Time for Results: The Governors' 1991 Report on Education
It's Time for Results: The Governors' 1991 Report on Education, a conversation among Governors with the rest of the world welcome to listen in.
It asks seven of the toughest questions that can be asked about education in the U.S.A., questions that must be answered if there are to be better schools. It sets up ways to keep up with what states do with the answers to these questions for the next five years, until 1991.
Better schools mean better jobs. Unless states face these questions, Americans won't keep up our high standards of living. To meet stiff competition from workers in the rest of the world, we must educate ourselves and our children as we never have before.
Why not pay teachers more for teaching well? What can be done to attract, train and reward excellent school leaders? Why not let parents choose the schools their children attend? Aren't there ways to help poor children with weak preparation succeed in school? Why are expensive school buildings closed half the year when children are behind in their studies and many classrooms are overcrowded? Why shouldn't schools use the newest technologies for learning? How much are college students really learning?
At our Idaho meeting in August 1985, the Governors divided into seven task forces, one for each question. For the past twelve months, Governors have led hearings around the country. We have talked with hundreds of parents, students, decision-makers, and scholars. More than a thousand people sent in written suggestions and testimony. Individuals and educational groups all participated.
You'll find a summary of each of the seven task force reports - written by its chairman - beginning on page 8. For more information, there is a detailed report from each task force to help Governors find what has or hasn't worked in each area. And for still more, separate volumes of supporting works are available for each task force.
The Governor's advice doesn't beat around the bush. Here are some of the recommendations that attracted my attention:
Now is the time to work out a fair, affordable Career Ladder salary system that recognizes real differences in function, competence and performance of teachers.
States should create leadership programs for school leaders.
Parents should have more choice in the public schools their children attend.
The nation - and the states and school districts - need better report cards about results, about what students know and can do.
School districts and schools that don't make the grade should be declared bankrupt, taken over by the state and reorganized.
It makes no sense to keep closed half a year the school buildings in which America has invested a quarter of a million dollars while we are undereducated and overcrowded.
States should work with four- and five- year olds from poor families to help them get ready for school and to decrease the chances that they will drop out later.
Better use of technologies through proper planning and training for use of videodiscs, computers, and robotics is an important way to give teachers more time to teach.
States should insist that colleges assess what students actually learn while in college. (p. 2 and 3)
Chairman's summary: Governor Lamar Alexander.
Task force summaries:
Task force on teaching by Governor Thomas H. Kean.
Task force on leadership and management by Governor Bill Clinton.
Task force on parent involvement and choice by Governor Richard D. Lamm.
Task force on readiness by Governor Richard W. Riley.
Task force on technology by Governor John H. Sununu.
Task Force on school facilities by Governor Ted Schwinden.
Task force on college quality by Governor John Ashcroft.
Members of the task forces.
Reports and recommendations.
Task force on teaching.
Task force on leadership and management.
Task force on parent involvement and choice.
Task force on readiness.
Task force on technology.
Task force on school facilities.
Task force on college quality.