TED Conversations

  • Ann Lee
  • San Jose, CA
  • United States

TEDCRED 50+

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I believe the right to an education is a basic human right..what can we do to make that a reality?

Governor Brown just signed the Dream Act and that propelled me to think about how accessible education is in United States and around the world. Education shouldn't be something that only the privileged can afford. What can we do to give every child an opportunity to improve their lives through education?

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    Oct 15 2011: My view is that the cost of formal education is much less an issue than the social context which supports or destroys a students will and capacity to learn. There is very little to support the idea that increased funding leads to better educational outcomes. I would submit that the most critical issue facing our educational system today is the large proportion of students who were born out of wedlock, do not know their father's name and have no role model and little encouragement towards educational success in their home. Home schooled children do extremely well on SAT scores with NO formal teachers or school facilities. Asian immigrants without money or language skills but strong supportive families, have children in college in one generation. It is not the school but the parents who make the difference and no community where unwed motherhood is the 70% norm, is likely to thrive educationally (and hence economically)..

    What is really desperately needed is bottom up community realization that having children without a partner (anther straight or gay) creates an extremely high (though not insurmountable) barrier to educational and life success. No external, top down governmental program (however costly) is likely to be more than a bandaid on a gaping wound.
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      Oct 17 2011: I completeyly agree that family life and early childhood development prime children for educational success later on. However, I don't think that married two-parent families are necessarily the very best environment possible either. Perhaps there is a fundamental problem with the current notion of the family unit and children should be raised in a more communal environment with access to multiple adult caregivers.
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        Oct 17 2011: I did not want suggest that the traditional nuclear family is the only and essential format for raising children who can thrive educationally in the current demanding environment. Various extended family and communal family patterns might do equally as well. However, with rare exceptions, an unwed mother, usually poor and uneducated, with multiple children and multiple unknown fathers who are totally absent from their childrens lives is not a family pattern that is likely to lead to the child's educational success. Who is there to support, encourage and demand success in and from the child and the school? Even divorce, while not optimal, still has the advantage of a father who is usually emotionally and financially committed to his children.
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          Oct 18 2011: Good point, so what can we do to help those without supportive families do better in school?
      • Oct 19 2011: if edu become a human right, who pay for teachers , u must think about it! goverment is not kind enough to pay for this bill!

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