The importance of this cannot be overstated. In order for a society to be truly free, it must first be well educated, and well-informed.
We are rapidly falling behind the rest of the developed world in this regard. Our public education system used to be the envy of the rest of the world, and now we don’t even rank in the top two-dozen nations anymore.
This MUST change, if we are to retain our dominance throughout this next century. People have come here from all over the world to teach, and to learn. If we continue to let our quality of education slip into nothing, as we have been doing, that will quickly end. In addition, there’s an incredibly strong correlation between national education averages and national adult wages – the simple fact is: increase education, and you also increase adult wages! – and the taxes that come from those extra wages will help further boost funding for education, as well as tax revenue and the economy as a whole.
The single worst thing we can do to ourselves as a country is to allow ourselves to descend into ignorance and anti-intellectualism. The old adage “the truth will set you free” cannot ring any more clearly. Knowledge is the very cornerstone our society is built upon. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost – as much as we’d all like government programs to be self-funding and self-sufficient, this is one area that we desperately need to re-invest in. This is quite literally the future of our nation we hold in our hands.
But – there’s a smart way of doing do – namely in four key areas:
1.) Modernizing the modern curiculum to include: basic software programming, basic electronics and systems engineering, industrial technology and manufacturing, first aid and emergency-preparedness, U.S. civics, and free market economics.
2.) Increasing teachers’ wages to a level deemed sufficient for supporting a middle-class lifestyle (this provision is meant specifically to attract more of the ‘best & brightest’ to the teaching profession by making it at least a little more competitive with the rest of the domestic job market).
3.) Increase the teacher-to-student ratio. And yes – this part will especially be costly. Sorry, but it’s the harsh reality of the situation. You cannot get “something from nothing,” as much as you might try. The only way to do this is to increase the number of public school teachers, increase the number of classrooms, and increase the number of schools per district.
4.) The creation of a small yearly stipend that’s given to individual teachers, for the sole purpose of allowing them to purchase their own course materials and teaching aids – as they deem fit. Such stipends should be used however/whenever they choose, until the balance reaches zero for that year. And ny remaining balance should be rolled over into the next school year, if they want to. The bottom line is – you cannot teach effectively if you have nothing to teach with.