Public Education: A Sober Reality
On a recent visit to one of Tampa Bay's public schools just to see first hand what it is like to revisit a time that shaped the person I was to become only to find out a totally different and foreign world really perplexes me. First impressions they say are worth a thousand words. Well, in this case that first impression I was totally unprepared for what my eyes were actually seeing.
Upon this visit to a Junior High, my first in over 30 years, gaining entry was no small task. Nowadays one has to press a buzzer and state name and reason for your visit. It would help to call before hand to make things go allot smoother. Fortunately, this visit upon entering there were no metal detectors that from my understanding are the norm in so many other schools all through-out the country. Now, as I approach the main hallway being escorted by a teacher or teacher aid through the maze of scantly clad young girls and droopy baggy panted boys cell phones a buzzing I couldn't tell the difference between the students or my escort they all dressed very sloppily.
Finally made it to the main office where on a small table in the corner were a stack of papers outlining necessary items each student was supposed to have in their possession. Stuffed into every bodies backpack were items such as a calculator. Oh, that really amazes me. So much for the arithmetic tables one is supposed to memorize. Next comes the hand sanitizer for our disease conscious society. Heaven forbid we forget to use soap and water. Maybe with all the budget cuts especially in our public schools soap is a luxury that now is unaffordable. With all the backpacks packed with those so-called essentials as well as the actual course books I have a feeling that this generation is going to have an awful lot of back problems as they get older. Maybe, because again of all the cut backs in the one program that will help more than any others is physical education. Now, one of the first programs to go under the ax when budgets are trimmed. As in so many instances today.
One of the most disturbing trends today in our public schools where administrators are now trying to focus on more academics and modern technology which by the way is very relevant but too often these administrators and our own elected officials have yet to realize and just maybe try to take a step back in time to the years following the Korean War all the way through 1968. This period in our nations history our public schools were at the pinnacle of success in education of all the industrialized nations in the world. Today, we can't even make it into the top 20.
Now, when one steps into a school it is more apparent than ever when we walk away with the realization that somehow our own society itself is to blame for this nations failings in public education. Silly me, to want our youth to have more respect for themselves as well as others. Two of the four principals this nation was built upon Education and Morality both go hand in hand. The morality today, well there practically isn't any. Sure there are remnants where the morality of generations past hold true but, for the most part is sadly lacking by the majority of students in practically every public school system in the country.
The decorum that is displayed by so many sets the tone for failing or not. Amoral societies too often fall where as a society who embraces and practices basic moral values rises and flourishes. Maybe, with all the political rhetoric about creating another great society we would really look at why our society's moral values have all but disappeared. This is where and why our school systems have to reform and reestablish codes of etiquette and dress in every school. This would go a long way in bringing back moral values in our youth as well as the professionalism that our teachers must display.
When we look at other top flight educational systems through-out the world like Japan and Sweden professionalism and morality displayed keep those countries on the cutting edge of education and consequently their whole economy flourishes as a result. Just look at the period from 1952 - 1968. The United States economy reached heights never before or since attained. When morality along with education improve so does any economy. That is how to rebuild our nation.