Can we call the writer of this report “Captain Obvious?”
Let’s see. There are a couple of things everyone agrees on. First our public education system is broken beyond belief and second it is an economic threat to America, a financial threat to America and a national security threat to America.
From Fox News:
A new report finds that the United States' education system is putting the country's national security at risk.
The independent study, sponsored by The Council on Foreign Relations, finds K-12 school systems across the country are failing to adequately prepare kids to grow up and protect the U.S.
"For starters, we don't have nearly enough people who are capable in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math," said former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, a member of the council's task force that wrote the report, titled "U.S. Education Reform and National Security."
"When we think about the modern world of defense," Spellings said, "the fact that we don't have people who are capable to do this work is scary."
In addition to skills needed to defend ourselves in war, the study found American schools fail to teach students skills needed to avoid conflicts.
"We don't have people who know and understand foreign languages and other cultures," said Spelling, pointing out that U.S. children are ranked No. 17 in the world for language skills. "On any given day, there are hundreds of (job) vacancies for people who speak Pashtu and Arabic, and Mandarin and on and on."
Perhaps this report is akin to the famous words, “Houston we have a problem.”
We know what the problem is. Few are willing to say what the causes of the problem are or what the solution is.
The causes are the educational establishment that has built up in the last few years. Yes, you can read that as the Education Unions. They are more interested in protecting teachers and politics than education.
The schools continue to get worse and worse, and union dues go to make sure we elect politicians who will protect the educational mafia.
The education model is broken and the federal government continues to spend billions to keep the model in place and keep kids in failing schools.
You want to fix the schools and make our schools the best in the world?
Let the free market into the school system. Use vouchers that will allow parents to send their kids to the best schools around. Poor schools will fail and go out of business. Break the teacher’s union and make it possible to fire bad and even mediocre teachers.
That will fix this problem.
But you have the Party of Treason and the Teacher’s Unions standing in the way. And if you see the way they have fought in Wisconsin, this would be the mother of all political battles.
Unfortunately, it seems like the Republicans have no stomach for a fight.
But our students will be quite knowledgeable about gay rights, and do real well in couch potato 101. It no longer matters that half of them cannot even balance a checkbook. How many can't even read and write? How many have no idea of American History. Don't get me wrong there is always a few bright spots, but they are few and far in-between now. Until the unions are crushed out of existence and teachers held accountable, the situation is not going to improve. But you can't lay all the blame on the teachers either, parents must take a active role in their kid's education. I don't want to hear the crap about oh it's so hard with both parents working. My parents both worked; yet education was their top priorty. I had to show them my completed homework assignments, and you had better not lie about it. When report cards came out my grades had better be in their acceptable range or there would be penalties to be paid, until the next report card.
Thanks Mom & Dad for being as tough as you were, at least I can balance a checkbook.
Home schooling is obviously the best option! Unfortunately many people can't afford it. There is a second option: Retake out schools from the Communists and Secular Humanists. It all goes back to becoming reacqainted with the 10th amendment. Education must be handled at the state level. The Department of Education is technically unconsititutional. We first need to remind our "mushy Repubican friends" of this!
Home school is definitely the best option, and almost everyone can afford it. We just need to re-think education. Brick and mortar public schools are going to be replaced by the internet.
"Can't afford it" is a relative term. Families who are truly needy can have private grants made available to them through the Home School Foundation. For families who are unwilling to settle for a slightly lower standard of living and insist on both mom and dad working outside the home, I can see how they might think that they cannot afford it, but you can maintain a similar standard of living with one parent working if the other one is keeping a closer eye on how to stretch the money (you can get the kids involved in this, too, through gardening, developing a home business, spending more time on comparison shopping, cooking more meals from scratch instead of buying more expensive pre-made meals, etc.). Homeschooling materials and textbooks don't have to be purchased brand-new. Families often sell, hand down, loan, or trade their used textbooks to other families, and if you have a lot of kids, you will tend to invest a good bit on the first one or two, and after that you have most of the books you need to educate the rest of them. Homeschooling a family of 9 kids cost my parents not more than $500 (total, for all 9 of us) in school supplies and textbooks in an average year. I went to a very academically challenging conservative college (Patrick Henry College), got a B.A. in Government, and got a job as National Grassroots Director at ParentalRights.org immediately upon graduation. Homeschooling didn't help me just "make it" educationally. It has enabled me to succeed.
