I am and always have been a huge advocate for education. I am one of those individuals that was raised so far below the poverty line that some would have given up on digging their way up to the line not even thinking of going further. I never was willing to accept my situation as permenant. I think if I had to credit someone with instilling that value in me, it would have to be my much older brother who, like me, worked and went to night school and earned his college degree. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘earned’. You earn it through the classroom work and you earn it through paying for your school. Many students these days feel they have a ‘right’ not to work while in school but I never did see it that way and still don’t. You do whatever menial tasks you have to do to get through college. It’s the ticket out of poverty and to a better life. There’s always someone who wants to give an example of someone they know who made millions without a college degree and someone else who had tons of degrees but never earned a living. Perhaps these stories are true, but success isn’t just dependent on money earned either. Success is also a part of being a productive and intelligent human being who is developing their talents. That is not to be confused with using laziness and claiming it is creative loafing.
Now, there is a lot of talk today regarding ‘college for everyone’. Well, let’s talk about that for a little while. First of all, everyone doesn’t have the ‘earned’ grades in high school to deserve the taxpayers funding their college education so there must be strict standards and those should not be waived. Then there are those who don’t have the ability to get through college unless we water it down like we have the high school curriculum which we don’t need to do. Americans have to learn to ‘measure up’ not ‘measure down’ as we have for a number of years. First we have to get our primary and secondary schools up to a level that would support the students going to college. It’s a waste of time and resources unless they can come out with a quality education. We don’t need a post secondary day care and that’s what it would become if the students aren’t adequately prepared to go to college. We need quality primary, secondary and post secondary education too. The present school system isn’t doing doing the job and it isn’t altogether the teachers (though some teachers are not doing the job and those who are molesting students should be tossed out on their ears) and it isn’t simply money (though we probably need more money too.) It is a combination of misdirected and insufficiently allocated funding, inadequate and unmeaningful standards, a school administration that is not held accountable in a meaningful way and some times inadequate background checks to insure that they are adequately qualified. If I sound like I am on a roll, I am. This is a sore spot with me and one that I have had to ‘grin and bear’ since my son was in school and he is a teacher now. So, we must get busy preparing the students for college and not just simply worrying about class balance, ‘no child left behind’ and athletics. ALL students need to be adequately prepared to be productive and contributing adults.
I would just love to take the school budgets and revamp the entire school schedule and curriculum. There are many reasons why our children and grandchildren aren’t getting the proper education and I will itemize a few.
The first thing parents need to do is take away at least 3/4 of the silly video games the children have. Not only would that reduce the number of hours the children are playing and free up some study time, but it would reduce a lot of exposure to violence and free up some time for them to learn to be human.
Next, some parents could learn that children are a responsibility and require a huge amount of time and if they aren’t willing to or can’t spare that much time then they should refrain from having children until they can afford the time and can support them appropriately.
Then, schools should be run like a business, after all they really are, and be in session 12 months a year. There is no way to justify using taxpayer dollars and allowing the buildings to stand empty for three months out of the year. I know teachers don’t want to work 12 months a year, but everybody else does, why shouldn’t they. The little ‘gotcha’ that they always throw out is ‘vacations’. Well, holy cow, if we can’t figure out how to close down the schools for two week vacations or stagger vacations then we must be pretty stupid.
Then, I would revamp the education system to accentuate ‘learning’ rather than playing. I’d get all of the soccer moms out of the screaming mode and into the tutoring the children mode because I’d eliminate sports from the corruculum. Oh, yes, they’d have an exercise program, but it wouldn’t be competative sports, it would be exercise.
Then, the frivilous courses would be removed from the curriculum and the courses that prepare children for becoming independent and productive adults would be highlighted. I’d require every child to take a course in financial management every year.
If I haven’t already made so many people mad enough to quit reading, I’d take the operational budget of the administration and the Board of Education and I’d go through it line by line and delete the padding. I’d take the money I deleted and spread it around the school to make the facilities reflect pride in ones surroundings without the silly stuff, and purchase items the teachers need in bulk so the teachers wouldn’t be having to spend their own money and the children wouldn’t have to see their teachers have go begging. Teachers are always saying they deserve more money and they may. I’d take a look at the salaries and if that is correct, once the twelve month school session began, I’d adjust their pay accordingly.
Oh, I could go on for hours, but no body ever asked me and I got so nauseated by what I saw in the system that I never tried to get my teaching certificate although I have a Masters Degree in Education.
Now for a pet peeve. Why is it that all the young people today say ‘woken up’? Good Lord! That’s worse than scratching the finger nails on the blackboard. Doesn’t anyone know the word is ‘awakened’ anymore?