Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 at 1:15pm

Education and the future of our country

Posted by Jordan Erickson

In resonance of the current education budget crisis, I am reminded of a popular bumper sticker that reads something to the effect of, “It will be a fine day when schools get the money they need and the military must hold a bake sale to fund a new jet bomber.”

I just read an article that the US education chief is warning that 300K teacher jobs could be lost (read it here). This is another media blow to an already crumbling education system – without our teachers, what will become of our children when it is time to integrate into the business world and the rest of adulthood? Will they remember fondly the days of 40+ students in a single classroom, sub par reading materials and classroom supplies, continuously drained teachers who are handed the task of creating a vibrant, exciting learning environment but cannot due to how our tax dollars are being spent?

I am tired of hearing press headlines of billion dollar corporate bailouts and education cuts on the same page. Can anyone up top see the big picture? The students that are trickling into mainstream society are the ones who will be replacing those who retire. If this trend continues, our country will be run by people who received limited education and a mentality that thinking short-term is healthier than working hard and preparing for the future. This is incredibly dangerous!

Meanwhile, and pardon my frankness, our teachers are getting the middle finger and are still being expected to provide our youth with the tools necessary to thrive. How can you expect children to have a positive outlook on education when their teachers are continuously stressed out about their own future, upset at the state of education and are still forced to make due with the extremely limited resources they require? Children aren’t dumb – their razor sharp intuition picks up on their teachers’ own perspectives and states of mind – and teachers are who students look up to. Teachers are absolutely VITAL to how children view intelligence and the learning process.

While dishonest corporations are being swept up by the cushions of tax dollars and they don’t have to change their focus on the new economy and adapting their business to survive, our teachers and children are being forgotten. Now, do me a favor and close your eyes for a second and imagine a world a few years from now, when the children going through school now are getting jobs, thinking about starting their own businesses, or even becoming involved with teaching themselves… is this what we want them to remember?

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