It’s that time of the year. In some areas school has started all ready. Here in Kenosha it starts today. Mothers all over town are heaving a sigh of relief.
I wonder as I watch the kids walking past my house all bright and shiny in their brand new clothes with their brand new back packs just what they will learn this year.
Things were different back in our day. No, we didn’t walk through 3 foot deep snow drifts 5 miles to get to school going up hill both ways. One of those big colorful yellow buses picked us up just like they still do. And yes, they did have the internal combustion engine back in my day.
The thing that was most different is that we got a quality education. American kids were among the best educated in the world. We learned because we had,mostly, quality teachers who made sure we learned. And a letter home to Mom and Dad if we weren’t applying ourselves made sure we applied ourselves diligently.
There wasn’t any “social media” in those days and we certainly didn’t have cell phones. We were, for the most part, on our best behavior because if we weren’t that dreaded letter home would assure us of unwelcome attention when we got off the colorful yellow bus.
Today we have high school “graduates” that haven’t the ability to read their own diploma. They often can’t get a job because they can’t fill out a job application. Imagine an education system that awards to diplomas to people that can’t even read them.
I try to imagine a college student back in my day who couldn’t tell you what the reason was for a celebration on the 4th of July. College? We wouldn’t have gotten out of the 5th grade that ignorant. I’m not claiming we were all geniuses, although in comparison…
The very idea of a book report seems strange in these times. I read then and I read now and every chance I got in between. My love for books had been constant all my life. Most of my teachers encouraged that. As they did my love of the language. I remember when I looked forward to vocabulary class in school. Do they still do that? Because quite honestly I see little sign of a decent vocabulary in the young or in certain presidential candidates.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to teach a complicated lesson when you are trying to impart it to young people who think all messages must have 140 characters or less.
Thomas Jefferson was a great believer in education. As were most of the other founders. Jefferson believed in the “unlimitable freedom of the human mind to explore and to expose every subject susceptible of its contemplation.”
After his presidency, the last years of his life were spent creating the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. This school was to be a visionary new school that was to introduce America’s youth to the new ideas about government and equality.
He realized that different students have different academic needs and allowed for these differences by electives in his curriculum. Jefferson designed every aspect of this University. It was created as a place where both students and faculty would be able to enjoy the freedom and the ability to learn.
He not only had the idea for this university, he surveyed the site, planned the buildings and was a supervisor during the construction process. Thanks to his efforts and determination, the university opened in March of 1825.
How disappointed he would be to see what has happened to the Universities of today. Places of “safe spaces” and “free speech” areas. Places where young people are not taught how to think but what to think. Will there soon be college grads that can’t read their diplomas?
How do U.S. students compare to students in other countries? It’s not as bad as some say, but there is room for improvement.Students in the United States performed near the middle of the pack. On average 16 other industrialized countries scored above the United States in science, and 23 scored above us in math. The reading scores for the United States had to be tossed due to a printing error.
Room for improvement? When the United States performed near the middle of the pack? I’d say there is more than room for improvement – I’d say it’s time for parents to bring out the pitchforks and torches. They must demand that the taxpayer dollars that are being poured into education be used for educating out kids. Money for the kids is fine but not for pouring into the coffers of the teacher’s unions and from there to the Democrat party. That’s not just robbing the taxpayers, that’s robbing kids of a decent future. After all there’s only so many jobs for burger flippers.
The United States spent an average of $11,621 per pupil educating its young people in the nation’s elementary-secondary school systems in fiscal 2014. According to the most recent data available by the U.S. Census Bureau, this is the largest increase in per pupil spending since 2008, when the U.S. spent a reported $11,009 per pupil.
My own state of Wisconsin is about average at $11,186, which is a bargain compared to New York which spent $20,610. I don’t think any of us would complain about the cost if the schools were turning out well educated young people. That isn’t the case.
This morning I watched the kids head down the sidewalk in front of my house to the bus stop on the corner and I was sad. Once this was sign of hope and wonder. Now you wonder how they’ll manage without being able to read or write or do basic math.