America Needs an Education Reinvention Bill NOW!

In order to build a stronger, more self-sufficient America, America must first be willing to change. To build a progressive and competitive society, America’s most important challenge is to change its antiquated educational system. In every political administration, education must be first and foremost. Without a strong and revitalized educational system, America will never progress to greatness nor be able to alleviate any of our other ills.

The three R’s – reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic – is how our children have been taught since the beginning of time. But we’re now in the twenty-first century, and we have a responsibility to our children, to America’s future, to educate tomorrow’s leaders and teach future generations the skills they need so they can survive in a world that is becoming increasingly more difficult to survive in.

Today’s youth are not like yesteryear’s innocents. There are no more shows like Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best. Instead, we have accepted the censors lack of discretion where our children (and adults) are concerned by inundating the airwaves with swear words never before heard on television. It has become part of our children’s language, and school teachers cannot do anything about it because the media has dictated that freedom of speech, of any speech, is the accepted norm, the right of all Americans, no matter their age. How could it be bad, many ask? They hear it everyday on TV. If it was bad, it wouldn’t be allowed into our living room. The news programs have become more graphic, verbally and visually, educating our children more in the ways of adult themes and topics, like never before. And our morals have changed for the worse as our children are taught that their sexuality begins at an earlier age, and it is an important and exciting part of their lives.

Today, our children’s rite of passage precedes their concept of right or wrong. Along with that open education, computers and the information highway, our children are more intelligent, more worldly, and older than children of similar ages were decades ago. Since we can’t go back in time, although many adults wish we could, we need to treat our children as the young adults they have been forced to become. Consequently, America has to drastically reinvent its schools. Teacher tenure should be abolished in that this reward is irresponsible to the family and the consumer. If someone is doing an inadequate job then that employee should be monitored, and, if need be, replaced. No contract, like the rest of America’s workplace, should be lifetime. This would ensure quality education.

America must do away with the law that its children can quit school at sixteen. All children must stay in school until graduation; if not public, then in vo-tech schools learning a trade. The excuse that a child must go to work at sixteen to help support their family does irreparable damage to the future of the child being forced to be his family’s provider. Staying in school until graduation will break the chain of poverty, and, with it, crime and welfare will greatly diminish.

The school day must be longer. America is in last place in first world education. There is no reason why the school day must only be (approximately) six hours long. By increasing lunch by ten minutes (so our children don’t have to wolf down their food), and by adding another five minutes for passing to one extra class, and forty-five-minutes for that class, our school day will be only one-hour longer. This would make a big difference in the quantity of education our children.

But, it’s quality we must have for our children to rise to their true potential. To achieve that goal, American schools must incorporate into their present curriculum new Life Studies courses to prepare our children for the world in which they are becoming an integral part. Within partnership with the fifty state universities and state public education commissioners, along with noted educational psychologists and sociologists, a Master of Science Degree would be offered in part scholarship to already certified teachers.

American schools must add these Life Study courses and stay open an hour longer each day if America wants to be a competitive force in the twenty-first century.

This Education Reinvention Bill would help working parents, especially single mothers, in that their child will in school an hour longer everyday, costing them less in day care, thus receiving more in salary to help the family, therefore more taxes paid to the government on salaries and durable goods. This is financially greater than the tax refund that has been gratuitously given to America’s middle class.

On the elementary level, classes in creative writing, confidence and self-esteem, manners and etiquette, ecology and the environment, safety, and the new 3R’s (respect, responsibility, and reward) would be added to the yearly curriculum; one course for each grade level.

The Everything-ness of Education

The today of profound evolution, the broadness of materialism, the absence of spirituality and finally, the nowhere of the world, are the instigations of this essay. So what are the elements that constitute humanness? How do we start? And how do we know our dooms?

Education! From its genuine purpose, is the first and last constitution of humanness, is where our human element start and finally, the one that we will leave this human world with.

From the matter of fact, there is nothing that can change the courses of human life; positively and negatively, materially and spiritually, than the education does. Imagine how have the education benefited those who have it and know how to use it and the danger of those who are educationally absentminded.

