Public Education: Outdated and Failing

Craig Huey Education, Government, Congress, and Politics, Taxation 4 Comments

Public education is failing.

Government-run schools are hurting kids and families. Let me give you an example.

Although statistics say that 55% of all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are eligible for California’s public universities, what this really means is that 45% are graduating with a less-than-C average.

That means nearly half of all students aren’t passing.

High school students, roughly aged 14-18 are:

  • failing tests
  • not completing assignments
  • aren’t progressing from year to year

Most significantly, these hundreds of thousands of students are finishing their “schooling” without the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the real world.

It’s a waste of their time- and our tax dollars.

Are these students failing? Or is the bureaucratic, union-controlled system failing them?

Innovation is Key

Unfortunately, although the United States excels in innovation in many products and services, there is a lack of innovation in education.

And that’s despite thousands of extra dollars per child being spent.

Worst of all, the public education system does not reward quality educators.

Watch this video for a powerful example of this kind of failure.

It highlights the story of Jamie Escalante, the brilliant math teacher who taught at Garfield High School in the 1980’s. Escalante’s ingenious approach to education and commitment to his students produced an incredible number of math whizzes. In fact, when he was teaching, one out of every four Hispanic students who passed the AP Calculus test in the United States was one of Escalante’s students.

But instead of being honored and replicated, Escalante’s skill, creativity, and talent resulted in his downfall.

Escalante’s excellence as a teacher and fame caused his colleagues to be resentful. The teacher’s union voted him out of being the head of the math department, and Escalante left the school as a result.

Again, the school failed the students, and it failed a brilliant and exceptional educator who could have changed the system.

The public education system does not reward creativity and innovation. And we’re seeing the results in public schools today.

We need to take a creative, innovative approach to educating the next generation. Or we will continue wasting millions of tax dollars and failing millions of young students who need to be raised up, educated, and prepared to participate constructively in society.

What do you think? Write me at [email protected]

Comments 4

  1. I have long advocated eliminating the involvement of the Federal Government in our education system. They have no business there and they certainly aren’t chartered by the U.S. Constitution to be involved. We are not a small, homogenous country; therefore even though there needs to be the same basic subjects taught at all schools, there is also the element of regional needs of students. This can only be addressed by the people living in these areas. Even the States should not be involved, except for administering the funds through the tax system—and, that in itself is a point of contention. I believe the State’s Constitution should be Amended to delete their participation in the education system. It only make sense that the Charter School and Magnet School systems currently furnish the best education. Additionally, there has to be a bigger focus on Vocational Education. Like myself, when in High School, I was completely bored, and couldn’t wait to get out. Had there been comprehensive vocational programs, I would have enjoyed school knowing the reason for learning the various classroom subjects and how they applied to the working world. I have pushed for a system of Academic Classes in the first half of the day, followed by hands-on classes at the school with actual work programs in the second half or, a combination of both. When students see the application of math, language skills and other subjects in their potential occupations it gives them the incentive to learn.

  2. “…55% of all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are eligible for California’s public universities…”

    But, even though they are admitted, they need remedial education in either math or English, or both.

    “In the California State University system, which admitted about 72 percent of first-time freshman applicants in 2014, more than 40 percent of incoming freshman were deemed not ready for college-level work in at least one subject.” (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/colleges-enroll-students-arent-prepared-higher-education/)

    So, the failure to educate goes even deeper than what is described in the article.

  3. I was educated in the 1950s and took what was then called “college prep” courses, but at the same time I spent three very profitable semesters taking Auto Shop in addition to taking Metal Shop and Wood Shop in “Junior High School” (now called middle school). Such things are impossible these days because Summer School does not exist and all the emphasis is on “STEM” courses. I feel I got a practical education that my grandchildren can get only if homeschooled.

    1. I agree Bill—I also went to high school in the 50s. A small school in a fast growing community. Their shop classes were a joke. Basically, I molded aluminum Car Club plaques to hang from our bumpers. This was the beginning of the high growth rate in most of California; coupled with a lack of comprehensive vocational training—resulting in a tremendous shortage of ‘skilled’ Americans—especially in the trades. Now, what could we expect but a flood of illegal immigrants from Mexico who either knew which side of a brick went up or, at least were willing to work. The amount paid them was irrelevant—it was only a pass through to the customer. I, along with every other contractor I knew would have given anything to find educated Americans with trade skills and, who would be paid accordingly ; and, because all (mainly contractors) would be on equal footing with the same payrolls, they would bid jobs accordingly—only now we would have English speaking employees who would have made life so much easier. Of course there were (American) union trades-people with good training. However, these would be employed by large companies having large, high cost projects, and who could provide the perks that small contractors just could not. So, if any one is to blame for our illegal immigrant problems, we can lay it on the Education System which, as you said, only worried about the “STEM” students—and, ‘all the rest’ were on their own. The Federal and State Education System has come back to bite them in the form of billions of dollars annually to “protect” our borders and, the conundrum we have today involving the innocent children brought here by their illegal parents and, who only know our culture. They were mostly educated here—many with higher education. Are we now going to send these assets back to Mexico. Lets set this for another, future topic of discussion.

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