Why American Schools Are Failing

If you ask any parent about the education of their children the answer will be a hope to have access to the best education available. However, in America, this is far from the truth. In fact, when it comes to the overall education of our children we have only one consistent policy.

Promise. Promise. Promise.

Every election politicians have three main ingredients to their campaign: Education, Healthcare and Taxes. However, in my lifetime, very few of these politicians have ever made any difference. There have been some wins (and more losses) but every year the educational system is torn apart.

Just last week in South Florida, Broward County announced the elimination of 1,400 teaching positions due to a $144 million budget shortfall. Clark County, Nevada is eliminating almost 1,000 teachers and the list goes on. Now, that’s 2,400 teachers in just 2 counties gone. Countless other cities have reported layoffs and who knows where this mess will end.

In the same year General Motors has found a way to pay no income tax, Bank of America qualified for a $1 Billion tax refund and Halliburton profited over $500 million in the first quarter alone.

The only thing parents ask for is a good and solid education system for their children. We can live with the real estate market collapse, the barely understandable IRS system, almost $5 a gallon gas prices, lower wages and a government structure so bad it should be broken up and sold at auction … but education?

This is a basic human right.

It is not a proud time to be an American parent.

The patriots will say it is but you have to look beyond the American Flag and realise that the country we want to be, the country we believe in and the country we hope to become is failing at the footsteps of our elected leaders. There is no single person to blame but a collective group of highly paid officials who would rather argue sides based on their party backgrounds then actually step back and focus on education – not to mention the $14 Trillion debt our children face.

Education is much different than healthcare as there is nowhere near the percentage of lobbyists who fight for only the most profitable ways to change the industry. Education is something our politicians must find room for by way of obligation to their constituents and fellow human beings.

And the blame doesn’t stop there.

Parents and taxpayers are to blame. Where is the outcry? If somebody was to cancel Monday Night Football you can bet panic would be in the air but teachers … oh, no.

Budget cuts should never happen in education. Teachers should be paid more and highly respected. Yet many can barely afford a decent apartment rental. How much is a teacher worth? A good teacher is priceless yet we barely pay them enough to afford a home and this reflects in the quality of the teachers and educational system.

Unions are even partly to blame when you can’t fire a teacher who refuses to learn how to type when her students can tweet, poke and surf. We should expect our teachers to embrace and understand today’s technology.

It’s hard enough to get anyone to apply for a job where the national average starting salary for a teacher is under $35,000 let alone commit to paying for school supplies out of their own pocket and now we annually rip any would-be teachers of their view that a teaching job may be a stable career.

The USA is behind a wealth of countries in student scores. Students from Shanghai, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and more countries all score higher than American children on almost any scale, especially Mathematics, Science and Reading. We even fight about making a secondary language mandatory? Doesn’t every person wish they spoke 4 or 5 languages when you get in your 40’s? What’s the problem with introducing a mandatory second language to our children?

It’s bad enough that the US dollar has been destroyed in the global market over the past couple years, the cost of bills like car insurance and property taxes continue to rise and our financial institutions somehow have the power to refuse to cooperate with federal investigators but our children? They are innocent and deserve the best education no matter what the price.

How many teachers will be laid off this year – well over 10,000 and the amount of noise people will make is comparable to that of the guy in section 402, row 112 at a sold out Sunday football game.  Even with his loudest scream a few people may look at him and then just turn around.

At what point do we start building a better generation instead of just hoping for one?