The world “education” does not single-mindedly refer to one granted from academic institution, but refer to the education that does fill the purpose of humanness and that finally make human intentionally adequate. The everything-ness of education, in this sense, will only apply to those who use education for spiritual purpose and who really know the genuine point of education.

The value of education does not apply to those who have and will have Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree, but it only apply to those who understand or are looking forward to the innate meaning and the sole purpose of education. Education is everything, because the purpose contained in education is also the purpose of human being.

Impact of Virtual World Games on Kids

In a period of high progression computer technology and with the virtual worlds accessible from our fingertips, utilizing such worlds for kids that concentrate on education is a great way to get children interested in understanding and developing their understanding of educational concepts. It is recommended that parents read on this topic to learn more about these types of worlds to enhance your child’s academic development.

Research has revealed that children who actively make use of virtual world for understanding, not only have an advantage in terms of training but also learn to be highly clever and the art of socializing. The actual educational worth of using online worlds for kids that concentrate on education could be quantified in terms of the invigoration of curiosity of a child’s thoughts and the honest values that the kid discovers from doing work that require honest decision making abilities.

Virtual worlds mirror real life

There is this particular virtual world that allows a child to go over one 100 factual locations around the globe; going through time as well as space, you’ll meet numerous famous people, performs loads of enjoyable games, celebrating with brand new friends, purchase islands and build houses, discover many solution places as well as solve secrets and vague ideas. What could be much more inspiring or even fun? A secure site which allows children to understand about background and geography and a whole lot, giving the ball player fun filled hours of pursuit and breakthrough.

Virtual worlds duplicate all of the intimidation and racial discrimination found in the real world to help teach your child about the realities associated with life. Parents are advised to consider an active strategy with their kids in these worlds. Starting the online world together with your child provides you with a better knowledge of the level of training the child gets from actively playing these video games.

Educational virtual worlds

Educational virtual worlds are really a combination of various learning activities, imagination and many amusing games for the child and also the adult as well. These worlds provide children a variety of activities including puzzle fixing, action video games, contests, intriguing facts along with a host of learning actions, all mixed to make understanding fun. There are numerous educational aspects of math, background, geography as well as English weaved into the material of the video games, so kids learn when they play.

I Wish for a World of Peace and Harmony

Dialogue

Robert Leslie Fielding: You are not formally educated, and yet here you are saying, in effect, that education plays a major part in shaping a person’s life.

Fatima Surayya Bajia: That is correct. I did not receive any formal education to speak of and yet I do indeed value education.

RLF: Could you tell us why you feel that way?

FSB: Certainly. Let us take other benefits in life, and compare them to the benefits offered and provided by being educated.

If you asked people what benefit they would most like in their lives, most would say they wished to be wealthy; to have a lot of money.

RLF: I think everyone would think that the most attractive benefit. What do you think?

FSB: I can fully understand why people want to be rich, but I think that if they really think about their lives, they would want to be healthy first and last.

RLF: Sure, that is right, but after being healthy, which obviously comes first, being wealthy would seem to be the most popular choice.

FSB: There, you have hit the nail on the head, by using the phrase, ‘the most popular’ – people think that way because being wealthy is a part of the dominant myths in modern culture. Everybody wants to be rich, so why shouldn’t I? That is the way people think.

RLF: Then how can you argue that it isn’t necessarily so.

FSB: I am going to argue that being wise, being knowledgeable, being educated, in other words, benefits people far more, in the long run.

If you think about life – three score years and ten, one’s life has to run through a lot of phases or stages. Life goes through infancy – a time we think we know very little, but actually the time when most is learned; through childhood, when formal education comes to the fore, but yet when the influence of parenting is at its peak, through youth, when there is sometimes a certain amount of rebellion, but is still characterized both by formal learning, in higher education, for example, and in vocational learning, once a young person gets a job; to young adulthood, characterized chiefly by marriage and by giving birth to children – also characterized by learning, and by teaching too – teaching one’s children, as well as learning something about oneself as one brings up one’s own youngsters, then middle age, which, for most people, is an age of consolidation, using what one has learned to make a good life, and then to old age, in which one has time to reflect on what one has learned in that long life.

