BACK AND FORTH: DECISIONS, DECISIONS

#decisions #OverThinking #marriage #willpower #jobs
When someone goes back and forth with a decision, some may call him analytical.
Others may call him indecisive.
Still others may call him thoughtful or deliberate.
Naturally, we all should think before we do. But, sometimes, over-thinking can steal opportunities.
The science, or art, if you prefer, of thought is knowing when to make a decision.
Some decisions, like whom to marry, are often made on not necessarily impulse, but emotion. Sometimes, more thought is required. Other times, if you feel the person is right for you and you could lose him or her by pausing to think, you may go with your emotion and hope not to regret later.
Other decisions require immediate action. An investment opportunity comes along that could cost you if you wait to think more. This requires some quick calculation, or complete trust in the person who brought you the opportunity. It’s natural not to trust someone else, but here’s where you have to trust yourself as much or more as you trust someone else.
Then, there are the choices that require willpower, such as the choice to pass up the cake in the buffet line in lieu of a salad. Here, the decision involves how often you eat cake, how seldom you treat yourself, how often you do other things to compensate for the cake etc.
Besides whether or whom to marry, there are other life choices we all have to make. Let’s start with our jobs. Are we doing a job just because it pays us? Are we doing a job because we actually like what we are doing? Are we doing a job because, well, someone has to do it?
All jobs pay, and most don’t pay nearly enough to live the lives we would like to live. If that resembles your situation, you can do one of many things: first, you can stay at it and hope things will improve; second, you can stay at it while continuing to look for something better; third, you can stay at it while squirreling away savings, and investing those savings, until you have enough to retire; or, lastly, you can stay at it while doing something else part-time, outside of work, that will enhance your income and, perhaps, dwarf your current paycheck.
There are many such vehicles out there that can help you accomplish Plan B, the last alternative. To check out one of the best, message me.
Whatever road you choose, decisions are required. First, you have to decide how badly you want something, and whether what you are doing is going to get you that something before you die.
If the answer to the latter question is no, then you have to decide how open you may be to alternatives. Certainly, alternatives can look, or even be, scary. But knowing that what you are doing isn’t going to give you what you want may be even scarier.
Of course, you can decide to settle with your situation. That may be the devil you know, so you can sort of live with it, and never realize your dream. At least by doing that, you may not have to make any “scary” decisions, or so you think.
But if your life goals are powerful enough, fear of the unknown will become less of an, or no, issue.
Many life decisions require openness and optimism. Answers to prayers can present themselves in different ways.
The science, or art, if you prefer, is knowing when the answer to prayer is there for the taking.
Decisions, decisions. Know yourself. Trust yourself. Be open to new things and follow your dreams.
Peter

