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June 2nd, 2009
05:08 PM ET

Don’t prop failing schools

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/10/obama.education/art.obama.grab.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama says the decline of education is 'unacceptable for our children'."]

Clayton M. Christensen and Michael B. Horn
Special to CNN

Historically the federal government has been a small investor in the nation's education system. With the recent economic stimulus bill, however, this changed virtually overnight.

There is great danger in the sudden and massive amount of funding - nearly $100 billion - that the federal government is throwing at the nation's schools. District by district, the budgetary crises into which all schools were plunging created the impetus for long-needed changes.

The most likely result of this stimulus will be to give our schools the luxury of affording not to change. This is borrowed money that we're pumping into our schools, and it comes at a price. Charging education isn't changing it.

That our schools need to change should not be surprising. Just walk into your local school and enter a classroom. Odds are high that it won't look too different from a classroom from a generation or two ago.

Sure, there might be some computers in the back of the room and perhaps an interactive white board instead of a chalkboard, but chances are high that students will still be sitting at desks lined up in neat rows with a teacher at the front delivering the same lesson on the same day to all the students. This might be acceptable if society and the skills many people need to succeed in today's economy hadn't changed either, but they have.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Als

    Sarah Palin is the reason why schools need to be the prime focus of the United States. She could have been president and ruined this country more than Bush.

    June 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  2. Karen

    and the dumb liberals keep pumping money to schools.

    Education is sky high, but the liberals still want to pump more money.

    The reason why its so high is because the government keeps pumping money to colleges who raise tuition. The colleges know they can use the government. Like good liberals on welfare.

    June 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm |