Monday, October 11, 2010

When Will We Ever Learn

California isn't in a golden state, when it comes to hitting the books.  TIME did a story on several teachers in several towns who are paying for their own supplies and going to every creative and extreme measure they can imagine, in order to come up with not only the tools they need to teach, but even basics like pencils and paper to run the classroom and their own vacuums to keep it clean. 

Almost $17 billion was cut from California's education system in the last 2 years$17 BILLION
That is an appalling number.

It is estimated that an additional $2.4 billion will be taken in the coming year. 

When teachers resort to cleaning their own classrooms after a day of teaching because the janitorial staff has been let go or had hours cut back, when they have paper curtains held together with duct tape, when they have to have car washes or bake sales to raise money for supplies and go to garage sales to come up with tools to teach children, things have gone severely wrong.  This state of affairs isn't isolated to California; it's happening all over our country.

Where is this train wreck headed?

What happens to the most powerful nation in the world when the bulk of the children who will run it in varying positions and degrees in 3 decades have almost no education? Even now, the national rate of high school dropouts is stunning - Diplomas Count showed statistics at 68.8% graduation rate in 2007.  There is no indication that it has improved since then.

This is not an issue.

This is a crisis that needs immediate attention and change. It is not only crucial on an individual level for each student that loses the opportunity to reach their full potential through better education, but that domino effect winds it's way up through the community into a national level and then it affects the world. If the U.S. does not have citizens with the knowledge to further this nation in every capacity then it falls behind other nations and a sociological revolution becomes probable, if history is any indication at all.

Knowledge is indeed power.  Without it, we are crippling our future, the future of our nation, and the delicate balance of relations with the nations we share this world with.

I saw a bumper sticker once that said, "The world will be a better place when our schools have all the money they need and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber." 

If only.

I've said before that George Bush's education strategy was 'no child left behind... the platoon.' Uneducated people who have no idea how to think critically are easily controlled, and give far too much power to those few who would use it for their own gain and purpose.  This is not the ideal of our nation, nor of our forefathers who fought and died to make it what it could be.  Masses of ignorant citizens become sheep, are expendable, and the integrity of our future is lost because we cannot contribute to furthering the progress of mankind or even ourselves.

It is not with power in might that we could reach unimaginable realities, but with minds fueled by knowledge that have the capability of attaining limitless possibility.


Cupcake Man said...

Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for what is right.

J at said...

Oh, so very well said. We need desperately to improve our education. And yet, local districts are laying off teachers because of cost cuts. UGH.

I live in California, and our education system is almost as broken as our legislature. Or perhaps, exactly as broken. Our funding is so weird and difficult to plan out, it's a nightmare.

We live in a fairly wealthy suburb, where the population is willing to tax ourselves extra (through property taxes) to pay for schools. But that doesn't help the students in the neighboring towns, and so like in regular life, the poor suffer and the wealthy take care of their own while ignoring the problems. And even in this wealthy suburb, we are asked to pay for supplies for the classroom. Better us than the teachers, I'll agree. I just want the schools to be properly funded.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


If more people hungered for it, this wouldn't need to be posted. Oh... how I wish.


Agreed! These are our children! Our future and their future... nothing could be more important. It's unthinkable to me that education can have fallen to the wayside as it has. Unthinkable.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore