Most citizens pay significant taxes, whether or not they have children, to cover the approximately $10,000 per student spent by government schools in Florida. This is a high percentage of the average worker’s salary and an incredibly large portion of a retired person’s savings. We are constantly reminded that our youngsters are the future of our nation. Our budget for government schools is one of the highest in the world.
If a student is in government schools and now, in many states, in charter or private schools, the future seems bleak. For no logical reason, most government schools have eliminated the teaching of cursive writing. When adults hear about students no longer being taught cursive writing, they wonder how they are going to sign documents or read our founding documents. Life is sufficiently difficult without being limited by not knowing how to read cursive.
The math program in our schools, paid for by taxes, should be understandable and taught in a reasonable, logical manner. Math takes a high level of discipline to learn and retain the material correctly. A student has to memorize the basic adding, subtraction, multiplication and division tables. It takes consistent practice to memorize and maintain them in one’s memory bank. Often, it is the most difficult course for students.
Higher-level math, like algebra and calculus, takes a more analytical system of thinking and computing. These courses are not required of all students, as they were in the past. They are considered upper-level math programs that a student has to choose and qualify for by having excellent grades in prerequisite math courses. Higher math is a difficult course of study that demands constant commitment.
Dumbing down the curriculum and inflating grades has been a wonderful success in placating parents. It gives parents the impression that their child is successful in academic areas. It should be a red flag if one’s child is receiving all A’s and never brings home any homework. Added to this is the fact that there is an overwhelming number of students receiving high honor roll status without dedicating much time at home to their work. The problem comes when, at the end of the year graduation, a high percentage of graduates receive honors supposedly for being outstanding. The larger the number of students receiving this recognition, the lower the status. This means the acknowledgment is lessened since everyone is receiving it.
Who is the real victim in this charade? The parents paying outrageous taxes are not getting what they paid for in the long run: a quality education. Parents are learning that their child attained high grades, but it was less than honest. The parents are beginning to realize that they should have done a better job of checking their child’s work and discussing specific subject matter.
The only way to find out about your child’s education is to ask them about the different subjects they bring up at home. Questioning is the key to learning what the child has learned. The knowledge one’s child talks about can be expanded on by talking about the specific subject matter and questioning the child how it relates to other matters in life.
Specific questions about the teacher’s method of evaluating the students in the class are valid to discuss. This appraisal of the child should be followed up by a meeting with the teacher. Talking directly to the child’s teacher would address many issues that would allow the parents to better evaluate the teacher’s educational approach.
Too many teachers frequently give too many do-overs, giving students more points than they legitimately deserve. A teacher might be rewarded for their permissive teaching, although the teacher knows they should be demanding more from the students.
The individual who suffers the most and will pay the highest suffering for this charade is ultimately the student. Most of the students who received their diplomas are happy to be praised for their supposed accomplishments until they realize they learned less than they needed to be successful in college.
The reality is that everyone is negatively affected by our incompetent educational system. Every citizen pays dearly for our educational fiasco and is certainly not receiving their money’s worth.
Parents need to monitor their own child’s education closely, meeting with their child’s teacher to ensure the school is providing a quality education for their child. All citizens should critically question the school board members and superintendent about the quality of the education the students are receiving in the community.
Our children are our nation’s future.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.