First thing we need to do is get rid of No Child Left Behind, and tell the Fed. Government to stay out of Montana Education.
Put school control back at the local level. Due to life style and the types of jobs available, different areas will have different educational needs and requirements. We can not do what is right for our children with a national blanket policy.
Make the student, teacher and parents responsible for a students progress or failure. After all we all have a hand in what our children learn. It's time for us all to accept our responsibility.
Incentive raises for teachers who deliver.
Keep a closer eye on the text books being used. Much of the material being used in our school system is loaded with errors such as omitted parts, poorly written and down right false information.
Teachers must be trained in the subjects they teach.
Give control of the classroom back to the teachers.
Teachers must also enforce good manners and demand respectful speech out of students. A polite Yes/No Mame/Sir never hurt anyone. The lack of polite speech does.
If we want a better educated population which will attract industry and jobs with better pay, we must expect more out of our students. We Must raise our standards. Every person may not live up to the higher standards we set, but one thing for sure is they will never progress past the level of lower standards. It's kind of like the old saying, others may never think as highly of us as we think of ourself, but they will never think any higher of you than you think of yourself either. We must challenge our students. We cannot continue making it easy for someone to get an A in order to make them feel good about their self. This does not teach them anything as for knowledge, nor how to survive and deal with failure. One can not feel good about their self if they have not done anything productive or overcome hard times to feel good about.
The money end of education is another issue all together. Could schools use more money? I'm sure some could. On the other hand we do have many areas where schools could better use the funds they have. The way to solve this part of the educational problems is for us to start at both ends and work towards the center. Getting rid of waste and delivering the extra where needed. If we have eliminated the waste within our school systems then financing them to get the education level we desire should never even be an issue. As soon as a price tag is placed on education, you have a system devoted to being a failure.
We also have an environment where not only the educational institutions but also the public has strayed from the main goal of educating. I'm all for sports as a teaching aid and physical activity for our students. I participated in sports myself. The problem is we put WAY TO MUCH emphasis on these activaties. Our institutions of Higher Education pay a coach 2.5 times what the Governor of our state makes (who is running a mega-million dollars business). If a college needs an extra $100,000 get it from the coaches salary. Come on let's use some common sense here. Educating is the goal and we must make that first and foremost to a coaches salary.