Education Nation or Education Stagnation?

This article was featured on the emerging influencers site under the Social Change section.Gen juice Launched on 10/10/10 as the leading destination for emerging influencers. Click on the link above to take a  look at all the wonderful content for the Gen Y in you!

Education Nation or Education Stagnation?

The opportunity of a lifetime to inspire kids and teach children the ways of this world can never start too early. NBC got it right to put teachers on the platform to discuss in a round-table setting about how we can proactively take some steps to fix the divide in education between charter schools and public schools. Take a look at the wonderful work of the director of An Inconvenient Truth, David Guggenheim to see the masterpiece awareness campaign that shows the attention our community needs to desperately pay to the institute of education.

Where does the majority think the problem lies? The teachers. Yes, I said it, the teachers.

In a post recently John Nolte, he notes that Guggenheim doesn’t slam teachers, though. In fact, he has an enormous amount of respect for what they do and believes the good ones need to be paid better. The problem is that the unions see it as “a teacher, is a teacher, is a teacher,” and they fight tooth-and-nail against any proposal involving pay based on merit and make it impossible to get rid of the 6-10% of bad teachers who are shuffled from school to school and literally destroy lives by allowing their students to fall so far behind they eventually lose hope and drop out. If you’re looking for context, the national average of doctors and lawyers who lose their license is somewhere around 1 in 75, for teachers it’s a jaw-dropping 1 in 2500.

The institute of education needs to move into a Pay for Performance culture. We need to be able to hold the institution accountable to a national standard of evaluation to ensure that we are comparing apples to apples.

From a holistic overview, unions don’t help or protect. It does not help the students, it does not help the teacher develop. One thing that unions do protect people from is the opportunity to write out success. Success cannot be found in a grievance or due process. Nor can it be found in the bylaws of a few hundred pages of jargon in a union contract. The teaching profession was largely dominated by women when it came about and thus needed the union to protect them from unfair wages and working extended hours. But do we really still need this structure now? It doesn’t apply to the way society, learning and teaching has evolved. Some can choose to agree to disagree. I stand firmly on this.

And In Come The Lies

Now what about funding? A lack of funding is most certainly not the problem. As the film informs us, prior to the 1970s the American public education system was the envy of the world. But over the past 40 years as per student spending has risen (allowing for inflation) from $4,000 to $9,000, student performance rates have hit bottom when compared to other industrial nations. Does it seem like we are pointing the finger at a revolving carousel? We all need to take accountability for educating our children and ensuring they are equipped to learn and grow not only physically but most importantly, intellectually.

Schools are failing due to lack of funding? That’s a lie.

Kids from troubled homes and poor socio-economic backgrounds can’t learn? Another provable lie. And what proves it best is the devastated look on the faces of those parents who don’t win the lottery – who believe their child might now be, as one parent so memorably puts it, “doomed.”

People! Kids are hungry to learn.

Let’s not leave them a legacy of an institution we know is broken with no recommendations or action to fix it. It’s only right. As a product of Generation Y, I say we should start a movement to increase mentorship and challenged based education in our schools. Start with communities close to your home. Give back. We want this principle to be ongoing. Think about it. How can you give back to a community that failed to prepare you and invest in you when you were young. Let’s set our mindsets in focus to help solve this issue rather than point the finger and blame everyone around us. We need to demand more out of ourselves and our children. Their future is at stake and it starts with what they learn in school.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: