Governor Kitzhaber is seeking to consolidate power over education. Early childhood, K-12 and post-secondary education would be overseen by a single board, the Oregon Investment Board.

Surprisingly, most of the education establishment approves of these changes, saying they will improve things at the ground level. Yet, how would shifting power upward improve educational outcomes for children at the bottom? For decades, we have tried that as the state and federal governments have gotten increasingly involved in our neighborhoods’ classrooms. Likewise, consolidating school districts to find savings and improve outcomes has not borne fruit.

But empowering individuals at the bottom – kids and parents – has made a world of difference to those on the ground level. Likewise, it has freed teachers to use their talents and passion to innovate at the classroom level. Choice programs like charter schools, vouchers and K-12 education tax credits have improved outcomes for kids, saved money and made parents happier in places like Milwaukie, Florida and Washington, D.C. Oregon parents, too, see the value of choice as waiting lists at local charter schools persist even as charter schools grow.

This issue boils down to your belief in freedom and governance. Do you believe a handful of elite individuals can determine best how to meet your children’s needs? Or do you believe that you know your children’s needs better than a distant group of bureaucrats?

 

2 Responses to “Is Kitzhaber’s Oregon Investment Board a Good Investment in Kids’ Education?”

  1. Donna April 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Don’t forget that SB 552 wants to designate the Governor as Superintendent of Public Instruction taking away the voice of the voter.for the Governor’s political agenda.

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  1. FOX 31 Fair and Balanced on Education? We Report, You Decide Part Three | Education Policy Center - May 6, 2011

    […] But most of the questions Stokols posed to the governor are largely predicated on some other parts of the School Cuts 101 series. Mainly first, should Colorado updated its school funding model based on an Oregon proposal that allots a share of dollars based on performance? (The idea has some merit in theory, but the Cascade State approach dangerously seeks to consolidate and centralize power.) […]

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