Another Contrast with the U.S. — Our failing Educational Systems

During my teen year as an exchange student in the early ’50s, I also took the opportunity to visit my pen pal in Northern France. His father was a teacher and I was intrigued to learn that teachers in France were viewed as a part of the elite along with doctors and judges.

Even in the days of my youth, U.S. teachers were down at the bottom of the professional scale even though there were some excellent ones before women’s lib opened their doors to the status professions — medicine, law, etc. The reason that we had excellent teachers at the lower levels was that nursing and teaching were the primary fields open to talented women. I will never forget my own first through third grade teacher, Miss Loretti who became Mrs. Batista along the way. She really got me launched with engaging teaching about the world.

With the budge freezes now, the U.S., which used to be the world’s educational leader, has faded drastically:

“U.S. students’ average scores in international comparisons have often been below the average of developed countries. In the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, 15 year olds ranked 24th of 38 in mathematics, 19th of 38 in science, 12th of 38 in reading, and 26th of 38 in problem solving.[103] In the 2006 assessment, the U.S. ranked 35th out of 57 in mathematics and 29th out of 57 in science. Reading scores could not be reported due to printing errors in the instructions of the U.S. test booklets. U.S. scores were behind those of most other developed nations.[104] While US teens’ performance was mediocre in the Programme for International Student Assessment tests, which emphasizes problem solving, US fourth and eighth graders tested above average on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study tests, which emphasizes traditional learning.[105]”

And with the Republicans now in control of Congress and bent of budget freezes, one can only imagine things getting worse — education, eligibility for jobs, etc., etc.

Already violent crimes look to be on the rise — at least in NYC. People are desperate and see no hope for their futures. What else are they to do but steal what they need for themselves and their children?

Let us be honest here, we, not our president, are responsible for these gross failures. We are tragically being Palinized.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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