You could say I’m a passionate person. I like passionate more than crazy, over-excited, dramatic, etc. I care about things a lot. For most of my short adult life I’ve shied away from politics for the most part because if I hear too much I go into this weird/scary rage like Ross from Friends when he found out someone ate his sandwich at work. I get really worked up and accomplish nothing. So what’s the point?
Chalk it up to my now being at the second largest university in the nation, but I’m finding it harder than ever to stay out of it. Basically, I’m getting more and more involved in politics and current events than I think is good for me. That being said, education has and probably always will be the hot issue with me. I’m blaming this on growing up with a family of teachers. Nothing gets me cheesed like hearing about yet ANOTHER pay cut for the slaves they call teachers while the slave drivers sleep easy in their mansions. Just ugh.
(I bet you though this post was going to be comical when you clicked on it. HA! Jokes on you.)
Recently, I was ranting about the education system to my poor roommate (She has to listen to a lot of my rants. But it’s her fault…she chose to live with me.) when it dawned on me. The education system here is just like the measurement system here. And the temperature system. It all makes sense now! America takes something like the Centigrade temperature scale and just fucks it all up.
Think about it. Freezing temperature in Celsius: 0. Freezing temperature in Fahrenheit: 32. What? And boiling, too! Celsius: 100. Smart. Fahrenheit: 212. Who came up with this??? And what about the metric system, people? 100 centimeters=1 meter. Hmm. That’s a really nice, round number. Let’s see about inches to yards. 36 inches=1 yard. That’s just dumb.
It’s when you pair those and the education system here with their counterparts in other countries that the trifecta comes to order. Now, I’ll admit that to write this post I did not spend ten hours researching the education systems in foreign lands. I’m going to be using basic knowledge that I’ve heard from here and there over the years.
I think it’s well known that America is not producing the smartest kids (i r smart, though). I pulled this snippet from the Huffington Post (link to the article below, see I did do a little research): “The United States has fallen to “average” in international education rankings released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the AFP.” This is from late 2010, but I think it makes my point.
So what’s wrong? Do we pay teachers too much, therefore giving them the sense that they don’t have to work as hard within their cushy lifestyle? Ummm no. Teachers make a measly amount of money. And that measly amount has declined EVERY YEAR for the last 3-4 years (maybe even longer). And no end to the annual pay cuts are in sight. So is it this way everywhere? That would also be a big, fat no.
I once discussed this with an aunt that teaches in New York. She told me about a teacher that came over for an exchange program from China. Everyone loved her and my aunt had asked about if she’d ever consider staying here. She laughed. In China, apparently teachers hold a place of respect. They are paid what, in my opinion, they deserve (which means way more than their American counterparts). The thought that she would give all that up to work in the American school system was a joke to her! And all that being said, I’m going to make a generalized, yet well warranted, statement that Chinese children are way smarter than American ones. (The same study that I used earlier put China at the TOP of their list.)
Why is it that America doesn’t take notice of any of this? We think that the answer to our budget crisis is to continually cut education, often rendering teachers unable to properly do their jobs or support themselves and their family with no thought as to the ridiculous tax cuts to the wealthy and major corporations. Add that to the fact that even though it has been proven that standardized tests are NOT a reliable way to measure intelligence, we base monumental decisions based on children’s scores on these tests (like how much teachers get paid… because that makes perfect sense).
What I’m getting at, is that as much as this country likes to think we are the same nation that rebelled against Britain to receive the freedom we rightly deserved, we all know it is not. We have become a country that is controlled by the “1%”. The rest of us get angry on the internet and do nothing to stop this blatant act of treason against what this nation is supposed to stand for (yes I mean me, too). The education system is just one of many examples to the ridiculous practices we call “the right way”.
I have always loved the idea of teaching. I love kids and even more than that I love helping people. I thought for a long time that I would be an elementary school teacher. Now, if you suggested that I’d laugh in your face (I might even laugh so hard I’d spit a little). That kind of makes me sad but really it just pisses me off. In the end, I’ll just say this, “America, I am ashamed of you.”
P.S. If you got all the way down here-Congrats! You have a great attention span.