Friday, February 10, 2012

Less Is NOT More in Case of Education

I can't see ANY good reason to give our children less education... less as in the "four-day school week" idea, which is being studied in Pasco County this year as one of the possible ways to address the local school district's budget shortfall.
On the other hand, I can see a lot of very good reasons why we should try any other solution first to make sure our local schools operate well. Among them the pressing need for better Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as it is nicely described in an article on the CNN portal:
Two indicators are particularly worrisome, especially as this country experiences greater global competition and high unemployment. American students score 23rd in math and 31st in science when compared with 65 other top industrial countries. In math, we are beaten by countries from Lichtenstein and Slovakia to the Netherlands and Singapore. In science, we are beaten by countries from New Zealand and Estonia to Finland and Hungary.
For the United States, which led the way in space after Sputnik and showed the way in technological development and economic growth for the last 40 years, this is more than an embarrassment. And, for the future of our own GDP, economic well-being, and employer and employment needs, this is a disaster in the making. If the United States wishes to remain the most competitive and innovative country in the world -- never mind just another competitive and innovative country in the constellation of industrial nations -- this cannot stand.
Read: U.S lag in science, math a disaster in the making

This is just one reason, but probably one of the most important and compelling ones. It's good to see that the majority of parents are not happy about this idea and they are voicing their opinions in both meetings and online surveys.

Let's hope the cooler and smarter heads prevail, we'll stop smoking tea leaves and get some money for our children's education, even if it means looking for new sources of that cash.