Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Stick This In Your Pipe and Smoke It

February 28, 2009

Check out this article from CNN.  It can be read in it’s entirety here.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Those lazy days of summer may become a thing of the past if the new secretary of education has his way.

Arne Duncan, the Cabinet secretary charged with overhauling America’s educational system, is studying programs that keep kids in school longer to boost their academic achievements.

“When I go out and talk about that, that doesn’t always make me popular with students. They like the long summers,” Duncan said in an interview Wednesday with CNN conducted in the Education Department’s library.

But Duncan said American students are “at a competitive disadvantage” because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China.

I don’t think that longer days and longer years are the answer to America’s education problem.  What Mr. Duncan needs to address is not how long we are in school.  Instead of a matter of time, we have a matter of culture on our hands.  In order to overhaul our education system, a major cultural shift is going to need to take place how our students and especially parents view education.  As a teacher I see the lack of support from parents regarding their children.  Without this support, the mindset of our students will continue to be one that holds education in the lowest regard.  Yes, let’s take a look a countries such as India and China, but rather than focus on how long they go to school, let’s focus on how important education is in their homes.

I have students of Indian decent in my classes.  Clinton High School is actually home to many cultures, especially Indian and Chinese.  I see these students consistently outscoring their peers in all academic areas.  Our public school system is not failing them.  They come from families that appreciate and support the education system.  Their families demand excellence from the school system while demanding that same excellence from their children.  A demand for excellence on the part of the parents is reflected in the student’s behavior, level of respect for teachers and peers, and of course in their grades.

Something to think about, Mr. Duncan.

Just look how sad this sun is without a summer!

Just look how sad the sun would be without a summer!