Two headlines on the front page of our local paper - Public educators want to nix voucher system and Officials seek answers to rise of violent crimes. I almost had to laugh at the irony of these two headlines appearing together.
Now, pay attention to this disclaimer right up front: The public education system is not the cause of the violence; however, it is culpable in that it should play a very significant role in the civilization of children/youth - a role that it is not accomplishing today. I would submit it has been hogtied by the government into a position that makes it all but impossible to do this
The problem with public education is not inadequate funding but that it does not clearly understand it's objective - and when you don't know where you are going, any old way will get you there.
If asked, most teachers and education administrators would probably say their mission is to teach facts - to educate students, to impart knowledge. But, is this enough? Knowledge is merely a tool - a means, not an end. It is, perhaps, more important to teach how to use knowledge to be a productive member of society and to be fulfilled personally. I believe it was Teddy Roosevelt who said something along the lines of "teaching knowledge without morality just produces more intelligent criminals."
I would like to propose a clear mission statement: Equipping students with the knowledge and character to be productive members of the local community and to lead fulfilled personal lives.
More on this subject to follow.