The ‘blueprint’ for our future

DKS Editors

This week President Obama sent a proposal to Congress in hopes of changing the No Child Left Behind Act — beginning with finding a new name. According to Obama’s “Blueprint for Reform,” if we follow five key priorities, it is possible that by 2020 the United States will be the world leader in college completion. It was one generation ago, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult than it seems.

The first priority Obama proposes is that the United States has “college- and career-ready students” by raising standards for every student. This is a great first step, but students who are not motivated in school may find it harder to acquire “a complete education” simply through “better assessments.” Some students are not interested in college and will not find it beneficial to work toward being ready, nor do all high school students understand the repercussions of not being career-ready upon graduation.

Next, there should be “great teachers and leaders in every school.” Although, it is essential to have prepared and effective teachers, great education goes beyond the confines of a classroom. A student’s job to work hard is equally as critical as the educator’s. Unfortunately, no law can physically force a student work and do well, but luckily schools could have the funds to support a quality education environment.

Third, Obama asks for “equity and opportunity for all students” where schools that show the most improvement will be rewarded. With this, every student will have a fair chance to succeed, despite socioeconomic status. Even students attending “low-performance” schools will benefit by dramatically changing the schools, according to the ‘Blueprint for Reform.’ The change will have to be dramatic, because after all, this is supposed to happen within the next 10 years.

Fourth, the proposed plan will “raise the bar and reward excellence” by promoting Race to the Top, which will provide “incentives for excellence,” according to Obama’s plan. This will help educators think critically and explore new education options to enhance the education for all students.

Last, Obama wishes to “promote innovation and continuous improvement” which would create flexible funding that allows school districts to focus on local needs. Instead of using a standard nationwide support system, schools will benefit by allowing each district to achieve its goals. All students and teachers could potentially benefit from this if school districts implement it.

Only time will tell whether Obama’s plan will be effective, but one thing is for sure: Our nation’s future will always lie in the hands of the younger generations. This plan will require motivation and hard work from everyone — not just students and teachers. Education begins at home. It is just as important for families to grasp and encourage the president’s plan as it is for the education system.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.