By Letter to the Editor
It is election time and once again public education rears its ugly head. President Obama, as much as he tries, can’t seem to give this topic the attention it deserves. Too many fearmongers keeping his attention elsewhere, I guess.
This week it is Education Nation, so perhaps some good may come of it. Unfortunately, Education Nation will not look at the big picture, no doubt because the problem is gigantic. Committees are forming, chaired by all the head honchos in their respective fields.
So far, they are talking about teachers’ qualifications and who should stay and who should go. Certainly a big issue, but not the main one. Folks with the funds to live in neighborhoods with great public schools, or who can afford to send their children to private schools, are in charge of the discussions. Many of them like to say that money is not the issue.
On the contrary—it is the only issue. It is why there are great public schools in wealthy neighborhoods and bad public schools in poor neighborhoods. Do you ever wonder why there is no need for charter schools adjacent to good public schools?
As always, government has turned a solvable difficulty into an unsolvable dilemma. Just look at what we did after 9/11. Instead of pursuing the criminals who perpetrated the attack on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, we turned it into a war against three nations (so far) that is now in its ninth year. The solutions to the inequality in our public education system are attainable.
In order to do so, however, we have only to answer one question: do we want to give all children a great education, or do we just want it for our own kids? Until we say ‘yes’ for all children, very little will change. Funding is the issue. Right now, all we do is plug a few holes in one place, maybe solve some problems here and then ignore them there. Educating all of our children must be our number one priority. We have decided to spend our country’s wealth on military endeavors instead of educating our children. We are now looking at the consequences.
Livia Carroll ‘00, Administrative AssistantModern Languages and Literature Department