Is that life not fulfilled by means of education? Of course, money plays its part, but, I would argue that the part it plays is merely a facilitative one – it allows you to live – physically live well, having food in your stomach and a roof over your head. It is education that plays the major part in each and every stage of a life – all life, and to deny that would be to deny many things, and be denied them to.

RLF: Can you give examples of what would be denied by denying someone the advantages education offers?

FSB: Of course. To live without education would be to live a life that could not really be said to be a life in the true sense of the word. We speak of the good life. What is that? It is merely having enough food to eat, having a roof, however splendid a roof, over one’s head? Surely not.

The good life is that which is spent being responsible – for one’s kids, for oneself and one’s partner, and for the community, society and for the environment in which we all dwell. We cannot count any life good if we leave out even one of those.

The key to living life to the full, taking into account what I have just said, is being rational, thinking carefully before acting. We cannot ignore each other, we cannot ignore our surroundings – near and more global, and therefore, we cannot ignore the role and the value of being educated.

To be educated, what we used to call being ‘book learned’ has changed beyond all recognition as the technological world encroaches on all our lives. And although some say the value of books is lessened in this age of computers, the role of reading and understanding is just as important as it has ever been. To understand the world in which you live is the most vital undertaking you can have.

For consider a person without this understanding – or at least, a wish, a propensity to understand. Such a person would surely fall foul to all the ills of the world – moral, social and physical. A young person just going to university, is educated, not just whilst she is in the classroom, in the lecture theater, or in the library or study, she learns much from being with other students.

Women’s Education

Women’s Education is very essential in this world. People are giving importance for women’s education nowadays. More steps should be taken to improve education among women not only those who are in urban but also in rural areas.

World Education has a long history of successfully working with local partners to design, execute, manage and evaluate participatory, community-based initiatives to advance the conditions of girls and women. World Education’s programs help girls enroll and stay in school and help women gain access to or create new educational, financial, and social resources in their communities. World Education programs help girls and women improve their own lives, the lives of their families and the conditions in their communities. For parents – and especially mothers – this means creating conditions that ensure their daughters have equal access to basic education, are able to make informed decisions about their futures, and are able to protect themselves from trafficking, sexual exploitation, HIV and AIDS, for example.

By improving educational opportunities for girls and women, World Education helps women develop skills that allow them to make decisions and influence community change in key areas. In turn, these programs have a positive impact on some of the most profound issues of our time: population growth, HIV and AIDS, peace and security, and the widening gap between the rich and poor.

Education in India is only one among various other elements that have captured the attention of the world. While the United Nations is worried about the presence of a large number of illiterates, various other countries are amazed by the quality of some of the human resources that the Indian education system has produced.

The growth of the Indian economy in the recent past and the compulsion to sustain it is also forcing the Indian government to accelerate the process of developing all the branches of the Indian education system. Therefore, it would be very interesting to understand and analyze the various structures of education in India, its present condition and future developments.

The leaders of our freedom movement realized the importance of girls’ education and had put it as a prime agenda for national development. However, when India attained independence some 60 years ago, it was a formidable challenge that the new government had to face Social and cultural barriers to education of women and lack of access to organized schooling, had to be addressed immediately.

Education has been regarded as the most significant instrument for changing women’s subjugated position in the society. It not only develops the personality and rationality of individuals, but qualifies them to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural functions and thereby improves their socio-economic status.

In India, the increase in the educational facilities and opportunities for women and the removal of traditional bars on entry of women to particular branches and levels of education came to be supported by all champions of women’s emancipation from the 19th Century onwards. However, the Indian reformers of the 19th Century wanted to educate women to perform their role as good wives and mothers and not to make them as direct active participants in the process of national development of the country. The colonial authorities generally supported this limited view-point of women’s education. The expansion of education and health services in the 20th Century, however, precipitated a need for women teachers and doctors which resulted in the incorporation of these two vocations in the programs of women’s education.

