If there are a few things that excite me, education is one of them. So, yesterday I watched Oprah's show on the failing education system in America. I was hardly impressed.
She was highlighting the new film, Waiting for "Superman", which is set to premiere this Friday, September 24. While I am glad this subject is finally being addressed I was shocked by much of what I heard:
Bill Gates, a guest on the show, said longer school days will help our educational system. Seriously, children aren't away from their parents enough??
Michelle Rhee (Chancellor of DC schools) focuses on getting rid of bad teachers. How do you define what's bad? Does that mean that mediocre is okay? What about excellence?
Oprah rewarded "high performing" schools with $1 million dollars. If they were already doing well, how will more money help?Money has never proved to be the solution in education.
Perhaps what annoyed me the most was that the entire goal of education was never even mentioned. Oprah mentioned that "high performing" schools were to be celebrated for graduating 100% of students as well as having 100% acceptance rates for graduates into college. Fair enough, but follow these kids four years later to see how many made it through their freshman year, much less graduated with a degree.
What I want to scream is (and so I will)-
ANY BOZO CAN BE TAUGHT TO PASS THE TESTS, TO MAKE THE GRADES, TO GRADUATE!!!
INSTEAD, LET'S START TALKING ABOUT REAL EDUCATION-
-ONE THAT LEADS TO KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING AND WISDOM!
-ONE THAT LIGHTS A FIRE INSTEAD OF FILLS A BUCKET!
-ONE THAT PREPARES US FOR A CONTRIBUTING ROLE IN SOCIETY, NOT A SELF-CENTERED "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THIS MAKE ME?" MENTALITY!
Is anyone with me to get at the heart of this?
(Besides me and Leigh Bortins of course?)