Consider outdoor skills to be part of your child’s healthy and complete upbringing. Learn to paddle a canoe, take a hike, go stargazing, use binoculars to see a bird. Listen to the sounds of the night, use a compass and a GPS.

What I propose is that any group of people who can articulate a sound system for educating our children should be able to access public funds to do so, so that all children can have access to many choices. The charter system addresses this partially. The biggest issues are: a) a preset curriculum in the form of state standards, which mean a charter school still cannot entirely allow children to develop knowledge and skills through their passions, and b) state testing mandates which mean that even when a school does manage to allow students choice in what they are learning about, they ALL must still be on the exact same page on the exact same day in all the tested subjects.

Lani Guinier, a professor of law at Harvard, was absolutely amazing. Her words were so moving that I had to forward the clip to a buddy of mine who is interested in education reform.

I took that same attitude into the classroom when i began to teach. When I gave homework, it was so the student could practice a new skill. If a student made an honest attempt to complete an assignment, and was unsuccessful, he/she could come to me. The parents and the child did not have to spend quality time at home frustrated as they all tried to figure it out.

The So what? The ‘so-what’ is that the lowest SAT for admittance to the University of Illinois is 1610. 1277 ain’t cutting it. The universal reaction from elected black officials, apologetic black educators, and guilt-ridden black parents, or more realistically, single mothers is: Racism. They declare the SAT is biased. You know what? It probably is. It is biased toward students who can read and write well and who take an algebra class before they have a child out of wedlock. But then colleges, grad schools, and corporations are biased as well. Life is biased, job competition is intense, get over it.

“Legislators and education officials have been paying more attention to the dropout problem since learning last year that more than 30 percent of high school students aren’t graduating. A report released in October by the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation said students who drop out of school in a single year cost the state’s taxpayers 9 million annually in lost sales tax revenue and higher Medicaid and prison costs.

We need to wake up as a nation and realize that our future is in jeopardy. Poor education results are a matter of national security, not just family pride.

In order to win the money, the states must show a plan for the money. There is an application process and it is not as easy as it sounds. States hoping to win the money go through a rigorous process. Part of that process is to ensure that the money goes to what it is intended for, helping the children of that state obtain a stellar education.