The last time education was truly successful was when one teacher taught all grade levels in a one room school house, education was segregated, and English was the only language spoken. Way back then all education was special and the expectation was that you did your chores, went to school, came home and did more chores, did your homework, and went to bed. Failure wasn’t an option and you did your best because your best was the only thing that mattered.
There was poverty, racism, and bullying. Children walked to school hungry and came home hungry. They were up at the crack of dawn and were asleep by the time the moon came out. Play time took place in your imagination and you dreamed of one day becoming someone great like a cowboy, policeman, fireman, or even a teacher. This was all before dollar signs began showing up in the eyes of businessmen and politicians.
Yes, there were problems and those same problems still exist today. After trillions of dollars have been spent, countless hours of research has been done, tons of papers have been written, and children are bused, fed, and befriended, public education has regressed to its earliest days when “there were many private schools, and charitable and religious institutions dominating the scene.”
Horace Mann and Henry Barnard believed that public education “could create good citizens, unite society and prevent crime and poverty.” What they didn’t understand is that none of those things are profitable, and the rich don’t want the playing field level.
Unfortunately, people today believe that education is directed by educators with a Mann/Barnard belief when it is actually controlled by business and politics that profit from just the opposite.
However, this is America and things can change as soon as we open our eyes to the truth. We must stop trying to kill the messengers and focus our attention on those creating and sending the message. Our children are worth more than their profits. Education isn’t a business it is a right that belongs to everyone.
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