Friday, May 7, 2010

The State of Education

Well, election day has come and gone. Our levy passed, which for me means that I will not be volunteering to coach and will instead be getting paid for the job. It also means that our school will not have to lose yet another teacher from our already thinning ranks.

I fully understand the financial state many Americans are in right now. My own family is not exactly "raking in the dough." I also understand the HUGE aversion to giving more money to a system that many Americans perceive as failing or failed. All that said, however, we need to be more forward-thinking. Without education, where will our economy be in the next 15 years? How can our current high schoolers compete in a global workplace if their only skill is the aptitude for taking a state-created test?

The current class of 6th graders (academically and behaviorally the lowest our school has seen in quite some time) is one of the first groups to have been in school the entire time "No Child Left Behind" has been law. David Warlick calls it, appropriately so, "No Child Left Untested." I would like to see what happens to these poor souls when they graduate high school and enter the workforce. Will they be successful? It seems to me that these are the children MOST left behind. Can they think critically, work collaboratively, and be creative (all traits The Partnership for 21st Century Skills says they should have?)

We are all holding on today, but what is going to happen to our kids in the next 10 years? Eventually, no tax levy in the world will save us from the dire straights we are putting ourselves in.

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