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Who is to blame for the abysmal educational performance of America's youth and how do we fix it?
Bear in mind that the U.S. already spends more per student on education than any other country...so money is not the answer.
That's a billion dollar question. U.S. kids usually make up the gap created against international standards during their childhood-teen education by the time they graduate college. However, not all kids go to college of course.
I don't have many specific suggestions since I'm not an expert on the issue. I have a problem with high school English classes being based on very old models of how English should be taught. Kids are reading almost 95% classic literature which could be time better spent in my opinion.
I do feel like technology is being brought in at a fast enough rate though. South Korean kids are supposed to be book-less by 2016, a recent publication announced. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
Who's to blame?
Lack of parent involvement in the education of their children.
The removal of corporal punishment. Teachers and administrators have had to become police officers more than educators.
Take away tenure. This should have never been done on the K-12 level.
How do we fix it - These are just my opinions.
Mandatory parent involvement for one. It's unfortunate it's come to this but it has.
Bring back corporal punishment. A couple of pops across ones butt usually gets their attention. It did mine.
Pay teachers according to their ability, not what a union forces on the system for even the lousy teachers. In other words, get rid of the lousy and/or burned out teachers and administrators.
I actually wrote an article, not here, but in a magazine last year that dealt with this issue. I came to the conclusion that we need to bring back the apprentice programs from years ago. In most states it is legal to have 16 year olds work. I think businesses need to hold a draft at the high schools and offer part time jobs to kids who qualify for apprentice programs. This will add more competition in schools, because now, the poor kids will have an actual initiative and not just a dream. Most of these kids come from families of only 1 maybe 2 parents who work at least two to three jobs each and they are really crappy jobs. They are not given the confidence and a plan that they need to succeed. So when a kid goes home to an empty apartment with no food in the fridge the last thing that kid will think is "I'm going places." No, that kid is going to toss his books and smoke a blunt with his boys, lamenting on his personal sorrows. Now if that kid had a good job to go to where the boss has taken a liking to them, and that kid shows promise, then maybe he will grow up with a plan and know he or she will not be working 18 hour days for minimum wage. We don't need the government to do this. We just need a community program. Make it a contest. A draft pick like for football would be like one of the biggest days of this kids life. The turning point. The great hope!
Unions need to be stronger not weaker, let the teachers teach, stop teaching a test, apprentice programs are a great idea and unions can help with that so can business, get the church out of public schools there are church schools for that, vouchers weaken the public school system, get parents involved. We spend a lot of money on children who would rather learn a trade because college is not on their agenda. Get politicians out of education. Many kids make more than their teachers selling drugs, they couldn't do this if we stopped the war on drugs and made some legal like gin and bourbon and tobacco. Let the teachers teach!!! They know how to do that!!
Governmental interference surely..... Back when I graduated high school, in 1978, I'd say any lack of learning was my fault, same for my classmates, teachers actually taught, didn't depend on dumbed down and over-oversighted and approved computer generated teaching from computer screens. Teachers still taught back then, were individuals, not automatons. Some were lousy, some were awesome. Now, none are allowed to be individuals without some automaton in the mix that rely from the get go on rigid automaton structure fed teaching, not their own talent and love of students and teaching, that is no longer the driving force in a student's learning. My teachers changed my life, directed my life, enhanced my life. Today, it happens still to some extent, but largely the personal nature of teaching must surely be all but out the window -- kind of like the cut up boys in my 8th grade math class -- who literally went out the windows.... Today, they would be arrested, etc........
Fix it by letting teachers TEACH not TEST.
Teachers not doing their job, parents not caring, students not caring, and certain politicians who act like "being smart" is a bad thing for the "elite media."
One quick example of a teacher with high aspirations that was emotionally defeated by apathetic students. My brother's senior year of high school, a college professor (with a Ph.D in English) came to teach. She initially was very demanding, assigning reading and writing assignments every week. But students were just NOT turning them in. Eventually, the principle approached her about the number of Fs she was being forced to give out. So she lightened up and now gives no homework at all.
So teachers come in with high aspirations, and the student body just won't give. Therefore, I think the core problem is parents. Parents are not raising their kids right and teaching them to value education. In some cases, it's because our wonderful system does not help single moms and they are forced to work all the time, and their kids suffer, and our society overall also, as a result. In other cases, some people have no business being parents at all.
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