Friday, June 23, 2006

Why can't we see it for what it is...

It refers to our antiquated educational system. They was a small piece in the New York Times on Wednesday talking about graduation rates, etc. The statistics show that over 30% of high school dropouts never go beyond the 9th grade. We are losing them before we ever really have a chance at educating them. An educational research study showed that only 39% of New York Cities students graduated--other figures say 50%. Nationwide only 73.9%--which has been the norm since the 70's. And we wonder why we are losing our jobs and our place as a global powerhouse in terms of technology, etc. We can't even get our kids to stay in school and receive just a basic education. Why do we accept that there is going to be attrition at the level that is acceptable. Why does our government think it is okay and accepts the fact that out of my 100 students last year, on average only 74 of them will make it to graduation? How is that okay? How can we accept that? Why haven't we changed anything. Why don't we admit that as a country we are failing our children and look at what other countries are doing and try to change our system.

We are so steeped in our ideas of equality and fairness that we are failing everyone. Because tracking in schools has become illegal--I don't know about in all states but in mine it has--we have classes that are filled with high achievers, middle achievers and low achievers. We have to then teach to the lowest usually or to the middle, but either way 2/3 of the students aren't getting what they need. There is a reason that 36% of all incoming college freshman have to take remedial course work before they are ready for English 101, etc. We are blaming teachers, parents and kids, when we should be blaming the system itself. It is no longer a functional system. It doesn't suit our needs as a nation anymore. Why can't we see that it needs to be changed. No Child Left Behind is a farce because all the children are being left behind. Vocational programs are no longer offered in the majority of schools and districts. We force students to sit in classrooms for upwards of 90 minutes in some cases we make them sit in desks etc and we try not to overstimulate them if possible. We make them get up at ungodly hours while the rest of the world sleeps--my high school starts at 7:30. Most jobs don't ask workers to be there that early.

Why don't we understand that we are shooting ourselves in the foot with the educational system we have? Why do we not realize that we are outsourcing jobs, etc because other countries are more efficient then we are. Our workers need to make more money because we are greedy--that is a whole different issue. The fair market is killing us and we are sabotaging our society by not educating the next generation and giving them skills to be successful. Why don't we realize that we could give them a skill set to leave school with. Only 20% of all jobs require a college education, while 70% of jobs require only a high school diploma. Let's get our kids out of high school who are not going to go to college with skills, something that they can use. None of my not going to college students are going to be better served in their job because they can write a paper about Shakespeare.

We need to rise up and change the way our country views education. College is not the saving grace--college will not solve all the problems of the unemployed. Let's prepare our children for the real world and admit and accept as okay that not all kids must go to college. It just isn't true and we are doing them a disservice by telling them that they should and educating all of them as if they are. Let's respect the diversity of humans and the choices and the abilities of each other.

3 comments:

MP2 said...

Ditto.

owlhaven said...

I agree with ya!

Mary

owlhaven said...

PS--You sound like a future homeschooler to me! (grin)

Mary