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Whose calling the shots?

What's with the educational system and who's running it?

When it comes to school nearly nothing has changed in the last forty years even though the whole world has.  Computers have changed the way we do everything, yet schools are still teaching (and always have) subjects we don't need to know anything about. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear them now -- what do I know--I've been in the automotive business all my life.  They're in the education business; they should know what to teach.  I say bull-crap! They know what to teach to someone who is going to join their ranks.  That my friends is exactly what's wrong -- they don't know what people outside the teaching profession need to know.  The only thing they know is what a teacher told them they should know and they don't understand any different. It's a no-brain profession.  Here's the book -- make sure the students know what's in it.  How can a teacher possibly guide a student into knowing how to be a good employee in a business?  Sorry! That's the way I see it.

The education system in this country wastes time and money teaching a bunch of poop.  Students leave high school and have no idea what is required of them to get along and get ahead in life.  Some go on to college and are crammed full of the same crap -- wasting their time and tuition.  No wonder there's so many dropouts.  In many cases the 16-year-old who thinks he knows more than the entire education system really does.  He knows he's wasting his time trying to learn things that are of no interest or future benefit.  That's just what happened to me. I was bored to death and lost interest in school to a point that I ignored a scholarship offer.

Here's the point...

Ancient history - USELESS - unless your going to be an anthropologist (or a teacher of the subject) or something in that area.  Why force the entire class to sit through and study this totally uninteresting and useless subject?

Science - what's the point? Why cut up frogs? For what!?   Why not use that class to teach gardening for food, teach about chemicals and how they affect the earth and us. That's a basis for good nutrition?

Prose & poetry, Geezzzzzzz..... While this may be interesting and beautiful to some, it is puke to most.  That's a waste of English class time.  Are we supposed to talk like that when we graduate? No -- then why are we studying it?

US History - anything beyond one semester is a total waste of time.  Yes I'll agree that we all should know something about our country.   However, the subject we really should know about regarding our country is not even mandatory.   Economics!  We have politicians making major business decisions about the US economy who never took a serious course in Economics.  Yet, isn't it wonderful that they know about Lewis and Clark?  Can any one person tell me how knowing about Lewis & Clark might in any way help them in their job?   ...in anybody's job?  Yes, in teaching the subject, but that's it.

Math - in today's world anything beyond basic math is a waste of time.  Until computers, serious math was absolutely necessary, but in today's life other than to count your change nobody does it without a machine. There's no need.

Foreign language - Why?  English is the World Standard in business and every other aspect.  To offer a foreign language course is great -- to force it is stupid.  To teach in any language other than English is a disservice to the student.

What people need to know is not being taught:

Nutrition: The number one thing people do all their life is eat.  Everybody does it yet less than one in one thousand knows anything about the subject. Almost nobody eats correctly.  The result is a multitude of unnecessary ailments.  Nutrition should be practiced in every grade and it should start in the school cafeteria. The slop they serve there is of little nutritional value and only leads the students into poor eating habits.

Social skills: Getting along with people is the second most important thing we all must do to survive and prosper.  Have you ever looked around and counted how many of us know how.  Why isn't this a mandatory course.   Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we all understood how our decisions and actions affect us and those around us.  The value of a good attitude and good social skills should be taught in every class in every grade in every school, but first we have to teach the teachers.  A mandatory Dale Carnegie course for all teachers would be a big help.

Government - practically no one knows how our system of government functions.  Knowing and understanding how government operates from the President down to the local city manager should be mandatory.  Maybe then we'd get some honest people to seek public office.

Economics - people need to know how trade on all levels affects their life, and how to see the prospective outcome of their daily decisions.   This is not something that can be learned in one year -- it should be mandatory from 7th grade on.

Review the agenda:

We must take a good look at what our children are being taught and what skills are really needed in the world outside the classroom.  Time, money, and human resources are wasted every minute of the day.  The young minds in this country are not being filled with beneficial information.  The young minds are not encouraged. They see (rightfully so) no benefit in studying the crap the educational system is dumping on them.  Our educators are stuck in a time warp.  I believe it's because they can't come up with a full curriculum of beneficial instruction -- they cram the day full of useless study to keep themselves and the students busy.  Hell, if they dropped the unnecessary stuff less teachers would have jobs; easy semi-part-time jobs (vacation city), that amount to nothing more than supervising study.   Results are not mandatory. Isn't that what the whole system is about in the first place -- the teacher's wants and needs?  It sure isn't the students.  Do you know of any other business where a lack of results doesn't mean loss of job?

In closing:

I once watched a news broadcast about teachers and students.  One teacher was complaining about how disruptive her students were in class.  Her comment: "I can't learn them kids nutin'".  This is what we're paying for?

Of course I realize that there are some exceptions -- exceptional teachers who know how motivate the students and who in some cases throw out the book and teach what they know the student needs.  Those exceptions are far too few -- the educational system's agenda discourages, if not prevents that kind of thinking.   I believe these exceptional teachers know the secret. They explain why it is necessary for the student to know the subject at hand, rather than just cramming it down their throats.

When I was a repair shop foreman I supervised the repair of up to 150 cars a day.  I didn't know everything in every repair manual, but I did know where every repair manual was located, basically what it contained, and how to find what I needed to know.  Wouldn't that be a better approach than to force students to memorized all the facts in every classroom book.  Eventually, they forget those facts and never learned how to 'keep them at hand'.

With the exception of basic RRR I can't think of a more important subject for all students in this country than English.  Mastering the use of our language is the simplest most important asset we can have in any job or business.  I mean, every aspect of English -- spelling, grammar, sentence construction, vocabulary, letter writing, etc.  I can't over-emphasize the importance of being able to communicate ones thoughts.  I have seen many qualified people by-passed for promotions that were given to less qualified who had a better command of their language.  (I give you our politicians as proof.) Communication rules in words and actions and it should be everybody's major from grammar school through the last year of collage.

If I could make the choices, the school mandatory curriculum would include, English, Social skills, Economics, Nutrition, Exercise, Math, Reading, Computer operation (including typing), Studying (the art of) everyday personal finances, how to get and hold a job, Business (understanding the workings of), etc.  These are the skills it takes to survive and prosper in today's world.  Then I'd make US Government and how it functions mandatory.  Maybe then our citizens would know better than to vote for an ethnic name or pretty face.  All other subjects should be the student's choice.

Finally, throw out the textbook. There's no such thing as a textbook life. Teach from everyday life experiences of the students.  Make life the class workbook.

There's no need to go on and on -- you either get it or you don't.

Joe Bottieri


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