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  •  
    Select the "Less Traveled" road!
     
    Dr. Medlin
    What is one area of bi-partisan agreement which has been established in Washington?  Public Education is the answer.  President Bush initiated "No Child Left Behind" 15 years ago.  This far reaching legislation instituted mandatory testing requirements and benchmarks that had to be hit or schools were labeled as "Failing".  Ultimately it imploded due to the impossible goal requiring districts to have 100% of their students scoring proficient and/or advanced.  President Obama gained office and throws support to "Common Core Curriculum", created by state governors, and adds "Race to the Top" at the Federal Level.  Now the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA) has become the latest Federal Education reform program.  
     
    What do they all have in common?  Additional support and funding for school choice programs including Charter Schools and Voucher Systems.  President Elect Trump will take office in January and has named Betsy DeVos as the new Secretary of Education.  She has a long history of commitment to both school vouchers and charter schools, each initiative implying that public school education is inferior. It is interesting that Charter Schools in Missouri traditionally score below the public schools.  Both programs serve select students and are not mandated to serve "all students" I do like the fact that they are released from hundreds of federal and state mandates.  I don't want to pass judgement upon Secretary Elect DeVos prior to her taking office however, it is my hope that she now intends to help create support and assistance for every child and not only those that are selected to attend a private, or charter school.  
     
    If one thing was learned in the election, it is that the voice of "middle America" is important.  Initiatives which are positive for large metropolitan districts or coastal states may not be best for the mid-west.  I fail to understand why elected officials believe that additional control and mandates will help "fix" schools.  They need to treat schools like many other organizations and release them from overwhelming oversight and the burdens of continual mandates.  Allow local communities to hold schools accountable for success and release the creative energy and enthusiasm which exists in public school professionals.  I will hold out hope that Secretary DeVos will follow the wisdom of Robert Frost:  "Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference".    
     
    Read more here.
     
     
    Dr. Medlin
    Superintendent 
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