[Vision2020] NYTimes: The Uneducated American

Glenn Schwaller vpschwaller at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 13:29:06 PDT 2009

In the early 1980's the country was entering a deep recession amidst a
continuing downward spiral in the "quality" of education.  The 1990's
was a period of tremendous economic growth, yet education continued to
spiral down despite infusions of cash into the system.  So $$ = A's?
This seems to be what Paul Krugman suggests to be true, to the extent
of demanding more dollars for education.

The two major problems are what does the nation define as "education"
and how is success for this undefined entity to be measured?  The
current standards of measurement seem to show a dismal trend in
educational success (low test scores and high drop-out rates) which
has been going on for 20 years.  Are we measuring the proper "thing"?
Do we even know what this "thing" is??  Again, looking at the boom
90's it certainly isn't lack of money.

Dare we say it could be the quality of our educators? Is it lack of
motivation on the part of both students and teachers?  And (gasp!)
should education be "nationalized" so everyone is receiving the same
level and type of instruction?  Should students and teachers be
evaluated at the start of each school year in an effort to determine a
proper and meaningful direction in what is being taught?  And are we
"allowing" mediocre students to move forward in their mediocrity such
that basic reading, writing and math skill are lacking as these
students move into our universities and workforce?  One has to wonder
considering the number of university students on the Palouse enrolled
in remedial courses to correct these deficiencies.

No, I do not think the answer is more money.  The underlying cause is
more insidious than that, and the problem is no one seems to know what
it is nor how to look for it.  Or do we really care??  Between the mid
80's and the mid 90's hundreds of educational reform proposals have
been suggested.  Why has nothing worked?  Could it be as simple as
collectively we know there is a problem - but so what?  There seems to
be no incentive to get or give a "good" education - and this, I think,
is the major problem.


On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Joe Campbell <philosopher.joe at gmail.com> wrote:
>  From The New York Times:
> OP-ED COLUMNIST: The Uneducated American
> Education in America, suffering for years, is about to get much worse
> thanks to cuts caused by the financial crisis.
> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/opinion/09krugman.html
> Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting http://itunes.com/apps/nytimes
> Sent from my iPhone
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