessing that comprises around 20 or so people. There are hundreds more who only read one or the other mediums, so for them this would be a fresh post at either site. The reason for repeating that content here is twofold: (1) I liked the way it framed the argument for public education reform; and (2) I believe I know the identity of Common Cents, and I think his/her opinions are worthy of this blog. As always, Goose, we authors appreciate your faithful following and comments at both the Herald on-line and Founding Fathers’ blog sites.

  3. Goose says:

    Thomas, it happened like this, I was half way through your post when I realized that I had already read those words and jumped over to the herald website to confirm it. I noted the post name over there and got a bit confused when I returned here to comment; when I was ready to post I realized Common Cents wasn’t right. Credit (and blame) to which it is due, Common Cents had written a great reply. You Thomas had posted it here and it was to you the complaint was addressed. Proper wording or punctuation might have made it clearer.
    This morning after reading your post I did some study. I pulled everything I could written by both Common Cents and you. I looked at word choice and style (Like the people who are convinced that Shakespeare could not have written all his plays). I concluded that you aren’t Common Sense, nor are you Thomas Jefferson.
    This site has one advantage, it is free, but I like to read the argument that is being rebutted so I guess I will have to continue to read both sites.
    It would be great if you could recruit from Herald Online. Common Cents would be an asset and there are a few others but you have 13 authors, only about 4 are active. Honk?

    • Goose, you amuse me. Our Thomas Jefferson would be a tad bit old to be writing were he one and the same, so of course he’s only pretending to be writing as our Third President. But, then again, you write much too well to be a winged foul that flies south for the winter. So there.

      We will attempt to recruit Common Cents to the Founding Fathers’ blog. Perhaps he’ll read this post and send me an email. I’m sure many of us would like for him and Hugh Williamson to join our ranks. Both are superb conservative writers.

      I regret that you are correct in pointing out only about four or five of our authors have remained active. A couple of them posted only once or twice and then became dormant. I am reaching out to them as time permits to regenerate interest. Our dialogue needs to be refreshed from time to time. We also welcome moderate, progressive, and liberal authors to this blogsite. They are welcome to submit posts they think worthy of discussion and debate. I hope a few will soon be contributing, and I look forward to reading the responding commentary.

      As always, thanks to you, Thomas, Josey, and Patrick for staying faithful in reading and commenting on this blog.


  4. Goose says:

    Of course he isn’t, the point that I failed to make is that I did not have a sample written by anyone else that I suspected of being the modern Thomas. Oh BTW I am sure he isn’t Keith either. ho I did mention that I don’t take myself too seriously and some of my posts show views that I don’t actually hold. Remember a goose may soar overhead but on the ground I can only reach your butt and the verb “to goose” is correctly named. honk

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