Thursday, March 30, 2017 1:00 am
Flawed education behind sorry state of 2016 election
Conclusions on the fall election of 2016:
Voters are poorly read because of the influence of sports and the television. Our minds are becoming incapable of discerning differences, so personalities rather than issues dominate.
We accept candidates who are not classical readers.
People are different, and yet equality in ability is taught in our institutions.
Many still believe that political partisanship is a virtue.
Most do not attend church regularly, and if they do, they often worship a god who will make them rich.
Both Trump and Clinton are now adults who never grew out of their childish immaturities of the 1960s. She was a hippie flower child whose father never demanded truth. He was a spoiled, ill-mannered egomaniac whose father forgot to spank often.
Most of us desired our religion to be the main source of our children's thoughts, only to later find out that the idea of “no rights or wrongs” has been fed to them by humanistic teachers in government schools. Contrary to Reagan, the U.S. Department of Education still controls local schools.
Most underestimate the long-term damage produced by public education. A critical thinking adult is now gone from society. Debt is no longer feared, and only a few realize that “education is the cheap defense of nations” (Edmund Burke).
Demand public education support – and read to kids
Karen Francisco's well-researched editorial “An Educated Mess” on March 12 reminded us – once again – that private schools accepting voucher money from the state are not accountable to the government that will give them $146 million this school year – a total of close to a half billion dollars since 2011. Even more alarming is that students attending these “voucher schools” are scoring lower on reading, language and math tests than students in public schools.
Is there a fair way to help all children be successful in school? Research consistently tells us that test scores correlate with ZIP codes, meaning children in poverty don't score as well as their richer classmates, no matter the school. Can we fix this poverty issue? We can begin by electing legislators truly committed to helping all families. For now, we can contact those who represent us and tell them firmly about our concerns. Legislators control the dollars and have the power to help those most in need.
We can also set up and reinforce programs that educate parents about how to help their children with school readiness. Reading daily to a child helps close that readiness and (eventually) achievement gap. Unfortunately, low-income parents are less likely to have heard this message. Jennifer Bryan, from “Read Aloud 15 Minutes,” states that “Reading to every child every day from birth won't solve every health and education problem we face, but it will help level the brain development playing field.”
Reading to our babies, our preschoolers, and even our older kids is the place to start. We can break the poverty cycle by reading to our children. The bonus – besides having kids who love to read – is higher test scores and guaranteed success in any school.
On health care, privileged Congress out of touch
We have an interesting situation regarding health care. We have the employee (privileged congressmen) deciding that their employer (taxpayers) should have little or no health care coverage. One privileged congressman from Florida went so far as to say that a cancer patient could just go to the ER.
A couple of possible solutions are:
Congress members must utilize and pay for their own coverage under whatever plan they develop. Make them shop the marketplace for coverage. This would replace the gold plan they now have for life without paying anything.
Have everyone sign up for the same plan that Congress has. Premiums would be paid on a sliding scale based on income.
I know neither of these would happen, but come on, folks; health care isn't just for the rich and privileged.