TED Conversations

Mike Colera


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What will it take to recreate an educated American.

In fairness, I have to say that I have been critical of the education system in the US since my own sons went to school and I attended schools conferences and PTA meetings.
My conclusions:
Universities have found an unending source of funding accepting students with government loans that are estimated in the trillion dollar range. The number of dropouts from baccalaureate programs is outrageous, universities aren't concerned as they use the funds to build resorts, endowments, while uneducated college dropouts are stuck with loans for most of their lifetimes.

K-12 is even a greater failure in education. Many have touted pre-school programs to give children a headstart in schools. The Feds have reported the best heard start gain is lost by 4th Grade in mediorce elementary schools. Numbers vary but nearly 25% of children entering schools never graduate. A too large pecentage graduate functionally illerate. Yet bloated public school bureacracies demand more and more funds to educated our children. They acknowledge their failures and tell us money is the resolution. However, in my lifetime, the US has fallen from one of the best educated in the world to a level falling behind a number of "supposedly third world" nations, with expenditures exceeding most of the world's nations gross national product.

So, what have we got for all this money and so many uneducated young Americans. Huge bureacracies where non educational personnel make up nearly half of the staff, facilities that rival world resorts, after school athletic programs that rival professional leagues, text books riddled with current political correctness whatever that is, and my favorite, participating students are taught the mandatory state tests that are fixed to funding requests. All of this education tragedy is well supported by extremely powerful political interests.

So, solutions: I have none.

What will it take to educate America?

Topics: education

Closing Statement from Mike Colera

Most of the points of my initial conversation on the problems in Education were not addressed. Yes there are some schools doing an excellent job creating functional young adults that will do well in their lives. But too many young adults are not well educated and I am not addressing college, I am address daily life situations. We need to do so much more to resolve these problems and that is my problem.

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    Jul 8 2013: TED FRIEND

    Yes, that's what the school bureaucrats keep telling us, if we just had more money, we could hire more teachers reduce class size and get the best technology... they have been saying that when my sons started school and they are saying it today, 30 years later. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me for thirty years, I am too stupid?.
    Rich Schools, Poor Schools? they all use the same lobbyist at the state capital.
    • Comment deleted

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        Jul 8 2013: And your statements look like typical political agenda to keep the teacher's union in power. All of your tired rhetoric about failing infrastructure and overpopulated schools is decades old, and mostly decades fixed. As Mike said, " Fool me once, shame on you, fool me for thirty years, I am too stupid?"

        Vouchers would introduce competition and innovation, and you know this. But it would also undermine the union's power base, and you know this as well.
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          Jul 8 2013: Interesting that when I was at school, class sizes were the same as they are now. One vital difference was that teachers were hired because they were passionate not because it was a job that anyone could get. When we stop seeing teaching as a óoh I'm sorry job' - and see it as a career that is crucial to the development of a nation, then we can start making a difference. Stop blaming money, government, class sizes, technology.... and start DOING

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