By Renée Smith | j&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

Have you noticed that every time a politician or other public official want to make sure an idea or program is accepted that it is always “for the children?” Not many of us are going to object to anything that is for the children. Anyone who objects is certain to be on the receiving end of constant criticism.

The plethora of standardized tests, the implementation of Common Core Standards, and universal pre-K for four year olds have all been presented as necessary for the children. We are assured that all these items are needed to measure improvement, ensure learning and educate the next generation of leaders.

The amount of money spent on education has never been higher yet the percentage of children graduating from high school has only slightly improved since the mid-1980s. Additionally far too many high school graduates are taking non-credit remedial classes in college because they are not adequately prepared.

I am not aware that my Big Ten alma mater even offered remedial classes when I was in college!

Until the Carter administration there was not a U.S. Department of Education. There was no need for one since according to the Constitution, education was to be the province of the states. I will restrain myself and not go off on this issue at this time! One can only wonder how much money has been spent by the US Dept. of Ed in the past 40 years!

To what end?

What do we know for sure? There are a lot of bureaucrats and staffers at the US Dept. of Ed making nice salaries. Many “educational” companies are growing and making a lot of money. Politicians have found a new issue on which to campaign. Very wealthy Americans like Bill and Melinda Gates, through their foundations, spend a lot of money and feel very good about themselves, because they give money to help education.

Yet the high school graduation rate has only slightly improved and now colleges must offer remedial courses.

Tech companies are selling school systems computers and related equipment needed to take the standardized tests. Curriculum companies are selling schools new curriculum that is aligned with Common Core. The type and number of standardized tests continue to expand; schools buy them; companies score them; and schools make more changes.

Yet the high school graduation rate has only slightly improved and now colleges must offer remedial courses.

Seems like the only entities that are improving measurably are the ones selling education!