Mamacita says: My opinion on the current state of the average American public school system is very low, and yet in spite of my growing disillusionment with rules, regulations, toleration of bad behavior and attitudes, politics, willful ignorance in both students and adults, and all of the petty little stupidities that daily – hourly – accost our children who WANT to learn and advance, I still believe that the American public schools are one of the msot important aspects of our nation. Public schools shape the public, and if our schools are in bad shape, so is the public. And, it is up to that same public to insist that public schools once again become a safe place where those who wish to learn, may learn, and those with no wish to learn, do not cross the threshhold. Truly, the institution has been taken over by the inmates, and we need to sift through those inmates and redo our schools from the bottom up, and from the inside out. The state of education in America fills me with shame, and yet I know that we have always had and WILL always have a population of students desperate to learn, thirsty for knowledge, hungry for opportunities to try their intellectual wings. . . . Why do our schools do nothing for these students any more? Why do we cater to the lowest possible common denominator and pretty much ignore the cream? Why have we allowed petty politics to rule our school systems? Why do we put up with secretaries who don’t do computers, janitors who don’t do vomit; counselors who don’t do controversy, principals who don’t do discipline, superintendents who don’t do ethics, coaches who don’t do grade checks, parents who don’t discipline, and school boards who don’t even know what’s going on? I hate what our schools have become. I’m ashamed of what our schools have become. Everyone on the above list should be laughed at and shamed by society, not catered to and made into the Elite and Entitled Ones.
Most of us had ancestors who came here from across the seas, and many came mainly for the free public education. It was too late for them; they did it for future generations. To know how to read and write and think and embrace new ideas was considered a thing so wonderful, it was next to sacred. Now, when a child brings home a new idea, many parents go bonkers in the belief that their personal families values are being undermined.
Honestly, parents, if your personal family values are so shaky that a new idea will topple them, maybe you ought to give those values a good long look, cuz they ain’t cuttin’ it.
Decent values are enriched by new ideas, not diminished. Education would teach people that. Politics will discourage the learning of it, because it’s not to its advantage.
And yet, and still, I believe that, if our schools are restored to what they were originally intended to be, they are the hope of the future and the saving of us all.
As they are now, they’re nothing but an embarrassment: A political arena for those who do not have the slightest idea of what an institution of learning is supposed to be, and who meet most issues of concern and creativity with suspicion and supression.
Give our schools back to the scholars.
Schools were never intended to be daycare centers or restaurants or holding tanks for young criminals. Why do we continue to enable such behaviors by supporting such behaviors?
1. If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals. — Susan B. Anthony
2. Together we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school. –Ivan Illich
3. School and education should not be confused; it is only school that can be made easy. –Unknown
4. Real improvement in our schools is not simply a matter of spending more, it is a matter of expecting more. –G. Bush
5. We must recover the element of quality in our traditional pursuit of equality. We must not, in opening our schools to everyone, confuse the idea that all should have equal chance with the notion that all have equal endowments. –Adlai Stevenson
6. I’ve never let my school interfere with my education. — Mark Twain
7. Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. –Albert Einstein
8. God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board. –Mark Twain
9. I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that. –Dick Gregory
10. They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. It is not the same thing. –Richard Yates
11. America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live. –Jane Addams
12. We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – you can blame anyone but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it? –Katharine Hepburn
13. The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. –Abraham Lincoln
14. The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education. –Mark Twain
15. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. –Sydney J. Harris
16. The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have given his life. –Ernest Renan
17. The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. — Robert Maynard Hutchins
18. I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. — Lily Tomlin
19. The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book. — Author Unknown
20. The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. — Ralph W. Sockman
21. You can get all A’s and still flunk life. — Walker Percy
22. Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? — rich Fromm
23. Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. — William Haley
24. Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. — Malcolm S.
25. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. — Oscar Wilde
26. Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves. — Abbé Dimnet
27. Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. — John W. Gardner
28. I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated. –Al McGuire
29. Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. — Daniel J. Boorstin
30. The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions. — Bishop Mandell Creighton
31. You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. — Clay P. Bedford
32. The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr. — Mohammed
33. All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind. — Martin H. Fischer
34. Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily. — Thomas Szasz
35. If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job. — Donald D. Quinn
36. I loved learning, it was school I hated. I used to cut school to go learn something. –Eric Jenson
37. To sentence a man of true genius, to the drudgery of a school is to put a racehorse on a treadmill. –Charles Caleb Colton
38. Anybody who accepts mediocrity — in school, on the job, in life — is a person who compromises, and when the leader compromises, the whole organization compromises. –Charles Knight
39. Showing up at school already able to read is like showing up at the undertaker’s already embalmed: people start worrying about being put out of their jobs. –Florence King
40. Society is like a schoolmaster who estimates boys according to their conformity to a standard that is easiest for running a school. –Henry Sedgewick
41. It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. –Albert Einstein
42. I can imagine no more important contribution to our country’s future than a long-term commitment to improving urban K-12 public schools. — Eli Broad
43. Everyone agrees that the failure of our high schools is tragic. It’s bad business, and it’s bad policy. But we act as if it can’t be helped. It can be helped. We designed these high schools; we can redesign them. — Melinda Gates
44. Our schools are much like our prisons: they disappoint us because they only do what they’re designed to do, and it annoys us that they don’t do something else! — Daniel Quinn
45. My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. — William Adams
46. To know how to suggest is the art of teaching. — Henri Amiel
47. Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. — Paul Anderson
48. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. — Aristotle
49. A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes — and it will come — may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system. — Jane Smiley
50. Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time. — Rabindranath Tagore