LETTER: U.S. education system failing students, nationIf teacher performance were measured by the growth of the community, would teachers use those same books?
By: Jim Oase , Milbank
To the Editor:
Knowledge is power.
For decades we have had the government-funded, mandatory-attendance public schools and this is the result: Our rural communities are going extinct, our urban slums are growing, our nation’s educational standing worldwide is slipping toward the worst and our national debt is growing.
“If you do not know how to ask the right question you discover nothing.” — W. Edwards Deming.
We need to question the school system because our students are getting good grades in an education system that is failing our needs, failing to provide the knowledge to prosper in our communities.
Teachers teach from textbooks because teacher performance, their pay thus their retirement, is judged by the results of standardized testing. Those tests are based on textbooks. If teacher performance were measured by the growth of the community, would teachers use those same books?
“Educational experts” tell us the world is so complex that only accredited teachers, using accredited curriculums, can teach our children the knowledge and skills they will need in life.
Home-schooled children for decades have outperformed children in government-funded, mandatory-attendance public schools. Parents with dreams and passion have encouraged their children to learn more than experts with curriculums and textbooks are able to coax out of public-schooled children.
Why can’t the children in any community have the equivalent of a home-school education?
Good education provides knowledge for improving choices. Poor education is erasing rural American communities, growing slums and shrinking the level of education as our nation’s population grows.
We can count the undereducated. They cannot sustain themselves, their names are often found on the growing lists of those receiving government “entitlements.” At what cost? The amount of their life sustaining funding is decided by whim of the political part in power at the time and politicians tell voters that fact at election time.
Knowledge is power.