Several years ago, I spoke at a town hall meeting on education. One of the attendees was a retired gentleman who told the audience that he did not believe he should be paying school taxes because he did not have any kids in school. I replied that using that logic I should not pay taxes for the fire department because I do not have any fires at my house.
I can guarantee you, that the day you are laying on a gurney in the hospital emergency room, you will be praying that the doctor looking over you is the most educated and experienced in the world. Paying taxes to help develop the next generation of leaders is an investment we all benefit from.
Education is the foundation of any successful economy and nation. It is deeply troubling that we have an educational system where we spend several times more per student than any other nation in the world but fail to rank in the top 20 in science and math. What are we doing wrong? Are we failing to learn from history?
I believe we have placed our K-12 teachers into a difficult, if not failed system with unrealistic goals. First, today’s teachers are now placed into an environment where they have to be a day care worker, policeman, nurse, and more, plus being a teacher. Teachers today no longer have the freedom to actually teach based on their students capabilities and learn problem solving, but instead are teaching kids to be test takers. This system of teaching tests is not helping anyone or our country. The problem with our K-12 educational system is not the teachers it’s the system. The system has become so political (Common Core) that all we are doing is teaching mediocrity.
I believe two things need to change. First, parents need to have greater participation in their child’s education. Schools are not a dumping ground, they are centers of learning, and parents cannot abdicate their parental duties to teachers. It is a parent’s responsibility, not the schools that your children arrive to school prepared to learn and study. Second, teachers need the freedom to teach their students problem solving not test taking. Forcefully promoting a system that is politically based, opposed to educationally based helps no one. Allow each State to develop their own set of criteria and allow the parents to choose the system that bests fits their children.
College student loan debt is over $1 trillion and it appears that the taxpayer’s will forced to pay for it. The cost of education has sky rocketed (over 2,000% in some cases). This is no coincidence, considering this began as the government got more involved in providing funding for higher education. As the government provided more and more assistance, colleges and universities raised their administration costs.
I believe a better model exists if we are honest. Students are free to pursue a degree in any area they want. But they have to realize that not every field of study is going to result in a job after graduation. False expectations hurts no one more than the family and the student that has made tremendous sacrifices to attend college, only to find themselves on the unemployment line and in debt.
Schools need to realize that if they are going accept federal subsidies via student loan programs then they have a responsibility to produce a graduate that has a job waiting for them after graduation. Failure to do so results in a reimbursement to the taxpayer.
It would behoove educational institutions to join with businesses to produce graduates that meet the needs of today’s society.
A true innovative solution would be to have a marketplace where students and investors could join together, where an investor could provide a loan to the student for a pay back from future earnings.