US Still Behind in World Education Rankings

A global study that tests and compares 15-year old students’ science, math and reading literacy in developed and developing countries confirms that the United States is still falling behind. The evaluative study entitled Program for International Student Assessment, was first administered in 2000 and was performed again in 2003, 2006 and most recently, in 2009.

In a year that has seen constant scrutiny of the United States’ education system and persistent discussion regarding the need for education reform; the results of the study serve only to exacerbate concern. And, while the U.S. has made “modest gains” in science and math, U.S. students still shrink in comparison to their 15-year old counterparts around the world.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, called the results of the study “an absolute wake-up call to America” and urged administrators and lawmakers to deal with “the brutal truth” and “get much more serious about investing in education.” With U.S. students ranking 15th in reading skills, 17th in science and 25th (statistically significantly below the average) in math, Duncan and citizens nationwide have cause for concern. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which proctors the standardized test, found that countries with the highest-scoring students included: China, Canada, Korea, Singapore and Japan.

The U.S. has reason to worry. Despite the very modest gains that were made, U.S. students have continued to score significantly lower than students in a number of other nations since the test’s implementation in 2000. In fact, U.S. students are barely ranking above the OECD average in reading and science, and fall well below the average score in math- the most noteworthy problem area. Because of this, tackling under-achievement in the U.S. education sector should be a top priority. Not only does under-achievement affect students; the broader reach of under-achievement affects the national economy, global marketplace and larger society as a whole.

So, what are the differentiating factors in student achievement from country to country? What helps set one nation apart from the other so divisively? Primarily, countries that have continually performed well on the Program for International Student Assessment place an extremely high value on education and learning. Report the authors of the study “universal high expectations are not a mantra but a reality and students who start to fall behind are identified quickly, their problem is promptly and accurately diagnosed and the appropriate course of actions is quickly taken.” Additionally, top-performing countries work hard to train and retain the best teachers, often recruiting the top 5-10% of graduates into the teaching profession.

The United States As An Education And Information Powerhouse

I was browsing one of my old books – Barron’s 2001 Profiles of American Colleges – the other day and, once again, I realized several unique features of America as the world’s education powerhouse.

First of all, America is a distinct educational destination which values pluralism. Besides the tens of thousands of educational institutions hosting students from America and the rest of the world, dotting the landscape of this mammoth country, America offers a whole world of college courses. These programs are of relevance to the American populace. Eskimo Studies, Jewish Studies, Native American Studies, Hispano-American and Mexican-American or Chicano Studies, and in recent years, Philippine Studies, are some of the peculiar programs offered in US universities which reflect the history and the increasingly multicultural and pluralistic heritage of the American people (It can also be inferred that the past colonial masters offer courses in their universities which mirror their imperial past. In the United Kingdom, Egyptology is a course offered at University of Oxford and Cambridge University. This scenario manifests British interest in Egypt which historically was one of the colonies in Imperial Britain’s spheres of influence). As a Boston resident, I am well aware that America, especially Boston, Massachusetts, is the keystone of world education. For instance, shop at a local Abercrombie and Fitch store, and you will come across hordes of multicultural youths. You can overhear them speaking in Central European, French, Japanese, British English, and myriads of other lingua francas, manifesting how America is the ultimate educational hotspot of the world. You will also find a group of well-dressed Japanese tourists politely volunteering to take my picture while I was strolling along School Street in Boston, thinking I was a visitor like them. Or a Red Cross volunteer reckoning me as a student and asking for my contribution. I agree with LL Cool J, a well-known rap artist, in remarking that regardless if America encounters financial and political turmoil, the superpower will always be number one in the world for primarily being a creative hub. Given the millions of this educational heartland’s citizens and growing, imagine the vast creativity this population can produce.

Second, no country in the world is as democratic as the United States. Academic freedom prevails everywhere. Students are encouraged to get involved and to speak up their points of view in as early as elementary school. The popularity of talk shows is aired during daytime, primetime, and late night, hinting you are in Oprah country.

