Needs Are Forgotten

January 24, 2008

Voices: Needs are forgotten

January 23, 2008 10:17 pm

— Some 20 years ago I co-authored a paper that opened with “Medical care, American-style, is not cheap.” Substitute “Education” and you have the crux of the matter in the Miller (Globe, Jan. 1) and Brown (Globe, Jan. 10) letters to the editor.
I entered the public school system (mid-60s) at the time the NEA began its transition from an educational association into promoting an agenda that more money and more government was needed to “fix” our public education system.
Forty years later, the amount of money spent has skyrocketed and the amount of knowledge a student carries across the stage at graduation (if he graduates at all) pales in comparison to what was accomplished in those “dark ages” of small budgets and slide rule technology.
The “Greatest Generation” survived a Great Depression, saved the world for democracy, and put a man on the moon all from within a public education system. Their sons and daughters survived the beginnings of today’s political tinkering, and invented the technology, gadgets, and gizmos that we marvel at today. Yet succeeding generations no longer enjoy that benefit of starting adulthood with a strong general knowledge base. The continual assault from politicians, unions, edu-crats, and political correctness run amok has left the public-school system crumbling from its own bloated weight.
We’ve gone from providing what was actually “needed” to teach, to tax collecting for every “want” in the bureaucrat’s bag. And anyone who dares question the status quo is dismissed as a heretic by the demagogues that now control the system. For only by feeding the beast can it continue to bestow its benevolence upon those dependent upon its largesse.
I grant that balancing the “wants and the needs” of a public education system is not an easy task. But this former student thinks the scale has tipped so far to funding the “wants”, that the actual “needs” are forgotten. Nay, once the public education system became politicized, the doling out and divvying up of the multitude of coin collected with each new budget cycle eclipsed the mission of actually teaching a child.
Geoff Caldwell

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