I read this quote today and was reminded of the old story of the emperor having no clothes, but no one was brave enough to say so. If everyone agrees that he is wearing clothes, surely it must be so, right? Right?
One report showed that “US taxpayers spent an average of $107,000 to produce a proficient fourth grade reader…[from a low of $70,900 in the state of Utah to $172,000 in Hawaii and a whopping $420,000 in the District of Columbia], with about 29% of fourth graders at proficient level.”
Okay, let me get this straight. We’re paying with our tax dollars a minimum of $70,900 to educate a child to a fourth grade level? AND less than a third of them actually do reach that level of proficiency when they’re scheduled to?
And we call this public education? What a joke. A very, very bad joke. I am assuming that these figures are possibly inflated, but even if it were half as much as the least amount quoted, say $35,000, it is still completely outrageous. Why is the public not shrieking that the emperor has NO CLOTHES????? Our so-called educational system, if this is even remotely near the truth, has failed miserably. There is no hope for reformation of a system like this.
Think about it: how much did Abraham Lincoln’s education cost? He borrowed books, used paper and ink, and probably very little else. We look up to this great man and realize his wisdom, yet we still pour money into educational programs that have done nothing but decrease our national literacy for decades.
When it is so obvious that our school system is doing nothing beyond giving a lot of people jobs, why are Americans not protesting? What has happened to us? Yes, we are the products of this system ourselves, and so tend to look upon it favorably, but how can anyone ignore the facts that THAT much money simply cannot be spent to educate one child? It is a farce! Why do we put up with it?
Anyone who homeschools knows how much it costs for educational materials. It could possibly cost as much as a couple thousand a year, or children can learn for practically nothing, as Abe Lincoln did. Of course, schools need to pay a teacher, but think about it–the rest of the money that goes into “educating” that child is obviously going to other things besides their education.
I made the statement above that the school system is doing nothing except giving people jobs, and I’m sure some of you balked at that. Yes, I realize that there are good teachers. In fact, I’m sure that every school system has at least one great teacher who inspires kids to soar. But the fact is that it happens in spite of the schools, not because of them. Great teachers are exactly what we need, but schools make it very difficult for a teacher to inspire. They are so bogged down in discipline problems and clerical garbage, that they hardly have time to be teachers. I feel sorry for the teachers who graduate from college full of hope that they will inspire children to learn, and then find that the system is so badly broken that they can only do a tiny part of what they wish to do.
Education only happens if the child desires to learn, and that seems to be happening less and less. Why? Because teachers have been crippled to the point that they no longer inspire! And the money that pours into the system does nothing to alleviate that. There is no way to fix it other than getting back to teachers who teach and children who want to learn. Our system doesn’t promote that, and more money won’t help.
Anyone agree with me that our school system is wearing no clothes?
Okay, rant over. For now, anyway…