Michael Tavoliero: Government education industry has led to mediocrity and bondage of our progeny

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By MICHAEL TAVOLIERO

The Alaska education industry influenced the Alaska State Legislature to increase the Base Student Allocation by $680 per student. Fortunately they couldn’t influence Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy. The education industry used its own definition of education to work its magic on legislators.

Are we really going kick this can down the same road for Alaska education? Lift profit over humanity? Debt and decline over productivity and progress? Present over future?

This writer reminds the reader when he was a young whippersnapper in grammar school hearing for the first time that in the South during the days of slavery it was illegal to teach a slave to read; I was astonished.

That memory stuck with me as an ingenious evil designed to proffer the results of instruction and trample the potential for education. The comparison of instruction and education are the seminal differences between mediocrity and enlightenment as well as bondage and liberty.

It wasn’t hard to instruct a slave how to work in the fields or maintain livestock or even to keep up a household.

It was a practiced exercise. Once learned and embraced with body memory, it did not have to be re-instructed unless there was a technological change. Remember Ely Whitney. The introduction of this new technology in the South was responsible for the increase in slave population from 700,000 to over 3.2 million.

This ensured the least amount of thought and intellect as possible and provoked the maximum amount of exhaustion to produce a near zero amount of creativity. The brain is a muscle. Once exercised and stretched it does not return to its original size, however, instruction does not exercise the mind when compared to education.

The practice of instilling and maintaining illiteracy amongst slaves was the linchpin in keeping power and control. It was and still is the critical and integral component in establishing the sociological road map to curtail all other avenues of human endeavor other than obedience and monotony.

As of 2019, PEAKS (Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools) was administered to students in Grades 3-9 (English language arts and mathematics) and grades 4, 8 and 10 (science) each spring during the state designated testing window. This state-required assessment provided students the opportunity to show their understanding of important skills in these content areas at their grade level.

It was designed to measure performance, productivity and outcome.

In 2020, I analyzed Alaska education performance through PEAKS analysis in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.

In the Anchorage School District, I found a lack of proficiency in ELA and math to be 41.79% and 40.30% respectively. The average math proficiency in the Organized Borough was 39.45 percent and in the Unorganized Borough it is 25.17 percent and an average English language arts (ELA) proficiency in the Organized Borough was 44.30 percent and in the Unorganized Borough it is 28.85 percent. 

This proved disturbing and tragic. The Last Frontier’s overly abundant financial capacity to build well educated men and women from scratch had produced no remarkable results outside a dismal low ranking when compared nationally to other states in performance per student and a very high ranking in cost per student.

My conclusion to these findings brings me full circle back to considering how our current government education industry must define education to remain profitable. And that definition is simple: The state shall not let education funding follow the student.

It is time Alaska embraced the direction Espinoza V Montana Dept. of Revenue’s decision. It is time to end the mini-Blaine amendment in our state constitution. It fails to serve the state’s future and in fact results in the mediocrity and bondage of our progeny. 

Michael Tavoliero is a writer at Must Read Alaska.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Look at the poor testing compared to $ Per student and we are not getting what we have paid for!
    Thank You Govenor for standing up for better education.

  2. And academic outcomes have declined ever since.
    And now Ak Deed is lowering proficiency standards
    Wow, just like that proficiency goes up
    It’s a bad racket

  3. Remember today US citizens make the choice to stay illiterate continuing it into their next generations. Since 1940s we have had the educational resources in great abundance anyone can better their own literacy skills if they want. Its through passivity we choose not too. Today we can’t blame anyone except ourselves if we or our adult children are illiterate and not living up to God’s plan for their lives.

    If my mother had someone helping her. If she had ladies from her churches really looking after her with me, she’d likely realized earlier in life the importance of reading-aloud to me and not had a school district take advantage of her putting a perfectly healthy mind daughter into their special Ed class for six years so their special ed program can meet its enrollment quota. If she was a suing person, an attorney could had scored big money from JSD. I found out later two attorneys representing 6 students sued JSD in the nineties for what JSD was doing for over a decade, and the attorney’s won.

    I chose to something different when I had my own daughter. I chose to read-aloud daily and engage with her because I observed that’s what all the “smart” kids parents and grandparents did for my peers. They read aloud to them, make outings regular weekly or daily trips to libraries, nature center, museums, church, outdoor recreation fitness, signed them up for private music and athletics, they did family home chores and activities together. That’s why some of my peers growing up were grade level ahead and could handle going to work and go to school simultaneously.
    Back then black slaves had no choice, today in the 19th century and 20th century we make a choice either consciously or not to be smart or to be dumb. If people choose to be dumb, the consequence is Unrepentant Sinners taking advantage of those people when we do act dumb and when we are naive.

    I can attest to this. Alaska CAN lift One generation Alpha-Gen out of illiteracy and mediocrity IF parents and those interacting with children read-aloud to their babies starting at birth and follow TRACK through out their child’s elementary years being consistent. T-alk. R-ead. A-sk questions. C-onnect and Keep at it.

    Alaskans don’t need a whole bunch of money given into education when parents and caregivers with incentive and love of children follow TRACK.

  4. So, let’s start a proposition and gather signatures for this long overdue action! I will be an active signature gathering location.

  5. Teachers are instructed and spending more $$ and time teaching the WOKE garbage via the administration that has destroyed the educational system in getting children to read and learn basic educational courses. They’re spending more time teaching the WOKE garbage and that takes away the normal education time.

  6. The case that Mr Michael Tavoliero makes is rather mucky and it’s difficult to figure out what he wants to say. In fact it reminds me of myself when one commentator ‘Jefferson’ or maybe it’s the other guy, states that I’ve just presented an untasty word salad. In first year college English, since it’d already been well-covered in elementary school grammar, and high school English and Composition, practically the only thing I gained from it was “First of all, write what it is what you want to say, say it, and then finish by reiterating or saying what you said.” So, I’m not sure where we are with considering some arbitrary funding of school children will receive through their school enrollment will affect on some previous year’s proficiency exam scores. Maybe, I need to be able to read between the lines?

    • “Common Sense” resulted in many sticking their heads in the sand in the 18th century. Mr. Tavoliero seems a spokesman that could lead a belated but much needed transition of our education system. A monopoly the government enhances and in dire need of breakup! If getting the state constitution changed is the path then i am willing to participate. The insanity of “more money” is so old and yet pushed by so many that are unwilling to look into our future; similar to those who would not support the American Revolution yet eventually reaped the benefits of an independent nation.

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