Monday, July 09, 2007

I Hate What Politicians Have to Say About Education

My stomach churns as I think about entering a semester as an education major during which a presidential election takes place. The level of ignorance and outright disdain that a lot of politicians and politicos show towards the education system is embarrassing.
All they have is solutions. Every single politicians knows exactly how to fix education. The Republicans want to reward "performance" with higher pay for teachers.

The Democrats want to continue to throw grants and funds at a system they and everyone else know is broken:

It's extremely easy to debate any of these candidates on education. They all ignore the elephant in the room: culture.
It's just not easy to say to a group of voters: your culture is failing your children. Your culture has destroyed the institutions of marriage and family for half of the children in the country. Your culture expects nothing out of children, and rewards them for everything. (every kid on the soccer team is the best kid on the soccer team, and every one of their kicks is wonderful)
There's a reason that immigrant populations from east Asia, south Asia, and Africa do so much better than their native born peers. They're raised in the same neighborhoods as kids who drop out at high rates. They're resisting drugs at a higher rate. Their test scores are notably higher.
They're also typically living in two parent households with parents who have high expectations for their children, and who aren't afraid to check their kids when they screw up.

It's just not a money issue anymore. Yes, there are schools out there that need financial help. Probably all of them. They're run like social security senior citizen's homes. They've got holes in the roofs. Money will fix roofs, but it won't fix attitudes.

I'll throw my idea into the fray as well: Education needs more focus on critical thinking and data evaluation, and less focus on progressively increasing the amounts of junk that gets crammed into standardized tests. Data goes bad, critical thinking does not.
And by more, I mean like an entire class EVERY day for at least an hour.
No skill will benefit children more in an era where anyone can edit the encyclopedia.

1 comment:

Doron said...

It seems the more atomized the community gets, the less focus it has on the school system. A cultural issue indeed. where did all the ART classes go, nobody even talks about art anymore in the education system.