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Friday, January 27, 2006

Won't it be great....

Growing up I often saw bumper stickers that read "Won't it be great when schools have all the mony they need, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a stealth bomber?" As a child, I laughed it off, even if I understood how true it was.

As an adult, I find myself not laughing.

Recently, I found "America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.", attributed to Evan Esar, and just found it sticking in my throat. Granted, I'm only a tutor (and quite happy with my job), but I'm seeing the products of this odd economic situation every single day.

Becasue schools are hurting for funding, I have seen children taught math by someone with only an English certification. I've run into odd math programs created because there just weren't enough teachers to cover the subjects in a rational manner. It's painful.

How can we expect to prepare our students for an increasingly-challenging world when our resources keep dwindling? What kind of message are we sending students when certain industries are allowed to strike over salaries that teachers could never even hope to achieve?

I don't really expect an answer to my questions. They're not original by any stretch of the imagination, but I do often worry about my students and the service we as teahcers are doing, knowing that we as a profession are doing everything in our power to help prepare these students for life outside of academia.

Time will tell, I suppose...

Yes, I agree. How we educate our children will determine our future and I have to admit, it looks pretty bleak. The system is under tremendous pressure to do more with less each year, although more and more government mandates are tacked on but they are generally under funded, if funded at all. The school system can not accomplish their task without close collaboration with the parents, the local community, and the local businesses. I say local because you have to start there. If you get lucky you can create something broader.
I think you're definitely on the right track by saying it needs to start at the local level. I'm hearing a lot of talk about the need for a national curriculum, and I worry about states at both ends of the rankings.

I don't feel that we're ready for a national curriculum yet. We could possibly achieve that goal, but right now I think you're right that we need to focus on bringing up the local standards in a way that best benefits the children.
The priorities are certainly out of line when it comes to education. I heard a hotly debated topic on the radio this week. It centered on the idea that schools will start taking corporate sponsorship. This is in order to increase money to pay for buildings and building upgrades. it is also supposed to be to increase teacher salaries (Teachers are way underpaid in KY.) Many are opposed, but do not have answers other than increasing taxes. They do not want taxes increased either. So what do you do? I love the Evan Esar quote. I think it says a great deal about what we put priorities on our society. Entertainment seems to be more important than investing in our young people and education. great Topic. One that is detined to be debated for a long time.
Great post, Rebecca.

There is no doubt that our (U.S.) priorities are WACKED-OUT! I have all but given up profession sports, because I can't stand the thought of the ridiculous jack these guys are bringing down.

Educators are way undervalued in this country and we are going to pay for it eventually.
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