A Veil On Tomorrow…
Shanna, there is no doubt you were awarded a teacher of the year honor. There is also little doubt your subject is English, and I’m guessing you aced all of your essays from middle school through graduate school if you made it that far. Your writing is lucid, and your personal anecdote was the perfect story to help us see first hand, a world that is being threatened.
Recently, on Medium, there have been several posts dealing with defunding public education under one guise or another. But most of us who think teachers are heroes agree the primary reason is to switch America to an educational system that does away with critical thinking and switches us to a god (is great?) curriculum.
But, even if we are wrong, and those now in charge of America’s future believe the so-called free market is the best approach for long term strengthening of our citizenry’s ability to think, there are dozens (if not more) models across the planet that work to help children develop sharp minds, and most are found within public educational institutions.
So, what to do?
Our very first step is to define, as a society, what we want our children to be like when they leave school.
Do we want children entering adulthood to be able to think critically?
Do we want children to be tolerant as adults?
Do we want children prepared to be life-long learners?
Do we want children entering adulthood to have a stake in our democratic governance?
Do we want children entering adulthood to seek healthy options when it comes to nutrition, recreation, and social gatherings?
There are many more questions we need to answer, but my belief is nothing will get done if we don’t begin to bring all interested parties to the table so we can first due what’s called a core dump. That means, everyone needs to put their (honest) wish list on the table and not hold anything back.
Next, we need to take every proposed program and cost it out.
Then, we need to decide how much and how, as a society, we’ll pay for our future.
We can try every approach by geographically segmenting the country and implementing tests of each approach against control groups to measure outcomes.
This will not indicate the winning approaches (cost/benefit win) overnight. But, if we don’t start, we’re doomed to become that which we despise in others. That is, an education system with theocratic underpinnings that crush the dreams espoused by the founders of our country.
Thank you again for your thoughtful and thought provoking post.