Thursday, October 11, 2012

Education is too important to be left to politicians!

In a few days, the election will be over. The nasty, vitriolic campaigns for various political offices will be a thing of the past, and those annoying commercials where someone is “approving” the ad, will cease for another year. Or, will they?

It never ceases to amaze me that the package of deceit, and the politics of personal destruction are what seem to make up the current state of American politics. The people of this nation become immune to it, and the children of this generation are held hostage by it.

Thanks to the rhetoric of past campaigns, and the “do-nothing” important approach of political leadership, we have movements such as “No Child Left Behind”, or “Race to the Top” , which in theory sounded great, but in actual practice have created a bitter process of preparing kids for the future of our society. In fact, there is considerable opinion that these political movements for education have thrust our society back into the stone age of educational progress, where not passing a test will be cause to fire a teacher. 

We currently live in the twelfth year of the 21st Century, and educational progress is still rooted on a foundation of 19th Century schooling, where one size fits all, and the compartmentalization of instruction is rigid, inflexible, and unable to truly adapt to the changing technology and needs of a diverse and exciting future. We have the politicians to thank for this stifling of educational potential, and let’s not forget that. They, in fact, hold the purse strings for schools to be functional, and whether we like it or not, we endure their vitriol and hyperbola because we are stewards for the educational good of children and we are good soldiers.  

Attempting to “squish” every child into an assembly line of learning is disastrous, as can be seen by the number of kids failing to make this boundary. “Testing the begeebies” out of kids and relinquishing groups of kids to the gallows of remediation in order to make the grade is a heartless and extremely painful way to prepare children for the future. Society - educators and politicians- rob kids of their creative future because of this, and we doom future innovation and imagination to the memories of other nations, because of it this penchant testing nonsense.

I allow myself one essay a year to complain about this stuff, and with the election so close, I chose today.  Education is too important to be used as a pummeling bag by verbose, and incompetent politicos that occupy chairs of authority and hold the purse strings. Let’s hope that someday real leaders will be found to sit in these places of authority and change the rhetoric.