How do you solve the biggest problem in education?

Posted by veritas on Sep 14, 2015 9:25:48 AM


Education in our country is in a mess! I say this as one that calls myself an educator and has now for almost 20 years. Unfortunately, I fear, that it is actually worse than most people recognize.

So, today, I wanted to give a nice and neat, one step (or at least the first step) in solving the biggest problem in education.

One step! What could be easier!

Our biggest cultural problem in education is our approach to education. We, as a society, keep trying to fix educational problems. Things like No Child Left Behind and The Common Core are these sorts of attempted fixes. When we do this, however, we invariably end up causing more problems. In the end, we keep heaping disaster on catastrophe.

Let's take a step back. What are all of our fixes? They are increasingly desperate (and often well-meaning) attempts to control things so that we can improve them from the top down. In our attempt to control, we legislate, test, provide procedures, test again, rethink, add more laws and forms, and test again.

We do this because we view education as a societal issue instead of a familial or religious issue. No doubt a society rises and falls based on the education it provides its children. Interestingly, however, the times when schools seem to perform the best is when teachers are given the most freedom to teach and when parents are given the most freedom to choose schools. Think about ancient Greece, Renaissance Florence, Victorian England, and early America. The educational accomplishments of those times are staggering. Interestingly, the level societal control over education was minuscule during those times if you compare those times to ours.

So how about this for a one step fix: free education! (I do not mean free as in costing nothing.) Free education from its tether to the government and especially to tax dollars. Give teachers freedom to run classes; give parents freedom to choose schools. Money, students, and support will flow away from bad schools and teachers who are ineffective and toward excellent schools. It will because the decisions will then be made by people with a vested interest to make the best choices (because they will be choosing education for their children) and with the freedom to make those choices a reality. Making our schools and good teachers more free and providing an environment where funds and students follow quality is a pre-requisite to fixing all other problems. Thus, it is the first step toward solving the biggest educational problem that we have.

Topics: Education, taxes, Culture, Faith, Family