Sunday, September 4, 2011
America is at a crossroads. The world is changing faster than a teenage girl can text. In changing times nothing is harder to give up than position and power. Entrenched position and power always loses in the end,however. Nothing can withstand the changing tides of history.
It is generally accepted that in today's world education is the key to competitiveness and advancement, yet is also generally accepted that the American Educational System is failing.
America is still teaching in the Eighteenth Century. A teacher stands in front of a classroom, reads a book that the students have already read, then tells them what he or she just read. Six weeks later they are tested on the material. Never mind that the latest data on the subject is available at the click of a mouse on the Internet.
In primary Education, the schools are taxed with too many tasks not directly related to education. Social solutions, sex education, fairness, equality are all taken to be a part of education in today's schools. Many times the pursuit of these ends actually hinders the acquisition of a good education. Fear the one group may be slighted by recognizing the excellence of another group discourages the striving for and reward for outstanding performance. "Team Work" solutions are favored, individual initiative discouraged.
If it was decided to design a perfect educational system for today's world, not much would remain of the current system. However, if you have ever attempted to change anything in your local school, you know that it is nearly impossible. From the Teachers Unions to the Janitorial Staff there is a "dig in the heels" mentality to keep doing things as usual. With a fifty per cent drop out rate and grads that cannot add, subtract or read the mill grinds on. Just as in the old Soviet Union, we keep producing shoddy goods that are out of date and no one wants.
Will there be a revolutionary movement for change?? Fraid not, like our Federal income tax system, there are too may barnacles encrusting the ship to ever allow real change. The speedy Clipper ships that are China and India may soon pass us by.