Petrilli's Prognostications and Public School Productivity in Colorado

What’s in store in the world of K-12 education for 2011? I’m too young and naive to make any worthwhile predictions myself, but I invite you to check out the “7 for 11” prophetic musings of Fordham’s Mike Petrilli. In about 360 days or so we can fully judge how accurate his educated guesses prove to be, but for now I want to hone in on the last of the seven:

Diane Ravitch and the teachers unions will criticize budget cuts but offer no alternatives. As states and districts make difficult decisions in the months ahead, Ravitch and the education establishment will attack every specific suggestion. Raise class sizes? Ask teachers to pay more of their healthcare costs? Freeze salaries? Cap stipends for master’s degrees, or years of experience? They will find fault with all of these, but will offer no serious suggestions of their own. As a result, they will implicitly encourage districts to take the path of least resistance: fire their youngest teachers; get rid of art and music classes; and pass along costs to parents in the form of new fees.

There’s definitely something to what Petrilli says here. It’s not exactly a startling prediction. But it does remind me to tell you about an informative event coming tomorrow that includes a presentation from my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow. The Republican Study Committee of Colorado is hosting a Colorado Budget Summit to explore revenue challenges and smarter spending solutions in various budget areas:

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, January 6 titled the “Colorado Budget Summit” from 9:00am-12:00pm. The hearing will be open to the public and will be held in the Legislative Services Building, main floor Hearing Room, located across the street from the capitol building.

The format will provide an opportunity to listen to prepared remarks and testimony from several groups. Colorado state legislators will interact with speakers as well as attendees to share information and discuss approaches to the issues as they apply to Colorado. The public is invited to attend.

Hopefully, as part of the event, we can move forward the conversation about creative ways to find greater productivity in Colorado’s public schools and help save a little money in the state budget along the way.