Third, in the United States, the right to information is highly respected and observed. America is a reading society. Publishing and documentation are valued for their purpose of keeping the American public abreast with knowledge and events which affect their day-to-day lives. Furthermore, if you are curious about anything particular under the sun, expect that when you Google it, a mammon of information would be readily available for such subject has already been published or blogged about. I have experienced this particularly when I conducted my research about this contemporary phenomenon of students taking on study-abroad programs or traveling overseas to study college. Lo and behold, I realized that America has institutionalized the subject of my graduate thesis and has even coined the term for it – international education. And whoa, institutions like the Institute of International Education in New York City (where I ordered my references needed to complete my study) and the experts on international education have been in existence for a very long time! Furthermore, another scenario on how this information hub works is barely two months after the 33 Chilean miners got trapped in the centuries-old copper-gold mine in Chile, the book The 33 Men by American author Jonathan Franklin had already been published. Indeed, America is the place to be when you need a wealth of information for you research work or simply enjoy learning and finding out more. Furthermore, art films centering on the immense tendencies of human nature abound, like the ballet psychodrama The Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender’s film on sex addiction explained in Shame, and the Lolita-like young student-older man May-December love affair film An Education starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan facilitates your inner humanity to be tremendously developed if you live in the United States. This educational heartland enables an individual’s intent to be highly educated, civilized, classy and cultured.

Fourth, apparently, the Americans have a role and a say in almost all fields of knowledge and human interest. They take interest, discover, and document anything under the sun for which the whole world recognizes them for, like the naming of dinosaurs (19th-century Yale academics are credited for this), the mooing of cows’ benefit to the livestock industry (Thanks to Temple Grandin, an American prodigy in animal science and animal behavior), and National Geographic’s informative accounts on its magazine about the lavender-laden perfume fields of Proven├že, the Galapagos Islands’ aquatic wonders, Alaska’s dramatic Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the tea-colored Orinoco waterway at the heart of Venezuela. America certainly allots substantial funds to uphold not only its citizens’ but also the people of the rest of the world’s inalienable right to know.

Fifth, being the world’s Education Mecca as it is, America is an acclaimed investor in people. It provides opportunities to anyone who has the intent to do whatever it takes to achieve his life plans regardless of his background. For instance, Temple Grandin, a typical Boston resident, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at an early age. Later in her life, she developed into an expert in animal science. Dr. Grandin is a specially abled American doctor of animal science and behavior. Gifted and versatile, she has achieved on to becoming a professor at Colorado State University, a best-selling author, a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and the inventor of the hug machine, designed to calm hypersensitive people and a mode of stress relief therapy. In 2010, Dr. Grandin’s life story was produced into a film under her namesake. The inspiring movie earned a Golden Globe award for Claire Danes, the actress who portrayed the title role.

Finally, America’s offering of Scandinavian Studies, British Studies, Canadian Studies, Dutch, and Polish in some of its tertiary institutions shows America’s intent to extend is appendages of influence – be it political, economic, or cultural – to the territories dealt with by these programs of study. Moreover, it is in America’s ideals to fortify its established diplomatic relations with its allies, thus, aiming to gain a better knowledge and understanding of these countries. In the American television program, Rick Steves’s Europe, I am surprised to arrive at the conclusion that American expatriates are everywhere, studying and familiarizing themselves with the other sojourners of this world better. Rick Steves is an American author, historian, and television personality hosting his Eurocentric travel show. The episodes present Mr. Steves journeying in strange yet breathtakingly picturesque locations such as the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, the Balkan side, and other Adriatic delights. In one of the episodes, he met a fellow American writer and a permanent resident of Slovenia who authored a travel guide about the life and times in the southern European land. In addition, a lucid account of the socio-cultural landscape of the Philippines has been vividly captured by an American scholar, David Timberman in his book A Changeless Land: Continuity and Change in Philippine Politics, one of my required readings in graduate school. As an observer, these scenarios present America as to be projecting a Roman Empire-like international presence. I could therefore expect that should I travel to non-mainstream tourist destinations like Greenland or Iceland, I could always look forward to encountering hints of the American-ness.

