November 17, 2008

School Systems without Local Oversight

The biggest problem I see facing us in the future isn't our financial failures recently. They are a huge problem, but as was shown during the late 1920's and early 30's, our system of free trade is resilient. Besides, I'll get to our financial woes in a later post.

Our biggest future problem is education of our children. I'm 30 years old, or close enough to make no never mind. I don't have any children, but I've seen our public education system fail those of friends of mine, and it is very disheartening. My wife and I do plan on having children in the future, but there is no way we would be able to fathom putting them through the public school system. When the current generation of 20-30-somethings make light of the fact they were educated by the public school system of some-such place as an explanation for their ignorance or lack of "common knowledge" you have to ask yourself if you'd be willing to subject anyone to that sort of mental disabling.

There is a real problem when the president of the United States mandates that all capable children will advance in grade at the same time, and the schools push back complaining that they are not able to meet the task at hand. I'm not advocating "No Child Left Behind" at all. The legislation that forces schools to overlook real, documented learning disabilities so a quota can be met seems pretty ridiculous to me. Of course, there is nothing that someone can fail at that the government can't epically fail at. Our education system is exactly that; an epic failure. When its possible for students to graduate high school while being given the false impression their inculcation is sufficient for their immediate entrance into the country's workforce and yet be so completely lacking in the basic life skills necessary for someone to be a productive part of society (basic math, at least a 7th grade reading level, an understanding of our civics and economic system...) it makes you wonder how they could possibly be ready for higher learning. The university system in the US isn't something I'm going to consider trying to change because as far as I'm concerned, unless you find a school that doesn't offer political science as a masters program, you won't find a brainwashing factory for liberal institutionalization.

No, I'm talking about our k-12 public education system. We've failed and continue to fail the next and continuing generations, and I believe it is time someone did something about it. I've made a point of sending the following idea to the Governator in hopes his RINO status might be helpful when he read my proposal. That was over three years ago, but of course, nothing has changed. Its not surprising, but it is disappointing.

In addition to what I had to say back then, I think it would be beneficial to have minimum curriculum standards met, say in the basic life skills department. This isn't an advocation of teaching sex-ed to kindergartners. I'm thinking more along the lines of what I mentioned before... Civics, Literacy, Personal, micro and macro economics... These are high school level subjects, just like adult health. There are things that I firmly believe should be the perview of parents to teach their children before those children start participating in the real world, but if the parents neglect these life lessons it would behoove the educational system to make these necessary life skills classes semi-mandatory. Of course, there should be the option, if parents desire, to have children kept out of these classes on a case by case waiver basis, and advertising of this would be just as mandatory.

We neglect too much, and overlook more in our quest for normalcy. I have a deep feeling normalcy in this regard is not well defined. The unfortunate part about all of my ideas is that change is resisted at all costs by those who benefit from the status quo. It would be nice if the children were able to benefit from it, or at least be given the choice. I somehow doubt America's Next Top President will have the answer, and I also doubt America's Next Top Congress Members will either. We haven't failed at any one level, America; we've failed at every level, save for the lowest, least influential. If a middleschool teacher had as much say in what happened in her or his classroom as the administrator for the district did there would be quite a bit of difference in the content of the curriculum.

No comments: