Friday, September 30, 2005

The Campus Debate: Education

**Editor's Note: Today is an extra long day for me as I have an interview for a position on the ASISU Supreme Court and this evening I will be attending a Blessid Union of Souls concert. Not to mention the fact that I am running on one hour of sleep. I've decided since I won't have time to develop a post today (and most likely not again until Monday) that I will post an article that I wrote for the ISU Bengal that was published Wednesday.

Administrative pay raises stir debate on this campus, school board recalls are a constant occurrence in this city, No Child Left Behind distresses schools on a national level, and no one will take responsibility. When did education become a third-rail issue in Idaho?

There are plenty of people who will tell you that No Child Left Behind essentially leaves behind a myriad of students and schools. There are plenty of people who will tell you that if anyone, the teachers deserve raises above the administration. There are plenty of people who can tell you everything that is wrong with education in
Idaho, but what are they doing about it?

In March I received a letter from Idaho Senator Clint Stennett on the issue of tuition. Senator Stennett stated that "this generation has an obligation to the generations that follow to provide quality, affordable higher education to all Idahoans including those of limited means." Obviously there were, in this case of tuition, numerous people concerned with a switch to a tuition-based system, but not enough brave and outspoken individuals to make the difference. What we should fear is that a lack of bravery, interest, and activism will (and already has) compromise the fundamentals at an elementary and secondary level just as a switch to a tuition-based system on campus has compromised the quality, affordable higher education Sen. Stennett spoke of.

There is not a magical answer to education in Idaho. Neither one election or one decision will effectively change the way education is perceived, addressed, and supported, but it is a good start.

If we truly seek responsibility for the ills of public education, the first step is activism. It is time for educators, administrators, students, and the community at large to quit treating education like a third-rail issue.


Cory said...

I have to start paying better attention to on-campus activities! I can't believe I didn't even know Blessid Union of Souls was in town tonight!

Nick Speth said...

I can't believe you'd care. Just kidding, Cory.