Some folks worry about "socialization," but on the whole they should be worried about the "socialization" going on in the public schools. The real "adult" world is not age-segregated, but the more that children are separated from their parents (through early childhood education, especially), the more they are being taught to completely disregard the wisdom of older generations. As we try to win the fight against liberalism, we have to recognize that vast numbers of people in my generation and the generations that follow are really hard sells when it comes to anything conservative. Homeschoolers spend most of their growing up years in the adult world, and though they sometimes struggle to relate to their public school peers (who are obsessed with sex, pop culture, and video games), they rarely have trouble engaging in "grown-up" conversation or performing "grown-up" tasks, and they have more conservative perspectives on the whole. They are also self-starters and initiative-takers (not waiting for everything to be spoon-fed to them), because homeschooled children have to take an active role in their own education. I did almost all my high school work on my own (serving as both teacher and student), thanks to the good foundation my parents (especially Mom) laid down for me in the earlier grades. It doesn't matter much what the parent does or doesn't know when it comes to homeschooling. If you need help in a particular area, there are myriad resources available to you. But the real key is to instill in your child a love for learning. If you get that right, there is no limit to what they can learn on their own.
Regardless of the financial cost, the reward of having a deep relationship with your child(ren) and a strong confidence that they are heading down the right road in life is absolutely priceless. A little temporary financial comfort is not worth seeing your kids co-opted by the liberal establishment you are trying so hard to overcome.
Jonathan, I hope you are a spokes person for home schooling. You need to be. I live next to Pompton Lakes, NJ, home of the largest home schooling community in the east.
I know many people who are home schoolers, and the difference in their children from public school learning, is night and day. I'm not as familiar with it as you are, but I read enough to know that today, these kids are no longer isolated because they all seem to belong to many organizations who suppliment socializations.
My fear is that some day soon, if Obama gets re-elected, home schooling will be banned. Already there are rumblings in CA, to try to ban and or restrict it with a myriad of laws being passed in their courts.
Government beleaves that children must be taken away from parents to be indoctrinated for the Marxist society. It's already in progress. Americans are not even aware of it.
The very first sign of this take over came when Hillary Clinton wrote her Marxist book "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child". It has now become the left's mantra. Many parents are eager to subjugate their role as parents to the government schools. It's shameful!
Keep up the good work!
I've said this so many times over the years, that I feel like a broken record, GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF THOSE DAMN GOV'T SCHOOLS. Home school them, get them into a private school but, whatever it takes but, GET THEM OUT !!! You could teach them at home and, not FORMALLY teach them anything and they would learn more than they are in those indoctrination centers!!! If you keep trying to make a difference in what they are by leaving them in these "schools" they will be old and gray before you make any changes to these cesspools, if then. NOBODY cares as much about your child as you do, so take up the responsibility of their education.
Maybe it is just me, but when I see a quote from a former head of the national education cartel, I tune out! She was part of the problem. We need kids who speak "Pashtu and Arabic?" Give me a break. We need kids who know our History and cultural values, hard work and love of freedom, with a desire to build something in order to prosper. STEM sounds good on the outside, but we were pushing that back in the fifties when the USSR beat us to space, Our teachers don't know any subject matter knowledge. Most of their college lives are spent taking useless "college of education" classes that do little to make better teachers. This is the professional educators feathering their own nests. Our teachers need subject matter classes in math and science, technology and history, literature (where they read and discuss great books) and social studies. We need teachers who share "love of country" and thirst for freedom for the individual...and they need to be able to tell about their passion without fear of reprisal from the leftist establishment in education that controls our schools at all levels.
English should be the official language by law. There is no compromise here. However, teaching children a second language will improve their use of English. What the N.E.A. is advocating is the Balkanization of America.
Amen to that Dr . Carpenter.
ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE THAT "WE THE PEOPLE" USE. IF THERE ARE THOSE THAT COME TO THIS COUNTRY, THEY MUST SPEAK ENGLISH AND OBEY THE "RULE OF LAW". THOSE ARE NON-NEGOTIABLES !
Check out my recent book, "E" is for English. You can get more information by going to www.eisforenglish.net
If you choose to buy it from Amazon, make sure that you request the second edition. It is "post November 2010" election. The first edition came out in July 2010 but had to be updated due to the elections.