Usually when I write about real world issues, I will claim modesty. I will say that I am not an expert and am just giving my humble opinion. NOT THIS TIME! I still am not an professional expert on education or anything but this one is freaking easy. I have no idea how society cannot figure this one out. It REALLY is not that hard! For the remainder of this article (and future articles) I will refer to what I call the CSTF. What is CSTF? There are various versions of it out there. But they are all pretty much the same thing. You may have heard of the concept of the Common Sense Police. CSTF is my version of that. The Common Sense Task Force. (Task force sounds more official) I am starting it. It consists of people who see problems and use the simple method of common sense to solve it. Why? Well...because it's common sense! If you don't get this concept...I don't know what to tell you. It may be a good idea for you to eliminate your defective genes and intelligence from the gene pool. Ask me if you need ways to do that.
Ok. So the first task of the CSTF is to fix the schools in this country. Our education system is a freaking joke! Do you know what lies at the heart of every singe problem we have in this country (economy, drugs, healthcare, divorce rates, teen pregnancy, etc, etc, etc)??? It is our education system. If we don't fix that, fixing everything else will be pointless. But before we can solve the problem, we must be aware of it. So let's take a look at the problems with our schools, and figure out a way to solve them.
Issue 1: Teachers don't have a high enough status/place in our society and they need to be respected more.
I am not just saying this because I am marrying a teacher. (Somehow the concept of being with a teacher was much more exciting when I was a student. Kind of ironic that I ended up with a teacher after years of fantasizing about some of my teachers as a student.) I was saying this long before my fiance decided to be a teacher. What is the average teacher's salary? $30,000? That is a freaking joke! Add teachers to the top of the underpaid professions list. I mean just think about it. The sheer amount of power teachers have in the lives of our children is enormous! They pretty much have uncontrolled access and the attention of our kids for 7 hours per day 9 months of the year. Through their teachings, opinions, and, lessons, teachers have the ability to make a huge impression on students of any age. Think about it. When I am trading stocks, I still remember the stock market project from my high school Econ class. When I read or think about the issue of war, I still draw things from the Vietnam research project I did in English. When I am considering who to vote for, I still think about some of the concepts I learned in Civics. History, physics, biology, math, PE, being on the basketball team, etc, etc, etc... All of these things have shaped my current thinking and views on the real world as an adult. And teachers control those things.
Do this for yourself. Think about the way you look at the world. Think about your opinions on history. Or your views on current issues. Or how you do your daily tasks that involve any kind of math or judgement or thinking. And then think about how much all of those things have been affected by all of the school teachers you have ever had. If you think that they have made no or little impact in your life, you are kidding yourself! Don't be naive. Teachers are the most important influence on your kids outside the home. (And for some kids, teachers have more influence than the parents.)
That is an enormous amount of power and trust we put in our teachers. But do we compensate them accordingly? No! I will make almost 4 times more money than my future wife. Is my job important? Sure. I have to make sure people get the right medicine and understand how to take it the right way...or else they can die or seriously get hurt. And I am handsomely paid for it. But am I shaping any minds? Even if you think my fiance's job as a teacher is not as important as mine, do you really think it is 4 times less important? According to the way we pay our teachers...yes. According to the CSTF...no! [Also if teachers got paid more it would greatly improve my future financial situation. But that is besides the point.]
Don't get me wrong... just because I think teachers should be paid more doesn't mean I am entirely on their side. There are some dumb ass teachers out there! If it wasn't for their teacher's edition textbook, there wouldn't be much difference between teachers and their students. But society doesn't respect teachers. Sometimes, I don't blame them. Society does need to respect teachers more. But they can only do this if the teachers have quality. If they are going to be paid more, they should be better educated. Education shouldn't be a "easy way out" major in college for those who failed at other things. That is the way it is now. Teachers should have an official and nationally uniform doctorate level degree! Just like the PharmD, DDS, JD, MD, DO, etc. Forget all this masters of education bullshit! They should have a 3 year DE (Doctor of Education) program after undergrad. College professors and specialists can go on to earn other degrees in their fields. They can get their DE before or after. But regardless, every single person in charge of a classroom at any level, should be required to get a DE. Only if our teachers are properly educated, they can be good educators themselves.
Issue 2: Parents have their heads in their asses and they need to get them out.
Kids cannot learn to respect/enjoy/value education if their parents do not raise them to. The problem is that the same generation that started hating on school is the generation that is now becoming parents. So I see this problem getting much much worse. Kids don't give a crap about school. Why? Because mom and dad didn't either! Take a look at how Chinese or Japanese parents raise their kids. I am sure there are many things they do wrong but not when it comes to education! Even more than Indians. Once I received a tardy notice for being late to school a couple of times. I wasn't even that late. But my uncle went berserk! If you walked in on the conversation, you would have thought I raped a puppy or something. After that day, I understood the importance of being on time to class. Nowadays, parents don't care if their kid is ten minutes late to school. This "laisezz faire" attitude about school is wrong! What do you expect when parents today grew up watching shows like Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World. How can you expect people to respect school and its officials when they grew up watching Principal Belding and Principal Feeny being portrayed as buffoons. The modern counterparts of these shows on the Disney Channel and ABC Family are even worse! All of this needs to change at home if any of us wants our kids to grow up and be decent smart people. Forget about global warming and saving the planet, this should be our top priority if we want to save the future and leave a good life for our kids!
Problem 3: Education has become dumb and worthless. It needs to smarten up and become a priority.
Here is what I am talking about. We keep telling ourselves that there are all of these problems when it comes to education. Most of them revolve around not having enough money. Common sense tells us there is enough money. We just have not prioritized education high enough to use that money. If the US just had one less aircraft carrier, that would save $5 billion dollars of construction costs. You don't think that would make a HUGE impact in our schools? And I am just talking about the construction cost of one aircraft carrier! Not even counting the maintenance costs on all the toys our military has! Don't get me wrong. I am all for a strong military. We are the most powerful country on the planet. And it's because our military. But at some point, it becomes overkill. And at some point, it should become more about efficiency. Also, some of the money we throw down the gutter when we give it to entitled screw-ups in life through Medicaid (not all of them but MANY of them) can be better used in education. And what about all of these big time corporations that get away with paying trillions in taxes because they know how to work the system? Wouldn't some of that money be useful in schools? What do you think Japan has done? After getting MESSED UP by Little Boy and Fat Man in WW2, Japan essentially got rid of it's military and focused on economy and education. And now they are the smartest people and have the strongest economy on the planet.
And what about privatizing the whole damn thing? It's worked for everything else in this country so why not this? Maybe public school should only be available for those who are extremely poor. The government should privatize all of the other schools. The sheer amount of increased competition would make private schools not only more affordable, but also smarter. They would start competing to provide better and smarter education. Tax breaks can be given to those who want to start/buy/own schools. Also, by privatizing education, people without kids don't have to pay extra taxes for schools. And people with kids have a better choice and more options for education. I think that would even force people to be smarter about having kids. If they had to pay for the education from the beginning maybe those that shouldn't have kids finally wouldn't! And maybe even one day, education can go from being a financial burden to the government to being a source of revenue! [I can already see Indians owning every single school like they have with Subways and motels.]
There are many other things that can be done to fix this. I don't want to get into specifics here. But if we just stick to common sense and do what the CSTF tells us, this would turn into a much simpler issue. Forget that, it would turn into a non-issue! Using common sense to solve this issue is funny because I never actually remember learning common sense in school. There wasn't a class. I don't know where the hell it came from, but I learned it. It's unfortunate the same cannot be said about those that have the power to actually make a difference...
Thanks for Reading!
The King of Nothing