REPORT #97 August 1999

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

We have a report on school vouchers and failing schools on the Belize Electronic library Development Issues reports.

That said, of 309 public schools in this south Florida County, 26 schools failed and parents now qualify for receiving vouchers from the Florida State Government to take their kids out of school and send them to paid private schools. These 26 schools failed to meet minimum standardized exams.

The system also graduates cash assistance to schools based on a scoring system from A to F. Grades will dictate how much cash these schools get. Faculty in schools that grade poorly get reprimands and good schools get extra cash.

If a school gets an F, or fails twice in a four year period, the entire staff may be replaced at that school by the state government.

Accountability in education! Interesting isn't it? Now if we did that with politicians, or political parties in Belize we would have something.

Can you imagine all those so called smart people running for politics in Belize, getting graded on leadership, good management and incompetence, with cash rewards or loss of job if they failed?

Now, how would you grade the politicians, or political parties?

I can think of ways. If they are smart managers, then they can manage the country within the countries financial resources. So, we measure the National Debt. Is it going down, or up? If it is going up, then they are incompetent. They are not smart, nor good managers.

Good leadership and management, would find Belize with no debt, savings in the form of cash reserves. Incompetence would find a rising national foreign debt and be regarded as failure to lead or manage. Then their elections become null and void and a replacement election held. Interesting thoughts on accountability, hey?

Any idiot can borrow money to run a country. Heck! Even my two dogs, Freckles and Tequilla get pre-qualified credit cards in the mail every month and can start spending $500 to $1000 any time they choose. It takes no ability to borrow and spend. The smart leadership and good management, are those that find ways to do so, within local resources and revenues. The excuses of GROWTH economics and the beginning years of self-government and Independence are long gone. By now some 40 years later, it is time for less talk and real performance.

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