I’ve been asking questions that I thought would concern others. This week I’m answering a question that’s on my mind, and which I don’t think the candidates at any level have addressed enough. How can we go about improving the quality of education in this country?
This question may not relate to the presidential candidates as much if you believe the federal government should not play the primary role on this issue. But as I have mentioned before, I hope you will address other candidates in your area, including state and local ones. I think it is unfortunate that so little attention is paid to elections at the local level. Feel free to choose your ground for this discussion. (here)
I can’t find a previous post on this subject, so I’m going to have to rewrite it.
First, I recently heard a statistic stating that if the failing schools were taken out of the mix, the U.S. would rank in the top 5 in terms of education. Let’s say this is truth, or shucks, even half true – we have to focus on our failing schools more.
But the main question we have to consider is the role the Federal Government plays in the it.
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.” — John Adams, 2nd U.S. President, 1785
History is littered with quotes from the Founders in respect to a public education system. This does not necessarily mean they believed the Federal Government to be the sole determiner of the type of education; however, given the disparate needs of the country, the Federal Government is about the only way to ensure a decent educational system.
Why? First, and perhaps foremost, the future of the Republic depends upon an educated populace. Considering that this is the only real way to have a Republic, rather than the dreaded democracy, education is considered a right. To that end, since the Constitution demands that the Federal Government mandate a Republican form of Government for the States, the Federal Government must have some role in how that education system is instituted.
So, standards need to be set. High. And then let the States figure out how to bring the students up to that standard. We need to dispense with the German method and go back to the Scottish method, in my opinion. We need to tough up on the younger grades, and leave the coloring books at home. Yes, academic arts is needed, but I swear, I think all the lowers grades do anymore is cut and paste. Let me begin to learn a language or two from the very beginning. But, I get ahead of myself.
The Department of Education needs to be preserved, but programs like No Child Left Behind must be dispensed with. Instead, the DoE must have the power to take over failing schools. But, here is the other thing. What causes a failing school? What causes failing students? While we can blame the teachers, and if you do, you are most likely an idiot, we need to look at the parents. There are two types of parents that are at fault for the lackluster performance of our school system. The parents who do not care and the parents who believe they will beat the teacher into giving the child a better grade than he or she deserves. Either the child or the teacher is thrown under the bus.
Something else, I think. Most states should implement a itinerant program for teachers and principles. The school is not your Kingdom. Move. Also, longer school hours, longer school years, and more classes involving critical thinking, the classics, comparative religion, and a higher focus on civics education.
I could go on…