By Jueseppi B.
This post consists of thoughts & suggestions from a good blogger friend named Ms. Penny Howe. Her blog “TheWhyAboutThis” is one I read daily and appreciate very much. When you get some time, visit TheWhyAboutThis.
My thoughts on our current education system
By Ms. Penny Howe
As you know, whether we are speaking of education or any other public program, policy, rule or law – they are all related and interconnected to one another. So having said that …
It’s simple actually, well okay no it’s not, because it involves ‘change’ and for many in this country (the people and chosen politicians (This is in no way a negative reference to Obama, I feel that the job he does, he does astonishingly well consider both his hands are usually tied for all the reasons you and I already know of) – all parties – don’t deal well with change. In fact it scares the pants off of them).
If government would begin to do away with redundancy (and the redundancy of redundancy, look up a full bodied meaning of the word) it would be a start. There are too many layers; in all branches of the government. Nothing will change significantly until this happens in local, state and national government.
The connections between local and national government organizations (much less the private citizens) are bound up by not only the redundancy but the inability to deal directly and in a timely way with anything that needs corrected or changed.
The Public Education System is outdated, instead of reforming from the ground up (Yes totally doable and I know how – too!, a hint here – one school at a time, how’s that for a simple thought, but the way the school system has (with incredible bureaucratic inflexibility) tied itself together each “proposed thing” is contingent on compliance with so many other things, this simple thought becomes currently undoable).
Additional things keep getting added to a broken educational system that no longer fits our current culture, family dynamics, and technological progresses. Meanwhile in ever increasing areas that need emphasizing, those are being taken away (sports and cultural activities, for example).
Free thinking, clever teachers (a few I’ve read of in the D.C. area) are shot down because of straying from the “current agenda” of things! Occasionally a school, here and there has a very clever and talented administrator who figures out a way to bring about some change and still work within the system, but these people are far and few between, and they shouldn’t have to struggle to make these important changes and improvements.
Independent Industries that have not kept pace with the needed changes have or are failing (in this country). So are small business enterprises. The ones who have grasped the fundamentals of needed change are doing just fine! Not nearly enough in this country.
Whether this country likes it or not we are a Global community now. Those that will soar are the ones that can take advantage of this (as many other countries are currently doing in the educational arena)!
So a serious overhaul re: our nation’s thinking to global thinking! There’s a reason other countries are leading the way in their educational goals for children and we are falling behind.
As humanity and society evolves, simple is as simple does needs to be the solution for solving complex problems. We’ve made too many “no brainer” items into agenda type scenarios where the pro’s and con’s discussions, (committee type decision making and so on) proliferate without any meaningful outcome.
The original idea behind a “paperless society” the internet (okay I know the real, original idea was military with its scope of things, but after that as more educators became involved) was to simplify the expediency of a variety of things most prevalent being communication and elimination of paperwork!
It seems that now even with the back-up electronic systems, there are still paper back-ups to the online back-ups. It sounds stupid even as I write this to you, but all too true and while more information gets exchanged more expediently, it’s overwhelming to everyone, everywhere.
Once again simple is as simple does.
Utilize those who organize well in this country (probably outside of a Government organization – yes that was meant as criticism) most likely in private industry (But not from a multi-conglomerate international concern, special interest groups at that point will always put a finger in any pie they are exposed to – yes also meant as criticism).
There are some very talented individuals in the private sector who could come in and remove much of the excesses and waste in the spending of both time and money – pretending here that this country has any real money and not a national debt that defies belief – But the Chinese are very grateful for both the lending of money to our country and its citizens who are the finest consumers on the planet. We’ve made a life-style of it!
If fact, today the marketing of consumerism has done its job so well that most people react to things, not act on things. So a catalyst for change is what is needed. Something that would make a majority of people, not only react but act on their reactions, for positive change.
And it can’t be big change. Any big change that happens overnight (is usually a very bad thing, war, catastrophic weather, geological conditions) isn’t the kind to shoot for (euphemistically speaking) and while we’re on that subject, a few thoughts here.
Gun control – As long as ‘we the people’ are in a reactionary mode there can be no reasonable outcome. Meaning that we would look at the “reasons” behind this concern – inner city dysfunction and the ease of purchasing dangerous weapons (that were never meant for private citizens to begin with) and we evolve back to a breakdown of the family unit and lack of education. (Full circle)
When freedom is no longer a “motivation to fiercely protect and strive to improve upon” but a taken for granted, ‘right’ (in and of itself) as is currently the case in our country (where no responsibilities are attached to it) most Americans have forgotten their own role and responsibility as a “free citizen”, including many politicians who often have their own fixed agenda – they view serving their country as a career choice, first and a representative of their community, state, country as second!
So right now in summation we have a “loosy goosy” approach to how things are handled. Many of the internal structures in our country are outdated and not being attended to. The schooling of our future generation right in there with the mix of things being grossly neglected.
To me simple things, means that the focus is a) simplifying the processes of how things get accomplished, b) then reorganizing by priority what really makes a country economically healthy:
Educated and happy children.
Responsible, caring and happy working adults.
Any economy is only as strong as the people within it. There needs to be a huge re-evaluation of priorities for how things are accomplished in our country, but with the resistance to change. This is a big hurdle to overcome my friend.
Just my thoughts on the subject.
Penny L Howe,
Thank you so very much Ms. Penny.