SCHOOL CHOICE NOT A PANACEA

#education #PublicEducation #PrivateEducation #SchoolVouchers #CharterSchools
Advocates for school choice – that is, allowing parents the ability to choose where to send their children to school, vs. being forced to attend their neighborhood public school – have argued that putting the power in parents over how their children are educated will provide the best education results.
As parents, one could certainly argue that having the ability to choose schools is desirable. But how to give parents such choice has come under scrutiny.
Of course, for the well-to-do, choice has always been there. They have the resources to send their children to any school they want – public or private.
For the not-so-well-to-do, school choice has come in two forms: vouchers and charter schools.
Vouchers are taxpayer-funded certificates that can be used to pay for private-school tuition. These vouchers deliberately siphon money from public schools that desperately need it. Remember, as discussed last week, education is compulsory in America. Private schools can pick and choose their students. Public schools, largely, cannot.
Charter schools are considered “public” schools, but operate with less regulation, as long as they can show performance. They are usually operated by non-profit organizations, away from the local Board of Education. These charter schools, which can also pick and choose students, have had a mixed record. Some have closed. Some have thrived.
New legislation on school vouchers has cropped up in Georgia, according to Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She discussed this in a March 26, 2019, column.
“The resurrected legislation, which now has a lower cap on the number of student who could used the vouchers – passed the Senate Education and Youth Committee … and may reach the Senate floor,” writes Downey, who points out that the legislation has the backing of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
The Georgia lawmakers point to success of vouchers in Indiana and Louisiana, even though neither state has seen big leaps in academic achievement as a result, Downey writes. Yet, she continues, Massachusetts, the nation’s highest-performing state for academics, excels by concentrating on improving teaching and curriculum, not by offering vouchers.
As for charter schools, USA Today reports that many charter schools have closed, while some states have not created a new charter school in years. The first charter school in Nevada is set to close in the spring. “In New Jersey, the charter system is making real estate investors rich,” as they use federal money to build school buildings to sell (to) the charter schools at a hefty profit, the article, also published March 29, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, says.
We all WANT choice in education for our children. Sometimes, it’s just not practical. Sometimes, individual choice deprives the community of much needed resources. Students will have different levels of achievement in school, but no one wants some to have more opportunity to succeed than others.
The best solution is to make sure your community has good public schools, with appropriate funding to improve teaching and curriculum. Certainly, there should be private, or even charter, options for those students who may want to specialize in a tailored curriculum, or be educated among students with similar beliefs.
Remember, too, that no matter how much a student is educated, no matter their background, or which schools they attended, there are vehicles out there that will allow anyone the potential to really succeed financially. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
We can tinker with education. We can offer gimmicks to make it seem as if we have some options. But there is no substitute for a good, well-funded public education system that EVERONE benefits from. It’s up to each community, and its residents, to make that a priority.
Peter

WHY WE NEED PUBLIC EDUCATION

#education #PublicEducation #PrivateEducation #SchoolVouchers #CharterSchools
Public education is getting bad grades.
Wouldn’t it be better to put education in the private sector?
After all, the education bureaucracy is bloated on all levels – federal, state and local. It eats through a lot of tax money and, in some areas, produces dismal results.
We need school choice, the viewpoint goes. It’s better to give vouchers to families and let them choose where to educate their children.
Why should families get stuck sending their children to inferior, neighborhood public schools?
These arguments and questions are consistently forthcoming from public education foes. Recent studies have shown mixed results when comparing student achievement in public vs. private schools.
So why the big push against public education? It seems some people hate that public school teachers are well protected by their unions. It seems that people hate that principals and other administrators are making six-figure incomes in many places, while they, who pay their salaries, are making far less.
Teachers, and probably administrators, in many private schools make far less than their public-school counterparts.
So why can’t one use the tax money he pays for public education to pay for private education for his children, if he chooses?
There’s a reason we have public education in America. That reason is that education here is compulsory. That means every child has to go to school somewhere.
If education were privatized, those schools, as they do now, will pick and choose the BEST students, and reject the ones that might cause trouble – or who they believe might cause trouble.
So if education were entirely privatized, where might those students rejected by private schools get the compulsory education they have to have?
Where would the students whose families can’t afford the private tuition go?
The public school teachers, because they have to take all comers, have a more difficult job than those in the private schools. Private schools should definitely be an option for families who want to, say, educate children around certain religious beliefs, or whose children may have special needs or who just want the prestige of having their children go to a certain school.
But, public education should be the center of any education policy. It should be properly funded and teachers, and other school employees, should be properly paid and treated with respect.
It’s certainly OK to look for efficiencies. But many governmental entities, for largely political reasons, have given public schools short shrift for years. Teachers are now fighting back with strikes.
Remember, too, that good students will succeed no matter what school they go to. It’s the challenging students, who need the most help, who should be at the center of education policy.
While we’re on the subject, do you think all students should go to college? College is not for everyone, but there are ways for children to succeed as adults without going to college, if they are not college material. There are vehicles out there that allow anyone, regardless of background or education, to earn a potentially significant income without having a traditional job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Remember that public education is a necessity, much the way police and fire protection are. Don’t give it short shrift. Don’t believe that the private sector can do EVERYTHING better. Because it is compulsory, American education should remain in the public domain.
Peter
(Next week: A look at vouches and charter schools)