Much is being cussed and discussed about the state of education in Texas and the country in general. The Obamugabe wants to throw billions in new “investment” into the education system. One wonders what he expects to happen as a result.
Education is in its current state of disarray due to several things. Let’s look at a few.
Education is best served close to home by the citizenry:
Trying to “fix” education woes at the national level is a ludicrous but pathetic joke. Everything the federal government tries to “make better” they wind up trashing. The feds meddling has largely led to the current flap over the unions. The best thing that could happen to education is for the unions to decertify and disappear. Ok, hear me out before you hang me from the flagpole. Unions exist solely for the union thugs that run them. I have belonged to two unions over the years. All they did was take dues from me. They never made my life “better”, just more complicated. If we took teachers seriously as a vital profession and paid them accordingly, the unions would lose their appeal. Good teachers are worth far more than they are currently paid. Unions presumably exist to get them what they are really worth. The problem is, many are not worth what they got before the unions, let alone now. Which brings us to the second of the problems:
Who decided this clown was a teacher?
Many of our so-called educators are a really bad joke. They are totally incompetent to be serving as teachers. The unions make it impossible to weed out these misfits, so our children suffer the consequences. After stripping the federal government and the unions of any influence in the education of our children, we should immediately begin teacher competency testing. Boo – hiss! Ok so it is unpopular, at least among those who fall short of expectations. So be it. If we get rid of the deadwood, we can pay the good, serious educators what they are worth. I am not down on teachers. I have known and been taught by some really dedicated and brilliant people in my many years. In fact I have been fortunate to have studied under some absolutely stellar educators. A gentleman by the name of Henry Valli comes to mind. I won’t bore you with details, but this incredible educator should be recognized here. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the man responsible for my technical successes over the years. I am what I am largely due to his expertise in teaching and nurturing his students through the tortuous pathways of hard science. He made it easy and exciting. I wanted to learn; to be like him. He inspired as well as taught. My point here is we have many very good or excellent teachers in our schools; we should reward them accordingly. As for the other drones and wannabes, hit the road and find a job more suitable to your skills and motivation … like panhandling.
Educated Idiots and other intellectually challenged persons:
Many (far too many) of the folks graduating from our high schools and colleges are functionally illiterate. Many can’t read and write at an 8th grade level. Yet, these are the future leaders of the country and the movers and shakers of our commercial endeavors. What went wrong? Well, refer to the previous for a moment. There is an old saying among computer programmers: “garbage in – garbage out.” You get out of a system what you put into it. If our kids are being short-changed by the skills of their instructors, it is time to rid ourselves of the problem. This is the easier part of the solution. The more difficult part is correcting the curriculum. For decades, we have been in dumb-down mode. Instead of teaching our kids to be the best they can be and to excel, we instead teach them that mediocrity is the “norm” and they needn’t be upset if home work interferes with the latest X-Box offering. Forget learning, enjoy yourself while you can. Then, later, when they do try to gain employment, they find they have no knowledge or skills that are marketable. So they turn to welfare or mooching off of friends and family. Or they find themselves charring cow parts for a fast food restaurant. What needs to happen is for local school boards to take control of curriculum. Make the course of study fit the grade level. If a student can’t cut the tasks set before them, mentor them or set them back until they can. Teach up to expectations, not down to the lowest common denominator. Make the course of study demanding, make the student excel. To do less is criminal and unconscionable. Ask the Jaimie Escalantes of the world how it’s done.
Where are the parents?
And finally, MAKE the parents get involved. Teachers only have the students for a small part of the day; parents are responsible for the rest of the time. If the parents don’t actively support and continue the efforts the teachers make, the result is doomed to fail. Parents must take an active hand in school district management. Question the curriculum and demand that it teach the essentials needed to succeed in the coming world. Hold the district and teachers to the highest standards of education. And finally….
Where goes the republic?
Return to teaching American Government and Civics in high schools, at all grade levels. It is appalling that over half the students in high school today can’t figure out Presidential succession or who their senators and congress-people are. Many don’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Few can tell you where the Constitution was written or when. Some can’t even tell us who the nation’s first President was. How can they expect to be informed voters if they don’t have a clue how the government is SUPPOSED to work? This is perhaps the most dangerous of the problems. The liberal-progressive movement can only thrive if the future voters are politically ignorant and apathetic. An informed, intelligent voter is very difficult to deceive. Many of the problems we face as a nation can be directly traced back to education of the masses over the last two or three decades. It is vital we reverse this trend. If we don’t, we are doomed as a republic and we will continue to slide into socialism or something worse.