One must ask themselves, are we as a country becoming less active in the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of technology, science, and socioeconomic success?
I recently wrote and article about the advancement of clean energy and the economic benefits of it. This began a cycle of me questioning America’s role in the future development of our planet. According to my research, in 2012 (the latest data) American schools are ranked 27th in the world.
This is important! Innovation and socioeconomic development are spurred through creative thought. At one point in American history, we were the most educationally advanced country on earth. In 1944 FDR (greatest president ever) passed the GI Bill. This bill guaranteed a college education to any veteran of WWII.
Why is that important you ask? I’ll tell you. As you no doubt know, WWII is the largest conflict in modern history. The GI Bill gave all of the solders coming back from the war a chance to get an education never before offered to the FREE! Many of these solders would have gone back to farm life or the local environment they grew up in, had this offer not been made available to them.
The shear scale of the war is what made this an incredible bill. Nearly every man within fighting age went to war. After the war, there was a huge surge in young men who were returning home with the prospects of an education, that they eagerly jumped on. This created one of the most educated work forces the world had ever known.
From this point, America discovered the benefit of pushing education. Technological and economic advancement shot through the roof in the good ole’ USA. This lead politicians to push for free education through high school.
Many people don’t know this but, the public school systems funding is based upon the taxes of the location it is based in. Fast forward, in 1978 California passed Proposition 13. This effectively lowered the tax rate there for 3% to 1%. Soon after, the supreme court declared this constitutional and the rest of the country soon followed.
Because of the slow defending of the school systems through tax cuts we have developed a sub-par educational system. We are trying to keep pace with the world that has developed a renewed interest in creating the most educated workforce in the world. We are FAILING!
If we don’t stop trying to cut funding to our public school system and begin praising it as the jewel in Americas crown it once was, we are doomed to fall further down the list.
“The aim of public education is not] to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. . . . ” – Henry Mencken, The American Mercury, April 1924.
“If the right-wing billionaires and apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become ‘dead zones of the imagination,’ reduced to anti-public spaces that wage an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy, and historical memory.” – Henry Giroux, 2013.
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