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 7 2013: Not sure if this is a solution but here is a thought.....

    Stop coddling kids. Stop worrying about every last time their feelings are hurt. America has taken to this thought that no child should ever be insulted or have their feelings hurt. Nice but every time this happens we are sending the kids out there with nothing more than being unprepared for reality of failure. It happens, people screw up. There is no crime in telling kids that they did something wrong and being as demanding as necessary in order for the children to learn and get it right. No, I am not suggesting anyone be whipped or humilated, however I am suggesting that we not tell someone who has not done anything yet how brilliant they are.Tell them where they are right and wrong but make kids earn the praise.
    Here is another one....stop "Dumbing Down" the test in order to let the kids pass. Oh yeah, speaking of dumbing down...let's bring back penmanship to early schooling. I think it is great that a 1st grader can work a computer but I think it would be better if they could write their names.

    I have many more if you need them, just let me know.
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      Jul 8 2013: Oh come on you can't do that, the next thing you know you will want them to let TBTF fail.
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      Jul 8 2013: THANK YOU!!!! We are teaching our kids to be ignorant, illiterate, egocentric, materialistic...... When we should be showing them how to be human, to be real, to make a difference and to use their inborn talents (I don't think we've destroyed those yet). They are learning that the way to be remembered is to show up a in a glitzy car when they should be realising that it's what they SAY, how they say it, and what they know that counts.

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