Pat brought up a good point to Jordan on the phone the other day. In my latest post, I went on a diatribe about a poor soul who didn’t know what Argentina was. My closing words were:
If there was ever a more profound sign that our nation’s public education system is in shambles, I couldn’t tell you.
Now, looking carefully at the situation here, I have to retract that statement. First, it is unfair to the public school system, and only really indicates my opinion without regard for any factual basis other than my experience with this one, uninformed kid. Second, I fail to clarify were my opinions originate from in the first place.
My opinion of the public education system in the United States is a double edged sword. First, as a product of PE, I guess I should be thankful and kiss my lucky stars I had the opportunity. PE, is a vital, and important service provided by the government. There are so many wonderful, life altering, role model teachers out there is it almost overwhelming. These teachers (of which in my past I can name several: Dr. Leahman, Dr. Jent, Mrs. Nero, Mrs. Buckles, and several more) are responsible for shaping our future. Without the great influence of these educators, I doubt we would see so many people go on to college and develop full careers later in life. I know in my life, these teachers truly have shaped what I believe, how I think, and where I am today.
My angst again the PE system is a function of our govt.’s recent (read last 8 years) de-emphasis on individual student welfare, and a focus on test scores and large generalizations of supposed student progress. In my opinion, this leads to more and more kids falling through the cracks, perhaps like the aforementioned non-geography grasping kid. Also, I have seen the higher education system suffer greatly at the hands of our govt. and policy changes responsible for huge spending cuts. This is making it more and more difficult for everybody to have a chance at a college education. Wrapped up in this is the deregulation of student loans. Now, more and more students (and their families), not being able to qualify for federal loans to pay for college, resort to private loans. These private loan companies are real monsters, who charge hefty interest rates, and worse yet, the students can easily get upside down on these private loans, which due to govt. deregulation are inescapable (they cannot be dismissed, and will follow you to your grave) To me this is a huge travesty.
So, when I made the remark about PE in shambles, I unfairly projected my anger and frustration at certain govt. policy choices onto PE. to my readers, especially Pat, I am sorry for that.