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Education in America - Part I: Can We Talk About Our Education Problems?

Education in America is in crisis. Can we fix it? It is my contention that our crisis in education demands more than another Band-Aid fix and it is well past time to overhaul the system.

This is part one in a six-part series on the state of education in America.

It is my belief, and I am not alone in this, that we face a major crisis in education in America today. One has only to watch TV for awhile to eventually see one of a couple of commercials produced by ExxonMobil or by the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization calling attention to the problem. It is my desire to present facts to you on our present dilemma, along with comment, for your consideration. Additionally, both of the commercials mentioned will be discussed.

Some, of course, will denigrate all that I say, as has happened in the past, and I will be attacked. We will not really discuss the facts at that point; instead we will resort to stone-throwing and name-calling. Those who participate in such behavior either don’t like me or have a stake in the status quo, and thus have no desire for any change; therefore, I become the face of the enemy. Did we not just witness such a struggle unfold in Wisconsin?

I will first put my cards out on the table so that everyone can see my hand.

(Disclosure: I am not a professional educator. I did, however, actively participate in the lion’s share of the education of my six children through home-schooling. Due to some grade skipping, my six children’s education tenure is represented by 69 school years—43 of those school years were spent in home-schooling, five were spent in private schools, and the remaining 21 were spent in the state-funded government school system.

As for my own education, 1st through 8th grade of my education was spent in a private school and I believe honestly that, other than a public school 9th grade algebra class, most of whatever real education I acquired after my private school stint was acquired through books rather than actual classroom learning. Additionally, I have received two technical certificates from time spent in technical school and community college and eventually earned a bachelor's of science degree from a four-year institution.)

In my own studies I have come across the following important philosophy: “You can’t fight something with nothing.” I have attempted to adhere to this philosophy in my own criticism of those things that I consider in error. I have criticized the public education system on Patch before, but I am not suggesting the dismantling of the state-run government school system without realizing that I have at least some responsibility to outline a better idea. In fact, I am not a professional educator or legislator, so I have no ability to form policy but I do have ideas, some of which I have hinted at, and I believe they have been successfully implemented in other places, so, while I call for the dismantling of our current system, it is not without proven, working alternatives in mind. It is not my intent to provide those alternatives here at this time. Rather, this is a consideration of whether it’s finally time to actively seek out alternatives to our current system.

Having provided my intent and a full disclosure, I will begin in Part II to discuss the current situation, because I believe we are in crisis and the beginning of a fix is to understand and accept the fact that we have a problem.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

N/A June 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
NaPauleon,You would look much more honest if you would use correct stats. One thing is certain people are tired of high taxes and since the school district is the largest portion of our budget, the way to see significant savings would be to make sure they tightened the belt a few loops, but even your comment above using statistics you provided, shows they are doing a very good job of doing exactly that. The School district still produced a savings of almost $400 Per student vs. last year’s numbers and that was without the Race to the Top Award of almost 13.5 M in aid we lost from last year thanks to Governor Christie. I for one thank them for that due diligence. You can criticize but the question is still a simple one; Why the vindictiveness toward a school district that obviously saved the tax payers a ton of money this year despite the personal vendetta and incompetence of Governor Christie’s actions in, deliberately fudging the Race to the Top application that would have saved all homeowners another $628 this year in property taxes?
N/A June 24, 2012 at 05:22 PM
NaPauleon ,As to your comment about Timber Creek Not sure if you know this or not since you home school your kids , or at least you claim you do. Timber Creek is part of the Black Horse pike Regional School District so the figures I used do include that school. I would assume the editor did not use fictitious links and that the state did not put fictitious information on the state website, although I would not put it past Governor Christie to mislead the public after all it would certainly not be the first time would it....I remember Race To The Top application. My taxes are $628.00 higher this year than they should be because of his war with the teachers union, which as we all know is simply because they donated to democrats and not his election fund. Every time you call me Not/Applicable by the way only shows how shallow and naive you are. N/A certainly does not stand for that but if it makes you feel better call me what you wish after all calling people names is your bully M/O. The facts about this story certainly do seem something here is Not/applicible and that would be the facts to the blogger who wrote the story Im responding to. Just like your imaginary stories here little guy, your name calling is laughable.
N/A June 24, 2012 at 05:31 PM
NaPualeon, I certainly do understand BHPRSD the real question is, Do you? Highland, Timeber Creek and Triton make up one (1) school district and the figures are the same for all. Don’t believe it? Go to the state website and find Highland, Timber Creek or Trition ...I will save you the time YOU CAN'T. The state recognizes them as Black Horse Pike Regional School district and statically only reports on the cost for the 3 as a combined number. The education and school cost numbers are all the same for all 3. It's amazing you keep making yourself look more and more foolish with every post and believe me even I didn't think you possibly could do that after you wrote this story.
Paul J. DiBartolo June 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM
You are just all over the map, N/A. You obviously have not even read my blogs through because your comments are all over the place. Give it a rest and allow those who know what they're talking about post comments. I, for one, have neither the time nor the patience to respond to you any further.
mr June 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM
I know where you're coming from . Teachers cannot do it alone; they need parental/guardian support. But what do teachers do when they are trying to work with kids from a culture which does not value or respect education.

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