Education Reform in the United States of America
To Read is Freedom
I saw the Avengers v. Ultron movie the other night. Don’t ask me to tell you the elaborate story line-- I lack the interpretive capabilities to fully encapsulate it with a tidy bow. Similarly, the constant action scenes were too fast-paced to comprehend just what was happening, except that the entanglements became more chaotic along with the audience’s correct anticipation of an eventual, favorable dissipation. And, while there there was a hint of romance between a couple of the Avengers, there was a conspicuous shortage of erotic moments that might have become better exploited between the shocking disparity of gargantuan and tinier lovers (more later).
One thing about the Avengers that impressively strikes me is that all of the superheroes have unique special powers: Captain America has a piercing, unbreakable shield that sometimes cracks aliens’ heads. Other times, it merely stuns them. Does this speak to the no longer unilateral influence of the United States in world affairs? Thor has a supernatural, boomerang hammer cast out of the fiery core of a dying star. Iron Man uses his vast fortune and superior brain power to build a computerized, metallic outer core that is virtually invincible, with searing laser vision. And what may we say about The Incredible Hulk except that he is almost untamable...and even more unstoppable! Hulk is under the irresistible, yet ever so endearing spell of a certain female Avenger who falls in love with him (and who is temporarily more vulnerable than usual) in the palms of the “Big Guy.”)
As a Team, The Avengers are Far Stronger Than the Sum of Their Parts
The common denominator with all of these superheroes is that separately, they are extremely strong, but not powerful enough to dismantle their worthy opponents. Together, they work as a team to become far superior than the sum of their parts. Each superhero has unique qualities that contribute to the greater mission of the team’s integrity and competence. As mighty as they are, the Avengers collaborate to become a more cohesive force to overwhelm tyranny and corruption.
Primary and Secondary Schools in America Need Vast Improvement
It is no secret that public elementary, high school, and charter school education in America needs to be vastly improved and accessible, from all walks of life.
Similar to the deserved teamwork by the respective Avengers’ unique skill sets, elementary and high school educations’ failings should be buttressed with a wrap-around effort that can make the entire pedagogy stronger from a multiplicity of “superhero,” bullet trajectories.
Literacy and Reading Comprehension
Literacy and reading comprehension expand students’ creativity, critical thinking capabilities, and intellect. We should accelerate the reading, logical reasoning, and writing pace in the public schools and charter schools exponentially, rather than go through the motions with mediocre surface explorations. (I understand that many inner-city youths never learn to read beyond the 6th grade level. This is inexcusable in today’s society.) I can help design advanced reading and writing curricula. Instigating/or probing lectures and questions may elicit thoughtful student insights and discourse based on textual evidence.
Ongoing Respect for Diversity, Societal Responsibility, and American Constitutional Values Seminar
Secondly, as America continues to become more diverse with changing socio-economic demographics, we should institute an ongoing Respect for Diversity, Societal Responsibility, and American Constitutional Values Seminar, beginning at the elementary grades and progressing through high school and college. The courses should stress the necessity to respect people with different backgrounds while accentuating human similarities, the obligation to act in morally appropriate manners and the consequences under the law for aberrations from societal norms and expectations. The seminar should also highlight that America breeds religious and ethnic tolerance (and hopefully, appreciation), as well as freedom of non-hate speech, ideas, and free market capitalism, with an ethical safety net for the less fortunate. Especially in our pluralistic society with varying degrees of parental involvement (whom have varying will power to ingrain time-honored ideologies of the United States upon subsequent generations), the school system is often the final bastion for upholding worthwhile American values. Using my training as a lawyer, I can help design this curriculum.
Thirdly, meditation is almost an essential boon to help "debonk clutter" for students, bolster youths’ self-esteem, relieve their stress, and enoble them to remain rational in the modern, frenetic lifestyle full of an all-encompassing bombardment of irrational thoughts. Meditation can offer youths the presence of mind to ward off unhealthy peer pressure and make life-affirming decisions. I meditate using five-six different techniques that focus intent from various vantage points. I would be happy to help design this age-appropriate curricula from elementary school through high school so that students can harness their otherwise wayward minds with powerful tools to resist realistic temptations and retain an optimistic outlook.
Lastly, physical exercise releases endorphins, bolsters self-esteem, increases mental acuity, and relieves stress. Elite sports such as tennis, jogging, and hiking in natural backdrops are all ways to accomplish better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I have written extensively about the macro parallels of sports maintaining a healthy perspective, as well as micro anecdotes of interest and humor. (Please read my autobiographical novel, The Ascent of a Barbarious Court Squatter. The book describes how I alternately don four personas within our consciousness by channeling varying degrees of the competitive sports mindset per each persona’s unique specifications. Personas that utilize the competitive sports mindset parallel and encourage free market capitalism. Please also read my book of essays with a funny, athletic, and philosophical lens, that also advocates for education reform: Sporty Reflections of a Court Recidivist. http://www.amazon.com/The-Ascent-Barbarious-Court-Squatter/dp/146370898Xhttp://www.amazon.com/Sporty-Reflections-Recidivist-Jacqu%C3%A9-DArtichoke/dp/1463717814
Sports may be enjoyed recreationally for a healthy lifestyle or competitively, for the pursuit of excellence that parallels healthier aspects of capitalism. For example I played tennis virtually every day from the ages of 11-26, when I entered law school. As a high school and NCAA Division I collegiate tennis player, I have a competition tennis background. I was a semi-professional, Southern California Open level tennis player. I am a certified tennis instructor with United States Professional Tennis Registry. I also ran track and varsity cross-country in high school and am an avid hiker around the Pacific NorthWest Coast. It would be an honor to help design recreational as well as more competitive sports curricula for elementary through high school students, keeping the purpose of the free market economy’s pursuit of excellence in mind.
I Can Help Develop Educational Proposals and Curricula
I would be elated to write proposals for each of the above components for youths to eventually engage as prepared citizens and young adult leaders of our nation. Then, in turn, I can help develop the proposals into more demanding curricula for public and charter schools, respectively.
I would love to work as an integral component of a team to bring the above skill sets to fruition. If successful in the Silicon Valley, these educational ideas could become nationally replicated.
Let Us Work Together for Future Generations of Americans’ Educated Citizenry
Remember, we are all superheroes on the United States of America’s Learning Team. Let us consolidate our efforts as one for the common cause of our nation’s future generations of educated torch bearers!
Which educational Avenger are you?! How can you best contribute to the educational team to prepare the United States to be a future leader in local/global dynamics?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
John Royce Holtz, J.D.