Traditional education can be extremely isolating- the curriculum is often abstract & not relevant to real life, teachers & students don't connect with resources & experts outside of the classroom, & schools operate as if they were seperate from their communities.
Project-based learning, student teams working cooperatively, students connecting with passionate experts, & broader forms of assessment can dramatically improve student learning. New digital multimedia & telecommunications can support these practices & engage our students. And well-prepared educators are critical". -George Lucas
In 2007 we spent $488 billion on public schools (pre-kindergarten to 12th grade) & yet over 60% of 12th graders can't read or write at the proficiency level, 1 out of every 5 adults can't read or write at all. The problem isn't money or a need for more money. We are now spending nearly $9,000 per student each year in our public schools. Canada spends only $5,947, Japan spends $5,913 on each student & their kids are better educated than ours. When Republican & Democratic politicians couldn't stuff all of our kids into schools built over half a century ago they made school year-round & we now have gangs, drugs, teen-pregnancy, low-education levels, & even prostitution on some public schools, not to mention school massacres.
One out of every three students drops out of our public schools each year. The Alliance for Excellent education estimates that each high school dropout earns about $260,000 less than a high school graduate over his or her life time. The alliance also reports that dropouts not only earn less money but also drain state & federal budgets through their dependence on social & welfare programs. Increasing the male graduation rate a mere 5 percent would add $2.8 billion in earnings to the U.S. economy. Those students who drop out make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare, & the Justice Department data show high school dropouts make up 75% of America's state prison inmates, almost 59% of federal inmates, & 69% of those in jail. The overall cost to our society is overwhelming.
Lets agree not to live like this anymore, lets make our schools safe, our food supply safe, our neighborhoods safe, our jobs/pensions safe, our roads/bridges & dams safe, our country safe again.
Because no amount of government spin like "no child left behind" can save this out-of-date & over-crowded system. We need new modern class rooms, any child who falls behind should be assigned a tutor & a counselor because your child should not have to be the star quarter back to recieve star treatment at school. Todays schools are like rotary phones, we need new modern schools that prepare our kids for the future. With class sizes of no more than 25 kids, with computers in every class with printable work assignments so books stay in the class-room instead of on our kids backs. While new schools are being built we need to protect our children now by having a police officer & police dog on every campus that can sniff out weapons, guns, drugs or bombs, so that we create a safe environment where kids can learn & not feel threatened by gangs, drug-dealers or random violence.
"Education remains the key to both economic & polital empowerment."
- Barbara Jordan
The only way to bridge the gap between the rich & the poor is to make college mandatory. How many people with college degrees are homeless, illiterate, incarcerated or even out of work? For anyone that cannot afford college, the government could increase its grant programs that cover books, tuition, room & board & day-care & are paid back after graduation. How do we pay for it? It is cheaper to send someone to college & have them become working, tax paying citizens than what it cost to send someone to prison for 25 to life. (It cost $43,000 a year to house one prisoner). We need a government that is concerned with building schools, roads, & hospitals not just stadiums, bombs & militarizing space. Tax dollars spent on schools are an investment that keeps giving for years to come, as is money spent on roads & hospitals.
Only 26% of U.S. workers have more than a high school diploma. America use to be number one at graduating kids from high school. Now we're 17 out of 22- just ahead of Mexico. Only 29% of high school students get physical activity in school. And only 39% in middle school.