Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cutting education to better our country

I'm sitting on my couch, reading this article in USA Today and my head is beginning to hurt. My brow is furrowed and I can't seem to make my face relax. I'm confused...befuddled...frustrated.

But as I began to write and think about..."How can a super-power country made up of wealthy people who gained their wealth and power by their intelligence not see the need for investing long-term in the education of our children????" it became a little clearer to me that my question was all wrong.

In one sense, the people at the "top" are intelligent. Many of them, I'm sure, have big name degrees and important titles. But, it is also many of those same intelligent people who are manipulative, greedy, and have created our demise. When they are inwardly focused, it's no wonder that they don't care what happens to the rest of our system and our children and the educated people of our future. From my point of view, it is a very self-serving set-up.

I know at this point, there seems to be no other way but to keep bailing people at the top out, hoping everything doesn't crash and burn. But I just can't see the rationale in contuing to provide funding (and bonuses!) to people who have created the failing system and, at the same time, require cutbacks from our schools.

Take to heart this information, pulled from Larry James' Urban Daily:

Last Friday morning Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert shared a horrifying statistical profile about our public schools and male students.

Consider 100 boys in public schools. . .

•32 will end up in prison. . .
•44 will graduate. . .
•Of those who graduate, only 4 will read at grade 12 levels and only 1 will be able to do grade level mathematics.

Is that really how we want our country to move forward??

However, it is the people who are affected by those statistics who I tend to believe might have the answers--people who have dealt with little for so long tend to have answers many of us have never thought about. They have innovation and creativity when it comes to making ends meet. They understand what happens when a system doesn't educate children adequately. Perhaps if we invested billions on the other end of our spectrum...the education of our public school children...the investment of technology in our low-income areas...offering unique opportunities to those who have not been given the chance to discover new interests...we might discover answers and solutions people who never had to struggle could never imagine.
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