For the past few years, and the last couple months especially, it is rare to hop onto social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram without getting flashed by posts containing the #RedForEd movement. There are three common themes: better teacher pay, less standardized testing, and more money to schools.
Why do we still throw so much into a failing system? Why is our current system so degenerate? And most of all, why is it much too late for ‘reform’? We need to revolutionize American Education.
I live in Indiana, a stiff battleground for the #RedForEd cause. Many of these statistics will focus around Indiana and its policies, but are applicable to many states which follow a similar system.
If your car breaks down so many times that the money you are putting into it could actually be used to purchase a better vehicle, would you still make the decision to pour money into it (aside from sentimental value)? The answer is no. So why do we continue to sink such an absurd amount of money into the public education system? In Indiana alone, public education receives around 60% of the state budget every two years. If the education system claims it needs money, it gets it. But the question is not how much, it is why.
Much of this goes to infrastructure, teacher pay, etc. Where else does it go? To standardized tests, research, and more. But none of this is actually beneficial to the most important consumer in the education “business”. That consumer is the student.
Our current system doesn’t educate. It ‘schools’. Public ‘education’ is highly misleading. Education is a fulfillment of the mind, along with the finding of inspiration and solution. Schooling is the practice of merely memorizing facts, numbers, and equations. Our current system fulfills the latter. Instead of teaching valuable assets to children and young adults, we instead ‘school’ them on things that will most likely never be used. (We all remember asking a math teacher when something will be used and not getting a straight answer.)
In no other aspect of life would you memorize numbers to learn something. If you put your hand on an oven burner, you discover that it burns. That teaches you to not touch a hot burner. You don’t read a manual for that. You don’t read a manual to learn how to ride a bike. So why don’t we receive hands-on instruction on how to do things instead of being schooled on how to do them?
Not only does our current system fail to educate, it indoctrinates and kills creativity. It suppresses free thought and teaches students to obey the law or face the consequences, no matter the level of crime. For example, a 6-year old girl who suffers from sleep apnea was arrested on misdemeanor charges for throwing a temper tantrum in class at an Orlando school. This only occurred last September. This child had to endure processing at a local juvenile center.
To merely reform our current system is to concede to society’s declining standards. It is the equivalent of throwing money away on a busted car. While the solution is unclear, what is clear is that reform isn’t beneficial.
We need a revolution in American education. As with anything else, government intervention always results in three things: debt, consolidation, and failure. Public education is no different. Will we keep wasting money on a broken, failing model? Or will we invest in a more reliable vehicle of learning for future generations?