Thank you for taking time to listen to your constituents in Manawa on Monday night.
I am from Iola and spoke mostly on education.
You seemed very enamored by your visit to the school in China. If that is the direction you think American schools should be heading, let me correct some of your misconceptions.
1. You only saw what the government wanted you to see, classrooms of model children. In America you can walk into any classroom, not just the model ones.
2. You mentioned that every child in China has six adults focused on that individual. In America, over 50 percent of the children are lucky if they have one adult in their lives. That issue needs to be addressed before we start trying to change the education system.
3. Did you see/hear any children with feeding tubes, birth defects, discipline problems, learning problems or other disabilities? No, because in most foreign countries none of those children are even exposed to regular education students. I know because I taught in a special education facility in Australia. In America, our laws would have to be changed to exclude disabled students. Do you want that?
4. In America, we discourage students from dropping out. In China and the rest of the world, students don’t have to drop out, they are forced out by the tests they are given starting in ninth grade. If they don’t pass, they can no longer attend. Did you talk to anyone that had happened to?
5. When you were in China, did you visit any of their millions of factories? If all of their children are getting this wonderful education that you saw then where are all the millions of young adults coming from that are filling those awful factory positions? My son went on four assignments to China for his Wisconsin firm and saw first hand the working conditions. Many of the workers come from rural areas to live in cramped city apartments for a year at a time to earn money for their families. Is this the direction we want for America?