03 January 2013

Education Reform

It is again time for the annual reform of our educational policies to ensure our children are fit to join the adult world. This wringing of hands is an annual event. We self-flagellate over the poor results of our K-12 institutions of learning. Monumental efforts have been made to improve the education received from No Child Left Behind to continuous testing ensuring progress. The usual suspects are the teachers who are now required to be degreed, certified, and developed. No question there are bad teachers, but they are given a bad rap. It is clear from simple observation that many, if not a majority, of parents are themselves uneducated, uneducable, unconcerned giving only lip service to the idea that their children should have an education. These parents can not put together a grammatically correct sentence, have not one iota of reading material in their residence, and view the world as demonstrated by their favorite TV programs. The only discernible effort made by these parents is to schlep their children to various sporting events from the age of three where they complain to other parents that the coach practices favoritism and their kid doesn't get enough playing time or become irate at a referee or umpire who inspires an emotional tantrum. If parents don't care, the kids won't care, and the teachers will not succeed. It isn't the fault of the teachers. One can attend a school program to immediately realize that the parents and extended family of the children performing view the proceedings little differently than sitting in their living rooms, watching TV, and drinking a beer. During warm-day events such as commencements, a rather important event in the life of a youngster, the audience is dressed for the beach. More importantly, there will be a graduation party where the parents may go so far as to remodel their home; set up a collage of photographs showing their new high school graduate from birth to graduation; and invite all and sundry to celebrate their kids accomplishment. The photo array will exhibit the various athletic endeavors of the new graduate and have the usual stern visual display of the boys and the I'm-so-beautiful attempts of the girls. Whether the child can actually put a sentence together is irrelevant. Not one in ten of these newly graduated scholars are capable of having a conversation with an adult nor form an opinion based upon anything other than what they have been given. It is all rather discouraging if you believe that these children are capable of being educated which most are not.