I got several passionate responses on twitter and facebook...
The facebook thread is here ... I think you can read it even if we aren't friends.
Reading through the comments and twitter replies, and the emails I got in response to the post... I saw one tone in the passionate remarks that got me thinking... Alot of people are upset with the "Education system Failing Us", folks are demanding "Government Reprioritization", People are questioning "Why anyone would WANT to cut education" (I capitalized "WANT").
First off... I don't believe anyone "WANTS" to cut Education... if they do... I got nothing, whatever... let's get to my incredible solution.
I wanna say this... my solution may only apply to Hutchinson, Ks. I haven't been very deeply involved in any other school districts. Maybe some teachers from other school districts will chime in and let us know if my perfect plan would help improve their district as well.
Ok here it is...
Parent these kids....
Seriously thats it. That's my solution. We all gotta parent these kids better.
I wrote a post about my son's parent teacher conference and it made me think... this district and most of the teachers and most of the administrators are here every day trying to help my kid become a happy, productive member of society and my ass is letting the kid slip.
Don't come back at me with all the excuses or exceptions to my plan... I know the education system needs some reform... but here's the deal folks... it will always need reform... it will always need to get better. The only thing that has changed in the last several decades (the time frame that we fell behind other countries) is less people are truly involved in their kids lives and we have lowered our expectations of our children and/or we have expected teachers and schools to do more because we don't want take the time/effort to do it at home. If it's the system's fault that our kids aren't as educated... why are some of the kids coming out of our system so intelligent and so successful? (Again, I know there is extenuating circumstances... I know my plan isn't perfect across the board)
Why did we start depending on the Public School System to raise kids that want to perform and be successful in their lives? when did it become the sole responsibility of a teacher to make a kid perform up to their ability at school? I don't know that answers... but there are some obvious factors.
More distractions. There are far more distractions for kids today and most of them are digital or electronic. Listen up... I hate the phrase "Kids these Days" ... it's parents these days... Kids cant buy these distractions and we as parents let them be distractions. My wife and I battle it everyday and lose some... but we battle.
Women's increased role in the workplace (which I am 100% in favor of) lead to drastically less time during the day being spent with a parent. Doesn't mean Women should stay at home... means both parents have to step up and change... The Dad can't come home and flop on the couch after a hard days work and expect Mom to have had the homework done, if Mom was at work as well. Both parents gotta come home and... be parents.
"Oh Cody you're a asshole... what about kids without parents or single parent homes"
We as a community have to step up.. get involved... there's a crap ton of us with the time to help those folks out. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister or YouthFriend or school volunteer and help those families out, help those kids out.
"Oh Cody you're such an over-bearing jerk forcing your kids to perform"
I don't demand that my kids get straight A's, I don't demand they do extra-curricular activities, I don't demand they be the best, ever, it's very clear in our house.
My wife and I do however demand that if they are given a responsibility, an opportunity, or an assignment that they try to do their best... to me thats the American Dream, looking back on what you just did and being proud of it, feeling like your were responsible for the success, and admitting you were responsible for the failures.
Please don't take this as me preaching about how good of parents my wife and I are... we jack it up all the time, we cuss too much in front of our kids... I have a terrible lazy streak and let it affect my parenting, really we are horrible... but we try. My kids have flaws just like other kids... I just want to initiate discussion.
If every kid had an individual in their lives inspiring and pushing them to do their best... we would have the best test scores in the world...
their success of the kids in our community should prioritized over:
Including, your job, golf, spa day, playing call of duty, ... everything.
Seriously, imagine the effects. No amount of money that Washington D.C. could send us would ever have that kinda effect.