Education Viewpoint

Thinking and talking about education can become tiresome for many - while for others it is never discussed at all - always kept behind the doors of politicians or for supposed leaders to decide.

My world is different: my fiancĂ© and I are both educators - our discussions often are able to skip terminology definitions and jump to debate the core philosophies.  As school districts venture into discussions about their future, budget deficit reductions or BDR becomes the focal point. Due to the economic downturn, states and local communities must reduce their budgets; schools must adapt to educate children bound by these new expenditure restraints. 

Trying to speak clearly, and politically correct, is nearly impossible. Nationally, short-term band-aids are being place on the educational system instead of dealing with the core cultural problem. Duct tape and false beliefs will allow education to survive; yet, survival should not be the goal. Schools need to be driven by student growth. 

Systems and culture and not the sole reason for the current state of education but they are pillars of the foundation that must be fixed. During family dinners, my Nana would always interject during political debates that political leaders needed to be statesmen and not politicians. She would explain that the short-term election cycle caused politicians to act in terms of 2 to 6 year cycles instead of working within the framework of long-term benefits. Politicians seek to appear strong candidates during their upcoming election versus making the decisions that would best help their citizens. Education faces the same dilemma. 

In the year 2011, education still attempts to enter the 21st century. Curriculum, facility design, use of technology and so much more are all being adjusted with duct tape instead of realizing we must dramatically change to help students grow and learn. There are amazing teachers – teachers who blog and explain how they achieve remarkable results – yet districts still are stuck presenting to school boards who culturally seek short term survival instead long term success and exponential growth.

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