The Future of Public Education According to The Pragmatic Thinker

For years there has been a public outcry to “fix” the PUBLIC educational system of the United States. First of all, this will be impossible, because “fix” cannot be defined.

Some say that “fix” means to have better and more modern buildings. Some say to “fix” mean to pay teachers more. Some say to “fix” means to have our students pass progress tests. Some say to “fix” means to be able to have our students more effectively compete in the world arena of science and business. Some say to “fix’ means give our students a better education in the basics of reading, writing, and math. Some say to “fix” means to give our students a more progressive, liberal education so they can live fuller and more complete lives. Some say we need to “fix” the educational system so students can choose what “they” want to do in life sooner and enter college with direction and focus. And the reasons for “fixing” the “broken” PUBLIC educational system go on and on.

I think the PUBLIC educational system is broken and cannot be fixed. The system is so bogged down in political bureaucracy, red tape, special interests, union politics, under funding, misuse of funds, misdirection, non-focus, status quo thinking, social rhetoric, unfunded programs, broken political promises, and under staffed, under qualified, and under paid administrators and teachers that the PUBLIC educational system can never be fixed. It is an impossible task.

It is no wonder that PRIVATE schools, alternative learning programs, home schooling, and online curriculums are becoming more and more popular with the “affluent” of our population. If you can afford a good education for your student, parents are pulling their students out of PUBLIC schools and enrolling them more and more in private programs of education.

It is my opinion and the opinion of many concerned citizens that from elementary school to college, our educational system, at its best, often drives the natural love of learning out of our kids and replaces it with such “skills” as following rules, keeping still and quiet, doing what is expected, cheating or procrastinating. And that’s why, in most schools, being on time and sitting quietly are more important than critical thinking and innovative production. To prosper in this economy, students need to develop and master different skills – lifeskills such as resourcefulness, curiosity, innovation, as well as logical and verbal proficiency.

Most progressive educational professionals would agree with Bill Gates who told our nation’s governors last year that the traditional urban high school is obsolete.

The reality of education is that the system for the most part is outdated, too expensive, and ineffective. Many educationally progressive countries offer PUBLIC funding for education from Kindergarten through University, where as in the United States most states don’t offer Kindergarten classes, and all Public Education stops at the end of High School.

The primary reason we send our children to school is to enable them to choose the career of their choice, earn a good living and enjoy all that life has to offer. We all want to give our children the opportunity to prosper and provide well for their families.

Here is what has to be done if we are to give our citizens a better education which in turn gives our country more productivity in the world economy.

1. We need to PRIVATIZE all education in our country.

2. Education will be “funded” but not controlled by our government.

3. Each family will be given a certain amount of money (voucher) for each student of each age.

4. Parents can use this voucher to educate their students as they choose at any school or institution of their choice.

5. The government has NO say in the choices parents and students make. Our tax dollars only go to “fund” PUBLIC education in the PRIVATE sector.

6. When schools and institutions are made to “compete” for tuitions based on the performance of the teachers and educators, the quality of education will increase. If schools don’t offer parents and students a quality education, parents and students will go some place else, and the school is out of business.

7. We need to also include a government funded college education or trade school education for all who want it. Most parents can’t afford to send their students to college. Only about one in 17 (5.8%) young people from the nation’s poorest families, those earning less than $35,377 a year, can expect to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24. For those from the nation’s wealthiest families, those who earn about $85,000 or higher, it’s better than one in two (50%.) This University funding would also be on a voucher basis also. There would still be private colleges who might not need the money (vouchers), but for the most part most colleges would welcome the money as a way to increase enrollment and increase the quality of the education they offer.

8. The obvious results of PRIVATIZING education is that not only schools would have to compete to get the student, by offering a quality educational program, but teachers could now offer their services in a FREE market. The fact is, the good teachers would be paid more. Schools would have to offer the good teachers more to keep them. If a good teacher could make twice as much at another school, because they are better qualified and had a “parent following,” schools would have to get serious about offering teachers more money. More people would want to become teachers if they could get paid more. And just like in every business, in order to get the best, you have to pay them more.

9. Online schools would become more and more popular and accepted also. This is especially great for the “inter-city” areas and “rural” areas, where education has been hard to fund, and quality teachers hard to find.

10. On the “one student, one voucher” system, all communities are now able to compete equally for the best teachers and educators. Because of population (demand) in large cities and communities, some schools would have to hire more teachers. In the small cities they would need fewer teachers, but the “money” is the same per student.

11. By PRIVATIZING education, funded by the government with our tax dollars (as we currently do) we would be able to save money. The United States could keep the PUBLIC education budgets at a manageable level. Schools would have to compete for the funding and just like the “price wars” of car dealers, furniture stores, and all businesses, schools would have to continually strive to give parents and students “MORE education” for their money. This is Capitalism at its best.

12. The less government “control” of our PUBLIC education, the better. Government would have NO say or control whatsoever on the type of education parents chose for their students. Government would only FUND educational choices based on the government’s education budget. The PRIVATE sector would have to compete just like any other private business for the money by offering a better, quality education to its customers (the parents and students.) The PUBLIC education system for the most part now is a MONOPOLY and doesn’t have to “try harder.” Just like the deregulation of the airlines, the telephone companies, etc., prices would go down (or in this case stay down) based on the economic rule of supply and demand. PRIVATIZING our PUBLIC education answers ALL the problems we currently face in our current PUBLIC education system.

