Anything just given away means nothing. America’s public education system has become the quintessence of that idea — a “free” system that produces unprepared and overly entitled youths worth little to nothing to the future of America.
The high-minded progressives see public education as something to be protected from private competition and the ravages of better, more innovative systems from not only domestic systems independent of the decayed U.S. institution, but also those from abroad.
In the previous article, I spared teachers from my ire, but they are not without fault. However, I feel most teachers are the whipping boy of education reformers, especially among the right.
In public education, teachers are not specialists in their fields unless they are coming to it as a second career. Typically, mathematicians do not teach trigonometry, nor do those with English literature degrees teach high school English. The vast majority of teachers are education majors with a subject matter certification.
An education degree confirms general knowledge of a broad range of topics. It is the equivalent of Googling for knowledge, because the first page of hits on biology, particularly Wikipedia, probably tells you as much or more than many public biology teachers know.
You also get to learn the “more important” issues like integrating Special-Ed kids, improving self-esteem, and teaching to the lowest denominator.
Furthermore, as public education teaching does not pay the greatest, you tend to get teachers of lower quality coming out of inferior schools. Honestly, why would you want to pay more money for schooling, earn less, and put up with all the garbage that teachers have to these days if you had the possibility to make big bucks as a computer programmer, lawyer, doctor, or venture capitalist?
That is not to say there are not plenty of smart, qualified, and exceptional teachers; but there is no denying the brain drain in education can be directly correlation to higher earning potential in other fields.
Qualifier aside, the result of such inadequately prepared educators is that the smart kids tend to go unchallenged and get bored, in turn they become a disruption and many are inadvertently tossed into the dustbin of “what might have been.”
So the generalist enters the unruly classroom focused on trying to maintain order and insuring the dumber and less motivated kids are catered to over the ones with true potential. The teaching itself has now become geared toward learning how to answer standardized test questions over developing the children’s understanding of the how and why.
And no longer is discipline taught or enforced in the classroom. Rather, an elaborate system of bribes has been introduced to keep students on task. The result of this plan has led to business now having to other more and more incentives beyond a paycheck in order to keep employees motivated to do the most basic tasks.
No wonder our children are falling behind.
But we also have the problem of what the purpose of high school has evolved into over the decades. No longer is the point to produce citizens who are literate and have basic skill sets in order to be productive, tax-paying Americans — those capable of furthering the American ideals they learned to cherish without feeling entitled to the six-figure job.
Now the goal is to usher through kids to reach the end goal of college. At some point college became a holy grail, a right, and the only way to succeed in America.
Vocational technical programs across the country were derided and slashed. Better for the kid who does not understand calculus and cannot read to be passed through in order to flunk out of college rather than cultivate their interest in jobs that can actually pay the bills.
According to the belief that you cannot succeed without college, blue-collar jobs are largely seen as an anathema rather than a way to make a good living and possibly even a great one without all the debt and misery so many college grads are encountering today. All you need to do is look around at the successful electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and lawn-care experts to realize this fact.
Around the world, higher rated public school systems regularly channel children into careers where they show an aptitude and can find success. This does not mean taking a person’s choice of careers away from them, but it does mean admitting everyone is not the same and equal. Kids are funneled into subjects that meet their passions and abilities.
When you look around and talk to successful people, you will find the overwhelming majority found the specialty that best melded their abilities and interests. They were able to pursue their dreams with passion and confidence. Talk to the average college graduate, and most will be flummoxed to tell you exactly what they want to do, much less how to get there.
At every turn we are putting obstacles in the way of preparing our children to succeed. Every politician’s speech on education reform results in America ceding ground to the rest of the world. Each parent who insists their child is an angel and should be passed despite never doing homework is dooming the future generations of Americans through entitlement and low achievement.
We watch as America burns from the ground up, focusing on bullying and self-esteem over knowledge, achievement, and success. Acceptance of the status quo is without a doubt akin to saying “I hate America and my children.”
Armstrong Williams is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.” He is a political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called “The Right Side,” and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m.) Monday through Friday. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.
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