When taking down an education system, it is important to know which areas are crucial and will cause the most future distress. Once you have targeted that, you will be able to take down an education system in a few easy steps.
STEP ONE: Realize the system. Before you get too zealous, your actions and time are valuable so consider first those things that do not hold much potential to upset the system. For starters, school supplies. Sure, items like butcher paper and photocopies and vis-a-vis pens are important, but the capable, strong teacher will find a way to impact his or her students without these items for it is this teacher who will teach through thoughtful and posing higher-level questioning strategies. This type of teacher can teach with little.
And it is just this area that you should target. The teacher. Specifically, the development of the teacher's skills. Take away the teacher's ability to evolve and grow to meet the needs of the students and you have destroyed the system; and destroyed it quickly, at one point of attack.
STEP TWO: Take away that which matters most. To do this all you need to do is underfund, or, better yet, don't fund professional development. Create a proposal filled with many, many (many) words and simply leave out any plans to continue the development of strong professionals within the education system of the state.
When the professionals are held back from improving their ability to impact students, it will only be a short time until the system is substandard, or, better yet, ruined beyond resurrection. Bonus--the collateral damage will be great.
This is the crucial spot and to overlook this weakness would be grim.
Realize that it is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provisions for the education of its children. However, without capable, strong, enthusiastic teachers, this duty cannot be fulfilled. When it is not fulfilled, the system collapses.
STEP THREE: The creative spin. Are you worried about the negative press? Don't be. Teachers have historically taken a great deal of abuse in the press. You can easily displace the problem from a lack of a plan to develop strong teachers, to how much money it will cost. Always talk in terms of money saved by not doing this and, if you can, throw in a few stories about how a certain amount of saved money from not funding professional development (i.e., developing strong teachers) will allow for Such-and-such-President-Named Elementary School to be able to fund an after school reading program, BUT move on quickly before someone asks the one question you do not want: from where will the highly trained reading teacher come?
Everyone is worried about money now. Make their personal worries the reasons for tearing down the state education system.
You will likely only have a few months so you must act fast.
(Point of View Change)
Washington state is currently looking at several proposals for funding its education system for the years to come. They are all long, involved and have a vision. I do not claim to be an expert on proposal reading, but I do understand what works for a school and students. Some of the plans are more visionary than others. Some are downright scary. There is one Proposal by D. Grimm that has absolutely no professional development written into the plan. That scares me.
I agree with Tom's post that The Full Funding Coalition report is a good place to start for a successful education system. It is not without faults. Rep. Hunter asks that you go to his site, What It Takes For Kids, read the proposal and comments, and share your thoughts.
To read more about the the future funding, or lack of, in Washington, I recommend Washington State Legislature. Here you can read the various proposals. Have a voice.
Want more, read Tom's post, The Good, The Bad and The Grimm.
Kelly's post, Funding: Is remediation what disadvantaged students are lacking??? Check out the comments. There is some great back-and-forth. Join in on the mix.
Richelle's post, How Will this Education Funding Proposal Impact You??? I think her hope of having a state education system is neither impossible, nor outlandish. There is the saying that you can judge a man by his friends. Well you can judge a state by its education system. What is ours saying about us?