Well, after doing a bunch of reading and thinking, I’ve come up with my own questions and answers pertaining to our education system.
First, if its not broke, don’t fix it. Our government should heed this advice. Stop messing with things that don’t need to be messed with.
Second, if it IS broke, fix it. Don’t just try to cover it up and pretend that a previous fix was all that was needed.
At one time, the US was the front runner for the world on education, now we are being outdistanced by many countries. We need to be back on top. Why? Because I’m proud of my country and I want to see it flourish, and I want the best for my children (they are pretend children at the moment). So what’s the difference between then and now? Well for one, No Child Left Behind. Now for one, I am NOT an educator, nor do I have any experience in education, but that does not mean I can’t think critically about what others have said and proposed. Personally, I think the NCLB law was a good idea, but, as has been proven, bad in implementation. Students learn how to pass tests, not think and question things critically.
As a culture, we need to start respecting our children’s’ teachers much more, especially the good ones. The fact that an average teacher makes less then lets say.. a meteorologist, is sad. The fact that we have charter schools popping up all over the place to get away from the public education system rules, but continuing to educate the public, is a sign that there needs to be change.
Some disturbing evidences found in one of my readers digests. 3 out of 4 Americans can identify Larry, Curly, and Moe as the Three Stooges, but only 2 out of 5 can identify the 3 branches of government. Less than 6 months after Hurricane Katrina, one third couldn’t point to Louisiana on a map (btw, its the RED state to your right). You think that’s bad? Heres some more. 20% of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. Only 59% of adults know that humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time. WHAT?!
One idea to fix our education system is to have a centralized governing body that regulates all public education. No more teaching creationism or ebonics in schools. No more letting Texas govern what is in all of our textbooks. Each state should and shouldn’t be different. I’m thinking of a body that is composed of educators, education experts, and scientists of various fields that listen to studies, look at future job markets, look at current US and worldwide issues, and set basic requirements for every school. I’m not talking about everything being set in stone, I’m talking about a loose structure that makes sure our children get the best education possible, while ensuring innovation for new methods are still able to come about.
Another thing I think we definitely need is more classes involving nutrition, health and fitness, psychology, and scientific method. The only way to become a more healthy people is to question everything and to try to know thyself as much as possible.
Lastly, we need to follow our own directives. I’m talking about separation of church and state. Like it or not, the US is not a Christian/Catholic country anymore, we are so much more diverse. Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach religions, but it should be a class that exposes children to many religions, not just one.
What do you think of a centralized education system as opposed to a state by state system? What about funding?
Check these articles out: Warning to College Professors, Teachers Should be Seen and Not Heard, Teacher Tenures, Worldwide Education Rankings, Texas Influencing Our Textbooks, Get the Church Out of Schools