4 Of The Best Regions To Do Business Development In Latin America

Since the days of European colonialization beginning with Christopher Columbus and the journeys of Hernando Cortes and Francisco Pizarro, foreigners have always had an affinity for the countries of the western hemisphere. It is still true today, although the days of conquest are long gone. This region is one of the world’s most valued markets and with many of its countries promoting foreign investment, this may be the best time to get in on the business development in Latin America. All sorts of international companies, and start-ups as well, are choosing to set up shop in Central and South America. Here are four of the best regions in which to do business.BrazilThe host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country in terms of population. It is the largest in Latin America and offers up a huge market to foreign businesses looking to expand into the region. The country is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and is now the world’s seventh largest in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product. It will continue to grow and will be bolstered by the hosting of the Olympics and also the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament. It is expected that the number of millionaire households in Brazil will reach 1 million by 2020.PanamaThe economy of Panama has always been related to its strategic location and the Panama Canal. This is still true today, however, in terms of business development in Latin America, Panama is one of the region’s leaders. It established the Colon Free Trade Zone, which has become the largest free trade zone in the western hemisphere. Companies that do business in the free trade zone receive all sorts of benefits from the Panamanian government. Those incentives include corporate tax breaks, no income tax, and no real estate property taxes. Businesses looking to expand should give Panama a good, hard look.ColombiaWhile it seems that Colombia does not make the nightly news reports as a world-wide business power, that may soon change. After recovering from a recession in 1999, Colombia’s economy has expanded rapidly and GDP is now the third-highest in South America. The country is rich in natural resources such as petroleum and coal and is the world’s leading source of emeralds. With a population of more than 47 million and technology expanding throughout the country, Colombia can become a major player in the region’s economy.ArgentinaIt is one of the G-20 major economies of the world. Argentina has always been a major player in business development in Latin America with its rich natural resources and highly literate population. The country has the third-largest economy in the region and foreign investment in Argentina grew 27 percent in 2012. Manufacturing is the largest sector of the nation’s economy with most of that happening in the Buenos Aires area. Almost 60 percent of the households in the country have internet access, the highest in the region and that number will continue to grow.

Selecting the Best Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Maintaining or renovating a home can be a very daunting task for most people. However, after all the hard work and investment in time and resources you have allocated for a home improvement project, the satisfaction of seeing a superbly crafted home that you can call your own can be priceless indeed. Such is the importance of choosing the best and most qualified contractor who is knowledgeable and capable enough to turn your vision into a remarkable work of art.When choosing a contractor for repairs or renovations for your home improvement project, it is vital that you first acquire all the important information about a particular contractor before ever committing in getting their services. You need to make sure that they are capable of performing all the inclusive work, including customized builds and improvements that you would want your home to have. To get all these pertinent information, you should ask your contractors a strategic set of questions designed to extract all the data that you will need. To help you start in this direction, you should ask the following set of questions:* Does the contractor have the appropriate knowledge and experience with the type of home improvement project that you have in mind?According to recent information from the industry, approximately 80 percent of contractors and builders are knowledgeable and are adequately trained in the latest construction and building techniques. However, even though they may have the training with these new techniques and the certifications to show for it (ex: techniques in energy-saving green building technologies, etc), their actual experience may have just been picked up or even achieved as they work on new projects. On some cases, the home renovation projects may involve a historic home with irreplaceable artifacts or sections. A contractor may not have the expertise in dealing with such a home nor could they match the craftsmanship involved with these historic masterpieces.* Is there an existing relationship between your contractor and architect/designer and have they worked together on a project before?For your home improvement project, you may take on the services of some of the best architects and interior designers in the whole of Massachusetts. To complement the expertise of these professionals, it is but proper to also get the services of the best contractors for the project. In such cases, it would be best to choose a contractor whom your architect or designer knows. They may be aware of the track record of these contractors and may be comfortable working with some that they can identify. With such arrangements, you can be assured of a timely completion of your project and in the manner that you envisioned it to be.* When you inquire something about the project, does the contractor communicate well with you?It is a normal thing for homeowners to ask something about a home remodeling project from their contractors. However, if all you get is a hasty answer without much details and it would appear that they want you off their faces, then be careful of such contractors. A good contractor should be receptive of the needs of their clients and should be ready to discuss every detail of the project should you ask for it.* Is the contractor experienced in working with your kind of home?A commercial construction is different from a home construction in terms of details and even on building and safety codes. The contractor should be adept in the type of home that you have, otherwise they might turn your priced possession into their laboratory for trial-and-error building methods.* How fast can the contractor start and how soon can they complete the job?Finding the best contractor is one thing, but having them start on your home as per schedule is another. You might be at the end of a long list of clients and would have to sit it out for months on end. You should weigh the urgency of having the work done as soon as possible or getting the services of the best contractor that you can get.* Is there a guarantee for their work after completion?A competent contractor will give you the assurance of an excellent renovation or repair work and will provide you with a guarantee on the work done. They should be confident enough of the quality of their work and give their clients the assurance that they need.Conducting a one-of-a-kind home improvement project for your Massachusetts home entails the best services from the best professionals available for the job. Taking a few extra moments in checking out your contractors before hiring them can spell the difference between a disastrous undertakings or a magnificent work of art you can call your home.