In the City of Chicago there is no more iconic road than Lake Shore Drive. You can tell from the name where it is located. In the early 2000’s the southern end of this road was refurbished and now it is time for the seven-mile long northern end to be reconstructed (some of the bridges are over 80 years old, for example).
The Chicago Tribune reported today on the second of three public hearings about the project. City planners met with about 100 residents and gave them Post-It Notes to stick up on a big photo map of the road to indicate their ideas and concerns. In addition quite a bit of oral comment was heard.
Before plans are begun, three public hearings to get input for the project . . . for a road overhaul.
Compare this with the process by which the Common Core educational standards were developed. (Congress has forbidden the creation of a national school curriculum, so these are referred to as “state standards” even though they are the same for each and every state.)
Parent involvement? None.
Teacher involvement? So close to zero to be none.
General public involvement? None.
The standards were commissioned by the national state governors group and paid for by grants from the usual suspects.
But all of the states have adopted them, no? All of the states have adopted them, yes, because if they didn’t they would not qualify for a great deal of money to support education in their state.
If you think the power of money is corrupting national politics, take a look at what it is doing to public education.
I do not think public education is perfect. I know of no one who does. But public education got us to the #1 economy in the world. Yet there are a number of voices saying it is fatally broken and needs to be fixed . . . and they know how. Those voices possess a great deal of money (the Walton Foundation, the Gates Foundation, etc.). They are the same people who say that money, their money anyway, is good for politics. They now are saying their ideas are better than yours as to how to educate your children.
And they don’t need no stinking input.