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Jeremy Poff

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Is education a resource that can be squandered, not by the recipient, but by the providers?

Parents and governments have finite time and money to apply to education. The education systems sometimes change on a whim with a new government, or alternatively never update.

Should we experiment more or experiment less with our children? Can we cause damage by experimenting? Can we trust the governments and schools to know what is best for our children? Should there be more choice in the education systems available?

For the expenditure, are we getting value? Is it permissible that a school can fail a child by not managing to engage them and light the fire of learning?

Parents care to differing levels and while some assume that school is just a part of growing up and the outcome is not their business, others want to be controlling the syllabus. Should some parents have more control than others?

Schools claim education is a partnership between school, parent and child. Should parents be more accountable? Has society, with it's expectation of two working parents destroyed the viability of this partnership?

Is some education frivolous? Are children leaving school with the right skills? What are important skills that are not taught? Things like balancing your bank account, lifting, stacking, where to find information, how to file a patent, how to create a database, or any skill at all. Parenting even!

Should the last year of school (regardless of leaving age) be "life skills" and provide a segue into maintaining responsibility for your actions, managing your life, sourcing the skills you need, writing down your own morals and virtues and creating a roadmap for your future desires and expectations?

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  • Mar 6 2012: I agree, there was a lot in the bag. Essentially there are a lot of stake-holders, it's big business, and the student outcomes are really just a measure that democracies use to try and sway government policy.
    One style does not suit all students, (nor teachers), and it is diversity and free choice that will allow parents to match their child to a school.

    However too much free choice and the national outcome gets stratified. No doubt there are people who make a career of designing education systems, and good luck to them.

    There are good teachers and bad. The bad are squandering the opportunity of their students to learn.
    There are good principals and bad. The bad are squandering resources at their disposal on projects that suit their own needs rather than those of the students.
    There are good students and bad. The bad are squandering the opportunity to learn, however my question is not about the recipients, but the providers.

    I am curious that you say first that education is not a partnership and later that parents must become involved. Perhaps it is semantics, or perhaps you mean the parents should direct the schools rather than have active input into just their own child's education. However the unfortunate truth I have noticed is that some parents actually do not have any interest whatsoever in the education of their own child(ren). I wonder what/if those parents would teach/show the children if that parent had the role of educator?

    Education is more often than not crying foul, and claiming they have no money to do things. This can only be one of a few things, bad management, living beyond their means, exceptional costs in specific instances, greed, lack of extra funding from the parent community or if all schools cry foul, then an under-estimation by the government.

    The whole subject is complex, but my original question is;
    Is education a resource that can be squandered, not by the recipient, but by the providers?
    The rest is supplementary.

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