Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Untouchables

Original Article

We need get back to the basics. Build our future from the ground up.
I agreed that our K12 education need improvement. But I have to say that the way I look at education is quite different from the author.

The basic difference lay in the principle. Personally, I came to realize the the main point of education is to teach everyone to be responsible. The knowledge will come with it. The pure emphasis on knowledge is not going to achieve the revolution we need.

The indication of the fall of American is there for a long time. Let's just go back in time to when the immigration debate started. How many times you heard the arguments that immigrants steal the job from American? But do we ever questioning ourselves that for what reason, should we be paid more to do the same tasks? Back then, did anyone listen to the voice that we need to improve our education system so that we are producing workforces that can do others can't? Do you see what we are missing in our soul? Our arguments is all about them but not about us. Not about what the heavy lifting we need to do?

Even now, in the middle of a economic down turn, we are cried for more and more resources so we can improve our education. Aren't we follow the same path? Take a look at the world, which countries that spend more on education than we do. How much the best educated country spent on their education? Can you argue that we did not spend enough? Or maybe the real reason is that we do not know what the culprits are? We simply think that we have done nothing wrong. The reason we are not good is that Government did not provide us enough money.

Don't get me wrong, resource is helpful and it very likely will produce result. But does this guide us to the right direction? Sure! We can spend enough money so that there is a guardian for every student and most likely the test results will be better. But is this the right way to do it? Will our students ready to take the responsibility when guardians are gone? Are we sure this is the right way to do it if other countries can do it cheaper? Is this sustainable economically?

There are times I think we are looking at the wrong things. These days, politics are tauting more graduates and more higher education. But did anyone think about that maybe, just maybe, if we can improve our K12, we may not need send all the kids to higher education since they already posses the ability to meet the workforce requirement. It's the quality that counts. Not that piece of paper!

The other thing I like to point out is that from time to time, we, the American, are not very realistic. For example, in the higher ed, people are talking about critical thinking without being able to define it or measure it. Let along on how to teach it. There are also people that simply reject the standardized test without bothering to propose objective alternatives. There are also people that taut entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity while forgetting what Edison's idea of a genius.

Let me say this. We need get back to the basics. Build our future from the ground up.

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