Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Education 101

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?
Anyone?
Anyone?
(Besides me and Leigh Bortins of course?)
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6 comments:

Ali said...

It's frustrating that the people that everyone listen to aren't saying anything life changing. I'm screaming with you!

giftonartistry said...

Did you ever see the special "Stupid in America?" Awesome. It's on You Tube. Now that was a show I was impressed with. Leave it to John Stossel to ask the tough questions. I'm with you. If our school system is failing so badly then why do people still look at you like you have three heads when you say you plan to home-school?

Just His Best said...

I haven't seen that yet.

When the subject comes up, I find that most people are willing to admit the current educational system is failing, but of course NEVER at the school their child is at. Also, many parents in the suburbs feel it's an inner city problem.

Made To Organize said...

Yes, I felt the same way. The entire segment was 90% based on teachers, not education. And most of it focused on schools in the projects or rough inner-city schools. What about the millions of children that attend public school who DON'T live in the projects and are still receiving an equally dismal education? I think Oprah's main focus was promoting the documentary and giving away the remaining $6 Million from her Angel Network. Makes me sad....and mad.

Marty said...

The main reason the schools fail is the same reason they cannot hear you scream your frustration. We live in a dualistic society...there is the spiritual realm and then everything else.
For the Christian, educating our children is a spiritual act...Christ is Lord in reading, writing and arithmetic.
The public school system is failing and will continue to fail for the simple reason that education done divorced from the Creator is meaningless.

Sara said...

Nothing to add but full agreement.

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