Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Education

I have mentioned in the past that I have in my possession a few soap boxes. One of them is labeled "education". If you haven't yet, skim the options section in your weekend Denver Post.

I am a teacher and have friends who teach and I have nothing but the deepest respect for those in the education profession. They work harder for less than most. Many teachers I know go above and beyond what is required of them, they buy there own classroom supplies, stay long hours to help students, and sponsor clubs and have a real love for kids and passion for educating them.

Here is the problem, schools are failing our kids. Our children finish up k-12 unable to keep up with others around the world and, in this global market, it set them up for big problems. If we ask our children to give us 1/3 of their childhood to spend in classrooms, the least we can do is make it worth there while. Here are some of our problems:

-Money allocation.We spend too much on administration costs and not enough on classrooms.

-Too much spend on "under achievers" and not enough spent on "gifted". For every $100 spent on special education, only $2 is spent on the gifted. Guess who is going to be leading our country in the future?

-No child left behind. Sorry, Georgie, this idea, like Communism, looks great on paper but just doesn't play out in the real world. If every child walked into public school with the same potential and starting out in the same spot, then this might work. But children are not robots, each one is an individual with different abilities and gifts. Which leads me to our next problem...

-The "one size fits all" mentality. We know not every child is going to grow up to be a plumber or scientist, yet we assume they will all learn they same thing at the same age and time. Children don't grow up to be individuals, they actually start out that way. Teachers have to teach to the lowest common denominator.

The largest problem in our schools is not actually in our schools. The largest problem is the parents. Too many unwilling to do too much. Selfishness. The idea that it is someone else responsibility to educate their children. So here it is, the gloves are off. Parents, step up. Children are not convenient and they require sacrifice of time, money, energy and so much more, and if your not willing to put in the time, please refrain from having children.

This is not a post to bash public schools, with all there problems. It is a call out to fix what is broken and think before you default to the "easy" and "free" option for public school. It is a call out to parents to take responsibility for your child's education and not see it as someone elses problem. Get involved, help a teacher, mentor a student, if you say education matters step up and act like it.

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