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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The System ...


Calling The Education System By Its Name
by Philip Smith

An Upstate South Carolina resident named Weldon Clark has been making the rounds at various news sources with an opinion editorial on education:

A commenter on his piece at the Greenville News had this to say:

Can you picture a society where all students graduate with perfect scores? Everyone will be at the top in their chosen professions. Everyone will be making top dollar and be rich. They will all have the best homes and drive the best cars money can buy. Life will be just one long vacation. Well, it'll never happen. Society could not exist if this were to ever take place. There will always be a need for the rich and the poor, as well as the in between. Society needs the smart and the not so smart to ever exist. Right now in our country we have what it takes for society to thrive as well as to last. Opportunity is there for the taking, by anyone with the desire to better themselves. Right now, what is needed is a better way of choosing our leaders with the highest intelligence. And we need a better way of distributing our wealth. We're not that far from contentment, and with a little help from above our future will be bright and easy!!!!!

"And we need a better way of distributing our wealth."

Didn't Karl Marx say that?

The problem IS the system - part of that system is parents - part of that system is very very bad teachers - another part is entitlements.

The way to solve this problem is to eliminate the 0-100 grading scale and the graduation age of 18. Instead, educate on concepts - learn one move on - don't learn it - remediate until you do. Graduate at 12 or 25. Stay in until you do.

Many don't realize that South Carolina has one of the highest number of credit hours required to graduate high school. South Carolina requires 23 Credit hours in order to receive a diploma. The average in the US is 20 and there are many states requiring only 19 hours. Not surprisingly, these states also have higher graduation rates.

This year, my daughter, set to graduate in June, is attending Pickens High School. She has what are called "A" days and "B" days. One of those she has no school. The other, she has a "half day" with dismissal at 1PM. This entire year has been a waste of her time. This entire year wouldn't be needed if SC's credit hours were lowered.

I also disagree with the commenter in that we have to have a poor class and a middle class in order to exist. Teenagers, senior citizens, and those that care to can fill menial jobs that robots and technological automation cannot.

We need a voucher system to allow parents to reward schools with their dollar that perform well. When teachers and administrators see they aren't attracting funds - they'll attract more teachers.

We need to eliminate waste in our schools. I'm from Liberty - same place as the author of the editorial "Holding Parents & Students Accountable". Right now as we speak, 4 BRAND NEW IN THE BOX paper towel holders with full rolls of paper towels sit at the dumpster behind Liberty Elementary. No attempt to auction, sell, repurpose, or use these have been made. It doesn't stop there - I have personally recovered 14 printers and a handheld barcode scanner from this same dump area. Yes it was being left because it was marked "DISCARD" and I verified it with the principal. Each of these printers had toner and ink in them. (COUGH COUGH) The PTO collects ink cartridges for fund raising. Waste Waste Waste!

Daily we are sent home copies of meaningless nothingness; yet not kept abreast of important things. More waste!

This too could be solved by an "opt in" system - those that wish could get voicemails, emails, text messages, or be sent home a color coded card that meant to check the website out.

Why aren't things like this even on the table at budget time?

So let's not blame anyone - instead let's call "the current system" by it's name - "The Waste System".

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