Letters: Get back to basics with education - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters: Get back to basics with education

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Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:30 am

The July 10 Tribune editorial ("Businesses as educators") is an intriguing idea, especially in light of our current economic challenges. There are many examples, decades old, of business-industry partnerships with K-12, as well as with higher education. Some good local examples come to mind immediately: Boeing, Intel, and even the (old) General Motor's "Technical Education Program."

However, all parents and citizens should look beyond the surface attraction of turning the education of our young people over to yet another entity. It would be naive to ignore that age-old, time-proven adage, with any business-industry entity, just as with government: follow the money.

Any investment that business-industry investment makes will absolutely carry along with it both their social and their political implications. Be prepared for some quirky (possibly disturbing) curricula.

It's equally true that, in today's economy, no business-industry will invest its precious capital without a clear expectation of a return. Parents should be prepared to, in effect, sign over their children's future. Just as with historical apprentice programs, you cannot simply take the education (money) and run.

There will always be a place for public education in modern human society. In the U.S. we've been doing it for hundreds of years; and, we're still looking for new models and best practices? That's not very exceptional. It's time to get back to basics.

John Latson, Mesa

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