There is a lot of attention and talk these days about education and the financial crisis that many governmental and private educational agencies are facing as they seek to provide students with a good education. The task of educating children, youth, and adults with the intellectual understandings and personal skills that will enable each of them to find a place in the large social and commercial organizations of people in our world takes a lot of time and money. And there doesn’t seem to be a basic core of agreements in regard to what these individuals need to learn at various stages of their lives, who is responsible to provide the necessary lessons at those stages, and who is going to pay the costs of the process.
Although there is some basic agreement that everyone needs to learn to read and to write and to be able to do basic mathematical calculations, disagreements begin to appear in the process when various people and agencies begin to consider what languages students must learn to read and to write and what standards of learning performance are to be applied to even some of these basic lessons. And these disagreements don’t even begin to touch or resolve those matters that have to do with the educational procedures for learning about science, history, culture (including art and music), athletics, and sex.
What is good education?
Some efforts have been made among educators and politicians and parents to address this challenge of reaching agreement on the basic goal of education, which are seen in slogans like “no child left behind”. But such slogans don’t often really define what is meant by “behind”, who is going to make sure that no students are “left” there, and who is going to pay the cost of the necessary process. And the president and congress are making changes in how students can get grants and loans for college expenses and how these will have to be met.
So we have local school districts, state legislatures, national representatives, public and private boards of various schools intensely discussing these matters and scrambling around trying to find enough money to carry on with the appropriate educational processes for students. In many cases, some of these districts and boards and agencies are laying off teachers and cutting back on classes in order to balance their educational budgets. And some of these cuts are being made without much thought being given to some of the basic needs of the students that they seek to teach. And some parents decide to teach their children some of the basic lessons in “home” schools or private schools while they continue to pay taxes for the funding of public schools.
I’ll just briefly mention a few of these “needs” that I’m not sure should be met by any public or private school teacher or be secured by non-personal funds. I don’t think that school personnel and school operations should be paid from public funds to feed students and transport them to school facilities. These services and their expenses should be completely provided by the parents of dependent students or the students themselves. And education in a person’s basic sexual nature and activity should certainly not be provided by any public or private teachers outside of one’s home. This process of education and training should be done by parents, but some of them are probably going to need a lot of help in getting the “lessons” right.
So I think that there is a lot more careful thought that needs to be given to this matter of providing students with “a good education”. What do you think? Who is responsible to teach children the basic personal understandings and skills that they need to have in order to find a place in society? And where can students get the appropriate educational training that will qualify them for jobs in the world-wide commercial marketplace? Let’s talk about this.