Thursday, April 5, 2007

Educational Observation

My viewpoint on the education system of America, more specifically Wisconsin, could be said to be a little more personal than others for the sole fact that I am still a student within the system. Albeit, a college student, but still a student.

Considering that it is the Thursday after an election Tuesday in April, my time of local news browsing has been filled with referendum proposals and blogs about the education system Jay's Blog.

I've only vaguely expressed my disinterested in the way that my state college is spending money, but my hometown has just recently passed a referendum to raise taxes (again) to accomplish the goal of $8.35 million to maintain a higher level of education for the students within the district. Keep in mind, my Alma mater has one of the highest rps' (revenue per student) in the state and they are still in dire straits financially.

This isn't because the students are spending more money or because the parents are demanding more from the school district, but rather because the administrator's are suffering from a serious case of proctoencephalitis. I apologize now for the Greek reference, my Latin and Greek Roots course has more benefits than just understanding dead languages.

I commend the current superintendent for leaving after only a few years of service. The financial troubles were not created by him and the backlash of the previously poorly made decisions by the administrators. The added benefit of moving to the largest school district in the state is just a little "icing" on the top.

My observation in the whole matter relates back to the basic conflict in the earliest years of everyone in the U.S.: parents vs. kids. The relationship comes from the parents/students/community members representing "the kids" and the administrative body of the school district as well as the local/state/national government representing "the parents". I'm leaving out an important group, the teachers, for the sole fact that that profession is controversial in itself. They are molding the next generation, but there are too many aspects to touch on in an already long blog entry.

For as long as I can remember, there have always been small disputes between me and my parents over trivial matters. These matters were usually a desire for a new responsibility or a purchase or just a little bit more control in my own life. This relates nicely to the same thing that "the kids" within my approach feel as well. The students, parents and community members want a stronger, better, more efficient school system that prepares the students for prosperity and, hopefully, allows them to become a parent/community member. "The kids" see everything from a what's good for me now perspective while the "the parents" see it as something quite different!

As I've grown and matured and reflected back on the disputes with my parents, I've come to realize that the majority of the time, they were thinking long run benefits for me, rather than the short term discomfort for me in their decisions. This has proven to be beneficial because my parents discussed, knew how I would react, played their guiding role with some great help and allowed me to become the individual that I am today. "The parents" should be behaving in the same manner towards "the kids". There is just one problem: THEY AREN'T!!! Solutions and ideas that are being proposed are short term fixes for long term problems. Funding and community support is low because "the kids" recognize this and have lost faith in their "parents".

My disclaimer of the day is that not all "parents" behave in this manner. My blog link above is an indicator of a man who has a long term vision and passion for the betterment of community through a better school system. "Parents" within my own hometown would do wonders to read that blog or any blog from any concerned real parent and actually take it to heart.

My thoughts on the subject have been written and I only hope that it has a positive affect on anyone who reads it.

My suggestion, "parents": cure yourself of your own proctoencephalitis and sit down, discuss, get a broad spectrum of thoughts from the community, review, revise and implement a long term fix for the situation you are in. "Kids": be active, stand up and question "the parents" and if they ask for a small loan until pay day, make them give you a justifiable reason and start to think for yourselves in the long term, "How is this decision going to affect me?"

Thought and long term progress is usually the answer to the most complex questions. The simple, quick and easy fix no longer applies here.

Have a great day and as always, feel free to leave your thoughts!

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