Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 11, 2012

Another View: K-12 needs reform, but not this

Proposed changes in Michigan's K-12 education system have sparked controversy, and we think for good reason.

Some proposals come from the conservative Oxford Foundation at the request of Gov. Rick Snyder. Others are part of the Educational Achievement Authority, created to take over the lowest-performing schools in Michigan.

Combined, the proposals essentially throw out K-12 education as we know it. District boundaries would be a thing of the past. Students could attend classes in practically any school. More online classes would be available. For-profit and so-called charter schools would compete for students while receiving tax dollars.

Would any of these things achieve the primary goal of improving the education of our youngsters?

We're not sure.

And we're pretty sure no one else is either.

Oakland School Superintendent Vickie Markavitch refers to the proposals as an "un-American" attempt by "profiteers" to take over the education of Michigan students.

We realize the current structure of K-12 education has flaws. Taxes vary from district to district and there are far too many small school districts that could be merged to save administrative costs.

But reorganizing or altering K-12 education is not something to be done by a lame duck legislature in less than a month.

If the future of K-12 education is going to be improved, the process will take time.

Snyder and the state Legislature, with input from educators, should make K-12 reform a priority in 2013.

The Oakland Press

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