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Funding Education

One of the more interesting games I have found on Facebook is called Nations. It allows you to create a fictitious country in which you are dictator of the country. Each day you are presented with two questions. Your options are to pick one of the three or four pre-created answers or dismiss the question. Your countries criteria on a dozen or so different factors may be effected and an outcome of your decision is listed.

At first I thought the game had a decidedly liberal slant. The longer I’ve played though the more I see is as just simply having an under-educated, popular opinion slant, which is itself sometimes liberal. Here is one such example of a question that doesn’t have a good answer like privatize schooling.

A new worldwide study on literacy was released today placing your country in the bottom 10%. Do you:

Increase funding to public schools and offer tax breaks to adults who attend literacy programs at local colleges.
Enforce mandatory literacy tests? Find those who are dragging your score down and hold mass executions as an example to those who are considering not learning to read.
Reading isn’t necessary! What does reading have to do with making name brand shoes or nuts and bolts.

Based on my previous experience with the game, the “good” answer is the first one. This follows the popular thinking that increased funding solves education problems. Funding may account for why one county has better teachers than a nearby county, but in general funding only influences education in extreme cases such as a complete lack of textbooks.

If I were writing these answers my answer would be something like the following:

Start a program to gradually privatize schools. In the meantime mandate look-say be replaced with phonics and stop promoting children to the next grade who have not met the grades reading requirements.

As I expected I selected option one and got the following result:

  • The overwhelming success of Xeamland’s (the name of my country) new literacy program has sparked the once untapped printing and binding industries.
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Categories: Fun, Politics
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