Saved by the Bell?

Saved by the Bell?

Not so fast, kids.  According to this article found on MSN’s front page, five states are debating increasing class times in some schools.  These times will not only cover the singular days themselves, but also will extend annually.  The tacked on 300 hours of class-time is supposed to aid “poorly performing” students as well as adding to some extra-curricular activities.  Of course, the programs will be funded by “..state education officials and subsidized with federal, state, and district funds…”.  As if hands aren’t already shoved into taxpayers’ pockets for everything else.

Now before you start in on the more-than-likely-poorly-educated-Louisianian-redneck, let me “school” you on my personal beliefs regarding education:

First and foremost, I am a mother.  I am a mother who has worked her behind off and has paid taxes through the nose to ensure for higher education standards.  Where has my money has gone?  I couldn’t say.  I believe that, sadly, most parents have sorely slacked off on teaching their own children the fundamentals of gaining an education due to laziness or hopelessness.  I also believe that most pupils are shoved at the teachers, professors, what-have-you to be gloriously babysat.  There is absolutely just cause to worry about the welfare of our education system as well as the children and young adults who are being affected by it.

However.  Increasing the hours in a day of schooling, especially for those students who are overwhelmed academically, just plain lazy, etc.., will only increase the problem as well as drain dry the pockets of upstanding, tax-paying, citizens.  Folks, we have enough to worry about financially over the next four years.  Why on earth are we adding this to our dilemma?

Much like the United States healthcare system, the education system needs to be mended — badly.  I am a relatively intelligent person — but even I didn’t receive the education in grammar school and beyond that I would have liked.  My son will start pre-k in the fall.  What kind of guidance will he receive?  What will he not?  And as concerned as I am about the care and cultivation of his little mind, I do not want unnecessary hours tacked onto his schedule.  Gabe has a learning disability — naturally, he would fall into line with the proposed plan, provided it makes its way down to Louisiana.  It is my job as his parent to seek outside assistance if need be.  It is the state’s job to ensure that teachers are well schooled themselves, and are continuously brought to “code” as the school days, months, and years progress.  Nay, it is the country’s job to make itself manifest in our education system.  American education was placed at the 17th rank according to this article.  That’s a shame, considering that 20 years ago we were at number one.  In 2005, we were ranked in at 7th.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  That is a rapid decline if ever I’ve seen one.

I’m not sure what other countries are doing to aid pupils’ attention spans and eagerness, but whatever it is, we should follow suit & do likewise.  At the very least we should build off of their systems to create that of our own.  America, what happened to you?  We were once a thriving country full of ideals and codes for aptitude.  Now we settle for mediocrity — at best.

Should kids’ days be made longer?  I truly lean towards not.  It is up to parents and officials to come together to form a more perfect learning system.  Singularly, it is up to parents to instill in their children priorities, ethics, and pride — not social networking and laziness.  And it is up to teachers — and those educators that are worth their weight have and will — to fight for better not only for their classrooms, but for their own pride and placement among their fellow colleagues.  I know a handful of excellent educators who have bent over backwards for their students and will continue to do so.  Their methods may not be perfect, but they are working plans.  I have seen those children and young adults strive toward their every goal — largely in part to their teachings and upbringings.

And perhaps I have just hit the nail on the head by mistake: upbringings.

Look around you.  Turn on the TV.  We are bombarded with garbage.  Spongebob Squarepants.  Honey Boo Boo.  The Real Housewives of… whatever.  Trashy talk shows and filthy prime time.  Our kids aren’t the only ones who are having stupidity pounded into their minds.  So are we.  The parents.  The educators.  Everyone.  We are allowing ourselves to be dumbed down at an alarming rate.  Congratulations, US of A.  You have, once again, succeeded in making lame-brained your citizens.  As is such, we suffer at our own hands in every aspect of our lives.  But I won’t delve into all of that… take a breath; you have been spared.

It is high time we take a look at our how we exemplify ourselves to the younger generations.  Hell, to all generations.  To hell with longer days — the days are long enough.  Bring on self-control!  Bring on a willingness to thrive.. to succeed… to empower!  That is what we are missing!  That is what needs the mending.  America, we need to regain our “oomph.”  To bring back our stride.  Long should we have let loose of our rags.  Instead, we cling to them.  Shout ’em out, guys.  It’s time we take up the mend for our responsibilities, that being our children and ourselves.  To hell with the scraps of laziness and mediocrity.  As for state, federal and districts funds… use them!  But use them wisely.  Invest in our kids.  Invest in our teachers.  Do not build up never-ending days, leaving educators and students resentful and, sadly, in a worse condition.  Surely there must be some other way to combat our educational problems.  Invest!  Figure it out!  Or I fear we will soon be living in our own little world much like this.

Guys, I can barely handle the check out lanes at Wal-Mart.  Please… don’t do that to me!


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