Sunday, March 8, 2009

The system

The educational system is the problem. I hear that a lot. I really don't know how to comment when I hear that because a) I don't read up on that (remember I prefer US Weekly, etc), b) the number of uber talented kids amazes me, and c) what system has it right?
Here is what I do know:
1. We seem to be a 'liberal arts' focused society. Give kids the opportunity to dabble in everything, let them see what they like, and then they can run with it.
2. Many, many kids have crappy lives. Fighting at home, drugs, substance, abuse, neglect, and any other sad situation plagues many a family nowadays. Be a teacher, or wait, be a police officer, and you will realize first hand how rampant that is.
3. My uncle taught English in China for about 5 years after he retired from teaching in MN. The practice of rote memorization for 12+ years of school doesn't appeal to me.
4. One thing that did interest me was that kids who test into the 'best' colleges in China pay the least. The kids who qualified for the 'non Ivy League' schools (just using examples) pay more. Interesting...
5. EVERY exchange student I have ever had from anywhere in the world says that schools in America are too easy. They also appreciate the fact that they will likely get a free college education. (Sorry Ryan for the socialist dig, but wouldn't it be great?) :)
6. You would be surprised how many kid8.s can't read...or do math..or who could care less.
7. Parenting starts at home. Discipline starts at home. Encouragement starts at home.

The system isn't entirely flawed. Go to a musical at MHS. Go to a speech tournament. Go to a knowledge bowl meet. Sit in on a small group class for struggling learners. Sit in on an AP class. Watch the Key Club at work. Watch the Student Council recycle each week. Watch the BPA go to state. Just take it all in.


Anonymous said...

I would agree with you that children do grow up in an environment that is not very good. Why is that and where did it start? Looking at my grandparents only one of them worked and the other one stayed home and all their children where taught publicly. They didn't have the problems that run none stop now. What changed? I invite you to read a book called The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. In that book you will find some of the answers to why your exchange students find out school system to be so easy. The book looks scary but it is worth the read. It will also answer some of the questions as to why so many jobs are going over seas. I would like to know what you think of this book.
My thoughts on where a lot of the problems you talk about come from are video games and tv. Materialism is sicking our youth, instant gratification, short term vision, and having the power of compounding working against them. This is shrinking the brains of all children and adults who plug themselves into it. I see this every single night crunching carpeting and drinking crappy coffee, while I am tring to share truth. Have a great day.

Matt Schweitzer

Dr. J said...

You're mentioning specifics so I don't think you're grasping what I mean by "system."

I'll ask you a question again that I did a few months ago: why does every country that's ahead of the U.S. have a privatized voucher system and why do all but one spend LESS per pupil than we do on it?

My answer: because a free market type system (even though gov't is still paying the bill) is BETTER than ours. The unions have destroyed the public school stystem in this country just like they've done to GM.

As an aide: do you really think enrollment in college would go up if it were socialized in the U.S.? Of course not b/c presently, all a poor kid needs to do is get grants and loans from the gov't to go, what's the difference?

HHLSS said...

I have chosen to stay at home with my children so I can stay on top of what is going on in their lives and to spend as much time as possible with them to teach them confidence and the ability to make the right choices when they are in an environment where they need to act on their own.(run-on sentence??) This choice has however caused us to be poor and has made us be very critical to where our money goes but it is a priority that we put first. I have a daughter who excels in school with very little help from me. I have stressed the importance of learning and she went with it. Public school has worked greatly for her. My son however has struggled since a toddler. Beginning with speech and now that he is in kindergarten he struggles with reading and comprehension. I sought out the programs that can help him at the age of 3 through the school district and he has been receiving help up to the present. I could have easily done nothing and waited until he was noticed at school but I believe it is my responsiblity as a parent to seek out what is available...and that has been working for us. I do strongly believe a child's success begins in the home and it is all too easy to blame others for failures. All kids do not have the same abilities but with public school they have the same opportunities.

HHLSS said...

I should add Bonnie that we have been blessed with caring, patient and motivating teachers as well. : )

TBRKO said...

Ryan I don't even get the privatized voucher thing. You know I don't study government the way you do :)
I am not looking to argue. All I want to do is show people that there is a darn lot of good out there.
Heather I hear you. Each time I hear people criticize special ed or other things, I think, "What if it was my child?" How would I want my child treated then? Situations that simply require more than one adult non-stop need some things I can't offer.
Regardless, I am going back to my funny stories about my kids, watching my trashy tv that I LOVE and reading People and US Weekly.
It's WAY less stressful.

Dr. J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

the only way for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing Edmund Burke ( this includes watching TV.)

ABCDH said...


Having just stopped in now I have quickly realized that these comments are pretty much all over the place.
It would have been nice to stay on topic.
I mean, prochoice/babykillers?? Really?? Let's not even go there "Dr. J".

Bottome line: This is YOUR life, Bonnie. You have made educated and well thought out decisions in regards to your career and how to raise your children.
To that I say: Well done girl!!

Remember - what other people think of you is none of your business.

HHLSS said...

I hope you know Bonnie I was trying to defend you as being a wonderful caring who makes the system work. I too write like I speak so I hope I didn't make you feel bad by what I wrote in any way. :)

TBRKO said...

Not at all Heather. Thank you for your kind words. Bottom line in what I have been trying to convey from the beginning of this mess (and yes I think it's become a mess) is that there is not one thing that works for everyone.

Dr. J said...

You're right AJ, sorry Bon...
My point was, I don't know why people are selectively behind "choice" in various matters. To me, you either are for individual liberty or you're not.

Dr. J said...

All schools are privatized, parents get to choose which school the child attends, the gov't school voucher (money) follows the student to that school so each school competes for the vouchers.

I always want society to strive for excellence and don't want to settle for "good enough", that's what drives me both personally and for the common good.