Special interests in education | New NY 23rd

I think an educational dollar going to a school resource officer would be a good use of an educational dollar.–Tom Reed at Enfield as reported by Matt Steecker in the Elmira Star-Gazette

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of speaking with students at Red Jacket High School where we discussed current events and the Capitol Hill Challenge with the SIFMA Foundation.–Rep. Tom Reed, facebook 5/4/18

Thinking I might like to teach HS Mathematics, I once took an introductory course in Education. The professor explained that while colleges attempt to graduate effective teachers, the biggest influence on how teachers teach is the teacher’s own experience in the classroom. Teachers tend to teach as they were taught.

It is too much to expect that all teachers will be knowledgeable, fair-minded, and effective. One must take the good with the bad. Teachers have varied experiences and political views. However, one might hope that education isn’t too much influenced by special interests.

It is reasonable to expect education to be unbiased by special interests. I am uneasy when Tom Reed addresses students on any subject, because I fear his views are unduly influenced by self-interest. I know from having heard him on the subject of economics, that he will tell students things that are untrue. If and when he speaks about school safety, I have no doubt his views are unduly influenced by the NRA.

At Red Jacket HS, Tom reportedly spoke to students about SIFMA’s Capitol Hill Challenge. “SIFMA is the voice of the U.S. securities industry.” Neither SIFMA nor members of Congress belong in schools. Both represent special interests.

The SIFMA Foundation’s annual Capitol Hill Challenge™ (CHC), presented by the Charles Schwab Foundation, is an exciting national financial education competition for junior high and high schools that reaches all 50 U.S. states and their members of Congress. CHC matches Members of Congress with students, teachers, and schools competing in The Stock Market Game™ in their respective district or state. Student teams manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio and invest in real stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Since its inception in 2004, CHC has made 3,800 matches of U.S. Representatives and Senators with schools, encompassing more than 103,000 students across the country.

The Capitol Hill Challenge sounds like fun, but the fun overshadow the financial interest of the securities business–there is a danger that this is indoctrination rather than education.

When Tom Reed does speak to students, I hope their teachers take care to explain that his views need to be examined critically. Being elected to office doesn’t make one an expert on any subject.



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