Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Public Education Funding

Reading, writing and arithmetic have been taught in this country for hundreds of years. Most adults have learned these skills in school at some point. The days of students never attending school is pretty much a thing of the past. Gone are the days that students worked on the family farm and were so isolated they never got the opportunity to attend school. Schools have changed tremendously over the past 100 years and will continue to change as we move through this decade.

The standards and concepts students are taught continue to evolve but some things have remained more constant. Students learn many social and emotional lessons at school in addition to the content standards they are taught. Students learn to get along with peers and to work collaboratively. Students learn to control their emotions or at least manage them to respond in a socially acceptable manner. Just like math standards, some students learn these emotional skills better than others. Obviously home life also has a tremendous impact on student learning.

Public school continue to engage in a balancing act that tries to stress academic goals while teaching life lessons that will impact the students for the remainder of their lives. Life lessons are very difficult to quantify and many times get overlooked during the discussion of public education. We must continue to remember that a person has many dimensions to their life and as a society we must try to help parents as they instill the values that will help our young people become citizens of a well adjusted society. Many issues such as bullying have been plaguing mankind for centuries are still around to day. While diseases such as polio may have been basically eradicated from the human population, conflict between human beings continues to plague us today. While we will never totally eradicate social problems, we must continue to try and teach students to cope with conflict in a constructive manner.

Each year when state legislatures meet across the nation and education budgets are debated I hope legislators will stop and see the big picture and realize that schools are crucial for the fabric of our society to remain intact. While reading, writing, and arithmetic are crucial and are at the center of what public schools offer, they are not all that schools offer society. 

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