The founders of the American public education system believed that by a common learning experience diverse citizens would develop common knowledge, social and work values. The philosophical foundation also suggested that building students’ character was just as important as academic skills. Those concepts were not intended to be educational idealism. Rather, they intended to revolutionize American citizen symbiosis in parallel with America’s developing industrial revolution that needed a well-educated workforce to bring goods to the market and to build a country with a strong future.
What the founders failed to acknowledge was that the country was founded by separatists who, with origins from many parts of Europe, were not born of a team spirit. The ideals of very early public education were remarkably progressive for the time, particularly since many “Americans” were not even treated as human, and definitely not as citizens. Moreover, by 1861 much of the southern half of the county’s population would sooner secede than engage in anything socially progressive. And, many other regions of the country would continue to ferociously resist ethnically integrated, comparably high-quality education at least until 1964, formally.
Now with more than one-hundred and fifty years passing since our development of a market-driven approach to education, the market has changed. Our country no longer has a large manufacturing base into which to deliver our high school and college graduates. And, social “progressives” are more concerned with serving illegal immigrants than grossly underserved, and often poor, citizens (see who is served by “sanctuary city” programs).
Sanctuary City politicians, governmental employees, and other contracted personnel are using public funds to employ themselves and peers to encourage and finance non-citizen underclasses that will continue to elect and support them. Meanwhile, there are many citizen-underclasses, doing poorly, who are not cared for and considered with less enthusiasm than SPCA-supported feral animals (e.g., homeless military veteran, and other ethnic minority and majority group citizens).
We are distracted by the media. It reports about: football players engaging in pregame kneeling (but not about the underlying issues), and people who wear pink hats during marathon races (but, not about an organization that would teach toddlers to reject the anatomy with which they are born). Media decries election outcomes as fraudulent (but not report that over 90 percent of California’s precincts registered more than the number of citizens 18+ years of age) and seems not to be upset that nobody is arresting naked, body-painted, illegal alien, female panhandlers are working NY Times Square, bothering daily commuters and tourists alike (they may be extended relations of the city government). Shouldn’t they be concerned about our economy and the educational preparation of its future participants?
Most importantly, the citizen-underserved need to be as assertive as they are able for their own benefit. Look at how your pending education plans:
- integrate business perspectives and applications into educational content
- incorporate reasoning, critical-thinking, and problem-solving
- encourage collaboration and group work for social skills development.
- assures competency. Even if you are at the top of the class, assure that the content is robust and the entire reference book subject matter is sufficiently addressed.
- integrate community-based assignments for meaningful application
- personalize education to address both deficiencies and advancement
- seek effective supportive resources
The cutting edge ideas that fuel our future national prosperity often come from a swatch of scarcely developed youth, possibly not yet well educated by traditional standards. Moreover, only the most insightful individuals and communities will find, foster and invest in these persons and the forward-thinking schools that are fervently working at developing new education strategies and plans without sufficiently funded budgets. And, even if you (or yours) are not the premier student, you deserve a high-quality education that leads you to desirable opportunities. But, you will need to push to meet your objectives, your agendas…they are, and they are using your money to do it. Your education matters.