Describing the ad campaign, the CTA's website reads "Continuing to balance the budget with a cuts-only approach hurts vital services that all Californians need and deserve. Lawmakers must consider revenue increases to fund education and other crucial programs that help children, the poor and working families"
On the other hand, the Singapore's secondary school curriculum is recognized worldwide for its ability to develop students with critical thinking and intellectual skills. Their responsible solution? Teach Less, Learn More - Teach Less, Learn More is about teaching better, to engage students and prepare them for life, rather than teaching more, for tests and examinations. According to Education Week reporter Rhea R. Borja Singapore may be doing more than any other country to advance 21st Century Skills through project work and technology (ICT). "Singaporean educators are finding that technology is useful in fostering more self-directed learning, a shift away from the traditional learn and drill" writes Borja, in "Singapore's Digital Path", Technology Counts 2004, Education Week, May 6, 2004
Arguably, with access to the best technology in the world, the CTA's focus has been self-preservation, rather than innovation, with predictable results.
" At a time when California already ranks 46th in per pupil funding and dead last in teachers, counselors and librarians per student, the proposed education cuts would increase class sizes and reduce funding to those programs that target low-income students and those schools that need help the most", read the CTA website" - the implied argument appears to be " It took the CTA more than 30 years to achieve the most dubious distinction of being the worst state in the nation at the time the CTA had all the resources it needed - can you imagine what may happen with less resources"? How can the CTA focus on teaching students to make sushi rolls or help criminalize home schoolers, for example?
A couple of decades ago we predicted Detroit would reach the dubious distinction it has now achieved, mostly because of its cost structure driven by its management-union relationship. A few years ago we predicted the CTA would have a similar effect. We have been right on both counts - not simply a hindsight statement, as our position has been well documented.
Thinking Schools, Learning Nation (TSLN) was adopted as Singapore's Ministry of Education's vision statement in 1997 and continues to be the over-arching descriptor of the transformation in the education system, comprising changes in all aspects of education. " Since 2003, we have focused more on.... nurturing a spirit of Innovation and Enterprise (I&E). This will build up a core set of life skills and attitudes that we want in our students. It promotes the mindsets that we want to see in our students, teacher, school leaders and beyond", reads in part, a preamble to the Ministry of Education's website.
We continue to argue that the "responsible budget solution" is a major shift from self-preservation to innovation. Including the promotion of home school, the virtual classroom and even outsourcing.