On my other blog, I’ve been having an intense dialogue with commenters about education. The argument boils down to who is responsible for education.
Do schools and children fail due to bad teachers? What about too short off a school day? Lack of resources? Lack of involved parents?
The truth is that those are all reasons children and schools are failing (see Upworthy info graphic below). No one quick fix solution until all those problems are addressed.
The problem lies in finger pointing. No one likes being told they aren’t doing a good job.
“You call me a bad teacher? Well how about we get some updated textbooks?” “I’m a bad mayor? How about you stay involved in your kid’s life?” “Me? A bad parent? Get my kid some good schools and teachers!”
What’s the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” That child needs education, and that village is the parents, government officials, and teachers. They are all responsible for all our children’s education.
I understand that there is such a thing as personal responsibility, but that is assuming everyone is on equal footing. How can a teacher be a great teacher if the social studies books still list USSR as a country? How can a low income parent attend to their child’s needs if they need to work 60 hours a week just to make ends meet?
We have a government for a reason to provide for the people. If the government were to provide better schools for teacher and better paying jobs for parents, so that teachers could teach to their full potential and parents could be actively involved, our children would be getting a better education.
Yet, there’s an ugly truth to education. Some people need to fail. The problem lies in who is failing. When failure and dropouts are disproportionately affecting one sector of society (i.e. minorities, the poor, etc.), there is something wrong with the system, and that is why people get angry at this country’s bad education. If failure equally affected all races and economic statuses, it would be okay, because it wasn’t stemming from an ingrained inequality in the system.
Unfortunately, the US education system was for a long time based in that inequality, because, back then, it was okay. Now it isn’t, and we ALL need to do something. Lobby politicians for better resources for schools and teachers. Give better training to our teachers. Especially to those going to work to make change in the inner-city. And lastly, create nonprofits and programs that help parents become involved parents. We are all responsible to make this change not only happen but to make sure it is sustainable. No one should take offense if they are receiving extra help. Remember, “it takes a village to raise a child.”