Thoughts on Education

When I was in high school, I was supposed to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, but I half-assed it. Strangely, even though I had no interest in it, I stole the book from my school (Don’t frown at me. A teacher once took me to the book storage room and told me take as many books home as I wanted because he knew no one would neither notice nor care) and added it to my personal library. A few weeks ago, I rediscovered it and I decided to start reading it.

While reading the first chapter, I discovered a great quote: “I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand under the weight.”

This is exactly how I feel about America’s education system. After all, this is exactly how “No Child Left Behind” works.

The oil spill and the recession are definitely top priorities, but if he wants to get re-elected, Obama had better add education reform to that list of priorities. He has attempted to address it, but let’s be real, “Race to the Top” is complete shit. RTTP doesn’t address the true source of education disparities. The educational system needs to be revamped, not reformed. After all, when people race to the top, people still get left behind. Moreover, failing to heavily invest in human capital right now will prove to be a terrible mistake in the next 15 years. If we want those loans from China to actually be repaid, we’ll need more than the few people at the top. We’ll need the entire country.

“Education and work are the levers to uplift a people.” – W.E.B. Du Bois.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Education

  1. What do you suggest ?How do you feel the education system is crushing society ?I agree with you, I'm just curious to find out where you're coming from.

  2. I suggest a restructuring of the education system. I think a good step toward that would be making education a constitutional right. Jesse Jackson Jr. was the first to suggest that and I think it's a great idea. I don't think that the education system is crushing society. I think the education system generally only benefits those with money, and that these people are typically not Black or Brown people. Schools located in low income areas typically perform poorly on standardized tests and under NCLB, they are penalized for those low scores by having funding withdrawn or being put on academic probation. Once that happens, the school is really screwed because the curriculum shifts to being less about education and more about test-prep. The school's top priority becomes making sure that students pass standardized tests. Oftentimes, the scores do increase, but the students don't really benefit because they haven't really been enriched by their education. Also, sometimes things like this http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0111/p01s03-ussc.html happen. Ultimately, my point is that these kids received a bad education just because they were poor. The local tax revenue generated by the people in the community just isn't enough sometimes. Nevertheless, the kids need more than just money. They need hope. These schools are often aesthetically dismal. Bad lunches, cracked walls, dilapidated buildings, etc all affect the psychology of students. You should read "Shame of the Nation" and "Savage Inequalities" by Jonathan Kozol for more information.

  3. Funny thing, i was just saying the EXACT same thing to my dad the other night. your post really inspired me to look into these bills that have been passed regarding education and i noticed the exact same pattern that you have pointed out. Great point.

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