Improving Education in America! 10.31.2011

Improving Education in America!
Posted on 10.31.2011
          The theme in this book is that as a nation, “we need to study harder, save more, spend less, invest wisely, and get back to the formula that made us successful as a country in every previous historical turn”.

          Chapter six focuses solely on this country’s educational challenges. “Talent is the new oil and just like oil, demand far outstrips supply,” (The Economist’s intelligence unit; Heidrick & Struggles). As a nation, we have not yet adapted to this new reality. “We don’t think of education as an investment in national growth and national security because throughout our history it has been a localized, decentralized issue, not a national one.” (Friedman & Mandelbaum, 2011)

          “Today, education is not an option-it is a necessity for a middle-class standard of living.” (Schleicher, 2011) More education is simply not enough; it needs to be a better education that is focused on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Friedman & Mandelbaum define better education “as an education that nurtures young people to be creative creators and creative servers.” Creativity is key!

          These authors maintain, that “Achievement in school matters, and it matters for a lifetime.” It is also critical to staff our schools with exceptional teachers. The quality of an educational system cannot exceed the quality of the teachers. Delivering high-quality instruction to every child is a necessity in improving educational outcomes. “Nothing is more important than the quality of the teachers and principals” in schools. (Johnston, 2010)

          Great teachers are the solution to insuring growth for every child in our schools. If we want to help teachers be more effective, this requires support from many sources. The role of communities, politicians, business, neighbors, parents, and students themselves is critical in achieving results.

          American young people have got to understand from an early age that the world pays off on results, not on effort. At precisely the moment when we need higher quality education to close the gap, “our students are spending more time texting and gaming and less time than ever studying and doing homework.” We all have to work harder, focus on the fundamentals, and get everyone to pitch in. Members of our nation all need to feel that he or she has a real stake in improving education. Pointing the finger at others will not provide real improvement in American public education.

          It is indeed the teacher’s job to teach, but it is the parent’s job to support education in positive ways. This is done by getting your child to school on time, fed, and ready to learn. It is also accomplished by providing a safe place to do homework in the evenings and on weekends. Supporting your child’s teachers will reap huge benefits for your child’s educational progress. Great things can happen when we join forces for a common goal!

                             -Dr. Paula Sissel,

Superintendent/Elementary Principal