Without getting into debate (right now) about what should be taught or how it should be taught (I have a lot of opinions on those pieces), EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT.
We have taken education for granted. For so long, people have just gone to school. It doesn’t directly cost anything. We complain about this teacher or that policy or the start time or the PTO, but the school, the system, an education is taken for granted.
(I recognize my privilege in saying all of this. There are many people who are not that old who have seen much strife in the school system…and it’s still there, in slightly less brazen ways…but that’s another post for another day.)
I live in a state where education is being severely manipulated for monetary and political gain. (One politician just made $12M on his charter schools. See “Eddie Farnsworth” for more information.)
All of the local-to-me school bonds and overrides failed yesterday except one. A slew of anti-education people were elected or re-elected. Despite a statewide 6-day teacher walkout last spring. Despite tons of grassroots work to help people understand the severity of the problem here and now.
Old people whose kids have already gone through the system are notorious for voting against school budgets (where I’m originally from) and against bonds and overrides (where I’m currently living) because they’re “not using it” any more.
But we all* benefit from an educated populace. The rising tide lifts all boats.
*Except the people who are monetarily and politically gaining from uneducated people who can be easily swayed. But that has an upper limit, and I suspect that pretty soon, we’re going to smash our heads on that ceiling, and it’s not going to be good. For any of us.
Support your local public schools. Ask your teacher friends who the best candidates are for the school board. Learn about the legislation that is helping and hurting. Find out how the budget works, and what money is getting spent on. Help education reform. Help legislators use current research to make decisions on standards and best practice.
Our country depends on it.