Today I'm concerned about the millions of students returning to school full of hope, ready to learn, eager to achieve and be their personal best.
The students are ready, but are the teachers? Some are relieved that unlike their colleagues, they are not among the thousands of educators who were laid off at the end of the last school year due to "education budget cuts". They start the year already thinking about the possibility that next year they may not be so lucky. They've already had the speech from administrators that this school year they are expected to do more with less. Oh, and they are expected to have 100% student pass rate for standardized exams.
Are our school systems ready? In 2011, out of 34 industrialized countries, America ranked 17th in math and 34th in science. The future of the world rest in our knowledge of math and science. Many of our students are returning to school buildings that lack the infrastructure to provide much needed technology that would keep our education system competitive. Many students are returning to campuses badly in need of repair. Where does this leave our students? What happens to their future? At what point do we admit that what we are doing is not working?
Our current system is failing our students. As a forward thinking industrialized nation, why is it that we are still teaching our students the same way they were taught in the 1800's or even 1900's? With the technology available to us, why are we not using it? For Americans, this discussion always leads to cost. Have you weighed the cost of providing Internet access to all students, basic laptops, and online books vs. hard copies of books? Have you looked at the ROI?
It's time to invest in our teachers with updated training, current technology and adequate compensation. It's time to invest in our students and give them a chance to survive in our global community. It's time to invest in America's future.
What is the point of offering a free education to every child in America if we don't plan to succeed?