Thursday, March 12, 2009

The System is Broken

The deeper I explore education in the United States, the more disappointed I become. Without too much work, one can see that the system is broken.

There are a few international highly esteemed studies that rank countries system of education through a rigorous method that doesn’t need to be discussed here. Upon a quick glance, you’ll find the United States quickly slipping. The last report I received which was conducted either a year or two ago had the United States ranked fifteenth. That’s right, we aren’t even in the top 10, and honestly I think it fortunate that we’ll remain in the upper 25 within the next year or two. But don’t take this the wrong way, this isn’t a pro-patriot entry. I’m actually contented that other countries have taken the initiative to improve education in their country beyond the outdated methods of the United States. Where have are we going wrong? Well… that is a loaded question, but one part of the answer is because we are, as a country, too proud to adopt an education system outside our borders, even if it is more effective.

From Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Biblical wisdom suggests that those who value their pride are destined for painful times, and the American educational system is not exempt from this. Although I try to keep politics out of my writing, I was stunned to hear to hear that the current administration is considering an extension of the school year in order to close the education gap. Personally, I’m not against an extended school year to be perfectly honest, but if this is the best we can do, we are just adding insult to injury. After classes Tuesday night, my spirit was troubled, but not over the thought that our education system is not ranked first, but over the fact our pride has blinded us to the obvious fact that our system is broken and needs renewal from the inside out. I see this as an easy out of a tougher problem. Instead of giving administrators and educators time to compose a more effective curriculums based on what has worked outside national lines, we would rather blindly pass a law that allows us to continue our broken system. To me, this is an outrage.

So I made a promise to myself Tuesday night: If I have an opportunity to be a part of meaningful change, I will cease the opportunity and run with it. Maybe the real change I desire will never extend beyond my own future classroom or school. But I pray that God will show me the path I can take that could make a difference across New York State or even the country. Only God knows where I’ll end up, but I’m ready for the redemptive work ahead.

How long will we close our eyes to the truth?
How long until we recognize the youth?
How far will we let this go?

It’s a state of emergency
It’s time we see the need to take action
This is a state of emergency
We’re too blind to see these simple distractions

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