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Is The American Education System Setting Our Kids Up to Fail?

by Thomas Egelhoff 2 months ago in courses
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What are kids really learning in school?

Photo by Max Fischer

From some recent reading it seems that schools are more worried about whether a student can pass a specific test than what level of knowledge they’re taking out of the classroom.

Test scores for schools often translate into money for the district.

So rather than teaching what a child might need to know to survive in the real world all that’s taught is the information needed to pass federal standard academic tests.

Who's Responsible for Education?

Is it the teacher’s responsibility to teach or the student’s responsibility to learn?

If a student has a poor teacher should the student take on the responsibility to go it alone and teach him or herself the material?

Abraham Lincoln taught himself trigonometry. He’s also the only president with a patent.

If the student is having problems should the teacher give that student extra time and resources to pass the class?

It would seem there are responsibilities on both sides of the argument but when only one side realizes their responsibilities the other loses.

Both sides must come together so both can succeed academically.

Life Gives the Toughest Tests

There are red pens, failing grades, and no make-up tests in real life.

Are we doing students a disservice by benchmarking standards to the lowest common denominator?

In real life not everyone gets a trophy.

In real life you do get a performance evaluation and failure is serious. No income.

Employers don’t keep you employed because you’re a nice guy or gal.

If you can’t do the job, you are out — plain and simple.

In life you learn or else.

It’s your responsibility, not your trainer, to make sure you make the cut and do the job you were hired to do.

I see no evidence that current education is preparing students at any level for that rude awakening when they enter the workforce.

Test Scores Are Only Part of the Problem

I realize there must be some measure of success by both the teacher and the student and currently test scores are that measure.

The problem arises when the material tested fails to provide the information the student will need to meet the challenges they will encounter in real life.

A “well rounded education” is a term often used in academic circles.

Usually, it refers to a student being exposed to reading, writing, math, and science. It confirms that you know a little about a lot.

A diploma or degree doesn’t say you know the material presented it says that your test scores were at an acceptable level at the institution that provided them.

In layman’s terms that means that 50 percent of all doctors and lawyers with the lowest passing grade finished in the bottom half of their classes.

If you really want to feel bad, 75 percent finished in the lower three quarters of their class. Your chances of getting a loser produced by today’s academic institutions are very high.

What does that tell you about who you want to defend you in court, or who you want to go under the knife with?

Some Final Thoughts

In my opinion there is knowledge and there is intelligence. For some people they are synonymous, for others they might be direct opposites.

Knowing when the War of 1812 occurred is knowledge.

Knowing why it occurred and its effects is what should be taught and understood and that creates intelligence.

Many people say life is a journey I prefer to think of it as a process.

One piece of information is needed before you can process the next part of the equation.

Over time you accumulate skills and experience. That’s an advanced form of education that only life can provide.

Trial and error success and failure is the best teacher in life.

Inside the classroom there’s theory; outside the classroom there’s reality.

Fact inside the classroom is not always fact in a negotiation or complicated transaction outside the classroom.

Education is a base to build on. The better the base the better your foundation.

Today’s education seems to be built on a very shaky foundation.

What do you think?

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About the author

Thomas Egelhoff

Author, Radio Talk Show Host, blogger, YouTuber, Vietnam Vet, half fast guitar player, average cook, all in all a really nice guy. I read all my articles you should too and subscribe. Thanks very much.

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