Evelyn Uddin-Khan – “It is time to get real, face the fact that education in the United States is a mess, and it is time to separate politics and education. We need experienced educators to fix education – not rich and powerful politicians.”
Focus on Education: The writing is on the wall. Politics and politicians have no place ineducation. Granted they hold the purse strings, but that is the root of the problems. Check with the European countries who are numbers 1 – 20 and find out where politics fit in.
On Saturday, June 26, 2022, the Republican Party hosted an education panel in East Rowan to discuss the future of education in North Carolina. My takeaway was not a clear vision of the policies these politicians would put in place to improve public education.
Talking points included: Concentrate on the 3Rs / CRT / Gender Identity / Parents Bill of Rights (a take-off from “Don’t Say Gay”) / Testing and Grades / Mental Health Problems / the Percentage of Students who are Below Grade Level / Voucher System / Union.
How are these points going to help students become grade level proficient in English, Math and Science?
One of the panelists mentioned 66% of 8th grade students are below grade level in English and Math. Checking the statistics on Google, Black and Latino students are at the bottom of the barrel and Whites are border line. Asians are on level or above.
On the world list, the US is #25 in English, and # 30 in Math. We are a monolingual country and our students cannot read and write English fluently. We have the best technology in the world but our students cannot function in Math and Science.
To educate our children, let’s start at the beginning. We need to teach the 3Rs – Reading, Riting,
Rithmetic – when a child is three years old. In other words, we need Universal Pre-K (UPK) where our young children could spend part of their days learning to read, write and socialize. We lay the foundation, the love of learning in their formative years.
It can be done. If we Americans want change and a better educated population – that the world can respect and admire – we have to start working where it counts.
Years ago, I was teaching in China, and I was surprised and quite impressed by the way Chinese toddlers were immersed in early education which included ballet and swimming.
By the time a child arrives in first grade that child should know how to write simple sentences form a paragraph, and do basic arithmetic like additions and subtractions and know their multiplication tables. This is doable. This is not rocket science.
With this foundation, by the time these children get to 8th Grade they will be reading at, or above, grade level.
However, instead of politicians concentrating on a better, competitive education system they are busily engaged in CRT, Don’t Say Gay, Gender Stuff, Parents Bill of Rights, etc. Who cares about these explosive slogans they are creating to cause political divisions among voters and a diversion from the real problems which is that we have a failing education system. And while we are fighting over their slogans, they are holding on to their power and filling their coffers.
Politicians are hiding behind their slogans because they don’t have the solutions to our problems.
Let’s look at Critical Race Theory (CRT). Do we actually teach history in schools? We teach Social Studies. What comes under the heading of Social Studies? The Year 1776? Slavery? The Civil War? The Extermination of Native American? Do we actually teach these subjects in grade school? In high school?
It is time to get real, face the fact that education in the United States is a mess, and it is time to separate politics and education.
We need experienced educators to fix education – not rich and powerful politicians.
Until then, 8th graders are going to continue to function below grade level.
Oh! I forgot to mention. Advise parents to hold the cell phone and spend the money on BOOKS.