Failed Education System

This article is very interesting and it sheds some light into the reasons that schools appear to be broken.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/06/the-failure-of-american-schools/8497/

I think it is fair to say that if only some of what he says is true, it’s pretty scary for our future.  My previous post on education pales by comparison to this.

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Not a Factual Blog Post

Wow, I know I shouldn’t be surpised, but seriously?  John Kyl?  SERIOUSLY?  Citing statistics so grossly inaccurate as if they were true.  A seasoned senator such as you should know better…  or do they?

After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a
chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, “Lies – damned lies – and statistics,”
still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest
cannot wriggle out of.  ~Leonard Courtney, speech, August 1895, New York, “To My
Fellow-Disciples at Saratoga Springs,” printed in The National Review
(London, 1895)

Hmmm, so we had this problem in 1895 as well.  I guess politics leads people down the path of wanting to tell whatever story results in votes.  No surprise there.  What’s surprising is we let them.  In 1895 maybe the media couldn’t fact check so rapidly, nor respond so broadly, but that’s no excuse today.  We catch and respond in less than 24 hours.

In addition, there are facts and there are opinions, but opinions are never facts no matter how factually based.  So let’s call it what it is, saying something not intended to be factual means you lied, intentionally.  This isn’t just some “misinformation” euphemism (to go with many other euphemisms for lying we’ve used over the years) and it was not a mistake, he lied, and got caught.  The question is what will done about it?  Granted I like the Steven Colbert approach, but it isn’t likely to generate change in a meaningful way.

What we need is a system that doesn’t reward lying for votes with re-election.  But that’s up to the “masses” and if history is any teacher, they are being failed by our education system and the uneducated are more likely to believe the lies, making this a tough problem to resolve.  Which came first, the failed education or the lies?

Education Matters

Just a quick view on the employment stats, broken out by education level.  This is from the US Department of Labor, so clearly not a global data set, so your mileage may vary for other countries.

People who had less than a GED (High School Diploma) had an unemployment rate of 17.6 and 16.5 in Jan 2010 and Jan 2011 respectively.  High School graduates had rates of 11.5 and 10.7 in those same time frames.  If you had a bachelor’s degree your rates were 5.1 and 4.5 in the same time frames.

I would guess this SHOULD provide a pretty good evidence that the state of education is directly tied to the employment state of the country, and therefore fixing education would go a long way to fixing the job situation.  I’m less confident that the politicians will do anything about the problem, since the trend seems to be cuts.