Education for All

It is a sad fact that in this highly advanced society of unbelievable modernity in lifestyle and technology, Education as a basic human right is not available to all the people of the world.

Like all other human rights, education is universal and it is an entitlement everyone can expect no matter what economic status, ethnicity, gender or religion they belong to. Education leads the way to the exercise of most other human rights by promoting empowerment of individuals, freedom of expression and provides important benefits in all spheres. Yet, it is an increasingly worrying factor that millions of children and adults globally are devoid of basic opportunities to study, mostly as a result of impoverishment and weak economies.

World bodies such as the United Nations and UNESCO have formatted legal obligations concerning the right to education for every individual. These legal instruments provide the pathway for every individual to receive access to good education without discrimination. They recognize education as a most powerful tool that can help children and adults become economically and socially empowered and help them lead more fulfilled lives.

The statistics are staggering. Nearly 93 million children all over the world remained out of school, as on 2006; nearly 80% of this number lives in Africa and in poorer regions in South Asia.

The Education for All (EFA) initiative, formed in the early 1990s involves a broad group of governments, developmental agencies and NGOs who have endorsed commitment to “six primary goals” that will enable education to reach ‘every citizen in every society’.

However, since the initiative came about, the underlying realization also set in that these goals cannot be achieved by merely providing access to education; duration and quality of education at primary and secondary levels are extremely important factors. The guiding force of human rights values and ethics must provide a backdrop in classrooms to ensure that children who enroll in primary school complete their schooling.

The agenda laid down by the EFA went under the assumption that public policy enactment can help to transform education systems radically provided governments and political resources enact policies for implementation emphasizing capacity and quality development of literacy.

By 2000, the expected targets were far from met. The World Education Forum attended by 165 countries in Dakar, Senegal proposed the Dakar Framework for Action affirming the goals of the EFA for providing quality education to all by the year 2015; particular emphasis for educating and developing the girl child received special attention. In reaffirmation, two goals proposed by the EFA – universal primary education, empowering women and promoting gender equality were included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UNICEF is one of the five conveners of the EFA and a key contributor in achieving the goals; its responsibility covers early childhood care, education in emergency situations and providing policy and tech support.

Financial Security Plus a Real-World Education

The 21st Century has already been pegged as the century of the Return to Entrepreneurship. You see, the United States began as a nation of entrepreneurs where everyone was a small-business person.

It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that conventional wisdom advised teens to go to college, graduate and go to work for a good company. Going into business became viewed as very risky if not downright foolhardy.

But the tables have turned!

Today it’s far more reasonable to go into business for yourself. Now it’s risky to work for a corporation!

Your biggest risk, and your teens’, is working for a large corporation, because your job may be permanently torn to pieces in the next few years.

The old 20th century “norm” is rapidly slipping into the history books, to be replaced by a nation of entrepreneurs.

So … What if you could launch your teen in a business that could pay their college tuition, and give them a new purpose – and the means to financial freedom after fifteen years instead of a lifetime (or never)?

Help prepare your teen for life as it will be in the 21st century, in a land of entrepreneurs. (Even if you do not own your own business.)

Are Teens Too Young to Start A Business?

Are they too young? Despite what you may have heard … the answer is a resounding NO!

In fact, it’s the perfect time for them to start a business.

Think about it this way. They’re living at home with you (no rent) and they have no dependents. And they’re running the business from home with no obligation to a landlord. What could be a better way to minimize their risk?

Another benefit to you as their parent is that it helps them develop independence. In a day of “boomerang kids” – adult kids moving back in with mom and dad – you are giving them the tools to be able to take of themselves during their adult life.

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a perfect educational tool because its real-life applications and usefulness develop a sense of purpose. When it counts for something, you can bet your teen will rise to the challenge and develop the skills and abilities they need to make a go of the business.

Their understanding of our free enterprise system will deepen, as will their understanding of economics, math, government, and the critical role of small business in society